Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Many happy faces

One of the many blessings of this battle I've been facing is the amazing people who have surrounded me with so much love, support, understanding, prayer, etc. I say it over and over again, but what else can I do. I am so incredibly thankful...whether you get a phone call or message from me or not. Your words, notes, thoughts, prayers, are so encouraging.

Our "angel" is our photographer Kathleen Smith. I wrote about her briefly a couple weeks back when she came to our house to photograph my family at the very last minute. After I had my surgery, I just felt like I needed to have some pictures of me with my kids before I lost all my hair again. Kathleen came right out that weekend to take photos at our home, and she came back to take more when it wasn't raining.

Not only does Kathleen do her own photography, but she also volunteers for the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation. She took photos for my friend Andrea when her son Nathaniel was born, and Kathleen has now blessed my family with her wonderful talents...which she again donated.

Below are just a few of her fabulous shots. I will try to create a link to the whole batch, if you're interested in seeing more.

Thank you Kathleen for your blessing to my family.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

At least I still have my hair...for the moment.

Radiation continues. I think I've completed 8 treatments. But the thing is, it's weird going through it, but not knowing if it's doing a darn thing, because nothing really feels different. Um, let me rephrase that. Things feel different, but they don't feel better. If the purpose of the radiation is to eradicate all cancer/left-over tumors, than it seems that the trouble that tumors may be causing would be easing up. But it doesn't feel that way at all.

The numbness and odd sensations along my tongue and now into my lower teeth continue to spread. I'm pretty good about not biting my tongue now, but it is always a concern. However, I'm not able to taste things very well, which isn't beneficial when trying to keep an appetite up. The other head/neck/back/ear etc. usual pain still continues. But the head pain is not so intense. BUT, is that because the cancer is going away, or because I'm still on the steroids that relieves the pressure. which is what finally relieved some pain last week.
I also have continued numbness and swelling in my right knee, feeling like there's water in there. It's actually causing me to limp a little. When I had my spinal tap, we thought this was a side effect of it. Not sure if this continued numbness and swelling is supposed to happen.

Mentally, it's been a bit strange. I feel a little foggy at times. Like I'll wander around and just not be able to get anything accomplished. I can't figure out what to do first. And I often go back and look at what I've typed in e-mails and it's not so comprehensible with word choice or spelling. I'm still not really good with times and schedules, and some of that is getting better, and in other ways is getting worse. Again, don't know if it's radiation/tumor/brain damage related.

Can you tell that I'm a bit unsettled.

I'm not meaning to be such a downer here. I'm really just writing out my symptoms and issues to go over with my radiation oncologist tomorrow.

But on a good note, when I'm distracted by the fun of my kids, I feel better. Tonight, except for a few usual Max and Ella fits, things went very well. When I made Cameron do extra reading for homework, he didn't even complain, and instead, read outloud his Pokemon chapter book to Ella. When she got tired of listening to him, she found her own books to look though, while Max and I worked on a couple reading lessons. Cameron also helped Max go outside and look for items that began with the letter A for an assignment Max has this week. All the kids joined me in making some muffins from scratch (yes, I said from scratch...that's what happens when I get around my baking friends for a weekend), and they actually did pretty well with taking turns. I was able to overlook any pain and just have fun with them.

Although, it was kinda hard not to get mad when I finally put them to bed and found 18 pee-filled pullups stacked up behind Max and Cameron's computer tower in their room. After lying about it first, Max finally admited to doing it...of course with a smile on his face! Their room has been smelling like pee for the past couple weeks, and I couldn't figure out why. Well, now I know!-------------------------------------
Matthew 8:23-26
And after He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly, behold, there arose a violent storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered up by the waves; but He was sleeping. And they sent and awakened Him, saying, Lord, rescue and preserve us! We are perishing! And He said to them, Why are you timed and afraid, O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm.

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Gotta love your girfriends.

Nine women God brought together.
Hanging out in a large studio for the weekend.

At the Wisconsin Dells.

What a wonderful time.

But I'm a bit exhausted. No details now. Gonna get in a little nap.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Maybe you can understand this better than I can

So here's the latest. I'm not having any more tests. The more tests I get, the more messed up results I get. Okay, I'm not that stupid, but the thought crosses my mind.

First here's the good news. There is no cancer in my hip. There was never any reason to think this, except that this is a common place for some cancers like mine to spread, so doing the MRI on my hip was really a precautionary measure. Also there is nothing cancerous in the bone in my leg. Since I have some numbness in my knee and still pain from my groin down my leg, this was a concern, but the MRI showed nothing, and it's probably just a side effect of the lumbar puncture done last week.

Also, I found out after further explanation from my husband, that cancer that I thought was shown in my spine, was actually in my spinal fluid. This makes a difference. The spinal fluid is around my brain, or in my brain, or at the bottom of my brain...or something like that. That which they found on the MRI, was not necessarily IN the spine. Of course, as usual, I often get medical details wrong...so I could continue to be wrong. Anyhow, the spinal fluid would eventually go into the spine. We're hoping that this did not happen, but it is still very concerning. and is a possibility. At least we know that the spinal fluid with the cancer that was in the brain, is being killed by the radiation that I'm currently receiving.

The bad news is that they might not have actually gotten all the cancer out of my brain. This was always a possibility. The doctors have described it like peeling an orange, or an apple or something like that. Although you might cut away all the cancer, there might be a thin layer left over, which is why you do chemo and/or radiation, to kill anything that may be lingering. When I had an MRI after my surgery, there was a thin layer that "lit" up, which could have been cancer left over, or it could have been "surgical change," which I don't get what that is, but it's supposed to be nothing to worry about. Seems like mine is probably actually something to worry about. Although, it's good to know that they've been doing radiation, therefore treating what might still be lingering cancer the way they would anyhow. Now there is also some discussion around whether it's possible/necessary /safe to do chemo now, or when I'm all done with radiation. And then there are some different options for the type of chemo, one that my doctor today said is "nothing to write home about."

Fortunately, I have this awesome husband who continues to be my amazing, medical, super-smart advocate. He's been contacting all sorts of medical personnel around the nation. Many of you don't know my husband and what he's battled to be where he is as a physician today, but just know that he is one determined man. Today, to get information about a particular chemo, he not only read the studies on the chemo, he contacted the doctor who actually did the studies. I am one blessed woman to have him as my husband.

