Daddy Daughter Date: Both on Chemo

by Christie Perkins

Now I can think of a bazillion fun date ideas for a daddy daughter date: dress up in goofy clothes and answer questions about what color of toothbrush you use- I can’t even remember most of the time… the bristles are white with little finger thingers. I know that much. Or go to Wingers (same taste buds fare well here), or get up in the middle of the night to hear the sonic boom, or “watch” the cloud infested solar eclipse from the ER room.

Or you could always hook up at the cancer center and go get chemo together. How’s that for a date? A daddy daughter date with chemo. Now doesn’t that sound fun?

Now sometimes you get to choose the date, but sometimes the date just chooses you. It so happens that Dad and I get to do chemo on the same day. Yes. Dad has to do chemo too. Dad has some uncommon kidney disease that causes blood clots (which they believed caused his stroke a couple of weeks ago). They have found that chemo will put it in remission. So he has 4 rounds of chemo that will help put it in remission.

Quick Cap: Dad’s been having lots of health problems over the last 6 months. There’s been a lot of doctors shaking their heads as to what to do. He’s been in and out of the ER and hospital earning mega points on his medical valued customer standing.

Someone forgot to tell him there’s no rewards points. So since I know he’s reading this- um Dad, there’s no reward points. Continue reading

IV Chemo Strikes Again. (A Grumpy Post.)

by Christie Perkins

Three weeks ago my blood work showed that my tumor markers tripled in just a 2 month time period. We knew where my next treatments were heading (IV chemo. Yuck.) but we needed to take a cat scan first. Cat scan revealed the secrets of the blood work and that’s when I started watering my flowerpots with my eyes.

Hey. We’ve been on a drought restriction so sometimes you just gotta get creative. Except I think I drowned a few pots (ok, ok… I really didn’t but it would have been a really good idea. Why do all the good ideas come later?).

So the new news of more cancer growth on the spine and multiple spreading spots on my liver is hard to take. Magic potion number 9 wasn’t quite right for me. Above all, the thing that bothers me most is that I can’t quite catch my own grip on this news.

Stop crying girl.

Continue reading

Cancer and Magic Potion Number 9

by Christie Perkins

I gasped a little. Maybe I shouldn’t have. It’s silly to gasp when something is exactly what you want it to be. Perfect bloodwork. Yeah. I mean, really, who doesn’t want replenished white armored army warriors for bloodwork? You see, I was climbing back out from under my neutropenic plunk and my white blood cells and neutrophils were normalizing. I was gaining my fighting power back.

Again.

Each time I take my Ibrance pills my blood goes scuba diving.

But my gasp was not an element of birthday party surprise, it was credited to the boogie man lurking in the dark surprise. You see, the recovery from my last neutropenic plunk only meant one clear thing: If my white blood cells and neutrophils are up that means I have to start my new chemo pill. My current medication isn’t giving me the kapow I need.

So a new pill means new side effects, new adjustments, and reestablishing my new norm. Ugh.

Over the last 8 months my doctor has continuously dropped my current chemo pill dosing to avoid my blood levels from crashing. Each month we hope the new dosing will level out my fighting power but with each month I skid on the bottom before I get to the end of the cycle. It takes a while to get me normalized before trying the new reduced dosing. My clearance chemo isn’t quite cutting it.

And in the process my tumors have been getting hungry and beefing up. Continue reading

Easter: Power Over Death and a Ray of Sunshine

by Christie Perkins

Power over death. What an incredible gift.

The true meaning of Easter is much more significant than it has ever been for me. Stage 4 cancer has given me this valuable insight and appreciation of the resurrection.

The Savior took upon Him our pains and afflictions and broke the bands of death.

 

The Bands of Death

Now I don’t know about you but when you are handed a slip of paper that foretells your death ticket: non-curable stage 4 cancer the bands of death take on a whole new meaning.

Suddenly “beginning with the end in mind” is incorporated into everything you do. The heavy burden of death challenges how you spend time, how you interact with others, what you think about, and how you spend your money.

It’s a blessing and a curse. Continue reading

The Redbox Bunny Miracle

by Christie Perkins

I swear it was sitting right there.

The rush of the night had me winging the hairdo (yikes) and flinging the overdue redbox in the van. Well, actually I had my kiddo take care of the redbox. I had to return it because we were already late.

