Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

For the past two Christmas', I either didn't want to eat or couldn't eat most of what was offered. This Christmas I had to buy what a girlfriend nicely refers to as "transitional" jeans. Yeah, I am eating EVERYTHING. I haven't been to a mall (outside of Santa pictures) during Christmas for three years. And, I was able to walk to both ends....twice - in the same trip. I was able to comparison shop in person and not be limited to the Internet. I got to see my children participate in their Holiday Sing. This is the first time I have been there for that. They now sing those songs in the back of the truck to and from school. I got to experience the total hysteria a two year old and a five year old can spin themselves into over Santa and Christmas. I got to see Mason set up the nativity scene with Baby Jesus, Ms. Claus (Mary) and all her farm animals. Then, he started break dancing with the Kings. I might have a little bit of work to do on that score.....y'think???? I got to hear my youngest son speak to Santa AND have Santa understand him. So, while I sometimes find myself foundering a bit in my new place in the world (between patient and survivor), I am enjoying my Christmas present this year and quite frankly having the best Christmas of my life (although the year I got my Teddy Bear is a very close second!). Also, for those of you that have been I did not do Christmas Cards this year. Maybe it was because I didn't have them done by April (I hand stamp them), but I just didn't have it in me this year. I will however write a "Christmas Letter" for is the voice of my boys.......
Merry Christmas to me, no ME, NO ME, NO MEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!
Mason: It is Christmas and SANTA is coming. I am a Christmas baby - Mommy said so. I have been really good, but Mommy was a little disappointed in us. Something about the Nativity scene. I don't know why - that dude can really move his booty!! Then, Mommy was making us read lots of books about farming and a baby being born in some straw. I told her it was sad and I didn't want to read it anymore. She asked how it was sad and I said, "Cause no one wanted him and he had to sleep in a barn, not a hospital!" That made her laugh and she put the books away, but now whenever Nolan sees straw, like when we went to see the Reindeer last weekend, he is looking for a baby. Did I tell you how good I have been? Well, I think we have, but the elf that is watching our behavior to tell Santa brought us a "Responsibility Chart". I think that it is a message from Santa that we are not really doing that well. Mommy said Santa will probably still come because we are trying really hard. I don't know what she is taking about, I have manners! Like when I asked why we weren't staying with Grandma and Grandpa during Christmas so that I could play with Grandpa's Christmas train and she said, "Because I am not sick anymore." I thought about saying, "So, when are you going to be sick?" I actually started to say it, but then I stopped (Mommy was looking at me really weird) and I didn't say it. I just said (in what my Mom would describe as a sheepish way), "When can I go to Grandpa's?" After she said, "Way to pull that one out Mason", she told me that we would spend Christmas Eve there and that we are spending the night on New Year's Eve. YEAH!!!!! See!!!!! I got them manners (proper English is another thing)!!!! Nolan can't talk this year....well, he can talk, but he doesn't make any sense even to me. Mommy and Daddy say he is ramped up. I think he is a pain in the butt. Mommy said that he isn't a pain in the butt and she knows what that is. All Daddy wants for Christmas is for Nolan to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for the entire month of December. I think he is going to ask Santa for that, but I don't think you can do that. Santa doesn't listen to parents - you have to go to Santa photos for that. Nolan: What?!?!?! There is a letter!?!?!?! SANTA SANTA JUMP JUMP JUMP JUMP JUMP JUMP SANTA SANTA SANTA JUMP JUMP JUMP..........
Merry Christmas everyone!!! Love, Angie, Grant, Mason, and NOLAN!!!!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Coming out of the fog....

Tuesday was exhausting and Wednesday was like I was coming out of a fog. I was happy, relieved, clear headed, and then realized, "OMG! It is CHRISTMAS! I better get on the ball!!!" My Mom was a yo-yo helping me out all week. I wasn't organized. I was distracted. I was then panicked. Seriously, cheers to her for being such a trooper - I would have written me off - seriously. In all my I was doing all those Christmas mind kept going .........."Why did those four (five if you count the previous shooting earlier this fall) police officers have to die?"........."Why did _______ (cancer patient) die? He wasn't much worse of than me, was he?"........."Why didn't chemo work on Bob like it did me?" Welcome to SURVIVOR GUILT. When you finally realize that the entire world doesn't revolve around you and why on the war with cancer, life, etc, you are left standing and your friend, your acquaintance, or even just a stranger, is not anymore. I think I finally get what my friend who wanted to switch places with me was feeling. And, I am embarrassed to say that I haven't really felt this yet which tells me I am either hyper focused on survival, or shallow. I am hoping for the first. Don't worry - I am enjoying the season, but it has a little bit of a bittersweet taste to it. As I am dancing to, "Santa got a Semi" and "See Santa to the Mambo" with my boys and my aunt in the living room, I am reframing every moment, every thought, every smell, and every memory.......maybe for me, but definitely for if they could feel it through me. It definitely puts a different spin on Christmas. Cheers, Ang

Monday, December 7, 2009

"You're Clean."

With a phone call and a "You're clean.", I got what I wanted for Christmas - actually for the last three Christmas'. Today has been up, down, horrible, weird, wonderful, and ultimately exhausting. One phone call and two words later, it all fell away and was perfect. (I will tell you about the weird part later!!!!) Thank you for your thoughts and prayers - off to bed - Ang

Friday, December 4, 2009

Scan is on Monday.

but Mason's birthday is on Saturday!!!! TOMORROW!!!! I have had a bit of a busy week because I have cleaned the house, decorated for Christmas, and Mason's birthday etc etc etc. It has been good for me. The bad part is when I wake up in the middle of the night and my mind goes to the scan. My anxiety has gotten the best of me a couple of times, but then I get emails with pictures like this. So how can I be sad when there is so much to laugh about!!!! Thank you Patrick!!!! Happy weekend!!! Love, Ang

Monday, November 23, 2009

Things are MUCH better!

I rested, took naps, and got caught up in daycare projects. WHEW! In fact, I am so much better that when I found Nolan eating a snack today after I said twice, "No snack today because you didn't eat a good breakfast (which was still on the table waiting for him)." He looked at me, covered his head with his blanket and kept eating with crinkle crinkle crinkle coming from under the blanket, I just laughed. He beats to his own drummer...... Happy Monday, Ang

Friday, November 20, 2009

My own worst enemy

So life has been truckin' along just great. I went on my first trip BY MYSELF to NYC to visit with friends. I had an amazing trip. These are friends that I have known for 18 years. We have lived all over the country (actually they have, I stay put) and we have met up in Boston, Altanta, Phoenix, Chicago, Charlotte, Rutherton (you are not supposed to know where that is, or how to pronounce it), and NYC. We have been to each others weddings, cried over events in our lives and, of course, they have cared for me through cancer. While we were there, we went shopping for ingredients for dinner. We spend a lot of time doing that. They made me rest which was good, we laughed, watched movies, slept, cooked, etc. The first day was hard for me. I didn't know if I would get back to Manhattan again. We are a very special three. I can't describe it. We are so different, yet connected. I am a better person for knowing them - I am so lucky. We were all sitting on the couch and I wished that in 10/20 years we would still "be". I stayed in this misty place for a while, then, when we were walking through Central Park we came to the only straight path with these amazingly huge majestic trees. The colors were awesome and the power in this area of the park was tremendous. I, of course, got quiet and then my NYC friend said, "This is the one place in the park that I just don't is straight and in a city that is so angular, I just hate this. Central park is about curves....BLAH BLAH BLAH." MOMENT GONE. Did I mention we were different????? So, here is how all of this works in with the title of the post....before I left life was busy, the computer died (after three hours on the phone with tech support), we went to Disney on Ice (which is surprisingly exhausting for the parents), I was doing too much, cooking every night, shopping, stocking the freezer, doing little things for friends, cleaning the house, etc. etc. etc. I went to NYC which used to infuse me with energy and now drains me because I am different now - two kids and cancer will do that to a person. I got home, took a shower, when to bed and exhaled. I thought, "I am back. I can do it all. I defied the odds. Screw you cancer." Yeah, there was my mistake....for those of you that have been with me for a while you always respect the cancer. The reality is I am doing great, no, I am doing amazing, but I need to take care which is a challenge for me. Y'know, I am kinda challenge based girl....laundry check, work check, survive cancer check, visit friends in NYC check, Mason knows the alphabet check, Nolan is turning three check maybe he will stop being so stubborn check, etc. Anyway, back to the story, so I wake up on Tuesday see Grant off and start laundry. Well, we quickly realize that Grant and the boys left ALL their bathing suits at the Y the night before at swimming lessons. Grant had nothing to say except, "CRAP, they must be there.....Nolan was screaming." That is code for - I can't hear myself think when that guy is screaming . So, I got the boys dressed, get in the car, see emergency vehicles at the neighbors that is a cancer patient, roll down the windows to the truck, run down, advise the EMTs, call the wife, get back into the car, go to the Y, got the bathing suits, returned home, neighbor at the hospital and "fine", started thinking about what is for dinner, went out to the pantry and found someone or several someones have made it their pantry too. I have never had a mouse problem and I don't do mice. Grant had been managing this. The only thing I can say to that is that in the war between my husband and mouse, mouse wins. Call the exterminator. They come tomorrow. Do all my shopping that night for the week because I REFUSE TO TOUCH ANYTHING IN THE PANTRY. Wednesday, I am trimming a whole beef tenderloin because I think, wow it is a lot cheaper to do it this way and, heck, I have the time. (Was I high?) I wrap everything up into the freezer except for the roast for that night. Exterminator leaves making my garage a literal mouse trap. I finally sit down and realize, "CRAP, we have swimming, I am not making a nice dinner tonight." So, I decide to make it while the kids are sleeping so that Grant has a nice dinner while we are at swim lessons. I brown the roast, stick it in the oven, prepare the potatoes, pull the roast out being careful because the pan is hot, move the roast to rest, turn to deglaze the pan and decide to my the pan to a different you see how this is shaping up??? Yeah, I grabbed the pan with my hand. 500 degrees. After having finishing up quickly, calling Grant, Grant taking the kids to swimming, and me having my hand in ice water for four hours I decide to go to the doc. My oncologists office calls and says, just go see someone tonight. (You call them about fevers and burns - always - because of the risk of infection and even though I am doing great my immune system is still questionable). The nurse at my everyday clinic says go to ER. So, I decide, with the help of my neighbor, to go to the urgent care clinic. I then look in the mirror and say, "Well great, I haven't showered again because I thought I was doing swimming today. Why is it that every time I go to the ER/Urgent care I smell??" Lucky them. Anyway, I am pretty sure they were not 3rd degree, but they said I was describing third degree burns....anyhoo, I was in and out in 40 mins, gauze wrapped, and with pain pills. First and second degree burns over 40% of my hand. They wanted me to come back the next day to be sure the swelling went down, no fever, and that is was going in the right direction being a cancer patient. My neighbor drives me home, I walked into the garage - oh look, one down, fabulous, I want to vomit....I go to bed, get up, do my daily things but can't do everything because my hand is pounding, so I rest. That did it....I rested. I was exhausted, boys came home from school, got them to bed, burn is looking so much better (I did go to the the clinic and they are amazed at my recovery), and went to bed at 7:45. I woke up in the middle of the night and remembered all the things I had planned for the weekend. They are all fun, but I can't do them. This spiraled into a mental game of the cancer is winning, I am a lamo that is going to bail at the last minute, what a disappoint, when will I learn, which continued to spiral until I was over the toilet vomiting. Sounds like a train wreck, right? It is. I ended up sleeping for 11 hours and I am better today, I am calm and more forgiving of myself. I know that I need to retreat a bit, take care of myself, and rest. So, I have cleared my schedule and will a homebody, resting, and understanding that I can't do it all. Maybe someday I will accept that...then again maybe not. This has taken me forever to type this, BUT my hand continues to improve. Lavender oil is amazing for burns! I will be better next week and that is what I wanted after all a good thanksgiving. If I don't post before then, Happy Thanksgiving to you. Love, Ang

