Sunday, December 30, 2007

We all need a break from this.

Today is a gloomy day.

I am suddenly obsessed with my tumor type and keep reading my pathology report over and over again. How silly is this in the wake of all that is going on in our lives? What I am trying to figure out is if my tumor is an aggressive type of ACC...and based on what I know, it might be... The main type of cell in my tumor is called "cribiform", which is the LEAST aggressive of ACC, so that is good news. But the bad news is that there are areas of "solid" cells, which is the MOST aggressive. Sigh. There are never answers.

Cancer never freaking leaves me alone. No matter how hard I try to shake it, today it is tapping on my shoulder.

Today is a gloomy day.


Ava update, Sunday 12:30 p.m.

Heather called this morning and because Ava has a blood infection, they are going to try to wait out the antibiotics(she has been on them just 24 hours) and are going to clean the filters in some tubing she has had since being on ECMO. But there is still room for the miracle that we need.

The family is not going up today as planned. No decisions will be made today.

Please bring peace to all involved.


Saturday, December 29, 2007


Ava is losing her valiant fight. The family is gathering tomorrow at U of M. Please pray for a miracle and if He can't grant one, please pray that Ava finally can rest and sleep like babies are supposed to. Ava, you are so loved.

I will keep you posted as I can. Please pray for peace for Jamie and Jamie and the entire Zimmerman/Weaver family. They need us now more than ever.

The list grows.

Oh my gosh, with the addition of Debbie Floor's breast cancer, I think there are seven of us who have been diagnosed with cancer in the last six months. There is me, Troy, Marilyn, my mom, Tim, Linda, and now Debbie. Not to mention Pat P., Susan, and Dennis who are also all dealing with it. These are all people I consider friends, and I am sure you all know even more. This is just crazy. But, at least we are all among the living, fighting the fight every day.

I must confess that before I was diagnosed with cancer I used to hear of others' diagnoses and as shameful as this is, I was always somewhat relieved that the ODDS of me getting it were less--after all, there are only so many people in a circle of people who get cancer. Well, crap, that theory is shot to hell with all of the people above. This 2007 year has been so up and down...I really am going to be glad to kiss it goodbye in a few days, but know that 2008 might bring more crap, but may bring joy as well. And that doesn't make me much different than you non-cancer people either. I guess we all have the same fears for the most part.

Why is it that after Christmas you still feel the need to spend loads of money? I had lots of gift cards to spend--which I did--but then went to Bed, Bath and Beyond where I had no gift cards and spent $90. On What? Nothing that I really needed.

As you know I got a new car, and I must say I am receiving quite the attention from it. I have had more people point at it, one guy said "there's the new malibu", and another person was checking out the interior. Chevy did a great job of marketing the car I must say. Also, I LOVE MY XM satellite radio. That is probably the best part of the car--plus the remote start.

I forgot to tell you all that my mom got an infection in her incision...she is doing fine but spent Wednesday in the doctor's office. I guess any type of stomach/colon surgery is very ripe for infection. The doctor had to cut her open again (in the office) and pack her full of guaze...Sue says she is fine now. I had that happen with my neck surgery and it happened on Christmas Eve so there is something about Christmas and infections in my family. But mom is doing well. She sees the oncologist, a Dr. Payne (my sister's friend's partner) January 11.

My boob is bothering the heck out of me. Oh, by the way, my next surgery is February 7--exactly 5 months after my mastectomy. It is a Thursday and we are planning on it being out patient surgery at Bronson. I just hope the new implant is a bit softer than the boulder in there now. This thing is about ready to burst and is constantly pulling on my back muscles. It is so much higher that droopy boob.

One week left of vacation. I still haven't done anything about Jim's new front door. I am a terrible wife. : ( I do need to finish a thesis for my graduate class, which I have decided is my number one priority. I have to write a paper about how I deal with parents on my job--from the start of a problem to the resolution. Luckily, I can write NON-stop about just about anything so I have that going for me. : )

I have not talked to Heather about Ava so I too will be checking her website.