Now my head is spinning just rereading all this very dumbed down medical jargon of mine. Just keep up the praying, and keep the faith with me.

Psalm 30:2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
Jeremiah 17:14 Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.
Jeremiah 30:17(a) For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD;

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Right now, we're both mad

Preschool is really hard work!
Max likes to put himself in the corner when he's mad at me! This time, he was so tired, he fell asleep there.
I survived my 3 hour MRI. I have some results back...but I just don't have the energy to write about them right now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A little creepy looking

I started brain radiation last week. Despite the new findings of cancer in the spine, our original plan of action won't change. I will first have whole brain radiation for about 24 days. The new course of action involves some sort of chemotherapy to treat the spine. My oncologist is still deciding what kind of chemo. And discussion has taken place on whether I start chemo at the same time I am doing radiation. Currently the answer is no. If I did start chemo now, the dose would be lower to keep it safe in conjunction with the radiation. This may not be as effective. But if I don't start the chemo now, will the cancer spread? We haven't decided exactly what to do about this.

Above is a picture of some guy (not me) set up for radiation. Yes, I have to wear that weird plastic mesh face mask which is used to bolt me to the table. It reminds me of spiderman, and isn't the most comfortable thing, but radiation only lasts a few minutes, so it's no big deal.
The headaches and other pain still continue, which makes it hard to plan anything, because I'm not sure how I'm going to be feeling. Last week I missed a few informal gatherings with friends because of pain or sleeping. On Monday, I've had to cancel hanging out with one of my friends. And today I had to cancel an appointment. When I'm not at the doctor's, I'm doing a lot of sleeping. So when people ask to get together with me, I'm a little reluctant to do so. I'm supposed to go to Wisconsin Dells this weekend for a girls' weekend away...9 of us have been planning to hang out together in one large studio. I pray I get this pain under control because I REALLY want to go!
Tomorrow I have an MRI in the morning. It will last a couple hours. NOT looking forward to that. I think they're scanning my brain and some of my spine again. My doctor said that he doesn't expect to find anything. I told him NOT to say that, because every time a doctor has said that, they've found something. I hope to be able to squeeze a nap in before heading to my radiation appointment....ha ha...get it..."heading" to my head radiation. . And most importantly, I'd like to get to the salon or some place where they do waxing. All these steroids I've had to take are causing me to grow a beard. I feel like I'm seeing a Billygoat every time I look in the mirror!
Finally, a continued THANK YOU to everyone for your kind words. I've had so many e-mails, I'm having a hard time responding to them all. But please know that I'm so grateful for all the prayers, help and encouragement.

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Not sure how to title this one

You know those preliminary tests that I reported on. The ones that said there was no cancer in my spine.

They were wrong. Cancer is there.

Please help me in praying for complete healing.

"And when Jesus went into Peter's house, He saw his mother-in-law lying ill with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began waiting on Him. When evening came, they brought to Him many who were under the power of Demons, and he drove out the spirits with a word and restored to health all who were sick. And thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases." Matthew 14-17

Sunday, September 21, 2008

That's quite far!

Today was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 3 Day Walk here in Minnesota. No, I didn't do the walk. But I know a few people who did; some were cancer survivors and some walked specifically for me. And for that, I just want to say THANK YOU!

Last year, as I was driving to meet with my surgeon to discuss my diagnosis for the first time, I drove over a bridge, and down below the 3 day participants were walking by. I remember getting the chills, thinking that these ladies were walking for me. These ladies had spent many hours raising money for me. They were out there, in pain, for me.

I've never walked 60 miles. Actually, I don't like walking at all. I prefer to run, because to me, walking takes to long. But a few of my friends have told me they want to do the 3-day next year. Now I can't very well let them do it without me! So I think I'll suck it up and plan to do some walking next year.

Thank you again to everyone who walked this year and in past years. Please feel free to send me a picture from your walk, as I'd love to (with your permission) post it to my blog.

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Seeking the same

Probably the hardest part about all this cancer is watching my kids have to deal with it. I don't want their memories of their childhood to center around mommy being sick. Last year, when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I did everything to try to keep the kids' lives as "normal" as possible. I signed them up for the same activities. I continued to volunteer in Cameron and Max's classroom. And when a new video came out, we still had "movie night" at our house, inviting some of the neighborhood kids over. It wasn't always easy, but it was something I felt was important to me and my family.

Of course I'm trying to have the same attitude with this new cancer. And that's part of the reason why the pain I'm experiencing is so frustrating to me. Basically, it's preventing me from creating a "normal" life for my kids. The pain that I'm experiencing makes it hard for me to want to do anything. So to counteract that, I have to take a bunch of pain meds, all of which claim to cause drowsiness. So I am constantly fatigued.

Today Cameron had an early football game. There was no way I was going to have all the kids ready for an 8:30 AM game. Thankfully Melvin was able to take him, because Cameron gets really sad if one of us is not there. Afterwards, the kids had a birthday party for Max's best friend, but I was so nauseous from what I think were the pain meds, that I could do nothing but lie on the couch and wait for Melvin to come home from the football game. There was no way I was going to be able to hang out with all three kids at this party, which was the original plan. Thankfully, my husband told me to go back to bed, and he got all the kids to the party, and hung out with them there for a couple hours, while I slept. If you knew my husband, you'd know that hanging around a bunch of kids he doesn't really know, is not even close to his idea of fun. That's one of those understood things that I do as a mom, not him. So the fact that he stepped forward and did this for me and the kids meant so much to me.

I felt much better later in the day, and just hung around the house with Cameron and Max, while Ella was napping. Although it felt good just being with my kids while they played video games, I still felt bad that my illness was keeping us from having one of our normal family outings. It would have been the perfect day to take Ugly Betty out on the river, but I just did not feel well enough to do so. Part of me told myself to just suck it up and go out there so your husband and kids could have a good time. But the other part of me knew that I'd be feeling awful, and wouldn't be able to help out with anything. So instead of hanging out on the water, we ate out at Red Lobster, which usually turns into quite a disastrous affair, but actually turned out to be a nice family dinner this evening. Not as fun as a boat trip, but I still enjoyed having dinner with the kids, and my crab legs (the ones Ella didn't get her hands on) were delicious.

