Sunday, September 27, 2009

Could we be any busier?

Hello. Can't believe it is Sunday already. I woke up yesterday and thought I had to go to work--best feeling in the world when you realize you don't.

Work has been incredibly busy. With Jim coaching football every night until 6-7, working from 5:30 a.m.--4:00, and also working out kids in baseball, we never see each other until we tumble into bed! As I have mentioned before, I am on the negotiation team a new teachers' contract, plus we have a new School improvement process that has required night meetings as of late. I too feel like I am working two jobs--for no extra pay! But it is all good...just tiring. I must give a shout out to Crazy MIL and FIL--they take care of Johnny one week and on non-chemo week they stop by my house and I usually come home to a clean kitchen and at least one less load of laundry to do. This week, John cleaned my linen closet. How nice is that? I think Ginger likes to stay really busy --1) to keep her mind off of negative things and 2) I think she would go bonkers just staying at home, and 3) because she is such a great person, she loves to help out her kids. I am sure she is stopping by Pooh's too. (don't think Danny gets left out...he has an awesome "nanny" who takes care of the house too--Aida's sister Lucy!) So, we are all very lucky.

I had the best surprise this week. I won't go on and on about how broke we are (but let's put it this way...we have 99.00 in our savings account) but paying bills literally makes me nauseated. This week, I was making sure all my electronic payments were good to go and realized I am a full month ahead of schedule on our mortage. (ok, for you savers, you probably don't think this is a big deal) but it was for me! So I basically get to skip a payment and get to use that to pay off some credit cards bills. Such a nice surpise when that happens!

The other good news is I think Andrew will be coming to Sunday dinner today. He went to Michigan State to see Kaitlyn this weekend and figured he would get up early and head here first before heading back to Goshen. He also wants his dad to give him some BP--he, again, thinks he is in a slump, since he went 0-4 in his first scrimmage game. He is one of two freshman who started for varsity so he is pleased with that, but really wants to earn his keep. He said he played well defensively. Anyway, regardless, I am excited to see him!

Was reading my numerous list serves (I belong to one for general breast cancer, Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma, and Colon cancer) and was pleased to read that Irene, a member of the colon cancer one, is celebrating 10 years post-diagnosis of colon cancer with mets to the lung and liver. She says she has been "bald and pukey" over the years but is doing great and living her life. And, on my ACC site, the ACC research foundation is now sending out a newsletter about all the breakthroughs they have had. Unfortunately, they still have no chemo to help, but are getting a better understanding of how this crazy-a@# tumor develops and grows. I really, really wish they had a chemo to help just in case...

My other kid, Joshua, continues his busy social life. He was really struggling on his pre-calc homework, but kicking bootay on tests...where he knows he has to take his time! Geesh. The kid could probably be over a 4.0 if he would just SLOOOOOW down. Loves his AP Pysch class. As usual, he is still sleeping on this foggy Sunday morning.

Today Jim and I are going to get flu shots. I should drag Andrew with us because I know he won't get one at his Health Center...maybe his coach will make them?

Tuesday is Ava Christine's birthday. She is celebrating her second birthday up in heaven with her Gram. Thinking of you, Jamie. Ava is still close to all of our hearts.

Love to you all--


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Peace of mind

Dr. Ansari's office called Friday and we have to postpone my next appointment until October 6 because he will be out of town. So I can put off worrying for another week or so. Good news in my book.

Another scary ACC/breast story has reached me. Mets to the spine after a year of clear scans...Susan's back kept hurting to the point she couldn't walk so she had a test and there is a tumor (or more) on her spine. Crap. She also had clear margins and an encapsulated tumor to start with, which is about the best you could have. So there is no telling with cancer.

Cancer sucks.

On a good note, Andrew came home Friday night and we stayed up late talking and I finally got all my questions answered: he sees himself staying there four years; his favorite class is the Bible class; he doesn't always get up for breakfast but gets a smoothie from Java Junction, a coffee shop in his dorm that he can swipe his meal plan card for; it is NOT a dry campus although it is really really really supposed to be, which I thought was very interesting; two players on his team are married and three are engaged; he and his roommate get along fine--in fact, when Andrew was lamenting about some baseball issues (lack of hitting) Luke explained the story of Job to him, so Andrew now has a poster on his door that says "PLAY LIKE JOB" which he hits as he leaves his room everyday; roommate reads the Bible nightly and has helped Andrew with class; still thinks everyone is "the nicest people"; misses Kait; um...I think there is more but those were the biggies.

Jim and I bit the bullet and went and got two new phones for the kids on the Verizon network. Andrew had horrible service in Goshen on Nextel and Josh has wanted Verizon for some time, so we are now paying for two phones we won't be using. I may just break the contract with Nextel but will have to see how the costs work out. Jim and I are taking it down to him today...I will admit, i want a phone like it as it has the keyboard and I can fly when I text!

