Saturday, February 28, 2009

My college boy

Yes, I must admit I had major anxiety dropping Andrew off at North Park yesterday. He took his little overnight bag (ok, a Nike bag) into the Rec center and I was distraught. Being the control freak that I am, I wanted him to call me at every stage of the game, but we didn't hear from him until noon this morning.

So, as of now, Olivet is still his first choice. He had a great time but isn't ready to give up baseball yet and he feels he would have to do that to go to North Park because football is very serious business there. He really liked all the players--although he said one was sort of rude to him--the kid is the current backup quarterback to Shelby Wood (a Berrien Springs grad). Andrew said "I honestly think he was intimidated by me!" Anyway, he still really likes the coaches and thinks that he would definitely be able to play in a year...he couldn't work out with the team last's against NCAA rules...but he did get to throw a football around with some other recruits and he got to watch the team in action. Ironically, other than the linemen, he was one of the taller ones there.

What else. The Olivet visit went very well too. We spent a ton of time with the baseball coach who told Andrew that he really wanted him as he has room for infielders right now. One of the football coaches stopped by too so that was nice. We also met with the admissions people and we now know where we stand financially. Andrew will get some merit aid, which is wonderful, but it only covers about 25 percent of what he needs, so that means he will have to take a loan out, AND we will have to pay quite a bit as well. (which means we will have to take loans out too.) But, it does seem like we are getting closer to a decision. Andrew wants to wait to see what North Park offers him, and today he got some more scholarship offers from Central, so if they offer enough to get him even lower than going to Olivet, you never know, he could end up there. But I doubt it. He really wants to play sports.

Jim and I found a great deal on a hotel in Skokie--it was a Hampton Inn--and for just over $100 we got a HUGE room with a full kitchen, separate bedroom, two flat screen TV's--a free in room movie, and a $25 gift card to Ruby Tuesdays, which was the hotel's restaurant, plus a hot breakfast! I felt like I was the shopper of the century. We even said that we were going to MAKE Andrew go to North Park because we liked the hotel so much and would stay there for game days. The Illinois State High School Diving Championships were near by so we had a bunch of bald header divers all over the place but it really was quiet anyway. Josh stayed home with a friend.

PET/CT scan this Friday, mammo on Monday, and Dr. Ansari on Thursday. I am trying NOT to think about it AT ALL.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ah, the weekend.

Burning boob is back, just in case you are wondering. Two weeks to Dr. Ansari. Scares me.

Grumpy Andrew is not 100 percent yet, but is at least vertical. Today we have to take up some old lockers we have in our garage to the high school. They will be props in the upcoming high school production of GREASE. Andrew is thinking that if he were IN the musical he could understand why he had to help but since he isn't, he shouldn't have to help load them up. What logic. Of course he is helping, but not until I told him my implant might burst if I lift anything too heavy.

Josh, again, is at Riley's.

Tonight is the Winter Bash, a dance to raise money for Project Graduation. Can't wait to get my groove on. (ok, you know I am kidding) I am going to stand at the bar and drink Bloody Mary's all night long. (ok, you know I am kidding again.)

Tuesday is another visit to Olivet. We are meeting with the baseball coach. We have not heard from the football coach lately which is somewhat of a concern. K-College is really the only one that is actively pursuing him for both baseball and football. Olivet says they are, as does North Park, but we haven't heard from the North Park baseball coach in awhile nor the Olivet football coach. Supposedly, we are to receive our financial aide packages from both NP and Olivet in early March.

We have this new channel on our Direct TV called MLB, for Major League Baseball. I am now beating my head up against the wall watching games from 1977. Jim is in his glory.

'Bout it for this blustery Saturday. I think we are going to go look at new cell phones for the boys--why, I couldn't tell you--except to get them to quit complaining how cheap their phones are and that they don't work.

Can you say SPOILED????


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Strep. : (

Just a quick blog...

Andrew is home with strep. Hopefully, he will feel well enough to go back to school tomorrow. Doc says he will be ok then (kept him home for two days). It has been so long since my kids have been on antibiotics...he just has three pills, albeit BIG pills, to take. What happened to the days of spoonfuls of pink bubble gum flavored liquid? Waiting for the rest of us to come down with it but knocking on wood it won't happen.