More later. I should probably do something constructive today, like clean my closets. TTFN.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to you!

I wasn't going to post today because I went to bed at 8:20 p.m. Didn't know it was 8:20--I thought it was like 11:00 or some later hour. Anyway, Jimmy is asleep, Josh is playing x-box live with 1/2 the world and Andrew is at Kait's house. And since it is now like 10:30 and I am not asleep I thought I would write. Shade is mad that we left her all day.

First of all, I hope everyone had a peaceful Christmas. I am still amazed at my mom's strength. Less than two weeks ago she had a huge tumor removed, a big a whole cut into her belly and she still is going strong. Now granted, she didn't so much but sit and watch us all do the Christmas stuff, but mentally you would never know she is facing chemo and who knows what else. I know she is WAY less obsessed with knowing every thing there is to know...she is much more patient than I was--and doesn't seem bothered at all by what looms ahead. She and my dad are in such a good place in their dad is like a rare diamond in the rough at the retirement complex--Sue (my sis) said that all the women are buzzing all around him when he comes down for coffee, etc. Most of them are single with husbands who died recently so Dad is a hot commodity. My mom just thinks it is so funny because he waits on all the ladies when they need something. My parents have been married over 50 years and not all of them the best, but damn, they sure are going strong. When I watched my dad helping change my mom's colostomy bag, I welled up...there is just so much love there in a pretty "crappy" situation. (oh gosh, that was bad...tee hee)

I have thought about Jamie and Jamie all day today. Last I talked to Heather, which was Monday morning, Ava had had a "wonderful" night according to Carol and boy Jamie. She is "peeing like crazy" and the seizures have stopped. Dr. Hirsch was "ecstatic" and felt that she too could go and have a nice Christmas with her family because Ava was doing better. I do not know anything since this story but pray almost hourly that she is making strides. I know Mom Jamie got the needed love and energy from Bray while she was home...and I am sure she is back at U of M now, loving on little Ava.

Poor poor Jimmy. He gets me a new car for Christmas and I got him a bathrobe. What he really wants is a new front door. So I think in my two weeks off I am going to try to arrange that. He also really wants an old nasty refrigerator out of our garage. Do dumps take refrigerators? I am so domestically challenged it isn't funny.

Netter, if you are reading this I want to thank you again for the sweet card and great picture. While I remember seeing the picture, I do not remember giving it to you. And you are so right, I can't stop smiling. Your words made me realize that simple things do matter and we never know how anything we say or do can affect others. I will take that picture and put it on my desk and school so when I am about to go "administrative" on some poor high schooler, I will remember that just maybe a kind word would work better! Between your eulogy for Grampa and that card, I think you made me cry twice this year. You always were a writer.

And Mimi...always the "great aunt", thanks for remembering Kait with your gift the other night. Your little touches are always so special.

Oh my god! Go back to the paragraph about my mom. Re-read where I talk about getting her tumor out...a big a hilarious is that???? I meant to write a big hole. That was such a non-intended pun I am leaving it. Goodness.

Well, when I went to bed at 8:20 I did start reading a decent book so I guess I will go back to it. Besides getting Jim and new door, a goal of mine this vacation is to read at least four books.

I hope all of you had a joyful day. I know I did.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ava is status quo.

Heather called and the doctor who read the preliminary CT said there is "no significant bleeding."

Jamie is on her way home with Heather as we speak. She even bought a candy bar, chips and a pop at the gas station so she is eating. I am so proud of her for making that very hard step to come home today...They are hoping for the best but are prepared for the worst.

Little Ava continues to fight like we know she can. I keep forgetting what a warrior she is.


P.S. I hear boy Jamie has posted on Ava's website so you can check there too.

An Ava update

Ava started experiencing seizures last night and the concern now is brain hemorrhaging. She is scheduled for a CT scan at 1:00. Dr. Hirsch said that if there is a little bleeding then Ava can probably handle that...but if there is significant hemorrhaging then the problem is grave. So this is Baby Ava's most important hurdle at this point. Please pray at 1:00 for Ava and her family.