Tomorrow is church, which is something that's really important to me. I learn so much from each service, and I just feel right when I leave there. I know that people are praying for me, and it makes a difference. I also feel it is important that the kids have a place where they can go to learn about our Lord in a safe and exciting setting. I am very impressed by the kids' program and will do everything I can to keep this as a constant for my little blessings. We also have a favorite breakfast place where we do brunch after church. Eli, the chef and I think owner, of Khoury's in Inver Grove Heights, is a man of God who even prayed over me when he found out I was going in for more surgery. The kids, and my husband and I, look forward to dining at this restaurant, so it's another important part of our family time that I'd like to keep in place, despite the difficulties I might be facing.

I guess right now it's a bit of a balancing game. My husband says that I need to rest and relax and allow my body to heal and get better. And yet, I have these wonderful kids before me that I still need to be a mom to. You can't very well be a good mom lying in bed all day. I pray that this pain goes away. That it disappears as quickly as it came on, so that I can do my "job" as mom and wife. So that my family does not have to constantly be told that mommy can't do something because she's not feeling well. And we can continue to live the life that our glorious God has laid out for us.

(And besides, it's cutting into my blogging time as well. Which is why I haven't posted in a couple days. I usually blog at night right before bed, but the meds I'm on just knock me out. This is not making me happy! Doing my blog is the one thing I do for me. I can't run anymore. I can't drink my wine. And now I can't write? Oh no, that's not going to happen!)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Something good

I have good news, and I have bad news.

First the bad news. The head/mouth/teeth/ear/neck/back pains on the right side still continue. Today they were really bad. In addition, I now have a pain at the top of my left groin that then shoots down my entire leg. My husband said this is probably due to the spinal tap I had yesterday. It should go away. At least it’s not yet another pain to add to my right side.

Now the good news. The preliminary results of all the extra tests done at Mayo showed no cancer in the spine. This is wonderful! Oh I’m so happy!!!!!! The final results won’t come in until next week probably, but for now, I’m dancin’ a little jig!

Also, my BRCA1 test came back. This is basically a genetic test that shows if I might have passed this particular breast cancer gene down to my daughter. It was discovered that I am not a carrier of that particular gene. I am SO RELIEVED about this. I’ve heard (although I could be wrong) that if you are a carrier of the gene, there is an 80 percent chance you would get breast cancer. I would hate to think that I passed something down to my daughter that could cause her so much pain. Not that it’s anyone’s fault, but I would still be filled with guilt. So I’m very happy about this.

Trust in God with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge God; who will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5,6

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We're doing the right thing

My husband and I spent another day at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. From our entire trip, we basically learned that we don't have to travel over an hour to get the best medical care. Not only did the Mayo doctors praise our neurosurgeon and the amazing job he did, but they also confirmed the treatment regiment prescribed by my radiation oncologist. They also agreed with radiation and chemo treatment I had already been given. Furthermore, they agreed that unless my new tests revealed new cancer or new information suggesting otherwise, I would not need chemotherapy (YEAH!)

Except for adding a tumor marker test, and the test for a brain fungus, the doctors at Mayo did not give us any new information. However, we don't feel the trip was useless, as it was reassuring to know that we're doing the right thing, and that's what's most important. It was good to be able to run our plan of action by the experts, and to have them answer our...well my husband's...questions.

Like the second neurologist I saw here in the the Twin Cities, the neurologist in Mayo suggested I have a Lumbar Puncture. I am SO grateful to all the people who commented on my blog or sent me private e-mails letting me know that the spinal tap would not be that bad, similar to an epidural. Just knowing that, erased all my fears, and I went into the test with zero anxiety. And everyone was right; the test actually was not bad at all. I've had blood draws that were more painful. The most pain actually came afterwards. My back is quite sore at the puncture site. But that should go away. And hopefully, the headache that can occur about a day later, will not surface. Because I don't think I could handle a severe headache on top of the ones I already have.

Speaking of headaches....no new information about mine. Aside from the possibility that the headaches could be caused by a fungus, which the spinal tap could reveal, my visit to Mayo did not lead me any closer to a solution to my pain and numbness. I'm just going to keep taking the meds prescribed to me and pray that something starts working soon.

A special thank you to my wonderful mother who without complaint continues to care for my kids, and doesn't even hesitate to tell me to go away and enjoy myself. Although it would have been better hanging out under different circumstances, it was still fun spending time alone with my husband. So thanks mom!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Still in pain

Things I've learned today:

There are a lot of farms between the Twin Cities and Rochester, Minnesota.

The Mayo clinic down here is like a giant posh hotel.

Just because you're at a place where a lot of people have cancer, doesn't mean the employees working there are sensitive to this fact. And when checking your ID, they just might say something stupid like, "Oh, you got your haircut."

My surgeon is good...really good. According to the neuro-oncologist who saw us today, the surgery Dr. Kennedy did was actually quite difficult. And the fact that he was able to remove all the tumor without causing major brain damage was quite amazing.

Dr. Ohm, the neuro-oncolgist, also believes I should have a spinal tap (or lumbar puncture, as doctor's call it). He doesn't believe I have cancer in the spine, but this test should mostly rule it out. It's scheduled for tomorrow. He told me that if nothing else, the test could give me peace of mind (except that's what my oncologist said when ordering my brain scan...yikes!).

I'm still in awe of and so thankful for my husband and his knowledge of all things medical.

The doctors here aren't sure what exactly is causing my headaches either. In addition to testing for cancer cells in my spinal fluid, they are doing a test tomorrow that checks for a fungus in my brain, which might be the pain culprit. Doesn't that sound funny...fungus of in the brain!

In addition to having tests done tomorrow, I'll also be seeing an oncologist, to discuss treatment options, especially chemotherapy options.

Let's hope I get some answers tomorrow, and that all the tests lead to no more cancer.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Say Cheese!!!

When I found out I was going to lose all my hair again, I immediately contacted a photographer. Despite the fact that I'm not a fan of my new short style and dark color, I wanted to get a family picture before I was sporting a shiny dome again.

The photographer I got in touch with at the last minute, Kathleen Smith, is part of the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation. Photographers who belong to this group offer their photo services for free to parents whose babies pass away at birth or soon after. Kathleen was the photographer on call when my friend's baby, Nathaniel, was born. Having pictures of their newborn son, who joined us in this world for 20 minutes, was such a blessing to my friend Andrea. And the pictures Kathleen took were amazing. (You can see Nathaniel's slideshow if you scroll down to the bottom of Andrea's blog).

