Monday, December 24, 2012

Almost Christmas!

Christmas is almost here.  The oven is preheating for the cookies.  The advent calendars (traditional, lego and online!) are all up to date, the lights are up the presents are wrapped, so let the festivities begin! This will be my second Christmas no in treatment.  Wow, who'd a thunk it?  I certainly didn't.  December has been busy and I have experienced some fatigue, but not much.  It has, for the most part, been great.  I took the boys to their first real big time musical, Elf.  We went with Grandma and Auntie Donna. They loved it and they were darn good.  As I was walking back to the car with them, I wasn't holding their hands with a death grip, I was following them.  They were discussing the play and video games to each other.  That is when I realized - they are little men.  My babes have shed.  Their legs are long and think about things and have opinions.  They can reflect on their behavior and school work when it is time for allowance.  They can negotiate and it is not SOOOO ridiculous.  They get jokes and understand teasing, well, most of the time.  Some funny things that happen this month:  Mason desperately wanted to go to the Nutcracker.  They discussed it in school, listened to the music, etc.  He knew the composer, Tchaikovsky, and everything.  So, he and I went.  Nolan happily stayed with Grandma and Grandpa.  Girls in dresses?  Men in tights?  NO THANK YOU!  After it was over, and we had finished our Mouse King Cookie, he told me that he thought there would be more talking.  I said, "No, not in ballet.  They tell the story by the dance.  That is why we read the story in the program before each piece."  Oh.  I figured he hated it, but he asked to go the gift shop and there he insisted to on purchasing a Nutcracker. Not the small one, by the way, the regular sized one.  He asked if he could borrow the money and he would pay me back.  Since I know he is loaded and never spends his money, I agreed.  I said, "You must have liked it if you want to buy this?"  "I loved it!  It just would have been better if there was a little talking."  Okay, well, let's fill out a comment card....NOT.  We then went to the Center House and watched the Christmas Train and headed home.  A date with my eldest.  What a perfect day.  

Now, for Nolan, well, he is five.  He loved Elf, but thought it was a bit too long.  He loved dinner after Elf and decided to split dessert by five; however, the pieces were not close to even.    There were four small pieces and then a huge chunk left for him.  When that didn't work, he just ate as fast as he could.  I do not think Donna got any.  She was still explaining the unfairness to him when he took the last bite.  Nolan also learned how to play the card game WAR.  Nice and appropriate for the holidays, no?  He very nicely invited me to a game and had dealt the cards and everything.  I played and then realized that they deck was loaded in his favor and when I mentioned it to him he said, "Mommy - I gave you an ace!" ONE ACE and all the twos, threes, and fours.  THANKS.  I explained how many things were wrong with the whole thing, but it didn't seem to do anything.  He has pulled many into his web, including Grandpa, but now, no one will play with him so he loads his deck, has three other piles of cards on the table and "plays for you."  Shockingly, he always wins.  After I told him that all of these actions were not what Santa was planning on - not sharing dessert, cheating, etc., he came to my room in the morning crying convinced he was going to get coal in his stocking.  We talked about the good parts of coal (which is a short list) and how maybe we can turn it around before Christmas.  

Oh, and then there was the moment of truth for each of us.....Mason and Nolan had be playing football in the living room.  When I asked if anything happened with the candle spilling, Mason and Mia said, "No."  I believed Mia, but Mason was shifty.  The next day I asked Nolan and he sang like a bird (trying to not get coal and turn around his behavior).  Mason and Nolan were playing football and the ball landed in the candle.  Mason was FREAKING out.  I told him that he wasn't in trouble, I shouldn't have put a candle there or lit it!  But, I also told him that lying to me was a bad idea.  I said, "I am your greatest ally, your greatest warrior, teacher, and guide.  I will love you always.  Do you want to screw all that up by lying to me?"  And, advice from Mother to Son, bites Mother in the ass.  Two days later, "Mommy, I have a question and you have to tell me the truth."  In a flippant way, I said, "Okay."  "Are you Santa?"  FRICK!  Paying attention now, "Do you think I am?"  "I don't know.  Everyone at school says their parents put the presents under the tree.  So, do you?"  I get quiet.  Pause.  "Mom?"  "Yes?"  "Tell me the truth."  "Mason, is it that you can't see Santa?"  "Kinda."  "Well, you can't see God or Jesus, but you believe in them."  "Oh!!  I get it!  (whew) Then, people that don't believe in Santa, don't believe in God or Jesus."  DOUBLE FRICK!  "Mason, NO.  Okay, truth.... it is complicated.....but I have something to read you....something a friend emailed me and I agree with it....."  So, I read a letter that a parent had written to her child about Santa.  A girlfriend from my bookclub had emailed me a couple years ago.  I have I kept is what I told him from that letter....

I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)
I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.
This won’t make you Santa, though.
Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.
It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.
Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.
With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.

Mason took it well.  I told him that we cannot tell any of this to Nolan.  Part of our job is to let him have the magic until he can understand it.  "I promise Mommy."  And, he has done a wonderful job.  My babes have shed.

May your Christmas be everything you hope and dream about and may your New Year be a healthy one!

Angie with Grant, Mason, Nolan, Molly Moon, and Hannah June

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Enjoying Remission and Mason's Birthday

Well, life is ticking along.  The first two weeks of remission I slept for most of them.  SERIOUSLY.  They told me the fatigue would come after two weeks and I was thinkin', "WOW, this is going to be bad!!!!"  The at the two week mark I was in great form.  When Hank asked me if I was fatigued, I replied with, "Yeah, for the first two weeks, but now I am fine.  I don't think those people have ever had chemo.  Not that I want them too, but that is FATIGUE!"  He laughed and told me that he would see me at my next scan - that is like Feburary......YIPPEE!  Got some other doc things going on...always do....fixing me from what all this has done to my body, but since I have a couple boundaries left, I am going to keep those to myself.  The house is good, I love cooking again, Molly Moon (kitty) is finally growing into her ear hair and Hannah has finally forgiven me for declawing her (after she climbed up my robe and was SOOOOOOOO proud of herself).  I am taking Mia again after school on Mondays-Wednesdays and all seems to be restored in the universe.  I was listening to the boys in the bath a few nights ago and they were saying, "Who is the one that makes all the decisions?  You know all the laws?  Oh, I can't remember, it is a girl.  The President?  No, that is a boy.  What is she called?????  A Secretary????  YES!  That is it!  A Secretary!"  Not so slow after all, those two!  Anyhoo, Mason's birthday was last Sunday.  He told me it was the best day of his life and I think it was!  One of the Mom's that came did little video.  It is better played on a PC, iPads and iPhone won't play the music.  Turn up your speakers and enjoy!  Love, Ang  Cut and paste this link in your browser....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Remission Today....

I started cyberknife on November 5th.  Above is a picture that a good friend posted for Mason and Nolan in his blog.  I love it!  The depiction is very accurate except for the person standing there.  When "Leora", the cyberknife machine, is in operation, no one is standing there.  Remember, this is HIGH dose radiation.  You are entombed in a room with 18 inch walls.  I have music and I can call to the operators to take a break.  Break you ask?  Yes, a break.  When I started treatment, we started on the spot with where the markers were "installed".  Leora was able to track my area perfectly and my treatment of that area took 29 mins.  It ends up being a little more because they have to line you up, etc.  So, I was on the table for around 45 mins.  The best way I can describe it is that I am a possum playing dead and I am being sniffed by a dinosaur that sound like R2 D2.  When we started treating my second spot, a voice came over the intercom and said, "Well, Leora can see it, but it will take an hour.  In addition, I have to wear a special shirt and have lights attached to my torso so that another machine can track my breathing so that Leora, all 2500 tons of her, can move the laser with my breath.  It is crazy and cool. This machine that is a bit noisy when it moves into is 150 different positions ever so gently moves with my breath.  I am thankful, but there is work to it.  On this spot, I spend 90 mins in one position.  The first treatment, I had to stop and take a break.  The second treatment, I got through, but I was like, "Leora, getter done because I am in PAIN!"  The days have flow by with 3 hours of everyday driving to treatment, driving home, coordinating childcare, etc.  I have been so tired from all the driving, from stretching like Gumby every night so that I can stay in one position which is not that comfortable on a hard table for 90 mins without a break.  I have been so involved in the moment of it all I forgot about today................................Today at 1:00pm I will be done with treatment and in remission.  Today I will leave that building and not have another doc appointment (after Thursday) for two weeks.  I will have Thanksgiving and Christmas without chemo.  Now, they tell me that I may get a cough which, knowing how I am, I will.  They also told me that in about 2 weeks I will be very tired and that I should cut my "to do" list in half for 60 days.  Tired?  Cough?  Bring it!  Today at 1pm, I will be free.  Love, Ang

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It worked!

