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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I Have Figured it Out

Dion got home after midnight last night/this morning, and then was gone again by 9am until Friday. Do you want to hear the not-so-funny part of this trip he is on? We have another snowstorm coming Wed-Fri....will he get home this time? Lord only knows. So, while I am recovering from the first blast of snow, I am getting geared up for the next one.

On to the thing that I have figured out. So it has been a lot of work being a single parent for over a week. From getting them up in the morning, feeding them, getting them to school and/or daycare, picking them up, shopping, making dinner playing, etc. I have figured out the most dreaded time of the day. The time of day that I fear, that I hate, the time of day that shows that my patience is next to nothing....bedtime. The girls now share a room, on their request, and since they were sneaking into each others rooms anyway I figured it didn't matter. So they are sharing a room, and a bed. I know, I know. I look at them sharing a bed, feet to feet, thinking about kids that HAVE to share a bed. My kids are odd. Anyway, they sneak into the bathroom and create a mess or two, they sneak into Nadia's old room (which is now a little play room), they sneak into our extra room....basically I have no control over them what-so-ever. I have resorted to drawing a sad face on a 3 pieces of paper and I use those as warnings. Right now they have 2 sad faces. At 3 sad faces, they are spilt up which makes them very sad. There is much crying and wailing at that point, and usually they just get exhausted and fall asleep. I hate bed time, in case I didn't tell you.

Please, for the love of God, if you have any suggestions on what to do at night, let me know. For the sake of my sanity.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oooooohhhhhhhh.....

My......sore.....sore.....body. I no longer like the snow. It is evil and makes me hurt. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Snow






There really isn't anything else to name this post. We got hit this weekend with an impressive storm that left our little town covered in 12 inches of snow. It was wonderful to be able to watch the storm, knowing that we had no where we had to be. We watched movies, ate popcorn, and snuggled under a blanket (all of this of course when the girls weren't running around screaming and playing). I have included some pictures of the snow and the girls. They played outside while I used the snow blower to dig ourselves out so I could go to work tomorrow. It's some heavy snow out there and I worked up a nice sweat. One picture is the view from outside out garage, and another view is out our back door tonight. What a crazy weekend.


The good thing is although Dion is stuck in Vegas until Tuesday night, the hotel felt bad for him and upgraded his room. He was giddy as he told me about the kitchen, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, the whirlpool tub, and the greatness of it all. I said he deserved it after last night. He got about 2 hours of sleep on the airport floor. I am sure he is going to sleep like a baby. I hope he takes this opportunity to relax and have a nice time. There's nothing else to do.


Ok, I am going to post my pics and play with the girls a little more before bed. Happy snow day!

(Not) Leaving Las Vegas

Dion is stuck in Vegas until Tuesday night. He had to sleep in the airport last night as there were no rooms available. I have no clue how that is possible, but that is what the flight was told. The earliest he can get out of there is Tues after 6pm. Then he was supposed to be up north with work again Tuesday morning, but obviously that isn't going to happen. I hope they tell him he doesn't have to go, but I doubt that will happen.

The snow looks like it might be letting up a bit, so at some point I will have to go out and snow blow. At least if I want to get out of the driveway for work tomorrow. This was quite the snow storm we got, but I think it might be almost over. One of my friends called last night and they live about an hour or so away (south of us) and they got about a foot yesterday and they were predicting another foot today. Crazy. I can't even imagine.

Ok, have to tend to the kids, or kid, actually, Nadia is still asleep. We may even go out and play for a bit. Although they are afraid of the snow blower so I am not quite sure how I am going to pull that one off. Never fear, I will think of something!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Blah Blah Blah

Yackity Yak. I really do not have an appropriate title for this post because to be honest, I don't know what to write about yet. I could mention I suppose that Dion is supposed to be flying home early Sunday morning and I fear that he won't make it if we get all the snow they are talking about. That would suck because he is supposed to go out of town again on Tuesday until Friday.

Or, I could mention the fact that our town has a pretty good Salvation Army not only for some of the bargains I find there, but they take all my crap! Goodbye clothes that used to fit! Goodbye toys that no one plays with anymore (Sue waves hand frantically)!

How about we talk about American Idol and how that young guy is still in the running. What the heck were people thinking? He sounded horrible! I gasped when I found out he wasn't the one going home. If D were here he would have laughed at me. Sniff.

