Saturday, April 30, 2016

Just an update.....

Mason is doing well, BUT he has been dizzy.  No headaches or fatigue (but he is sleeping more than normal), but dizzy.  We are moving forward CAUTIOUSLY.  The school has been AMAZING.  I finally talked to the Recess Teacher that called it in.  She was so clear, "Ang, I saw it happen and his head folding into the other boy and I called for 911 and a nurse."  No question, no evaluation, no anything.  THANK GOD.  I love my school.  I love the care they give to each child.  SIDEBAR:  So, this is how I feel and I KNOW that they apply the same care to all students, yet in the election for a new school in the "Kent Valley" it was stated that, "Why should I invest in Kentistan?!?!?"  And something along the lines of they are not "real" Americans.  PAUSE.  I invite ANYONE to my school.  I challenge ANYONE to our education.  Let me take you on a tour and show you "Kentistan" and see if you do not fall in love with us......real or not.  Needless to say, our bond in failing.  The first in years to fail and I can only attribute it to the hate.  Shame on you.  Really shame on you.

I ran the last of the fundraisers for the year last week......Clothing for the Cause.  I hope we did well.  Funny thing while I was hangin' out at school, I asked the sixth grade teachers, "Is there a sixth grade camp this year?"  Quickly they answered with, "Not unless you are running it?!?!?!"  "Nope!  Thanks - I just wanted to ask because remember, I am leading Student Leadership since no one else would (at no charge) and they were really upset.  Just wanted to check to see if it was true."  They went on about how I should do sixth and fifth grade camps.  Sonia chimed in with some borderline comments, but it was all in fun.

Maybe people still do not understand....I would love to send the kids to "real" sixth grade camp, or even fifth grade camp, but PTA has supported so many things it is almost impossible to imagine.  We are the, and I have researched, the only PTA to pay for Scholastic News etc., snacks during testing, scholarships to special programs, etc.  We do so much "operational" stuff, there is no time for extra.  In addition, my team is leaving me because their kids are graduating Elementary and I will be left with less than three volunteers.  My term is over and yet no one, seriously, no one has come forward to help (other than Box tops! - YAY!).  I guess I am sad so sad, Lara and I really tried to make a PTA that was solid, accountable, and ready.  Now, our terms are over, and we look to shutting it down because we may not have the officers to run it.  Sure, I would do sixth grade camp if I did not have spirit wear for two schools, budgets for two schools, yearbook, BBQ, open house, PASA, bookfair, Scholastic News, Teachers Meals for two schools, Teacher Appreciation for two schools, Math Night, Movie Night, Bingo for Books and Student and Regular Leadership.  BTW, I get paid zero pay.  Zero.  And I used to have to pay for child care to attend meetings.  I guess the joke is on me.  I thought I was contributing.  I thought I was building towards another reign, but I guess I was not.  It does not matter anyway.  I will probably have to go back to my real work.  I have been well for a while.  Cancer seems to be a bay (still have to the two spots, but they are not doing anything) and Grant may need my help.  He loves me home, but if the business is slow, I have to put food on the table.  That is the trouble with a one income family.  So, I will resign my positions, I will go back to work, and I will be like all the rest of the parents.  Too busy.  Overworked, and well, unavailable.  That makes me sad, but at the same time, I should get paid for my work - my parents invested a lot in my education.....but still, I morn it...I love hangin' out at my school - working together.  I love being the parent that they can call last minute, but that comes at a cost and maybe with all that is happen in my family, we just can't do it.  It is funny, I was looking at jobs and my boys were like, "You can make that much?!!?!"  I was like, "Who did you think I was?!?!?!  I chose to work at a non-profit, I had offers twice a month for double my salary, but I wanted to work there and I wanted kids.....meaning it was not fair to start something I could not finish."  This may have been a good exercise for my boys......

This was a tough week.....things will be determined in this week......I hope I like it......

Love, Ang

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Emergency Room Trifecta - check.....

