Monday, June 30, 2008

Oh Happy Monday...night!

Wow it has been a long day. Work was crazy today. Non stop. It's 8 o'clock and I put in 6 1/2 hours today...with the kids here! AH!
I am glad that is behind me. So of course the weekend was crazy as well. Saturday was my birthday and Jon had worked until about 6am so he rested for the morning while my mom watched the kiddos and I was able to get my pedicure. I LOVE pedicures. I haven't had one since I was going through treatment and it was so nice to be able to do that again. After I went to pick up the kids from my moms we came back to the house and just relaxed which was nice to not be going a million miles an hour. I made myself take a break from work all weekend and that was great! Cody was also giving a little talk in primary on Sunday so we prepared that and I went back through my talk to make sure everything went together nicely. Jon had gotten me a few things so we (as in me and the kids) opened them up in the afternoon. Honestly after you have kids do you ever get to open up your own presents? So here is what I scored....
There are packs for my ATV that strap on the front and back. They can carry food, coats, just whatever you want to take with you on your ride. Also the one in the back doubles as a sort of cushion for the passenger so they have something to lean up against. Snap!

Then he got me these cool Teva sandal/shoes. You can wear socks or no socks and they are super comfy. I am the ultimate outdoors woman.

And oh yeah, who doesn't love VS? I get to pick out my own paraphernalia!For dinner I got a sitter and we went out to eat at the outback with Jon's parents, Aunt & Uncle John, and my parents. Here are the snapshots.

My parents..

Aunt Clara & Uncle John..

Jon's Parents...

Jon and I of course....(me always with my eyes looking goofy)

After dinner Jon took me to see a movie. There really isn't any movies out now that I was dying to see but thought Wanted sounded kinda interesting with Angelina Jolie. There were a lot of really cool scenes in this movie but I think the story was pretty lacking. I did get to spend some time alone with Jon and that is what I wanted to do.Sunday.....Crazy. I do have to say that speaking in church does force you to actually be ready and get there on time, so there is an upside. So I had to give my talk in Sacrament meeting, for those of you that aren't familiar it is the big meeting. I wanted to post it but know some of you aren't interested in reading it so just put it in the next post. Feel free to skip over it if you're not interested. No offense taken :-) It was something that I spent a lot of time preparing and wanted to share with those that are interested. So after sacrament meeting everyone splits up into Sunday school classes. I was racing down to primary (the kids class) since Cody was giving a little talk there when the gal that I team teach the 6 year olds with stopped me in the hall. She wasn't feeling good and needed to go home and it was her day to teach. So I was flustered with having the kids lesson thrust upon me on top of everything else with no preparation, plus trying to find someone extra to sit with the class and myself since there are so many of them. Since my parents were in primary to watch Cody my mom became that person by default. Man I love my mom. So I helped Cody with his talk and he did actually better than I thought. There were 5 little pictures with sayings on them and he repeated 2 of them after me. After realizing that his voice was pretty stinkin' loud with the microphone he decided that was not for him and I finished it off for him. All in all, he did pretty well. After we all went to sit back down with classes my mom read over the lesson for me and did amazing teaching the lesson off of 5 minutes of preparation. She's amazing. After church I was just so relieved to have the day over. Yikes. Too much responsibilities at church today!Jon had to work last night so he had to leave for work at 7 but right before hand my friend Alyssa dropped by to give me a birthday gift. Wow. Check this out! She made me this scrapbook that is amazing and so sweet. Here it is from all views.

The front..

Behind the F in front of the R..

Behind the R in front of the I..Behind the I in front of the E..

Behind the E in front of the N..

Behind the N in front of the D..

Behind the D..

Alyssa.....I love you, you are amazing and I know we will be life long friends. You did an amazing job on the book. I absolutely love it and it will be on display in the Brock household! You're the bomb Alowizzle Morbizzle!

Warning LDS talk with caution!

Ha, so here is my talk that I gave in church on Sunday. It is a good thing that I came prepared with my little kleenex pack because they didn't have a tissue box up on the stand. What's up with that? I would have flooded the podium. So here it is for those of you that missed it and are interested in hearing what I had to say......