Or we can talk about Lasik surgery and the fact that I have been thinking about it. I guess that would be a short topic to cover.

PEEPS! There's always time to talk about Peeps and with the Easter holiday a comin' Peeps have been spotted! The yellows are my favorites, and you should know that Claire and Nadia love them too. Did you know that there is a Peep webpage? Check it out here http://www.marshmallowpeeps.com

I had my cholesterol re-tested and the results are in: total: 206
triglycerides: 313

Overall, much better, but I still have a way to go. I eat oatmeal every day for breakfast, and I have these fiber bars that are so good that it's almost impossible to know that I am doing something good for my body. I had a spinach salad for lunch today. Mmmmm....iron. I haven't totally given up my after dinner mints. It's one thing I will not give up.

I guess that's all for my ramblings. Pretty exciting stuff going on in my life huh? Yeah, I feel the same way.

The Final Product



Well, after much nailing (hee hee...ahem...sorry), sawing, gluing, stapling, staring at crates, and cutting, I present to you, our cat condo and Butters enjoying it. My mom and I worked pretty hard on this fine piece of furniture, so if you have some not so nice things to say about it, well, stuff it. And have a good day. :)

Not So Fast

My oncologist called this morning to tell me that he strongly encouraged me to wait to have my ovaries out. I was slightly confused because when I first talked with him, it was a go, he was for it. The change in his thought process is basically the things I talked about before. The medical concerns of going into menopause permanently at my age.

The only way I can describe how I feel is this. I am pissed, I am sad, I am frustrated, I have a headache. I told Dion about the new information and he said "Sorry." At that point I got a little angry and said something like,

"Sorry? Sorry?!? You do not understand all of this at all!"

I was a little hot under the hat to poor Dion, but everything was still pretty fresh. You see, for me, it isn't all about menopause or cancer, a large part of it is the whole baby thing. With having them removed, I am able to control the situation, and just be done with it. I had a plan, damn it. One of my friends pointed out that I am already having them shut down, and if I have decided to not have more kids, then what's the problem, the decision is made?

The problem is not only the agony I went through making the decision that I will not bring anymore kids into this world, but the thought of starting my cycles again after the study is done, a monthly reminder of what will never be, sucks. Is it so wrong for me to want to make a choice and stay with it? Why when I have everything figured out does crap like this happen? I had finally had some peace with my decision and now I am thrown back to square one and I am not happy about it, in case you couldn't tell.

I feel like I am writing in circles and not making much sense, mostly from my anger and self-pity. But I guess the sum of everything is that I have been advised to not have my ovaries out. I am so wanting to just end all of this cancer crap stuff. No more study, no more Tamoxifen pills, just the six month check ups and just be done with everything. Oh, but wait, I only have 2 and a half more years of the pills and the study, so what's the big deal? What's 2 and a half more years? It's wonderful to be stuck in the cancer jail for another 2 and a half years, I just hope I don't see you on the inside.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

You'd Think.....

....a cat condo would not be THAT difficult. You would be wrong.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

American Idol Night


Leave me alone, I love the show and nothing you can say will change my mind. I love the intro music, the pictures of past idols, Ryan (he's such a doll), all of that stuff. And this week it is on 3 times!! Rock and roll!! No pun intended.

Amalia asked how my children's books that I have worked on are doing, and they are collecting dust right now as it seems that my plate is a little full. I also have been working on a breast cancer book, and am 40 typed pages into that. If only I had a few more hours in the day.

I moved our living room around yesterday after work. The girls were confused, but pleasantly surprised at all of the toys under the sectional couch. I was more in awe of all the dust and animal fur under it. I am still trying to get used to the change, but I think it will be ok. I think.

I want to make a cat condo for the kitties, but if you know anything about cat condos, they come close in price to the actual cost of a real for sure people condo. Ok, not really, but it's well over $100 for a condo. No way. Dion called me part of the Fat Albert gang because I came up with all of these money saving ideas for building a cat condo. I believe I will be spending under $60 to build this thing. I told Dion we should make a sign that says, "Three's Company" for it. Oh man, I AM turning into a crazy cat lady!

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Potpourri of Things

I just feel like writing. Dion is putting the girls to bed (well, trying, it's been a battle for some time now), I have a little Pink Floyd playing through the computer while I charge my mp3 and the mood is right. All I need is a beer and life would be good. Another time I guess.

