Lost in Thoughts

I’m coming to discover that this time of year gives me heavy anxiety.  I think it has to do with the fact that this was when I was going through chemo (three years ago – wow), learning to deal with the diagnosis, etc.  Something about the change in the air, the days getting shorter, the changing of the leaves…who knows?  I hope it isn’t this way forever.

I am scheduled to see my gynecological oncologist next week.  We were on vacation in Dallas last week (amazing time!!) and while I was there, I noticed a pain in my groin I want him to check out.  I didn’t bother calling since I know I have an appointment next week.  For some reason, I’m quite zen about it.

So, we were visiting my brother-in-law and sister-in-law while on vacation.  My sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with Stage One Ovarian Cancer this year.  She’s still very angry about it.  She kept saying to me, “I am mad.  I don’t want a new normal, I want my old normal.”  Sigh.  It made me thing about the 5 stages, and if I went through them.  I don’t know that I ever did.  I think I went straight to acceptance.  Actually, thinking about it, it’s more I went in to, “Well, shit.  What do I need to do to not have this anymore?”  I have never been one to deal with the Why Me part of illness.  Takes too much of my energy worrying about why me.  I just hope my sister-in-law is able to find peace on her journey.  Do I think you can get back to your old “normal?”  Not after a cancer diagnosis.  It is always there.  It never goes away.  You can make your new normal better than your old one.

In a completely new note, I’ve been seeing a chiropractor.  I have arthritis in my ass.  LOL Technically, it is a frozen SI joint (where your tail bone and pelvis meet). Actually, I’ve had it for years.  I was seeing a Physical Therapist just prior to my cancer diagnosis (when we thought the SI joint was actually the cause of my hip pain) but quit when I got the cancer diagnosis.  It’s been really bothering me lately, so I decided to go see a chiropractor.  I’m definitely looser.  I am hoping it helps.

Exercise and diet going well.

Send some good vibes for the groin pain – hoping it’s just a small infection.

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Pity Party, Table For One Please

I generally try not to get down on myself.  I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and do unto others.  I try to support people I love – family and friends, even those I’ve never met in person but only know on the Interwebz.  I don’t ask or expect much in return – a thank you, a smile, and then when I need it, a little returned support.

I have noticed anymore that people are just downright rude.  No one says “Thank You” anymore – I mean, I know people probably don’t write “Thank You Notes” anymore (I always do), but at least acknowledge people’s efforts.  I have also noticed that people think it is ok to say, “No offense” before any statement and it won’t hurt the other person’s feelings.

What’s worse, when I need support, no one is there for me.

Usually, I’m pretty stoic about stuff like that.

But I am feeling a little needy here lately – huge amounts of stress with work, a new business, and school starting in about a month – well, my nerves are a bit frayed, and I need someone to just tell me things will be ok.  Stroke my hair and tell me I’m pretty.  Give me a piece of chocolate.  A glass of wine.  A “Hey, you look cute.”  Anything.

I have my launch party scheduled for next month.  I sent invitations to that launch party a month in advance.  My sister can’t come – she has to work, and that gives her a pass.  My bestie more than likely has to work that day too – but booked a party for herself.  My nieces can’t come – they have other parties/etc.  Another “friend” told me today if I were selling Pampered Chef she’d come because she likes that stuff.

Seriously – you can’t just come and give me some support?  Have a glass of wine?  Pretend to be excited for me?

I would do it for them.

I realize direct sales stuff isn’t for everyone.  I’m ok with that.  I can’t tell you how many parties I’ve gone to, how many things I’ve ordered that I didn’t need, all because a friend was doing it and I wanted to show them I was supporting them.

It makes me sad.

It also makes me want to reconsider what I do for other people.

I guess I expect too much out of humanity.

Bah.  Bugger.  Whatever.

I’ll remember this next time.  It doesn’t mean I won’t do what I normally do, but I will remember where to go when I do need someone to help me out.

16 Years

Seems like a lifetime, and seems like yesterday all in the same breath.

16 years ago, I lost my big sister to Ovarian Cancer.