I was asked to speak today on the Word of Wisdom. When hearing the topic “The Word of Wisdom” I think many of us think primarily about alcohol and tobacco. The Word of Wisdom not only guides us on those “should nots” but also on the “shoulds”. To fully understand the importance of this counsel it is also important to understand that our bodies are great blessings. In the gospel principles manual we are taught, “We need a physical body to become like our Heavenly Father. Our bodies are so important that the lord calls them Temples. In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 it reads…
"16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Our bodies are holy,” For this reason I think that it makes perfect sense that Heavenly Father would also give us instruction on how to properly take care of our bodies.
In D & C 89, the section heading reads...
"Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, February 27, 1833. HC 1: 327–329. As a consequence of the early brethren using tobacco in their meetings, the Prophet was led to ponder upon the matter; consequently he inquired of the Lord concerning it. This revelation, known as the Word of Wisdom, was the result. The first three verses were originally written as an inspired introduction and description by the Prophet. "
The first 3 verses or inspired introduction to the revelation read..
"1 A Word OF Wisdom, for the benefit of the council of high priests, assembled in Kirtland, and the church, and also the saints in Zion—
2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the word of wisdom, showing forth the order and will of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—
3 Given for a principle with promise, adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints."
So we are told that the Word of Wisdom is given for a principal with a promise. These 4 promises are outlined in the end of the section in verses 18 through 21 stating:
1. Shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones.
2. Shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even in hidden treasures.
3. Shall run and not be weary and shall walk and not faint.
4. That the destroying angel shall pass by them as the children of Israel, and not slay them.
The Prophet Spencer W. Kimball said in the Miracle of Forgiveness that in our time this means we will be saved from spiritual death: “For observing the Word of Wisdom the reward is life, not only prolonged mortal life but life eternal.”
To me the Word of Wisdom is just another prime example of the wonderful blessings that come from modern day revelation. There is was no way, save it be through the lord, that the prophet Joseph could have known all the adverse effect that could fall upon us by not obeying the counsel given by the word of wisdom.
While doing some research about the growing number of health concerns we face today, I wasn’t surprised to find that the WHO or the World Health Organization sites many things that were given to us as counsel in D&C 89. Under their “Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health” they say Diet and physical activity should be a public health priority. They go on to say:
"Healthy diets and regular, adequate physical activity are major factors in the promotion and maintenance of good health throughout the entire life course.
Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are two of the main risk factors for raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, abnormal blood lipids, overweight/obesity, and for the major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes.
Overall, 2.7 million deaths are attributable to low fruit and vegetable intake.
Overall, 1.9 million deaths are attributable to physical inactivity."
Obesity is currently being called a health crisis or an epidemic. The WHO says….
"Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.
Facts about overweight and obesity
WHO’s latest projections indicate that globally in 2005:
approximately 1.6 billion adults (age 15+) were overweight;
at least 400 million adults were obese.
WHO further projects that by 2015, approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese.
At least 20 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight globally in 2005.
What causes obesity and overweight?
Global increases in overweight and obesity are attributable to a number of factors including:
a global shift in diet towards increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and
a trend towards decreased physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.
What are common health consequences of overweight and obesity?
Cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke) - already the world's number one cause of death, killing 17 million people each year.
Diabetes – which has rapidly become a global epidemic. WHO projects that diabetes deaths will increase by more than 50% worldwide in the next 10 years.
Musculoskeletal disorders – especially osteoarthritis.
Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon).
Childhood obesity is associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability in adulthood.
How can the burden of overweight and obesity be reduced?
Overweight and obesity, as well as their related chronic diseases, are largely preventable.
At the individual level, people can:
achieve energy balance and a healthy weight;
limit energy intake from total fats and shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats;
increase consumption of fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes, whole grains and nuts;
limit the intake of sugars; and
increase physical activity - at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity activity on most days. More activity may be required for weight control. "
In verse #11 it says….
"11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving."
and in verse #16 it says….
"16 All grain is good for the food of man; as also the fruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—"
This scripture is technically not part of the word of wisdom but also concerns our health in D&C 88: 124 it reads….
"124 Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated."
So these scientific facts that have now been proven were given to us by revelation more than 100 years ago.
I think that when a reputable source and not to mention the lord, is telling us prevention of not only, obesity and overweight, but it says chronic diseases are preventable by following these steps we should all be aware of the counsel given and follow it. Along with this counsel the additional counsel in D&C for the “shoulds” is in verses #10 and 12-15 and 17.
"10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.
17 Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain. "
I can say from personal experience that when I am making an effort to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get a good night sleep, I feel much better than when I chose to not make these a priority. As most of you know I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 2 years ago. After I was diagnosed I was forced to make this more of a priority in my life. I was doing pretty top notch already with the “should nots” but needed to focus more on the “shoulds” to get me through the long hard months of fighting off the cancer. My nurses and family alike would be there as a constant reminder when I was not feeling well to say “Are you drinking your water? What did you have to eat today? Did you get enough sleep last night?” It seemed like these were the main questions to get down to the root of my complaints. When my chemo regimen changed half way through to start the “really bad” stuff my body was deprived of white blood cells and I had to have a shot of Neulasta which stimulates the white blood cell production in the body. Since these cells are produced in your bone marrow it in turn left me in complete pain in all the large bones in my body. My legs hurt to walk, my hips hurt to sit on, and I couldn’t believe it but my skull hurt the worse. I couldn’t even lie down and be comfortable. After the excruciating week of dealing with the side effects of these shots my mother took it upon herself to hit the ground running to find out what was going to get me through the seemingly never ending months of constant nausea and pain. It was after this first treatment that we started juicing. We juiced wheat grass, carrots, and apples several times daily to build up my blood and immune system. It was going back to these basic but very important principals, and of course listening to the wise counsel of my mother, that got me through this horrible time. I never did have to take another one of the dreaded and might I add ridiculously expensive shots during the rest of those months of treatment.
The “should nots” of the Word of Wisdom are more widely talked about and known. In D&C 89:9 it reads...
"9 And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly."
In the Gospel Principles book it explains “Church leaders have said that this means coffee and tea, which contain harmful drugs. We should avoid all drinks that contain harmful drugs.” This study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, appears in the July/August 2002 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.
"The effects of coffee drinking are long-lasting and exaggerate the stress response both in terms of the body’s physiological response in blood pressure elevations and stress hormone levels, but it also magnifies a person’s perception of stress," said James D. Lane, Ph.D., lead author of the study. "People haven’t really accepted the fact that there could be a health downside to caffeine consumption, but our evidence – and that of other studies – shows that this downside exists and people should be aware of it in order to make the best possible health choices."
In D&C 89:7 it reads..
"7 And, again, strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies."
In turn the WHO also agrees stating:
"Alcohol consumption has health and social consequences via intoxication (drunkenness), dependence (habitual, compulsive and long-term drinking), and other biochemical effects. In addition to chronic diseases that may affect drinkers after many years of heavy use, alcohol contributes to traumatic outcomes that kill or disable at a relatively young age, resulting in the loss of many years of life to death or disability. There is increasing evidence that besides volume of alcohol, the pattern of the drinking is relevant for the health outcomes. Overall there is a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and more than 60 types of disease and injury. Alcohol is estimated to cause about 20-30% worldwide of oesophageal cancer, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide, epilepsy, and motor vehicle accidents.
Worldwide alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths (3.2% of total) and 58.3 million (4% of total) of Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). Unintentional injuries alone account for about one third of the 1.8 million deaths, while neuro-psychiatric conditions account for close to 40% of the 58.3 million DALYs."
Tobacco is also addressed in the word of wisdom. This would also include smokeless or chewing tobacco. In D&C 89:8 it reads..
" 8 And again, tobacco is not for the body, neither for the belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill."
And yet again in modern studies we learn (from the WHO)..
"Tobacco kills up to half of those who use it. Yet tobacco use is common throughout the world due to low prices, aggressive and widespread marketing, lack of awareness about its dangers, and inconsistent public policies against its use.
Most of tobacco’s damage to health does not become evident until years or even decades after the onset of use.
The tobacco epidemic kills 5.4 million people a year from lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses. Unchecked, that number will increase to more than eight million a year by 2030. Tobacco use is a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of deaths in the world."
Modern studies have also proven that not only those doing the actual smoking of the tobacco but those exposed to 2nd hand smoke are also at risk. Also put out by the WHO..
"Its conclusions confirmed the cancer-causing effects of active smoking. It also concluded its evaluation of the carcinogenic risks associated with involuntary smoking and classified second-hand smoke as carcinogenic to humans(1).
There is clear scientific evidence of an increased risk of lung cancer in non-smokers exposed to SHS. This increased risk is estimated at 20% in women and 30% in men who live with a smoker (2). Similarly, it has been shown that non-smokers exposed to SHS in the workplace have a 16 to 19% increased risk of developing lung cancer (3). In addition to this risk, What are the effects of SHS on children’s health?
Small children whose parents smoke at home have an increased risk of suffering lower tract respiratory infections and otitis media (6,7). SHS has also been linked to an increase in the number and severity of asthma episodes in asthmatic children (8). There is also evidence that SHS increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (9)."
So not only smoking tobacco yourself, but being in an environment where you are around smoke is bad for you.
In a book I was reading during one of my chemotherapy sessions I came across a rather humorous comic. It showed a bald woman, who was obviously the person going through chemotherapy, attending a cocktail party. A gentleman who was passing by her and smoking offered her a cigarette. Her reply was “No thanks, I already have cancer.” In my mind it is a no brainer. The warning is printed right there on the side of the box by the surgeon general. “SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, And May Complicate Pregnancy." What’s not to understand? I am not sure how this can lead to anything other than the cause and effect of smoking equals death. Who can read this and still be thinking….bring it on? It is completely baffling to me having been through the battle that cancer is, and surviving it, why anyone would so willingly invite that horrible reality into their lives and the lives of those who surround them while they are smoking.
It is no secret that alcohol and substance abuse plays a negative role in many lives, not only by the addict but also their family and friends who are impacted by their negative choices.
My husband’s life has been greatly affected by having a father and a brother who have had substance abuse problems. My husband’s father passed away at the age 52. He was diagnosed with throat cancer which was caused by his chronic drinking and smoking. In trying to treat the cancer the doctors overlapped 2 of the radiation fields in his neck. This caused scar tissue to form in his throat which in turn caused him to basically suffocate. His brother is currently in a rehabilitation program and has struggled with substance abuse his whole life. I have only met him on 2 occasions and he has very limited contact with his parents and his children. I have seen first hand that by simply staying away from these substances he probably would have had a more meaningful relationship with those who love and care about him.
I think that it is also important to remember that the Word of Wisdom is not a get out of jail free card. There are promised blessings for following this counsel but it doesn’t mean that you will have no health issues if you are obedient to these teachings. On the LDS website I read, “As part of Heavenly Father's plan of redemption, all people experience adversity during their lifetime. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but with the help of the Lord they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress.” In no way do I feel like I was being punished having to experience my own trials through cancer. I feel just that. It was one of my difficult trials to endure and it still is. It is still hard for me very frequently to not let my mind wander to the places of “What if it comes back, what would I do? Or my toenail hurts; I think my cancer is coming back.” I don’t know if my mom remembers this but right after I was diagnosed we were sitting at church and she gave me a sticky note with a few scriptures on it. One of the scriptures was 2nd Tim 1:7...
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
I try to think of that scripture often when I feel like my mind is wandering there and not have that spirit of fear but of a sound mind. Making healthy decisions for me and for my family are part of that.
I have a testimony of the importance of the Word of Wisdom and of modern day revelation. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that our current prophet Thomas S. Monson is also. I know that our Heavenly Father has given us this counsel to help us take better care of our bodies. I hope that we will all make it a priority to follow these teachings.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fun Tag Post

