Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yep, that is right I am DONE!

The last round was a bit hard because mentally I was done SOOOOOO long ago, but I got through it. Hank said, "Have a great month off." The nurses and pharmacy gave me a card and sparkling was really sweet, but the real hero in all of this was the nurse that got me through the last 90 mins of treatment. Some people have told me that I am the toughest broad they have ever met. They never met Jen. Simply put, she is one of my heroes. The recovery has been weird. It is like I am being fired from a job I didn't want. I am exhausted emotionally and physically, but my brain is thinking of all the things I get to do now, but my body is saying, "Not yet. Not YET. ARE YOU LISTENING!?!?!?!?" I should do more yoga. Anyway, I am on my way to having a great August, but here is the story that I promised.....Nolan and the Chef Basket.... Okay, so we don't do commercials. We Tivo (DVR) or we have DVDs and most of what we Tivo is on PBS which doesn't have "commercials". However, there is this ONE show that my boys love. It is the Magic School Bus which is on a channel with traditional commercials. So, one day, Nolan calls to me while they are watching and says, "Mommy! Mommy! You have do see this!" So, I go into the living room, Nolan rewinds the program and starts telling me about the "Amazing Chef Basket" and how we don't need pot holders, we can put it in a small drawer, we can replace three or four "bulky" kitchen items and can do the job of several things.....deep fryer, colander, strainer, etc. "From pot to plate!" he exclaims only to be followed with the Amazing Chef Knife that can cut through nails..........the kid was a walking infomercial. "Can we get one????" he pleads. I said, "Nolan, I don't like buying things off the TV, so I will look and I will try and get a better price, etc." "Okay!" he says gleefully. For three weeks he comes to me and asks, "Do we have a Chef Basket yet?" I say no, but I am looking. We look on the Internet together and I am am just REALLY HOPING THIS WILL PASS. So, one day Mason, Nolan, and I go to Walmart. Now, I go to Walmart about twice a year, not because I hate them or they are evil, they are just not convenient for me and I always seem to be there with the screaming children and the guy that is saying, "Yeah, I got it (tattoo) when I was drunk and it even hurt then...." So, I don't look for opportunities for my kids to go to Walmart. I did it on Black Friday one year at 5:00am and that took way more years off my life than cancer. Anyhoo, we enter Walmart, get the few items that I need, pass the guy with the tattoo, and are JUST about at the check out and this blood curdling scream comes from one of my children, "MOMMY!!!!!" Everyone stops, including tattoo guy, and looks at my youngest. Nolan, with pure excitement and elation screams, "THEY HAVE CHEF BASKETS!" The lady behind me says, "I think you'd be gettin' a Chef Basket today." "Yep, I reckon I will be." I reply. When in Rome..... So, we buy the Chef Basket and in truth the thing is a piece of CRAP. It doesn't hold the pasta like the commercial, it is NOT pot to plate, it barley stands up as a colander, and I paid the highest price I had seen (S&H not included). But ever time it fails, Nolan pulls out the instruction which he cannot read, points to the pictures, and tells me that I am doing it wrong. "Okay, Sharon. I am dumber than the 'As Seen On TV' product!!" WHATEVER. The battle continues, I am sure he will ultimately win and I will have a useless Chef Basket in my cupboard WITH MY COLANDER, STRAINER, AND DEEP FRYER. Love, Ang :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dazed and confused and thankful

Okay, well, it has been a long time since my last post. There are reasons, but not good ones. Part of me was busy. Part of me was done already. Part of me was struggling with how hard the last round was and it was/is a mental game to think about going back on Tuesday......BUT........then I remember how I will be done. DONE. Every week will be a "good" week. I will cook again, I will be able to track and read books again, I will not schedule illness, pack up my boys every other week, I will be able to teach my organizational course that I was asked to do last fall this fall. That is where the dazed part comes is really oncologist granted my request of August off - meaning NO APPTS THROUGH LABOR DAY. No appointments. I have never, in all the four plus years of this madness, been granted no appointments for a month. One more. Tuesday. Unhook Thursday. One more. So, here is the update. Chemo last time SUCKED. My numbers went up and my oncologist hit me as hard. He plays hard ball EVERY TIME, NO EXCEPTIONS. I knew when I saw my numbers. But let's not dwell on that. Let's talk about this week. It was really good. In fact, I just got home from a 40th birthday party. I laughed so hard I cried. The stories were awesome, the people genuine, the food amazing and I could even drink the wine. I think that is was jolted me into writing tonight. Here comes the confused part....we were a normal family today. We had no doctors appointment today. I mended, ironed, and chatted with the neighbors. I went to the store for spray paint, of course, and they were out of my color, but I had the energy to go to another store. I picked up the kids from daycare, fed them (meal delivered, so I can't take credit for that), bathed them, got ready, got the babysitter settled (Grant is on a golf overnight and, get this, I had to make him go. He was like, "I don't want to abandon you on such short notice." I looked at him and said, "Abandon? Is that what you call the last four years???"), went to the party, came home, paid the baby sitter, got ready for bed and, then, turned on the computer. And now thankful......I am thankful for everything - meals, my house, housecleaning, my family, the party tonight, my friends, my insurance, my docs, spray paint, even billing departments and chemo. For example, tomorrow I am picking up 16 meals with the money that was donated to me for filling my freezer with meals. Holy cow! What a blessing! I am convinced that I didn't get back to normal alone, how could I?!!? But I am so thankful to be back (almost) to normal and I have a frickin' awesome life. How did I get so lucky? I don't know - but I am sure glad I drew that card instead of just the rectal cancer card!!!!! Okay, so now, off to bed....I am a single parent tomorrow, but if I have time I will blog and the title will be, "Nolan and his Chef Basket". Never thought I would put those words together! Nighty night. Love, Ang

