Monday, September 21, 2009

A Baptism and a Birthday!

Congratulations to my littlest niece, Blair. She turned 8 on September 5 and was baptized the very same day. What a fabulous day it was, and I am so proud of her for making this choice. And you should have heard Shelby, Drake and Shawn singing at the baptism, they did a great job. Then we had lunch at the Walker home, it was fabulous and so much fun to have all the families together for such a great occasion. Here is a picture of Blair with her Granma Bennion.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Big News!

We are happy about some more good news for our family. Our youngest, Ryan has met a very sweet girl and they are now engaged to be married. The wedding date has been set for November 19. Her name is Melissa Aardema. They are very excited about all their wedding plans. I'm sure this next two-1/2 months will go by very quickly as the preparations are done. Congratulations Ryan and Melissa.

The best thing is that her name starts with "M", so we have Miranda, Megann, and Melissa now. Allen always said "I" named both our girls with "M" names in order to confuse him, and now he will have more confusion as he says their names. Good luck Allen.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pioneer Day

Allen and I went to the Pioneer Parade on Friday morning. We left home around 6:15 a.m. or so. We went to our regular place at 330 South 200 East, where there is an old apartment building with trees in front. There is shade for the entire parade, and plus there was a nice breeze blowing. The parade was excellent, of course. 148 entries, the most popular of which were the military entries. I heard nothing but cheers and applause, and everyone was standing up to show their approval. I found it inspiring and have to admit, got a little teary. Yay for the pioneers! Thanks to them for the beautiful city we live in, and the dedication and courage they showed in coming here to live in freedom.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Doin' the happy dance!

Today I saw Dr. Litton at the Cancer Center. He said the chest x-ray from Monday shows IMPROVEMENT. The little feather-looking things at the bottom of the scan from May 26 have shrunk, there is no fluid, no growth near the lymph nodes, no new nodules. So we are full speed ahead, continue on Tarceva, it is doing its job to improve and maintain. I'll have another chest x-ray next month, and we will plan on a PET scan in 6 months. I thanked him and gave him a hug! He said I just picked the medication, somebody else did all the rest. Someday I'm going to tell him about President Callister's blessing and how we know he was guided to pick the right chemo cocktail for me.

Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Liebe Schwester

The other day I came across a very old wedding invitation as I was sorting out some files. It was from one of the sisters from the mission days, her name was Sister Brown. We had been in the LTM together for part of our stays there, she was about a month ahead of me. Then during the mission, we were never companions but we had companions we shared. Plus since there were so few of us sisters, we became really close and had very wonderful relationships. So I decided to look her up on Facebook now that I had her married name again. Anyway, it was really slick, she came right up, with a picture, and I knew I had the right person. So I emailed her, and we have been messaging back and forth. The thing I remember most about her is her beautiful singing voice. She used to sing all the time for firesides and sacrament meetings, and it was truly a spiritual feast to hear her. So for some reason I had a long lost memory return to me about her that I had to share with her. About 3 months before she went home, she and I swapped cities. She came to Moenchengladbach and I went to Duesseldorf. There was a newly baptized sister in Moenchengladbach that I was corresponding with from Dudo (I have it on good authority that the cool people now call Duesseldorf "Dudo"), and she wrote me a letter after a sacrament meeting performance by Sister Brown. She wrote among other things, "Sie singt wie ein Engel, und dass ist wahr." I hope it made Sister Brown happy, I think that it did. Oh how precious those memories are to me of the hardest yet happy days in the mission in Germany. Meine Schwester, ich liebe dich.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready.....

The weekend is here. The long planned for garage sale at Charleen's is over for me. It started at 6 a.m. er, sorry 6:15 I was late, this morning. There was a lot of traffic starting about 7 a.m., I should have counted but anyway it was steady all morning. Then about 1 p.m. it got totally dead and I was tired and my face hurt so I called Al to come and get me in the truck. I didn't have much stuff in the first place, but I did sell a few things. Ok, so I only made $23.50, so who's counting.

Then Al and I went for some lunch over to Kneaders. As we were walking in the door, I saw a man standing by his car, smoking. Oh no--I could feel it coming on. The Urge! The Urge to accost a stranger (or even a group of strangers) to tell them to stop smoking. I tried to stop myself but found within 2 seconds I was standing in front of him, telling him I don't normally accost people in the parking lot, and to please excuse me. I told him I have been diagnosed with lung cancer, and I never smoked. I told him he is 10 times more likely to get it than me, and since he is a smoker, it will likely be a worse cancer. I said please don't smoke, it is horrible having lung cancer.

Please someone stop me before I hurt myself!!!!

But seriously I hope any of you within the sight of this blog will accost everyone you know and anyone you see smoking and warn them about the dangers of carcinogens in cigarettes. Especially anyone you see around children. In my opinion, that is just child abuse. You say you love your wife and children, yet you smoke? You absolutely do not love them. You love yourself and that is all. Someday the piper must be paid, and if it isn't you with a big ol' honkin' tumor in your chest, it could be your precious child. Can you live with that?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The History of Acne

Basically, I have had acne all my life. I mean that. I had really bad blotchy skin through my teenage years and early twenties. I used to pray that the acne would go away. It was the bane of my existence. Then in my late twenties and early thirties, something in the hormones of having kids must have changed in my body after that, because then it lessened and wasn't quite so bad. I still would have breakouts periodically but it was so much better than before I wasn't bothered by it so much.
Now if you can believe it, I have acne again, and I'm happy about it. What????? Yes I'm actually wearing it like a badge of honor. The reason for this schadenfreude is the new cancer drug I started taking on June 15 called Tarceva. This drug has not been around very long, I think it just got FDA approval in 2005. It is used in lung cancer and pancreatic cancer patients and has been very successful in many cases in stopping the cancer from growing for a period of time, and in other cases to shrink it even more. Since it hasn't been around very long, there are not a lot of statistics on it, but many patients are having great success in no progression for years. Long story short, the best indicator that my cancer cells are affected by this targeted drug is the rash. If I had not developed the rash it could mean the cells didn't have the receptors the drug hones in on and causes interruption of cell growth.
Dr. Litton thinks that because of my fabulous response to chemo, I will also have a good response to Tarceva. I saw him today for a check on my status, and he was pleased with the rash. He gave me an order for a chest x-ray and I made an appointment for another followup with him on July 15.
He says the rash will probably continue, so I will still use the Clindamycin gel and Minocycline antibiotic. If the rash gets worse by next week, he has prescribed a steroid called Medrol.