Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Welcome Karen

With mixed feelings, I welcome yet another ACC/breast sister to my blog. I met Karen on my rare cancer forum. I am so glad we have all found each other but it is with heavy heart that yet another woman, or anyone for that matter, has to deal with such a scary journey.

We MUST find a cure for cancer. I bet there is not one of you out there who has not been impacted by it at some level. Let's hope 2009 brings us closer to a cure.


Welcome Cyndi

I really have so much to do but must blog about Cyndi, who you can see posted a comment on my last post. She too is a newbie to ACC/breast. Can you believe it? I would say almost 10 people have been diagnosed during the duration of my journey. And that is all that I KNOW about. Wonder if they will ever not call it rare?

Cyndi, there are at least two other ACC'rs who read this blog. Stephanie, who was diagnosed about 6 months ago (right Steph?) and Kristina, who was my angel, who is about three years out now? Feel free to ask any question as Kristina had the lumpectomy, I had the mastectomy, and Stephanie had a bilateral. So we've got you covered in the procedure department. It is always interesting to see what others' doctors do as well.

My news for the day is I met with my PS, Dr. Messinger. My nipple really looks about perfect--still a few stitches here and there but they are disappearing daily. Both the doc and I wish the left breast was a perky as the right but it isn't too be. Luckily, all looks fine in a bra.

Also, Andrew's ACT score went up and puts him the range of what MSU wants. Doesn't mean he'll get in for sure as they compare him to all applicants, but at least he improved. He was happy it went up--still wants to take it again believe it or not--but doesn't seem to interested in MSU anymore. He has to meet with the Kalamazoo College coach soon--that could prove very interesting.

More later.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Rachel Ort Leazenby

I have just learned that a former student of mine, Rachel Ort Leazenby, was killed in a car accident Christmas Eve. I am just stunned. She was actually a Brandywine student, but took my Teaching Academy class at NHS. She married her high school sweetheart, Jon, who was also an NHS student and really great "kid." They were two perfect young adults with a wonderful world ahead of them. Rachel most recently was subbing at area schools and when I last saw her, which was about a month ago, she asked how I was doing--said she prayed for me often. Thank God for her faith--and Jon's too--as I know it will be the only thing to get him through this tragedy. Just an awful awful shame. She was always bubbly, full of energy, smiling and POSITIVE.

Just another reminder to live, laugh and love everyday.


I was right.

Hello friends--

Happy post-Christmas day. Jim just came back from errands and said the roads are terrible. Andrew is at basketball practice--eek. Hope he managed the icy roads. Speaking of Andrew, sitting on the table right now is a very thin letter from Michigan State Admissions office. I am guessing he did not get in as there is just one piece of paper in there. I am sure it is his ACT scores. I am glad this is is not his first choice for schools--but at least it would have been ANOTHER choice.

Christmas was nice. But I swear there is something about grandparents houses that produce HEAT. It is so hot at John and Ginger's that we actually had to have the door open and it was still steaming. Andrew thinks John keeps it hot so people won't stay long. They rarely use real heat--just their wood burning fireplace. Then my parents yesterday was like a major hot flash. Their apartment faces south and the sun was beating in--so we opened their sliding door too. I fnally said I had to go I was too hot.

Ok--I was right. Andrew just got home. They want a second score on his ACT. So, if he really wants to go there, he needs to have done better this last time. So, the waiting game continues. Times sure have changed--even 5 years ago Andrew could have gotten in with no problem. The counselors at NHS said Grand Valley was much more selective than Michigan State and he got in there....ah well, I must be having problems with rejection as Andrew doesn't even seem to care at the moment. As I said, it isn't his first choice--CMU is--and CMU gave him money maybe that is a sign? : )

Andrew said the roads are the worst he has ever been. He said they only had seven at practice.

Making a pot roast today. We had ham yesterday and it was yummy! Munched on ham sandwiches last night and my sister's Chex Mix concoction.

Hope everyone got what they wanted from Santa.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A productive day.

Today was productive. If you call swiping my little plastic card productive, then that was ME! Started out heading to the mall but remembered I had a birthday gift card for Kohl's so I headed there and was quite successful. But they didn't have the grill I wanted to get for Josh (I know, a dopey gift) so I had to get that elsewhere. Had a nice little trip to Target too. The only thing left to get is stocking stuffers and I may put Jim in charge of that...or, I might even be lazy and get the kids an extra $50 instead. Much of their stuffers end up all over the house. About the only thing they really like is beef jerky.

Tonight was a practice of sorts of Christmas Eve. Ginger decided to have all the kids over to make gingerbread houses. What fun was that! First to arrive was cousin Lizzie, who needs to act or something. She is so articulate and creative for her 3 1/2 years. The houses turned out so cute. Barb brought empty milk cartons from school and the kids each decorated their own after sugar gluing on graham crackers. Each little kid had a big kid helper so it was a group effort. Lizzie, who never gets candy, discovered candy for the first time and went to town. As always, Ginger out did herself making special memories for all of us. I think we all got stuck at some point in the front yard...it's icy under that fluffing snow. Jim and Andrew left early to go hit baseballs.

I cleaned the heck out of my kitchen yesterday. REALLY cleaned the fridge, to the point I was sore last night from bending all over the place. Don't you just love a clean fridge?

Still feeling worried about cancer but am trying not to think about it.

Today I also went to the eye doctor. If you need an eye doctor, I recommend Dr. Becraft here in Niles. What a nice man and ver knowledgable. He is the one that spotted my Horner's Syndrome right away years ago at an appointment for Josh, and picked it up again today. I don't need "real" glasses yet---just readers---but I did order a pair from them. I still have 20/20 at a distance so no need there yet.

One thing that you may end up noticing about me is that he told me to no longer use Visine like I have been. My right eye is redder than red first thing in the morning so for the past seven years I have been using Visine, which is really bad for your eyes on a regular basis. The Horner's Syndrome causes the redness/dryness so now I have to switch over to artificial tears, which will take a few weeks to correct the problem. So when you see One Red Eye Molly walking around you will know it is me. He said he wanted to try the over the counter stuff first before we get to the prescribed drugs. He did talk about the ACC, which can be found in the lacrimal gland, (in your eye) but my eyes all looked good.

So, that is it here. Nipple is looking fabulous by the way.



Monday, December 22, 2008


Another ACC sister is in her last lap of her cancer journey. Her lung mets are so extensive and all the surgeries that she has had can't keep up with the growing, numerous tumors. She was diagnosed in 2001 and then had the mets in 2004. They just keep growing.

So a second person I know through cyberspace is dying. This leaves me depressed. I want to believe that I have the best kind of cancer and it won't kill me. Then I realize it is CANCER not some fantasy journey I have been on these past two years.



Sunday, December 21, 2008

BRR. It's blizzard

My goal today was to not go outside and it is already 5:00 and I haven't! I see that the winter storm warning has changed to a blizzard warning so you know that makes me happy. But then I felt bad when I read my pal Debbie's blog and her hubby Brian has to drive to WISCONSIN in this mess. Ok, so I want my blizzard but not for poor Brian.

Pooh is still in southern Indiana. I won't even tell you how much money he makes in one day. But you would understand why he will willingly miss Christmas if power is still out for people. He calls daily...he and Jim are very close. Ginger has Zack and Zoe for the most part.

i haven't mentioned my aches and pains lately, but my focus now is on my neck/throat/ear area. It still hurts...what has it been, about a year? When I read ACC websites I freak as that type of pain is so symptomatic of ACC in the neck...

I have actually wrapped a few presents. Still not done with the nephews, but Jim is taking care of that. I also want to get the boys a few more things. We are buying Josh a countertop grill...we had an old George Foreman but Jim pitched it. It was too big and we want one that the plates can go in the dishwasher. The reason we are getting it for Josh is because he uses it all the time. He rarely eats what we eat so he often fixes himself a steak. (we get the cheapy ones from Hardings--he's not picky!) Speaking of steak, Andrew went to Ruth Christ with his girlfriend's family. I have never been there but he says it is amazing! Jim is hunting and Josh just went to Wings with some buddies. So it's me and my lovely black daughter, Shady Paige.

Yesterday a letter arrived from Michigan State University addressed to James Andrew Brawley. I got all excited as the letter was thick, so I hoped it had housing info in it--if it was an acceptance letter. Well, it ended up being a survey for Michigan fishermen! Andrew was disappointed too. Maybe they are waiting for his ACT retakes? Andrew thinks he will need to take the ACT again, does not feel well about the last retake.

Jim marinated some venison steak this morning and we will be having Venison Fajitas for dinner. I sent him to the store to get ingredients for a pot roast, potato soup, and goulash for dinner this week. I cook all the time when I am on break...makes up for the rest of the year.

Josh has his sports physical tomorrow, which means we have to get up. That is good though. I don't want to slee.p my break away.

I am giving Pillars a break right now and feel so guilty about it. But I ordered a new Nora Roberts book from a used seller and started it and like it. I am also half way through New Moon, in the Twilight series.

TTFN. Happy blizzarding!!!!


Friday, December 19, 2008

An early vacation!

Well, I got my snow day today! WOOHOO!

I did not work yesterday; I was/am so very sore from falling and also had my appointment with Dr. Nancy in Kalamazoo. She is sooo great. I trust her so much. When she examines your breasts, she shuts her eyes. It is sort of funny but it helps her concentrate on what she is feeling. She also said my nipple looks fantastic! She was going on and on about it and was saying that the PS's have come so far in their craft when it comes to reconstruction. She said Dr. M especially takes pride in his work. She also said that it would sink in a little, which was a pleasant surprise. Nothing suspicious in the exam. She was a bit upset that Memorial didn't have my orders for the right MRI last September--told me next time to just tell them to call her office. But she also said that having the clear MRI on the left breast was really important.

