Wednesday, December 31, 2008

As the year comes to an end....

Despite the weather, we had a full Christmas. The only thing that was rescheduled was my Aunt's Prime Rib dinner which will be in February and anyone would drive from anywhere for her prime rib! We did have a lot to cram in between weather, my chemo and nap times, but I we did it. The only thing we missed was Grant video taping me skating with the kids. He was like, "Oh, you wanted me to do that?" I am like, "Which one of us is terminal????" and roll my eyes. I am comforted that we can talk that way to each other and not have hard feelings. For those of you asking, yes, I was yelled at for ice skating by everyone BUT my oncologist and, of course, my cohorts Grant, Karissa, Morgan and their kids. My oncologist praised me for having the guts to do it (apparently he can't - at all) and dealing with the side effects. He seems to understand my need to balance my family memories with my trials. I played in the snow, I went ice skating, and I stayed out too many nights too late. Isn't that what Christmas is? So, this round my white cell count has started to decline. The silver lining to that is my oxy is reduced in my cocktail and my side effects are shortened. My oxy makes the chemo work better but gives me more temperature sensitivity and lengthen my fatigue. So, I will most likely have a great weekend. Today, I didn't do much. I am trying to recuperate from last weekend. We did Christmas until literally Monday night the 29th. It was a little nuts, but so am I, so it fits. As for New Year's, I am ignoring it just like I did our anniversary and I will do it later! Also, for those who have been asking I did finally found out about the colondar. I was not selected. There were 500 applications, so my odds weren't good. I think a big part is that I am still in treatment and they are 50 miles away from any medical facility. In addition they usually have a theme for each calendar, so if my story didn't match the theme that would make sense too. So, am I upset? Not really. My promise to Bob was fulfilled and I really did do my best on the application, so I can't be too upset. I trust that they picked the people that they needed. They have done a beautiful job in the past, so you have to believe that they will do it again. The worst part is that I can't put calendar pin up girl on my resume!!!!! Happy New Year for those of you that are celebrating it - remember I am ignoring it..... Love, Ang

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Things are moving along....

This round went better than the rest. Yes, I still puked, but only once. Yes, I still have my issues, but they seemed better. I "appear" to be getting the recipe for the new cocktail down. In fact, outside of the temperature sensitivity, I am doing well. That one was the tough one this time. I didn't make it to the game on Saturday. The air was so cold and I couldn't risk getting stuck in it. I watched in on TV at home. The ticket went to our neighbor's son who, very nicely, listened to my Dad talk about his glory days playing basketball in Spokane the entire time. What a sweetheart. Closer to home, I found that playing the snow and not breathing is also a challenge. Luckily, because I lived in Spokane for college and learned to ski there, I had a face mask which came in REALLY handy. We played like a normal family and Nolan even kinda liked it. I took lots of pictures, we threw snowballs against the shed, they played on their swing set - slides are a lot of fun in the snow - and we seemed normal. Well, that was until yesterday, when Grant took the train to work for the first time (his office moved this past weekend to Pioneer Square area) and the boys and I were on our own. I usually have Mom or Karissa with me, but because of the holidays and, obviously, the weather, they stayed put. Mason, Nolan and I got on all our snow gear and headed outside. No one wanted to sled, so we went for an adventure Diego style. I have never seen Diego in the snow since he is from the jungle, but I guess that is a minor detail we can overlook. Everything was going great until, "Up Mommy." whine whine whine. "Mommy, the 'now is too deep for me. I am too 'ittle. 'elp me." and "I want to go in - I got 'now in my face." Whine, moan, moan, whine, moan, moan whine. Nolan was no better. That is when I lost it. We were undressing on the porch and they just kept at it despite my best attempts to change their perspective. I just thought, "I am raising a couple of whiners. How did that happen????" And then, my less desirable self came out, and I just said, "Here is the deal. If you two are going to me moaning and whining that is fine, but I am going to do what I want to do and you can moan and whine to yourselves." Then, the best part, "You know, people who moan and whine don't have any friends and die really lonely." Yeah, I guess the last part was pretty over the top, but my cancer came out and I thought, "Dudes, I am four days out from my 24th round of full chemotherapy and you want to moan?????" That is when I started the hard line of our golden rule, "If you are up you are happy." I LOVE THAT RULE. I don't know how I lost it, but I found it again, and I am much happier today. Couple funny stories.....I drove to Safeway yesterday after Grant got home. We needed a couple things and I really needed to get out. The Explorer did well, but there was one area where it was melting, but not draining. NICE. So, I am dancing around compact ice in a 5000 pound vehicle. It was a bit like a Disneyland ride without all the safety stuff. I got there and back fine, but while I was in the store and, all of the sudden had to go......yeah, GO. So, I went back to the grossest bathrooms in the world. The women's single bathroom was busy, so without hesitation I went into the men's. I exhaled and said to myself, "The faster you do this, the faster it is over." So, with all my potions and lotions, I was able to get through it AND discover why these bathrooms always looked dirty. It was the tile pattern. What lunatic chose that tile??? Happy with my tile discovery and happy with the fact that I was able to poop in a public restroom and still stand up, I left finished my shopping and went home. Here is the funny doctors are really impressed with my bowel control - I know, I am thinking, if this is good, what the heck is bad????? Second thing, this morning, Mason had to go poop. I don't know why four year olds need to completely disrobe from the waist down to do this, but he did and then he was in a frenzy to said good bye to Daddy, so I was helping him get his clothes back on. Somehow, he pulled up his underwear yet his "package" was totally hanging out. I said, "Mason, put yourself in your underwear." He looked down and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh Mommy, that is dangerous!" I laughed under my breath and said, "You're telling me..." Happy Tuesday, Ang

