The Gang's All Here!

The Gang's All Here!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Crazytrain

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We certainly had a wonderful holidayand I'm so thankful the timing worked out as well as it did. As I mentioned in my last post, I drove the crazytrain up to Virginia, by myself with the two kids. Yes, yes, there are at least 50 things that could have gone wrong, but you know what? The kids were awesome and I was so darn proud of them. If nothing else, my children are extremely flexible and adaptable when need be (well, Simon is MOST of the time...). Of course, I was 80 shades of out of control due to my damn Herceptin treatment running one and a half hours behind. I was LIVID but, unfortunately, this has become the norm there. I'm thankful that I'm on the back end of treatments and not having to be there every week. That's just plan unacceptable. So, anyway, I was running late which makes me certifiably crazy. Ask Steve and he'll tell you that my timetables are ludicris and unattainable. As you might imagine, Steve and I have some of our best disagreements (re: fights) when it comes to travel. I am Miss Punctuality (probably to a fault, I'm working on it, okay?) and he's the original Mr. Leave Everything to the Last Minute and if he says we're leaving at 8, he really means 10... You'd think by now that I would just automatically add two hours to any departure time, but I still just get so fired up. The man has no concept of time!!!! And, I'm WAY off topic, yet again.

So, we headed out 30 minutes past my departure goal, but luckily traffic wasn't bad so we made good time. We stopped in Charlotte to have dinner with our Charlotte family which was fun and a nice break. It was early enough that I felt like I could keep going, so we continued our drive. I stopped in Blacksburg, VA (Go Hokies!) for the night, mainly to rest my eyes. Of course the kids fell asleep in the car, so when we arrived at the hotel, they were ready to party. Which they did until about 11, but then slept so I really can't complain. I am 100% sure that everyone at the hotel enjoyed watching me play sherpa. I really hadn't thought through the whole getting into the hotel with two kids plus all of our crap. Neat. A very nice older gentleman did hold the door for me as we were leaving...

All in all, we had a wonderful trip home to Virginia. I nearly had the entire time I was home booked, but it was so nice to see old friends. To those I missed, hopefully we can catch up the next time I'm home! I'll tell you what, there's truly no better medicine than being around those who've known you forever and pick up just right where you left off. I'm so, so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family. Stella had a blast at my parents house and even shouted when we pulled up the driveway, "we're at the farm!". What??? My parents don't live on a farm. She also referred to my dad as, "Kitty, the farmer" all week. That child is so very entertaining!

The only kicker to our trip was me being sick. Of course, I mean, god forbid everything be perfect. On my last day of radiation I was slightly considering that I might be dying. That's code for: I know I have a sinus infection and it's probably time to deal with it. I don't know why I always let them get so bad, but I HATE going to the doctor. Ironic, no? So, I quickly ran over to the "doc in the box" aka: Walgreens where I was correctly diagnosed with a sinus infection. She asked me what drugs I wanted and then laughed and told me "no" when I asked for Levaquin. Seriously, don't ask me what I want and then deny me, it's just mean. So, she put me on Ammoxicillan. I knew it wouldn't be strong enough, but I felt so bad that I didn't care. Off I went with my drugs. I was actually feeling better the next day, so I was optimistic that it was working. However, I never really felt any improvement. By Wednesday at home, I was feeling pretty crappy again, so off to the Winchester urgent care I went. Well, my lovely "little" sinus infection had turned into bronchitis and borderline pneumonia. Super cheers! Ugh, I was so annoyed, but the doctor was awesome and gave me my Levaquin and some other good drugs. I am finally starting to feel better, but darn it, how frustrating!!

So, that's my vacation in a nutshell. I"m in the process of getting all of the Christmas decorations up. I've grossly underestimated the time that takes with two small children running around. Yes, Simon is now walking, eeek! Pray for me, and if you don't think that's enough, have a few glasses of wine instead. Holy Moses, what have I gotten myself into???

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Graduation Day!

Graduation Day is finally here! Today was my last day of radiation treatments, wahoooo!The staff actually did a tiny graduation ceremony for me complete with a certificate and tassel! I did truly enjoy working with the staff and their heartfelt hugs and congrats meant so much. This is a huge milestone and another check on the giant checklist.

Today has also been special for my chemo friend, Kate. She was finally okayed to have her mastectomy and her surgery was this morning. Her surgery was at the same hospital as my radiation treatements, so I popped over to the surgical waiting room to visit with her parents. I knew they'd be super nervous and worried, so I'm very happy that I had a chance to see them. The best news is that Kate's sugery went very well (she had a much different surgery than I did) and she was in recovery when I left.