On the sad side, a women on my ACC/breast list serv is getting close to passing away from numerous mets. She was first diagnosed in 1993 and ten years later thought she had arthritis in her back and hips and it turned out to be mets to the spine and iliac joint. That was a year ago. Now she has numerous lung mets--which makes my chest hurt just thinking about it. Her husband says they are just hoping she makes it through Christmas. FRICKING CANCER!!!

Today we made our traditional snow day trip to Olive Garden. Josh and Andrew take full advantage of the Olive Garden theme "we treat you like family"by fighting the entire time we are there. I wanted to take a breadstick and shove 'em in my ears. Then we went to the mall and I bought myself three new tops and two Yankee Candles. The kids both wanted puzzles of all things, so I let them pick out one each. Neither have much to open on Christmas so that will help. Josh is using his Christmas present right now...snowboarding at Swiss Valley for the evening. Andrew is playing ping pong with his buddy Dan who is home from college.

We had to cancel our family Christmas for tomorrow because Pooh, who works for AEP, had to go to mid-southern Indiana to help with this ice storm. We were going to celebrate with Jim's parents and brothers tomorrow but now are postponing it. Also, poor great grandma Brawley fell and broke a bone in her neck and will not be able to join us for the extended Brawley Christmas on Christmas Eve. Santa is coming at 5:00 and after we open gifts and eat I think the whole crew is going to go see her in the nursing home. She's in a lot of pain and is pretty doped up. Bill, Robyn and Lizzie will be here from California which is always fun. Lizzie is amazingly smart.

This year the family has adopted a family from Cass. Matt B knows them and I guess their house recently burned down. They have three kids. We do this instead of exchanging gifts for the adults. The kids still draw names. This year we have Talon and Chase, which is really easy. Both are the cutest little boys! While I love all my nieces and nephews I have this crazy attachment to Talon that started his first summer in the UP...I am addicted to that little boy.

Still loving my washer and dryer.

Did I tell you Jim and I are going to make a prime rib this holiday break? We have made one before but over cooked it, so want to try to do it again. Also looking to make some really good and new to us side dishes. If you have any suggestions, please suggest away!

Wow, two weeks off. How wonderful is that?


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Monday night walking into Andrew's basketball game, with Andrew, I fell on slippery ice and banged up my right knee and scraped my hands. Andrew did a nice job of not laughing (he did snicker) and although I was sore, nothing was too hurt but my pride. Then today I was walking out to my car at school and said hello to a boy walking in and BOOM, down goes Brawley. This collapse was much worse...no blood, but both knees are already black and blue and I definitely did something to my wrists and left arm. WOW. What a bozo I am. As I sit and type this, I am stiffening up like crazy. The poor boy who witnessed it didn't know what to do...I just told him not to tell anyone (I was kidding--trying to lighten the mood) I went to my meeting in Kalamazoo soaking wet and now my pants have little sidewalk salt rings all over them! Just add that to another embarrassing moment in the life of Molly.

I see Dr. Nancy tomorrow. This is my breast exam that I will have every 6 months. Nellie New Nipple is looking snazzy--she really does look fine now. She just doesn't match my other one. Tina Tattoo is pretty faded but overall, Boobie looks pretty good!

Still need to do some Christmas shopping. SOME is an understatement. I need to do almost ALL of my Christmas shopping. I got my mom the same thing I always get her--flowers of the month--but this year I went with flowering plants. She loves getting a delivery each month. Got my dad the proverbial sweater. I give up trying to get him anything creative.

Andrew has a concert tonight. We are all very tired. Keeping an eye on the potential storm for Friday. : )


Sunday, December 14, 2008


Ok, so today it looks better. My gauze stuff keeps falling off and it doesn't bother me so I guess I am healing well. Still some blood around the incision (about the size of a dime) and those lovely stitches are sticking out, but overall it does sort of look like a nipple! As I said, nipples aren't really attractive anyway, but when I look in the mirror, it does sort of look like the other one. And that is the whole reason I did this....that glance in the mirror. And guess who thinks it looks fine? Yup, always supportive Jimmy.

Angie--Apples to Apples is a board game where you get seven red cards with terms on them, and then the dealer turns over a green card, and those with the red cards try to pick the red card that best represents the term on the green card. It is simple but really for tweeners and up...not for little kids, although in the UP, third grade Conner played and did really well. We just explained what some words meant. But it is fun and funny!

I can not tell you how liberating our new washer and dryer are. I didn't realize how crappy my previous appliances were until now. My laundry time is cut in half I would say. Aida should hire me for a commercial at Whirlpool. Jim and I have decided it is definitely the deal of the century.

Brandywine tomorrow night for the boy's basketball team. After the first game, both Jim and I felt like we should forfeit the season and just start baseball--that's how bad the team played. But the second game, despite still losing, the team looked much better--just not tons of talent.

Not much else to report. Did FINALLY get some ornaments on the tree.

Still looking for that blizzard!


Saturday, December 13, 2008

A blob of chewed gum

It's even uglier today. Looks like a hideous glob of chewed gum sitting on a mound. But then when you look at any nipple, they aren't exactly attractive either. My poor Pj's--cancer surgery has resulted in many ruined tops! I didn't think I would bleed much but sure enough, I did. I am still really tired from it all I think. Just tired period of is ALL.

Had our Freund family Christmas tonight. That is Ginger's side of the family. It was very fun. We do the whole get a gift, steal a gift thing. I came home with nothing. Jim and I gave our gifts away. The kids got a pair of Niles football sweats and a Sports Illustrated trivia game. They weren't even there which is the sad part! Andrew left to go hang with his girlfriend and Josh had had plans to ski for weeks now. Jim has just left to go pick him up. Andrew and Kait just went out to dinner. We also played Apples to Apples at the party==that was funny. I refereed rather than played.

The box or ornaments is now upstairs sitting in front of the tree. That is a start.

Love to you all--going to find some clean pajamas and might just go to bed to read. Finally getting into the depths of Pillars of the Earth--this is taking me forever, but I really really like it.


Friday, December 12, 2008

A witch's wart with hair

My new nipple is the most hideous thing I have ever seen. When Dr. M said look at your new nipple I had to crack up at it...it looks like the end of a tied balloon...sitting there on top of tattoo with little hairs (stitches) poking out all over the place. It was so funny and ugly looking. He quickly gauzed it up so i don't have to look at it again until Sunday when I can take a shower. it took about an hour--didn't hurt but my whole body was like jelly when I was finished from the stress of trying to be still. Glad it is over. Have to go back in two weeks.

One interesting thing that happened was that we were discussing my reconstruction process and the nurse, who was new, asked me about my diagnosis. We talked about the rarity of it and I said that I thought that going through the cancer was "good for me', meaning that reconstruction was therapeutic, etc. Dr. M said "I am glad this has been good for you, because you have been very good for me." I am very happy about that because as you all know, my goal is to help people understand this RARE cancer and maybe help others. I'm not sure what he exactly meant but either way, I am glad.

We got our new washer and dryer today. I keep standing down there watching it. We got the DUETs from Whirlpool and since they were show washers, we got them well...almost free for the most part. I am actually looking forward to doing laundry tomorrow.

Andrew got into Central Michigan and is also the recipient of their Elite Scholars scholarship, which is a renewable $3000 scholarship as long as he maintains good grades. He was excited about that as we were. Still haven't heard from those darn Spartans in East Lansing! Tomorrow he is re-taking the ACT so we have to get up early.

Still no ornaments on our tree. We have the Freund side of the family Christmas tomorrow. Still need to buy 4 $20 gifts for that. I really want to get the Chia head for the fun of it.

Again, nipple is U-G-L -Y


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A bit grinchy, I am

Bah humbug. I can not get into the Christmas spirit. My tree is up with the lights on but I still have not put the ornaments on yet. I have a pre-lit tree and only one strand of lights worked. So instead of trying to fix them, I went to Wally World and bought 5 new strands and wallah, it looks great! : ) No one else seems to mind. We were talking at work about how the older the kids get the less they care about things like decorating the tree. I've done no shopping--well, we got Josh his snowboarding clothes already--which he is already wearing--and that is it. UGH. Last year, I was all about Christmas. Now, I just can't get as excited. Maybe it is because work continues to be so stressful--not necessarily bad stress--but just a lot of work.

New nipple comes Friday. Not even thinking about it really. I also see Dr. Kalinowski next week for a breast exam. Then March for scary scary tests.

On the good news, my friend at work, whose tumor might have grown a bit last scan, has since learned that the tumor is shrinking now. Isn't that awesome! I am so happy for her. What a gift she has been given...we celebrate three months of reprieve between tests.

We are getting a new front door. Much to our dismay, we didn't realize our 1898 built house needs a non-standard door, tripling the price! Not what we were hoping for. But we really need the new door, plus a new storm door. Our front door is super tall. Who knew? : )

Do I even need to tell you how awesome WICKED was? If you have not seen it, it is worth it if you like musicals. I really would love to take Josh and Jim in to see it. It was very funny too and I loved how it connected the dots with Wizard of Oz.

Still no word from Michigan State or CMU for Andrew. At least State's website tells us the status--I think I really need to call CMU. We need to do some college visits soon.

We are all still coughing around here. It's nice I don't think CANCER all the time but it still weighs on you.

I want a snow day. Or better yet, a blizzard. I know I am nuts but significant snow lowers my blood pressure. Really. I really think it does.

Mucho love to you all. Check in if all is well. Sorry for lack of blogging. I will be sure to write lots over break.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fast words for you.

Last year I was all about UP pictures. Didn't take any this year. It was the year of puking and small bucks but was also fun. Everyone got the coughs and then the stomach flu for a few...Josh is still hacking up his lungs and Andrew is starting. So far, I am avoiding it. I did get my flu shot so I am happy about that.

Tomorrow is Wicked. Kids are excited. I sure hope we are ready!

Three more women joined the ACC/breast site. It's been about one a week this past month. CRAZY.

