Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween in Anoka, Minnesota

My parents live in Anoka- The Halloween Capital of the World!
Last year my mom and I went with Natalie's Girl Scout Troop to the 'Ghosts of Anoka' walking tour of the city. This year we invited my dad, Amy and her daughter, Coral, to come along, too. Educational, spooky fun!

Our guide wore a vintage dress covered by a long, hooded cloak. A misty rain filled the air, as we followed her through the city streets and neighborhoods of Anoka. History came to life as we learned about the the people who lived in the houses and worked in the buildings and survived the tornadoes. Not everyone survived and nobody lives forever, so Anoka has its share of ghostly spirits...

There are lights that turn on and off.
Doors that slam and lock.
Chairs that spin or rock.
And pictures that move back
to a place they used to be.
Parents awaken to a light and find their child is ill.
Strange noises in the night-
both save a family from a fire
and leave them with a chill.
A voice. A rattle. A fading form.
Merchandise flys off a shelf and hits the floor.

We were taken in. Transported. All the places we have passed by so many times, barely giving a second glance, would now stand out. Now rich and colorful with stories- they had become more than a building, more than a house, more than a winking neon jack-o-lantern.

My mom walked next to me, holding my arm as I held my aching hip. She didn't push me into the bushes, like she did last year when we passed the hedge that reportedly grabs at people. I screamed anyway, like I did before. She was startled, then started to laugh when she remembered.

On the way home, we considered what kind of ghost each of us might become. Would we be filled with benevolence? Would we be pranksters? Maybe a little of both.

Monday, October 26, 2009

More appointments...

I dropped Larissa off at Amy's house to play with her cousin, Terran, while I headed to my doctor appt.

Today, Dr. Laudi put me on steroids to see if that would help with my pain. He ordered a CT and Bone scan. Tumor markers were drawn. Then, Mark went to work and my mom and I headed to the infusion center for my Zometa.

My nurse, Lisa, used to work with my mom at Children's Hospital so they caught up while Lisa started an IV in my arm and ran the Zometa over an hour. Hearing them talking about work, made me miss work. I thought about how I had been making plans to finish my college degree, now that Larissa would be in kindergarten next Fall. I was headed for nursing school before cancer... for now, cancer is like a full-time job.

Monday, October 19, 2009


We are still trying to figure out my pain control. I had my Fentanyl patch dose increased from 12.5 mcg to 25 mcg. My CA 27-29 Tumor marker went up from 66.6 on 09/01 to 73.54. Dr. Laudi said this is due to the Tamoxifen. We will redraw it at my next appt.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Grateful and Humbled

I am grateful for and humbled by the generosity of my family, friends, church, and the people I work with at Children's Hospital.

Our house is clean. Our children and dog are cared for. I have received messages, cards, emails, and calls from many people. I am the subject of many thoughts and prayers. After learning how much pain I have been in, our church offered to help us buy a comfortable, overstuffed chair that is big enough for a mom, 2 daughters and a dog to curl up in and read books. My Aunt Cindy made me a beautiful quilt in blues and purples- it looks like stained glass. People at Children's Hospital gave me a gift card for groceries and have anonymously donated vacation hours to me, so I'm still getting a paycheck (and my health insurance is paid).

I am overwhelmed. I don't know how to Thank You enough...