Happy day!  All three markers showed up on the scan.....I start next week!  And I found health insurance, even better than my last plan, thank you Brent!  Yeah!  And the soccer trophies got done in time for the last game, and Nancy is bringing dinner tonight, thank God, cause I have been at the Cancer center since 10:30 and still waiting for my last appointment.  Mason is warming to the word cyberknife, but that is because Nolan says it CONSTANTLY to scare him.  Gotta love brothers!  So when I was with Hank this morning, I said, "So, this works.  What do I do then?"  "We go the remission schedule.  I see you once a month and scan every three." he replies.  Unprepared for the simplicity of it all, I said, "Remission by Tuesday after next.  (pause) I think I can do that.  Yep, I am available."  Love, Ang

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wednesday went well

but we will not know if it worked until my CT scan on Tuesday.  So, Wednesday was the placement of my gold markers on the outside tissue of my left lung.  This will be how the cyberknife tracks the location of my tumor.  The other spot, or tumor, will be tracked by my spine.  There was one little slip up on Wednesday and they nicked my lung causing a small, and I mean small, pneumothorax or hole in my lung.  It hurt and I had to stay and have three chest x-rays until 4:30 in a room with a TV with no sound and I had nothing with me.  Mom got there at about 3:00 thank God to relieve my boredom and I didn't do much that night or Thursday.  So, grateful to eveyone that helped me with the kids and Beckey even kept them until bedtime and put them to bed.  I am feeling much better and we will see if it worked on Tuesday.  Prayers and crossing of the fingers and toes gladly accepted.  Love, Ang

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Surgery day...

This morning I am going in for outpatient surgery.  They are putting in my markers for the spot in my upper left lung.  In the flurry of trying to get me scheduled and me saying I am flexible they called me one Monday and said,  "Hi, my name is so-and-so.  I am calling to ore resister you for surgery on Wednesday."  "Okay, great.  Do you happen to know at what time and where that will be?" I reply.  "I do not, but we can do this anyway."  "O-K-A-Y."  So, that is how it started.  She told me a nurse will call me on Tuesday about my medications.  I was thinking that is not going to work with my blood thinners.  Emails and calls were flying by the afternoon.  One doc said, "Just don't take it on Wednesday morning."  I was like, "That doesn't sound right."  (I stopped taking them on Monday morning.  Just in case.)  Finally, the edict came down - NONE UNTIL AFTER THE PROCEDURE.  Now, that sounds right.  Oh, and I also found out when the appointment was.  Then, my emails started flying.  A neighbor is coming over in a few minutes to get the kids up and ready.  Lunches made, homework done.  After school care arranged because it is early dismissal all week due to parent teacher conferences.  Beckey will pick the boys up, so I have all day to focus on this and get myself together before the kids get home.  Great week for Grant to be in San Diego, but that cannot be helped.  Last night, I told the kids what the schedule was and what I was doing.  When Mason heard Cyberknife he started to cry.  I explained that this was the beginning of the end of active treatment if all goes well and that we should be happy, but apparently just the word, "Cyberknife" was scary to him.  I got him better and we put the tooth under the pillow that he lost at school today.  He said, "I hope the tooth fairy knows it is under my pillow."  I am thinking, "Yeah, I hope she remembers it is under the pillow!"  Mason came in later with a bad dream, the cats followed him and everyone EXCEPT Nolan was in my bed.  Hanna June was sleeping right up against my back where the tumor is that they are going to work on - Africa used to do that. I cried a little, fell back to sleep, and woke up to be a very happy boy with his tooth fairy money. Wish me luck, Ang

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Best flippin' news I have gotten in a long time....

So, after last week, more cancer in my world, not so sure on my scan - blah blah blah, and pleurisy  I was like a little lack luster showing up to my oncologist's office (Hank)  to discuss things.  But things started to turn around......I told him that I talked to my lung surgeon on Friday and he was like, "REALLY?"  So, then I told him about the pleurisy while he was on vacation which he quickly passed over when he learned I had a chest x-ray.  "Where is the chest x-ray - I want to see it!"  Some people like candy, so people like chest x-rays I guess.  As he was searching for the x-ray, he said, "Well, then you know that they want you to go over to cyberknife first."  "Yes, less damage, and good results in my particular case."  Then, I respectfully requested a different cyberknife doc.  I explained I liked the one I consulted with last year, but he was very by the book and quite cautious.  I explained I am pretty sure I didn't get here by staying in the box and not going ball to the walls ALL THE TIME and that is reflected by my team of docs.  Not very passive those guys.  Most of them are like, "Hit her as hard as we can for a long as we can."  Luckily, the surgeons that I have had are not that way, but aggressive and creative (hence I am not pooping in a bag....yet).  So, Hanks makes a phone call...mumble mumble mumble, I correct one thing......mumble mumble mumble......"Can you see her right now?"  "Yes.".....mumble mumble mumble.  Hang up.  "Okay, off to Cherry Hill with you and her name is and he rattles off this name and spelling.  I look at him like, "Don't have a pencil.....might want to slow down."  I get the name and off I go.  I know EXACTLY where it is.  I visited Shelly there once for her treatment and the snuck me back to see the machine and everything.  This  is before I was being considered.  I just wanted to see it.  It is SOOOOOOOOOOOO cool.  I go directly to the office, I meet her and she says, "Have you seen your scans?  You are going to laugh.  The spots are SOOOOOOOOOOOO small."  So, she went through everything with me.  We had  four (last winter), then six (in March), and now since chemo we have two remaining and they are the perfect case for cyberknife.  "I can help you and you will be done."  Odds?  90% chance that they never come back.  Treatment?  I will need some markers, so I have to wait four weeks after my last treatment with Avastin (10/1).  After the markers are place next the one spot, the spine will act as the marker for the second spot, I wait a week, get a CT scan, wait a week to calibrate the REALLY COOL LASER MACHINE, three one hour appointments per spot, and DONE.  Side effects - fatigue 0-60 days out that will last 60 days from onset and maybe, by rarely, a cough.  Things that can hold this up - insurance.  Yeah, but I have done that dance before!  DONE.  Remission by Christmas.  DONE.  I know there is still a 10% chance it won't work and I know one of those 10% people, but it is the best news I have heard in a while.  Happy Happy Day!  Love, Ang

Friday, October 12, 2012

After a morning at Swedish....

I have pleurisy again in my right lung.   It is amazing when you call on the way to the office with no appointment and your oncolgist is out for he weekend, that within 90 mins, you have a chest X-ray, talk to your lung surgeon from two years ago, have to nurses who know me determine pluruirisy and I am on the way home by 10:45.  Gotta love Swedish.  Thanks guys.  At least it is not a hole in my lung (that is where we started!). Still hurts like a mofo.  Love, Ang

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Life moves on....

Today, I took my kids to school.  I don't normally, but Beckey had to work early, so I took them.  At the last moment, I put real clothes on, but it is not like I was put together - no make up and I forgot to brush my teeth - I know GROSS!  As we pull into the school for drop off Nolan little voice says, "Mommy can you park and go with me?"  My heart melts and I say sure.  Thank God I put on real clothes and I wasn't in my pjs.  Really should have remembered to brush my teeth!  Mason, of course, does regular drop off.  Mason NEVER has had a problem with going to school.  He hit those Kindergarten doors three years ago and NEVER looked back.  Nolan, my tough guy, turns out is a bit of a softy.  I walk with him and drop his backpack at the classroom door.  I tell him that I want to see what he does in the morning.  So, he shows me and then, like a light bulb going off in his head, says, "You are not suppose to be on the playground!" and physically pushes me back through the doors and we go back to his classroom.  Some of his classmates show up and want to play tag, but you can only do that on the playground.  Torn, Nolan drags me to this area where the parents are standing BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE watching their kids on the play ground.    So, picture this, our elementary school has 737 students.  Average is 450 in Kent.  All I can see is my little toe head bobbing up and down and OPPS way down!  He fell and, of course, did not want the playground teacher, he wanted me.  After we patched him up, the first bell rang and I walked him to his class.  He hugged and kissed me wiping his little eyes and telling me he would miss me.  I told him I would see him after school and not to forget that his goal is to get a blue card (Kids are issued cards at the end of the day based on their behavior - blue is the best.  Nolan wants a blue.).  The announcements started as I left and it threw me back to elementary school.  I always wanted to walk and Mom always wanted to drive me.  I did not quite get it until now.  I never remembered the problems that we must have had as a family.  For example, I have lost my insurance yet again.  The company is leaving the state and because of my situation, my options are limited, but not impossible.  Problem is finding it.  I have been working on this all week.  I just also found out about a person very close to me not telling me something that I, of all people, could help them with.  They should have told me.  While I was helping all these other people, I should have been helping them, but they didn't want to burden me.  Really?  So, now, more than a year behind we start.  In addition, I got my scan results.  No some improvement in some spots, less in others.  Chemo next week is canceled.  Back to the drawing board and consults with surgeons to see if we can get it out or change chemo.  Oh, I am making cards with Trina at 1:30 and then again tonight when the boys are at soccer practice.  Thank God Dawn is bringing dinner.  Have I eaten?  Make cards, get call from my oncologist while I am her bathroom having an attack, take notes, get out, work on cards, go get the kids from school, call in the parking lot to get appointments for my "new project" because let's face it my name opens up some door in certain places, hang up, need to cancel chemo next week and advise my team they are off the hook, get out of the truck and feel mentally exhausted, pick up Nolan and Mason.  (pause)  Nolan got his first blue card.   Still in the same "real clothes", no shower, did I brush my teeth?  No, I don't remember any of the problems my parents had when I was young, but I know that they were there to hug and kiss me when I reached a goal.  Maybe somedays they forgot to brush their teeth.  I never noticed.  I hugged and kissed Nolan and we went to get Strawberry Sundaies at McDonald's.  Soccer tonight with Dad.  I am going to do cards.  And life moves on. Love, Ang

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Things I learned in the last five days....