Gotta run. My kids are driving me nutso!!!!!!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

For Karen.

Since there is a new "sister" in this ACC fight, I thought I would save her some time reading through my numerous, lengthy, sometimes stuid, sometimes whiny, posts and just write some facts about ACC as I know them. So Karen, here it is in a nutshell.

ACC in the breast has a way better prognosis than ACC in the salivary gland. Do not get the two confused.

The reason, doctors say, is because the chances of getting clear margins in the breast are way better than in the neck area. The most important thing as they get all of the tumor. My tumor was so big that I had to had a mastectomy.

PET/CT scans are the best way to see if it has spread. However, PET scans don't pick up slow growing cancers very easily so the CT is important.

I was never told the GRADE of my tumor. I would ask if you can. Stage is interesting--just basically goes on size to tell you the truth.

It isn't likely that your tumor has gone to the lymph nodes but I still recommend a sentinel node biopsy.

I was going to have a lumpectomy but when they couldn't get clear margins I had the mastectomy. I 100 percent recommend the mastectomy--radiation might work but getting the tumor out is the only way to go.

I "googled" "adenoid cystic carcinoma of the breast" at least 2938597934 times. I learned a lot. Much of it very positive. But there are no guarantees with ANY cancer. But the odds are better with this cancer for the most part.

Chemo does NOT work on this cancer and if you have a doctor who tells you otherwise, ASK for the research that shows that it works. There is none. Chemo is nothing to take lightly.

My biggest fear is lung mets. That is where the cancer will typically spread. Most likely, it hasn't. So far, my lungs are clear.

I see my onco every six months.

More later.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another ACC 'r

I just got an email from my rare cancer forum and there is a new member who is 43 and was just diagnosed. I know how scared she is and wish i could make it go away. I hope she visits my blog so she can see that there is life during and after cancer and it is going to be ok.

Having said that, yeh, I still worry. A new thing for me though is to not obsess over physical changes. i have had this ear ache for ever, and now I get minor spells of dizziness when I turn my head...so I have decided I have some sort of fluid in my ear. Good enough for me.

Jim got his new (used) car yesterday. Its a black Yukon XL which is very similar to his other car, just younger and nicer. He seems happy and i like how slippery the seats are and how clean it is. Nice thing about totaling your car--you get a new, clean one! : )

Kalamazoo College is coming to school Monday to talk to Andrew and another senior football player about their program. The coach said that there are 13 football players that also play baseball so that has gotten Andrew's attention. K-college is 30K a year so this will be an interesting conversation! : )

That's all for now!


Sunday, November 16, 2008


We did survive last week's car issues and already have a settlement on Jim's car. We felt it was fair based on all my research and on Monday, the money should be deposited in our checking account. We have our buddy Tim looking for either a Yukon XL or Suburban for us...my only requirement is a DVD player--we seem to take long trips in it so that would be nice. Even so, we could always just buy personal DVD players for the kids.

Discussions in our household have turned to who is going to the UP with whom. Right now, the plan is that Josh will drive up with Uncle Johnny and his boys the Friday before Thanksgiving. I am worried about his missing his math class, but he swears he has it under control. Then, on Tuesday, Andrew will drive up with Chris and Tate, after the boys are done with basketball. As of now, Aida and the kids are driving up on Tuesday--brave Aida--and then Jim, Danny, myself and Shady will come up Wednesday. I am not sure what Matt and Brooke are doing--they may even go with us on Wednesday. Not sure if Chase is going. Aunt Pam is not going this year--she is on call--so that is a major bummer. Ginger loves having us all up there--and as you all know, I love it too!!!

Danny nominated Andrew for the Moose Krause Scholar Athlete award for football this year. The nominees come mainly from Indiana I think. It's quite an honor to win it, but most kids who win it have a near perfect gpa....the award focuses more on academic achievements than athletic. I guess there is a really nice dinner with a good speaker that Andrew will be invited to attend. Regardless of if he wins, it is nice that Danny did this for him.

Josh learned to cook French toast this morning. The house is smoky right now! : ) He liked it though. Just one more thing to add to his cooking repertoire. Andrew still can't cook much of anything but today he did prove to me he knows how to run the dryer. (this is not as easy as it sounds in our house--the on/off knob is broken so he has to use pliers to turn the machine on!)

Andrew's dead week(s) are over as basketball tryouts start this week. Josh has another story due for the Niles Daily Star so life stays busy.

Must go finish laundry.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


WOW. Just when life gets smooth and maybe even mundane, BOOM! Bambi's large overgrown father decides to slam into Molly's car, causing $3200 worth of damage--and get this--three days later the love of my life TOTALS our Suburban.

Yup, Friday night, coming home from my mom's surgery I hit a deer--well actually, it hit me. I couldn't even get out of my car to see the damage--but a man at the gas station that I was able to drive to--said "man, your car is messed up! And you should see all the fur!" So, yesterday, I spend all day on the phone with my insurance company but do get an estimate for fixing it--a nice $3200.

And then tonight, Jim is on his way to job number 2, coaching little 7th graders in basketball, and a truck slams into him in an intersection. The SUV is totaled--he is ok--but somehow, he ended up with the ticket. When he called me to tell me he said that the guy that hit him told him he (jim) ran a red light--honestly, I think he was stunned as all the airbags went off--and then the cop told him that since he wasn't there, and jim wasn't sure what happened jim ends up with the ticket....needless to say, we are going to fight it, as the more Jim reviewed it in his head, he thinks there is no way it happened the way the guy said. The guy also ran to Jim first, saying he was ok, and "the light was red, buddy" to Jim...almost like he was convincing Jim of it. Then, the guy let the ambulance take him away. All Jim worried about was his basketball players. Poor Jim. If you know him, he HATES conflict and is the nicest man on Earth, so he would never argue with anyone...but now he is pretty upset. So. Didn't our day just suck. But thank heavens, he is ok, and so is the other man.

To make matters worse, my mom is really struggling with her surgery. The surgery was supposed to take 2-4 hours and took 5--then when she was in recovery, she was filled with all kinds of fluid and it caused her all kinds of problems that were near life threatening. Once she overcame that obstacle, she was ok for one day, but then started vomiting so much they took her off all liquids (she hadn't even started food yet) and now she has an NG tube to keep emptying her stomach of the bile her gallbladder is sending it. Oh yeh, in the surgery, they found that she has lots of gallstones but her surgeon decided not to take it out as the surgery was already so extensive. So that sucks too. I don't even want to call her because she is so grumpy.

Again, we are all alive but gosh, what a few days it has been. We still have to figure out cars to drive--thank goodness for great family members.

Maybe tomorrow i will have something nice to say.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Another rare cancer.

My pal Debbie's cousin was DX'd with a rare "phyllode's tumor" breast cancer this week. Very similar to mine in that it is really, really rare and doesn't respond to chemo. "Cure" (and I use that term with hope and reality) is surgery. What is in the water here in Niles? She was diagnosed at Lakeland and for them to diagnose two really rare cancers must have had them talking the the lab! Today was her surgery I think...a lumpectomy so far. I hope all went well.

Jim is at basketball practice for his 7th graders. He is such a good guy. Took work off to get to his game on time but then the game got canceled. Lucky me, he had time to clean the house though!
He could have easily canceled practice but he's such a work horse. Last week a couple of his baseball players from way back at Howard Little league wanted to know when he would start working out with them again...he just loves coaching.

Still have not heard from MSU for Andrew. Nor CMU.

This week and next are "dead weeks" for high school so Andrew actually has some nights off. Josh got a detention today,which he deserved. If I was his teacher he would drive me nuts i think. Talks too much and likes to negotiate everything. But gosh, he sure brings a smile to my face when I see him.

John and Crazy Mil are back in the UP until after Thanksgiving. I will try not to talk so much about my love for the Up this coming season. But I am excited.

tomorrow my mom is having her colostomy reversal...she will be in the hospital for about 5 days. I am going up after lunch tomorrow.

Nice chatting with you--

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Life is going well.

Hi! The sounds of ping pong balls are pinging throughout my house. Jim's buddy Rick is over and Connor, the kid's cousin, plus Kait. Notre Dame football is on, the house is fairly clean and I cleaned the freezer I think for the first time since we owned this freezer. Josh is getting ready to go on a "double date" to the Haunted House. Josh still does not want his driver's license. Isn't that strange? He could have it since he is 16.

The first marking period is over here for the kids and both could have done better...I hate B+'s--I know that sounds strange, but for the most part, my kids don't work that hard and both boys said they could get better grades if they wanted to....arggh. Andrew is just making it in AP Psych. Luckily both kids are still on the honor roll but I wish they would work harder.

Check out this link of the photography studio where Andrew had his pictures taken.


Then go the BLOG and scroll down until you see him.

Andrew did learn he was accepted at Western Michigan University as well as GVSU, but we are still waiting on Central Michigan and Michigan State. Then it is visit time.

Andrew also learned this week that he made All-Conference as a quarterback. He was disappointed that it was only honorable mention but there are two really good quarterbacks in his conference--both going D-1--so I am proud of him.

My mom is having surgery this Friday to reattach her colostomy "stuff." She will be in the hospital for 4 days...I am going to take Friday off I think. I have not missed any school this year and should sit with my dad as he gets pretty nervous about the surgery. My mom's pet/ct were clear-no hot spots so the chemo worked. She is getting stronger everyday.

Debbie F had her implant placed this week and is doing very well. Good for her.

thanks for visiting!..


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Village Idiot

Kinda crazy that it has been two weeks since I last blogged. Amazing! I was taking a shower last night and realized that I had not thought of cancer ONCE the entire day. That is a first.

Football is over for Andrew and I am so pleased he had such a successful season. For someone who wasn't going to play to someone who played just about every down on both sides of the ball, I am so proud of his attitude-- he went into the season with no expectations of any playing time but believed in himself and ended up having a great time. I am very proud of him not for scoring touchdowns and making great passes, but for not giving up.

