Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Facts

I do think about dying.

I think about living, far more.

I like to make jokes about my cancer.

It helps me cope.

Belly laughter is the best.

Being too serious makes me crazy.

I cry, but usually late at night in the dark.

I have bad days.

I rarely let anyone know it.

I do still wonder why me sometimes.

I'm stubborn.

I'm a night owl.

I sleep late.

There are still phone rules. Ha ha.

I have a phone list for when and if that day comes.

I want my funeral to be a huge celebration.

I don't want anyone wearing black.

My family and friends are amazing.

I need my family and friends.

I  worry about my family and my friends worrying about me.

I want to get married and have a family.

I'm a little scared of starting radiation, or not.

I don't like to be called "sick".

I really don't like being treated that way either.

I need to be touched when I'm in pain.

I need to be distracted when I'm in pain.

I usually get choked up when people hug me.

Jelly Belly's and Mike & Ike's are my favorites.

Pizza and crabs too.

Peppermint tea still helps my upset tummy.

Taking my meds works best.

I love talking on the phone and answering emails.

Feeling the sun on my face relaxes me.

Being active makes me feel better.

Music sets me at ease.

Singing does too.

Prayers help.

Children inspire me.

My cancer inspires me to write.

My cancer reminds me how precious my life is.


"No matter how I die or the  circumstances of my death...I am sure that I will leave this earth the way Isaiah descibes.

The mountains and hills will burst forth in song before you! And all the trees of the field will clap their hands."


If this is your first time reading my journal, PLEASE go back to my first entry on 11-15-06 to read about the title MEET ME AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE!! Thanks!













Monday, January 29, 2007


I'm consistent.  I still have cancer!  Ha ha.  I know, the only people laughing right now are my sister and my mom, and Leeann (probably)!

Let's see....where to start? I'll tell you the results and then details.  If you remember I had the PDT done more than a year ago to my right lung, and it was sustaining.  The PET scan (I saw the difference in the last two) now shows metastisis into my left lung.  There is also growth in the tumor in my back and in my bladder. So, my doctor is recommending radiation for both.  This is not to "cure" the cancer.  But to make me more comfortable, so to speak.

(Photodynamic Therapy PDT uses laser, or other light sources, combined with a light-sensitive drug to destroy cancer cells. A photosensitising agent is a drug that makes cells more sensitive to light. Once in the body, the drug is attracted to cancer cells. It does not do anything until it is exposed to a particular type of light. When the light is directed at the area of the cancer, the drug is activated and the cancer cells are destroyed.)

My white blood cell count is below 3,300 cmm and my red blood cell count is also low. Now if you didn't know, the red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Since my count is low, which effects my breathing I'll be getting injections of Aranasep to boost the count.  I am also on huge doses of Prednisone.

I'm grateful and relieved there isn't a tumor in my head.  I am thankful that my oncologist said I "looked good" considering what is going on inside my body.

There were six messages on my phone after I left my doctor's office.  There were seven more from the time I took a nap and had dinner.  I haven't returned one call yet.  HOWEVER, I am beyond touched and feel incredibly blessed to have such great family and friends to love and support me. 

I love y'all very much...and don't you worry, I'm a survivor.

Ohhh and I shouldn't forget to say, I'm returning calls tomorrow!  :)


If this is your first time reading my journal, PLEASE go back to my first entry on 11-15-06 to read about the title MEET ME AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE!! Thanks!


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Prayers Needed

I just received a phone call informing me that the mother of a close friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. She'll be starting radiation soon, and I hope to get more of the details in the morning.

Please keep his family in your prayers!!


"Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is as important as how we have lived."
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, from the film Star Trek: Generations

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Phone Call

Me: Hello

Nurse: Irene?

Me: Yes

Nurse: The doctor wants you to come in on Monday to go over your test results.

Me: Oh that can't be good.

Nurse: You know I'm not allowed to tell you anything.

Me: Yes, I know...but the last time a doctor told me he wanted me to come into the office to get my test results, I found out I had cancer. (chuckling)


Me: Hello?

Nurse: Yes, well is 1:00 pm ok?

Me: Sure, thanks. Have a great weekend!!

