Sunday, September 30, 2007

So Much to Look Forward To

We have had a wonderful time here at the Mountins & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Fall Conference. So good to see many friends - booksellers, book reps, etc We've gotten lots of advanced reading copies of books. Our hotel, the Marriott, has the most conformtable bed, so I've been taking naps in the afternoon which is really helpful.

We have learned a lot at this show. Robert wants to do a You-Tube and a My Space for the bookstoe. So watch for that later.

We got to have dinner with Robert's son Ian last night at an Indian restaurant. It was good. He leaves tomorrow to do a show in Las Vegas. Last week, he was in Columbus, OH. The kid gets around with his new job.

Thanks to Jan Smith of Western Reflections Publishing - one of my loyal blog readers. She was in a cancer fundraiser in Lake City, CO and had a luminaria lit in my honor. Thanks, Jan.

Sorry I haven't gotten to see some of you on this trip. The book show is intense, and when I got tired, I went to the room and took a nap. Jody, I will catch up with you when I get home.

I hope to get home in time to do part of my radio show on KURA-LP, 98.9, Ouray, CO. I don't know how to stream it yet, but if you are into that, just look them up on the internet. I'm usually on Sunday afternoons, but I've either been out of town or sick and it's been about a month.

I'm also still working on the film with the kids at the local high school.

Robert's brother Mike Stoufer and his wife Leslie are on their way to Ouray as I type this. They will be in tomorrow morning. We will be riding the Durang-Silverton train on Tuesday. Later in the week, we are going to the Grand Canyon and riding the train from Williams, AZ up to the canyon. My sistert Suzie and her husband Al will meet us and I will go home with Suzie the next week. While there, my cousin Nancy is coming in from Florida for a visit. Then I get back about Oct. 15th and have chemo on Oct. 17th.

Robert tells me it's time to hit the road. The aspens should be peaking in our area if it didn't snow on them while we were gone.

Just up here in Colorado, soaking it all in! Thanks everyone for everything.

Sincerely, Caroline

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Headed Back to Denver for Book Show, Not Doing Play in Montrose

Robert & I will leave for Denver for the Mountains & Plains Indepenedent Booksellers semi-annual conference later today. This is always a really fun event for us - good classes, get to meet authors, hear about new books.

Thanks to good friends Barb & Pete Crossan and Sharon & Jeff Rowe of Salida who came over last night for a visit and bought us dinner! Thanks guys! I'll get your picture posted on the internet soon.

I had FOLFOX last Friday. They raised my dosage as I have gained weight. We attended a seminar on Saturday (50 Essential Things to Do If You Have Cancer by Greg Anderson who has a book out by the same title. He has written other books as well. He is a 24 year cancer survivor.) Then on Sunday, I hit the big slump. I was so fatigued I couldn't move. I missed my radio show, play practice for Vignettes of History. I will miss the next play practice , so I've decided not to try fly back home for the performance on Saturday in Montrose, but I encourage any of you to attend as it is very good. (It's at Magic Circle Theater in Montrose at 2pm and 7pm with refreshments served afterwards by Camp Robber Cafe.) After hitting the wall with chemo on last Sunday, Roberat & I both felt it was better that I not travel alone.

My last liver scan came back unchanged! So this FOLFOX chemo seems to be working. I'm still investigating SIR spheres - anyone out there have any experience with them? My tumor marker was up in the 8,000 range which is quite a bit but could mean that cancer cells are dying.

We are trying to get ready to leave town, so I have to scoot. The aspen leaves are starting to peak and we've had beautiful crisp fall days.

Just up here in Colorado enjoying another fall! Love to you all.

Sincerely, Caroline

Monday, September 17, 2007

Back Home From Denver - Headed to GJ Tonight - Saw Radiation Oncologist in Denver

We got home from Denver a few hours ago. Robert had an important City Council meeting he didn't want to miss, so we came home and will head up to Grand Junction tonight for a CT scan at 8:30 tomorrow morning. We have two other doctor's appointments. One with a psychiatrist for med management and one with a talking therapist to deal with depression and other losses associated with having cancer and losing so many people.

