My Thoughts

Some thoughts and details on final arrangements

The walking bridge over the Delaware at Lumberville was a special place for Tara and I.  We crossed that bridge many, many times over the years on bike rides and runs and always stopped in the middle to share a kiss.  If there were turtles hanging out on the bridge...

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Tara is free of this wretched disease

Short but heartbreaking post this morning. Tara passed away around 11:25 on Tuesday night. She fought and fought even though we told her it was ok to let go. The outpouring of love has been immense and I did my best to read each and every message to her. Even as she...

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A very hard update

Hello friends. This is going to be a hard post. Tara was in the hospital for two weeks in May. During that stay we were told she only had a few weeks to live. Tara wanted to keep that quiet so only a few close friends knew. If we haven't reached out personally with...

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Tuesday Morning (5/31) Update – Getting settled in

Apologies for the lack of a post yesterday.  Tara's mom and brother were still visiting so we spent some time with them in the morning.  We're also working on our rhythm now that Tara is back home.  Her nutrition (IV only) is 12 hours on and 12 hours off.  We've been...

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Sunday Morning (5/29) Update – HOME

Tara finally got home last night around 6:00.  She was very happy to be back at home and get a night of sleep in her own bed without bells, alarms, nurses, and all of the other noise of the hospital. We'll get settled with a couple of new tasks - changing out Tara's...

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Saturday morning (5/28) update – Coming Home (?)

Yes, that headline is pretty similar to yesterday's.  We have a high degree of confidence that Tara will be discharged today but, as we've seen, things can change. As of yesterday afternoon, the plan was to send Tara home with her first few days of IV nutrition and...

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Friday mid-day Update

Get ready for a roller coaster of WTF… Tara called before I left to head down to the hospital and said that they told her she was going home today! Yay! I got here and they had told her she ISN’T going home today. Boo.  (if you know me well, you know that I used a...

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Friday morning (5/27) update – Coming Home (?)

Today could be the day...  Tara's stomach drain is working well which is important to getting her home.  They took out the nose tube yesterday which made Tara very happy.  We took a couple of walks around the floor at the hospital and she's moving well.  The nurses...

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Thursday morning (5/26) update – PROGRESS

We had some good progress yesterday!  Tara had the stomach drain that will allow her to come home placed.  As of last night the drain was functioning well.  That should allow the nurses to remove the nose tube that has been in place since last week.  Tara will be VERY...

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Wednesday morning (5/25) Update

Not much of an update today as the moving target continues to move.  The plan to get Tara home is to have the gastric tube placed and to place a drain for the ascites (cancer related fluid).  That has required a lot of conversations between departments to come up with...

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Tuesday morning (5/24) Update

It's Tuesday morning and we're hoping for some progress in getting Tara home today.  She had a CT scan yesterday to determine if they can place the gastric tube that will get her home.  That scan was at 3:00pm so we didn't expect any news last night.  The doctors will...

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Monday morning (5/23) Update

Good morning all.  Tara had an ok weekend.  She REALLY wants to be out of a hospital bed and back home.  Being able to sleep without a constant cacophony of alarms and nurses poking, prodding, and taking vitals will certainly be good for her.  She did get about an...

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Update on Tara

Hi all, Eric here with an update on Tara.  For now, we’re going to try to use the site for updates.   The outpouring is love is so, so appreciated but it’s also hard to manage dozens of texts.  We love you all and we’re grateful that you love Tara so much.  My focus...

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I am almost in

So Friday I visited with Dr. Babar Bashir at Jefferson to discuss a clinical trial he is working on.  Eric went with me for a second set of ears and served as my driver for he day.  It wasn't a particularly long day but I was certainly tired and overwhelmed by the...

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Next Steps

Last Thursday I met with my Oncologist to find out the next steps available to me. Long story short, I had been on my second line of chemo, FolFiri and Avastin, for four treatments,  My first chemo, Folfox, ,caused some pretty severe neuropathy issues.  Fortunately...

