Welcome to my Blog! Yes, I have been in the fight of my life against Leukemia, insomnia, depression, side effects of medications, molting skin, pooping my pants and this list goes on.... however, I still love my life, and that's what this blog is about Real Life. I hope to meet others who trails have brought them closer to the Lord and molded them for the next step in God's will. In January 2011 , my family, physician, and Be the Match was featured on a Fox 5 news story about bone marrow donors and transplants. In March, I was interviewed on Atlanta and Company along with Be the Match. I was chosen to sing the national anthem at the Be the Match Run last year and will also be doing it this year, along with some other songs. My team, no thanks to me, raised over $4,000 and raised more than any other team! Please join my team this year or consider donating here at the Run those Stem cells out ! Team I was also chosen for a patient advocacy panel for the international council meeting at Be the Match in MN in November. How exciting!! I ended up not being able to attend due to the relapse. I had hoped I could help raise awareness about how easy it is to sign up to be a donor and how many people need your help! Please go to bethematch.org and sign up! I was able to have my bone marrow (same as stem cell) transplant at the end of March thanks to a 22 year old donor oversees that I hope to meet her one day. As I came up on my 6th month mark and continued to add more normal activities to our lives, I relapsed, meaning that the that the cancer had mutated and the leukemia came back. I spent 2 more weeks at Emory and some other nights here and there and now I'm on a drug from the FDA. I have a compassion waiver so I am able to get it. I have to take it day by day sometimes hour by hour. Time keeps moving and my little girl is growing up. I'm lucky that I'm getting to see it. I continue to praise God for his wonderful blessings he has shown us including my wonderful husband Jonathan, baby girl Evalyn Rose, supportive family and friend, great medical care, new readers, and the chance to make a big difference, even if that means being a Lab Rat.
God Bless You!

Please read, comment, enjoy, learn, grow, LOVE LIFE.

Most Recently I have started a booth at a local consignment store with handmade jewelry from friends, crafts, and my own art from recycled materials. It is called DAY by DAY. God was very clear with me starting this. Please look over to the right of blog and click on Day by Day to see some pictures. I'm just getting started but I am taking orders from people that I know. You will be able to personalize items, etc. I just haven't decided how I will be selling them via internet yet. But for now, the jewelry is at A Weekend A'fair in Athens, GA and will hopefully be at some stores downtown soon.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nov. 30st One year diagnosis… looking back Part 1


              Last year at this time, we were on cloud 9 because we were going to have a baby and had only known for a few weeks.  We had my first OBGYN appointment a couple days before Thanksgiving and wanted to hear the heartbeat before we gave the news and we also gave the routine blood work. On Thanksgiving Day we gave my Mom, Dad, Jen, and Dan T-shirts to break the news. You should see the video of my mother screaming her head off… oh the excitement. A baby! Surprise! How were we going to do this with me working full time and Jonathan going to school full time? Ha, were we so silly. You can always handle more than you think you can.
                So, it’s not quite a year, its give or take a couple of days. I say a year because for me, the Monday after Thanksgiving was the bomb. Well, looking back, it was just Little Boy, not the big one. My OB called from his cell phone around 8 am that Monday. I didn’t recognize the number and well, it was first thing Monday morning and I don’t like to answer the phone sometimes. Sometimes is not even on. Later, I listened the message: you always find out bad news soon enough. In an urgent voice the doc said, “ Mrs. Cape, This is Dr. L, we have some concerns about your blood work, you WBC is 43,000. We are getting you into see a hematologist ASAP; please call the office when you have a chance.” Google it baby. Well, wouldn’t you have? There were pretty much two choices….. horrible infection or leukemia. No signs of infection, fever pain, swelling, etc. I cried to Jonathan for a minute and called my mom. “Let’s not get upset”, “It could be wrong”, yada yada. I knew at that point… at least I thought I did. I apparently don’t know anything… that’s one thing I have learns. We just think we KNOW. I called the OB office and they said that the Hematologist could see me the next week.  I got the number for the hematologist, called, and the message said “Thanks you for calling Georgia Cancer.  Cancer…. I heard someone else say it now. Oh no, wait a week, I would lose my mind. My Poppa called the office and said “This is Dr. Warren; my granddaughter needs an earlier appointment than next week.” Ok, got it. Funny, I found out later that they thought that it was Dr. Warren that is still practicing in Athens that called, not my retired grandfather. Random movie scene from Spies like us…. Dr., Dr. Dr. Dr. …. If you haven’t seen it, it’s good Chevy Chase humor.
                   The next couple of days is kind of Blurry. We didn’t want to talk too much about the baby. What about the baby? I was of course scared that since it was so early, you know. I went on with work, the next couple days, mind working over time, body so very tired. We prayed at small group.” Lord help us, but let your will be done.” My mom came to Athens for the hematologist appointment AT Georgia Cancer.  I gave the first of a multitude of labs I would give to check my counts. We met Dr. Lloyd for the first time, who also knows my Aunt Sharon that works here at Emory; he said that he tried to hire her. We liked him immediately. He was jolly and told funny stories. Labs are back. He said that I have CML, chronic myeloid leukemia. He said for leukemia, it was the best to have, that with the new oral medications people are living full lives. CML previously had a life expectancy of 6 years before this new medication. There was even a chance that the medication could be cure for some people.  I wouldn’t even lose my hair, hey, wasn’t that the only plus to cancer, I thought, wearing fancy wigs and not having to wash your hair? Oh, I crack myself up sometimes.

                What about the baby? He said that he didn’t feel that the baby would be in danger. If I needed treatment during the pregnancy, we would wait until after the 1st trimester. The good thing is we found it really early and I didn’t have any symptoms. Who knows how long I would have gone without knowing, I’m not in the habit of going to the doctor. Well, was I wasn’t. Habits change, by choice sometimes, life others.  This baby may have saved my life.  The pregnancy was normal enough and I didn’t have to have treatment. During Dec, I went to see Dr. K for the first time to get a second opinion. My aunt Sharon recommended him and my cousin Kristy came with me to the visit. Dr. K was great and also confirmed what Dr. Loyd said. After we got the medical bill from Emory, we decided to just stick with GA Cancer unless anything else happened. We eventually decided on Evalyn because it means “life”. God knew that my desire of my heart was to have a baby, and we are still not sure at this point if I will be able to have any more children. We have our sweet baby girl now. What a joy!
                1 healthy baby and 9 months later………..I started on the oral chemotherapy with only a few side effects and my counts went back to normal really quick. We even discussed going off the medication in a couple of years to see if I was “cured”. Around the 3rd week of Oct 2010, I starting have serve pain in my head, shoulders, and back. I quickly had my platelets go low and my WBC shot up again. By the next week, I had to take off from work, very rare for me. I'm in a very rare group whose CML advances quickly instead of slowly. We tried to switch medication but I was starting to run fevers and had bruises on my legs. I was calling the nurse and had a trip to Athens Regional for lab work over that weekend. The pain was getting worse and had moved to my jaw bones. I couldn’t eat or talk without one of the worse pains I have ever had in my life. I remember standing at the kitchen counter crying and I told Jonathan,” I feel like I’m dying.” I was right. I spoke to my aunt to see if she would go to Emory with me that I was going to make an appointment soon. Ha ha  Halloween is my favorite holiday and the party of just across the lake. That day was a blur but I’m glad I made myself do something. Hey, we won the truck or treat and Evalyn got to be our hero, Jesus. Corynne came and carved the pumpkin for me. Looking back at pictures, you can actually see the pain in my eyes.
          My Poppa Bill took me to GA Cancer on Monday morning, Nov. 1st. I couldn’t even drive and thought I might not be coming back. I was smart enough to pack a small bag. I knew I might be going somewhere, the pain was too bad. At the appointment, I had a vein blow up, and they had trouble sticking me. That had never happened in my life. My counts were very high, some too low.  I was sent to Emory for admissions that same day, via ambulance. A few days, I’ll be out…. I had another bone marrow test and other labs that confirmed that it had turned ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).
          I want to right more about my experience with my first few days here, before I started the blog. Honestly, I’m still piecing together those first few days with the help of family.
          I want to move on Thankfulness, Regrets, Hope and Dreams that everyone faces when they realize their time here on earth could be cut short… I want to do a separate blog on this those….. See part 2……

