Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Online Christmas Card

Hi Dear Friends and Family!

I included my blog address for many friends and family to be caught up on our year. It has been a doozy! To start, back in February, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was a really dark and terrifying time, but by God's grace we pressed on. In March I started chemotherapy which I finished on my birthday on June 26. My Mom, the wonderful lady that she is, came in March and stayed to help until September. She was a huge help and blessing. I don't think we would have made it without her! I was allowed to rest about a month after chemo and I had surgery at the end of July. I had a double mastectomy, which was by choice. I only had cancer on one side, but I opted to do both sides to prevent any chance of recurrence. I also did the first phase of reconstruction with the surgery, so I only have one to go (probably late spring or early summer of '10). After that, the pathology report was good and all the cancer was gone. In October, I began radiation. I had 30 treatments (Mon-Fri) every day until the week after Thanksgiving. With the main bulk of the treatments being over I am now going to the Dr. every three months as follow up. I also have a drug infusion every three weeks that is specific to the type of cancer I had. That was a very short synopsis of the past 11 months, but overall I would say that I fared really well. God has been with me through it all and has brought many people to my aid. I have received well over 60 meals from some of the loveliest people! I have received the nicest cards and well wishes! I have learned to trust God even when I'm terrified...

Now, to the rest of the family. Andrew is working at Loma Linda University and loving it. They just gave him an additional contract so he can quit his part-time graveyard job that he doesn't like. He is very happy about that. His job is a blessing! He is also getting his Master's degree. Noah, our oldest son, is in 7th grade. He is doing it at home for an online public school. We thought he needed more of our influence at home at this time. He is as spunky as usual! Kyle is in 5th grade this year and doing great. He was accepted into the GATE program because of his excellent test scores. We are really proud of him. Lauren and Brooklyn are in the first grade. They are in the same class and are adapting well. Brooklyn had a difficult time adjusting to a full day of school. They have all dealt with the whole cancer ordeal remarkably well! Besides my full time job of cancer, I still manage to sub at the kid's school once in a while. Mostly, I'm home with Noah doing 7th grade! I'm finally learning algebra! Ha! Ha!

Overall, we are all doing great right now. There are chances that cancer could return or have complications from treatment, but right now we're good....and we'll take it! I like the saying, "God is good...all the time." It's so true! God bless you this Christmas and always!

With love,
Janice & The Family

Brooklyn's School Picture

Lauren's School Picture

Kyle's School Picture

Noah's School Picture

Brooklyn (green) and Lauren (pink) singing at a school performance.

Noah (his hair is much longer and shaggier now!)

Here's Kyle!

Our dog Riley!

My first day of chemo. Friday the 13th of March!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Blog...My Right toBrag!

I am so proud of my son, Kyle, who qualified for the Gifted and Talented Education Program this year (GATE). His test scores qualified him to be considered! Yeah Kyle! Now, I know, I know....all kids are gifted and talented,I see that in my other kids, but it's not easy to make it so...Cheers for Kyle!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Weirdest Thing Happened To Me...

I was walking into the grocery store a couple of days ago and this older lady was in front of me with her cart. As I drew closer, I noticed she had a shellacked picture of an old guy in the front of her cart. She turned and asked me if I had a use for a picture of an old guy...I told her, "Sorry, but I don't." She then continued to ask the person behind me the same question. I'm not sure if she was trying to sell it for groceries or if she was trying to give it away, but it made me smile because it was weird. I told my son about it and he said, "That's so random." That's okay, I like random...it makes the day interesting!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A New Frontier!

I have embarked on a new frontier. Noah is doing 7th grade at home with the California Virtual Academy. I have to say yesterday, the first day, was not too bad. It took him 2 hours to do his pre-algebra, but it got done. We were also able to finish all his other assignments. I say "we" meaning I have to be in charge of making it get done! I did get frustrated with him a couple of times, but not like I thought I would. I did say a prayer of thanks, at least once, that he was home with me and being influenced by me. That idea made me happy. I feel like I'm making a difference for my own child for a change.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Love June!

