Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lost & Found & Gone Away


38 or so pounds since this time last year, and less than 10 of those were surgically removed.  Weight Watchers... it's a love-hate relationship.
8 cup sizes.
The need for perfection.  I can't do it all or be it all, nor do I want to anymore.  I am learning to calmly ask Tom for help when I am tired or overwhelmed by life, rather than the routine every-other-Sunday night fight that I am guilty of picking after I am tired from working & the house isn't "perfect."
The ability to wear my wedding ring on my left hand.  I outgrew my gold band when I was pregnant with Colby, but Tom gave me a ring for Christmas last year with all our names stamped on it that was too big for my ring finger, perfect for my middle finger.  With lymphedema, jewelry on my left arm is just asking for more trouble.  I can't get used to rings on my right hand, but I am trying.


Too small shorts that aren't too small anymore.
2 cup sizes back, 1 fill at a time.  But I still have issues when I look at my disproportionate chest & belly sizes.  One pound, one week, one meal at a time.
A desire to get back to scrapbooking.  I have way too much time on my hands til the next schedule at work starts, and think I will fill it by doing something with all the old pics shoved in the basement closet.
A desire to simplify life, to be able to find things easier by owning less things in general.  My thought for when we build (next summer, maybe?  Anyone want to buy a really cute starter home?) is that I want twice the space and only move half the stuff.



Gone or Put Away

Wig, shampoo, styrofoam head.  I cleaned out the bathroom closet yesterday.  It was fun to dump the shampoo down the drain & toss the bottle into the recycling.  I think I will let the boys decorate the styrofoam head for Halloween before it goes away.
Port-a-cath numbing cream, all of the chemo pre & post meds, leftover wound care stuff.
Closet clutter.
Bookshelf clutter.  They are still full, but hopefully of meaningful stuff, not magazines from 2010.  In watching too much HGTV in this season of life, I don't want a perfectly matching living room full of eclectic pieces I just bought.  I want a living room full of stuff that means something to us.  I like the family pics and Willow Tree figurines that memorialize moments in life.  The cancer clutter that had begun to take over the bookshelves, not so much.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thankful Thursday

The only cd I played twice was Meatloaf.  I don't have a good answer for my love affair with Bat Outta Hell, but I have always played it when I needed a swift kick of motivation or anger management.  The song as rad ended and they got me off of the table?  Two Out of Three Ain't Bad.  "I want you, I need you, but there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you.  Now don't be sad, cause two out of three ain't bad."  How perfect was that!

The big kid picked lunch - the hometown Subway.  Forty miles of restaurants, and he wanted the hometown favorite.  And as you can tell, Tom thought the little kid should get to skip school, too, in celebration.  A good day for us all!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Radiation Update

So it's T-1 today in the final countdown.  28 days total by tomorrow, and it hasn't been too bad.  I think I only cried the first day and a random day in the middle, and I blamed that one on Tamoxifen mood swings and just being way past tired & overwhelmed with life, cancer and lymphedema (LE).  I planned my time for mid-morning to get the kids to school, get there and get back, but with 3x/ week LE massage for most of it, I think I only got 1 or 2 afternoons with naps.  When I get run down & exhausted, then I cry just because the sky is blue.  My chest and underarm are red and rashy and itchy, but the skin stayed together - which was my biggest fear.  I would not work with open wounds and woundcare, and they would have a hard time getting me back on the table for more pain.  Inside, it feels like a big ol' skinned knee.  The rad can bounce of my esophagus and cause a sore throat... some mild discomfort, they said.  Feels more like half of a biscuit stuck that won't go up or down in my opinion.  Chili, ice cream, mushy spaghetti and cereal have been the menu for the week.  Cold water kinda numbs it, but only a little.  I have Magic Mouthwash - the same stuff from mouth sores and thrush during chemo.  It worked well for the chemo issues.  Doesn't do diddly for my throat, since there is really no "hang time" to coat & numb it when you swallow it, and it's really really nasty to swallow.  I have had a different CD to listen to every day - thank you!  Now if I could only get them to turn it up loud enough to drown out the machine.  I'm telling ya - there are a few noises that sound every bit like sizzling bacon that freak me out, cause that's my chest they are sizzling!  Not really - I know it's the machine, but there are mind games involved in this thing called cancer.

It's a lunch date with my favorite big kid tomorrow for the bell-ringing.  The favorite little kid had a sick day last week, so he got to see some cool highway trucks, all the bridge construction, the therapy dog at rad, McD's playplace, and read books at Barnes & Noble, so an all around great day for him to join me.  The big kid won't get treated quite so well since I have a lymphedema appointment in the afternoon, but we will make it a date anyway.  Wishing there was more vacation time for Handsome to join me, but he will need it for later, as reconstruction is on track for early January.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thankful Thursday - derailed

Thankful Thursday is derailed...  spent two hours trying to figure out flexible spending account reimbursement for the new benefits plan tonight instead.  I'm thinking that for the amount of tax-free money we save, it might not be worth the frustration factor!  Pretty sure our time and stress is worth more than the tax-free savings.  Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to post.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Did you think I would miss 2 weeks in a row?  Can't leave all 4 of you followers hanging like that!  It's another Thursday, thankful for God's blessings.

Thankful that I got to do this with this kid:

and that with those kids in the last two weeks.

"This" was Snooze at the Zoo with the Cub Scouts.  We went on a night hike with the animals boys and put the animals to bed, along with a craft - the cape and Superman pose, cause they were Animal Avengers.  We slept out under the stars, but the city is loud and light, even at night.  That was one grumpy lump to wake up at 6 am to eat breakfast and wake up the animals!

"That" was tickets to the Rams- Ravens preseason game, with two buddies out late on a school night.  They had a great time, I think.  Maybe it was all the cotton candy in that bag, I dunno!  Those 3 were a cheap date.  We got the tickets for free after the Rams summer skills camp didn't work out so well for us - hopefully next year.  Then they were giving away vouchers for a free hot dog, soda and popcorn for kids under 15.  Woohoo!

Thankful for more food in the freezer.  I'm still not cooking, thank you, People!

Thankful for radiation music.  I can't listen to the whirring, clicking and zapping of the rad machine.  It really freaks me out.  It takes some guts to go back day after day for something that is intentionally damaging good healthy body parts, yet I have to do it.  Whatever it takes to get through it, and at loud volumes!  It's not like anyone else can hear it - the door is a foot thick and solid.

Thankful for single digit addition and subtraction.  Tomorrow there is 10 rad treatments left.  That means next week and the week after is 5 + 4 = 9.  I can do that math!  Plastic surgeon appointment is set up for the last week of rad so he can evaluate the "crispy" factor of my chest wall skin and figure out a timeline for whatever surgery we will do.  Saline or silicone implants or autologous (rearranging the fat tissue I already have) are the options.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Implants are quick and easy as far as surgeries go. Any autologous surgery is more difficult with a longer "down time."  Hmm... how much more do I really want to go through, and how many more scars?  I know we won't do anything for at least 3 months to let the skin and chest tissue cool off, so a break from everything.  I am looking forward to that break!

Two weeks from today, and we are done with the "killing cancer" part of this.  Can't wait!