Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Grinch...

Why do I feel like the Grinch handing out candy tonight??? 
  • Maybe its because I see my reflection in the door every time I open it & it makes me mad?  Makes me mad because a year ago I was fit & happy & dressed in a SuperWoman costume.  This year I'm bald, fat & dressed in sweats sitting on the couch.  I wonder if holidays will be like this for a while - reflecting on the shape I was in & what I was doing a year ago.  I suppose its natural to mourn the fit & trim person I was but rather than doing that I am pushing myself to focus on all the lessons I've learned and opportunities I've had in the last year.  Sometimes its not that easy though.
  • Maybe its because some kids come all the way into the house & want to reach into the candy bucket themselves instead of letting me hand it to them?  Those kids by the way get told off & I give them 1 piece instead of the 4 or 5 I give the polite patient kids.
  • Maybe its because some kids inspect what you give them critically & don't even say thank you - let alone Trick or Treat?  And others tell you they don't want Butterfingers, only Skittles or whatever.  Its not Burger King people!!
  • Maybe its because I'm not feeling the Halloween spirit this year like I have the past few years?

Kind of makes me sad - I certainly hope my children aren't behaving like that out there.  And as soon as I get sad & irritated at humanity, there comes a little posse of sweet girls dressed up like princesses who say We love your pumpkins & thank you ma'am.  Sort of restores my faith in parents & humanity.

So our goblins are trick or treating with their friends across the street - Kendall & Jessie are out there with them.  Its chilly here tonight - Eri opted for the warmer "monkey" costume which meant that Kendall & I got out of wearing our coordinating costumes (the plan was for her to be Thing 1, Kendall to be Thing 2 & me to be Cat in the Hat).  Maybe next year.

We had dinner at our neighbor's house before they headed out - which was a treat. They are moving soon which makes me really sad, even though its only a couple miles away. I don't know what Eri will do when she can't run across the street to play with Matt anymore.  They adore each other.


Last night was pumpkin carving night.  I screwed up & forgot to buy pumpkin carving tools so the quality of our work this year was vastly inferior to last year's but we still had a lot of fun doing it together.  Have to remember to get some pumpkin tools this year & put them away with the Halloween decs!  Its one of my favorite things to do. 

Its been a while since I've written so you're probably wondering what else we have been up to.  This past weekend EB & I completed the classroom & confined water (pool) portions of our scuba training in preparation for Curacao.  EB did great - she freaked out one time & it was pretty minor.  It was much more physically taxing than I remembered (of course I was 12 the first time I got certified).  We were in the pool for 5 1/2 hours on Saturday & 3 1/2 hours on Sunday.  Kendall & Eri went to the Titans-Colts game on Sunday while we were diving.  They had a blast!

I've continued to exercise - doing spin class & pilates - about 3 spin classes a week & 2 pilates classes a week.  I feel good, except my muscles are sore all the time & I still get pretty tired at night. Fat foot/leg continues to swell up & I continue to ignore it.  My right shoulder has been extremely painful (I had an old injury to it several years ago).  I've been putting off going to the doctor about it figuring it would get better, but its been 3 weeks now & despite constant dosage of Aleve & a hell of a lot of tylenol its not improving...  Bummer - I guess I am going to have to get it seen to.

And, on the subject all of you are probably tired of hearing about, I have no willpower right now to control my eating.  I trust that will return in time.  One day at a time is how I'm trying to look at it & my nutritionists have been very supportive & patient.  I asked Lisa earlier this week if it was possible I've lost my willpower forever.  She made a great point (as usual) that subconciously I probably feel like I need to treat myself right now.  When I step back, it just seems so incredibly unfair that I actually GAINED weight during chemo.  Like there aren't enough other things to deal with post-cancer and post-chemo, why do I have to endure losing weight again???  I know, pity party right.  It is what it is & I will deal with it in time.  Once again, that whole concept of being patient with myself - easy to plan, easy to say, nearly impossible to do.

My hair is growing like crazy.  My eyebrows especially - had to get them waxed a couple weeks ago & they are all furry again. My eyelashes are back.  The hair on my head is about a 1/4" long & very light in color it seems.  Can't tell yet if that is blonde, brown or grey.  Its soft & fuzzy though - and everybody likes to feel it which cracks me up.  I stopped wearing the scarves, even to work, after the Colorado trip.  That I'm aware of, people haven't really reacted much - which is good.  And I'm much more comfortable without them.

We don't have any plans the rest of this week or this weekend which will be wonderful.  We haven't had a family weekend without plans for several weeks!  So it will be a treat.  Next weekend Kendall & I are going to Jacksonville together & the weekend after that our dear friend Rita is visiting from upstate NY.  Then we head to Palm Beach for Thanksgiving.  Time flies.  I'm traveling for work most of next week - back to the Keys.  I know, rough job.

