Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Back


I made it through my 8 hour surgery Nov 1st. I enjoyed 5 days in the ICU and another 6 days on the floor. I have been home and trying to recover from the surgery. It has been much harder than I ever imagined, but my family has been by my side ever since. I still have 3 more weeks of family coming to help me, and I am SO grateful.

My big accomplishments of the days are sitting up, laying down, sitting up and laying back down. I even had a few walks around the outside of my house. A set back here and there, but hopeful for continued improvement.

The great NEWS, they got all of the tumor and found NO cancer anywhere else. It was a great gift for me and my family. NO more treatment needed.

Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Love you all,

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Day has arrived..I am ready..

August 2011, altered my life in so many ways. I was blessed  with a long weekend with oldest daughter, to celebrate her bridal shower. I will always cherish that weekend. It is also the weekend that brought me to the doctor. Who knew a simple airplane ride would be my sign of a problem.

I have spent my whole life afraid to fly. I have gone into every flight for as long as I can remember with white knuckles and in prayer the plane would remain in the air. This flight in August was no different, except for the fact that I got airsick for the first time on the way to Florida. Then again, on my return trip to Texas. Truthfully, had that not happened I would have  ignored the stomach pain, and  nausea again. I had chalked it up to, exercise, bad eating habits and aging. A quick trip to the dr and a CT scan changed a few things for me. ONE, I am no longer afraid to fly. Two, I found out I had a nasty little tumor growing on my Pancreas. How annoying.. Weeks of testing and drs visits found the answer. A neuroendocrine tumor (NET) of the Pancreas.

My first thought back then was, why me. Well, a lot has changed. Now I say, how blessed I am to have gotten the opportunity to see the compassion, love, kindness, grace and generosity of those around me and from people I have never met. How many of us really get that kind of gift in our lifetime? For me, I have been so completely humbled and awestruck by this that I can't even express the gratitude I give God for this gift.

With this gift comes a price, the small sacrifice is the surgery and lifestyle change for me. As I prepare for tomorrows surgery. Also, the fear and torment my family has endured over the months has been difficult.. For that, I am so very sorry. I am scared of the unkown and the known. So don't think I am some brave soul, that I am not. If I could get out of this, I would run away faster that you could imagine.

I do know a few things, I am surrounded by God's grace, love and healing powers. I am blessed with friends and family that will and have always been by my side. I hope and pray that I WILL come out of this  a better person. I may be missing a few parts, but I hope my heart grows a few sizes, not unlike the Grinch. I think I want to make this blessing worth while..I can never, repay the people in my life for all the love and support, so I will just end it with Thank you and I LOVE YOU..

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I am Mommy Dearest.....

It's been one of those days!! You know, the day that makes you long for bedtime..I spent most of the day yelling at kids and it made me feel horrible. I guess having a week of help was such a blessing that I crashed and burned when I was on my own..I guess they sense my stress and are feeding off of it, I hope..Otherwise, they are trying to do me in:)

I am trying so hard to count all my blessings and not look at the negative. The need to have everything in order at the house before the wedding and surgery has turned me into Mommy Dearest..Even though I seem like a crazy woman, there is a reason behind my madness. I am so concerned about making things easier for Mr Man and all those caring for the children has driven me to obsession. If everything is in order and taken care of, it makes the fear of the surgery not seem so overwhelming. Knowing the people coming to help have an easier time because I was prepared makes me feel better.

Okay, part of it is that if I have the house and yard all beautified, then I will have more time to rest and recuperate. I know me, if I have work to be done, I WILL do it no matter what the Dr's orders. I am funny like that:) I guess one might say I am bull headed..Yep, it's true.

On a happy note, because I always like to find the happy side of life somewhere. Rooms are painted, the lawn has been mowed and the office cleaned..Even better than all that. I showered, shaved my legs and am even going to color my hair tonight. Also, a great movie is planned for bedtime..I may even throw in a glass of wine and some key lime pie..

For now, happy  trails and nighty night..I PROMISE to be cheery and full of sunshine the next time I blog.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Date is Set..