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I cried at chemo yesterday

I think it was all the emotion of having to continue or maybe it is the holidays. I am not sure, but the nurse was great and Elaine was steadfast. It is good to have that in a chemo buddy. After I cried, I felt better. Then Susie arrived and gave me a Christmas gift of Hanky Panky Christmas Underwear. If you don't laugh at that, you are a boring, boring person. So, my mood changed, I slept, and in general got it all turned around. So far I am doing well, it should hit me sometime around bedtime and the I am going to do everything in my power to rest until Saturaday so that I can go to the Battle in Seattle!!!! Gonzaga vs. UW - GO ZAGS! Happy Wednesday - stay warm - Ang

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursdays with Nolan

On my good Thursdays, I have Nolan by myself. Mason is in Preschool and then Grandpa picks him up for lunch and swimming. It is nice just to have Nolan sometimes. Today, he was particularly wonderful. I was feeling good and had a few errands to run. So, I got Nolan dressed after he chose which shirt to wear. Quite opinionated for a one year old. We hopped in the truck and off we went. One of the places we went was Target because my parents were having no luck finding plastic snow. I had Nolan and the stroller, but he wanted to "alk" (walk). So, we, in what I used to call "painfully slow pace" which now is quite fine "alked". He was almost run over a couple of times, but he managed to survive the experience. We finally made it back to the Christmas section and found the snow. After I called my parents to asked how much they needed, I looked at Nolan. He wasn't touching anything. He was perfectly still and shockingly quiet. He was just in awe of everything around him. He was looking at the moving deer and the Santa Claus countdown sign. (Background - Grant and I don't take the kids out to stores during December. It is just too much for the kids. Or, maybe it is too much for us. We are content to go to McClendons and look at the Christmas Villages, buy some taffy, and come home. It is the cheap Christmas outing where they sell NO TOYS.) I counted out the bags my parents wanted and had snow flying everywhere. Apparently, every bag had a hole. Nolan was still looking around and found the Christmas villages - just like McClendon's. He was so cute. He wasn't grabbing at them, or screaming "MINE", or anything, just looking in awe. Then, I stopped. With snow all over me and the stroller, I just stopped and remembered why I go to chemo. It is for that face, that amazement, that awe, that unquestioned belief in magic. That face. Suddenly, the news I got from my oncologist earlier this week didn't seem so bad. Heck, chemo isn't even on Christmas week, so it should shape up to be a good one. Maybe even the best I have ever had because of that sweet, little, perfect, amazing, lovable, relentless face. I am here. It is Christmas. I made it. Love, Ang