Nurse: You too Ms Felkoff.

The least she could have done was humor me!!! Ha ha!  This is a form of torture I'm certain!!


I'm off to dinner with Mom and Dad.  I love y'all!!



Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tears and Prayers

I didn't sleep so well last night.  Matter of fact, I cried for a good portion of what should have been my sleep time. I'm not exactly sure what triggered it.  Other than me being emotional and scared and frustrated. Ha! I suppose that's enough to bring on tears! It carried into today also.  Something I am sure all the people on the road appreciated while I was driving to have the scan done!!

I put my new prayer box charm on before I left to see my doctor. It has angels on all four sides. There isn't a prayer in it yet though.  However, I'm not so sure that matters considering who it came from and all the prayers that are being said for me anyway.  I like that.  :)

I called my very first oncologist after the PET scan was completed.  Not because of the results. For security maybe, reassurance, or in hopes that he would say some different to me then I've been hearing.  He never tells me what I want to hear though.  That's why I love him so much!

Blood results will be back tomorrow. The PET scan hasn't been read by the radiologist yet. So obviously my oncologist doesn't know the results either.  Hopefully, we'll know tomorrow as well.

I'll try to write more later. Until then, know how much I love and appreciate y'all!!



Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What's Up Doc?!

I'm going to see my oncologist tomorrow. He's going to do a PET scan (which stands for Positron Emission Tomography, Pamela!!) and blood work.  I was going to explain exactly how the PET scan works. However, I decided against that and instead I copied and pasted "how the procedure works" from a website.  So keep on reading!

How the procedure works.....

Before the examination begins, a radioactive substance is produced in a machine called a cyclotron and attached, or tagged, to a natural body compound, most commonly glucose, but sometimes water or ammonia. Once this substance is administered to the patient, the radioactivity localizes in the appropriate areas of the body and is detected by the PET scanner.

Different colors or degrees of brightness on a PET image represent different levels of tissue or organ function. For example, because healthy tissue uses glucose for energy, it accumulates some of the tagged glucose, which will show up on the PET images. However, cancerous tissue, which uses more glucose than normal tissue, will accumulate more of the substance and appear brighter than normal tissue on the PET images.

Does that make sense??

I can't lie.  I am a little nervous.  I guess that's because I feel really good right now...and I don't want any bad news.  Of course, I'm usually glass half full.  I'm also realistic.

Time to tuck in.  I love y'all!!



If this is your first time reading my journal, PLEASE go back to my first entry on 11-15-06 to read about the title MEET ME AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE!! Thanks!




Monday, January 22, 2007

The Latest News

On Saturday, I sat on the floor in a circle with a handful of little girls. All of which, were reciting to uphold the Girl Scout promise.  Each girl was enthusiastic and unique.  I couldn't help but sit there and wonder what the world holds for each of them.  I am eager for our next meeting.  I imagine I'll learn many lessons from these girls.  I can only hope that both Julie and I make some kind of difference in their lives too.

I saw the "new boy" again Saturday night. His name is Brian. He's a sucker for romantic flicks.  Ya got to love that.  He compliments me frequently.  I love that too. He has a dog named Chappy that seems to be fond of me also. So far so good. I can't complain.  :) He is leaving for Alabama tomorrow. So, I may see him again tonight.

My tummy has been great.  Except for last night.  I'm not exactly sure what the issue was. Mom thinks maybe it was Dad's corn soup.  Apparently, corn doesn't digest so easily and my tummy knew that!!!  I took my medicine as soon as I felt sick...and well the only down side to that is that it takes me an entire day to recover from the effects of it. Small price to pay so I'm not tossing my cookies all night!!

I'll be making an appointment with my oncologist this week. I need to have a blood draw and PET scan before he turns me over to another doctor. I'm not very excited about it....and really wish he would keep me as a patient. Yes, I'm pouting about it!

I may actually have a new "client" to see soon. (Y'all forgot I actually have a part time job, didn't you??) YEAH!! He lives in Seneca, which isn't too far from here.  Coincidentally, his daughter is breaking ground in Fair Play some time this week.  That's where Mom and Dad are building too.

