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