16 years ago, I spent this day, in a chair, in her bedroom, watching her sleep.  I woke up that day, knowing that it was the day.  I called out from work and told them I just knew.  And I did.  I drove down with my mother, and I sat with her all day.  She didn’t wake the entire day – just laid there.  It was probably the most restful day she’d had in over a week – her sleep was peaceful, breathing wasn’t labored.  She just was.  And I was just there.  I said little, just watching my big sister sleep.  Wishing a thousand wishes that this wasn’t going to be the end, that she wake, and smile at me, and the nightmare of the past six month would be over.

My sister knew I was there.  She held on all day.  She refused to let go while I was there.

Mom and I told my brother-in-law around 4:30 or 5 that we were going home to get dinner.  We stopped and got some chinese take-out on the way home, and just as we sat down to eat, the phone rang.

She had passed while we were driving home.

My sister was beautiful.  Simply beautiful.  She had a laugh that to this very day I remember – high-pitched and glorious – full of joy and merriment.  She was a brilliant woman, and a great mom.  She was that typical sister – you know, the perfect one.  Beautiful and smart, and couldn’t do wrong.  She had a temper that could sting, and a look that could wither, but to her friends, she was a saint.  To her children, she was their world.

To me, she was my Sissy.

We didn’t know about Lynch Syndrome then – although we should have.  My dad had passed from colon cancer.  My other sister had also had colon cancer a few years before.  And then, Betsy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  We never put two and two together.

Then, in 1998 when she got her diagnosis, it was a death sentence.  People now, who are diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer have a better shot at remission, but then, no.  Betsy got her diagnosis in November 1998.  She had stem cell replacement, and was in remission by December (treated in the same hospital where I received my treatment).  In February, the cancer was back – and moved swiftly.  By February 14th, a blood clot presented in her leg.  By the 19th, it moved to her brain and caused a stroke.  By the 20th, she begun hemorrhaging as the cancer ate through her colon.  And by the 23rd, she was gone.

My sister left a legacy.  Three beautiful children who are now adults.  She never saw them graduate from highschool or college.  She never saw the way they blossomed into adulthood.  She missed her girls’ weddings, and the birth of her grandchild (I won’t say she never met him – she knows Keegan, and I hope, through us, he will know her).

I miss my sister.  Not a day goes by where I don’t think about her in some small way.  She’s in my dreams.  She’s on the tip of my tongue, at the back of my brain.  She is in her kids, and her grandchild.  She’s in my heart.

16 years.

I miss you.

House Hunting Sucks

I had seriously forgotten what a PITA it is to look for a new place.  And seriously, my husband doesn’t want to bend on any of his wants, which makes this hard.  We are looking for a rental and he thinks he’s going to get everything he wants in a rental.  I keep trying to tell him that everything he wants may not come in a rental.  In fact, it probably wouldn’t even come in a house we decided to buy.  But still…

And I am skeeved out by the number of folks out there who are trying to push rental scams.  I have hit 4 in the past two weeks.  People who keep telling me they only want a “good Christian family” to look after their homes and can you provide X, Y and Z in an email.  Nope.  Nope nope nope.  We are going through a realtor now.  I am not going to be scammed.  I’ve worked in the business too long.  Problem with the realtor we have is getting him to actually call me back.

In other news, I am now one week into my new dosage of thyroid meds.  They have an 8 day half-life, so I shouldn’t be feeling any difference with the higher dosage, and I’m not.  I feel less crappy than I did, but that is more than likely because the bronchitis is getting better.  I still have an annoying cough, but I don’t feel like death warmed over.