Andrew has also learned that he has been accepted at Grand Valley. We were looking over dorm options just to get a sense of what is out there. We are waiting mainly for Michigan State now--I am pretty confident he will get accepted at WMU and CMU so once we know all, we will do some visits. He thinks I want him to go to Michigan State--I do think it is a really neat campus--but want him to go where he wants. He keeps wondering where all his friends are going--I do not want him to make a decision based on that. Luckily, all four are decent teaching colleges.

I can't remember if I told you that I am scheduled to "build" my nipple on December 12. Dr. M still wants the tattooed area to "settle"--it looks settled to me--so we wait. I am also supposed to see Dr. Nancy soon--I probably should call.

How about those wonderful snowflakes last night? Andrew is already thinking snow days.

My Joshie had his first article published in the Niles Daily Star. He did a great job--he is my natural writer, where Andrew is creative as heck, but thinks commas are optional! Josh did such a good job and had so many compliments. He has decided he wants to be a journalist--will probably end up majoring in English just like I did. He loves to talk about theme and symbolism and all kind of literary things.

One last thing I must confess to ONCE AGAIN make you realize that you are not that big of an idiot. I, Molly Elizabeth Holdship Brawley have that covered. As you know, I had the fiasco with my electricity but have things completely under control, even paying bills EARLY. One really hectic morning the first week of October I knew I needed to get Andrew a class t-shirt but had no cash or checks in my purse so I quick grabbed a new set of checks from the stack and off I went. Paid for Andrew's shirt, a fundraiser for three different thing at NHS, Josh's lunches, y dental deductable, etc. RARELY do I write checks but wrote 12 from October 1 thru Oct 15. Oct 16 my dentist calls to tell me my checked bounced. NO WAY. I had lots of money in my checking account for once...I knew there had to be a bank error. I was armed with all my statements and my meanest voice ever when I called........

Yup, I had grabbed a check book that was from a closed account. ARGGGHHHHH!

Someday, I will have my act together. Just think, they put me in charge of YOUR CHILDREN!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Fabulous Group of People

This is the staff at Niles High School. We wore our breast cancer t-shirts for THINK PINK week.

A plethora of nothingness,,,, again.

Lazy day. We didn't even have dinner tonight. And of course I am hungry now! Will have to check out the pantry.

Niles lost again last night but had a really good showing against Lakeshore--even though Lakeshore is claiming they put in their second string the whole time. Ah well...Andrew played well, no serious injuries on our team. One of Andrew's summer baseball teammates from Lakeshore may have torn his ACL though. Not good, I hate to see any athlete get hurt.

I met with Dr. M this week and I will be having the sewn nipple procedure in December. We decided the tattoo is good enough. It is an in office procedure so I assume will be fairly easy.

Today and yesterday I have had some of those weird lightening bolt burns in my implant boob. It really reminds me of the day I found my lump. I think early next week I will call Dr.Nancy. I am supposed to go in soon anyway, and i think I will request an MRI. The pain comes and goes more than it did on that fateful day but it is still bothersome. there are other things it could be...fluids...nerve endings, etc...but the pain is so familiar.

I missed my friend Cindy''s birthday party last night. I need to call her and get her a card!

What else. Andrew's still waiting to hear on some college apps..he still has a few more to apply to and is retaking the ACT this coming weekend. His ACT is decent but may hurt him in some cases. I am worried about it way more than he is. He still just wants to be a senior. i guess I should let him for now.

going to go sniff for food. Love to you all. Don't forget to click on my ads up there! It is an easy way to earn money!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here are two more pictures of Andrew. Click on them to see them better. I am a dork and can't fix them!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

220 kids headed to Wicked!

What a wonderful weekend...could it be any prettier out? How great it is to see the leaves changing but also have 80 degree temps!

I have a doctor's appointment this week with my plastic surgeon. Not sure what he will be doing since it is just a 15 minute appointment--I think. I know we have to darken the areola again, and then talk about actually sewing the nipple part. Probably another wasted drive, but as Ginger says, it's a lunch out! : )

The Vikes won Friday night so that was a great start to this weekend. The mood is always so much brighter when we win. We always eat breakfast with Danny and Aida and our kids on Sundays during football season--the nice thing about it is by Sunday, everyone is looking forward to the next game. We have the Lakeshore Lancers coming to town next week. Andrew played baseball with about 5 starters on their team, including their quarterback, so it will be fun to see them again. They are a fabulous football team so we will have to be perfect to beat them. Stranger things have happened that is for sure!

The other fantastic news this weekend was the surprise we got to tell the senior class on Friday. Lonnie Ali has always wanted to do something special for Asaad's class since he was a freshman here and we have finally put something together. She wanted it to be something cultural and memorable for every child, regardless of means. So, she and Muhammad will be sending the entire senior class to Chicago by charter bus to see the Broadway play Wicked. We will first eat lunch at The Hard Rock Cafe--Chicago and then head to the play. All expenses paid by the Ali's.

You can imagine the reaction we got when we told the seniors on Friday. The best part for me was seeing every child, from every walk of life, excited about it. We are going December 3, and thanks to Signal Travel in Niles, we (NHS) don't have to worry about all the arrangements, as they agreed to take care of it for free. Of course, we still have a lot of logistics to do, permission slips, bus assignments, preparing the kids to dress appropriately, etc. but that is all fun stuff. Can you tell I am excited too? Just another reason I love Lonnie and Muhammad.

I spent all afternoon paying bills. Not fun, but a good feeling when we actually have money left over! We ate a LOT this weekend and it wasn't cheap.

Andrew's senior pix are done...I should be able to pick them up this week. I plan to scan some so you all can see.

Much love to you all--please don't forget this is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Wear pink and BE HAPPY!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Stephanie's decision

As I mentioned, Stephanie is another ACC/breast sister who was diagnosed this summer. She lives in Port Huron. Stephanie had a bilateral mastectomy because there were issues in her non-cancerous breast that I am unsure of, but regardless, she got to have both off. (I say "got to" because if Dr. Ansari had recommended it, I would have too!) Anyway, the problem is this...
Some of her doctors are recommending chemo. I know all of you who have read this blog know that this goes against everything I have learned, and what my doctors have told me. But I so understand why she is second guessing herself...she IS leaning to no chemo, but because she was aggressive in having both breasts off she feels she might regret not having chemo. Kristina left her a wonderfully informative message on her blog (the wonders of the internet!!!!!!!) so I hope that helps and I hope that no matter what she decides, she finds peace with it. I still think about not having chemo and wishing I could have but still remember Dr. M and Dr. Nancy saying "NO! you do not want chemo". There is also another bc sister on another listserv who got leukemia from her chemo, which I did not know could happen. Scary stuff. Anyway, pray for Stephanie to make a good decision for HER.

Josh is really enjoying the homecoming festivities this year. He worked on the float a lot, and is MR. Competitive in all the dress up days. Today he dressed as Sleepy, for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs....Andrew hasn't done much...he's sooooo exhausted from football...more so than any year. He is playing quarterback still but is also going to play corner tomorrow night, so that means another game of non-stop play. But he loves it. And this was a kid who in early August wasn't sure he was even going to play. This weekend I am giving Kait some money to take Andrew shopping because if he wears gold Niles baseball/basketball/football shorts (he has like 10 pair) one more day I think I will scream. For one thing, the shorts are too short so he looks goofy and no matter what t-shirt he wears, nothing matches. Kait will be his fashion consultant! :)

My job has been crazy. I swear you couldn't make up half the stuff that we see in our offices. We really have the BEST kids, but we also have some nutty situations we deal with. Did I ever tell you about the girl who thought she was a vampire? That was like my first year as an admin. She would actually try to bite people. You'll be glad to know she has since graduated and outgrew her vampire stage.

I think i will watch the debates tonight. I'm not Miss Politics but like to stay informed. I also want to be able to understand the pundits!

I hope every is doing well out there. I am up to $70 some dollars all thanks to you clicking on my ads--so thank you for clicking away!


Monday, September 29, 2008

Fall is here I think.

This will be a quick post.

Suddenly getting hit with the reality that Andrew needs to apply to colleges. We have determined that he will apply to Central, Western, Michigan State, and Grand Valley. He is re-taking the ACT in October but I think he will still be ok for Central and Western with his current score. I am glad his College Writing class required him to write college essays as what he wrote will cover most of the essays of these schools. It gives him a good start on the tough part of the apps...the online part is really rather easy. Especially since I can look it over before he sends it in!

Still coughing. It is homecoming week at NHS. And of course the cold bad weather decides to hit. Tomorrow night is the Powderpuff game and then Friday is pep rally, parade, game and dance. We have lost our last two games and it has been quite sad in our house.

Just wanted to mention that today is our angel Ava Christine's birthday. Ava continues to hold a special place in my heart as an everyday reminder to love all children and to appreciate all that we hold dear to us. Happy Heavenly Birthday Ava, you will never, ever be forgotten.

ok, must go cough some more.

Love to you all!


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Poop. The Vikes lose a tough tough one

What a downer last night was. We lost 20-16 to Marshall, which in any other year would have been a decent showing but we were up 16-0 going into the 4th quarter. This is one of those losses that is hard to shake...three touchdowns were called back, and two of them were horrible, film proven, mistakes by the refs. You just sit there and think "what if". The problem being married to a coach and in a family of coaches is that I KNOW what this loss means--most likely our playoff chances are done. It will take a hellacious effort for us to beat two of the three games vs. Lakeshore, St. Joe and Portage Northern. ARGHHKK...I don't want to even think about it. Andrew again had to play both offense and defense and against a physical team like Marshall, I think the kids playing both ways got tired and I know it affected Andrew. He is walking like a 90 year old man today. But you know, it isn't all that serious and as teenagers always do, we will recover!