Now, y'all may believe that I talk a lot, and I do, but I really don't get much of an opportunity.  My life is very quiet - especially every other week.  So, last weekend, I went to soccer for both boys - cheered/yelled for the team, visited with my Aunt on Saturday - talking, went to dinner with a couple neighbors - talking, went sailing on Sunday - talking AND THEN I lost my voice.  Not a little, but completely.  I can't make a phone call, I can't talk, I can't visit, I can't read to my kids, NADA!  I have learned that I love the sound of my voice and that you use it more than you think.  I tried to go through a drive thru out of habit - BIG MISTAKE.  And, yes, Grant has been in a little bit of heaven and even he is like, "COME ON!"  Just started coming back - THANK GOD!  Happy Wednesday, Ang

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hi! Still here!

It has been a long time since I posted and I kinda apologize for that.  Things have been well, up in the air, busy, crazy, y'know.  As you know, I was not able to do chemo on the 4th.  I went back on the 11th - nope, no chemo.  My platelets were just not coming back so, I didn't do chemo until the 17th.  So, let me give you a daily blow by blow of my life since the 9th....

September 10th - Went to the Puyallup Fair.  Mason placed second in both Tractor Pull and Muttin Bustin.  Nolan did very well, but not getting dirt his is eyes is WAY more important than placing at Muttin Bustin.  Boys went on a lot of big boy rides - together.  It was a beautiful day and to watch them talk on the ride, laugh, point at sights on the swings, etc. was truly precious.  They are growing up - wow.

September 11th - No Chemo.  I am starting to show symtoms of low platelets - bruises are not healing, etc.  Grant starts freaking out and looking up everything on the internet.  He forwards me this article on how too much blood thinning can cause your platelets to dive.  "Are you going to forward this to Hank?"  "I will talk to him about it." I reply.  See, here the thing......I am not going to talk to Hank unless there is nothing I am doing that I am doing to get me in, when I think about it....the further I get from chemo I can drink red wine.  I had been drinking red more red wine.  Monitor new bruise and see if it heals better.

September 12th - Just a normal Mom day.  Grant takes the boys to soccer.

13th and 14th - Rest.  Count a million Box Tops.  How did I get this job?  Oh yeah, it makes me sit.  At $300 which means I have sorted, cut, and bound 3000 Box Tops.

15th - Soccer games all morning.

16th - My cousin gets married.  The wedding is in Bellingham.  I decide and have told her I cannot come.  I must rest and see if I can do chemo the next day.  Bruise way better.  No need to talk to Hank.  No more red wine.  Go to Acupuncture.

17th - Chemo.  Yes!  Crap!  Yuck!  Whew.  No more red wine.  Make ridiculous phone calls to tell people that chemo schedule is on.  (Sorry.)  Kitties sleep with me.  BTW - the second kitties name is Hannah June.  So, Molly Moon and Hannah June.  Yes, they are ridiculously girly names, and I like them!

18th - Feel okay.  Make it to Mason and Nolan's Open House at school.  Chris gives me water halfway through.  "Whatever you do - don't touch the water fountain!'  Thanks Chris!  Kitties sleep with me.

19th  - Feel like crap.  Bruise almost gone - record healing.  No more red wine - not that that sound appealing anyway.  Kitties sleep with me.

20th - Boys come home.   Kitties sleep with me.  I am better.

21st - I am good, but cautious.  But I got the BEST news in a long time.  Mia, the little girl that I took care of last year, got her progress tests back.  See, last fall, my taking care of her was also part of a plan to help improve her performance at school.  From what her Mom was telling me, I was like, "There is nothing WRONG with Mia.  She just needs some extra help.  Why don't I talk her Monday through Wednesday?"  She agreed and it began.  We walked home from school, ate snack, did homework, and I LOVED IT.  So nice to have a girl around!  Well, apparently, my, as well as everyone else's help, paid off.  Mia not only is proficient at reading and math, she is officially advanced at reading and approaching advanced at math.  YEAH MIA! now to some is a list of "I never thought....." since Labor Day.....

I never thought I would have Robin Christopher Meredith Jones help clean my house.  BTW - he is awful at it.  I mean, he cleans it, but living through the commentary was more than one should have to deal with!  "HOLY CRAP ANG!  When was the last time you dusted up there (beam 12 feet in the air)?!??!  Well, good thing I am doing it!"  Jen was a much better helper.  SHOCKER!

I never thought I would drive 45 mins for a bra store and do it twice because a bra is so amazing!  SERIOUSLY!  GO TO SOMA!  (Women only please.)  Thanks Emily!

I never thought that days after I got two kittens that I apparently did not want I would have to put down my cat that was not my cat because of cancerous lesions in her mouth and down her throat.  I did not tell the boys is was cancer.  I sobbed for a entire day.

I never thought I would want to go to chemo.....

Enjoy the day and watch the moments - they fly by - just like my boys on the swings........

Love, Ang

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Last Tuesday at "Chemo"

Last Tuesday, I showed up for chemo and Hank said, "I want to wait a week.  Your platelets are coming back, but I think we need a break."  I look at him nonchalantly and say, "I can't say I am broken up about this.  It is going to be a beautiful week and I really don't want to do this this week anyway.  BYE!"  "You ARE going up for Avastin though..."  WHATEVER!  Avastin is a tumor reducer, no chemo, no pump, no loss of three days - YIPPEE!  "That is fine, but I need to take you to the lobby.....follow me....."  And he does.....silly, silly man.  So, we have a new Cancer Floor, generously donated by the person that insisted on calling it the "True Family WOMEN's Cancer Center".  Really??!?!?!?!  Okay, fine, so I got over that, but I don't have a female cancer, which I have been repeatedly told about every time I think about going to a female cancer support group.  (Basically, I am told that I won't get that much out of I don't have a female cancer.)  Hank must have gotten a pass for me to go to "their" floor.  I have no idea how he is getting the men in!  ANYHOO!  When the elevator door open on the floor it is all GLARINGLY white.  There is a HUGE white light inset over the elevators.  It reminds me of a portal to the next life, if you know what I mean.  I then check in with two women standing behind pods, not a desk, a pod.  I ask if I am suppose to check in or am I getting a table at the chemo restaurant?  They laugh and tell me there are getting a new desk because the patients hate it.  We are so spoiled - seriously.  So, Elane and sit down to wait for my appointment on the very skinny, slippery, very high end, leather sofa/chairs.  We are then facing back toward the elevators and we see the above photo.  SERIOUSLY, WE ARE CANCER PATIENTS, SO WE NEED THE EXIT SIGN TO THE PORTAL TO HEAVEN!??!?!?!?  So, I show and describe this to Hank and he said, "Everyone thinks that is a portal."  "But, do we really need the Exit Sign there too?!?!?!  Do we need any help with this -  we have cancer, do you need to have the path all laid out also."  "You are a nut.....go downstairs (to treatment)."  Yes, yes, I am a nut, but COME ON, I am also right!  I go for Avastin, I am out in 45 mins and home in 30 more.  I was talking to Elaine on the way home and she said, "I don't know if I like this - you are so with it - I can't be right on everything!!!!"  No chemo, no dummy drugs.  It is a double edge sword for some.  So, la la la, I go on with my life last week - and somehow I got cast in a YouTube video by Heather and adopted two kitties.  Life it is busy especially when you are not in chemo......but let me tell you about the kitties.  First, during the last five years of cancer, I have had to put both of my cats down - Kokanne was 12 and had kidney failure, Africa was 16 and was just old.  Africa was my soul mate kitty if there ever was one.  She was my baby before the boys were born, she would knock me in the forehead after Mason was born if he was crying and I was asleep, she knocked me in the forehead when everyone thought I was having a stroke and I decided calling the EMT was overrated - she walked on me, knocked me in the head and basically would not leave me alone until I called them.  She layed again my back scars after lung surgery, she followed me upstairs and downstairs during chemo and when she was in her final days, she stopped hissing at Cutie Pie (the nonadopted, yet never leaving our yard, outdoor cat) as if to say, "Take care of her, will ya?"  Since losing her in February, I have researched cat adoption, looked at cats online, visited shelters, and learned a lot about pet adoption, but I could not just do it.  I felt that I would never be able to let go of my loss for my Africa.  SIDE NOTE:  Adopting a cat these days is a pain in the frickin' butt.  16 years ago you just asked who was having kittens.  Now?  You have to go to a shelter, where you fill out an application, if you have ever or would ever contemplate declawing them you cast in a dark shadow of judgement, you sign a contract that would will never starve them them or beat them or whatever else.  HOLY COW!  When I left the hospital with Mason, my SON, I apparently could starve him, beat him, etc. because I have not contract saying I couldn't!  In addition, Mason and Nolan are circumcised.  No one EVER said, "That is it!  You can't have them!  You have forever scared them - FOR LIFE!"  Let's remember - this is a CAT.  But, whatever, the boys have been on me about getting two kitties and I have been saying things like, "Not during the summer, kitties need a lot of sleep which they can do while you are in school."  or, "It is not kitten season.", or "I don't want a black kitten", (Africa was all black), or "They need to be kittens and sisters."  So, we look on the internet, search, etc., but I was not going to shelters with them.  Then, finally, this week Mason is like, "You said we would get kittens!"  Which I probably did in a weak moment, so.......I come up with a plan........a devious plan that will foil their plans and give me more time to do whatever it is that is holding me up.  I go to the shelter by my house on Wednesday.  PetsMart is there taking a lot of the cats to the Federal Way store - BRILLIANT!  With this, there are no sisters, no kittens, no chance in adopting a cat today.  It is 2:15.  I pick up the boys from school and tell them we are going to the shelter to look for a kitten.  It is 2:45.  I even go so far in the plan that I have the cat carrier in the car and I brought the application that I filled out months ago, but never turned in for fear of the judgement.  We go, we look, there are a lot of empty cages, (evil smile - my plan is working), "Oh, well, we can try again next week.", "But Mom there is one more room...."  "Those are all empty in there (knowing PetsMart took all those)."  From behind us I hear, "Oh, well, there are two new ones in there." said the volunteer.  My stomach sinks - RUN!  GET OUT!  RUN!  We enter and my painfully literate son reads, "We are just out of surgery.  We will be ready for adoption tomorrow."  "Are they girls?" Mason exclaims.  The volunteer said, "Let me check.  I will have to go to the front desk."  Darn literate and confident children.  "Yes, they are!  Are you interested?"  Both of my boys look at me and say nothing.  Pause.  This is a defining moment and let's face it my foiling has been foiled.  Pause.  Inhale.  Exhale.  And I finally let go of the Africa rope and say, "I have an application in the car.  Let me go get it."  It is approved.  WHAT?!?!  I declawed my last cats!  "You have been the registered owner of two cats for twelve and sixteen years that we have never had to so much as lift a finger for.  We bet, you are a good bet.  You will do what is best for them.  Okay, be here tomorrow AT OPENING, these two will go fast.  "Okay, I will."  We drive home and the boys are asking all sorts of questions, "Can you be there at opening?  Will we get them"  Can't you put them on hold?"  I respond with, "Yes.  I don't know, but will do everything I can.  No, Nolan, this isn't Nordstrom.  Cats don't got on hold."  I rearrange my schedule, I am there at 11:55, second in line.  The first - a man in a wheel chair that is "pacing" the front gate.  Okay, dude, you are first.  It opens, I go straight to the cat center.  Luckily the guy in a wheel chair was going for a dog.  Glad that didn't get ugly.  I tell them which cats I want, straight to the desk, and the officer I get a old neighbor of my family.  "Are you related to Keith Clarno?  Yes?  You were SUCH a teenager and having a crisis when I met you.  You had to be excused."  Thanks?!?!?!  What the hell do you say to that?  I was 17!  Then her cell phone rings and she says - no lie, "I am having a crisis and have to take this sorry."  Ironic.  One hour later, she finished the paperwork, I get the kitties, and drive home.  Foiled, but happy.  They are so precious and fitting in quite nicely.  One has her name, "Molly Moon" and the other doesn't yet, but we are close.  I will let you know when we do.  Happy Sunday - Ang