So, the last few day have been good, roof is finally done.  Yes, like the entire roof is on my house.  I do longer am the "questionable neighbor".  Grant and I (and the boys) have been doing tons of yard work and it is getting so cute.  Yesterday, I had one last thing to get - a hanging basket at Costco.  I am at Costco have a few items and my basket and get a call from school.  "I need to you to come to school.  Mason and another boy hit each other and I just need to you to come to school."  I was like, "Mason hit someone?!?!?!? (thinking fight)".  "No, not like that, they were playing and the ran into each other."  WHEW.  I really never thought I would have that conversation about Mason.  Nolan, well that is different, I am waiting for the call.  "Okay, I am coming."  I get to checkout and am in the middle and I get another call, "Where are you?"  "Costco."  "Okay, we had called 911 just to be safe, but they are going to transport him to Valley.  You are closer there, just go to Valley and take a deep breath."  I had stopped breathing and the whole world stopped.  I don't really know what happened after that, but I was checked out and in the truck.  I beat them there - shocking.  The Vice Principal was with him.  He was in a brace and on a back board.  I couldn't touch him at first.  I just hugged the Vice Principal and looked at him."  He was fine - all thumbs up and everything.  Happy, but uncomfortable.  They were playing kick ball and they ran into eat other Mason's head to that kids check (he is a big kid) and Mason lost consciousness.  He then had some tingling in his leg and the staff thought better to be safe than sorry.  NOTE - Being an older parent sometimes works against you.  If this would have happened to me in elementary school, they would have checked my pupils, saw if I was bleeding from the ear and told me to walk it off.  How many concussions did I have?!?!?!  After a couple hours, the tests and exams were done.  They went into the big long thing about how them would like a CT scan of the head and back and were all worried about me saying no because of radiation.  Clearly, they had no idea how they were talking to.  I was like, "Do it.  I don't have a problem with the radiation."  The tingling in his leg was gone and we left with no neck injury, but a concussion and the longest list of things he cannot do.....again, remember me, "WALK IT OFF!"  This thing goes on for a page and a half.  Mason was sad as we were going over it, but understood.  When we got home, Nolan was so excited to see him and quickly ran to his backpack and said, "Mason, look!  We can ride bikes to school!"  Silent pause and then they tears came and sobbing started, "But, I can't ride a bike."  Then Nolan starts crying, "What?  Why?"  So, I told him about the list with two boys sobbing.....this may be a long week.....

So, we are home, it is late start.  I am keeping Mason home, he has testing next week (which he can't do if he is not healed) and baseball games are going to start.  We meet with his doc tomorrow.

The weird thing is in the scan we learned that Mason has an extra bone in his neck.  Weird.  I knew he was in my stomach too long - I guess he just kept growing.....

The weirder thing is that I really wanted Hawaiian BBQ last night and an L&L BBQ opened up two days ago close to my house.  Do I now have a strange affiliation with Hawaii and the Emergency Room?  Or maybe I have an extra bone in my neck too.

It was delicious.

Happy Wednesday,


Saturday, April 16, 2016

My friends....

I have great friends…..
So, I am coming home from a soccer game tonight and I am with one of my best friends.  She has not been a “forever” friend, but she is one of my mom buddies.  Our kids would go to indoor gym.  Her Husband would take them and I would too.  Her first would say, “MOMMY!!!!” referring to me and I was like, “Ben, I am not your Mommy.” And he would refute, “You are a MOMMY, so MOMMY!”  Then, when I got sick, My Mom would take them.  She got to know my friend’s husband.  Sadly, how lucky am I?!?!  On the way home from Woodinville, we shared all sorts of kids stories and she said to me, “I don’t know if I could have done it without you.”  We held hands for a second and I thought, “You bought me clothes when I thought I was a goner.”  I love her.  I love her kids.  Here are some of my best stories – OF OTHER PEOPLES KIDS……
Karissa and I – Camping – our kids are slinging each other on the back of bikes with a roller that is super dangerous and the 12 year old summer intern is trying to find the parents.  (We were behind the tent.  Yes, drinking Gin and Tonics.)  She also helped me get out of the house…..bless her, but sometimes her options SUCKED.  Her own kids were like, “Can we do what Angie wants?!?!?!?”  Gotta say, love those kids, but Karissa – HOLY COW there is a special place in heaven for her.  She is still known as “my girl” at chemo.  The nurses ask about her…..she is that special to them and to me.  Last story, her kids came up to us one day and she was chewing gum and we were like, “Where did you get the gum?” and she said, “The slide.”  You can image our response.  YUCK.
Grace cleaning my house.  Grace is my college roommate and OMG I was in my bedroom while she was “cleaning/flushing” my toilet a 1000 times.  I was sick as a dog and was like, “What the hell are you doing?!?!?!”  Grace’s response, “Cleaning your toilet.”  My response, “Are you serious?!?!!”  I dragged myself over there and taught her how to clean a toilet.  Her response, “You know there is a reason you got rectal cancer.”  My response, “Fuck off and it was to teach you how to clean a toilet.”  I LOVE HER and oddly, she loves me.  But, I have to say, Grace can scrub a floor like no one’s business!
Small and mighty….so I had this team….Part one cleaning…Part two food…..They were all under 5 foot 4 and honest I would not mess with them ever.  You know who you are (Beth, Annemarie, and Sarah) and I am afraid of you.  Truly. 
My Mom.  Enough said.  She scares me.
My Aunt.  She is nicer, but not by much.
My Cousin that always had a place for me to socialize.  She knew what to do. She did it.  She invited and told everyone to wash their hands…..I love her.  It was a safe place in the storm.  I am so thankful.  I show up now and it is like close family.  I am so blessed.
Crofts – especially Cheryl.  Holy cow.  For being so lazier faire, she has known me as nothing but with cancer.  She was accommodated through everything – including Family Fun Center Birthdays.  WOW.  I did not  think I could get a friend after cancer – I am a little high maintenance, but there she is….and her whole family… lucky am I?!?!?!?!
Jen – Where my kids learned “supper”.  Jen came when I was in lung surgery.  People at church STILL talk about her.  I think they liked her better than me.  She was me, but better, nicer I am pretty sure.  After my second lung surgery, I was useless, I was at my parents along with Auntie Donna because her house flooded and we were a bunch of useless people.  Jen stabilized my family.  She slept on an air mattress for more than a week.  FUNNY PART – Mason is going to hockey camp this summer in Kelowna where she and Robin live and going to live with them.  Funnier part is that she thinks that is weird.  I don’t.  She bonded with them.  Mason is so happy to be there is way beyond luck.  He loves them.  Wonder why?!?!?! .

