Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Not Much of an Update, but Lots of Words!

ABC's of Me
Here's the first tag I have received. I'm usually not one for sending things along when I get the emails of "send to 4 people you know...", but I thought this was a pretty cool one to do. It reminds me alot of the ABC poems I make my students do, so I thought, "What the heck?" Besides, I loved reading Alison's, my sister-in-law who tagged me! Hope you enjoy...

A. Attached or Single: Attatched for always to my best friend, KC; the only man who can get close to reading my mind and heart!

B. Best Friend: Um...I think I just answered that; although I have many girly friends who take the bill as well! Family members; can't leave them out of that title either, they are always there for me love me despite my many faults.

C. Cake or Pie: CAKE! Chocolate all the way, baby. Although I love it when it has mint frosting on top! Oh, and peanut M&Ms in the middle! ;-)

D. Day of Choice: Any holiday! I love all the traditions and joys they bring, the emphasis on seeing the good in mankind, and the focus on God and Family.

E. Essential Items: Hat, glasses, jeans, T-shirt, sweatshirt, keds, good book, drink, chapstick.

F. Favorite Color: White because in light it is all the colors...I'm not very good at choosing favorites, can you tell? My favorite colors to wear are black, brown, blue, green, and red.

G. Gummy Bears or Worms: Gummy bears! Worms have that wierd texture to them. I also have fallen in love with Kat's passion of chocolate covered gummy bears; so chocolate and spicy!

H. Hometown: I would now have to call Provo my hometown, because I have lived in it now for the longest time. And to tell the truth, I love Provo. There are so many things to do, all four seasons, lots of family oriented activities to do with my nieces (and nephews when they're around!), we have mountains, lakes and's just great. I have also lived in Centerville, UT; Alb. NM; SLO, CA; and for a very brief time KC, MO. I've really loved each place, finding unique things that make them interesting. I also have realized that many times it is our memories of a place that give us our opinion of it, and I have so many great and amazing memories in all these places!

I. Favorite Indulgence: This is hard to answer, because I can't access many of these right now, but I'll speak from my normal life. Pedicures, massages, Pepsi, peanut M&Ms, hiking, swimming, hottubs, sleeping in my bed, watching Survivor with KC and our cats, gardening, game nights with my family, traveling, reading a good book, playing in the yard with my dogs. There are so many more, but I could really go on too long!

J. January or July: July. Mostly because I'm on my summer break, so I get to plan my days. However, I love all the parades, fireworks, picnics and heat July brings. It brings back a lot of memories of marching band; luckily mostly the good memories! I just love the carefree feeling of summer.

K. Kids: Yes, but in a broad sense. My students are my "Kids", and I miss not being with them. Let's see...over 500 kids so far. They crack me up with their jokes and dazzle me with their understandings and talents. I truly enjoy the part they play in my life. I also have many amazing Young Women from my neighborhood that I love like sisters. (Can I still keep them in this category, though?) They strengthen my testimony of God, and help me continually feel young and "hip"! Some people might think my dogs and cats...but they're just dogs and cats!

L. Life is not complete without...: My husband, parents, brothers, sisters (these include "in-laws"), extended family, God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, forgiveness, prayer, love, joy in friendship, the priesthood, temples, sunshine, wind, rain, snow, trees, flowers, mountains, oceans, music, laughter, learning, growth, moments of reflection, personal action, passion.

M. Marriage Date: June 16, 1995

N. Number of Brothers and Sisters: 1 Brother, 4 Sisters, 4 brother-in-laws, 1 soon-t0-be, 4 sister-in-laws

O. Oranges or Apples: Fresh oranges, but apple juice and sauce.

P. Phobia or Fears: Sitting in the middle of an aisle at a movie theatre, sharing a drink with someone (although I quickly got over this when I was on a hike without any water...thanks Brennan and Dad!), and my newest one is feeling skin sensations while taking chemo

Q. Quote:"I can do hard things"~Susan Tanner, "We can do it; we are pioneers!"~ my Mom (much to my chagrin!)

R. Reasons to smile: many! The joy of each new day, feeling love for and from others, recognizing miracles all around us, all acts of kindness and tenderness.