I just felt so moved by her photos of Nathaniel, and to me, it was an honor to have Kathleen come to my home to take pictures of my own family.

I could write all about how Max would be laughing one minute and whining the next. Or I could go on and on about how Ella refused to smile at all and just would not cooperate. Or could write about how it started raining in the middle of our outdoor shoot, and so we had to move indoors.

But instead I'll just boast about how great Cameron was during the entire session; how adorable Ella's curls looked, even with her frowning face; and how Max's dimples saved him once again.

Finally, and most importantly, our photographer was wonderful. She was kind and patient and took so many pictures, we're sure to get something good, even with my stubborn little munchkins. Kathleen even offered to come back, when Ella's more photo friendly, to get any shots we might have missed.

You can check out more of her wonderful work at her website http://www.kathleensmithphoto.com/. Thank you Kathleen for a great afternoon!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Preparation...for what?

This is not an easy post to write. But I've always told myself that as I write this blog, I will be honest. So there will be times when I'm happy and upbeat. And there will be other times when I'm the opposite. My expression of my feelings are not to try to garner pity or encouragement, it's just a revealing of my emotions at the time I'm writing.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how God had been preparing me for my new cancer diagnosis, so that when I received the news, although I wasn't happy about it, I was okay. Because of the nagging feelings I was having on the inside, the things I had read about, and some people I had talked to, God had me ready for my cancer comeback, and I was able to deal with it positively.

But now I have to be perfectly honest and admit that I'm afraid of what God might be preparing me for next.

Lately I've been waking up very early. And if the kids aren't awake yet, I embrace the time that I have alone to have some quiet time with God. This is something I've been lacking in my life; also something I've known for years that I wanted and needed to do. Our paster has preached about this before. Now really, is it that hard to set the alarm 20 to 30 minutes early to give God your first minutes of the day? Is that really too much of Him to ask of us? Through the years I've always prayed for a closer relationship with God, and to have a closer relationship with anyone, including God, you have to work at it. I've always envied those people who say something to the effect about God speaking to them. I never felt that. This doesn't mean God wasn't speaking to me. He speaks to me all the time, but I do feel that to recognize what he's trying to tell me, I need to read His Word and discover all the great plans He has for us. I've been excited to get up early to see what I will learn from God each day.

Except these past few days, I've been nervous about my time with the Lord. For no particular reason, I picked up the Bible and started to read the book of Romans. Each day I read, I try to write down a verse that I feel speaks to me...mostly ones that are encouraging. So I get to Chapter 5. And happily noting Romans 5: 3-5, I start reading verse 12. It says, "Therefore, as sin came into the world, through one man, and death as the reslt of sin, so death spread to all men because all men sinned." And much of the rest of the chapter talks about sin and death. So immediatly I start thinking, "What is God speaking to me here? " and I get a little worried.

But then the next day, as I'm having my quiet time, Romans 6 continues to talk about death. Now mind you, it's all about dying but having eternal life in Christ. And I get that, and it's great and wonderful and something to rejoice about. It's amazing really. Words can't describe the joy I feel about this. But when I sit and think about my family, thoughts of me dying....thoughts of anyone dying...don't make me happy. And so as I read I continue to feel nervous. "What is God speaking to me here?".

Then the next time I pick up the Bible, I start chapter 7 in Romans, and guess what it's talking about? To be more specific, it's discussing how a man and woman are bound by law to be together as long as they live. But if one dies, the marriage law is no longer binding. At this point, honestly, I'm in tears. I'm wondering if all this talk about death is supposed to be preparing me for something. Okay, I shouldn't skirt around the issue, I'm just going to say it. Is everything that I've been reading about death supposed to be preparing me for my own death?
And becasue of what I've read the past few days, I'm afraid to read more. Honestly, I don't want read about death...at all!

I shouldn't even be thinking about dying! I haven't received any medical tests saying the surgery to remove the brain tumor was not successful. I am confident that the doctors are doing everything they to make me cancer-free. And I believe that God is healing me.

I wish I could sit here and write about some positive revelation that I had from God. I wish I could write about something great that I learned from my quiet time this week. I wish I could write exactly what God was speaking to me. But to be honest, I can't. I don't know yet why He had me read these chapters. He had me read many positive, uplifting verses as well

For now, I'm just going to keep reading, and keep praying. Praying for healing, praying for positive thoughts, praying for strength, praying for clarity of His word, and praying for peace within.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

I guess size matters

The other day our nanny Sara was changing her baby's diaper. Max was watching her do this, and he became quite interested in what he saw.

"Why is that so big?" he asked referring to little Leo's scrotum.

Sara just told him that that's what little babies looked like (or something similar).

However, Max, who seems to be in competition with everyone lately, couldn't let anyone think he wasn't better or at least equal to this little baby. He had to find something on him that was bigger.

So his next response was "Well, I have a big penis. His is little."

Oh my....and so it starts.


Last night, even without Ativan, I was able to sleep through the night. Melvin even said that I was snoring! It was the best sleep I'd had since before my surgery.

Now I don't know if it was my new medications, or my full night of rest, but I had a lot less pain in my head today (probably a combination of both). My head was hardly hurting during the day (although I am experiencing some pain now), and I didn't need to take any Vicodin until tonight. The other issues on the right side of my face continued to bother me, including an earache. I'm hoping that the Neurontin that I just started will work this problem out soon.

I forgot to mention yesterday that when I was at Dr. Madavi's (the neurologist), she said that she wanted to order a spinal tap to be done on me. I can't remember if she wanted this to be done because of the spot they found on my MRI, or because of the pain and/or numbness I had been experiencing. To me, it doesn't matter why she said this...all I know is that when she said the words "spinal tap," I immediately shuddered. I actually know nothing about spinal taps, but I heard they stick a needle in your back, and that they're very painful. Dr. Madavi must have sensed my fear because she told me that I certainly can discuss it with my husband, and that I might want to go to my appointment at the Mayo Clinic and see what they say before I have the spinal tap done. Now it's not that I don't trust my doctor, I just don't like pain...any pain! Our Mayo appointment is Tuesday and Wednesday....I think I'll definitely see what they say first.

