Friday, December 14, 2007

Long time no see

Oops, that was a bad download!!! Well here I am with hair. This is my sister Erin who is pregnant. She had her belly to show off and I my hair.
Yeah.....I'm sport'n the hair
Sam and I after a long day of celebrating my birthday. I am so happy for the year that I just accomplish. Wow I did it. God sure answered lots of prayers and he helped me out so much.
Merry Christmas to all!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Yummy Lunch

One of my favorite things to do during my days was to go out with my girlfriends. It always kept me smiling and feeling some what connected to life some how. I really loved rekindling and strengthening friendships during my treatments and while I needed to take life slow.
It is so good to have friends surround me.

There is something on my head!

Some of you have not seen me in a few months. Well this is what I am looking like these days. September 5th was my last chemo, so it has been 2 months and a week! My hair has grown this much!

So here are some pictures of the bald one who will soon be bald no more.

Everyone loves to rub my head and call me fuzzy, chia pet, a little duck and little chicken. So far these have been my new names. On occasion I hear Alena!

Sometimes I look in the mirror and I look like my Dad when he was little with a buzz. This picture reminds me of that look.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The wee little hair

My hair is coming in in slowly. You can still see my scalp but my hair is umm almost a half and inch long on top. There is a mixture of blonde and a darker color, so it is hard to really see the new hair. I can't wait to see what it will look like in a few months.
I am finding more mobility in my arm and I test myself to see how far I can reach. It is crazy to think about all the things I used to do with out thinking. Now I have to ask my self all the time if i am able to do certain tasks, but it comes with the surgery territory.
My energy level is coming along. Yesterday, all my family spent the day building a tree house. I was in a chair most of the time answering to "can you give me the hammer, here hold this or I need that pencil." I think I was the most tired out of all of them!!! I really laughed at myself over that one. I was falling asleep at dinner!
Thank you all for sharing with me a very important time of my life. It has been wonderful receiving so much love and seeing the capacity of love. It truely is endless. I hope all is well in your lives and that you are seeing the blessings God gives us daily. I love you all, Alena

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Guess what....???

Well, it is a little late for me but I want to let you all know that I am in REMISSION!!!!!!!!!!!! I went to my oncologist today and she was very happy to report to me that I have absolutely no cancer in me. So, Dr. Bodai did a very good job by the way on my surgery. I was very confident with him being my doctor. The path report said that there was no cancer to be found. The chemo wiped it all out! I then asked Dr. Hui, "then why did I do a mastectomy?" Well, because I had an invasive type of cancer it was the best way to make sure it was gone and dose not even stand a chance! I am very happy and I am so happy for all of you praying as hard as you did because you saved me! This is such a miracle. I walked out of the hospital just in awe for the blessings God has given me.
I still need to take tamoxifen for five years and I will start that in a few weeks. I still can't move my arm very well and Dr. Hui laughed at me because of this. I am in such a hurry to heal and she just smiled at me as I talked to her about what I try to do and what I want to do. She told me I need to take it easy for six weeks sometimes even more. This was good for me to hear so that I chill out and just listen to my body and not what I WISH I could be doing. I have rested a lot lately and I feel more responsible for doing so. Sam and my Mom are happy for this. I only can move my arm to my shoulder hight so pretty soon I will start physical therapy. I am very excited to do this. It will be nice to have help guiding me through my recovery.
Reconstruction wont start till six months from now. I have to be patient on that part. None the less, I am cancer free and watching my hair grow back. Slowly it is coming back. I cant wait to wake up one morning and see that my scalp is gone! I want to see that hair! Winter is coming and my head will be wishing it had its hair back.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! Everyone have a spooky time and dont eat too much candy....Cancer LOVES sweets! Eat veggies! But, my favorite snack is still melted chocolates dipped by a banana. Yummy.

I cant find my camera so I haven't put any pictures up. But as soon as I get a recent photo on my computer I will show my hair coming in!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Looking better than ever!