I hope everyone enjoys a fabulous Halloween.  Welcome to November!!
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Back in action!

Seems like an understatement at this point.  I came roaring back from Colorado & haven't sat down since.  And it feels so good - even though my muscles and joints ache, it truly does feel so good to be active!!

Yesterday evening I went to spin class.  Yes, you read that correctly - spin class.  I didn't make the entire class but I did make 42 minutes & burned 400 calories.  I didn't have the resistance as high as some of the others did I'm sure & I skipped stuff like jumps, but I DID IT!  Wow, talk about a victorious feeling.  Six weeks & 3 days after my last chemo treatment. 40 weeks & 3 days after my surgery.

Today I took the day off with the kiddos since it was the last day of their fall break.  It doesn't feel like fall much here - it was in the 80s today.  Our plan was to load up our 3 bikes & go on the Shelby Bottoms Greenway.  Murphy was alive & well - my bike had 2 flat tires - not the kind that can be fixed by pumping them up either.  So, undaunted, we headed to the Greenway with 2 bikes.  We spent some time trying to get Eri to ride without training wheels - to no avail.  I tried to borrow one of the Green Bikes they have at various spots around Nashville but they were all in use.  So, again, undaunted, EB & Eri headed off on the Greenway on their bikes & I walked. 

I missed being with them but it was such a glorious day, I shrugged it off.  When we finished the bike/walk, we played on the playground for a bit then went to The Pharmacy for lunch.  Followed that with some shopping, came home for a  bit & then EB & I went to Pilates.  Yes, you read that correctly too - Pilates.  Our first time ever - I have to say it was relaxing & enjoyable but difficult.  I will be sore tomorrow but thats a good thing!  My fat leg & messed up knee added to the challenge but I still made it thru the whole 60 minute class.  Pretty proud of that.

I made the world's worst mongolian beef in the crock pot for dinner.  The only person who would even eat it was Kendall - the rest of us kind of cobbled together a dinner of ham & cheese & leftovers.  Epic FAIL on the cooking front - must be out of practice.

Tomorrow is back to the routine - work for us, school for the kids. I'm nearly done with my scrapbook from Colorado so I will post that soon here for you to check out.  Meantime I'm going to try to keep working out & eating healthy & enjoying life!!

And yes, I know I need to take it easy & not overdo it.  I promise all of you I will do my best!!!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Super Quick

I know you all want DETAILS on the Colorado trip - I'm rushed today so just a quick note to say it was AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, AWESOME, etc.  There will be tons more details & lots of pictures, including a scrapbook, for me to share soon.  For now, here are a couple photos.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Normal" life

Have to admit, I think I forgot how wonderful normal life is.  Doing the things everybody else does, not planning my life around when is the next chemo or avoiding activity because my counts are so low.  Pretty cool!

I'm in Las Vegas this week for a builder meeting I go to every year.  This afternoon was spa or golf.  No brainer choice there although I do have to admit that the 85 degrees & sunshine kind of made me want to go ride the cart around the course.  We are staying at Aria - if you haven't stayed here, I would recommend it. Brand new, high tech, good food, awesome beds, cool views.

I am one high rolling gambler.  I wagered $20 on slots yesterday - when I got up to $41.25 I cashed out.  I know, big risk taker right.  But I'm happy with my >200% return!

Tomorrow I head to Denver to meet Lisa & Lorraine for our 3 1/2 day "Cancer Free Colorado Celebration".  Pretty excited about doing nothing special, sightseeing, touring, shopping, and laughing with 2 of the greatest friends a girl could have.  Our wonderful friend Angie made this logo to commemorate our trip - it makes me smile to look at it.

Lets see, what else to report.  I have eyebrows!  In fact when I get home I need to get them waxed -they are growing a little crazy.  And I have itty bitty eyelashes.  Julie gave me the tip that the Maybelline mascara in the yellow tube will stick to itty bitty eyelashes - and guess what it does.  Awesome.  My hair is growing too - although its really fair & you can't see it, you can certainly feel it.  I'm still wearing scarves but I tell you I am about over that - very soon I will ditch them for good.  I feel wonderful.  My energy level is returning & aside from the weight I gained, I really don't have any lingering side effects from the chemo.

I do still have the constant cancer reminder of "fat foot" - my left leg still swells considerably - not just the foot but the whole leg.  I'm continuing to ignore it.  I've been walking quite a bit - up to about 2 miles I think.  I get pretty sore from my new activity level but I've been getting massages often which makes an amazing difference.  When I get home from this trip, I will be returning to the gym.  I'm thinking about doing pilates & maybe starting back to spin class.  And maybe in a month or so starting back with my trainer.

About the only "not good" news I have to report is my weight and eating.  I was back on track, did very well for a week but didn't lose any weight so I got kind of discouraged.  I'm considering this weekend a celebration and will be back on the wagon on Monday.  Clearly my body is still pretty mixed up so its going to be a long haul losing the chemo weight.  But I will do it!!