Today, I saw the BIG guy, an awesome Oncologist that is going to perform The "Whipple" surgery on my sad, sorry excuse for a Pancreas. As thought earlier, he again confirmed the Neuroendocrine Tumor and is going to remove it on November 1st. Am I thrilled beyond words to have a plan of action, you betcha and am I scared to death of the surgery, no doubt about it..

Dr Schwarz is saying about 8-12 days in the hospital and about 4 more weeks recovery at home. I think I can do this, it's only a speck of time out of my LONG life.  I will be in great hands, God has always taken good care of me and I am sure he will continue to look out for me..He's good like that.

I will tell you, I am so incredibly grateful to everyone for all the prayers and help for the past few months. I would appreciate it for just a big longer, I promise after they remove the tumor I will try not to be sooooooooo needy:)

The other thing I want to add, PLEASE don't ever ignore those subtle signs your body gives you that something is wrong. Some cancers are very silent and this is why they are so dangerous. I am blessed that a continued stomach ache, and messed up bowels got me to the Dr and I had a Dr that took me seriously and did a CT. YOU must listen to that gut feeling that says, "I don't feel right".

Enough preaching. Thanks for caring and thank you so much for all your love and support.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Meet My New Granddogger

Meet Miss Sadie. This is my new granddog, Katy and James just adopted her and she is so lovely, funny, cute, adorable and has the most beautiful brown eyes. No, I am not at all biased..

                                                       Here she is giving me her best smile
                                       Enjoying a new bone and ignoring my pleas to look at he camera.
                                                         Giving her Mommy a little love
                  This is her, "What up, Granny" expression. "Listen Miss, I prefer not to be called Granny".
   I think Sadie and I are going to be best buds. I plan to spoil her ROTTEN, as I should.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fossils, Friends and Fun ...

There are friends we meet in our lives that come and go. Then there are friends that stay in our lives and hearts forever. 20 years ago, I was a young mom of an adorable 1 year old in a small college town. I had very few friends at that time. Over the span of a few weeks I met a couple of ladies and their sweet little one year old boys. Those women soon became dear friends of mine. One in particular is still a very close friend, Linda. She and her husband Bob are such a neat couple, as our their boys. Who knew one day I would give birth to a child that is so much like my friend, Linda.

My friend and Caroline are like stinky twinkies(that means like twins). My 9 year old loves to draw animals(I can't even draw stick people), she reads everything she can about animals, she adores nature, she is all about the environment,collector of rocks and fossils, she saves every animal known to man that ends up in our yard(even it doesn't want saving). The point here, she is just like Linda.

Last night, a box arrived from Linda and her hubby for Miss Caroline. Imagine her joy when she found books, fossils, a couple cool dino shirts(she is obsessed with dinosaurs) and a neat little pottery bunny. She was in heaven.

                                   Here she is reading the big cat book. Okay, this went on for hours.
                                                                         and hours

                                                   still reading, she really loves to read,
 When the family got home, she pulled out the fossils and they all gathered around and inspected every fossil
 I guess dinner can wait a few minutes.( Please take the box off my pot of pasta, please)
                                                       "look at this one mom, isn't this cool".
                                              Even big brothers love shark teeth and fossils.
 Little girls love tshirts with Dinosaurs on them. I think this is the bird that Bob discovered in the Sante Fe River. How cool is that!! BTW: she slept in the shirt and is still wearing it today.
"Miss Linda, is this the Manatee tooth?" Caroline loved this fossilized tooth. Needless to say, my child is in hog heaven and is so beyond thrilled with her new treasures. THANK YOU, Linda and Bob for these very cherished gifts for my little one. All it did was make her want to be a Paleontologist more than ever.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

