Monday, December 28, 2009

Day 7 Post Chemo Treatment No 4

Our Christmas was put on hold this year. The new chemo treatment they are now giving Mom is kicking her butt. Mom has no energy and she has been in bed for the past week. I fell so bad for her because she feels so bad right now. We are hoping that she will be feeling better in a few days.

This chemo treatment has a list of side effects that makes you sick just read. Where do we start? Nausa or vomiting, Fatigue, Low blood count, Mouth Sores, Hair Loss, Eye watering, Darkening nail beds and possible nail loss. That is just the common the side effects.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

New Blogspot Title

We recently discovered that someone is using the moondrifter title so we had to change ours. Our new blog is D-runaways. We thought it was a good name.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 3 Post Chemo Treatment No 4

I talked with Mom this morning. She told me she had the shakes so bad that she had spilled her coffee all over her colthes and had to change. We have decided the shakes are caused by the steriods she had been taking the last three days and her body must be having withdraws. She said she was starting to feel tired and was going to try to get as much done today as she possibly could.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chemo Treatment No. 4

Today is Mom's fourth chemo treatment. This means we only have two more to go.
This morning when I arrived to pick her up she was dressed in her Christmas attire. She was wearing jeans, red blouse and  a really cute denim christmas jacket. To top off her outfit she wore a red cap that she had embellished with a santa. She was dressed for the holidays. She said she had a good week this past week and had some energy. She took full advantage of it too. She did the laundry, did some house cleaning and still had energy to do some baking. She had baked a chocolate cake for the girls in the chemo center and pecan pies for Dr. Taylor and his staff.

Today she was given a different chemo, She is now on Taxotere. She must take steriods the day before and the day after this treatment.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

RV Living, What?

We have been telling our friends and family for the past several years that we are planning to lease our house and live full time in the fifth wheel while we roamed the United States. We have gotten all kinds of responses. My Mother doesn't really want us to go but she is looking forward to being able to occasionally join us on the road! My sister thinks we are crazy, but she already thought we both had a loose screw! There are the friends that say we won't make it six months. There have been those who told us it is way too dangerous for two women to be out on the road. We have been asked why on earth we would want to live in a fifth wheel when we have a perfectly good house. We've had people tell us we could see all we need to see and a couple of months. People have questioned how we will be able to live in such close quarters. There have been a few that have even laughed in our faces.

These responses don't surprise me at all. I have come to realize some people can't think outside the box. They can’t see outside the walls they live in long enough to see there is more to explore outside of the fifty mile radius they live in.

We know people that are home bodies and can't imagine traveling for more than a week at a time and when they do travel it is well organized actives with little or no leisure time. We know people who can’t live without being surrounded by all of their possessions, many years of accumulated stuff that seems to have some sort of weird hold on them. Then there are those that are tied to a job they have worked at for twenty years and wouldn’t know what to do if they didn’t have to punch a clock every day. Sadly, there are those who have put in their twenty plus years to retire their butts to an already worn recliner for the duration.

Regardless of the responses, we still have a dream of living full time in the fifth wheel and seeing this wonderful country we live in. We plan on seeing the east and west coasts from south to north, the Rocky Mountains and the southern plains. Our plan is to follow this dream as long as we want and as long as our health holds out. We are still young and in good health, "knock on wood".

We have talked about and researched this idea for several years and it is time to get started. We are both very excited about this new chapter in our lives.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


We did catering for a few years. Dawn loves to cook. I am so grateful she loves to cook because I love to eat! We closed our catering business on September 1st this year. Catering request has been far and few and we decided it must be due to the poor economy.

We packed up and sold most of our catering supplies at the last garage sales. We had so much stuff we could have opened our own catering supply store. It didn't take long to sale most of it. We did hang on to a few chafing dishes and some of our serving trays. We kept a few items because they were expensive and or hard to find. I am telling you all this because we catered a party for a friend this weekend. This was our first catering job in months. It was a Christmas party for about seventy people. We had enough chafing dishes and trays to pull it off.

We only agreed to cater this party because it was for very good friends. Did I mention Dawn loves to cook?

The party was very nice and we received many compliments on the food. We also received a couple of request for catering. Dawn has a problem with saying "NO" when it comes to catering jobs. Looks like we have a few more to do this month!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hope Tote

 I found this web site that provides tote to woman currently undergoing any kind of cancer treatment anywhere in the world.

They say each tote is unique and constructed by dedicated volunteers. The tote will include a card with your name as the requestor and will be shipped the next business day.

Tucked inside each handmade bag is an inspirational journal, lotion, and other supportive items. In the front pocket is a card indicating the name of the volunteer seamstress as well as a prayer request card.

My Mom recieved a beautiful handmade tote that had HOPE stitched on it in the mail.

