Friday, August 30, 2013

Being Right SUCKS

I have so many titles for this post.  All witty and with attitude.  Attitude I'm not feeling right now.... I am processing still.

We went to the Drs appt for Daddy.  I am thrilled they got him in so quickly, thrilled that they are affiliated with a top notch cancer research center and was very happy with the care and the time the Dr took with us.

I took notes while we were with the Dr and the Dr appreciated that I wanted to take information with us.  He gave us some print outs and gave me time to keep up with my note taking while he was talking with us.

So the final verdict, which I'm sure you want me to just put in the first line of this post.  I'm stalling.

I am a research junkie. I love to research things and learn about them.  Even if it is through Dr. Google and may not be exactly correct.  When Daddy first told me about all this going on, I went right to the Mayo Clinic and read up on what the Drs thought this could be.  That research resulted in many scared and irrational thoughts running through my mind.

Unfortunately, my diagnosis through Dr. Google was correct.  Daddy has Stage 4 Gastric Cancer. This is not treatable with surgery or radiation.  There are two options, one is to send Daddy home with Palliative Care and wait.  The other is to treat with chemo.

There are several cocktails that the Dr feels would be effective for Dad's cancer and also improve his quality of life.  They are running a couple more tests on the biopsies that will help to determine which cocktail will benefit most.  They are not saying they can CURE this, but can reduce the symptoms he is feeling from this growing in his body.

They are going insert a MediPort to allow easier access for administering the chemo.  He will have to go every two weeks for an infusion and will come home with a pump for two days after that.  As long as his body tolerates the cocktail, they will continue for about 3 months, then do some scans and other testing to see the status of the tumors.  (Yes tumors, more than one)

We are going to meet with a dietician to talk about proper nutrition and things he can eat to bulk up.  He's lost about 75 pounds this year.  He has no fat layer and is always cold.

We were joking at lunch that if there was a way to transplant Fat, he'd have a line of people willing to donate!  Dad smiled at that.

BUT!  If you want to send me your weight gaining tips and most fattening recipes, especially if they are flavored with vanilla, I'd appreciate them!  I told Daddy I'd make him anything he wants to eat!  Lasagna! I mean look at Garfield!

So.  A part of me feels better because we have answers and a plan of action.  Another part of me wants to hide under my desk and rock like a baby.  For tonight I think I will do just that,but with my teddy bear.  Tomorrow, I will pick myself up, dust off and march forward in this fight.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Camping is Hard Work

Its hard work setting up camp and making sure everything is ready to be enjoyed.  Even the pups were tired from all the driving and setting up.

Jaxon was so tired at the end of the first day he couldn't even lick his butt.

Oscar just wanted to go to bed.

Jax and Huny finally got a nap in

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


While we were on the head boat, one mission was to see if any dolphins would come and play with us.  And they did!  They were pretty playful too!

I love that the sun was glinting off the dolphin in this one

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Random Vacation Shots

Here are some random vacation shots

This construction plant is valued at $17 MILLION.

It was built in Cape Charles VA to help build and transport materials to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

There were bird nests on all the channel markers

this couple was keeping a close eye on our boat


Clamming boats in dock after a long day at work

Another clamming boat

Who wants Clams? ME!

They had a long walk - they were about 150 yards off shore

heading out to work

A dead horseshoe crab that some kids discovered.

Horseshoe crabs are on the endangered list so I was sad to see this one had died

I'd love to go kayaking.  The bay was so smooth.

This was across the bay.  I want Huny to buy it for me.

Another angle of my new home.
Hope you enjoyed the random shots!

Monday, August 26, 2013

News with an Attitude

I posted a "just the facts, ma'am" entry about Dad's news.  We are still gathering all the information about what's going on with him.  The lab is still processing the biopsy but they have determined that it is cancer. They are still working on the staging of the tumor so there is still info to gather.  We should have that by next Wednesday.

Dad's primary Dr is going to make an appointment for Dad with the Fox Chase Cancer Center that is fairly local to us.  I am pleased with this decision.  Dad was talking about going to the Dr Mom used over 14 years ago.  This Dr is a good Dr and did everything he could for her.  But he's not affiliated with a Big Name Cancer research and treatment center.

I have been struggling with this news since Wednesday.  I have been wallowing and still imaging the worst outcome for my daddy.  And I have been afraid to talk or see Daddy, afraid that I couldn't be strong for him.

Well, he took that out of my hands by stopping by my work on his way home from the Drs.  Sitting in his truck in the parking lot, he told me the news, very matter-of-factly.  Then, he tells me that he has his fathers' genes.  My grandfather beat 5 different types of cancer. Dad said he's only beat 3 so he's not done until he beats Grandpop's record.  Ha-ha!  

You go, Daddy!  What an attitude!

BUT that attitude is helping me to change how I am reacting to this news. I feel my strength coming back.  I feel like I can be there for Daddy and can help him fight this nasty, miserable disease.

Its not going to be easy and I know there will be lows as well as highs. But attitude is everything.  And my Daddy has plenty of attitude.  And I am my father's daughter, with attitude!

Friday, August 23, 2013


While we are still waiting for results of the biopsy, the Dr is pretty certain Dad has cancer in his stomach. 

Until the results of the biopsy comes back, we don't know the staging of the tumor.  

The GI Dr who did the looksey on Dad this week is recommending he get an appointment with an oncologist to discuss treatment options.

Until the biopsy results are back early next week, we don't know a whole lot more now than we did then.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sunsets on the Chesapeake

The campground was right on the bay, about 10 miles from the Bay-Bridge Tunnel.  This lead to some beautiful sunsets on Thursday and Friday.  While they were setting up camp, I wandered around and shot some on Thursday.  On Friday, we were on the head boat searching for dolphins.  Both lead to some gorgeous shots!