Kendall's a champ at home this week with the girls by himself.  Last night I was reflecting on how incredibly lucky I am.  Take out the whole cancer & having a new lease on life part.  I have the most amazing husband; as a little girl I dreamed about having a loving relationship with a wonderful man - and Kendall exceeds any of those dreams.  I have 2 wonderful kids - Emilia was recognized at school today for being on Heads List - no grade below a 90 & an average above 95 in the first quarter.  I have a great job where I work with and for some pretty incredible, caring people and have more fun that should be allowed.  I have a super family - my brother & his family, dad, step mom are all awesome.  And I have the world's best friends; I've always enjoyed reading books about grown women and their friendships - now I feel like I could write one. 

So when people look at me in public with that sympathy look (the "You poor thing, you have cancer & no hair" look), I want to shout to the mountaintops - "NO NOT POOR ME.  LUCKY ME"
So there - sympathy lookers.  Stuff it.  (-:  I'm luckier and happier than I've ever been in my life.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Fun Few Days....

Its fall in Tennessee!  Love the cooler weather - anytime I can wear a sweatshirt its a good thing.  I can tell my blood counts are improving slowly & each week that goes by I get stronger.

This week I got to go to the Keys for work.  I know its a tough job but somebody has to do it.  This picture on Wednesday morning made me so thankful for everything - to get to witness sunrises like this is something I used to take for granted.  Not anymore.  Now sites likes this make me thankful to be alive.  Thankful for the people who have helped me survive the last 9 months.  And thankful for modern medicine.

Saturday night was Emilia's first "dance" at school - although they called it a "social."  She had fun but said it was very hot in the dance!  A couple friends came over before the dance & they got ready together.  I took the 3 of them to TJ Maxx - they were cracking me up trying on all the stiletto heels & totally cutting up.  The Brentwood women were scowling but it made me laugh.  At one point Lexi was wheeling Emilia around inside a suitcase.  Good fun.  Its fun to see Emilia loosen up when she's around her friends.

Friday was Eriana's first Field Day at school which of course she enjoyed.  Tuesday is a field trip to the Pumpkin Patch - I may just surprise her by going along.

Yesterday we did a bunch of errands & got our fall decorations out.  Gotta love hay & pumpkins & scare crows. 

We also went to see Disney on Ice.  Eri took her BFF Matt with her - he is NOT her boyfriend right now (I'm not sure why).  As you can see they had a good ole time at the show.  They also make me laugh.

This morning Emilia & I went to watch her old gymnastics team compete at Opryland & then we went afterwards to Opry Mills.  I've gotten lots of exercise this weekend - walked 1.25 miles yesterday & another probably 1.5 today. 

Kendall ran a half marathon this morning - came in 3rd in his age group & got a very nifty plaque.  I don't know how he stays so fast, it makes me envious.  He's running another Saturday in Murfreesboro.

Very exciting news - my eyebrows are almost visible!  Hooray.  And  I can see my eyelashes coming in but right now they are very short & light colored.  Pretty darn exciting.  Hair is slower but I know its just a matter of time.  I will be psyched to wear mascara!  Fat foot & leg is still swelling a LOT.  Doesn't seem to be getting any better, in fact it gets worse with exercise.

This is a quiet week - no traveling for Kendall or I.  I'm trying really hard to crack down on my eating this week & get the scale on the downward path!  Wish me luck.


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wow, what a party!!!

Sorry, everybody, for the delay in this post.  Been sort of a crazy week here so I'm just now getting to write about the party! 

It was amazing.  I think we had between 110-150 people including kids.  The jumpy house was hugely popular of course.  I won't endeavor to thank everybody here individually because I don't want to miss anybody.  I will say, I had a huge surprise Friday afternoon when Amber delivered one of my dearest friends to my doorstep.  Lisa made the trip from Colorado to be here for the event, which made it that much more special.  And to think they pulled off a surprise - clearly they took advantage of chemo brain!

Here are some pics.

The "pre-party" - blowing up 200 balloons

There were balloons everywhere - they looked amazing

Me & Eri in the jumpy house

Ann & Bill making jambalaya

The Harris' jambalaya - huge hit!!

Don't tell the party rental people that Jessie enjoyed the jumpy house, even the slide inside it

The jumpy house

Lisa & I

Kendall didn't hesitate to greet the Titans cheerleaders

Kyra, Emilia & Mindy with the cheerleaders

Angie brought these beautiful fabric hearts which she helped people make then hung them in the tree.  I'm planning to hang them in my laundry room - they are gorgeous

Angie's craft station in the garage was really popular!

I'm feeling better every day.  Struggling to eat healthy again, it will take time I know.  On a trip for work in the Keys which is hot but beautiful.  More soon, hope everybody is well.

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