So my sister Tagged me a few days ago, and although I did take the pictures a few days ago I never got around to posting them. So here we go.
Here are the "rules" for this game of tag. You are supposed to take pictures of the following things just as they are - no stopping to clean, straighten, or to wipe a child's nose: The kitchen sink, the fridge, the toilet, the closet, the laundry room, your favorite shoes, your favorite room, and your kiddies. No cheating!
So here is the sink.....good times. The empty water bottles are normal around here. They can't go in the dishwasher so they are just aways there, awaiting the soapy water hand washing.

Here we have the fridges, loaded with condiments, soda, leftovers....ya know the necessities.

Exciting toilet. This is the bathroom I painted recently. Looks awesome with the shower curtain.

Here is my happy closet. At least my side. And yes Toni, my t shirts and sweaters are also color coordinated. Easier to find!
Moving on to the ever tiny laundry room. A washer and dryer squeezed into this tiny room next to the garage door. I hate it. But anyway it is pretty tidy. I made a goal to try and do a load of laundry a day and immediately fold it out of the dryer. Otherwise it sits in the basket for days until 4 loads accumulate and then I never want to fold it.
Moving on to my favorite shoes, which I did switch pictures for. Jon bought me these Tiva's for my birthday. They are the the kind you can wear without socks. The ultimate outdoor sandals, and VERY comfy might I add! And here are the cutest kids in the world doing the "super star" move. I actually had them dressed and their hair done before 10 in the morning which is unheard of for the summer.

I decided to for go the favorite room since it is in the basement, Oliva's new room and I just posted painting pictures of it a few weeks ago. Well it will be my favorite room when it is all done....hopefully that will be soon!

Okay so there is my tag. I am supposed to name the next people I am tagging but I am not sure they are crazy enough to do it. But what the heck I only have a few blogging friends so you guys are now tagged! Michelle, Alyssa, Aislinn, Robyn, and Jerilyn. You're it....only if you want to!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Wow, this week couldn't have crawled along any slower. Jon has been working SO much this week. He turned in almost 70 hours on his time card. Which of course leaves me at home feeling like a single mom trying to stay patient with the kids while getting work done, the house cleaned, meals made, noses wiped, butts know mom stuff. I have been trying to get really into preparing this talk I have to give on Sunday but it just seemed like every time I sat down to do it I couldn't get the ball rolling. Read a few things here and there but never really get into it. I was also reminded yesterday that my son is supposed to give a little 1-2 min talk in primary on Sunday. The Brocks are going to be up in everyone's face on Sunday. I will seriously fall down if he actually gets up and does it. He always throws a fit about going to primary (the kids class at church). The week before last he ran out screaming, "I hate primary. I don't want to go to primary." Ha! What a momma's boy. There is really no way he is getting up in front of 30 plus kids to do anything but pout and refuse to do the repeat-after-me routine.
I was finally forced this evening, since I have absolutely no other free time to get mine done. Well 11:52 with 8 min left in the day and finally, mission accomplished.
Which also officially means my birthday has arrived. Hurray. I guess. Ever notice how birthdays just get less and less exciting the older you get. By the time I am 35 I will probably just forget about it all together. Of course even with all the working and non sleeping that my husband did this week I still had expectations of him planning something to do for my birthday that was special and got me out of this crazy house full of kids. After all, the entire day the world should rotate around me and my wants, right? At the beginning of the week he notified me that he might have to work the entire day and into the night Saturday since the were so behind in the store which of course I was none to happy about, but thought we can just go out a different night. I am not one of those complete crazies that is like we HAVE to do it on MY actual birthday or it isn't the same. As long as we are celebrating at some point, I'm good. But he did end up finding out that he would only have to work tonight (Friday) and that he was off again until Sunday night, so that was worked out. Well somewhere along the 50 hours of work mark and very little sleep he just gave up on making plans which of course left me scrambling last night to line up a sitter and let him know that I might want to have some input on what we are doing on Eliza-day. After some hurt feelings and trying to explain that all I wanted to do for my birthday was spend some time with my husband that I never see, and have him make arrangements for sitters and what we were doing (with at least a little input from me), I think we are finally ready to have a stress free and happy birthday. Phew! Love ya babe, I hate it when you work this much!
I plan to go and get a pedicure in the morning.....ahhh bliss. I haven't had one of those since going through treatment so I am really excited. Then we are going to go eat at the Outback (one of my favorite restaurants) with my parents, his parents, and his aunt and uncle. Then I am still not sure after that. Maybe a Josh Turner concert or dancing....we will see, but guaranteed to be a fun earth-rotating-completely-around-me-get-what-I-want-and-don't-argue kind of day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A sigh of relief.

