Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As a lot of you know, I used to hand stamp over 100 cards and send a micro Christmas letter. Not any more. This is my Christmas letter and it is being sent on Christmas morning. So, here goes.....2010 was a interesting year. Grant started his own business with long time coworker Mike Byers. They named it CRETE and with all of the good work and marketing they did they are still in business and now concerned about having done too well. I consider that a GOOD problem. Seriously - how is that a problem???? WHATEVER! Next year will be a lot different because they are moving out of Mike's house (free rent makes any bottom line seem wonderful)and getting office space. Here is to Grant GETTING OUT OF MY OFFICE!!!! But seriously, I am really proud of the success of CRETE and how Grant and I handled the year. Clearly, June and July were a shock when my cancer was back and the end of the year has been stressful because, count them, BOTH of my medical insurance companies have been fighting over who is primary and NEITHER were paying my claims and still are not, but I wrote the right letter to the right people and now we are just waiting on one piece of paper - nice. I offered to create, forge, do anything to get the peice of paper they need, but apparently I can't. Now, it is Christmas and we should not dwell on that crap! Moving on.......Mason and Nolan have had a great Christmas - despite their requently questionable behavior!!!! Here is a story.....We have the Christmas Elf that visits us every year. He watches the boys during the day and then flies back to Santa EVERY night to report their behavior. Well, one night we were out for a Christmas adventure with Karissa and her kids and Nolan wasn't eating his dinner, so I said, "What will the elf think?" and he, without missing a beat said in perfect English with perfect grammar, "The elf can't see me. He is at home." I was dumbfounded - speechless - what do I do with that??? Quickly Karissa took over, "Oh yeah buddy, well Santa knows EVERYTHING and you want presents don't you?!?!?!?" Shockingly, he ate. In addition on the way home, Mason was trying to crack jokes which all involved underwear, pee, poo, etc.. At the same time, Nolan was taking about his favorite planet - URANUS. "PEE PEE POOP POOP UNDERWEAR!" "We live on Uranus! Santa is coming to Uranus! Uranus - Uranus - Uranus!" I have to say, my kids are all class. I am SOOOOOOO proud. So, there you have it a typical Christmas in an average family. I do have medical updates but I am not ready to talk about those. They are fine, and I will be fine. It is nothing that can't be managed and luckily I got alotta good managers. The first week of January the decisions will be made and I will do what I have to. So, a little prayer between now and then will not go unnoticed and would be GREATLY appreciated. Forever grateful for so many things, Angie, Grant, Mason and Nolan

Monday, December 20, 2010

Off and then back on

I haven't blogged in a while mainly because I don't know how to get all that I am feeling onto the page without it being a multi page rant, but I must get my words down, so here goes...... December started out great - Disneyland and great memories. Yes, the puking, but, all in all, a huge success. We got the Santa visit in, got the pictures, checked off our list, etc. Then, as you may remember, I got the flu. Chemo was rescheduled and another week was gone. I was a little miffed, but what am I going to do. My parents were great. They took the kids both times to let me get well and outside the new addition to iron with my chemo, I did well. Here is what didn't go so well. First, why am I so lucky to always have chemo when we have cold snowy winters???? Luck or bad timing? I don't know. I haven't felt my fingertips in weeks and the bottom of my feet are in and out depending on massage, essential oil usage, etc. The iron that was added to my IV this time has helped out a great deal with my tunnel vision, almost blacking out when I stand up, etc. with the one minor draw back. For 36 hours after treatment, I believe that I am actually chewing on an iron pipe - YUMMY. And then, I got a taste of freedom. This was the worst thing. There were a few days between the flu and chemo that I felt, well, normal. I even had a martini - regular strength. Grant and I were working well together, things were busy, but I was on my game. Then chemo with iron and Grant and my bad twins came out (we are both Geminis). Grant was tired and taxed. This is the bad side of winning his huge contract - yep they won the one I mentioned in AUGUST. We are very thankful, but we are also VERY busy. It wasn't supposed to be this way. My cancer wasn't going to come back, but it did, and we were aware of this and then we got to Christmas and HOLY COW. Grant took me to unhook and snapped at me a couple times. I came home and cried and said, "Remember dude, I am on steroids and chemo, and I just lost my freedom AGAIN. " Poor guy - really not much winning that argument. He felt bad, but things didn't get better until Saturday afternoon. I left for the play with my Mom (I was suppose to go on a good week, but we all know how that went). I left with the boys in bed after screaming my head off at them. It was a beautiful Mommy moment. It was good for me to go. Grant got himself together with the kids, I relaxed and enjoyed "A Christmas Story The Musical" which was about a family with two little boys and all the excitement around Christmas. Guess who felt like crap, yet thankful, tired, yet hopeful, and defeated yet determined to make this a good Christmas? Yeah, that would be me. I came home and Grant wanted to do a little shopping, so it was me and the boys that night. It could have been horrible, but THEY WERE GREAT. I WAS GREAT. GRANT WAS GREAT. We were back - thank God. I put the boys to bed and Nolan threw his arms around me and just hugged me. There is nothing like a three year old's arm around your neck when it is just for the joy of it and he is not choking you. Mason's special prayer was that he was glad we were all alive and that we had Christmas this year. I was a little puzzled by the "having Christmas this year" - didn't we have it last year? Oh well, he also has "America's Freedom", Christmas, and Santa ALL MIXED TOGETHER. Patriotic little thing he is. Grant came home after they were asleep and I was collapsed in bed. I was still having trouble tasting anything but I knew I needed to drink more fluids. So, get this, I asked him to get me a Lemonade Capri Sun. I know, but it had been going down okay this round. Each round of chemo I have different things that I can/want to eat/drink, I search through the pantry every time to see what will "work" this time - it is kinda funny actually....anyway, I digress.... Grant gets the Lemonade and brings it up to me. With it, he has a glass of wine for him. I was looking at him like, wine in the bedroom? I was thinking he was just going to give me the Lemonade and go downstairs to watch TV, but he doesn't. He sets the wine down and gets on the bed getting comfortable. I drink my lemonade and he starts talking to me about, you know, anything......everything. I am just looking at him. I am exhausted, but I realize........he still LIKES me. I am not sure if I like me, but he is just wanting to be with me......after everything - 42 treatments of chemo, two lung surgeries, six weeks of radiation (which change our lives for two plus years)......I finally asked, "Grant, I know you love me, but do you really still like me?" He looked at me annoyed because this question was not in context of the conversation and he doesn't like that and says, "Yeah, of course I do." (under is breath I am sure he said something like, "Weirdo.") He still likes me. Sixteen years of marriage, seven years of infertility, three and a half years of chemo, one business, two kids, one house, two cars, family, multiple jobs, friends, bills, health insurance, births, deaths, toys everywhere, Santa hysteria, and he still likes me. Victory. Here is to the week before Christmas - loves, Ang