Friday, November 6, 2009

Some good news...

I went to see my oncologist yesterday but before I did, I visited my genetic counselor. I think I mentioned that we are now looking into the genetics of this crazy stuff. I am not driving it, but my new GYN Oncologist is. So, here is the SHORT verison that I have not explicitly mentioned before. Throughout the summer I mentioned making me normal again....well, that means my pelvis. I have learned that I was completely damaged from the radiation and there is fluid and blockages where there shouldn't be. Welcome to the wrath of collateral damage from radiation in a female pelvis. So, there was a bit of an over reaction by my OB/GYN to refer me to an GYN Oncologist. This happened in August. I couldn't get into him until September - after my colonscopy. The GYN Ocologist looked at my scan from down there and believes that all that fluid is a natural consequence of radiation damage. (No, they never told me all of this BEFORE radiation. They said, "All will be as it once was." Can you say, "Creative truth???") HOWEVER, he looked at me and said, "Have you gotten the geneology done for your cancer?" I said, "I hasn't been a priority, just as this hasn't been until now." He concurred, but said, "Well, if we have to reconstruct you (yeah - this is as bad as it sounds) there is a strain of colorectal cancer that has a high occurance of ovarian, uteran, and sick cancer. So, when we get to that point, if the Physical Therapy doesn't work (yep - just as bad as you can imagine) and you have that strain, I would recommend taking your ovaries and uterus out." G-R-E-A-T. Not that I am attached or anything - I mean who the frick cares at this point. "Okay" I reply. And then he said, "Angela, I believe that with regular PT you will be able to correct this mostly on your own and if you don't have the strain with the other cancers the correction surgery could be very easy." Okay, now I am looking up at the heavens and rolling my eyes. I take a deep breath and say, "Listen, my PT has not been a priority and quite frankly makes me want to vomit because it hurts that bad. HOWEVER, since there is nothing else I need to do right now, I will make it a priority, I will get to Bob the genetic counselor, and by the next time you see me, I will have all the answers and be as "self corrected" as I can be. By the way, you have just met your favorite patient." He smiled and said, "I think I have." He went on to examine me and he saw something he didn't like - a mole. He asked me all sorts of questions about it and I just responded with, "My dermatologist knows about it, I JUST has a colonoscopy, my butt is pretty well reviewed." He said, "I don't like it and I want your colon rectal surgeon to take a look." Okay. Back downstairs, I hop up on the table, and he says, "Where is it???" I AM SERIOUS. I said, "I don't know - I can't SEE down there!!!!" We are now both cracking up. Apparently, it is the size of a pin head. He said, "Ang, this is NOT skin cancer, nor is it anything I am worried about. Are you worried about it??" NO. "Is Hank (my oncologist) worried about it?" "Not that I know of." "Well, then, let him take a look and he can be the tie breaker. We can always take it off, but it is a seven day recovery." G-R-E-A-T. Downstairs I go. Hank looked and said, "Ang, this doesn't EVEN make the list." YEAH - I am safe! Okay, fast forward to you can see why the GYN oncologist was worried, I may or may not have a strain of cancer that included ovarian, uterine, and SKIN. I have had an abnormal mole removed right before I was diagnosis with colorectal, and I have fluid stuck up there. Well, after speaking to my genetic counselor yesterday, I DO NOT HAVE THAT STRAIN OF COLORECTAL CANCER KNOWN AS LYNCH DISEASE. So, no hysterectomy and no flipping out every time I get a mole (although I am required to do yearly FULL BODY checks including my butt). I proclaim weakly, "Yeah." thinking what else can come up?!?!?!?! I go downstairs for my normal oncology appointment and more blood to be taken for genetic purposes, and he says, "Everything looks great, you need to scan some time around Thanksgiving." I asked if after Mason's birthday was okay. We are celebrating on the 5th. He said, "Okay." And then I let out a big huge sigh of relief. Yeah, I will have to deal with the panic attacks of not knowing, but what I can do is have Thanksgiving with energy, friends and a glass of wine. In addition, Mason's birthday be JUST AND ONLY ABOUT HIM - no chemo, no radiation, just HIM and twenty four kids running wild for two wonderful beautiful amazing hours. is all good news. Happy weekend, Ang

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall without Cancer

is moving along quite well. Our time is filled with pumpkins, patches, Spiderman and Tigger costumes, practicing how to trick or treat "properly", early morning walks, and the occasional panic attack. Yep, they are back, but for ENTIRELY different reasons. Now, I am fine taking my kids out in public AND putting them on the naughty spot in the Fred Meyer frozen food aisle. No, now they are about my next scan that ISN'T UNTIL LATE NOVEMBER! What if it comes back? What is that pain? Is it cancer? What if I die? What if, what if, what after a good nights sleep and some deep breathing (which is harder now, but I am also missing 10 pieces in my lungs!!!), I read the obits. Yeah, I know, a chick like me shouldn't read the obituaries, but you know, I find a "circle of life" sort of calm from it. So, if you look at the line of questions that I had before the answers could come back; who knows what that pain is you have had two kids, cancer, lots of surgeries, and your are 40, you are bound to be in pain; maybe it is, so what you have had that before; you will die - everybody does. So, I look at my anxiety pills and I don't take them. I remember that TODAY I DON'T HAVE CANCER AND THIS IS THE FIRST FALL WITHOUT CHEMO IN TWO YEARS, I recycle the obituaries, and I turn back to kids and practice trick or treating. Just so you know, we practice the "thank you" part a lot. Mason is great at proclaiming, "TRICK OR TREAT" and Nolan is FANTASTIC at the candy taking part! Happy Wednesday - Ang

Friday, October 16, 2009

Life if I didn't have cancer

Life is moving at break neck speed and FINALLY I see things slowing down. We just got back from visiting Jane and Tyrus (my brother and sister in law) in North Carolina. We had the run of the house. I finally had a Chick Fil A sandwich (excuse the spelling) and went to Southern Season (Queen Anne Thirftway on serious steroids!!). Yesterday the accumulation of all things cancer hit me. As Nolan was helping me set the table, trying to make room for Auntie Donna and Auntie Jane and as Mason was asking when Auntie Jane is going to live with us again, I was thinking...what would life had been like without cancer? Nolan probably wouldn't know who the heck Auntie Jane was and definitely wouldn't have known Auntie Donna like he does. My parents would never have had the relationship that they have with my boys - and that would be a shame - it is beautiful. I would have never met Bob, Susie, Hank, Daniel, Dawn, Reanna, Diane, Micheal, Billy, to name a few. I would have never had a summer with Jane. I would have never known how amazing a support system is. I would have never had my girlfriends sit on my bed and talk to me because adults don't do that when they are out of college. Little Maggie's eye would have never peered over the side of my bed and told me all about kindergarten. I would have never known how to take a bath and supervise two little kids. Mason and Nolan would not be as self sufficient as they are which is a good thing! I would have never understood the true meaning of sunrise. Some of my friends took their first family vacation because of my cancer and the realization that life ain't forever. Others went to the doctor for the first time in years. My cancer constantly puts life in perspective for so many. Some have quit their jobs, others have moved jobs. Some have stopped putting up with anything they don't love. There is a saying that we are all connected. Others say everything happens for a reason. I don't necessarily believe the second. I believe that we need to make sense out of what happens in life. God doesn't punish us even though he and I have had a few arguments about that. So, at the end of this post I wonder, was it worth it? To feel more than I have ever felt, to love deeper than I ever loved, to feel love in a way I never knew I could feel, and to just be and have that be enough. YES. Happy Friday, Ang

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Not goin' to Nationals...