As you may recall, my one wish out of this whole cancer mess, was to be able to go home to Virginia for Thanksgiving. This wish is finally coming true! The kids and I are driving up to Virginia beginning on Friday afternoon. Yes, I am driving by myself with two children under the age of three and yes, I know that I am completely insane. I'll be driving the crazytrain all the way to Virginia, feel free to honk if you see us :) The Warwagon will be put to the test. Steve will be flying up next week to join us for Thanksgiving. This trip should be a blast, especially because Stella thinks that my parents (G and Kitty as she refers to them...and yes, Kitty is my Dad) live at the airport. This ought to really blow her mind. She was only 18 months old the last time we were in Virginia, I'm so curious to see how much she remembers. I'm excited to introduce Simon to Virginia as well.

I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to update the blog. I've yet to pack...for any of us. What on earth has happened to me? I used to really have it together (or at least I was under the impression that I did!). I'm sure we'll be departing partially on fire and forget at least 15 important things. Oh well, all in the name of "good family fun", right? I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Year Ago Today...

A year ago today I gave birth to our sweet Simon. It's amazing how much has changed over the past year. As you know, Simon's birth was no cakewalk and having him spend seven days in the NICU (he was 5 weeks early) was torture (ask a parent of any preemie and they'll tell you how hard it is...and we were not there long at all in the grand scheme of things). Stella also spent time in the NICU, but only 5 days. It was awful leaving the hospital without a baby the first time, the second time was just devestating. But, Simon has thrived and is a happy boy these days.

It's interesting looking back to this time a year ago. I thought I had it all figured out, since we already had Stella and she had been (this is certainly not the case now...) a breeze as a baby. Oh that silly Fate sure threw us a curve ball with Simon. For everything that Stella was easy, Simon was a complete mess. The first few months were really tough, it seemed like all he did was scream and was never happy unless he was swaddled. Once we finally figured out he had reflux and got him on some meds, he was a different kid. I will say that Simon is either deleriously happy or furious these days, he doesn't really have any gray area. But, luckily most of the time, he's a happy, smiley little guy. His favorite activity is scaling the room. He can pretty much get wherever he needs to go, it's pretty fun to watch.

I've felt a lot of guilt over this past year. Yes, I know that having cancer isn't my fault, etc, etc, but it's hard not to feel like I've let him down because I haven't been able to be 100% me. We've made it work, but a part of me is so frustrated that he's had to go through this (as well as the rest of our family). I met a lady at the cancer center this week who has a 5 month old and a two year old. She's going through chemo and radiation at the same time (I can't even imagaine...). She's very sick but she puts on a good face. I was thinking how hard it must be for her going through this with a 5 month old, and then I was like, oh yeah, Simon was 2 months old when I started chemo and Stella had just turned two... That being said, there were many, many times over the past year that I wished that Simon could have been as laid back and easy as Stella was. But, you know what? I think it's actually been a blessing that he has been so challenging. He was the distraction I needed and I didn't have (much) time to dwell on the fact that I had cancer and was going through treatment. No time to feel sorry for myself because I had a screaming baby and a two year old who's idea of naptime was (is) equivalent to an episode of romper room.

So, yes, I never would have chosen this path for myself or my family, but I think we're stronger because of it. It's been pointed out to me by several of my doctors that having Simon probably saved my life. I'll never really be able to tell him (or Stella) how much I love him and am so honored to be his mom.  Everyday I thank my lucky stars for this little miracle we call Simon. Happy Birthday little man!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote for Crispy!

Vote for Crispy! Haha, just a little radiation humor for you. My skin is definitely crispy these days. And, the radiation drama continues! My burn opened up over the weekend and is now weeping. It's really lovely... Anyway, yesterday was supposed to be my last overall breast radiation and the rest of my treatments are just boosts to my mastectomy scar (this is the cakewalk part, I'm told). When I laid down on the radiation table, one of the rads therapists was like, "holy cow! Your arm looks bad, we need to have a nurse check on this". So, not one, but three nurses came in and said, "Get her off the table, this is bad". Awesome. Of course, (why wouldn't it be any other way?) my doctor is in South Africa for the next two weeks. So, they had to page the doctor covering for her who was in a meeting. He took a look at my arm and thought that I should have the day off. Luckily, seeing my chart and noting that it was supposed to be my last big treatment, he decided to go for it. Good plan, doc! I don't want my travel plans messed with! He prescribed some antiobiotic cream to put on the burn which is supposed to be "like magic".