June is my favorite month! I can't help it. I love the end of school (why? I can't tell you cause it means two months of kids at home!) I love my birth month! I love the change that it ushers in through grade level changes, graduations, weddings....I love the warm weather, and vacations (not that I get to go on one this year!) This year, much to my displeasure, my enjoyment has been a little dampered due to cancer treatment, but I love it just the same. This June, my last chemotherapy is on my birthday, June 26. I am going to celebrate that day with my sister. We are going to a hotel and spa and relaxing for an evening. I am looking forward to that! I hope nice things happen to you as well this month. Yeah June!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yes, I Am Crazy....

I have officially gone crazy. I am going to homeschool my 7th grader, Noah, next year. I have no idea how this will go: Will he give me grief each day? Will he live through this experiment? Will I stroke out on this experiment? Nonetheless, I have decided to do it. Luckily, I have no hair so pulling my hair out isn't an option! Hopefully, it will go well and be the answer to my prayers. Why, you ask? Well, many reasons...First, he's been threatened with it many times, so I must follow through (Not that homeschooling is a punishment...so don't take it that way!) I have always wondered if traditional school is right for Noah. Also, he has such a need to please his friends...(not us at all!) that his decision making skills are poor. I really feel that some one on one time with him will influence him more than the 1000 mini lectures he gets each day. He has had a fairly good year of 6th grade being in the least amount of trouble than other grades, but I'm concerned he will get lost being given too much freedom. Have I convinced you yet? I'm still trying to convince myself...but it boils down to this: If I don't step in during this window of opportunity to influence him, then the window will close and I will lose this chance. He means too much to me to not try it. So, pray for me...I'm going to need it. Pray for him too...I'm a task master when I'm in teacher mode!
Love to you all~

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Simpler Things In Life

I just read the book Recipes and Wooden Spoons by Judy Baer. It's Christian fiction that's easy to read. At this time of my life, I need to read things that make me feel lighter, you know, better than when I started reading it. Anyway, it's about these sisters running a bed a breakfast where they grew up. They are living in a small town with interesting people at every turn. One person in the book is a chef and makes treats all the time (cookies, truffles, cakes). I like that! That must be my release too! Although I don't like the clean-up. It also reminded me to enjoy the simpler things: eating outside, cultivating creativity, helping others, enjoy quiet time, making good food. I'm kind of a mover and a shaker who likes to keep going, so I need to be reminded to slow down and enjoy the simpler things.
One thing I've done recently that I enjoy is sewing back pillows for my outdoor patio chairs. I saw some that I love in a catalog I can't afford that were about $35 each. I made mine for about $7 each. I'll include a picture. I find that hugely satisfying! I also weeded a planter next to the patio set that been needing to be weeded for a long time. I planted some green and red peppers, and cantaloupe in there. Yes, I'm trying my hand at farming in a small way! I also planted some tomatoes in containers on my porch. Well, that's what I've been up to. My next project is re-covering my dining table chairs. I hope this inspires you to enjoy the simple things aroound your home...it's made me happy.
love to you all,

Friday, March 13, 2009

What To Wear?

After completing my first chemo treatment today and doing fairly well, I started thinking how weird it is that all my hair will probably fall out before the next one on April 2nd. I am now trying to figure out a hair plan. I've never had to have a hair plan before, so this is new for me. I've always had so much hair that the fluffiness of it made hats look weird and scarves slide out. My hairdresser is going to cut and color a human hair wig to look pretty close to my current style, but I need other things too. For example, am I going to sleep bald? That seems weird...Or, just hanging out at home, should I wear a scarf? Most of the hair things, honestly, look like something a Grandma would wear. I've seen some cheap wigs that look like Little Orphan Annie and Carol Brady...but none that look like me. It's a very weird concept, but I'm sure I'll find something. If all else fails, I'll make something myself. At least I have a sewing machine!

Have a great night~

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Was At Pottery Barn Today.....

