Monday, June 13, 2011

The Support Goes on...

Just dropping in to say a super thank you to all of the people who donated to either ABTA, MS or the memorial fund.

I sent $1400.00 to ABTA, $600.00 to MS and I believe I have found the memorial bench that I am going to get for my yard with monies donated in memory of Steve. The outpouring of love has been overwhelming. Words cannot express my gratitude.

It has been a rough couple weeks but as we have said for many months, it is what it is.

I want to share a little surprise happening with all of you, a true Talbott moment. For those of you who don't know, June 7, 2011 would have been Steve and my 14th wedding anniversary. (hold the tears, you aren't even close to the super touching part) The Sunday prior to the big day, I was planting the perennial garden that Steve's Aunt, Uncle & cousin gave me, I was in the back back of the yard. As I was walking up to the house to get more water, I saw someone in the house. Now,in all of the time Steve & I lived in our house, drop in visitors have been few & far between. At first I was like...Who is in my house, followed by a quick...where is my shovel?

Good news, it wasn't a burglar, it was Joanne, my mother-in-law. She stopped on the way back from little Michael's first birthday party. Well, Joanne was standing in the kitchen holding what was obviously a Crimson Ridge gift of some sort. Me being me, I was thinking, when did they start having party gifts at kids parties?

Anyway, as it turns out, the Tuesday before he died, Steve asked his mom to get me some Godiva for our anniversary. What can I say, once a princess, always a princess, that guy sure knew how to spoil me.

Well, after a nice cry and a little laughing I realized in true Steve fashion he was thinking of me even at the end, and I didn't even have a card for him. I cannot put to words how much I treasured my time with Steve. Don't get me wrong, we all have our isms and we both drove each other nuts at times but, even those isms will be missed greatly.

I was blessed to have 40+ months with Steve after the doctors but a 9-12 month window on that time. We did a lot of living in that time, and most importantly, we lived without regret.

My recommendation to you...LIVE. If you want dessert for dinner, do it. Pink shoes with a green top? Why not. Thinking, hmmm the wife/husband would like that (insert item here), buy it for them, they'll like it. Thinking a trip to the Caribbean sounds like a good idea? GO, take friends.

Bottom line...LIVE, don't put things off, don't second guess should I or shouldn't I. Steve and I lived the past 40+ months without regret. Yes, we did a lot and yes, we laughed even more. I will treasure each and every moment, even those when he was driving me nuts. :)

Again, thanks to all of you who donated to our two charities of choice and to the memorial fund. Your generosity is overwhelming but greatly appreciated.

Until the next post...Peace Out,


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Best Worst Days

I guess to say the past few days have been the best worst days I have ever had is a good way to sum it up.

On Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 11:05 a.m. I lost my very best friend and a very large piece of my heart. Steve passed, quietly, peacefully and surrounded by family. I treasure the precious opportunity I had to be there with him when he passed.

I say these past few days were the best worst days, the worst part, that is quite obvious. How can I possibly call them the best in any way shape or form? Well, people have reached out from so many places. Steve's family and I have heard from people from his old neighborhood when he was growing up to high school friends, previous employees, previous co-workers of mine that I haven't heard from in years, as well as previous students who remain close and many many more friends, family and loved ones.

I wanted to provide the opportunity to pay respects as well as celebrate the impact Steve had on so many people. I believe we did that. My nephew, the infamous Tony, said that though he heard/saw tears, there was by far more laughter as people recalled times with Steve or how he had inspired them. I have always been proud of Steve and all that he accomplished and he gave me one more opportunity to be the very proud wife of an amazing man.

It is my intent to keep the blog up and post intermittently, no promises on the frequency but some life happenings are worthy of this particular blog. One such life happening...On Wednesday, May 25, 2011. Miss Ava became a big sister, Ella Marie arrived to put a bit of brightness in our lives. It is my mission to make sure both of the girls as well as Steve and I's slew of nieces, nephews,and great nieces & nephews are sufficiently spoiled and that they remember "uncle teeb".

To all of you who sent love, prayers and support over the years, please know how much it meant to both Steve and I and know that he beat the odds because of the strength he got from all of you. I will forever hold all of you in my heart and be eternally grateful for the support you gave to Steve. Only one thing left to say...Peace Out ;)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A bit of a hiccup...