I’m still eating cleanly.  I slipped yesterday, and added some pasta to my tomato sauce and gluten-free meatballs.  Only about a quarter of a cup.  Made me feel like crap.  Lesson learned.  Back to clean this morning.  Good news is, I am thinking the new dose of thyroid meds, combined with the older, smaller dose of meds may actually be working now because I got on the scale for my weekly weigh in and I’m back down to under 180 – my warning number.  My body sat happily around 175 for months, and then when they killed my thyroid, I shot up to 186 and it scared the hell out of me.  My warning number is 180 – the one that makes me freak out a little bit.  I am terrified of going back over 200 pounds (I mean, I spent over 30 years there, so yeah).  Without a functioning thyroid, you can’t lose weight, or maintain.  Now that my thyroid hormones have started to kick in, I’m going back in the right direction.  PHEW.  Maybe, just maybe, when this is all said and done and my dosage is evened out to the proper level, I’ll get off the last 20 or so pounds I want to lose.  Maybe.  If not, and I stay in the 170s, I’m good with that too – but being in the 160s, or the 150s, that would thrill me.  Especially for my long-term maintenance and my height.

I’ve also noticed my skin is looking much better now that I’m eating cleanly and getting my thyroid on the right path.  I still have some puffiness under my eyes and some dark circles (classic thyroid symptoms) but they are getting better.  I have added some very nice eye cream to my routine (Clinique).  Skin care is incredibly important for people like me – people who have had weight loss surgery, but also diabetics (even if it is in remission), and post cancer patients (our skin has been through the ringer with radiation and chemo), and thyroid patients.  I have a strict skin care routine I follow every day – and I do pay for the Clinique because it is worth it.  I wash and tone, and moisturize twice a day.  And it pays off, but with the thyroid issues, my complexion was waxy looking, and uneven, and red and ruddy.  But with the clean eating and the thyroid, my complexion is improving – I don’t look so red and ruddy anymore – more even, and supple.  And I don’t look so tired.  That’s a plus.  I’m still fighting horrible fatigue, but I don’t look like I just crawled out of bed all the time.  So, little changes.

And I forgot my freaking cell phone at home today.  So, I won’t actually know if the realtor contacts me today.  I feel naked without my cell.  I mean, my office phone is here, and it works, but MY CELL PHONE ISN’T HERE OMG.  I guess I’ll call the realtor’s office when I go to lunch.  BAHAHAHAA…that is, if I get one today.  Sigh.

Peanut

Peanut is here.  But we are going to call her Sophie.

🙂

Sophie

Michael Sophia made her entrance at 10pm on 12/24/14.  7lbs, 1oz, 20.75″ long.  She was just two hours short of sharing her birthday with her great – grandmother (my mother).  And stunningly beautiful!  She and my niece are both healthy and happy, and I am over the moon with having a little girl!  Don’t get me wrong, a boy would have been nice too, but we have one of those already, and I wanted to shop for something PINK!

We spent Christmas Eve with my other niece and her little boy, who is 4 and knows exactly what Santa is all about.  I finally had to call the Norad Hotline to speak to an Elf (thank you Julie, who ever you are!!) at 8:30 to calm him down and convince him to go home and get in his jammies and ready for bed.  His eyes were huge while we were on the phone with them, and she told Keegan that Santa would be arriving in the area in half an hour, so he better be in bed!  He was so cute.  “Santa” made a stop at our house over the weekend to drop off a load of gifts and Keegan opened them with gusto.  Santa also brought a copy of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” which we read together before he left.

I now have a healthy happy grand-niece and grand-nephew here in DE (and scads of them in Colorado!).  What a great holiday!

A Season of Thanks

I hope all my American Friends, Family and Readers enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday and remember what’s most important.  I am thankful for another day above ground, my wonderful husband, my family and friends, my new niece or nephew on the way, and my oncologists who made yesterday a possibility for me!

We spent a “mostly” quiet day yesterday.  I got up and took advantage of the early “Black Friday” online specials, and got my Christmas shopping about 99% done.  Of course, this excludes two bottles of booze (for hubster and bro-in-law) and some stocking stuffers.  I did most of my shopping through the eBates website and not only got some awesome deals, but also ended up getting about $50 cash back on my purchases in the form of a check which will come in February.  If you haven’t heard of ebates, go check it out – seriously.  Especially if you are an online shopper.  No commitment, no pyramid scheme…just cashback on participating retailers.  I’ve been using it for a couple of years.