Well, Mason did quite make it to the finals at the Puyallup Fair. Don't get me wrong, we went and we suited up. Karissa's family was there. Grandpa came. Mason waited in line. They started late. And then, right before we "saddled up", he started sobbing. He said he couldn't do it - SOBBING. I didn't know what happened, but since there were so many riders we only had that one shot. He wanted to go back as soon as we left, but they were well past Mason and, again, he couldn't have a second chance. My heart broke for him. I wondered if I did anything. Did I push him? Did I hurt him? I asked him, but he didn't give me much of an answer. I chalked it up to being "4". We got some cotton candy with Karissa and her kids. We rode the ferris wheel. While I tried to fight it off, I still "needed" to know what went wrong. It was dark and the rides were all lit up. I crouched down and asked him one more time. He said, "You didn't do anything. I need to do it again when I am five. When will I be five?" "December. After Halloween and American Thanksgiving." I responded. "You know Mason, you could go to Nationals if you wanted to do it again this year." I told him. He asked, "Will I be five?" I said, "No." He looked a little peeved and said, "I'm not doing it again until I am FIVE!" O-K-A-Y. Maybe I did push. Okay, I did because I did think about having his birthday next weekend to say he is five and then go to National on the 18th, but I stopped myself and said, "Yep...that was the "crossing the line" line WAAAAAYYY back there......" Oh well, there is always next year! Happy Thursday, Ang

Monday, September 21, 2009


This weekend was full, active, and fun. Saturday morning Mason had his second soccer game. I was a little apprehensive since during the first game he never got the ball and he cried every time there was a goal. Thank goodness, this was quite different. This game he got the ball three times! Because he has never gotten the ball before, everyone (and I mean everyone) cheered and not one parent said, "OTHER WAY!" We all just enjoyed watching him skillfully go the WRONG DIRECTION. The next two times he got it straighten out and went the right way. Parents cheering all the way - either way!!! Saturday night, we went to a party. It just wasn't any party. It was the 4th annual "Happy to be Alive Party." The good part was that I was there. The bad part was that the one that started the party wasn't. Bittersweet. As, one famous cancer survivor said, "Live Strong." We did...and do. The Hostess of the party was very excited to be able to offer me a Lemon Drop literally upon entry to her house. I ended up having two and being pretty looped. These were not my watered down version!!! We had a ball and the kids were so happy they want to go EVERY YEAR (which I think is a requirement and FINE with me)! Sometimes I feel so far away from it now and I am trying to find my footing. It feels like I don't know anything but having kids and having cancer anymore. I don't really know what is expected of me because really, when you have cancer, NOTHING is expected of you. You throw on a clean shirt and some mascara and everyone thinks you are marvelous. The bar is REALLY low. I will figure it out - it is a good problem. On another note - I am happy that I still appreciate the little things. For example, I woke up early Monday morning. I have been getting up two to three times a week before Grant leaves for work and walking. That morning I was really early! I noticed it was cold and I looked at the temp outside. 47 degrees. I got my ski coat. The ski coat I bought after Mason and before Nolan that has never been skiing and barley been worn. I put on my gloves and left. The beauty of this is that I could. Before I didn't even think about leaving the house before 10am. I would only go out if it was that cold because I had to. I would be in full scarf, gloves, etc. I would have extreme pain in my fingers, toes and throat. Today, no scarf and my throat didn't close up. The drugs that do that to me are gone. This is the first autumn in two years without cancer treatment. I walked, remembered, and teared up at how grateful I am to be here. To see the sunrise in front of the glass. As the stars faded and the sun came up, I knew it was going to be a great day. Cheers, Ang

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mutton Bustin' Champ

Yesterday, our family went to the Puyallup Fair. My Mom and Dad always come with. For the past two years, the visit has been limited. I have either been on chemo OR I was going to start chemo the next day. This year, there was no chemo in site. My energy to very good and we stayed strong full on for six hours which is a lot for Nolan! But that isn't what I am posting about today. Today I am posting about my boys. Both Nolan and Mason did Mutton Bustin'. Now, for those of you that don't know what that is, it is where they put kids 6 and under on the back of a sheep (mutton) with a hockey helmet and steel vest. For more info, go to Well, both, yes BOTH, my boys did it this year and ONE was the round champ. Mason. He held onto that sheep for the longest and jumped up afterward like a rabbit. He beat the 5 and 6 year olds, he qualified for the championships on the last day of the fair AND for the FINALS in Fresno, CA. Today, we went to Renton Western Wear and we ordered a belt to go with that GIGANTIC belt buckle. Nolan was no push over, but lets face it HE IS TWO!!!! I am impressed he got on. He rode well, and cried when he fell off. It wasn't because he was hurt. He was mad that he fell off!!! Mason was an amazing sport about the whole thing. He clapped for others and just stood there a little stunned at everything that was happening. I was proud, a little stupefied, and thankful for that moment. Feelin' good and a proud mama - nothing better than that!!! Now, I have to check airline prices to Fresno.. Enjoy the sun!!! Ang P.S. Yes, they are in matching outfits and those are cowboy boots!!!! The shirt says "Mom's little buckaroo".

Friday, September 11, 2009

Okay, so I just got back

from my colonoscopy and it was as perfect as we could have hoped for. My tumor location is perfect, they took one polyp which they are not concerned about and this is the great part.......they said......okay get it is......I promise......, "You don't have to come and do this for 2 or 3 years." I responded with a very professional, drug induced, "WHA? I thought I had to come every year?!?!" Which sounded more like, "I taught I had to ome ewery ear?!?!" and the response was in professional, non-drug language, "Not when it looks like that." OMG.......remission, this. Today is good, but I will probably not remember this post tomorrow, so I am going to let my good news set with you and go clean toilets or something. You know, what I don't want to remember doing tomorrow....maybe windows - no too dangerous. Have a fabulous sunny wonderful stupendous weekend - love, Ang

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just like riding a bike....

Okay, so I haven't ridden a bike in, count them, over 6 years. Here is why....when you are doing fertility, they don't want you to ride a bike, then when I was pregnant they didn't want me to ride a bike, then, I wasn't pregnant, but I was going through fertility again and then pregnant again and then cancer and believe me, even if I felt like it, it wasn't gonna happen then! So, for the first time in AGES, I got on a bike this summer. Because we live on a bike trail, we have all the stuff - bikes, bike trailers, and a half of bike thingy for Mason that attaches on the back of Grant's bike. The first bike ride I didn't really like. Those seats are ridiculously small and my (now middle aged) butt is bigger than I remember. The second was a bit better only because I remember the first one being so hideous, but the third was actually, dare I say, fun? As we are riding, I am so thankful for those moments "racing Mason", the family time, and feeling good with the stamina to do it. We don't go far just far enough for a playground so the boys can play and then home. Nolan is a bit of a back seat rider. He says stuff like, "Where is Daddy and Mason? OVER THERE MOMMY! GO OVER THERE!" and "Faster Mommy faster!!" I respond nicely with, "Next time, I see you helping, I will listen!!!" (He is in a trailer.) I put him on one wheel yesterday goofing off and it scared Grant, but Nolan was still eating Cheerios when I looked at him, so what was the problem?!?!?! It is moments like these that I am reminded of how much I missed. Sometimes I think I was robbed, but I try and reframe it with maybe I was given this summer and these moments. I am grateful for them - truly truly grateful. Happy Monday, Ang

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quote from Nolan and Mason

Nolan - After eating snack at the coffee table for both snacks and making a HUGE mess, I asked him if he made a mess of the coffee table again. He looked at me with that furrow on his brow and said, "Not the coffee table. The couch." Mason - While we were playing camping and "sleeping", Nolan and I were pretending to sleep by snoring softly. Mason said, "Don't do that snoring thing. You will wake up the whole neighborhood. Just sleep normally!!!!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Base Line Scan

