Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cyberknife DONE!

I graduated today at 11:15.  Now, I just wait.  I will get a scan in the next few months, but I really will not know the full success/fail until 8 months to a year from now.  The treatment went fine, however, I did get the side effects of fatigue and nauseous.  I forgot how tiring it was.  Plus, I was like, "I can do it! No problem!  Let's stop by Costco and Target and Fred Meyer....and frick I am tired....."  It is the kind of fatigue that you just do not care about anything.  Grant and I have managed to keep things going and the boys have been awesome, so I work for a couple hours and then I lay down.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  The thing I can't stand is soccer practice.  It is a hour and a half......and Grant is with Mason at Baseball or Hockey.  Nolan is nine.....does he really need to practice for 90  minutes twice a week?  Whatever.  He loves his coach, so we do it but icky.  Also, now, because people are showing up late to games, the team is required to show up 1 hour before the game.  So, now, the same two players that showed up on time before, get to show up 30 minutes earlier and I just can do two hours plus travel right now - so I miss.  So who is being punished?

Anyways, I am fine.  The nausea should subside within two weeks and the fatigue in two months.  TWO MONTHS!  Frick.  The things you forget......

Layin' Low in the Valley....Happy Graduation Day from Cyberknife, Ang

Thursday, September 8, 2016

And life goes on....

So, for me, I have had good news.  For my boys, they have started school, riding their bikes, and doing so many "mature" things I have had to stop myself.  "Where did they get that?!?!  Why do they know that?!?!"  Moms talk to me and tell me, "Don't worry about "x", he will be fine.  He has Middle School figured out!"  Pause......wha?!?!.......he hasn't told me.....what the heck?!?!?!  So, then I ask them about their conversation with "X" and they pour out all this information that I had NO IDEA THEY HAD IN THEM.  I am starting to schedule treatment and I am trying to get it so that I will be home for the boys, but they are like, "Mom, we got this.  Do the treatment whenever they can get you in.  That is the most important."  Again, "Who are you?!?!"  I have been juggling treatment, your Dad's business, Grandma and pa, for years now.  When did you get so independent?!?!?!  OMG, you send one kid to Babysitting Class and he thinks he knows everything!?!?!?!?!

School is interesting now.  Things are so much better, but Nolan is experiencing growing pains.  Thank Goodness for the new principal and Nolan is like, "I am so happy there are announcements everyday, but they are done by the VP Monday -Thursday and then the Principal on Friday, but she talks A LOT!!!!"  I respond with, "Is that bad?"  "No, she is VERY INFORMATIVE."  Seriously, the kid kills me......

So, here is the thing.  I think I am the luckiest person in the world.  I could not have kids.....I have kids....albeit that Nolan complains about being frozen ALL THE TIME.  I got terminal cancer, and yet I am still here.  They are 11 and 9.  I wasn't supposed to see past 3 and 1.  Again, they are 11 and 9.  I actually like my doctors.  Seriously, I like them.  I know their histories, I know their struggles, I know what they like, I know what they do not like.....I like them and all the nurses and techs that go with them.  They actually ask about me.......hippa is a bitch, but most people say stuff like, "Well, I saw her here and she seems good!"  Hippa sucks.  Crap, I have a blog.  Really, say anything you want.

Finally, this is for my husband.   Twenty two years ago we made all sorts of promises.  I also remember the promises we made in Issaquah after the picnic when I would not see him until the ceremony.  We agreed on the vows, but we also said that evening, "If you get too fat to leave the bedroom, you can leave and if you cheat.  There was a third, but neither of us remember, so I guess that is okay.  So here goes.....

Grant, you have never left me.  Sometimes, I think I should have left myself.  If things were reversed, I may have left you.  I know you do not believe that, but sadly, you should.  We were young, and healthy.  You loved me like no one ever had.  You have loved me the same ever since.  You are my best friend, you are an amazing parent to my boys, and you have been, really, the only one I could have gone through all of this through.  Sometimes life sucks and there is, honestly, no one I would rather go through it with than you.  You have loved me and I have loved you.  I just hope that is enough.

Here is to treatment and more years, Ang

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rocked it!

NĂºmero Uno!  Treatment starts next week!

Happy, Happy Wednesday, Ang

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Thank you, thank you, thank you....


