Donna’s Blog

The following are Donna Schmidt’s Blog during the last 3 months of her life and her struggle with lung cancer.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

Boris and Me

Date: Thu Oct 02 2008 22:53:33 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Recently I was introduced to a new fellow. Unknown to me a normal Saturday headache on 13 September, was my introduction to this fellow. Prior to the beginning of the headaches, I had absolutely no clue that there was anything wrong. We had just returned from a wonderful trip to Ontario where I had hiked miles and miles, canoed, and ate wonderful food. I am delighted I didn’t know there was any problem as I can’t think of any possible benefit.

Thus began my adventure with Boris. Well things progressed with a minor headache persisting over the next several days, followed with me attending a Rotary meeting and I noticed that the dessert was sticking to the roof of my mouth and I almost told Jerome that the dessert was really interesting!! I took a Tylenol 3 and thought that my tongue, which wasn’t working correctly, was a reaction to this drug.  Well the headaches increased and by Wednesday, I went and saw my Dr. who, as a precaution, had me go in Thursday morning for a CT scan in Trail. Early Thursday afternoon, I received a phone call to come in with a family member to see her and by this time, I knew the headaches were almost unbearable and nausea kicked in to boot. So the Friday morning diagnosis of a tumor was not a surprise. The Dr. gave me a shot of Gravel (dramaine south of the border) and some steroids, we were off to Deaconess hospital as my Dr. had made the arrangements with an Oncologist in Spokane. About half way to Spokane, the pain disappeared and the worst of the pain I’ve experienced so far on this journey was in the past. I am happy to say that I am relatively pain free and that is a good thing. After visiting with the Oncologist, we learned that he thought the guy in my brain wasn’t likely originating from the brain. It was this time, we thought we ought to give Boris a name, since he was likely to be with me for awhile. This came from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons and seemed to be an appropriate character who always was raising havock. We used to watch Rocky and Bullwinkle with Brian and then later bought the tapes for the grandchildren in Australia. So it was a way to put a face on this guy. After weekend MRI’s, Monday afternoon biopsy (through the nose and sphenoid sinus to my clivus, -learned a lot of anatomy), and a PET scan at 5:00 am on Tuesday morning, we waited until Wednesday to have the conversation with the Doctor. During the surgery, on Monday morning, the specialist who did the biopsy, informed us that the preliminary visual diagnosis from the pathologist was that is was malignant, so that part was expected.&nbsp; However, we also learned that Boris wasn’t alone but orignated from other sources and had numerous clones in my spine, pelvic area, liver and lymph system adjacent to the lungs.&nbsp; We finally received the pathologists final diagnosis on Friday morning that indicated the source of al of these multiples of Boris most likely originated from lung tissue, with ticked me off, having quit smoking 17 years ago.&nbsp; But what is, is!! We will actually never really know what was the cause of all of this.&nbsp; I think of the Bob Dylan song, “a simple twist of fate”. We met with the radiologist and scheduled radiation treatment for the brain tumor to begin on Monday.</p><p>We checked out of the hospital on Wednesday and moved into a nice apartment by the airport called Stratford Suites, in unit 121.&nbsp; It was such a relief to get out of the hospital, despite the kind staff there, and to be done with IV tubes, wake up to take pills, etc and to have a semi normal life.&nbsp; My friend Kathy of 40 years, came over from Great Falls and helped us out over the next few days. Karen, Shirley, Wayne and Sandy came down on Sunday, along with Kathy’s son, Mick and his fiance Lannie on Saturday.&nbsp; We greatly enjoyed the company and the many flowers, cards, fruit baskets, and phone calls from so many friends. What a treat to see our friend Duane Freeman from Kodiak, who we haven’t seen in 10 years (and he doesn’t look any older!!).</p><p>Our son, Brian arrived Tuesday morning and we are now having 11:30 am treatments with radiation.&nbsp; The sessions are very short and with the exception of a bit of claustrophobia from a hockey mask, and the intimidation of star trek type of machinery, the treatments are uneventful. I’m a bit tired and spacy from the pain medicine, steroids, radiation, and probably Boris still raising havoc along with his many clones, but I’m much better than when I spent the Thursday and Friday before this was diagnosed without any treatment.</p><p>I have what is called “non-small cell Stage IV lung cancer”. Although this is not what we would have hoped for, my favorite recent saying , What is, is! (stolen from Shirley and Karen) seems appropriate.&nbsp; I will likely undergo chemo therapy after two weeks of radiation therapy, starting on 21 October.&nbsp;This will most likely be once every three weeks for three (or six) sessions and what happens after that will likely depend upon what happens with the cancer.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Between starting the radiation and the chemotherapy, we will have visitors with the grandkids coming over rom Australia and Dana’s mother, sistern and brother-in-law are coming over about that time.</p><p>I’ve been writing a journal each day an I’ll probably review this later and edit it to be sure it reflects reality.</p><p>I’ll keep posting pictures and other things as you can follow our&nbsp;little adventure.&nbsp; We are doing fine, such to great friends as Joanne, who has done great things for us in keeping care of our home and pud and Gus, while we’re here, and Kathy who has helped us along and shared her experience with cancer of her own family.&nbsp; Brian is great and he is such a comfort to having around at this time.</p><p>All of you Castlegar friends, attend the Ducks Unlimited Dinner, Drink lots, have a good party, and buy a lot more things than you can afford!!</p><p>Thank you all for everything and your kind words and remember, I wouldn’t change a thing.</p><p>Much Love,</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Donna</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Donna’s fling with BorisDate: Fri Oct 03 2008 00:29:56 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>Here I am at the radiation clinic.&nbsp; Beautiful waiting room outside and very nice people who help us behind the desk!! See Donna in the star trek room.&nbsp; They have a bunch of galaxies on the ceiling. Our Stratford Suites also has a barbecue every Thursday night!!&nbsp; &nbsp;The manager’s wife happens to be the sister of one of the fish people Dana worked with in Alaska.&nbsp; Small world…</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Visitors and Other fun stuffDate: Sat Oct 04 2008 20:10:45 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>These are our Friends from Montana, Kathy, and her son Mick with fiance Lannie.&nbsp; We also had Sandy and Wayne along with Shirley and Karen from Castlegar. On Sunday, we headed out for Dry Falls and had a wonderful dinner with Brian on his last night with us at the Luna. Wonderful food and wine!!</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Lunch at the DavenportDate: Wed Oct 08 2008 21:58:27 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>After Wednesday’s radiation treatment, we treated ourselves to a beautifil lunch at the recently renovated Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane.&nbsp; Yes the boquet’s are all real flowers!</p>

