Sunday, September 1, 2013


On July 23, 2013 I was given my last chemo treatment.  As many of you know.. July 23rd is the anniversary of my birthday xxxxxx years ago.  When I first realized that my treatment would land on my birthday I contemplated moving it to another day.  I mean why would anyone want to spend the day in a chemo lab, hooked up to a machine all day on their birthday?

Well I decided that it was poetic.  I did not want to postpone or delay this 12th treatment, that it would be a gift.

It was a very pleasant day as I talked to family and friends all day long as the chemicals were infused into my body.  Two days later I returned to the chemo lab to return my "purse" after it finished its dripping into my system.   It was so liberating to be unhooked and free!!

As we rejoiced through this . my body was not always  ready to celebrate quite yet.  Though I have had relatively mild effects from taking in all those chemicals for the last 6 months it has taken its toll.  Physically, emotionally and mentally there is much healing that will need to be happening. 

I talked to a friend who has had extensive physical treatments for many years.  I was wondering how long does it take to recover from such things?  She told me she always gives herself a year.  I decided okay.. I will give myself 6 months.

In this past month as I have been discovering some of my more long term effects I have often thought about my daughter Becca.  Over 6 years ago, in her early 20s, she was living in Vietnam where her husband was stationed at the American Embassy in the Army.  One fall day she was rushed to the hospital as her blood pressure skyrocketed and she went through a sudden miscarriage.   They noticed a unhealed lesion on her leg and decided that she quickly needed to be taken by helicopter to the neighboring country for more extensive and better treatment.

There the doctors  flocked around her making their educated guesses to what was wrong.  Michael,  her husband often stood guard over her to allow her some rest because they were way too excited to poke and prod her trying to put a name on what she was going through.

Through a round of discussion they decided to fly her to Hawaii to the army medical center there.  They started her on a treatment for Lupus.  They were not totally sure that is what was she had ..its a tricky ailment but it seemed to be close enough to her symptoms.

The "Lupus" was decided, had gone into remission.  They wanted to complete her treatments and then release her.   However a problem developed .. Michael needed to get back to work in Vietnam.  Becca could not go back to Vietnam because she was now labeled with something that could not be treated with their medical facilities there in Vietnam.  The army decided to restation Michael but it was going to take a little while to get his replacement etc.   So Becca came to stay with us for a month or two.

I accompanied her to many of her doctor appointments and such but I never really totally grasped what she was going through.  After she went to Maryland ... I had continued to not have a true understanding of what she was going through.  Her treatments she was given had after-effects.  Her muscles in her shoulders lost much of their tone and ability to function.  She has required shoulder surgery to regain better mobility.  After the surgery she had to visit with a physical therapist .. working and working to get some strength back.

My thoughts have been about how hard am I willing to work to get back some of what is lost to me?
My daughter is such a good example to me to how one can live your life the best you can and work hard to improve the quality of it.  All these years later with more life adventures happening,  adding two lively boys... more moves and her husband being deployed for a period of time she is still "recovering".   She will be going through another surgery for her other shoulder.  She does not give up and she is very happy.

Last week the oncologist doctor gave Dave and I the very best news.  My cancer is NED- No evidence of disease!!!   I get to keep my life here on earth for many more years,  just as the Priesthood blessing I was given at the beginning of my treatment said.  I have believed it was true all along but this is a confirmation to that.

Life all of sudden seems so short.  I might live for 10 or 20 or even 30+ more years and each day is a gift that is given to me to do as best I can with.  Some days on my check-off list it might not seem much at all.  Other days it might seem like I am top of everything.

I am thankful that there is some kickbacks from the past 6 months treatments so I can remember and retain that remembrance how precious life is and it deserves much consideration in the simple and small breaths we take.  I am grateful that I have scars and fatigue and extra sensitivity to my fingers so I will remember to look at others in a new way.  Each one of us have struggles, pains and challenges that leave us wounded and winded and I can be more sensitive to that.

This morning I was reading a message from a very wise man that I respect a lot.  He is a leader in my church and has had his own struggles that he has gotten above so very gracefully.  He said:
"We have seasons in our lives .... Some are warm and pleasant. Others are not. Some of the days in our lives are as beautiful as pictures in a calendar. And yet there are days and circumstances that cause heartache and may bring into our lives deep feelings of despair, resentment, and bitterness.
I am sure at one time or another we have all thought it would be nice to take up residence in a land filled only with days of picture-perfect seasons and avoid the unpleasant times in between.
But this is not possible. Nor is it desirable.

