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Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Writer Writes About....Everything

It has been an interesting week. Kind of a long one. And today, at this hour, the humidity is so heavy that I am sure when Nadia gets up her hair will hold curls that some people only wished they had. Since Friday, Claire has been announcing that Sunday (today) will be 90 degrees. Not just announcing, but telling everyone she can, repeatedly. I bet I could go wake her up and ask her what the weather will be like today, and she would say "90 degrees". But the hell if I am going to wake her. Both girls are sleeping, and this is my first alone time in a while. Although I have to say that last night, Nadia was my cleaning helper. She even vacuumed.....keep in mind she is 6. She helped with laundry, cleaning the living and family room, and if Claire hadn't been asleep, I bet she would have put clothes away too. So I can't complain too much about not getting much time alone the past few days.

Dion is coming home from a fishing trip he went on with his college room mate. They have been gone since Wednesday. I am tired. I have kept the girls going non-stop, and here are a few highlights.

I took them to see Shrek in 3D. It took a little bit for Claire to get used to the 3D-ness, but after she did, every once in a while out of the corner of my eye I would see her reaching out trying to touch something. Too cute. Nadia, on the other hand, sat there laughing almost embarrassing loud. Except one time she just expelled a large amount of air through her mouth sounding like a mini machine gun. They liked the movie. We got treats at the theater, Claire got nachos, Nadia got Dots, they shared a fruit punch and I got a soda and popcorn. As it turned out, Claire drank most of the fruit punch, ate most of her nachos and polished off Nadia's dots when Nadia decided to move and eat popcorn with me. Something I should have monitored a little better since about 2 hours after we got home all that junk food made a second appearance in our bathroom sink. Oops. My punishment was having to fish out the chunks that wouldn't go down the drain. Lesson learned.

Prior to going to the movie, we made a stop at Target. Thankfully not in our town as I think it was the most embarrassing purchase I think I have ever made. I will list the items.

1 box of Compound W wart remover
1 bottle of lotion for cracked and dry feet
1 tube of Preparation H
1 box of witch hazel towelettes
1 dog toy

The only things more I needed were condoms, a pregnancy test, and anti-diarrhea medication to make it the ultimate embarrassing experience. Thankfully, I have no need for any of those items. But as far as the other things, sheesh, could it be a more disgusting purchase? I had to throw in the dog toy to add a little "awwww" factor. And because I bought some cat toys the other day and Sammie just looked at me as to say "Where the hell is my toy??" I felt bad. She just kept looking at me people! What was I supposed to do??

So Claire has a wart on the bottom of her swear toe. We have been working and working on that thing, and it has been stubborn I tell you. Slowly, but surely, it has been dissolving. Kinda gross.

It's no secret that I have digestive issues and have dealt with fissures and such, but this new event is, well, not one that I would wish on others. Hmmm....well, actually, I could think of a couple here and there that I would hex with this, but not many. So that's why I had to buy the Prep H and witch hazel towelettes. I am trying everything possible before I go in to the doctor. So hopefully I can home medicate this alien that is trying to escape my body and avoid going in. But, you know, when you have breast cancer, you have to check your dignity at the door. For example, when I had reconstruction, the nipples were added later. The doctor took me in to the bathroom before surgery and handed me those monitors they stick on your chest for your heart and said, "Ok, place these where you want your nipples to be." I looked at him and said, "Ummm...as a male, where do you think they should be?" He stuck them on, and that's where the nipples are to this very day. See? No dignity. Plus also, give birth once and that's the end of that. You can't give birth without your whooha making an appearance. And lord help you if you poop while giving birth (I didn't, I prayed really really hard that I wouldn't. It worked.).

And I have really dry feet all of a sudden for some reason. I hate dry feet. I hate how they feel in my Crocs, and when I put on socks, and it's just yuck. So that's that.

Well, Claire has been sleeping for almost 12 hours, so I imagine she will be up soon, which means Nadia will be up soon, which means free time is almost over. Today we are going to go see a dog that might be of interest to us and take the shelter blankets to donate to them. As part of my Mother's Day gift, Dion gave the green light to add a canine buddy to our mix. I have been searching and searching and it seems like I find one just in time to wave goodbye to it as a new owner picks it up. A day late and a dollar short every time. Well, this one, they called me. So I'm pretty sure no one else has seen the dog yet. We'll see if he is a match. I know he is a border collie mix, like Sammie is, and his name is Cody. We'll see......

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Catching Up

I hate when I can't find the time to do things I love. Writing, taking pictures, sleeping...it all would be so nice. What is even more crazy is that I only work 15 hours a week. How can I not find time? Oh, well, I guess I should take that back. My first job is 15 hours a week, my second one, which is at night, would run another 6-10 hours depending on the week. But, that is over until the fall.

I will say though that things have been busy around here. We have started the process of the addition for my mom to move in. In the past 3 weeks, we have torn down the garage, and watched with awe as they came in with large motorized things and tore up the cement from the garage and dug and dug and dug, then poured footings, the cement wall, and finished up with 19 truck loads of sand to back fill. 19. I kind of feel like we live at the beach with all of the sand that's around. Well, without a body of water. Or shells. Oh hell.....it's nothing like being at the beach. It's pretty much like having an extra large sandbox. Or litter box. Either one.

So along with construction, I have been spending time getting stuff at my mom's house packed up. No small task. I put my foot down when it came to all of the bedsheets she had. I asked her how many sheets she wanted to keep for the spare bed. She said 6 sets. I said she could keep 2. And so on and so on. We are so lucky to have the relationship that we have. I think for many this would be something that would put a big strain on a relationship. We are blessed.

