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 get nervous for your kids...sigh. I hope Niles wins. That would just make it all so great. And for Danny 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 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 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 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'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!


Sunday, August 10, 2008


No talking about pains today. It does me no good.

Did anyone watch the opening Ceremonies of the Olympics? I watched them alone and was so impressed I had to call my mom, who I grew up watching them with, to talk about them. They were so amazing to me...and I have watched a lot of Opening Ceremonies. My mom was even impressed. But then Jim came home and tried to burst my bubble by telling me how awful the Chinese people treat their people--making them practice 8 hours a day and spending more money on the ceremonies than on starving people. I said bah humbug to him, 'cause it sure looked pretty awesome to me.

It feels like football season, doesn't it? Football practice starts tomorrow for Andrew. I am glad he decided to play this year...after sitting 6 of 9 games last year, he was really leary of putting so much time in for no playing time, but decided to do it anyway. His physical therapy on his arm this winter has really helped--he was having some issues between throwing a baseball and then throwing a football but that has resolved itself. Jim is also coaching this year--is going to help with the freshman team. He took last year off because of my cancer. I am not looking forward to the time he will be gone, but we sure can use the money. Zack Brawley is playing this year so that will be fun. Poor Zack, he is going to be a 9th grader this year and doesn't realize what it will be like to have me accessing his grades everyday! Yes, I have Pooh's permission.

Josh is my sleeper still. I need to start getting him up in the mornings or he will be a tired mess come September. We will be camping right before school starts so that will tire him out. I am SOOOO excited the McKeels are going this year! I always laugh with Sheryl.

I am getting a tattoo Friday. Yes, it is just brown circle, but nonetheless, still a tattoo. I am thinking it might raise my "coolness" factor with the high schoolers, don't you think? Andrew says "uh...never.".

My mom is finished with chemo. (let's hope) In November, she has to have another colonoscopy. I pray those nasty chemicals got all the bad cancer cells. She handles her stage III cancer better than I handle mine, that is for sure.

Andrew's senior pix are Wednesday. That will probably be the biggest fight between mother and son ever imagined. Can't wait. He has no interest in going to SEE/order the pictures, so thank goodness for small favors. : )

Ok, thinking about dinner now. Sloppy Joes it will be.

Hugs to all of you--


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Ugly stupid TALL freak.

I had a four minute visit with Dr. Messinger yesterday. My incision looks great. He was so busy that I hated to even ask him about my rib cage/front pain but I did and he said it could likely be this congestion thrombophlebitis type thing (called Mondor's Syndrome). He said it is possible that my pain is worse from Pizza Pocket's surgery. I didn't specifically mention my liver but he didn't freak out or anything and even cupped his hand over the spot where it often hurts people, which is right where my achiness sometimes is. so of course when I got home I googled Mondor's and although my pain is similar, I certainly don't think I have that. There are definite signs of that, and i don't have them. But the congestion theory he suggested sort of fits so I think I can talk myself into that until I see Dr. Ansari. Crazy MIL went with me and we laughed as usual. Next Friday is tattoo day. More needles to numb the boob and then he draws that sucker on.

Today I went back to work. I tried to ignore my pains but they were still mildly there. At least I wasn't obsessed with them. In case you wonder what I do all day, today I dealt with our student information system trying to enter data that tells the computer what room number each teacher's PRIMARY room is. Sounds simple, but it wasn't. Then I was told that new data will be uploaded tonight, so I might lose what I had entered. That was enough to convince me stop that so I moved on to double checking some data entry. I also had a few parent phone calls to return, and met with the mom of our leukemia student. Wow, she was impressive. She has such a spiritual faith that seems to be unshakeable. The student is responding very, very well to chemo but is a bit depressed and feels crappy. We don't think he will be able to start school right away but are working on a support plan for him. Tracy, the mom, started a caringbridge blog for her son and I already logged in to say hello. She too feels so good when people check in, and with her faith, feels the prayers and support already. On a more practical note, I think these blogs are awesome in that they provide such a good record. I reread my post from when I went to see my ENT at U of M to remind me that he looked in my mouth and in my throat and at my PET/CT and covered why my pain is still so back on the right side of my just reminds me that those pains are nothing new. It's hard to believe my PET/CT scan was over a year ago.

