Tag Archives: Boise

Update 08/12/2009


In a land far, far away…or at least that’s how all good stories should start, right?  It’s been quite a while since I’ve updated.  There’s plenty to tell.  So grab a cup of coffee or maybe an iced tea or a Diet Coke, sit back and get ready to read away.



June 13th was an amazing day for me!  I got to return to Boise for the first time so I could watch my friends graduate from the Master’s program we had all enrolled in a year and a half earlier.  I had been looking forward to this for months and even caught myself smiling as my plane was landing.  I was thrilled when they invited me to join in the class picture; little did I know I would be stunned later (in a good way, of course). 

            I had talked with the program director several weeks before graduation and let her know how proud I was of the cohort and all of their hard work.  I had spoken with several cohort friends and knew just how much time and energy they were putting into their work.  Not only that, many of them took time out of their days to stay in contact with me and my treatment progress.  THESE 25 PEOPLE ARE TRULY AMAZING.  I wanted to hand them roses as they came across the stage to receive their diplomas. 

            What happened next had me cracking up.  We stopped on the way to Boise State to pick up the flowers, I even counted them to make sure there were enough.  S there I sat in the audience waiting patiently for my friends to take their place in line.  I unwrapped the flowers only to realize that the 30 flowers on TOP equated to 10 flowers on BOTTOM.  The stems ran together!  I looked at my Idaho mom sitting next to me in horror and said “Quick! Peel!!”  As fast as any 4 hands could work together we began to separate all of the flowers so I would indeed have 30.  All the while I was cracking up and struggling to stay focused.  Flowers in hand, I made my way to the stage.  Ever the jokester, I decided to ask the guys in class if they would “accept this rose” in my best Bachelorette fashion.  Nobody got my joke.  I suppose while I had been watching TV, they had been putting sweat and tears into their projects.  With the flowers handed out I started to head back to my seat.  My work was done and I smiled as I looked at my friends. 

“Don’t go too far, Heather”. 

I turned to see it was Terah, the cohort leader.  I froze and instantly felt my eyes fill with tears.  From that point on, I know she spoke but I could never tell you what words came from her mouth.  I looked down the stage to where my friends were now standing and cheering, clapping.  What were they doing?  THEY were the once most deserved of the ovation.  They had worked so hard!  Once I was adequately numb I started to head back to my seat.  Halfway down the aisle I was quickly summoned to take a seat with the graduating cohort and exit the ceremony as one of them.  I am so blessed to have friends like this.  I have never had an experience like this.  The cohort’s explanation?  I need to get out more.


Update 12/15/2008

A week ago I went for additional scans: a full body CT scan as well as an MRI of my head.  The good news is the head/brain MRI came back entirely clear!!!  Unfortunately, the CT scan showed not only recurrance of some of the previous tumor sites, but additional growth and metastasis. 

So we have wasted no time getting the ball rolling on the start of a new treatment plan.  Last Wednesday, my sister Melissa flew up to Boise and we packed up what I would need for an extended trip to L.A. (including my two kitties Lefty Lucy, and Scioscia) and we quickly headed south in my car. 

Before we could leave Boise, however, my wonderful cohort friends came over for an evening of hilarity and laughter.  I was really glad to see them because I so wanted them to know that regardless of this year’s challenges, it has still been the best year of my life.  To which they quickly informed me that I needed to get out more!  Ever the smart asses…

Mel and I took several days to drive, stopping to spend the night in Provo and Las Vegas.  Ironically, a friend of mine (Dr. Popcorn Chicken) was at a medical conference in Vegas at the time, so Mel and I got to spend an evening of hijinx with him.   He wanted tattoos…. I was strong enough to decline!

I’m back at Mom’s house now and we’ve already had our first dose of In N Out burger.  We have an appointment with Dr. H at the John Wayne Cancer Institute tomorrow at 11am.  I’m eager to hear what he has to say…

Getting ready for 7.21.2008-7.27.2008

Lots of doctors appointments set up for this coming week !!

Monday – meet the Head and Neck surgeon.  I’m not too sure what this will entail.  He doesn’t have a ton of information to go on.  I would think he would need to have the imaging results in order to make some determinations.  The nurse said this was primarily going to be a “meet and greet” with the doc.  The only thing that is kinda freaking me out about this is the guy was supposed to be on vacation this week and now he’s coming in to meet with me.  That seems odd.  Especially without test results.  We’ll see.

Tuesday- tests, test, and more tests.  I’ve got to be there in the afternoon and have to deprive myself of sugar and the sacred elixir called caffeine for 6 hours prior to going.  No caffeine for six hours???? The only time I ever do that is when I’m sleeping.  UGH.  Blood work, MRI’s, and PET scans is what they’ve told me have been ordered.  Here’s a pretty cool link explaining what PET scans are http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=PET&bhcp=1

Wednesday- so far looks like a day off.  Mom flys in around 10pm after flying all day.  It sucks for her, she’ll be on a business trip and there are no direct flights in Boise from NYC so that means she has to fly from JFK to LAX and then come up here.  Yuck.

Thursday- return to the dermatologist, Dr. B., removal of current stitches both in my head and on my face.  Probably not a lot of information will be exchanged between myself and him, but I’m sure Mom will have a boatload of questions.  I’m curious to see if she notices the similarities between him and my doctor in San Diego.  It’s really eerie.

Friday- first appointment with the oncologist.  This will be the big day.  Most, if not all, of the tests should have results and hopefully, we will be able to find out the extent of this thing.

On a lighter note, the youtube page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1FamHrhSwM now has over 1,200 hits from people looking at my scalp!!!