Tuesday, September 30, 2008

And then to top it all off

we have the flu. Mason threw up this weekend and we just thought it was too much junk food at the Mariners game, so we didn't worry about it. I started at 2:30am; Grant this afternoon; and Nolan this evening. This is my good week. So, tomorrow we are all on house arrest - no one in, no one out - until we get this under control.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not going as well as I had hoped....

After the first round, I bounced back fast. This round - I am still at home. I have not left the house since I got unhooked on Thursday which means the last thing I did outside my neighborhood, besides chemo and unhook, was Costco on Monday, September 23rd. I even had to call Karissa to help me this morning. It is not that I am a total invalid, but that I am afraid of having an "episode" and being alone with the boys. Karissa is so well trained and the kids run to hug her when she comes. She gets my mind off the crappy part of the process also, so it is a win-win for me and the kids. All Karissa gets is free food which she seems to think is enough and I am not going to inform her otherwise until she asks. When I wasn't bouncing back like I thought I should, I cried. Then, when it just kept going on and on, I got mad. And, now, I am just calm. Everyone is jumping in to help, and, instead of being mad or sad about not being able to care for my family, I am just resigned to it. I am thankful for the help and grateful of the depth of human generosity that is never endingly bestowed on my family. Cancer is that way, you think you got it under control and it shows you don't. In that same vain, I think it is so interesting that there are so many articles and so many websites and so many conversations about "how to prevent cancer". Let's see - diet, exercise, stress - they all have a slant or a message giving you the idea that you actually can control this. The only thing I can think of is I probably put more stress on myself than I should have for little things, but besides that, I did the diet thing, I was never a couch potato, and I didn't have any family history so the next time I hear that I can prevent cancer by having annual exams, doing bloodwork, eating right, and staying active, I think I am going to vomit on the author. During one of my pity parties, I said to a neighbor, "And now they are giving me chemo again....(implying that it was the doctor's fault that I had to get chemo)" and she replied with, "Well, it isn't really their fault they are giving you chemo. They are doing it because the cancer came back." I am looking at her like, this is my pity party, I don't have them often, I know that what you are saying is true, but let's remember this is my party. Then, she continues as my eyes cross, and says, "and you can't blame yourself, you can't control this, and THAT is the sucky part - there is no one to blame and no reason to point to." I didn't know whether to pop off her head or kiss her. She finished with, "You are one of the most positive people I have ever met, so you can't have this party - it is not you." Pop off her head. Unfortunately, or fortunately for her, I was too tired and what she said was true, so she still has her head and I am over my pity party. I even noticed the beautiful sunrise this morning.......love, Ang

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What did I do today???

I reordered my Netflix's queue, started making vacation plans for when I am in remission, met with the flooring guy for our kitchen (so I had to bathe and look reasonable), and watched Dancing with the Stars becuase Susan Lucci is in it. MUCH BETTER.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Can a person be an "out of control

control freak"? I think I am one. Okay, if you answered, "Of course you can be and YOU are!", you don't need to read the rest. Apparently, you understand concepts that are way above my head. So, here is what happened. On Saturday night, Grant and I got the kids down for bed and went down to start a movie. The movie was "Smart People". If you haven't seen it, it is about a widower. I didn't get that from the previews when I put it in our Netflix queue. Not such a good choice, but I powered on and said, "No problem." At the end of the movie, which ended well if you think that your husband moving on and having illegitimate twins with a girl half your age is A GOOD THING kinda way. And then it hit me - what if I do die of this? What if Grant moved from our house? He can't hang the family photos correctly - he doesn't know how to group them properly. He will definitely get rid of my Lee Bogle - he has never liked it. What if he replaces it with Toronto Maple Leafs Poster? OMG - I have no control of that.......here I was updating the kitchen, thinking about building a loft, fixing the house to a perfect condition so that if I did die he wouldn't have anything to worry about except taking care of the kids AND HE MAY TAKE DOWN LEE BOGLE?!?!?!?!?! Okay, so here is the ridiculous part (like the first part wasn't ridiculous), I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT HOW HE MAY NOT WANT TO LIVE HERE IF I AM GONE. I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT HIM MOVING AND ACTUALLY STARTING LIFE AGAIN WITHOUT ME. I always thought he would marry again, but I always thought it would be here, Seattle, home. WAS I ON CRACK? How controlling is that? And, if you are a control freak as exhibited above, how can it be that I am out of control in controlling my departure from this world. I started to cry and hyperventilate. That, by the way, is a REALLY attractive combination. Poor Grant was like, "Wow - what just happened and how did I miss it?" I got over it without breathing in a bag, but it threw me for the whole weekend. Should I take down my pictures? If I do die of this someday, do I liquidate my things before I die to save him that pain of that? Do I tell him to live his life? And, how frickin' twisted is that??? Do I not think of him as a man that could actually take care of himself??? And then, I sit down and sigh. I have no control. That freaks me out because I don't want them to be sad. I don't want them to not live their lives. I want them to love and to live EVERY DAY. I want them to follow their heart, stand up for what is right, and see the beauty of life. And, then I let go, because I don't know when I am going to die. In fact, my oncologist is quite positive that I will be in remission again after this round of treatments. So, I put my wedding photo back on the wall and think he will be able to do this if necessary. Heck, maybe in some strange twist of fate, I will outlive him. Big breath, exhale, stand up, and shake it off. The part that I just described is the worse part of this whole thing. I am going back to reading People Magazine and watching frickin' hilarious movies!!!!! Love, Ang