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Clinical Trials

No chemo yesterday and I am not sure what to think.  The CT scans showed my tumors started growing and wad not reacting to the new chemo protocol.  Our focus is now turning towards clinical trial and hopefully Johns Hopkins will have one.  I should know in a few days....

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Back to Chemo

Today I start back on the chemo train  Time to buckle up and offer my best Choo Choo. I have enjoyed a longer than normal break from treatment and am feeling strong and ready to move forward. I have lots of questions for my doctor today and feel like I want to know...

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Live in Gratitude

"I want you to enjoy the wonder of walking through your life as My follower—totally forgiven! The best response to this wondrous gift is to live in gratitude, seeking to please Me above all else." As I read my bible studies today, this one stuck out to me.  It forced...

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Monday thoughts

Monday morning the sun is shining and them crow is sitting in his usual morning spot on he top of my chimney.  Why he chooses my chimney I don't know but I do enjoy hearing him sit out there crowing away. It is almost as if he stops by to say good morning. So good...

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Need this weekend

I woke up today feeling a little out of place.  I haven't been sleeping the best and that has me feeling down.  Thoughts are harder to control and and I have been going to thoughts I should not have.  I have been feeling a lot of disappointment. Found out earlier this...

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Not sure how I am feeling today.  It was a busy few days with CT scans and travel to Baltimore, yesterday's trip required a 3:30 AM departure, thankfully Eric is a good sport! I saw Dr. Sardi in Baltimore for a consult of my CT scan and preop for my diagnostic...

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Update

Well there is/has been a lot going on. I figured it was time for an update and to get it all out of my head. Last week I had round four of the Folfiri.  Th Avastin was held because I am having a diagnostic laparoscopy on the fourth.  Avastin delays the healing process...

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New Opportunities in a new week

As I sit here in the peace and quiet, I am choosing to plan my week.  This was something that always brought on stress as I would try to plan my week every time I thought about it.  This practice only left my mind a little scattered and gave me stress multiple times...

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Spring Like Weather

Warmer weather makes me happy.  It is going to be in the high 70s today, near record warmth. What is not to love? The weather the past few weeks has been all over the place.  It is March after all.  I have been making the most of the warmer weather and got back...

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Viking Valhalla

Eric and I have been watching a ton of historical fiction on Netflix lately.  We started with Versailles  then Reign, then Medici and now Vikings: Valhalla.  While I have enjoyed the story lines, many leading to a quick google search, I have been amazed by the amount...

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Lessons from Cancer

When I received my diagnosis I never imagined there were many lessons I could learn from it. I mean cancer is destructive and disruptive but if you really pay attention and allow yourself to see things openly, it is also a teacher. One of the biggest things I have...

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Oh Neuropathy

It is a thing.  I have it in my hands and feet and while it is really annoying and has brought me to tears at time, it is comforting to know it is likely to go away.  it could take up to 8 months but it should go away.  I am finding ways to continue living my life....

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Round 2 of the New chemo

Today I get to drive to Willow Grove to be hooked up to an IV pump for a few hours.  I say get to because I don't have to drive to the city.  With my getting care at Jefferson, I get to experience their new cancer pavilion rather than drive to city with rush hour...

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Today I go back to work after a nice long weekend.  I was off yesterday for Presidents Day and Friday to visit a new surgeon in Baltimore.  Dr Sardi was recommended to me by a friend of a friend and I loved everything about the visit.  Dr. Sardi and his team get it. ...

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Daily Thoughts

Lots going on this week, all good. Tomorrow i travel to Baltimore to meet with Dr. Sardi.  It will be an all day affair and I think I am more excited to get crabs to eat than I am to meet Dr Sardi.  I have to have my priorities in line.  I hope to hear another...

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Monday Monday

New week, new day, new opportunities. it was an interesting weekend for sure.  Record highs on Saturday, I got a walk in, and back to the freeze on Sunday.  This crazy weather is supposed to be back in the 50s by mid week.  Hopefully that means I will be ab le to get...

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The Sun is Out!!

Where did this beautiful weather come from?  Time to get off my butt back to walking outside.  If you see me out there walking PLEASE say hi.  I need people right now. Yesterday was a big day, chemo day and the addition of some immunotherapy.  The idea is still the...