Someone said to me today, just when you adjust to the latest thing, another one creeps up. So is the case. As the title says, we hit a bit of a hiccup today. I got a call this morning at work that Steve was having some trouble breathing (an O2 level of 87, not what you want) and his heart was racing (add heart rate of 130 to the O2 level...ugh).
He was taken to OSF for another ER trip, for those keeping track, it was 3 weeks ago today that we were there for the fall. Tests were run etc. determination...several large blood clots in both lungs, one near his heart which led to the increased heart rate.
The plan to address the clots is to use injectable blood thinners with oral blood thinners. The goal is to stop the growth of the clots and they will eventually be reabsorbed in the body. The injections are only during the time it takes to get the clots under control with the oral meds to handled maintenance.
As of right now Steve is in NICU, that will be for "several days", I don't know what the medical definition of "several" is I guess we will find out. After that he will go to a "monitoring" floor. Then I am assuming back to the skilled care facility.
I will keep you as up to date as I am able to, as you may have noticed, I am not as on top of keeping the blog up to date as I probably should be, yet another reason why I don't "Face Book" like the cool kids.
As always, thanks in advance for all of the thoughts, prayers and just flat out love and support you keep sending our way. It is appreciated more than you know.

Peace Out,

Kim & Steve

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Return of the blog

It has been quite some time since the blog has been updated, apologies for that but Steve has gotten into FaceBook and has taken that on as his form of communication with many people. I however don't FaceBook so I won't be maintaining that for him.
I don't know where things were left off but I am just going to play quick catch up with the past six months.
First off, you may have caught on by this point...this is Kim, not Steve.
In the past six months the tumor has returned twice. Both times we went after them with what Dr. Howard calls retreatment radiation. It is essentially the same amount of radiation that Steve got during the initial radiation treatments in 2008 but it is given over a longer period of time. The tumors are in the same location but they shift just a little each time they return, they go just outside of the area that was radiated previously. Sneaky little buggers.
The retreatment radiations do quite a number on Steve, they cause serious fatigue and whereas both had significant impact on the left side weakness Steve has from the stroke in 2009, this last round really was hard.
We have had a phenomenal caregiver during the week while I am at work (Thanks Tony, you are truly special to us both and we will never be able to repay you, we love you very much)as being alone has not been an option.
Falls have been a concern for some time now and we have been pretty lucky that Steve has not hurt himself with some of the spills he has taken.
Last Wednesday, we had a bit of bad luck, only a bit, don't panic. Steve lost his footing getting into the transport chair we utilized at home for getting around when he is super tired. He took a spill and couldn't be caught, he hit his head on the coffee table on the way down. No blood, no loss of consciousness no concussion. Did get a trip to the ER though.
Prior to the spill, I had been looking into extended care facilities to help get some strength built back up. This fall made the process go a bit faster than anticipated. After the fall, Steve was not able to get his right leg to cooperate with him and do what he wanted it to do, this coupled with the left side weakness, made coming home impossible. We were already struggling to keep him safe and cared for with one person.
As you know, Steve is "a big guy" this is per Dr. Howard so I can say it. Some of the meds increase his appetite quite a bit and Dr. Howard has been telling Steve he doesn't like to see skinny cancer patients so, that coupled with my cooking hobby, lets just say, Dr. Howard is right.
Long story short, Steve was admitted to a skilled nursing facility this afternoon. They will be working on rehab to increase his strength. I don't know how long he will be there or what the next step is. I will do my very best to update the blog at least weekly.
We don't go back to Madison until June for an MRI to see if the radiation was effective or not. Also, at that time, the MRI may or may not be accurate due to the amount of radiation we have thrown at Steve's brain. At this time, we are just taking what we have knowing full well the tumor will come back again at some point. Thanks in advance for all of the prayers and support that all of you continue to send our way. Words cannot describe how much you all mean to us.

As you know, only one way to close this out...

Peace out!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I’m Back!