I took my mom to her second infusion of Remicade this past Monday. It's a long process. We got there at 10 and the infusion started at about 11:00am. It takes about an hour and a half. We stayed in the private infusion room. From the moment we walked in the door, I had a sinking feeling. The infusion room we were in was the room where I had my first chemo. It was a horrible experience. My port wasn't working well, it hurt, and just it being the first treatment made it a very nerve racking experience. As the day progressed and actually into the night, I just got crabbier and crabbier. I didn't really know why, until it came to me late that night. I sat in that room facing the office of my first oncologist, looking at the back of her head for most of the time we were there. As it turns out, I still harbor some unpleasant feelings towards that doctor. In my mind I thought about what I would say to her if she talked to me (which she didn't), I thought about all the feelings I had when she told me that I probably wouldn't make it more than 5 years. I thought about my girls not growing up with a mom. Ugh. I just boiled even more when I finally figured out why I was so crabby that night. Why is it so hard to just set myself free from all of that hatred? Why can't I just say it was what it was, and move on? Maybe I will never be at that point. Is that ok? I have no idea. I want to tell myself to just let it go, but then I think about all the people that were affected by what I was told by this doctor. I think about the phone calls I had to make to tell friends and family that the cancer had returned, and it didn't look good. I think about telling Dion that he could re-marry, just not anyone too high maintenance. I think about digging frantically in our safe for my life insurance policy, so financially he would have a little something extra to raise our kids. Ok, I have to stop. I guess it will be quite some time before it does not make my blood boil. And maybe that's ok. In the long run, because of that doctor, I ended up with an oncologist that I love who does the research and gives me honest opinions and who, unlike my other one, can laugh. That is important to me. I met amazing cancer survivors and remained friends with some of them. So, I guess I owe that doctor a thanks. Thanks for telling me that I was dying so I could go get a second opinion which led me to my current oncologist with whom I wouldn't trade for anything.

So there. That's what has been going on around here. Oh, and also, I have 3 more days of work and then I am off for the summer. The first time in about 20 years. I'm not sure what the heck I am going to do. That is territory I haven't covered in many many years. I'm think the girls and I will be hitting the pool many times. Sweet. Plus the whole remodel and such. It will be a summer to remember.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day

It is Mother's Day. I slept until 10:30am, only outdone by Nadia who slept until 11:30am. That's my girl. Claire woke up at 7:30am, that's Dion's kid for sure. And finally it is a nice day....not too cold, and the blasted sun is finally out. Things have been a moving and a grooving at our house. Let's start with the addition.....

It took 3 days for us to take down our garage. We saved as many 2x4's that we could to re-use for the addition. I'm not even sure if I have mentioned the addition yet....hmm....well, it's been in the make for over a year. Trying to figure out ways to get my mom in our house with allowing for private space for all of us. We have gone through so many ideas, but finally got one that stuck. The plan is to put an addition onto the back of our house that will contain two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom, and laundry. But in that process a lot has had to happen. We tore down the garage, and the excavators came and made a big mess in the back yard, and the footings have been poured. Monday the walls will be poured for the basement, and after that, I have no clue. We will be extending our kitchen as well, but I think that craziness will be one of the last things we do so as not to keep our kitchen in disarray for too long. We found cabinets on Craigslist. They are sweet! And many many of them. But as we all know, one cannot have too many cabinets. So that's what's going on in our home.

We have a dog named Sam. She is almost 13 years old. Dion gave her to me as a birthday gift when I turned 23. But now we are faced with choices. She has been peeing in the house. We are now on our second pill for her to see if that helps. They think she has dementia and doesn't know she is peeing in the house. Fantastic. This new pill we have was a little under $30 for 7 pills. Wow. They didn't give me the whole supply of pills because of the cost of them. They want to see if they help first. Ugh. I feel bad for her. Not only does she have the whole pee thing going on, but her teeth are horrible making her breath smell like she eats poop on a regular basis. I'm not sure if she would make it through a surgery to remove her teeth, plus the cost of that is not all that great either. So, we are trying this last pill, and if that doesn't work I'm afraid we will have to put her down. It's not something we want to do. She has been with us so long, but we have to weigh everything out.

I only have 3 more week of work, then I am off for the summer. My new position does not include summer hours, so this will be the test if it's something we can afford. It's a good summer to have off as the whole house project will be going on and I have to get my mom packed up and get her house on the market. No small tasks there....and the girls are excited to not have to go to daycare. I have been working on things for us to do that doesn't cost a lot of money. So, if you would like some visitors this summer....let me know.

OK, have to run. I could spend all day typing. Happy Mother's Day my friends!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Discoveries

I've had many thoughts lately of death. Not mine, but with it being almost the second anniversary of my dad dying, the recent cancer mets to my friend, more people I know being diagnosed...it never seems to end.

One thing that was mentioned when my dad was fighting his fight was a stem cell transplant. A very controversial topic to many. There is no black and white when it comes to stem cells. How could there be when there are so many emotions involved? Do I believe that people should produce babies for the sole purpose of harvesting stem cells? In no way, shape, or form. But, something that I have recently learned from this stem cell website is that scientists have figured out how to convert adult stem cells into what appears to have the properties of an embryos stem cells. How amazing is that? Of course I am more prone to thinking of cancer patients when it comes to this, like this article about an actress named Lisa Ray but I know stem cells can be used for other people who have medical issues.

In this video there is a lot of good information regarding adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells. Talking about the medical and science professions making strides. The video is a little lengthy, but certainly worth the time for the education it provides.

Anyway, all we can hope for in this world is finding ways to reduce the suffering, without causing more suffering. I can't imagine being a woman who gets pregnant to donate her embryo. I lost a baby before Claire. The thought of doing that just about makes me sick. So when I saw that there are positive alternatives, I thought, "Right on, Scientists. Right on."

Can you imagine where we will be in another 25-30 years?