So I went in today to get my blood drawn to have my tumor marker test or in real person terms to see if my levels have risen and they think cancerous tumors are taking over my body once again. Of course I insisted that a nurse read me my MRI results from last week since I was anxious about it. I was proud of myself that I hadn't called the office bugging them for it before now. She said everything was normal and hadn't changed from the previous scan......thank goodness. I will get my results from the blood draw today at my appointment next week. I also took the opportunity to distribute some little cards advertising my online support group message board to the cancer centers in the area and radiation doctor and the breast diagnostic center up in Fort Collins in the same complex.
We then set off to Kohls since I had heard they were having a killer sale and I really needed to get a bathing suit that fit me. I haven't had a new one since before I was diagnosed and now they all of course don't fit me right. I found a few that I liked and also some good stuff on clearance. I have also been looking for some new pots and pans. The ones that Jon and I got after we were married have the Teflon peeling off the bottoms. It's so irritating because they were pretty pricey when we bought them. There was a set on sale at Kohls and then I had an extra 15% off coupon so that was a pretty good deal. It did turn out to be one of those nightmare shopping trips with the kids though. Since I had to chase them all over the hospital campus passing out those cards I told them they had to stay in the cart at the store. I think Alex seriously cried 90% of the time we were there. I was so irritated at her, but she really isn't like that very often. She was crying every time she bent her finger the wrong way today though. After we got home and had dinner she passed right out on the couch. 7pm and she is fast asleep. Wow.....that has um, NEVER, happened. She is always going a mile a minute. It has been a quite night already which has been nice.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Will I ever feel really real?

So today this thought has crossed my mind about 10 times...will I ever feel really real again? Speaking of my chest of course. I am still surprised to feel itchy under my skin where I am numb under my arms and towards my back. Still surprised every time I get undressed to shower and feel my chest and feel cold implants when I am hot. (not to mention freezing implants when I am cold) I wonder if I will ever regain that feeling or not be surprised to feel just the pressure when I am touching my chest rather than the actual touch....probably not. That sucks.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Painting....Take 2

Happy to report that the rest of the week has managed to be normal. Nothing big to report. Jon and I spent a good part of the day on Friday at Home Depot getting paint and picking up trim and doors for the basement. After the kids were all screaming and both Jon and I wanted to chain them to floor and leave them at Home Depot we decided to separate with the kids. I told him, I will get the paint and you get the doors. When we met back at home he had gotten the doors and.......more paint. Apparently he didn't hear me say I was getting it so I went to pick it up after being mixed and then he had them mix more. Now we have 10 gallons of paint instead of 5. Ha! Too bad you can't return it. Jon started hanging the doors and doing the shelf work in one of the closets on Friday evening and I was able to go to my friend Emily's house who was having a house warming party. She just bought a cute town home in South Fort Collins. It was good to be able to see her.
Saturday Jon was back in the basement and our neighborhood was having a yard sale so I put some things out. Not a total success but was able to get rid of a few big things that the kids have out grown or we no longer use. The kids and I went to a birthday party in the afternoon for my friend Jenn's son Caleb all we all had a good time. They played some fun games where they got to paint their hair and use chop sticks to pick a prize. It was a Kung Fu Panda party. Of course now they want to see the movie. Afterwards we came home and I started painting, or should I say re painting, the majority of the basement. After we painted the first time the color looked too peach and didn't go well with the darker carpet we picked out. Duh, we should have picked those out together. So we decided to change the paint and get the color carpet that we wanted. Jon painted it all the first time so was none too excited to do it all over. So I started doing it because with him starting to hang trim I didn't want to have to tape off all the trim and re paint after the trim. I have it about 1/2 way done but haven't done any of the hard parts by the ceiling where we have to tape it off. I do think the new color will go better but man is it a pain. Jon was able to finish the door and the closet in one room and now we have one room in the basement about 90% finished. Yeah! Only about 4 more to go..... slowly but surely I suppose. I can't wait until it is done.
I got a new calling in church last week to start teaching my daughter's primary class. This is the children's program at church and she is in the 5-6 class. I am excited, I have never served in the primary before and I think it should be a good experience. I taught the class for the first time today and it went pretty well. There is one boy in her class that is a stinker and has a really hard time sitting still so he will be a challenge, but he is a cute kid and hopefully he will get better. Next week I was asked to speak in Sacrament meeting which I am never too excited about. I just am not a fan of getting up in front of large groups of people. I suppose it is a good practice though, just always takes me back to high school speech class, which of course I hated. Although 30 kids in my class compared to a few hundred in church was a little better. My birthday is next Saturday and I have to speak on Sunday, hardly fair, but I haven't spoke since 2005 so I guess my number was up. I was quick to remind them though that Jon hasn't spoken since before the last time I talked so he will probably be getting a call here shortly too. HA HA! He was giving me the "stank eye" when I was notifying them when he called. Sorry babe, if I have to do it so do you!! So I am talking on living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your body along with the Word Of Wisdom. I suppose it shouldn't be so bad since I have been trying to be better about this sort of thing in the last 2 years. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cody, you're killin me smalls!

Okay so I was going to blog about this yesterday but just didn't get around to it so posting for the 3rd time today. That is probably my record, but I promise I won't post another one today, ha!

So our little Cody is learning how to pee standing up. He has been potty trained for awhile but always sits on the toilet because he is so short he can't reach over the top yet. So he has decided in the last few weeks (with some encouragement) that it might be a good idea to be a big boy and try standing while going. So he has done this a few times. On Sunday night he decided he was going to be a big boy and try it again. So I waited with him for a min and he said "Mom, sometimes it just takes me a minute." so I told him I would go put Alex to bed and be back to check in a bit. After about a minute I heard the lid slam down and Cody just start screaming and crying. He couldn't even talk. He was just holding his little penis saying owie mommie. I looked and he had this huge bruise on one side and it was instantly purple. We sat with ice on it for about 30 min before he would finally go to bed. Poor kid. We took him to see the doctor on Monday and she said it looked more like he pinched it and had a blood blister there and not that it slammed down right on top of it. She said he would be fine since he wasn't experiencing any pain going to the bathroom or any soreness. OWCH is all I can say!

Then Tuesday morning we were all in a hurry to get out the door and to my MRI so I sent all the kids in to go to the bathroom while I was gathering up my purse and car keys. All of a sudden from the kitchen I hear Cody in the bathroom yell, "Mommy!", in that panicked voice. Then he started screaming and crying so I run in there and he is rubbing his eyes yelling something about his eyes. Well turns out he sprayed air freshener right into his eyes and had it on his hands so every time he went to rub his eyes it got worse. Being in a panic I just grabbed him and put his head under the facet and almost drowned him trying to wash it out of his eyes. Then he was screaming because the water was freezing and I had his whole head under the water trying to flush his eyes out. It was hard not to be mad. I kept saying "Why did you spray that in your eyes?" and he just kept saying "I don't know, I just wanted to smell it mommy". Awh, that was a crappy surprised getting your eyes doused instead of getting a little spray. After flushing his eyes I grabbed the bottle thinking, "Great now I am going to have to spend my morning in the emergency room getting his eyes irrigated instead of getting my MRI over with". Luckily it just said wash out with water and contact a physician if irritation persists rather than seek immediate medical advice. After a few times under the water and some saline spray he seemed much better so we headed out the door. The girls kept saying "Are his eyes going to break and fall out?" Where do they get this stuff?