On Thursday of last week, I did a CT scan. This is like all the other scans I have had, but this one was going to be the new base line since my lungs have been all hacked up from lung surgery. I just kept telling myself, it is only a baseline scan. So, I did my mini fast (CT scan are easy that way), and went in. I had two other appointments after the scan. One for getting me back to normal - whatever that heck that is anymore - and the other was on my goiter (enlarged thyroid) which I have had for years. As I was driving in, my breath started to shorten, my palms became clammy, and I was getting sick to my stomach. I got to the appointment, got my yummy yummy juice (contrast) for my scan and promptly told them I was leaving to drink it outside. One said, "Technically....oh just go!" I smiled and left. I was planning on staying, but the two gurneys (sp) that came in behind me along with the smell of antiseptic, purell, and death just wasn't sitting well. So, I sat in the sun, reading my book and tried to pretend my contrast liquid was a double tall Carmel Macchiato or a Martini. Yeah, it didn't work. I finished up, did my scan, went to my other two appointments, and hugged my lung surgeon in the hallway between appointments. He said, "Hey, you look great. Am I seeing you today?" I replied sharply, "No, and I hope to never see you again. No offence." He quickly came back with, "None taken. I get that a lot." With his French Canadian accent, his comments were cute and haunting all at the same time. Somehow I also managed to get in a late breakfast with a old friend of mine. Her schedule (at least as far as I can tell) is pretty flexible and she always makes time for me which is very lucky for me. She laughs at all my jokes which make me EXTREMELY happy. I was supposed to work on cleaning out my port that day meaning I need to have them inject snake venom in my port and see if it can eat away where my tissue has grown over it, but I just couldn't take any more poking and prodding. "There is always next month!" I told myself. The next day (Friday), I went in for my monthly exam with my oncologist. He walked in to me chatting with the nurse about Legoland, Shuswap Lake Campground, etc. He sat down and said, "Your scan is fine - looks good." I looked at him my eyes and head swimming and said, "This was just a base line scan. You told me that." He looked at me and replied, "Ang, we are going to read it even if it is a base line." In that second, all the anxiety, stress, fatigue, etc rush through my body. It was like a really bad hangover all in a span of 30 seconds and then it was gone. Exhale. I passed. I am free (of at least that for now). I down loaded all my info from my other appointments, "Doc changing this rx because now my tissue is "fried" (and that is a technical term!), my goiter is apparently gotten 20% smaller which she is attributing to the use of Ativan during my chemo and she may write a paper on it, I have a colonoscopy on September 11th, etc. etc. etc." He was like, "Yep, okay, excellent, wow - aren't you lucky!?! You're good. Make sure they copy me on everything. What are you doing this summer?" And it was over, all the medical stuff was out the window and we were talking about camping and breakfast food. I could have worked on my port that day, but I was too busy with weekend plans to bother myself with that. I will wait for the weather to stink. As I was leaving to live my life, I thought, if I get through the colonoscopy (which is looking good now that I had a CT scan that they actually read), I will have the fall off. This will be the first fall that I may not be in pumps, no nausea, no shakes, no sweats, no treatment..(pause)...BLISS. I paid the garage attendant, wiped my eyes, blew my nose, and headed home. We camped this weekend at Mt. Rainer with Karissa and her family, then we turned around to do a BBQ in Blaine Sunday afternoon with the Canadians (one of the couples lives in Australia now and was in town for a visit). It was GREAT to see them. Some I had not seen since I got pregnant with Nolan, so pre Nolan, and pre Cancer. We didn't talk about it too much. Most follow my blog, and in good Canadian fashion they only spoke of it as much as I wanted to talk about it. We got home at midnight last night having put just under 500 miles on the truck this weekend. I could have never done that before, but I did it now and now is all that matters. Happy Monday, Ang

Monday, August 17, 2009


I got back from Canyon Ranch on Thursday night. What an amazing experience. I almost can't describe it in words. It is more than a spa. It is like whatever you want it to be. They have medical services, metaphysical services, exercise, some of the best food I have ever had, cooking classes, spa services, etc. It is also amazing on how well trained everyone is and the details they remember. A snack when you arrive, water in the van, and lunch to go when you leave. Everything is clean, but not antiseptic like a hospital. They really listen to what you want to get out of the program and strive to have your experience flow nicely no matter how long or short your stay. I am truly impressed. What I wanted to do was relax. Now, let's clarify....I am tired of "resting". I wanted relax now that I feel well. It is WAY different. You may think it is 6 degrees from the same thing, but those 6 degrees are HUGE. I also wanted to see what I could do physically. I am so tired of being told what I can't do. I had my basic restrictions going in. Now, I wanted to learn what I could do within those restrictions. To my surprise, I could do a lot and I wasn't as weak as I thought I was. So, my strength exercises apparently weren't so wimpy. I was also pretty flexible. I have tried through my treatment to keep up my stretching. I did all sorts of classes from yoga to gyrokenisis (sp). I did Yamuna body and foot rolling, strengthening class in a pool, and deep water aerobics, but we will get to that later.......okay, maybe now, Karissa convinced me that I could do deep water aerobics. I was like, "I am going to die and no one will notice. I will just be floating around dead and that will be it....I will have survived cancer only to die in water aerobics....." Yeah, so I was a little dramatic about the entire thing. I think sometimes Karissa tunes me out just like her kids, but that is another story. So, we went, and I was doing fine until........suddenly we were choosing teams and racing. Yep, racing. So, if you have read my blog, you know that I am just a itty bitty bit competitive. I wasn't teamed up with Karissa. I was teamed up with the INSTRUCTOR. Okay, so one of my restrictions is not to allow my heart rate to go over 65% of target for cardio. My heart took a beating in chemo. You see, with a port, the chemo is pumped directly into your heart where is is distributed to the rest of your body. Your heart gets 100% of the chemo all once, so for six months after chemo you have to take it easy. I was really good all week about monitoring my heart rate. I went on walks, strengthening classes, and swimming, all monitoring my heart rate. Then, this. Well, that precautionary stuff went TOTALLY OUT THE WINDOW. I know we didn't win, but I believe that we were not last. By the end, my heart was in my throat, I was breathing HARD and I was a little cross eyed. Karissa looked over at me and mouthed, "You okay?" All I could do was nod. I was better than okay. I did it. I didn't think I could do that. I had convinced myself that if my heart rate went up my heart would instantaneously explode in my chest. It didn't. It didn't even hurt and you know if was kinda like my heart said, "Oh yeah, that is what it is like!!!! HHHEEEEHAAAA!!!" I finished the class wanting to cry I was so happy, but that wouldn't be very normal. So, I held it back. In the end, lots of barriers were torn down for me at Canyon Ranch. I can walk two miles in the morning (at 6am no less), exercise for 2 to 3 hours after that, and still be standing. So, what Canyon Ranch showed me was all that there was available to me and what Karissa did was push me to experience it. Pretty cool, uh? Two of my favorite moments were, sitting on lounge chairs with umbrellas in the rain looking for Tarantulas to get a picture for Karissa's son and dinner on the last night. Karissa and I met this great woman that really is Karissa's twin. She lives in Toronto, is totally fit, has a great attitude, and is FUNNY. Her only flaw is the authors she reads, but I won't focus on that! At dinner, we were talking about Yoga and meditation. Karissa and this woman (who shall remain nameless) don't do either. Karissa tried a yoga class being the team player that she is, but I don't think she is going back. We discussed it for the appropriate amount of time deciding that she and Karissa will never really do meditation or yoga, but that I did find a class that does all of the good things of yoga and none of the mediation. They both kinda looked at me like I had six heads. I think I refuse to understand their need for constant cadio.....whatever...but I digress, anyway, another woman joined us and we started talking about the yoga again and she turns this woman and said, "You can't do yoga. Are you kidding me?!?!?! I knew that!" This first woman looked at me, I looked at her, and we burst out laughing. I haven't laughed that hard in a very long time. CLASSIC. There are more stories, but I won't bore you anymore maybe later. AAAHHHHH. Well, now I am home hanging on to the happy happy joy joy of Canyon Ranch. I am cooking their recipes - heck I am cooking, I am going for my walks, doing my strengthening on the off days, and yes, I am meditating (but I started that a while back). If we play our cards right, we will be back next year - to Mommy Camp. Love, Ang P.S. If you decide to go, I have one suggestion, when you eat, eat all the courses because everything is very well portioned (meaning small) and you will starve if you don't. We were lucky because my Uncle Allen and his wife Kat, sent us a cheese and fruit plate welcoming us to the desert (they lived in Tucson). THANK GOD because we would have starved the first couple days without it!!! THANK YOU ALLEN AND KAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We Plan, God Laughs

This is a title of a book that my cancer buddy, Susie, told me about. She just howled at the title and we got a good laugh out of it. Unbeknownst to her, I actually bought it and read it. If you ever followed the Oprah phenomenon on the book, "The Power of Now" this is like that book, but the "for dummies" version. I liked it. It talked about being your true self, your relationship with God, and finding your true path by showing you that you have always been on it - you just have to see it. During the book, there were times I was thinking back to the teacher on Charlie Brown, "Wha wha wha wha wha wha.". I always get something good out of those books. But, like "Eat Pray Love", I enjoyed the very last page best, when the author is talking about when you die and what will happen to you. I should add that the author is a Rabbi, so I think this is a natural question that she gets (yes, she is a female Rabbi). ANYWAY! She quotes a little story about when we die and it goes like this...."When I die, I will meet God at the pearly gates. There God will ask me, "Were you the best Angela Clarno you could be?" God will not ask me, "Did all your dreams come true? Did you make a lot of money? Did you become famous?" God will not ask me why I was not Moses, Mother Teresa, or my mom. God will want to know if I was me - divine, authentic, extraordinary, regular me. I hope that I will be able to say yes. Then God and I will laugh together." I bring this up because I have been working on this since college. I remember just starting to trust myself then. Then, I entered the work force where I got lost in what everyone else said I should be and how I should act as a "professional". I tired of that and started to trust myself again. That is when I landed at Childhaven. I thought I was bringing so much to Childhaven and I believe that I did, but that place changed me too and it was WAY for the better. And then when I left Childhaven, it was to essentially, "do nothing". People were surprised, but those close to me knew it was the right thing to do. "Professionals" couldn't wrap there head around it. Who does that at the top of their career? It was a leap of faith, reconnecting with who and what I wanted to be. It was shortly after that, Mason was born. Shortly after, Nolan. I thought I had it all, that I was done, I had arrived. Then Stage Four cancer. I remember it was Karissa's 40th birthday that year. Her birthday is close to mine, but I am two years younger. I had just started chemo for the first time. Being consumed with what was going on with me, I didn't do much for her birthday. She gave me a garden chair with a watering can decoration on it that said, "Hope" for mine. Later I asked her what she did for her 40th and I apologized for not doing more. Karissa, as she always is, blew it off and told me that I had other things on my mind. I remember saying to her, "If I ever turn 40, I am going to Canyon Ranch." She said, "Okay then WHEN you turn 40, I will go with you." A leap of faith and two years later, we leave for Canyon Ranch - just her and I. "Divine, authentic, extraordinary, regular me." My journey continues. Love, Ang P.S. Hey Susie, I got a book for ya.....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Situational Anxiety