It is a very pretty bag and my mom was thrilled when she recieved it in the mail. Click on the following to request a free tote for a cancer patient that could use a special gift and a special prayer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 3 Post Chemo Treatment No. 3

Mom is moving slow but she is up moving around. She laid in the recliner yesterday afternoon and took a nap. She said she going to try to stay as active as she can so it doesn't kick her butt. She had a headache yesterday morning and was pretty queasy but it past by noon. She is still loosing some of her hair, what is left of it

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chemo Treatment No.3

Mom had her third chemo treatment today. They informed us that this is the last of this type of chemo. She will be given a different type of chemo next time and steriods will be added to the treatment. But unfortunatly her next chemo treatment is scheduled for Dec 21st. That is the Monday before Christmas. That means she will not be feeling well at Christmas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


This was a very relaxing day with plenty of food and the weather was great. We had a small group this year. Our family Thanksgiving consisted of my middle sister, Mom, step dad, son and us. We had way too much food for such a small group, but we all did our best to put away as much of it as possible.

We had an early evening meal and watched a little football.

Mom was feeling good except for a minor backache. Her appetite was good. Everyone loaded up plastic bowls and left at half time.The rest of the evening was spent just enjoying the recliner and a very full stomach.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Todays Blood Work Results

Mom's blood work reaults came back good. She is feeling good and ready for Thanksgiving. We are hoping she will continue to recieve good blood work results each time.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another Garage Sale

That's Right, We had yet another garage sale today. We got up early and had everything set out by 8:00 A.M. Put out our signs at 8:30 and sat there for over an hour thanking we had wasted our time. The weather was cool and overcast. It is the last weekend before Thanksgiving and no one is interested in shopping at garage sales. But low and behold we suddenly got bombarded with people and sold a lot of stuff. We sold a lot of Christmas stuff we had dug out of storage earlier in the week.

We noticed a lot of repeat customers. We are really getting to know our neighbors too.

We packed it in about 1:00 P.M. We did have a successful day even though it got off to a slow start. We are hoping this weather continues so that we can have a few more before the years end.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Busy Week

This week has been really busy. Mom has been staying with us and she has done very well this week. She started off not feeling so well on Sunday. On Monday she was feeling better and by Tuesday she was doing great. Her appetite is back and she has been peddling around the house. This morning she was feeling a little tightness in her leg muscles. It could be the Neulasta shot she got last week just now catching up with her. This is a picture of Mom relaxing with all the kids

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 7 Post Chemo Treatment No 2

Dawn took Mom to the doctor today for her weekly blood test and her blood work was good. She is feeling pretty good today so far.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Monster Truck Show

Today started out slow around our house. Mom was feeling a little queazy. The weather is beautiful out so we sat on the patio taking in some fresh air. This afternoon my sister came to stay with Mom so Dawn and I could go to the Monster Truck show in Allen, TX. My son was driving a monster truck. He did that for a living for a few years and has been working a more normal job!

The show was nice but it makes me so nervous I can't really enjoy myself. I don't just worry about him, I worry about all the drivers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 2 Post Chemo No. 2

Mother went to bed at 8:00 last night wan woke up at 4:30 this morning. She said she had energy when she got up this morning. By 8:00 she had done several loads of laundry and was peddling around the house. She was queasy this morning and had a bit of a headache. She said she she going to stay as busy as possible in hopes that the after effects of this chemo won't kick her butt as bad as last time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 1 Post Chemo Treatment No. 2

My sister took Mom in for her Neulasta shot today. Neulasta is a prescription medication that boost the white blood cells. This helps your body produce more white blood cells to reduce your risk of infection. This Shot is given in the fat of the arm or stomach. Mom gets hers in her stomach. She is given this shot the day after each chemo treatment. This is an expensive shot. The cost is approximately $2,200.00 each. Mom's insurance pays all but about $625.00. She has a prescription for Emend, this is an anti-nausea medication. There are three pills and the cost is $500.00 at one pharmacy and $300.00 at another. We have shopped around for the best deals on her prescriptions. Her insurance covers all but $29.95 of that.

I now understand why so many people without health insurance dies of cancer, they can not afford the cost of treatment.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chemo Treatment No. 2

This is a picture of Mom with her new hairdo. She has lost most of her hair and has decided to try her new wig. She isn't crazy about it because the color is different from her natural color but I think it looks great on her. She did get a lot of compliments today.
Today was a long day. Mom had her second chemo treatment. We arrived at the cancer center at 9:15 this morning and left at 3:00 this afternoon. We checked in and waited to be called for her pre chemo blood work after that we waited for her visit with the doctor and then we waited for the chemo treatment. The treatment itself last about three to three and half hours. We visited with a another chemo patient and her friend while getting the chemo.

She was a little light headed and had hot flashes today when chemo was over. It could be from all the sitting she did today or it could be a combination of the sitting and chemo. She went to bed early and so did I. Thank God she still has a positive attitude.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Good Friends & Good Food

One of our favorite place to pig out  is Half Shell @ Snyder Plaza in Dallas. The crab legs are wonderful and the margerita's are great. I always try to save room for the key lime pie. I haven't had key lime pie this good since we were in Key West, FL. We had a wonderful afternoon with our bestest friends at the Half Shell this weekend.

