Archive for the ‘Us’ Category

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One week in!

August 7, 2018

One week of Taf/Mek down & so far so good!  I haven’t experienced any side effects yet and continue to go about life as usual.  Well, almost usual.  I now have timers set on my Fitbit to alert me when it’s 8AM/PM (stop eating) and 10AM/PM (take meds). Oddly enough I don’t need an alarm for 11AM/PM to tell me I can eat again…the stomach let’s me know that…ha!  Honestly though, it hasn’t been too difficult to manage and I hope I continue to feel as well as I do.

In the mean time I’ve been spending time with the family at Plum Island, kayaking, reading and even swimming in the ice cold water.  I’ve collected a good bit of SPF clothing at this point.  While wearing long sleeves on the beach isn’t ideal I’m happy that I can still be out participating in things I love!  I’ve never been much of a fashion statement on the beach anyway so no need to start now. 🙂

PT is going well and it’s AMAZING how far I have come! I have full range of motion and can even shave my armpit (carefully). I only have a few more sessions and well…I think I’m gonna miss it!

Not much else to report today.  I return to MGH in a week for bloodwork to make sure everything is in line.  Prayers I continue on the same path! And while you’re in the praying mode, would you add a few extra names to your list for me? It seems everyone needs a little faith boost these days, but these people in particular need some extra love. Since this is my blog I won’t share exact names, but Mr. CL, Mr. JP, and baby Molly with her family could really use some healing love! Thank you!!

Speaking of healing love…I was humbled this weekend to be on the shirts of more than one rider in the Pan Mass Challenge. It feels like not that long ago I was wearing other people’s names on my running shirts…and now here I am. It’s an overwhelming and beautiful feeling to be so loved. Thank you to Matt, Erik and Peter for including me and for all the riders who toughed it out through the driving rains and tornado warnings. You are my hero’s and I’m forever grateful for all the research that your hard work benefits! Maybe one of these years I’ll join you…but could you call in the fair weather that year?! 😉

More next week…until then…I’m off to kick melanomas butt! And stay cool in this unbearable heat!! 😳

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Pill poppin’ on the 12’s

July 30, 2018

Today marked the first day of my adjuvant therapy. An early trip into Boston with mom, some blood work, meetings with the nurse practitioner and the teaching nurse all culminating with the first dose down the hatch at 9:30AM. So far, so good. For the next year I will take 5 pills a day. 2 dabrafenib twice a day, and 1 trametinib once a day. Each round 12 hours apart and no eating for 3 hours as it must be taken on an empty stomach. It will be a pain, but it’s far better than just rolling the dice and hoping I don’t have a recurrence. I trust my doctor and know that this is the right thing for me.

There will likely be some side effects. The official site for my treatment (here) will make you cringe for sure. But after my visit today, fevers, aches & pains are by far the most likely. And the good news is that they can often easily be controlled by simply coming off the drugs for a bit while my body recovers or lowering the dosage if necessary. Because the drug combination is so new for stage 3 they are still trying to determine what dosage is most effective, etc. But I’ll happily be a science experiment if it means I can beat this thing…and we will!

If there’s one thing they made clear it’s that is I feel ANYTHING out of the ordinary, I call. First I call the doctor, then I call my mom, then we make a plan! Sometimes they may have me come in for blood work, other times they could just tell me to stop the drugs for a bit. We will just have to go with the flow & be prepared for anything. I wonder if they’ll get annoyed when I call about fatigue every day? 🤪 oh wait, that’s not really out of the ordinary. Being hyper sensitive to how I’m feeling is definitely strange for me, but it’s important so I won’t let anything go. (I promise mom!!)

Since I last wrote I’ve been keeping up with my PT and it has been amazing. Not only is it relaxing, I almost have my full range of motion back! The cording has all but disappeared and I have put my new electric razor to good use finally. Still strange that I can’t feel a thing under there, but I suppose I’ll get used to it eventually!