First thank your all the thoughts, flowers, food, nail files (that one is actually super special and from HAWAII!), prayers and support.  It truly has been appreciated and, as always, humbling.  I have not left far from home except for one baseball game for the Tacoma Rainiers that we "won" tickets for at Mason's Hockey Association Auction.  We got a tour and photo too....like it?!?!



Anyway, the markers that have healed  have healed and there is nothing I can do about it now.  Other than a couple good knocks from Nolan I could have have been any more still for healing.  Tomorrow I go in to see if they healed in place and will work or if we need to go and put more markers in. Vote/Pray for number one. If it is number one, they will then start my treatment and set up my apppointments etc.

Go number 1!

Happy Tuesday,
Ang




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Everything went great.....

I was on my stomach and the tumor was easy to access.  Two needles for the markers they wanted in.  Only two two horrible jabs, but I did not move but my hands just stretched out.  They asked if I was okay and if I needed more drugs after the first and I asked how many more.  "One."  "No, thank you."  45 minute it was over.  The previous marker placement in 2012 was MUCH worse.

X-Rays came back good.... No holes in my lung.  I can go home. No pain meds for the way home, he knows I do not care for them.  Tylenol works if I use it.

So now it hurts like someone stabbed me very cleanly with an ice pick.......twice.  It hurts to move, it hurts to breathe too deep, t, just well, hurts.

Mason and Grant are at baseball, Ms. Anderson just picked up Nolan for the BBQ, and I am going lay here.

More later.....happy Tuesday, Ang

Monday, August 29, 2016

Tomorrow I go....

Tomorrow I go.  Check in at 6am.  Procedure at 8am. It will take between 2 and a half hours to 3.  I totally trust my doc doing it.  He has been with me for a long time.  He did my gold markers before and mentioned to Hank that he was having great success with ablation and I was a great candidate.  Several ablation procedures later, I know him, his kids, funny stories, and, well, I adore him.  Karissa too.  He thought Karissa and I were a couple, until he met Grant.  Karissa, I think, is his favorite.  In one of my first appointments he said, "I have the needle that I will be putting into your chest in my pocket if you want to see it..."  Karissa was like, "I want to see it!"  I agreed, but Karissa was the star.

Here is the truth.  I don't want to go.  This is a grueling procedure.  They put me in a CT scanner.  They map my tumor on my chest, then they pull me out, place the marker, and put me back it to see if they did it well.  I am conscious.  The pain is dulled, but not gone.  I feel the pressure of them going into my chest, it hurts, and while it is not the worst pain I have ever experienced in this journey, honestly, it sucks.  Each marker is the same.  Then they send me home...beaten and bruised and told be rest and be quiet for a few days.  I do not know how you cannot.  It hurts to turn, to bend, to do anything and the stress of "did I do too much" it always there.  The markers need to "heal" in place and if you move too much the fall......

I went to acupuncture today.  I love her.  We have become friends and she connects with me on another level.  I told her I pushed back on this procedure and she told me that she feels better with the markers than without.  She explained all the things that could go wrong and how this is the best way to go.  She helped me with pain today and how to challenge it, how to deal, and how to relax during this somewhat crude procedure.  She comes from a place of feeling, not odds.  It comforts me.

Grant is taking me and Mom is getting the boys.  When I get home, the boys come home and Mason and Grant go to baseball and Ms. Anderson (Kelsey) will take Nolan to the Welcome Back BBQ.  She is not even a teacher there anymore.....and I cry.  How lucky am I?!?!  Meals start to come on the 31st, and my boys will be watched over on he first day of school by my beloved teachers.  I am so blessed - like really, I am not just saying that because for those of you who really know me, I would not say anything I did not mean!!!!  So, life goes on.  My last day of summer was today.  We picked veges from the garden that I will offer to people bringing us dinner, we played volleyball while waiting for my acupuncturist to eat lunch on my demand, and we lived by the river, playing hockey, being in the carpool lane, going to Fred Meyer, and laughing.  This is all I ever wanted and I love it....enough to do the rest.

Happy Monday/Tuesday, Ang

Friday, August 26, 2016

One Heck of a Day....