HUNGER and the Tunnel of Love

Lets start with the updates. Well, oh heck I really have no news..I did the MRI/MRCP yesterday..Now, will tell you that I scheduled this procedure while under the influence of drugs(nothing illegal). I may have been a little loopy(no, not my regular loopy, but really loopy) when I agreed to do a test at noon, which required me to fast for 8 hours before..For those of you who really know me, you know I don't like to miss a meal. Admittedly, I have been known to growl at my children when they have tried to try my food. Do you get the idea here? So anywho, I of course woke at 5:00 in the morning, missing my window of opportunity to eat or drink anything that morning. So as any good mother would do, I threw some frozen mini waffles in the toaster oven and fed my little darlings their breakfast. I did drool a few times, but did resist stealing even a lick..Oh yay, it was only 7:30 by this time. Oh my Lord, would noon ever arrive..I spent the morning doing laundry, vacuuming, dusting, ironing, sewing on buttons and darning my husbands socks..HAHAHA, NOT!!!! Really, I sat on the couch and whined on the phone like a big baby about not eating or drinking. I was obsessed..Eventually, I did shower and yes, I may have licked my face a few times for a few drops of water.
The last straw came when, Phoebe and Jay started snacking. I lied to them and said I needed to be at the hospital early. I grabbed my newest book: Are you there, Vodka? It's me Chelsea(thanks Lisa) and left the house. I drove to the parking lot at the hospital and waited for 2 hours for my appt time. With my stomach now begging for food, I went to Registration and waited for my name to be called so I could hand over the rest of my money since they hadn't sucked me dry on Friday. While I was sitting there, patiently, a woman and her clearly ignorant husband sat next to me. No problem, UNTIL, her SWEET hubby walked away and returned with some breakfast sweet rolls. SERIOUSLY, I thought, do not eat those near me. I fear he sensed the glaring daggers in my eyes and ate his big, sweet, succulent, warm, sugar coated roll somewhere else. Wise move on his part.

Oh ya, the MRI was a not a big deal. I laid down quietly as Deede started the IV and strapped me down and eased me into the tunnel of doom. I did listen to the hits on the radio, which was completely drowned out by the jack hammer blaring in my ear. No problem though, UNTIL, Hmmm. That cool, metalic taste his my throat. I'm not going to be sick in here..Uh oh, I think I am..I quickly squeezed my button and begged for help. Deede, rushed in with a nice little blue "barf" bag and saved the day. I certainly didn't want to have to be in charge of cleaning that machine. God bless, Deede for bringing me a cool cloth and shoving me back into the machine so that she could finish getting some pretty pictures of my liver. Being a photographer, I understood the importance of just finishing  a photo session. 10 minutes later and I was out of there...Aaaaah. You know what that meant??FOOD and a much needed Diet Coke.

I ran to my car,knocking over the elderly, tripping small children and drove like a crazy woman to Wendy's. Did i have money, no, but I remembered a Visa rewards card that I got for filling out my health assessment for the insurance company a month before. I whipped into drive thru and ordered a Diet Coke and A Chicken Pecan Salad...I had 30cents to spare. I'm not lying when I say, I thought I heard Angels when I took that first bite. Oh, you probably think I drove home 30 minutes before I ate. Not a chance, I pulled into a spot in front of Sherwin Williams and shoved that salad into my mouth as fast as I could shovel it. Not a pretty picture, but I just didn't care.I was now, Free and Happy.
Come to Momma, my sweet food.........

No time to even remove the bracelets..

The lesson of this day, never schedule your own appts while under the influence of mind altering meds, never schedule a fasting appt after 9:00 in the morning and NEVER, EVER eat food in front of people wearing a hospital bracelet while sitting at registration. That's my story..

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hello, Sunday

Sunday, the day full of so much: a day of rest, a day dedicated to family, a day dedicated to God, a day to renew our bodies, a day before school starts.(Sorry, I couldn't resist that last one). I sit here on the couch, the house is quiet. The dog and I are just hanging out together and I have been reflecting on this past week.

