Saturday, December 31, 2011

Santa Cruz

One of the things that my sister Lisa and her daughter Candalyn miss living in Utah is the beach. Yesterday we took a drive over the hill (as my father would say) to Santa Cruz. It was a nice day to go but the traffic was TERRIBLE going over. We drove along the coast a little ways.  Mom and Lisa both like seafood. Candalyn had found a place to eat at. It took us a little while to find it. It was a nice small place near a marina. Mom and Lisa both enjoy quilting so we decided to check out a couple of quilt shops. Mom was looking for some templates for a project she is working on, we hoped to find them there. No such luck. We headed home and decided to check out the store Beverly's. Success!

I want to wish you all a Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blood Transfusion #2

So on Tuesday I had to have a blood draw in preparation for today's chemo treatment. I received a message from my doctor that my anemia is worse and that I would not have a chemo treatment today. She told me that I would have another blood transfusion.

Yesterday was Norm Piercy's funeral. I felt good enough to go to the services. Merri Lea and Rich came over for the funeral and then spent the day with us. It was nice for Lisa and Candalyn to visit with them.

Kaiser called yesterday and they scheduled the blood transfusion for 10:15 today. My niece Candalyn took me to Kaiser for the transfusion. When we got there we were told it would take 5-6 hours, we questioned how long and I was told the reason it would take so long was because I would be getting 2 units this time. I sure home that it works better this time. I'm hoping that I will be done with treatments and able to go back to work by April.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Update

Friday evening we were visited by another wonderful Heavenly choir. This one was comprised of the Osorio and Corcoran family. I love Christmas music, to listen to and to sing. I have not gotten to sing very much Christmas music this year. I did sing some songs to my self while I was having the PET/CT sacn during the last few minutes when it got really hard to keep my arms over my head.

Saturday we were visited by the Corcoran family. It was a nice to see them and we brought make your own fruit salad. We had the traditional fondue dinner we have on Christmas Eve. It was so yummy. Keith did a great job.

Sunday we were up around 7:30 (you'd think we were kids) we had breakfast and then headed to Modesto to spend the day with my sister Merri Lea and family. We had a wonderful dinner and good company. My niece Ella-Liessa made me a origami crane pin in teal (which is the ovarian cancer color) I thought that was very special.

Today my sister Lisa and her daughter Candalyn arrived from Utah to spend the week with us. So Christmas is going to last a little longer. I was also able to chat with my former missionary companion Cheryl MacDonald who lives in Australia this evening.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas To Me!

Today I was scheduled to have a PET/CT scan. I've had one of these before. It was how they knew where the cancer was located. It is a different experience. You have to fast for 6 hours before. Part of the process is to have your blood sugar tested. Then they put radioactive sugar solution into you. Then you  lie for about 40 minutes under warm blankets. Then they place you in the scanner and you have to lie still with your arms over your head for 20 minutes while you are scanned. You have to wait for several minutes while they check to make sure you didn't move. I got the all good. Lisa Zamora who took me to my appointment and we went out to lunch and had a nice visit. While I was checking my emails this evening I saw a email from Kaiser. I opened it up and this is what it said:

I am very pleased to inform you that the PET/CT shows a good response to treatment. The liver lesions look substantially smaller and are now inactive in appearance. The mass in your pelvis has improved substantially as well. It appears the chemotherapy is working very well! I've attached a copy of the report below for your records. I didn't want you to wait until January for this good news. But, please feel free to contact me with any questions.

I just had to share!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fun Surprises !