Monday, November 29, 2010

Nov. 29th Back at Emory 2nd admission

Hello all,
                 My neighbor Mr. Frank brought me here today! He cooked bear stew a few days ago and it was so good.  It isn't so bad coming back, 5 days compared to 22, ha! I have some business to conduct, you know.  The staff know me and liked that I had on my Goldie Hawn wig and red lips. I kind of missed these people, well we did spend a lot of time together.  I got a great room, which was a surprise because at Admissions they said one room, but when I got up his Mrs. Pat said they gave me a front room. Sweet.  I think one of my favorite nurses hooked me up.
               Once I finally got the room, the lady asked me if I was on the fast track but I didn’t get the memo, I had people in and out for about 2.5 hours. I just wanted to put my belongings away. Maybe next time I could say, “ Can I have 30 min PLEASE. “ I put some pics, cards, and a few Christmas decorations up. My pole is decorated with lights and garland. I have Christmas lights in the room right now, but that have to get them approved by the men that never come when something doesn’t work. I might bribe them with candy or my cousins BBQ.  The light is so nice and calming. I brought a little lamp but not a light bulb for it. I also saw the lady from the family I asked you to pray for… she is doing great with her treatment.
Click…. Click… Click                I’m hooked up now to the pump.  Now vital signs again.
             I will have 5 days of chemo treatment.  I will have IV chemo and 2 LP’s where they put it in my spine.  Oh, and the steroids are IV this time not just pills, holy crap. Who knows what great idea I could come up with on this stuff.  I told them they better give me something, or I may try to run both Emory hospitals from this room. The prayer request that I have with this treatment is that I will not get mouth sores which I’m told is the main that that happens with this round. Mouth sores, ouch.  Also, I would really like to be able to eat all this good food that I brought.
           Off to get an xray due to some pain in my chest…. Don’t worry, if you sneeze they call a code around here.
          Goodness, they won’t leave me alone. Now they want me to pee in something else.  I guess I’m not really on vacation am I?
 I do get room service in the morning.
Click… Click    I hope this helps my rhythm.

My sis came to visit over the weekend and we went on a walk!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nov. 28th Happy Anniversary Granny and Poppa

Today, my little, 6'3", brother Daniel is 20 years old. 20!! I love his dearly and he is one of my favorite people to be around in the whole world. I will have to tell you more about Daniel later. Todays Blog is going to be focused on my grandparents, Bill and Doris, who is having their 66th wedding anniversary today.

Bill and Doris…. The Love Story   Part 1: The Drugstore, then Marriage

It was March, 1944 on the University of Georgia north campus in Athens, GA. Bill Warren, my Poppa Bill, and Doris Wheeler, my Granny, were to cross paths on a warm spring day.  Pop, originally from South Carolina, was in Athens for war training school in the Navy and was 18 years old, about to turn 19 in June.  Doris was living in Athens with her family, after her parents settled down from the carnival and gallivanting in hot air balloons (those are good stories too) and was currently attending the business school located at Lumpkin and Clayton Street. They only had 11 grades then and she had already graduated from high school.  
                Doris was on campus with some of her girlfriends thinking about going down to the drug store for a soda.  Bill was on his way across campus on what he calls a “hot date”.  He had already thought he had fallen in love with a girl in Miami during the first part of his training. Being pretty full of himself, he decided he would approach this pretty group of ladies, eyeing the prettiest one, Doris Wheeler. Now Pop said that you should never talk to girl you like most first, and that you should always talk to one of her friends to get her attention. Sly, I say.
Doris acted like she didn’t give a hill of beans and talked about her fiancé and that they were going to the drug store. Doris was engaged to Howard, a boy she grew up next door to.  I’m sure my Bill took this as a challenge.  Doris has witty attitude that is very endearing, to this day, and is very beautiful.  Bill went to see this other girl for a while and then decided to do something that would change his life and countless others … forever.
 Bill waited till this group of girls were settled at the drug store counter, drinking sodas. The phone rang at the store, and the employee asked if there was a Doris Wheeler at the counter. Doris, surprised, got on the phone and was told that it was her fiancé, Howard, from the Army. I’m not sure how long my Bill had her going, 5 minutes maybe, but when she figured it out, she was perturbed, and curious. Bill asked her if she wanted to go to the movies, and she said yes.
                Now in 1944 there were a lot of rules for cadets. It’s amazing these men ever snagged a woman.  My pop couldn’t have a beer, couldn’t ride in a vehicle at all, and could only be out Saturdays and Sundays after chapel, which they were expected to attend.  One of the few restaurants in Athens was the Varsity. It was at the corner of College Avenue and Broad Street, and women were not allowed inside, due to the roughness and “men talk”. The Georgia Theater, at the time, had movies for only the cadets and their dates, a history fact the paper missed this passed year after the fire.  Maybe that was why Doris said yes, so that she could see a movie, or maybe it was because Bill was, and is, handsome and clever. My great grandfather, Fred Wheeler, didn’t know what to think about his handsome older boy that couldn’t even pick up his only child. Bill recalls that her father sat like a lump the day he had to drop her off at the movies.
Doris and Bill became “good buddies” and often discussed her fiancé and his “hot dates”. They then fell in love…  Bill proposed in the fall of 1944 at Fred and Eula’s home, in the yard. Doris said “I’m not sure.” with her mystic blue eyes starring him down. Then, she said yes, and that they were best friends meant for each other.  They were married on November 28, 1944 at the ages of 16 and 19, at their pastor’s home in the presence of a couple friends and family. Doris hummed the “ Chattanooga Choo Choo” as she walked across the room to her groom.
              There are many more beautiful stories to tell about these lovebirds.
          Happy 66th Anniversary, my beloved Grandparents, you are an inspiration to everyone that has ever known you and you have a hand in shaping who I am today. The following “Thank you” is a fraction of what you mean to me.