Another Garage Sale

We have already started pulling stuff out for another garage sale. The weather is going to be nice on Saturday so we are gearing up. Last night we spent the evening pulling out boxes and more stuff to sale. We found boxes of stuff that were left over from our garage sales three or four years ago. We also made another trip to the dumpster. I am so glad we have my son here to help.

We live in the country so of course we have mice and snakes. I am terrified of snakes and Dawn is equally terrified of mice. My son is terrified of spiders. Dawn and I have really needed the help with the preparation of these garage sales. We have both lost a lot of the youthful strength we once had. He helps with the heavy lifting and has been able to repair things that we could not.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Loosing the Hair to Chemo

I talked to Mom this morning and she said her hair is starting to fall out. She said it started falling out a few days ago but it seems larger amounts are falling out today. We have talked about it and she understands this is a part of the chemo and that it will grow back when the chemo is over and out of her system. Mom is a real trooper!

She is feeling good today and has been doing some cooking and cleaning. She said it appears she will have one good week between chemo treatments that she feels good so she is making the best of it. Monday will be treatment number 2. Her chemo treatments are every three weeks.

Having chemo treatments is very time consuming, I am not just talking about the three and half hours it takes to receive the chemo. I am talking about everything that goes along with the chemo. there are appointments each week for blood work and or shots, there are doctors appointments when the blood counts are too low or too high, there are the trips to the pharmacy for medications that needed to be filled or picked up, there are medications taken daily, there are medications taken post chemo and sometimes there is the restricted diet due to blood counts, the list goes on and on.

We are Mom's support group! We take turns in driving her to the doctor, chemo and grocery store. We sit with her while she has chemo and we talk with her doctors. We cook meals, do laundry and run errands. She has not had to go to any appointments alone.

I have over heard her bragging to people that her girls are taking very good care of her and that she is "just along for the ride

Good Wishes Scarves

I have been doing a lot of research since my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and I have come across a lot of interesting things that I would like to share with others. One of the items I have come across is a company by the name of France Luxe. They have a wonderful program called "Good Wishes Scarves" this program is for woman or girl experiencing loss or thinning of hair as a result of illness or treatment. They will send a beautiful head scarf for free just for the asking.

I sent an email requesting a head wrap for my Mother and that same afternoon I received an email acknowledging my request. About a week later my Mother received a "It's A Wrap" scarf made of silk with beautiful fall colors. My mother was so delighted to receive such a beautiful gift.

Here is a the information I was given on the history on how the "Good Wishes Scarves" got started,

Laurie Erickson, CEO of a fashion accessory company located in Washington State. launched a program called Good Wishes scarves - a program where her company makes one, free of charge, silk scarf or head wrap for women experiencing hair loss. This program was born as a result of an email received from a loyal customer. Web site

She asked that we pass the word, If you or someone you know would enjoy either a scarf or an It's a Wrap - please email her at and she and her staff will work to get it done for. She has worked in the fashion accessories industry for over 20 years. She said It is an honor and a pleasure to put smiles on faces through sharing our work. I believe in the power of sending good wishes and perhaps send some comfort to women from women.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time is for the birds. I have a really hard time each fall when we turn the clocks back an hour. My body thinks I should go to bed within a few hours of night fall. That is difficult when the sunsets at five-thirty now! I fight to stay awake until nine.

I wish they would just quit messing with the time and let us get use to the natural time change of the seasons.

Our garage sale on Saturday didn't do so well. The weather was great. But Saturday was Halloween. I think people might have had other things on their minds instead of shopping at garage sales. We did have a lot of repeat customers. We sold quite a bit of Christmas decorations. We still have a lot of stuff to drag out this week for the next sale. I have already started boxing up stuff that has has been in all the garage sales that no one seems interested in. I will donate it to a local nonprofit and she if they have a use for it.

We are hoping that next Saturday we will be blessed with great weather again.

Sunday we visited with Mom and took her to the grocery store. The weather was great and she needed to get out of the house for a little while. She looks good and is getting her energy back.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Garage Sale

Mom is feeling better.

We have decided to take advantage of the nice weather and plan on having another garage sale. This evening we will be setting things up and pricing them. Every week Dawn has been going through the other out buildings and collecting things to for the next sale.

We live in Dawn's childhood home. She inherited her parents things. Her mother hosted a lot of parties and had the dishes and tablecloths to do it in style. She liked to keep the things Dawn had as a child. I am talking books, board games, Barbies, clothes and every birthday, Christmas and Easter card Dawn ever received. She also saved lots of paperwork. Poor Dawn has to go through each and every box of stuff to make sure nothing valuable gets tossed. Somethings are worth putting in the garage sale and somethings go straight to the dumpster.

She has been weeding through boxes of old photographs and paperwork too.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 9 Post Chemo

I talked with Mom several times today and she is feeling much better. The pain pill took care of the spasms and she was able to sleep last night.