The last few weeks have been great…busy of course, but great! We filled our days with swim team and tennis lessons, multiple birthday parties, plays & concerts, blueberry picking and time with friends and family. (See photo proof below) I am grateful I have been feeling so well and tried to make sure I appreciated all the little things…even if I am at the point of the summer where I yell at my children most of the day. I swear it’s their fault not mine!

Honestly though, I’m thankful for the time. I’m blessed with a chance to be with them for all the little things…and the big ones too. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing circle of people in my life who have been there for me, Andrew and my kids. Every note, well wish, thought, prayer and hug are so appreciated! And the delicious food and help with a house cleaner have been a lifesaver even though I have been feeling well. It has allowed me to give that time to my kids and so thank you! I just can’t thank everyone enough for being on this journey with me and supporting me with love and faith! This year will bring challenges, but I know it will be worth it in the end. This week I will be enjoying these Plum Island sunsets even more than usual!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to kick melanomas butt…for good!

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Shutterfly is the Best!

August 10, 2011
Stationery card
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Labor-free Day

September 8, 2010

This weekend we went…NO WHERE!  When most people are travelling about trying to fit in one last bit of summer, we just decided…enough!  3 straight weekends of major travel was all we could take.  Never mind the fact we were way behind in housework, we were way behind in just resting.  I think Maya forgot what it was like NOT to be in the car for 3 hours straight.  So much so that on Sunday we were outside playing, she stops all of a sudden – walks around to the car door and says, ‘buh-bye’.  I ask ‘Maya do you want to go bye-bye?’   Her response: ‘Yeah’ with a head nod.  HA!  We’ve created a monster!

Needless to say Maya is easily distracted, and after I got all ready to go just – somewhere – with her, she was off doing something else.  We did manage to take a few MUCH smaller trips of course – the grocery store, the park (Maya’s favorite) and Kimball’s (Mama’s favorite!).  The weather was perfect and it was just a great weekend to be in the ‘home’ area.  Nothing got DONE around the house obviously, other than a mow of the lawn…we were just too tired to deal.  But there’s always time for that, this weekend was just about hanging out & seeing family – oh…and attending a wedding. 

Saturday night we left Maya with Grandma & Grandpa Barry and got out – just the 2 of us, to go to a great backyard wedding.  I haven’t really seen Andrew spend lots of time with his friends from high school, and oh what a sight it was.  They’re a great bunch of guys who know how to party.  Needless to say there was lots of dancing – right up my alley!

We had a BBQ with the Barry’s on Monday and Maya got to play with her cousin Sam.  Sam is just 9 months older than Maya…but you would think they were the same age given Maya’s height.  Sam is way ahead in many areas compared to Maya though (listening being the biggest of those – he’s a good listener!).  I’m hoping this is something that will rub off on Maya.  It was so fun to see them together, in the ball pit, the sandbox, running up & down the hill.  We look forward to many more fun times with Sam.

All in all it was a great weekend – I wish we could say we were rejuvenated & refreshed…but we’re not, just not more exhausted than we were before the weekend!

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mmmmMont.

September 2, 2010

This weekend we packed Maya up and took her to Vermont…aka  mmmmMont (Maya speak).  Bennington, VT to be exact was the last weekend trip of the summer.  It’s been on the calendar for a while because it was a Carmody wedding!  Who doesn’t love it when the Carmody’s get together?!  It’s sort of like going back to college…lot’s of drinking, dancing, eating…and exhaustion at the end, but it’s always a good time.  A trip to Vermont isn’t complete without someone getting up on the bar at Carmody’s – and this weekend didn’t disappoint.  RT & Lindsey got married, Chad and Nicole got their first real glimpse of the family (hee hee – they both survived – barely), and Maya partied at her first wedding.  All in all, a good time!  It was a beautiful wedding in one of the most amazing views, the bride looked beautiful and the weather was fantastic.  It was a perfect setting for a wedding!  If you’re not married yet & considering a destination wedding…I would DEFINITELY check the place out – Colgate Park, simply amazing!

