Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Two Month Doctor Update

This week was fun-packed with blood tests, a CAT scan, a doctor's appointment and in two days another chemo treatment. I thought I'd take a moment to update about the progress reported from my doctor today. The tumor's have reduced by half of what they were two months ago. This is a very good thing. It means the chemo treatments are working and another scan will be done in two months for more progress reporting.

As for my side effects and physical state from all of's getting worse with every treatment. Unusual to other people, I tend to get nausea and ultra tired the week before a treatment instead of just after. If I could sleep or stay in bed all day - I would. The kiddos keep me going as any mom would have to. My lower back is aching more so this week than before as well. Tylenol with codine is now my new friend. The doctor seems to believe this may have a lot to do with the womanly monthly cycle and the chemo treatments together. Uhhh - wish "somedays" I was a man:)!

To date: I'm going on the 5th chemo treatment this Friday and 7 more to go. Almost to the half way point! Thank you to everyone who is following this blog, have offered help and prayers.

Check out the side bar for more offers for products that you can purchase and have a percentage go towards our families needs. There are great products including Mary Kay, Silpada jewelry, Filing Systems and more to come. Check back weekly for more offers. Valentine's Day is coming up soon! Don't forget to buy yourself something pretty, ladies - YOU DESERVE IT! And men, YOUR LADY DESERVES IT!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Start from the First Blog and Work Your Way UP!

There seems to be more and more to share. Unfortunately, I'm exhausted from painting the past two days so I'm going to make this a quickie. To make any sense of this, you may want to start from the first blog and work your way up.

My devoted husband, Bob, is also self employed. He has an Advertising/Graphic Design Agency that has been established for 14 years. As his wife, I can't say enough about the work that he does. His talent is amazing! Supporting us can also mean supporting his business. Visit his website and connect with him about any advertising/design work your business may need.

In regards to my murals, I've had a few questions about them. One of the slideshows to the right of this blog shows a variety of murals and wall designs that I have done. Designing a mural starts with the size of the wall to be covered. Generally, pricing is estimated by the square footage and depends on the design. A mural can be designed in a "simple to paint" style, printed on transparency and projected onto a wall to trace. Any experienced painter could follow the lines and color codes. Another option is having a mural designed and printed onto custom wallpaper that can be hung by any experienced paper hanger.
Email me a picture of your room with the wall in question and I can come up with a creative idea for it. Just email me at with a description, pictures and what you'd like to achieve for the room.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hats of Hope

Order a Hat of Hope!

They make a great gift for yourself or a friend.

Color: Black & Light Pink Fun Fur Yarn with Light Pink Ribbon
One Size fits Most
Scarf available as a set

Adult Hat Only: $26.50 w/tax
Adult Hat & Scarf Set: $42.40 w/tax

Child Hat Only: $21.20 w/tax
Child Hat & Scarf Set: $31.80 w/tax

$5 Shipping & Handling charge outside York, PA
In York, PA - free delivery

Payment options - Paypal, cash or check
Please allow 3 weeks for delivery as these are handmade. Thank you for your order.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How You Can Help

It is hard to ask for help and so many people have offered. I often wonder why I shy away from accepting or just telling someone what they can do. I think it is just pride getting in the way. This platform offers me an easier way to communicate our needs.

I will be having chemo treatments until early May 2009. They are scheduled every two weeks. Check my calendar to the right of this page for the next month of scheduling. I could use offers to drive and pick me up from my treatments since I feel very groggy afterwards. They are being scheduled for Fridays and usually take about 3 hours.

Other ways to be helpful:

On Saturdays after my chemo, I need to rest. My children have a lot of energy and could use playdate offers together or separately. Chloe is 9 and Carson is 5. They may be shy at first but generally play well with others. They also love going to the movies and have a list of ones they'd like to see.

Meals are currently being provided around my chemo days by my church family. I have not asked for any other days since I am feeling well enough to make dinner most of the time. However, a surprise drop off is always welcome even if it can be frozen to save time and trips to the grocery store.

I am a hard worker which has posed a challenge for me to rest. I do have days that I am well enough to work, but I am pacing myself. I have worked hard for over 3 years to get my interior decorating business off the ground. I am available to consult on a home, do design plans, design/order custom window treatments and light decorative painting. If you are in or around York, PA I'd be happy to make an appointment to see your home. Please email me at to discuss.

One of my passions has been creating wall designs and murals. If this is something you'd like to do in your home I can come up with designs and you can have them painted by someone else or we can discuss ways to have them made as wallpaper or adhesives.

Last but not least, to the right there is a link to donate. I resisted this offer but it is available for anyone who is able to help us at this time. A part of me wants to explain all the financial woos that go along with a cancer diagnosis but most people have a good idea what could be involved.

My family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts! So many have helped us get this far and will see us to the end as well and we thank all of you. It is a humbling time. Prayers are always welcomed as well. I know they have been strong for us and we have found God working in our lives. Thank you everyone for caring.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Diagnosis - The Day The Bomb Dropped

The day you hear the words, "you have cancer" is a day you will never forget. This is never in your plans. This is what you never want or ask for. Especially at 37 years old, running a family with two young children, just getting your own business off the ground floor, and busy with life. For anyone who has been diagnosed with any type of cancer, the emotions, thoughts, fears and roller coaster ride are not ones you DO NOT want to be on. But you are what...

On November 5, 2008, two days after having a swollen lymph node removed, I received the phone call with the final diagnosis - Hodgkins Lymphoma, a blood cancer. At this point I knew what my possibilities were after too much googling. I didn't want cancer, but if it was going to be any cancer this one had a lot of hope with treatment and remission. Many people came out of the woodwork. I already knew two people who had this type of cancer - so I had someone to talk to. After having a chance to digest this diagnosis I talked to anyone who could shed light on what to expect from chemo treatment.

One month later after many tests, meeting my new doctor and "temporary best friend" - my oncologist and confirming stage 2 of Hodgkins, I started my first chemo on December 4, 2008. I cannot describe the anxious feeling that sweeps through you when facing the unknown. I heard so many stories about other people and how their bodies handled chemo. Most stories were not very encouraging to say the least.

So here I am...preparing for my 4th chemo treatment this Friday. My body is handling it well with some side effects and my mind is doing better. Now I am working on my spirit. I am a faithful Christian woman. I have overcome a lot of things in my life and have turned to God for help and strength and turned away as well. "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." "God doesn't give us more than we can handle." Sometimes these sayings are hard to hear, but right now they are keeping me going and I am turning to God for answers and reasons. I know I will get through this and be a stronger person in the end.

When faced with difficult times, and we are all having them today with the economy, explaining to young children about cancer and not being able to do some of the enjoyable things we like to do can be hard. I have been raising my children in a church environment where they can learn and understand more about God and Jesus and what it means to be a Christian person. At age 9, my daughter Chloe has a lot of questions. The biggest question being "why would God do this to you Mommy?" (I answered that one very well. My pastor would be proud.) At age 5, my son Carson was sure I was going to die or if he kissed me he'd get cancer, too. My husband has taken the financial burdens on since I am only working my business part-time. "When one person in a family has cancer - everyone has cancer." This is so true. It has changed our current lives and our future. We take each day one-at-a-time and pray that all will be well in the end.