Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tales of a tardy 15 year old.

Yesterday, as I promised, I implemented operation "embarrass teenage son into compliancy." My son has had issues with tardies since the beginning of the school year resulting in discussion after discussion and grounding after grounding. "What, pray tell, are you doing before 1st period that is preventing you from getting there in time." I asked. "Uhhhhh.. talking?" he answered. ARGH!! Instead of walking off the bus and going to class, Kris walks off the bus and goes down to the school cafeteria, buys himself a chocolate milk and converses with his friends and is unable to discipline himself enough to say "I must get to class." To say that Kris has little impulse control is the understatement of the year but with all my years of Psychology, I really have no solution other than the system of consequences and finding the right combination of them. After his last bout with tardies which resulted in three days of detention my son tried to tell me was extra help in Math and that's why he stayed after school, I warned him next time his mommy would walk him to class. Kris laughed it off. Nah! Mom won't do that. She loves sleep too much. Maybe so but when I say something, I generally mean it. So Tuesday night I told Kris I would be getting up at 5:30 am to escort him to his first period class. He chuckled, "I'll just make sure I'm out early." "Not if I get up before you, son." "You're not going to do that." he said. Ha! Well watch me. Stubborness runs deep in my family. I have it. My brother has it. My dad is loaded with it. And, it has been passed to all three children in spades. I set my alarm for 5:30, started the coffee and was in the bathroom getting ready when Kris shuffled up the stairs to take his shower. He saw me there and the crestfallen look on his face was priceless. As we turned into his school, he directed me to park around the back, he was going to take me in the back way. Fine, I said, I promised that anyone who asked me was going to get the full story on just why I was there. As we entered the back way, there was a security check point. I introduced my son and kept my promise by explaining. Some students snickered. Kris turned red. But, I was not allowed to pass through. One of the security people escorted me to the upstairs checkpoint. GOOD! I thought, we walked right through the main stairway and through the main hallway and Kris saw some of his friends. GOOD! I spoke to the main checkpoint and she suggested I see the Dean to obtain special permission. I asked the security person to usher my child to class which she did and I had a nice conversation with the Dean who gave me permission to escort my son this morning. Operation successful today. As I dropped Kris off to his English class, I told him the next time he's late, I will obtain a seat in the back of the class and learn Farenheit 451 right along with him and escort him to second period too. I mean business this time, I said as loud as I could so that all the other kids could hear. The check point person asked if she would be seeing me tomorrow. I hope not. I hope I got my point across. It is now up to Kris. Generally, he was a very good sport and when he entered his classroom he told his teacher, "I've been escorted."

Yesterday's Dr. Appt was nothing big, more bloodwork. BP is good. Counts are good. I"m not surprised as I'm on the placebo but my Oncologist assured me not to worry and to enjoy the break. Sometimes I wish they would just go in, take the nodules out and if and when they grow back, maybe there will be a cure??? Probably not but it looks like there is some promising research in the works. John Kanzius' seems to be the most hopeful and could be a blockbuster if it works as designed. He developed a machine that uses nanoparticle technology. Nanoparticles are injected in the blood stream, taken up by the tumors which have larger, leakier blood vessels than normal tissue, and his machine cooks the nanoparticles, destroying the tumors from the inside out, with radio waves. MD Anderson is leading the way in development and hopes to bring this technology to trials in 2010 after they cure about 10K rats of various cancers.

Cassie had a band concert last night at one of the local high schools in a concert called the "Annual Band Exchange." It's generally a promo for entering freshman. It's purpose is to generate interest in pursuing the band program and the high school put forth their best band so the kids could hear how they may sound after 4 years. Cassie's band played with another 8th grade band in the district and the evening was capped off with the uber band from the high school. After the concert was over, she asked which band was my favorite. "Yours of course" I said "And you played so well that you were the whole band!" Cassie gave an annoyed look and said "A band is made up of all the players and you were supposed to say we all did a good job!" I just can't get it right, can I?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A nice way to start the day,..