Katie Holmes Look-A-Like

Date: Thu Oct 09 2008 19:48:45 GMT+0000 (UTC)

Just for the fun of it, I bought a wig, which I may or may not end up needing to use. But it provided me some entertainment value and I’ve decided to go for a style that I would have always liked to be able to have, but didn’t have the right kind of hair! Check out these and see what you think of the new me!

 

*************************POST:Subject: A Brief Trip South AgainDate: Fri Oct 24 2008 23:56:41 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>I have been somewhat disappointed that my strength (particularly in my legs) has deteriorated<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>rather than improved since arriving home on the 11<sup>th</sup>.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>I had hoped with the discontinuation of radiation that might show improvement.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Then last week for just a couple of days I was so exhausted that I spent quite a bit of time in bed which was a first.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>So we decided it was time to check in with our Spokane oncology crew.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Dana called late Tuesday afternoon and we were in their office Wednesday morning by 10!<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Needless to say, it was an early morning but a beautiful <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>drive and we even had enough time for me to have a fix at Staples.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Dr. Lund the, oncologist, was out-of-town but we met with his nurse practitioner (a nurse with a master&rsquo;s degree in their specialty) and boy were we impressed with her!<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>She was very thorough probably spending at least an hour with me and too noted the weakness.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>So we went back to spend the night at the Stratford Suites feeling comfortable there and the people who run it are such good people.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>At 8 the following morning I showed up for an MRI of the body and head and an x-ray of the brain &ndash; and of course, there is always blood!<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Well the good news is there is no evidence that all those lurking tumors are growing at this time which of course was a concern of all of us.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>We also met with the radiologist who said all was well with the original Boris in the brain &ndash; he seems to have stabilized with the radiation.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>There seems to be no apparent explanation for the weakness so we have decided to up the steroids back up about half again to see if it perks me up (necks are overrated don&rsquo;t you think?) So we decided to come home last night arriving about<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>10.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span><span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>We will talk to Dr. Lund next week after he gets back to see what happens next.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>I also believe I have been overdoing by going up and down the stairs and spending too much time on my feet doing things around the house.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>So I have given up the stairs for now and am doing less around the house.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Heaven help us after all these years we have a TV in the living room and the computer is upstairs now as well.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Tomorrow (Saturday) if all goes well we are off to Creston and/or Cranbrook.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Since Dana&rsquo;s yard woman has fallen by the wayside he is in the market for some serious equipment for the lawn and snow.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Secretly he has always coveted this but<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>I have enjoyed the cute little guys and got lots of good exercise.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>But, of course in my recent life I have had the luxury of time.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>We are delighted to learn my brother Myron and his wife Ada from Australia will be arriving on Thursday &ndash; it will be fun to see them and Myron is yet another great cook!<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>They will have &ndash; count on it &ndash; pictures of their two beautiful grandchildren.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>I continue to receive wonderful cards and e-mails from friends and family from so many states and countries throughout the world&ndash; from people I have known <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>briefly to those <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>I have known most of my life &ndash; what a wonderful treat it is &ndash; keep them coming &ndash; they make me smile!</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Congratulations to the Ducks Unlimited crew for a wonderful event on the 18<sup>th</sup> &ndash; what an amazing bunch you all are!</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Just like me each of you have individual reactions to my situation.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>I have intentionally avoided talking a lot about the nitty-gritty medical<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>details because it is not my style and because I don&rsquo;t think many of you would find that great reading.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>But I also recognize there<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>are some of you who are in fact interested or who are just a bit puzzled as to what exactly is my illness, <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>or more specifically, why I have made the decisions I have.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>So <strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”>ONLY FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO FIT INTO THIS CATEGORY</strong>, I offer a couple of links you may find informative.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span><span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>For others just pass this part by.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Please know that Dana, Brian and I all feel we are getting about as good of medical advice as is available out there.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>As you<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>know both Brian and Dana are scientists and ask frequent and provocative questions &ndash; all of which are answered thoroughly and professionally <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>in a completely non-defensive manner. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>And of course I am one of those &ldquo;soft social science people&rdquo; myself so not a complete slouch!</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>My disease is non-small cell state iv lung cancer:</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-small_cell_lung_carcinoma_staging”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-small_cell_lung_carcinoma_staging</span></a></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: Calibri;”>I think the following article is interesting because of course I quit smoking many years ago.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>It tells me several things:<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>one there are a heck of a lot of people dying from lung cancer who have never smoked; two even though you can reduce the percentages dramatically by quitting smoking you can&rsquo;t make them go to zero;<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>maybe our emphasis should be on getting people to never start.