Monday, September 22, 2008

Friends and new Fake boobs?

Last week one of my friends from high school was in town with her kids so a group of us got together at the park to play. Jerilyn, Brittany, and Susie it was great to get together and I had lots of fun catching up! You're guys' kiddos are beautiful!

I also had a girls night for the gals I went through treatment with and the people involved in the new online support group through yahoo groups I started. It was so much fun. We just got together to eat at the Olive Garden and visited. Lanie and Karen were both there so of course we had to get a group shot of us now that we all have longer hair. (This looks much better than the bald one of us in the chemo treatment room with IVs sticking out of all 3 of us!! We have come a long way ladies!)

Here is Heather and I. I met Heather a few months ago through a friend and have had so much fun getting to know her. She is a hoot and is the publisher of a mother's magazine that is awesome. She is an amazing writer and will be in next month's STYLE magazine as a model and also contributed an article that is of course amazing. Check it out if you see the issue in the community. If you want to look at her magazine it is called get born and you can view it at http://www.getbornmag.com/

This is Judy and her daughter Traci that I met through the Yahoo message board. She is also a riot.

I am really excited about the message board as a bunch of new women have joined this last week and I am hopeful that we will have more traffic on it and be able to provide an excellent support network. I wish I would have thought of this while I was in treatment. Hopefully it is a valuable resource for everyone. If you or someone you know would benefit from it please send them my way. There is a link in the upper right corner of the side bar on my blog page.

I also had an appointment with the wonderful Dr. Brewster last week. She told me that she did think that we could improve the look of the radiation damaged side. The scar tissue has really tightened around the implant and it hasn't "settled" like the other side has so it sits about an inch higher than the left side. All of these things are not very noticeable when wearing a bra or outside my clothes so I am not super worried about it but might as well fix it if it is bothering me before I have to pay my deductible again. She will try to loosen up the scar tissue and the tight tendons around my chest muscle and then put in a little bigger implant to try and match the other side better. It will just be 50 or so cc's larger and will hopefully take care of the uneven look I now have. So I have set the surgery date of Nov 12th which will give me a few weeks after we get home from Disneyland but be before Thanksgiving and the holidays and most importantly before I have to start over with paying my deductible at the first of the year. I will have it at the Harmony surgery center again when I have received awesome care in the past so am looking forward to returning there.

Basement Update

Wow, I have been such a blog slacker lately. It just seems like every time I want to sit down to update I have something else going one. I am so busy lately. Lots of stuff has gone on here. Jon has been hard at work on our basement and we have done lots the last few weeks.
Seth came over and finished most of the electrical stuff. So we have light switches that work and I finally, after 2 years have lights that go down my stairs. Since our ceilings are vaulted upstairs and there isn't a ceiling above our stairs, it is just open, I have had no lights on the stairs since we started this project. Seth put in these sweet LED lights that rock! I love them!
Jon has also spent a large amount of his time in the basement the last 2 weekends doing the tile. I must say that I am really impressed that it looks so great since this is his first time installing tile. Not that I expected it to be bad but it looks great. He did the floor and the shower. All the tiles are even lined up right on the bench for the shower. What a guy, huh?! Looks great babe.
This last Saturday he put in the toilet, which was a big deal with the kids for some reason. Alex was all excited that she could actually go potty on it if she really wanted to. What a funny girl. So yeah, a pooper and the finished tile project!
We have picked out the carpet but are trying to shop around for the best price for carpet and installation. We also went to try and pick out some cabinets for the bathroom and the family room. We are hoping that this project will finally be finished in the next few months. We are all more than ready for the extra space!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The big S-I-X

I have a six year old. I am sure this sounds dumb to all you with older children but wow, I can't believe it has been 6 years since I had Olivia. She invited some of her little friends over in the afternoon and then we had family over later.

The kids played red rover again which was a huge hit, they would have played this all day!

Caleb ended up being the only boy that came, even though a few were invited so he wasn't too excited to hang with the girls. Caleb and Cody became fast friends and hung out the entire afternoon.

