I have alcohol running through my veins!!!!

Literally...well, ok not really. But I do get alcohol injections about once a month (and not the "fun" kind!)

I have a facial Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) and am receiving ethyl alcohol embolizations with Dr. Wayne Yakes in Denver.

So while the alcohol isn't actually running through my veins (that would be really bad) it is being injected into them to destroy the AVM vessels and eventually provide a cure!

Check out my website to read my story about life with a facial AVM, meet my doctors, and stay up to date on my treatments through my "Denver Trip" reports!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

AVM treatment #9!

Is that kinda like "Love Potion #9?" Well....maybe not so much!

We are back from our 9th trip for treatment with Dr. Yakes. Everything went well and I'm feeling great. I've posted my Trip Report on my website with all the fun details about our time in Denver. I'm most excited about the new pre-treatment "treats" I'm planning on giving myself with the opening of Dr. Reed's new Spa!

After taking care of the AVM stuff, we were lucky enough to have time to take a drive up the road to Berthoud Pass. It was a nice Saturday morning and I felt good enough for a quick little trip. It was definately a change from just rushing in and out of Denver. We hope to be able to do some more "relaxing" exploring as we make our future trips for treatment.

The drive was roughly 75 miles each way and we drove through some beautiful country. Unfortunately we did miss most of the colors of the Aspens, but were able to see some brilliant yellows and oranges on those still hanging onto their leaves. At the top of the Pass was the Continental Divide so that was a fun little landmark to take a quick picture. We didn't have a real camera with us, so these pics are just from the iPhone...but not too bad considering! Next time we will have better pics.

Some of Josh's LC friends told us to stop in a tiny town called Empire for ice cream. I was looking forward to that, but when we arrived, the entire town was closed down for "Scarecrow Days" and I didn't get any ice cream! Meanies!

We arrived home Saturday night and I've just been trying to take it easy, rest, and let myself recover. But you all know that I'm not always as good at doing that as I intend! I'm trying, promise! Josh is of course the best husband ever and takes care of me all the time. He is right now making me dinner since I was just gonna go with Halloween Candy for the night! How sweet is he to make sure that I get real food?!?!?

Hope everyone is doing well. As always, I sincerely appreciate all of the kind words, well wishes, and support. I do tell people all the time that I have the best family & friends...and I actually believe that is true! I couldn't remain as positive and as confident in this journey without all of those surrounding me and keeping me where I need to be.

Hugs & Kisses to everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Off to Denver again!

I'm sticking to the 4 week schedule and am on my way back to Denver. Josh and I leave tomorrow morning and are trying to decide what kind of "winter" clothes to pack for the cold weather. The forecast is for a high of 50 and low of 27 tomorrow in Denver, as opposed to the high of 85 and low of 52 here at home...Yikes! I'm gonna have to bust out the snow gear or something. (This pic is from last winter when we drove up to Ice House Resevoir to let Huddy play in the snow. I'm thinking of finding that hat and matching mittens!)

We are going to be seeing Dr. Reed at a different office than the normal DT Denver one and I'm all ready to give my report on his HGTV show! Then we are going to meet up with Steph and fam in Denver for dinner at a yummy vegetarian restaurant! Poor Joshie, forced to eat tofu!

We hope to take a nice drive and see some pretty fall scenery on Saturday before heading to the airport. We'll see if I'm up to it, or just a sleepy head.
No internet at the condo, so I'll probably post up Saturday night or Sunday morning once we are home!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Pics of Keith!

Keith had his most recent surgery on Oct 6th. basically cosmetic and reconstructive, they were able to "fix" some areas that were not symetrical and have also reduced the scarring. Apparently Dr. Waner uses some type of laser treatment to help the scar blend in with the normal tissue.

Anyways, the results look wonderful. While Keith has some nerve damage that has cause him some issues with his eye, and also being able to smile... I think the difference in appearance is amazing. In some of the pictures, you can hardly tell that the AVM was ever there! What more could you ask for?!?!?!?

Here is a great picture of Keith after the latest surgery. To see his entire timeline, check out his pictures on my website.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Trying not to worry...

I've been super happy for the last few weeks because my lip is finally healed. It was an entire year of dealing with this wound, pain, and bleeding. Not having to deal with it anymore has made me feel like a "normal" person again!

But the last few days I've had slight bleeding inside my lip. Not really a big deal, but it is making me just a tad nervous. I can't really decide what is going on. There is no cut and it doesn't really look like tissue breakdown. But the skin itself is all weird and different from scarring. I don't know. I just hope it doesn't get worse. I like being normal!!!

On a more positive note, Huddy has been super lovey dovey with me this past week. He typically is more interested in Josh than me, but he was waiting in the window when I came home last night, and then ran over to give me hugs when I walked in the door. What could be better than hugs from your doggy???

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dr. Reed's turn in showbiz!

Dr. Reed's episode on HGTV's new show "My Big Amazing Renovations" premiers tonight at 9:00 eastern time!

For those of you who aren't sure what I am talking about, Dr. Reed is the ENT that sees all of us "head & neck" AVM-ers before each treatment by Dr. Yakes. He makes sure the airway is good to go so that we can breathe during & after treatment!

He somehow managed to get himself involved in this TV show when he did a "small" remodel on his home in Denver. I've promised to give him a full recap of how they spin his story and how correct of a portrayal they do of him. So I've got my notebook handy for tonight and will be reporting back to him next Thursday when I'm in Denver for round #9!

If you miss the episode, don't worry they are going to replay it 4 other times during Oct & Nov!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's all good!

Just wanted to quickly post that all of my AVM friends had succesful treatments this past week.

Keith was home the same day and sent me an email (while still all drugged up!) which said that they did even more "fixing" than originally planned. I am so excited to see his new pics in a few weeks.

Cyndi & Camellia were at Swedish the same day, but schedules conflicted and they weren't able to meet up. Both had successful treatments.

Cyndi did have a little drama this time around...what can I say, we are all drama queens! Check out Cyndi's blog for her trip report.

Margie, Camellia's mom also posted on her site details about their trip. With the best news of the week that Dr Yakes found no additional AVM in Camellia's mandible and also confirmed that it had not spread to her tongue! Good news all around.

As for me, I'm still feeling really well. Have had a little pain under my cheek bone the last few days and noticed that it hurts to open my mouth very wide. But I'm sorta thinking it might be a sinus infection or just allergies with all the crazy wind and fall weather we've had this week. So I'm gonna go with that instead of it being AVM related!!! :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Keep everyone in your thoughts!

This is a popular week for my AVM friends! Maybe not a "fun" week for them per se, but busy. Cyndi and Camellia are both making trips to Denver this week for treatment. Not sure if they will be at Swedish at the same time, but just maybe they will get the opportunity to meet in person. Also, Keith is having reconstructive surgery which I believe is his last! So hopefully I will have some updated photos of him soon with his beautiful AVM free face!

C,C, & K- I'll be thinking of each of you this week, hoping for all good news, and sending hugs across the board!