A phone call from my son's school informing me that my son earned a Saturday detention for his 20th tardy since the new Semester started. *SIGH* I have spoken with him, grounded him, hounded him and called his counselor imploring that my son speak to someone at school to give him a good reality check. I also promised him that the next time I received this information that I would be getting up at 5am to walk him to class personally. I think it's time to implement this and tomorrow morning, I will drive my son to school and walk him to class so that everyone can see my 16 year old son walked to class by his mommy. He may hate me for life but I'm willing to take that chance. Parenting is not easy. Even if we have the greatest of intentions, even if we go out of our way to be fair, even if we read every single book on the subject, heed the advice of the majority of psychologists, give the children every conceivable advantage we possibly can, children can stray. Despite all my efforts, they have perceived me as too strict, unfair, and out of touch. Yesterday my daughter insisted that I don't know a thing about her and proceeded to quiz me.
1) How do I intend to do my hair at graduation?
2) What is my nickname, the one that my friends call me at school?
3) What is my favorite band? (Today's favorite band, not yesterdays)
4) WHat is my least favorite color?
5) HOw am going to do my hair for the 8th grade dance? Will I wear eyeliner or not?
6) What are the 4 things I'm most afraid of? I answered storms. She said ok um, the 5 things I'm most afraid of then? (She forgot about that storm one)
7) Which is my favorite cat? When I answered Molly, she said Molly was her favorite cat YESTERDAY.
These things are what Cassie considers to be "Important."

Tommorrow, I will travel downtown for the usual trial bloodwork and vitals. It takes me two hours to get there, two hours to get home again and the whole process lasts 15minutes. It will cost me 4 gallons of gas, 10 dollars in parking, half a day of work and I'm on the placebo. Physically, I feel wonderful. My energy level is great. I have good color. I'm sleeping fine. I"m not in any pain. My appetite is good and I have no complaints. I was a bit worn down last night but I attribute that to 16 hours on my feet doing my retail job and a few nights that I went to bed later than I would have liked. I am slowly realizing that I am not young anymore. As a young person, 3am was going to bed early. As an old person, 11pm is getting late. I am barely making the midnight toast on New Years Eve. I can't drink more than one alcoholic beverage in an evening without feeling light headed and as an out of shape office worker, I can probably benefit by taking a walk each day. My bottom is starting to become chair shaped and keeping weight off is getting harder. The next scan will be in two weeks. I am hoping that these few weeks off the drug did not cause significant progress. I am hoping very much that my diet has helped keep things at bay.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Small pleasures

I've written a couple blog posts on those little irritations. Life can nickel and dime us and the little irritations can seem huge. We all have been stuck at every red light possible when late for an appointment, gotten stuck behind a price check in the long lines at Wal-Mart, tripped over cracks in the sidewalk, gotten a flat tire, had 6 appliances all break at the same time and misplaced keys or a cell phone. I decided today, I'm going to be positive :) in a week that has been irritating as I still am without a working oven and I lost two days at work due to a broken laptop and am now weeding through 1000 emails and finishing all my work because apparently the back up that was supposed to be assigned, wasn't. But I'm still smiling...see me smiling! (OK it's a little forced)

1) Coffee - My morning cup is my FAVORITE time of the day. It doesn't jive with the anti-cancer diet I am following but I don't care. I get psychological pleasure from coffee and that is good for the whole organism.

2) A HOT HOT shower - There is nothing better after a long day. As I am redoing my bathroom this year, I want a massager shower head for my back.

3) One or two days with a positive balance in my checking account. - Those days are getting fewer and fewer. I will be sure to enjoy not paying an overdraft fee on any given week.

4) My cats - I love the little annoying critters. I have 3 cats, Tasha, Molly and Cami. All have different personalities and I can't imagine the house without them. Tasha has been one of my best friends since I found her as a 6 week old kitten.

