Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Do you still have treatment???"

Mason asked because Nolan slipped and let it go that Nolan went to see Mommy's doctors on Monday for some extra tests to be sure I am okay after, well y'know, 41 treatments of chemo. "Why didn't you take me?" "I really don't want you to die and why you do you STILL have cancer." Slowly, I take each question - one by one. Yes; you were in school; I don't either, but sometimes we don't get to make that decision; I have NO IDEA, but we are workin' hard to get rid of it! Snow day yesterday was good and bad. I haven't been sleeping enough and with the steroids, if I don't go to bed by 9:00, I am up till 11:00 and then up at 3:00. So, the earlier I go to bed the longer I sleep and the better it is for EVERYONE. Grant stayed home and worked while I did little things while working with the kids. I cooked - that felt good, but sometimes I have to move the chair over to the stove, so I can sit down. Then, the kids want to help, and they need their own chair, so we have three full size chairs in front of the stove. By the afternoon, I was tired, but something happened in my head and I really looked at my know, their thigh bones, and their teeth, you hear their laugh, and see the joy in there eyes, you answer their questions with a couple word you can only understand, you help them with their homework and really see when they are "getting it". What amazing little creatures. Sometimes you forget how precious they are when you have asked them for the 76th time to wash their hands and you threaten them with "mean Mommy voice" and then they do it, because listening to nice Mommy voice is apparently blissful - even 76 times later. Grant took the Focus out for a test drive in its new tires and got a couple movies at RedBox - my new favorite thing - BYE BYE NETFLIX!!!! So, we watched a Disney movie about the true meaning of Christmas. It was full of magic and sadness, orphans, and no toys, but as usual all is righted in the end. Mason was crying at one point and I just kept saying, "Have a little faith - no matter how bad it gets, I guarantee you, it will turn out happy in the end. Life can be joyous even when you don't think that is possible." The movie ends well and everyone had a family, toys, believed in Santa and Mason was over the moon happy. I tried having a teachable moment with him after the movie, but all I got was, "In the end, EVERYBODY HAS TOYS!!!!" Oh well - maybe next time! Enjoy what is left of the snow...... Love, Ang

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I read in Oprah Magazine

that you have a 50% better chance of living if you have a strong social network. Having one actually increases your chances of living as much as quitting smoking, not that I smoked, but y'know that is big and after a weekend full of people driving me to hair appointments, cleaning my house, feeding me, etc., I think I got that one........CHECK. ;) Happy Sunday, Ang

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Something miraclous happened to me last week...

I felt good. Like really good. I went to the Childhaven Auction. I have never seen money like this. My new lifetime goal is to be able to open the bid at that event. It would be unrealistic to actually think I could "win" something. I went to the end of season soccer party for Mason. I went to the mall with Nolan. Nolan and I even went to the Toys R Us to look for things for his Christmas list. I went to a Martini Bar with some girlfriends to celebrate a milestone birthday. It was a banner week. I guess with the pneumonia gone and I kinda back. And now I have two weeks between treatments through December! I am so excited for December - I can hardly wait. So, get this, the same day that Grant said the business was doing well and we will get a dividend soon, I thought, oh, well, I got the big expenses, like COBRA, house payments, IRA, etc. covered for next year, maybe I should put more money in GET (children's college fund) and then Mason came into our room and said, "Mommy, I don't want a birthday party this year." SHOCKED AND AMAZED, I said, "But why?" "Well, I want to go to Hawaii." HISTORY: Due to my poor prior planning I accidentally (forgot would be a better word) scheduled a trip to Kauai during my youngest son's birthday). I know BRILLIANT. GREAT MOM. I replied in a not so nice way, "Mason that is a pipe dream that ain't going to happen, BUT I haven't planned your party, so if you think about it for a couple days, and come up with something doable, I will check into it, but don't tell anybody about it until you and I talk" Okay, this is where I am going to brag a little, I have created this relationship with my son that he actually goes away and thinks about. He believes that I will and he knows that I will. I am SOOOOOOOO proud of that - it is crazy. Okay, so off my soap box. So, two days later he comes into bed with me and waits for Grant and Nolan to go downstairs to start breakfast and says, "I have decided where I would like to got for my birthday." "Okay, so where..." "I heard you and Dad talk about how pretty Disneyland is during Christmas and I have a Christmas birthday. Do you think we could go there?" My eyes fill up with tears, but I keep my voice steady and say, "Let me see what I can do. I will need sometime with the computer, so let me do the research. But Mason, I think you have made a very good choice." I did tell him that if we do this there is no "birthday party" just us and his grandparents and he said, "That is all I need." I am like, that is funny because your brother wants two tickets to Hawaii (for him and Carter - his best friend) and a Batman Birdday cake. I try to explain to Nolan that he can't do that for so many reasons, but it is futile....... Anyhoo, after three days of researching and purchasing, not only are we going, but so are my parents and the surprise guest is Auntie Donna too! Auntie Donna had me book her room, so I booked it for two beds hoping one of my precious angels will be sleeping with her!!!! :) So, I guess we put off college savings, but I remember going to Disneyland and Disneyworld during Christmas when Mariella and Gaby were staying with us. It was magical (except for getting stuck in "It is a Small World" which happens EVERY time and I not going in that ride even though I have been told it has been rebuilt - whew - got that off my chest! Evil evil ride....) Anyhoo, Disneyland is amazing - the lights, the costumes, the decorations, the fireworks, and now I get to show them to my boys. College can wait. Loves, Ang

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Of couse Michelle finished!!!!

