Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Last night, I didn't have a Thankful Thursday post.

I had anger.  Frustration.  Tears.  Foot-stomping.  Cuss words.  A two-day-old fever.  And weekend plans in jeopardy.

The only things I was thankful for was a God-timed sleep-over (thank you, JVG) for a little kid and a clueless big kid in the basement with his sleepover friend; and Tom, holding us all together this week.

I haven't kicked chemo this week like I have the others.  It has lingered and weighed me down.  Laundry up and down the stairs has become aerobic exercise.  The walk to the employee parking lot seemed to have doubled last week before chemo.  With a foot of snow on the ground Sunday, I have laid low and hibernated most of the week.  Not a great thing for keeping physical strength or mental health up.

When I mentioned being short of breath to the doc, it got me a 6 minute walk and a CT to rule out a blood clot.  Never make an RT do a walk - it wasn't pretty.  No blood clot on CT though. 

Fever.  Not a good thing in someone with a lacking immune system.  It was a juxtaposition in the wee hours of Tuesday night in my shorts & t-shirt watching bad TV with the front door wide open, the street light reflecting off all the snow.

The last thing I remember before going to sleep?  Covers totally off, fan on, hot as could be with that stupid fever, lights still on, Tom folding laundry on the bed, about 9 pm.  And then?  Waking up at 537 am.  I slept through the 1am Tylenol/ Advil/ tooth brushing and Magic Mouthwash.  I wasn't hot or chilled.  I wasn't up flashing the neighbors in the middle of the night.  I was maybe a tiny bit achy, but I am blaming that on the Neulasta and being more horizontal than vertical the last 2 days.

Ok, God, I got the lesson in trusting you.  Thank you.  Next time, could I sleep in a little longer though?  Maybe He is making sure I have time to get stuff done today, cause we got some weekend plans, even if they are at my current snail's pace.

And thankful? 

Yes, I am, for dinners on Friday, Sunday and Monday.  My fridge runneth over.
For the marathon chemo- Friday and a great lady to spend it with.
For Tom, loving me anyway when I am pretty dang unlovable.

But most of all?

For the Easter Miracle of my redemption.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday

A moment to pause and reflect on God's gifts in our lives...

Thankful for yummy lasagna - 2 family meals and 2 lunches for me this week.

Thankful for outings of sorts.  It is Read Across America Week, which we have celebrated at both kids schools all week long.  Tonight was the finale - bring your parents so they can be separated from their money at the book fair.  Lots of kids and their parents were there, and it was good for me to get out and socialize.  And there were lots of activities to keep the kids busy and running.  The teachers work hard to put on a good program.

Thankful for a really cool purple scarf that I can wear indoors (it's frilly, not like a winter coat scarf) and some more hats.

Thankful for some quiet time at the in-laws (hanging with the mom) so I could finally catch up on organizing coupons.  Sometimes, they even get used!  Sometimes, it's just an exercise in cutting and filing.  She gets her arm casted on Monday (finally!) after breaking it 2 weeks ago, and hopefully she will start feeling like moving and getting up and about more.

Thankful for a good week at work.  One of my favorite nurses asked me what was up, and we had a good chat today.  She is a 22 year survivor with 19! positive lymph nodes.

Thankful for a Cancer themed Bible Study at church on Tuesday night.  I had worked, carpooled, homeworked, and just wanted to crawl in bed.  I laid down for 15 minutes, and dragged my tired butt anyway.  It was worth it!

Thankful that I took the time to write tonight.  If I am really on the ball, I write this post throughout the week and it autopublishes on Thursdays.  Working 40 hours this week, it just didn't happen.  I thought about skipping it, but it's the one I look forward to.

Thankful it's #4 tomorrow - halfway through the first step, and the last of the really harsh stuff.  The second half is a different drug, only one of them (I have been getting 2), and supposed to be easier.  Well, good, cause the fatigue wears on me!  I am tired, sometimes fighting the gravitational pull of the bed, but am frequently not sleepy tired.  Just no energy to move or do anything.  It can be a frustrating combination, when I lay down at 1:00 before the kids get home and then can't actually fall asleep.

Have a great weekend, Blogworld!

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Best Conversation

We were all in the midst of the morning grind on the big kid's birthday last week.  He was going to school early, and I would bring birthday doughnuts and drinks a little later.  I knew I would be walking into his class for just a few minutes, but in front of his whole class nonetheless.

"E, do you want me to put my hair on to bring your goodies?"

"I don't care.  No, why, Mom?"

"Well, I'm going into your classroom."


Thank you, Son, for not yet being embarrassed by your mom.  For not caring a bit that I have hair or not.  For not being impressed by the outer shell of things or people.  For looking at what is inside to see what is important and worthy.  For thinking I am still cool for one more pre-teen year.  Your dad and I have not given you a whole lot of name-brand stuff, and you don't ask for them, don't really care about the label on your jeans.  You play with whoever knocks on our door or our xbox, the kids you really like, as well as the kids who really need a friend, and your innocent eyes don't distinguish between the two.  I love you, and am so proud of the young man you are becoming, sometimes because of our efforts and sometimes despite our shortcomings.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday

It's another Thursday, and the opportunity to take stock of the important things in life - God's blessings found in the day-to-day. If you want to know where my Thankful Thursdays started, go visit Run Sickboy Run, authored by Ronnie and Mandy Sharpe over there on the Blogroll. And my totally cool coworker Jeremy at A Walk In The Parks With 65 Roses.

Thankful for...