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Well, it is not the news I wanted

but it is going in the right direction. I got a call from a very stuffed up oncologist last night. He was happy about the results and wanted to schedule at least two more months of chemo. "We can go over the details next week before chemo. It is still there, but it is getting smaller, so great news." I think he called me because it sounds like everyone is sick (including me) and wants me to stay home and not risk going in for what now could be called a frivolous appointment. Again, he is happy with the results, so the news is good. So for now, I am scheduling chemo through January. Naturally, by the way the schedule goes, I will have Christmas week off. How do I feel? I feel confused that I really thought I may be done and I wonder how I screwed that up in my head. I am happy that it is good news, but I am sad that I will miss Mason's Christmas concert at school, I will not be the one to help the boys give out Christmas gifts to their teachers, I will not be able to do all the Christmas things I had planned with them, etc. etc. etc. So, I am aware that I should be happy, but I am frustrated that MY Christmas miracle isn't going to happen at Christmas and I am trying to mentally prepare myself for doing chemo at least four more times. What is the song, "When you are going through hell, just keep movin, somethin somethin somethin, the devil may not even know you at there...." So, Elaine, I need to know when you are home from Mexico (you dog!) to drive me. Sarah, we should start the help calendar up again in January. If you can and want to be on the list contact her at Mom, Dad, Donna, and Karissa, unlucky for you, you still employed at your currently rate of pay with no 2009 increase, but then zero of zero is still, unfortunately zero, despite what Wall Street may try and tell you. Ang

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

To ease your mind...

Since I have received so many emails and comments, I thought I should all let you know.....I don't use the computer by the bathtub anymore. Just so you know, I have cancer so electrocution (sp) is really not looking as bad as it once did. I used examples in my apparent "tongue lashing" post. No contractor screwed me. My friends didn't leave me high and dry - these were EXAMPLES OF LIFE, not specific to me. I stay in bed at 3am or watch TV since nobody likes me posts at 3am. I do rest. Nolan is back to normal, happy, no rash, and helped me make Turkey Pot Pie this morning. Yes, the freezer is still full. I will get the help calendar back up when it is not. And, no, I do not smell egg nog anymore. CT scan results tomorrow at 1:40 which actually mean around 2:45. Since I am "healthy", I can easily get pushed for the fast tracked patients (which I totally appreciate since I was one of those at one time). Happy Tuesday, Ang

Monday, December 8, 2008

CT Scan today

I should be prepped and in the machine at 2:00pm. This will determine how much longer I have to go. Mason's birthday and Nolan's ear infection must have really taken my mind off of it. I woke up at 3am, am too nervous to eat, and am a bit of a wreck. Say a little prayer. Ang

