Thursday, February 28, 2008

Well, that took a long time!

Well, things are finally on the mend. From what my oncologist and I could figure out, I contracted the flu when my chemo was at its worst, so my poor body didn't know what to do. I struggled all week and then by Saturday I was in bed all day. Sunday and Monday were the same. Tuesday, I made it downstairs and ate a little, but I still couldn't lift Nolan. Wednesday, Grant had to go back to work, but with the help of Karissa, my Mom and my Dad, I was slowly moving in the right direction and got caught up on household chores. Today, the boys and I are lying low, but having fun. I still tire easily, but I am able to care for the boys. Keep in mind, they are still in the PJs and the house is destroyed with toys, but they are happy, changed, and fed, so the necessities are taken care of and that is all that matters. It was funny when I talked to my oncologist because I said, "So, I am not septic (sp) and going to die?" Remember him.....he replied, "Highly unlikely that you will die this week." He sure can take the wind out of my dramatic moment. I FELT like dying. He then told me what to do and told me that I would be better in a couple days. I thought, "No way...I feel way too bad for that...." but, I did......which ticked me off a little - he is always right.....maybe he is God??? Probably not - God would not be so patient with me. He would be like, "Look, I have other things to get to, so are we done????? Clearly, you are going to be FINE." Take care and wash your hands!!! Love, Ang

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lucky Me

40% flu shot didn't cover this one. Grant, Mom and I got it. Struggled all week - been in bed for 3 days. The big difference is Grant and my Mom are getting better and I am not. Such is life undergoing chemo. May you have a germ-free day. Off to call the doctor.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love

I recently finished the book "Eat, Pray, Love" and while I enjoyed it for the most part there were a couple things that really got my panties in a twist. Basically, the book is about a woman that in her early 30s who decides that she is miserable with her life and every aspect of it. She resolves to change it by going on a physical and personal journey around the world seeking inner peace and her relationship with God. She made reference early on in the book that if she didn't go on this journey, she would consume herself in grief and get cancer. Well, you can imagine my response....."Oh, is that how I get cancer? Someone should have told me that in Health Class and I could have avoided this WHOLE thing." WHATEVER! I was also annoyed at times at how completely clueless she was about what is important in life, but then, she never got the "cancer clarity" as I like to say it. Maybe that would have sped things up for her. Again, all in all I liked the book, and on one point she and I agree completely. In the last paragraph of the book she talks about being grateful for all that have helped in this journey. She said, "In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices." So, thank you, to my husband for getting up, getting my new pills, and holding me until I stop shaking from the cramping and the nausea and fall asleep, thank you for him making me get up to see the lunar eclipse from our bedroom window and telling me that it was just for me, thank you to my parents for welcoming my two young boys into their lives so completely, thank you to my friends that scrub my floors and toilets and feed my family, thank you to my family who come over for a birthday party and end up vacuuming before it starts, thank you to my girlfriends you drive me to home parties so that I can feel real sometimes, thank you to Kat for buying me the book, thank you for the notes, prayers, scrapbook scheduling, letters, pictures, funny emails, charms, DVDs, CDs, foot massages, lunch at chemo…..the list goes on forever and forever I will being saying thank you, sincerely, for as long as I have a voice. Love, Ang

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bit of a rough week...

This round wasn't as easy as I had hoped. Monday was fine, but I have moved since then. In fact, I didn’t even turn on the computer yesterday. I knew it was bad when Grant decided to sleep in Mason's bed. Scary that twin bed that smells like sweaty three year old is better than me. Things are improving slowly. Mom is keeping the boys for one extra night to be sure that I am well enough to take care of them. I miss them so, but I am contented that Mason can get on the phone with me and very objectively ask me when he will see me again and where he is going to sleep tonight. He doesn't get upset. He just listens to the plan and accepts it. Maybe it is because every morning since he was a whee one, I have always told him what we are doing that day without fail. It is part of our morning routine. When I told him what was going to happen today and tomorrow he said, "Okay Mom, see you tomorrow - I gotta go." I quickly said, "Okay, I love you. Bye Bye." afraid that he would hang up on me. He replied, "I know. BYE!" And the phone went dead. It has already started and he is only 3. Are you kidding me - "I know."?!?!?!?!? That is something we WILL be working on next week! Hope all is well with you - love, Ang

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nolan's Birthday

What a great event! Everything worked out perfectly even with my twinge that I didn't do enough for his first. A mother's guilt never ends. My Mom put this together - I think it reprensents the event well - enjoy it. Gotta run getting everyone ready for chemo today.....Love, Ang video