On the better news side, Dr. Hirsch said that if the seizures had not started she would have been "ecstatic" today as Ava met all her goals for yesterday. One of the most significant things that I remember Heather saying is that the doctors purposely "kinked" Ava's ECMO machine to see what her body would do and she picked up the function on her own. That is good news. She even had pulsivity, which means her heart beat on its own and they could feel a pulse.

I am guessing until things settle down we won't hear from Jamie on her blog. I will try to keep you updated with Heather's permission. For now, please pray as I know you will.


Friday, December 21, 2007

"It's curable."

A quick post--

Mixed news from mom's path report. Most important to note first is the surgeon said "it's curable." So that was a relief. However, there was a tiny bit of cancer in 2 lymph nodes, and they are a bit concerned the tumor was too close to the bladder wall so she does have to have chemo. But again, it is curable. She is ready to take it on and doesn't seem one bit scared. The other interesting thing is that the surgeon said when she returns for her week follow up that they will think about the next surgery--to get rid of the colostomy. We were surprised at that because he sort implied that she may not want to do it, since it is a pretty tough operation. What he didn't know is she is a tough bird--is only taking regular Tylenol since her surgery--so that impressed hiim I am sure! Sister Sue and I, plus mom and dad, are feeling ok about all this. Just glad they didn't say it was grave or anyting. I am relieved.

Please pray for Ava. She and her family need all our faith in a higher power as I write this.

I need to run now. Count your blessings, please.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No new is, well, just no news.

Still no word on the path report. I had my rough day yesterday and earlier tonight...I so can't stand to think about the worry my mom is going through. I keep making her talk about it--probably driving her nuts--but we talked all about my grandma's stomach cancer back in 1967, my cousin's testicular cancer about eight years ago that I forgot about, my two aunts' breast cancer...crap, no wonder we have cancer! I did tell my mom that she probably just saved my or my sister's life as we will now get colonoscopies.

Mom was grumpy when I called her after school today--her nurses were a bit slow on getting things taken care of--but she and my dad passed the "changing of the bag" test with flying colors with the stomal therapy people. We laughed at my mom's story about my dad: when he used to change our diapers, he would stuff toilet paper up his nose--I asked if he had to do that today and she said no, but she said SHE MIGHT next time. She says it is just the first whiff,....oh, golly, never mind. I keep forgetting I am not alone here!

I also just got off the phone with her and she sounds better than earlier. She gets REAL food tomorrow and is looking forward to buttermilk pancakes and orange juice. The doctor is a bit concerned that her incision looks inflamed so he wants to make sure she doesn't have an infection. If she does, it just means antibiotics. Either way, she is going home late tomorrow or Friday. That will make her happy.

I am still not done with Christmas shopping. When will I go? I don't WANT TO GO but internet shopping is out...

Celebrating Christmas with John and Ginger, their boys and wives and kids this weekend. We usually have these to die for special ordered crab legs that are so big you can only eat one, but the place screwed up and forgot to order them. Mimi is out searching the world for them as I write...we love them so much and it has become a tradition. This is a fairly quiet Brawley event as Brawley events go, as it is for the most part immediate family but it is still very much fun. Then Christmas Eve all the Brawleys come and it gets even crazier. Good times. We go to my parents on Christmas day.

Lori Baxter, thank you for your comments. I saw pictures from your website today--wow, you are a great photographer! I did not know you are doing that.

And finally, Ava has her surgery tomorrow at 8:30. Please say a quiet prayer and hope it is nothing but smooth sailing. They deserve it!

HO HO HO. love you all!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

That awful feeling of worry.

