Wednesday, August 30, 2006
In all of my cancer crap, I have become fond of change, very much the opposite of how I used to be. I see it as a way to try something I might not have tried before. I see it as a learning experience, albeit maybe not always a fun one, but something new. Something different. A change in the daily routine, a way to shake things up a little bit. A way to remind myself that I am still alive and that things affect me in a way that they should, and not because I am dying.
Maybe it is because I have been through so many changes in the past year that it just doesn't bother me like it used to. There is something to be said about remaining on ones comfort zone, but I say to hell with the comfort zone now-a-days. Stability? Nah, who needs it? Ok, that last one is a reach, but you get what I am saying, right?
I have decided that I need to mix things up a bit in my life. One of the ways that I am going to do such mixing, is by pursuing my writing of children's books. I have a handful of stories typed up, but I have no clue what to do with them now. I need illustrations for one, and for two, I guess some kind of representation would be helpful in my crusade. So here's your challenge. Rack your mind a little bit and see if there is someone that I could get in contact with, someone to help get the ball rolling for me. In the meantime I will be heading out to our local little bookstore and pick their brains too. This is actually something that has been stewing in my brain for a few years, but I guess I haven't been ready to embrace this change until now. I am ready to run with it.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Other days, it seems like a little blip in my life, something I can look back on and say, "thank God that's over". But most days, it's just there. Kind of nibbling in the corner of my mind, wanting to take over, but unable to because of me. It takes almost all of the energy I have to keep cancer at bay, to keep it from controlling every aspect of my life. But I do it. Somehow. I do it so I can live. Now, that's not to say that I don't have some days that are bad, because I do. Some days when I can use all of the power I have and cancer still wins. But I think these days are healthy too. They remind me of what is important. They remind me that I am human and not just a pin cushion, a statistic, a lab rat.
Other things that I keep in mind is that it could have been so much worse. It could have spread, it could have been too late. A lot of people say that it's never too late. Don't say that to a cancer patient who has it in their bones, lungs, brain. That is a sad sad thought to me, and even more sad is that it could have been me, but it also still can be me.
Sigh. I have just been called for dinner. My lovely husband has put together a nice Italian meal, and it smells just wonderful. I am just happy that I am here to smell it.
Let's talk about last Friday a little bit, shall we? Actually, we should back up to Thursday when we had some storms roll through town. Dion was out to eat with work and I was at home with the girls. He was at least an hour away, so the issue boiled down to what if the storm got worse without much warning? So I took the girls and their dinner downstairs. I had to do a little cleaning up since things were a little messy from our garage sale this summer. So for two hours we sat downstairs, and the girls loved it. Now I had a mission.
Friday I decided that I would make the basement as child friendly as I could, in hopes that eventually the girls could have all of their stuff downstairs and we could have our living room back. The girls played as I put together metal shelves, and unlike the first set of shelves I put together a few months back, I had relatively no issues. I finally pulled my junk together and didn't put the shelves on backwards, used minimal naughty words, had very few injuries, and actually was not afraid to put things on the shelves when I was done. Not too shabby.
After assembling the metal shelves (2 sets of them) I had the job of moving all of our tools from the ledge in the stairwell of the basement, downstairs into the storage room where the magnificent shelves now resided. Up the stairs, down the stairs, up the stairs, down the stairs, hammers, nails, screws, drills, saws, straight edges, man, we have a lot of tools! How come we don't build more things? The whole process took me from 10am to after 5pm.
Ok, so remember when I said I was trying to stop biting my nails before? I still am, and the only way that I am able to do that is by putting fake nails on. And no, not the kind from a salon, the kind from Walmart that cost about $9, since that's about all of the money we have right now. So there I was with my pretty little nails, putting nuts and bolts into the shelves, moving tools, and when does a fingernail pop off? Well, of course it is when I am zipping Dion's tool bag closed, the last thing I did in that whole endeavor. Can you even believe it?
Friday, August 25, 2006
Wow, not only can this boy sing his little heart out, but man! Yummy!