I have been in bed almost all day because I definitely have a terrible chest/throat infection. i am coughing like crazy--sweating--blowing my nose--uck. I think Andrew is getting better as is Josh. Josh came home from school early on Friday and slept all day. Jim is the only one that doesn't have it.

Still upset about Valerie. And wondering about Stephanie, whose doctor is recommending chemo. Just curious about her path report--makes me think she has some other mixture of wierd cells in her tumor.

I need to take a shower. My cold sweat is beginning to be annoying.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Valerie's ACC is back.

Valerie is an ACC/breast survivor I met online. She was diagnosed a little bit after I was and had a mastectomy with no other treatment. Just this last week she went to see her surgeon about a cyst on her back and he noticed two small lumps in an area above the mastectomy site. They were painful. Yup, her ACC is back. Her news sent me reeling into reality. This is cancer we are talking about and no matter what my attitude is, no matter what my tests reveal, etc., it still could come back. Valerie has had such great attitude--never once worried out loud to me anyway--and went about her life. She did go visit Dr. Helen Chew who is supposedly the ACC/breast guru on the West coast when she was first diagnosed. Dr. Chew said she was good to go.

The good news is the prelim MRI's are showing those two lumps only so I think it just means more surgery for her. I don't think she had reconstruction. Sigh. And I was feeling so good!

Going to run up to watch the love of my life coach. Such a good wife I am!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Day TWO of no school. Mike I, read this.

Day Two of no school. There is a dam on the north side of Niles that the authorities were concerned may break..it was built in the early 1920's and they are not sure how much she can hold. Well, here it is the afternoon and she is ok...thank goodness. I got an email from my superintendent and we have re-routed some buses so we WILL have school tomorrow. Goodness. Two days off already. Andrew is thrilled because as a senior he doesn't have to make up any days --just in case we get many snow days. I think we have enough time to have 4-5 snow days...and rain days I guess!

Mike I--I have been meaning to tell you this for about a month! Every year the Daily Star does a BEST...restaurant, doctor, hair salon, etc. This year they had BEST teacher and you were nominated! I thought that was so cool. There were about 10 nominations...I was flattered to be nominated too..along with Jenny Nate...but I just thought it was neat that someone who had moved away was nominated. Someone is still thinking about you!( Because Danny B was also nominated for BEST COACH, I think Ginger probably did all the nominating of us Brawleys. : )

Took the kids to Hacienda for lunch. Why I even order any food is beyond me...I usually eat all the chips. The area where the restaurant is was under a no boil order because of the water and we first got our pop and it was awful...when we asked why, she said it was from a 2 liter. Now for most of you, this is no big deal, but those of you who know me well, know my vice is my Diet Pepsi (or Coke) fountain pop. It has to be fountain pop. I don't like cans, or bottles. Luckily, she said, they were just trying to use up the 2 liters but that the fountain pop was working. Such trauma for me.

My kids are obsessed with ping pong. Jim is supposedly getting a ping pong table from a friend and we are going to put it in our...well kitchen/family room area. It will look ridiculous but Andrew is only here for another year, and I really don't care, so what the heck? Cancer allows us to do silly things like put a ping pong table in the middle of the family room and kitchen.

Both Andrew and Josh have awful colds or snotty heads...not sure what it is, but I am becoming OCD with my Bath and Body Work antibacterial hand serum....ugh. Andrew was up all night and is much worse than Josh. They both slept in so that should help a little.

Not much else to say. Love to you all!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Where is the Ark?


Today was a "no day", not a "snow day" of school. Niles sits in two counties and one of the counties, Cass, was flooded so badly that the road commissioners said that they would not allow buses to travel their roads...thus, we were canceled today. I normally love snow days, but mentally didn't really need the day off...mid-week cancellations are the best, but I guess I shouldn't complain. The rain was insane this weekend. Both kids decided not to go to the Notre Dame game, that was how bad it was!

Slept in 'til 8 AM and continued trying to dry out our basement. I know we aren't any worse off than some people, but our basement smells wet, looks wet, and IS wet. I hate going down there but laundry must be done. Tonight when Jim gets home from work we will continue to try to dry things out. We have a carpet remnant near the machines that is soaking wet. Our two dehumidifiers are working overtime! I can imagine the bacteria and mold growing down there. Maybe I need to wear a mask?

I must say that I am very happy and calm these days. Hardly thinking about cancer...I am still wheezing a little bit...but so is Andrew so I think we are just suffering from allergies. I am just happy and pretty much ignoring anything physical --LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!

My bc sister Stephanie had to have her tissue expanders removed because she wasn't healing. Gosh, that would have been terrible. It's hard to believe that I am over a year away...was home on mastectomy leave this time last year...wow, it went fast. Steph, I bet healing goes much better this time. Keep up the good work.

Kristina, I am so jealous you went to Europe! Congrats girl!

What else? The Vikes won another game last Friday--against my alma mater, Kalamazoo Central. We played very well offensively and seemed pretty confident. But, once again, another team awaits us--Marshall--and they are always really good and physical. Andrew is at practice as we speak. Sports must continue despite flooding, of course.

Today was a great day. I am so happy I am off the worry kick, even if I know it is short lived.



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Don't ever forget.

Well hello there...

Long time. Doing well. Still no phone call from Dr. A so I am not really thinking about it. I still have allergies though...Andrew is suffering from the same thing I am.

I am loving the cooler weather. Hard to believe as I am a summer lover, but it has been too hot at school and getting ready in the morning brings me what feels like hot flashes. This is tough time of year to figure out what to wear. Cold in the morning, hot by afternoon.

Today I got in a physical altercation with our copier machine at work. Somehow I became the goddess of all printing and had to print 1400 letters to parents about how to access grades on line. That in itself takes time because I have to watch the letters come off the printer or they fly all over the place! The BAD part of it today was the order before mine kept jamming and after 7 times of sticking my hands in to get the flippin' jams out , I posted a big sign on the thing that read "I am EVIL." But of course, Marcia, my secretary fixed it all and I calmed down. I think the whole process took about two hours. Not the best use of my time.

Today is 9/11. I always pause on this day as I do NOT want any of us to forget about this day. I know we all remember what we were doing and where we were.

Jim is in Kalamazoo coaching and Josh is at home driving me nuts. Right now he is taking a straw and putting it under his armpit, and then running to the bathroom, slamming the door, and making awful noises. He is also filming this on a digital camera. Why are boys so silly??? Andrew is at practice and team dinner...not sure what Josh and I are going to have. Now Josh is taking Combo pretzels and putting a straw through th cheesy part of the combo... so he has a "combo tree."

Not much else to say, believe it or not. Looking forward to the weekend but always seem to have growing piles of laundry.

Check those boobies out tonight if you haven't in awhile.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

No news is good news...I hope

Hello--Well, no phone call from Dr. A's office. He said they would call if it was anything to be concerned about. No call. Hopefully, they have the report and found no reason to call. I started to second guess myself about what he said to me...I know he told me to call on Friday if I wanted...otherwise, I wouldn't hear from them unless there was something to be concerned about. So I took that to mean they would call me on Friday. But maybe they are waiting until Monday? See, that is how my brain works. But yesterday, I was ok until I started playing things over in my head. I did NOT want to call..I literally FREEZE when I am waiting for results. So I am going on the assumption that all is well. My sister said Dr. A probably saw the results himself since the xray was in his office so she thinks I for sure would have heard by now.

So today I am buying a new purse. My second NED (no evidence of disease)purse. I need to get a fall Vera Bradley...my summer one...well, I used it every single day and it is getting ugly from dirt...yes, I did wash it...but the purse getting dirty is a great reason to get a new one don't you think?

I did not see Stand up for Cancer last night on TV but heard it was great. It is about time we did something like that. I am not insensitive to the AIDS dilemma but have always felt, even before I was diagnosed that CANCER should also have the same fund raising efforts on such a celebrity scale. I hope it went well. On a sad note, a fellow BC sister on my Yahoo list group died this week. She was 42. They posted her obit on the list serv and I about freaked when I saw her...she looked JUST LIKE ME. Dark curly hair, a bit on the larger size. Plus she was triple negative. She didn't have ACC, and her mets came exactly one year after her diagnosis. Triple Negative is a very serious breast cancer. I am triple negative but all ACC is but it is still considered a slow growing cancer...most triple negative breast cancer is aggressive.

Andrew won last night! He had a great game personally, but got a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty! so not like Andrew. I was actually proud that he showed some emotion. Not much rattle him. Supposedly what happened is a kid tackled him and said "take that! In fact, you are gonna be takin' it all night long"--the kid was in his face, spitting etc. So Andrew said, with his arms open, "well, you'd better start now 'cause it's 6 -0 already." Well, the ref saw and heard that part, but not the other. (I still think Andrew must have dropped the F bomb but was too embarrassed to tell me) We ended up winning 34-0. They took Andrew out when it was 28-0 but he finished with a touchdown, and two touchdown passes. So a good night. (next week will be much tougher so trust me, I need to brag when I can)

We are not doing much today except cleaning...all the mess we haven't touched all week. The bathrooms are disgusting. We have this awful rusty water and it is really ticking me off with my new white tiled showers. the bathroom is less than three years old but it looks 20 years old with the tile. YUCK. Any good products out there? We do soften our water with rust salt.

Today is the first Notre Dame game...we will watch that. I don't think Andrew is going. He likes going but also likes watching the game in the comfort of his own home. I can't stand the crowds...but man, ND fans are loyal! Anyway, I hope the Irish kick some butt today.

TTFN...like I said, no news is good news. That's what I keep praying for anyway.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

A good report....but.......

I am going to try to be detailed here because this post will be one that I will probably refer to as I continue this cancer journey. Especially if everything turns out okay.