On the good news side, got both boy's ACT scores back and Andrew went up again and Josh is just one point below him--don't think Josh didn't mention that! Also, Josh's reading scores could get him into Michigan so he is super excited he is in that range at this point! I am very proud of Andrew for taking advantage of the test. Although he has gotten in everywhere so far (still no word from K), the higher ACT will help with scholarships.

The North Park coach called again...told Andrew that he doubted he would play his freshman year, but saw him playing his sophomore year. Not sure how we feel about that. I don't think a coach should promise ANYTHING based on a DVD and some stats.

That's about it.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday!!!!

Avoiding...well...everything right now. Ginger has been coming all week--cleaning my house, doing my laundry, you name it. Yes, you read that right. She goes to all of our homes (of her sons) and helps out. CAN YOU SAY MOTHER IN LAW OF THE CENTURY???? Anyway, she cleaned my laundry room so I have to keep up with the laundry or her efforts are wasted. And John, my FIL, matched all our socks!!!! Andrew's college crap is all over our house. A friend of mine has a nice little binder of her son's letters--and then there's me, whose binder is any flat surface available.

Andrew is sick--coughing, headache, sore throat. I sure hope this will pass. Josh is tired from spending the night at a friend's house but is at least upright. Andrew continues to sleep while we watch old movies on TV.

Did a little research into student loans today and am feeling somewhat better that Andrew will at least have THAT option. I hate to saddle him with loans but that is how I got through school. He also did one scholarship app today (well, sort of. He at least knows what he has to write)

Still looking for a good hotel rate for Chicago. We want to go back to the Hyatt Regency again but the rates had gone up $100 a night. Now they are only up $80--leading me to believe that they will continue to go down the closer we get to the arrival date. If we were going next Friday the rate is only $99 which is amazing for this hotel. I am getting smarter in my old age. I am looking forward to going again, but will be sad Andrew will be staying at the college. But we will have Joshie to entertain us. My boss told me of a good restaurant to check out--last time we checked out Manny's and had fun. I can't for the life of me remember the name of what Doug suggested. I keep thinking the Great Discovery??? I know that isn't it. Google, here we come.

Did any of you happen to see Lonnie on TV the other night? She accepted an award on Muhammad's behalf and gave a great speech about volunterism. I did not see it but co-workers told me there was not a dry eye in the house as everyone watched Mr. A. Jennifer Hudson sand him a song. And Lonnie is so right, we all need to volunteer more. I am going to try to You-Tube it and see if I can see it. We were at the basketball game as usual.

Speaking of volunteers, tomorrow night is the Annual Project Graduation Basketball game when teachers play teachers to raise money. It's hilarious. Then Saturday is the dance I wrote about earlier--I hope many of you go. I plan to drink a Bloody Mary. I drink about once a year--so this is quite rebellious for me! Then, in March, the 27th I think, we are having a Brawley Family Fish Fry to help raise money for the same cause. Lots to do.

Ok, time to get clean sheets on our bed. Such a good feeling.


Jane (I love the name Jane so will be Jane today)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Mail Bag

The mail this week has been interesting First, the negative.

Michiana Hematology and Oncology. A reminder slip of my upcoming PET/CT to see if I have cancer growing in my body. WHAT? I thought it was the end of March! Nope, March 6. I really should be happy about that--the sooner the better with all my worries--but it still freaks the bejeezies out of me. I try to tell myselg that it will bring peace but worry worry worry. And yes, this was regularly scheduled--I just thought it was much later in the month.

Now the positive.

Michigan State University. Took their sweet little time about it, but Andrew got the CONGRATULATIONS letter we've been waiting for. The last line said "If you are not going to attend MSU, please let us know so we can give your spot to someone." Yeh, we will get right on that. Just kidding. Andrew was pleased as he is 100 percent acceptance rate now. However, we haven't heard from Brainiac K, so that rate may decline.