Reality is setting in for my mom I think. We still don't have the path report yet, but today when I visited she made three comments that show me she is scared. Poor thing. The most hurt-filled one is when she says "I sure have gotten myself into this mess I guess." No one who has cancer should ever feel they are to blame--I suppose smokers feel it the most, but I know my mom blames herself since this could have been stopped earlier had she had a colonoscopy. One good thing she did say, which sort of tells me where her head is, was when we were talking about chemo--I told her the doctor said she wouldn't HAVE to do it even if it was needed (which I think we all know it will be needed) She looked at me and said "well, why WOULDn't I do it?"--meaning she will want to fight this. She is scared of the path report...golly, I know how that is. But I guess we will just have to wait and see how bad it is...ugh. This feeling is just awfulllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.... And when my aunt and uncle came in she wouldn't say cancer--just mumbled about the obstruction and tumor...she does not want to say it and is so private about unlike ME.

And here I am blabbing about it! Ooops. Oh well, I don't think anyone in her retirement hi-rise reads my blog. Anyway. My nerves are shot for her...I know what she is going through and there is nothing to take away that worry. Honestly, I hurt most because I don't want anyone to have the feeling of being scared about anything. It is so debilitating.

Today I saw Tara and Dr. Messinger and I believe I have three more appointments before surgery. For the first time today, I felt the needle go in--it hurt. Tara said my port is right under my incision so that could be new nerves endings I would guess. Dr. M came in and said they would be calling to schedule the surgery sometime this week--again, early February. I asked him if he had to open the entire incision and he said no, and he would be opening very close to Mr. Pizza Pocket. He then has to get the implant in (he called it a "VERY LARGE IMPLANT" by the way--in other words FATTY FATTY TWO BY FOR CAN'T GET THROUGH THE BATHROOM DOOR) and manipulate it around in the chest area that has been stretched. He mentioned "scoring the capsule", which I didn't understand, but the capsule is the scar tissue that has formed around the expander--he scores it with a tool, which will allow the implant to move in better. I have read about capsular constricture, which occurs once the implant is in and causes your implant to harden--and then I would be back to rock boob. You avoid capsular constricture by massaging your implants a lot. Can't you just see me in my office giving myself that great massage? : )

Hey, we have a new reader as of yesterday. When I was 11, I got a pen-pal from some organization I read in a magazine and became penpals with Debra, another 11 year old from England. Debra and I wrote each other ALL THE TIME, didn't we Debra? When I was a senior at Western, Debra and two of her friends came to the US and stayed with me and my roommates in our apartment. Talk about a crazy, fun-filled times! I think it was for about 3 weeks, right? Anyway, Debra and I do not write as much by hand anymore, but about once or twice a year we are in contact by email so yesterday I emailed her, and wallah! She is now reading my blog! Can you believe we have been writing now for 34 years? And have only met once....THAT, my friends, is the power of the pen--and now the Internet. If you can Deb, say hello. Debra is married to Mark and has a son and a daughter a year or two apart from my kids...small world, isn't it.

Jim just called and he finally shot a buck. WAHOO. Just a reject 6 point (technically, it's a four point since 2 of the six points have broken off) He is happy and my kids will be thrilled as they love venison. I know I should eat more of it since it is much better for you than beef, but I am so picky about smells since my neck surgery that I never really want it...anyway, glad for Jimmy. Maybe I will no longer be such a hunting widow!

Gotta run. Time to go to the game and support Andrew, the best bench warmer in the SMAC!

Love to all--keep praying.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Surgery done. Mom is primping and ready to go.

My mom had her surgery yesterday. A HUGE had totally wrapped itself around the colon and squeezed it shut. Dr. Wysong said it had probably been there at least 5 years, most likely 10. Had she had a colonoscopy back in the day, it would have been caught. His worry now is that the tumor went through the colon wall so that may mean chemo, as he would be worried about it coming back. He took out lymph nodes but we won't know their status for a week. Dr. Wysong was very serious throughout his explanation, he started by saying the surgery went well, but it was very difficult....once he left my dad and I looked at eachother and said "I thought he was going to tell us she died!" He was so GRAVE...but his words weren't bad so we are praying it is just his personality, which my sister says it is...we laughed about it with my mom, who is the most remarkable patient I have ever seen. She has had three surgerys (hip, knee, colon) in just over a years time and never complains. She says she is in no pain at all today, isn't too worried about the colostomy bag ("oh, it will just lay flat against my skin...all my clothes will cover it up"). She is annoyed that she doesn't have her Christmas shopping done, and is already wondering if she will be able to attend the New year's Eve party at their retirement village.