I know, I was lame and didn't post, but Michelle did finish the NYC Marathon. Her time was JUST over 4 hours (by 16 seconds). She called me at the end of it and quite frankly I was so moved by her words to me (and this is after running 26.whatever miles!) that I didn't think much of anything else. I am so lucky to have some many wonderful people in my life - so, as we hung up crying for joy, goals achieved, courage, and life, I remembered how much I really want it. Love to all and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your support - in all ways, Ang :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

So proud of myself....

For the first time in over a month, I went out of the house on the Saturday after chemo. I wasn't feeling perfect, but I was doing better than I had done in a long time, so I decided to run a couple errands to the bank, and, of course, Fred Meyer. Once in Fred Meyer, I picked up what few items I needed, and then I decided to hit the toys. Mason and Nolan have been going on and on about Beyblades and Bakugans. I didn't even know what they were, but they wanted them on the Santa list which means they are SERIOUS. So, I am meandering through the toys and there is this kid there. Articulate and way too interested in talking to me, BUT, he knows all there is to know about Beyblades and Bakugans. He was like my own personal shopper, my Mom stuck in a eight year old boys body, you know what I am saying...... Finally, I disengage from the eight year old with my four items - one of each for both boys in their stocking, but he is very interested in telling me the ENTIRE history of both toys. Sweet kid, but NOT INTERESTED. I came home exhausted, but I proudly showed the bag of Beyblades and Bakugans to Grant. He was like, "Oh, they weren't making it up. These things actually exist?" I look at him and say, "I know!!!!" Up in the closet away from little eyes - now remember to put them on the Santa list....... So that was the excitement of Saturday. Weekends after chemo are slow - little happens in the house and with all the rain we had, the boys never got out of their pjs. You know, those days are nice. The world goes on spinning, but we have a little life right here. We talk about school and movies, I told Mason about Michelle running her marathon for the American Cancer Society and he showed me how fast he can run, I completed a Santa dream, Grant started working on the home movies and he said to me, "Ang, we have the same amount of time of Nolan's first year as we do Mason." I never asked him about that, but I guess when you are married for 16 years he knew I would want to know - especially with all the distractions we had when Nolan was born. Grant and I talk. I ask him if I remembered things correctly from the past few days and he corrects me if I am wrong. We talk about my fear of a blood transfusion, a new cancer patient that may be calling me, and cancer. And, then, he looks at me and says, "Lung surgery sounds a lot worse than a blood transfusion." FINE. Point made. Personally, I think, lung surgery sounds better!!!!! I know that is just stupid........ Anyhoo, now I sit here at 3:30 in the morning. I couldn't sleep anymore, but I think it is because Michelle is running today and at 2:30 when I woke up, she had to start her way to the race tent. I got up and checked email - the last one was from her - "WE DID IT! Off to the American Cancer Society race start. Talk soon." Michelli met her $4000.00 goal for running the NYC marathon for ACS. For those of you spared by my mass email last week, I have a very good college friend that is running the NYC marathon for me and her Mom. She had always wanted to run the NYC marathon, but decided doing it for a cause was as important. Her goal was a steep $4000.00. I was like, "What?!?!?!" Holy cow!" So, I put out my own plea to meet her goal and, in perfect time, it was met. Thank you. Wow. Thank you. Now, in truth, I had to call Karissa last night and tell her to donate to put Michelle over the $4000.00, but those are details you don't need to know!!!!! ;) Michelle told me she would text me when she completed the race, so I will let you know when I do. For more information on Michelle Czech and her dream of completing the NYC marathon, see her personal page, at ACS.... Now, back to bed!!!!! Loves, Ang

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Scan results - the offical ones

So, I went for chemo and met with my oncologist before the meeting. I said, "Well, I know you are happy with the scan because of all the adjectives (Scan way much spectacularly better), so yeah! He turned to me and said, "I was trying to portray that message, but lets be clear (and he looked me straight in the eyes and said) I am THRILLED with your scan. Then, with a quick hug and a a couple of tears - still don't have waterproof mascara that I have found that doesn't make me itch! We continues on with my being anemic and believes, at some point, I will probably need a blood transfusion. Not excited about that, but I will continue to try and manage it with red meet, spinach, and my friend mentioned liver extract pills. So, I am getting those cleared now. Okay, so here are the specifics of the scan. Originally I had two spots in my left lung - they are now barely detectable. My right lung has been struggling with infection/pneumonia etc which looks a lot better Ithey don't believe it is cancer) and my rectum has reduced by 2/3rds and the rectal wall thickening is gone. We have do to chemo through December, and then a scan in January to see where we are are. Do I know what all this means? Well it sounds good to me and I gave you the non doctor words. I try to stick to "THRILLED" cause that dude doesn't anything he doesn't mean. More hugs and off to chemo to hear Elaine's horse ride story that she has been dieing to tell and it was worth it - I laughed all the way through chemo. Thanks Elaine!!! Love, Ang