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nolan's first day of Kindergarten

My last chemo was on the 20th of August.  I couldn't see my acupuncturist that previous Sunday, so I was a bit nervous, because I had been doing so well.  When my blood work came back for Hank, he said that my platelets were at 61.  That means 61000.  100000 is what oncologists like to see.  The last time we skipped chemo I was at 71000.  He did not want to give me chemo, but I said, "It is either today or I see you in two weeks.  Nolan starts Kindergarten on the 30th of August, and I am not missing it."  Without losing step he said, "Yes, you need to be there for that.  I can adjust things to make it safe, but mumble mumble mumble....."  "Mumble" I took to mean - CRAP, this is going to kick the shit out of her, but I don't have a choice because she is not coming next week, I am on vacation anyway and I secretly don't trust her with anyone else (I am usually not allowed to do chemo if Hank is not in the building because of my little episode a while back), so CRAP...well, here goes.  And, KICK THE SHIT OUT OF ME IT DID.  I was down until last Sunday afternoon.  But I did it and I was there for Nolan's first day.  Nolan did great and I did great too, but I was, well, weird all day long.  Mom came to see Nolan off to and to see where the classrooms were for when she cares for them.  We went to coffee afterward.  I shared with her how weird and surreal that day was and she said, (She is going to KILL me, but she said...), "When you were diagnosed, I put a list in my head of all the things you needed to do/see.  And you did it.  I know you wanted to do get here (Nolan in school) so that things would be easier for Grant in case, and you did it."  She held my hand and we shared some tears.  Yeah, she was right.  I wanted to get them into school so badly.  The hard wiring is done.  Did I do a good job?  Was I too straight with them?  Was I not straight enough?  From here on out, their teachers will be SUCH a HUGE influence on their lives.  Will they remember me?  Wait.....I am not dying......I am still here and now I have 6 hours a day BY MYSELF NOT NECESSARILY BEING SICK.  Frickin' eh - where is the Mamosa!?!  Let's go to a rated R movie!  I want to wax my legs!  I don't wax my legs.  I want to wax them anyway!  And off I went to meet Susie P., my cancer buddy for lunch.  She makes me laugh so hard - she is a nut bar and I LOVE IT.  So, we are having lunch and catching up, and she is telling me want to do...."Okay, let's order first, then talk....okay, I have to tell you about my horseback riding trip.....okay, now, my hip.....okay, now my ski accident.....okay, now, I am so sorry I was initially denying you sushi!....okay, now, you may speak.  I am not kidding - she is like have a tiger by the tail.  Luckily, I am pretty good at that!  Anyhoo, so I tell Susie about the day and how I am feeling and she listens really intently...and then quickly says, "I always knew you would get here!" and smiles with the Cheshire grin.  Gotta love Susie.  We catch up, I remind her to call for an appointment with Hank (because she is always three months behind), we hugged goodbye and I say, "I love you!" and she says louder, "I love you MORE!"  No winning with that woman.  ;)  I go straight to the school, turn in my after school care paperwork and see Mason off.  I pick up Nolan (I could not put him in after school care the first day) and he says, "MOMMY, look in my lunch box!"  YEP, FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING ME FOR A COUPLE YEARS, IT FELT LIKE SOMEONE PUNCHED ME IN THE STOMACH.  Historical note:  Mason's lunch was rejected two years ago on his first day on Kindergarten and he was forced to order a "Uncrustable" which I don't let my children near.  I know no one has ever heard of that - I think I was the first in the nation!  For more on that, you can read the post from September of 2010.  Anyhoo, I say, it in a semi hysterical voice, "Why?!!?!?!?"  "JUST LOOK!" he replies.  Nolan wanted the EXACT same lunch as Mason.  Nolan hates ham and cheese, but ham and cheese he insisted on.  I slowly open his pack, people are buzzing around me, I open the lunch box and he said, "SURPRISE!  I ATE IT ALL!  LET'S GO TO COLD STONE!"  My head was spinning, but I got it together.  I praised him and we went to Cold Stone.  The evening ended with me having a conversation with my neighbor and I was tell her about my day.  She hugged and high fived me and said, "There lots more to do - I am looking at the long run!" "Me too." I said.  I slept so hard that night.  Everything was right in the world for me.  My boys in school.  I got them there and whoever they are, whoever they might be, there will be part of me there - GOD HELP THEM!  :)  Happy Labor Day Weekend, Ang

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

And then there was a great day....