5) Air conditioning - I've been living in this house for almost 6 years. 5 of those years, I dealt with an Air conditioner that had a huge freon leak that no repair person could find. At the beginning of every season, I would spend the first hot days in a house that was 98 degrees until the repair person could re-freon the darn thing. I got a new AC last year after the old one finally died for good and am looking forward to the first year here without a call into Tradewinds HVAC.

6) Cheese - Not the Kraft stuff but the genuinely fresh cheese I buy straight from the dairy every year at our Summer home. It is the best! I buy enough to last at least 4 or 5 months. Google Lynn Dairy. They deliver and their cheese is just wonderful. American Cheese slices are NOT cheese.

7) Beer - Again, not Bud or Miller but good microbrew beer. I am a big fan of Ambers and brown ales. New Glarus, Bells, Capital Brewery and Rougue are a few of my favorite little breweries. Sand Creek/Pioneer in Black River Falls, WIs has a wonderful Bock.

8) A fire pit - NOthing like sitting around the fire pit during the summers with an adult beverage and a few friends.

9) My bowling league - I've been bowling on this league since 2000. I started showing some improvement (I am a terrible bowler) and then went through surgery and lost one of my quads. Now that I have to bowl from the foul line, I've regressed backwards and was wondering if I should even put the darn thing on this list especially since there are days I bowl a whopping 88 but it's social. I've been bowling with the same ladies for 9 years and it's a night out. It used to be my sin night. Now, I have a beer and behave but it's still fun and my teammies are my friends. I wouldn't trade the experience at all, even after being elected League secretary and dealing with all the fun frustration of using a program designed for Windows 95 and XP on my Vista machine. Yay Me!

10) My glass hobby - I collect elegant glass and Depression glass from the 20'3-30's and 40's. I love the shows. I love blowing 200 bux on something I don't need. I can probably pay off my second mortgage if I sold what is in my china cabinet but to me it's priceless and has resulted in fun and new friends and some gorgeous examples of American industry.

11) Our Summer home - No phones, no computers, no TV, not a single luxury but that's exactly what is needed. Too much media causes stress. It's fun living in blissful ignorance while dealing with sand and bugs in the middle of the deep woods of Wisconsin. God's country, truly.

12) Sweatpants - Nothing needs to be said here.

13) BBQ'in

14) Petunia's - They are the only flower I can't kill.

15) 70 degrees, sunny and no humidity!

16) NO TRAFFIC ON THE HIGHWAY - Yes, it's about 2am when that happens but hey, we take what we can get.

17) Music - Keep in mind nothing is ranked in order. Music is good for the soul and healing. I'll go so far as to say it brings me closer to God. I am considering joining the church choir.

18) Theater - I'm a big fan of musicals. Evita remains my absolute favorite of all time. Jesus Christ Superstar, Ragtime, Les Miz and Miss Saigon also rank up there. Skip Rent and Phantom of the Opera.

19) Fresh watermelon, cantaloupe and ripe mango. YUM!

20) Christmas - What is not to like? (Barring the fact that it takes me months to pay it off)

I can go on. Yes, I could put the kids on the list but they are not SMALL and SIMPLE pleasures. They are COMPLICATED pleasures. I am trying to figure out Cassie's teenage moods, Kris's lack of motivation and what the heck Emily is thinking! Em's is off at her dads for a couple days and I'm relishing the peace and quiet. The P&Q will ultimately get on my nerves and I'll be waiting for her to come home tomorrow night. She has taken to her overnight visits very well. I'm glad. I will be dropping off her Kindegarten registration officially later today. My little baby will be going to school!! I can't believe it. As she has ADHD, I have already spoken with her school Psychologist and she will be evaluated in the first 2 weeks or so. Emily may need a smaller classroom with more individual attention. She has sensory issues and when there is too much stimuli, things get sticky for her and she melts down. We shall see. THere is nothing wrong with the childs brain and there are a few words she can read. I never taught her so I have no idea how she figured it out. That child will go far if I can just curb her energy into good.