Butters is adapting rather well for being hissed at every time he turns a corner. Cotton (AKA: Girl Kitty by Claire and Nadia) is really just angry at everyone. She hisses at butters, Tater, Sam, and sometimes me when she thinks I am an animal creeping up on her. Ah. She'll get used to things.

I was told that the food I ate the night before my blood draw could effect the results. Next week I am going for a re-test, but doing it here instead of driving the hour to Mayo. I was also cleared for surgery next month. I was also told that I have to come back in 6 months to see where my BP is at. I have talked to a friend and we are going to do this eating better/diet thing together. I have never had to diet before. In fact, in college the most I ever weighed was right around 140. Ahhhh...those were the days.

I have started my new anti-depressant and I don't know if the effects of it can happen this fast, but I was a power horse today. I dusted, vacuumed, cleaned the upstairs and main floor bath, did load upon load of laundry and took care of the girls. I rocked, if I do say so myself.

My mom is sick again. She seems to have been battling a lot this winter, never mind all the fun stuff with her surgery. My dad had cataracts removed this week. I was at the clinic three times this past week. I spent so much time there that I thought I should just sleep there. Or at least do some filing or something. Between my parents and I, FV employees should thank us for paying their wages. Ok, a little bit of an exaggeration, but man, so much time was spent there!

I guess that's it. I want to write more, but I am plum out of things to write about. Sorry...any ideas?

And Introducing.....Butters!


We welcome our newest addition. If you ask Claire and Nadia, his name is Butterfly. I just couldn't talk her out of it. Dion and I call him Butters...you know....South Park. He's pretty cool already. He played with toys longer last night than our other cats have in the past year. Maybe he will get them a little less...ummm....chunky. Maybe. Isn't he just a doll?!?
P.S. He's 10 months old :)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Yesterday

....all my troubles seemed so far away.....

Ok, I just like that song. But, to give an update, my cancer tests came back ok. But that proverbial can of worms has somehow opened itself up again. I remain cancer free, but have developed some other issues that really just piss me off more than anything, but here it goes.

My oncologist ordered a few extra tests for me. One was to test how much, if any, estrogen I have in my system. If you remember I am in a study where my ovaries are shut down each month, hence, no estrogen. The red flag was the ovarian cyst for my onc and he wanted to be sure the shots were doing what they were supposed to do. I haven't gotten those results yet. He also ordered a bone density test to make sure that my being in menopause hasn't effected my bones. It hasn't. In fact I have "very good bones". The one ray of light of the conversation I had with him today. Then he asked if I had fasted for the blood test. I said yes, not really wanting to hear what was next. He said, "Hmm. We have a problem." You see, my cholesterol was high (260) especially my triglycerides (536...it's supposed to be under 150). Oh crap. I got the lecture on eating habits, exercise, all the boring stuff in life. He mentioned some things to avoid in my diet, things to make sure I have, and the idea of going to a dietitian. I couldn't help but look on my desk at work at the zip-loc bag of after dinner mints, which I love with all that I am.

"So, this bag of dinner mints on my desk?"

"Yeah, not a good thing."

Son of a gun! then he started talking about ice cream and red meat, and I heard ringing in my ears. Damn it all to hell! It bothered me the rest of the day, and then something clicked.

I remembered what Dion and I had for dinner the night before. It was a late dinner, about 7:30pm, and we went out to eat since we didn't have the girls. We went to Godfather's Pizza, and oh my lord, the pizza was delicious, but not as good as the cheesy garlic bread, which wasn't as good as the dessert pizza. Seriously, if you are in town, remind me to take you to Godfather's, you will not be disappointed. So, as my last ditch effort, I placed a call to my doctor to ask if what I had the night before played a part in my horrible numbers. Grasping at straws? Maybe, but I love those dinner mints!

I had someone tell me today that it seems like a lot is happening to me health wise, and I agreed. Then she said, "Well, at least the cancer stuff is ok." I had to reply that while that was true, a lot of the issues I am having can go back to the cancer. So if I didn't have cancer, I don't think my dinner mints would be at stake here. And I am not lying, my onc said that Tamoxifen (one of the drugs I am on) can cause the triglycerides to go up. Yes, that's it. It's the Tamoxifen.