Okay, so I haven't posted in a while.....that is because I have been at my own pity party since last chemo day, but today I have a lot to say, so get a drink (defn is your choice) and sit back if you dare.  :)   I walked into my appointment last week and Hank told me that he has seen enough improvement on my teeny tiny spots in my lungs that he wants to give the same protocol four more treatments to see if it improves.  "Avastin has a way of starting up slowly, so we need to give it some more time....wha wha wha wha, wha wha wha wha."  I just sat there with the silent tears flowing.  I knew logically he was going to say that, but I didn't want to hear it.  Another entire summer juggling chemo.  Really?  Could I have a summer off?  Oh wait, I got one.  The one right after two lung surgeries and four chest tubes.  Only took a year to recover fully and, to this day, when I scratch my left side, I feel it on my right, but who is complaining?!  Hank pops up and gets me a washcloth because the Kleenex is out - shocker.  I sit.  He sits.  I finally say, "I know I should be grateful for everything...for everyday....I know I should not be sad......  He stops me and says, "This is hard.  Who says you can't be sad?"  I reply with, "Hank, I am the Mom to two little boys.  I am a role model.  How I handle this is how they will view the world."  He replies with, "You don't have to be a role model here.  Let yourself be sad."  "But I should be so happy that I am seeing Nolan's first day of school soon and I didn't know if I would see his first birthday."  Hank replies, "You are going to see way more than that.  You are healthy and strong.  You are going to see a lot more years, but this is hard."  So I cried.  And he told me things that made me feel better, allowed me to be sad, and got me to a place I could exhale and start my so familiar journey to chemo....again.  Chemo went well and I came home in my familiar way, but I couldn't stop being sad.  Karissa came over for movies, Sherry ate lunch with me, Karissa brought me soup, Mom made me breakfast.  I had no reason to be so pitiful, but I was.  Saturday was good.  Sunday was a struggle.  Monday was good.  I went and saw my Grandmother in the nursing home with her friend Peggy, who is a bright light in my relationship with my Grandma.  I was nervous about the boys, but they were amazingly good.  Peggy's sister, Kathy, was with us and she was amazing with the boys.  For those of you that know my relationship with my Grandma, you know how she is.  For those of you that don't. here is a great example....I am at the nursing home and my Dad and Grant are moving her out of her assisted living apartment.  I am taking clothes, items that I know she would want - crossword dictionary, crossword book, Bible with the zipper, blouse with the blue and green stripes, etc. etc. etc, over to her new and tiny space.  I ask her at the end of the day, "Okay, I think those are the important things.  Anything else?"  She shakes her head no.  "Okay then, how are you?  This has to be a big transition."  She replies with the back of her hand to her forehead, "Well, you know, this is my last stop....nothing past here.  Your Dad is mad at me because he said I didn't exercise enough."  HUGE ENORMOUS, I MEAN ENORMOUS, SIGH.  "Don't worry about Dad." I reply.  "He is what he is.  I want to know about how you are doing."  And because she is of the generation she was with the upbringing she had she replies with, "I am fine.  You are getting fat."  SIDE NOTE:  I have also been the lucky recipient of comments from her like, "Well, your cancer can't be that bad.  You didn't lose your hair." Yep, that was her - never revealed her identity until now.  "Don't let your kids hear anything bad come from your mouth.  Always encourage them.  Are are getting fat?  I don't like your hair that way.  It is ugly."  (YES, ALL COMMENTS WERE IN THE SAME MOMENT.)  I could go on, but why?  I try and remember this is the woman that taught me to sew, cook, can every food under the sun, and do creative things with no trip to the store and no money which I has served me well.  She is also the one that saved me from a 30 day stint of Mac and Cheese in college and always sent cookies to me in college.  She is stubborn and opinionated.  Giving and yet pushes you away at the hint of something becoming "touchy feely (sp)".  Anyway, enough of that....back to title of my post.  So, after all of this, I go with the boys, to Nolan's best friend's (Carter's) family cabin.  We played on the boat, inter-tubed, kayaked, paddle boated, row boated, the kids swim, played, rode bikes - the whole enchilada!  We had lunch AND dinner there and, as the last light of sun left the sky, I pull out with the bikes, dirty clothes, and two exhausted, sun kissed (and a little burned) little boys.  I call Grant and tell him I am on the way.  With perfect precision, we get them a quick shower, slather them with Aloe Vera Gel, and get them to bed.  I laughed all day. Carter's Mom, Cheryl, and I are hilarious together.  At one point, Carter, swam out too far and ignored his Mom telling him to come in.  Carter didn't realize that that is a violation my "Mommy Code" in a BIG HUGE WAY.  1.  Not listening to your Mom.  2.  Talking back to her making it look like a "negotiation".  3.  Dude, this is about safety and your life!  SERIOUSLY!  Those of you that have seen Mommy Code violations know I go a little psycho.  Our"conversation" at that point went something like this.  "CARTER, GET BACK IN NOW.  THIS IS NOT SAFE AND YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO YOU MOTHER."  He pauses and replies, "You are not my Mom."  I want to say a lot of things, but I choose, "You are right.  I am not, but you are not listening to your Mom and my voice carries a lot better than hers.  In any case, COME IN FIVE FEET NOW OR I WILL COME AND GET YOU!"  He pauses again and says, "I don't know what five feet is."  "START SWIMMING BACK AND I WILL TELL YOU."  He did.  I thanked him.  Later, I let Nolan and him squirt me with water guns and even later Carter went swimming.  It was just him and I out there.  I said, "Carter, you are getting out too far."  He immediately came back and asked, "Is this okay?"  "Yes, Carter, that is perfect.  Thank you."  Another successful convert to "Mommy Code".  As I calapsed on the bed after my shower, I was talking to Grant.  He said, "Sounds like you had a great day."  "It was the best."  And so I am renewed.  I tank is getting full again.   This is a rough way to live, but for those days, I will do it - stubborn just like my Grandma.  Happy Wednesday, Ang

Friday, August 3, 2012

No change...

No change.  Nothing in my lungs is bigger, but nothing is smaller.  Hank is not worried, but he wants to think about all this and see if we change protocol.  He even said to me, "I need to look at the scan and see if I agree with it."  I was like, "You get to do that?" "Of course, I do!". Clearly, I really do not get how this works!  Chemo is still on for Tuesday - here is to nothin'!  I guess if i am still walkin', it is workin'.  Off to a pool party with my kids!  Love Ang

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What do you want to be when you grow up?

So, I was asking Mason the other day, what do you want to be when you grow up?  He looked at me and said, "What do you think?"  I was cautious because I don't want to put ideas in his head, but I said, "Well, I think you are really good with math, so maybe a math teacher?"  He shook his head.  Then I said, "Well, I think you would be really good and really enjoy designing cars.  Like where the engine goes, what color, etc."  (You can tell I am really "dummying" this down thinking he his 7.)  He looked at me crooked and squinted his eyes and said, "Nope, I am going to be a paleontologist." and off he skipped - yes, skipped - there is hope!  I was a little dazed and confused as I didn't know what the heck a  paleontologist was and the fact that he knew the word.  HOLY COW!  Not much has happened since last chemo, but I was funny last time in chemo......we agreed that I should get a second dose of dummy drug for a lot of good reasons, but it hit me hard, so I said things like, "Where is Mason?" and "I have been hiking for three days."  The nurses were not impressed and Elaine was like, "I am calling Grant!"  I was fine and realized that I don't need anymore dummy drugs for several reasons.....see above!  UPDATE:  Good thing - my platelets went WAY up this last time which is not normal and Hank said was magic (that was before the dummy drugs) which, of course, I rolled my eyes at.  I think it is the acupuncture, but that is just me.  Neutral thing - I had a scan yesterday which I still don't know results for.....and I don't really care......which is interesting.......odd......but I think okay.....or maybe not......I will figure it out.  I will let you know when I do!  Happy Thursday, Ang

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do not worry I didn't jump off a bridge...

Saturday came just like Mom said and everything that was wrong was right with the world. The silver lining to all this was I slept so much during my depressive state I have a great weekend and week. Actually, more like best is what we did. Jane left for Vancouver Sunday return TBD, Monday we went to visit Alana and had lunch while using Cutco knives-I love a good home party and I now love Cutco knives! Need a rep? I know a great one! Let me know! Tuesday we went to the King Tut exhibit. Karissa, the kids and I. It was really good to talk about dead people and all the vases their organs went in for 4 hours-kids "dig" that crap! Then, Wednesday, Mason, Nolan, and I went on a helicopter ride of Seattle. I got a screaming deal on the internet and the boys were great. They LOVED talking on the headset about the Space Needle, where the Mariners play, and train tracks. Todd, our pilot, was so great with them. Thank you Todd! Thursday they went to "school" and I tried to recover from the busy week. I did have two things to do - Staples for school supplies and one follow up Doctor's appt for my ingrown toenail surgery. Didn't tell you about that?!?! Yeah, I squeezed that one in on July 6th. Everyone told me it was going to hurt and I could not possibly drive myself home. My response, "They have taken both of my lungs out of my body, cut, stapled, and some thing else to them and put them back in. Not to mention two surgeries on my butt....". You know, that is a conversation closer. Imagine? At Staples, I worked my magic, and got $142.00 of school supplies for two kids for $37 bucks. I got the nice stuff to...Elmer's, nice binders, kid headphones, etc. I know I can be freaky sometimes, but when you are home as much as I am, you have time to plot and plan. I do the same with airline tickets. When we went to Kauai last, we paid something like $840 for all of us to go.....I know...and Toronto $346, again that is not each, it is all of us. Okay, back to the, usually on the days without kids I dress up a little and this day I was wear all light colors. Unfortunatly, the cart at Staples nailed me in the thumb and I started to bleed. I did not realize it until it was on my pants. Good look. I finish shopping, went to my doc appt and went through seven band aids on the way. Good news, my toes look great. "When are you back in chemo?" he asked. I reply, " I started back two weeks ago!". He looked at me and said, "Your toes look amazing....I cannot believe it with your immune system and all.". I smiled thinking, "Yeah, we'll that is the miracle of me!". Bad news, I was wasn't paying attention to my wound and I bleed all over my shirt, pants, and now legs......apparently I am not all that. He cleaned me up, gave me a new band aid and asked if I would be okay. I replyed, it is just a scratch -damn blood thinners! Off I went, straight home to change my clothes before picking up the kids looking like an axe murderer. Got kids, got home, and woke up on Friday to thunder and lightning. We were supposed to go camping, which we did on Saturday morning. It was a blessing because it gave Grant and I a chance to take a breath. Saturday was beautiful on Mt Rainier. We hiked to Carter Falls in honor of Nolan's best friend. The boys rode their bikes, played card games in the tent and did not ask for their iPods once. Hiked Sunday a little, got home, went to accupucture and visited the neighbors. Yesterday, went on another adventure with Karissa and the kids (and Jane was back!) to the Nisqually Basin wildlife refuge where Nolan said they needed to cut down the plants so he could see. ;). Carter's family was up for dinner last night so, on my suggestion, they all came and we ate together. They crack me up! I laughed and laughed and laughed. Yes, I squeezed every moment I could from the last week and I went over a lot of bridges. Looked down on them all and walked confident OVER them. Back to chemo this morning. Jane is here, Mom is home, Karissa is back, Sherry is bringing lunch on Wednesday.....I will be fine. Thank you for all your love. Ang