 Dear Poppa Bill and Granny,
            There is so much I am thankful for and you two are at the top of the list! Thank you for taking time to come and get me after my parents divorced. Thank you for the time that my mom’s car that my mom’s car kept breaking down and you traded with her. You gave her a car so that I would have a safe way around. Thank you for turning my bed down and turning on the night light to make my visit even more special. Pop, thank you for praying with me at night, I still remember that. Thank you for taking me to Bear hallow to see the dear and that you let me roll down the hill and get dirty.  I used to wet the bed and have bad dreams. You two never made me feel bad for that. You took me and taught me about fishing, and a little catching, and encouraged my love of nature.  Finding this wonderful place that we live in, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.  Thank you for the pets that that you had that I loved dearly: Ginger, Hannah from Savannah, Prince, Sheba from Geneva, Brandy, and Tuffy.  Granny, I thankful for your voice that I inherited. Thank you for the potatoes salad, hot sausage, YOUR spaghetti, boiled peanuts, and picked beets I may have never enjoyed otherwise. “Don’t knock it till you have tried it” you always say.  I still need to learn how to make your biscuits. Pop, from you, I get my inability to spell but also my knack for understanding and interpreting people. It astounds me what you have done for the mental health field in this State and that I’m able to follow in your footsteps to make a difference in someone’s live. I must get my heart for those with mental and developmental disabilities from you.
 Thank for you taking me on trips in the camper as a kid and taking me to New York as a teenager. Pop, it always stuck with me that you said “If you don’t enjoy your job, it’s time to find a new one. Life is too short. “I have already made one career change and who knows where life will take me now! We are still working on that list of all the different jobs you have had! Every month, it seems like you tell me of a new one.  I’m thankful that you went to medical school in your 30’s to pursue the next goal that you had. Granny, the mother of 3 boys, no washer and dryer, no microwave, no frozen steamable veggies…. You are some women.  I love how you say that without your mother, Eula May, you would have been lost raising Fred because he just seemed like a little doll. I guess you two are just as thankful to your parents for everything they did for your family that it was natural for you to keep on giving. When our house was hit by lighting again and we needed help and I was being prideful, you said, “What do you think we have been working for all these years if not to help our family?” I will remember that and hope that we will be able to do the same for our grand and great grand children.
Together, you have always supported me, encouraged me, provided for me, taught me, and loved me for who I am. You accepted and loved my step children from my first marriage and have forever touched their lives. You helped Michael and I make this place livable and safe. Pop, you have taught me to trouble shoot to save money and save things to save money. I have a “hell box” too. You two are the reason that we have been able to keep our head above water with some of our pride intact.  You have supported me through a marriage, divorce, a remarriage, a foreclose, Jonathan going back to school, a pregnancy, motherhood and now cancer. Knowing the trials that you have been through from wreaks, to plane crashes, lost daughter in laws, Altimers, being broke during the early years and medical school, the work that you too put into your lives to make it a great story, encourages me keep moving even when I feel like giving up. Your positive attitude, cleverness, ability to listen, to laugh at yourself, and watching you help those in need, whether human or animal, continues to make me want to grow as a person.  I know that you have steadfast faith in God and that he has never forsaken you.
Together, you have shown me that marriage is hard work but that if you are friends, it shouldn’t be like pulling teeth. Pop, I see you take care of Granny and Granny I see you take care of Pop. Now that one of you can’t hear and the other is low talker, I get to be the interpreter. I title I carry with me from house to house around this Farm with a smile.  I like to think that I’m helping take care of you by checking in, getting you not to over do it, and bugging you to talk to the doctors about something, but then I walk into to a healthy lunch of spinach, beets, and beans and get to sit in your peaceful home and talk about wonderful stories and watch you hold your sweet great grand daughter like she is the most precious treasure on earth.  I’m a pretty lucky girl.
              The wisdom that you two have could fill many books. I hope that I retain enough of it to get me through this life and pass it down through the generations. Your stories will not be forgotten… I’m going to write them down J I look forward to you telling me them….. at least 50 more times.

 I love you with all my heart! Happy Anniversary my dear sweet grandparents!

Heather WARREN Cape

Be the Match Nov 2010

I'm adding names to this list. Please, if your name is not on here, either leave a message, send me and email at heather.cape@yahoo.com, or send it on facebook. The numbers beside the names just mean that person knew of someone else that also signed up.  Thanks
Susan Haut-1
Amanda Elrod-1
Brandee Price-1
Shanna Freeman- 7
Carol Cooper-1
Nicole Scott-1
Kim Reid- 4
Tasha Lane -2
April Woodring- 1
Allison Head- 1
Shea Allen- 1
Carrie Chatham-1
Amanda Ferdon-1
Andy Tyndall-1
Stephanie Hunnicutt- 1
Christie Leveille- 1
Michelle S- 1

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nov. 27th Medical MJ

Hey Everyone,
I haven't updated you all about the next step in my treatment because I have been having so much fun!!! We met with Dr. K last Wed. and mapped out the main plan. I will be admitted to Emory for 4-5 days every 21 to 28 days for IV Chemotherapy. I will rotate between an A and B treatment with some Lumbar treatments mixed in. This round, starting this Monday, I will be on 3 different chemotherapy medications. I don't know what they all are, and I know some of you want to know. I will update you while I'm in the hospital. I will mostly likely be in the next time the week after Christmas. Maybe I can be in an awesome room for fireworks on News Years :). This will continue until the BMT in the spring. I will also be on the oral chemo, but we are still working the details out due to the migraines. I will most likely have to get some platelet and blood at some points between the extended stays.  So, I'll be back on 6E on Monday afternoon... ahhhh poor Heather.... non sense. I have people to visit, Family C, friends to see, poles to decorate for Christmas, bringing some music, and some business to conduct. Don't worry I'll be fine!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Nov. 26th Black Friday aka Heather stays at home

              It is curious how many things I have gotten that I have asked for this year. The next thing is staying at home for the holidays. I don’t care for the holidays for many reasons. It’s starting to get cold, work was always more stressful, and people seem to generally loose their mind. I more prefer to see family during the year instead just at a huge gathering.   I have never been one to like to be made to do anything and buying presents because you have to is not fun. Don’t get me wrong, I love gift giving, I just like to buy special presents for people as I see them and don’t like to wait for some product driven holiday to give it to them. I also enjoy making crafts for people instead of something else they don’t need.  Again, I have issues with authority. Over the years, I would just Christmas shop all year saving the special gifts in the wooden toy box my Dad made me. Sometimes I couldn’t wait and I would just have to give a present early and say, “By the way this is your Christmas gift too unless something creative hits.” I usually only do that to people that can handle it. This year is easy…. Pictures of Evalyn all around. Period.  There is no energy or time to go running around trying to find items that I feel good giving. Of course, I have a few good ones stashed away…..
              Black Friday freaks me out a little. Just the thought of it makes me want to pull the cover over my head. Speaking of Sleep… the time is 3:20am. My mom came home one time telling us that some crazy women had snatched power rangers out of hand and then there is always someone that get stampeded to death. Bet they wish they said home. Supposedly this year, there were people camped out days before Black Friday and skipped Thanksgiving all together. Jonathan and I laid in bed and discussed what we would do that for. We had to stay in the reality box…. Not like for you dog, or favorite mattress, something you all ready have, or 10,000 off a car you are buying. I really couldn’t think of anything. It almost bothered me that I couldn’t think of anything. I would camp to camp…. In the woods.
                Now I appreciate that there are some great deals out there and if you have to save the money, well fine. Jonathan's said a really good price on a big T.V. would have done it for him. I would be ok with him going if that T.V. also had a volume stabilizer, do they even make those? I’d like to think that if we cook at home a lot, use thrift stores, craigs list, and ebay to save money all year on needed items, I can splurge to possibly save my life. Now for some of you, this has become a family tradition and you are actually spending time with people you care about and you don’t get all stressed if a yellow power ranger is available…. To me this is ok…. Spending time together is good. What ever floats your boat. But for others, is possible that we have been brainwashed through constant advertising that we NEED all this stuff NOW? The book I’m reading now, “Through Painted Deserts”, talks some about this too. Concert Tickets…. I would camp out for maybe two days to see Michael Jackson again… not in the box though.