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Three things......

Sometimes I wonder how parents can sometimes be complete screw ups and still have a Big 5 kid??? Example: The day before the last day of school Mason there was a "Fun Run". Our neighborhood is one big loop, so they take the entire school and run around it. It is 1.3 miles. Now, I have NEVER, repeat NEVER, seem Mason hit full stride. The best way to explain it is that he kinda dances and prances around the soccer field and the T-ball field. Having grown up with sports (and been a track girl), frankly, it makes me nuts. I mentioned it to my Dad once and he said, "Yeah, but I saw him hit his stride once and he has a good one." I looked at Dad like he was crazy. Anyway, I prepped Mason - T-shirt, shorts, running shoes, sunscreen and extra fluids that morning. I didn't say anything but there is a run at school today - have fun! When I picked him up, I asked him about it and he told me, and I quote, "Mommy, I beat all the fifth graders, fourth graders, third graders, second graders, first graders and ALL the kindergartners. I think I was 10th in the whole school." In my head, I was like, "That is impossible" but I pulled it together and said, "Really, are you sure???" "Yep!" he replied and I said, "Okay, then you will have to tell Daddy when he gets home." And he did - in the exact same way he told me. Grant's response, "Mason, fibbing is not a good idea." "But, Dad, I did it!" Mason exclaimed and I shot Grant a look. Then we dropped it both sure that Mason was exaggerating. The next day, I got a call from school about last minute volunteer rap up and Chris said to me, "Did Mason tell you about his run yesterday?" I laughed and said, "Yeah, he said, something about beating a bunch of kids." Chris replied with, "Ang, he DID." He was seventh in the entire school." Now Chris has my complete attention. "Who beat him Chris?" "Well, lets see, some sixth graders and one teacher." My eyes close and my head falls in my hand. OMG. He was telling the truth. Chris said, "It was amazing and I think he needs to run track." NO KIDDING! I call Grant and tell him we are the worst parents in the world and all Grant can say is, "He did? Really? That is great!" I don't think he heard the "worst parent in the world part". I go to school pick up Mason. As we are leaving, kids are still saying, "Have a great summer - great run Mason!" He was like a celebrity. I got in the truck with the boys and I apologized. He said, "I told you Mom." I replied with, "I know Mason, but quite frankly, I have never seen you run fast. How was I to know?!? I am so sorry. And, by the way, how did you do it?" With a tilt of the head and his finger to his chin, "Well, I started out and then I said to myself, I have to take bigger steps. So, I did and then I just started passing everybody." Of course, why didn't I think of that? Number two - Having a terminal condition makes you think weird and it is NOT the chemo. When I returned from my colorectal appt and all was right with the world, I was pulling into the driveway and said to myself, "Well, I guess I have to clean out my (clothes) closet since I am going to be around for a while." You may think this is a normal thought, but it isn't because the premise of the thought was two fold - one, you are in treatment, so cleaning out the closet is not a big priority followed very closely by, if I die and someone will do it for me. I know, sick eh?? So, I clean it out and get rid of a fair amount of stuff including a blazer from 20 years ago that I was hanging onto because back then I was HOT. Now, total dork. Closet cleaned, clothes organized, pj bottoms that I have been looking for for 10 months found, and towels....which leads me to number three.......when Grant started the business I never expected that he would be as successful as he was in the first few years. So, I bought things in advance like sheets, towels, etc that we would need/want and it would feel like we weren't so broke. So, in cleaning out the closet I found the towels that I bought. I was supposed to give them to myself for Christmas, but I was in treatment and towels take a beating when you are in treatment because of all the washing twice of everything, so I said to myself, I will give them to myself when I am in remission. In addition, Christmas was not so dim because the business was doing well and I could distract myself with other things like blood clots in my lungs, pneumonia, you know.... But now, I said, "SCREW IT!", ripped the tags off, washed them and am thoroughly enjoying them. So, why am I telling you all this? Because they are lessons to live by....believe your little ones - they can do great things despite your obstacles, clean your closet - it makes you live now, but remember where and all the great things you have done, and USE THE FRICKIN' TOWELS!!!! Seriously, what the hell am I doing?!?!?!?! No wonder I am in therapy!!!!! Happy 4th (and Canada Day!) Love, Ang