After my "stroke like symptoms" in January that turned out to be a migraine, I have had some issues with anxiety. After being reviewed, it has been deemed as "situational" because I only experience it when my children are in my care and when I am away from the house with them. So, after my first therapy appointment, I was given homework. My homework is to something once a week with the kids that is away from the house and not familiar to me. I was to make a list of low, medium, and high risk places and work from low to high. After six weeks of that, I am to return for that a therapy appointment to discuss. The first week, I chose to go on multiple errands. I figured this was low risk because I could really bail anytime between errands. So, I went to Target, McClendons, Grocery Outlet and Costco. The boys and I managed great. Actually, we did so well, that we stopped by a park on the way home. At the park that has NO bathrooms, Nolan pooped (I had run out of diapers) and Mason told me, "Mom, I have to poop too and it is a BIG ONE!" So, I immediately had to get everyone into the car and rush them home. We made it. The funny part of that one was that it was the first time everyone else had the pooping problem. Now, THAT is a breakthrough!!!! The second week, my homework was to go out to lunch with the boys and go out to dinner. It was easy to get there because of the air conditioning. Lunch was HORRIBLE and the service didn't help, but dinner went awesome. We went to the golf course. We talked about restaurant manners, and even though Nolan was tired and hot, the boys did well. They loved watching the golfers and ran around outside a little bit since golfing was so slow. The kid's menu was awesome, the service was great, and they served good beer on tap which made Grant happy. This week, I decided that Karissa was going to get a haircut. Not because she looks bad, because she has been taking about it forever! So, my homework this week is watching my and Karissa's kids at her house and sending her for a haircut. In the end all of this is going well, but there is a story that I didn't tell you. It is the story of the truly unexpected. See homework is planned and controlled my me. But when you show up to your aunt's cabin for the night with the entire family, forget the keys and lose the spare, that is the true test of your ability to deal with anxiety. Well, on that one, I didn't do too well. Instead of working the problem, I went straight to "I am not able to care for my family. Who forgets the keys? When will I be normal again? I will never be normal again. I am a failure in the most basic sense." Well, the end of that story was Grant took control, we found the spare in the dirt in front of the cabin, and, after calming down, we had a great weekend. I think I like homework better. Enjoy the lower temperatures. Love, Ang

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Normal with a twist...

So, yesterday, I was busy. The boys were in daycare that day and, with the heat, I was behind on some projects. In addition, my Grandma has needed some more help. She has been a trooper through my cancer. She manages quite well on her own, but her age is getting the better of her these days. It went something like this. The kids slept in, so I had to get them up for daycare, feed them, and say good bye. I notice Grant's cellphone on the counter. I get in the truck basically follow him to preschool and put the phone in his car. Mind you, I am still in my PJs and haven't brushed my teeth, let alone my hair. I get home and start to empty all the pools and water play stuff in the back yard in case Grant wants to mow tonight. I pick the blueberries, strawberries, and weed the garden. I realized that I am now late, run upstairs, shower, dress, grab my stuff and go. I get to my Grandma's and my Dad shows up a few minutes later. We reorganize some files, write down her medications, and set up a schedule for paying her bills for her. Dad will be first in August. She is misplacing things, losing bills, tax info, etc. She is 90. Actually, if you ask her she is 91, but that story would take days. At noon, I realize that I haven't eaten breakfast and I am starting to get cranky. I tell the both of them that I am going to lunch or I am going to get cranky. My Dad informs me that I already am. REALLY? We leave my Grandma's for lunch and as we are going down the hall, I think about Dad and I swooping in and changing things of my Grandma. I tried to be respectful and not change too much. After all, if she could not find stuff before, if we move too much she will never find anything! But I also know what it is like to not have control of everything. To have people clean your house and take your kids to the doctor, school, etc. You are no longer indepentent and you truly DEPEND on these people. It is a weird combination of loss and gratfullness. I can't quite explain it. I also know what it is like to say, I have absolutely no idea when or how that happened. It is scary. Anyway, we had lunch and something very odd happened. A young man started a conversation with us, and in the end, asked if I was single. THIS IS IN FRONT OF MY DAD AND MY GRANDMA. I nicely told him no and he very nicely left. WEIRD. I thought, "If you know how damaged these goods are, you would not want me." But then, if he had good judgement he probably wouldn't have asked me that with a wedding ring on my finger AND with a 90 and 70 year old with me. We dropped off Grandma and I went on with my day. I, of course, went to Fred Meyer and picked up our stuff for the week, I went home to drop it off and returned phone calls. One from a software training company (I may need to brush up on my skills), two from cancer patients, and one from a girlfriend who needed advice. I got those taken care of and went to return/exchange a couple of things at Nordstrom before the sale was over. How is it that I go to return and it turns into an exchange, and then I buy more????? Here is a funny side note (not that this whole post isn't a side note) - earlier in the day, when I was pumping gas at Fred Meyer, a woman complimented me on my shoes. I told her I got them at Nordy's. We had a nice chat and later (when I was supposed to be exchanging) I saw her at Nordstrom buying the shoes. Clearly, she was serious! I get out of Nordstrom, remember that I have a gift certificate to Victoria's Secret, go there, find the cutest nightgown, get that, jump in the car, pick up the kids and then...............a teacher pulls me aside........."Mason really missed you today and last week when you didn't pick him up (my Mom did) he thought you were sick again." Not being there for my Grandma, cancer patient calls, seeing the scars on my back when I tried on the nightgown, being so thankful for every breath every day...........sometimes this can be quite a twist. EXHALE. Thank the teacher, get the kids, get in the car, and drive home while talking to Mason. The conversation went like this, "Mason, I am not sick anymore and I don't want you to worry about it." "Okay." "Seriously Mason, I don't want you to worry about this. Mommy is doing everything she can, but we can't control it, so we can't worry about it." "When will you get sick again?" "I don't know - maybe never." "Never?" "Maybe, but maybe not. Mason, the point is we cannot worry about it everyday. If it comes back, I will tell you. You will be one of the first ones to know. Okay?" "Yes, mama." "Okay, so let's have a nice evening, okay." "Okay!" We got home, and they were AWFUL from start to finish. The evening ended with Nolan pooping in the tub, Grant coming home and putting them to bed, and me having a glass of wine - or was it two? Enjoy the weekend, Ang

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Living my dreams

Legoland. Every time I have had to go into treatment I have always had something to look forward too. My goals were many. This time one of them was Legoland. I planned the trip back in February. I made the reservations for the room and the car, but I did not do the airline tickets. I asked permission from my oncologist and he said, "If you really want to go, we can work around a short trip like that." I still didn't buy the airline tickets. I finished up chemo, I survived lung surgery, but I still didn't buy the airline tickets. And then, after I survived the camping trip, I bought the tickets. If I could do that, I could fly to Legoland. HOWEVER, this would be the first trip as a family BY OURSELVES. Not that we didn't have offers, we did. But we needed to do this on our own. I was a bit nervous and I planned everything down to the most specific detail. On July 9 at 7:00 in the morning, the plan went into action. At 7:30, Nolan (my rock, the one that doesn't get sick) started puking in the truck. I was ready to bail, go home, we can't do, that is it, God is telling me to go home, adios, bye bye. Grant was like, "Honey, I think it is just going to be okay." Husband rate VERY low in those ordeals, so I called Karissa and she answered the phone half asleep. I apologized and told her I didn't know what to do. I said, "I don't have pukers." She replied, "Angie, you kinda do. It will be fine. He will be fine. GO." So, we forged on. He puked probably seven times before we got on the plane. I am VERY good with a Ziplock bag. Oh, and by the way, I was informed that the next time I go through security I have to but the puke Ziplock through the X-Ray machine. (I am sure you could see my face when they informed me of that one.....R-I-G-H-T.) We weren't too messed up, but I kept looking at Grant and he kept nodding like we can do this. Nolan stopped puking halfway through the flight. We landed, got the car, went to the park, and all the sudden he was hungry and VERY thirsty. We had a great afternoon at the train museum. The boys loved it! We checked into our hotel, went swimming, ate dinner, and slept. I then proceeded to think about every trip we have been on in the last two years. Mason has puked on every trip. Funny how I cannot recognize that I "have pukers" until one of my best friend tells me that I do. The next day we went to Legoland. Just like Disneyland last year, upon entering the park, I realize it is actually happening. I realize that I am doing what I have dreamed about, what I have planned for, and what I wasn't sure I would be around to do. I usually tear up, but no tears fall. I take a few deep breaths and then I mentally thank all the people that got me there - it is a long list, so I group them. ;) The moment passes and then I can get back to, "MOMMY, look at THAT!!" and "MOMMY, I want to do THIS!" We played for two days straight. Nolan never took a nap - and he loves his naps. By the time we were going home, he was walking around with his eyes totally bloodshot, staggering really, and I believe thinking, "MUST KEEP GOING......MUST KEEP GOING....." The night before we left, Nolan got a fever. Luckily, I had medicine and got it under control. I panicked a bit and said, "Should we stay longer??? What if it is the swine flu????" It wasn't. It was just a little kid that needed more rest and beat up his system for three days straight. Grant looked at me and said, "We can get home. It is just a fever." We did. Nolan is fine. We did it. Alone, as a family. (pause) WOW. (pause pause) I am so lucky. My dreams come true, but even more importantly, I am very aware that they are my dreams and I get to live them. May you be so lucky. Happy Wednesday, Ang P.S. This was Nolan's FIRST roller coaster!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Too much fun and just a bit tired...

The past week has been filled with Legoland and Day with Thomas......I have lots to tell, but to tired to do it.....I am doing fabulously.......Enjoy the weather, Ang

Saturday, July 11, 2009

O-K-A-Y then!

