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Friday, March 31, 2006

It's Been a While.....

...since I have had a day as crappy as today has been. Crappy really isn't a strong enough word, in fact, if I think long enough about today I could probably cry. Again. That's right folks, I was reduced to tears, and you will love hearing about the straw that broke the camel's back. I literally was literal. I, my friends, cried over spilt milk. Yes, I did. It was me, I am guilty. I literally sobbed after Nadia knocked down her cup of milk, to the point where I went to the couch, rolled up into a little ball and cried uncontrollably. I was pushed to the limit today, and I broke.

I was able to gather myself back up somehow, hoping that I haven't etched a nice warm fuzzy memory into my girls brains. To be honest though, they drove me to the breaking point today. Tag team this, tag team that, "No!!!" "I don't want to!!!" "Leave me alone!!!" These are just a few of the phrase screamed at me today. I just opened a beer, and I can hardly believe that I didn't drink a case during the day. I fear for the teachers that receive Claire. I have no clue what to do with this girl. I thought today to myself, ok, she's 3 1/2.....what the hell will she be like at 15?!? She was completely out of control the whole crappy day, and into the night I might add. Is this normal behavior? I have no clue. All I know is that I really cannot wait until next week for my breast cancer survivors retreat. I will be in the Dells at a lodge with 7 other woman under 40 who have had to deal with this crap too. I think it is a very much needed break from home. Now, excuse me while I finish my beer.....

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What's Wrong With You People?!?

Driving. It's not a right, it's a honor! How many times as teens were we told that? It was pounded into our heads. We were told of the importance of careful driving. The importance of following the rules of the road. With a balled up fist we were warned to do the right thing, or else. And that was just from our driver's ed teachers.

So there we were, 16 years old, both hands on the wheel, the music at a moderate level, no distractions....for the first few days. Then it was all about how many people can squeeze into your car, learning how hard you had to press the pedal to beat that yellow light, learning not to tick certain people off with your driving. I did learn through the help of my friend Dana, that when you skip church to go to Burger King for an ice cream sundae, there's a price to pay. God gets even, and He does so in this fashion. If you were to say....oh I don't know...have your sundae fall over and you reach down, just out of reach of your finger tips to try and pick it up, and out of no where jumps a mailbox, and even more out of no where your friend has this ear piercing shrill of a scream (I seriously would have thought I hit a small child based on that scream) and you happen to kind of, slightly, bump the mailbox post, and that mail box would happen to go flying off and into the owners yard. For example. Not that that happened or anything. Anyway, so that's how the driving experience starts.

Fast forward a few years to being an adult driver, and the more I see, the more I cannot believe that the state we live in actually gives us this little card giving us permission to get behind a wheel. Now, I'm sure that you are aware of the different types of drivers out there....slow, over cautious, fast, out of control, PSYCHO! We all have been each of these things, but some of the stuff I saw today, literally made me say, on the comfort of my rad minivan,

"What's wrong with you people?"

And I still don't know exactly how the events happened, but they did. And I sat in wonder and amazement, because that was all I could do.

Imagine, if you will, a four way lighted intersection in the shape of a "t". Well, not like a keyboard "t" because as I look at it now, it really doesn't look like that, but like a "t" you would hand write. Ok. That's settled. Phew! Anyway, I am at the bottom of the "t", waiting for my light to change. Now, if I look to my right, there is a line of cars waiting for the green arrow to turn left. I will add here that it seemed like the lights were pretty long, but I noticed mixed in with the line of cars was a police SUV (you know, in case they have to go off-roading in Red Wing). So let's set this up.....

One car facing me (example C)

<------------- waiting to turn traffic(example B)
t r a f f i c (example A)------------------------------>

Me (example...I don't need one, I rock.)

Wow. That was a challenge to plot out in this blog. Ok, so example A decides that at a controlled intersection he will do a U-turn. Shame shame shame....that's illegal. But on top of it, he was towing a boat. Now keep in mind that sitting with the rest of the people in the example B area is a COP! Who does NOTHING! I would put money down that I would have the cherries a flashin' behind me if I had done that. Guaranteed. So I sat in my example I rock area, shaking my head, not really too excited about hings since that does happen all of the time in the state of Minnesota. What followed, blew me away. A mere 5 cars in front of the cop SUV is a person, who at that very moment, had what I imagined to be the following conversation.