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This last week

I was back to chemo on the 9th.  IT SUCKED.  I got there and it took FOREVER to get my blood done, get into the doc and then start treatment.  I was there at 8:20 and I didn't start treatment until like 10:40.  I was almost done, Elaine had already held my hand, and it started....a panic attack.....I had been there just a little too long.  I started to shake uncontrollably.  I said I was cold, but Elaine said I was too hot and got a cloth for the back of my neck.  My nurse, who is AWESOME, came in, saw what was happening and point plank said, "Angie, are you have a reaction or is this a panic attack?"  I know and they know that I know the difference - "reaction" would have been the five bell alarm.  Shaking I respond with, "Panic attack.  I just need to get OUT OF HERE.  I spent too long here."  "Then, that's what we are going to do."  It seemed like a minute and I was out with Jen, my nurse, saying, "Where is she going?"  I was going the wrong way.  I guess I really wanted out.  Elaine corrected my path, I got into the elevator, faced the corner so I didn't have to see anything, got to the outside, and waited for Elaine to get the car.  I am pretty darn sure I looked like a drug addict/corpse.  SEXY.  After that, I was fine.  Elaine got me home on the couch and I feel asleep.  I don't remember much about that day, but I did eat dinner I think - Chinese??  I don't know.  Tuesday came and my Mom came over.  It was nice to see her, but I was depressed.  I had SUCH a good break - a taste of freedom and the previous Sunday, I thought I could conquer the world.  By Tuesday, I wanted to crawl in a hole.  Mom told me, "Just think about Saturday."  When it is Tuesday and I am suppose to focus on Saturday, it seems like an eternity.  Mom left and was leaving with my Dad to Las Vegas for their annual convention that I make them go to.  It is the only time the get on a plane, enjoy themselves, and get a vacation from me.  Dad was dropping the kids off at Donna's that day and then Doug and Donna were taking them to the cabin fishing and swimming for the rest of the week.  I would not see them until Saturday afternoon.  Wednesday, my Mom was gone with my Dad, Karissa was on vacation with her family, Donna was in Plain, WA with the boys, Grant was working long and then had hockey that night.  In addition, my friend, Sherry, called me and I tried to answer the phone, but the battery was dead, and it dropped the call.  I didn't have the energy to get another phone, so I just sat there and cried.  Shannan, my massage therapist, is Karissa's backup when I need to be unhooked from my pump.  She is 5'1" and a trooper.  When I opened the door for her to take me in, I just started blubbering all over her about how I hated being back in this crap.  She just hugged me and rubbed my back.  TROOPER!  I would have run for the hills.  She took me in and they were SO FAST we got free parking!  That is like winning the Lotto for me.  I got home, collapsed on the couch, and fell asleep again.  Thursday, Luke detailed my Focus, and locked up the house beautifully since I was sleep AGAIN.  Depression sucks.  Friday, I showered, did some errands and actually liked dinner.  Saturday, Donna was home, the boys were home, I felt great, JANE CAME THROUGH SEATTLE AND SPENT THE NIGHT, dinner was delivered, and all was right with the world again.  "Just think about Saturday."  I guess she knows best.  She is home today.  WHEW.  One more down.  Love, Ang

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I went to Canada for a tan?

Yep - I am tan.  I know I still look white to most people, but if you compare my arm to my stomach, I could be Haitian.  We are home!  Well, I have been home since the forth. Two weeks with all my boys. Four cities and Toronto twice. The flight over was brutal! It was on frequent flier miles and changed from two legs to three at the last mintue - Seattle to Detroit, Detroit to Cinninatti, a 5 hour lay over and then to Toronto. BRUTAL! The boys were amazing and promptly fell asleep in the car, so Grandma Lil's first look at them in two years was asleep. Toronto was great. I have not been back in six years. It was great to see all of Grant's friends and family. Children have grown up into beautiful young adults, our friends are important people....and I am like, "How did that happen?!?" When did we grow up?!?!?! I even caught up with a woman that I met in Canyon Ranch three years ago. She is a hoot! After four short nights, we took off to Montreal, but let me go back to Toronto. We stayed at the Super 8 in Chinatown. Great location, sound proof rooms which I was glad for after the second set of teenagers partied across the hall, really bad free Internet, worn worn worn but had HUGE rooms, and free breakfast. They charged my credit card for $100 dollars for a damage deposit, and the second day I went to clarify it was for further damage beyond what was already there. I was really nice and quiet about it, but I needed to know. That is what I mean by worn. Not the nicest place. In Montreal, we had a two bedroom apartment with a kitchen. The boys loved it! We loved it! We practiced our French, ate really well, swam in the pool, and walked the city and museums. Everything was going great until I looked in a window and saw a Montreal Canadiens' hockey jersey and mentioned to Grant we should get one for Mason.  WOW.  APPARENTLY, THIS IS VERY VERY WRONG.  Grant, in a very un-Canadian manner, proceeded to throw a fit in the middle of the street.  As this doesn't happen often, the boys and I just looked at him with our mouths wide open.  He rarely raises his voice, but apparently this caused him to raise his voice and throw a tantrum in the street.  I was told, and I quote, "No son of mine will EVER own, wear, or buy anything from the Montreal Canadiens."  I asked why and he said it was because he was from Toronto.  Logical?  Reasonable?  He went on for blocks about why this is acceptable and reasonable behavior.  I turned him off and bought a Christmas ornament instead that said, "Montreal".  That was acceptable.  (Since coming home, I have heard a few other stories of Canadian husbands acting the same exact way when faced with the Montreal Canadiens.  They have offended family members and ruined holidays over this "issue".  WOW.)  ;)  In Quebec City, we had an even larger apartment and I cooked happily. The grocery stores are amazing in Quebec and CHEAP for amazing food. Food out was expensive, like lunch was $60 and we all drank water. So, we definitely took advantage of the kitchens. Quebec City was amazingly beautiful. I could not take a bad picture. The boys loved the wall, the military, the street performers, everything. I love the beer garden next to the pirate ship park. Why don't we have those?!?!? And I was able to buy a Quebec Nordiques Hockey T-shirt for Mason there.  I understand I can do this because the are no longer a competitor to the Toronto Maple Leafs.  (I just really wanted to not have a tantrum in the middle of Quebec City.)  Then off to Ottawa!  Being in Ottawa, the nation's capital, on Canada Day, was awesome. I love Ottawa. It is just so beautiful and well laid out.  The Snowbirds did their thing, we sang O Canada, and played all day.  They had two amazing kid focused parks - one non-military; one military.  The Canada Day celebration there is a lot like Seattle's Sea Fair, so a lot of celebration of their military.  One of the BEST stories was at the military focused park.  The park was across the river back into Quebec and I was so tired of my horrible French, when a very nice woman asked me the time, I just gave her my watch.  She laughed and said in French, "Do you speak English?  You seem to understand French."  I replied in English with, "Yes, I can understand some, but I can't speak it worth a damn!"  She laughed and said in English, "You have half the battle and it is the hard one."  Anyway, I digress.....we saw and sat in a Snowbirds cockpits which the boys LOVED.  We toured a Hovercraft which I loved.  But the high light....the favorite thing of both my boys was the obstacle course put on my the Army.  We waited in the sun for 45 mins.  It was 95 degrees.  There were not deterred.  They started warming up as we got close to the front.  Really?!?!?!!  It was 95 degrees.  They put there helmets on and stopped listening to me and just focused on the Army guys.  It is too bad because I was saying, "Listen guys - remember, this is Canada.  Your blue is showing a little."  To my joy, and maybe a little bit of embarrassment, they kicked everyone's ass.  I mean clearly, they wanted it more than ANYBODY ELSE there.  They caught up to the two before them and were TICKED when they were told to wait their turn.  I thought their might some throwing of elbows, but they got it under control and, in defense, of the kids in front of us, I don't think they had seen an athletic competition in their lives.  I kept my mouth shut with Mason, but when Nolan went I was like, "Go Baby!  OMG - you did the monkey bars all by yourself - AWESOME.  GO! GO! GO!"  The dude said to me that Nolan was quite serious and aggressive and all I could get out was, "He comes by it naturally....."  Grant and I learned a lot on this trip.  Like don't tell the boys there is a water slide at the next hotel BEFORE the six hour drive - tell them after and we really think that 14 days without a break from our kids is too much.  Next time, 10 nights.  I also learned that I can forget.  I was so removed from home, me, cancer, etc.  I actually forgot I was sick.  I actually thought about what job I was going to get when Nolan went to Kindergarten and I actually THOUGHT about it before I realized I would still be in chemo and who would ever take me on as an employee.  I pushed that out of my mind and kept dreaming about what I wanted and what I would have been doing if all "this" hadn't happened.  Then, we touched down in Seattle, and while I was so happy to be was time to remember and as I pack up the boys today, a little part of me will die, but the other part no knows that someday will be able to forget......for good.  Vive le Canada!  Love, Ang

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chemo week - PSYCHE!