On to the presents....she got a lot of things she really liked. Of course we have to have the High School Musical merchandise.

Jon pretended to have her new jamies fit him and was joking around with the kids. Jon, pink is your color!

We sang her happy birthday.
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Later we enjoyed spending the evening with family. Aunt Clara helped get Cody his dinner.


Doug was here for the evening.

Jon's parents were out of town for most of Aug so missed the twins birthday so came with presents for all the kids. Alex got a CD player so she can listen to her new high school musical CD in her own room. What a big girl! Cody got a Geo Trax building to add to his set. Score!

Olivia got the movie "where the little girl feeds the horse Popsicles". She has been asking for it since we rented it last year.She also got a really cute Sunday dress from my parents that she wore the next day to church.


Happy Birthday baby girl!

Week with aunt Toni

My sister Toni came out to visit us the week after Labor day with her son Jack. We had such a great time with her. She was over hanging out lots and the kids loved seeing her and "baby Jack". She even let Alex play with all the make up in her purse and gave her a make over. Alex was in heaven.
There was one day that we were out running around for most of the day and about 5 min away from home Alex actually fell asleep in her car seat. That NEVER happens anymore. I had to catch it on film!
I didn't realize that I really didn't take that many pictures of her visit until now, but it was a fun week. Her husband Doug came out on Friday and was able to be here for Olivia's birthday party so that was really fun. We love it when you come and visit Toni, but the kids want to know when they get to see Buddy! (Buddy is my sister's dog)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Labor Day Weekend

For Labor Day we went to our normal camping spot up in Wycolo to camp and ride the quads. We had a blast! Our friends Aislinn and Desi came with their kids, Brad and Patti came with their kids, and Seth came with the boys. We ended up leaving really late because I had to work until 5pm and then by the time we all headed out of town it was time for dinner so had to stop for dinner as well. When we got up to Laramie we always stop at the Sinclair station and since it was already 8pm I thought we might as well get the kids into their pj's so we aren't changing them up in the dark when we are trying to set everything up. I went back into the camper to get the pj's and noticed that I forgot to pack ANYTHING for Olivia. How did that happen?? I guess that is what I get for having a million things on my plate that day. Unfortunatly we had picked her up at a friends on the way out of town and she was wearing a skirt, tank top, and flip flops. Um.....not so much for the crisp and cool mountains. So we had to track down Wal Mart in Laramie and buy her clothes for the entire weekend. Sheesh! I guess it was a good thing we found out then and not when we were in the middle of nowhere.

When we finally got up to our spot it was after 10 and didn't have time to do anything except set up and get into bed. In the morning the toys all came out and we went for a little ride with Desi and Aislinn before they had to pack up and take off. The kids thought Brad and Patti's little Power Wheel quads were the best.
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Everyone enjoyed the hammock.

And all the kids got lots of practice riding and driving on the little 80s around the campsite.

Saturday was also the twins actual birthday so Jon, Olivia, and I gave them our gifts up there. This also marked my 2 year diagnosis date so it was a good day to be up away from it all with my family. I just feel so grateful to be able to still be here and enjoying my family and be healthy. I can now say I am a 2 year survivor..yeah!

On Sunday our friend Kenny came up to hang out and play tour guide. He know the trails up there so well and there are so many of them I don't know how we don't get lost. But Sunday he took us all on a long ride to the sand dunes in Walden. It was a very cool ride. Lots of fun riding over trails and then the dunes just pop out of the mountains, it is crazy. Look at this view coming down from the mountain.Isn't it cool? Here is Jon taking Cody on a ride up the top of the dune.


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On the way back we were "hard core" and crossed a beaver pond. It was fun, but of course since I am the one always taking pictures I don't have a picture of me doing it, only Seth since he was behind me.

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Also by the beaver crossing there was this huge hill that the kids were obsessed with. What is it with kids and hills? So once the kids went up it the guys thought they would try to race to the top. Jon chickened out, but that hill is steeper than it looks!