Today I had a 6 month check up with Dr. Ansari, my oncologist. Everything was fine--I will say that so you don't worry as you read this--BUT, because of my annoying cough, he decided to do a chest x-ray. I will not know my results until tomorrow. Ok...now that I got that out there you know my frame of mind. Feeling really good about the visit but worried about the chest ray results.

So I get there and I first have blood work. Easy. Then I ended up waiting quite awhile to see Dr. Ansari. While I was waiting for him in the patient room, I freaked myself out for a moment because the nurse had the computer screen turned on...I immediately thought he was going to show me something in my breast MRI, when actually, she was just typing in data. I didn't remember the computer screen thingy being in the other rooms I was in so my mind assumed I was in the "I have bad news" room. Silly.

So I waited some more. I could hear Dr. A with a patient next to me...I knew he was a new patient as I heard him make introductions. I figured the poor guy needed lots of time so I certainly wasn't upset or anything. Finally, Dr. A came in and said hello, and started reading my charts, etc. He ALWAYS stops at the letter from Dr. Wolf, my ENT at U of M, and makes mention of it. (Like it is the first time we have ever talked about the letter that is almost a year old). Anyway, then he finds my MRI report and says "normal" so that is good. Then he says he needs to examine me and "'when we are done we will talk." His exam was basically a pat down through my clothes and all over my neck and shoulders...I don't know what he was feeling for (I don't mean to suggest there was anything inappropriate about it..it was just weird) When he was done, I asked him to double check my neck area and explained how bad it always hurt and he said anything that was hurting me was related to my schwannoma removal in 2001...I asked him if there was any research to show ACC breast metting (my shortened word for metasticizing) to neck and he said NONE. (which I have found as well but it was nice to hear it from him) He then said 'but we will do a PET/CT in 6 months, not for the cancer but because Dr. Wolf wants to see if the schwannoma has returned. So that was something I didn't expect him to say.

Then he sat back and said "so how are you doing?" I said "physically, I think I am doing well, but HOW IN THE HECK DO I DEAL WITH ALL THE WORRY OVER EVERY LITTLE SYMPTOM???? I explained how I thought I had liver cancer, (he smiled) how I thought my neck was filled with ACC, and now that I have had a minor cough for three weeks, i thought I had lung cancer. As soon as I mentioned that, he said "then we do a routine chest xray. that is easy" He knew I was very nervous about it but obviously, it is the thing to do since chest xrays are no big deal in terms of cost or radiation. He said " we do today. i will only call you if there is an issue. But you can call tomorrow if you want." (he knows me!) He then talked to me for about 15 minutes about how normal I am, that most of his patients feel good every week prior to visits with him except to the week just prior, and how good they feel when they leave him. (that is me to a T) He was very understanding and said that in time, it will get easier. I pointed out that my cancer comes back YEARS later and he said "do not confuse ACC/breast with ACC elsewhere. They are two different things. With ACC/breast you are "surgically cured" as you had clear margins" (that was nice to hear too, but i know better but will hang my hat on it after tomorrow's results!) I then told him I thought I should see him every 4 months and he smiled and said "you call me whenever you want, but I do not need to see you every 4 months. " He explained that it simply wasn't necessary and that it could cause me more anxiety than I already am having, He did say "I would never refuse to see you". I then said "well, it sounds like I am more worried than you are." And he said "I am not worried." So that was that.

I did have my chest xray right there...after it was done, the tech was calling the place I had my previous xray so i am guessing that that is routine, OR, he saw something, which easily could be that granuloma. That freaked me out a bit but I am just hopeful it was routine and that they just want to double check on the granuloma. It just has to be normal. Oh, by the way, after I told him that part of my problem with worry was not trusting him (as i don't see him very often) he said he would ALWAYS tell me the truth and never hides anything. I assumed that to be true but it was nice he verbalized it.

The other slightly interesting thing was that in March, I WILL have a bilateral mammogram. I didn't think they did that with implants but they do. So I have that a few days after my PET/CT, and then I will see him again somewhere around March 10. Gosh, it will be so nice to go through Christmas without doctor's appointments to worry about.

So as I type this, I feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest. It could be worry, or my jalapeno peppers on my sandwich at lunch today...or maybe allergies. Or maybe a heart attack. Hopefully it will pass. I am still coughing but I can contribute it to post nasal crap...it certainly isn't awful...and normally, i wouldn't think anything of it....but,,,,,,,,,,,,

ANYWAY. That is my report. I walked into house today after school and literally tip-toed into the room where the answering machine is...no one had called from his office so I feel good about today at least. I will probably die of a heart attack if they call tomorrow. ARGH. Can"t think about that now>

Josh is at the freshman game...Jim is coaching...Andrew went to dinner with the football team at Pete's Patio (YUM!) and I have made pork chops that are simmering with some red potatoes. Glad the rain is here finally...just hope it clears up for tomorrow night's game.

Pray for a clear chest xray for me...it sure can't hurt can it???

MUCHO LOVE to you all!


Monday, September 1, 2008

Last day of summer

Hi there. It is Sunday night. I quickly posted some pictures from the weekend just to see if I could do it and I can. Weekend was fun, as always. Andrew lost his game...boo...but my Pollyanna attitude was glad 1) we scored (we didn't last year) and 2) no one got hurt. Andrew did fine...the whole team has many things to work on so maybe THIS Friday night will be the night to get our first victory. We play at Sturgis.

What a wonderful weatherwise weekend. Sunny and not too humid. Jim and I hung around at our campsite most of the time--took Shade on a few walks--she is sleeping and will probably sleep for weeks now. Camping wears her out. I think the kids had fun...they are both at the age where I don't worry too much about them when they are out wandering, but the Twin Mills Security people were out in masses which was new for Twin Mills.

Just a few photos from a great weekend. More later.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nervous mom and annoying cough

Super super quick blog!

It's Friday afternoon and we are home for Andrew's game tonight. Josh and I stayed at the campground last night and weathered a hellacious thunder/lightening storm. WOW. It hit about 5 a.m. and lasted for about 2 hours...everything was soaked outside, but Josh and I were snug as a bug in a rug. When we left to head back to Niles, the sun was coming out and the forecast looks great for the rest of the holiday weekend.

I m very nervous about tonight for Andrew. He seems fine, but Jim keeps sighing heavily. Danny (his uncle and head coach) has called already to go over things. Andrew hung up the phone and said I think he is more nervous than I am. Andrew is starting tonight at quarterback, his first start since his junior varsity season since he broke his arm. Although winning is obviously the goal, I am praying for a fantastic showing by the Vikes, and no injuries.

After the game we will head back to Twin Mills with about 6 extra kids and the dog. Won't pull in until about midnight, but the rest of the weekend is ours.

Oh, by the way, my nipple/areola is fine. Dr. M said it looked great...the stuff on my shirt was ointment, not ink, and many times tattoos do not scab. Moisturizing lotion is all the care I need now. But, in 6 weeks I go back for some secondary color. It is a bit pale, but who cares at this point.

I am battling an annoying cough. Yes of course I think it is a lung met or tumor. But it could be allergies. I keep clearing my throat too. I will definitely mention it to Dr. Ansari on Thursday. Dreading the MRI on Tuesday but won't think about it until Monday night.

The game will refocus my nerves and probably cause me to want to drink. But at least it is just a game, not cancer.



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Revenue. How fun is that?

Howdy. Guess what? I went from $3.08 to over $10 because you are clicking and reading my blog! That just made my day. I should go to the library and click all day to earn money. That would be cheating and I am a rule follower so i guess I can't do that! : ) But continue to click.

So that is exciting. Tonight I went out to where we store our trailer and got a bee stuck in my sandal--ouch! It sent shivers all through me. When I was a kid I was stung by a bee and ended up on crutches for two weeks because of a reaction. That sting was between my toes too. Right now, it just hurts a little but doesn't seem to be swelling. Anyway, I did an inventory of what we needed...I had planned to clean the trailer, but my foot hurt so much and i imagined the poison traveling to my heart and killing me so I came home. HA...but actually, it did cause weird things. But I really am ok.

An expected mother gave me some nursing pads today which is helping me with my tattoo issues. But again, too late today. Ruined another shirt for the day. But I had a vest on and luckily no one could see it.

I met another woman on line who had both a schwanomma and ACC of the trachea. She has made 4 more benign tumors in her body, and so far, for 19 years, she is ACC free. She too was told by her doctor that having a schwanomma and ACC is doubly rare...but her doc agreed we have gene issues. Figures. I guess I can pray that i just make benign tumors? Unfortunately, benign tumors can kill you too...particularly in the brain. Ugh. No more thinking about that.

i am having a hard time sleeping these days. My mind runs 100 miles a minute, and although i am exhausted, I can't turn off the brain. I am not thinking about cancer per se, just a lot of school stuff and Andrew and josh and Shade and Jim...Andrew has his first varsity game Friday night as a starter...you get nervous for your kids...sigh. I hope Niles wins. That would just make it all so great. And for Danny too...talk about pressure!

Tomorrow is take the trailer to Howe, In day. Camping at Twin Mills is a blast. So Jim and I will set it up for the most part, then on Thursday after by doctor's appointment (NIPPLE CHECK!) Josh and I will go back and do all the grocery shopping, etc. I am pretty sure we will come back to Niles Thursday night, although I might try to talk Josh in to staying down there over Thursday night. If I know the weather will be good on Friday, I want to hang at the pool and then come back to Niles in the late afternoon.

The Brawley family will be celebrating cousin Connor's birthday at a tailgate before the game Friday. We always miss his birthday because we are camping so this works well. I sort of dread this football season because I don't get to sit with Jim, as he has to be in the booth thingy watching plays and talking to the coaches on the sidelines. That leaves me to stress about Andrew alone. I do have friends I can sit with of course, but watching without Jim will be hard. He would rather coach though--he gets nervous too.

Not much else to say. Less than a week until MRI's. bluhhhhhhhhhhhhh. That is how i feel about that.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Click on Ads. Cure cancer.