For now, I'm just incredibly thankful for the rest and since I feel so tired right now, I'm hoping tonight will be the same. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for better sleep for me. God is good.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Popping Pills...a lot of them!!!

I met another neurologist today. She was quite thorough, and she just came across as very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. She didn't seem sad like some of the other medical professionals I've come in contact with....sad meaning they feel bad that this is happening to me. She was more of a "let's get down to business and figure this out"...I liked that a lot.

I gave her my list of symptoms, prefacing them with the statement that I am NOT a hypochondriac, despite what it my list might indicate.

Her thoughts on the intense pain problem mirrored my husbands....nerve pain. I had a lot of nerve pain a few days after my mastectomy. I was given a medication called Neurontin, actually something they give to people with epilepsy. The pain gradually went away, and after a few weeks, I was able to stop taking it completely. Let's pray that the medicine works the same with this new pain. I hope it works quickly as well because although I can't remember exactly how I felt on the medication, I remember saying that the Neurontin was making me neurotic!

I am on so many different medications right now it's just crazy! I finally started writing down each pill I took because I kept forgetting throughout the day when and what I had consumed.

As an example, here's what I took today.

Tylenol...for my headache.

Zoloft...so I'm not so crabby.
Indomethacin...for my headaches...what the first neurologist prescribed to me when the migraine shot of Imatrex did not work. If after tomorrow if the headaches aren't better, I can discontinue this prescription.

Vicodin--for head pain and all my other pains. Today my back was hurting more, as was my ear. This pill makes me very sleepy, but works fairly well for the pain.

Neurontin--for my nerve pain...what we hope will stop all this pain. This is my new medicine that I pray works. It also makes me sleepy. This will be great at night, but all these "may cause drowsiness" drugs are going to be difficult to deal with during the day.

Tylenol -- for headache.

Indomethecin-- as stated above, for headaches.

Nystatin--a mouthwash for sores on my tongue. I'm supposed to do this 4 times a day, but I keep forgetting.
Neurontin--as stated before, for the nerve pain. Normally my two doses will be spaced out more, but I didn't get them from the pharmacy until later today.
Vicodin--as stated before, for pain.

As you can see, I'm taking a lot of medications. Just another reason why I am so incredibly thankful that I have my husband to help me figure out how safe it is to take the drugs and the combination of them. I would think I was overdosing taking all these different pills, but having him to supervise my intake of medicines puts me at peace that everything will be just fine.

But my combo of Vicodin and Neurontin makes me VERY SLEEPY. I can barely keep my eyes open as I write this post. So with that, I think I better publish my post and get some much needed sleep.

Goodnight...and gold stars to everyone who thought about my problem today!!!! Thanks for the input!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The medical mystery...possible solution tomorrow.

Still more pain today...but I had it managed with Vicodin, so it wasn't as bad. I also took the Ativan last night. I just decided that I will go ahead and take the sleep pills and pain pills as I need them until all this gets worked out. Because I do need my rest. So if that means taking a pill each night to help me get it, then I'll do that.

I was telling my husband last night that I felt like we were working on a puzzle and that there was one very important piece missing. And if we could just find that one piece, that one bit of information, then we could figure out what was wrong with me. I just feel like all these symptoms are connected, and that all these little actions...pain killers, special mouth rinse, migraine medicine, antibiotic for my earache, etc...all these solutions to deal with each individual problem is not the answer.

My husband said that one of the reasons why no one has figured out a solution yet is because I haven't been consistent in describing all of my symptoms to my different doctors and to him. That's because I have so many different symptoms, I would forget things when talking to the doctor. Or the doctor would just focus on my pain and was mostly concerned about making me feel better, rather than trying to find out the reason behind my pain. Or I'd just address what was bothering me the most at the moment, fearing that I was sounding like some crazy hypochondriac. When I thought about it, my husband was right (he'll LOVE that I just wrote that).

My husband said that by not telling it all, I was making it difficult for any doctor to address my problems. So yesterday my wonderful mother (who has all my appointments and phone calls laid out on organized spreadsheets) typed up a list of all my symptoms. If you're a doctor, feel free to get out those gigantic medical books and do some research. A gold star to anyone with the right answer! Here are the symptoms:

Unbearable pain on upper right side of head.
Unbearable pain on the lower right side of head.
(Note, my surgery sight was on the left side of my head)
Head pain worsens at night or when I'm really tired.
Right eye pain
Right ear pain (no ear infection)
A little dried blood from right nostril when blowing nose.
Right neck hurts...I think around glands.
Feels like sores on right side of tongue.
Right side of tongue a little numb and I keep biting it...ouch!
A little difficult to swallow on right side and hard to move food around in my mouth with my tongue on the right side (I know that sounds silly...but it's true).
Pain on right side of back
Trouble falling asleep
Trouble staying asleep

Okay, now go for it. Any ideas? Come on...you know you need a gold star!

Possible Answer: Once I went over everything with my husband, he immediately said something about Cranial Nerve #7....or maybe it was #6...I can't remember. But it had to do something with the nerve. Which makes total sense to me. I had nerve pain (see Sept. 19 2007 post) after my mastectomy that we dealt with with medicine, and it eventually went away.

Today, my husband was actually able to talk to the neurologist who my surgeon initially referred me to (not the one I went to yesterday). So I'm hoping tomorrow to have some answers...and to be on the pathway to being rid of all this ridiculous pain.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

In the words of Shakespeare...To sleep, perchance to dream

I continue to have sleep and headache issues. First of all, as I think I stated before, I can't sleep. Ever since I had my surgery, I just physically cannot sleep. It's not nerves or anything like that. I will be wide awake, fall asleep for about 40 minutes, and then be wide awake for hours again. However, although I'm awake, my body and mind are tired. It really took its toll on me yesterday. As the day drug on, so did I. And although I could not sleep, I also could not think or process information very well, no doubt as a result of not sleeping. I read a blog about someone else who has brain tumors, and she too could not sleep. She takes Ativan so that she can sleep now. I do this occaisonally, but I hate to keep taking a sleeping pill, along with all my other pain meds.