Well, I didn't get much new information from my Doctors visit today. We just took the drain out and I feel much better now. I have no idea when my reconstruction will be, but that is ok because he hooked me up with a great store! If you know what I mean!!!! I am feel absolutly beautiful and I am loving life. I will let you all more details later.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Healing Words

When I came out of the surgery and I was exclaiming joy from surgery I was not far off. I truly felt from the Lord that the cancer was taken care of and that I had reason to rejoice in him! Well, Dr. Bodai called today and told me that there was not cancer in the lymph nodes and he made clear margins. I am cancer free! I had such an amazing feeling of love from my savior as I woke up and he told me I was ok. I can't believe that he allowed me to feel that comfort even before the results. The Lord does speak to us today. I know that if we seek for him in our lives he will bless us ten fold. Thank you for all the prayers and for the fasting. YOU all made it happen. YOU all have amazing faith. YOU moved my mountain! Isn't it amazing what we can do in the quiet of our homes or even in a car ride pleading to the lord for our desires. He will bless us with what we ask if it be his will. I know this to be true. In my hardest time while sick and feeling like a big blob he was there for me. Oh...I want to tell you . The night before I wrote in my journal that I wanted to know what it felt like to have a hug from the savior. Everyone always talks about warm arms around them and they knew that there were being hugs by angels. Well, Saturday night as I laid in the recliner and my mind was racing with discomfort and my body felt like hell I would feel moments of peace. My mind was quite. The same feelings you get when you hug someone you haven't hugged in ages, like the world stops and all that matters is that you are in there arms. It is quiet, still, warm, loving and peaceful. I felt him! Thank you for your prayers. They helped me so much.

p.s. i wish for you to pray for another friend of mine who was just recently diagnosed with cervical cancer. She is a wonderful mother of two and a wonderful wife and she is only 24 years old. Her name is Nicolette Lawerence (Dicus) Please pray for is now her turn for love and support.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Im doing just FINE!!!!!

Hi everyone! I am feeling great and I am getting used to the new way that I feel. I have been resting alot and moving around as much as I can. This afternoon I made my own lunch, cleaned up the kitchen, and even took out the trash! Then I went straight to putting on my make up which I then cried off! I was feeling so overwhelmed with the love that I have been feeling from all my family and friends. Man, do I feel the prayers working. My Mom picked up my Great Aunts wheelchair this afternoon, so this evening Sam took me out for a stroll. Jenny took all the kids in their family stroller and we looked at all the Halloween decorations. This was a perfect evening for a walk out in the night with the family. I look forward to everyday. I can't wait to get past this time in my life and become the new woman, in which cancer has given life to. If there is anyone who wishes to come see me and wondering if it is ok...Come on over. I am at home all the time! I would love to see any of you. I kind of feel like a freak show!!! Well time will heal all and I will be up and running as soon as I can. Thank you all so much the love is overwhelming. I love you, Alena

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Who's afraid of a little surgery?

Today was the day. We got up at four am, and gathered our bodies together and drove down to the Kaiser Hospital on Morris in Sacramento. Alena, Bill, Ruth Ann, and I(sam) arrived at about 20 after 5 am. After waiting for awhile, Alena was admitted and we journeyed upstairs to the pre-op area, where we would be separated from Alena. First, here is a little background. Alena was scheduled to have her surgery at 6:30 am. They said that she was probably going to be out of the hospital at around 12 noon. That was pretty amazing. Well, back to the story. We were kind of sad and emotional to be all of a sudden separated from Alena. We went to the waiting room and anxiously paced and tried to get comfortable, but we couldn't do that very well. I was ready for her to be done as soon as we got to the waiting room!!! 15 minutes later, a nurse came out and said that since it was Saturday, we could break the rules and come into the pre-op area and see Alena. We went in and she was laying a gurney, getting ready to meet the staff that would be assisting the surgeon with her surgery. Now, there have been an army of prayers to Heavenly Father for Alena, and I know that they were being heard and answered. The nursing staff at this Kaiser was incredible!!! They were very kind and funny, with great senses of humor. They put all of us at ease, and made us very comfortable. We could not have hand picked a better group of people. Alena was in the operating room for only an hour and fifteen minutes, and she was in the post-op room by 8:45 am. Ruth Ann's mom came around 8 am and joined us, which was very pleasant. Her smile and faith and great sense of humor made me smile. At nine o'clock we were able to go into the room to see her!! She looked so beautiful!! She was crying, and at first we were worried. This soon changed as she exclaimed, "I am so happy!!." Alena had so much joy and peace. She began to tell how light she felt, and how she could feel the prayers of everyone, and that she was so happy to have the cancer out. This made me laugh a little because the nurses were coming over thinking that she was in a lot of pain. To their surprise, she was saying how happy she was!
One of the nurses said, "whatever they gave her, I'd love to have some of that!" We all laughed a little bit, and under my breath I told Alena, "It's the Spirit." Prayers are answered, and for Alena, she is still doing amazingly well. She needed to rest some more, so we waited 3 hours more. We left the hospital around 1:30 pm, with Alena smiling as we were leaving. She has been sleeping off and on, but has also had the energy to eat, and to have visitors!! She feels so good, even though she is weak and tired, and quite sore. I am grateful that she left the hospital with this experience. I think it is teaching me and her family, and everyone else for that matter, a lot of lessons on gratitude for the power of prayer, and truly why faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel. It is very powerful. One last quote from Alena right after her surgery. I don't think she will always think this, but it was quite funny. The post-op nurse was talking to her about her surgery, and she said, "I love surgery!!!" Well, Alena loves a lot of things, lets add one more thing to the list! Heh heh. Thank you everyone, we'll try to keep things updated. Love you all!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