We also talked about my upcoming surgery...damn it...procedure. He wanted me to be 100% informed of the long term risks of having my ovaries out which come down to osteoporosis and heart problems. He was pretty stern about these things because I would be going into menopause about 10-15 years before the average bear. Now, you may be asking, like I did, about the study that I am in, and he said by doing the study, they will know if 5 years is a good amount of time to be in menopause with ER+ breast cancers. And by the way, I would still be involved in the study, I just wouldn't have to go to Mayo every month for my shot.

It was at this point that we all kind of just looked back and forth at each other. I wasn't sure what to say. All I know is that I am tired of all these things that I am doing to keep cancer at bay, ends up causing 2 or 3 other health problems. Chemo: can cause cancer. Radiation: can cause cancer. Herceptin: hard on the heart. Tamoxifen: cholesterol. When does it end? When do I do something to fight cancer, and it is actually 100% good for me?

My onc asked if he had muddied the waters up, and I told him he did a bang up job of it. I understand and appreciate why he was telling us all of this. I want to be informed. I want to know the risks. I want to know the benefits. I need to know.

But on a lighter note, I always tease Dr G (onc) about his having 20 kids, in which he gets mad and says no, only 4. Well, wouldn't you know it, his wife is due in May. I said,

"See? You're well on your way to 20 kids."

Another chuckle moment. He was doing an exam and asked if I had had my right side removed and reconstructed, and I looked at Dion and said,

"Hey, that's a good thing that he can't tell, eh?" Then I thought for a moment and added, whilst looking at Dr G, "Well, actually, maybe it's not."

He giggled for a fraction of a second, then straightened up and said,

"No comment."

I just love him. He is not only a good oncologist, but he's a good guy. He tried to explain one of the blood test results, and told us that he didn't know a lot about the test, but he knew yadda yadda yadda about it and how it effects me. He has no problem admitting when he doesn't know something, and has no problem asking for the opinion of other people. And he makes me laugh, which is very important to me. I need to laugh.

So there you go. A long winded post about me and my problems which never seem to go away. Oh, and I am also changing anti-depressants so we'll see how that goes. Yikes. Hopefully Dion doesn't bare the brunt of that fun adventure.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Zzzzzzzzzz

Yikes. I slept horribly last night, and when the alarm went off at 4:30am, I didn't even move. Dion nudged me at 5:15 and I told him we should just ditch everything and lay in bed all day long. Sigh. Yeah, right.

We are at Mayo right now. I have had my x-ray and blood work and now we wait for my next appointment. I was able to get some cereal and a soda, thankfully, so I am a little happier now. Every time we have to come to Mayo for this kind of appointment, Dion and I pick a comedian to listen to in the car. Today's pick was Mitch Hedberg. He is a funny guy and it is a shame he died so young. We have made it a ritual to listen o funny people on the way to a not so funny situation. It's interesting what we do as humans to cope with stressful things.

Dion and I were able to go out to eat last night since my parents were keeping the girls overnight. We ate so much that when we got home we plopped on the bed and just talked. We were shortly joined by the dog and one of the cats. It was so quiet without the girls, something that we have not experienced in that house. We both love the girls to death, but having things be so quiet and peaceful before today was something I will treasure. We decided to watch a movie after that, and I think by 8:30pm Dion was asleep. I dozed on and off and we made our way upstairs at 11:00pm. I was up until about 12:30am, and woke up on and off the rest of the night.

And now here we sit. Of course I will update everyone after we finish with the rest of my appointments today. Until then, well, we just wait.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Tuesday

Next week is a long one for a few reasons. Tuesday is my 6 month check, so at the butt crack of dawn we get to go to Mayo for the following:

  • chest x-ray at 7:00am
  • blood work at 7:30am
  • meet with onc at 9:00
  • shot at 10:30
  • meet with crazy dr to change meds at 1:30

Sounds like a fun filled day, huh? Then on Wednesday I have to close for work, on Thursday I have to work early and then take Claire to the dr in the afternoon. On Friday I have to go to my pre-op appointment, and I found out yesterday that Dion's mom is coming next weekend. There's a lot to do, and there's almost not enough time for me to worry about my 6 month check. Almost.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I Just Don't Even Know What to Say



Dion once told me that I was crazy for taking both the kids to Walmart, which I will not argue is a challenge. But, when I came downstairs this morning and saw my children, one thought went through my mind. HE is the crazy one.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Au Revoir Ovaries!