Nov. 25th Thanksgiving and " this hat"

                  So this morning, I decided that this cancer thing may be the best thing that ever happened to me. Don’t have to fix my hair, new opportunities, seeing God work in people’s lives. And I don’t HAVE to go anywhere? Being on the roads on a holiday is scary. Plus we have FIVE sides of the family. Do you have any idea the pressure in that? So this morning was so calming.During the diaper change I told Evalyn about our ancestor William Bradford that came over on the mayflower and how he was the governor of Plymouth and he had helped make a treaty with the Native Americans. Here is a website that has some info on it from his journal. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1650bradford.html. She laughed as a talked and I told her that I couldn’t tell her what we eventually did the the native Americans, it was too sad for little girls.  I made coffee to wake myself up and Jonathan and I fed Evalyn her first food… bananna’s.  She seemed to like it! There is a video up of her first bite. We played with her and then took a nap…. It was so nice. God I love my temperpedic mattress. When we got up we did “Skype” with my family in Cartersville… pretty cool. Daniel is getting pretty hairy. Yea, I thought no shave November was something my brother made up, I didn’t realize it was a phenomenon, I can see all these wives are shaking their heads.
                 ** The WARREN’s”  We had a small Thanksgiving five doors down at my Granny and Poppa’s. My Aunt Judy came up but my uncle mike had to doctor people that try to kill each other  over who is going to say the blessing. True story. We ordered Fatz Café and Pop and Judy made a few special “Warren” dishes.  With a baby, even going five doors down can be hectic if you are planning to stay for a while. Evalyn had the nastiest BM I have seen in 3. 5 weeks, Tuffy (grandparents dog) peed on the bed, and the camera was missing. I’m not fond of stuffing myself and then laying around in pain like a beached whale. It grosses me out. But I was starving. I guess knowing that I’m going to be in hospital for five days next week, feeling like who know what, I want to EAT something good while it taste good. Right before we ate, someone realized we didn’t have cranberry sauce and poppa was going toward the door…. Judy was going to jump in front of him, I briefly thought about tripping him, but he was just going to check the reserve can goods. I said that if I was alive today… we can do without anything else. Everyone agreed. Judy also brought my favorite squash casserole. She has a the recipe on a napkin that she used during an ER work day.  Plus we had chocolate cake and a ham cooked just for us! Thanks Amy Tate!
Aunt Judy and Evalyn

                    After we ate this wonderful food, Judy said she wanted me to open the present that Mike got for me. I don’t buy my uncle Mike presents unless I find something good… and I have a couple of times…. I like to think he returns the favor ;) Background: The day that my mom shaved my head was also the day that I need blood and I was a little grouchy because I felt horrible. It could have said, “ I won the lotto” and it would have sounded pissy even if I was happy about it. Sweet Judy was feeling bad for me losing my hair and wanted to know if she should come up there and we could have a ceremony. I said “I have hats.” No doubt in a crabby tone. She thought she had hurt my feelings but I wasn’t concerned with shaving my head… I just wanted oxygen to my brain. So Mike told Judy there there was one hat that I didn’t have……
This hat!

                Believe it or not, I needed this in the worst way. Mr. Jim takes off the scratched windshield of his pretty fast golf cart in the summer. Riding in the middle of the woods at top speeds, looking for the next Heron nest or whatever we are into, can be very dangerous. These goggles and leather fly cap may save an eye or keep me from getting a nasty scar on my bald head from a limb. Plus, now I have my Halloween costume for next year!! What a great gift. I love my uncle Mike and think that his sense of humor is far above what most people can handle. I wanted to call him so bad, but he works at the ER and was saving someones life, no doubt.
My Poppa and Me

                    We were able to see some neighbors at the  “orphan thankgiving party” and then Evalyn and Jonathan went to Monroe for a little bit to see the Cape family. My immune system is very familiar with my grandparents house so I don‘t have to wear a mask there… I couldn’t push it by going around more people and then having to wear a mask the whole time, no thank you. I did miss seeing everyone and sweet aunt Luanne sent a special treat home that she knows I like! I really missed bugging Jonathan’s little brother, Spencer. I could have gotten you good today J  I enjoyed the solitude and recorded a song that  I wrote years back . I hope that it will cheer someone up! I wrote this song in college after going through a break up and other stuff early adult drama and realizing that the sky isn’t falling down and I’m was going to be fine. I used to sing it a lot to my sister and step daughters . I also created about 5 more playlists on iTunes to get me though next week. I’m going to be blasting some Cake and Beck! A sweet treat today is that my step-daughter Corynne called me and I was able to talk to all three of the Gamboa Girls. Hopefully , I will be able to see them before I go back in the hospital. Corynne discussed washing fine China and the food baby, Rileigh said that when it was her turn to say what she was thankful for, she said that she was thankful that I was still here, awwwww.  Shannon is going to work on an art project to donate to the 6E floor… should be fly.
My sweet girls... when they were just girls. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Nov 24th Bob, Goldie Hawn, and 1st clinic.... and check out the new videos

This morning....

         Before we left for Emory for the appt. today, I got a text from the person I told you about, Family C.  She has ALL, like me. Bless her heart. I almost want to get back to the hospital sooner so I can help her through this. Well, not almost, but I’ll be back soon.  Please pray for her and her family, this next week is going to be pretty rough. Carolyn, the Wed sitter and good neighbor, said that I may be even more beautiful now. Goodness… I’ll guess I’ll just keep my head shaved; I never liked fixing my hair. Carolyn is so giving, cheerful, intelligent, and encouraging. I wish I could bottle it. 

