Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm back!!

I finally came home yesterday at 6:00 - yippee!! A huge thank you to Lisa for updating my blog and keeping everybody who reads it up-to-speed on what was happening. I'm feeling so much better today although I will admit still to fatigue....that and huge tree trunk legs that I've got to put up and rest.

It's hard to stay still when you're a Mom and you see tons of things to do, but I have to stay still if I want to beat this fatigue and if I ever hope to get the swelling in my legs to go down.

Thank you again for all your support - it continues to mean a lot.

Peace and love,

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Better today...

Dear Family and Friends,

Annette is feeling better today and for that we are very thankful. She is much more alert, talking, walking the halls and eating well. We know she is feeling pretty good when she starts bossing Dad and me around :).
I printed all of your prayers and well wishes and left them for her. She is very thankful for all of them. She hopes to return home Monday or Tuesday. She is not able to come and blog yet on her own, but hopes she will be able to soon.
Please continue holding her up.
Lisa, Annette and family.

Genesis 28:15 "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go...I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, I wish I could come here and post a wonderful update, unfortunately, Annette is still really struggling with extreme fatigue and drowsiness. They are tinkering with her medication, but it must be done carefully and slowly. It appears that she will be there at least through the weekend.

Please pray for patience for her, and that very soon she will be able to come home.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Dear Friends and Family,
It has been a difficult week for Annette.
Last weekend, Annette began experiencing severe symptoms of extreme fatigue, confusion and disorientation. She was taken by her family to the hospital where she had already had a CT scan scheduled for that day.
Her oncologist decided to admit her in order to run some more tests to get to the bottom of the issues.
Today, the results were shared with us and the news was somewhat encouraging. Fortunately, although the cancer has grown, it has not spread to any other major organs that they could see. The disorientation, confusion and extreme fatigue is likely from too much medication in her system.
Annette had radiation 10 days ago to help manage some symptoms. Apparently, when the tumors shrunk, her body no longer needed as much medication to control the pain. When the meds are not used to manage pain, they can cause side-effects. There is a fine balance between medication and pain. If there is more medication than there is pain, that medication will cause side effects. If there is a balance between pain and meds, there will be minimal side effects. So while she was still on the same dose of medictaion, since her tumors had gotten smaller and therefore caused less pain, the excess meds caused these nasty side effects.
We are thankful for this bit of good news and pray for a good leveling out of her meds. We are hoping that she will be able to return home Friday or Saturday.
Today, she seemed to be perking up, even taking a trip to the cafeteria for a hamburger, fries and hagen daz! When we left at 6:00 this evening, she was sitting in the lounge having a conversation with family. Let's pray together that this continues in the right direction.
She and her family are grateful for all your prayers, support and offers of help.
Love, Lisa, Annette and family

"I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken for he is right beside me." (Psalm 16:8)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thank you... and an update.

First of all, thank you SO much for all your birthday wishes. I cried lots of tears reading my sister's post along with all of your responses - they meant a lot to me!! I did have a great day and ended it with dinner with my boys and our new nanny at a wonderful restaurant.

On a sadder note, we dealt with the first anniversary of my Mom's passing on October 31. I knew it would be sad, but I didn't expect it to hit me so hard again. Grief takes funny turns every now and then, doesn't it. Mom, I hope you know how much we all loved you and how much we miss you now!!

Now for an update and the reason for my leaving the blog empty for so long. I had an appointment last week with a radiation oncologist, on the advice of my chemotherapy oncologist. The purpose of the meeting was "just to meet him" so that he had a face to put with a name in case I ever need him. But, I've also been dealing with two issues that are related to tumors that are behind my chest wall - I've had trouble swallowing food and my voice has been changing and getting gravelly when I read to Kurtis. I mentioned these two issues to the doctor and he immediately said that he could fix those issues with just one big blast of radiation to those tumors. So, before we knew it, I was booked in for Friday for a radiation treatment as he just happened to have some space open.