On shore just over from the campsite

I wandered to the beach

From the head boat near the ships and dolphins

Does it get any more wonderful?

I love sunsets!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rainy Day Watch - WW

Jakes was keeping an eye on the flooding

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits

Back at work again.  I've only worked 9 days in August.  WOW.  But my vacation time is gone and of course I will be starting my busy season at work in September.

My summer cold is better.  Still kinda snotty but getting better.  Finally.  I hate being sick.

Jakes starts school tomorrow.  Its a big day!  First day of High School!  YAY!

Dad has his testing done tomorrow so we can figure out what's going on with him.   He has to start his prep for the testing today.  YUCK. But I am sick of waiting and wondering so this is a good thing.

We have a new driver in the house.  JR got his learners permit last week.  This means he can drive with certain restrictions, like a licensed driver with at least 3 years of experience.  he has to drive on this permit for 6 months before he can take the test for a provisional license which will allow him to drive without another driver in the car with him.  But since JR is a teenager, he thinks he's allowed to drive whenever he wants with this permit, without the properly licensed driver.

Huny has tried repeatedly to explain to him that when (not if) JR gets caught driving on his own, there will be consequences, such as not being able to get a license until he turns 21, plus fines.  JR doesn't care.  He does what he wants, when he wants and always has.  No amount of talking and explaining to him is getting through.  So Huny has decided to stop fighting with JR on it.

I have been fighting with Huny over it, trying to find something that he can do to stop JR from driving.  Since Huny is unwilling to take JR's keys, I am going to stop fighting with Huny and going to stop tattling on JR when I see him driving.  I am not going to continue to hurt my relationship with Huny over JR being stupid and stubborn.

I think that's all the tidbits I have.  I've been on vacation too much to accumulate anything really good!  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Camping Trip

Huny and I were invited to go camping with my parents this past weekend.  What a wonderful, relaxing ADULT camping trip.  We went to Cherrystone Campground which is on the Virgina side of the Chesapeake Bay, almost to the Bay-Bridge Tunnel.  The Campground was LOVELY and huge!  There was always staff around making sure everything was clean and ready for the next family to move into the site.

 Being right on the bay, they have made good use of the natural setting around.  There are four piers which fishing, crabbing and clamming were easy and abundant. Unfortunately, Huny and I didn't take fishing, crabbing or clamming equipment with us.  Next time!

All set up

After a 5 hour drive behind the RV, we arrived and checked in.  Setting up was easy peasy and Dad was glad to have Huny's help with things outside.  ESM took care of everything inside.  I took care of the dogs and took pictures.

The view from our site. See the water in the distance? HEAVEN!

I caught pictures of the sunset the first day and explored the campground.
Sunset from the front row 
One of the piers leading to the water
There was lots of fun things to do around the campground. They had scheduled activities each day and for the weekend, it was carnival weekend.  They had face painting, bounce houses and lots of of fun carnival games.

Walking the pier
We took good food and drinks with us.  Huny cooked hamburgers and hotdogs as well as chicken cooked over the fire for us.

Empty Clam Shells - Not ours unfortunately
Friday night, we went on a boat ride to watch the sunset and look for dolphins. While it was cloudy on land, the sun did come out from the clouds long enough for us to get some great shots of it setting and the dolphins jumping.

Huny getting the fire going so we can chill out around it
Saturday was a wasted day because my head cold erupted with lots of disgusting stuff dripping from every orifice on my face. And it was cloudy and rainy.

Crab Pot off the pier.
More waterfront camp sites
My and Huny on the boat at sunset
It was a lovely weekend, even with being sick.  I enjoyed having time with my parents and my Huny without any kids around.   I hope we get a chance to go back to this campground... there were pools and a wet-zone that we didn't get a chance to explore.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Scared, Irrational Thoughts

There are new health related things going with Daddy. They have me SO scared.  Because we don't know anything for definite yet, I've been trying to not think about it and worry about it.  But since my Mom's side of the family are pessimistic Germans, I've had my imagination going wild.  And googling the stuff hasn't helped much.

See, when he fell a couple weeks ago, they found a tumor in his stomach and lesions on his liver.  They are not sure yet what's up with them and he has an appointment to get it checked next week.  BUT....

I've checked out his symptoms and if what has been reported to me from Dad and ESM and an ER Doc, its not a good outlook.  I am not a person who gives up and usually sees things as half empty.  I am usually a half full kinda person, a person who always has hope that things will turn out good.  I am the person that tried to get my mom in a clinical trial after she had been put on Hospice.

Without having all the information and diagnosis from any testing that the Drs want to do, I am having all these irrational thoughts. I  am scared to loose my Daddy.  

I have made plans, in my head for the funeral.  I am making a list of the pictures that I want displayed at the funeral. I have gone through my list of relatives and friends of Dad's for anyone who is able to be a pall bearer.

I KNOW this is all crazy and stupid thoughts.  Thoughts that should not be in my mind but I can't help but have them running circles around my head.  I don't know how to get them out and of course, I can't talk to anyone about them because they are just crazy and inappropriate thoughts. I know these are horrible, horrible thoughts to be having.

I can only wait until the test results are back to find out what the next step is going to be for him and the rest of the family.  And if its as bad as my pessimistic imagination has made it out to be, I will be prepared with pictures and pall bearers. 

Maybe its time for some smart A$$ery comments.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Silly Hats

While in Washington, we stopped in a gift shop in one of the museums.  I don't remember which at this point....

My dad was in the Navy until just after I was born.  I grew up playing with his Navy hats and sleeping on US Navy sheets.

So when I saw these hats in the museum, I had to make my boys try them on.....

AZ modeling
What an expression.
Just for you daddy!