Trina who picked up the loose ends, Beckey who tended to me as a nurse when I didn’t want to go, Coleen for rubbing my feet for hours on end, for Heather making to go to Jessica, for Elaine for loving me through the treatments, for Charlene and dinners with Bailey, for all the dinners, the love, the prayers, the light, the belief that I was going to beat this…….really…..I don’t not deserve it, but I am oh so thankful for it.

This list does not in any way cover everyone.  For that, I am sorry.  I am aware that my experience is not dependent on just those listed above.  Please forgive me for those I forgot. As I sit here now, surrounded by paperwork and tasks that I would not do cancer free, I am thankful, grateful, and wise to the effort on my behalf.  How lucky am I?!?!?!?

Happy Saturday, 


Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring Break

As most of you know, I do not advertise where I am going when I am going, so this post is going to cover A LOT.

Before Spring Break there was picture day.  My boys wanted to wait for haircuts until after CRAZY HAIR DAY.   Problem....none, except that we were rear ended on the way to hair cuts after CRAZY HAIR DAY.  Poor Guy - he looked down......which lead to sandwiching a car between me and him.  Thank God I was in the little car. It took it well.  We pulled into the suicide lane.  The sandwiched person could not - bummer was in his tire - literally.  Poor guy was like, "I have not been in a accident in 30 years."  I was like, "Sounds like a pretty good run!  N*(&#$@n, this is easy.  No injuries, just damage.  No worries."  Insurance was great.  We were fine.

Oh, and then there was the roof.....for years, literally years, I have money stashed for a new roof.  Well, we got with some neighbors and got a deal with a local company and got a great deal.

Oh, and then there was PTA, no one, despite my pleas is coming forward.  This gives me undue stress.  I cannot do it alone, and yet there are people who are moving out of district that want to help me....I love them for that, but that is crazy.  Parents of Neely need to support Neely.  I so appreciate there loyalty to me, but again that is crazy.  Neely needs to buck up and show their strength and they will.  It just takes time.

Oh, and then there is all the crap around my treatment.  I met with Hank before I left and while I am doing well on his side he said to me, "You really need to get this varices stuff taken care of.  Shame of you to die over that..."  I was like, "WHOW there Henry, I have rescheduled ONE appointment.  I have waited on their office for weeks.  FINE.  I will call his NEW nurse and explain my situation and how many times I have tried to reschedule and then we will see."  "Fine."  Hank replied with, "And you are doing so well, you need a mammogram."  ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!?!  I LAY ON A TABLE EVERY THREE MONTHS.  "Yes, you do.  And I have a few patients like you I would like to keep around, so go get a Mammogram."  Fine.  Mammogram scheduled for Tuesday.  I left a message for the nurse for the varices the Tuesday before last and have heard crickets........of which I told him....but that is for later....

Car taken care of....done after we get home.

Blinds for kitchen....done after we get home.

Table for kitchen....done after we get home.

SURPRISE....roof going in on Tuesday BEFORE we leave.  GREAT!....but not....

Tuesday before we leave for the Big Island.....roof 4:30 Grant comes home and says, "It is the wrong color."  Earlier in the day, they had started.  I asked if they needed me in English and in Spanish.  "No Senora.  Todo esta bien."  Okay, I am not going to question it.  Roof WRONG.