The biggest problem I have when I don't sleep is that my headaches worsen, which of course makes it even harder to sleep. It's a ridiculous cycle. Once the pain starts, which is incredibly unbearable, it won't go away, even with Percocet. I had an appointment with an internal medicine doctor today for some slight sinusitus that the MRI showed...which I don't have. (And the entire time the doctor is talking to me, he's mumbling in between his sentences, "Oh God bless you. God bless you," in his Saudi Arabian accent. He makes me smile.) After I told him about my pain and sleep issues, he immediately sent me to see a neurologist. (Thank you to nurse Sara for driving me down the street to my appt while my mom had the kids at McDonalds).

I was go grateful to get in to see the specialist immediately because I was in so much pain at this point I was almost in tears. Plus, last year when I was making an appointment for Cameron with a neurologist, it took me over a month before the neurologist had an opening. This is doctor was also very kind and concerned about my pain and just very concerned about all that I had been through. He actually took my hand and asked me how I was doing with all this, and I told him that except for the pain, I really am okay with everything. (He also had this big gold ring that said, "Dad" so I imagined anyone who'd wear a ring like that must really love his kids, which made me like him even more, as a person).

For the pain he gave me a shot of Imitrex, which is what they give to people who have really bad migranes. Unfortunately, it didn't do anything for my headache. And the doctor didn't have an answer as to what would be causing this pain. Quite the medical mystery I am I guess. He sent me home with another prescription that may work to take away the headaches, but overall, I have no idea as to why I'm having these. I don't want to keep popping a bunch of pain killers. There has to be a reason for this. But not even my neurosurgeon, who my husband called last night, had any ideas as to why I'm having these headaches. Maybe someone at Mayo can shed some light next week because I'm really tired of this dominating our lives. I couldn't even go to Cameron's football game today, because of the pain, and he was really sad about this, which in turn made me really sad.


On a completely different subject, a couple people have asked me about some messages that they sent me....messages I have NO recollection of. The first two weeks after surgery, I was so drugged up, or so filled with anxiety, that there were a lot of e-mails that I think I read, but never actually processed or remembered. So if it seems like I'm ignoring you, really, I'm not. And I apologize sincerely. If you pop me a note again, I'll try to answer it this time...if my head doesn't feel like it's in a vicegrip! (I'm only able to write now because my Vicodin has kicked in quite nicely).

Football season has begun for Cameron. That is a post in and of itself, but for now, I'll just say that HE is loving it! Thankfully I have WONDERFUL neighbors who told me that they will take him and bring him home from every practice and game, so that I don't have to worry about that at all. I still try to make at least his games (which are 2, sometimes 3, times a week), but I know I won't be making all of them...like tonight's game. Now I'm not trying to buy forgiveness from my son, but I know that he'd be SO excited if I got him something to wear from his favorite team....the University of Minnesota Gophers. Plus, my husband just called and said he got a touchdown...his first one...so now I'm really bummed that I missed his game. But anyhow, I'm looking for a Univ. of Minnesota fall ZIP-UP jacket for him to wear. He's about a size 8. So if anyone happens to come across one, can you please let me know. I'm going to go online tomorrow and see what I can find. THANKS!


Moreover, let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance develops maturity of character. And character producs joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation! Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God's love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.
Romans 5:3-5

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Once Upon a Time I used to write posts that had nothing to do with cancer

My Ella has been quite the stinker lately. Literally.

A couple months ago I boasted about her finally being potty trained. Well, I spoke way too soon. Although she is Pee trained, (which has been WONDERFUL) she is not Poop trained. I don't know why not. She's pooped in the toilet before, but now she has decided that unless we "catch" her in the act and put her on the toilet, she is completely content to just poop in her underwear.

Yesterday morning she went "missing" for about 10 minutes. Once I noticed she wasn't watching TV like I thought, I found her walking down the stairs with a big smile on her face. "Ella, what were you doing?" I asked hesitantly. "I clean potty," she tells me. Oh no, I thought, what in the world did she do? While inspecting the bathroom, I noticed dirty water all over the toilet seat, but I couldn't quite figure out what she had done. But then I smelled it, and then I saw it. She had poop smeared down her leg. After inspecting her room, I discovered her pull-up that she wears at night, filled with poop, just sitting on her bed. She had gone through the trouble of taking it off, then going in her drawer and getting a new one to put on. In the process of changing herself, she made quite a stinky trail.

But just pooping wasn't enough trouble for Ella to cause apparently. Lately she has been horrible at dinnertime. She refuses to eat, she doesn't want to sit down, or she insists on sitting on someones lap. Melvin is really good about being consistent with her. He makes her sit down and eat, but if she chooses not to, he puts her up in her room. She'll cry and throw a fit, but after several trips up and down the steps to her room, she eventually ends up sitting at the table eating. Last night she was pulling her usual dinnertime shenanigans, but when Melvin brought her up to her room, she started coughing and choking on a piece of broccoli. She wouldn't stop coughing so I ran up the stairs, just in time to see her vomit all over my husband.

I had to hold back my laugh, because the look on my husband's face as he stood there dripping in with puke was priceless. And all I could think of was what Ella must have been thinking, "Ha ha daddy. I just showed you. Send me to my room again why don't you! Poetic justice baby. Poetic justice."

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

You're back....but so am I!

One year ago today I had a mastectomy of my left breast. One year ago today started all the treatments...the surgery, then chemo, then radiation...of this cancer that was just supposed to be done with. My approach to my cancer was to get rid of it, do everything I could so that it didn't come back, and then work on making myself look normal again. I was going to deal with it, and then move on with my life as if I was never affected by cancer.

HA! to me!!!!!

You know some people get cancer and it is life changing for them. For me, it really wasn't. I just wanted to move on and forget about it. It's sad to say, but I didn't feel like I had learned any life lessons or learned to appreciate anything more than I did before cancer. I didn't feel any stronger; I didn't feel like I had some new lease on life. Although my faith and my relationship with God certainly did strengthen greatly, and I met a lot of wonderful and helpful people, but other than that, life was the same for me. And that's how I wanted it.

HA! to me!!!!!!!!

But I do believe that God was completely preparing me for what has come. I'm not going to get into a discussion of whether this was God's plan or the result of us living in a fallen world or the work of the Devil or just some fluke or what not. None of that really matters. My pastor did a great sermon a few weeks ago about whatever the cause of the suffering...it doesn't matter because God shows up in the midst of it. That He will be there no matter what you can count on. (You can actually listen to the sermon or watch the video here . Scroll down to 7/6/2008 to the sermon entitled Held by Greg Boyd. I highly encourage you to listen to it).