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

So, for Valentine's Day, Mason, Nolan, and I decided to go to the Cancer Center. Couple reasons why, one, I had about 12,000 Valentines left over from the 38 Mason did between preschool and day care and, two, I thought this would be an interactive way for him to meet everyone. So, we started in the basement with the resource center that was so helpful to me when I first was diagnosed, then upstairs to Angie and Radiation, then upstairs to the oncologist's office, then to the 12th floor for the surgeon's office, and finally down to the third floor for the treatment center to visit our friend, Bob in treatment that day. Mason gave everyone "Hot Wheels" valentines and proclaimed, "Happy Valentine's Day" to each recipient. It was really cute. He then got so comfortable that he started saying hi every time we got on an elevator and bye every time we got off an elevator. Quite the charmer. When we got to treatment, the women at the front were like, "You don't have to check in....just prop the door open and go do whatever you want!" That was nice. I feel we may have ticked off the woman next to Bob, she didn't seem amused by my darling boys, so we didn't stay long. Bob did the trick for Mason. See, lately, Mason has been convinced that if you go the hospital you automatically die. I didn't know if it had worked until Mason was reading books with Dad and, as usual, he picked his favorite collection book out, "Best of Curious George" and he FINALLY chose, "George goes to the Hospital." He exclaimed something along the lines of, "Daddy, we went to the hospital, I met Bob, and we didn't die!" Check that one off the list. Now, to get ready for Nolan birthday tomorrow - he is turning one. What a year it has been. Cheers, Ang

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dang my butt is sore

but not from the chemo! So, for the past two days I have been doing my mini workout. Frankly, I was happy I could get through it. It is a combination of exercises I have complied over the years. I am sure some are outdated and most of it comes from an old Cindy Crawford exercise VHS tape. Remember, I love her! So, it is Exercise a La Angie! Cindy Crawford, Yoga Salute to the Sun, and Meditation. Anyhoo, this morning, I couldn't move, so I took today off. So, when I go in for chemo next week the nurses will inevitably ask me, so have you gotten some exercise? They mean a walk. When I tell them this, they are going to look at me cross eyed! Actually, my friend brought me a study that showed people who exercised moderately during treatment of colorectal cancer had higher success rates. The nurses will still look at me cross eyed! Happy Wednesday, Ang

Monday, February 11, 2008

So many things to share...

Saturday morning....after a great night sleep Grant brought me Nolan. Now, this kid doesn't stay still for anything. Changing his diaper requires expertise in wrestling and singing with good ol' fashion SPEED. All I wanted to do is cuddle with him. So, I did I little mediation with him thinking this is never going to work. And, yet, it did. Wonders never cease. Five minutes - STILL. Saturday evening.....Mason was being so cute. I put him to bed and then I did something I NEVER do. I got in bed with him and we talked. We talked about the day, about his bed in a tent (blanket draped over the side of the top bunk to create a tent atmosphere on the bottom bunk), and about something else I didn't quite get. He asked me if I was going to sleep with him and I replied, "No, I am going to go downstairs and spend some time with your Daddy." He said, "Okay, see you later Alligator!" I said, "In a while Crocodile." He looked at me in a concerned way and replied, "Mommy, I am Mason, not crocodile." Right - my mistake. On Sunday, Mason and I went to Fred Meyer, as usual, during Nolan's nap to give Grant some quiet time in the house. Mason LOVES Playland there. He played, I shopped, and on the way home he told me that he wanted to invite his friends over for movies on Thursday. I asked, "Which friends?" He said the ones from Playland! I smiled and said something nice thinking all along that we would have to talk about boundaries, but that would be AFTER he is too big for Playland. So, those were the high points of my weekend - one more - I saw MAME at the 5th with my Mom and Aunt it was AMAZING! If I had the money, I would so be her! Low points? Yep, there was one of those, but it was me catching a glimise of my back side going into the shower and thinking, "Oh my, I am showing off jeans with that thing!" Work must be done becuase apparently the chemo made my butt fall...now there is a project! Happy Monday, Ang

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I can't figure me out sometimes!