The weather has been cold here...and we had our first ice storm.  It shut most of the schools down and many other places as well.  It made me laugh.  It was really nothing compared to what Maryland gets.  Of course, my new friend reminded that South Carolina isn't equipped for snow or ice storms the way Maryland is.  I understand that completely. It's still comical watching everyone panic about it!

I'm going to make some hot tea now.  I'm freezing!!!!!!!

I love y'all!


If this is your first time reading my journal, PLEASE go back to my first entry on 11-15-06 to read about the title MEET ME AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE!! Thanks!



Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Dating Scene

No laughing. I went out on a terrific, fun date Sunday night. Normally, I wouldn't sit and journal this to the "public".  However, I am because dating doesn't come so easy when you have a deck of cards like mine!  Now, I am saying all of this in good humor.  I don't want a pity party, seriously!!  But God knows something your blind date doesn't want to hear is...."well I have cancer". Initially, I struggled with how to tell guys I have what point to tell them.  I decided the only fair way, is to share my "saga" up front.  That way, if the guy wants to take off running in the beginning...he can.  I must tell you though, so far so good.  He didn't lace up his Nike's.  He didn't look at me like I was crazy when I said I lived with my parents. He did ask me if there was a chance I could get really sick and die soon.  I told him there was a chance that could happen much sooner than later. Of course, as the words are coming out of mouth I'm thinking to myself...scratch a second date. His reply was great!!!  Telling me he could get hit in his truck at the blink of an eye and die tomorrow too.  Yes, yes exactly!  Fabulous response!  I can't ask for more than that!

I'm off to bed.  Notice the time.  It's early for me!!  I love y'all!!


If this is your first time reading my journal, PLEASE go back to my first entry on 11-15-06 explaining the title MEET ME AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE!! Thanks!

Monday, January 15, 2007

People change.


the light will shine like sun through my skin.

And just before my eyes close,

someone will ask...

In your life,

what have you done?

And though there are many moments

I will think of.

In the end,

I will be proudest to say

I was the other half of us.  ~



Pamela said that to me the other night when we were on the phone. "People change". (after a conversation I prompted.)  I keep repeating it in my head. Sure, I know that’s true. Unrealistically however,  I'd like some warning so I know it’s happening. Life isn’t quite that practical though or predicatable. Yes, I realize I'm being vague.  I am also well aware some of you may understand!!  :)

My weekend was fabulous.  Tonight (Sunday) especially. 

The weather has been perfect for breathing!! 

My tummy feels good!!

Thank God for another day.

I love y'all.







Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Inspiration from one of my favorites.

for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin- real life. but there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. at last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. this perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. happiness is the way. so treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.  happiness is a journey not a destination.....   {souza}


If this is your first time reading my journal, PLEASE go back to my first entry on 11-15-06 to read about the title MEET ME AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE!! Thanks!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Random Thoughts ~

(I wrote this much earlier today and for some reason it never posted!!!!!!!)

It is chilly and the wind is blowing. I keep making hot tea hoping to feel warmer. Mom laughs at me. She says it used to be I always wanted a fan on because I was hot. Now I’m usually cold. "Must be the cancer" she says. Must be. Ha ha.

My mother started school today at Clemson. She is going to be a Master Gardener. For all of you that know her, you really aren't surprised by this. I asked her if she wanted me to pack her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. She declined. I asked her who was carrying her books to school. My father with a very serious look on his face says to me "that’s why I’m driving her there". Oh they were too cute. You'll be glad to know she not only survived her first day...she LOVED it!

My oncologist has decided to practice only surgical oncology now. He promised me he wouldn't just throw me to the lions. But "give" me to another doctor who could handle me just as well. I can’t say I am not disappointed. Back to the basics again.

My sister sent me an email yesterday that made me cry. It was only about six sentences long. Six incredibly meaningful loving sentences. It’s funny because immediately when I began typing back to her I had to gain my composure to stop my tears. When I spoke to her later in the evening, we laughed as we both said we would file the emails under "never read again". I miss her.