"That's it! We have been sitting here for, what now? 2 minutes?!? And the light has not changed. I can see all the cars in example A have a green light, where the hell is ours? How can they expect us to sit here for so long, just waiting for the light to turn the color of snot?!? I have important places to go, and I cannot sit here any longer. Hold on Bertha, I'm gunning it, and I don't care that there is a cop back there. He should write a ticket for whoever controls the lights. This is insane! Here we go!"


And there went example B. My mouth dropped open as I watched them run a red left turn arrow, without batting an eyelash. But what floored me even more was the fact that the cop, yet again, did NOTHING. Dude! They just ran a light! In front of you! Pretend to care. Make your siren go whoop whoop with warning, flash your headlights, shake your fist, do ANYTHING! Uphold the law, like you promised to do! Fight for what's right damn it, I know you would if I were the one running lights and do other naughty things!

And I watched in horror as the red light runner, slowly made their way up the hill and in the direction of Walmart. For someone who was so impatient they had to run a red light, they sure didn't drive very fast.

So it was at this point in time that I said, out loud, to no one, in my car,

"What's wrong with you people?"

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

You be the judge....

Nadia or I? Claire or Dion?

After talking with my sister-in-law tonight I decided to post the following. Of course when we talk, it revolves a lot around our kids and what they do, and (tonight) who they look like. So I decided to dig out some old pictures of Dion and I when we were young, just to compare. The results were shocking! Sorry. That was a little dramatic, but I have Idol on TV in the background, and I think that's what they just said. Anyway, I showed the pictures to Claire and she said what I thought she would. She called me Nadia, and she called Dion herself...too funny. So here they are, the famous pictures.....ok, not really famous, but interesting, none the less.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You May Not Know

There are many things that I have learned in my little cancer journey, as I have stated before. But something that you may not know is the following. Well, actually, this applies to not only cancer, but any sort of really big thing that has happened in your life. But since cancer is pretty big for me, I will use that example. Anyway, I have learned this (are you dying to know?!?)....when it has come to MY cancer (I speak only for myself here), I have found two types of people in this world. Angels and a**holes.

"Sue! Whatever do you mean?"

I was hoping you would ask that very questions, so I have come more prepared than I EVER was in college, to answer that very question. To solve the mysteries of the world, to find out what came first: the chicken or the egg, to discover.....nevermind. I'll stick to cancer. So where do we start? Angels or a**holes? Let's dissect the a**holes first, shall we? Come, take my hand. Let me tell you a story or two.

1. The radiologist who asked me, an 8 month pregnant woman, why I was crying about having a biopsy. "It's just a biopsy"-----a**hole.

2. The dentist who said "Wow. You know people die from cancer?" after I told him why I needed the filling done ASAP----a**hole.

3. The telemarketer who said this, after I told him all of our money goes to my cancer, "Well, how about a smaller amount?"----BIG a**hole.

4. When I was told not to use cancer as an excuse----a**hole.

5. When my husband was asked why I had cut my hair SO short when it was finally growing back---ok, not an a**hole, just not so smart.

6. The people who decided not to come around much these past 2 years for what I assume was because they couldn't deal with my cancer----again, not really a**holes, I can't say I totally blame them. I didn't like seeing me all bald, bleeding, weak, and sick, but there are times when you need to do the right thing and you need to put your own feeling aside. I will get off of my soap box now...

There. That wasn't too bad, was it? Only 6 that I could think of, right off the bat (Dang it! You caught me. Just like in college, I appeared to be prepared, but I really wasn't). Ok, on to the angels, which you should know, overpower those a**holes ten times over.

1. All the people who put meals together for us---angels.

2. All the donations given to us---angels.

3. My friend, my surgeon----angel, she saved my life in ways she'll never know.

4. Bill at Mayo who brings me a Diet Coke from his private stash every week because I hate Pepsi--- HUGE angel!

5. Most of the nurses I have come in contact with have been wonderful----angels.

6. SIS, my online support group---angels.

7. The friends who traveled to see me, and those in town who bent over backwards to help us

8. My family---angels.

9. The hairdresser who agreed to shave my head before my hair fell out---angel.

10. My Mayo oncologist----funny angel.

11. My neighbors who didn't react to my reflective head when I ran outside without my
bandana on---angels

12. The anethesiologists---angels in "high" places (I couldn't resist!).

13. The people who have taken the time to actually read this and post a comment or two---

14. My husband---there's not enough space here to site examples on why he has been an angel
through all of this crap.

So you see? I said the angels reined over the party poopers, and they still do. Every once in a while I have to deal with an a**hole or two, but I try to keep things in perspective now a days. I still get worked up about some things, life would be dull if I didn't, but it's all about moderation people! Mod-er-a-tion!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty

Cats. I never thought that I would invest in them. Especially since we are dog people. But we did it. And now we have two of them, Tater & Cotton. They are awesome, as far as cats go. They are friendly, and all about the lovin'. But now we enter the world of Wild Kingdom, and the fun begins.