La la la.....I go into today for my planning appointment and think everything is great.  CT done.  Back support done.  Imagining done, but........the doc in the office (who is SUPER conservative and cautious beyond reasonableness) comes in and says......, "Well, we can clearly see part of the tumor, but we cannot see the other because your liver is in the way.  (Aren't all my organs in the way?!?!?!) So, in this case, we would treat the area, but I believe that the risk of bad pneumonia is far too great, so I think we should do markers."  These are gold markers.  They hurt to put in, they are not guaranteed.  They are honestly, in my humble, but not humble opinion, not worth it over pneumonia.  I have had pneumonia like eighteen times.....seriously?!??!?!  Threatening me with pneumonia?  I would try something like cancer....opps, have that, maybe something mysterious like Guillain-Barre.  Okay. Frick.  Timeline blown again, but.....my ablation doc is also my marker doc.  He has an opening on Tuesday am.  EARLY.  I take it.  Then I have to be very quiet for three days.  Little movement etc, so that they can "heal in place".  So, then they check me on the 7th and we start a week later.  So, here is the interesting part, I have to flip everything.  I can't do anything after the markers are put in.  Then, I can for a bit.  Then, I am in treatment which I now remember the difficulty of that now being still, awake, breathing normally - what the frick is normal?!?!?!, for 55 mins without so much as more than a blink.

So, I am delayed again.....this is fine especially with the odds of 97%, like come on, I would really have to screw something up to not have those work?!?!?!?!?!

Meals are perfect.  I will need them more than ever during the markers and healing. Thank you.  

Happy Weekend, Ang

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Things that I have learned since my relapse.....

#1 - Spend more than $6 on replacement toilet seats.  I chose to go as cheap as I could and have spent $4700 in gas returning all the broken ones - okay maybe $12.  The best comment I got was at Walmart with an older woman who said, "Oh dear, we can't have you lopsided on the seat - that doesn't work.  And by the way, I don't sit on those wooden one ANYMORE, one pinched me!"  I can't make this up.  I actually think cyber knife will be easier than all the return and installs that I did with toilet seats.

#2 - Sometimes you just need time and get hammered!  Enough said.  See below.

#3 - People are amazing.  People that care for me - amazing.  I cry once a week.  My neighbors, my friends, my family, amazing.

Things that I am thankful for...

Jamberry because no matter what state I am in, I can have beautiful toes.  I do find them on the cats sometimes which may have something to do with #2.

Friends and family.....they get me.  Sometimes I need time, sometimes I need a stupid movie. Sometimes I need my lawn mowed.  See below.....

So, this weekend, I was SUPPOSED to be dropping Mason off in Kelowna for hockey camp. Because of everything, Grant and I decided that I should stay home just in case they call with an opening.  Friday Grant and Mason leave.  Friday, Beckey, a girlfriend, and I have plans to go out, but I have Nolan.  Mom takes Nolan.  I go out and do #2 - not POOP....God, look above and follow along!!!!  If God can follow this, you can too!  Oh, we also saw Bad Moms AGAIN!  We went to Mexican afterwards.  We sat in the bar, not because we had to, but because we could!  NO KIDS!  I order a Margarita as big as my head.  The guys across were funny....not weird, I was dressed in my grey t-shirt, spandex that has NEVER seen a gym and my hair is still wet.  Just a good time.  Saturday I wake up and I am like, "I drank last night.  UGH."  But there was no one to ask for breakfast, cuddle with me (which I missed, but I didn't....I am a BAD Mom.), I ate breakfast in bed, watched Netflix and petted my cats and slept with my cats until lunch with my Mom and Aunt.  Came home.  Heather, my neighbor/boss/friend/co-padre was leaving town and I am taking care of the house (I always have and I always will), she brings me dinner, dessert, extra stuff.  Okay, but she hugs me.  PAUSE.  Heather's hugs are healing, calm, sweet, and mine.  She loves me and I love her.  Dinner comes and I make pot stickers and Turkish green beans BECAUSE I CAN AND NO ONE WILL COMPLAIN!!!!!  Watch Netflix, play Clash of Clan A LOT, and sleep with my cats.  I LOVE MY CATS.  I wake up the next day and it is cool......thank God, NW people are not equipped to deal with 95 degrees two days in a row.  I get ready (spandex and a baseball cap), I go to Fred Meyer - SHOCKER! - and I come home.  I load up the car with all the stuff from the Garage Sale that I am never going to do anything with, and I ask my neighbors the Manca's, "If any one of your boys wants to make a quick $25, mow my lawn.  Please God.  I don't do that."  Trina sends John.  Okay, he is the Dad.  "Johnny, you are not mowing my lawn for free."  "I was doing mine anyway."  "Johnny, you didn't let me pay for the rug doctor repair."  "Ang, we use your Rug Doctor more than you do."  "FINE."  He edges, mows, and it is even to Grant's standard.  BRAVO.  I harvest some many zucchini, I cannot count.  If you want zucchini, it is on my porch!!!!  I have given them to EVERYONE and not will drop some at the school which I have heard from many sources is in good hands with the new principal.  Corn, beans, beats, butternut squash.  It was amazing and overwhelming.  I still need to do laundry, but that can wait.  But here is the funny part.....when Mom picked me up for lunch, she said, "So what would your Grandmother say about all this?!?!?!"  This is Virginia.  My Grandma.  The only Grandparent that was blood related too and really knew.  I know she loved me.  I know she was proud of me and she gave me good life lessons, BUT this would actually be her version of my weekend......