S. Superman or Wonder Woman: Wonder woman did help me learn how to jump into the pool when I was younger (thanks to my wonderwoman swimsuit), but Superman has such a cooler outfit and powers... and talk about hunkalicious! I think I go for Superman; but that may change in 5 minutes, who knows?!

T. Tag four People: Like I said before, I'm not one to send along "tags", so if you like this one and want to try it, go for it!

U. Unknown fact about me: I tend to share alot of myself, especially with my students, so they know most of my wierd and crazy stories of my youth. Hummm.... How about that I have a secret desire to go snowshoeing one day? I don't think I share that one often...

V. Vegetable: Most Vegis! Did I mention that I love gardening? I wait all year for my zucchini and tomatoes (although technically a fruit), and I have an amazing craving for carrots these last months. Salads have always been one of my favorite things to eat, as well.

W. Worst Habit: Hitting the snooze button a few more times than planned, loooong showers, getting to work late. Oh, and the ever present stinger...procrastination! My new one tends to be getting long-winded in emails and blogs!

X. X-ray or Ultrasound: X-rays. I think it is so amazing to see the skeleton! Also, there is much less "prep" work, if you know what I mean...

Y. Your favorite food: Steak, salad, garlic mashed potatoes, asparagas, hawaiian haystacks, sweet corn, chocolate

Z. Zodiac Sign: Gemni

Well, there's me in a brief alphabet. As I read back through it, I keep thinking of other things to add, but I must stop at some point!

I'm in a current round of chemo this week, and all is well. I have a few different side effects, but nothing to talk about. All is well, and on Monday the doc said that he's very happy with my hospital revists!

Last week I went to the Tulip Festival with my mom and Amy; here's a few pictures from that. We were a bit sad, because there was only about 20% of the bulbs blooming as of yet, but it was enjoyable all the same. I guess we'll have to go back another day for the usual splendor of color. We were planning on having our wheelchair races, but alas, they were all being used already. So, the leukemia patient, the recently recovered surgery-for-ever patient, and the young'un with major back issues all walked the entire way. Boy, are we amazing, huh? We definitely got our workout in; Jesse would be proud!

Have a great week! ~Sarah

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today..."

Hey Everybody!

Don't you just love Robert Frost? He and Langston Hughes are my favorites!

I've just finished my first week since the beginning of February with absolutely NO chemo. Yippee! The 10 daily pills I take have now switched to a protocol of 2 weeks on-2 weeks off. I almost feel a little crazy as each morning and night I keep thinking, "What have I forgotten today? I know something is missing..."

The not-so-crazy good news is that without the daily stuff, I have felt more energy coming back. Yea! The other day I felt almost guilty for not being at work. My apologies to all my dear friends and students there...and if it helps make amends, I felt homesick for them. Luckily,
this is springbreak for them, so we all get to play hookie!

KC and I have tried to take advantage of the energy to do some small cleaning and organizing jobs around the house. Imagine that...spring cleaning! Boy, it feels good to check some things off my list that have been there a long time! I'm thinking I can now justify all those hours of HGTV, because I did much better getting rid of stuff I never use and I've had a few great new storage ideas. I'm a house-cleaning diva! (Although props to KC, he's quite the task-master as well.)

I've also been grateful for the extra time to tag-along with Kat in some of her wedding preparation. We are going to have sooo much fun at this wedding! I can hardly wait to see all the family! Mom and Dad have kept me entertained seeking/sharing house decorating advice, (oh! another credit for HGTV) and I have found I really enjoy making phone calls during the in during regular business hours and not on a Saturday! I better not get too comfortable, because I could get used to this pretty quick!

