Wednesday, August 15, 2012

And then there was a great day....

Okay, so I haven't posted in a while.....that is because I have been at my own pity party since last chemo day, but today I have a lot to say, so get a drink (defn is your choice) and sit back if you dare.  :)   I walked into my appointment last week and Hank told me that he has seen enough improvement on my teeny tiny spots in my lungs that he wants to give the same protocol four more treatments to see if it improves.  "Avastin has a way of starting up slowly, so we need to give it some more time....wha wha wha wha, wha wha wha wha."  I just sat there with the silent tears flowing.  I knew logically he was going to say that, but I didn't want to hear it.  Another entire summer juggling chemo.  Really?  Could I have a summer off?  Oh wait, I got one.  The one right after two lung surgeries and four chest tubes.  Only took a year to recover fully and, to this day, when I scratch my left side, I feel it on my right, but who is complaining?!  Hank pops up and gets me a washcloth because the Kleenex is out - shocker.  I sit.  He sits.  I finally say, "I know I should be grateful for everything...for everyday....I know I should not be sad......  He stops me and says, "This is hard.  Who says you can't be sad?"  I reply with, "Hank, I am the Mom to two little boys.  I am a role model.  How I handle this is how they will view the world."  He replies with, "You don't have to be a role model here.  Let yourself be sad."  "But I should be so happy that I am seeing Nolan's first day of school soon and I didn't know if I would see his first birthday."  Hank replies, "You are going to see way more than that.  You are healthy and strong.  You are going to see a lot more years, but this is hard."  So I cried.  And he told me things that made me feel better, allowed me to be sad, and got me to a place I could exhale and start my so familiar journey to chemo....again.  Chemo went well and I came home in my familiar way, but I couldn't stop being sad.  Karissa came over for movies, Sherry ate lunch with me, Karissa brought me soup, Mom made me breakfast.  I had no reason to be so pitiful, but I was.  Saturday was good.  Sunday was a struggle.  Monday was good.  I went and saw my Grandmother in the nursing home with her friend Peggy, who is a bright light in my relationship with my Grandma.  I was nervous about the boys, but they were amazingly good.  Peggy's sister, Kathy, was with us and she was amazing with the boys.  For those of you that know my relationship with my Grandma, you know how she is.  For those of you that don't. here is a great example....I am at the nursing home and my Dad and Grant are moving her out of her assisted living apartment.  I am taking clothes, items that I know she would want - crossword dictionary, crossword book, Bible with the zipper, blouse with the blue and green stripes, etc. etc. etc, over to her new and tiny space.  I ask her at the end of the day, "Okay, I think those are the important things.  Anything else?"  She shakes her head no.  "Okay then, how are you?  This has to be a big transition."  She replies with the back of her hand to her forehead, "Well, you know, this is my last stop....nothing past here.  Your Dad is mad at me because he said I didn't exercise enough."  HUGE ENORMOUS, I MEAN ENORMOUS, SIGH.  "Don't worry about Dad." I reply.  "He is what he is.  I want to know about how you are doing."  And because she is of the generation she was with the upbringing she had she replies with, "I am fine.  You are getting fat."  SIDE NOTE:  I have also been the lucky recipient of comments from her like, "Well, your cancer can't be that bad.  You didn't lose your hair." Yep, that was her - never revealed her identity until now.  "Don't let your kids hear anything bad come from your mouth.  Always encourage them.  Are are getting fat?  I don't like your hair that way.  It is ugly."  (YES, ALL COMMENTS WERE IN THE SAME MOMENT.)  I could go on, but why?  I try and remember this is the woman that taught me to sew, cook, can every food under the sun, and do creative things with no trip to the store and no money which I has served me well.  She is also the one that saved me from a 30 day stint of Mac and Cheese in college and always sent cookies to me in college.  She is stubborn and opinionated.  Giving and yet pushes you away at the hint of something becoming "touchy feely (sp)".  Anyway, enough of that....back to title of my post.  So, after all of this, I go with the boys, to Nolan's best friend's (Carter's) family cabin.  We played on the boat, inter-tubed, kayaked, paddle boated, row boated, the kids swim, played, rode bikes - the whole enchilada!  We had lunch AND dinner there and, as the last light of sun left the sky, I pull out with the bikes, dirty clothes, and two exhausted, sun kissed (and a little burned) little boys.  I call Grant and tell him I am on the way.  With perfect precision, we get them a quick shower, slather them with Aloe Vera Gel, and get them to bed.  I laughed all day. Carter's Mom, Cheryl, and I are hilarious together.  At one point, Carter, swam out too far and ignored his Mom telling him to come in.  Carter didn't realize that that is a violation my "Mommy Code" in a BIG HUGE WAY.  1.  Not listening to your Mom.  2.  Talking back to her making it look like a "negotiation".  3.  Dude, this is about safety and your life!  SERIOUSLY!  Those of you that have seen Mommy Code violations know I go a little psycho.  Our"conversation" at that point went something like this.  "CARTER, GET BACK IN NOW.  THIS IS NOT SAFE AND YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO YOU MOTHER."  He pauses and replies, "You are not my Mom."  I want to say a lot of things, but I choose, "You are right.  I am not, but you are not listening to your Mom and my voice carries a lot better than hers.  In any case, COME IN FIVE FEET NOW OR I WILL COME AND GET YOU!"  He pauses again and says, "I don't know what five feet is."  "START SWIMMING BACK AND I WILL TELL YOU."  He did.  I thanked him.  Later, I let Nolan and him squirt me with water guns and even later Carter went swimming.  It was just him and I out there.  I said, "Carter, you are getting out too far."  He immediately came back and asked, "Is this okay?"  "Yes, Carter, that is perfect.  Thank you."  Another successful convert to "Mommy Code".  As I calapsed on the bed after my shower, I was talking to Grant.  He said, "Sounds like you had a great day."  "It was the best."  And so I am renewed.  I tank is getting full again.   This is a rough way to live, but for those days, I will do it - stubborn just like my Grandma.  Happy Wednesday, Ang