I met with a Dr. Durham last Friday in CU Anschutz Cancer Center in Denver. I liked her very much and we had a good meeting about doing SIR spheres or radioactive seeds in the hepatic arteries. She said I don't really have any tumors to treat in my live bile duct or colon, and she offered several options for targeting tumors in my liver where I have twelve tumors, four - six which were problematic at my lasat scan. Hopefully my scan tomorrow will show some stabilization. She said she usually gets people at a more advanced stage than me, and she felt that I was relatively young and in good health for this procedure which involves putting Yttrium-90 isotope into my hepatic artery. I am up for a little radioactivity. I will consult with my regular oncologist on this and a specialist in Denver whom I have worked with before.

We had a pretty good show in Denver. I mostly enjoyed seeing lots of old friends. Last year during the gem show, we also had a book show so I attended that while Robert did the gem show. So I hadn't had a chance to see many friends I knew back in the 80's and 90's from both Denver and Dallas, too.

I tried to stay out of crowds, but it's so hard not to hug old friends. I've been really sleepy and tired today, but I did wake up for a while last night, and I may be recovering sleep.

Wish me luck on my CT-scan tomorrow.

Just up here in Colorado, weighing the options.

Sincerely, Caroline

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Headed to Denver Gem & Mineral Show

We are headed to Denver tomorrow for the Denver Gem & Mineral Show. I will see one of the radiation oncologists at CU Med Center, but the oncologist I was to see on Monday had to cancel her appointment. I have to keep a low profile at the show - my platelets and white blood cells are low and I need to avoid crowds. Hard for me, a social butterfly to do. I haven't been able to have chemo the last two times. I'm taking more of my medications to get the neuropathy, pain, leg swelling, and sleep under control. That involves managing laxatives as well. As I've said before, all the best medicine either plug you up or the opposite.

We did the True Grit Days last weekend in Ridgway, 10 miles from Ouray. I got to meet Kim Darby, Johnny Crawford of the Rifleman, and Angie Dickenson. I got my picture taken with Angie. Everyone in town who dealt with her said she was very nice. She told me she hated to leave on Sunday because she was enjoying Ridgway and the people.

Anyway, I will blog more later from Denver.

Thanks for all your support and kindness.

Just up here in Colorado getting ready to leave town again. I like to travel. Glad to be here one more day.

Sincerely, Caroline

Monday, September 03, 2007


I made it to Dallas just fine on United Airlines last Thursday. They were very helpful and accomodating. I fly out again today. I'm glad I had yesterday to recuperate and got to see many friends and family members: AC & Jean Pass (cousins); Mike VanderBerg (my investment advisor who has stared a new non-denominational church on the west side of Ft. Worth); Darlene - a friend of Suzie's from their early days just out of high school working at National Bank of Commerce in the LTV building in downtow Dallas - I thought they were so sophisticated; Suzie's classmate Ronnie Cruse whose sister, Gail Cruse was cheerleader with my sister Diane and is the optometrist at Wal-Mart in Montrose where I now get all my eye check-ups.

It was great to have a rotation of visitors yesterday. I was recovering from having too much fun (i.e. junk food). I got a serious case of stomach upset at the reunion and all the sudden had to leave. I had so hope to do the "Gator" in the dance floor with Charlie Daniel, a friend nearer my sister's age, but it didn't happen. Charlie & I agreed that we could probably get down in the floor but would need help to get back up! Charlie's little sister Sondra was one of our dearest friends from my grade. I'm sorry, Sondra, I didn't get to see you this trip.

Margaret and I were very close friends growing up in Duncanville. Her father loved to feed us. Mr. Park took me to breakfast on Friday and we had the meat lover's Grand Slam. Afterward, he asked if I wanted a chocolate shake! He had one, but I had a cup of tea. Margaret, her daughter Tay, and I have been having hamburgers at all the places I can't get them like Whataburger. I did make my sister Suzie take me by Jack in the Box for two tacos when I first flew in. On Friday night, we went to a Mexican restaurant for one of Suzie's reunion meals, and I buried my face in a plate of Tex-Mex. I love New Mexican/Coloradoan Mexican food with red and/or green chili, but occasionally, I need that El Fenix or even El Chico fix.