There were little things that helped prepare me for the return of the dreaded cancer. I had written on my July 25th post about my sudden newfound concern for cancer returning after reading a couple articles about it reoccurring in other people. And some of my friends can tell you that I was expressing this fear to them as well. So it was then, after about a month of really worrying about it, before I had any symptoms of my tumor, it was then that I made peace with myself about the cancer coming back. I still had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind, but I just prayed about it and just decided to be at peace with it.

I even wrote on Aug. 9th in the comments of a blogger Ann who had written about my situation on her blog here . I responded "Thank you for your very kind words. With my faith in the Lord, I really do feel like I have Someone else to help me through all this...literally pulling and pushing me along. Knowing that with Him, I really could face whatever was thrown at me. On a different note, I do believe that facing cancer is easier than the daily struggles we often face as moms...and the struggles are different for each mom. What an important job we have as mothers, and the ramifications of every decision we make, all affecting our childrens' futures, is sometimes very overwhelming to me! But aren't kids amazing...and so worth it!" My response to her was different than I probably would have responded even 2 weeks prior. One, I usually don't testify about God to people. It actually took a lot of effort for me to say to people that I was praying for them. I don't know why. If God was supposed to be Lord of my life, I certainly shouldn't be so shy to express that. Now I'm not an evangelist...I'm pretty sure that's not my calling. But I do feel that God was beginning to really work within me to really feel comfortable with my faith and expressing it better so that I could truly cope with what was to come.

Secondly, I noted in that comment above about kids being amazing and just worth it. Really, that is NOT something I would have said before. I mean, of course they're worth it, but I didn't always feel that way. I felt more frustrated by the "dailyness" of motherhood than actually enjoying it. Everything seemed like one big chore, and I wasn't enjoying any of it. But as I said, the Lord was preparing me. Because when I had that notion in my mind that the cancer could come back, something changed inside me. I suddenly started just enjoying my kids more. I stopped caring so much about trying to get the kitchen cleaned up right away after dinner and I started going outside with them and just hanging out. I started rocking Ella longer at night and just holding her and really feeling her joy. Even doing things like getting my kids breakfast when I really wanted to just be back in bed was actually enjoyable to me. I even came to the decision that I was not even going to look for another job to help satisfy that "I'm a teacher...I gotta teach and touch the minds of the future" craving that I have always had. For the first time ever, I must say that I was very content with not working and being able to stay home with my little ones. And as I said, this was BEFORE I knew about my brain tumor.

So God had certainly prepared me for when my tumor was found. Now I'm not saying that I was all happy and such. Of course I cried, and I was mad, and sad and frustrated and confused and defeated and a whole bunch of emotions all combined. But overall, now I can sincerely say that I'm at peace. I'm at peace knowing that all will be well. I'm at peace knowing that I have amazing people working on me and fighting with me and praying for me. I'm at peace with the fact that God will be there and hold me and my children and my husband. And at the end of it all, we will be winners.

And now one year after my original surgery, I must say HA to cancer. Because yeah, you're back. But so am I...and thanks to the Lord, I'm better than ever!

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Say it ain't so!

Yesterday was my best day yet, in terms of energy and just feeling great and normal.

But last night was my worst night in terms of pain from my headaches. Not even the Percocet did anything to take away the pain. This is the first time I was brought to tears it hurt so badly.

I will be visiting with a neurologist sometime next week. And during the following week, I'm going down to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to get some 2nd opinions about treatment options. I'm hoping one of these doctors can address my headache issue.

My husband thinks the headaches were so bad because I had a glass of wine last night and that I really should not drink anymore wine. SURELY there's another explanation. If not....um....um...I just need to remain speechless on this issue right now.

Update: Good news...I had more unbearable headaches last night. So what's the good news? That means it wasn't the wine causing them...hey, gotta look for the good somewhere!

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Two weeks since surgery

This week I met with Dr. Vic, my radiation oncologist. Can I just say that he is so smart! Actually, I just have to take a moment to be in complete awe of doctors...period. It's hard to even express how incredibly smart doctors are. Before my surgery I had some procedure where a doctor was looking at all my blood vessels, and maybe it was the Valium, but I just kept thinking WOW, these people are just so amazing. Meeting my husband as he began medical school gave me the opportunity to see just how much work, how much studying, how much passion goes into being a doctor. And of course all doctors aren't perfect, and everyone has had different experiences, but I will forever be in complete debt to doctors and have nothing but honor for them.

So much has happened this week, so this post might be rather long.

As I mentioned, my husband and I met with my radiation oncologist early this week. Besides being amazingly smart, Dr. Vic is also incredibly kind and explains things so well to me (but as usual, don't expect me to reiterate information with any kind of medical accuracy or flair!). He was so apologetic about the cancer being found in my brain. I was joking with him to lighten the mood, "Doctor Vic, this wasn't supposed to happen. I'm supposed to be all done with this stuff." (The Zoloft I'm taking actually is working quite well). There's no need to be all sad about it. Let's just figure out what to do about it. Apparently it's really good that I am so ignorant to all the medical stuff that's happening. It's my poor husband who for his own sanity could probably use a little less knowledge merely so he wouldn't worry so much.

The basic treatment they're going to do is whole brain radiation. Just like when I had radiation for breast cancer, I will go everyday for about 5 1/2 weeks, minus the weekends. The actual procedure doesn't last long...I think I get zapped for 10 to 15 minutes at the most, and it's completely painless. The side effects vary. I can certainly have brain damage...which I already have from the surgery, (still dealing with a lot of time and number issues) but the doctor doesn't anticipate anything major. When I get radiated, they put this hard plastic mesh mold snugly over my face and secure me to the table so that I can't move. It's quite creepy looking...and I'll have to post a picture at some point. I can get fatigued, which I experienced a little bit of when having radiation for breast cancer, but with brain radiation, I don't know how the fatigue will compare. I also will have some irritation of the head. And then here's the doozy...what I didn't want to hear, but what I knew was coming...I'm going to lose my hair. Oh well. I'm alive. So in search of some very sassy hats and scarves again. Because I'm just going to be vain with my new little motto 2cute4cancer!