Kleenex - good kleenex!  I have more snot in my head than I care to admit, and my nose would like to sue for separate maintenance.  When you lose your nose hair and eyelashes, your body over produces snot and eye goo as a protective mechanism, and I certainly am.  Or maybe because it was 35 degrees yesterday and 70 degrees tomorrow.  Regardless, I am thankful for kleenex.

My sewing machine.  I managed to hem 4 pairs of pants and fix a couple knee holes this week.  I am not a good seamstress, but an getting better at hemming pants at least.

A little bit of energy to take care of the hubby's truck - new tires, vacuum, wash, and new floor mats.  I stink at the little details in love and romance, but try to take care of him as best as I can, and a clean house or truck would be the love language I speak, even if it's not the love language he is receptive to.  One of these days, maybe I should actually read that book.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Boy and His School

Eleven years ago, we remodeled a bathroom.  Tom estimated it at a week and a thousand dollars.  It was neither.  And it was our only bathroom in this two bedroom one bath house.  And I was 8 months pregnant when demolition began. And so we moved into his parents spare bedroom.

Eleven years ago, there was a birth announcement in the newspaper.  And the Parents As Teachers teacher latched onto it.  She knew my in-laws from church and could connect the family tree.  The only folks I knew were the ones I had married into, which wasn't a very big support network for a new mom. 

Miss Janet chased us all over town - between sleeping at the 'rents house, remodeling a bathroom and rebuilding a nursery from the mess, here, there and yonder.  She finally got a house visit amidst the craziness.

Eleven years ago, Evan and I crossed a doorway and went to our first playgroup.  We didn't go to many when he was tiny.

Ten years ago, we went to the Methodist church in town.  And I found my childhood roots all over again. 

Ten years ago, we went back to the playgroups, as Evan was a bit more able to play.  And I met the lady who had a story in the paper about the two girls they brought home from the Ukraine.  And her friend who had a boy in the church nursery a bit (ok, a year) older than Evan.  And the lady with four blonde daughters, the youngest still in a pumpkin seat, and brought her two nephews to playgroup.  All of whom were at the church and the playgroups.  One of the part-time PAT teachers was also a familiar face from church.  Another of the part-timers later babysat both boys.  And as Evan aged out of PAT and moved on to pre-kdg, along came Colby to put me back in the PAT mix with a new group of parents.

Ten years ago, I really did put down roots - at school and at church.  What was originally an awfully small cornfield has now become my cornfield.  And while I wonder what they are missing by being in a town small enough to have to share a high school (my graduating class was 500!) to graduate a class of 100, I am sure the tradeoffs are worth it in family and community support.

Thank you, TE and SM, for helping us to raise these boys.

 Evan at a pumpkin picking field trip with pre-k, 2006.

Colby and Miss Janet, May 2009.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Almost missed it!  It's another Thursday, and the opportunity to take stock of the important things in life - God's blessings found in the day-to-day.  If you want to know where my Thankful Thursdays started, go visit Run Sickboy Run, authored by Ronnie and Mandy Sharpe over there on the Blogroll.  And my totally cool coworker Jeremy at A Walk In The Parks With 65 Roses.

This week...

Beef and veggies in beer.  Lots of beer.  There isn't a great time to drink in all of this - either I don't feel good enough to enjoy it, or I am working the next day.  So I will take a bit of alcohol any way I can get it!

Subway and Pizza Market gift cards and gas money.  The school ladies got me good - I didn't see it coming, and you might have made me cry.

More Subway, for fiber and roughage, from my excretion girlfriend.  Only from one hospital employee to another could we have the understanding that we do!

A good week at work.  Had a great laugh today when I saw one of the Bronch Ladies and she couldn't figure out just what exactly was different about me.  Then it dawned on her that my haircut was different.  Uh, yeah, ya goofball!  So while I am pretty sure there is a rubber band constricting blood flow to my brain and it's a dead animal fur on my head, I must be able to pull it off well.

Tacos that lasted all weekend.  Yummy in our tummies!

Can I be thankful in advance for the weather forecast next week?  65 tomorrow, and sunny and warm when I am low & needing that spring feeling.  Looking forward to daily walks to clear the chemobrain.

Fifth grade fractions, even if Evan didn't do so hot on that test, because 3/8 is close to 1/2, and way better than 1/8 or 1/4!  Tomorrow is 3/8.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Findings & Prayers

Thursday, I found my long-tucked-away gratitude journal.  Last entry?  May 8, 1999.  My 20 yr old cousin Jenny's funeral.  My gosh, I have lived a lifetime since I last journaled there.

Friday, I found my vacuum and vacuumed & dusted.  I love my Kirby.

Saturday and Sunday, I found work.  Not a bad thing to find.

Monday, I found The Bible, at least History Channel's version of it, recorded from Sunday night.

I am starting to find myself, although I am not sure if it's the old me or a new me.

I call myself a Christian, but my real Bible is pretty dusty.  It lives in the same drawer by my bed as the gratitude journal.  My prayers thus far have been flailing efforts at best.  What, exactly, do you pray for when you are in my bra?  I'm still figuring it out.  There isn't as much anger, tears or frustration by now, 7 weeks after diagnosis.  There is a pattern to treatment and side effects that makes it easier to cope with and plan for.  I pray for strength for the long haul.  For good decisions on my part about use of leave time at work and planning for two surgeries in less than a year.  For the cancer to not be anywhere else but the known lymph node, and to only do this cancer dance once in a lifetime.  The lymph node is shrinking with just the 2 rounds of chemo so far, Amen!  For the 3! other ladies at church all walking this walk.  For the hands and feet carrying us through this with dinners, rides, hugs, hair bows & hats.  But mostly, I pray for God's will, and the courage to take what is given to me.  And a continued sense of humor through it all, cause crying just gives me a headache.