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We had a great weekend and Cody still asks every day...When are we going "at camping" again mom? That boy would live "at camping" if he had a choice. He loves it there. On the drive home I captured Alex in her element of "Alex's Own World" so I had to share.

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That is always so funny when they don't think anyone is paying attention. Also on the way home I experienced the actual feeling of thinking we were going to die. Except for really..... This guy was going super slow and so we tried to go around him and Jon got a little over zealous with the rate of speed we were traveling to pass. The trailer was swaying all over the road, and I mean all over. It was amazing there was nobody coming the other direction since we were traveling on a 2 lane highway. I am not really sure how we were able to even gain control of the vehicle again. Jon remained calm, thank goodness while I panicked in the passenger seat. I was actually shaking for at least 10 min afterwards. I have never been that freaked out before. Jon said "I don't think it is a good thing when you can see all 3 wheels of the trailer in the side view mirror." The trailer has a triple axle so at one point it was close to sideways from the car. Later Jon realized that the trailer brake wasn't turned up enough, either way, I don't think we will be trying to pull the trailer going 80 again. EEKKK, it gives me the chills just to think about it again. Brad and Patti were following us home and called about 5 min after it happened to ask Jon if he had changed his pants yet. It's all fun and games until you're in the vehicle that is about to crash :-)

It was a wonderful weekend though, and hopefully we are able to have lots more of these next summer!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Capsular Con-what???

Unfortunately I had to go to the dentist today to get a cavity filled. I had gone last week for my yearly appointment and they found the cavity. So after I dropped of the twins at preschool off I went to spend "my" morning by myself at the stupid dentist. Not that every getting a cavity filled is a pleasant experience but this one especially sucked because it was between 2 of my back teeth and they had to shove all this extra "stuff" up there to space the teeth apart to actually fill the cavity. So about 1/2 way through this procedure as they are literally jamming things into my mouth the words CAPSULAR CONTRACTURE pop into my head. I had to sign this big form after my reconstruction about the risk of this condition and promise to take antibiotics before ever seeing the dentist even for a routine exam. Apparently even the best brushers have very dirty and germy mouths. In hopes of not developing an infection from dental cleaning the antibiotics are taken. If you develop an infection of any sort you are at high risk for getting this capsular contracture. (which by the way if you google this be ready to see pictures of breasts) I tried to put a link up with no photos but just so you are forewarned. Any-who of course I had forgotten all about this stupid thing and started to panic with my mouth opened as wide as it could go and no hopes of being able to do anything to communicate this with my dentist at the moment of realization that I am an idiot. Of course the last 1/2 of my appointment I spent thinking about all the surgeries I have had to endure to be at this stage of my reconstruction and of course getting this capsular contracture out of my own stupidity and having to start the process all over again......You know the typical panicked thinking the worst and getting worse as the thinking progresses? Yeah I am one of those. Of course I had gone over my medical history with the dentist who never mentioned anything about it so was oblivious to this being an issue.
After the damage had been done, the cavity filled, my neck broken from all the straining, my jaw aching, my tongue, mouth and half my face numb and feeling like the elephant women I had to try and explain the situation to the dentist. Trying to be discrete about the problem and the breast implants at the front check out counter was the pleasant experience with 2 young girls looking at me wondering why I didn't look like Pam Anderson if I had chosen to get implants (of course knowing nothing of my medical history). I suppose I could be hypersensitive to it but seriously quit looking at my chest already! Yes there are silicone implants in my chest and I am only a B cup. Didn't your mother ever tell you it's rude to stare :-) Back to the dentist who was clueless looking at me in almost the same way while I was saying my surgeon told me I had to have antibiotics before dental work. He had never heard of this before. So I had to call up Dr. Brewster's office and get the gal at the office to explain what I needed to do. "Go pick them up and take them NOW." So I finally go the script from my dentist and ran over the pharmacy to the the meds, which of course are terrible on your tummy.
As soon as I walked in the door I had to take an Aleve because my jaw and mouth hurt so bad already, even though I was numb. The dentist said he had to move things around in there a lot to get to the cavity and I could be uncomfortable for a few days. Terrific. Uncomfortable is putting it mildly this evening as it hurts to even open my mouth.
I find myself wondering if I will ever escape this cancer crap...I am thinking no. I can't believe I forgot about this antibiotic thing with the dentist.