 A week ago I was full of fear and and shock, Today, I am at peace..That is the peace that comes with God's grace and the knowledge..A dear friend of mine, suggested I call the Livestrong Foundation and talk to them. I did, those people set me up with a sweet, compassionate lady named, Sharon. An P.A. with extensive knowledge in the different types of Pancreatic cancers. She helped me to understand that there are more than one type of cancer, and IF I have this certain type, it is not a death sentence. She helped to calm my fears and gave me hope and power..The saying," There is Power in Knowledge"is so true. Thank you, Sue and Sharon for those words. Needless to say, I am now a Livestrong supporter, and I am grateful..

This past week, I also learned that I have an incredible support team of friends and family that helped to lift me up these past days. Having one of my sisters drop everything and fly up and be with me was so touching. Kelly went with me to my appts and held my hand, asked the questions I forgot to ask, fed my kids, washed my dog, did my laundry, and even drank some of the nasty prep med for me. YUCK, now that my friends, is dedication. The calls, the letters and the messages from everyone has been beyond humbling. THANK YOU, thank you..

Now, on to the news, After having a tube put down my throat and one up( well never mind, Ibet you get the idea there), my colon was free of any cancer which is great news, Although the Dr said it was the longest intestine he had ever seen in 30 years of work, Figures, I have itty, bitty, short legs and a super long intestine, is there no justice:)?  The blood work came back which said the liver looked just fine, more great news..This week is an MRI which will check out the innards( I like that word) to get a better picture of things. I'm hoping they will take a look and say,"Hey old lady, what are you doing here? There isn't a damn thing wrong with you. Now, get outta here before we call security"...Geesh, some people can get so huffy.

Well, for now that's all I got. Thanks for listening to me babble on..Hope you have a great Sunday. Remember one thing, :"bottoms up" doesn't always mean drink up. Eeeewwwwwwww.....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Adventure Begins

Amazing how three words can change your life. I love you~makes you all giddy inside, You are Pregnant~A life changing joy, It's a Girl~ dreams of dresses, dancing and weddings fill the mind.Sometimes, three words can be so shocking it is mind boggling, My three words came Friday, You have cancer.

After the initial shock, tears and terror of those words comes more fear. Fear for yourself, NO. Fear for the pain, burden and shock that hits your husband, parents, children and friends. Seeing hurt in their eyes is more painful than any diagnosis the Dr can give. So more than ever, it is then that you pick yourself up and do everything in your power to make sure these incredible people in your life are never hurt again.

So, the adventure begins.....For a little while, I plan to use my blog as a little journal of this little bend in the road. I know God has a plan and I am up for the challenge.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Early To Rise....

 There are many reasons why I go to sleep around midnight and get up very early most mornings. Here are a few of the main reasons.
The hubby and dog are fast asleep in my room. You can hear the soft sound of snoring coming from the center of the room. You can see I desperately need a dust ruffle and some pictures above the bed, but that's another story for another post. 

Here we have three children sleeping in one room. The little guy up top lost a molar and is waiting for some loot from the tooth fairy. I suspect he doesn't have that many more teeth to lose. On the bottom bunk there is the oldest boy wrapped like a mummy and I am certain he isn't going to lose anymore teeth(well at least not on his own). On the floor you will notice another child, this child has been here since school got out for summer a month ago. She does have her own bed with her little sister, but she prefers the boys room. Hmm, I told that child she needed to sleep in her own bed!! (Also I am happy to report this room is in the process of a complete overhaul which will include a new mattress that actually fits the bottom bunk).
This is the only person in the house with her own room. It must be nice:) She is a neat freak and has quite a flair for decorating. She must get that from her G.G.
This is the little girls room. Only one little girl is this room today. That other little one, Goldilocks is in with the boys as you recall. Now that this child has new blinds in her room she sleeps until at least 8 am. Aaaah, I love blinds. Why did I wait for 15 years to buy some for this room?????

As you can see from the above images, this is my time of day for peace and quiet. I get to enjoy this special me time with a diet coke, an english muffin with peanut butter and I read the news. I even take this time to think about how much I love my sleeping, quiet(except for the one that snores), angelic, precious, gifts from God. I do love this time of reflection..Aaaah, no stress. A new day for birds to sing, the sun to shine, oh sorry I got off track in my own little zen time.