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Ready for round 2

Tomorrow I start the second round of chemo to hopefully continue the shrinking and getting rid of all the bad cells in my abdomen.  The treatment will be different drugs with different side effects, can't wait to see how my body reacts.  I am still dealing with...

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It’s here

Boy was yesterday an action filled day: My new couch arrived, see below for how much fun it was getting the old couch out. My new cleaners came and the house filled with the sounds of vacuums, scrubbing, and general cleaning. Then I had the opportunity to speak with a...

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Test Results are coming back

This morning I received the test results from the 9L of fluid that was drained from my abdomen.  There was only one small cluster of atypical epithelial cells, positive for Ber-EP4, which I think is related to melanoma?  There were also red blood cells and debris. ...

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A little update.

I haven't written in a while guess it has to do with both not wanting talk about the elephant in the room and my  not wanting to talk about and dwell in the bad/ Where am I now? I have been off chemo for two weeks in preparation  for the diagnostic procedure I had...

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Diagnostic Laparoscopy

Today is the day. I have to be a Jefferson today by 10:30 with Surgery scheduled for 12.  How am I feeling?  Well I didn't sleep well last night.  With the fluid back in my abdomen it is hard to find a comfortable position to sleep in.  I also kept waking up with a...

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Tuesday

Today is a day of so many mixed feelings, good and bad.  I am still trying to recover from my surgery on Friday and get back into the groove of working a full work week. So far I am doing well. Last Thursday, my good friend Kim passed away from MBC.  When Kim was...

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Pre Admission Tests

Yesterday I went to the city, to Jefferson, for Pre-Admission Testing for my surgery on Friday.  It was an adventure but I did it and I did it by myself.  With various COVID exposures, I didn't want to potentially expose someone.  Also, the hospitals are starting to...

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Testing, Testing, Testing

Today I go to the city for some pre admission testing for my exploratory laparotomy on Friday.  I am not really sure what testing they will do but I think at a minimum I will have an EKG and some blood work.  I am sure I'll pass with flying colors but there is always...

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Thankful for Fires

One of the best aspects of my house is the wood fireplace.  These two pictures from the weekend show just how much we appreciate to warmth and crackle of wood in the fireplace.  You might notice one of us is a little more present than the others.  We always laugh at...

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The Good with the Bad

Life is always changing and I am always learning how to deal with the ups and downs. Yesterday was a chemo day for me.  I was supposed to have my blood drawn the meet with nurse Karon, Dr. Cohen was booked, to discuss next steps.  I was surprised when Dr. Cohen walked...

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Coldest Day of the Year

Definitely something I don't want to hear but I have already decided NOT to leave the house today.  No need to freeze my body, in fact I might put a space heater in the office today. Not much to report other than we escaped a COVID scare.  Luke's Dad texted this week...

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4 liters of fluid is equal to about 9 pounds

So yesterday I was able to have my stomach drained from the fluid that had been causing such discomfort.  OMG - did you know there could be 4 liters, 2 pepsi or coke bottles, of fluid in an open space?  I had no idea and am sure the doctors and nurses were amused by...

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Back to work after a LONG break!

Well that is it, vacation is done and I don't know how it is over so fast.  Time is so weird with the waiting for things to happen and then they seem to flash by in an instant.  Can't say I did a whole lot of the time off, I had big plans but just didn't feel like...

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15 – 20 %

15-20%!  That is how much my tumors have shrunk since I saw my oncologist last week.  That is almost a quarter of the size.  The way chemo works is it takes some time for it to start building up and working.  The chemo that shrunk my tumors thus far was probably given...

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How am I doing

Today is another day of vacation for me.  One of the nicest benefits from my new employer is being closed between Christmas and New Year.  I am still planning my day but am looking forward to ending it with friends from the brewery. The past few days have been pretty...

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Being Kind to my self

Why it so hard to remember kindness for the person we should show it to the most?  I was reminded this week to be kind to Luke's and Brooke's mom, otherwise known as me.  I still have an important role to play in their lives even though I am fighting for myself.  I...