Next time.... Marilyn or Betty
       I decided that I was going to be Goldie Hawn today since my Marilyn and Betty has not come in yet. I already had this wig that I used for dress up and it is super pretty. I have always wanted to wear this wig out places. I thought that a good place would be another church that Jonathan and I visited and I knew that we were not going to like. Ouch. Jonathan didn’t want me to wear it because what if we did like that church and then the next time I had different hair. I didn’t fight him; it was hard enough just to go somewhere. But, people might as well know that I’m a little strange right off the bat. I decided to wear a wig today, not to cover my head, not to have hair, but because it was fun and I knew that my mom and Aunt Judy would love it. I also wanted Dr. K to see the first actress before the other two…. Of course he didn’t know who Goldie Hawn was, I’m going to talk more about that with him but I gave him a break today. Instead of a big smiley face on my mask, I drew some sexy red lips. One man told Jonathan my hair was beautiful another wanted to know where I got it. The ladies at the counters now know me by the smiley mask and it gave them a laugh. I’m still working on their names….I’m going to be around for a long time, better make friends.
                   I gave blood to the vampires and then we proceeded to wait forever for Dr. K. He was super busy today and he told me the other day “I always run behind, I try not to but I do.” In a Lebanon accent. He’s worth the wait and as long as I get out before traffic that‘s all I care about. Luckily, there was plenty to keep us entertained. Mom was looking hip in her cute outfit and Judy brought some more of those delicious chocolates and a book about dogs… this time in coffee flavor. Now, we had some more people show up just because the stars aligned, I guess. What is funny is how many sides of the family we had together in the waiting room at Emory. My parents are divorced and I’m close to 3 sides of the family. Jonathan has 2 more side, so we have 5 “sides of the family”, no including that I still talk to my “ex step mother” about my siblings and we have a good relationship. I’m one of those too, you know. Nothing like the title step mother till you put an ex in front of it…. That will be a good blog.
                 I’m sure that we were a sight. I’m usually the people watcher but we were being watched today… I mean I had sexy lips on my mask and Goldie Hawn hair. We had my mom, my aunt Judy from my father’s side, Jonathan, me, my aunt Sharon that works at Emory came down to say hi and bring us some formula, and then my sister Anna and her mom Melanie were at Emory for an appointment. Whew! I had an entourage. I could see those ladies behind the desk thinking “do we have a rule about how many people can come back, or fit”. Leave it to me to break a patient room fire code my first time in the clinic. I want to be on.Emory’s board as the patient advocate, I really need to stay out of trouble.
                       For the appointment, it was just the 4 of us and conversations on babies, boots, and blood and who knows what else. At one point, I was trying on my mom’s boots and we were discussing calf sizes. Jonathan was starving was slowing eating Ritz crackers and trying to follow our 3 conversations. We had a great time with Dr. K., I think he is very nice. Jonathan found an article in sports illustrated about a marathon in Greece where they dressed up like Romans, so we gave it to Dr. K since he is running a half marathon on Thursday. He said he doesn’t do anything crazy like a full one, I thought, running is crazy. We mapped out the plan and had a few laughs. I like his nurse too, she is very helpful. Last week, Dr. K told me that he treated Nelly’s brother… who’s Nelly? Just some rap star. Still cool though. I told him that Shaq has CML and it would be cooler if he met him. He said yea.                        Maybe his people should call Shaq’s people. 
On the wall at the Clinic... I like it.
**WHAT ABOUT BOB?** When we got home, Carolyn and Evalyn were having the best time. The sweetest, best, content, happy, pretty, baby she has ever met she says. I called Mr. Frank, our super strong dock party neighbor, and he said that he would cat sit Bob for me for a little while. See Bob is a stuffed bob cat that stays in our house that I have become quite fond of. My fishing buddy Mr. Jim caught him and a fellow kitty in one of Franks traps years ago. They were trying to catch coyotes, and then had to kill the cats because there was no way to get them out of the trap and stay safe. Well, Stan and my Poppa bill decided they were going to send them off to the taxidermist. Bob kept scaring my Granny and told poppa that he had to get out of the house. So… he brought him down here. At first, I didn’t really like bob, he was more of a conversation starter and it was funny how the dogs would look at him sometimes. Picture of bob to come…..
                Then, he started to grow on me starting with naming him. Original, huh, Bob for a Bob cat. When I was teaching I had a hamster named Hammy and a hissing cockroach named Cocky. Hammy was loose in the school for an about 2 months and he was caught about 3 times his former weight.  So Bob had a prime location in the living room and I would put a hat on him sometimes or a necklace for July 4th. He actually won us the 4th of July golf cart decoration award because he was in the back, dressed up, and had one paw up as everyone waved and laughed. I had to give the prize to a little girl because she deserved it more. She was going around the tables at the picnic promoting and handing out vote for me coins. Oh, Sarah, you are so cute. 
Bob in his new home.
                    Then we had a baby. And that baby has stuff. Then Chloe needed a crate to use when visitors came over and they didn’t like being licked to death.  So poor Bob, down sized to the middle room hiding by the desk to the back room where he was at least protecting the back door.  So Mr. Frank has a lot of stuffed animals and his house just seems like a place that Bob would be happy and appreciated.  I was right. He has a great spot in the main room right beside the table! I do want him back, but he is much happier where he is now, and I can quite feeling bad about him being banished.  Frank, Evalyn, Jonathan, and I all BALD were discussing how happy Bob is there. The day just got funnier. Mr. Frank is one of the two strongest men, we know. We just thought he was made of steal and had some kind of oil that doesn’t smell bad. Mr. Frank took a step off the porch and I never thought I would see that look on his face. “oh, aw, what did I do that for, oh my feet.” Jonathan and I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. We waved goodbye and saying that we have found his Achilles hell.  Don’t worry Frank, your still the strongest J   I don’t think I realized how many stories there have about the wonderful people I call neighbors.  I have much to learn from them.  

Nov 22-23 First days home

house service and a side of meds    yum
           We had a great night playing with the pups, kissing on Evalyn, and watching one of our favorite shows, Lie to Me. At some point that night, Jonathan finished shaving my head. Ouch. My head is a little sensitive now. I wonder if bleaching my hair made any different. Oh well, the blue was worth it.  It was odd going through all the meds, sitting up my little station, and then flushing my own lines. At least I was with my Jonathan and we could laugh about it. And I had a beer and said “IT is good”.
           The first night back was a little weird, sleep wise. But really, I don’t sleep well anyway, so I was probably over thinking it. For the first time in 3 weeks it was completely dark, in my bed, no nurses talking in the hall way, no beeps from mine, or someone else room, no helicopters, no vampires, no waxing of the floor. It was calm and quiet. I think I slept about 3 hours that night, but it didn’t really matter due to the excitement of home. I think I got up and read or wrote. Now, sleeping snuggled up to my…. You guessed it…. Cutest little boy in the world Wallace was a relief. He is my soul dog. Snuggle with Jonathan, well, he doesn’t like to snuggle for too long and he has a cough, we haven’t even kissed yet. This is a funny story about my sweet husband. We were laying on the cough together, kind of snuggling I guess, and I noticed that he was a little frigidly. I got a little closer, closer, “I feel like I’m in a sewer!” he says. Well. We laughed and still laugh about that.  We both have our little things…. Mine is ringing phones… overload.