Friday, September 19, 2008

Who is Jesus?

I am doing pretty well for the most part. Fatigue is the biggest notable difference. I have to watch my diet too. I ate a little too much fruit and now I have mouth sores. Welcome to back opposite world. The world of chemotherapy where you can't have too much good food and they want you to eat lots of fat. I don't know if I will ever get used to that, but whatever! Here is a Mason story....Preschool started. This year, I was there for the first day. When I picked him up, he brought his project and it said, "Jesus loves me." He proudly gave it to me and proclaimed, "Mommy, Jesus loves me!" I said, "I know - isn't that neat!" Then, I saw the wheels turning and he looked up at me and said, "Mommy, who is Jesus?" I started explaining that he is someone that helps us and looks after us. He looked confused and I, clearly, wasn't doing a good job explaining it, so I stopped. I remembered Thomas of Thomas the Train. Mason believes in Thomas as much as Santa. Sometimes, I use Thomas with Mason. For example, I will say, "Would Thomas be proud of you for not listening to Mommy?" or during potty training, I would say, "You know, Mason, Thomas told me that if you have an accident, you don't get any more TV for that day." In fact, we have seen Thomas at the Snoqualime Railway Museum two years running and this past year, he even thanked Thomas for helping him learn how to poop and pee in the potty. This little kid looking up at a full size Thomas saying, "Thank you for helping me..." OMG! SO CUTE. So, back to the story, I said to Mason, "Jesus is kinda like Thomas, but he is not a train." The light went on in his little head and he said, "OOOOOkay!" Not sure Jesus would be happy with that explanation, but I think it worked! Have a great weekend, Ang

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Tonight I came home from my candle party. I say mine, because it is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. I am blessed to have it at an amazing house, with amazing food, with amazing friends, and the most amazing candle lady. So, after my amazing night with my amazing friends, I come home and unwind a bit. I think back on the evening. I reflect on the people I saw, the conversations, the shopping, the connections, the history, the laughter, and I think wow....wow. I go to my fridge, get my chicken salad out (from the party that was packed up for me in gladware), sit on my counter, eat it, and think, "I wouldn't trade my life with anybody - and I have cancer." Wow. Off to bed, Ang

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Doing better and quite well...

Well, Saturday morning I woke up and, while I didn't feel perfect, I felt better. I ate breakfast, lunch, AND dinner and motored around (with breaks) pretty well. I didn't look so good, but it is amazing was people forgive you for when you have cancer. Okay, so something I must share. One of the highlights of my weekend was actually one of the highlights of my year. I got to see a friend of mine - pregnant with twins. She doesn't live in the same city and I didn't think I would see her before she had her bundles of joy, but by strange fate, it worked about and she was here - huge, beautiful, and glorious. The reason she and I are bonded is because of mutual friends, but more for our journeys with infertility. She went down a much harder road than I did. Longer, more disappointing, and horrible, BUT she has perfect little babies in her belly now. I remember her and I sitting in my back yard when I was first diagnosed and she told me she didn't know how much more she could take. Knowing her struggle, fight, and what seemed to be losing battle, I looked at her with Nolan (four months old at the time)on my lap and said, "Oh no, you can't quit now. Not yet. I don't know what has happened to me, but I see you pregnant. You will be pregnant. Please don't quit yet." She had to listen me - I had cancer and a four month old on my lap - seriously - you can't not listen to me! I didn't hear much from her after that because life is busy, we don't live close, and apparently, she was busy......getting herself pregnant. She called me with the news early this year. What she doesn't know is that it was a particularly hard day for me. She turned it all around. The pregnancy was going well. I cried. I cried and I cried. I was so happy, but scared something might go wrong, but happy to have that moment of perfect. Her pregnancy has been blissful. Yeah, she is still pregnant, but no problems. She looks and beams the most beautiful light. I am blessed to have seen her yesterday. There is nothing more beautiful. The babies will come to us around the 25th of September - a boy and a girl. Perfect. Have a great weekend, Ang

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yesterday and today

Well, chemo was okay yesterday. Everyone was great - lots of hugs and lots of people saying things like, "Well, we will get this done and you will be on your way." Very sweet and, apparently, happy to have me back. I am doing fine today, but I am really tired. So, I am laying low and watching stupid movies like "Super Star" and "Best Friends". Two of my favorite stupid movies EVER! Enjoy the sun, Ang

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ready to go...