Starting next Saturday, I'll be helping with my friend Julie’s girl scout troop. I am extremely excited about it. I love children. As if you didn't know!! Julie has a daughter named Ashley. Ashley is a true miracle child. No doubt in my mind our paths were meant to cross!

I’m feeling amazingly blessed by my family and friends. I cannot tell each of you enough how much I appreciate you coming here to read and support and love me.

Please continue to say prayers for Nathan and his family too. They have some big decisions to make regarding his cancer. Besides that, Nathan would like to see some snow soon!


If this is your first time reading my journal, PLEASE go back to my first entry on 11-15-06 to read about the title MEET ME AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE!! Thanks!


Saturday, January 6, 2007

Simplest Pleasures ~

The rain has stopped. The sun is shinning. It is just a beautiful day!!  I've opened the windows and can feel the breeze coming through my room a few different ways.  It's delightful! I'm listening to music and singing and I can't help but smile.  My foot doesn't feel so bad. My stomach is happy.  Life is great.


PS ~ If this is your first time reading my journal, PLEASE go back to my first entry on 11-15-06 to read about the title MEET ME AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE!! Thanks!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Time Sure Does Fly ~

It is quiet here in the house. No pitter patter of small feet.  No doors slamming.  Sadly, I don't hear anyone calling "Aunt Rene" or "Lola". I've unpacked. My laundry is done. A months worth of mail is opened and put in the trash. I have a "boo boo" on my foot sort of ( I won't elaborate on that!!) that's slowed me down a little. So, I'm not running around just yet. I've been listening to plenty of music, which always seems to soothe my soul. However, I sure do miss The Browning Five. I can't help but feel a little somber.

Time sure does fly when you're having fun.

More tomorrow. ( I suppose that would be later today!)

I love y'all.

PS ~ If this is your first time reading my journal PLEASE go back to my first entry to read about the title MEET ME AT THE BREAKFAST TABLE!! Thanks!

Monday, January 1, 2007

What Was Your Favorite Memory From 2006?

        Happy New Year Everyone!! Welcome 2007!!!

The drive back to South Carolina was uneventful.  Except, for the traffic.  It took ten hours!!  The kids did really well considering.  I slept the majority of time.  I did wake up for the milkshake stop!  Hey, I'm a smart girl!  I have to tell you, the air quality is much better here.  As soon as we stopped I could breathe better.  Gotta love that.  I also have to pat myself on that back because on an average day ANYONE will tell you I am geographically challenged.  Don't ask me for directions, don't ask me to point to a state on a map.  I just don't know.  REALLY.  However, my sister asked me what exit to take off the highway at Anderson....and I knew.  Yeah, I did.  Yes, I was right!!!  Are you reading this Michelle, Red, Cass???  (doing the happy dance!!)

The new year was celebrated with champagne and GREAT food of course.  My father said a short prayer that stopped short of bringing my mother to tears.  That doesn't surprise anyone, does it?  Fireworks were supplied by neighbors, so we were lucky to be able to go outside and simply just watch them!!

Tonight was our last dinner all together before my sister and company will head back to DC in the morning. Pamela asked us what our favorite memory of the year 2006 was. There was much pondering going on.  Seriously, in an entire year to pick out one moment or time and decide it is your "favorite".  The children kept naming a few things and than changing their minds.  Even I was having a difficult time deciding. So narrowing it down to summer vacation to Chicoteague with my brother in law and sister and kids, Christmas Eve, and Thanksgiving. My father who prefaced his favorite memory with what a hard year it has been, continued to say something about the look on my mother's face when she saw their new property and the house they are building....oh and I'd sure like to tell you his exact words but I was too busy grabbing for a napkin to wipe the tears coming from my eyes. Pamela did me in though. She decided she wasn't narrowing ANYTHING down to one memory, even though she was the one whoasked the question. Her favorite memories were the looks on her children's faces when they came off the rides at Disney World, and when her oldest daughter rides horses and feels accomplished, when she was able to spend a weekend with her husband, time spent with my parents on their boat just relaxing.  Ohhh my. Was I crying?  Was she?  Was my mother?  Yes. Yes. Yes.

I wish each of you a happy new year filled with moments and memories of love and laughter and blessings. 

I love y'all.