Sigh. Which is actually what I just did. This post is going to be somewhat difficult to write, to organize my thoughts and emotions, but I will do my best.

I have set up an appointment to have my ovaries removed. On the surface it sounds simple enough, not really a big deal as far as procedures go, but I am having somewhat of a difficult time with the thought of it. I was offered this option about two and a half years ago, but at the time, I wasn't ready to even think about it. That would mean no more natural kids, and I wasn't ready for that thought. Not that I am now, but I have been thinking about this for a while, and to be honest, it's not any easier now, then it was before. The thought of never feeling a baby kick, never hearing the heartbeat for the first time, never hearing the doctor say boy or girl, never bringing another new life into this world, is almost too much. All these are difficult for me to comprehend. Every once in a while, there's a little wiggle in my stomach, which I am sure is just gas making it's way through, but I always say a little thanks because of how similar it feels as when my girls would kick inside of me.

I know that there are people out there who would say that I should just be happy with what I have. And I am happy with the girls, but that doesn't make the loss of not having more kids any easier. Like one of my friends said, "If your dad died and someone said that you should be happy that you still had your mom, would you feel that way?" And no, I wouldn't. And no, I don't for this either.

There's a lot of guilt that rides with me for the girls, with the fear that I have passed on this dreadful disease. Please don't tell me not to feel that way, there's no controlling it. My tumors grew faster with estrogen in my body, hence the reason why it is better if I don't have it in my system. But, the thought that if I had more kids and passed it to them too, is a hard feeling to live with. I have done a lot of research on having children after breast cancer, and I have talked to many people. And don't get me wrong, there are a lot of women who go on to have kids and both are fine. But I don't feel that it is right for me. To me, I feel selfish, even thinking of wanting to have kids, no matter if I pass on cancer to them. Who is that fair to? Touchy subject, huh?

So, I have decided that I can't bring any more kids into the world with the possibility that I have to watch them go through cancer too. It is hard enough thinking that Claire and Nadia, and their kids, and their kids and their kids will now have to be extra cautious and diligent with their health care. And yes, we all know that research is being done and maybe a cure can be found. I can't base my decision on a "maybe". I just can't.

So on the 7th of next month I will be going in for the removal, and it will be an out-patient procedure so I will be home that day. It will be done laproscopically, so recovery should be fairly easy.

I guess the big hairy question now is how will I feel when it's all done? Will I be happy with my choice? Will I regret it? Who knows...but for now I have to make the choice that I feel is right for me. Dion and I have looked into the adoption avenue and that may or may not be the route we take. Time will tell. For now, I will just say,

Au revoir Ovaries! It's been fun.

Monday, February 05, 2007

You Want a What?!? But I Don't Even Like Cats!



This is Dion, not liking cats. He does a good job, doesn't he?

Shhhhhhhhh



We Flaska folk don't really believe in sleeping in beds.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Another Can of Worms

I think I have talked before about opening the proverbially can of worms, which I am good at. Sometimes when I am at the doctor, I will say something to the effect of yadda yadda is bothering me. Then it's off to test after test after test to find out that the cause of my pain is from too much amino acids or something like that. Really, there was no reason to open my BFM (big fat mouth). Let me tell you of yesterdays fun filled adventure.

I go to my mom's appointments when she has her incision (what's left of it, it's almost healed) checked. I asked Julie the nurse to check my blood pressure. I had a reason. I wanted it tested when I wasn't in pain, and wasn't at the clinic for something that was wrong with me. I had been walked over in the past...ok...I guess it was last July....by my ob doctor because my BP was high. I saw an Internal Medicine doctor and was supposed to check back, but it kind of slipped my mind. Really. It did.

Whoosh whoosh whoosh....an evil look....whoosh whoosh whoosh...a re-check. Yikes, an even worse evil look, and I was told to go make an appointment for today to be checked. I guess when your BP is 140/100 people get a little nervous. I didn't see the huge deal in it since I felt fine, besides being very hungry. I met with a PA, and by then my BP was 152/102 (I blame everyone yelling at me for having high BP on that number). After talking with Sarah, I was off for a chest x-ray, blood work, and an EKG. The CBC came back fine as did the EKG, I I haven't heard about the chest X-ray so I am assuming that is fine too. I now have to take my BP 3-4 times a week and record it. I took it this morning, and it was 140/86. Getting better already!