What's worse than being in a crowed high rise hospital, on rollers, with all glass windows, in downtown LA, in an earthquake? Being in the middle of getting your blood drawn in a crowded high rise hospital, on rollers, with all glass windows in downtown LA!!! Yep, That's where David was when it hit, although I guess the people upstairs in surgery had it worse. The doctor said David's blood work looks good. His white cell blood count is almost completely back to normal, and that she will do the Pet/CT scan in mid September. She believes it is early to do it now and a PET scan gives a considerable amount of radiation which they are trying to avoid. Since the radiation is actually more dangerous than the possibility of detecting cancer cells now. She said it would make no difference in the efficacy of the treatment if the Pet picked up something in September compared to now, but she doesn't expect to see any cancer cells anyway. So, we will continue to wait 6 more weeks, trusting God and realizing that there really are no for sure answers. The doctors can't say for sure you are cured and it won't come back, so we are just trying to live each day to God's glory, and trust in Him.
Early last week, David heard from a friend that there were Thesher Sharks swimming off the Ventura coast. He got it in his head that he was going to catch one of these big sharks in his "little fishing boat". So after picking up two of his fishing buddies, Jim Sojka and Chris Hoglo, at 5:00am Saturday morning, they drove out to the harbor to launch the boat. After trolling up and down the coast for several hours, they finally hooked one, and boy did it fight good. After reeling it in for 10 to 15 minutes, they finally hoisted it into the boat. ( not like there was any room for it in the "little boat" with three grown men, but they had to prove they caught one) After they took pictures, they wisely decided there was no place for it to fit still swinging its tail, and they decided to throw it back and let it see another day. Even though I've heard shark is good to eat, I'm not sure I would have known the first thing to do with it. Can you imagine him asking me to put it in a pan and cook it for dinner?????
Ok, I've posted a lot today, but here is one more update. David's next appointment is on Tuesday the 29th. I'm not exactly sure what the doctor plans to do at that appt. I thought it was to have a PET scan, but Dave disagrees and thinks he may have to wait longer. We heard two different things. Maybe we should bring 3 people next time? Anyway, I'll post when we find out.
Last Tuesday, my mom and Rick took David and I out to dinner to celebrate the end of his treatment. This is the first time in seven months that he hasn't had chemotherapy! We went to Roy's in Woodland Hills and it was the fanciest dinner that I have ever had in my whole life. It was so delicious. I didn't know food could taste so yummy. I took a picture of my chocolate souffle because it was so good. We also had seared Ahi Tuna and Salmon topped with a spinach- gorgonzola sauce and little french fried onions. Not only was the food good, but it was fun going out to a nice restaurant with my mom and Rick. We really enjoyed their company.
David came home last Friday and announced that he was taking a vacation. The nice thing about his job is that he does get a lot of vacation time, but he usually never gets to take one in the summer. Only the people with the most seniority get those coveted months. His first vacation that he could have had was in February, but we had so many doctors appointments and my dad was in the middle of his treatment, that we decided we couldn't go away His second opportunity came in May, but we weren't sure how sick he was going to feel toward the end of treatment, and we didn't want to use op those days in case he needed them later. That was a big debate, do we live life to the fullest because we don't know what the future holds and take the vacation, spend the money, make memories while we can, or save the days and be careful just in case the cancer doesn't go away, or comes back and we are in it for longer than we hoped. Until last Friday we decided it would be more wise to be conservative and put everything on hold. Anyway, I guess David felt like he needed a break from work, and the kids are home for summer, so he asked his boss if he could have a few weeks off, and his boss said, "Yes!" So on Saturday, we decided to do a quick get away to Palm Springs. They has a special in the paper, and we wanted to go hang out at the pool, so we packed that night and left on Sunday. David took a detour and stopped to go shopping at his favorite store, Bass Pro Shops, and Avrielle and I did some back to school shopping at Victoria Gardens. While in Palm Springs, we went swimming, saw a movie, and ate out. It was really nice to be away. These pictures I took with my new camera! Yea! I walked into Costco 10 minutes before they closed and bought a camera because I wanted to take pictures of the trip. I basically just picked one up and paid for it. I know that probably wasn't the best thing to do, but I was in a hurry. Here are a few of the pictures we took, but I still have to read all the instructions.