So, here is a little update....which I believe the rest of my bloggs may just be little. I am going in for Surgery on October 13 for a single mastectomy. May I say a disclaimer....... Chemo was easy to talk about but from here on out I am feeling private. Phone calls to my home are always welcomed and thank you to all who enjoy checking up on me and seeing my progress.

This picture always reminds myself to shine and to never forget who I am...but there are times in my life where shinning is hard and I love that this is ok. I know that I dont have to shine alone. When I am feeling dark I know my savior will rekindle what I have lost and together we will shine my brightest. REMEMBER he didnt expect us to get it right every time thats why he came. He loves and understands my weaknesses more than myself more than anyone. I love my savior so much. Its funny to think that he understands what a 23 yr old feels like going through breast cancer! Isn't that the coolest! Well, everyone how bright is your candle today? I know I needed some shinning.
Ohh..also, I realized how much the savior allows us to lean on each other. That is one thing I believe he would love us to learn. That it is ok to have a hard time and lean on one another. I have a new insight on "Love one another as Jesus loves you." I can morn with someone over my loss and this person can be the physical love the savior wants me to feel. Before, I didn't understand the importance of morning with those who morn. But, I am sure grateful for all those who have listened to me and have helped me be positive. I have felt my saviors love for me through those conversations. THANK YOU for saving me in my time of need.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

My Dear Dr. Hui

This is my oncologist, Dr. Hui. Our little chat on Wednesday was a little emotional. I had been down a little bit with all the unknown. She tried to reassure me that I just have to have faith and that each patient has a different story and I need to just pay attention to my own body. I wish there was a way to predict what will happen through statistics, but studies show they can't tell you your outcome because of others outcomes. She explained it a lot better than I could but that is what she told me. It is normal for cancer patients to feel afraid after chemo when the Dr. says goodbye... hope the cancer doesn't come back!
Well my next step happens on Wednesday. I have an appointment with Dr. Bodai. We will discuss all the options for surgery. I believe it will be mid October. I really don't have any other answers or other updates to tell you all. This chemo has treated me really well. The last one was very hard, but I have hardly felt a difference from Monday to today. I have slept a lot which is probably one reason I am doing well. Prayers really are helping me be strong and having faith in them makes it even stronger. Thank you all for helping me see how the Lord works in our lives to bless us. I really have been blessed to have the health and strength to get through this because of all the prayers. Thanks you so much! My faith in surrendering my will to his has greatly enlarged. I have really enjoyed learning the lessons I felt I needed to learn to be a stronger witness of Christ. I will let you all know more next week after my appointment.


This is my nurse pumping me full of the drug I HATE adriamycin. Do you see how red it is! Oh I can't even talk about it.. Too much information, but I am gagging. I'm so glad I don't have to do that again.

Anti- chemo girlfriend day!

Before the dreadful chemo I ran way to Monterey with Amy Patterson to see my dear friend Hilary and her little babe. Here Amy is about to attack a wild pigeon who is trying to eat our food! And Hilary is looking at me weird because i was telling them to look fierce. "Hilary, Amy look like you are going to get the bird--get them!!" Yeah I think they are too sweet for that!