As I look over my own life, it is apparent that many of the times of greatest growth have come to me while passing through stormy seasons."

I will continue to love the sunshine and respect the storms.  Thank you for being part of my well-being.  I hope I can find ways to show my gratitude and love and be a part of your joys.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Light at the end of the Tunnel

Hello all!

It's July!!

I am very excited about July because in 23 more days will be my last chemo treatment!!!

Last Tuesday,  June 25th was my 10th treatment.  When I met with the doctor he was very pleased for me that we were soon heading for the finish line but he assured me ... that yes, they will be carefully monitoring me for the next many years to make sure that I do not have any relapses.  Of course on one level of my finite understanding I knew that that would be the case. This would be over.. but not all things would be over.  Yet, his telling me this brought me down to the reality that though I could resume many parts of my life again.. some things will just never be the same.

I stewed about that for a few days.  The thought of being under the watchful care of educating guessing doctors for maybe the rest of my life seems like I will continue to give up so much control over my own life.  That I would be under their mercy in a sense how many colonoscopies I would need to be subject to.. what medications I would have to take.. and for how long etc. etc.  For such an independent person as me I was not finding the joy in it. 

It is not unusual that one struggles a bit with some depression as the treatments progress.  Loosing site of the overall picture can easily happen.  I started swaying into the very blue feelings soon after going through the second port surgery.  I did not feel well and started watching lots and lots of TV.   I got grumpy on many occasions. 

One can sometimes grit their teeth and determine.. okay.. lets just get this over with and get back to normal life.  Yet, one's journey in life is often all about change.  Changes that happen because of circumstances or changes because of the natural consequences of the choices we make.  Through our life we get to see how resilient we are, not how much we can get back to what we thought should be normal.   "Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever."  

Ok.. so here is an example of my wake up call.  Last Friday I was on my 2nd day of being chemo saturated.  I did want to do anything .. I felt justified if I just vegged out and did very little.  Yet, I decided to fight it.  I had a goal in mind.  We had invited the missionaries over for dinner and I knew they would not be hard dinner guests. 

I made myself care about the little clutter around the living room and went slowly about putting things away.  Yes, I stopped and did not do it with my usual vigor but it got done.   I went out and got Papa Murphy pizzas.. because in my normal world.. Friday night is Pizza night after all.  I put a simple green salad together and had Dave wash some grapes.  Ta da.. dinner.  Then... to push past my fatigue I did not let myself talk myself out of making some cookies.  It is really no big deal.. but on chemo brain.. you are fighting your body and your mind.  I won.  =)

The young missionaries came over, enjoyed the dinner and we chatted about some important and fun things.  I did not feel the effects of the chemo hardly at all the rest of that night!  

Saturday.... I drifted about and slept most of the day.  Sunday.. once again I determined I was going to endure through my usual Sunday routine, which includes a 3 hour block of church services.  After the first hour I thought.. oh I should just go home.. I did not feel well.  Yet, I stayed, suffered through my infirmity and it was good.  

I found I could suffer through .. and endure.. and rise to the top.  I do have much control over my life and always will.  Maybe I can not do all so energetically that I have been able to do before.. but I can do something and I can find satisfaction and joy in those acts no matter how simple they are, how long they take or how few of them I can do at once.  I am realistic enough to know that I will still have my pity parties of how I think my life should be.. but I have had these experiences and others to show me that I am one of the resilient ones and I can bounce back from the setbacks of life.  =)

I am grateful to my medical team that is helping me have the best life I can.  I am thankful to my husband, my children, my sisters, my brothers, my parents, my friends, and all else that are supporting me and showing their concern and care.  I hope your life shows you how resilient you can be too.  See you at the end of the tunnel!!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

In the middle of it all.

I am happy to report that my vacation away from Chemo last month was awesome!

I spent a wonderful week+ with Kimberly and David Jones.  We went to doctor appointments and we got things ready for Baby boy Jones to come.   I also got to go to a baby shower.  OH!... and it was California.. so I did have to go see the waves crash against the shore!   It was so nice to see how much support and love was being given to this sweet little family.   It helped a lot to see such service in action so that I could take that comfort home with me that they would be okay.