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><a href=”http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2008/05.08/10-smoking.html”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2008/05.08/10-smoking.html</span></a></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: Calibri;”>This is a fairly scientific article discussing chemotherapy treatment options for people in my situation &ndash; the abstract discusses it in a nutshell but if you are gung-ho read the whole thing.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><a href=”http://www.chestjournal.org/cgi/content/full/123/1_suppl/226S#T1″><span style=”font-size: small; color: #0000ff; font-family: Calibri;”>http://www.chestjournal.org/cgi/content/full/123/1_suppl/226S#T1</span></a></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Stay in touch &ndash; we&rsquo;ll post photos of the great yard stuff when we get it!</span></p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Heading Home!!Date: Fri Oct 10 2008 21:57:11 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>How exciting to be going home after 3 weeks in Spokane.&nbsp; I have been, of course, so fortunate to have the marvelous care available here and a great place to stay.</p><p>But boy will it be nice to be in my own home again.</p><p>Today started with&nbsp; medical tests beginning before 9 AM and finished after 5 with Dr. appointments and final prescription fillups.</p><p>But it was a good day.&nbsp; It was the last day of radiation and after meeting with the Doctor we came to a decision for the near future that we (the Dr., Dana and me) are all comfortable with. Here are the facts as we know them:</p><p>At this point the tumor in my head is under control, not&nbsp;growing or causing pain.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; There are numerous areas througout my body where the cancer has spread.&nbsp; To use a good old expression we can all understand, ” The horse is out of the barn”.&nbsp; The situation is very simple, treatment is only to mitigate my symptoms and the success of that is a highly variably statistically, with the outcome very indefinite.&nbsp;</p><p>Recognizing that each person is different in their reaction, my personal decision is, I am 100% into quality and 0% into time.&nbsp; This is because I feel so very lucky to be at total peace with where I am <strong>right now</strong>. So. we have decided to spend this next month (assuming no deterioration) just living and going for a month end&nbsp;checkup. We may then (depending on the test results) go another month.&nbsp; The Dr. has said if things change&nbsp; he will want to “pounce” because the treatment will likely make the symptoms better and likely that would be the prudent thing to do.&nbsp; There may be a clinical trial for which I am eligible as well.&nbsp; There is an element of risk in waiting but&nbsp;as said above, statistically it is a bit of a crap shoot.&nbsp; So why would we mess with potentially some good days ahead this coming month or two?</p><p>We are so delighted that Dana’s sister, husband and mom will be spending time with us over the next few days along with our son Brian and our two wonderful grandkids, Kieran and Adrian. It will be fun to get a chance to see many of you&nbsp;&nbsp;as I get adapted to being home in new and different circumstances.</p><p>I so enjoy the emails and phone calls.&nbsp; Thanks to each of you!!</p><p>Love you all,</p><p>Donna</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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*************************POST:Subject: Going Home and Canadian Thanksgiving DayDate: Mon Oct 13 2008 23:11:29 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>My sister-in-law, Telsa and Dana’s mom, Sylvia arrived just in time to help up head home (Thanks Barb Wachek for the beautiful bouquet!). Grandson Kieran arrived with Dad and Adrian on Sunday and we had a wonderful thanksgiving day in Canada with a visit from our friends Bob, Joanne, and Riley.&nbsp; We had a wonderful dinner, thanks to Brian and Telsa with Telsa’s husband Vern also pitching in.&nbsp; Great to be back!!</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Saying Goodbye to the GrandkidsDate: Thu Oct 16 2008 20:54:31 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>After five wonderful days, we had to say goodbye to Kieran, Adrian and Brian.&nbsp; They need to get back to school but we greatly enjoyed their visit. They are such wonderful boys!!</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Life In the Fast Lane!  Date: Fri Oct 17 2008 22:42:31 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: Calibri;”>We had a wonderful visit with family &ndash; Dana&rsquo;s sister, husband and mom from North Dakota and Wisconsin as well as our son Brian and two grandchildren Kieran and Adrian age 14 and 11.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Grandpa is just the tiniest bit taller than Kieran and Grandma is just the tiniest bit taller than Adrian but that will change soon we know!<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>We were thoroughly spoiled as both Telsa and Brian are great cooks &ndash; it was like having professional cooks and maids but we didn&rsquo;t have to pay them!<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>But now we are going to spend some time on our own and try to be as normal as possible.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>While I am so slow I am practically in reverse I can actually manage to cook a meal, clean a floor and the usual household tasks.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>As most of you know I have spent my whole life wired trying to find enough to keep me busy so one blessing of this is it takes me so long to get stuff done it is easy to stay busy and occupied during the day.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: Calibri;”>Dana is planning to work part-time in his office next week and part-time at home.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>That will be a positive thing for him and for Golder we hope.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>He is so fortunate to have wonderful staff to work with and to work for Golder a truly great company.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>I had my first company today &ndash; Joanne Rushby in the morning and Shirley McCartney and Fern Wilson.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>We had a great visit &ndash; actually I fear I did most of the talking &ndash; how rare is that?<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>In the afternoon, we had coffee served by Dana and store bought cookies but they tasted good.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>It would be wonderful to see you &ndash; call first of course.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>And remember my chin&hellip;While grateful for the pain relief provided by the steroids, I am delighted to say that I am almost completely done taking them for now and am nearly not on any medication.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>This is starting to result in my &ldquo;rocky the boxer&rdquo; puffiness going away and my face looking a little less &ldquo;moon&rdquo; like.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>For those of you who haven&rsquo;t been to our home I wanted to show you a view from my front door and my picture window so you could see how gorgeous it is &ndash; particularly in the fall my favorite time of year.</span></p><p style=”text-align:center;”><img class=”inserted_image” style=”margin:5px;” src=”/asset/view/9455/preview_2008_donna_in_spokane_002_bydwin.jpg/” alt=”” /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style=”text-align:center;”><img class=”inserted_image” style=”margin:5px;” src=”/asset/view/9455/preview_2008_donna_in_spokane_004fyard.jpg/” alt=”” /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style=”text-align:center;”><img class=”inserted_image” style=”margin:5px;” src=”/asset/view/9455/preview_2008_donna_in_spokane_005_byard.jpg/” alt=”” /></p><p>&nbsp;</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: The Australian Pentz FamilyDate: Fri Oct 31 2008 17:59:37 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>The aussies like to show off,&nbsp; our’s is bigger than yours! Nephew Donald in the Canola along with Kellie, the real farmer.