I had the sad job of taking my Dad to the airport today. After three weeks, he went home. My sister came too. We decided to do something fun to cheer ourselves up so we went to Victoria Gardens. We got there before it opened so we had some coffee while we waited. We then went to GAP, GAP kids, and many places including Pottery Barn. I can't help it, I love that store! If I lived near a Pottery Barn or a Williams-Sonoma I would try to get a job there (just for the discount!). Anyway, we had fun despite the sad circumstances. I found some fleur-de-lis soaps but they were $25! Yikes! Needless to say, they stayed at the store!
I just found out I'm probably going to have my first chemotherapy session on Friday! AHHHH!!! I DON'T WANNA GO! God is with me though, and that is my comfort!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Lady In Waiting....

I am a lady in waiting. I'm waiting and waiting for information. Honestly, it's getting rather tiring. This Tuesday, March 10, I will FINALLY by meeting with the oncologist. I will then know the whos, whens, hows, and whys of my condition. The Dr. that gave me the bad news didn't tell me much. Since then I have gotten a bone scan (which was clear), a PET CT scan (for tumors), a heart scan, a genetic test, and a MRI. I will get the results of these other tests and hopefully find out when chemotherapy will start. We are praying that everything comes back fine and the cancer has stayed put. My Dad has been here for nearly three weeks and it has been heavenly. I haven't had to worry about the kids and I've had company for some tests so I didn't have to go alone. I am very grateful for that! Thanks Dad! Thanks Mom for living without him for so long! My Dad goes home on Wed. :( but on the brighter side, my brother comes on Thurs....and my Mom won't be long in following him so I won't be alone too much! We are looking forward to seeing them!

Well, that's it for now. I will update more later, and hopefully have something better to write about than stupid cancer!
Thanks for praying! It's really helping!

P.S. We set up a CaringBridge site for those interested in up-to-date information on my cancer treatment so I don't always have to talk about it here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm Past My Dark Cloud Day

Well, I'm past my dark cloud day, but the news isn't good. I do have breast cancer and it's also in the lymph node they biosied. I have many tests coming up to see if the cancer has spread anywhere else. After those tests chemotherapy will begin and surgery is maybe four months away. I'm taking it in small chunks because the whole picture is too overwhelming. I'm sorry I didn't update yesterday, I was on the phone most of the day. I love you all and I ask that you keep praying....it's helping me to hang on! I guess I won't have a lack of topics to blog about; See, I'm looking on the bright side! I have a bone scan tomorrow, the first of many tests.
I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


So sorry all...I'm finally updating. Most of you know that over the last month I've had a scary medical drama going on. I found a lump in my breast and went to the Dr. She sent me for a Ultrasound, which raised red flags, then a mammogram two days later, then to an Oncologist who said I needed a biopsy. Last Wednesday I had the biopsy and I've had to wait a week to find out if it's cancerous or not. Wow...has that been hard! It being the night before my appointment is weird. I have never been in such a place of scary unknowing. I can see my appt. going either way. I have also never so profoundly experienced the power of prayer and the peace it gives. No matter how scary cancer sounds, I feel like I will be okay no matter what. I like knowing that I can just trust God. I don't know how people make it through life without Him. Another thing I've learned is that people love me. Sometimes I feel very lonely and isolated in my little Yucaipa bubble and I forget. I thank all of you who demonstrate that love in such a Christlike way. I am humbled and deeply grateful for my wonderful friends and family. I love you all and I'll update what I find out tomorrow.
Until then, keep praying!
Love you all,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Whirlwind!

Hello all! Man, have these last three weeks been a whirlwind! We had the best time in Washington! We loved spending time with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Rich, Pamela, the Auslands, the Souths, and our other Anacortes friends. It was such a blessing to be able to relax and spend time with our loved ones!

We did get off to a rocky start on our vacation with the weather we had to drive through. When we got there Kyle got sick for several days, and Brooklyn got sick for a couple of days too. Luckily they got better so we could spend a couple of days in Anacortes with the Auslands, the Souths and may other dear ones!

I don't know why, but it is taking me days to get this post accomplished. My computer is running out of memory so lately it is very slow! I'm getting very irritated by it. By ipod touch surfs the web faster than this thing!

Since being home, we have been busy with Dr. appts., school and homework, and the usual stuff that was so nice to be away from! Right now I'm in the process of getting my tax stuff together so I can get the maximum return.

Well I'll end for now. I love and miss you all!