This is out of time sequence.. but after I got back.. Elijah Matthew Jones was born on May 5th.  He was a healthy 7pds 2oz. and has a head of nice dark hair.  Sadly I could not be there .. happily others are able to help.  =) 

After California I flew to Utah to participate in Bethany's graduation from BYU.  It has been about 17 years since my oldest went to BYU and so one more chapter seems to be closing to the bundle of memories we have been collecting from that beautiful school.  Not all my children attended BYU but I am very proud of each of my children's accomplishments as they step up to take on their adult lives.  I am so glad I was able to share in this moment with Bethany. 

I am simplifying things .. and leaving lots of interesting details out.. but basicly.. after the graduation Dave and I flew to Arizona.  There we met up with much of our families that live there, to witness the "sealing" of Dawn to Vickie and Ben in the Mesa Arizona Temple.  For those who do not quite understand what that means.. and why its so exciting please talk to us personally and we would be happy to explain.  Suffice to say.. it was one of those moments of joy that you want to treasure up and keep alive in your heart.  I am so pleased to be part of an eternal family unit that are striving to stay connected forever. 

So.. I came back from this lovely time.. and back to Chemo land and more snow.  Treatment 6 was celebrated as the half-way point. 

I arrived back from my trip late late Monday night.. or was it early early Tuesday morning?.. and then went off to the Chemo lab that same Tuesday (April 30th).   I had 2 weeks of being mostly normal.. so in some ways I was ready to face the queasiness again.. but in other ways it seemed a bit harder. 

The following week (May 8th) I was scheduled for the virtual colonoscopy and CT scan, to see if the chemo was working or not.  The prep was easier to take then then the colonoscopy that I had in Dec.  I did have to follow a liquid diet and take certain cocktail things at certain times the day before.. but it was not too bad.   The hard part was when I was laid out for the machine and they had to add some gas to expand my colon inside so they could take better pictures. :>   I endured it and then I got to go home and eat some real food.  =) 

When I went to the 7th treatment on May 14th the doctor came in with my lab results from the v. colonoscopy and CT scan.  She said... I have good news.. all looks well!  The liver is still NED (no evidence of disease) and the colon also seems to be very clear of those pesky polyps. =) =) =)   Of course that does not mean that there are not some teeny tiny ones or cells that want to be those things.. but none are big enough to make the screen test.  So..  the chemo seems to be working.  I believe also that the power of prayer is working.  So very grateful!

Well.. the next day I was feeling pretty good so I went out to run a few errands.  My port has all along been a bit glitchy and I think I mentioned that from my first treatment.  It has been hard for the attendants to access.. and the last couple of treatments they have not been able to draw blood from it.  They could get the chemo infusion to go in.. but the blood drawing did not work.  They said that happens sometimes.  

Anyway, I went to do my couple of errands.. and since my port is on my left-hand side.. when I drive my seat belt rubs up against it.  I tried to be careful with that.. but somehow it must have gotten bumped.  (I was carrying around my little purse thing with the 48 hour drip system)  That night I noticed that there had sprung a little leak.  I knew that was not a good thing so I called the Infusion medical office and they came over to have a look at it, clean it up .. and reattach it. 

The nurse unattached my infusion line.. and got the little bit of chemo cleaned up.. and then tried to reattach my infusion line.  She could not get it to go into its proper place.  She tried 3 times and decided after talking to her back up person on the phone.. that I would have the night off from chemo.. but come into their office the next day to get it reattached. 

Dave and I got to the infusion lab and the nurse there decided, yes.. this was a very trickie port and she decided to contact my oncologist office since they were the ones to usually attach the line.  They had me go over to their office.. and there they decided that it was now time to figure out what was going on with this port.  So off to the hospital I got to go to have a radiology dye study done.

Well guess what..  those nurses there were also having a hard time attaching their line to my port so they could put the dye into my system.  There was about 2 different nurses trying to determine what to do.. and they called in another that fortunately was able to attach the line and then at last, the dye study began. 

Some of the results were shared with us after the they had a chance to look at the x-rays.  There seemed to be a sheaf of enzymes that had grown around the port .. because my body did not like having this foreign object in it.  It was not unusual but it was to be determined if the sheaf was going to be removed (and grow back again?) or the port replaced?.. or what?  It definitely was stopping the blood draws from happening. 