&nbsp; This is the doll from the 1800’s that will be making a trip to Australia soon, following the Pentz family girls, along with Brother Myron and Sister-in-Law Ada. Here is neice Raelene, with the newest nephew, Max and Sarah with new brother Max. Finally a couple of more pictures of my brother and his wife (and gus) as we said goodbye.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: A Doll for A Doll!Date: Fri Oct 31 2008 17:31:02 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>How exciting to have my brother Myron and his wife Ada<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>arrive Wednesday evening for a visit from Geelong, Victoria Australia<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>- about one hour from Melbourne.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>They actually met<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>each other in Canada and were married here in 1969.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>They moved to Australia in December, 1973 and after living in some remote areas and Darwin in the Northern Territory, have lived in the Geelong area since 1984.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Myron and I were born to our father after he had already raised two boys to adulthood &ndash; Willie and Vernon.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>He and our mom Effie had us when our dad was well over 50 in my case and he was the baby of his family &ndash; so his mom &ndash; my <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>grandmother </span>was 91 when I was born and died soon thereafter.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Talk about a generation difference &ndash; she was born in 1856!<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>And, of course, I was the only girl!<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>One treasure I have always had is a doll that was my grandmother&rsquo;s. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>The story goes she got it for a trip when she was five years old.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Her ancestors had come from England to the Colonies in 1624 and her grandfather moved in to Nova Scotia as part of an English program to replace the French settlers who were moved out after their <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>defeat in the French Indian War of 1763.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>As an aside my Pentz ancestor<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>was a decorated fighter in this war as a member of the Roger&rsquo;s Rangers.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>In the mid-1800&rsquo;s her family returned to the Boston area by sailing ship and the assumption is the doll was purchased for this arduous trip for a young child.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span><span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>Nonetheless the doll is a treasure and a couple of years ago I decided it should go to the next girl people in our family which is of course Myron&rsquo;s daughter Raelene and her beautiful daughter Sarah who turns 2 November 3rd.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>I had planned to take it over this winter, <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>but now have the perfect opportunity to send it with them for safekeeping.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>We have included some pictures o f Myron and Ada with the doll as well as pictures of Sarah and her new brother Maxwell born in July.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>We also have a photo of Myron&rsquo;s other child, my nephew, Donald. Donald called recently and we received a photo of him in Western Australia &ndash; Donald seems quite impressed with how good HE looks in canola as well as me and reminds me that since he is taller than I(over 6 feet) , apparently his canola is taller as well! He farms <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>with Kellie in southwestern Australia on a farm with 16,000 acres in grain.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>And speaking of dolls&hellip;.Jane and Len Lippa visited awhile back &ndash; TWO pies in hand &ndash; and we discussed the doll which I showed to Jane.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>She brought me two books from the library showing dolls and it is very clear that the doll is from the era of my grandmother&rsquo;s youth &ndash; the time frame is definitely accurate.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>We were also delighted to have Karen LeMoel and Shirley Henderson over &ndash; with a bunch of A &amp; W goodies to fill us all up.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>This gave them the chance to meet Myron and Ada as well.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>This was after a busy day working with Sandy Groutage to be sure people who have signed up will FOR SURE receive the Diamond Dinner mailings in the spring &ndash; priorities after all! </span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: Calibri;”>Happy birthday to Dana&rsquo;s mom turning 89 on November 2<sup>nd</sup> and doing wonderful!<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>And congratulations on the birth of a new nephew &ndash; Dana&rsquo;s niece, Cheryl and husband Joe Pawlak had a <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>son Nathan Robert born on October 21<sup>st</sup> (joining their daughter Morgan),which would have been his great-grandpa Wally Schmidt&rsquo;s 99<sup>th</sup> birthday.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>It is such a wonderful treat to see you personally, receive your phone calls and e-mails &ndash; keep them coming.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Tentatively as of a conversation today with people at the cancer clinic in Spokane we will be going down on the evening of November 11<sup>th</sup> followed by tests on November 12<sup>th</sup> and then a first chemotherapy treatment on November 13<sup>th</sup>.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>This treatment will also include a clinical trial drug related to Avistan.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>We&rsquo;ll keep you posted as to how things develop. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>I&rsquo;m feeling reasonably well this week with things being stable but I’m trying to get off of steroids prior to the treatment scheduled for 13 November. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>Still have trouble sleeping and wishing for a bit more energy but am trying a few different things to see if they help.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Love to all of you!</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Donna</span></p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Donna Schmidt Memorial Lung Cancer Prevention SocietyDate: Mon Jan 12 2009 12:18:16 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>&nbsp;</p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”><span style=”font-family: helvetica;”>Following Donna’s death from Lung Cancer on 2 January, 2009, her husband, Dana Schmidt, and son, Brian Schmidt established the Donna Schmidt Memorial Lung Cancer Prevention Society.&nbsp; In 2010 the Society was organized as a tax exempt charity and receives donations in support of the Societie’s objective to reduce lung cancer from home and workplace radon exposure.&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”><span style=”font-family: helvetica;”>The Society donates long term radon detectors to household’s and business places in the West Kootenay’s, with detector’s available from the Castlegar City Hall, Golder Associates Ltd at 201 Columbia Avenue, in Castlegar and newly established programs in Trail and Nelson. The data are kept confidential.&nbsp; Data collected from the program is summarized to provide both geographical and statistical summaries of the hazard radon poses for lung cancer in the West Kootenay’s.&nbsp; Presentations are made upon request to interested organizations.</span></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”><span style=”font-family: helvetica;”>The Society also is working with the Castlegar Rotary Club at providing radon mitigation demonstration projects in Castlegar for reducing houselhold radon.