Mom and I were watching TV last night and there was a knock at the door. I answered and standing there was Brittney Black with a Christmas goodie. Yum! A little while latter I hear some music coming from outside and I open the door and there on our front deck is the Sundstrom family (minus one). We invite them in and they bring in decorated gingerbread cookies. What a treat. They knew that we were not going to have any real gingerbread this year and brought them to us. We tried one and they are yummy! While we were visiting we hear more music from the front of the house, open the door and we have another choir. The Pack and Davis family stopped by. What a wonderful Monday evening. Thank all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Blood Transfusion

Last night was a rough night for sleeping. Seemed like I did not sleep at all! Yesterday after my chemo treatment the nurse did not remove the needle since I was having a transfusion today. She covered it up with gauze and tape. Because of that I was not able to shower this morning which was a bummer because I was my hair everyday. You've heard of hat hair well I get bed hair. I've been accused of spinning on top of my head. A while ago my friend Beverly Haring sent me a package and in that package was a lemon yellow knitted cap. I wore it today to cover my bed hair. We had another visitor this morning Nancy Jensen came by to visit and to let me know she is thinking of me. I so appreciate it. I couldn't believe how weak I felt this morning. I couldn't stand at the kitchen window to watch for Penni who was taking me to my appointment, I had to sit in a chair and stand up every few moments to see if she had arrived. She arrived and we went to the infusion center. They hooked me up and the nurse says "let me know if you get a hot flash type feeling, your back hurts ext...." The drip was started slowly. Once I didn't have anything different happen they made the drip faster. It took about 3 hours, I think I slept most of the time. I actually feel better. I had a phone call from someone in my past. Margret Miller who used to work with me at ADP. It was nice to visit with her and catch up. Today started off rough but is ending better.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A New Experience Tomorrow

So I had my second treatment of my third cycle today. Things went well, no sticking problems. My nurse mentioned that I am anemic. She suggested a blood transfusion. I gave her my consent if my doctor thought it was a good idea. She contacted Dr Jeske and she said that it would be a good idea. So tomorrow at 1:30 I will have my first blood transfusion. She promised I will feel better. My good friend Penni took me today and she kindly offered to take me tomorrow. Thanks Penni. We had a wonderful dinner brought in by Elena Jones. I received a phone call from Maria Casillas. She joined the church a little over 1 1/2 years ago. She is moving to the LA area tomorrow. She is a great lady. The gospel has been so good to her. I will truly miss her and pray the best for hr. We had a surprise visit this evening, Roxanne Mortenson a good was very nice to see her and visit with her.  Yesterday Pam Montanez delivered a good basket from the local Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. It was such a nice thought, and wonderful goodies. Since Dr Jeske is having a baby in January I've asked mom to make the baby a baby quilt. She is working right a long with it. When I came home today mom and Keith were not home. Just a little concerned so I called Keith and mom was with him. They had gone to JoAnn's to get binding for the quilt which Keith is cutting. I have such great supportive family. I am truly blessed!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tomorrow Is A Go

The last couple of days have been kind of rough. Not a lot of energy. Tuesday I had a blood draw to check my counts for Thursday's chemo treatment. It took 3 nurses to draw blood. They had to lay me flat on my back. One thought about the challenge to draw blood is that the port might have flipped? Not sure how that could happen. They finally were able to get the blood needed. We will see what happens tomorrow.

I've heard from my doctor about my counts. She said they are a little low, but we will go ahead with the treatment tomorrow.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Snow Balls

Several days a go I received an inquiry about something that we had made when I was Young Women's president at least 15+ years ago. Around that time the church had sent instructions about the use of funds for the Young Men and Young Women's activities. They instructed that the youth were not to have any more super, long distance activities. We traditionally went on a snow trip about 4 hours away. So we decided to have a No Snow Party. We had sled races, slalom races, made snowmen out of pillows, blow snowflakes off your nose ( the snowflake was a cotton ball). The last thing was a snowball fight. The snowballs were made of batting and old panty hose. The snowballs have been to Utah and several wards have borrowed them. Who would have thought that something made that long ago would still be remembered. Glad they are still being used.

Tomorrow I will have a blood draw to see if I can have a treatment on Thursdays. Prayers will be appreciated.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Day After

Today was a pretty good day. I was woke up earlier this morning then usual.

In my Thanksgiving post I mentioned that we had a salad called 7-up Salad. It is a tradition of my sisters. I request for the recipe. It is below. 

