Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ryker Turns 2

On Saturday Ryker turned 2. He is such a fun kid! We had a great time celebrating with cake and ice cream. I made him a Dora backpack cake in an attempt to masculanize the Dora theme. I love Ryker! I love the way he blinks his eyes when I tell him he has pretty eyes, I love the way he shows us his dimple, I love the way he sings songs and gallops from place to place, I love the way he gets nose to nose and says , 'I love you Mommacita', I love the way he goes toe to toe with his big brothers. His favorite things are Dora, riding on his turtle, loving his blanket and his big boy bed, building blocks, climbing and singing songs. He is sweet and full of energy. I am so glad that he is part of our family.
It is official. On Monday the 26th of January, I will drink $10,000 worth of radioactive iodine. I'm planning on staying at a hotel for the first 24 hours because that is when 90% of the radiation is given off. I will then spend the rest of the week at my parent's so as to not be around the boys. It will be tough to be away, but I hope to be productive and get some serious scrap booking done. Wednesday or Thursday (yet to be determined) will be a welcomed day because I will then be able to return to a normal diet. I have yet to decide what my first forbidden food will be, but I will have plenty of time to think about it.
On Friday I went up to Perry, UT to visit my friend Amber, who is also suffering for Inflammatory Breast Cancer. We had a nice visit and I look forward to seeing her again soon. You can check out her website at She is an amazing person and her blog is very inspiring.
Hopefully this week I can win the battle against thyroid cancer so that I can get back to fighting IBC. Please keep praying as the battle continues. I have continued to be blessed with strength because of all the prayers in my behalf. The Lord has walked with me and helped me carry this burden. There is peace in reading the scriptures. I am eternally grateful for His loving arms and for your support and prayers! love, Jeanel

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Iodine Free

This week a lot of my time has been consumed with thinking about what I can and cannot eat based on its iodine content. Basically anything processed has some amount of iodine in it. I can eat fruits, vegtables and carefully prepared homemade things that usually require an extra trip to the grocery store. I've done pretty well except for sneaking a bite of Xander's cookie and brushing the salt off a pretzel bite at the mall. I've made it 9 days without any chocolate...
The ultimate goal of all of this is to starve the thyroid cells throughout my body (which are the only cells that uptake iodine), so that when I get the radioactive iodine treatment it will act like smart bombs and kill the thyroid cancer. The other part of this is not taking my thyroid replacement meds. This gradually zaps my strength and energy and slows my mental processing. I read today that this process lasts any where from 5 days to 1 month.
On Wednesday I had my infusion, which consisted of a triple dose of Herceptin and a dose of the bone strengthener, Zomeda. It took over 2 hours.
I also went to the Huntsman Cancer Institute this week for a second opinion regarding my next round of chemotherapy which will begin a couple of weeks after the radioactive treatment. I need to wait until the new thyroid medicine kicks in and starts up my metabolism again so that the chemo is metabolize and so that I will have the strength to handle it. The doctors aren't really encouraging further chemo at this time, but I really feel like that is what I need to do. I don't know if I will ever feel like enough is enough, but after this next round they won't give me anything else until more cancer is evident.
I was blessed to talk to a friend this week about her experience when her husband passed away from cancer a couple of years ago. It was a sweet conversation that brought a new level of understanding.
I hope all is well and your life is full!
love, Jeanel

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Progress Note

Wednesday was a marathon day. I met with the radiation oncologist, finished the last of my 44 radiation treatments, met with the endocrinologist to discuss my thyroid radioactive ablation and my 3-week iodine free diet. I also met with my oncologist to discuss my next chemotherapy drug and receive my weekly infusion. Good thing my dad was with me!
My skin is red, toasty, and crusty. I am 2 days into my special diet and I crave everything that I am not suppose to eat. Go figure. Bruce is working hard to help me stick to the menu by making homemade bread, spaghetti sauce, and no-bake cookies. Tonight he said that he feels like a 1950's house wife. I got a good one!!
On Thursday Bruce and I were able to go out with an incredible couple who are also dealing with inflammatory breast cancer. We truly enjoyed their company and share a similar heartache.
On Saturday my sister and niece (Sadie) came up to see us. Sadie's 5th grade class raised $500 and donated it to a family in our neighborhood with new quadruplets.
Our Christmas cards are still on my to-do list. Sorry! Hope the new year is treating you all well.
Love, Jeanel

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it is 2009. I hope this year is less eventful than 2008!! We brought in the new year at Suzette's. As always, the kids had fun playing with cousins and I enjoyed the time off. We made it until 11:00, popped some poppers and called it a year. I need to find out the secret to teaching the kids to sleep in!
This week's infusion went better than the last two. The doctor gave me some different anti-nausea meds which worked really well. My skin is getting extra-crispy from the radiation and has started to blister in some spots and look pretty leathery/beef jerky-lie in others. I should be done on Weds, but I might go for 2 extra treatments because of the breaks during the holiday season.
School is back in session and getting back into a routine is welcomed. We enjoyed the family play time, snow, and good eats that only this time of year can bring.
May we all enjoy peace and happiness this year!
Love, Jeanel