As I posted yesterday, the MRI I had yesterday was a bit hellish. They wanted to look at my spine and my brain again. The doctors keep ordering these tests telling me that they don't intend on seeing anything. But don't ya know, a spot turns up on my spine. Now having a metastasis to the spine is really bad. It would involve more chemo and radiation I'm sure, and I'm not sure what the cure rate is for something like that. So my husband was really upset today about them finding something on the scan. But he was able to have a bunch of doctors read the scans and they are pretty confident that it is NOT cancer. They think that the spot they saw was a hemangioma. That's a blood tumor that is benign, and something I should not have to worry about. My doctor might order a bone scan, but probably not. They will continue to monitor the blood tumor, but for now, it is fine. Praise God for that.

Today I got to meet again the doctor who took out my tumor, Dr. Jerone Kennedy. So what in the world is the protocol for this? Send a Hallmark Card note, "Um, thanks for saving my life. Hope I can return the favor!" Seriously, how in the world can I express my gratitude? I am actually looking for ideas. Also, I still need to do/send something to the floor that took care of me while in the hospital as well. But I just don't want to send some thank you flowers or something...would like to send something more useful and meaningful if I can. I talked with Dr. Kennedy about some of the issues I've been having lately, mostly my very painful headaches. And basically, everything just needs to settle in and work itself out. I have a couple appointments with different doctors, including a neurologist, to deal with some of these issues. Glad I have some experts to refer to now.

Some people have asked me why I'm still having all these tests? Honestly, I am so ignorant to them. These past two weeks I have walked into offices and just basically have been at everyones mercy. I have so many different scans, I can't keep them all straight. I just go in, do what they tell me to do, and let my husband sort out all the details for me. I know it's bad. I really need to be on top of my own care. I really need to be more proactive about understanding things. But for right now, I can barely figure out what time I need to leave the house so that my son gets to his football game on time. Maybe I can have my husband be a guest medical blogger and explain the difference between and MRI and a PET scan and why some tests pick up cancer and others do not...maybe he'll do it for me.

I've also had some people ask me about how this will affect my reconstruction. My what? That's what I think to myself. My reconstruction is so far from my mind right now I can't even think about it. But I actually have to...at least the preventative mastectomy part of it. That still needs to be done, and I feel now more than ever. So I'll make the appointments for everything in February probably. Now whether or not I'll be able to follow through with all the procedures we'll just have to see.

Continued thank you for EVERYTHING!

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I had an MRI yesterday of my head and spine. It was a 3 1/2 hour MRI. Which means I had to listen to jackhammer like noises reverbrating throughout my already aching head for 3 1/2 hours, while I had to lie completely still. They did give me 2 bathroom breaks, and I guess when it took them 4 times to inject some dy in me one could call that a break as well. It was not a fun day.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Equal Time

Max likes for things to be equal...all the time...about everything. "Why does Ella have an extra crumb with her cookie?" "Why was your smile at Cameron an extra millimeter bigger than your smile at me?"

So obviously I MUST give equal time on this blog donated to his first day of preschool today. Last year he attended just 2 mornings a week. This year he is going 3 days a week, from 9:30 to 2:00. Perfect timing I thought. Not too early trying to rush him there. Not too short of a day. Not too long either. I'm hoping for some good learning time to occur this year.

It was an amazingly peaceful dropoff. Last year I don't think there was a kid in the class who wasn't screaming, crying or at least whining. What difference a year makes. It was so quiet in that class, you'd think it was library time or something. All the kids were just content to quietly play with toys until the teacher was ready to begin. It was really nice.

Here's a picture of Max holding some telescope craft that he made all on his own yesterday when he was hanging out with me around the house. Max was NOT happy that he didn't have a backpack full of supplies to bring with him to school like Cameron. I was able to snap a picture of Max and Cameron together, but for some reason, Max did NOT want Cameron to touch him. He actually didn't want Cameron even in the picture. "No mom, it's my first day. No pictures of Cameron."

I am not happy to report that we had a chilly morning already. Keep thinking warm summer thoughts please! As usual, Ella jumped right into all the action and just started playing with all the toys in the classroom as if they belonged to her. I didn't get a chance to talk to the teacher because I had an appointment with my Radiation Oncologist (which I'll write about tomorrow), but overall it seems that Max had a very good day. He came home with a new song and dance that Cameron already knew, so the boys loved doing it together....especially the part where they got to stick their butts out while wiggling around. Boys.

Although I have a lot of reservations and am nervous about Max fitting in and really doing well, I'm also incredibly excited for him, thinking about how much he's going to grow and learn this year.

Here's to a wonderful year my little love bug Max!

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Cameron's First Day of 2nd Grade

Today was a MUCH better day. It was as if all that pressure that had been building up in my brain finally let loose, and I could actually start to think again. I still experienced some headaches, but nothing like I had been the past few days. I wasn't feeling as dizzy or as anxious. (But I also managed to stay far way from Target!). Staying around the house and resting today really did the trick. Your prayers are working! THANK YOU!

Cameron had his first day of school today. Poor kid had to deal with my negligence! I hadn't gotten around to getting him a haircut yet, so he struggled with trying to make it look like something other than a birds' nest.

This is the nicest thing I could get him to wear today.
Max and Ella were excited to see him get on the bus. Here he is with his friend Patrick, his bus buddy and classmate again this year.

And finally, here he is getting on the bus with his big heavy backpack. Like I said, I was somewhat negligent this year in that I didn't send him to school with his supplies until the first day. So needless to say, he had a very full and very heavy backpack. But hey, at least he did have all of his supplies, gym shoes and all.

Here's to a wonderful year in 2nd grade Cameron! Love ya kid!!!!!!!!!!

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Being Loved

My huband is a saint. Really. Today, he took all three kids to the State Fair. I didn't even ask him to, because my head was hurting so badly all day I knew I wasn't in any condition to bring my kids anywhere, let alone the statefair. But my wonderful husband took them, and I'm just so happy that he did this for them.

He continues to amaze me with his patience with me and the kids as we deal with all that has been so unexpected. He continues to remain calm, strong, logical and faithful throughout all of this.

AND, after his long day with the kids, he still sought out and brought me back some Sweet Martha's Cookies. I was truly impressed.

I truly cannot ask for a better husband.

Love Is Patient
Love is patient, love is kind.It does not envy, it does not boast,it is not proud. It is not rude,it is not self-seeking,it is not easily agered,it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evilbut rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts,always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. . . . And now these three remain:faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 (NIV)

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