Dave and I went back to the oncology office where they reattached the infusion line so I could finish my treatment that had been interrupted.   I had some mixed feeling about this.. because.. it would be Yay! if they decided to forgo it..  but Boo! if they decided to forgo it and then add another treatment to my schedule.  So I decided to choose to look at it as a good thing.. I would have to finish the treatment but I would not be having to add another one.  The next day it was unattached to finish treatment 7. 

This last week I received a phone call on  May 21st.  Further examining of my e-rays showed a couple of kinks in my port lines (they are inside not outside).  Soo.. they scheduled me for some outpatient surgery Wed. May 22nd to replace the port.   The lady there said it would be better to put the port on the right side.. (they replace trickie ports quite often).. but the ones they placed rarely had to be replaced.  (they did not put the one I had in)  So..  they gave me some light sedation.. took the left-hand port out...  and put the right-hand port in. I am getting quite the collections of holes in me it seems. 

I declared Thursday May 23rd PJ day.. I hope you all had a good one.  =) 

Once again, I am so grateful for the support I have been receiving in word, thought and deed.  My life has slowed down quite a bit with all this.. but its not unbearable and is full of great hope that I will be able to return to a faster pace after the chemo is over.  Some things will not be the same.. but life is one constant change so that is okay.  Some things will be even better as I am becoming more and more aware how precious each day is and not take for granite all that I have been richly blessed with.

Thank you friends!  Treatment 8  will be May 28th... then 4 more to go.  =) =) =)

Monday, April 15, 2013

And now ....there has been 5!

Tomorrow I get to go on vacation from Chemo!

In the next 2 weeks there are family events much like at Christmas time that I do not want to miss and I am off for my adventures.   I had my fifth treatment last Tuesday and with this trip I will be postponing  my 6th till I return at the end of the month.   If all is going well ..then I will be halfway through!

 I have found that through this journey that having things to look forward to and participate in (as one can) is such a great way to buoy up ones spirits.  One day I was contemplating this concept and I finally grasped the idea .. why does one go visit the sick and afflicted?  You can not cure them.. its kind of uncomfortable to see them not well...  and sometimes they are in such poor health they can not really respond to you.  Being such a healthy person my whole life.. I just did not get it.   What difference does it really make?

Well.. now I understand much better.  One can be like a water pitcher to a wilting plant.  A little sunshine to someone who has a little cloud over them.  Others can be a wonderful distraction to those who are struggling with anything in their lives.

I first experienced this for myself a little while after my first treatments.  A friend wanted to go out to lunch with me.  I was not sure how I would do.. but I decided to attempt it.  We went to Olive Garden and enjoyed their soup, salad and bread sticks.  As we talked I started feeling this weight come off of me and I felt sooo much better! 

My daughter and her 2 boys also served me so many times in this manner.  Where just being around them uplifted me and I was able to rise a little above the chemicals and side effects that has slowed me down in so many ways.   In the middle of March my daughter and her two boys were able to go back home and be reunited with their husband/Dad who has been serving in Afghanistan since July.  Dave traveled with them for a business trip in DC.   

That could have left me here by myself but my sister Karen came to be with me.  =)   Most people have more grand plans when they come to visit Alaska... hers was very simple.. she wanted to see for herself how I was doing and come help me in anyway she could.  So for the 10 days she spent her time uplifting and serving me.  My house sparkled.  What a wonderful time I had during a not so wonderful time. 

Others have brought in meals, books, videos.. and best of all their encouragement and smiles.   Text messages, phone calls and emails have also been a great source of upliftment.  =)  And.. Dave played a game with me that he does not like at all.  How nice is he?  As I said.. I never really understood what a difference these things can make till now. 

I seem to be going through an almost predictable cycle each 2 weeks as I have been having my treatments.   I get my treatment on day 1... then carry around a pack for another day and a half which drips more chemicals in me.  I started feeling a bit queezy.. and sometimes have other side effects also..  When I  go get the pack removed and I feel a bit of uplift from not having it to drag around but then its like I am brim full of all those liquids.

For the next few days my mind is hard to focus.. trying to answer questions is very laborious ..  and I feel a bit seasick... but then it starts to ebb.   As I go into the next week I start having longer periods of time that I feel great and try to accomplish a few worthwhile things.  I have learned to appreciate those days. 