We went to my sister’s for dinner.  I made potato bread to take, as well as some collard greens, a sugar free sweet potato cheesecake with sugar free whipped cream, and took a thing of frozen mac and cheese.  Good thing I took the greens, because other than the turkey, I was pretty limited in what I could eat on the table.

I’m working today, albeit from home.  My hubs left this morning for his annual hunting trip, and will be back next Wednesday.  I’ll be working from home until he gets back.  I know most people get Black Friday off, but being as I work in banking, and people tend to storm big box stores on this post holiday shopping spree, I am working.  No worries…I’m sitting on my bed, watching Survivor, with a kitty and a dog (one kitty is in a ball in her kitty bed), and will soon be proof reading documents.  Fun stuff.  I do have to go to the grocery store later as we have no leftovers.  I also have to hit the post office this weekend for Christmas Card stamps.  Yup, they are addressed and ready to go.  Bring it holidays.

This weekend, my nephew is supposed to come spend the night with me.  He’s coming to bake Christmas cookies and spend the night so he can have chocolate chip pancakes Sunday morning.  I may take him to church with me, since it is the first Sunday of Advent.  We’ll see if he is awake in time.  I’m looking forward to spending time with my boy.

Oh, and niece is ready to go just about any time.  The doctors pretty much told her that if she goes into labor by herself at this point, they won’t try to stop it.  She’s nearly 36 weeks, and the baby is considered full term.  Can’t wait to meet this little one.  (And still secretly hoping for a girl child – but will love whatever the vending machine pops out!).

So, that’s what’s happening around here.  Let’s bring on the holidays folks.  Bring. It.

Moving Right Along

I seriously can’t keep up with posts.  I think, “Oh…I should blog about this…” and then my brain goes blank.

So, last Wednesday, I rode down to my niece and her hubby’s house to spend the night because bright and early on Thursday morning, I got to go with them to see PEANUT!!!  YAYAY!  It was her last ultrasound before Peanut will make his/her arrival.

Oh my goodness.

Peanut can’t be called Peanut ANYMORE.  More like Chunk…or Linebacker…or Holy Moly!  Estimated weight is 6.1 pounds.  Already.  That was last week.  My niece, needless to say, looked a wee bit worried.  I was laughing.  The baby’s daddy weighed in at over 10 when he was born, and my niece was three weeks early (confirmed by the fact that her fingerprints hadn’t yet developed fully) and weighed in at 8 pounds 6 oz.  Did she really think she was going to have a tiny baby?

The pictures were awesome.  The baby is already a genius…practicing breathing like a champ.  Also, head is way down, and booty is way up.  Not much room left for Peanut.  Peanut’s little face was all smushed up against Sarah in the 3D pics, but that baby has my niece’s nose, no question.  Cute little up-turned nose.  And her lips.  Little rosebud lips.  Oh my heart.  My niece thinks Peanut looks like her husband.  I think it’s too early to tell.  All I saw were cheeks.  SUCH CUTE CHEEKS.

The doctor came in and spoke with us and told us at the baby’s growth rate, she can expect a baby over 9 pounds.  My niece got a very worried look, and said, “So, you’ll take me early?”  Doc said, (and yay for this doctor for saying so), “No, I don’t do that.  Women go into labor for a reason.  It means the baby is ready.  The only time I’d take you sooner is if you have a medical reason.  Here, there is none.”  Blood pressure is amazing, glucose is spot on.  My niece isn’t even swelling in her ankles.  She doesn’t pregnancy pretty darned good.

So, we haven’t moved her due date – she’s still due on 12/30.  They originally said they weren’t going to let her go past the 30th, but now, they have changed their minds.  She will go when she goes.  I have also opted not to be in the delivery room.  I think it’s too many people and don’t want to stress them out.  So, I will stay home until Peanut arrives.

And yes, I did try to peek and see if it was a boy or a girl, but at this stage, there is no way to tell.  Peanut was all curled up because he/she is out of room.

I can not wait to meet that baby.  Can. Not. Wait.