Keep in mind here that I have had, in the past, issues with sleeping through the night. We can place the blame on stress, or the hot flashes from hell, but either way, I had a hard time sleeping through the night. Until recently. I have thrown away my sleeping pills (ok, not really, but I don't use them anymore), I sleep all the way through the night, enjoying every comatose minute. Until recently.

Now, I sleep with two pillows, I'm not sure why, but I do. I, in fact, think that two pillows is part of my back problems, but we need to prioritize here. Focus people, focus! So sometimes one pillow pushes up and in reality I am only sleeping on one pillow, which brings into question why I have two. But that's another story. There I am sleeping soundly, something I treasure now a days, and I hear this God awful noise, and something is pulling on my hair. Damned if Tater isn't CHEWING on my hair and sitting on the pillow that has escaped my head. Chewing. He's chewing my hair! What is wrong with that cat? Then again, what is wrong with me letting all of the wild kingdom animals in our bedroom? Why? Because they are our pets, and as humans, we are dumb. That's why. Plain and simple. What more could I say?

Not So Kwik

Last night we went to another one of our favorite comics, Lewis Black, there's more to come about that later. Now, I will step up to the plate here and tell you right off the bat that I was wrong. From other posts you will remember that I have been wrong in the past, and I sure as hell will be wrong in the future, but in this case, I think I was mislead. I will find out where I exactly went wrong, because I am border-line psychotic and need to know. Anyway, back to my mistake, I thought the show was at 6:30 PM at Mystic Lake Casino, which is an hour away from here. We were hauling to get there in time, and of course got lost and had to call our friend Jeff for help. Murphy's Law. He sneaks that law into my life over and over, but that's another story.

Anyway, Dion had the idea that I stop at Old McDonald's (as Claire calls it), but his co-worker Charlie had the better idea that we just snack on the way there and then eat at the buffet after the show. Sounded good to me. It was up to me to stop and get some snacky foods, with the added pressure of Dion's "Surprise me" in answer to what snacks he wanted. I have a lot of pressure in my life, you know, in general. To add the pressure of finding just the right snack for the both of us was too much. I left a half an hour early to find just the right tastey treats for the both of us. Now, keep in mind the limitations I had right as I walked in the door of Kwik Trip. Well, limitations for the average person, I myself find their food rather tastey, but you knew that already. So, I had to steer clear of the gas station food, and hit the pre-packaged things, and maybe something from the bakery.

Beverages first....I knew from the get go that Dion would enjoy whole milk, because well, he does. Whole milk....check! I ventured out and got strawberry milk (I had a rather bad experience with tequila Rose so you can understand the risk I took in getting strawberry milk). Now for eateries...I knew Twinkies would be a hit, so I got some of those. Then I thought, well, what if he's in the mood for brownies or cookies or something? So I got some mini-bite brownies from the "bakery". Then I thought, well, that's great for Dion, but what about me? So I go to the pre-packaged snack isle and come across a super duper deal of, 3 Nabisco bags of deliciousness for $2.00! Not just any bags, but the Big Grab bags that normally cost $.99 EACH! What a steal! I picked out 3 bags and with my arms full, I headed to the cashier. Now for a split second I wondered how I was appearing to other people. My arms full of, well, just pure junk. I didn't think the milk could pass as being healthy because one was whole and one was some sort of artificial flavor, and I don't think that's all healthy stuff. I quickly went to the cashier and piled all of my stuff on the counter and mumbled, "No gas" which is even worse. That statement right there confirms that the only reason I walked into the gas station, was to do just what I was doing. I felt a little like Winona Rider in the movie Realty Bites, except My Sharona wasn't playing on the radio. Oh, and it was MY credit card, not my dad's.

So here's where the fun starts. The cashier looks down and says, "So are we in the mood for snackin' or is this for someone else?" Uhhhhh.....