When I return from my vacation.. I will be getting a virtual CT scan which is a little less intense then a Colonoscopy.. it takes pictures.. so they can see if my treatments are working.   When my doctor brought this up.. it was not my usual doctor but a rotating one.. and she said it just that way.. this needs to be done so we can see if the treatments are working or not.... and my first internal reaction was.. .What?  This could be all for nothing?? 

I calmed myself down and thought it through.. yes.. they had always said a percentage of people are not healed or cured .. or go into remission from these kind of treatments.   She did not say anything new... I just had not really thought about it all in that way.   However, I do not believe that I have anything to worry about.  My faith is such that I asked for and was given a Priesthood blessing from my husband and by my father .. both said in these separate blessings that my journey would not be easy but I would have many years of health to enjoy my family in.  I believe that those blessings came from a heavenly source that has more insight into my life then I do.   If I was not going to be healed I believe my blessings would have said so.   So I know that I will be ultimately okay.. and in the meantime.. you all help me be okay from day to day.  Thank you for your love, support and prayers!

Cya!! .. I am going on vacation!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A new kind of Normal

I made it through my first round of chemo!  There were a few days I felt a little less then human but for the most part I was pleased that I was experiencing the lesser end of the possible side effects.
Yesterday was the beginning of round 2.  One of the side effects that I will get each time is a sensitivity to cold.  The first round I felt a little bit of that.. but this time it kicked up a notch or two.  Dave and I went out to lunch after I was through with the lab infusion.  I asked for a glass of water and the waiter brought the usual ice water.  I picked the glass up.. and got bit of tingling in my fingers.. when I sipped it.. I got a jolt in my mouth.. and I thought.. ok there it is.  Just what they told me could happen.  I asked for a straw and gave Dave some of the ice cubes but that was still too cold for my mouth.  I then asked the kind waiter if he would give me a glass of water without ice cubes and room temp.  which he quickly did.  It did the trick.  =)

When I got home .. I found that this sensitivity also came from touching things in the refrigerator and freezer.. so hot pads are now my new best friends.  This sensation should go away after a few days.. though as we go on it might last longer and longer.  If it lasts the whole two weeks then that medication will be switched to another one ... typically by round 8.

A big difference this time around is that I am not really experiencing the queasiness I did the first time around.  It could still happen this weekend. . but right now.. no queasiness.  Yay!

Which .. it seems that the worse symptoms will be there from days 3-7, but once again.. I have had bouts of some of them but nothing that I can not handle.

I am so grateful for the outpouring of love that has been extended to me and my family.  Becca has the brunt of the daily household chores etc.. and has been a trooper.  Thankfully there has been sweet angels of mercy that have come in from time to time to help her with the lively duo that rock our world at times... a couple of the cutest boys there is.  These angels have brought us meals, helped clean up and have entertained the boys.  It has been wonderful.   And the powerful prayers that have been given.. they are working! Thank you! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One down ... 11 to go

I arrived at the oncologist office before 10am this morning.   It being my first treatment there was more paperwork to fill out, blood work and the staff to meet.  I loved loved the comfy easy boy chair. 

 My nurse attendant had a cute accent and a quirky sense of humor.    She had a lady bug watch on and said that she had about seven different character watches.  She helped me get set up and explained the steps to the procedure I would be getting.  It did not sound too bad...

The big room I was in had about 12 comfy easy boy chairs set up in a box formation  and by noon they were all filled with different people with different treatments going on.  One lady came and greeted me .. having been told by a mutual acquaintance that we would be there at the same time. 
Her treatment did not take so long but she said she would be going back again tomorrow.

Dave hung out with me and was able to get some work done from his computer.  I got to bring out my Kindle and began reading  "Edenbrooke" as the infusion went on complete with some crackers and juice.  I even had a little tiny nap too.

A lady from a place called "Great Land" came and explained the pack I would be taking home with me .. for the 46 hour infusion.  Its a interesting little gadget.. very portable. 

How do I feel?  No dramatic side effects so far.. but the expectation is that much of that will not kick in for a couple of days anyway.  The attending nurse kept encouraging me to keep an open mind and positive outlook because much of the healing process is not only physical.. its emotional and mental also.  That each treatment would be its own separate experience... so should be treated as such in my mind.   So yay!  One down .. well in 40ish hours.. one will be down..   and the aftereffects I will monitor for the next 2 weeks for the whole experience and give a report before my next treatment (Feb 26th).   

