Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Do not worry I didn't jump off a bridge...

Saturday came just like Mom said and everything that was wrong was right with the world. The silver lining to all this was I slept so much during my depressive state I have a great weekend and week. Actually, more like best ever....here is what we did. Jane left for Vancouver Sunday return TBD, Monday we went to visit Alana and had lunch while using Cutco knives-I love a good home party and I now love Cutco knives! Need a rep? I know a great one! Let me know! Tuesday we went to the King Tut exhibit. Karissa, the kids and I. It was really good to talk about dead people and all the vases their organs went in for 4 hours-kids "dig" that crap! Then, Wednesday, Mason, Nolan, and I went on a helicopter ride of Seattle. I got a screaming deal on the internet and the boys were great. They LOVED talking on the headset about the Space Needle, where the Mariners play, and train tracks. Todd, our pilot, was so great with them. Thank you Todd! Thursday they went to "school" and I tried to recover from the busy week. I did have two things to do - Staples for school supplies and one follow up Doctor's appt for my ingrown toenail surgery. Didn't tell you about that?!?! Yeah, I squeezed that one in on July 6th. Everyone told me it was going to hurt and I could not possibly drive myself home. My response, "They have taken both of my lungs out of my body, cut, stapled, and some thing else to them and put them back in. Not to mention two surgeries on my butt....". You know, that is a conversation closer. Imagine? At Staples, I worked my magic, and got $142.00 of school supplies for two kids for $37 bucks. I got the nice stuff to...Elmer's, nice binders, kid headphones, etc. I know I can be freaky sometimes, but when you are home as much as I am, you have time to plot and plan. I do the same with airline tickets. When we went to Kauai last, we paid something like $840 for all of us to go.....I know...and Toronto $346, again that is not each, it is all of us. Okay, back to the story.....so, usually on the days without kids I dress up a little and this day I was wear all light colors. Unfortunatly, the cart at Staples nailed me in the thumb and I started to bleed. I did not realize it until it was on my pants. Good look. I finish shopping, went to my doc appt and went through seven band aids on the way. Good news, my toes look great. "When are you back in chemo?" he asked. I reply, " I started back two weeks ago!". He looked at me and said, "Your toes look amazing....I cannot believe it with your immune system and all.". I smiled thinking, "Yeah, we'll that is the miracle of me!". Bad news, I was wasn't paying attention to my wound and I bleed all over my shirt, pants, and now legs......apparently I am not all that. He cleaned me up, gave me a new band aid and asked if I would be okay. I replyed, it is just a scratch -damn blood thinners! Off I went, straight home to change my clothes before picking up the kids looking like an axe murderer. Got kids, got home, and woke up on Friday to thunder and lightning. We were supposed to go camping, which we did on Saturday morning. It was a blessing because it gave Grant and I a chance to take a breath. Saturday was beautiful on Mt Rainier. We hiked to Carter Falls in honor of Nolan's best friend. The boys rode their bikes, played card games in the tent and did not ask for their iPods once. Hiked Sunday a little, got home, went to accupucture and visited the neighbors. Yesterday, went on another adventure with Karissa and the kids (and Jane was back!) to the Nisqually Basin wildlife refuge where Nolan said they needed to cut down the plants so he could see. ;). Carter's family was up for dinner last night so, on my suggestion, they all came and we ate together. They crack me up! I laughed and laughed and laughed. Yes, I squeezed every moment I could from the last week and I went over a lot of bridges. Looked down on them all and walked confident OVER them. Back to chemo this morning. Jane is here, Mom is home, Karissa is back, Sherry is bringing lunch on Wednesday.....I will be fine. Thank you for all your love. Ang

