Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursday

It's time to take a moment to be thankful for the God-given gifts in my life.

I am thankful for a little Dave Ramsey and a little gifted money and a little perseverance in working during chemo.  The truck is in for a laundry list of neglected maintenance, and there is cash in the savings account to deal with it.  I am also thankful for a father-in-law that says "sure, you can have a set of wheels, when do you need them?"

I am thankful for the local PT gal who has focused her continuing ed on Women's Health.  She is fun to hang out with and pretty good at the art of distraction while she stretches my arm farther than I really want it to move.  9 visits in 3 weeks, and I might will be ready to work.  But the 4 lb weights were heavy yesterday, so I am a ways yet from schlepping 300 lb patients. We will get there.

I am thankful for the guy that took my spot in leading the then-Tigers, now-Wolves in Scouts.  He and the gal that I started with have taken the boys and run with it, doing more stuff than I had even thought about.  And really, if I had to feed you by campfire, it's hot dogs or peanut butter, and breakfast would be powdered doughnuts.  If I had to get you un-lost in the woods, well, we're in trouble there, too!

I am thankful for a crazy wonderful jet stream disturbance causing low 80's in July.  It is Cub Scout week at our house, Twilight Camp in the evenings x 4 evenings at the local Sportsman's Club.  BB's, Archery, Crafts, Games, Fishing, and dinner in there somewhere, too.  It has been a joy to be out there helping with the Crafts, in the cool weather.

I am thankful for the other folks who volunteer their time for my kids.  Some of the folks helping are older Boy Scouts of varying rank.  Some have grown kids, but keep volunteering just because.  Some like me have a kid in Scouting.  One of the Sportsman's representatives commented to me that he was impressed with the sheer number of adults helping out.  I was proud of that.  We have a good representation of our moms and dads walking with their kids.  Only in the first year of Cub Scouts do you have to be at every activity with your kid.  I have walked Scout Camp at least two years with the older boy, and while I had to walk it last year with the younger one, I wouldn't have had it any other way.  I have been on the sidelines enough the last 6 months.  As a tandem thought, I am thankful for the Hubs/ Dad, giving his time as an Archery & BB Rangemaster.  The lack of vacation hours and my surgery fouled it this summer, but he has been out for 2-3 camps each of the last few summers, and they were ones that our boys probably weren't at!

Really, he is having a good time!

And one more pic, cause I don't think it ever made it on the blog.  I am thankful for the support of my sister, nieces, boys and mom on Komen Day, 2 days after surgery.

Ok, two more pics, cause I am thankful I am not still a shiny pool ball on top!  It's darker than before, and baby soft.  And I am thankful for Grandma's quilt in the background. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Friday Follies

So... a dose of dark humor for you.

I can finally wear deodorant again!  Woohoo - it's July in the middle of the middle west - you should be thankful for that!  The surgery wounds and JP drain holes are almost completely healed.  The irony in this?  I can't feel my left pit to know if I am getting any deo on or not.  Sigh... bought aerosol deo so I just have to aim somewhere under my shirt.

I have as much hair on my legs, and jaw line????  as I have on my head.  Shouldn't there be a bonus no leg hair growback or something for going through cancer?  And really, I look estrogen deficient with the blonde beard that I see in the mirror.  Oh wait, thanks to that pesky ovarian cyst removed a few years ago, and chemo, and tamoxifen, I AM estrogen deficient!  You'll be happy to know that since I can't feel my pit, and I am missing those 22 lymph nodes, I get an electric razor for the pits and legs!  Now you all know what to get me for Christmas!

I got called Sir about 3 times last week.  Two more fills for the foobs, please and thank you.  I refuse to wear pink!

I promised a paint story, so here's that one, too.  One of the things I was working on pre-surgery was getting our back porch pretty-fied.  It has been just insulation stuck between the 2x4's since Tom and his dad enclosed it before my entrance to the family or this house.  So, I put up cardboard when the toddlers started picking at the fluffy pink stuff, and then plastic thinking I knew what a vapor barrier was, and hallelujah, there's some leftover roof $$, so it got drywalled last fall.  It finally got several coats of paint between chemo and surgery.  And there's 4 coat hook racks ( 16 hooks total - and we still will have coats on the floor!) to be hung up now.  And I am looking for a bench to go under the coat hooks.  And shoe organization?  Probably delusional on that one.  But back to the paint...