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mason's Birthday

Mason's Birthday was on Tuesday. There was a little celebration at his school, but we played it down for the most part. His party was scheduled for today, Sunday, so we focused on that. Luckily, he is four and had no idea. The beauty of being four. I worked really hard this week at being well for the party. I was teasing the piranha a bit with the party being the first Sunday after chemo, but I thought I could do it. Well, we did it, but here is a picture into our world. Mason and Nolan came home Friday night after daycare. Nolan had been under the weather at my parents earlier but, we believed that he was on the mend. When I saw him I thought, "Something is not right." Friday night was normal. I was taxed, but we were able to get dinner on the table, take bathes, and get the kids to bed. At midnight, I woke up coughing. I have been fighting a cold for a while now and, with chemo, it is slow to go away. From 12 to 2 I was up with the cough, and just as I thought I was going to be able to go to sleep, Nolan woke up and I mean WOKE UP. There was no going back, so I took him downstairs for a little while and thought he would tire and would return to sleep. Well, after two hours, I put him to bed. He cried, but went to sleep. I finally went back to bed. In the middle of the ordeal, Grant offered help, but I told him to sleep. I needed him for Saturday so that we could pull off the party. Wow, did I call that one.....but I am jumping ahead. Saturday morning Nolan was a pistol. I thought it may be that he got off schedule and thought if Grant took him to Fred Meyer that would entertain him and keep him up to get him back on schedule. Why was Grant going to Fred Meyer? Well, my recipe didn't work the same this time, so I had an episode Saturday morning which caused me to need to take Milk of Magnesia which in turn caused me to go from the bathroom, to the bathtub, to the bed. At one point, I got so tired, I just stopped dressing and rotated naked between the three. Yeah, for some, that may be sexy, except this wasn't. In fact, it included barfing egg nog latte through my nose because I was trying not to barf because I was already on the toilet. Let's just say there was a lot of laundry that day. Too much information??? Yeah, well, if you can't handle that, don't read my earlier posts! Anyhoo, as I was working through my episode constantly smelling egg nog latte, I had Grant go to Fred Meyer, pick up the cake at the bakery, and take Mason to a friend's birthday party. It was busy, but then......while Grant was at the party with Mason, Nolan woke up from his nap and that is when I called the doc. We could get him in at 2:20. It was 1:45. No time to lose. I called Grant and had him pass the phone to Sarah (birthday party mom and the help calendar gal). I asked if she could bring Mason home, she said yes, passed the phone back, I told Grant to leave, come back, get Nolan and get to the doctor's office ASAP. Something was wrong with Nolan and they closed at 3:00. At this point, Grant stopped asking questions, stopped being my husband, and just followed orders. I am naked, barking on the phone, and smelling egg nog - still. I mean really how do you get that out of your nose?!?!?! Grant got home, took Nolan, I told him to call me when he got to Valley and I would talk him to the office. He did, and, despite one floor miscalculation, we got him there by 2:30. Luckily, it was just an ear infection. I am back in the bath tub starting to feel like I am coming out of it and I can only smell nutmeg. Mason, not only got to stay at the party, he was taken to Sarah's house after to the party to play with the group and did not return until 5pm which gave Grant and I time to get the Rx and take care of out little one. THANK YOU SARAH! Kidnapping has never been so appreciated. So, by 5pm, I am at least clothed but I am sure I looked like I have been through WWII. We feed the boys. Nolan is not happy, and looking at us like, "Finally figured it out, eh???" We put them to bed early. Grant and I, by the end of the day, had shared some not so great words, good words, truthful words, and finally resigning words of triumph for just getting through the day. We spent 40 mins prepping for the party, watched a program and I headed up for bed. Grant had gotten me some cough syrup which I happily took and crawled in bed. I couldn't quite go to sleep until I heard him come upstairs and enter our bedroom. The man that wanted to strangle earlier was the final component for my rest. In fact, I don't even remember him shutting the door. We all slept and, even though we had to cover Nolan up a couple times, he slept through the night. So, how was Mason's birthday???? PERFECT. It went without a hitch. The My Gym in Covington was AWESOME!!! THANK YOU AMANDA, JULIE AND EMILY! The food turned out good, the cake was almost gone and everyone, I think, had a great time. I even danced a little with one of my best buds Ben (he is four in a couple weeks). Grant doesn't dance so I am a bit desperate. Here is a funny bit.....Mason is hilarious!!! At the end of the party, Julie (leader of the party) had Mason get up and say, "There is some good news and bad news." So, he does. Then, she says in his ear, "The bad news is the party is over.", but Mason says to the group, "The bad news is my Grandpa hit me in the knee!" and cowers like a wounded animal. (If you have ever seen him do that wounded animal thing - I seriously don't know where he go it cause me and mine don't do that - EVER.) Anyway, my Dad, who is almost deaf, counters from across the room with, "That was three days ago and it wasn't that bad." (Don't we look great to CPS workers?!?!?!) Luckily, everyone took it well, fell out laughing, and we moved to the good news which was party bags for everyone!!! We were all exhausted after it was over and everyone rested. I didn't sleep this afternoon. Nolan now has a rash on his tummy and back with the docs think is from fighting the virus. So, I am resting in our room with Nolan in the pack and play next to the bed. I just want to hear him breathe. Make sure he is okay until the antibiotics kick in. He was a trouper today for his brother's birthday and just want him to be okay. So, the weekend ended well just as it should. Thank you to everyone that helped make it so....Happy Birthday my boy - I love you - Mom

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I was so busy living my life

that I forgot to post! I had an amazing Thanksgiving weekend. I almost felt normal. This week has been okay. In fact, better than last time. I seem to be getting the recipe down. The hitch for me this week was Mason Birthday was on Tuesday - the same day I said goodbye to him for chemo. I had trouble with that. He didn't. In fact, he was more concerned where the "elf on a shelf" was than me going to chemo. Elf on a shelf is an elf that watches over the house and reports back to Santa on how the children are doing....yeah, he has his priorities right. Santa, then Mommy. Okay, I am tired....back to the couch.... Happy Thursday, Ang