Friday, August 3, 2012

No change...

No change.  Nothing in my lungs is bigger, but nothing is smaller.  Hank is not worried, but he wants to think about all this and see if we change protocol.  He even said to me, "I need to look at the scan and see if I agree with it."  I was like, "You get to do that?" "Of course, I do!". Clearly, I really do not get how this works!  Chemo is still on for Tuesday - here is to nothin'!  I guess if i am still walkin', it is workin'.  Off to a pool party with my kids!  Love Ang

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What do you want to be when you grow up?

So, I was asking Mason the other day, what do you want to be when you grow up?  He looked at me and said, "What do you think?"  I was cautious because I don't want to put ideas in his head, but I said, "Well, I think you are really good with math, so maybe a math teacher?"  He shook his head.  Then I said, "Well, I think you would be really good and really enjoy designing cars.  Like where the engine goes, what color, etc."  (You can tell I am really "dummying" this down thinking he his 7.)  He looked at me crooked and squinted his eyes and said, "Nope, I am going to be a paleontologist." and off he skipped - yes, skipped - there is hope!  I was a little dazed and confused as I didn't know what the heck a  paleontologist was and the fact that he knew the word.  HOLY COW!  Not much has happened since last chemo, but I was funny last time in chemo......we agreed that I should get a second dose of dummy drug for a lot of good reasons, but it hit me hard, so I said things like, "Where is Mason?" and "I have been hiking for three days."  The nurses were not impressed and Elaine was like, "I am calling Grant!"  I was fine and realized that I don't need anymore dummy drugs for several reasons.....see above!  UPDATE:  Good thing - my platelets went WAY up this last time which is not normal and Hank said was magic (that was before the dummy drugs) which, of course, I rolled my eyes at.  I think it is the acupuncture, but that is just me.  Neutral thing - I had a scan yesterday which I still don't know results for.....and I don't really care......which is interesting.......odd......but I think okay.....or maybe not......I will figure it out.  I will let you know when I do!  Happy Thursday, Ang