The Monterey story.......

Brennen had a fun time getting the birds and his self . We were very entertained!

Hilary showed us where the baby sea otters live. This was very cute to see all of the otters interact with each other.

Holy-Moly! It was cold and windy. I thought I would be reading books, basking in the sun, writing in my journal, having quality conversations with my girls and It was not this kind of day! Amy and I are hamming it up here, well... really at one point I'm sure we looked like this as the sand was blowing all over us from under the umbrella.

Here we are enjoying ourselves at the beach. We got over how cold it was and played anyway. It was very nice to spend the day with my girlfriends.

Ahhh... chemo tomorrow how dreamy!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It's here! The last chemo

In just a few hours I will be doing my last chemo!! I will be happy to report the information the oncologist gives for the next step. This is getting exciting! I know that I will have surgery sometime in October; i believe. I cant believe the summer is almost over and I am on my last chemo. Life has just gone by so fast. Thank you all for checking up on me. I will hopefully be feeling up to telling you what is going on with in the next few days.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Life sometimes feels crazy at my house! Cant you tell....yes!!!! the kids were driving mommy nuts so it was time for the kids to chill out with auntie and get some craziness out. It went well and they even helped clean up..... in my dreams. HAhAh well actually Kai (6) helped with some of my room. It looks like we picked up some of the pig sty. Life is good. Even though it doesn't go our way something right always works out. These beautiful pics are a testimony to that!

Talon could not be more KISSABLE

Monday, August 20, 2007

When Chemo Attacks, Part 5!!!

Well, all you faithful bloggers. Sorry that we have not been very good at keeping you all posted. Alena has been very busy with her sister Jenny moving into the Kesti home with her family. Alena has been a great asset in cleaning and preparing the house with her mom and dad. So this full house is a whole new excitement for everyone. Jenny and her husband B are staying in Bill and Ruth Ann's house until the additions to Grandma's house are done. That is where they will be living.
Onward we go!! Alena has now finished 5 chemo treatments, which leaves only 1 left!!!! Hooray!!! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!!! No one can be more excited about this than Alena. This treatment has been very tough, leaving her body feeling weak and sick. Usually her sickness and nausea leaves after a couple of days, but her body still feels very upset since the treatment of chemo. She is still a trooper, going to activities and spending time with her family. Thank you for your prayers of faith and healing. I know they have been answered in Alena's recovery process. Please continue. Our gratitude is eternal. Alena is at this moment resting, even though it is her least favorite thing to do. Thank you and we love you!!

Sam and Alena

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pick'n flowers Pick'n Weeds

I went over to my Friend Sarah's to garden and chit-chat. We had a lovely time and I got to play in the dirt!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Life is Good

I really became disconnected this time. Before chemo and after I haven't really shared what I have been doing or how I have been feeling, but I am doing well now. I had the opportunity to go to Monterey and Yosemite this past weekend with my sisters family. I really had a good time surrounding myself in God's beauty.
My sister Jenny and her family moved into our house as they await for their house to be built, so life has been adventurous and I have had a lot of time to help them out. I take it a day at a time and make sure that I loved everyday. I love thanking Heavenly Father everyday for a wonderful day. That is one of my favorite things to do.
I have my 5th CHEMO on Wednesday! I can not believe how time has just flown by. I have really enjoyed my summer. It's been a little different then I thought summer would have been but I have really enjoyed spending it with friends and family and finding out so much about my self. Thank you all for always sending love my way.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

im done with this chemo stuff...

It's late for me to be up, but I wanted to let all of you know how I was doing. I went in on Tuesday for my 4th Chemo! I only have two more to go. I truely am reaching my limit. I had a very rough time emotionally and physically during my treatment and now after. Evertime someone asks me how was chemo I feel very nauseous and I ask them to not talk about it. I haven't really broke down and cried about all that I am going through not even a tear, but I sure have cried enough during this round!
A social worker woke me up during chemo on Tuesday and he was telling me about all the emotions one can feel during this time in there life, and I think I just gave in after that. I let this all become very really to me. This week my Mom had to leave to help my sister Jenny who lives out of town and I told my mom I would be ok. I realized how much I loved the help my Mom always gave me right after my treatment. This week I have been especially grateful for those that came and took care. Ok i am heading off to bed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Sunday Pics

Family photos!!!

