Friday, August 26, 2011

Our week in review....

I haven't been on another planet this week, just busy. Morgan was out of town for three days, so when I hit the pillow each night I was exhausted. I told him when he got back in town that he isn't allowed to leave anytime soon, cuz it was too exhausting. But enough about me, here is what went on in the rest of the household...
 Sarah had a really, really loose tooth this week. I would have pulled it a LONG time before this. I wasn't a patient child when it came to teeth.
 ........but eventually, it gave in. The permanent tooth was already poking through....
 We hosted a family dinner at our house and my younger sister and her family was there.
 And even my younger brother from BYU showed up with his adorable girlfriend, Kirsten.
 Then Cassidy stole my camera and took an amazing picture of Morgan. Oh, the view of a 12-year-old who loves her daddy!
 And baby Raelynn is always so adorable!!
And today Sarah dropped a plate on her feet and cut herself pretty bad. Instead of going to the ER to get her stitched up, we went to our neighbors house and they fixed her up. He is a dentist and it all worked out o.k. Poor Sarah lost a tooth and almost a toe this week. It wasn't really THAT bad, but it sure bled a lot.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Don't you wish you were awesome like me?!!

Do you ever wish you looked as cool as me????!!!
And made awesome stuff like this?!!! (yes, those are toothpicks jammed into the chair!! But at least the bird is protected!)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Whole Lotta Love!!

The other day I woke up to this!!!!
 Morgan is sooo awesome!! I told him that I wanted a BIG chalkboard and look what he made me!!
 My favorite part was the messages of love from everyone in the family!!
I love you Johnson family!!!!

P.S. Since finding out I am in "remission", I have decided to learn new things. For instance, I have......
       a. signed up for sewing classes
       b. I watched a movie in the middle of the day the other day... just because!
       c. I have decided to make friends with other people since I am not giong anywhere anytime soon.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kade's baptism

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to go to my nephew's baptism. It was sooo beautiful!!! I was so proud of him. After the baptism, Kade was in his adorable new pinstripe suit and we had made him some rings out of five dollar bills for a present. He put them on his fingers and loved that he looked like a gangster!! Such a hoot! And I need to give a "great job" to my newphew, 12-year-old Cooper, who gave the best talk on the Holy Ghost ever!!! So proud of you Newman family!! Thanks for letting us join in your special day!

My family pictured here. It was great to get a picture with all of us in it, but if you look closely, I have a tight grip on Will's arm because he kept running away.

Newman children: Cooper, Kade, Candin, and Kayla. This was their "goofy" picture and I love how Candin snuck in a kiss at the last second.

Everybody except Cooper...

There we go... All the Newman children.

Proud mother and son

My older sister Alisha with Kade and my younger brother Ryan who had the opportunity to both baptize and confirm Kade. He did a great job!

And here are the two that entered the waters together. Thank you Ryan for taking time out of your busy life at BYU to make it for his special day!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The first day of school, among other things..

Medical news: It turns out that my painful episodes with my stomach and back are actually related to gall stones. Passing a gallstone is way more painful than it sounds... seriously!!!! So, it looks like the gallbladder will have to go, but that is on the backburner for now. Enough medical news...

And, due to my wonderful cancer news this week, I have been a bit behind on posting about "real life" here at the Johnson house. This past Wednesday, my children all went back to school and we have started a new phase in my life.... EVERYONE IS AT SCHOOL ALL DAY LONG!!! I didn't realize how exciting this phase will be, but after three days, I am hooked!! I LOVE my alone time!!!
So, without further ado, here are my Elementary children on the first day. I still need to get Cassidy's picture, but she keeps sneaking out of the house when I don't notice.... maybe cuz I am still in bed when she leaves. hummmmmmmmm.
 Sarah is a big 2nd grader this year and she is very excited to ride the bus!!
 My two bus riders waiting.........I can't believe Lund is in the 6th grade!
                                                  ................they are really enjoying their school year and their teachers.
     And then I take Will outside to wait for his bus. But since it was really hot, he found the only shade he could.. behind grandma's car.
And of course he had to be goofy!! That would be my Kindergartener!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I am just plain happy!!!! Happy that my Father in Heaven has answered my prayers! Happy that I have a wonderful family surrounding me! Happy that I have amazing friends that are always so helpful, and other breast cancer ladies that have helped me through so much. Just plain happy!!!!

Yesterday, I got the news that my cancer is in REMISSION!!! Technically, since I am stage 4, I am called "stable disease" instead of "remission", but who wants to go by that?!!
 I have been on an experimental drug for two months now, and we just got back the results. It is a drug that won't even hit FDA approval for a few years at least, so I feel it an honor to be included in the study.
I will still have to go to Scottsdale twice a week to get my chemo, and I do still have tumors in my body and brain. But, they have stabalized and are regressing, and that is the great news!!

I wondered to Morgan today why I didn't run out and shout it to the world, but the truth is.... I am not good with good news! I am soooo used to the doctors telling me that the current chemo med is just not working, so this really threw me for a loop. But for now, I can just sit and take a deep breath. And yes, my cancer is still hanging over my head about to drop, and yes, my cancer is aggressive enough that it will someday beat this chemo med. But for now, I am happy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cancer update..... Two ER visits in three days means A LOT of waiting!!