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10 kicked my butt

Wow I am just starting to come out of the fog from treatment number 10.  It is double digits though so woohoo for that.  Anyway this time I needed sleep and sleep I did.  I felt bad because Eric and I planned to make cookies this past weekend and I was struggling just...

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Always someone Suffering more

Today I was starting to feel a little sorry for myself.  I think the anxiety of this being a chemo week has been a little harder this week to hold back.  They tell me the side effects I am feeling are not from the current treatment but is cumulative and comes from the...

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Longwod Gardens

The beautiful lights of Longwood. This past Wednesday I took a vacation day to visit Longwood Gardens with my friend Kim.  I struggle right now whether to be out in public, especially with Omicron spreading, but I know I need to keep living I just need to be more...

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Getting in the Christmas spirit

How is it already December 8? Having started my new job in June, I didn't expect to have much time off until next year.  There is always that prorating and earning you have to do with vacation days.  Was I surprised to find that I had more time off than expected and...

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Be Kind

Getting up early in the morning is relaxing to me.  It gives me time to set my mind for the day, I also get to check email, facebook, linkedin and all the sale ads I am receiving.  It is also the only time of the day I can really just let down and relax.  Today, after...

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December 1

Today is the first day of December, also the last day I am 51. December brings with it so much hope.  Hope for the birth of the savior, hope for new beginnings and hope for peace on earth.  There are the things I am going to focus on this month and I am going to stick...

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Glorious Morning

It is only 8:00 and I have been able to get so much done, all while the sun was still asleep.  I love mornings like this when I feel productive.  I have a plan in place for how my day should go, Work, Lab Test, Work, Shower, Acupuncture, Work, dinner then bed.  Not...

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How is it Monday again?

Phew, cannot believe how fast the days go by.   I feel like I spent so much time looking forward to the week off from work and spending time chilling with my family.  All that went by so quickly and I find myself missing my mom and brother as I watch the news this...

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Thanksgiving week

Monday morning of Thanksgiving week.  A non-chemo week so I am excited to enjoy the holiday.  This was a harder weekend for me physically as all my body wanted to do was rest and sleep.  I did plenty of that this weekend for sure.  I am so grateful to have Eric by my...

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looking forward

Life is not meant to be traveled backwards. I am learning to live life moving forward and not look at the past.  While there was a lot of happiness in my past there was also  lot of pain and drama.  I am leaving that all behind, I have no room in my heart for it...

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Dang Cold

It is really cold outside.  Really it shouldn't feel as cold as it does but with the side effects of chemo, the cold is a PIA.  What are the side effects?  Neuropathy sucks.  It causes tingling and numbness in my fingers and hands as well as my legs and backside. ...

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The morning Darkness

Today is Monday and it is dark and still.  I decided to take some extra time for me this morning and left the dog sleeping in them mud room a little later.  I love this time even though I may feel some anxiety the night before about waking up to a new week, once I am...

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Beloved, you can ask My Spirit to help you find freedom from condemning feelings. Cancer is condemning.  It forces you to be strong when you really don't want to.  You find yourself questioning most decisions you ever made... was that when it started?  You wonder if...

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Finally feeling a little normal

Today I finally feel a little more normal.  Treatment last week left me feeling tired and nauseous but I am happy to be moving beyond that.  Saturday I worked at the brewery until it became too cold so I headed home, fed the dogs, crawled into bed and woke up 11.5...

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Number 7 is DONE!! Well I am still on the Pump

Put more energy into trusting Me and enjoying My Presence. Don't let your well-being depend on your circumstances. Yesterday Eric and I sat for many hours at the IV center while I was infused with chemo treatment number 7.  This was a big day because not only do I...

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Time to start Counting DOWN!

Treatment number 7 is today and that means I can start the countdown to the end of biweekly IV treatment.  WooHoo!  Today is also the day I will discuss the results of my most recent CT scan.  Lots to wrap my head around but trying hard to keep my mind focused on the...

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Giving vs receiving

"When anxiety is great within you, turn to Me for consolation." I have always been someone who gets satisfaction from giving to others.  I thought I was really good at it until my diagnosis.  Prior I would give a little here and there and felt like that was what I was...