</span></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”><span style=”font-family: helvetica;”>For More information about the Society, please contact Dana Schmidt at 250 365 0344 ext 227, or email him at: </span></span><a href=”mailto:dschmidt@golder.com”><span style=”font-size: medium;”><span style=”font-family: helvetica;”>dschmidt@golder.com</span></span></a><span style=”font-size: medium;”><span style=”font-family: helvetica;”>.</span></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><strong><em>Donations to the Society can be made at :</em></strong></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><strong><em>Donna Schmidt Memorial Lung Cancer Prevention Society,</em></strong></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><strong><em>Account #839.01270.28, CIBC World Markets,</em></strong></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><strong><em>CIBC Wood Gundy,</em></strong></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><strong><em>1300 Cedar Avenue,</em></strong></span></p><p style=”text-align: left;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><strong><em>Trail BC, V1R 4C2.</em></strong></span></p><p><em>&nbsp;A Tax Deductable Receipt will be issued to all donors.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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*************************POST:Subject: On the Road Again!Date: Fri Nov 07 2008 23:29:57 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>After a fun vist with my brother Myron and Ada, we said goodbye as they took off to a visit with our brother, Willie and his wife Joan, who live in western Washington.&nbsp; Good timing for them to head south to see our cousin Deon in Southern California and then back to sunny Australia, unlike our wet and rainy weather here. I’ve added a couple of pictures to the photo section.</p><p>We decided to return to Spokane on Thursday evening as I had some substantial pain in my sternum and back area that needed to be addressed.&nbsp; What a wonderful bunch in the medical groups down here- we talked to them at 11 am on Thursday and had an appointment in Spokane at 3:30 that same afternoon-so adaptable!</p><p>Today, 7 November, was a busy day. We met with the radiologist at 9:00 am, had an MRI at 12:30, Dr. appointment @2:00, and scheduling and preparation for radiation treatment at 4:00 pm, and completed scheduling for chemotherapy.&nbsp; Whew!</p><p>We didn’t make it back to the apartment until after 6:00 after picking up yet another prescription and to our delight, our friend Kathy Murray from Montana came to see us for a stay at our apartment, again at the Stratford Inn in Spokane. Of course, she came with all kinds of wonderful food including two pies!! And we will esnjoy the fun companionship over the next few days.</p><p>So our schedule unfortunately requires us to spend a 3 week stint here in Spokane.&nbsp; The plan is to have radiation on the sternum and spine for 3 weeks, once daily.&nbsp; There will be a chemo session next Wednesday.&nbsp; The goods news is the 1st chemo session will take place while we are here so any complications will be able to be handled locally. The chemo session will&nbsp;occur on wednesday and every 3 weeks&nbsp; after that for likely 4 sessions or more and of course all chemo and radiation will be evaluated and changed as needed.&nbsp; One of the tumors in my sternum and another in my spine will be targeted with radiation, as they are giving me the current problems, while the chemo will go after everything.</p><p>We have also been very pleased to establish a relationship with the Castlegar Home Health people, who have already been very helpful in getting some equipment and will be available to provide their very professional services as needed.</p><p>Just for the fun of it, I bought a bracelet I thought was just right for my circumstances so I have included a picture.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style=”text-align:center;”><img class=”inserted_image” style=”margin:5px;” src=”/asset/view/9455/preview_2008_donna_in_spokane_004_is_what_it_is.jpg/” alt=”” /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>We’re staying in Room 116 at the Stratford Suites in Spokane, 11808 W. Center Ln, Airport Heights, WA 99001.&nbsp; Of course everything remains day to day in this new world of ours!&nbsp; So count on things changing but we should be here for the next three week until 28 November.</p><p>We always love to hear from you and enjoy company and phone calls if you are coming down here or send us an email.</p><p>Thanks to all of you for everything and all of the support.</p><p>Donna</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Visitors in SpokaneDate: Sun Nov 09 2008 23:51:21 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>We had Sunday Brunch at the Davenport with Kathy. Amazing food! Patty and Helmut visited us with a tour of Manitou Park and the beautiful greenhouse and Donna and Helmut on the new ramp.</p><p>On the 22nd of November, a long term friend Dani Lee stopped in for a visit along with a return from Sandy and Wayne, who brought us some goodies and a nice boquet.&nbsp; Karen also made it up here on 23rd of November.&nbsp; These visits mean so much to us. Thanks to all of you.</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: It’s a Matter of Inches..Date: Fri Nov 14 2008 18:23:30 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>For some reason, one of the symptoms of my current condition is the inability to walk up any steps whatsover.&nbsp; I can do grades like ramps, but even the smallest steps pose a problem.</p><p>Fortunately for us, our great friends from Montana, Patty &amp; Helmut Meyer, visited us early this week.&nbsp; We’ve&nbsp; known Patty and Helmut since the college years of the 60’s.&nbsp; Dana and Helmut set out to buy a commercially made ramp at Home Depot, but they didn’t have the right one available.&nbsp; Fortunately for us, Helmut is a carpenter by trade and persistent by nature.&nbsp; He persuaded Home Depot to loan him the tools, gave him screws, and we bought the materials and, right in the middle of Home Depot, Helmut created a beautiful ramp for me to use here at the Stratford Suites. However, it also can be picked up and carried along with us in the car or we can take it home. Check it out in the photos.</p><p>What a life saver it has been!&nbsp;We have had much fun visiting with both of them and can’t wait to see them again.&nbsp;</p><p>And while on the topic of&nbsp; great news… I started radiation on Monday, which will go for three weeks.&nbsp; The goal is to reduce pain in the sternum as well as the spine area in my back.&nbsp; This will take awhile so in the meantime, I’m having to take a bit more pain medication than I would like, but the pain is under control and I am sleeping well.</p><p>On Wednesday, I had my first chemo treatment and it went fantastic! It was handled so well and done in such a great way, that something I had been dreading was not even unpleasant. And so far, 48 hours later,&nbsp;I am doing fine, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed..</p><p>Our friendd Kathy Murray visited again from Montana and once again, cooked us some&nbsp;beautiful meals, including putting some in the freezer for the future.&nbsp; We went to the fantastic Sunday brunch at the Davenport and also saw Madagascar II at the Imax theatre. It was so fun, but since we hadn’t seen&nbsp; the 1st one, it was very different from what we anticipated-we have to rent the first one.</p><p>We will be in Spokane until at least the end of November, perhaps through my second chemo therapy period scheduled for 3rd December.&nbsp; It wouldn’t be possible without the help of our dear friend Joanne, who has been taking care of the house and our pets, along with all of our other friends and those who are helping out with Dana’s work in Castlegar.&nbsp; We also so appreciate Juanita’s help with the house.</p><p>Our neighbors, Ed and Helga Skibinski, came and raked the leaves off of our lawn. What an amazing and wonderful thing for them to do.. we cannot thank them enough- and if you saw how many leaves I’m talking about, believe me, you would be impressed!!</p><p>We continue to enjoy the great phone calls, emails and letters!</p><p>Happy 62nd birthday Dana (Nov 14th, today)!!</p><p>Donna</p>