She said she spent the day cleaning out her refrigerator and did some laundry. She has also done a little bit of cooking.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 8 Post Chemo

This was not a good day for Mom. She woke up early this morning with back and leg spasms. She said as the day went on they got worse. She could not get comfortable. I usually talk to Mom twice sometimes three times a day. When I talked with her yesterday morning she told me about the spasms. I told her if she needed me or if the spasms got worse to call me.

I was busy at the office and didn't call her back until around three-thirty on my way home from work. She said she was exhausted from this spasms and it was a lot worse. I told her I was calling the doctor and would call her back.

The doctor said she was experiencing the pain due to the shot of Neulasta she was given. Neulasta is given the day after chemo to decrease the chance of infection due to the low blood count. He said she should take a pain pill and that should help.

I called her back and told her to take the pain pill. She doesn't like taking pain medication because it kicks her butt. She said she had taken an Ibuprofen and didn't want to add a pain pill to the mix. I asked her why she didn't call me earlier about the pain and she said she didn't want to drive us crazy. I explained that she wasn't driving us crazy. What dose drive us crazy is her waiting for things to get out of hand before she tells us and we have to scramble around and make phone calls in order to get her some relief. She is so afraid to burden us. We do not see this as a burden at all. We know she would do the same for us. We want what is best for her because we love her. I truely know where my stubborness comes from!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

One Week Post Chemo

Today marks the first week post chemo. Mother is looking like she feels better. The appointment with her surgeon went well. He said she is healing nicely and would see her in three weeks. He told her he thought she looked very well for a woman that has gone through her first chemo treatment.

The oncologist appointment was after the surgeon's appointment. She had blood work done before seeing the doctor. The doctor told her she looked great and that her blood count was low. He prescribed an antibiotic for her to take for five days as a precaution. She was instructed to avoid crowds and crowded places. She should avoid raw fruits and veggies until her numbers come back up.

After the appointment we found a place to grab a sandwich and then I drove her home. She did well and was tired by the time we got her back home.

We will see the doctor again on the Nov 9th for more blood work and the second round of chemo.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 5 Post Chemo

Mom said she is starting to feel better. She still doesn't have much energy but is starting to feel less queasy. Her appetite is improving. We took food over on Sunday and did a few things around her house for her. My sister went to the grocery store for her and did some laundry. She looks better.

Tomorrow she has appointments with the surgeon and the oncologist.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 4 Post Chemo

Mom laid in bed all day today. She said she has no energy but is not able to sleep. She is experiencing some nausea. She has been moving from her bed to the spare bedroom just for a change in scenery. She doesn't have much of an appetite but is eating breakfast and a light lunch. The headache is gone.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 3 Post Chemo

I talked with Mom on the phone this morning. She sounds tired. She said she slept well last night and was just feeling a little hungover. She says she is feeling not nausea's, but maybe a little queasy. Today the headache is almost gone. She is laying in the bed watching TV with her two dogs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 2 Post Chemo

Mother said she was feeling a little hungover today and she had a headache. Today she had to return to the cancer center to receive an injection of Neulasta. Neulasta will decrease the chance of infection.

We were told that this injection can cause the bones to feel achy. After the injection she and my sister ran a few errands. Mother is tired, but she is functioning. She is prepared to spend a few days laying around. This will be difficult for her since she is an active woman. She normally doesn't sit still.

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Chemo

Today was the first chemo treatment. My sister and I picked up Mom this morning and drove her to the cancer center. We fought the rush hour traffic nearly the entire fifty-three miles to the center. Mom is already a nervous wreck and the traffic didn't help matters. We did however, arrive safe and sound and even a little early for the first appointment.

Over the weekend Mom had developed some swelling in her elbow that concerned us. We mentioned the elbow to the nurse and she spoke with the doctor. They decided she needed to have a doppler done to investigate what might be causing the swelling.

We were then sent down stairs to the Heart First office. There we waited about a half hour. The doppler took only a half hour. The problem is Mom has a blood clot in the arm. The blood clot appears to be in a superficial vein. We went back up stairs to the oncologist. We waited a few minutes and then she was examined by the doctor. He explained she had the blood clot from the port surgery and that she would be fine to start the chemo. he recommended an aspirin a day and use of heating pad several times a day to remove the swelling.

We were then taken to the chemo room. Mom was extremely nervous by now. We sat with her while she waited. We tried everything to get her to calm down. She just sat there looking around the room at all the other chemo patients. There must have been fifteen people in there getting their chemo treatments. There were people that appeared to be in their forties and people that looked like they could be someones great grandmother. There were little small petite women and big strong men.

The stick in the port was the worst of it for mom. She made some noise but it lasted only a second. Have I mentioned Mom is terrified of needles!

Mom is receiving four different kinds of chemo medications. The chemo treatments take approximately three and half to four hours.

We were given a list of the chemo, materials on side effects and how to handle them, reviewed blood work and how to read it and what to watch for, explanation for the injections. We made notes and read the materials and asked questions. I consider myself a knowledgeable person and I believe I am half way intelligent, contrary to my sister's belief that I am the stupidest person that walked the earth, but I was so overwhelmed with the amount of information that we were given. It will take all three of us to make sense of all the paperwork.