Should you find yourself travelling through or near Bennington for any reason stop in & say hi to the Carmody family – TJ, Patrick, RT and the newest member…Lindsey!  Welcome to the family – there’s no turning back now :)!  Congrats!  Love to you both!

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A Hiking we will go…

August 27, 2010

This weekend we went on yet another adventure.  A somewhat last minute plan that turned out great.  Andrew has been dying to get up to the White Mountains…so we made it happen.  We packed Maya up with all our gear, for yet another 3 hr car ride.  She did great, even though we had to stop for a bio-break midride.  This time we were not travelling by ourselves, we had 3 cars of Barrys & Kinneys making the trip with us.  I’d say we made relatively good time even with the stop.

We had a neat spot in the woods of Bartlett that Andrew had found last minute.  5 bedrooms, plenty of space for Maya to run and not too expensive.  Everyone had a bed…and Maya slept through the night…BRILLIANT!  The good sleep may have been a result of our adventure that day.  Immediately after arrival, we put Maya into the backpack for a 2.5 mile hike to the top of Mt. Crawford.  It was pretty steep in the middle, but we all made it & Maya summited her first White Mountain.  Of course keeping her from running of the cliff at the top was an interesting & not so fun challenge, but we didn’t stay up there long…and snacks will usually keep her sitting for a little while.

I even had a chance to carry Maya some of the way(Actually I got to carry her to the top).  Not without Andrew’s help up the big steps, of course, we wouldn’t have made it without him.  The reason I had to carry Maya was that she was assaulting her father with her little finger nails.  Sort of like when a jockey digs a horse, Maya was wreaking havoc on her father’s neck.   About 10 minutes of the hike went like this:

Andrew: No Maya, No
Maya: Scratch
Andrew:  Owww Maya, No
Maya: Scratch
Andrew:  Maya STOP
Maya: Scratch

You get the idea…pretty annoying for all involved.  It ended with a:

Laura: Just give her to me, why won’t you just let me try to see if I can carry her…thank you!

And finally we made it to the top…just before Maya figured out I had a neck hiding behind that pony tail.  Here’s a little glimpse into the experience!  Looking forward to many more hikes with the Papaya, hopefully with fewer Maya inflicted injuries.

The Beginning

She drew blood!

Everyone’s shocked by the switch!!

The Top!

Note the neck cover!

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Pillow Talk – ‘Da Middle

August 20, 2010

No – I don’t mean that kind of ‘Pillow Talk’.  Well, sort of I do.  Pillow talk in this house means the VERY random conversations Andrew & I have right before we fall asleep.  If most people could be a fly on the wall I’m sure they’d be very amused, we usually are.  Where am I going with this?  The other night was a classic ‘pillow talk’ night.

A little background, our first mattress was a queen-sized, but very old bed from when I first graduated from school, (aka cheap).  It didn’t take long before 2 people on the bed started to make it sag in the middle.  Every night getting in to bed I would say to Andrew – “Hey, you’re in the middle of ‘da bed”.  And he he was.  He would try to roll to the outside, but inevitably we would both end up sliding to the middle of our sloped bed.  It became a running joke.

Fast forward to our new house…and our nice new mattress.  While we no longer sliiiide down to the middle, Andrew still likes to tease me by climbing in first & taking up the middle of ‘da bed.  Resulting in me needing to claim my half.  The other night I was all comfy in bed – when Andrew arrived & told me ‘I’ was in the middle of the bed.  No way!  I was on my half.  This quickly resulted in some pushing and shoving and ultmately, 2 grown married adults were counting the headboard bars to determine exactly where the ‘middle’ was!  Yup, we counted.  We now know exactly where the middle of our bed is – thank goodness for that! 🙂  You would think a married couple wouldn’t need to know this, all that snuggling & cuddling…but we do, if you don’t know where the middle is, how do you know when you’re there!?  Of course that night both of us had to be as CLOSE to the middle as possible without going over…just to annoy eachother, but what fun would it be if you didn’t push the limit.

So, that’s just a little insight into some of the randomness that goes on in our house on a daily basis…I couldn’t make it up if I tried.