Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankful Squared.

I thought I would look back & see what I wrote last Thanksgiving - thats one of the nice things about having a blog - its like a permanent thought record.  Little scary sometimes, but I have found myself often referring back to a particular part of my experience or a particular date to see what I was thinking.  Here is what I posted a year ago:




Sitting in sunny Jupiter at my brothers beautiful home, surrounded by an incredible family with a big ass turkey roasting away in the oven.

I want to wish each of you a very happy and grateful day.

Here is my list of things top of mind for me today.

-I'm thankful I had cancer
-I'm thankful I no longer have cancer
-I'm thankful for modern medicine
-I'm thankful for my adoring & supportive family
-I'm thankful for technology
-I'm thankful for my wonderful friends
-I'm thankful to be alive, with my whole life ahead of me

Happy Thanksgiving.

To be honest, I don't know that I would add or subtract from that list a year later.  I'm still thankful I had cancer - it has shaped me as a person in so many ways.  But man am I thankful I don't have it anymore!  As time grows between my cancer experience and now, the memories becomes less vivid and sensory but in some ways more impactful.  As I get farther out from my treatment, I'm better able to see the whole thing in perspective, and also am finding (sadly) more opportunities to use my experience and my journey to help others.  

So I think thats the one change I might make to the list of things I'm thankful for - I'm thankful for the opportunity to use my cancer experience to help others.  I hate that others go thru cancer diagnoses and treatments, but as long as that happens, I love being able to provide some little bit of comfort or perspective or many times just listen.  

So, I hope that each of you has a wonderful Turkey Day tomorrow surrounded by whatever makes you happy - be that family, friends, pets, or sometimes nothing at all.  Savor the moments and the experiences.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

So Much for That!

So much for my promise to write more regularly huh.  Yikes, its been over two weeks since I last wrote a word.

I did finish our Paris photo book -

Its been a whirlwind since we got back - traveling a lot for the end of the year.  With all the craziness going on in my office, I've learned its better to be on the road!  It stinks for the family but it does allow me to keep my sanity.  Luckily I have about 10 trips in the next 3 months!

Hard to believe next week is Thanksgiving.  Kendall's mom comes on Tuesday so we will enjoy having her for a few days.  I think Emilia & I are going to brave the Black Friday madness next Friday, just for the experience.

Our puppies are getting bigger & bigger.  We are hoping to go see them & pick our boy next weekend.  He should be ready to come home a week or so before Christmas.  We keep telling Jessie to enjoy her last few weeks as an only dog.

Our new nanny, Megan, started this week.  Poor girl has a tough act to follow because the girls love Taylor so much.  So far so good, they both seem to like Megan & she's coming back for week #2.  Taylor came & took them to dinner & the play at school last night.  She is so adorable talking about her grown up job.  I love that she wants to stay a part of our lives.  Just like Holly.  

Its frigid here this weekend - almost as cold as it was in Breckenridge this week.  It snowed there all day Thursday - absolutely gorgeous & almost put me in the holiday spirit. Almost.  This was the view out my hotel window one morning - the day before all the snow came.  So peaceful & beautiful there.

Emilia got her braces on this week.  She looks so cute.  They only put the top ones on for now but she has a weird thing called a turbo that keeps her from biting all the way down.  I have to say the experience at Vanderbilt for Orthodontics has been very good.  The docs are all residents & they are young & fun - Emilia likes it.  Kind of funny because the private orthodontist we went to for a consult & ultimately decided not to use because of cost is one of the faculty so she sees him from time to time.  I think she is pretty enamored with the idea of being an orthodontist.  Lots of money, work doesn't seem too hard.

OK, thats all the news thats fit to print!  Happy thanksgiving!
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Friday, November 8, 2013

You Won't Believe This!