Sor ry for the long delay in my posts. 2010 has been a bit crazy. What I thought I would do today is have a catchup day. For you new followers I will give the readers digest/speed racer condensed version of my Cancer Journey. If you want the full story, please read my past posts from the beginning, which I encourage. Here is the quick chronological story:
12/27/2007 – You have an inner ear infection…ooops I mean Brain Tumor
1/29/2007 – Dr. Crute removes Tennis ball from my right temporal lobe in a quick 12 hour surgery. Friends and familysit in uncomfortable chairs in the waiting room and Lyle saves the day with Jimmy Johns. When pathology comes back we find out that I have a Glioblastoma multiforme IV,One asshole resident gives me 6-18 months and I said “wanna bet” and 34 months later I write to you today.
Q1 2008 – I recover quickly from the surgery and start a course of radiation 6 weeks 5x per week. I also start a cclinical trial of Chemo(Temodar)
March 2008 – the night I will never forget. After completing the first course of radiation, my buddy Marky – who comes in from Phoenix. Throws me an amazing surprise party see the post “a night to remember a night I will never forget to see how amazing. My keyboard is still dry at this point and if I write too much more about it, I will cry all over it.  Thanks again to everyone who came from far and near.
After several clear MRIs, the Tumor comes back. Dr. Crute again performs a tumor resection. This time I had a little stroke during the surgery and spend2 weeks at inpatient rehab doing physical therapy, Occupational Therapy, and speech therapy along with 6-8 weeks of outpatient therapy.
11/2009 I start Avastin treatment before Thanksgiving evey two weeks.
Its back again, but this time we do a non-invasive Stereotactic radiosurgery to NUKE the tumor. That works wonderfully and I get a clear MRI in May. Fast forward to 10/4/2010 – New MRI, get the results on 10/4
**********Current Day
MRI results Day – Its Back again. This time in 3 or 4 pieces. They cannot treat with Chemo or radiosurgery or crainiotomy. However, DEM SMART Doctors strike again. My Radiation oncologist, Dr. Roberts at UW, invented a new delivery method for radiation to allow for retreatment delivery of Radiation and its called Pulsed reduced dose rate Radiotherapy. It is the same dose delivered over longer period of time. I will begin this 10/12 and continue every weekday for 27 days.
Well folks, that brings us up to current day. There has been a lot of other things going on in the past few months, but I will save that for my next post that I will soon. The Fight goes on, and as always, I will never give up. Thanks for allowing me to express myself.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Good - Great - Exceptional, and SPECTACULAR

Well, I have been having a pretty great week so far. Team Talbott showed up in force for the ABTA 5K at Soldier Field on Saturday. We raised over $5500 as a team. Thank you to everyone that donated and participated. It means more to me than I can express in words. However, today was the day for my first MRI since I had the Stereotactic Radiosurgery in March. As always, my nerves were on edge and sleep was difficult to get last night.
Here is where the GREAT comes into play. I had the MRI and proceeded to the lab for blood tests and then to see doc #1 for the day... Dr. Mehta (Radiation oncologist extraordinare) he took a look at the MRI images and came in and informed us that they looked GOOD! That alone made my day...but wait it gets better. After Mehta, we went to see Dr. Ian Robins (NeuroOncologist extraordinare)we went from the waiting room to the treatment room and through the standard routine...I lost Three Pounds! Woo Hoo only 30 more to go. So we are waiting for Ian to come into the treatment room. And waiting, and waiting. Kim and I already know the MRI is good, but Ian is starting to make us nervous. He comes in and apologies for being late, but he was studying the MRI, and studying. The results? The tumor aka lesion is GONE. Totally regressed. Exceptional right? NO. Apparently there is a clinical correlation between my being on Avastin treatment (ie Chemo) and having Stereotactic Radiosurgery. The Avastin works to clean out necrosis and assists in the nuclear anhilation of the tumor! So I asked the stupid question...This is good right? He says No, This is Spectacular, and amazing. He thinks this will be the protocol for this procedure in the future! Having that crazy smart doc of mine saying the results are spectacular is one for the record books. Usually, he is real cautious on the good news, but NOT TODAY!!

So if you are following along, GOOD=clean MRI, Great=Tumor regression Exceptional = Cancer docs at a loss for words, and SPECTACULAR = Dr. Robins saying the lesion is gone and lets increase space between MRIs from every 8 weeks to every 10 weeks.

LIFE is good!

Thank you everyone for the continued prayers! They result in SPECTACULAR things.:)

If it is not to much to ask, please keep my Father in your prayers as well. He is battling inoperable liver cancer. He is fighting like the trooper and old Farm Boy that he is, but I know the power and value of your Prayers.

Thank you all!

Peace Out!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Saturday is the ABTA Path to Progress 5K at Soldier Field in Chicago. This is an event that raises money for brain tumor research. I did this event last year and it proved to be an emotional but uplifting event. I have been looking forward to this event all year. THis year we created "Team Talbott" and have raised over $3600 for brain tumor research!! Most importantly I have a team of friends and supporters joining me in the walk. In case you haven't noticed in my posts over the last 2+ years, I have some absolutely amazing friends. Bringing them together for this cause is breathtaking! When my hope is challenged, as it has been over the past month or so due to the challenges in my father's Health, I always think of my support group and what they mean to me. Within minutes, my spirits are lifted! I will post pictures and thoughts after the event this weekend! Go Team Talbott! THank you for all you do.

Peace out!

Peace Out!