POST:POST:Subject: Home in the snowDate: Sun Dec 14 2008 12:02:33 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>Our first snowfall at home!</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: A Strange Christmas..Date: Sat Dec 20 2008 11:40:45 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>Last Monday we drove down to Spokane to have a meeting with Dr. on Tuesday morning.&nbsp; It turned out to be a good thing as on Tuesday morning, I was very weak and I passed out when I tried to walk and needless to say, we called an ambulance immediately and I was transported to Deaconess Hospital, yes the first hospital I entered in Spokane, three months ago.</p><p>I was in the hospital for&nbsp;a day and there was increasing concern about the swelling in my legs and they thought it was caused by a blood clot.&nbsp; The inititated an ultrasound scan (the same thing they use for looking at babies) to see what the problem was and determined I had blood clots in both legs, but the right one was worse.&nbsp; After a bit of discussion, we opted to initiate a procedure called thrombolysis (breaking up blood clots) to break up the clots by putting a tube in my leg and another one through a vein in my neck to put in a filter to insure the clot did not go to my lungs.&nbsp; They then put in a clot buster chemical slowly right on the clot that was affecting my leg.</p><p>At this point (Saturday morning), two days later, I’m still in the ICU because they need to keep working on it and monitor my leg swelling and twice a day they look at the clot to see if it is dissapearing. I’m doing ok given the circumstance but we hope the clot will dissipate as they need to stop the procedure by tommorow morning.&nbsp; We never know from day to day what is happening.&nbsp;</p><p>Brian and Jenny and the two boys will be arriving Tuesday night and hopefully I will be out of the ICU by then. The weather has been horrendous here with record snow falls and very cold today (-11F on Danas car thermometer). We hope it will be nice for the family.</p><p>Thanks everyone for caring.</p><p>Donna</p>
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*************************POST:Subject: Stop the World I want to get off !!Date: Fri Nov 21 2008 18:27:51 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>It started out great with chemo a week ago Wednesday and I am happy to say I felt fairly good Thursday and Friday.&nbsp; Then Saturday went downhill and I was very dizzy and my weakness became quite extreme and continued through Sunday.&nbsp; So on Monday, I went in for IV fluids of various kinds as well as radiation and on Tuesday, I had more blood tests followed by an MRI of my spine area. On Wednesday after meeting with Jeannie, my favorite Nurse Practitioner &amp; Dr. Lund, the oncologist, I was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital, followed with another MRI on my brain in the evening; Surely I must glow in the dark or rattle or whatever one does after these strange procedures!! If you ever have one you’ll find they are one of the strangest experiences.</p><p>The truth is that it is a bit of a quandry what is causing the weakness and dizziness but for now they are focusing on the spine with analysis by neurological practicioners, a neurosurgeon, and soon a nuerologist will be consulted. You’d like to think someone would have an idea from that bunch (I think I’ll give them a picture of Boris so they’ll know what to look for!!). But in the meantime I am eating better and have gone for a couple of walks daily with Dana’s assistance down the halls of this place.</p><p>I think it is a good respite for us to have some time being taken care of to catch our breath and relax and we’ll go from there.&nbsp;</p><p>We’re looking forward to visits from some Castlegar friends, Sandy and Wayne and Karen, this weekend along with a high school friend from Poplar Montana, Dani Lee.&nbsp; She is coming up on&nbsp;a train from Oregon and it will be great to see them all. And then next week, we will celebrate US Thanksgiving with some&nbsp;University of Montana&nbsp;friends, regardless of where we will be!!</p><p>The apartment number phone is the same at 509 321 1516.&nbsp; Dana is there in the late evenings. While in the hospital at Sacred Heart, I’m in room 735, though we haven’t a clue how long that will be.&nbsp;</p><p>Thanks to all of you for your support.&nbsp; We have been a little down this week but we’re chugging along back up the hill thanks to our wonderful support from people like you and the medical community here!!</p><p>7:00 PM addendum.</p><p>We just had a visit from both Dr. Lund and the neurologist and it looks like I’ll likely go home to our apartment tommorow and they believe.. the problems are most likely due to a mixture of the chemo therapy and the steroids.&nbsp; I’ll be resuming the radiation treatment on Monday and we should have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and we look forward to seeing&nbsp;our freinds tommorow.</p><p>A nice way to end this week. We’ll keep our fingers crossed….</p><p>Donna</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Bye..Date: Sat Jan 03 2009 10:51:58 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>&nbsp;</p><p style=”text-align:center;”><img class=”inserted_image” style=”margin:5px;” src=”/asset/view/9455/preview_2001_photo_collection_013_final.jpg/” alt=”” /></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>This time, I’ve had to have Dana write this based on our visits of this past week.&nbsp; The short answer is the blood clots came back with a vengence, with Boris doing his nastiness, and things went downhill rapidly from there.&nbsp;</p><p>We were fortunate our familly from Australia, Brian, Jenny, Adrian and Kieran, were here this week along with our dear friends Carl and Kristie Burger visiting on New Year’s Eve and they had a very nice dinner in downtown Spokane.&nbsp;Although I had a difficult time conversing, I dearly loved to see those boys with Brian and Jenny.&nbsp; Brian and Jenny both sat with me this week to give Dana a break to go skiing with the boys and Jenny at Silver Mountain.</p><p>When&nbsp;Brian and family&nbsp;were leaving&nbsp;on 1 January, I’m afraid things didn’t come out very clearly but I was trying to tell them that I love them all and they were all very special to me and I was so proud to have such a wondeful family.</p><p>Thanks to you all for everything you’ve given me.</p><p>Love</p><p>Donna</p><p>Postscript</p><p>As most of you know, Donna left us about noon on Friday, January 2nd.&nbsp; I will be returning to Castlegar&nbsp;Saturday evening&nbsp;and my sister Telsa and son Brian will be with me this week.&nbsp; We will be having a memorial service in Castlegar that I will post on this site and send out to everyone by email.&nbsp; Please let any of Donna’s friends know about her passing that I haven’t been able to contact.</p><p>In lieu of flowers we will be setting up a memorial fund and will let you know early next week where to send donations.</p><p>Thank you for all of your support through these last few months and for being our friends.&nbsp; I have been very blessed to have had this special person as the center of my life for the last 42 years.</p><p>Our love to all of you.</p><p>Dana</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: A Festive Week !Date: Sat Nov 29 2008 00:47:08 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>The beginning of this week was routine with only radiation tratments going on Monday through Wednesday.&nbsp; On Wednesday evening, Thanksgiving visitors showed up; our friends Kathy from Great Falls, her son Mick and Fiance’ Lannie from Troy (via Great Falls and Two Dot), Bill and Marilyn Rudolph from Williston, North Dakota, Patty and Helmut Meyer from Victor, Montana.</p><p>Thanksgiving morning, Jesssica (Kathy’s daughter) and Mike McGowan and 4 year old son Sean from Highwood, and Tom Facey and Maureen O’malley from Missoula all arrived.&nbsp; These are all such special people and their children from our young lives together when we were first married and attending the University of Montana, starting our family and lives together.</p><p>We had a marvelous Thanksgiving dinner with so many wonderful goodies, both traditional and unique in the conference room generously provided to us and decorated by the folks here at the Stratford Suites.</p><p>I was pleased to find many of the items tasted good to me since eating has been a problem since I started the chemo. I have been eating better this week and while I have not regained a lot of strength, I am better and hope to get better as time goes on as I reduce steroid intake.</p><p>We spent Thanksgiving evening watching the 1st Madagascar Movie on a DVD provided by our young friend Sean, which was very interesting after seeing the 2nd one two weeks ago with Kathy.