Can you believe this blog too is now over a year old? August 2, 2007 was my first entry.

Mimi, thanks for calling tonight. It helped a lot and made me feel so not alone. I know you have put up with all my crazy illnesses since the dawn of time, but you always listen and always make me feel better with your knowledge. Just knowing what a chest xray and a chest CT "expose" to the radiologists was helpful. My cyber angel Velvet from the UK also reminded me that often liver cancer mets show up in blood work, and mine was fine about 4 months ago. That made me feel better too, although I know things can change quickly.

I had to take Andrew to the doctor today because I thought he had pink eye. Dr. T made me bring him in since he said that very few cases of pink eye are actually really pink eye--in fact, Andrew's wasn't. Instead, he had a cold in his eye because his nose wasn't draining well--he recommended Visine for the itchiness, and Clariton for the nose. We shall see. He says he rarely sees actual cases of pink eye. Andrew was no more contagious than anyone with a cold. It was an interesting visit and did confirm some things that I achieved in my University of Google medical degree in the past.

On a funny note, Andrew is tutoring at Ballard for National Honor Society. His job is to work with some younger readers. Well, when I got home the other day he handed me a "note" that one student had given him. The girl is the little sister of one of Andrew's friends and a boy in the class had given it to her. This is what the note said"

Danielle tell you brothers frend to not teach here no more. he shouldn't be at are school. I don't mean YOU but he is an ugly stupid TALL freak. GOODBYE!

Is that not the funniest thing ever???? Andrew got pretty defensive with me about what caused this, but later told Jim that the boy was upset that he didn't pass a reading fluency test. Andrew can't pass them unless they read aloud at a certain speed--there's all kinds of data that is kept and shows teachers how well kids can read based on speed. Poor Andrew. I assumed his first note would have been a love note, but apparently he is an ugly stupid freak. And a tall one at that!



Monday, August 4, 2008

Trying to LIVE

Good morning. I have just managed to get Shade off my lap and into a drug induced sleep. We had awful storms this morning...I woke up to my bed tremoring from her shaking. Now that it has calmed down, I should have waited it out, but she was one big tremble so I gave her the pill. She's happy now.

Today is really my last day of vacation because tomorrow I will spend most of my day going to Dr. Messinger in Kalamazoo for a Pizza Pocket incision check up. The incision is rather knotty feeling but the bruising is pretty much faded. Occasionally I get some lightening bolt pains but overall I am pretty much healed. Then Wednesday is back to work. Thank goodness!

As for my side/rib/liver pain, well it isn't any better. In fact, yesterday, it was throbbing from the front to the back. I was so stressed about it last night that I had a mild anxiety attack...I got really hot and had to lay down and do some deep breathing. Once I got myself calmed down I got up and took a Xanax and did much better after that. Jim thinks part of my issue is that I golfed on Saturday and used muscles not used in a loooooooooooong lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnng time, but this feels more internal than it had before. This morning, my whole back is tense, but the side pain is better, but it still throbs everyonce in awhile. It feels like the stitch you get when you have been running...but moves to the back. I will tell Dr. M about it and he will convince me to call Dr. A. I wonder if I will forget about it when I go back to work? I have decided that I am one of those people that is way too 'body aware'--I can pinpoint every ache and pain (in my mind at least) and when you have had cancer, some would say that is a good thing, but not for me, that is for sure.

An NHS student has been diagnosed with leukemia. That makes me so weepy. I can't imagine the heart ache his family is feeling right now. When I get back on Wednesday I will give them a call.

Have I ever mentioned my love affair with tomato juice? Gosh, I crave that stuff.

Is anyone excited about the Olympics? I always am. I have so many good memories of watching them growing up, and now with Jim and the kids. I remember VIVIDLY the Atlanta Olympics because Bill Brawley and the Young Americans were there so Jim and I made a point to watch Opening ceremonies. They had made a really big deal about who was lighting the torch...we knew that celebrities were running legs of the race to light it, but no one knew who was going to actually light it. I remember saying to Jim "Wouldn't it be cool if it were Muhammad Ali?" At the time, we knew Muhammad and his family lived in Berrien Springs, which is about 10 minutes from here, but we had not developed our friendship yet. So, sure enough, it was Muhammad and I remember being covered in goose bumps watching him do it. I still love watching footage of it to this day. For those of you who don't Muhammad personally, he is just as charismatic and magical as he looks. And Lonnie, his wife is an earthly angel who has made such a difference in our lives and our community.