Wednesday.....I get a migraine, pack for the trip, wonder about the roof, tie up loose ends, get ready to go. 

Thursday - We leave.  After arriving 2+ hours ahead we barely make it through security to get to our plane.  Seriously, is that the plan?!?!?!?!! 

Friday - Hilo. HI where we are told at breakfast at a cafĂ© by a statesider that we MUST go to the volcano that night to see it and the lava.  Do hikes, see Hilo, and, of course, go the Volcano.  AMAZING.  BEST ADVICE EVER.  Do the a trail. And then, Secret Black Sand Beach and realize it is topless.  Nolan was the first to notice.  HOLY COW THAT KID CAN POINT.  He looked, pointed, and proclaimed to me what was going on.  I was like, "Yes, she is topless.  You should not point.  Mommy is not topless because no one wants to see these......."  The woman signed thank you.....I acknowledged....she put on a top.....all was okay.

Saturday morning - wishing I had not eaten poke at the questionable place, but we went to the National Volcano Park and hiked the crater because I am that sort of determined with bowel issues.

Sunday - wake up in our long term condo and send the boy snorkeling down the street.  Make Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, etc.  All that bought the day before.  Try and recover. 

Monday - Go to Tuesday - I am more sick, but I carry on.  Nolan, well, see below...

Tuesday - The boys and I got to the movie Zootopia.  I am more impressed with the previews of Ice Age and laugh all the way through Zootopia about it......Tuesday night the boys go to the pool.

Wednesday - We go up north.  We snorkel, boogie board, and we all forget how intense the sun is.  We eat at an amazing Brewpub in Waimea.  Grant is in HEAVEN.

Thursday - Nolan's left side of his nose is burnt.  Mason's face, my chest and oddly, spots all over Grants body.  We stay out of the sun....see below.  We go to a coffee plantation and to a National Park about Hawaiian God and forgiveness. 

Friday - Snorkel by our condo.  I see Mason drive underwater with his snorkel gear.  Nolan and Mason swim with turtles.  See eels, turtles, fish, amazing!  Play in the pool in the afternoon.  FUN.

Saturday - Come home.  Easy.  Hawaiian Airlines makes it that way.

Okay, so what I did not mention is that we challenged all the reason why we go to Hawaii.  We were at the ER twice this trip.  Nolan cut the skin by his ankle so deep that it needed stiches.  The nurse left saying, "Sorry, you cannot go in the water for the rest of your trip."  Grant rolled his eyes and waited for the doc while Nolan was sobbing.  "No worries, we will glue it.  It will fall off.  It will be fine, just keep it clean and dry for a few hours every day.  Because of the placement there is very little concern for infection."  ACCEPTED.

Thursday Morning - I was in the ER because the "my situation" would not stop.  They wanted me to leave a stool sample and said it was hard for most people.  Yeah, not for me.  I pooped in the toilet before I noticed and still had plenty to give.  WIMPS.  They told me....well, it is just diarrhea.  THANKS.

We did not make a Hat Trick in the ER, but most knew our name when we left.  It actually was seamless, and I am thankful for that.  Nolan kept saying, "I wanna do this!  I wanna do that!" All of these would lead to the guy......but I am not the Mom that was going to take him to the ER after getting stiches and say, "Hi, son jumped off a cliff........"

So we come home to a roof that is not done....WHATEVER.  Healthy - after patching me up, giving me fluids, fixing my blood work and telling me to eat bananas and yogurt (and kim chee - no thanks) I guess I am fine.

I did have a breakdown where I yelled at Grant about how I pissed in God Corn Flakes, and if he was God he would not have to eat Corn Flakes (I ate Corn Flakes for six months.....and never again....).  I said, "Really, a flooded kitchen, my Dad, our roof, etc. etc. etc. Can't we just be free for ONE VACATION?!?!?!?!?!"  I guess that is just life.  But when do you pay your dues?  When does it end?  Does it end?

And then, through all of the crap, Mason says to me...."I wrote a song."  And he plays it.  OMG.  $1000s of dollars later, and a feeling.....he is amazing......and then all of it and any of it is worth it.  Driving with snorkel gear, swimming alone, identifying fish I don't even know, LOVING HAWAII, NOT stepping on coral, understanding the breeze on the back of your neck, and exhaling.....they have it......I gave it to them......they got boys.......I did it......

So now, after all that, the good, the bad, the ugly and the worst....shockingly, we are good and looking forward to the next vacation.  They are thinking a cruise with Manta much research!!!! (but, of course, I am up for the challenge....)

Happy Spring Break!

Love, Ang