The Wrath of Chemo!!!

Hello everyone! Here is the latest on what is happening with our lovely Alena. There are some great things and some not so happy and exciting things. Yesterday was Alena's third chemo treatment. She has been doing awesome, but the last couple of days before this treatment, she has been very tired. When we arrived at the hospital, she met with her oncologist, which is routine before every treatment. Alena was very tired, and her doctor was surprised to see her so tired. She looked at her charts and saw that her red and white blood cell counts were low. The doctor then proceeded to prescribe her two new medications to help her. Now Alena has to take two shots each week. One to raise her red blood cell count, and and one for her white blood count. Alena had been taking neupogen for her white blood cells, but that apparently hasn't been strong enough. This new one is as strong as ten neupogen shots. Chemotherapy is taking a little more of a toll on Alena. She still is smiling, and everyone around her is helping and supporting very well. She will get through this. The Lord is watching and blessing her daily. Our prayers our that these medicines, along with all the faith and prayers, will continue to raise her blood count and keep her kicking like the Alena we all know. I know that this trial is blessing her life and shaping her exactly how the Lord would have her grow. She is an example to us all, and this trial is also helping everyone around her grow. The Lord is showing his love to us all through these trials, teaching great lessons on humility and faith. Alena's family is being strengthened, and also her friends, and anyone who comes in contact with her. Today Alena is doing well. I forgot to mention that she walked out of the hospital yesterday, without the aid of a wheelchair(just the help of my arm). She is definitely taking it easier this time around. It's about time!! Heh heh. Lots of love to you all!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Unstoppable Alena Kesti!!!!(Until I make her stop!!)

Here are some funny events that happened to Alena last week. Anybody that knows Alena knows that she doesn't slow down for anything, especially if she has the opportunity to be outside doing yard work. Well, our best buddy Josh and his sweetheart Holly are getting married in July, and the reception will be in her backyard. There is a lot of preparation and landscaping to do. Alena has wanted to help out, but of course she can't be in the sun very much. Wednesday of last week, she told me that she had gone to Holly's house to help with the yard. I was thinking, okay, Alena went to her house and probably gave some advice on the best way to care for the plants, and how to do some other plant things. I talked to her that night, and she was exhausted. I figured she would be. The sun takes an extra toll on her. Well, the next day, we were talking, and Alena was still really tired, and she was throwing up, and not doing well at all. I was worried. She rested, and later she was feeling better. Well, we were talking about how she needs to take it easy. I repeated that she needs to TAKE IT EASY!!(she will never do it, but I say it anyway!!) Alena then proceeded to reveal to me some very surprising things, yet not really that unusual for Alena.
She said, "I guess I shouldn't have used the pick axe that much, or lifted and moved big heavy rocks." Why was I not surprised! Here is little Alena, on chemo, with a lower immune system, and an extremely sensitive energy level, telling me she probably should not have tried to be super woman. Well, she is super woman, and she has to watch out for the manual labor kryptonite. I think Alena will always push her limits, which is one reason why she will succeed in all that she does.!! I love you Alena!!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