So, yeah, my radiation experience has not been the greatest. I will say that I really have enjoyed working with the radiation staff and doctors, they truly have been wonderful. I hope that if you are reading this and at some point have to have radiation, please don't be discouraged by my experience. All things said, I've had a very easy journey through cancerland (so far). My skin is very sensitive and I'm told it's not surprising that my skin has reacted as it has. I'm just ready to be done. One week from tomorrow is my last treatment, yay!! Hopefully the cream they gave me will do the trick. I'm in a decent amount of pain but nothing that some Advil and Real Housewives can't take care of :).

Our weekend was uneventful which was good. We celebrated Steve's birthday at one of our favorite restaurants on Friday night and that was lots of fun. A funny Stella story to share: our main computer died (for like, the 4th time) and Steve decided to get the parts to build a new one. Trust me, my brain started to melt as soon as he mentioned such a geeky thing like that, but he enjoys it so... who am I to judge? ;) Luckily, or so I'm told anyway, we have a Micro Center near us...not a place I can ever say I had been to (or ever need to return to) before Sunday. Stella was excited to go and Steve told her we were going to the "Nerd Store". Well, you can just guess where this is heading. As soon as we walked into the store, Stella announces (quite loudly), "We're at the Nerd Store!!". Yup, proud parenting moment right there. I don't think the people in the store found it funny...

I wasn't sure if I was going to have time to vote today, but I did manage to sneak it in before lunch. Woohoo. This election has been such a non-event in Georgia, it's a little scary. To those of you living in swing states, you have my deepest sympathies. Three cheers for not having to listen to anymore election commercials after today! You'll never know who I voted for, but I do think Mickey Mouse stands a damn good chance of winning this year :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Shitastic Thursday

So, yesterday was Shitastic Thursday. That's an upgrade over craptastic, in case you were wondering. Nothing truly bad happened, but the summation of many little things added up to a day from hell. It started with me forgetting to pay Stella's preschool tution (certainly not the end of the world, but I'm normally SO GOOD about paying things on time, aughhh!). Real world problems, I know. You might want to stop reading now, because this will most certainly turn into a bitchfest.

Let's continue, shall we? Radiation is a pain in the ass. Literally. Well, not literally a pain IN the ass, but in the boob region. I've really made an effort to suck it up while living in Cancerland, but honestly, I've had enough and I cried 'uncle" yesterday. The skin under my arm hurts. Think ripping off a band-aid, but everytime you move your arm you feel this way. Truly, a fantastic sensation. The good news out of me telling the doctor I've had enough is that she said, well actually, we'll be done radiation to that area on Monday. Yay!!!!! I really was considering not finishing because my skin is that pissed off. So, my final days of radiation will just be to my mastectomy scar... and that area has been holding up beautifully. The countdown has begun, just nine treatments left!

So, here's the highlight of my day from yesterday and it's a doozie (at least in my mind). I will preface all of this by saying that I have not once (EVER) considered myself in the running for MOTY (mother of the year). I had a little time to kill yesterday afternoon (around 12:45ish pm) before I had to pick Stella up from school. The weather was gorgeous, 65, brilliant sun, you get the picture. I took Simon to the park for a little walk before we had to get Stella. I should mention that he had kicked his crock (shoe) off for the 675th time in one hour, so I decided to leave it off. As we were rounding the corner, a lady stopped me and asked if Simon was my first child. I was puzzled, but answered no. She then proceeded to drill me and ask why on earth Simon didn't have on a jacket, gloves, a hat and shoes. EXCUSE ME???? Friends, I was so taken aback that I didn't even have a good comeback. Randomly, the only thing I came up with on the spot was that Simon had lost his shoes and were looking for them. But SERISOULY? It was 65 degrees, are you freaking kidding me??? OMG, I was so irritated, and still am, apparently. I really, really wish I'd had my wits about me because I would have let this woman have it! What a beeyotch! I should have played the cancer card and shouted: I HAVE CANCER! just to make her feel bad. Aughhhhh! Or maybe run her over with the stoller (have a I mentioned that I have a kick ass stroller?) while shouting "Towanda!". A girl can dream, anyway.

All in all, no big deal but wow, right? Who says something like that, ever? Especially when you don't even know the person. That pretty much sums up my love of life yesterday. Rant over, I'm going to steal some of Stella's Halloween candy, surely that will make me feel better :)