Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kindergarten Program

Sabrina's kindergarten program was today, held at the extremely convenient time of 10:00. I mean, everyone is a stay-at-home mom, right? Fortunately, the program was a) during my prep and b) very short, so I could go without too much pain. Hooray!

Basically, the program went like this. Sing a song about September. Sing a song about October, then a couple of Halloween songs. Then a song about November (Sabrina held the sign that said -- you guessed it -- November). Etc. It was adorable and fantastic and sweet, assuming (I'm sure) you had a precious child on the stage. As I did, it was SO DANG CUTE!

Sabrina's rather difficult hair combined with my impatience with doing stuff like hair meant she had a very cute hairdo as long as she did not move, touch her hair, or do any other kindergartener-type stuff. So her side ponytail with another elastic holding the far side in became very uneven pigtails. Oh well. She knew the words to all the songs except the second verse of the Star Spangled Banner, and let's be honest: no one knows any verse other than the first. In fact, if you want to find a spy, you ask them to sing the second and third verses of the national anthem. If they know it, they're a spy.

In other news, I've lost my voice again. Not a great situation for a teacher. I hope it reappears tonight, or I'll be in trouble tomorrow. I'd rather be recovering from surgery!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Random Crap Update

It's been awhile since I last posted, and for a good reason: my computer was in the shop for two weeks. Well, here's the update on the past very busy three weeks!

Just before my surgery, around March 20, we had to put down Sparticus. She had a tumor in her mouth that made it difficult to eat, so she was getting skinny and lethargic. No, we don't always put down people/animals with cancer, fortunately, but her tumor was very aggressive and she was miserable and old. Paul, my cousin the vet, was kind enough to come up to our house for it and then we buried her in our backyard. It's been really hard on Zane. This was the dog that comforted him when he got divorced and lost Spencer, who was always there for him, who loved him unconditionally. RIP, Sparticus.

Then, on Monday the 22nd, I had my surgery. I had my prophylactic mastectomy, an umbilical hernia fixed, and a mole removed. My surgeon called it a "blue plate special."

The first day I was in the hospital, nurses and doctors and interns and etc. kept saying, "I know you're eager to get out of here...." What? Who told you these LIES? I have three kids at home who want nothing more than to climb on my now-tender body. Give me a week here! The place where you practically applaud if I answer "yes" to "have you had gas." Where I order breakfast, lunch, and dinner in bed. Where no one steals my Starburst jellybeans. Yeah, I love this place!

So I stayed two nights.

All removed body parts were cancer free. This is what we expected, but still. It's nice to know.

After recovering for two weeks, I got a haircut. My first since, well, I had hair last! I was looking like a poodle. Now I'm sure I look super chic, but it's hard to not resent the loss off my former luscious locks. Stupid cancer.

I've been back at school for a week now. It was great to get back. It's always nice to get back on a schedule. Now, though, we only have six weeks left of school. I'm making plans for a summer schedule and I'm looking forward to playing with the kids for a few months.

And that's pretty much my last month! I'm sure I'll do better at keeping you updated now that my computer is back!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Put off Procrastination!

I have been soooo productive lately! My MIL came by when I wasn't home and didn't know she was coming (otherwise I would have been prepared) and apparently was not too impressed with my/our housekeeping. Not that she was wrong. But add that to my imminent surgery (6 days and counting!) and I've been...I don't know, nesting?

Saturday Zane was not home, since he was busy getting his D level coaching license. So I spent about three hours cleaning the kitchen. Sadly, this was not the deep clean it needs, but the de-cluttering of flat surfaces that it also needed. Yesterday it was the TV room, since we're getting a new couch and strangers will be bringing it into our now more minimalist room. Today: the king of all junk areas, the back entryway. It collects coats and shoes, of course, but also papers of all types, a thank you plaque from 2011 (!) that I've been after Zane to take to the office for (2014-2011 =...) 3 years, assorted other papers, loose change, scissors, and I don't know what all. But now it's clean! Hooray! I rock!