</p><p>Folks have stayed here through today (Friday) with some enjoying the downtown festivities, followed with a dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory with everyone.&nbsp; We followed it up with a slide show of our trip to South Georgia Island of a year ago back at the Stratford.</p><p>A wonderful Thanksgiving and we greatly appreciate all of the friends who have travelled so far to spend the last two days with us and especially our friend Kathy who put all of this together.</p><p>Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!</p><p>Donna</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Thanksgiving!!Date: Sat Nov 29 2008 14:13:36 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>Thanksgving was had with our old friends and one new young one! Thanks everyone for coming.</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: We’re going home!Date: Thu Dec 04 2008 23:49:39 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>After our very exciting Thanksgiving visitors, we were delighted to have 3 sets of people show up on Sunday.&nbsp; First were Kathy’s grandson Ben and and his father Brian returning from their trip to the Yakima for their holiday.&nbsp; We mets Ben’s other brother and Brian’s wife for the first time.&nbsp;</p><p>Then Rex and Susan from Missoula arrived. Rex was a communication student with me many years agon, not to mention some wonderful hours country western dancing at the Cabin.&nbsp;We were fascinated with seeing the picutres of an amazing rce car REx ahd built from the huld of junkyard Saab.&nbsp; Rex races this car at the Bonneville Salt Flats each year.&nbsp; He is over 200 MPH and hopes to to hit 300 in the future. He has also worked on the crew of a race car from a Great Falls family that has set records on the flats of over 400 MPH. You can experience it on&nbsp;Youtube:</p><p>&nbsp; <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS6cRLIKymI”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yS6cRLIKymI</a></p><p>And to add to the excitement, he was featured on the Bonneville Salt Flats in a History Channel Special on Salt in the “Modern Marvels” show on Monday night. I think it will be running again tonight if you want to learn about Salt and see Rex at the track. We greatly enjoyed all of the fine food they brought for lunch, which we have been eating for the rest of this week.</p><p>Then our next visitors of the day were Gord and Alexia Turner from Castlegar with Gord and Dana sharing a glass of one of the red wines he found down here.&nbsp; They included us at the end of a festive weekend celebrating Gord’s birthday.&nbsp;</p><p>Monday – Thursday, finished off the 15 days of radiation on the chest and the back. On Wednesday, we had a visit with the Doctors.&nbsp; After discussion, we decided the chemo as done before was too much to do right now without the risk of making me too tired.&nbsp; So the chemo will be postponed until Tuesday, the 16th and the drugs used will be slightly altered (carboplatin instead of cisplatin).&nbsp; In the interim, I will be tapering off steroids which we hope will eventually lead to some additional strength, less dizziness/lightheadedness.</p><p>On Thursday night, right before we are heading back to Castlegar, friday morning, Don and Fern Wilson dropped by as they are on their way to a week in Mexico.&nbsp; It was great to see them.</p><p>We also received a wonderful note from Dana’s sister, Telsa, and a nice T shirt that matches my Bracelet!&nbsp; Dana also received some fishing dodads in addition to a sprng loaded basket that we are using to pack some of the food we’ve accumulated on our return trip today.</p><p>So with the radiation completed, nothing is scheduled until the 16th and we will be headed home today for a couple of weeks, we hope!!</p><p>It will be wonderful to be there. Thanks to everyone for all of the cards and emails. They mean a lot to us.</p><p>Donna</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Post Thanksgiving Visitors!Date: Fri Dec 05 2008 00:11:11 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>We had a lot of visitors this week. On Sunday, Ben and his dad Brian and the rest of his family, along with Rex and Susan, and Gord and Alexia visited.&nbsp; On Thursday night Fern and Don Wilson stopped in on their way to Mexico.&nbsp;</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Looks beautiful from the inside looking out, but…Date: Fri Dec 12 2008 22:52:10 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>Well we knew it would come!! Today was the 1st day&nbsp; we had substantial snowfall- and- while it does look beautiful…. Thankfully Dana has his new blower which will be put to good use tommorow morning..</p><p><p style=”text-align:center;”><a rel=”lightbox” href=”/asset/view/9455/2008_donna_in_spokane_002_snow_2.jpg/”><img class=”inserted_image” style=”margin:5px;” src=”/asset/view/9455/preview_2008_donna_in_spokane_002_snow_2.jpg/” alt=”” /></a><p>We have enjoyed being home a week today!! As it seems to be our usual plan, everything started out smoothly until Monday evening.&nbsp; Then for reasons unknown, the pain in my back seemed to increase substantially and was not properly controlled by pain medication.&nbsp; Whatever we tried, it didn’t seem to get better so by Tuesday evening, we were pretty panicked!&nbsp; Dana was able to get a hold of the community health nurse whoc contacted our local primary care physician.&nbsp; They were able to prescribe appropriate medicine which Dana was able to pick up Tuesday evening at the local pharmacy.&nbsp; The nurse came that evening (yes they still do house calls!) and administred the pain medicine and showed Dana how to do it as well. After discussing the treatment with her, the pain started to get under control.&nbsp; We were visited again the next day by a home health nurse and feel so grateful to have them available – and -, my primary physician here, Dr. Vasil’s concern and phone calls are truely wonderful and appreciated.</p><p>We are still tentatively scheduled&nbsp; to go to Spokane on Tuesday for additional treatment.&nbsp; We will have to see where that leads but we hope to be back after several days.</p><p>Thanks for all the phone calls, cards, and visits, and the assistance that Juanita has been giving me each morning so Dana can work some.</p><p>As always we look forward to hearing from all of you and appreciate your concern and friendship.</p><p>Enjoy the snow!!</p><p>Donna</p></p></p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Some wishes do come true..Date: Sat Dec 27 2008 16:47:50 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>I was able to get out of the ICU on Monday night for the family to arrive on Tuesday evening.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>And miraculously, they arrived on time according to their schedule. The weather has been absolutely awful. They have rented an apartment next door to us which works out nicely.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Brian has also rented a 4 wheel drive vehicle. </span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>They have also taken advantage of some of the activities around here, such as <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>ice skating, the IMAX theatre, and the Cabellas store, which is something not found in Australia. Dana went over to Silver mountain with the grandkids yesterday to scope out the skiing and water park potential. We all shared exciting gifts and exchanged presents on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. </span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>My next goal is to be able to get up, sitting up and then maybe, after two weeks of being immobile, to be able to walk a little bit again. <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>I don&rsquo;t know how long I will be staying in Deaconess Hospital.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>I am currently in room 1125 and hopefully will stay out of the ICU for awhile. </span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Gordon and Alexia, with help from Joanne and Bob, brought down a bunch of our stuff, including grandson Adrian&rsquo;s Christmas present. Thanks to all of you for doing so much for us.</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>We hope you all have a wonderful New Year. </span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Thank you everyone,</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0cm 0cm 10pt;”><span style=”font-size: small; font-family: Calibri;”>Donna</span></p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Christmas with the GrandkidsDate: Sun Dec 28 2008 20:02:26 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p>Brian, Jenny, Kieran and Adrian and Donna’s new African friend.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