I am not going up there today because of the weather but hope to stop by after boob pump up on Tuesday--at least just to say hi. I want to send her something unique--like a mini-Christmas tree for her room--but will wait until tomorrow. She should be there a week. Once we get the path report back she heads to the oncologist, a woman my sister is friends with.

We are really at the easy part right now. Chemo scares me and even the doctor said she may opt not to do it. That sort of scares me. He used the word "I didn't realize the tumor had infiltrated the colon wall so that is a bit more worrisome." I hate the word "worrisome" as it is the word Dr. H used when he told me of my cancer. Worry in itself is such a debiliating thing.

Today, my mom is my inspiration. When I spoke with her this morning, she said she had just combed her hair and put on lipstick. Gotta love that!

Thanks for your prayers. Please pray for a manageable path report. My parents are in such a good place in their 75 year old lives that I want them to have more than a few more years of fun and happiness.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Pass the Xanax

My mom has colon cancer.

Just like that. I talked to her Tuesday and she had been sick to her stomach--doctor poked all around and said it was a stomach virus--sends her home. Today, her belly is distended so they give her the CT at Bronson at 6:30 p.m. At 9:00 my sister called and said "Mom has colon cancer."

FRICK. I don't know much about colon cancer; the two people I know who have had it have passed away. I don't like that percentage that is for sure. Tomorrow she will be having surgery--her bowel is obstruction by the mass and the doctor said her colon is in pretty bad shape...he did say that he treats it by surgery and I guess no chemo or radiation. But Ginger's mom, Iva, had to have chemo, etc because when hers was found it had spread. Who know with my mom. She hadn't gone to the doctor for 30 years --until about 5 years ago. Never had a colonoscopy. FRICK.

This is so strange to me. I am more emotionally affected by this than my own cancer.

I guess I need to do some reading. Please pray that surgery goes well and that it hasn't spread. I know you will and I thank you.


Malibus, bowels, and exploding boobs.

A couple different things to talk about...

First, I GOT A NEW CAR! God love my is my Christmas present sort of those pretty black spankin' new Malibus. Sharp if I don't say so myself. If you see me, honk and wave. : )

The day was great when I saw the car in my driveway, but then my sister called and my mom is headed for the hospital. They are thinking it is an obstructed small bowel...more tests tonight and then we will see. My parents are scared to death and I just had to ask my sister if she thought it could be cancer or something worse, and she said she (my mom) is so symptomatic, it most likely is the obstruction. I am somewhat of a wreck ...can deal with surgery and all that, just don't let it be cancer. My mom's mom died of stomach cancer so the fact her stomach is in so much pain scares me. But again, Nurse Sue (my sis) says she does believe the doc when he says he suspects it is a bowel obstruction. I will keep you posted of course, but I tell you what if it turns out to be cancer I will need every last Xanax pill I can find.

Exploding. That is the latest worry in my breast cancer journey. I went for my latest expansion yesterday, did the 60 cc's which puts me at 800 total. That is the limit for the expander in me. However, Dr. M says he wants to go "the max" because of Mr. Pizza Pocket not quite filling in, so we are going to continue on weekly until most likely the beginning of February. Then surgery. Then he says his only worry is that the expander could explode.
SERIOUSLY! I laughed, thinking he was kidding, but he said, no really, it could, but all it would do is deflate and then I would need to call him as soon as the office opened. I can't begin to describe what this thing looks and feels like. Today I was in my office and literally my boob ran into the filing cabinet because it sticks out further than anything else. I hardly felt it. If it was bumpy it would feel like a hard knee cap. And it really does feel like it could explode at any minute. At first I was concerned it would like squirt all over on the outside, but he says my skin is intact so no worries there. CAn you just imagine? WOW.