FIFTY miles is how far we walked while in Paris.  Yes, FIFTY MILES.  From Friday morning thru Thursday when we got on the plane we walked that far.  Emilia was a trooper & I think the mileage helped offset the indulgences in chocolate croissants, baguettes, crepes & the like!
The flight home was awesome - we went from Paris to Cincinatti (who knew they had international flights there!).  The plane was brand new & less than half full so we could stretch out.  And customs was a breeze with not much traffic there. We were home by 5.00 but of course that was midnight for us.  Still feeling a little tired tonight, but overall we are doing just fine.
Busy weekend of course - catch up from being gone last weekend & there's a football game Sunday so I lose a day of the weekend.  Hoping for another Titans win which will help make the playoffs seem even more possible!
I got some beautiful flowers from my Mom & Dad today - just because.  That was an awesome surprise I really appreciated.
Well, not really much else to share - just wanted to report our crazy walking in Paris!  It was a wonderful week with my big girl!!

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Bonjour de Paris!

Bonjour!  Emilia & I have been enjoying an amazing time in Paris.  Unfortunately today was Monday which meant work started & play stopped, but it didn't keep us from having a wonderful time. 

On Thursday we flew from Nashville to Paris thru Atlanta.  Plane was packed & we didn't get much sleep but that didn't slow us down in the least! 

On Friday, we took a shower when we got to the hotel & then headed out to start our adventures. First stop was the Lock Bridge over the Seine, then we took a bus tour (Emilia slept thru most of that & I admit to nodding off a time or two) that gave us a good overview of the city. We went to dinner that night & finally crashed pretty early. 

Saturday we were up & at 'em early, walking from Place de la Concorde all the way down Champs Elysees (stopping for delicious croissants & cafe) to the Arc de Triumph.  Climbed up that bad boy all the way to the top on a steep & windy staircase with no landings (thank goodness for that half marathon training!).  From there, we went over to the Opera & visited Galleries Lafayette, although we didn't buy a thing!!!  Back to the hotel for a quick rest then off to Notre Dame which was spectacular.  We had a quiet & quick dinner of pizza which was really yummy!  Of course we followed it with crepes!

Sunday we couldn't drag ourselves out of bed quite as early & had a slow French breakfast.  Then we headed off to the Louvre - the line was unbelievable so we took some photos & hopped on the metro to Rue Cler, a charming street that feels very Parisian - not touristy at all - we found ourselves amongst the locals as we visited the formagerie, boulangerie, fresh market & butcher to make a little picnic for lunch.  Ate that in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower then proceeded all the way to the freakin top of it.  I'm not scared of much but I think maybe glass elevators going 81 stories in the air could be one of them.  Quite an experience.  After that we wandered around the area a bit & headed back to the hotel.  Dinner was a long, drawn out French experience at a well known cafe.  We've decided we could do without the fancy French food - but baguettes, ham, cheese & croissants work very well for us!  Oh, and the crepes and chocolate mousse.

Today was work day - we headed on the long ride out to the expo center in the middle of nowhere, worked for several hours, then headed back downtown.  Nice long lunch followed by some shopping.  And then we took a stroll at night down the Champs.  Weren't too hungry for dinner tonight so I had a sandwich & Emilia had yet another crepe with nutella.

We've done pretty well with our French, me being guided by Emilia who is doing great.  We have walked our little feet off!  Over 30 miles since Friday morning.  I have an "Up" bracelet that tracks our steps & its been quite fascinating to see how far we go.  We have only taken a taxi one time except for into the city from the airport, relying on metro & walking to get everywhere.  Its hard to say what has been our favorite experience so far - they are all amazing.

Tomorrow after work we are going to Versailles & then on Wednesday night we want to visit the Louvre when it is hopefully less crowded.  Thursday we head back to the airport to go home & see our other half whom we miss dearly!

We have walked about 25 miles since we arrived on Thursday... 


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

More N.E.D.

Yep, thats right, another good report from the doctors!  I spent most of Tuesday at Vanderbilt, had a CT scan with that icky contrast, a PET scan with that awful radioactive "isotope" (what is an isotope anyway??) & then saw Dr Keedy.

I won't lie, its stressful.  The day before - especially the night before - and during the tests is freakin awful.  I hate it.  I really do.  I wish I had no idea what a PET scan was & that there weren't 30 CT scans in my electronic records at Vanderbilt.  As I was sitting in the waiting room letting the radioactive isotopes work their way thru my body & generally feeling sorry for myself for how much time I have spent in that damn place, I got this quote on my email...