So here's what happened. Dawn and I went out to eat and met her daughter's boyfriend who had the tickets. He said he did a little better than he thought, ummm...yeah he did! 10th row center seats 3 and 4. Awesome. Then he had these little patches with the tickets. I thought it was very nice of him to get us some iron-ons...until I read it and it said "After Show". Backstage, baby! I will never forget this night as long as I live. It was a once in a lifetime type of thing because when would I ever be in a room with all these guys again?!? Unless of course they realise that I really should be on tour with them as not only their personal gawker, but also as the one who shoos away anyone I deem necessary. They wouldn't even have to pay me, all they'd have to do is sing a little ditty to me three times a day. That's all. Oh, I have to mention too that when Ace threw his little cap thing into the audience, the girl right in front of us caught it. I should have used this extra weight of mine in my favor and tackled her. Ahhh....shoulda, coulda, woulda....
I am still in awe.....
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Sigh. It's hard to use so much of my energy on these cancer checks. You brain wanders too much, you start thinking, "Ok, what if....then I will have to......" thoughts, which are just a waste of time because it is what it is what it is, nothing else. On the brighter side, I was able to see some of my staff buddies from Mayo, which is ALWAYS nice. I enjoy chatting with them, and miss that on a regular basis. And I also felt better when Dion complained about the crazy elevator people who don't let you off before plowing their way through, which is something that I may have complained about a few times.
I did talk to my doctor about my weight gain and he said sadly that it is most likely from the study I am in, chemically induced menopause. That sucks. I am in it for another 3 years. I will have to figure things out.
Ok, on to other things. Some funny things that made me laugh....
- Nadia was eating fried chicken and peeling the crunchy skin. She said she was taking the paper off.
- There are way too many naked men statues at Mayo, one of them watched us eat breakfast.
- My doctor said to me today, 'Well, some people are just weird" to which Dion was behind me nodding. That wasn't too funny....
Hmm. I guess that is all of the funny things I can think of right now. Sad. I think I am just really tired. After we got back into town I went to the YMCA for my massage appointment, which was wonderful. I smell like a candy cane right now because of the oil she used. Awesome. What a perfect way to end my stressful day. Now, it's time to chill on the couch with the girls. Later!
Sunday, August 20, 2006
When I was in college, I used to get into my car and just drive when things got to be too much. Of course gas back then was about a buck a gallon, rather affordable. Oh how things have changed. I can't just run away from what I am thinking right now, I have responsibilities. I would like to say that Dion and I are going to sit down and talk about this, but we have been avoiding each other probably for that very reason. We are not mad at each other or anything like that, but we have traveled this road for the past 2 and a half years. I think to talk more about this would put me back to the time of the misdiagnosis, and I can't go back there right now. I am speaking for myself, but I believe Dion feels the same way.
Just when you think you have a pretty good handle on all of this cancer crap......
Now I will admit that I do not put everything into this blog that I think about. Surprising, I know. But there are some things that completely belong in my head at the moment. Time might pass and I could feel ok about writing about it (like my post "Something You May Not Know"), but it may not. That is the beauty of blogging. It is totally in my control, and I can change what I want, like this color and font style, but more than anything, it is a free way to work through some of my issues, as opposed to going to a head doctor. As long as I can continue writing, I think I will be fine.
Blogging is a pretty neat world. There's lots to read about, lots of people to meet, lots of stories to hear. Take a look around. You might see one that you put into your favorites and check on a daily basis.
When we first walked in, to the right was the whole Huck Finn type set up. To the right were two rows of chairs, and then some tables set up. Every single parent/grandparent that were sitting there, looked like they were waiting at the DMV for hours. Seriously. No expressions, no talking, no nothing. I looked at the guy who we paid and I said, "All they always like this?" He said yes. Man, not us! We were going to have fun at this place. When we first got there, we only had about 6-10 other kids there with us. Perfect. And no one over 12 is supposed to be in there and I think that was followed for the most part.
Anyway, we jumped right in. I took the girls up the little rock wall thing to go down the slide, not knowing that a little boy was right behind me and ended up sliding into my neck. We were off to a rough start, but the girls were having a blast.