Gotta run Josh to the game in my new car. How fun is that. No Food or drink will ever go in this car.... well at least until Monday.

More later. Say a little prayer for my mommy, please.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yesterday. And then Today.

Snow day, snow day, snow day. It was wonderful--perhaps not needed--but definitely enjoyed! Took the kids to the mall, which is an unusual event for us, and got a few Christmas gifts. Also had a yummy lunch at Olive Garden, and carried on a nice conversation with both boys without either of them fighting. Almost like heaven.

I did not go to Dr. M today because of fear of slippery roads...going Thursday. Just let Shade out right now and I will say that if this all freezes, I could be Dorothy Hamill on our back patio. Did you all know that I used to figure skate? Go figure. (no pun intended...well, yes, I guess it was intended.)

Last week, as I have mentioned, was a rough week at school. My co-workers and I had all mentioned that it had been such a slow school year in terms of any major events--and then, KAPOOEY! All heck breaks loose with all kinds of things happening. But after all is said and done, I still love my job, and those of you who know me know that I no matter what I do, whether it is writing a letter of recommendation, sitting on a committee, expelling a student, etc., I take my job very seriously and hope that I make a difference. It is hard not being in the classroom because I miss those learning relationships with kids. It seems like any guidance I ever give is after drama has unfolded (and wow, I have decided 10th grade girls have more drama than daytime television!) and when you are in the classroom, you can sort of "steer" kids in the right direction. I will be honest with you, at times I wonder if I should go back to the classroom--I miss teaching kids about literature, and how to write, even if it is just about your beat up Chevy that you have been working on in the garage with your dad for six months. ( I used to teach a "hands on" type writing class for seniors and mainly boys took it--I can't tell you how many boys wrote papers about their cars!) I miss brainstorming with kids about ways to make Niles High School a better place, and ways to make a change by taking action, rather than just complaining or saying "why don't THEY do this... or THEY do that..." I love it when I hear from former students who remember reading Catcher in the Rye and really understanding the HUGE amount of allusions and symbolism... I ran into one girl (woman) at Dr. T's office and she said she can still talk about that book because of my class--it was the only book she ever read at that point in her life. This is when I question where I am best supposed to be. (that is a dumb sentence but you know what I mean)

This coming weekend is the Freund (Ginger's maiden name) side of the family Christmas. This is nice and relaxed and features The Christmas cake, which is a cake that had red and green jello in in. I don't think I have ever tasted it but it is pretty. We also play Dirty Bingo, where we all draw a card and then choose gifts from a pile. You can steal others gifts and there hasn't been a Christmas yet that a child hasn't cried from some dumb adult stealing his gift. One year Cousin Amy chose a big box of candy and to make sure no one stole it, she opened it and licked every single piece of candy. Lottery tickets were a favorite--so much so we banned them. The gifts are supposed to be worth $10--sometimes we think some didn't get that memo--but all in all it is really fun--really! And of course we eat non-stop. This Saturday tho' Andrew has a basketball game so we have to start early.

I continue to wonder about my ear. I know, you thought I forgot about it, but it is still there, bugging me. The biggest issue now is dizziness...I think my labrynthitis may be back...luckily, it mainly happens when I am already in bed and not walking around. Yes, it scares me but I am a bit numb about worrying anymore, so until I drop down half dead, I am ignoring it.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cancer strikes again.

Cancer strikes again. A good friend of Jim's brother Danny found out this week he has leukemia. He is in his late 30's. Dr. Ansari will also be his doctor. Please add him to the numerous prayers we are all sending up... When will this stop?