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Another Sunrise

It is still early and dark outside but I am excited waiting for the sunrise.  It is another time I get to experience the great gift of God when the beautiful colors of Fall will be displayed again.  My time in the morning, before the sunrise and all the noise of the...

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Hardest week

Yes this has probably been the hardest week yet.  Not because my treatment is getting the best of my but rather due to mishaps and overscheduling. Pumpy left yesterday but not without letting me know who still controls parts of my life.  The nurse was scheduled to...

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Lots of tests

I am so grateful to be out of the mess of tests and doctor calls.  The less I need to discuss what is happening in my body the better it is to mentally. Last Thursday I had round 6 of chemo.  Eric went with me and things were moving along as normal until the nurse...

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Monday again

How is it Monday again? So this weekend I had a surprise when the nurse came to take the pump back.  After she took everything off, cleaned up she checked the bag of chemo and it was still full.  We can't figure out how that happened but the pump gave all indications...

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Pushing Through #6

Did you see the moon and clouds this morning?  I did and it was awesome.  So awesome that I needed to run outside in my bare feet at 5:30 to get a picture.  The full fall moons are always quite special but I found some meaning in this one. First. whenever there is...

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Two more days

Two more days before the toxic nature of chemo enters my body.  The effects of chemo are cumulative so each one comes with more side effects.  Within 24 hours my body will feel like it has been run over by a train.  My calves and knees will hurt as will random spots...

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Happy Monday

Another Monday and I a feeling pretty good.  I still think it is crazy how I can feel crappy after chemo and then about 4-5 days later start to feel normal again. This is a chemo week so I am enjoying these last few days leading up to treatment on Thursday.  I relish...

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$135,549.67

$135,549.67 That is what I have left on my mortgage, to own my home outright.  I have spent so much time worrying about that number, watching as it slowly went down, refinancing to lower my monthly payments to make it more manageable.  Eight years ago, I didn't have a...

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Monday

It is early Monday morning and I was pretty lazy this weekend.  I worked at the Brewery on Saturday and felt pretty good.  It is odd with the neuropathy in my hands that carrying glasses of beer to the window affects the pins and needles in my fingers.  I have always...

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Update to the Plan

I did it!  Went for treatment number 5 yesterday and am feeling ok today.  The side effects of one of the drugs they give me has a cumulative effect on my body so each session provides unforeseen results.  I am attempting to be proactive with any neuropathy and side...

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Round 5

Today as I prepare for my fifth round of chemo I am met with many emotions.  Of course my head is all over the place, dreading the side effects that will undoubtly show up, faith that this is the course I need to be on to get better, fear that I have cancer, love for...

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Treatment 5 is tomorrow

Today I am enjoying the last day before my fifth treatment.  I feel really good and I want to continue feeling this way.  I know the treatment I will get tomorrow and will cause my hands, feet and throat to be more sensitive to the cold.  The one drug they give me...

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Stay Salty

The title to a devotional I read this morning was "stay salty" This caught my attention right away as I have been spending one day a month with a dear friend at a salt cave.  What is a salt cave?  I had the same question until I went for the first time.  Basically it...

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Why was I so concerned about my belly

Close friends of mine know that I have always battled with my weight.  I have been described as a bigger person and large boned was too many times.  While training for my Ironman races I would gain weight while Eric, who was eating the same as me and doing the same...

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Feeling a little lost

Today and yesterday have been a little harder than the week before.  I know it is all part of the journey and confusion with treatment plans does not help, especially when you are a planner. My original plan was to have four treatments then rescan and reassess.  This...

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Fall Monday

Happy Monday! Today Fall is really in the air.  It is cool and refreshing outside which is nice but I worry it may affect my walk.  The chemo has started some neuropathy in my hands and throat and while I love the cooler weather, it causes pins and needles in my hands...

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Recovery Time

Wednesday of this week I had my fourth round of chemotherapy. I am still feeling good and can't wait for the nurse to come today and take Pumpy home.  Last night I got two alarms from Pumpy that I can only assume were from my tossing and turning in my sleep.  Not a...