Enjoy your weekends! I will be working at big box mart the entire weekend but am looking forward to my upcoming Saturday off.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rites of Passage

This year is a year of watersheds for my oldest kids. When they were first born, they seemed to grow into precocious toddlers quickly, new shoes, new outfits, solid food, first words, and first teeth all within one year. I filled baby books with updates practically every day. Time seemed to slow from Kindegarten to third grade. Other than adding a little sass, there were fewer and fewer firsts. This year, my oldest girl will be graduating from the 8th grade, her body transitioned from child to young woman. Kris's voice is now deeper. He is suddenly taller than I am and his feet grew from 10 to 13 in a year. Yesterday my oldest boy signed up for drivers ed and started looking for a job! EEEEEEEEEE. It just wasn't that long ago that he was 6lbs 15 oz, 19 and 3/4 inches long and slept his days away. I remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. My child will be turning 16 in a month, will drive a car, and will be asking "Do you want fries with that?" Where did the time go? I used to read "Mike Mulligan and his Steamshovel" to him. Yesterday, we had our first discussion about budgets, bank accounts, and the responsibilities of employment. Me? Well, I'm in denial. I DO NOT have gray hairs in my head. (Now that I tweezed them out of course :) ) I DID NOT start gaining a little girth around the middle. I DO NOT have wrinkles forming. Though their physical growth is once again in full force, their bodies have far surpassed the growth of their minds. Teens are still black and white thinkers, they are jaunt rocks not yet softened by friction and I am conscious of the fact that what will shape their minds will be less and less influenced by me and more and more influenced by whatever life holds for them. I can only hope that I get to see with my own eyes what the final creation will be.

Monday, April 20, 2009

In Just Spring...

"when the world is mudpuddle wonderful" writes EE Cummings. How about snow fall depressing? After one glorious, beautiful, day on Saturday, we are now expecting snow. I worked in the lawn and garden center on Saturday and sold much mulch and fresh flowers. I am hoping that my customers are waiting to plant them.

I am now going on 2 weeks on the placebo, experiencing no side effects whatsoever from the pills I am taking. Sometimes, I wonder what's the use? Why am I bothering to take 30 seconds out of my day to take these pills when I know they are doing nothing? Answer. Because this is what I signed on for and knew that this was a possibility when I signed the study papers. I try never to use the words "I promise" unless I truly intend to keep the promise. So, I am trying to make the most of this and am beefing up my nutrition. It's not easy living each day knowing that there are tumors there and it's not easy knowing that I am on suspended treatment. The What If's cloud my brain. What if more show up? What if the biggest gets too big? Sometimes, I feel such fear and I self talk to bring myself down to Earth. Despite the fact that these nodules showed up two years ago, I'm still here. It took the largest nodule over two years to grow 1cm. I'm in the same place I was in October, maybe even better off than I was 6 months ago. I feel absolutely fantastic! Since being off the Brivanib, I have enjoyed a return of ENERGY! Since I felt fine on the pills, I was not conscious of the fact that I was starting to feel more fatigue as time went on. I also JUST realized that I experienced very slight shortness of breath. Sometimes, it felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I don't have those feelings anymore. So, while I wait to see what the next scan will bring, I am going to enjoy the lack of side effects and explore some interesting recipes that jive with my anti-cancer diet. I found a great website for whole grain salad recipes and have increased the variety of veggies I eat. I did find it hard to resist the chocolate temptation of Easter and decided that for one day I wasn't going to try. YUM to Cadbury Caramel eggs! Cancer patients must find something to enjoy every day, we are after all, living.

