Monday, July 28, 2008

Shifting down and hitting the gas

The last couple weeks have been wonderful, perplexing, and bittersweet. Wonderful because I just got back from a wedding in Vegas without the boys. This is the first time that Grant and I have been away without the boys that didn't have to do with fertility or cancer. We had great time despite the 107 degree weather. We relaxed by the pool, ate amazing food, explored National Parks, Hoover Dam, walked around looking at all the amazing hotels, and gambled a little bit. Grant saw some professional basketball players at our hotel. I can't remember all of them, but one was Kobe whateverhisnameis. Perplexing because I always catch myself saying, "When we come back.." or "Next time we can take the boys....". While I LOVE the fact that I am thinking like that, I sometimes stop myself and take pause. I don't know what to do with the pause, but I take it anyway - whatever that means. Don't get me wrong, I understand that I will live a "long" time with management of my cancer. I still don't know what the definition of "long" is. I prefer to think of it as 41 years, but I think the official definition may be a smige (sp) shorter. Bittersweet because I keep hearing Bob's voice in my head, things that he emailed me, and his spirit. While I didn't know him very long, people that meet and live under severe circumstances are bonded quickly. We had a unique and special relationship that I will never forget and think of often. I truly don't believe that I would have been able to have the emotional strength without him. Why bittersweet? Because I would have never met him without cancer - the thing that ended him physically. So, here is what I met by the title.....I have been to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale more this year that in many previous years. Last year, I went once because Mason saw the catalog and wanted a pair of sandals. I got them for him. I looked like crap, and was exhausted doing it, but I did it - for him. I didn't get anything for me. I didn't have the energy and, quite frankly, last summer we didn't know if I would be around, so why spend the money. Well, this year was quite different. First, I will now be around for a "long" time. Second, I met Susie in radiation with her jewelry, hats, and gems saying to me, "What!?!?!?! Now is the time to spend it all!!!!" I love Susie. You never met a women that could pull off boots and animal prints like she could IN TREATMENT. So, my cousin and my girlfriend invited me to go and I bought clothes, a little makeup, and SHOES. God, I love shoes. In the last little bit, I have had to exchange and return a few things each time going up a highway by my house that has several lights on it. If you time it just the right way you can hit all greens. As I was going up and down this highway in the car with the manual transmission, I was thinking that this it was a lot like my cancer. Sometimes, I will have to stop. Sometimes, I will see caution. Sometimes, I will get the green light. I hear Bob's voice saying, "Easy. It is all about timing and pushing yourself when you can." I go through a couple lights, stop at one knowing that I time it right I will get all greens. So, I open the sunroof and crank the stereo still hearing Bob's voice. And, when I come to the next time it turns yellow, but this time I shift down and hit the gas getting green lights the entire way with Bob voice, "That's it - perfect." Happy Monday, Ang

Monday, July 21, 2008


He made me laugh when I thought I couldn't, he answered every cancer question in complete researched detail, he cheered me on and he is not a cheerleader, and he gave me hope when I really thought there was no point. Bob died yesterday in his sleep. His fight is over. I know that his pain is gone and I believe that he is at peace - hiking somewhere. I feel a little lost, but I will find my footing and my strength - his strength. Above is a picture of us at the Relay for Life. He picked the cancer shirt I was to wear that peas in a pod. He will be missed, but not forgotten. Ang

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Technology - ain't it grand?!?!?!

So, apparently, I hit my enable/disable "wireless network" button, couldn't connect ANYWHERE yesterday and the best part - I had no idea where the button was. Yep, gettin' old. Anyhoo, found the button at 3:30 am and I am back online. Here are the results. I am still in remission, but there are a couple locations in my left lung that he wants to rescan next month. Luckily, my PET scan, the one that measures cancer, was perfect. No cancer. It is the CAT or CT scan, the xray one, that he wants to do again. I am not worried too much and my oncologist wasn't worried, but wants to be sure which I completely appreciate. He was more concerned that my expectations of being "perfect" weren't met which is what makes him a REALLY good doctor. We talked a lot about what my expectations should be in my survivorship and that this will happen now and again and could be nothing. If it is something, we manage it, treat it if necessary, and go on our merry way. At least it is just a CT scan where I fast for a couple hours - not days of prep - throw myself on the table and it is over in 10 minutes. When I got over that, we went into my questions. One of them went like this....."Dude, I just glanced at my driver's license yesterday, and I forgot that I am an organ donor. I can't be an organ donor!!! What if I gave this to somebody? Should I just donate my body to science and how do I do that?" His response with his head sideways and looking at me like I am a NUTBAR, "You are going to need your body for a while yet, but corneas (sp) are fine. Call the DMV and have them update it." Okay, check. Off to bed....Ang

Monday, July 14, 2008

My Do Over Year

So, not a lot cancer related has happened since the last post. Life is trucking along and I find myself saying, "We can do that next year." or "I think this would be fun in a couple years." Both of those statements I would have never even thought of a year ago. A year ago, I was thinking that this may be my last summer, last fall, last Christmas. I was thinking about what do to for my boys, how to secure Grant if I would past away and he was left with the boys at such a young age. Now, I am not thinking that way, but other things are going through my mind. For example, when I was diagnosed one of the first things we purchased was an air conditioner for our bedroom. It draws from the front window and is free standing. The intake goes over the bath tub. Okay, stay with me, I am going somewhere with this. So, last week, I was cleaning my bathroom, and I said, "How did I clean this with the tube in the way last summer?" Then, I remember.....I didn't. I never cleaned the tub last summer because I was sick, because I couldn't, because I was so weak that cleaning wasn't on my radar yet my house was cleaner than it has ever been because everyone else cleaned if for me (and they never complained about it). It throws me back to one of my best friends sweating outside pulling weeds behind our fence. When she took a break we were talking and she said, "Why didn't this happen to me?" I know what she was saying because we are that close. She isn't married, she doesn't have children. I know what she was saying and, because of it, I couldn't respond to her and I am rarely left speechless. A few weeks later when we talked, I found the strength to tell her to never say that again, that she is still a sister, daughter, friend, auntie, etc. etc. etc. and that she should never, ever say that again. No, it wasn't fair that I got this. It was a cruel joke that God should threaten to take me so soon from my kids, but we never know our path and our journey is not all together controllable. The line between life and death is very fine.....we are all there and that is why we need to live life NOW. Obviously, this should be done within reason and responsibly. Carpe diem - seize the day. In Spanish there is a verb "aprovechar". (Spelling may be off.) It means to seize the opportunity/day/enjoy the moment. English doesn't have these words, or at least, not in the same context. Remember, we only have today. So, this is my "Do over year". I plan to seize it, but I get thrown back and I cry and I think, "What if it comes back?" For example, my PET scan is this week - results on Friday and I worry. Then, I remember, I only have today. I will deal with that tomorrow. Provecho, Ang