• Adenocarcinoma,  ALK,  Anxiety,  Beer,  Bipolar Disorder,  Cancer,  Coping,  Crappy News,  Dan,  Flowers,  Grieving,  Leah,  Lung Cancer,  Metastasis,  NSCLC,  Radiation,  Scanxiety,  Tumors

    After MRI Results

    Dan is super chill. There just isn’t much that can ruffle him. He gets scanxiety (scan anxiety) just like the best of us, but he never really worries or freaks out. The only way I know how to describe him to people is that he is “zen.” There’s not much that can ruffle his feathers. He keeps an even temper, always maintains his sense of humor, and is focused on the simple things each day. I know this sounds super amazing–and I get that. However, I just have to share a caveat that I am MARRIED to him and have loved him for nearly 15 years and that which is the…

  • Adenocarcinoma,  ALK,  ALK-Inhibitors,  Cancer,  Coping,  Hope,  Lung Cancer,  Medical Jargon,  NSCLC,  Podcasts,  Research

    Podcast: “Fighting Cancer” from TED Radio Hour

      At certain moments in time, I do like reading books, listening to podcasts, or watching documentaries related to the science of cancer. It is helpful for me in mitigating the anger and depression while knowing loved ones who died, are actively dying, or living precariously with the disease, like Dan. For someone who completely hated the subject of science in school for 20 years, I really am fascinated by it now and really geek out often with certain subjects. Expect me to share what I find–good or bad–more in this space. I listened to this podcast today while driving to and from work. I like to hear the individual voices who…

  • Dan,  Dearest Don Raine,  Nature,  Raine,  Special Events,  Washington

    Dearest Don Raine

    Dearest Don Raine, I’m not sure where to begin. I thought I could be one of those parents who blogged that could (well, blog reguarlarly for starters…) post letters to their children, but it turns out I am not and I haven’t even been doing a good job of trying. It has actually been two years since I wrote my first blog letter to you. I’m not going to apologize because there’s a delicate point to be made that perhaps all of my blog is for you. It is for me, to create and cope; it is for those who read it, to take what they will from it; and then…

  • Cancer,  Chemotherapy,  Dan,  Grateful,  Home,  Moving,  Raine,  Scanxiety

    We Made It To Gillman

      I am too exhausted to share about our moving week! The good news is IT IS OVER. We have officially made it to Gillman. We have beds to sleep in, the pets know where to find their food, our couches are situated, and the tv/electronics are in working order. Hallelujah. The weight and burden of another move (with another downsize) just one year after we relocated from Oregon to Illinois has now finally been lifted from us. Even Rocco and Hobbes seem to sense that the ‘Great Anxiety’ has passed. With their relief, they are napping hard and basking in the sunlight of their beautiful new back yard….Or if it is…

  • Announcement,  Flowers,  Grandpa Don,  Grieving,  Home,  Honestly,  Hope,  Illinois,  Life Lately,  Moving,  Scanxiety,  Washington

    We Are Moving (Again)

          In 14 days, we are moving to my dad’s house in Washington. We will also get another round of scan results. Honestly, I can’t figure out what I want to write about. I feel numb with exhaustion. The move wasn’t an easy decision. There were so many different layers to our choice. I still can’t exactly put into words the myriad of emotions I have had about it, back and forth, over the last six months. I still find myself shocked over and over again at how life is so unpredictable, for better or worse. We’d appreciate your thoughts and good vibes for the next two weeks.    

  • Anger,  Grateful,  Leah,  Mary,  Memories,  Rocco

    My Dog Peed on My Mother’s Obituary

      At a time when we were unaware, Rocco chose a plastic bin of mine on the floor to lift his leg over and urinate on. He is a well trained dog and this was unexpected–so unexpected, he kept his secret for what might have been an entire day or two. The bin was one of several in a plastic storage unit that contained every note, card, letter, photo, and sentimental piece of paper (or pipecleaner) I had saved since I was in the third grade. So Rocco chose to not only urinate inside the house, he selected the only spot that could desicrate my emotional well being. (Other than my blankies). At…

  • Awesomeness,  Birthday,  Celebrate,  Char,  Dan,  Doug,  Family,  Friends,  Grateful,  Holidays,  Jim,  Joy,  Leah,  Memories,  Oregon,  Peoria,  Photos,  Rachel,  Raine

    And Along Came a 40th Birthday

    It felt like an outrageous accomplishment. It felt like the summit of Mt. Everest. And it also felt normal. We made it to his 40th birthday and life with cancer has become so normal to us, I was distracted by daily non-cancer minutia and completely forgot to plan something. While I was distracted, Dan planned his trip to Oregon. He always hoped to celebrate his 40th by traveling to the beautiful southern coast of Oregon to visit Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, consistently rated among the top golf courses in the nation. He set up plane flights, a rental car, air b&b’s for Lake Oswego and Bandon, reserved a golf cart–got a…

  • Anxiety,  Caregiving,  Fibromyalgia,  Hospital Stays,  Leah

    Can a 36 Year Old Female Have a Heart Attack?

    It isn’t common but the answer is yes. Did I think I was having a heart attack? Maybe. Did I actually have one? No. This woman, at age 37, actually had a heart attack. Her symptoms were similar to mine. However, after I woke up in the middle of the night nauseous and with pressure in my chest, that feeling of discomfort remained for another 48 hours and worked its way into my neck and jaw. I tried to treat it like heartburn, and it occured to me that maybe I was developing GERD. I would have suspected a prolonged panic/anxiety attack, but in my previous experience they are accompanied by…

  • 2016,  Alexis,  Art,  Dan,  Flowers,  Grateful,  Hope,  Leah,  Logan,  Music,  Peoria,  Raine

    Roots, Interests, and Limitations

    For making a big decision about how you are going to spend the majority of your minutes in a day, especially in such a way that you might be provided compensation for your time, I have always failed pretty miserably. I think too big, I think too small, I hop around with ideas, or I avoid thinking at all and keep with the status quo for fear of change. My best advice is to go back to your root values and strongest interests, and then be really honest with yourself about your limitations. That was my starting point when I searched for employment in Peoria last November. I took 2 hours…