My daughter will be graduating from the 8th grade this year and she has been talking about this graduation since she moved from the 6th grade class to the 7th grade. When I was a child, we had a 6th grade "graduation." She had a "Rite of passage" ceremony at school with a little pomp and circumstance. Since then, she has been planning and dreaming about this next step, dressing in a graduation gown, walking across the stage, receiving her diploma and getting a little applause for all her hard work from her adoring family. More important than the ceremony is the annual 8th grade dance. Her entire social world has revolved around preparations for this event since January. She has been on websites researching dresses, hair styles, shoes, and accessories and has been bugging me daily to take her for her new dress. Finally, this past Friday, I took her to the Mall armed with my credit cards, to spend glorious money I do not have, to make sure she moves from the 8th grade to the 9th grade in STYLE! I am not a shopper. I'm one of 3 women in the US who would rather shovel manure than go to a mall. I hate it that much but I'm lucky I have a child who knows her own mind. As she had a gift card for Penny's, we started there. Penny's is great for small children and adults but they got a big F from Cassie in appealing to teenagers sense of style. She crinkled her nose at EVERY dress in the place and was so upset, that she called a friend to complain. When she got off the phone, she told me her friends got their dresses at DEB. When I suggested we go there then, I ate her dust all the way out the door. I shopped at DEB when I was her age and I have to admit, the dresses there were very cute. I tried not to be mindful of the fact that I probably would not be able to fit one leg into the largest dress. They get an F for matronly styles for women who had three kids and are dealing with middle age spread. It took her all of 10 minutes to choose 5 dresses off the racks she kind of liked and tried them all on, one blue, one purple, one orange and two yellow, all spaghetti strapped, slightly below the knee with full skirts and a slightly plunging neckline but they were all tasteful and Cassie is such a wisp of a thing, everything fits her. It came down to purple and one of the yellow dresses. Cassie has a darker complexion and big hazel eyes. Though the style looked good on her, she looked jaundiced in it. Ultimately, she chose the purple dress and could hardly contain her excitement. I bought her a necklace and matching earrings and some silver open toed shoes. Now she's heckling me for styling mousse and a strapless bra. The dance is a month away. The graduation ceremony is 6 weeks away but we must have this all NOW NOW NOW. (Side note: Her graduation party will be Sat, June 6. Save the date. The more the merrier, just tell me you are coming.)
Her dress is posted on her Facebook page if anyone on my Facebook is really interested in seeing it. It was supposed to be this big huge secret because she is trying to outdo her friend and did not want her friend to see the dress. All of this was not for a cute 14 year old boy. This was all to show up her friend Angela. Go figure!

My stove is broken. I am just beside myself here trying to figure out where the money is going to come from for a new one. Provided the burners work and I am able to cook food on the stove top and I do have a crock pot, it's still difficult to try and find different recipes that don't involve actually roasting and baking. It's one thing to pull the credit card out for 150 bux. It's another for a thousand dollar committment when I am so tapped already. I keep wondering how in the world I started getting behind and so I looked over my monthly bills.
1) 20 dollars more a month for electricity.
2) Increased local sales tax rate to 10.25%!!
3) Increased property tax rate despite the housing crunch. My property taxes have gone up 600 dollars this past year.
4) 40 dollars more monthly for natural gas
5) Cancer treatment: $10 for parking. More for gas. More out of pocket cost as I have high deductible insurance. I, of course, chose this as opposed to the cheaper plan. The cheaper plan didn't work for me. I hate HMO's!! A terribly conceived idea brought compliments of the government. This on top of glasses for Cassie, school physicals, ADHD treatment for Emily in the form of meds, behavioral therapists and psychiatric monitoring.
6) Increased fees for the kids education, It will cost me close to $1000 in fees for both my children in high school this year between band uniform rental, band trips, food, gym clothes, school lunches, supplies, consumables and other misc things that come up. Emily is entering the fray so there will be consumables for her too plus field trips, parties, etc. etc.
7) State Income tax for my bracket will be doubled in 2010.
8) 5 dollar increase in the cost of garbage pick up monthly.
9) My grocery bill as food prices go up.
10) My frustration level as it is becoming more and more and more difficult to shave off the budget and then watch my checking account go into overdraft every friggen month.

What stayed the same? My salary

What decreased?
Child support as my ex lost his job.
My bonus.
My hours at Big Box Mart.
My personal savings.
My equity
My sanity

Where is there to go for financial help? Does anyone know?