Well, although the radiation went well at the beginning, it has taken it's toll on me since. I'm very very fatigued - those arms and and legs feel like they weigh 60 lbs each! And actually, that's probably what they do weigh as I'm dealing with some fluid retention in the legs and I have tree-trunks for legs right now.

I'm also very restless right now - pacing back and forth as I don't want want to sit. That's probably from the steroid they put me on when I had the radiation. BUT.. just received notice from the doctor to discontinue the steroid and to continue the diuretic (in order to reduce swellling in the legs). I am starting to feel better as well now....this post has been written over 3 days and now that we're into day 3, I can finally finish it.

My sister just left after coming over to visit and treat me to a "homemade" spa - mani, pedi and massage... wow - what a wonderful treat! Thank you Lisa!!

I'll try to update more later, but for now, let's finally POST this piece!! I obviously missed National Down Syndrome Awareness Week and the pieces I wanted to write about... c'est la vie. Hopefully I'll find time to do them later.

Peace and love,

Friday, November 02, 2007

National Down Syndrome Awareness Week and the Buddy Walk

November 1 - 7 is National Down Syndrome Awareness Week in Canada. Over the next week or so, I'll try to make a few posts about Down syndrome. For now, I'll let you know about the Buddy Walk that is happening in our area.

Here is a link to the information form.

It also includes a pledge form - this is by no means necessary. Come out even if you don't have any pledges!

So, if you live in the SouthWestern Ontario area, and are looking for something fun to do on Sunday afternoon, come on out!!

Do I have an amazing sister or what?

Thank you Lisa for that wonderful post! I'm glad I gave you the "keys" to my blog - if you keep writing stuff like that, you can post all you want!! I think my ego went up just about 10 notches or so.... you're now going to have to work to keep me in line.

I love you Lisa - you're wonderful!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Birthday to Our Dearest Annette!

A while back, Annette gave me, her sister, Lisa, the “keys” to her blog, in case I might ever need to use them. Well, today I’m feeling the need to break them out. Hopefully, she won’t regret too much that she gave me those keys.

Annette is having a birthday today- Friday, Novemeber 2.

Now anyone who knows me knows I am a big fan of celebrating the birthday. Weeks before, I am already letting my family know that my birthday’s coming up and how I want to celebrate. Presents are a welcome affair. I don’t get those people who don’t want anyone to know it’s their birthday. I want to shout it from the rooftop. Why? Because they’re fun. Because they’re reason to celebrate. Because it’s a great time to reflect. Because I love presents and cake.
Annette’s birthday gives us pause to do these things. To have fun, reflect and celebrate the gift of Annette.

Annette is not only my dearest (and only) sister and sibling. She is also my friend. She is someone I admire greatly. So many adjectives come to mind when I think of Annette. Here is the short list that pops into my head:
Smart Witted
Hard Working
......and just overall FABULOUS!

Annette has struggled over the years with many hurdles and “bumps” on the road. In fact, at times, I think she’s been broadsided by a transport truck more than once. Yet through it all, I have never heard Annette complain.
Through physical and emotional pain. Through countless procedures and surgeries. Through nauseating (that’s an understatement if ever I heard one) and debilitating treatments. Through times of adjustment and learning. She is the bravest person I know and the person I admire most in this world. Her inner strength is amazing. Her perseverance is admirable. Despite it all, she still cares how others are doing. She genuinely feels badly if someone else is hurting. Amazing. I work towards having a fraction of her positive inner strength.

Many people have come to know Annette through her journey with cancer or Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome). She is touching many lives. However, she does not let cancer define who she is. It is just like Annette to use this obstacle in her life and turn into a blessing and something that would glorify God.

Annette, on your **mrsdionf** (hand covering mouth) birthday, I wish you strength, peace and all the love you deserve. I love you.

So now I ask you all to come out of lurkdom and tell Annette that you love her too! Let’s make this the biggest blogging birthday party out there! Say hello, happy birthday, tell her what you love about her… your choice. Let’s show her how much she is loved!
(the much younger sister – sorry, didn’t think you’d get through a birthday without that did you?)