On July 12, we went to a Dodger Game. The kids won the tickets from their school jog- a -thon fundraiser. I couldn't believe how awesome the seats were. I have never sat that close to the field before. The game was so exciting, and it even went to extra innings, I loved my garlic fries too! Unfortunately, right after I took these two pictures, my camera broke so I couldn't get one of Chandler dressed up in his blue and white wig, stuffing a dodger dog in his face with ketchup smeared all over his face. We were so blessed to to go this night because there were fireworks, and we missed them on the 4th of July, so we were so happy when we found out it was fire works night on top of everything else. It finally felt like it was truly summer that night!
We woke up at 5:30 am this morning and headed down to USC for the 12th and final treatment. We call USC the happy place because everyone seems so happy there. We had to wait a really long time to get started (11:00am), but all the people there are so calm that no one seemed to mind. David did really well considering he always gets anticipatory nausea, and waiting makes it worse. He didn't get as sick as last time and slept through most of the treatment. I caught up on a lot of my reading, since they let me stay in the room. It is not the type of area that you want to go out and run errands around. We finished around 3:30, had lunch in their cafeteria and drove home. David took a 3 hour nap and just woke up a few minutes ago. We will meet with the doctor on the 29th and I think the plan is that she will order a PET scan to show if the cancer cells are gone. Here is a little note from David: After completing 7 months of this trial, I truly believe God has used it for my good and His glory. My relationship with Him has been strengthened during this time. Upon reflecting on God's sovereignty, I realize that this trial is not all about me. God used it in many of your lives too to strengthen your faith and prayer life and for that I'm grateful. If I could turn back the hands of time and take it away, I don't think I would, because I would have missed out on all the blessings that have come from it. I got to be the recipient of many prayers, I received so many loving words of encouragement, and I got to see God love me through so many of you. Lastly, I'm so thankful for my faithful and loving wife who has been such as source of joy and comfort to me and hopefully encouraging to all of you as she shared her thoughts all these months. Love, David
On Monday our family went to the Hollywood bowl with the Mersch family to learn about the music, art and culture of Peru. The Cooks were going to come too, but Henry got sick. (We hope you feel better soon, Henry!) The kids picked an art project to make, and then we listened to a wonderful and educational concert. Afterward, Shannon and I decided to make the day a complete learning experience by going to lunch in a Peruvian restaurant. Shannon asked one of the dancers if he knew of anywhere that was close and inexpensive, and He said yes. So, we headed off on our adventure through the streets of Hollywood. (This restaurant happened to be on Beverly Blvd too, which gave me a chuckle if you read my earlier post about all the Beverly's in Hollywood) Luckily, Shannon was driving, and she had a Thomas guide, so we were prepared. We found the restaurant, which wasn't close, and then we were seated and soon found out that it wasn't inexpensive either!! We had to make the embarassing decision to tell them after all of us were seated that we decided not to eat there after all. It was now pretty late and everyone was hungry, so the closest place that looked safe was KFC. I have never seen a KFC with a bullet proof window in front of the cashier, but remember, this was an adventure. All in all, it was a great day and Shannon and I are still up for trying Peruvian food somewhere. Any suggestions?
The proud teammates: Chandler, Dae, Avrielle and Sage wearing their swim team shirts. Avrielle finishing first in her breast stroke. Chandler winning his 100 Individual Medly. He's all smiles! This is a picture of him in his final lap. He is wearing the black cap, while the other team in the yellow caps are still going the other way! ( I'm not a proud mom or anything!) Avrielle at a hometown 4th of July Parade. This parade was in front of his co-worker's beach house in Ventura. The men and Chandler went fishing, while the wives and Avrielle watched the parade. Dave and Chandler caught 2 more sharks within the first 5 minutes of fishing. Dave and Chris Hoglo, a friend from church, caught another shark the week before in the same spot. I'm not sure I ever want to swim in the ocean in Ventura anymore.
Well, I met Dave at the doctor yesterday. It was at Cedar Sinai Hospital. His appt was at 1:30, but I got stuck on the 4o5 for 2 hours due to an accident earlier in the morning. It was so funny because they gave him a stack of papers to fill out, but he was purposely trying to stall until I got there. I think the receptionist thought he was really "slow" if you know what I mean. Then, I had to call for directions about 3 or 4 times because all my mapquest said was turn right on Beverly, but it didn't say if it was Beverly Glenn, Beverly Drive, Or Beverly Blvd. They must have thought David and I were made for each other! We didn't get home from that appt until about 6:45. Remember now, David had been up since 4 am, so he was pretty tired. Then, right as we were about to go to sleep, the phone rang and it was his work saying he had a call out. He had to get dressed and drive to work and was out all night. Everyone else from his team was able to come home at 10:00 am this morning, but we had a doctor appt at USC at 12:15. So David was in the waiting room and he kept doing the head bob thing with his neck flinging back every 5 min. The people around us must of thought he was really having bad side effects considering it was only noon and he couldn't keep his eyes open! We had a really good appt though, and are really pleased with our new doctor. She talked with us for about an hour and we learned a lot. Afterward, I drove David home, and we left his car at work. Hopefully there won't be any calls tonight, or I'll have to pack everyone up in the car to take him back there. His last treatment will be next Tues, and hopefully the next scan will show the cancer is still all gone.