Then for some reason I felt the need to go into detail on why I was buying all of the crap food I was buying, and what we were doing that night, and where we were going, and even (sigh) the whole story on how we were going to eat at the buffet. Keep in mind the whole time I was stuttering and acting like I was just caught stealing a Twix bar. I had to get out of there. And fast. And I did. And we ate our snacks, and we made it to the show on time, because you see, it started at 7:30PM, not 6:30PM (I will find where I read that it started at 6:30PM. Mark my words...). and, as I am sure you are all wondering, we went to the buffet after the show, and it was ok. I like our local casinos better, maybe because I am more familiar with it, I don't know.

Either way, I think next time I will go to the store and not a gas station for tastey treats because for some reason, I don't think I would be quizzed on why I was buying what I was buying. Plus I could get a shirt or something too, and who wouldn't want that?!?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Pause

At 31, I have become a hunter. My victim, like others, is speechless, but mocks me none the less. I zig, he zags. I spend a lot of time just trying to locate my prey, like a deer hunter in a tree stand. If I lose sight of him, I know I just have to be patient....he'll be back.... mocking me in his mean-spirited mockery.

I squint as to try and see him better....where the hell did he go? I can feel him, but I can't see him. I don't even like hunting, and there I sat, waiting. And waiting. And looking. Where the hell is it?!? I try to look from different angles, at no avail. I try to rely on the light to help me see him, and sometimes, at the right angle, I see the punk. Then quick as a flash, he's gone. Again. I lost him again!

Sigh. Well, I guess I will just have to give up for now. I know I will have another opportunity in the near future. I know that I will be able to hear Dion say, "What the hell is that? Is that a hickey?" I know that I will be able to explain to him again that with my chemically induced menopause comes some rather prickly unwanted facial hair. I know that next time my tweezers won't fail me and I will pull that punk out from the root, hold it up in the air and produce a victory scream for all to hear. Until the punk grows back.

Claire & her cousin Kaitlyn

The four buddies!

Mark & Claire

Nadia & Liza

The kids watching Monsters Inc

Who's two?!?

A happy little girl!

Nadia's Birthday

Technically, it's today, but we celebrated with friends and family yesterday. A huge huge thanks to all that made it, we hope you had a good time. I totally enjoyed watching all of the kids run around our house, screaming, laughing, and playing. The ages of kids were 8 weeks to almost 4 years old.

Anyway, we had a good time. I can't remember the last time I ate so much food, but dang it was good! Toot toot (that's be tooting my own horn, and one for Dion too)! Claire had some issues watching Nadia open gifts. She kept saying that she wanted to share with Nadia, even if Nadia wasn't ready to share. I will say though that all in all, the kids were really good with sharing and such.

So, I thought I would post some pictures of the days events for all to enjoy. And you will enjoy them, won't you? Won't you?

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The First and the Last

The following might make some people uncomfortable, but since this is my blog, and it's about how I feel, I am going to write it, not out of spite or anger, but because I need to.

The title of this entry basically says it all. I ended my post yesterday saying,

"Let me be the first to say to myself, Happy Cancerversary. Here's to many more."

I was the first, and the last person to say this to me. My two years of struggle, pain, tears, fear, hopelessness, accomplishments, and goals went unnoticed. I shouldn't say that, they have been noticed, but it would have been nice if yesterday, even if it were one person, said something like,

"Wow, it's been quite a ride, huh?"

Why is this such a big thing for me? I have no clue. Why do I feel so sad about it? Again, no idea. All I know is that I just do. But, that day is gone, and now it's time to celebrate my baby. She will be two tomorrow, but her party is today. We have a nice size group coming over, a little under 20 or so, I think, and there's still lots to do.

So, I am rolling up my sleeves, and getting down to business. Today is a new day, with the hopes of another one right around the corner. Life is good, please don't take this entry as woe is me, life sucks, blah blah blah, because it doesn't. Most of the time. I have been blessed with many wonderful people in my lives, a lot of which will be here today, and that is what is important.

Now, let's eat some cake!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Today Is Like This....

First of all I have to tell you that we got another 4-6 inches of snow yesterday...another snow day for the schools.

Second, you should know that Claire and Nadia's day care provider who had a lump removed, received good news. It was a cyst....thank you God!!

Ok, now on to me. I have been thinking about today all week, and oddly enough, I seem to be floating in this void of blackness, more so than last year. So I have been thinking, wondering why this year seems to be harder for me than last year, and I haven't figured it out yet, so maybe on this writing journey, I will stumble across something that makes a little light bulb go off in my tired head.