Hello--wow, tired. I thought i had solved my lactating issues (my ink tattoo leaking) but no, once again today I had a lovely yellow spot right smack on my boob. I think it is more antibiotic ointment than anything else but it sure is embarrassing. I walk around like I am pledging allegiance to the flag. HA!

I want you to know that I have earned $3.08 on my ads. if you click on the ad, (I can't) I earn even more money. Click away. All money, all $3.08, will go to ACC research. (the ad people only send you a check every $100 ) Click away and cure cancer. (how is that for a guilt trip!) Also every time my page laods (you visit my blog0 I get like .0001 cents. My page has been looked at 500 plus times since August 1st...that is fun to keep track of too.

I love Julie Isabel! She is letting me borrow her canopy for our camping trip this weekend. I am excited. I am a bit apprehensive about the weather now, looks like rain for Friday--well actually, I just checked the 10 day and now it looks sunny everyday. That would make my summer. : )

Had some really good conversations with our teachers today. Our MME scores were really improved and above state average...we learned today that Niles High School, when compared to schools of its size with similar demographics in Michigan, ranks 4th in terms of student achievement. That makes me so proud of our students, teacher, and school! I hope our superintendent publishes that fact-- it really is something to be proud of...I think he said we are 4th of 70 schools. Pretty darn good.

We are still dealing with locker combo data entry issues. Sigh. But you know, we probably had those same issues in the past, I just wasn't aware of them. So much to do still to get ready for next Tuesday.

My throat and ear continue to hurt. There are days when I consider asking to have a pain block injection--that is how bad it is. I just wonder if they could give me 100 percent assurance that it is not ACC if I could handle the pain better. It hurts like heck most of the time.

Short post tonight. I want to shower, and try to finish one of my many novels I have been reading. Bet I am asleep by 10:00.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

School is creeping near.

A quick blog.

I just took a two hour nap. Jim is still napping. Nap was wonderful! But here it is 4;30 and I haven't accomplished much.

Our goals this weekend are to get our trailer all set for camping. When we went last, we blew a fuse in the outside plugs, which we use a lot to make breakfast. It is normally easily fixed except when we tried to fix it, it didn't work. So we have to do that, and I need to do an inventory of blankets, paper products, that kind of stuff.

I am excited about camping, but we are trying to figure out when we can actually get there. We have to take the trailer down Wednesday night, just to get it there, and then Thursday after work I will go done and get it all set up...but we still can't spend the night until Friday, after Rew's football game. But after the game, I can't wait to relax and do NOTHING. (ok, nothing is an extreme, if you camp, you know there are some work involved!)

WARNING: graphic description to follow

Let's talk about this nipple business. It seems to not be working. Part of the problem is I don't think I have been taking care of it appropriately. My nurse told me to use this stuff called "Adaptic", which is a non-stick dressing/gauze type thing. Well, I went to Wal-Mart and the pharmacist said she had never heard of it, but had non-stick gauze. So I have been using that. And without exception, I have had major issues with ink/ointment oozes on every shirt I have worn. The areola looks like it has a film of some type over it; it looks like sticky stuff from a bandaid. But I think a scab is supposed to be building and that just isn't happening. In fact, the filmy stuff got stuck on the non-stick gauze and started bleeding profusely. Lordy. So today we went to Walgreens and they had the Adaptic stuff. We will see if that changes anything. I did do lots of research and it says to just keep it moist with antibiotic ointment and covered--and that is what I am doing. I see Dr. M on Friday and we shall see what he says. Again, as of now, I do not want to do that next phase of getting a sewn nipple nubby thing.

I am less than two weeks away from my breast MRI's and a visit with Dr. Ansari. Without Ginger here, I don't know how I will cope through this. I am less concerned about the breast MRI's for some reason than the chest x-ray --which is crazy--because the chance of recurrance is just as bad as mets--plus, with my remaining DENSE breast, who knows if the MRI will pick up anything. Here I go again, talking myself into being a worrier.

Thanks to all your support concerning the utilities fiasco. You will be happy to note that Niles City has returned my online check...which they received the day they turned off the power. I am also well aware of autopay, and do it with many things, but not with bills that vary in amount. Plus, autopay assumes you have money in your account. That could be a problem...........: )

Another goal this weekend is to finish my class on "Grading". I have one four page paper to write and then I am done. I already have enrolled in two more classes, one is about stress in the school workplace and how to alleviate it (for everyone, teachers, admins, students, etc) and the the other one is abut motivating the unmotivated child. I am looking forward to that one because it stumps many of us . Promising a high school diploma doesn't cut it for some kids.

Time to get Jim up. Love to you all.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lights out.

Remember when I started blogging and I said I just wanted to help someone if she ever went through what I was going through? Well, my new ACC/breast cancer sister Stephanie has also started a blog about her journey at www.smacneil.blogspot.com I am so glad I have been of some help. She too had a painful area in her breast, and if you read her blog, we have so much in common. Except she is a skinny blonde and I am a fatty fatty two by four with a brillo pad for hair but WHO IS JEALOUS????????????????? : )

My day was the most insane, outrageous day. I will share this with you because then you won't feel so bad about your own day when you hear how stupid this day was.

It's sort of a long story, but I promise you will finish and say "Ok. That family is nuts. Thank god mine(yours) is sane"

On Sunday, I always pay bills. I am going through bills this past Sunday and I find our utility bill that is waaaaay over due. First I have seen of it, so I get a little snotty and tell Jim to PLEASE not get the mail as it gets lost in my paper piles, as I am now late on this bill. He says no problem and I pay this waaaaay overdue bill electronically. Fearful that my payment may not reach the city utility gods in time, I called and left a message that I had paid the complete bill and they should be receiving it electronically at any time. Enough said. I forget about it.

Today at work I am meeting with my boss and Andrew calls to ask if it is ok to take a shower if we have no power. I said yes, sure, wonder what happened? (We often lose power in short bursts, particularly in the summer for some reason, but it usually takes a few hours to come back on.) I go on with my meeting and the day ends.

Today was also order Andrew's senior picture day. My pal (and school counselor) Jenny went with me...I called Josh to see if he wanted to go but got no answer, nor did I get the answering machine. I even said to Jenny, well that is odd...I had completely forgotten about the power.

So we get to the studio and I get all weepy seeing Andrew's pictures on this 55 inch screen. I am loving all of them...Jenny and I agree on almost every single picture and we work to eliminate a few. Then my phone rings. I thought about ignoring it, but get nervous when it might be my kids...it is Jim.

"Um...what the heck is going on with the power????" he yells at me.

"Wow, do we still not have it?" I ask, thinking it is strange he would call me about that.


"Um, no, I never call. It will come back on." I say calmly, wondering why the heck he is so upset and interrupting my wonderful moments with my smiling senior.

Then the light bulb goes off in my head....I basically gasped into the phone and said

"They didn't turn it off did they???"

"&^*%&, ^&*%&#( $%^&#" Jim says.

"But I paid it!!!! I even left a message!" I say. By this time, the photog lady is looking at me, I am sure seeing her sales go down the drain....Jenny is just looking at me like you nutso lady.

*^&%^ &*%*&#@#@" Jim says.

At this point, i am so embarrassed so I tell to Jim to handle it and I get off that phone fast. Looking like a beet, I explain to Jenny and the photog lady my issue and try to laugh about it. Inside I am cringing.

MY FREAKING POWER WAS TURNED OFF BECAUSE I DIDN'T PAY THE BILL! I have a flipping master's degree and I can't manage my bills.

Anyway, needless to say, after I finished my wish list of pictures and it was $1600 I gasped again and said, 'uh, no'. I wanted to cry at this point. How can I leave these gorgeous photos of my gorgeous son in some computer file??? After all was said and done, we got it down to $600, and will be getting about 8 pictures, plus the wallets. It really was outrageous, but oh, he was sooooo cute.

After I paid the photography bill, I had to call Jim to see what I was going to walk into when I got home:

"*$%^ )(#$ !@#@ I went and paid it. They got no message, $%^#@ cost us $100 to turn it back on &%^#&" he says.

So yeh, Miss Professional Pants here got her power turned off. How sad is that? Jim has since apologized for his crazy behavior (if you know Jim NOTHING upsets him, well nothing except having to go pay the electric bill 'cause your wife didn't) and power is restored and all is good.

What a dumb day. Now you know your day was just fine, wasn't it?


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just a lot of nothing.

What a quiet household. Jim is snoring on the couch next to me, Andrew is at practice, and Josh went for a bike ride. Jim has practice in 20 minutes. Jim is quite stinky right now; he has a terrible pain in his neck and back and has some type of rub on...WOW my eyes are watering from the stench. Josh went bike riding even though we don't own a bike. Hmmm. Not sure how he is doing that but I did tell him to be VERY VERY careful. I'm such a good mom.

Christina Applegate is recovering from a double mastectomy. I smiled when she said she has laughed more in the last three weeks. Why does cancer do that? I laughed so much during that time. Maybe it is some protective instinct we have built in to keep us sane. Or perhaps it is good drugs! : )

Today we had a very nice lunch with all the new teachers. We have 17 new teachers in the district...but only 3 in our building. Many were math teachers. I love seeing how excited they are. Tomorrow we bore the heck out of them with rules, procedures, and the ins and outs of our building. No matter how thorough we think we are being, it all goes over their heads because they are on major information overload.

Frosh orientation was last night. Went well, except for one huginormous glitch. All the locks were on the students' lockers backwards. So the poor 9th graders, who are terrified of this building anyway, are practically standing on their heads to try their locker combos. One wonders why this happened...let's just say something got lost in communication. Most parents I talked to thought it was just a way to give the students their first "challenge"--truth be told, we just forgot to turn them back over after cleaning and inventory. Heavy sigh. I about flipped a lid when I saw kids struggling. But, all in all, it was ok.