Last year we had this horrible habit of returning redbox rentals several days later. I made a new goal and commitment to make better use of my money. We would return movies the next night. And things were going well with that until…

Until, I don’t know what.

You know those moments when the redbox grins at you from the corner of the room and you gasp. Oh no! We haven’t returned that yet?

So we do that responsibility shift game. I ask my husband to take it on his way to work. Later that day he remembers he forgot to take it- so he texts me and asks me to take it in. And… I’m not sure what happens but I forget to take it. And before we know it my bank account it draining from a redbox rental.

And I didn’t love the movie that much to start with. Continue reading

Avoid Shirking Work

by Christie Perkins

In the winter we get a home grown ice skating rink by my front door. Thank you north facing lot. You do have to bring your own ice skates but if you want to do pirouettes or figure 8’s the entertainment is basically free. Well, unless you slip and have to wear permanent doughnuts to all future gathering places.

Anyway.

So you know how you most people are inclined to believe what they find on the internet? Well. Well, I found a piece of information that I thought would be a fabulous idea for de-greasing the ice rink. It’s called ashes.

Yeah. Wood burning ashes. I decided it would be a great idea to cut the work. You know, the “easy” way out. That’s what I thought it would do anyway. Continue reading

Organizing Tip: 100 Item Dash

by Christie Perkins

So I wake up every morning greeted by the mod podge dumpings just beyond the foot of my bed. Some of it is new stuff that needs new places, some of it old. Hello! The pile is a little more chipper than I am at it’s rude awakening.

Ta-dah!

Hey, I say then run away. I like you and all but my spaces are small, you look comfortable there next to the wall. But, it’s about time I combat my inner brawl.

You (pile of things) have out-stayed your welcome. I keep feeding you more and more things because… because, well, you look hungry. Yeah, that’s it. You eat everything that anyone feeds you, rejecting no offers (Dude! even dilapidated Christmas bows and useless empty boxes that stow… this pile just grows and grows!). You suck my energy then expect me to pick up after you. You are sleeping at the foot of my bed, and though you don’t snore your drooling all over the place. I like you. I do. I just need my own space of sunshine and grace.

And then the solution to the problem I got: you just need your own-grown name-plot spot.

Well. There’s a sunrise moment if you’ve never seen one. (And since I would rather close my eyes to it, it festered like an oozy zit… ok, I’ll stop this rhyming fit.)

Maybe. Continue reading

Thanksgiving’s More Than Just Giving Thanks

by Christie Perkins

Thanksgiving habit immediately kicked in. I woke up automatically thinking about what I was most grateful for: my husband, my kids, my extended family, the offering of stuffing but the right to refuse it, and grateful for another day. I’m always thankful for another day (and I always refuse stuffing).

Then it hit me what the true meaning of Thanksgiving was. The why we celebrate came with more force.

thanksgivings-more-than-just-giving-thanks3Thanksgiving isn’t about just shooting off a list of things we are thankful for. Though, yes, it’s a great practice. But, it’s so much more. And since I couldn’t shake it, I thought I would share why my heart appears to be swimming in jacuzzi’s water.

Ah. Feels so nice. (I hope your heart gets all bubbly warm too). The message is simple.

That first Thanksgiving was symbolic of two very different people who learned to get along. Two people who would not have become friends on their own but circumstance brought them together. It was about struggling and depending on one another. Needing one another. Especially the pilgrims needing the experience of the Native Americans. It was about learning from one another and breaking down walls of pride. It was seeing the value of someone different and realizing they, too, have something valuable to offer and share. Continue reading

It’s Not To Late For a Gratitude Switcheroo

by Christie PErkins

(Reposted from November 2015. Yep making this easy on me this month.)

Don’t just look for a reason to be grateful, give someone the reason to be.

howperkyworks.com (3)Typically the month of November is a time we focus on all of the things that we are grateful for. I love it. It’s so nice to evaluate the good things in our lives. To recognize all those things that have been squished against our noses but somehow failed to see.

So typically we find reasons to be grateful. We list them on construction paper turkey feathers, die cut leaves, or more permanently- in our journals, etc. We display them somewhere (well, maybe not the journal that could be… intrusive) so we can remember all the goodness that life offers. Regardless, it’s a snazzy little thing that softens our complaint list in the month of November.

It’s nice. It’s needed. Continue reading