[When I put this into Weight Watchers Points Plus recipe builder it equaled 2 points each for 18 servings.]

9 x 13 pan = 18 servings

2 small packages or 1 large package lemon or orange jell-o SUGAR FREE
2 cups boiling water
1 - 12 oz can DIET 7 up [or any Lemon –Lime Soda
1 large can crushed pineapple, Juice pack drained (keep pineapple juice)
5 cups miniature marshmallows
1 large Bananas diced

Dissolve 2 small packages or 1 large package lemon or orange jell-o with 2 cups boiling water.  Add 1 - 12 oz  bottle 7 up, 1 large can crushed pineapple, drained (keep pineapple juice), 5 cups miniature marshmallows  , and 2 large bananas diced.

Refrigerate until firm.

1 egg beaten
1/3 cup white sugar
2 TBS corn starch
1 cup pineapple juice

Cook above ingredients until thick and then cool. 

Mix 1 pkg. Dream whip according to package directions. 

Set in refrigerator for 1 hour and then fold into topping mixture and spread on salad.

Refrigerate for about an hour and serve.

You can use any flavor, but we prefer citrus flavors the best. A Hoff family tradition for 31 years and counting!

MerriLea Hoff

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Treatment Day

I have been craving eggs for breakfast the last two days. Since I was up early for my treatment I made my self a scrambled egg, it was so yummy.

My good friend Penni Allen took me to my treatment. I was telling Penni that a lot of times I get to my treatment appointment early but I usually have problems finding a parking space. Penni told me she usually has no problems getting a parking space. Well true to her word we very quickly found a parking space. You know the saying "See a Penni, pick it up all the day you'll have good luck". I now have a good luck Penni.

The treatment went very well today. While I was waiting to be taken to the station to start my treatment Dr Jeske came down the hall. I think she is wonderful. She is so up and positive. I was able to introduce her to Penni.

While I was having my treatment a trio-violin, flute,cello performed Nearer My God To Thee and several Christmas Carols. It was a nice treat. As I was leaving a women from the Immanual Besthda church had a gift for chemo patients.A fuzzy pair of socks, and a crocheted lap afghan and  a nice Christmas card.

We had a wonderful dinner brought in this evening. Sharon Smith fixed it and Valary Smith delivered it. It was very much appreciated.

Keith just came home with a pumpkin spice drink. Thanks Keith.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Nice Evening

Yesterday morning I had a blood test and this morning Kaiser called to confirm my treatment for tomorrow. So we are on tomorrow.

Last night mom and I went to tithing settlement. In our church we pay tithing on out increase and at the end of the year we have the opportunity to declare if we are full tithe payers. We also have a chance to visit with the Bishop. (and the Sees's candy is a nice bonus) Last night also happened to be the Christmas enrichment night. A wonderful ham dinner was served and a nice Christmas program with the Laurels (girls ages 16-18) singing a couple of Christmas songs and some of the sisters sharing Christmas memories. There were sisters there that we do not see very often and sisters who are new to me. It was another wonderful addition to getting ready for the holidays. Thank you to the Relief Society presidency and the Enrichment committee.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Lord's Day

Today was a great day! Since it has been a little over 2 weeks since I've had a treatment I was feeling really good and was able to attend church today. I have not been able to function as a ward missionary as I would like but today I was able to give the lesson in the Gospel Essentials Sunday school class today. I was wonderful to be able to teach.. Teaching is one of my loves and miss it when I have not done it for a while. I made a new friend today Sabrina. There was a wonderful connection. All three meetings were wonderful and fulfilling I'm grateful for the blessings of the gospel. My special Sunday visitor came today I so appreciate her visits. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had received a special package and in that package was lovely yellow beaded bracelet. I wore it today it reminded me of all the love and support that I have received. I plan to wear it often. Hope you all had a special Sabbath.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Nice Day

This morning I went to a Christmas visiting teaching brunch at Penni Allen's. There were 12 of us. Her home was decorated for Christmas and was so festive, warm and inviting. It was a very nice morning and a nice way to start the holidays.