I ventured to the mall area today and needless to say, I won't be going back. Traffic is just awful! Internet shopping is so much easier, and most places are giving free shipping if you spend enough (which of course I do). Still looking for the right thing for the kids. Thinking about getting Jim a bathrobe. He has one too many times had to let the dog out in the middle of the night in his birthday suit. Ooops....once again, TMI you say! Josh talked me into going to Famous Daves which was fine, but I longingly looked over at Olive Garden for my all you can eat soup, salad and breadsticks. Josh sat across from me, bathed in Rich and Sassy BBQ sauce. He is a fun shopper and loves his ribs.

Tomorrow we are having a group birthday party for Andrew, 17, Zack , 14, and
Quinn, 12 (I think) As always we have it at Ginger's forecast is bad--ice I hear--so the ILS (in-laws) are nervous. I tease them that they are getting old--they are Weather Channel freaks (I am too if we are getting snow) and won't leave the house if there is a chance of bad anything.

OMG! I forgot! Another momentous occasion in my cancer journey. I no longer have to wear Ms. Filler Boob anymore! She makes it way tooooo big and bulky. The boob is about to burst I swear tho' and hope next week Woody gives me an idea. I don't know how much bigger my skin will go. She looks almost perfectly round and FAKE, like a supermodel or something. HA.

Josh and I went to the girl's basketball game tonight so he is walking throughout the house cheering like he is still at the game. He just chanted "Time to take a bath" and is now singing our fight song in the bathroom.

Andrew is going to a friend's house tonight to make Christmas cookies. I told him I thought that sounded like a lot of fun. There is a whole group of them going. Someone has to teach him to cook. Something very safe and wholesome and I bet they WILL have a lot of fun.

Thanks for your comments --I love hearing from all of you and knowing you are out there.

Again, in case any one has forgotten, cancer SUCKS.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Crap and Fiji water

Still here. Have had crappy week. Got the stomach flu on Andrew's birthday, watched Andrew's basketball team get demolished by Mattawan on Andrew's birthday, had to watch Andrew deal with crap at school on his birthday that NEVER should have happened, and well, things are just sort of crappy. But I guess it is all relative--it's not like I have cancer or anything! Oh wait, I do--well, at least I did.

Of course when I did get the stomach flu I immediately thought that cancer was ravaging through my intestines. But a good puke cured it. (ok, sorry, that is a bit too detailed even for me) I am feeling better and made it to work today to face the crap that was getting crappier. Just all part of the job I guess.

Also had a boob fill up today--didn't even see Dr. M. Nothing interesting to report. 60 cc's, still got Mr. Pizza Pocket who now features a lovely shiny stretch "worm" as I call it. Think pregnancy stretch marks. UCK.

Let's talk about my little Kristina. Don't you just love her? If you don't read Jamie's blog about Ava you may not know that Kristina, who lives 1000's of miles away, blogged a very touching note to Jamie. Kristina is my BC sister, like TWIN sister, since we have the same kind, and of course none of us have ever met her, have no clue what she looks like, but through the power of WORDS she touched me, Jamie's family, many others, and most importantly, Jamie. Love the internet and once again, know that blogging is important.

April, if you are out there, I have had people ask about Troy. If you don't mind, will you post an update? We are all still praying for him.

John and Ginger are back. WAHOO! Pam and I LOVE our IN-LAWS. (I am sure Aida does too but I talk to Mimi more often) I know I have talked a lot about Crazy Mil, but Crazy Fil deserves some press too. John, Jim's dad, knows everybody, or at least thinks he does. (what actually happens is this: Strange person: Hey John,how are you? John: Hey, great! How's the fishing? Strange person: Great...yada yada yada." Conversation continues for 45 minutes while Ginger waits patiently. John and Ginger get in truck to drive away. John: Ginger, who was that?") We love him, despite his wackiness about half-empty pop cans, "you'd better eat everything on your plate", "I'm going to get your gizzard" which he says to all babies, scaring the bejeezus out of them and their parents, he says "Yello" when he answers the phone, back in his day "the athletic director, the principal and the coach rode the bus to all the games", he tells loads of dirty jokes...oh golly, there are so many John Brawleyisms I can't even list them. But he is the best father, the best grandfather and loves his family so much. Who could ask for more? He also lets my dog out everyday and swears he has taught her how to sit, shake, bow, and eat a cookie on her nose...we will let him think that too. I do love that man.