               The next morning I was laying in bed, Evalyn had already eaten and went back down, and I knew I needed to get up, eat, and take all that medication. “What am I going to eat? I’m used to room service; man that bacon was the only thing that hospital could make. Hmm… I don’t know. I have to eat”, I’m rambling to Jonathan. Then, I hear my poppa Bill trying to sneak into the front door, which he will do if he is dropping something off and doesn’t want to bother us. Like he could.  I came into the kitchen and my sweet poppa had biscuits, country ham, and a mug of coffee. Wow. Since, I’m especially fond of the salty meats, I gave him the biggest hug and kiss I could.  Just kidding, I missed my poppa very much and it was so wonderful to see him. He told me that he liked my hair.
                 I have been saving the little dishes, that came with the house as many things did, and I’m guessing that they are boiled egg holders. They little painted fruit on them and they are very dainty.  Ruby and Joe Lands, that used to have this as a weekend home, had a son that was a chef and would bring them little things from around the world. Now, when I ever say “come with the house”, you’ll know I bought this house fully furnished, linens, outbuilding stuff, dishes, full drawers…. Very strange to go through someone else’s house, be we did find some neat things to keep. And donated at least 90%. Back to the dishes…. I have never used these and decided that I’m going to use them as my pill holder in the morning. Out of the dispenser, into a pretty mini bowl, and sits there until I choose to take them.  I never knew why my Granny would take her time with her meds… now I know.
               We had the most wonderful day! We went on a golf cart ride with Evalyn and Wallace, unpacked and got organized and spent lunch at my grandparents. Jonathan had to go out to the store and we had to get quite a few things, only to realize that the gift card someone special had given us had $200 dollars on it! I do hope that God blesses them 10 fold… isn’t there a verse about that somewhere, anyone? Gosh, I’m not a big eater but that first day back, I ate and ate. At my grandparents we had cornbread, spinach, pickled beets, butter beans, chicken wings, mash potatoes… yea… this was lunch.  My grandparents has always wanted the chance to try and fatten me up a little, well, I had just lost 12 pounds, so let’s go for it J  Lunch was so tasty and felt like home. Evalyn played in her activity center a friend let us borrow. The most special thing that happened was that my Granny told me that I was pretty even with a bald head and that it looks good on me.  Sitting at the table with the sweetest couple you have ever seen eating some home cooking, it was an early Thanksgiving and I would not have wanted to be anywhere else on earth. Their 65th anniversary is coming up this weekend….. 65….. a lot of people do not live that long. One day, I will tell you about how they met and married. Classic 40’s love story, so beautiful.
                      It is amazing how fast a baby changes. I knew it was happening before but after 3 weeks, Evalyn is listening, seeing, and paying attention more. Her legs are so strong and she wants to stand up all the time. I felt before that she may not crawl and then found out that Jonathan never crawled. He went from cruising to trying to chase his brother, Robbie. Except in this case, it will be Wallace and Chloe. I thought I loved these dogs, but they are Evalyn’s favorite thing to laugh at and look at. They walk in the room and she looks for them before she can even see him. Chloe and Wallace are so good around her and will come and check on their sister. Evalyn has become a daddy’s girl these 3 weeks; she loves her daddy and thinks he is so funny. For a little bit, I think she kept wondering why my head looked different every time she saw me…. Hair, blue hair, no hair, hat, wig, different had, and what is that a turban or a do rag??  She got used to me pretty quick a starting smiling more instead of studying. Ahhhh, she remembers me J I’m her mommy. We have been singing, dancing, and reading. I had to start changing her while I was sitting on the bed due to my leg cramps, but that has been the only issue around taking care of my sweetie.
                           Sometime on Tuesday, when Jonathan was at the store and Evalyn was sleeping, I almost became OCD and started whirling about. See, when you are in a hospital room for 3 weeks, you know where everything is, everything has a place, everything is perfect, but not perfect. Weirdness.  My house is pretty organized, but I always have projects going and move things that will now be better here or there. I have Evalyn’s clothes and my clothes just so and we do a good job keeping the house picked up. Well, Jonathan is the neatest man you will ever meet in your life, so the house was neither dirty or a wreck. The floor was even vacuumed. There were just enough unorganized, unfinished projects, things that could use cleaning, that I could not possibility do all of it right then, that I felt a little scattered brain and did that “ what did I walk in here for… ohhh look at that… I should file those papers away…. There’s BOB ( you’ll meet him later) he’s banish to the back room, I should call Frank and see if he can stay there….oh yea, back room, I was moving the things that we are keeping packed for the next hospital back there…. Oh my record player, I missed you… “.   It kind of went on for that a little bit until I finally managed to do the 2 things I started out to do in the first place.  Looking back, I think I was just glad to be at home doing something and kind of being left alone to do it. I love my family, but I love my alone time too. I like to think I am the perfect mix of my Mom and Granny on that.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Posting Comments

Just a quick note about posting comments. Some people have said that they have had troubling doing so or don't want to get a gmail account. If you just want to post a comment it is really easy... and I do like your comments.
1. At the bottom of each blog you will see where is says "0 comments", or what every number is there.
2. Click on that and write your message in the box. Make sure you put who you are!
3. You have to click in the box under that box that says "Comment as".
4. Select Anonymous all the way at the bottom or you can click Name/URL and put in your name, leave URL blank
5. Click Post

That's it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nov. 23rd Discharge from Hospital- Wait I’m home… now I have to do what?


       This is for my own documentation, to help those of you that are newly diagnosed, and for those that are curious about what we are going through… let me tell you, it’s great to be home, but there is a lot of work to do.
        **HOSPITAL DISCHARGE** EVERY ONES DISCHARGE ORDERS are DIFFERENT- These are mine and ideas to help you get organized. Don’t do any silly.
        Days before we were discharged it made Jonathan and I feel so much better for him to go ahead and change the dressing in front of the nurse. It’s really not that hard, and it is only once a week.   I also requested to have the hypoallergenic dressings before I left the hospital. In my admissions blog I will write soon, and hopefully the packet Emory WILL have out to patients upon arrival, will mention that you can request the hypoallergenic dressing when your pic is put in, if you know that you have sensitive skin.
         WHEN AM I LEAVING: Because you don’t know what day you will be leaving due to your counts, it was best for me to set up rides for a two day period. It was better for us for me to find someone, besides Jonathan, so we didn’t have to find a sitter all day. So as soon as I found out about my discharge… mainly because I asked the nurse about my counts at 6:30 and know what the counts needed to be, I started setting up the day at 8am.
            I met with the discharge planner, a wonderful lady, and she let me know what all had to occur. I requested a reasonable discharge for no later than 3 pm because hello, Atlanta traffic is horrible. I politely let them know that if I was not out before Atlanta traffic, I was calling off my ride until traffic was over and they could then have this beautiful room that someone needed. I asked her to make my 2 day follow up appointment for the clinic so I could have that today. I call it a heads of states meeting because we are going to map out the big plan. I wanted my aunt, mom, and husband there.  I also went ahead and asked her if she could have my prescriptions for medical supplies, dressing kits and hefren for the pic line, sent down to the Emory pharmacy and I would go ahead and get that during the day. My ride and I got lunch from downstairs and I got the medical supplies. I requested that she fax my prescriptions to my home pharmacy because it is a huge order and I knew it would take a while. Now, any pain medications cannot be faxed in, so that one has to be taken in with the original prescription.  Many insurance companies make you use a specialty pharmacy for oral chemo. The discharge person is usually taking care of pre authorizing weeks before you leave the hospital, but if any changes have to be made, they are able to overnight the medication to you. In my case, we have to change the dose or the meds due to migraines.  Luckily all went well, and we were able to leave by 3:30. FYI, you can call Valet parking from the room and let them know you have a patient and to go ahead and bring the car around. It’s worth the extra money on the day your leave, believe me!
**Pharmacy Trip and needed supplies**
       Even thought we had sent the prescriptions hours ahead of time, poor Jonathan was probably at the pharmacy for an hour and a half. Make sure that you have someone to do this for you, once your home; you just need to stay there and rest. If I had it to do over again I would have called the pharmacy myself and explained the situation- cancer, mom, 1st day home, need husband.  The pharmacy had to double check everything and did a good job spelling things out for us. For example, one of my meds I can’t take with the calcium. One of them is only M,W,F. Then there are a lot of PRN meds. It is very important to get at least an am/pm mediation dispenser. I could not even imagine trying to figure this out every day.  Jonathan and I had a little med party. We put on gloves and put the meds in for the next week. Do yourself a favor; don’t stop your Colace cold turkey. You have been on it for weeks. Trust me.  I think it is very important to have someone do this with you and help you do it in case there is a time that you cannot do it yourself. Plus, it is very confusing and I have chemo brain right now and may be on medication that affects my judgment. We separated the PRN meds from the meds that I will take every day. Sometime this week, we are planning on going through the entire medication cabinet we have and getting rid of unneeded medications and even moving it to a higher place to go ahead and baby proof that part of the house. We keep Evalyn’s baby medical supplies separate from ours for the sitters.
                      As for the medical supplies, I was given a good tip by another person that “press and seal” made by Glade is better than the aqua guard for covering your pic in the shower. It is must easier on your skin. If you can’t stand the “magic mouth wash” they gave you in the hospital. (Swish and swallow), no the bio tech, the same person gave me a recipe that they use at the children’s hospital. You can make a batch of it and store it in the fridge. It is equal parts of sterile water (boil it), Mylanta, and children’s Benadryl. She said that it works just as well and she has not had any sores in her mouth yet. She is on month five.
**UNPACKING**  We did the the second day home. One thing at a time, remember you need to rest and play with your children J Well some of you will not have to do anymore extended stays at the hospital, but most with ALL or AML will be returning within 4-6 days of leaving to start the next round of chemo and will have many of these small trips away. It is important to make the process as simple as possible. Jonathan and I started unpacking and listed out things that I would need to take back with me each time, some necessities like my own toilet paper, to some things I want there like my own blanket. Then we packed everything back up and bought two of something’s that would be easy to forget…. Toothbrush, face wash,  etc.  These things will just stay packed up. I even have hospital slippers that just stay in a plastic bag for that time away. The things I did take out, we have that main list and will go over it again before we leave. Also in the admissions blog I will write soon, I’m going to include my list that you may be interested in looking at. You may not care about a decorative pillow or a fake plant, but it makes me feel better. You will find things that make you feel better and I hope you do!
My little med/dressings central 
        It made me feel better to have everything organized so that I didn’t have to think about it. I also wrote out what I needed to do when- Meds AM, weigh myself, take temp, drink water: Meds PM, take temp, clean and flush pic line, drink water. Dressing change and med refill day-Sunday. It also helps to document side effects- how often, pain 1-10, etc. Always call about anything new that they don't know about. 
         There are other little things about the first day home you might relate to.  It’s under Nov.23 rd Loving Life and is coming tomorrow.
Shoot me an email at heather.cape@yahoo.com if you have anything you feel that should be added to this that could help someone else.