Mom said she felt better that both my sister and I were with her for her first treatment and that she would not be so stressed for the rest of them.

Meanwhile, We are still fighting with the prescription insurance to get the anti-nausea medication approved.

By the end of the day the prescription insurance company had come around and approved the medication but the pharmacy was out of stock and we would have to return tomorrow after ten.

Mom will have to return to the cancer center tomorrow for an injection for the red blood count.

Everyone was very friendly and helpful. We waited for about a half hour to get started on the chemo.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another Garage Sale

We are starting to become real experts on having garage sales! We had everything ready last night so this morning we were ready to set our signs. We started the sale about nine and closed it about two. We did pretty good and made a few hundred dollars. We still have catering stuff to get rid of but we have made a giant dent in the stack of boxes. We have even started pulling stuff out of the small storage building in the rear yard.

The plan is to have a garage sale every Saturday as long as the weather is good. Today was beautiful and people were out and about.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Port-a-Cath Surgery

Mom had to have surgery again today to have a port put in place for the chemo that is scheduled to begin on Monday. It was a quick procedure that only took about forty-five minutes. But the process of having it done started the day before. She had to have blood work, Couldn't eat or drink after mid-night. The next morning arrive at the hospital at nine-thirty. Once at the hospital she had to check in, pay her deductible and wait to be called.

When she was called, She had to go through the normal protocol of having IV, blood pressure, temperature and then wait for her turn in surgery.

The surgery was quick and she was wide awake in recovery when we went to see her.

She discharged about thirty minutes after surgery. She was very sleepy but that was from the Phenergan (anti nausea drug) that she was given to keep her from getting car sick on the way home.

She was a little loopy! We got her home, ate some lunch and she went to bed and crashed until the following morning.

She has been a real trooper. She dosesn't complain and still has a good sense of humor.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

First of Many Garage Sales

On Saturday we had our first of many garage sales. It was successful. We sold a lot of the catering supplies but still have a lot to go. The weather was overcast and cool but we still had a lot of people drop by. We are planning on having at least two sales a month until we have sold all that will sale!!!!

We have the garage set up so that we can restock items for each new sale. We have told everyone that this is the first of many.

We are making progress! We have had one garage sale and filled the dumpster three time! We are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

I will be glad to get this stuff out of the way so that we can move on to the next step.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting Back on Track

Mom is doing great as far as her recovery and we will soon be a on schedule for the chemo. It has been just crazy around the house lately. Mom had surgery, my unemployed twenty-eight year old son has been staying with us while he takes care of some business here before going out of state to school in April, My step-father became ill, One of the outdoor dogs was apparently bit by a snake and has been very sick, Dawn has been experiencing the headaches again. She has several short headaches a day.

It has been a stressful time for all of us. Now that things are starting to slowly return to somewhat normal we can get back on track for getting rid of some of the stuff we have put aside for the garage sale.

We are waiting for a break in the weather. It rains almost every weekend. No one will stop for a garage sale in the rain!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Well, It's been a little over a week and Mom is recovering. We had some drain tube issues and had to return to the doctor earlier than planned. They removed the drain tube that wasn't draining properly and now she she feeling much better. The doctor says everything is looking great.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Mom

This is a picture of my Mom taking in the late seventies
This picture was taken on my Mom 60th Birthday.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mom and Cancer

This has been a very busy couple of months. We found out on August 4, 2009 that Mom has Breast Cancer. It is muninous carcinomia of the breast. Due to the fact she didn't have health insurance she had put off going to the doctor for a couple of years. Yes, that is right, she was aware of this lump for a couple of years.
She finally agreed to see a doctor once she turned sixty-five and was eligible for medicare.

She had a mammogram done. We were told at the time it was most likely cancer. She was scheduled for a biopsy a few days later and it was confirmed. She had a golf ball size muninous carcinomia tumor. This is a rare type of breast cancer.

We didn't know what to do next, so we contacted the family doctor for a referral to a cancer surgeon. They were very quick to make the appointment and we were in the surgeons office within a few days.

We had no idea what we were doing. We just prayed that the good Lord would look after us and lead us in the right direction. Lead us he did.

We met the doctor that our family doctor had referred us to and found out he was an oncologist, not a surgeon. What! Not the surgeon! He did however, make us an appointment with a Breast Cancer Surgeon.

The following week we were at the surgeons office. He explained what he thought the best course of action was and made appointments for several test such as MRI, PET Scans, blood work and an appointment with the oncologist to schedule the chemotherapy. The surgeon explained that she needed chemo in order to shrink the tumor before the surgery.

A few days later we were in the office of the oncologist. After his examination he decided to consult with the surgeon. He ran downstairs to talk with the surgeon, while we had blood work done. They were in agreement that the surgery needed to come first. One of the concerns they both had was it appeared the cancer had also entered the breast tissue. This lump was protruding and looked as if it would rupture any moment.