The tray on the ladder wriggled as I was filling it, and I was quite certain it was going to come crashing down and I bumped it trying to catch it.  Takes a special kind of painter to get paint in your belly button and on your bra!  Eh, that size bra is unnecessary now anyway!  So Tom, what floor are we putting down, cause that's just a mess!

To finish the paint thought... Tom and his dad tore apart and reconstructed the (only) bathroom when I was pregnant with Evan, and they took a bathtub sized chunk from the 2nd bedroom, so had to redo the bedroom too.  By this time, I had given birth, and was probably driving my in-laws crazy, and they were both painting the now nursery, along with help from my mom.  My mom stepped in and spilled the paint.  All over the hardwood floor.  And we had accidentally gotten oil-based paint, so I am pretty sure all 3 grandparents were high from the fumes.

Like mother, like daughter!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Lots of things to be thankful for this week...

Anthony & Gavin, 2 neighborhood buddies, who mowed the lawn last week.  They wouldn't even take a gift card for the local ice cream place. 

A hug and short chat with Marilyn, an old friend at the local community college.  She was directing traffic (parents) for their kids classes as I was dropping the boys off for kids college this week.  She babysat Evan as a toddler, and every once in a while I still find a toy around here from her garage sales :).

Sunday night with the girls and some 'ritas on the patio.

A ride to Siteman with a real Rita a few weeks ago.

An extra day off for the hubs.  I was spewing bodily fluids everywhere last Monday, and he stayed home to make sure I was ok.

Another extra day off for the hubs.  Three boys to Raging Rivers on Member Pass appreciation day.  He's not a huge fan of sun, water or crowds, but it was cold or flooded when I tried to take the boys.  I love him for this!

A lime green basket of goodies from a friend and co-worker, left on my porch.  She was trying to surprise me, but I was running college with the boys and missed her, dang it!  It is the ultimate compliment when you let your coworkers take care of you, and she could, any day.

Another hug and grocery store chat today with another Survivor from town.  We will have to chat more soon!  At one point Komen had "yard decorating" as a fundraising option around Race For The Cure time, and I had her yard decorated.  I think she was just barely out of treatment, and it made her day.  Komen wouldn't decorate my mom's yard 150 miles away, but they would Ruth's, so she was my substitute.

A full fridge from Lanette and Jenn.  Thank you, Ladies!

Nine God moments that I can easily recall, but probably another 90 that I have missed naming.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


So... what did they find?

Two separate tumors in Lefty.  One was still in the milk glands near the nipple.  This is the "well, something else is there, but we don't know exactly what" from the original PET scan.  The second was the lump we could see on mammogram and biopsied in January.  It was outside of the milk glands, on the border of areola and skin.  And 22 lymph nodes were removed.  The original armpit lump that led to diagnosis is the only one that was positive for cancer.

Can you say "Thanks, God?"  I sure can!

Chemo worked beautifully.  The lymph node shrank to 2 cm.  The other tumor was 2 mm.  Two stinkin' mm!

Unfortunately, I still get radiation.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

3 Weeks and a Day

So it's now 3 weeks post surgery.

We (me and the foobs...  fake + boobs) are up to weekly fills with saline - 90 ml at a time.  Good thing I like the plastic surgeon, as often as I am seeing his office.  It's not the most comfortable thing to have your skin stretched, but not nearly as bad as the first week after surgery, either.  It's just really tight - like a belt cinched tight from armpit to armpit.  When I lay back in the recliner (yeah, still sleeping there) and I wake up groggy, it feels more like a cinder block on my chest.  There is 480 ml in the expanders so far, which is about the amount of water in a 16 oz bottle.  We will stop at about 900 ml, so a few more weeks to go.  Radiation simulations (getting markings figured out and tattooed on my chest) will happen probably the week of the last fill.  I still have the evil compression bra 24x7 and restricted movement.  Hopefully we can get some PT going fairly quickly in the next few weeks. 

It's Independence Day today.  My boys went to the movies.  I think I will find a book and sit on the patio.  It's been beautifully cool this week, and I haven't gotten outside enough.  I would love to think I want to go to the air show and festivities, but I am really not up for it.  Next year...