First Day of School

On with the updates I have missed....So the twins started preschool on a Monday and Olivia didn't start until Tuesday so they went first. Of course I had to take a picture with their backpacks because they make the twins look so little.
And from the front but a little blurry...

Olivia and I got to spend some time together that morning shopping for the rest of her school supplies which was fun to have some one on one time. The next day Olivia got her turn and went to school.
Um high school musical backpack, what else?

Here is Alex on the same day. She got a "play" make-up set for her birthday (thanks Lexi!) and it is her new favorite thing to play with. It's extra fun for mom because that blue eye showdow only comes off with an SOS. Ha! Ok I don't really use an SOS on my 4 year old, but it really doesn't come off easily! It is pretty funny though.

Olivia also started her tap class on Tuesday night. I stayed and watched her first class. It was pretty cute.

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I can't believe I have a 1st grader and 2 pre schoolers!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Buddy Check 9

So it's "that time of the month" ladies. Get in the shower or the bathroom or wherever and get that self breast exam done. Early detection is KEY. Here is the message this month from Buddy check 9....
Hello Friends!
We are so looking forward to seeing all of you on Sunday October 5th. Denver's Race for the Cure turns 15 this year! Once again, we are expecting to be the largest race in the country, thanks to you. Please get your teams together, call your family members and neighbors and ask them to join us. You can register on-line, just look for the Buddy Check 9 page under Community.
The race brings together women, men and children for a day dedicated to breast cancer. This is a day to celebrate the lives of all of those diagnosed with breast cancer. They are our mothers, sisters, fathers, friends, neighbors and co-workers. They are the people who motivate each and every one of us to do what we can to support the efforts to find a cure. Enormous steps have been taken by researchers looking for better treatments and causes to breast cancer. Still, there is a long road ahead. Too many women and men die from this disease every year. For anyone who has lost someone to breast cancer, all that has been done is not good enough. We can do better.
Get involved today. Begin by making contact with your buddy, and remind your buddy to do a breast self exam. Now, take one more step. Ask you buddy to join you in the Race for the Cure. Thousands of people will descend on downtown Denver that morning to join this cause. Car pool, take light rail and expect big crowds. And expect to be inspired. After the race, join the survivor ceremony and look closely at the faces in the pink hats on that stage. They are part of a bigger family of people who bless our lives, teaching us how to live.
We will see you on October 5th!

I am registered to do it this year for the first time and can't wait to experience it and feel like 1 in 65,000 people. Wow, it's going to be awesome. Don't forget to remind the ladies in your life to give 'em a squeeze this month.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Seriously...2 weeks?

So it has been FOREVER since I last posted. I thought things would slow down after school started and they have just gotten busier. We have done so much in the last few weeks. Both the twins and Olivia have had birthdays and parties, we have all started school, been camping.....on and on it goes. I will just try to update a little on a few different posts.

First we had Cody and Alex's birthday party with their little friends. We took them across the street to the park and they played on the park equipment and we played a few simple kids games like red rover. The kids loved red rover.
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Here is a snap shot of their friends at the park. The red head little girl in front is an official party crasher. She was playing at the park during the party so had to join in on the games and pictures. Too funny!

They had a total blast playing and opening presents. They got pretty well everything on their wish lists. They had cupcakes for their "cake" and I borrowed this cute holder from my friend Alyssa.

That night we had a BBQ with family and some friends.

Jon's aunt and uncle came up from Denver and weren't sure they'd be able to make it back to Olivia's party in a few weekends so they brought her birthday present up with them. She got a scooter and it is a big hit. She rides it all the time!


The kids had a great day and scored a bunch of new fun toys. Mom and dad had fun too, but were exhausted by the end of it!