"Grant was barely out of town before Angela dropped Nolan off at my poor Son's house (Keith).  You know he is struggling especially with Sharon and you boyfriend in Wisconsin!   (My Mom has never had a boyfriend - and least of all in Wisconsin.)  They she was off to the bars and inappropriate movie with her friends!  The next day she did NOTHING except get her neighbors husband to mow her lawn.  There MUST be something between them - probably violating some commandment!"

......despite it all, I have had a weekend off, where honestly, I was wondering what to, but in the end......I enjoyed EVERY MINUTE OF IT!!!!!

Happy Sunday, Ang

Friday, August 19, 2016

Marching orders....

So, I got the call from the scheduler.  She could get me in on Friday the 26th.  Heart sinks.  "Is that the earliest appointment?"  "Yes." "Okay, so what is involved in the appointment?"  "Well, I understand that you are a go getter, so we have scheduled EVERYTHING in that day.  You will know if you need markers, you will know when you can start treatment, etc."  Okay, so I cannot complain, but my treatment is tentatively scheduled for Sept 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 8th.  FRICK.  September 1st is the first day of school.  I have never missed one and considering I was supposed to miss all of them, it hurt.  "They will never remember...."  "It will be fine....they know the drill...."  "I can be there....."   Pause.......exhale....pause...., but I am their Mom and while I am a pretty bad Mom, they know certain things.......I love them....I will fight for them.....I will protect them.....I will be their greatest ally....I will be the one they call in trouble, but I will not be there.  FRICK.  Mason is prepared.  He told me, "We do what we have to do."  He is eleven.  What eleven-year-old does that in America?  Maybe other countries, but not here.  But I guess, "We do what we have to do."

Sad, but proud,

Ang

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Update.....Slower than I wanted, but that is my life....

Today.....today I get a voicemail that we got insurance confirmation.  That is five/six business days from when we started.  I was then told in the voicemail that I would receive a call from the scheduler to schedule everything.  Encoded....my timeline is blown.  I will never get treatment scheduled the week before school is in and I will be in treatment during their first days of school.  Frick.  That has happened before.  I will miss the Welcome BBQ.  I will miss the drop off, but it will be okay because I have a great survival rate of this.  The school had contacted me and because of all the turn over they were like, "So, you do the welcome BBQ?"  and I was like, "No, I am sorry, my President term ended July 1 and I left great notes, also I am in cancer treatment right now, so I cannot commit." The new staff was lovely, but honestly, I am burnt out from last year and if we get no admin support, we are out.  No spirit wear, no science night, no shirts, no spirit, no Scholastic News, no nothing.  I think that is sad, but it is the reality.  You do not work for free forever and I loved it, but when it was a communal sport.

At the same time, I am with my parents and working through their stuff.  They have done an amazing job, but sometimes my Dad is, well, disappointing.  He is impatient, judgmental, and harsh.  I blow it off, but I am not sure my kids can.  On the flip side.....My Grandparents 75% by marriage and not blood, had so many patience with me.  Loved me.  Disciplined me and saw me through that sometimes I yearn for that with my boys.  I hope as we get the garage cleaned out and the Pontiac in action that will change, but I have me doubts.

The meal train is wonderful, but it may need to be shifted, as I may not have treatment then.  I have tons of options for driving me to treatment which I do not need, but they want to do and I am not going to say no, because in reality, it is nice to have someone there with you.

More updates to follow..

Thank you forever...happy Wednesday,

Ang