Welcome home!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nov. 22nd I'll be home for Thanksgiving...do, do, do, dodo

         Wow.... sitting here at our wonderful little home.... I couldn't ask for more! What the heck am I doing writing, you ask. Well, my sweet baby girl is sleeping right now, poor Jonathan had to go to pharmacy to pick up   my 8,000 medications, and the pups are so worn out by the excitement they are laying out. Unpacking? Hmmm....I don't think so, not yet. I spent forever packing so nice and neat that I want Jonathan to be here to see it, because he may not believe it. I have to be back Sunday or Monday for 5 days so we are trying to just keep some things packs..... a well oiled engine.
         I am so blessed that my count were high enough to come home today. Besides some bone pain, I'm feeling great! As soon as I found out that I was on the discharge list, I started lighting fires under people at 8am.... just little fires. I thought it was reasonable to be able to be discharged by 3pm so that we could miss traffic. If not, then they couldn't have my room till 6:30 because I was calling my ride off till then. Plus, no one had to help me pack and I took care of a lot of stuff myself.... easy patient see.
          My super cool college house mate, Ted, was off today and came and took me home, along with his doll of a girlfriend. I'll call her K for now. I was glad she came.... it's always good to get that you my boyfriends "girl" friend from his past, out of the way as soon a possible. We decided we liked each other. All is well.
            I pulled into the Farm, that's where we live, and saw my good friend Carolyn. She is the most wonderful women and watches Evalyn on Wednesdays. She is the one that gave me the Donald Miller book "A thousand miles in a million years", right when I needed it. Anyway, I rolled down the window and saw tears in her eyes.... there it goes! We did a drive around the lake and I saw my Mr. Jim fishing on the lake in his yellow boat. I was told today that I can fish but I can't clean the fish. We pulled up and Jonathan came out with Evalyn, Chloe, and Wallace. I was crying happy tears of course! Wallace looked at me like "See, I knew she was coming back. Hi Mom!" We played with Evalyn for a while. She is so strong now!
             The Lord has done and is continuing to do amazing things. I had a friend from high school who said that coworker of hers decided to make me two hats and is mailing them to me. Nicole said that her coworker now feels that making hats for cancer patients is something God really wants her to do and I got the first hats she has made!
             **Prayer for a Patient** I mentioned a patient that Dr. P wanted me to talk to and we met last night. She and her husband are pretty shaken up but they are Christians and are leaning on Him. She asked a lot of questions and was glad to be able to give her some answers and a lot of tips that will help her while she is there. I didn't find out till the 18th day that there was a washer and dryer I could have been using instead of my underwear being dragged from Cartersville, Lilburn, and Athens and back. Hello. We will call them Family C, if you would like to pray for them. If she is still there next week, we are going to have a movie night, hooked to our chemo.
                  I'll have some more medical MJ tomorrow. Thank you all for the support you have given, it blows my mind. The Lord has bless us and I hope that you have also been blessed. Thanks be to God in the highest!
Now, I'm going to prepare the first bottle for my Rose that I have made in 22 days and we are going to read a book called "Puppies and Kittens".
I'm cleared for fishing my delicious bass!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Music Drive for 6E


        Hey everyone..... the patients here on 6E need your help! I'm looking for people to help with making this oncology floor, 6E even better. Most people are blind sighted by a new diagnosis and then told they are going to be away from home 3-4 weeks. Let's just say, unless you make it happen there is not a lot to do here. Next... we are going to work on the book collection, but one thing at a time.  We all have DVD players in our room and they have come DVD's to check out. However, the DVD is really high up and a lot of the older patients are scared of DVD's. Boo!  Music has been the best therapy for me during my extended stay here at EUH and I'm lucky enough to have an Ipod and computer. I think it would do wonders if each room had a small portable CD player/radio that is simple to work. I will take a while to get them in all 20 rooms here so we will start off with a few to check out. I'm telling you this will help these people heal. So I'm asking people to donate used portable CD/radio players ( they can have a tape deck too if it does) to purchase a working one from a thrift store, or purchase a new one as a Christmas gift for this floor.
                For those that would rather make or donate CD's that would be great too. Please make sure that they are labelled and in a protective case if you are making CD's. If your are like me, I have all my CD's on I tunes and don't really need to CD's anymore. We have backed up all the music so what is the point? I'm working with the director about getting a shelf in the waiting area for this. I'm also working on drop off points around Atlanta/Cville/Marietta/ and Athens if you would rather drop it off than mail it. Please just let me know where you are and I'll let you know where you can take it. Then, on my many 5 days trips here, I can bring the stuff with me. There are a lot of sick, lonely, and bored people here that need our help! Music can help heal!         
           You can email me at heather.cape@yahoo.com