There are parts of me that feel like I should be celebrating, thanking the heavens that I am around another year, thanking them for all that I have learned, all of the people I have met, for all of the changes cancer has brought to me. And I guess I do that every day, one way or another, but my cancerversary has kind of let me down. Sort of like how I feel about my birthday in the past few years. I feel excited as though something magical is going to happen, until the day arrives, and it is just another day where I am either working, or in the case of the past few years, going to Mayo, or taking care of the kids.

I don't really know what I am expecting to have happen, or why I am expecting something to happen, but I am left sitting here, questioning why I am feeling the way I am feeling. It's been two years since I heard, "We've found some cancer in there". I guess I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop, to hear those words again, to just get it over with. My cancerversary. What does that mean to me? Where to start....

The day my life changed forever
The day that I held onto my pregnant belly, hoping I had not damaged her
The day I was so afraid of my kids growing up without a mom
The day that I felt so much sadness for Dion, so much guilt, what had I done to him?
The day time seemed to literally go tick tick tick in a loud drum-like fashion
The day that I dreaded to go home and tell my mom of what was to come
The day that I learned who was in it for the long haul
The day that I learned exactly how strong the people around me were
The day I learned how strong I was
The day that I vowed to fight like hell
The day that I began meeting incredible people
The day that I began seeing myself in a different light
The day that started my new life

So, after all of this writing, I still haven't really sorted out my emotions for the day. I would like to have fireworks, loud music, maybe a little beer, everyone cheering for me, balloons (just not close to me), and a little piece of paper that when I open it says this about a recurrence,

"Yes you will"


"No you won't"

Is that so much to ask for?

Ok, back to realty, I have to finish cleaning and cooking since we have a little girl turning two this weekend, and a party to throw. So, let me be the first to say to myself, "Happy Cancerversary, here's to many more."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Good Old March

I am here to go on record that I was right. We did NOT get 6-8 inches of snow yesterday. We got 12-18 inches. I have never missed work due to weather. I have gone home early, but I have never not been able to get to work. Until yesterday. I gunned the minivan out of the driveway and proceeded to get stuck in the street. That was the end of that. Claire asked why the van was broken. So there I was, hauling the girls back into the house for a snow day.

Dion had called a little after 7AM to tell me he was stuck but a guy was helping him shovel his way out. That was the last I heard from him, until 4 hours later. Keep in mind, I had our scanner on listening for crashes, which I heard plenty of, but also heard that they had closed some roads in town (which were the roads that Dion would have been on). I called his work to see if they had heard from him. Nope. Great. I got a glimpse of the helpless feelings that I am sure Dion has had watching me go through treatments and surgeries. I could look out the window and see my van right there, but I could do nothing. I couldn't go look for him, I couldn't contact him, I had no idea if he was ok or in a ditch or just diving blind in the often white out conditions. I felt useless, helpless, and scared.

He walked through the door a little over four hours after I first talked to him. WOOOSH! In case you didn't know, that is the sound relief makes when it hits your body. He was soaked literally head to toe, freezing, and had to walk from the end of our street since they hadn't plowed our road yet and the car couldn't make it through. What an adventure. I will put this part in because I think this guy will have his payback any time now...a guy pulled over to help Dion and said,

"Money talks, bullsh*t walks." And after a half hearted attempt to help Dion, he left. What a wonderful person. Someone whose parents are very proud of, I'm sure. Idiot.

So that was our day yesterday. I was lucky enough to have our neighbor snow blow me out of the street before the plows came. I have to admit that I did burn some rubber, only after the insistence of my neighbor....

"Gun it like you mean it!!!!"

Yikes! Ok! I think I wore off a layer of my tires. So, I am getting ready to go to treatment (7 weeks left!!) and hopefully the roads won't be too bad. It's sunny out now, so maybe a lot of the ice melted. In any case, I don't really want to go out today, but I must. Then I have to get ready for Nadia's birthday party this weekend. Two years old......where did my baby go?

All in one day....yikes

Sunday, March 12, 2006


I can look outside from where I sit and I see the sun shining bright, a little amount of snow left over, and really just a pretty day all around. So I have to wonder when they say on Weather Bug that we are going to get 6-9 inches of snow today/tonight. How could that be true? I will let you know either way what has happened.

We were VERY lucky when we found our day care provider. She was actually the first place that we interviewed when I was pregnant with Claire. We knew she was the one we were going to entrust with our little girl. Now, over three years later, and lots of health ups and downs for both of us, she is going in to have a lump removed. we go again. She is in our thoughts and prayers that it is nothing. I will keep you posted on that too.

Now I have to end this fast because I have Thing 1 and Thing 2 trying to pull some fast ones. More to come.....