Free Daily Quote- October 29, 2013
"Your journey has molded you for your greater good.
It was exactly what it needed to be.
Don't think that you have lost time.
It took each and every situation that you have encountered to bring you to the now... and now is the right time." -A. Tyson

Really made me pause & think, as you can imagine.  I have no clue who A. Tyson is but the quote is right and objectively I know that I'm a better person, better mom, better friend, better wife because of my experiences with cancer.  It was just the reminder I needed as I headed into the PET scan behind the huge metal door with the radioactive symbol on it.  Funny how sometimes the most random things just wander into your life right when you need them.

So, anyway, I made it thru all the tests & got an all clear report - "No Evidence of Disease".  Yay!  Its been 13 months since I finished chemo so this was my one year PET scan - glad those damn things are only annual.  I go back in three months for a chest x-ray.  The orthopedic oncologists have moved me to seeing them every 6 months!  The regular oncologist is still every 3 months for at least another year.

This morning we went to Emilia's head's list ceremony - smart little cookie got above a 95% average in all her classes for the first quarter (again).  Amazing to me, since I was so thankful that letter grades we had didnt discriminate based on a percentage.  My 93.51% was just as much an A as someone's 99.51%...  I wouldn't have fared as well as she does in school, for sure.  Eriana is smoking it too - reading at halfway thru 2nd grade level when she's only in her 11th week of first grade.  She has another fabulous teacher and absolutely loves school!

Eri is very ready for Halloween - she is going to be a leopard.  We're supposed to have terrible weather here in Nashville tomorrow so most places are postponing Halloween til Friday night.  I'm glad - I don't want the kids & parents out in awful weather.

Here are a couple pics from her on Saturday before a Halloween party.  She sure does love this costume! 

Meanwhile, Emilia & I have our bags packed for Paris - cold & rainy over there of course, but we don't care.  We will have Friday, Saturday & Sunday to acclimate before work starts on Monday.  Trade show all week & we fly home on Friday.  Busy week but it will be great time to spend with her and I know we will walk a billion miles!

Well, I think thats all the news thats fit to print.  Happy Halloween!

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Friday, October 25, 2013

These photos are unbelievable

I saw a link on Huffington Post thru my Twitter feed today. It caught my attention because it called out two subjects close to my heart - one I hate (f-ing cancer) and one I love (photography). 
If you're feeling brave, go to and look at the photos this man took. If you aren't moved to tears I would be shocked. What strikes me personally about these images is that many of them are so familiar. Some days it seems like yesterday I was in the chemo chair or the hospital.  Other days it seems like it never happened.  The photos he took remind me to live every day to the fullest because I am so lucky to still be here.

I spent the week in the Keys entertaining customers. Many were at our event last October in the Keys when I was still bald. I'm constantly struck by comparisons in time.  Last year this time I looked like a cancer patient - bald, pale, fragile. Now, nobody can tell I had cancer.  What I take away from this is that you cant always tell from looking at someone what they are carrying around inside. Cancer changes you forever. It's unavoidable. Even if the physical manifestations fade. Im changed to my core. Some of that is good. Some isn't. But it's all real.

On a lighter note, we are enjoying a "girls night" with my mini mes tonight. Kendall is running the Ragnar relay this weekend so we went to Jersey Mike's then got much needed pedicures!  I love these two more than words could ever express. Looking forward to a nice chilly weekend at home before Emilia & I head to Paris Thursday!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Beautiful moments