 

*************************POST:Subject: Donna’s Memorial Celebration PartyDate: Mon Jan 05 2009 14:54:57 GMT+0000 (UTC)Body:<p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt; text-align: center;”><span style=”font-size: 24pt; font-family: &amp;quot;Brush Script MT&amp;quot;;”>Donna Schmidt</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt; text-align: center;”><span style=”font-size: 24pt; font-family: &amp;quot;Brush Script MT&amp;quot;;”>A Memorial Celebration for Donna</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt; text-align: center;”><span style=”font-size: 24pt; font-family: &amp;quot;Brush Script MT&amp;quot;;”>8 January, 2009, 3:30 PM</span></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>There will be a celebration party of Donna&rsquo;s Life with all of her Friends and Family at the Element in Castlegar on Thursday,<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>January 8<sup>th</sup> , beginning at 3:30 PM.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Please arrive between 3:00 and 3:30 to share in refreshments. We will have brief presentation on Donna&rsquo;s life and share some stories.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></strong></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>At 4:00 pm, everyone is to socialize and enjoy the music of Wylie Gustafson, weather permitting.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Wylie and his band, the Wild West, is one of Donna&rsquo;s favorites.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>She spent an evening two years ago at one of his concerts at his family farm on Two Medicine Creek in Montana along with family friends of ours. </span></strong></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>So come on out and have a great time and remember all of the fun times we <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>have had with her over the years.</span></strong></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>Please join us in this fun goodbye party for a wonderful lady.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>One of her wishes this fall was to have a party at the Element with Wylie performing for all of our friends.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>We know she will be with us in spirit as we celebrate her life at this event.</span></strong></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>Stay as long as you like and meet her family and friends while enjoying Wylie.</span></strong></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>In lieu of flowers,<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>a memorial fund will be set up to support local community lung cancer prevention.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></strong></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>In addition, we will be setting up a scholarship for rural women to have access to higher education. </span></strong></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>Details will be provided later and we can accept contributions at the event on Thursday.</span></strong></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>We hope to see you all there.</span></strong></p><p class=”MsoNormal” style=”margin: 0in 0in 10pt;”><strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight: normal;”><span style=”font-size: 14pt; font-family: &amp;quot;CG Omega&amp;quot;,&amp;quot;sans-serif&amp;quot;;”>Donna&rsquo;s <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp;</span>Family</span></strong></p>

 

 

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