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Okay, who is the prankster that sent Mr. Hankey?

Feeling MUCH better and having a nice weekend, and then the Postman brought me a package. It is what looks like a BIG piece of poop (toy poo) with a Santa Hat and a face that saying things like, "You know something pal? You smell an awful lot like flowers!" and "Crap is everything!" and "I reckon this could be a job for Mr. Hankey!" Okay, the funniest part in all of this is that it is a piece of poo and my oncologist's name is Hank. I have my thoughts on who sent this and it starts with my sister in law, but I am open to others!!!! Stilling laughing and trying to hide this toy from my kids!!!! Loves, Ang

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Here is to falling like a sequoia.....

I was supposed to be in chemo today, but on the way in I started thinking, "Something ain't right." I got there, called before entering the office, they told me to come anyway, I did, but they would not access my port because, and I quote, "you don't look right". Grant took me home and the puke fest has began and I am officially off schedule......I hate being off schedule.......Loves, Ang

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Our trip to Disneyland

Okay, so overall the trip was great. The only question I have is why do we always get sick when we go to California????? Mason was sick Tuesday night, Grant on Friday night, and last night after tucking in the kids for bed at home, Nolan puked all over. Not being a regular puker he hasn't "clued in" that you puke IN the toilet, not all over your bed and then when you run out of space, puke on the floor, then on the door of the bathroom, cabinets of the bathroom, in the sink and then FINALLY in the toilet. Really? Do I look like I love to clean puke?? We go to Hawaii, don't get sick; we go to North Carolina, don't get sick; we go to Toronto, don't get sick, but the meager two hour flight to CA is fatal for us. And here is the funniest part......I only got a mild head cold. Now, I am still waiting, but you would think I would fall like a sequoia, but NOPE, or not yet anyway. Today, we are on lock down - trying not to spread it to the rest of the world. GOODNESS! So, here is what went not so great....I lost my camera and for a scrapbooker that is like a death, but my Mother, as she always does, got a disposable and had an extra camera in her room. WHO HAS AN EXTRA CAMERA .........LIKE EVER???? She had an extra camera when we went to China too - good thing, because mine stopped working the day we got there. We got sick, but we made it to the park everyday even if it was just for a little while. And, apparently, my name is Julie, but we will get to that soon. Now, here is the good stuff. Mickey Mouse decorated our room for Mason's birthday which was over the top amazing. We brought most of it home except for the singing balloon (that Grant and I wanted to murder at a couple points) and the GIGANTIC box that everything came in. We had banners on the door, banners on the windows, Mickey's footprints on the floor, an autograph book signed by Mickey dedicated to Mason, a Mickey Mouse toy, stuffed animal, book, special birthday ears, necklace, etc. etc. etc. Mickey REALLY spoiled Mason. Apparently, Mickey also did fireworks for Mason, according to him. IT WAS PRECIOUS. We went on bigger rides like Big Thunder Mountain and enjoyed the Christmas Decorations and Parade. It was amazing. I almost cried when we walked out onto Downtown Disney at night. The lights started there and went all through the park. New Orleans' Square was particularly beautiful. Nolan could talk this time, so I loved his commentary. Like, "he didn't like the Pirates of the Caribbean because they were bad pirates........" Yeah, I know. I had to break it to him that all pirates were bad. He looked at me like, "Whaaaaaaat???"and then dismissed me as if I didn't say it. O-K-A-Y. I would have to say my favorite part was when we saw the tree lighting. We didn't plan it. We just happen to be there. In the tree lighting there was a dialogue of choosing to believe.......and it all came rushing back to me. I had lost the choosing to believe concept when I went into remission, Grant started his business, etc. I was normal.......a realist........I really starting to read the stats and really started to believe that I was just a result of good medicine and luck. But to believe, have faith, hand over control, and live everyday? Disneyland gave that back to me. Pixie dust and stars, Mickey Mouse and fireworks, and Good and Bad Pirates, and my family (Mom, Dad and Auntie Donna) all asking me, "Where is the garbage? Where is the bathroom? Where is the entrance to that ride?" (hence Julie the tour guide comment)...........I rediscovered my belief again in NOW, today, joy, family, and faith. Because as goes the saying, "Once you enter these walls, you leave the world behind and believe in what is possible and fantasy." I didn't get that quote totally right, but you get the jist. So, let the puke fest begin again on our next trip to Disneyland (scheduled for 2013, but you know, that could change.....)!!!!! Loves, Ang