Time has marched along. I have stocked the house, cleaned the house, attended school orientations, gone camping for the last time this season, ate too much ice cream (including a cone with Emma at 10am during the farmer's market in Sequim just because they were open), and drank too many iced drinks (mochas, coke, water, gin and tonics, mint juleps, smoothies, even a daiquiri which I don't even really like) just because I could. Now, after tonight, my time is up and my diet begins. I am fat and happy, but sad the time didn't last longer. Hopefully, chemo will go as quickly and I will get my break again. Maybe, if everything goes as planned, I will be in remission again. The best Christmas present ever. I can only follow the rules, hope, and pray. I start tomorrow morning - bright and early - hopefully I will see the sunrise. I wanted to tell my story about the lung biopsy, but I am going to wait - it is hilarious and it needs it time to shine. I want today for me and the boys. Have a great week. I will be fine. Well taken care of and highly monitored. If you are not doing anything tomorrow morning, come visit me. I will be on house arrest from 9:30 to 12:00 and then I fall asleep for the last bit. As always, third floor of the Cancer Center (Arnold building). Take care - talk soon, Ang

Monday, September 1, 2008

So, I got my ipod charged up

in anticipation for this whole thing - did you know that it has games on it??? Yeah, I know, I am leaping into 2004. Anyhoo, I have had some time to calm down, reflect, get pissed, turn the page, and get focused. The process has gone extremely easily for me. Maturity??? No. Age??? No. Experience???? No. Bowing down to the cancer, accepting that this in my destiny, looking at the evil beast again, and saying, "Fine. Game on you insignificant tool." So, back to the ipod.....I came across the song, "I like big butts...." which is good, because my butt is not currently fitting in my jeans. Apparently, you can eat that much ice cream in that short of time. I think of the saying, "A second on the lips, forever on the hips." Yep, not for me, approximately 1 week, 19 hours, and 42 mins. Funny story....when I went in for my follow up CT scan, they gave me the choice of three flavors of barium contrast for me to drink. I said, "I don't do barium. It should be in my chart. I use the yummy yummy juice. Thanks." She said, "Oh, yes, here it is, we don't use the juice anymore, so you will have to do the barium. Which would you like?" I said politely, "None." She said, in the nicest way she could, "I don't know what to do." I said, "I will take vanilla, but you should let me drink it in one of the rooms, because you probably don't want me puking in the lobby." She complied and took me back. When I saw the tech, the only one I don't know in the clinic, I said, "Y'know I am going to push back on this a bit and ask why I can't do the juice." This poor girl said, "I am not really sure, but we got rid of the other stuff." I told her that I was usually sick for 15 hours after drinking that stuff and, since becoming a cancer patient, I don't give up 15 hours easily. And, then, the tears came. I am not sure why. I could have powered through it, but I wasn't prepared for barium, for being sick. I was scared of what the test would show. I was sick to my stomach already...now barium???? Pause. And that is when everyone started moving. She was like, "I will check with the docs", the techs I do know came in the room saying,"we will work something out", "we just got rid of it yesterday", "can't we get any from the hospital CT lab?", "she really does get sick", "ask the docs", and, then, silence. I wiped my tears and waited in the back room. The response came from the docs who I have never seen or heard. I am thinking they are similar to the Great Wizard of Oz. The response was, "We will allow the blankity blank contrast this time, but you need to prepare yourself for next time." As the tech told me, I was thinking, "Is that a quote????" She was looking at me like, "Please don't shoot the messenger." I said, "Fine, I will have my discussion with Hank." They walked all the way over to the hospital and got me my juice, I drank it, took the pictures, and was out of there. I kept asking why I could not use the juice. My final understanding was simply "the docs like barium better". I was thinking, "Then they can drink it." So, the man behind the screen that I am not allowed to talk to or hear, doesn't like it...F-I-N-E. Here is the funny part....when I talked to my oncologist, I explained everything and said, "Is there really a difference for them?? Why have I been allowed to use the juice if it doesn't work???" When I was told that he would speak to them and to consider it taken care of, I replied with, "Y'know Hank, I don't think they got the memo that they really love me and will do anything I say because, after all, I am Princess Grace." (A lung biopsy doc when I was first diagnosed called me Grace Kelly and the name stuck for a while....) My oncologist replied with, "I will check the distribution list and make sure they get a copy." GRIN. As a follow up, when I went in for my lung biopsy a week later, I had a different doctor than the first time, BUT the "Grace Kelly" doctor past by me, stopped, looked at me, and said, "Grace Kelly is back!" I guess the memo got redistributied....hehehe Happy Labor Day, Ang