In other news, Sabrina has been taking skiing lessons. Last time she had a male instructor, and apparently he told her to stop crying and stop falling down. Well, it needed to be said! I guess it worked, too. Today was her last lesson, and she had a different instructor, but I guess she did some really hard terrain. The daycare instructor that takes the kids up said they really pushed her and she really responded. Sabrina was very excited to tell me that she didn't cry at all. But she fell down a lot. One thing at a time, I suppose.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Daylight Saving Time Sucks and Other Adventures in Mommyhood

I've heard, and have no reason to disbelieve, that while the ages of 2 and 3 are pretty good, 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 are not good. Sasha is 3 years, 5 months, and 28 days. Close enough. He's been screaming, hitting, fighting, and, oh yeah, doesn't want to go to bed when it's still light out. Or anytime in the next two hours.

Of course, the next minute he is saying, "Mommy, I love you THIIIIISSSS much" as he stands on tippy toes and stretches his little arms as high as they can reach. It's a good thing he has these moments, or he might be left for the wolves.

On another note, I'd forgotten how much Raiden used to like socks. Today he demanded one as I was doing laundry. "Sock! Sock!" Then he snuggled one for ten minutes. Fortunately, this one was clean. That was not always the case in the past.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I was thinking today about all the blessings I've received related to cancer. This is in no way meant to be a comprehensive list, but here we go.
1. As I've mentioned before, a couple of months before I was diagnosed, Zane asked me to get a job. This I did. The job had benefits.
2. My doctor, without question, recommended surgery before chemo. After surgery it was discovered that my massive tumor was mostly what they call DCIS, which isn't as concerning as the stuff that's out of the ducts. If I'd had chemo first, the tumor wouldn't have shrunk much, which would have been stressful.
3. After my mastectomy and well into my chemo, a new drug called pertuzamab/Perjeta was approved for pre-surgery cancer and metastatic cancer. I don't have either of those, but my insurance company approved it anyway.
4. My doctor's PA said one of her other patients had a huge tumor that, after chemo including Perjeta, had no tumor. She said I was the first person she thought of. If I'd had chemo first, Perjeta may not have been available, since it wasn't approved until November 2013. Surgery first worked out on all levels for me.
5. I've found out how wonderful my ward is. They are so kind, giving, considerate, all sorts of wonderful things.

Not a comprehensive list, but things I've been grateful for lately. Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


When I went to kindergarten, I could read. According to Mom, I was reading in July before kindergarten. That makes me...quick calculation here...5 3/4.

Sabrina could not read the July before kindergarten. That was when she was (no calculation needed here) 5 0/4.

At the end of April, Sabrina will be 5 3/4. Yesterday, she read almost all of Go Dog Go to me. She needed some help and had simply memorized some words, but it's so fun to see her really figuring out the reading thing. She has a little ground to make up because she's so young, but she's going to be fine. Great, even.

Now I need to go and read a book. Maybe Green Eggs and Ham.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Yay! Hodgkin's Lymphoma!

My cousin has Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This is bad news, obviously, but considering what it COULD be, we're all celebrating. That sounds so silly.

In honor of all those I love with cancer (a disturbingly large number), here is some advice for chemo.
1. Have treats. You deserve them.
2. If you want someone with you, let people know and get what you need.
3. If you don't want people with you, remember this cancer is about you. Not them. I wanted Zane home with the kids. I would be gone from home for six hours sometimes, and who were the kids going to be with? Either I'd have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for babysitting, or I'd have to be obligated to someone. I'd rather they bring me dinner.
4. Take stuff to do that you really want to do. TV shows on DVD, movies, books, whatever. You will be there a while, so don't just plan on playing on your phone.
5. Take your phone charger.
6. Take anti-nausea meds as soon as you get home, or earlier. There's no prize for getting sick or holding off.
7. Anti-nausea meds cause constipation. Take Miralax or Senna or something else. You have been warned.
8. If your anti-nausea meds don't work, THERE ARE OTHERS. GET THEM.
9. Ativan is great.
10. Enjoy the quiet time you have in the infusion room, or the time to visit with people you love. Other than the fact that you're getting chemo, it's great!