Monday, April 13, 2009

What a difference a day makes

At least weatherwise.

I live in the Chicago area where we joke that if you don't like the weather to just wait 15 minutes and it will change. Yesterday, was beautiful! It was sunny and warm and bright and fitting for one of the most important days in the Christian faith. Today, it was cold, rainy, snowy and miserable. No, that wasn't a typo. It was both rainy and snowy. Only here..

Our Easter was very very nice. The kids and I went to church. The choir sounded great! The band played on. The priest was lively and the whole church smelled like lilies and hyacinth. Afterwards, we went to my sisters for dinner. It is nice not to have to cook and our traditional Easter meal, roast lamb, is really the only meat that I have eaten all year. I savored every bit of it. I am a vegetarian for health purposes but truth be told, if I ever acheive a 100% remission, I'm celebrating with a huge, greasy cheeseburger and fries. Maybe I'll even throw in a vanilla milkshake. Of all the ice cream flavors I could have chosen, natural vanilla is one of my favorites. Most of my choices are simple and unadorned. I don't know if I could ever get used to opulence and luxury. I chose a simple house. I drive a simple car with no frills except the A/C. I decorate very classically. I dress in jeans and tees that bear no special label. I have never owned a pair of Guess jeans or Calvin Klein and I would never blow 300 plus on a Gucci bag.

Miss Emily turned 5 yesterday. She was born the day after Easter 2004 and was a bright spot in a month that needed a few bright spots. My mothers birthday was APril 7. My mom passed away April 17, 1985. My grandfather passed away April 29, 2003. For my grandmother, April brought back many bad memories. Now, we have something to celebrate in Emily. From the tiny little thing that she was, to this very cute and precocious little girl, the transformation is amazing. This birthday also signified a big step for her. From now on, she will be spending every other weekend with her father, overnight. Her first overnight was Saturday and as I knew it was coming, I was prepared to miss her a little but not be worried. She did well but was quite angry with me that I wasn't home when she called to check in. I took the opportunity to get her bunny gifts and birthday gift. I bought her a TV/DVD for her room. Emily has slept in my room since birth. Last year, I figured it was time to move her into her own space therefore, I made it a priority to finish both Cassie's new room and Emily's. Much to my dismay, Emily refused to sleep in her room even though we bribed her with princess sheets! I have been preparing her for the past few months for the transition and had been telling her every day that at 5 years old, it was time to cut an apron string and start sleeping in her own room. Her behavioral therapist and I both thought the TV would help her. Since Emily's hero these days is Spongebob Squarepants, putting in a SB DVD helped IMMENSELY. Now, she's excited that she can watch on her OWN TV and spent her first night in her room last night. This is a big step for her and for me. Though I feel a little guilty, it has become apparent to me that I need my own space, a sanctuary. Emily needs her own room too and I hope she will come to appreciate it as time goes by. She was quite excited. On another note, it was darn near impossible to find a plain old TV that wasn't High Def and expensive. Thank GOd for Wal-Mart! They had a cute pink basic television with a matching DVD player that was perfect for her.

It's day 5 on the poser pills that are supposed to be Brivanib. They don't fool me. Sometimes, I swear they even taste like Smarties. I battoned down the hatches on the nutrition and decided that I'll do some cleansing juices and add a few more items to the diet to kick cancer butt during these next 6 weeks. It certainly couldn't hurt.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I would just like...