I am happily married to my beloved and my friend, David, and I am a mom to my precious children, Avrielle and Chandler. I started this blog in January,2008 as a way to keep our friends and family updated when my husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Little did I know that my dad, a non smoker, would be diagnosed with lung cancer also only two weeks later. My dad passed away on March 22, 2008, only 2 1/2 months after his diagnosis. These last few months have been a trial, but God has been good and faithful, and kept us in His hands.
We added a guest book at the bottom of the blog page. Please sign it and add a picture if you would like. It is really easy, I promise! We would love to see who is out there reading. Love, The Smith Family
Chandler: "Mom, could I just marry my sister? That way I don't have to kiss anybody new."
Avrielle: As we are trying to find my car in the crowded parking lot, "There it is mom, I memorized your licence placemat."
Mom to Avrielle: "It's time to brush your teeth." Avrielle: "May I appeal, I need to defrost more from waking up."
Mom to Chandler: "If you're not thankful for your dinner, maybe I should take it away, and all you will have to eat is some bread." Chandler: "Sounds great!" Mom: " Ok, since that didn't work, How about if we take away all your toys too, so you will see how much you have to be thankful for..." Chandler: "I'll just play with my bread!"
Chandler as he is trying to throw a dirty kleenex into the trashcan. "He shoots, (it lands on top of Avrielle's head) He SCORES!!!
Wow Avrielle, that was a quick shower. Did you wash your hair? "I only put conditioner on it, because I washed it last night and I just needed to remind it that it had been washed already so it will obey me this morning."
Chandler: "Dad, could you please make sure you take the right sandwich to work tomorrow? I don't wan't you to leave the healthy one for me by mistake."
Chandler: Can you not put gel in my hair this morning? If I get it cut later, it will hurt because it will be like they are cutting through a wall of steel!
Chandler at Trader Joes: Why does nanny have to take so long reading every label in the freezer aisle? Can't it be the "try out" aisle instead???
Chandler telling a story at dinner: "Not yesterday, but the yesterday before..."
Mom to Chandler: Your closet is a mess. Yeah, I know, it's always an adventure because I get to find new undiscovered sightings. Mom: What kind of undiscovered sightings? Well, you know, like, I'll put something in there when I'm seven and then discover it again when I'm fourteen.
Mom to Chandler: What is the most important thing you learned from Papa? He taught me never to hit people with the golf ball when I'm chipping.
Mom to Avrielle: What is your favorite memory with Papa? He took me to the American Girl Store, and walked all around with me explaining the history of all the dolls until I found the one I wanted.
Chandler, What does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? Well, it's like God has cubbies for each person, and when you do something that pleases Him, He puts a trophy in your cubby."
Chandler after hearing the bedtime story of Corderoy. "Mom, some stories are so good, I feel like I want to cry inside when I hear them."
How do you like the pistachio Chandler? It's sort of medium low on the scale of goodness.
Chandler while looking at a pre -cancer picture of David, "Wow Dad, I don't remember that you used to have an afro!"
Chandler, you need to wipe the chocolate off your face! Do I have to mom? If I leave it on, I can taste it again later!
Avrielle while watching Taming of the Shrew in the park: "I love the play mom, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
Chandler: Mom, can you please buy some more string cheese? It really puts you to work! Mom: I thought you don't like doing hard work. I love hard work when it comes to my food!
Chandler to mom: "Do I have to open my Christmas presents? I want to warm up to the day first."
Avrielle watching Taming of the Shrew in Hart Park. "Mom, I like the play, but which one is William Shakespeare?"
"Avrielle, You have been really quiet since the debate has been on, do you have any questions about what is going on or what they are talking about?" She look over to us very seriously, and said,"Mom, I think I understand what they are saying, but I only have one question. How can they stand there and talk so long without having to pee?"