The Cancer Rant

Okay so I came home from park day this morning with the kids and Jon had found this on "the best of craigs list". I found it highly amusing and thought what the heck I would share it with the readers of my blog. I agree with most of the the things said here and know many of you that I have shared some of my own "what the heck?" experiences with so I hope you find it as funny as I did. Here it is....

In February of this year I was diagnosed with advanced Hodgkins Lymphoma. I went through eight months of chemotherapy, everything looks really good, and now I am just waiting my post-chemo scans to indicate remission. I am finally done with chemo. Woop woop. This is very good news for me. I’m real happy about it and I am excited to get on with my life.
I was a good cancer patient…no, a great cancer patient. I was tough. I didn’t curl up in a ball and hide, I faced it, I sucked it up, and got through it. I’m not looking for a medal, I just want to preface what I am going to say with the fact that I am not whiny or self-pitying, and that I realize that I am not the only one who’s had to deal with this crap, and that there’s worse things that could have happened to me. I have a wonderful family and caring friends that have formed a very lovely support system for me. I cannot thank them enough for all their help and love.
That said, here’s my rant…This goes out to everyone I know – friends, family, co-workers, doctors, nurses, radiologists, technicians, friends of friends, exes, and others…

1. There is no “good” kind of cancer. Yes, this kind of cancer at my stage has an 80-85% survival rate. That’s great, I am happy about that – really, I am, but that doesn’t make it “good” or any “better” than any other kind of cancer. Cancer is a scary thing, the treatment is excruciating, and at the end of the day, if you happen to get “lucky” and be one of the 15-20% that don’t survive, that statistic turns from a “good” one to a not-so-great one. Really. That’s like one out of five. Can you think of five friends? Picture them. If one of them up and died would you consider it a “good” number of them? I didn’t think so. So please, don’t tell me I got the “good” kind of cancer – don’t even suggest it. Don’t even say, “Well, at least you didn’t get _________ cancer, that would really suck.” Uh, hello, this pretty much REALLY sucks. Next time you get cancer I’ll ask you if you think the kind you got is “good”.

2. Don’t tell me things I don’t want to hear. For some reason, it occurred several times that when I told someone what I was going through (which is kinda awkward anyway), they would say something to the effect of “OH, my (mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, insert any other relative or even remote acquaintance here) just died last year of cancer.” Or “Right, my (insert distant relative here) died of Hodgkin’s.” What the hell?? I have been diagnosed with a terrible disease and am undergoing intensive and debilitating treatment, and you’re going to tell me about someone dying? What? Seriously? It’s better just to not chime in here. Again, next time you get cancer, I’ll try this line out on you and you can let me know what you think.

3. DO NOT ask me about my hair. With the kind of chemo I had, my hair started falling out around treatment #3, slowly at first, then lots at a time until I finally, and very sadly, shaved my head. THAT WAS REALLY HARD TO DO. It’s about a lot of things…it’s about vanity and feeling ugly, it’s about the stigma of being sick and that being obvious to the world, it’s about knowing or not who you are without your hair/eyelashes/eyebrows, it’s complicated. And, I take ownership of the fact that some of that is really superficial stuff – but it’s very real and it’s emotional. So, comments like “How’s your hair doing?” “Wow, it’s really thinning out!” “So is your hair just coming out in handfuls?” and “Is that a wig?” are not helpful and WILL make me cry. If you think this is stupid or oversensitive, let me say it again: next time you get cancer let me know how this goes.

4. Don’t tell me it’s going to be ok. Bottom line is this – I know I want everything to be ok, and I know you want everything to be ok – you wouldn’t be my friend/involved family member if that weren’t the case. Unfortunately, we BOTH know that it just might not be ok. We BOTH know that there exists the possibility that it’s not going to be ok and that the disease isn’t going to respond, or is going to come back, and that even if I am tough and brave, it could kill me. I have had to deal with that idea since the word “cancer” came out of the doctor’s mouth. In that moment, and in the hours and days to come, I knew that it could happen that everything was not going to be ok. If I didn’t know that, cancer wouldn’t be such a big deal. If that weren’t a possibility, we wouldn’t have shed tears when we heard the news. So, for my sake, don’t say that line. I know it’s the first thing that comes to mind, and I know you mean it well, but try something else that actually means something, like: “Whenever you need anything I’ll be there” or “This is going to be rough but I’m here for you” or “I’m on my way over with a last season’s Top Model” or even just “Give ‘em hell, sista”. I know you may not get it, but next time you get cancer we’ll share profound understanding when I tell you that I know it may not be ok and that I know that’s real scary.

5. Don’t comment about my weight. Ok, here’s something that I didn’t know before I started this. Chemotherapy is NOT a weight loss plan – YES, they have indeed discontinued all the fringe benefits from the cancer card membership. Turns out, they give you steroids that make you hungry all the damned time. And, you feel like complete shit and don’t even have enough energy to walk up the stairs, much less to exercise. In the beginning when I was still trying to figure out how to deal with crappy side effects like constant vomiting, painful mouth sores, etc, I lost weight because I just literally couldn’t eat. But once I got that under control, the hunger would come on, and man, I can eat a lot. I was in pretty good shape (at the gym five days a week, healthy foods, etc) when all this started and now I have gained weight and am up a pants size. The once-muscle has turned into mushy fat and I’m not happy about it, but during treatment there was just no fix. So, the “wow, you’ve put a couple on, haven’t you?” or “I thought you lose weight on chemo” comments are not helpful and again, will make me cry. Next time you get cancer, see how you feel when I tell you to “hit the gym.”

6. Chemotherapy sucks. I think everyone knows that – I don’t know what the first thing is that pops into your head when you read that word, but I would venture to guess that it’s not something warm and smiley. It sucks, it really sucks. You vomit, are nauseated (which is so much worse than vomiting) all the time, you get terrible headaches, you can’t sleep, you get sores in your mouth and chronic yeast infections, you get seriously seriously constipated, your brain malfunctions and you can’t remember how to get to the bus stop or where you normally leave the toothpaste, your whole body hurts, your toenails fall off (really? Yeah) and now they give you shots to stimulate white blood cell production (at least in my case) that cause relentless, incapacitating pain that made you simply want to give up on living just to make it stop. Ok, I said it, chemotherapy sucks – and I am really good at being tough and not letting everyone know all the crappy stuff that’s happening to me at once, but you know it sucks. So, no, I am not interested in hearing you whine about a cold you think you’re getting, your scratchy throat, your eye/ear/sinus infection, your sleepiness, your headache, etc. I know you really don’t feel good, but c’mon man, suck it up – or at least go tell someone else who doesn’t have cancer. Next time you get it, you’ll drop kick the jerk that spends ten minutes talking about how bad their hangover is.