Nov. 20th Taste the Steak and be Blessed

                   I tell ya, I really get “wound up”  like a little kid. Now that sounds country…. Wound up. Waiting on Jonathan and Marlin to come visit and bring me a steak had my pulse racing all day.  I kept having to tell the nurse and tech that I was just excited and had to wait for them to get here. They asked if  I wanted anything (meds)…. Um NO! Well, yes, how about a beer and turn of f this dang intercom in my room?  I didn’t say that.  While, I was waiting, I decided to put on some make up and regular clothes, all the while praying that God would at least let me keep my eyelashes and eyebrows. Well, I figured that the first time my husband sees me in a week and the first time he sees me with a shaved head, I should have something to distract him. So I used those eyes on my husband today…. And he said that I was beautiful. He really is the sweetest man on earth, besides my Poppa Bill of course.
             Antsy as I was, I decided I better do something before I blew up. I was like the whirling dervishes my boss talks about. Except they have good reason.  I was asked by the director if I would be willing to play and sing for some people when I felt like it. I had heard that there were people here with no visitors and were really lonely so I figured I’d start with them. It is super hard to sing and play with a mask on, so I can only do 1-2 songs at a time. I was told about a man named Mr. L but that he did indeed have some visitors today but said he would “like to hear what I sound like.” Ha ha  It’s strange how we think we are doing something good for someone to “bless them” and make them feel better , and then it turns around you are blessed more! I know there is a verse about that somewhere…. Or maybe I dreamed that. That’s what is so awesome about giving, whether it is time, money, or something else. The giver is the one that gets blessed the most! God can always find someone else to do his work, but the point is you/me being obedient to him. 
            I met Mr. L, his pastor, and some other church members. They go to a church in Macon and Mr. L plays the keyboard. That’s why he wanted to see “what I sounded like” because he is a musician also. We basically had church in the room for a little while. They sang along to some praise and worship and then we had a group prayer where they prayed for me and our family. It was wonderful and I walked out thinking, “and I thought I was just going to cheer someone up.” Oh God, your so surprising. I never liked surprises much because I always figured them out but with God’s plan, I’m starting to be pleasantly surprised. I also learned that I need to practice songs… with the mask on…. GREAT.                                              PRAYER NEEDED: I was asked by my doctor to visit another patient today. A young mother that just got admitted and is having a very difficult time. Please pray that I speak the words that the Lord would have me speak and to help her see that we can make it through this with God's help. I don't see any other way to do it.
        Finally, my hubby and Marlin arrived, just in time for me to collapse on the bed from spinning in circles. I could taste the steak and I ate it very slowly. It was delicious.  “Who is this Marlin person”,  you may ask. Well, I hope that he doesn’t mind me telling you a little bit about him. I’m not a fan of pissing people off, on accident at least, so Marlin… I’ll change anything you want me to.  Marlin is a friend of Jonathan’s from college and he lives in Orlando. Yes, who actually lives in Orlando, well Marlin does . I love when Marlin comes to visit. He is the best house guest anyone could ever have. He brings food and cooks…. Steaks and Milano cookies for me J He cleans up after himself, makes the bed, is the perfect mix between friendly and funny but is able to entertain himself for hours if he needs to. He loves our dogs and they love him. Marlin loves the Lord with all his heart and brings beer with him. Marlin listens to people and you can tell that he isn’t just thinking of the next thing he is going to say. Marlin is going to be the catch of the decade (ha ha) when God brings the lucky women into his life.  Being the successful match maker I am, I know that a certain friend of mine that lives very close and him would be perfect for each other. They have only briefly met though.  Maybe that is an attempt to also get Marlin to move to GA. Heck, he could move in right next door. I like him that much! While, he was here I FINALLY got to see a Helicopter outside my window in the daylight! I was so excited. 20 days here and hearing them and I finally catch one coming my way! I wanted to be pilot at one point and would still love to take flying lessons one day.

       After Marlin headed to Chattanooga to see the 3rd musketeer, Daniel B and family, Jonathan and I took a walk around campus. I had not walked much in 3 days due to feeling bad and the docs are serious about walking.  There is a white board in the hall with names on it and marks that indicate laps around are 6E floor. 21 laps is a mile. My name is not on the board. See, when your hooked up to whatever is being pumped through your veins. You can’t leave the floor. I tried to walk the halls one day, but as soon as I found out I could go outside… I was OUT. Well, I guess I’m going to have to get over that because I found out that when I’m back for my 4-5 days each month, I’m hooked up the entire time. Geez Louise. I’m going to have to be a hall walker, with my glorious bags hanging and rolling beside me. Maybe I can put some decorations on it to make it interesting or a sign that says “check out my bags”.  I need some battery operated lights for this next trip back and I’ll find a Santa to hang upside down on it. Music…. I’ll stick my IPod on there too. Maybe I’ll start a hall gang and we will call ourselves something clever.  You think I’m kidding.
                   Back to my husbands visit. I’m not sure if you all really know how lucky I am. I’m falling more in love with him every day. He is my best friend and I miss him so much. We are just right for each other! One of my future blogs, I’m going to write the wonderful story of meeting and meeting again. It’s a beautiful love story. We went on a walk and it was beautiful outside. I took my hat off and the sun felt good on my head and Jonathan did care if everyone was looking at my blue shaved head. We took some great pics and I wish we would have brought a blanket because we laid under a tree for a few minutes and it’s was glorious. We went back to the Museum for a few minutes and saw the Egyptian exhibits. I loved the mummy collection and jewels they have on exhibit. Again we were able to get in for no charge, so cool. By the time, we got back to the room, I was on the bed again. I’m really going to have some mental issues with this tiredness thing. I’m going to have to learn to do large math problems in my head so that I’m doing something.  Jonathan did a great job at demonstrating he can change my dressing for my nurse and he made me a great worship mix on the Ipod. I was sad to see him go but it was his mom’s birthday and I guess  I should share him J Jonathan told me about a dear neighbor of ours that passed away. Mrs. Ruth. I have known her for a long time. I’m so happy that she is home with Jesus now because she really suffered there for a while. Now I know that she is smiling and dancing. She is a hoot!

                  I decided to “call off” the other visitors that I had scheduled today. I don’t know why I say call off, Jonathan and I don’t know why I say weird things. Sorry, to those the planned on coming. I love you! Please know that it had nothing to do with you! I have been getting really tired easily and felt that I should get some needed rest and WILL my bone marrow to produce the number of neutrophils needed for me to go home in the next couple of days. Also, the more people I see right now the more chance that I can get sick. I’m just too close to going to home to risk it. I’m having no visitors on Sunday. Now, don’t you worry.  Yea, I love people and love to talk but I’m also one of those who need time alone. This is going to be a long road and I’m going to need visitors in March as much or more than I do this weekend.  
                  I pretty much rested the rest of the evening except for a short visit with another patient. Her name is C at this point because I don’t know if people want me to use their names. She was diagnosed this summer and also has ALL. She is such a beautiful and wonderful person. She showed me how to tie the scarfs, but I don’t have the right kind yet. She told me what to expect with coming back and forth and gave me some other helpful hits. It was neat to see how alike we are about somethings.  She has her own blanket, pillow case, toilet paper, etc to make it nicer. One thing that she does that will help me a lot is bringing a small lamp. Like me, she is very sensitive to fluorescent lights.  Hm… a pop up lamp.  It was great talking to her!
               I’m preparing myself to go home. Prepare you say? I can’t pretend that home is not going to have it’s frustrations. More about what I can’t do anymore or don’t have the energy to do.
                                                        Asking for help.