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This last week

I was back to chemo on the 9th.  IT SUCKED.  I got there and it took FOREVER to get my blood done, get into the doc and then start treatment.  I was there at 8:20 and I didn't start treatment until like 10:40.  I was almost done, Elaine had already held my hand, and it started....a panic attack.....I had been there just a little too long.  I started to shake uncontrollably.  I said I was cold, but Elaine said I was too hot and got a cloth for the back of my neck.  My nurse, who is AWESOME, came in, saw what was happening and point plank said, "Angie, are you have a reaction or is this a panic attack?"  I know and they know that I know the difference - "reaction" would have been the five bell alarm.  Shaking I respond with, "Panic attack.  I just need to get OUT OF HERE.  I spent too long here."  "Then, that's what we are going to do."  It seemed like a minute and I was out with Jen, my nurse, saying, "Where is she going?"  I was going the wrong way.  I guess I really wanted out.  Elaine corrected my path, I got into the elevator, faced the corner so I didn't have to see anything, got to the outside, and waited for Elaine to get the car.  I am pretty darn sure I looked like a drug addict/corpse.  SEXY.  After that, I was fine.  Elaine got me home on the couch and I feel asleep.  I don't remember much about that day, but I did eat dinner I think - Chinese??  I don't know.  Tuesday came and my Mom came over.  It was nice to see her, but I was depressed.  I had SUCH a good break - a taste of freedom and the previous Sunday, I thought I could conquer the world.  By Tuesday, I wanted to crawl in a hole.  Mom told me, "Just think about Saturday."  When it is Tuesday and I am suppose to focus on Saturday, it seems like an eternity.  Mom left and was leaving with my Dad to Las Vegas for their annual convention that I make them go to.  It is the only time the get on a plane, enjoy themselves, and get a vacation from me.  Dad was dropping the kids off at Donna's that day and then Doug and Donna were taking them to the cabin fishing and swimming for the rest of the week.  I would not see them until Saturday afternoon.  Wednesday, my Mom was gone with my Dad, Karissa was on vacation with her family, Donna was in Plain, WA with the boys, Grant was working long and then had hockey that night.  In addition, my friend, Sherry, called me and I tried to answer the phone, but the battery was dead, and it dropped the call.  I didn't have the energy to get another phone, so I just sat there and cried.  Shannan, my massage therapist, is Karissa's backup when I need to be unhooked from my pump.  She is 5'1" and a trooper.  When I opened the door for her to take me in, I just started blubbering all over her about how I hated being back in this crap.  She just hugged me and rubbed my back.  TROOPER!  I would have run for the hills.  She took me in and they were SO FAST we got free parking!  That is like winning the Lotto for me.  I got home, collapsed on the couch, and fell asleep again.  Thursday, Luke detailed my Focus, and locked up the house beautifully since I was sleep AGAIN.  Depression sucks.  Friday, I showered, did some errands and actually liked dinner.  Saturday, Donna was home, the boys were home, I felt great, JANE CAME THROUGH SEATTLE AND SPENT THE NIGHT, dinner was delivered, and all was right with the world again.  "Just think about Saturday."  I guess she knows best.  She is home today.  WHEW.  One more down.  Love, Ang

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I went to Canada for a tan?