Had a very poignant moment this morning as I sat in the car with my 8th grader outside one of Nashville's best high schools.
Emilia signed up to attend a preview day at Father Ryan High School & we were chatting as we waited for the clock to turn to 8.30 so she could get out & go in (of course you cant be first!).  So is asked if she was nervous - she's pretty stoic so it's hard to tell sometimes.  To my surprise she said, yes, she was a bit nervous. So we laughed and I tried to diffuse it as best I could. We watched a few other kids get out & go in & next thing I knew she was off.
As I drove away I was struck by how privileged we are. Sure we work really hard for our way of life, we work really hard to have a happy, nurturing, encouraging household & family & we work really hard to be good parents. But man are we lucky to have kids who are not only naturally intelligent but who also work hard and do their best everyday. Emilias hard work thru school so far,  combined with our hard work thru our careers, leaves her in a place where she has options and choices a lot of people will never know. What a glorious feeling to see her at this crucial juncture in such a great position.
But then I was struck with memories of her as an infant and thru her childhood. It can't be thirteen years ago that she was born. Not possible.
Soon she will be at preview days for college and then she will be gone. Physically gone - she will always be my first baby emotionally.

Life really is good.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Can't Really Explain Why

So, I've taken quite the break from blogging over the past year, but for some reason I feel compelled to start writing again. 
Perhaps enough time has passed that I don't associate blog with cancer in my mind. 
Perhaps I miss dumping my thoughts, worries, concerns, and dreams onto "paper" every day or two.
Perhaps I miss the comments from my friends and family who read what I write.
Perhaps its time for me to open a new chapter - in life and in my blog?

So, the year anniversary passed - strange - I didn't feel a flood of emotion as I expected.  It was kind of like yeah, well, its been a year.  I took that day off, got a massage, and took care of some errands.  Got a lot of really nice comments on Facebook.

What really punctuated the year for me was finishing the Nashville Women's Half Marathon.  I started training in May & walked almost 200 miles in the process.  The event was last Saturday morning - it was beautiful at the start and hot as hell at the finish.  I walked it all - all 13.1 miles - and now I'm looking at that as closing the door on the cancer room in my life.  I had some dear friends walk with me - and while I was anything but speedy, I DID IT!  And I have a huge medal to show for it.  And big huge blisters on my heels that I've had since the first 4 mile "long" walk.  Four miles doesn't seem very long anymore. 

The blisters are healing, the cancer room door is closed, and I'm moving on.

For the most part, I have no lingering remnants of cancer - sure I have a scars from the surgery and from my port and sometimes I have the swelling in my left leg from lymphadema, but for the most part there is only one thing left from that experience -- and that is the weight I gained.

As I close the door to the cancer room, I'm opening the door to the next room which is the one where I return to my healthy and fit self.  I've engaged a nutritionist to be my co-pilot and I'm working on finding a trainer here in Nashville to help me on the workout side of the equation.  So, my goal is when I get to the Two Year anniversary to still be in the healthy/fit room and be closer to that goal.  I'm not in a hurry - I have to do this at my pace in a sustainable way.  And I can.  And I will.

I thought I might bring the Photo Therapy back from the archives...  I took this one a couple weeks ago traveling for work in Jackson Hole, WY.  The colors in it really strike me.  Like life - so colorful.  Every time I look at it, I see something different - again, like life.  Hope you enjoy it - and please don't hesitate to send my your comments and thoughts.  I'll be trying to write a couple times a week.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Year Tomorrow

It really doesn't seem possible that tomorrow marks one year of being cancer free. I wish I had some words of deep wisdom to share, but I don't. Mostly these days are just like my days were pre cancer. I go to work, love my kids, treasure my husband, enjoy my friends. Same things everybody does...  I am struck, though, how quickly life can return to normal. Just as I was struck when I was diagnosed by how quickly life can become not normal.

I definitely have a deeper appreciation today for the routine things in life -- haircuts, eyebrows, exercise, healthy checkups, parent teacher meetings, vacations, & the like.

I will post tomorrow with some then & now pictures & some more thoughts, plus an update on what The Musgrove Family is up to....

Hug your family tonight!!
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Must Be Crazy

If I'm honest with myself, I've always wanted to complete a half marathon.  Mind you, I have no goal whatsoever to run even one step of it, but something about finishing the 13 miles seems like such a monumental accomplishment. 