 I looked into my room where the young one likes to hang with her blankie and bunny and watch cartoons. This day I discovered that this kid's got talent. She was carefully balancing my beautiful basket weave plate on the bottom of her foot. Helllo!!!! If she can spin a plate on her head at the same time I am calling Simon Cowell and putting her on t.v.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July...

I wanted to say I hope your day is full of fun, family, fireworks, great food, and we all remember why we celebrate this day. So many people forget how lucky we are to be a free country. So while we are watching fireworks in our red, white and blue lets try and remember what those colors mean to us all.

 "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." (Since this is not TV, I will NOT be removing GOD from the pledge).                

Hugs to all..                                                                                                                    

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Kids, kids everywhere, but not a shoe to be found....

 I love the way they snuggle together in the morning..Blankies, piggy, bunny, jammies and of course, the all important DS. It wouldn't normal if someone didn't have some sort of gadget in their hand.
With six kids, we have approximately 2,321 sippy cups in this house. Sad part is, that this sippy cup is only acceptable one by the Miss Priss. If this sippy cup is soooo valuable, why is it that she leaves is everywhere?
 I find thing lying around everywhere. Do you see a theme developing here? I can't tell you how many times a day I am searching the house(which isn't that BIG) looking for the missing shoe(Not to mention my hubby's shoes:) I am always amazed where the missing shoe turns up: a toy box, under the dog's feeding tray, under a bed, in the play fort,in the pantry, BUT almost never in the closet.
They even play outdoors, and I can guarantee you when this child comes in later he will have left at least several items outdoors. When I mow the lawn, I find: forks, towels, bowls, the missing shoe(that has since been replaced with a new pair), sippy cups and yet he bring his bike into the house.
Am I the only one that is confused here? In spite of the crazy, I love it!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pablo, The Land Shark

This is what happens when we refuse to pay for a pest control service..

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just Another Day At the Zoo

I wanted to share a few images I took of some of my kiddos yesterday. They are all a bunch of nuts and full of more energy that the Energizer Bunny. I hope you enjoy.
 They use the computer to watch TV.

 They hug their daddy. Some of my poor children have mini me growths on their backs..It's so sad..
 They take turns torturing each other. They even laugh during these sessions.

 Sometimes it's necessary for them to RUNNNNNNN.
 They like to stand at the top of the stairs and tease their mommy. Sometimes their mommy runs upstairs and tortures them for fun. It runs in the family.

 Some of my CRAZY kids play with little Shark finger puppets..That big kid may never be able to leave home. If he did, who would pretend to be Pablo the Shark.
 They show the camera their toys, UP CLOSE. Okay, too close.
 They even listen to music on the computer.
 They frighten the other children with scary masks.
 They break the rules and eat messy food outside of the kitchen. Then, they smile because they know mom has the camera and can't do anything about it..

 They have friends over. They play Beyblades and eat all the snacks in the house. After all the food is gone, the friends suddenly want to go home. Hmmm, is there a connection?????
They walk around the kitchen with dazed looks on their faces.

Well, there it is. I hope you haven't been too traumatized by these images. I'm afraid I will be forced to post more images of these people again, VERY soon. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A hundred hearts would be too few To carry all my love for you. ~Author Unknown

Oh how I love these Peonies..I wait a whole year to have these in my home. I scour the stores starting in May to see if they have arrived and shop weekly until they appear.This year is no exception to the rule. In fact, I plan to return today to by another bouquet.

It's important to surround yourself with things that bring you joy and happiness, even just a flower or two.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Oh dear Blog,
I am so sorry I have neglected you for so long. You are my first true love, my saving grace, my first blog baby. Life has been busy, but that is no excuse for the neglect. I promise I am going to give you a face lift and bring you back to life..I just need a little more time to give you the love you deserve..

Your Blog Momma

About Me

My photo
My name is Kris. I am a wife, a mom to six, a photographer, a reader, a Christian, a Diet Coke drinker, a closet ice cream eater, a walker and a memory keeper.. Thanks for coming by to say hi, I can't wait to get to know you :)