Happy Sunday to you. Appreciate your good health and worry free days, people. You never know when peace of mind is rocked. But also NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER give up.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Uh-oh--scratchy throat?

Jim is singing in the bathtub. Poor guy's arm is so sore from pitching baseballs to kiddies. He is such a hard worker.

Very nervous that I am coming down with the respiratory crap that everyone is dealing with at school. Both kids and teachers are falling like flies. My throat is scratchy and sort of, that cough is coming on. I am drinking lots of Vitamin C...just cuz.

Now Jim just came out of the bathroom wearing my pajamas. Granted, they are sort of unisex but he is still making me laugh. Josh is at the volleyball game and better get home soon.

Andrew's doing great. Is still not sure about whether he will be on the jayvee team or varsity. Right now he is the leading shortstop for varsity but the regular season is not until Spring so a lot can change. He felt he was in a terrible batting slump but now is batting ok--5th in terms of average of all the players so that bodes well for varsity I would think. He still doesn't call...his cell phone reception is horrible I might actually get him a new carrier and phone as it is not acceptable that I can't call him. Even texting is a problem. He is deep into homework and I had to proof a paper last night at 10:30. I decided he didn't learn a thing in high school. At least he did indent his paragraphs this time. : )

Time for my shower. Just stopping by to say hey. Almost one week until that chest xray. Sigh. But I won't think about that today, Rhett.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


Cancer weighs heavily today. An ACC/breast sister was told by her doctor that when ACC/breast metaticizes to lungs (which hers did, three years after dx) it becomes very aggressive. She is terrified and seeking info. Nothing I have read says that...but obviously, you can go from Stage I to Stage IV in one routine x-ray! CRAP. My only solace with this stupid cancer is that it is supposed to be slow growing and NOT aggressive.

Secondly, my Velvet, who I met online, passed away yesterday. I honestly cried. She was so amazingly positive, living with Stage IV breast cancer for EIGHT her bones, her brain, lungs, etc. She was so funny and brave and inspirational and just amazing. She truly was one who made me stronger throughout this.

On one good note, I was looking at an ACC site and a list of recommended ACC doctors and my doctor from U of M was one of them. Of course, he is a head and neck doctor, but at least he knows ACC.

Heavy heart today. It will get better. It usually does.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What? I forgot??

Please let me point out that I totally forgot that Monday was my two year cancer free anniversary! Yes, it was two years ago that the bad ol' boob was chopped off.

Rather amazing that I forgot the significance of the date. Of course, I remembered later, but was pleasantly surprised at how far I have come. Well, at least until the worrying starts in next week with my chest x-ray looming.

But until then, Happy Cancerversary to me!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Summer's last hurrah

After a long weekend camping, here we are on another eve of school. Not having Andrew to deal with will be easier, but I do miss the little (tall) guy. Saw him for one night camping but it was actually about 10 minutes total...he was too busy playing dodgeball, etc. He did say he really likes Goshen; his teachers are the "best" and "amazing", particularly his bible teacher. He had a quiz today on the 27 books of the old testament.

Camping was fun, as always. We don't do much but sit around and look forward to the next meal. We kept things simple this year. I made a big pot of chili Friday and then on Saturday all the Niles families had a HUGE potluck. I think there was close to 130 people there from Niles at our little potluck. Good food. You would never know we were camping with the yummy dishes everyone brought. Sunday we had shish-kabobs over the fire and filled in the rest of the meals with hotdogs, etc. Danny and family came down for the afternoon and the kids had a great time.

It rained last night so I slept really well. Shade was able to fall asleep to the raindrops without freaking out on us. I have the fan and the air conditioner going so she doesn't hear much outside the trailer. (I often run the furnace at the same time to keep it somewhat less damp.)

Oh GAWD! Today when we got home I was putting things away in my medicine cabinet in the bathroom and I looked at the window screen and there was this brown thing clinging to the screen. My first thought was a frog, but when I looked closer it was a freakin' BAT. AGAIN! I had a minor cardiac infarction and froze--telling Jim to get in there. The bat never moved so he was able to grab it with a towel and get it outside. He is convinced it is the same bat from the first time. Regardless, I am still shaking that image out of my head eight hours later. But Jimmy is my hero, once again.

Today was "read my old pathology report again" day. I do that about every 6 months. Today I researched p63 and p53 tumor markers, and got confused. I know the p53 expression is indicative of a poor prognosis, but that was never mentioned in my report but it's "family" member, the p63 WAS mentioned. I did learn that some 85 percent of all breast cancers have the p63 marker. This is when I shouldn't do research. : ) We do have a new member on the ACC site who is a doctor and he has been amazing in HIS research. He has ACC salivary gland but is doing a lot of research about the disease in general so the sharing of his wisdom has been very valuable.

So, September is here. School is here. Life continues and life is good.