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Round 4

Trust Me and refuse to worry, for I am your Strength and Song. These are the words that greeted me today, a day as I prepare for my fourth chemo treatment.  I am feeling more at peace today with this treatment and have been able to look at the discomfort of the...

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dolphins and sharks

    I bought this piece a few years ago at the Philadelphia bike expo.  The artist is known for his creative artwork, usually sport inspired. Doug had many pictured on display but as a swimmer I was drawn to this particular one. I had the opportunity to...

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Just Let

Yesterday I met with an energy healer for some reiki and energy healing.  This was the fourth time I have visited with her and I have found much comfort and relief in her guidance and practice.  I was a little skeptical at first but after the first session I was able...

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Where did the Frogs and Bunnies GO?

My thoughts for today are for my friends we used to see on our morning walks. Today I noticed the bunnies and bull frogs that used to greet us, then run away, were no where to be found.  Eric and I then had a conversation where he confirmed my thoughts that since the...

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My thighs don’t rub!

I know it sounds silly but I have always been conscious of my body and to be honest, have been very unkind.  My thighs always rubbed.  This was more than just an annoyance as sometimes they rubbed so much they would wear a hole in my pants or at the very least they...

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I learned something

This weekend I learned a few things I hadn't realized before. After chemo on Wednesday I felt good until about Friday morning.  I could not wait to have the nurse come out and take the pump off my body, at the very least turn it off.  The constant sound of the pump...

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Pumpy is back

How am I feeling after my third round of chemo? I feel great.  God willing I am sleeping well and I believe I am healing well.  Yesterday at chemo I spent the entire two hours coloring, like a little kid, I was coloring.  It was a nice distraction from thinking about...

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And….Pumpy returns

Round three of chemo starts today.  We have an earlier appointment today so hopefully I can get a half day of work in.  So today at 8am I will start my third round of Folfox at Jefferson.  So far the side effects have been minimal, some tingling in my feet and hands...

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A New Week

It is Monday, wait it is really Tuesday, the long weekend has set me back as I am sure it has for many others. A four day work week and a week for chemo.  I am trying to settle my mind and focus on the day ahead.  It is the start of a new work week and the end of...

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Yay for Long weekend Friday

Today is Unofficially the last day of summer. Kids are back to school and it is the last day of Summer Friday hours for me at work, life just seems to go on. While life continues to go on, I need to keep focused on having a positive mid set and faith that God has me...

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Ida

Waking up today and there is so much to be grateful for. While the storms of yesterday were historic and scary I am grateful we are all safe, sound and dry here.  Seeing the damage caused by the storm on the news is cause for blessing and prayer. Today I will pray for...

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Rainy Day = No Walk

Hurricane Ida sure made it's presence known and is now bringing rain to Doylestown.  I guess I am not as dedicated a walker as I thought because I am not going out there in that weather.  I am ok with that though as I have been feeling like my body could use a rest...

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I am not good at being vulnerable

In the quiet hours of this morning, with coffee in hand, I read today's message from Jesus Calling.  I have been enjoying God's words first thing in the morning, before the sun is up and before the chaos of life. Today the words were to "Grow strong in your...

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Sunday Scaries

What exactly are the Sunday Scaries?   I don't know if I have a good definition to this term Eric introduced me to last night but I will try.   I believe it is that pit in your stomach when days start to become more scheduled, more routine, days of sleeping in and...

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Bye Bye Pumpy

Today is two days post IV treatment and that means pumpy will be leaving today.  While I was feeling anxious about having to wear the pump again it really was not that bad this time.  I have figured out ways to make sure he is always by my side and how to shower with...

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Chemo Day Round 2

Today is the second day of my chemotherapy treatment.  At 9:30 this morning I will be hooked up to the chemicals that will fight my cancer cells and send them on their way.  There is also the  return of Pumpy who I get to share the next two days with. Pumpy is the...

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Please send donations in Tara's memory to:

The Appendix Cancer Pseudomyxoma Peritonei Research Foundation or a charity that is important to you.