The K-football coach did send Andrew's tapes back and in a very positive recruiting move wrote Andrew the greatest letter about the tapes, making it obvious to Andrew that he watched the film. Ended the letter with lots of "you will make an outstanding K-College quarterback!" Ah, those recruiters.

Trine University sent Andrew a letter congratulating and awarding him with a $10,000 renewable scholarship. He hasn't even applied there.

North Park also sent a letter awarding Andrew some money for his grades, but it isn't enough to sneeze at. It was a form letter and said that it does not mean that is all the aide he will get. Sure as heck hope not!

What else. Happy Valentines to you all. Jim, Josh and I went to see Gran Torino. We liked it very much. Jim loves Clint so I knew he would love it. I liked it too, as did Josh. Gotta love that Niles' theatre! Only $15.50 for all of us, with drinks and popcorn too. Andrew and Kait are hanging out watching TV. Nothing too exciting for any of us on this romantic day.

Feeling a bit asthmatic today--which causes worryworryworryworry. My herniated disc is flaring up again too so Iwalk all hunched over. And I sound like I am 84 years old.

Love to you all--

MO Double L Y.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Implants and Tribal Wars

According to the Michigan State Website, a decision has been made on Andrew Brawley's acceptance. It was mailed yesterday. Do you know how upset I will be if he doesn't get in? His ACT, class rank, high school curriculum and overall gpa, are higher than those that have already been admitted. The funny thing is, he is NOT going to go there but I am being grumpy about it. I will keep you posted if any of you care about the MSU saga. : )

Tomorrow is implant check up with Dr. Messinger. I think it will be my last appointment for at least a year. I pray that is the case. I keep having these fears that they will have to take the implant out after my scans in March because I have chest cancer.

I have not written much about my chest/boob pains lately because, yes, it subsided for about a week. But now it is back again. Not as severe but it is that burning feeling. So now my mind thinks that when it hurts, the cancer is growing. Amazing how the mind works. Most ACC is NOT painful unless it gets in your nerves. The exception of course is some breast ACC tumors that are painful for no reason. And remember, my tumor was really painful. I pray that there was not nerve invasion--no one ever told me--nerve invasion means it travels much more easily. ACC lesson of the day--most cancers spread through the lymph systems. ACC and ACC breast rarely do, but do travel along nerve paths. Just in case you were up late wondering.

So as you see, cancer still weighs on my mind.

Ava Christine's great grandmother Leona Weaver, who has been like a mother to Jamie and Heather is very very ill. They expect her to pass any moment. Say a prayer for peace for them and that Leona gets to hold our precious Ava when she gets to heaven.

Andrew is still being recruited heavily by North Park and -K-College. North Park especially, which make Andrew like them even more. The quarterback coach called last night and they talked for quite awhile; when Andrew goes for his overnight, the team will be having Tribal Warfares, which are Survivor like events for the team--it's a competition. We aren't sure if Andrew can legally participate but he hopes so. The coach also asked Andrew if he had made up his mind yet and Andrew said no. The coach then asked what will determine it, and Andrew said "money." Glad he said that! : ) Andrew also has his visit with the Olivet baseball coach.

I was whining about our "expected family contribution" to Andrew's education the other night and still am in shock by it. Andrew is already working on scholarships applications. I hate this!

What else? Jim is making my favorite home made potato chips.

Joshie B is sleeping on the big red comfy couch--par for the course.

Off I go. GLad to be home for the night. Loy Norrix for a game tomorrow night and then Friday the girls play Benton Harbor.

HEY!! Also, don't forget to buy your tickets for the Project Graduation dance (adults only) We are all going to try to go. I may have to go in my pajamas as I turn into Pajama Queen on weekends but I do want to go!



Sunday, February 8, 2009

Expanders HURT

Hello. My poor Cyndi is experiencing post-mastectomy pain from that damned expander. Remember me wanting to rip the thing out? There were nights it didn't seem worth it, but now, when I look at that scarred football shaped beauty I say "WOW, thanks cancer for giving me this thing. " Yes, I am being sarcastic, because no matter how we try to sugar coat it, this fake boob still represents cancer. And cancer sucks.