We were told to that the surgery would be schedule once the PET Scan results were back.

A few days later we were getting the PET Scan done. Mother doesn't like needles and didn't like getting the contrast IV. The PET Scan itself wasn't bad.

A week later we were in the surgeons office being told the PET Scan results were good and that there appeared to be no other cancer. Surgery was scheduled for the following morning. The following morning!!!!!!!! Mom was in shock. She is ready to get rid of the cancer but completely unprepared for surgery so soon.

We ran home to get Mom packed. We needed to pack a bag for the hospital. We needed to pack a bag for here after surgery care at my house and we needed to get her house ready for my step father to handle by himself.

My sister stayed the night to help mom prepare. The doctor had ordered a contrast injection for first thing the following morning. The injections had to be done two hours before surgery. It was something to do with the lymph nodes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mastectomy Surgery

Surgery was scheduled for ten. There was a delay so surgery didn't happen until eleven. Mother was so nervous and just wanted to get it over with. She was in surgery about an hour and a half.

The surgeon visited with us after surgery and said everything went fine and that the tumor had grown to the size of a tennis ball. We were able to see her for a short time in recover before they moved her to a room. We were all so relieved that surgery went well but, were in shock that the mass had grown to the size of a tennis ball.We spent the afternoon with Mom. She slept most of the day.
My sister stayed the night at the hospital with her.We returned the next day to find Mom dressed and sitting on the side of the bed visiting with my sister. They both looked worn out.

The nurses were taking care of a few things before releasing Mom from the hospital. Mom was ready to go home so she could get some rest. She had a nurse at her bedside every hour asking her about her pain level and taking her vitals.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dawn Relaxing

This is typical when Dawn sits down to relax. It seems this is the only way the kids can relax too!

Everyone wants to sit in Mom's lap. The newest addition ( Abby) has had no problem making herself right at home.

She and the boys get along great and she play just as rough with them as they do with her!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Been Busy

I haven't posted anything lately because we have had so much going on. We are still going through tons of stuff. I do mean STUFF! We now have a two car garage filled to the brim with boxes. The next step is to find an open weekend when we can step up our first garage sale. We had funerals, sinus infections and a few other items that have caused us to postpone the first of many garage sales.

We also found out that mom has breast cancer. This news has definitely put a stop to everything. We will be putting everything on the back burner until we get things taken care of with her. It took a week to get the results back from the biopsy. That was a long week. The results we did get was devastating. We were told that she has breast cancer. She has Mucinous Carcinoma of the Breast. It is stage 1. It appears to be a slow growing cancer. Stage 1 is early.

We will know more next week after the consultation with doctor at the cancer center.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's A Girl!

That's right, we now have a little girl. Not that we were looking to expand the family, but things happen!

This is Abby.

She was left in a carrier outside a closed animal shelter. She was just abandon. How could anyone just leave a dog out in the heat (at least 100 degrees), alone like that? Anyway, A friend called and asked if we could please take her. She is as cute as cute can be! Our vet tells us she approximately 3 years old and is heart worm negative. She was however, covered in fleas and had lost a good bit of hair on her back from the constant scratching. We made sure she got all her shots and have taken care of the flea problem. She was given a good bath and she looks great. She wieghs about 10 lbs. and loves to eat. She is a Shih Tzu mix. She doesn't mind car rides. We think she will be a great little camper!

She has made herself right at home! The boys don't seem to mind having her around. She really wants to be alpha dog but We don't think Mr. Willey is going to let that happen. She and Otis have become fast friends.

Abby & Otis

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sorting through the stuff

We spent our weekend sorting through our catering room. Yes, we have one room stuffed to the gills with catering supplies. We are not the type to do anything half way. In the past five years we have collected enough stuff to fill a 12x14 room with two closets full of stuff. We have 100 plates, 100 bowls, 100 salad plates, 100 dessert cups and silverware for over 100. We have chafing dishes, serving trays, platters, punch bowls, pots and pans. We discovered things this weekend we didn’t even remember buying! We must have really needed it! This room alone will be one huge garage sale.

We aren’t getting rid of all of it. So we are going through and deciding what we think we might want to keep. It really will be nice to have a three bedroom house again!

Mean while we have a living room and dining room that is a total disaster! The garage looks even worse!

It will take time but we are slowly getting it done. Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Choctaw KOA RV Resort

We decided to visit the new Choctaw Casino KOA RV Resort in Durant, Oklahoma this weekend. We took Mom and sister, Kay along with us. We are always looking for those close to home weekend type get-aways. We found this place by accident while searching the Internet. It sounded like a neat place but you can make anything sound good on paper!

We were immediately impressed when we pulled into this KOA. The sites are as advertised, "Big-Rig" friendly. The staff is friendly and helpful.

They have 75 sites that are wide with 80' long pull-through. The sites are nice level concrete pads.

They provide 50-amp service, with full hook-ups. Each site is complete with a picnic table and grill. The premium sites have cable TV hookup and free WiFi.