I saw my oncologist on Friday and he said, "If you feel as good as you look, we are doing great." I LOVE HIM. I haven't exercised in two years, I am (according to his medical program) 30 lbs overweight (I say 15 lbs) and he says I look great. I must dress well.....or maybe it is the Bobbi Brown makeup. I did dye by hair the previous morning......who is to know..... maybe the cancer bar is just so low, I can easily hurdle it. OH WELL!!! I told him that really I was doing well. Yes, I am not perfect. It hurts when my children pound on my back and at the end of the day my sternum can hurt, but I don't take anything. It is nothing but a mild irritation. I have gotten rid of all the remaining pain meds (except the Vicodin - smile). Really, I am only seven weeks out from about the most horrific experience of my life. It is amazing what the mind does. It seems SOOOO far away already and like it hardly happened. I am meeting with a woman next week that is going to do surgery with my surgeon. When I initially talked to her, she was really scared. She mentioned to me that she has slept her ENTIRE LIFE on her right side (the side of surgery) and was worried she wouldn't be able to sleep. I was like, "You will HAPPILY sleep on your left. Really, no worries there." She laughed and I think that was the beginning of her easing up. She is better now, so we are going to lunch so that I can pass along the "ROCKSTAR" pillow, hair shower in a cap that I didn't use (handy gadget), and some lavender oil from my oil lady. I offered to show her my back too which I think she really appreciates. She lost her husband to cancer 8 years ago.....tough gig. I met her through a friend of a friend of a friend. It started with Susie, my cancer buddy. I LOVE HER TOO. We spent some time together on Friday and it was really the best. Things you can only talk about to each other and things that no one else really gets unless you have been through it. She also introduced me to "wine spritzers". Yeah, she is a little bit of a bad influence, but she wouldn't be fun if she wasn't! Okay, so here is why I am posting under the title of, "O-K-A-Y then!", in a word NOLAN. Last night, Grant had to work late, I picked the kids up from day care, brought them home, cooked a pizza, ate, and got them in the bath. When I was doing Nolan's lotion (he is my sensitive skin guy - thanks DONNA!), he asked for, "A WOT OF WOTION!" He is not-so-good with the "L"s yet. So, I gave him a fair amount and as I was lathering him up I said, "Are you going to put that somewhere?" He smiled and continued to rub in between his fingers and than WHAM! straight to his "package". As he is massaging it in and going on about it is a lot and how he needs to do it because, and I quote, "Daddy boke it!" (Daddy used the wrong diaper rash cream that irritates his skin when he in fact has a rash.) I am full out laughing, looking at him rub his cream into his area, and thinking, "Where the heck is the video camera?!?!?!?!" Happy weekend, Ang

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Normal Life?

Life is moving along nicely. I still have Fridays that are riddled with doctor's appointments, but it is all just to monitor me. Apparently, I struggle with situational anxiety that I am being referred to get help with. My therapist friends tell me it is not silly, but I think it probably is. I just get anxiety when I am out alone with the kids. Of late, it seems to be going away, but I have to say that I do not stray far from home for too long with them. And, if I do, someone is there with me for most of the time. I have found my way through all the bills from the surgeries, billing nightmares, and am so thankful for good insurance. I have waded through my office that has been sorely neglected for months - nine to be exact. I have done my filing, sifted through all the medical paperwork, shredded, and recycled. I am back at scrapbooking which is a centering force for me. And, get this, people are approaching me about "working". They are telling me things like, you have skills in this and you would be so good at that, I want you to talk to this group of women, you can work from home as many or as little hours as you like.....can you believe it??!?!?! If they saw my office (BEFORE last Friday) they would have NEVER said that, but then, these are the people that have seen every inch of my house, so maybe they would. Life never ceases to amaze me. We/I have a trip planned every month through October. Carpe diem. I did have a bit of a mental break the other day. The only medical therapies I am on anymore are ones that correcting what was done during radiation and chemotherapy - yep, down, three days before my camping trip, I got a UTI. Yeah, a UTI is about the ONLY thing you CANNOT have on a camping trip - IN A TENT. I got antibiotics and it cured it, but the downside is I stopped the other therapy. I guess I just couldn't take it. Maybe I exhaled and realized how tired I was from all of the medical appointments. I think my Colorectal Surgeon said it best when, on the same day as I was told I was in remission, I went to his office asking if I should still do a colonoscopy that June (I have done them every June). He looked at me and said, "You have just been through a heck of a journey. Do you really want to do this? We could take a break and I could see you in August." We worked through schedules and picked September 11th. I didn't really think about what he said until that moment waiting for the antibiotics at the pharmacy for the UTI and I thought, "I don't know how to live without doctors." The last week and a half have been glorious, but I have been called and told to start up again. In fact, they told me, just do half of, any of it, but just continue a little bit. They are begging for my compliance. I paused, but I granted it. I sure did like my vacation from it all. Maybe I will get another one soon. Happy Tuesday, Ang

Monday, June 29, 2009

I made it camping!

After my first week with the kids ALONE and Grant working a TON because we have so little PTO left,, I was exhausted but I MADE IT CAMPING!!!! It was the first thing was I targeting in my "new remission life" . The camping trip to Lake Chelan that John Knox Church goes on every year. I signed up for it in AUGUST of last year for goodness sake. We have never gone the trip and I was determined to go when I started treatment IN SEPTEMBER of last year. A few times last week, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it, but I figured it out and I did. My back hurt, but nothing an Alieve couldn't take care of and I did take one anxiety pill which helped me breathe. I didn't swim in the Lake because my chest tube opening is not entirely healed yet, BUT I did do the water slides in Chelan with the kids. The long and short is - we had an awesome, wonderful, stupendous, amazing trip. The boys had a blast. Everyone was so nice. Meals were provided Saturday and Sunday. HELLO! That is MY KINDA CAMPING! There were 160 of us and plenty of Mason's friends from preschool. In fact, Mason became part of a posse that played most of the weekend together. He would wonder from our campsite, pick up Adam at the next campsite, and go to the meeting place to pick up Blaze and AJ. They played and got so dirty I cannot describe in words the crap that was left in the bathtub when we got home and that was WITH a shower on Saturday. I am exhausted today, but functional. I am just so thankful for the weekend, for the trip, and for the memories (Grant set the picnic table on fire, but he usually does at some point). I was in the moment ALL WEEKEND and it was amazing. I made my target and enjoyed the success of it. Funny story - When I was prepping for the trip, (we went early, so we had to put together a couple meals) I was using a fair amount of Ziploc bags. I store them in the kitchen cupboard in a little section that Grant built for me. Because I was using so many, I just took them all out and left them on the floor to be easy to grab the size I wanted, etc. Well, Nolan came in and picked them all up and put them away. I took them out again. Nolan put them away again. I took them out again and Nolan came in, looked at me, furrowed his brow, put his shoulders back , looked up and said, "Mummy, don tak dese out again!!!! I put away dwo dimes alweady! Dis is quwap!!!!!" Translation??? "Mummy, don't take these out again! I put them away two times already! This is crap!" Guess I have to stop saying "crap" y'think??? Enjoy your week! Ang

Friday, June 19, 2009

Home for good

While I was packing everything up on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, it seemed like 15 years had past. I was so used to living out of a suitcase in my Mom's dining room and sleeping on the couch (the only place I was comfortable after surgery) with my boys upstairs with my parents. My Mom and I were discussing how much has happened. Two surgeries, three hospitalizations, countless doctor's appointment, chest tubes, etc. Also, there was the time period that I couldn't lay down by myself and someone would have to lower me and then I could change position because I had surgery on one side and a chest tube on the other. It was just less than a month ago. I absolutely have no concept that it is June 19th either. My friend at preschool asked me the date, and I literally had no idea. I guessed, and I was so wrong it was frightening. I guess in my mind it is still April and I have blocked the last two months out. As for me, I am doing well. I am off all the drugs, but take Alieve every once and a while. Coughing is okay now, sneezing can hurt, but it is burping and the hiccups that really get me. I think it is because I really don't know when they are coming. The pain in no longer in my back. It is in my sternum and it is slowly getting better. I can take deep breaths and that is really nice. I just have to do it s-l-o-w-l-y. I still can't lift Nolan. He is such a little trouper. He climbs up in the Explorer by himself and gets in his car seat so that I don't have to lift him. The boys were so excited last night to be moving home for good. Mason, of course, said he was going to miss everyone, but he was happy to be HOME. I am anxious to begin being normal and slowly I am getting there. I have already gotten the call that I need to do some therapy because of the PTS that goes along with a long treatment period (apparently, two years is the trigger for that). I am swimming in medical bills and explanations of benefits, but I am working through them, in addition, to doing my Grandma's medical bills from a fall in February. I am just thankful that we have such good insurance coverage Grandma and I. W are really lucky that way. I guess I am just really lucky all around. My last cleaning crew is coming on Saturday and the meals will stop next week. I will be normal again but NEVER NEVER the same. Enjoy the rain - it is washing the past two months right off of me. Love, Ang

Monday, June 15, 2009

This past weekend....