On a more positive note, we won our homecoming game Friday night and I must say it was one of the most amazing games I have ever watched. The team we played was 10-2, and we were 2-11, so no one expected us to win. But we led the whole way and basically played out of our minds. Andrew played well--he's really rebounding well--still can't make a basket to save his soul--but that really isn't his job--and never has been. Regardless, our student sections was fabulous--without them, we never would have won the game. As you can see in this picture, the kids were pretty excited and ran onto the court. I was just a proud mom in the stands. : ) We now have to get the kids to come out for the girl's game Friday night vs. Benton Harbor.

The Kalamazoo College baseball coach called for Andrew this weekend. Still no word from them on an acceptance, but we did learn that he got into North Park. Still no word from the Spartans in East Lansing. Figures. Andrew took the ACT for the third time this weekend to try to up his score as we are finding the higher the ACT, the more $$$ he gets from both North Park and Olivet. I did our FAFSA this weekend and became very depressed as to how much they expect the family to contribute. It's basically 2/3 of Jim's salary. We do not have that kind of money. How in the heck do people pay for college? What really worries me is that Andrew may not even qualify for his own loans--WE (mom and dad) may have to take out the Parent Plus loans. Wow.
Of course we feel guilty for not having saved enough. Those many years of baseball travel leagues were fun, but perhaps they should have been going into college funds.

Josh took the ACT this weekend and actually liked doing it. He is very anxious for his scores. I wouldn't be surprised if he beat Andrew in some areas--like the English and reading sections. Andrew thought the math was harder this time.

Went to book a hotel room for Chicago for Andrew's overnight and the room rate went up $100 from the last time we went. Crazy. I am hoping to get a better rate later in the month, closer to the date.

For the first time since 8th grade, we are letting Andrew go on Spring Break. He will be going with his buddies and Lonnie--and won't be going until AFTER his spring break baseball game. Jim is being a poop about it--thinks he needs to stay home and live in the batting cage--but Andrew was adament about wanting to go, and afterall, it will only be 4 days when all is said and done.

Andrew needs the computer for some reason so off I go. Chicken Enchiladas for dinner.


Monday, February 2, 2009

A night in.

I forgot that yesterday was my two year anniversary of finding my painful lump. Must've been caught up in that Super Bowl game. We always watch the first half at Jim's parents--when we came home, I went upstairs to read and ended up getting sucked back into the game. I had no desired outcome, but as the clock ticked off I was getting nervous for both teams. It was a really good game.

Anyway. Andrew plans to do two more visits to Olivet and North Park. Both will be the last week of February and while Olivet will be to meet with the baseball coach for the day, North Park will be an overnight visit. (yippee! Another Chicago trip for me!) The NP coached seemed a bit worried about Andrew playing both baseball and football there--it was a rather vague email so that is something Andrew will have to figure out. Jim's philosophy is that if he can get the same amount of money for baseball, why play both? But I think Andrew really wants to try football. I just am not sure if he will want to put in the time to possibly not play for two years, if ever. Again, another issue for Andrew to resolve.

We still can't get our FAFSA filled out because Jim lost his coaching W-2's so we have to wait for them to be faxed to me at work. Silly Nimmee--he threw them out we think. Although we know we won't qualify for much if any aid, these private schools have to have the FAFSA to figure out how much they need to give you. Jim and I have always said that if Andrew has to take loans out, he will have to do that. I had loans and although Jim's parents paid for his education, we both feel we will help as much as we can but loans are a good possibility.

I still don't know what to think about this pain in my chest muscle. I know I am beating a dead horse right now by still talking about it since I have made no move to resolve it, but it is so intermittent and unpredictable! And I really think it has been so long it just is part of my day. I will say the god awful heartburn is gone for the most part.

Homecoming week this week. Both boys are up at school playing Powderpuff Volleyball. Andrew asked me three times to go (which is amazing in itself) but tonight is the only night I will be home this week so I decided to stay in. Tomorrow night we travel to Portage Northern and then Wednesday Jim and I both have to work the concession stand for the wrestling match.

I am totally going on about nothing so instead, I think I will go do some more laundry. Thank goodness for caller ID--the Marines are calling!

Love to all--