The sites are wide. The trees and shrubs are small because the landscaping was planted only a few weeks ago. The grass is beautiful and thick.

We stayed in a premium site this weekend. These sites have a covered picnic table. The only problem with the covered picnic table is it gets in the way of either the slides or the awning. Other than that it was a great site.

The office is a 10,000 square feet building which features a large meeting room and full kitchen. The building also has an arcade room, a nice large laundry room, beautiful shower and restrooms and computer area. At the rear of the building is where you will find a heated salt water pool with a large area with plenty of loungers and picnic tables. There is a small playground area, a large fire pit with rock benches and dog park. They also have on-site propane sales. Guest of the KOA also have access to the casino hotel wellness center which has free weights, sauna and jacuzzi.

The heated salt water pool and pool area is nice. The only problem we found was heating the pool when the temperature outside was 100. We like to get into the pool to cool off and it was not possible with the pool water being so warm.

The laundry room was large and had plenty of washers and driers.

The restroom and shower area is beautiful. It won't be often that I will describe a public restroom as beautiful. This is the exception to the rule. That have included vanity areas with bar stools. A separate sink area and a separate restroom and shower area. Each shower stall has a curtained dressing area that allows you a place to dress outside of the wet shower. This is always a nice added touch.

The office building has a nice lobby with a beautiful floor to ceiling rock fireplace and comfortable leather chairs. Over the fireplace hangs a large plasma T.V.

The casino provides free shuttle bus service that will pick you up at your site and deliver you to the casino door. The shuttle runs about every hour. This also provides a bit of security as well.

The tall building you see in the background is where the casino is located. If the weather had been cooler we would have walked.

The guest of the KOA have privileges at the large pool at the casino hotel. The Oasis Tropical Swimming Pool & Spa has a slide, 4 jacuzzis, 4 pools flowing into one, 6 cabanas, massage service poolside. The deepest part of the pool is 5 feet. They had an inflatable movie screen where movies are shown. It is a beautiful pool with lots of lush landscaping. We spent a few hours playing in the pool. Unlike the pool at the KOA, this water was cool.

Our four legged kids really enjoyed the K9 dog park. This fenced in area is located behind the pool. It is equipped with doggie park equipment and water basins. There are also plenty of trees that will shade this area well when they mature.

We will definitely be returning and recommending this RV park to our friends. They are newly opened and still have a few bugs to work out. We are looking forward to our return trip, when the weather is cooler!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Floor

If you remember I mentioned a while back that we were planning on removing the carpet in the fifth wheel and putting down allure flooring or something like it. Well, I am proud to announce that we now have a new floor.

We have a catering business and have been busy doing our last few catering jobs so we haven't really had the time to spend a lot of time on looking at flooring. So this past week we had some sample pieces of different styles and colors of flooring to help us with our decision. After much discussion we finally decided to go with a vinyl floor that looks like a slate.
We bought the supplies we needed and prepared to spent the weekend on our hands and knees to get the new floor in.

First thing we had to do is remove the carpet. This was a chore because the carpet was stapled to the floor along the edges. There must have been at least five staples to every inch of carpet. That was a job just getting the carpet up without getting a staple through the finger, which I did by the way!!!!

Once that was done and we began to peel back the carpet and padding you can imagine our excitement when we realized the floor was already covered with vinyl. You heard correct!

We spent a couple of hours removing all the staples. then we swept and mopped the floor. It really looks good and we saved about a hundred dollars!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Roof Cleaning

We take pride in the appearance of our truck and trailer. We do our best to keep it clean. We make every effort to wax them at least once a year. We have recently noticed that some black streaks have developed along the sides and are quickly becoming darker. This is a strong indication that the roof is very dirty and must be cleaned. Even though the fifth wheel is only a couple of years old and it spends most of it's time in a garage the roof does get dirty.

I know that the roof of your RV has to be cleaned at least once a year. But the thought of climbing up on the roof and scrubbing on your hands and knees just doesn't get me that excited! Well, excited or not it has to be done. I am not afraid of heights. I am however afraid of ladders. I do not like climbing up or descending down ladders. To top it off the ladder on the fifth wheel is narrow. This makes it difficult to slide down between the rails of the ladder. I am much wider then the rails. It's not just me though, I believe most people are wider then this ladder. I just have a fear that the ladder will become disconnected from the trailer and I will fall and the sudden stop will be painful!

This is my first attempt at RV roof cleaning. Because it is summer and the temperature is already near the century mark we decided to wait until late in the evening to start.

We waited until late in the evening for the temperature to lower and roof to cool off before I started this chore.

Finally, It was time to take this bull by the horns. I climbed the ladder armed with the water hose spray nozzle, scrub brush and rubber roof cleaner. Once on the roof I slide around on my rear while I scrubbed the roof. I sprayed the entire roof to loosen the dirt and then sprayed the cleaner in a small area about 3x3 then scrubbed with the brush. It was a noticeable instant difference. It took about an hour to clean the entire roof. I might have waited a little too late in the day, it started to get dark as I was getting finished.