Dion and I would do tag teaming with the girls, so we both ended up running around a lot. I think we motivated some parents though, because then I started to see parents going in and doing the goofy things we were doing. I ran into a dad, who informed me that the set up was kind of hard to do as an adult, and he was right. The girls loved going into the bouncy area, but as time went by, older kids started coming the the park. Now, on the bouncy thing, there are rules of, no flips, no climbing on the netting, no jumping from the entrance, and no one over 47 inches. There were some kids in there who were doing all of those things, knocking down kids, including mine. So I walked up to the netting and said,"
"I am pretty sure you are not supposed to be doing flips, and I KNOW you are taller than 47 inches."
Their response? "Yeah, but it's fun."
Nice parenting, folks. I loved how some of the parents just sat there, I suppose trying to keep the drool from falling from their mouths, or maybe contemplating how they can run the world, or maybe both. But I will say that the bigger kids came out of the bouncy thing after that and were careful if they went back in. I was ok with that, as long as my kids weren't getting hurt.
I went around the corner and saw Dion standing there with a look on his face and he tells me that he went around the corner and saw a kid putting Nadia into a head lock type of thing, but he wasn't sure if it was intentional, or how they came down the slide. Mental note: keep an eye on The Little Crap With a Red Shirt (to be called TLCWARS from here on out. Interesting what the acronyms spell).
Nadia decided to go back into the bouncy and TLCWARS is in there too. I stand on the outside watching, and TLCWARS has a look in his eye, and tends to bounce pretty close to Nadia. He was watching to see if I was watching the whole time. I pretend to turn around and walk away, and do a quick spin in time to see him bounce right at Nadia's feet, trying to knock her over. I walk up to the net and say/kind of yell the following,
"Hey! Are you trying to knock my kid down?!?"
He stopped, luckily for him. I had Nadia come out and we went to another area of the park. Time passes, and I am now with Claire running around. She has made a friend with this little boy who kind of looks like Urkle, but they're having fun, running around playing. They go into this one area that as a parent, you have to go into the whole Huck Finn structure, around a tree, and through some rock wall type things to see the area that your child has just gone. I did that and saw Claire playing with Urkle. I went back out because she looked like she was coming out. I waited. Nothing, so I go back through in time to see TLCWARS with his hands covering Claire's mouth, and Claire struggling. Oh, the gloves came off. I didn't kind of yell, I yelled.
"HEY! Keep your hands off of my kid!!!"
He dropped his hands and I went up to the mesh and put my face as close as I could to him.
"Do you understand me? You stay away from my kids!"
He looked at me.
"DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?!?!?"
He nodded. I have never felt anger quite like that. This kid was probably 5, but I didn't care. You don't come between a kid and their mother, you will suffer. I wanted to pull TLCWARS out of the structure and find who he belongs too, but that probably would have landed me in jail or gotten a lawsuit slapped on me. Man was I mad! Unfortunately, Urkle started to play with TLCWARS, so Claire couldn't play with him anymore. She did alright with that because TLCWARS really scared her.
Well, besides Mama Bear having to make an appearance, the place was awesome. I don't think a lot of people know about it since it was never really packed with kids like Chuck E Cheese gets, which was nice, and you had to be under 12 to play, which was even better. There were no games to play, which meant the only extra money we spent was on crackers, sodas, and juice. So, if you have a kid and come to visit, maybe we can make the little roadtrip to Woodbury and do some serious playing. Or we could sit and pretend that we are at the DMV, since it seems like that was the thing to do if you were a parent. Nah. You can't hold me down......
Friday, August 18, 2006
"Why hi Sally! Fancy meeting you in the bathroom with your stall door open! Nice undies!"
People, if you live by me, please never let me walk into a public bathroom to see you peeing. That's all I ask.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
And I feel myself getting almost too laxed about cancer. You know, when you let your guard down and are knocked in the gut again, just because you got too cocky.
Anyway, Monday is bloodwork, chest X-ray, my last echo (yahhhhooo!!), and then we meet with the doctor. Somewhere in there we are going to hit Quizno's because their Prime Rib Sang-witch is delicious. I recommend it as follows:
two squirts of honey mustard
absolutely mouth watering. In fact, my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it. Mmmmmm.....sang-witch......
So think of me on Monday, and Dion who will be with me, and for the love of God, go get a Prime Rib sang-witch from Quizno's!
"So are you excited to go back to school?" I asked one of my college kids.