Today was SUPPOSED to be a chemo day, but a few weeks ago I looked like a teacher with Hank.  I held up a calendar and said, "Here are my chemo days and here is my family vacation.  Can I do chemo here?  Here?"  Help played along very well with, "...that is too soon with your platelets.  No that is too soon to your trip.  Where are you going?  Oh yeah...  Do you want to go or do you want me to cancel it?  (Of course, I want to go!)  Well, you need a break any way to get your platelets up, so you can be off until July 9th."  WHA?  Thinking the better of saying that.  "Okay!"  So, for the next little while, I will cook my own meals, clean my own house, and go back to Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, and Ottawa.  It is a bit of a whirlwind, but it will be great to see the in laws (haven't seen them since diagnosis) and friends.  Can't wait to go to Second Cup and Perogie Night in TO.  Want to see if Mason or Nolan will step out with me on the clear glass floor of the CN Tower and we are taking my Mother in Law, Lil, to Medevil Times.  Cute story - when you book with Medevil Times you are asked to show up 90 mins ahead of time for general seating.  WHAT?!?!  So, I called and said laughing, "Is there any way around that?  My mother in law is 87 and I am a cancer patient.  We may not have 90 mins!"  So, with a couple fees and discounts to offset, we have reserved seating.  Can't wait to see the fireworks in Ottawa, eat bread and cheese in Quebec, and just be normal, if not for just a little while.  Love, Ang  P.S.  I will be putting out a new meal calendar so, if you want to get on the email, just contact Sarah at  Thank you!  A Bientot!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Update and Best Burger EVER

Well, lots of time has gone by and I am doing well.  Update - the Relay for Life was so fun and my team, The Royal Runners, were amazing.  I was honored and happy to be with them.  We made $3500.  WOW.  Thank you - I am amazed by you.  Quick note - a breast cancer survivor came up to me on the survivor lap and said, "I love your shirt."  My reply was, "Yeah, well, rectal cancer doesn't have many options, so I went with this."  She and I laughed like HARD.  It was cute.  Then there was T-ball and tossball, my birthday which despite the hotel Grant and I were going to stay at had a main water break and is closed until August 1st and my favorite restaurant got kicked out of their lease, was awesome.  I found that I really just need ribs, ice cream cake, and flowers.  My head hit the pillow saying, "Best birthday ever."  Chemo day was good, chemo week sucked, and then back to t-ball and toss ball, dinner with friends in the neighborhood, and then, yesterday Nolan crawled in bed with me and said, "I love you Mommy."  I said to Grant, "I will do chemo forever as long as I can hear that.  Part 2 - I got to see my college buddies who I asked to help Grant in the yard.  They, like the troupers they are, came and did amazing work!  We talked and laughed.  I sat and petting the cat and they weeded, spread bark, the yard looks amazing.  BTW - The cat isn't my cat, but won't go home (for the past two years) and lives in our shed.  I do feed her and pet her ever morning and night but really there has got to be a better gig for this cat than a shed.  She is a great mouser, rater, moler, so she totally earns her keep.  ANYHOO, I said to her on Friday night, "Look Daddy needs you to catch the thing that come out of that hole."  The next morning, a mole was on the porch.  I gave her tuna.  She is never going home now.  Part 3 - Jane, my famous Sister-in-Law, and the gang (Tyrus, her husband, Grant, our nephew, and Grant's girlfriend, Claire) came for  a short visit.  I miss Jane.  We talked for hours and the boys went to the store for burger fixings.  They played hockey, soccer, and wrestled with the boys for hours.  The burger tasted great and I even had a beer.  When they left, Mason, Nolan (still in his pjs) and I rode after them on our bikes out of the neighborhood.  It had been a beautiful day.  My boys, my Grant, my friends, my family.  Jane emailed me this morning and thanked us for the visit and said that Claire said, "It is like they have their own little paradise there." referring to the yard and my knives.  She likes good knives like a good woman should.  We do have a paradise here.  Grant and I have made it that way though I can hardly take credit for the yard.  He has planted all my favorites where I can see them when I am sick.  I so rarely leave the house that he believes it is essential that I have this.  (For example, other than T-ball - I haven't left home/neighborhood since Saturday before last.)  John, our neighbor, even has trained his clematis to go on my side of the fence, because Grant and I are having trouble growing one.  I am so lucky.  The boys don't ever really like leaving either.  When asked they usually want a home day, wearing pjs, playing outside with their buddies, and eating in their fort.  So, this morning I was thinking about lunch....all I wanted was a burger.....and I had just enough leftover in the frig to do it.  So, with my indoor grill pan, I cooked the patty and onion (good tip from Claire), toasted the bun like my Mom does, seasoned the patty like Craig (Sarah's husband) does, put on my avocado, lettuce, tomato, and open the last pilsner in the frig.  I went outside and, while Nolan was watching Curious George, ate my AMAZING burger with the juices going down my hands in my paradise yard in my pjs.  Pretty good day so, Ang

Friday, June 1, 2012

Pre Relay for Life

Today, I go tot the Relay for Life at about 5:30 and meet up with the team I am representing, the Royal Runners.  I just now checked their page, done a couple calcs, and I realized that we raised over $2500 in three days......pause.....pause again......wonder how in the world I have these people.....feel humbled, gracious, blessed, and, of course, just a little, "Now, there is a can of whoop ass!"  Okay, maybe a lot of whoop ass.  I can't help it.  Soon, I will put on my "What's Up Your Butt?" t-shirt, all of my bracelets, and my pin from the Relay with Bob.  I have done my hair twice because of the humidity today.  My hair is a real draw at these events and I don't want to disappoint, but if this keeps up I am going to look like something between Michael Bolton and Carrot Top. Ceremony starts at 6 and I will be done with my duties at 7:30ish.  Probably go out to Teriyaki with a friend of mine that is meeting me there - by the way, Cheryl are you meeting me there????  At 5:25, I will most likely, be in my car cursing the humidity, then saying a prayer, then exhaling to get myself ready and then, I will open the door, and I will be EVERYTHING I need to be.  Thank you for your never ending support, prayers, friendship, and love.  Ang

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Let's see what we can do in three days!

A little while ago I was asked my a high school friend of mine if I was busy on June 1st.  I wasn't and she told me about the Kent Relay for Life and how her son, Stewart, was a co captain for a team that they put together.  She also told me about the shirts they were making up and how they were toying with different funny sayings which brought up to my "What is up your BUTT?" T-shirt for colorectal cancer.  Anyway, it got down to me going to the the Kent Relay for Life and helping support their team on the condition that I would wear my famous t-shirt.  REALLY???!?!?!  Like that is a burden?  Don't have to ask me twice!  So, last week, I received the team information, etc.  Now, the inside story....I have been honored, represented, had luminaries, etc. on several cancer fundraising events.  I am always humbled by this and if I can help, I always do.  It seems that I bring hope to a lot of people by my story, my personality, and, or course, my hair.  I thought this was going to be easy - slam dunk, but here is the rub.  The last time I was at the Kent Relay for Life was the last time I saw Bob.  Okay, for those of you who don't know, Bob was my cancer Champion (notice capitalization).  He had been diagnosed one year earlier than I and he had a similar diagnosis - one rectal tumor and stage four because it was all over his liver and was inoperable.  He was funny, kind, and I could ask him ANYTHING.  We were both terminal.  The difference is the chemo worked better on me.  He was initially given three months to live, but his goal was to see his only child, Meredith, graduate from high school.  He did and he died three years after his diagnosis.  I credit him with how I look at cancer, how I look at myself living with cancer, and my determination to live strong.  So, this Friday will not be easy for me, but I will, as always, put my game face on, be there, and live strong for me and for Bob.  I am asking you to do this with me.  I know times are tough and that there is not a lot of extra money around.  The team that I am representing has a goal of $1500 and they are at $765.  I will be donating $50.  I am asking if you have $10, $25, or even $50 to spare, I would like to put it toward this - for these kids that are so impressive; for me because without all the advances, I would be dead; and for Bob the man that taught me how to do this.  Of course, by all means donate more if you can!  Let's see if we can get them to their goal, my goal, and more birthdays for all of us.  Here is the link. Thank you.  Humbly yours, Ang

I am posting twice in the same day

and you will see why, so read both!  First, my update....the last week has been the best and the Aunt came to watch over me since we were starting a new drug and I had send Grant on a golf trip (that was good).  When I was trying to call my neighbors to help us with the yard waste bin and I could not figure out how that was bad.  I watch most of Downton Abby (for the second and third time), that was good.  When I was sleeping for 15 hours a day, that was bad.  On Thursday I felt worthless, that was bad.  On Friday, Trina (my neighbor) called me and said, "We are going to Yogurtland!", that was good.  On Saturday, we went on a bike ride WITH MY NEW BIKE WITH A SEAT AS BIG OR BIGGER THAN MY HEAD, with all of us and Mia (neighborhood friend), and I was behind looking at my amazing, beautiful family and believing cancer couldn't touch us.  That was good.  When Mia wanted to ride beside me, which put me in the car lane and I said, "Mia, I have worked to hard to die by a car hitting me." and she responded with, "You are right.  I will ride on the sidewalk.  You can have the bike lane."  She is nine.  That was funny.  Sunday we hung out at my parents and Mason drove the "tractor" for the first time by himself.  I took him out and when I was leaving for the lower pasture I said to Dad, "Why can't he do this alone?  By seven, I was mowing pastures (for my Grandparents)."  He said, "Different time, different family."  He really shouldn't have sent me to Gonzaga if he didn't want me to learn logic arguments.  As soon as we got to the lower pasture, I got off, slowed down the throttle, reminded Mason how "wide" he was on the machine, talked about rocks and holes, and let him go.  By the end, he was weaving in and out of the trees.  He was glowing with pride.  Dad saw me up top and said to Grant, "Should have known she would do that."  Yep, he shoulda since I have HIS BLOOD RUNNING THROUGH MY VEINS.  Sunday night my colon rebelled.  That was bad.  Monday, I was up and Grant and I did a HUGE clean up in the yard.  That was good.  Grant is so funny - I say, "I think we should move that plant."and he says, "Yeah, that is a good idea."  After 17 years, I know that we will now "think about it" for a couple years.  So, I pull it out of the ground and stick it where I want it and he says nervously (because he is scared FOR THE PLANT), "I guess we are doing it now?!?!?!?"  If not now, when?  I could be dead!  That was funny. Monday night, I went to my Aunt Marsha's house (Alana, my cousin's Mom) and had Indian food.  YUM.  That was good.  The roller coaster was predictable, but not easier when you are in the low.  I see my therapist on Thursday - probably a really good thing.  Now, onto the next post......