7. It’s a REALLY long road. Eight months is a long time to be sick. It just is, and I KNOW (I really know) that it gets old. In the beginning everyone called all the time, offered to go to chemo with me, sent lots of e-mails, came over to visit when I was sick….but after the months drag on it’s like people get sick of it. I understand that – ‘cause I got pretty sick of it too. I got sick of calling in to work, not doing anything fun, not seeing anyone….even just answering the damned “How are you feeling?” question….I felt like it was better to lie and say “fine” than to say how I really felt because people kind of don’t know how to react or don’t want to hear it. I have a wonderful husband and mother who took exceptional care of me, even when they needed a break, even when it got old, even when they got sick of hearing me say I felt like shit. They did that because they knew I needed them. I needed other people too, I needed girlfriends to just come over with a movie or a dvd of a funny tv show, or to call me on the days they knew I had treatment, or to just call when they hadn’t heard from me in days. Some did and some didn’t. You know who you are and why you didn’t. Maybe you didn’t feel comfortable or maybe you were too “busy.” Regardless, I love you, and I will do it for you the next time you get cancer.

I really, really hope you never get cancer. I mean that for everyone – even if you’re a jerk, even if you write to me and rant meaningless crap about my rant, even if you really deserve to have something nasty happen to you – I hope you don’t get cancer. It’s awful. I’m not one of those “I’m a survivor!” types, I’m not one of those in-your-face super tough post-cancer freaks, I’m really normal and I will get over this. That said, if you do get cancer or if your friend or (insert any relative here) gets cancer, you can bet your bottom dollar that if/when I hear about it I’ll be on your/their doorstep with a big teary welcome to the cancer club hug and a mop and bucket to clean the floors, or popcorn and a dvd for the kids, or dinner so you/they don’t have to make it, or whatever it takes, for as long as it takes – and you won’t have to ask for it, and you won’t have to say thanks, because we’ll both just know. It’s a special club and we take care of our own.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tribute to the man I love.....

What a great Daddy. His babies love him so much.....and me too! Jon is always saying to me "Tell my why you love me". Which is cute the first 100 or so times and now I just am a smarty pants when he asks me and say no or roll my eyes or say because you're so hairy. Which I know irritates him but seriously. I am a busy lady, no time to tell my husband the million and one reasons why I love him every second of the day. So I decided that I was list out some of the "top" reasons why I love him.

  • His beautiful green eyes

  • His ability to get along with just about anyone from any walk of life, even if they aren't his favorite person

  • He is pretty handy around the house with all the do-it-yourself stuff and all his knowledge of how things work. Saves us bunches of money by being able to repair things himself

  • The way he spends time with our children and makes each of them feel special

  • The way he takes care of our home and the things we own. I am a bit of a neat freak and am glad I married someone who like things neat and not messy. That would drive me crazy. :-)

  • The way he tells me he loves me, and I know he means it

  • The time he takes to stop and hug me and kiss me, even when I am in the middle of something (which I always am)

  • The way he makes it a priority to have quality time together without the kids and go out and get me out of the monotonous day to day at home

  • The way he waits on me hand and foot when I am sick (which I have been lots in the last 2 years)

  • Since he works nights he switches his day/night routine every weekend so he is awake at the same time as me and the kids to spend time with us. I know that this is sometimes really hard and that he is often very tired.

  • I fell in love with him at a country bar and one of the things I loved about him was that he could country swing dance and he still takes me when I am really lucky. I love to dance with him.

  • I love that he could still look at me when I was sick as a dog green, bald, and felt uglier than I have ever in my life and still say "I think you are beautiful" and I know he meant it.

  • I married my best friend and I love that I can tell him anything

  • He was worthy to take me and our family to the temple to be sealed and become an eternal family

  • He goes to a job that isn't his dream job everyday to support our family

Now seriously the list could go on for pages and pages but I won't put you all through that. I just wanted him to know how much I love and appreciate all he does for our family and for me. Sorry ladies but I got the best one of the bunch! I made this video with my video editing software. Man it takes forever but it is fun. Thanks Toni. I love you babe! (remember to turn off music at the bottom).

Monday, June 16, 2008

Missing video from yesterday's post

For some reason this video is not working on blogger or google so I am going to try and post it in another post. This was cody the chipmunk whisperer... (remember to pause music at the bottom)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

As always lots going on here. My sister Toni has been here for the last 10 days with her son Jack. It has been great to see them and visit. She was able to be here to participate in Relay last weekend and We hung out a few times this week. We took the kids up to Estes Park on Tuesday which was a lot of fun. Thanks for suggesting that Toner! It is a mountain town so while it was over 90 degrees here in town it was high 70s up there and beautiful. We went out to eat, rode the aerial tramway, and had ice cream. Olivia got to sit in the back seat with Jack, her new best friend. She was so cute. Talking and playing with him the whole time. The tramway was an experience. It was fun but a little stressful. First off they take you up in these pretty small gondola like cars that have been there since they opened in 1955. It is a pretty steep climb up the cable and with the wind blowing through the cars it rocked back and forth. I was frightened, I am not going to lie. Plus Toni and I are both scared of heights. Not deathly afraid though. Acrophobia is the word Toni. We were trying to think of the actual "phobia" it was but neither of us could remember. So here we are at the bottom, looking up the cable to the top. You can't actual see the station at the top, but basically it is on top of the mountain.
Then here is the kids all excited to being starting up the cable. Remember to pause the music on my blog before hitting play.

Here is the top looking back down at the parking lot which is that black area in the center of the picture.

Here is the famous Stanley Hotel that you can see from the top of the mountain. This is the hotel that Stephen King stayed in and got the inspiration for the movie "The Shining". It wasn't filmed here, just inspired. Also it was on the movie Dumb and Dumber. It is a really beautiful property that you should take time to visit if you are ever in the area.So at the top of the mountain they have these trails to hike around on and then you can buy peanuts to feed the chipmunks. Of course the kids were totally into this. They are so tame from everyone being up there and feeding them. Here is a film of Cody feeding them which was too funny to not share. Cody is the chipmunk-whisperer. (my video isn't uploading right...check back tomorrow to see if it is on here then)

Of course everyone had a good time up there feeding them and were bummed when they ran out. It was a bit stressful for me because they wanted to run all over the place and there were drop off edges. Cody fell down at least twice. I will know for next time that I need to have an extra pair of hands to do this. Jack also was fascinated with the little chipmunks, but it was time to eat so we headed back down.
Afterwards we stopped at Dairy Queen and tried to eat some ice cream before it melted all over us. It was a really fun afternoon. Cody even fell asleep in the car on the way home, which never happens anymore. Thanks for spending it with us Toni.

On Thursday I started the task of getting out all the kids next size clothes since they were lacking in some summer clothes. We have all sorts of stuff crammed into our storage area in the basement since we are continually working on finishing the basement so I have been avoiding getting in there to dig it all out. Afterwards I was glad I did it. I had forgotten about all the stuff I bought on the clearance racks from last year and also found at least 4 pairs of hand me down shoes I really needed for Cody. We got together for dinner at my parents house with Toni, my brother Ethan's family, my sister Heather's family, and my grandma. My mom and Toni made burritos with the knock off recipe from Costa Vida sweet pork and chicken. They are so yummy. Here is a picture of my kids, Heather and her kids, and Toni and Jack. The kids all had a fun time seeing their cousins.