"Yeah, I'm transferring this year from Rochester to Mankato" said college kid
"Is this a good thing?" I asked him.
"Yeah, Rochester is.....well, boring."
"And Mankato is.....?"
"Funner." replied my college kid.
Funner. I laughed pretty hard at that one. Ahhhh....from the mouth of our future. But seriously, he has been one of my best employees in my 5 years at this job. He's a lot of fun, and the only guy so you can imagine all the crap he gets.
Ok. Person number two:
The scene setting.....My lead staff was voicing her concern about her granddaughter who was being a little sassy.
"I don't want your lip!" lead staff said to her granddaughter.
"Yeah, and how would you even get them off of her face anyway?" said another child.
And THAT is why I love working with kids.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
What you may not know though, is that it has taken me almost this long to bond with Nadia. There was a part in my heart that didn't want to bond with this new baby, knowing that I may not be there to watch her grow. I didn't want her to miss my love, my touch, me. I was very reserved when it came to Nadia, and have been until the last 6 months or so. Now, this is not to be confused with me not loving Nadia. I do. And I have. With all that I am. I call her my "cancer catcher", I love her smile, her laugh, her little pouty lip. But I am starting to feel like I am in a position where I will be able to watch my girls grow, watch them go to school, watch them turn into beautiful women.
Sad that I have wasted these past two years, but there was no way around it. There was no way to get into my brain and "get over it", as someone once said. I still have the fear, maybe not daily, but it's there. But at least I have my kids back.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
- This year we had 74 teams participate in the Shuffle.
- There were over 7500 Luminaria bags this year.
- Last year we raised after all was said and done, about $139,000, this year, as of now, we have raised about $143,000. Keep in mind that some money will still trickle in for the next few weeks, so the total will probably be even more.
- I had 13 Luminaria bags out there for me, I collected them this morning and they will be going into my cancer box (my Rubbermaid of all my cancer stuff...test results, balloons, cards, wrist bands, everything is in there).
- Because of the population of our county, and how much money per capita that we raise, last year we ranked 8th in the nation with the American Cancer Society, we just may have beat that this year.
So there are some fun facts for you to ponder. I had said before that I thought this year would be something special, and it was. What I hadn't planned on was all of the resurfacing emotions of the loss of my friend Annette. She had a lot of bags out there, all with love and grief. I spent a good amount of time crying and hugging her family when the bags were all illuminated. I know she was watching and right in the middle of all of those hugs. She had to have been.
I am pondering joining the volunteer program for the Shuffle for next year. I want to do more. I need to do more. And speaking of doing more, thanks to all of you who donated to me this year. I raised a lot more money than last year, which of course is the goal. And I also have receipts to copy and get off to all of you for your taxes. I can't thank you enough. I hope you know how important you all are to me, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Dion's mom was going to come up to watch the girls for us while we did the walk, but called last night and said she was sick. Dion and I really want to stay the whole night together because it seems like every year something happens and Dion has to go home for the night. No, wait, I think Dion stayed the whole night last year, but anyway, I called my mom and asked if she could stay with the girls, and in true Carol fashion, she will.
I will be turning in about another $150 making my total $1059!! Dion and I together brought in $2059...not too shabby folks! I think maybe next year the girls might be old enough to stay down there with us, but we'll see.
Ok, I have to find another tent, since Dion was right about the one that I set up this morning (it was missing the rain fly and it wasn't the tent I thought it was), and I have to get some other things together, so I must go. Like I promised, I will be posting pictures some time this weekend after the grand event.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
I kid you not, the girl that helped me said the following...
"I can go ahead and call you...."
"You can go ahead and delete the message...."
"Sometimes if you go ahead and turn the phone off, it will clear the system...."
"After you go ahead and delete the message, if the icon is still there, you can go ahead and give us a call back...."
"...then call us and the tech people can go ahead and figure out what's going on with your phone...."
"So Peter, I need you to go ahead and make sure you have the cover sheet on your TPS reports."
Ok, the last one is a quote from Office Space, the lady didn't actually say that to me. But, she did leave the following as a message on my voice mail....
"Hi Sue, this is (worker's name here) from (cell phone company name here). So you can just go ahead and delete this message."