to wish all of you a very Happy Easter.
For my cancer friends, I know it's difficult to celebrate at such a time as this. We wonder why and why me and sometimes get caught in the absolute injustice of it all. Our priest today mentioned that these difficult times, all part of the human experience, are a different kind of Ressurection. He reminded us that in this time of worry, stress and hardship, to look around and realize that there is community and people that walk with you and that are there for you. Maybe these people are those you never expected. Whether they be there on a blog, on Facebook, in person, through e-mail or through your various activities, they are all there for a reason. May one of these new faces be the wing beneath your wings.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Today has been one of those feel sorry for myself days. Though I try not to spend too much time engaging in self pity, every now and then I fail. Yesterdays results indicated that the Brivanib was doing exactly what it is supposed to do, slowing or stopping the growth of the tumors. Nevertheless, I felt some disappointment. I didn't want to hear that the tumors were stable. I wanted to hear that they were shrinking or better yet, that they are gone! I'm exactly in the same place that I was 6 months ago. After my surgery in 2006, I had a feeling that even though the tumor in my thigh was gone, the war wasn't over and with each passing Dr. appt, with each MRI and with each CT scan, I knew it never really would be. I knew that my life as I knew it was over and it was forever changed from here on out. I would never again be able to say "Next year" or "Next Christmas" without wondering if I was thinking too far ahead. I wondered if I should take a 5 year car loan, fix up the house, keep socking money in my IRA or plan a vacation to Disney when Emily is older. I still wonder those things. So here I am almost 3 years later, still fighting Sarcoma which took a short jaunt from my thigh to my lungs. I changed my diet. I changed my lifestyle. Perhaps those things have helped keep me stable but what is going to send me finally 100% in remission? Will I always be dealing with this day in day out, year after year after year? I feel at times as if I'm living with a loaded gun pointed at my head every day and I'm playing some celestial version of Russian Roulette. To make matters worse, I am 99.9% sure that I got the placebo. I'm being a good sport and taking my poser pills but I'm less than thrilled that after making the little progress that I did, I risk taking steps backward for the next 6 weeks. For the first time in a long time, I felt scared. I have been researching graduate programs. Provided, I am only looking into some programs at this point. I have not signed on the dotted line. I worry that if I start going for my Masters degree, that I will not be able to finish. I wonder if I'll ever work my way through this wonderful mound of debt I've incurred and be able to quit the second job and start enjoying my weekends again. Overall, my frustration level is high. But, I continue on and try to make the life I have right now, chock full of problems as it is, as enjoyable as possible. I am hoping that one day, medical science will find the magic bullet for cancer and I can sit as an 80 year old woman and talk to my great grandchildren about that time in the way distant past, when cancer was not curable, when we hoped for "Progression free survival".

Tomorrow will be another day. I AM going to wake up without the veil of self pity floating over my head and make the most of it. But I am praying for the day when I can celebrate a REMISSION... but in the meantime, I'll take the STABILITY.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Update week 12

I'm stable. All the nodules are the same size except one stubborn bas----d that grew 1mm or 2. I have to admit that that bothered me and took away from relatively good news but I was told that the size differences of a mm or two could be due to differences in breathing and all in all, the drug is doing what it's supposed to do.
Unfortunately, I believe that I got the placebo for this next six weeks. I don't feel any of the light headedness or instant fatigue. BUMMER!! But, I'm a team player and I'll take the poser pills and hope that these stupid tumors behave.

The 12th week is a reassessment week. Not only did I get scan results today, I had to go through the complete battery of tests I took before the study started, the echo-cardiogram, blood sucking vampires take their usual 5 vials of blood, pee in a cup, blood pressure, heart rate and temp and I ended the day in Infusion therapy for another blood draw. I did get to hang out at Gilda's in between tests and appt.I waited 90 minutes in the waiting room to get the results and talking to my new Sarcoma friend who I am anxiously awaiting to hear some news regarding his scan results on this drug.

Life otherwise has been typical. The kids have been themselves. Cassie brought home her usual great grades. Kris is doing better but still has a far way to go. Emily lost her first tooth. The tooth fairy gave her 5 bux for this first tooth and she and I went to the Walmart and she picked out a Spongebob Squarepants coloring book and a box of 64 crayons. She was soooo excited.

I apologize for the lack luster, uninspired entry. I am just dog tired. Anticipating that I would be at the Dr. today, I was up quite late the past few days working after a long long weekend at big box store.