Friday, May 18, 2012

Last week.....

So, let's start with Sunday, Mother's Day.  All I wanted to do it go to the Flagship REI store, try out bikes (not buy one), and then go to lunch at Ivar's on Elliot Bay and throw french fries at the seagulls.  I did both with all my boys and, while it was difficult for Nolan to understand that we are going shopping for ME, he relented.   Throwing french fries was fun.  Nolan was, of course, doing it his way.  The boys tried calamari and liked it and after a walk on the waterfront and a visit to the Ole Curiosity Shop, I felt that my day was complete.  After dinner with my Mom and Dad, my head hit the pillow and I said to Grant, "Best Mother's Day Ever" (and last years was awesome, so the bar is getting a bit high!).  Monday, Mason had school and Nolan had a developmental study at the UW.  Nolan has been in this study since he was 2 and while my life is complicated, I always feel like I have a way easier life than most.  Here is why.....part of the study is based on his home situation so they ask me questions like, "Has Nolan ever seen you hit your spouse?"  Has Nolan even seen his Grandparents hit each other?"  "Did you steal things before Nolan was born?  After?"  "Do you have a boyfriend?"  (and I want to respond with no - I have a collapsed vagina from radiation damage!, but of course I don't),  "Has Nolan's brother ever been arrested?" (He is seven.) and so on and so forth.  Cancer has got to be cake compared to that.  On the way home, Nolan recognized Ivar's from the freeway and asked if we could go back and throw fries at the seagulls.  I said, "Sure, I am hungry."  He was MUCH better at it on Monday.  Tuesday - Mason school, Nolan swim lessons, Nolan T-ball game, me fasting for my scan on Wednesday.  Wednesday - scan and deliver Grandma's room frig to Mason's teacher whose daughter is going to Gonzaga in the fall - GO ZAGS!  Starving.  Thursday - Bible Study Year End Brunch, garden walk with one of my bible study gals, couple errands, go to school to retrieve the frig delivery wagon and then the phone call from Hank.  Friday - errands, a little work, and then now.  When I told my Dad the results of the scan, he got choked up and told me how proud of me he was for persevering.  When I told my Mom, she was fine.  When I told Grant, he was like, "Do we ever get great news on the first scan?"  So, here are the results.  THE SAME.  Everything is stable - no growth, no smaller.  Hank told me he had to bump/jazz up his game.  I was thinking he needed to get out more.  So, Monday, we add Avastin back in.  It will add a hour plus to my treatment and it may give me high blood pressure, not that it did before.  How do I feel?  Nothing really.  I guess I just feel like this pull between being sick and well, live or death and it gets a little dramatic for me.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I love being dramatic, but I prefer that to be with friends, stupid stories, and a drink in my hand, not this.  But I have learned that I have to give it time, have patience, and "just keep swimming" as Dory on Finding Nemo says.  How did I deal?  I cleaned out the garage, and I bought my bike.  My bike that I picked and no one else did.  (I have never picked my own bike and for some reason I needed to - especially since the stupid sandbags are coming down this summer!)  Lets be clear - I have no intention of giving up or giving in.  My boys just got really fun and, while my old goal was to see Mason so to school, my new goal is to live until they naturally stop talking to me.  I figure 13ish.  So, I got six to eight years on my back.  Who knows what will happen in six to eight years.  Enjoy your weekend.....I am ordering accessories for my bike!  Love, Ang

Friday, May 11, 2012

Five years

Five year ago this month, I found out I had this terrible wretched "condition".  Five years ago this month I didn't know if I would see Nolan's first steps or Mason's first day of school.  Five years ago this month, I raged at God for giving me these two precious boys and then taking their Mom away from them.  Five years ago this month, I met my oncologist.  He was the only one that gave me hope.  He refused to give me odds, but did say if I didn't get treatment, I would die.  He say to me without blinking that I may be the one to raise my boys and take care of my parents in their old age.  I clung to his words and, while wondering how good of a liar he was, believed him.  Monday he gave me a number - the odds I had so wanted so badly five years previous. It went something like this....(me cocky as ever) "Hey, you know it has been five years, right?  I told you I would be in the top 10%."  He smiled and said, "I just noticed that too."  pause "And, by the way, you are going in the top 1."  My cockiness gone.  Me silent.  That is a good number.  Exhale.  Happy Friday, Ang

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chemo tomorrow...

Life seems to go at the speed of light....then we had to move Grandma to the Health Center.  I am always amazed at the things I find in her stuff.  Why after being in a Retirement Home for 13+ years does she still have a blender?????  My Dad will finish up this week and then we will have to do the painful task of sorting and distributing.  So, after Toss ball, T-ball, moving, I am again....chemo tomorrow.  Last one before the scan next week. Enjoy the sun!  Ang

Monday, April 30, 2012

Wow, that took a while...

As most of your know, chemo impacts your memory and scatters your thoughts.  Today, I JUST remembered my password to the blog.  Oh yeah, I could have done that whole, "Don't remember your password?" thing, and I would click it but then it would get too hard requiring me to remember more things than I could and then I would get distracted with something else - much like a toddler....nice...sorry.  So, the answer to last Thursday question was, "Yes, I made it to both Mason's field trip and Nolan's garden party!"  Mason's field trip was adorable and I really can't believe how well behaved they were.  It was just me and the teacher and it was fine.  We didn't lose anybody and we only had one bathroom "emergency".  Mason's teacher asked me to take him and he looked at me with those eyes like, "I ain't gonna make it!" and I was like, "Well, THIS is something I can relate too!"  I told him we would and with a little fast moving a lot of excuse us' we did.  When I left, he asked if I could go on the next field trip with them and I said, "As many as I can buddy."  Smile.  Nolan's garden party was great.  I am not sure the rows of flowers and veges will be particularly straight, but they are planted!  I was happy to go to both, but I didn't do much in between or on Friday.  It was good to push myself and motivation to not break Mason's heart was incentive enough.  The weekend was good outside of Grant and I getting into a bad fight.  Y'know, for anyone out there that thinks that we don't fight or that our priorities are so perfect, please know that 90% of the time we don't and we do, but mix exhaustion from work, kids, cancer treatment, t-ball, toss ball, errands, medical insurance companies, and a relationship together and sometimes you just don't want to get in the car with your spouse even though he follows you and asks you twice to get in the car and you reply with, "I would rather die on the side of the road than get in the car with you."  Now remember, I am not a girl that whines or says stuff she doesn't mean.  I MEANT it and he KNEW it.  Amazing how much anger can fuel energy. I was thoroughly exhausted when I got home and he was thoroughly concerned that I walked all that way.  I needed the walk and on it a lot happened.  Episode #1 - I divorced him, thought about who would get the house, and how we would split the kids...etc... Episode   #2 I strangled him, but then the kids would really be put out...etc... Episode #3 etc. etc. etc. By the time I got home it all just seemed too difficult and consequence ridden, so I opted for working on the marriage.  I was way better.  Quite calm actually.  In any case, we gave each other the time we needed to get back on track.  In addition, we went to bed at 8:30 that night - and I mean sleep.  Sunday was 9:30 - and I mean sleep.  Much better now.....Love, Ang

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The notes your get from your kids.....

When you are open about your condition, you get these.  They are the hardest, but, of course, I had to go over his spelling with him too.  Figure THAT one out!  

Had a great week.  Started acupuncture with this amazing woman in Fremont.  Wow.  She is a really neat person - she looks like she could run a horse ranch and she is funny!  Then, she taught me all about Chinese medicine and herbs.  The formula she is working on for me was all in Chinese - like I can read that.  And, BTW, she is whiter than I am.  VERY COOL.  Anyhoo, she told me after the first appointment that I may be too accommodating to the cancer - respecting it too much and I should treat it more like an unwanted house guest.  Pause - really? - pause.  I NEVER, EVER, EVER thought I would be accused of that, but after two seconds, I believed she was right.  She said, I should just gently get them to go on their way, or something like that.  Now, if I knew her better, I would have said, "Really, I can't just say - "GET THE F&#\K OUT??!?!?!""  While I work on that, let's just pray that acupuncture makes my chemo easier because I REALLY, REALLY want to go to Mason's field trip with him on Thursday - The Little Mermaid play in Renton.  I just need to get on the bus, ride, get off, sit, and repeat in reverse.  I hope I can manage that.  Then, Nolan has a garden party that afternoon - prayers, reiki, bets, bribes, all accepted.

Off to chemo tomorrow bright and early.  Thank you to all of your that have brought me new ways to eat red meat.  My platelets better be awesome!!!!  Love, Ang