Now the real fun starts. I am soaked from head to toe and I needed to climb back down the narrow ladder. I tried sliding down between the rails. I am just too wide. I tried going down on my belly but the top step was out of reach, and I tried going down backwards, that didn't work either. No way I was going to be able to get down that ladder. Dawn was on the ground asking how she could help me. She knows I struggle with the ladder thing. She is afraid of heights so she is very sympathetic to my dilemma. After thinking about it long and hard I asked her to get the extension ladder from the garage for me. This is a real chore because the ladder is so long and heavy. She was able to get it set up and I climbed down it instead.

By the way we used Full Timer's Choice Rubber Roof Cleaner & Conditioner. You can find it at WalMart. It was not expensive and easy to use.

I believe this roof cleaning chore is something I will need to repeat about ever six months. An hour and a little elbow grease made a tremendous difference. The roof is now a bright white. This should stop the black streak problem for now.

Tomorrow we will put in some and a lot more elbow grease to remove the black streaks from the sides. I know from past experience that it will be a time consuming chore. Once the black streaks are removed we will give it a good washing and finally a coat of wax. That should last about six month and we will repeat the process again.

Friday, May 22, 2009

We're Going

We’re going to do what we have planned, again and again. It’s time our journey begins.
We’re going to leave with trailer in tow, drive roadways, we really don’t know.

We’re going to start our RVing life, We’ll see the country and enjoy the sites,
We’re going simply to roam, wherever we park will be our new home.

We’re going to travel at a very slow pace, We’re not in a hurry, nor in a race .
We’re going to cross bridges over rivers and lakes, Some will be short and scenic to take.
We’re going to have maps we’ll study with care, We’ll read about places and choose to go there.
We’re going to cover most of this land, we’ll wander about without a real plan.

We’re going to the country, cities and towns, we’ll find places we might settle down.
We’re going to places, some will be grand. We’ll also find places we think are just bland.

We’re going to travel along with the season, We’re going to places without a good reason.
We’re going to places with lots of sunshine, We’ll even find places shaded by pines,

We’re going to travel roads curved and straight, some that we love, some we will hate.
We’re going to visit many places, some will be vast with wide open spaces.

We’re going to the mountains, forest and streams, We’ll going to enjoy a few of our dreams.
We’re going to festivals, markets and fairs, some will be great with none to compare.
We’re going to have neighbors that don’t care to speak, there will be others we’re happy to meet.
We’re going to find weather like storms, sun and snow, if we don’t like it, we’ll pack up and go.

We’re going to turn in as late as we choose, wake up real early or maybe just snooze.
Hooray! Today is our day. We’re off and away!
By: Denise and Dawn

Friday, May 1, 2009

Nacogdoches, Texas

We had a great weekend in East Texas. We stayed at the Rusk KOA. We left Friday morning around around 9:00. We arrived at the KOA at noon. We were ready to get all settled in but the office was closed for lunch. That is right, it was closed for lunch! We sat for almost an hour waiting to get checked in. I am sure glad it wasn't August!

We spent Saturday roaming around Nacogdoches. It was the weekend for the annual Multicultural Festival in downtown Nacogdoches! They had authentic cuisine from around the world, games, arts and crafts and 2 stages with live entertainment. The downtown area is loaded with all kinds of neat shops. We walked and drove around the city. We found this really neat place on the edge of town called Millard's Crossing Historic Village. It is a really neat place where there is a reconstructed historic village. It enables visitors to imagine East Texas as it was in the 19th century.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Finished Interior

We are very proud to announce that we have finished with redecorating the interior of the fifth wheel. We are very please with our finished product. Recovering the head board was a bit of a challenge, but it turned out great.



We also recovered some lamp shades.

 Hung cute rooster kitchen curtains.

It has been fun redecorating the fifth wheel. We now have a one of a kind. It no longer looks like all the other Holiday Rambler Alumascapes.

Interior Complete

We have finshed making our interior changes for now. It has really turned out well and we are very pleased. The headboard was a bit of a challanage but it turned out pretty good. Here is a look at at the finished product.


Dawn also came up with a neat idea of buckling a belt over a pillow. We also recovered the lamp shades.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Colors of Summer

Planning for Garage Sales

We are now getting to the real serious part of sorting things out. We have made a schedule for all the garage sales and noted the last date open for catering. The catering business has been really slow this year. I suppose it is the economy or maybe a sign! We have made up our minds and marked a date on the calendar for the end of Southern Comfort Catering.

Now we are going to spend a lot of time unloading a lot of things that we will no longer need or want. We have a large bedroom full of catering supplies we can get rid of. We have 100 plates, 100 bowls, 100 dessert plates and 100 dessert bowls for starters. That doesn't include all the chaffing dishes and serving bowls, trays, dispensers and such. We have been collecting this stuff for several years and it has kind of taking over the house. We should not have any problem getting rid of the catering stuff.

We will have a guest bedroom again!