I think I finally exhaled on Thursday night when I returned to my house for the weekend. As I was driving with the kids to home, my fatigue was overwhelming. I got out of the Explorer and said to Grant, "I think I finally exhaled." I fell asleep on the couch and was in bed by 7:30. I did wake up that night, ate dinner, and back to bed until 7:00 am. I was so tired on Friday it was a bit frightening. And, while I did pull the trigger on Legoland and the spa bookings WITH flights, I was still in my pjs when Grant got home. I think I just finally let go and knew it was going to be okay. Funny how so much is tied into what my oncologist tells me. I waited to hear it from him even though I knew what it was. Weird. I was better on Saturday. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I went into the boy's room to cover them up. When I was covering Nolan, I had a flashback to two years ago when I was first told that I had cancer. I thought about the night that I just watched Mason sleep - watching every breath - wondering if I would see him grow up. But this time, it was Nolan in the same bed that Mason used to sleep in. It was my baby that I didn't know if I would see ween from a bottle. My baby is the same age Mason was when I was first diagnosed. I made it to see him not only ween, but walk, talk, and right hook his brother. I didn't linger too long on this, but it made me pause. I guess I just have to make it to tomorrow and then the tomorrow after that. So, with a kiss on the head, I left their room and went back to mine where I am sleeping comfortably now as my back continues to heal (one chest tube hole to go) and curl up with Grant. Now, with that nice imagine in your head, let's talk about a disturbing one. While I was eating my dinner in the middle of the night, I was flipping and there was the oldest profession (prostitution) and the relationship between pimp and prostitute. One said, "You (the prostitute) don't do anything without consulting them (the pimp) . When you (the prostitute) find one (a pimp) that is good, you do what you are told - happily and when you (the prostitute) find one (a pimp) that is good to you, you don't leave them for any reason. So, now that I have a new lease on life, I am trying to think about what I want to do and be, but all I can think about is if you replace "prostitute" with "cancer patient" and "pimp" with "oncologist" that my oncologist is a very well educated and professional pimp and that makes me a, well you know.....things that make you go, "HHHMMMM." I will let that one settle out - hopefully I will come up with something better. Enjoy the sun, Ang

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It is offical.

I am in remission! My first scan will not be until August, my colorectal surgeon told me also to take the summer off, so I got to postpone my annual colonoscopy until September (I had to promise to call if anything came up), I can go to Legoland, etc. etc. etc. I am required to see my oncologist once a month for check ups which is fine - I like him so he is not the worst guy to spend time with! Enjoy the moment - I am! Love, Ang

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Great weekend, now back to Mom and Dad's

Not that that is bad!!! So, Monday morning Grant helped me pack up the boys and I returned to Mom and Dad's. The boys were actually happy to return as they missed Grandma and Grandpa a lot and Mason was happy to help drive the tractor with Grandpa. The reason I have to return is that I cannot lift Nolan for at least two more weeks. Actually, not until the end of June, if you want to get technical about it, but the surgeon said I was doing so well that he thought I would be out of the woods by June 23rd, which is good because I lose Karissa as of the 18th and my parents will be done with me and the kids by then. Plus, there is a camping trip the last weekend in June that we have been reserved for with our church for NINE MONTHS and we are going!!!!!!!!! So, the 23rd works for me. So, we will be bouncing around for a little bit more until we return for good on the 19th. As for me, I am doing well. Things are healing. I went to Mommy and Me class with Nolan today (Karissa in tow for support) and Nolan ripped on my shoulder real good only reminding me that I am not 100%. I meet with my oncologist on Thursday morning for (hopefully) my walking papers. I will see how much he will want to see me through the summer, etc. I am crossing my fingers that he is not going to propose another form of treatment. I can't imagine that with such a good outcome on the surgeries. I can't think of what he would want to do to me at least, not right now. I just want to be done for the summer. I want to go to Legoland with the kids and a spa with my friends. I want to be alone with my kids in my house being a normal, crazed Mommy of a 2 and a 4 year old. I want to have dinner on the patio, watch the sunrise, go camping, and I want to do it without cancer. That is my goal and that is what I think about most every second. Love, Ang

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Last Night

For the first time since May 22nd, the kids and I are back at home all together with Dad. Because of surgery, recovery, chest tubes, etc., it has been a while since we are all together here. So, last night, I put the boys to bed and after prayers Mason said to me, "Mommy, teacher says sometimes we can share our prayers with each other and I want to tell you what mine was tonight." I, of course, said, "Absolutely, what was it?" He bent down from the top bunk and got his face really close to mine and said softly, "That my Mommy gets all better really soon and we can spend every night at home together with Daddy." You can imagine how I wanted to respond. I wanted to take all of his pain away, I wanted to reassure him that everything is always going to be alright, that nothing would ever take me or hurt him, but unfortunately I know better. After two years of battling this crap, I know way better. And so, with a calmness in my voice (one that scared me a little, but comforted me too because of the wisdom of it) I responded with, "Baby, I want that too. What a wonderful thing to pray for." He smiled, gave me a hug, and we all said good night. I would love to end the story there so I will and I won't tell you all the ridiculous antics that both boys were doing until they fell asleep, but I think that is the excitement of bunking together as they do not at Grandma and Grandpa's. Happy Sunday - me

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Can't ask for anything more...

Well, today is my birthday - my 40th birthday. For those of you that know me, I have always believed that the big ones should be celebrated (16, 21, 30, 40, 50, etc.) and that the ones in between are just that - tweeners. Also, if you know me and my family, it is our tradition to plan your own party (if you want one). That way you get exactly what you want. Well, as you can imagine, I did not have the energy to plan my own party, so I was just going to skip it this year. I guess in a way I was ignoring it. One side of me was happy to get to 40 and the other side of me was hoping if I could sneak by 40 death wouldn't notice. Being cancer free and past my surgeries was enough for me. Apparently, it was not enough for some people. Yep, for the first time in my life, I did not plan my party. On Sunday afternoon, my husband and two of my girlfriends, surprised me with a 40th birthday party. It was a great party with friends, family, food, a bouncy house (for the kids - I have been told you can't do that with a chest tube), complete with Tinkerbell Cake. I didn't cry, but was VERY touched and heck of surprised that I didn't find out. I blame the drugs for that! Thank you so much to Grant, Michelle C., and Bethany for an amazing party that I will never forget!!!! Today, the celebration continued as I showed up to the cancer center, took X-rays, was told that Besty (my chest tube) could come out, that I was done with the surgeon's office, that while my lungs still needed time to heal were looking great and that I was being passed back to my oncologist office. So, with hugs from the surgeon and nurse, we went down the elevator, across the sky bridge and to the oncologist for more hugs, a tongue lashing for not coming by sooner (I looked at him like, "Right, I have just been SO available for that?!?!!"), and of course my next appointment. He is giving me a week off (I asked for 20 or 30 years and was denied). When he hugged me, I said, "It is all gone." and he replied, "Looks like it. Congrats sweetie." We left the building after a couple more hugs and news spreading and Mom asked me, "Wanna grab some lunch?" I was like, "Not here." So, in the car and back home we went. Mom is making a special dinner tonight, we are watching the UW Softball Championships, and I am going to have a virgin somethingorother!!! And then the weather!!!! I think this has been the perfect day. My bandages are leaking a bit, but that is to be expected when they pull a tube out of your chest and I am being weaned off my drugs so that I don't get addicted, but those are minor inconveniences. I think the very best part of my day was when we left the surgeon's office and Grant and I hugged. It was a long hug with a long exhale. Once again, we are here and once again we have hope that we will be the ones that hug each other for a long long time. Oh, and I got jewelry....always good when you get jewelry!!! WOW!! Happy Birthday to me!!!!!! Love, Ang

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Let the healing begin

I have been at my parents for two days now. I slept 17 hours the first day and about the same the second. I only have one comfortable position because of the chest tube in the right side and my 10 incision on my left. My Mom helped me bathe today. I shaved my legs, washed my hair, and she washed my left side of my back. This all while covering my chest tube entry on the right side. It was a bit tricky. I haven't puked yet today which I have to say is so painful that your body does it in slow motion to minimize the pain. Today, everything seems to be getting back to normal. I am doing my exercises, eating more, etc. I tire quickly as I am noticing right now I need to stop typing. Jen is coming over to visit tonight after spending the entire week with the boys giving everyone a brake. It has been nice for everyone and the boys are totally in love with her looking for her in the morning (not Grant), wanting her to give them breakfast (not Grant), etc. She goes home tomorrow and, while the boys will be sad, they will just add another amazing friend to the list of people that love them. Thank you Jen! Happy Thursday, Ang

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Angie was discharged from the hospital Tuesday afternoon and headed to her parents to convalesce. She was happy to lose most of the protrusions from her body but she still has the second chest tube they placed for her right lung (first surgery). She still has some air leakage from the right lung that is healing and improving slowly. She's in more pain this time, I suspect due to the cumulative effects, and the chest tube site is always painful. She has a post-op appointment early next week and, hopefully, she'll get the chest tube removed. Jen is in town this week to help take care of the boys and give Karissa and Angie's parents a break. We had a nice visit with Angie in the hospital Monday night for milkshakes, Tinkerbell, and a couple books. Now it's time to get back to work. Have a good day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lung Surgery No. 2

Friday was a much better experience than the first lung surgery - we were only 75 minutes late but it sure seemed like it was on time. Everything went well and they removed only the 3 spots that were noted in the scans. She came out of surgery with only one chest tube this time which, I am told, means they are expecting less drainage. They removed the left chest tube today but the right chest tube that she got a week ago is still in since they are still getting a little fluid and air leakage. This second surgery they tried a new method of moving nerves around during surgery to try and reduce post-operative pain - Angie is on the cutting edge and will be able to give them a comparison between the surgeries. If Friday night is any indication, the pain isn't any better. We had a fun experience with Angie's arm going numb, the epidural getting turned off, Angie's arm regaining feeling, then the epidural being left off way too long. Apparently shift change is more important than patients in agony. So, we should get biopsy results in the next day or so. They indicated that Angie may get out on Monday but we're guessing Tuesday is more likely. Angie would like to get the remaining chest tube removed before she heads home. For you Yanks out there, enjoy the rest of your long weekend. Angie will be back to blogging in a few days.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Off I go...

Well, I am doing much better today. I think it helped to put it all on the blog, processed through it, saw my beautiful boys and have so much support. I am past my blip from Wednesday. I leave in an hour and with a lot of prayer and a little luck, I will wake up tonight with Grant saying to me, "They got it all." Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, love, and support - I am so grateful for them. Love, Ang

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Almost there..