One little tender mercy...  in putting the needle in the port... my attending nurse was having a bit of a hard time for some reason.  She asked another nurse to come and check it out..  I said a little prayer that they would be able adjust it without much trouble.. and very quickly they got it on track and all was well.  She marveled several times how easy it was to adjust the needle, getting in its place and I smiled knowing that she had had some divine help.   Such a little thing but so sweet.  Thank you for your prayers!    They are a tremendous power.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Plan

It has been a little over 2 weeks since my surgery.  I am feeling pretty good actually.  I have been healing very well and getting lots of rest.  Today I went to my surgeon for a follow-up check up and he seemed pleased with my progress and thought it all went very well.
Once again I want to thank you all for your prayers and love.  I feel very bolstered by you and I so appreciate it.

So now on to step 2. 

Yesterday I had a visit with my oncologist doctor Mary Stewart.  She reviewed my increasingly large medical file and asked Dave and I questions about my surgery and the journey I had taken to our discovering that I had cancer.    She listened attentively and was very nice to talk to . 
She then proceeded to educate us on what was going on in my colon by drawing some pictures and explaining the development of cancerous cells.     

First .. my liver is NED .. which is what everyone wants.   It stands for No Evidence of Disease.  She carefully explained that it does not mean that there is no cancer left in my liver.. they just can not see any with all their different ways of testing.   The treatment that I will get should mop up any rogue teeny tiny cancer cells that may still be around.
My colon has the 3 active Nodes and 17 potentially active ones if left untreated.   She believes that chemo will be the best way to combat them.  The plan she told us is a standard Colon Cancer Treatment and has been used for about 3 years now.  Up to date for 2013.
The treatment that she has prescribed for me is as follows:

Two things will happen during this next week.  One -I will have a port put in by my surgeon within the next week.   And 2- I will be tutored further by her assistant on Friday about the medicine they will be giving me, the possible side effects and the procedure that we will following in detail.  

Then I will be ready to go to their big room with all the lazy boy chairs.

This treatment is called  m FolFox 6

It will be a series of 12 two week rotations.  So roughly 6 months.
Each 2 week session will include the following:
Day one.. come into the office .. get a blood test to make sure I am at optimum health.
Then proceed to the lazy boy room.  There my port will be hooked up to the series of medicines that will be infused into me.
Folinic acid
leukovorin     .. for about 2 hours

5 Flourouracvil
5FU    .. will be administered but I will be going home with a little container that will continue to be infused for a total of about 46 hours

Oxaliplatin .. for about 2 hours

So.. about 5 hours in the office... another couple of days of the portable infusion.. then 11 days off. 

Then repeat.  12 times..

She said this particular treatment does not take away much of your hair, little or no nausea, and my immune system should stay fairly strong.

My first question was.. can I still travel?  She said yes you can.  I decided I really like this doctor.  =)  It will be a bit complicated and details have to be worked out to receive treatment in other places,  but if all goes as planned I do not have to miss Bethany's college graduation.. or hanging out with Kimberly and her new baby son!    And if everything goes really really well.. then I should be off this part of my treatments by Melynn's baptism in August.  =)

I did get a little upset today when I received a phone call telling me that I should set up another appointment with my colonoscopy doctor .. a virutal colonscopy or CT before the series begins too.  From my understanding of yesterday I thought we were not going to have to do that till after all the treatments were finished... . but apparently the 2 doctors (Doc Stewart and Doc Sahagun) spoke and decided I should have one before it all began.   Well I realized that I had a lot of resentment to wrestle with as this Doc Sahagun was the one who wanted to rush me into surgery before Christmas, without me really understanding anything about what was going on with my body.. and made it quite clear that he did not believe that I should be traveling etc...  So I have taken a deep breath.. yes I have questions to what this is all about.. but he is a good doctor.. maybe a bit too enthusiastic but it will be fine.  What is a CT compared to all the other fun stuff I get to do?  (I will insist on a bit better cleaner outer.. I have heard of lots of alternatives and I hope to use one)  =) 

I love phone calls, notes, and visits so please do hesitate to contact me.  I will also do my best to let you know the ups and downs of the next 6 months. and hopefully all of me will be NED.  =)