Speaking of Bill Brawley, he and Robyn and Lizzie were here last week on their way home from Boyne Highlands and I think today they leave for Japan. Lizzie is three and can tell you just about the entire Young Americans show from this year and last year...she is the most articulate three year old I have ever seen...Bill would ask her what song so and so sang and not only did she know, she could sing the darn song. I think so far she has traveled to 30 some countries in her young life. BUT, Robyn told us that in January she is staying home so Lizzie can start preschool like a normal girl. Pam and I laughed...Lizzie could probably teach the class. Someone asked her what her favorite part of the show was and she said, "Well, I can sure tell you what I DON'T like." SHE IS THREE!!!!! She didn't like the witch from the Wicked piece in case you were wondering.

I am going to miss my morning talk shows when I go back to work.

Getting excited about Labor Day camping. Looking for a canopy to take for the weekend. I am not sure I want to buy one, but if you have one you want to lend me, let me know. : )

Enough wasting time. Please pray for our student who has cancer, and well, anyone who has cancer. Appreciate your good health, love every day that you don't have to worry about health, and pet your dog.

Off to worry and drink tomato juice. I need to run up to work to make some changes on schedules, so that will be a good thing.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Massage needed???

Staying busy has kept my mind off of things. Still feel some pain here there and everywhere but nothing that I am obsessing about.

My pal Vikki is my breast cancer angel and has convinced me to start getting regular massages. I have to figure out how to have my insurance pay for them. I want to go to Teri in Berrien Springs (who about killed me a few months ago with my first massage). My school insurance does pay for them but I think the massage has to be prescribed. If you are a Niles teacher and get massages that our WONDERFUL insurance pays for, will you let me know how it works?

Yesterday I took Josh and his buddy to Famous Dave's and to the mall. Josh is so delightful to spend time with, and his friend Tyler is too. I went shopping to get Andrew some things for his senior pictures. Josh bought some "shants", which are shorts that are actually made of sweat PANT material. He made up the name. I gladly bought them for him as they were $4.97. I saved over $100 at JC Penney's buying dress shirts, etc. I couldn't believe the great sales they were having.

Tomorrow is the Niles Football golf outing and I am playing with Jim, Zech and Alyse. We are all pretty bad (well, Jim is really good and Zech is not bad) but I occasionally win the Longest Tee shot for women, which is my ONLY contribution to the process. I have not played golf since my surgeries so maybe now that my boobies aren't so big I will swing better? HA! I am still bruised from Pizza Pocket and with the rib pain and all, I have lots of excuses. It is always fun but looks like it is really going to be hot.

I have not talked to any official representative, but Pam, who is always pretty accurate, tells me that Ava's blood drive was overwhelmingly successful. I think 66 people were able to give (she only had slots for 40) and over 80 people WANTED to give, so another one is in the works. What a phenomenal idea on Jamie's part. Such a beautiful way to honor Ava and to help others.

Andrew is tutoring at summer school this week and next to earn hours for National Honor Society. He spends most of his time reading with children. He's doing a nice job and I don't have to fight to get him up in the morning. Josh sleeps 'til just about noon each day. I think he is finally starting to grow. Still needs to practice his driving tho'!

Not much else to report. Only thinking about cancer about 4 times an hour--down from 60 times an hour this past Monday. Have not heard about my lovely polyps--(can you believe I write about this stuff???) which I hope is a good sign. I never did hear on my breast tissue biopsy so that better mean it was negative. I see Dr. Messinger on Tuesday for a check up. I am going to ask him about the rib pain just to see what he thinks. He doesn't like to answer too many medical type questions. I should have asked Dr. Nancy when I went a month ago but it apparently wasn't bothering me enough. Worries worries.

Rumor has it we are going to Lunker's for dinner tonight. Someone Jim knows is having a birthday. Anything for dinner out is ok in my book.

Much love--