I want you all to know Josh ordered the famous $5 pizza from Saylors tonight. It cost $11. Don't ask me how. Mr. Economist (Josh) declared it "worth it."

On Fridays Jim is home a half day and the last two Fridays Andrew brought his girlfriend Kait home for lunch, which Jim makes. It reminds him of when his grandma used to make everyone lunch at the "shop". So today he comes home with groceries and about 12 bottles of Fiji water, the best bottled water around, but also expensive. Josh, Mr. Economist, says "geesh dad, why Fiji water? I thought we were poor" to which Jim says "It's for Kait, I know she likes water and I have never had a girl around much so she deserves it."

Can you imagine what he will be like as a grandfather if we have granddaughters? WOW. But again, that shows what a wonderful guy he is too.
I just have such wonderful men in my life. (said with just a TOUCH of sarcasm)

I don't know. IDK. MBFFRose. Obviously, time to go.

HO HO HO to all of you.


Saturday, December 1, 2007

December 1. I want snow.

I am loving the Christmas spirits right now. I bought my Chai tea from Brew Ha Ha's, turned up the Christmas music in the car, drove to Dowagiac to pick up Andrew's letterman's jacket, looked at all the beautiful windows dressings in downtown Dowagiac, sang all the way home. Speaking of downtown, I really think Niles is looking better and better. I haven't checked out the new Kitchen Connection store but will soon.

I am having issues with my expanded boob. It is much higher than the other one, and with the foam thingy in, it's too big. Now, please don't check me out to see if I am telling the truth, but trust me, 'tis looking a bit lopsided. Feeling good--but I swear I have arthritis everywhere. (yes, I occasionally think it is bone mets, I won't lie)

I spoke to two other cancer survivors I work with this week and it so made me realize I am not the only one on this journey. Susan, a bc survivor, did nothing but share some of her day to day events with her journey but that simple conversation made me realize she and I are in exactly the same place for the most part--both have the fear of recurrence but don't have to worry about it until something shows up or test time. It just made me feel like I am in this with someone. She's such a kind lady--thank goodness she is there for me. And then Pat, another teacher, is going through some treatments and is suffering in some ways, but her attitude is fantastic. She shares her worries too...and again, I know I am not alone. Cancer is such a mental thing for me at this point. Did I tell you all that I called to renew a script for Andrew (his inhaler) and then thought I should maybe get some more XANAX just in case I had some bad days...and for March when test time comes around. Remember how Ginger had to tell my original surgeon to give me more than 12 pills (he scribed me 25 in the end) Well, those 25 got me through July, August, September, and October...never needed any after my surgery. So anyway, I am not sure Dr. Tacket will get them to me but sure enough, he gave me 90! That just made me laugh. He probably thinks I am a nervous nellie after my freaking out about my rash...he probably figures hell, let's get her looped up so she doesn't go nutty on me. Anyway, so I have my XANAX ready and waiting for my sleepless nights or obsessive days.

Went and watched our girls play last night. It was fun. I wasn't sure how it would be to watch girls on a Friday night, but the crowd was good. Andrew's season opens Tuesday--his birthday--at Mattawan. He will be playing a bench role this year, which is new to him in basketball, but he is fine with it. I am not sure how good our team will be but Andrew is enjoying his coach and his teammates.

If you want to do something really funny with some family photos go to and check out this funny little thing you can do with your pictures. Please click on the link at the top of the left hand side of this page and you will see what I mean. Stars of this are Dan Holland, my beloved lab Shade, Josh, and Andrew. It makes me giggle all the time.

Jim went to Rural King, his favorite little store. I am married to a hick I am afraid. But I love my hick more than anything.

I need to continue on with my typical Saturday work. Laundry, some decorating, laundry, and some more laundry.

Blessings to all--