Yep - I am tan.  I know I still look white to most people, but if you compare my arm to my stomach, I could be Haitian.  We are home!  Well, I have been home since the forth. Two weeks with all my boys. Four cities and Toronto twice. The flight over was brutal! It was on frequent flier miles and changed from two legs to three at the last mintue - Seattle to Detroit, Detroit to Cinninatti, a 5 hour lay over and then to Toronto. BRUTAL! The boys were amazing and promptly fell asleep in the car, so Grandma Lil's first look at them in two years was asleep. Toronto was great. I have not been back in six years. It was great to see all of Grant's friends and family. Children have grown up into beautiful young adults, our friends are important people....and I am like, "How did that happen?!?" When did we grow up?!?!?! I even caught up with a woman that I met in Canyon Ranch three years ago. She is a hoot! After four short nights, we took off to Montreal, but let me go back to Toronto. We stayed at the Super 8 in Chinatown. Great location, sound proof rooms which I was glad for after the second set of teenagers partied across the hall, really bad free Internet, worn worn worn but had HUGE rooms, and free breakfast. They charged my credit card for $100 dollars for a damage deposit, and the second day I went to clarify it was for further damage beyond what was already there. I was really nice and quiet about it, but I needed to know. That is what I mean by worn. Not the nicest place. In Montreal, we had a two bedroom apartment with a kitchen. The boys loved it! We loved it! We practiced our French, ate really well, swam in the pool, and walked the city and museums. Everything was going great until I looked in a window and saw a Montreal Canadiens' hockey jersey and mentioned to Grant we should get one for Mason.  WOW.  APPARENTLY, THIS IS VERY VERY WRONG.  Grant, in a very un-Canadian manner, proceeded to throw a fit in the middle of the street.  As this doesn't happen often, the boys and I just looked at him with our mouths wide open.  He rarely raises his voice, but apparently this caused him to raise his voice and throw a tantrum in the street.  I was told, and I quote, "No son of mine will EVER own, wear, or buy anything from the Montreal Canadiens."  I asked why and he said it was because he was from Toronto.  Logical?  Reasonable?  He went on for blocks about why this is acceptable and reasonable behavior.  I turned him off and bought a Christmas ornament instead that said, "Montreal".  That was acceptable.  (Since coming home, I have heard a few other stories of Canadian husbands acting the same exact way when faced with the Montreal Canadiens.  They have offended family members and ruined holidays over this "issue".  WOW.)  ;)  In Quebec City, we had an even larger apartment and I cooked happily. The grocery stores are amazing in Quebec and CHEAP for amazing food. Food out was expensive, like lunch was $60 and we all drank water. So, we definitely took advantage of the kitchens. Quebec City was amazingly beautiful. I could not take a bad picture. The boys loved the wall, the military, the street performers, everything. I love the beer garden next to the pirate ship park. Why don't we have those?!?!? And I was able to buy a Quebec Nordiques Hockey T-shirt for Mason there.  I understand I can do this because the are no longer a competitor to the Toronto Maple Leafs.  (I just really wanted to not have a tantrum in the middle of Quebec City.)  Then off to Ottawa!  Being in Ottawa, the nation's capital, on Canada Day, was awesome. I love Ottawa. It is just so beautiful and well laid out.  The Snowbirds did their thing, we sang O Canada, and played all day.  They had two amazing kid focused parks - one non-military; one military.  The Canada Day celebration there is a lot like Seattle's Sea Fair, so a lot of celebration of their military.  One of the BEST stories was at the military focused park.  The park was across the river back into Quebec and I was so tired of my horrible French, when a very nice woman asked me the time, I just gave her my watch.  She laughed and said in French, "Do you speak English?  You seem to understand French."  I replied in English with, "Yes, I can understand some, but I can't speak it worth a damn!"  She laughed and said in English, "You have half the battle and it is the hard one."  Anyway, I digress.....we saw and sat in a Snowbirds cockpits which the boys LOVED.  We toured a Hovercraft which I loved.  But the high light....the favorite thing of both my boys was the obstacle course put on my the Army.  We waited in the sun for 45 mins.  It was 95 degrees.  There were not deterred.  They started warming up as we got close to the front.  Really?!?!?!!  It was 95 degrees.  They put there helmets on and stopped listening to me and just focused on the Army guys.  It is too bad because I was saying, "Listen guys - remember, this is Canada.  Your blue is showing a little."  To my joy, and maybe a little bit of embarrassment, they kicked everyone's ass.  I mean clearly, they wanted it more than ANYBODY ELSE there.  They caught up to the two before them and were TICKED when they were told to wait their turn.  I thought their might some throwing of elbows, but they got it under control and, in defense, of the kids in front of us, I don't think they had seen an athletic competition in their lives.  I kept my mouth shut with Mason, but when Nolan went I was like, "Go Baby!  OMG - you did the monkey bars all by yourself - AWESOME.  GO! GO! GO!"  The dude said to me that Nolan was quite serious and aggressive and all I could get out was, "He comes by it naturally....."  Grant and I learned a lot on this trip.  Like don't tell the boys there is a water slide at the next hotel BEFORE the six hour drive - tell them after and we really think that 14 days without a break from our kids is too much.  Next time, 10 nights.  I also learned that I can forget.  I was so removed from home, me, cancer, etc.  I actually forgot I was sick.  I actually thought about what job I was going to get when Nolan went to Kindergarten and I actually THOUGHT about it before I realized I would still be in chemo and who would ever take me on as an employee.  I pushed that out of my mind and kept dreaming about what I wanted and what I would have been doing if all "this" hadn't happened.  Then, we touched down in Seattle, and while I was so happy to be home......it was time to remember and as I pack up the boys today, a little part of me will die, but the other part no knows that someday will be able to forget......for good.  Vive le Canada!  Love, Ang