Tomorrow is the ordering of the senior pictures. I've been told I could end up spending as much as $1800 on them MY LORD. I just don't think I like Andrew that much! I know me though, I will want to go hog wild and know it is ridiculous to do so. I think I will make a list of what I want BEFORE I go and not be tempted by all the special things they offer. They do not give you a price list prior to ordering..aren't they just little sneaky people. Andrew is now telling me he is NOT going so I will be doing this by myself. Maybe I can make Joshie go. I can usually get him to do anything if I promise him a Dr. Pepper.

I really want to take a nap but won't be able to get to sleep tonight if I do. Jim can sleep any where, any time. Not me. I need to wake him up in three minutes.

I love my job. I work with some really fun people and of course I love the kids.

I am craving goulash. We had soup today at our luncheon and it reminded me of it --it was sort of meatball minestrone type soup. It was yummy.

I think I found someone who has a canopy that we can borrow for camping. I am excited!

ok, Rambling Rose must go. Hugs to all of you and kisses to the special people. HA!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Leroy Sievers

This is my third post of the day but I feel inclined to write about a man named Leroy Sievers who passed away today. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2006--given six months to live. He worked for NPR and wrote the most incredible blog that I just found today. I don't even know this man but reading through his posts was amazing! He was funny, serious, thought provoking, amazing! His wife occasionally posts as well.

I only wish I could write like he did--and be as "aware" of myself as he was. If you want to read anything by him, just google "MY CANCER".

He was my kind of guy--suggesting that cancer patients be given their own lanes of traffic through toll booths since we have less time than others. Gotta love that cancer card!

Without even knowing him, and just reading him today, I hope he is at peace now


Going blogbuggy........

Ok, as you can see I am messing with my templates again. Also, Google is now putting ads on my blog and supposedly I will get paid for it. If it amounts to more than .07 cents I will give all the money to ACC research. Based on what I have read, I might make about a dollar a month. HA!

Give some love to Stephanie who is another ACC breast survivor who I have formed a bc sisterhood with--she lives in Port Huron. She is starting here own blog too! Kristina My Bina, where are you these days? Hopefully busy living your life. Check in when you can!


No cancer in colon. So that is good.

Good afternoon peeps.

Today was football scrimmage day. Rather uneventful for Andrew. I have no clue if the team looked good or not. He played more defense than offense so I would imagine that is where he will be playing. What a sunny, beautiful day!

Finally got my polyp biopsy and there was no cancer. However, the type of polyp was adenomatous, which means these polyps can turn into cancer. I was sort of surprised that the letter said I wouldn't need another colonoscopy for 5 years, Dr. B said it would be either 3 or 5 years so based on that, I am guessing although my polyps were adenomatous in nature, they weren't villous, which have a higher malignancy chance. Thank you Dr. Molly Google.

I am craving the chips and salsa from El Rodeo in Benton Harbor. Josh is at the fair with some buddies and Andrew and Dan went fishing. Jim is preparing to build some pallet tops--a side job he and his brother do every once in awhile. So its me and doggy dear.

Just got off the phone with my mom and her blood counts are still really bad. They are even thinking about giving her a platelet transfusion. Docs are saying the chemo is what caused this--it makes me nervous her cancer is still there but she doesn't seem nervous. It has only been less than two weeks so I guess she needs more time.

I haven't changed my bandage yet on Tattoo Tina. It doesn't hurt but it is aching a little bit...

Ok, off to clean the house.


Friday, August 15, 2008

A bloody mess!.

Got the nipple tattoo today. Easy peasy chicken weazy, except i was
NOT prepared for the blood! Of course there would be blood, but dumb
me thought It would just be painted on or something!

Dr. M used an EKG pad to draw my nipple circle on, which i thought was
quite creative. Then he injected me with lots of pokes of a local,
then used this vibrating pen-looking thing that was actually a 9
pronged needle to get the ink it. I couldn't really see what he was
doing, but feeling and seeing what I could see reminded me of a three
year old holding a crayon and coloring--it certainly wasn't a finely
detailed drawing that is for sure. Just sort of scribbling like!
Dr. M says he prefers to do the tattoos himself but often, the nurse does
it or a med assistant.

So now i am bandaged up...when you are diagnosed with breast cancer
you should buy stock in gauze since that seems to be part of my
regular wardrobe these days. I leave the gauze on for about two weeks
(i change it daily) to help the scab build. When i see PS in two
weeks, he will then decide if the color is good, or if he has to add
more. i have no clue what it looks like now though. Then I will have
to decide if I want the sewn nipple or not. Not sure on that
yet--concerned i will feel like i have a permanent head light on!

One funny thing, I went back to work after my procedure and didn't think much of it. But when I got home, I went to the rest room and had a bg ol' splotch of blood
soaking through my white shirt right at the nipple area! I laughed
out loud. Can you imagine the people who i talked to that didn't know what was up? They probably left and said "my god, i think that lady was shot in her boob!" Gawd, what we endure for this craziness!

I am in no pain now and hope to remain that way. I did have my
usual back spasms when he was doing the procedure and I think this
sucker may itch, but the local is still working.


Thursday, August 14, 2008


Molly Elizabeth is exhausted...sitting here in my pj's, mainly because I was not in the mood for a bra, but have to get dressed to go to Subway for what seems to be a nightly visit of the $5 Footlong...we are just too tired to cook. At 9:30 last night Jim was cooking Andrew bacon, eggs, and toast when they both got home from football practice. I had gone upstairs to read, ended up turning on the Olympics, and stayed up until almost 1 AM. Sheesh.

Work flew by today...got lots accomplished in the scheduling aspect. I hope I can go back to work after my tattooing. I have a meeting at 7:30 tomorrow morning, then ad staff for an hour, and then I am on the road at 9:30.

I still have not heard on my polyp biopsies. They said they would send a letter--I am assuming they would have called had they been malignant--and I know they haven't called as I check Caller ID every day when I get home because my kids may forget to give me messages... I know I should call but haven't made the time. I figure no news is good news. I told myself I will call Monday.

My liver/rib pain IS better but not gone completely. At some point, you just get sick of thinking about this stuff. My new reality is worry all the time. But then I have to mentally NOT ALLOW it, which is easier said than done. But it can be done and does work for me, although you all hear the worst. But today--thought of cancer maybe three/four times total until now. That is amazing for me.

I am so tired I feel almost drunk.

Going to get moving or my entire family will starve.



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Senior year $$$$$$

Good evening. Today was busy. Forgot to remind both Josh and Andrew that they had PSI training so neither went. No big deal for Andrew as he has been a teen leader for three years, but this was Josh's first time. He will probably get fired before he even starts. They are going to go tomorrow. I feel foolish and normally would play the cancer card, but can't do that! : )

This afternoon Andrew had his senior pictures. I think it went well--they kick moms out, and rightly so--so I didn't see much. He forgot his mitt so most of his sports pics were with a football--I'm not that fond of sports pictures, but he had a few. I think my favorites will be his jacket and tie pictures--or maybe just the casual ones in a polo and shorts. We go back the 20th to watch a slide show of all the pictures and then the money starts flying out of my wallet I am sure. The first of many senior year expenses! It really was a fun experience and Andrew even said so.

Dawn--i can't believe your baby will be at the high school. We are freaking out about orientation--well, not really--but with this new database system we have we were not sure how we were going to get the schedules printed. But we did and are ready to go! We just had to hand write all students' locker combos on the schedule as that part is not ready to go. But those scared freshmen will have more than enough information to get them started!

Despite complaining about this new system we are using at work, I LOVE the challenge of it and know it will be awesome when finished. It will be better, more efficient, and easier to use. But right now we are pulling our hair out. Another thing we are doing this year is trying to go paperless when it comes to student discipline--in other words, if student gets in trouble, the teacher will type the document online (a referral) and I can access it from the student's file right on line. I love stuff like this but there are a few computer phobics who might not like it. Maybe they will write less referrals then? : )

I have met a new ACC/breast survivor (I wanted to write victim but I refuse) She actually lives in Michigan and is new to all of this--although she has already had her surgery. She had a bilateral mastectomy because of a strong family history and some suspicious things in her non-ACC breast. She is as scared as I was (and am on my bad days) so I hope emailing her and maybe this blog will help her. Besides the therapy I get from writing, the whole purpose of this blog was to maybe help other ACC/breast survivors--or any cancer survivor for that matter. Like I said before, I want something positive to come of this crap. (something positive better come of this since 1/2 the world thinks I am out of my mind because of it!)

Last year at this time we were either in Maine or well on our way there for the Little League World Series. Such a fun time that was. Remember Andrew being interviewed on TV? He said he couldn't wait to meet people from Japan and Mexicans--how funny was that? Ironically, last night he was interviewed for Fox 28's Fall Football Frenzy and he came home and said, "mom, I am much better at interviews now. I did not offend any ethnicity." Not sure when this will be on TV, but doubt we will ever see it.

Still watching the Olympics and staying up waaaaay too late. I felt so bad for the girl who messed up for the US in gymnastics. I just wanted to tell her "it's all good...you're healthy! Who cares about a gold medal?" Did you notice how busty she was for a gymnast? Jim liked her of course. Gotta love Michael Phelps. His mom seems like a fun lady, maybe I like her just because she is a principal.

Get this--Josh just left with his buddy Dustan--IN A CAR DRIVEN BY DUSTAN!!!!! Ugh. Yes, i realize Josh should be driving now too, but he can't yet. By the way, when you do see him driving, he will be sitting on a pillow I am sure. There probably should be a height requirement for driving. Come to think of it tho', those "16" year olds from China could never drive!

I haven't told you lately how much I love my dog. She keeps me so calm.

Enough for tonight--hope you are all doing well. My side is still aching and my throat/ear pain is back with a vengeance but i am coping. Nipple is Friday!