I finally got my surgery time. It is 12:30 tomorrow with a check in at 10:30. I am anxious again. I just want it all to be okay and over with. I didn't have a great afternoon yesterday. I had a great morning, but then I realized I screwed up on the checkbook, I was behind on a payment to preschool, I haven't seen the class pictures and it scares me to death that they may have sent them back already without me ordering any. And then there is the spiral....I am so useless....I can't pay bills, can't remember pictures, can't do the checkbook, I can't even drive my kids to school, and it all falls apart. Grant comes home to a crying heap on the floor that can't get it together and despite his attempts at telling me I have a lot on my plate and it is normal to make mistakes, it doesn't help. The anxiety, the "failure", all of it, just comes out. Logically, I know these thing are little, normal, and insignificant, but they still bother me. The solution? Grant has to go to preschool, figures out daycare, sees if the pictures at there, etc. Grant to the rescue again because I couldn't do it right in the first place. See the horror is that I can even go to these places to fix the problem. Everything I do is from home. I haven't driven the entire month of May, I have been hooked up to an "atrium" for a week that is holding my lung fluid (that look a lot like pee), I can't carry or lift anything, the list goes on and on. And you know what bugs me the most? It is one of my best friends 40th birthday's today and I want to talk to him so bad, but I don't want to talk to him because I am afraid that I won't be able to get past my own crap to be happy for him. What kind of friend is that??? Which turns me to how do I have any friends at all if I am so selfish? See the spiral?? Actually, that stinks way more than that they chest tube, the check book, preschool pictures, everything. I know it will pass, it has to. I have to get past it before tomorrow. I know I will, but what some say is a "process" and I just have to "allow it to happen" is really hard for the control freak that I am. And so, again, I throw my hands in the air and say, "Fine. You win." and I curl up on the couch with Africa, close my eyes and hope it passes soon (like before 12:30 tomorrow!) Karissa offered to bring the kids by today for lunch.....maybe that will shake me out of this. God, I hope so. Love, Ang

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I am home

I have a chest tube, but I am home. I slept in my own bed for the first time in two weeks. It was bliss. Love, Ang

Monday, May 18, 2009

This past weekend...

Hi - I am still in the hospital, but Michelli brought me her computer!!! Yeah Michelli!! This weekend was a bit of a disappointment as you can imagine. I was so looking forward to going home and being with my family proper. I was pretty upset about the whole thing but then the meds kicked in and Grant brought the boys for a visit. We watched half of Bolt, read books, went for a walk and gave lots of hugs and kisses. It changed my entire attitude. Nolan relaxed against me during the movie and I got to kiss the top of his beautiful perfect little head. Then he figured out that you could turn the lights on and off from the bed and a light show ensued (sp). Moment over. Mason was the big boy looking at my atrium (the contraption that is draining my lung and monitoring the air pocket). He sounded very official when he was asking the nurse all sorts of questions. Everyone loved them and they were the talk of the shift. Of course, they were! When it was time to go, Mason wanted to stay longer, but Nolan happily looked at me gave me hugs, kisses and said, "Bye Bye Mommy." Mason said he would come back tomorrow and I gently told him with we would visit again soon, but that I couldn't tell him exactly when. He accepted the answer while looking at me sideways. He asked if I lived here now and I replied quickly that I did not. In any case, they had a great weekend with Dad and happily went back to Grandma and Grandpa's house Sunday. It is so nice to have them so amenable. I am so lucky. Yesterday, my mom, Michelli, and Donna stayed with me for a while so I was far from alone. I clipped Sunday Paper Coupons, sat outside in the sun for an hour and even walked to Bartell's with my Aunt to buy more magazines. Yep, I was in my hospital gown, robe and carrying my atrium with me. I got a lot of looks and quite honestly, I totally had forgotten how strange that would have looked. I really didn't care. It was a big walk and I was tired when I got back. This morning, when I told my oncologist that I did that he laughed and looked at me like, "Of course you did." So, I am doing okay. There is serious talk about me going home today and I would like that if nothing else, just to get some rest in my own home, spend some time with Grant, go through the mail, etc. I miss my house. I miss my husband. I miss life, but the important thing is I am a lot better then when I got here and a hellava lot better than after they put this thing in. I am ready to go home....cross your fingers that they will let me. One last cute story....Michelli and Beth were cleaning my house on Saturday and Mason was talking to Michelli. Michelli said something along the lines of, "Mason, I sure love your Mommy." He replied with, "I love my Mommy too and she loves me." Michelle said, "How could she not love you?!?!" And, without missing a beat, he said, "I KNOW! Everybody loves Mason!" What a lucky boy. Enjoy today, Ang

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sometimes Things Don't Go As Planned

According to the chest tube doctor on early Friday morning, the procedure was going to take no time at all and Angie would be on her way home in an hour. An hour later, Angie was in excruciating pain and a couple hours after that she had an inpatient bed - and was still in pain. Her pain got a little better with midday meds and much better by evening. Her lung surgeon was in surgery all day, but he gave her the good stuff when he saw her around 6PM. Angie is still in the hospital as of Sunday night. It appears that she has an ongoing leak from her right lung and her chest tube needs to be hooked up to the vacuum machine to keep the lung inflated so she can heal properly and she needs to be in the hospital to use the vacuum machine. She may get out of the hospital on Monday but she'll need to carry around a chest tube drainage thingamadobobber - the plan changes frequently, so we'll just have to wait and see. She is still scheduled for left lung surgery on Friday and she'll probably have the right lung chest tube in until then. On a positve note, it sure was a nice weekend. High 70s and sunny. Mason had a special "Spring Tea" event at day care on Friday. We had swim lessons on Saturday, the boys and I planted the vegetable garden on Sunday, and I coaxed Mason through a 2 mile bike ride - I'm still not sure who that was more painful for, but we made it through without a major breakdown. We also had a visit with mommy in the hospital on Saturday evening. The boys enjoyed the view and the milkshakes mommy ordered for them. We all enjoyed our little family time together and it helped rebalance emotions. Angie is doing better now than she was a couple days ago since she can see the end of this process in view. She'll give you an update this week if she gets out of the hospital for a few days.
Enjoy your week. Do something fun.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

All is not perfect, but it will be okay

I went for my follow up to the lung surgeon today and they found that there is air leaking out of my right lung. It is not horrible and if they were not trying to get me in for another surgery on the left lung, we would probably just wait it out. Since that is not the case, they will be putting a value in me tomorrow. It is a one way valve that will allow the air to escape, but not go back in. This will allow my lung to fully expand and seal the hole. If you just look at it like that it is pretty cool that your body can do that! So, the good part is that it is completely fixable. The bad part is that it is another surgery, another trip to the hospital, another procedure, another fast, etc. So, I will be there at 6:15 in the morning and leave sometime early afternoon with a valve attached to me. Silver lining? I can use conditioner. My followup for this will be on Tuesday. If all goes well, I will be in surgery on Friday. I know, I am not thrilled about Friday either, but if it is not then I cannot do it until the following Wednesday because of the Memorial Day Holiday. So, this afternoon, I have spent talking to schedulers, nurses, rearranged my schedule, my help, etc. trying to let people know what is happening in my life so that they know what is happening in theirs! Sometimes all of this is overwhelming and I can do it all until someone says, "How are you doing with all this?" Most of the time, I answer, "I am okay - I have so much help it is easy." Which is totally true, but sometimes if they catch me just one degree off, I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I want to cry for my fatigue, the burden that I put on everyone on know, my luck that it is all going well, as well as, the fear that it might not, for the inability to scrapbook and how far I am getting behind because if something bad happens that is all my boys will have, etc. etc. etc. I am two weeks into a process that will take another seven weeks. Am I strong enough for this? Everyone says I look good and I am ready for the next surgery, but am I? I think I am. I want to be. Then I relax, breathe, and tell myself I can, I will, and I will be fine. I have to be and that is just it. So, for the next 90 mins, I am going to get organized for tomorrow, pack up to spend the weekend at home with my family. Then, Karissa will bring my boys home. She is going to stay and visit for a while with one requirement - a glass of wine. I would need a glass of wine (or two) if I took care of five children! What an amazing friend (and she works for cheap)! I am going to enjoy my time with her and let all this crap slip away for a couple hours. After all, we only have right now. Have a great weekend, Ang

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quick update

I am doing just fine. I am a little disappointed that I didn't heal faster to go to the next surgery, but everyone thought 10 days would be a little quick. Apparently, some rules apply to me. I am slowly getting better. The bruises from my IV are healing and my incision seems to be healing well. I am getting in my walks and my exercises. It is easy here at my Mom and Dad's. The hardest part for me is doing nothing especially in someone else's house. It is just not in my nature to do nothing. But, if I do too much, I pay. On Saturday, I did too much and paid for it on Sunday. I could hardly move, felt ill most of the day, and slept more than I was up. This morning, I helped Nolan up from a spill not even thinking about it. For my efforts, I got shooting pains down my torso until I slept for two hours to let it work itself out. While it feels ridiculous, I also try and remember that a bunch of guys just had their hands in my chest less than two weeks ago. Thursday I will know more about when the next surgery will be. I meet at the surgeon's office for my stitches to be removed, a checkup to see how I am healing, etc. I imagine we will talk about the next one then, or a least have a target date that will have to be approved by my oncologist and, of course, the surgeon. Friday I should have something to say about what will happen next. Right now, I am trying to accept my body's healing process and am actually enjoying my family's company with everyone together. Mason is thrilled that I am staying here with him and Nolan is speaking to me again, so everything is going in the right direction. I hope you are enjoying your week of surprise sunshine. Take Care, Ang