Friday was my busy day at work, so I was working most of the day and also finishing laundry from all the clothes brought up from the basement. I put Jon to work painting Olivia's new room downstairs. I had seen this idea online for painting and really wanted to try it out so after we picked out a bed set for Olivia I went and bought paint for her room. Poor Jon was the one that actually had to put the idea on the wall. He is such a good husband. I love it, but he thinks it looks like a circus tent. I think after her furniture and stuff is in there it will tone it down some. Don't you think he did a great job?

Friday night I went to another one of the dinners we organize every few months for ladies I went through treatment with and have met that are also dealing with breast cancer. I was able to bring Heather, a woman I was recently introduced to that was just diagnosed. It was fun to be able to get to know her better and introduce her to other woman dealing with breast cancer. Not to mention that she is a riot and is going to fit right into our group. There was also a gal there that joined us that I believe is a research nurse. She is following one of the ladies in our group that is doing a clinical trial. She was able to answer a lot of questions we had about clinical trials and just different chemotherapies. It was really an informative evening and as always really enjoy the company of my fellow survivors. They are truly an inspirational group of gals. We had the dinner at my friend Claude's home and her daughter Chloe was as funny. She was instantly my best friend and just wanted to be a part of the grown up group. It was fun.

Yesterday we were able to relax and have some fun with the kids. We took the Jet Ski out to Boyd for the first time of the season. It was almost 90 yesterday so it was a good day to be out but the water was still pretty cold. My friend Heather and her daughter Jaycee were able to come out for the afternoon and hang out which was fun. I just wish the beach were more sandy and not muddy.

Last night Jon and I took his parents down to LoDo in Denver to eat at Maggiano's. It is a yummy Italian restaurant. I was so tired from being out in the sun all day and just having a string of really late nights, but it was a lot of fun. We walked up and down the 16th street mall fo a bit. I stopped at Barnes and Nobel and bought the Twilight series books so I had my own copies. I was telling Jon's mom about how good they were and thought since we were there I might as well purchase them. I am actually going to read them....again. My friend Wendy was just telling me that she was reading them again and they were better the 2nd time. So I am going to read them again. I am a dork, but they were seriously SO good. We were in a really bad traffic jam on the way home that was stop and go for an hour due to a bad accident so it took us almost 2 hours to get home. I started reading the first book again in the car during the traffic jam.

Still on edge about my 6 month follow up testing but wish that it would just be over and done with already. The MRI is this Tuesday and my blood work is next week. I just found out last week that there are some movie theatres in the area doing free and $1 movies in the morning for the kids so I thought we would check that out this week. The cinema savers here in Fort Collins has free movies on Wednesday and Thursday. Their summer schedule can be found here. The Cinemark has $1 movies on Tuesday and Wednesday. Their summer schedule can be found here. Always nice to find cheap and free activities for the kids!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hump Day.....

So Wednesday still with 20 min to go until midnight. Ha! My bedtime keeps getting later and later these days with Jon working nights again. Especially this week.
I have to warn you this is going to be a rant and probably won't make any sense once the ambien starts to kick in but I have to get it off my chest. I don't know what my deal is but I am just going to get it out already. About 2 weeks ago I get a letter in the mail with my follow up appt schedule for my 6 month check up at the oncologist. This includes blood work, brain MRI, and then an appt in 2 weeks-ish. I have been ignoring the pit in my stomach the last little while being so busy with Relay as a great distraction but now that is over it is back to real life. Darn. Sitting at Relay through the luminaria ceremony and seeing all the names of loved ones who had lost their battles with cancer it is hard when you are thinking, "I know that is going to be me someday, but I hope it is a lot of some days away. A whole lot." I don't mean to think these things but I just can't help it. It is how I feel. So as much as I keep telling myself to quit being a wuss or to stop thinking about it, I just can't. It is always there teasing me in the back of my mind....time to go run your head through the tunnel, get a check on the brain in your head. Time to see if your cancer is throwing a party in your blood again or not. Seems so easy to forget about for a few months after the "alls clear" is called but the chance of hearing you might have it again being around the corner is putting me over the edge.
I thought with it being my busy few days with work that might help but really isn't so far. Dealing with real life emotions sucks compared to just doing the day to day stuff with the kids, the job, the husband. I wish I could go back to the days where my biggest concern in the world was where am I going to take the kids today to hang out? My vote for these "check ups" is for someone to come over and drag your dreaming unsuspecting butt out of bed and drive you to the blood lab and Imaging center and have it all be a big surprise and then get your results in 30 min. You know like those horrible parties your friends would have in high school going around and driving to each persons house and drag them out of bed to come over and have breakfast. Tell me if I am getting a little too creepy here...I hope my friends are the only weirdos that did this. full on dragged you out of bed and into a car as is.....good thing we weren't going out to eat a perkins and just my friends house, but what a grouchy bunch of teenagers we all were that morning. I would rather have that be a surprise then having to stress about it for the next 2 weeks and then no get the reports to my actual appointment. Maybe if I slip the MRI guy a Ben Franklin I can get on the spot results...stat! What do you think? All of course foolish ideas that will not work but would be nice if they would. Like random drug testing. Which I have no personal experience with but it's gotta work something like that. Just a phone call and say stop what your doing and hop in this tunnel we have to see if you have a normal brain or one of those brains.
Just some ranting to distract me from what I am really nervous about, as if it needs to be spelled out....damn cancer. I wonder how many times I have said that? Better add another one to the fire ...damn cancer. You've turned my world upside down , but I am still hanging on down here, even though I am upside down, and not planning on letting go anytime soon.
I was so excited to put the kids to be this evening and fall back into my reverie and turn on my tunes and relax. When I say relax, I mean go back to work. But I don't have to watch sponge bob, max and ruby, Thomas, or dora. I get to listen to my tunes. I love listening to music and I must also admit that I like to listen to it LOUD. This plan usually doesn't work out with kids trying to sleep, but most nights I put on the headphones and jam out blocking out the reality behind me and probably scaring my kids as they go to sleep listening to mommy try to sing what ever is on her headphones. Hey, a chick's got to find her "happy place" somewhere. I guess if it comes to the expense of my kids having to listen to their mom sing here and there oh well. I am pretty sure they don't think I am a complete loon yet, but I am sure they will some day. So back to my reverie...listening to music and listening loud and trying to focus on anything except what is bothering me. After all it isn't going to go away. I guess I have to just kick up my boots and go deal with it. Let's hope I don't get the crappy sticker(as in needle jabber) I got last time. I seriously have veins any nurse would die for. they practically pop through my skin fighting about which one is the biggest and best to use. I would be a great heroine addict, I don't think I could even miss those with n0 training. There is always the one that doesn't seem to understand that the vein is the blue one and the white part is just vein there Mame' you missed again. Not so much here or here ....but RIGHT HERE!! Hopefully she has next Tuesday off.
Sweet, sweet Ambien. thanks for rescuing me for the 3rd time this week. I am off to hallucinate on my way to bed since the screen is melting in front of my eyes and fall asleep listing to my tunes so my mind has no freedom to wander to nasty thoughts and places......