I am going to throw in a cancer update for ya. Last week, about Wednesday, I started having stomach problems that would come on suddenly and hurt really bad across my whole stomach and my mid-back. By Friday night, the pain was constant and quite dibilitating. I woke Morgan up at 2am and we headed to the Mayo Hospital deep in the heart of Phoenix. We decided to go there because I am currently in their medical trial for my chemo meds. It wasn't a great experience because I had to drink 48oz of iodine mixed with Crystal Light before they would take a CT scan of my abdomen. And let me tell you....IT WAS NASTY!!! I will never drink Crystal Light again! And, if I threw up, I had to start over, so I was trying really hard not to. After a few hours of waiting, they came up with a solution...... I needed to poop! Seriously!!! I told them that I didn't need to, but they said that all the pain would go away if I just had a bowel movement. They also said that the CT scan showed that I had gall stones, but that they weren't the problem. I felt a little bit like an idiot. I mean, even my five-year-old knows how to have a successful bowel movement. We left feeling a little bit depressed and very tired. (We were at the ER all night long).  Saturday was ok, but I just slept the whole day and didn't really eat anything. But, just to be good and follow their instructions, I did a few enemas to "clear myself out", and I waited for the "feeling great" to come along.
   I woke up on Sunday morning at 4am with excruciating pain again in my stomach and back. I decided to let Morgan get some sleep, so I didn't wake him until 7am to let him know what was going on. We called my on-call Oncologist and he said to get to the ER. He told us we had to go to the Banner Hospital on Dobson Rd., which isn't our favorite.  Needless to say, it was another long day (7 hours) in the ER. They took more CT scans of my abdomen  and kept me on pain meds and antinausea meds. Let me just tell you that the ER was PACKED!!! I mean, like watching the ER show kind of  packed! There were policemen and fireman and Ambulence people everywhere. There were patients getting out of hand and security all over the place. There were people waiting in the hallways and patients on beds in the hallways as well. Luckily, I am a cancer patient so I get my own room with a door that shuts...wahoo!! So, after 7 hours of waiting, the end result was....... Nothing! They can't see anything abnormal on the CT scan, so they don't know what to do. Soooooooo, they sent me home with pain meds. The doctor also said, " I don't know what you are talking about, there aren't any gallstones in your gallbladder." Hummmmmmmmm. 
    So we left knowing.........well, nothing.
Here is what I think....
   A) could the gallstone issue be over now?
   B) I had a *blessing in the ER from Morgan and a man we found in the hallway (don't worry, he had the priesthood) and I started feeling better after that....hummmmmmmmm.

I guess we should just count our blessings and hope that the pain doesn't come back. Time to go to bed, tomorrow morning I have to be at Mayo Clinic for a PET scan and an MRI to see if the clinical trial is successful. Pray for us!

*For those of you not of our faith, a "priesthood blessing" is a special prayer straight from our Heavenly Father given by men who are worthy to hold the priesthood. The priesthood is the Lord's power on the Earth to bless, heal, and give comfort to anyone who is in need. What a wonderful thing it is!!  For more information on my religion, stop some of those adorable boys riding their bikes around in suits, they have a lot of answers.

Well, I love you all and just wanted to give you an update.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer is almost over.... Let's go bowling!!!!!!

Grandma Wiemer wanted to get all the cousins together before the school year gets under way. So, we all went bowling and it was AWESOME!

I decided that they needed to wear awesome, colorful socks cuz' that is what mean aunts do. But everyone was pretty complient.
 Cooper and Will looking awesome in their beautiful socks and bowling shoes.
 Candin having fun! (she took the socks off after a few minutes because she wasn't so sure about my fashion sense.)

 Brody looked adorable waiting for his turn.
           Action shot of Lund.
 These two cousins are always putting their heads together.
 Kade was trying some "backwards action".
 Kade definitely gets the award for the best expressions. It was like watching a show, but much more entertaining..
 ......And since my dad wanted a picture of me included, here ya go!!!
 Oh, and there was a lot of eating and drinking involved...
 ....and TONS of bonding!!! This is my FAVORITE picture!!!  Grandma and Will have a special connection!
                               ..........more bonding. Aunt Becky and Cassidy.
 And the older cousins were sooo helpful and with the Littles!!
       ......And look how happy Brody is to get help from his older cousins!!
                                      ............and there were a lot of crazy expressions by all!!!! (sorry Bek, you can kill me later!)
                                  Rock the socks Sarah!!!

                                       Way to go Captain America!!!!! (yeah, I know his shirt says Superman, but he is more of a Captain America fan,,,)

 I can picture these guys in about 60 years as old men,  IN THE SAME OUTFITS!!
 Yeah, my boy has STYLE!!!
                                     Candin giving me "the look"
                                                          And here are all the Rogers.
Grandma: What a wonderful idea filled with great memories!! Thanks sooooooo much!!!!