I got a horrible case of the d-word at the reunion. It was probably the BBQ sauce on the delicious brisket. Could have been the snow cone from earlier in the day. Anyway, I had to leave the reunion in a hurry as not to embarrass anyone. I did have a few rounds in the bathroom that night at home, but mostly slept like a baby. I think I'm caught up on my sleep and on a schedule more consistent with the real world.

One of the reunion highlights was a tour of Duncanville High School. It is amazing! DHS is the second largest school in the nation based on square footage, but they have incredible sports complexes (this was and still is a great place for football in the fall - the TV show Friday Night Lights brings back memories of going to footbal games on Friday nights. There's a point in the fall in Texas where the hot weather breaks and you feel a little crisp snap in the air, leaves start to turn on the trees, and it's football weather). The high school has a beautiful kitchen for culinary arts where the students can practice and sell their wares to the students and faculty. Being such a big complex, they have halls in various departments with names of scientists, authors, artists, etc. The art department, dance studio, band and choir rooms with private practice rooms were all fabulous. The oldest part of the school is reserved for the freshman, yet this was the new part of the school when Suzie's class graduated in 1967. 1966 was the first one to use the new school. Girl's basketball was always big here, and they still host the AAUW girls high school tournament here every Christmas break. Back in our day, the girls had to play half-court. I guess they thought it would kill us to run up and down the whole thing.

One of the other treats of this trip is that Margaret and Tay have a brand new lab puppy named Relay. On Friday, I took him out for most of the warm morning which made me perspire quite a bit. I think I sweated out some toxins and some fluids which helped my infammations. And you wouldn't believe how well I'm walking - hardly having to use the cane, and trying to do some PT exercises. Relay looks like a dog we had growing up named Black Jack, so my sisters and I are having fond memories of that childhood pet.


* Sept. 4th (Tues) Support Group, Tuesday, Oct. 4th, St. Mary's Grand Junction

* Sept. 5th (Wed) 9am, Chemo and Visit with Oncolologist at St. Mary's in Grand Junction

* Sept. 7th (Fri) PT - Noon- Ridgway

* Sept. 14th (Fri) 11:00am, CU Anschutz Med Center Tumor Board, Dr. Durham, Radiation Oncology, Denver

*Sept. 17th (Mon) 8:30am, CU Anschutz Med Ceter Tumor Board, Dr. Tracy Shefter, Oncology, Denver

*Sept. 18th (Tues) 10am, Dr. Sammons, Psychiatrist, Grand Junction for Medication Management

*Sept. 18th (Tues) 3pm, Fran Higgins, Therapist, Grand Junction - Talking Therapy

*Sept. 21st (Fri) 9am, Chemo & Visit with Oncologist at St. Mary's in Grand Junction

*Sept. 22nd (Sat) 8:30am - 4pm, Cancer: 50 Essential Things** , Grand Junction, $65/person

*Sept. 24th (Mon) 2pm, Fran Higgins, Talking Therapy - Grand Junction

** Note: This is the best book I' ve found on Cancer


*Sept. 8th & 9th - True Grit Days in Ridgway - we'll have a booth there under Buckskin Booksellers

*Sept. 12th - 17th - Denver Gem & Mineral Show - Main Show (Actual Dates Friday, 14th - Sunday, 16th) - Doing this show under coloradominerals. com. Our booth is down one f the hallways on the left as you come in the front door. I don't think they'll move us from last year's location.

*Sept. 26th - 30th - Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association (MPIBA) - we will attend as buyers and attend many good free seminars.

*Sept. 29th - Vignettes of History - I will portray Verena Jacobson (Mining camp school teacher) at the Montrose Magic Circle Playhouse at 2pm and 7pm. (I'll have to leave the book show early).

Oct. 4th - 6th - Visit Grand Canyon with Robert's brother Mike & Sister-in-Law Leslie.

Oct. 7th - ? - Visit sisters in Prescott, Arizona

Al, you've been so helpful to Ronnie Cruse (who's in a wheelchair), and me and my cane. Thank you for your help and patience. You're awesome!

Thanks, too, to Margaret Park Thomas, daughter Taylor, Mr. & Mrs. Park, DHS Class of 1967, and everyone who made a special trip to see me. You keep my motor running!

Just down here in Tejas - getting all my junk food fixes!

Sincerely, Caroline