So, yesterday I broke down crying before I got in the car. I really didn't want to go. I took deep breaths before going through the doors. My attitude was down, I was tired, and then I thought - hey, maybe my blood will stink and I can go home. Angie, at the front desk, saw me, hugged me hard, and said, "You doing great - keep it up - almost done." I love her. I went up to the lab, crossed my fingers, meet with my oncologist, and BAM! my blood is back up. CRAP! Are you kidding me? I can't figure me out. I feel good, my blood is down. I feel like I want to run from the building, and my blood is up. WHATEVER! Anyway, I talked to my oncologist a bit about how hard it was to come today. He said that I have been trooper and that many people hit this stage well before now. He then asked me if I had any questions, which I did, but I forgot it. I said, "Something about my lungs." Suddenly, it happened - he visibly got nervous. Remember this is the guy that is totally dead pan. He quickly started in with, "Shortness of breath? Pain? Yadda Yadda Yadda?" I stopped him and said, "No! Quite the opposite. I feel better than I have felt is over three years!" He immediately relaxed. I thought - yippee - I FINALLY figured out how to rile the guy up!!! hehehehe So, then I told him a little story. It was one I wasn't going to share with him, but I thought I needed to now since I gave him a heart attack. When I was going through infertility, I did a lot of self reflection, yoga, y'know that stuff. I was REALLY bad at it at first, but I got better. In fact, it got to the point, that every time I had a failed procedure, I knew it didn't work from the beginning. But then, when we did the first in-vitro, I knew it worked - from day six. As soon as I had Mason, I called the clinic and said, "When can do the next round (we had three embryos left over from Mason's round), they told me one year. So, I called them at a year and we were off with Nolan. I had a drive to get it completed because deep down I knew something was coming. Good thing, huh? And with Nolan the same, I just knew it worked. Similarly, right before I was diagnosed, I knew something was terribly wrong. I remember kneeling on the floor and looking at Grant saying, "I have never felt so bad in my life and it is not getting better." I remember being winded at the top of the stairs. I knew something was terribly, terribly wrong. And it was. But now things are so different. I wake up in the morning and may feel tired (could be the menopause that that the chemo is throwing me into), but I feel good and I can breathe easily up and down the stairs. I don't have to plan my trip downstairs or upstairs because I am too tired. I am, for all intensive purposes, back. And I believe that the cancer is gone. Obviously, I have no medical test to prove that. Just my feeling. I read in a book somewhere that cancer patients can become so in tune with cancer that they can feel it coming back and call their oncologist to start the tests. So, after my story, I looked at my oncologist and I repeated, "I know that I have no evidence that it is gone, but I believe it is." He smiled and he said, "Then you are probably right." And, with a hug from him, off to treatment I went. Have a great Tuesday - Love, Ang

Monday, February 4, 2008

Precious

Life as you can imagine is quite a bit slower for me than it used to be, but that is not all bad. One image that I would like to share is Mason driving his truck on the walking trail. Imagine Nolan in the passenger seat bobbing up and down to the music (the truck has an FM radio), and me walking behind. Two little heads with their fleece hats on, one bobbing, driving along the trail.......so precious. He actually is quite good at driving. He is even mastering a three point turn!!! Well, I am rushing off to chemo. Not looking forward to it, but I am so close to being done and I will nash my teeth and get through it. The hardest part is going through the doors of the cancer center. Deep breath. Have a great week, Ang

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The good - my body felt really strong this week. I even found time for some projects. Wow, it has been a long time since that happened. However, the projects may be because I am sad from the "bad". The bad - after nine months of working with one of my cats getting old, having "issues" with the second child coming into the house (Kokanne was still waiting for us to take Mason "back to the store"), and cleaning the carpet A LOT, the time came to put her down. Now, most everyone reading this knows how hard that decision is to make and it would have been a lot easier if I was mad at her about the carpet, but in the last few days of her life she followed all the house rules. I knew there was no going back and that "this" was a one way ticket for her. In her final days, I made her as comfortable as I could and on Tuesday morning of this week, I knew it was time. I was really torn about where to take her. I wanted her to die at home with us as Kokanne particularly hates the vet. The poor thing has always been my special child. Always the one with the "thing" growing on her that we had to remove just in case, the one that had more dental work than I have in the past 12 years, the one that you wondered if she was having mini seisures when you played with her because she got SOOOOOOOO excited. Truth be told, she was a pain in the butt, but she was MY pain in the butt. (Funny that I have rectal cancer.) So, as the story goes, I got a referral from my neighbor to her vet that she loves. I called and they got me in that day. My mom took care of Nolan while Mason was a preschool and I was off. The vet was wonderful.. Kokanne and I couldn't have asked for better. He was kind and told me that it was time. She was having liver failure and that she would have past in the next couple of days, but it would have been awful for her. He said, "We could have done heoric measures, but her quality of life would not be good. She would be poked and proded beyond comfort." I just looked at him and nodded thinking - you have know idea how well I know that. Maybe that was why this was so hard. I was watching her die and just wanted her to have dignity and comfort. I didn't want some vet to judge me......I saw my mortality in her. I was comforted that it was time and she was gone in less than 10 seconds. I said my good byes and thanked him. I told him that I was sorry that the first time he met her was to do this, but that I would bring her sister in later this week for her shots and she is "hidiously healthy and will probably be fairly pissed off." He smiled and said, "Just like we like them!" The ugly......how I looked when I got in the truck. My eyes hurt from the back I cried so hard. She was my first kitty...the runt....my special child. I miss her, but I am content with the decision to free her from her pain. I still see her in the house as I have never lived in this house without her. Her sister is doing fine - in fact phased very little by it all, but so are cats. "Look now I get both hands petting me!!!!!!" Have a great weeekend - give your pets an extra hug for me. Love, Ang P.S. Swimming.....Mason is doing great, but now he won't get out of the pool! SHEEEEESH!!