Monday, June 09, 2008

Buddy Check 9, buddies!

Here is the message in the buddy check 9 reminder this month....

Hello Everyone
Here's a question for you. What's your breast cancer story? We all have one. Maybe the story is personal, it's about you. Perhaps breast cancer is part of your family; your mother, your sister or a grandparent was diagnosed. There may not be a biological connection, it could be a friend. In my son's elementary school, at least four moms have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer is a part of our lives. It is part of our life stories. That is one reason why we hope you will invite Buddy Check 9 into your life. A breast self exam is one way we can encourage early detection of breast cancer. Once a month, every month we ask you to do a self exam and then remind someone else to do the same. Spread the message, and share your story because breast cancer can be beaten. When caught early, it is not life ending, but merely one chapter of a life story.
Until next month, Kim Christianson

Since I have nothing but silicone to to check I feel the need to remind all those ladies around me to do so. Give 'em a squeeze. I am sure everyone reading this knows my breast cancer story so I don't need to re hash any of the fun details :-) I was newly reminded of everything this last weekend with Relay For Life as I hope all that participated were. I heard many "survivor" stories and stories of those who were lost to cancer. Seeing the hundreds of luminaries around the track was so inspirational and brought me to tears several times. So many people have battled this terrible disease, and many have won their battles. I think I am a better person because of the experience but still don't feel like I am long enough gone to feel as though the battle is won or the chapter is over. Hopefully someday it will feel like that. I am proud to were the "2 yr survivor" sticker but hopefully in a few years when I am wearing the 5 or 7 year survivor sticker it will be further from my everyday thoughts.
It isn't far from my mind that it can still come back at some point. It is hard to not think that every time something is bothering you or something is wrong that it isn't "coming back". I go in to have my 6 month testing again in a week. I have to do another brain MRI and get blood work done to see where my tumor markers are. When I got the reminder in the mail last week and opened the letter I just felt my stomach sink. I know I should be so dramatic but I can't help it. I don't think it is far from any survivor's mind. Regardless of the scary feelings I am still so proud to be labeled a survivor and always will. This life experience has truly changed me for the better and I feel it has given me a new perspective on what is important. I love being able to share my story and support those that are going through treatment or are fellow survivors. I also appreciate immensely my friends and family that were there, and are still there for me whenever I need them. Friends and family that will walk for hours in the rain or sun all day and through wee hours of morning. I hope you guys know that I love you and all you do for me and I will never forget your love and support. You guys all deserve a a big gold medal.
I just wanted to remind everyone again about the support group that I started on yahoo for those battling breast cancer and for survivors. If you would like to join the group there is a link on the side bar of my blog. Feel free to pass the information on to those you think might find it helpful.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Sunday after Relay

Oh my goodness.....I feel like I am 90 today. After getting 20 min of sleep last night and walking on and off through the day and evening and then from 1am to 5am this morning. I feel like a train wreak.

Jon helped me all day Friday getting ready for Relay and doing all sorts of outside stuff like washing the car and packing the trailer. I worked, did all sorts of running around to get ready, and then when I was caught up on work I was able to get my house cleaned really well for the first time in 2 weeks.
We were up bright and early on Saturday to take the camper out to the event center. We got there at about 8:30am so we were able to park super close so it was really convenient. After dropping the camper off we came home so the kids weren't hanging out there all day and I left to get some last minute things at Wal Mart and head back to start setting up at about 11am. Jenn met me there with a bunch of decorations for our campsite and then Wendy and Annette came and help us get the rest of the stuff set up. I was kinda bummed because they screwed up all of the campsites. We raised a bunch of money last year so we were one of the first few in line to choose campsites. When we got there they somehow had changed things around because of the way they ended up having to change our spots. So instead of being right on the side walk by the track we were in the middle of everyone and not in our "primo" spot I signed up for. That was disappointing but we still had a great time. I was able to see a lot of people that I had gone through treatment with and just people in town that I haven't seen for awhile. My friend Dana that I went through treatment with was the honorary chair and speaker before the luminaria ceremony. She was truly inspirational and a true survivor in all aspects of the word. Her speech touched everyone in attendance. Here is a picture of me with my family right after the survivor lap.
Here is one of the "line" of the survivors and then Dana and I doing the "strong man" pose with the other survivors. Can you believe how far the line of us goes out? There were so many of us. I think I was the only rebel that decided not to wear my purple survivor shirt and where my team's hooters shirt instead.
Here is one of my brother and sisters that came to support our team and walk for Relay.

Here is one of me with Olivia and Alex and our hooters shirts Abbey made for us.
Here is one of most of the chicks on our team. What a good looking group of ladies!
They had bands there most of the day and night. We all took time to get our groove on a time or two....
Alyssa's girls should be on So You Think You Can Dance! Jon even humored me with a little country swing...

Here is some more snap shots from Relay....
Here are some of our luminaria ceremony with the luminaria I made for some of my friends that I went through treatment with.
The actual luminaria ceremony I think was a complete flop. They had problems with the sound and I think the DJ just picked random songs to play until the Relay Chair told him to just shut it off. Then he decided to walk off the stage and take a smoke break. Um HELLO! Besides the actual rule of there being no smoking allowed at the event, it was offensive to probably ever person in attendance. What an idiot! Last year they had a picture of each of the bags on the slide show so we could all see the pictures and messages everyone put on it and this year they did these really generic slides with names on them. They also left each slide up there for 7 seconds and the "In Memory" slide show took over an hour, just reading the names and then they didn't even have everyone sit and watch the "In honor" slide show names. I wasn't very impressed with that part of the evening.
Here is me with the Luminaria that had my name on it...

Jon got sick on Saturday and was so stuffed up and sick so I sent him home around midnight to sleep at home. We had a good time just hanging out as girlfriends for the night. My girlfriend Jenn and I walked from 1am to 5am and had a chance to visit with a guy we went to high school with. It was fun to catch up and just get to visit. But it was really hard and was raining most of the time. By the time we were done walking my jeans were soaked up to my calf and my shoes and socks were both soaked too.
The track this year was not level so we were walking up and down hills the whole time. It was hard work, but a great experience. Like I said earlier I feel like I am 90 today. Jon and I got the trailer home a little after 9 and my mom was nice enough to keep my kids most of the day. We both slept from 10 this morning until about 3pm. It is only 9 now and I think I am going to go to bed. My entire body hurts every time I move and my feet feel like they are going to fall off. Do you think that is possible?!? Relay is always an emotional experience and it was fun to be able to experience it with my family and friends. Thanks guys as always for your unconditional love and support. You all mean more to me than you will ever know!!