For my future plans, I have this week again of chemo-free bliss. I'm planning on turning the TV off and reading some more good books from my pile! Thanks to some friends and my relished trips to Barnes and Noble, I've had quite a few titles calling my name these last weeks. I'm also very excited to go to the Tulip Festival with my mom and Amy, so next time I might have a few good pictures to share. Seeing my mom and I race on the wheelchairs will be classic, I think!

Then on the 21st I start my daily pills again and have additional chemo for 5 days at the clinic. I haven't had this type of chemo before, so we'll see how it goes. I can guarantee I'll repeat the practice of ice in the mouth! I brace myself for the worst each time, but we were all very happy to see that my numbers didn't dip too low this last time; and as I wrote before, the side-effects were minimal. So, my prognosis and outlook are very positive!

I wish you all a wonderful week! It is really beginning to feel like spring, isn't it? Our puppies (yea, they're dogs, but they'll always be puppies to me) have loved rolling in the fresh grass, and the cats are going outside more often to enjoy the warm weather. KC sits at his computer working with the open window letting a wonderful breeze through the office, while I keep going out to the flower beds to take pictures of the flowers coming up. It's a beautiful time of year; enjoy!


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Hair Growth!

Hey! Just a quick update. KC and I were really excited to see some new hair growth in my crusade to have some hair left for Katie's wedding. Thought you'd like to see the evidence for my case...

People have told me it might grow back in a different color; I think this will go great with Kat's colors, don't you? We found it even has an amazing side-effect from the chemo I've taken...

I could be my own party! Who needs clowns? Oh, and don't you love those Achmed eyes?! It's the meds...they tend to do that to you.

Hope you enjoyed a chuckle!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

What does April Snow bring?

Wow! For those of you who don't know...we have 4 inches of snow in our backyard again! Isn't spring great? I love Utah for the diverse seasons, but I was really getting excited about the warm weather!

KC's parents came out from California to visit us this last week, and luckily they got out just before the snow hit...Boy, was Mom relieved! We feel very blessed that they were able to spend time with us; just hang'n out at the house. They (along with my folks) are just happy to have the event of the day be "watch a movie", or "go to the doctor", or my favorite..."what have you not eaten yet?". We had a great time, and even got to have dinner with both sets of parents! How great is that?!

My first round of chemo went well. I quickly got to know the nurses, finished 2 books (so far), and have my favorite lazyboy staked out for my treatments. As promised, I kept my mouth FULL of ice all week, and it has really paid off! No mouth sores! As I expected, I started feeling the fatigue and soreness on the weekend, but I don't know if my 2-day lag on side-effects are an accuracy thing or a self-manifestation. Either way, those are side-effects I can handle and won't complain much.

I've been amazed that today (Monday) the soreness is starting to diminish, and my strength is returning. If this is an indication on how quickly I'll be able to recover after treatments, I am VERY excited. I'm still bracing myself for the blood count-dip, but thanking God for the relief I feel in my recovery. For the next 3 weeks, I'll be visiting everyother day for bloodwork. So far, so good.

You know, as I go into the cancer clinic, I see many people with different challenges in their health, and realize how minimal my inconvenience has been. While I'm counting my blessings, I am touched by the care and humanity that nurses, doctors, patients, and family members show each other. There's a lot of love being shared in those rooms; it's amazing to witness it.

Another joy was on Sunday we were able to meet up at the Hansens' house for a family dinner. It started out as "Second-Easter", and then morphed into Mom's and Cory's birthday celebrations as well. What fun! I think it's quickly becoming a tradition that the girls spend the time taking pictures and posing for them, while the guys sit around and laugh at us taking the pictures. This, of course, is when they are not climbing apparatuses for the nieces!

Other than that, my life has become pretty boring as far as reporting news; but no news is good news, right? Don't take me wrong; I love every minute of it, and KC can tell you I've watched more H&G TV than a normal person should view. So, I'll bid you "Adieu" before I bore the heck out of ya! (and if I spelled that wrong, blame it on the meds!) 'Till next time...

Lots of love,