midnight chat

I know that a lot of you check the blog often and I feel bad that you look at the same entry that has been there for days. I really don't know what to write, but here I go. I surprisingly have done incredibly well during my Chemo. I truly have to thank Heavenly Father for the amazing strength that I have received. I feel like I need other people to tell me what is happening to me right now. I don't realize the reality of having cancer. I feel great and life seems better than it has been at other times in my life, so why now is life so good, when it seems like it should be so hard. I consider myself to be a positive person, but I am now realizing how important my thought process is. For instance, today I was sitting in church thinking about how tired I was and how the open seat next to me looked nice and comfy to lay on. Then I started thinking, "but then I would get nothing out of the lesson, so why not challenge yourself to really enjoying the lesson, maybe even participate and really begin to understand and appreciate the rest of the people in the room!" I did so and the lesson became very alive and important to the strengthening of my own testimony and I grew even more love for the women in that room. I was really taken by the power of having a change of thought. I don't know if any of you have heard of the movie and book called The Secret. I was recently given it as a gift and I began reading it. One of the quotes in the book reminded me of my current situation.
I have known about my cancerous spot for a long time. I just didn't know it was cancer. It stayed the same size for a very long time and that is why I never budged about getting fussy with it. I just left it alone. This is seen as stupid by others and sometimes myself, (Honestly a 22 yr old with no past history has no thought to cancer and being concerned with cancer) but as soon as cancer was brought to the forefront of my mind I began thinking about it constantly. I, one night, stayed up thinking about it so much that the spot actually began to hurt. Also, it began to increase in size dramatically. Well, thats when I finally went in an here I am on Chemo. It was I think, one week and four days after my first treatment when I was at work talking to a coworker and I felt the spot were the cancer was and it was gone to the touch. I was able to cup my hand and the tumor would fill the spot before treatment started. As I touched the spot I began finding myself searching for it. I could no longer feel the spot anymore. I was flabbergasted. I didn't even know how to carry a conversation except to say "I cant feel it anymore!" I could owe this to many things why this happened, but one that I find a very important key is the power of positive thinking. Even though the effects of chemo were not encouraging and many were opposed to me going through it I had a lot of faith in chemo. After the first treatment I was completely not scared about having treatment or having cancer. I put all trust in God and also myself that I would get through this with a positive attitude and a life learned lesson. When i put good thoughts into focus this cancer thing became a breeze and if I may, enjoyable.
I'm going to put out there... the challenge: I don't want this to be supper cheesy, but with all sincerity, because you all have helped encourage me so much. At this time I don't know what is ailing your life at this time personally, and I know that each of you reading this is that someone or knows someone who deals with the daily battles of self persecution, physical pain or unexpected troubles. Learn anyways to always look for the good. I truly know the value of having a grateful heart, having faith, being positive and most of all treating others with kindness. These are key ingredients to my happy life and I would like to share it with you!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sunny Dog

Here's the doggy on Loan! Sunny! Last night I had had a fun time shaving her. This was my first experience shaving a dog and I had a lot of fun giving her a hair cut. Thanks Hargadon's for allowing Sunny to visit for such a long time. She is doing well and my family loves visiting with her. She looks so pretty!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Second Chemo down, four more to go!!

Well, here is a little update: Alena is moved back into her parents home in Granite Bay, with a freshly applied coat of paint in her room. She will miss her cute little cottage in Roseville, but she is so grateful for the comfort of being at home. She needs her parents, and I am pretty sure they need her too.
Alena and Amy are already having roommate withdrawals!! Alena sports the bald head very well, and she was blessed with a perfectly shaped head. Heavenly Father blessed her with that so she would be comforted during her trials!! Alrighty then, Alena had her appointment at 11:15 this morning at Kaiser, and everything went so unbelievably smooth. Alena got to be in the corner of the room in a hospital bed that was very comfortable. We also watched Robin Hood: Prince of thieves!! Talk about a plush chemo session! We were in and out in no time(well, 3 hours), and Alena does not have any nausea, which is great, and the only thing she is experiencing is fatigue, which is easily solvable!(sleep)
She is now resting, and doing very well!! Thank you so much for your love and strength!! Bye for now.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I really like putting pictures on the blog it makes it look so colorful. These are some wonderful women in my life. My grandma whom I got my love of the out doors and gardening from. Also, she gave me my first sewing lessons and now it is one of my favorite hobbies. My sister Jenny who is my greatest strength and mentor when life gets scary. Thanks Jenny! Hilary and her cute Brennie Bear thank you for coming and seeing me and for your amazing support even thought I can't see you as often as you wish you could. You still make me smile. Sarah Landford in the cute apron. Even though life is crazy for you I love seeing your strength in your ability to serve and lift others. Amy Patterson, this is my wonderful roommate. Whom I am going to miss much. It was so much fun living with you and I will miss our wonderful bright yellow cottage. I am so glad I was able to grow so much by your example daily. I will miss you much! Well, I hope all of you can enjoy these pictures they tell their own stories. I am surrounded by your comments on the blog, cards, hugs, phone calls, and visits. This makes the smile on my face last forever. Thanks for all keeping me feeling wonderful at this time.