So, its time.  Thanks to a do-able training plan from my friend Kimberly and some very great friends who have committed to walk this journey with me, today I signed up for the Nashville Women's Half Marathon on September 28th.  I'm a lot scared and a little giddy - maybe thats from too much iced coffee today.  I hope its all I imagine it to be.  The most nerve-wracking part of the sign up was estimating my finishing time...  Oooh thats hard.  I put 4:30.  Walking for four and a half hours seems crazy and nearly impossible but with the right company and the right attitude, I know I can do it.  After all, 42 chemo treatments seemed crazy and impossible.

If you're in Nashville (or even if you're not) and you'd like to join me in the walk, please let me know.  I will share Kimberly's training plan and we can plot out how to work together.  September 28th will be one year and one week from the last chemo treatment so it seems a wonderful way to celebrate a year of cancer free living and a great way to re-commit myself to fitness.

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the day I graduated from West Point.  Wow, 20 years.  Sure does make me feel old.  When we were in Florida this weekend, my brother & I calculated that there are only about 200,000 graduates of West Point in the history of the country.  That number seemed incredible small to me - and I felt very proud to be part of such a small group of folks.  And of those, only about 3,500 are women.  An even smaller group of folks.  Wow.  Pretty cool.

Life is good at home - we had a wonderful time in Florida including a spectacular surprise party for Cara's 40th Birthday.  The girls barely got out of the pool!  Here's a pic of my brother, myself  & my Dad this weekend.  Not much resemblance there huh....

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Good friends...

It's been a crazy, stressful week in many ways. Housing market recovery is a wonderful thing but it sure creates a bunch of new headaches we haven't had to deal with in our business for years. That and having three jobs have me feeling a bit under the gun. 
But I wouldn't trade this for how I felt a year ago. No way. 
I have been in Washington DC most of this week at a "Marketing Leadership" meeting. Pretty cool actually - I was asked to be a member of this group made up of CMOs from leading building products manufacturers. Nice honor & it was really helpful to hear what challenges our peers face. 
So being in Washington is always a treat because its a beautiful and grand city, but also because my roommate from West Point lives here!  We had drinks last night and lunch today. Here we are this afternoon. I decided we look every day of our 42 years. Especially me. Hard to believe we have been friends more than half our lives - thru school, drama, graduation, deployments, tragedies, marriages, divorces, kids, jobs, cancer. Cori has always been there for me & I love her so much!

So I have some other exciting news. I was asked to be a member of the Board of Directors of a wonderful charitable organization in Nashville called Interfaith Dental Clinic. They do amazing work helping people with jobs and no insurance get very expensive, high quality critical dental work done for very reasonable costs.  They are looking for some help with their brand & websites in order to increase contributions and awareness which will allow them to serve more of this deserving population. It's an honor to be asked to help them and I'm thrilled to be able to use my skills to give back a bit to the town we love. 

In other news, the garden is doing great. Kendall took over management of it this year and it clearly benefits from his attention to detail. We have harvested radishes, arugula, baby kale & baby leeks so far. Here is one of my Don Juan roses about to bloom - they were Moms favorite. 

The girls have only 10 school days left!  Seems hard to believe we almost have a first and eighth grader!  Tomorrow is Eri's grandparents day performance - cant wait to watch that. 

The laundry room construction has begun. Last week they took out a wall, all the cabinets, the flooring, a closet & a doorway. It's hard to photograph but we tried. This week hopefully they will complete the plumbing & electrical. Next week drywall & tile.  We have a porta potty in our driveway!

That's about all the news we have!!  Happy Mother's Day!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Over a month!

Well I guess you know my life is back to normal when I don't have time to post for a month.

The girls & I spent a great week at Dad & Maryann's house for spring break. Mike & Cara brought their two girls over so I had all four of them for the week. It was great fun except when everybody got the stomach flu. Yes all of us. Ugh. Other than that we swam, went to the beach, went on a wildlife tour, visited the house where I grew up, went shopping, EB & I dove, we rode the jet boats. Not very restful but a lot of fun.

Since that week it's been super busy here. Work is kicking my butt & I rarely have time to exercise which is very discouraging. Doing my best to eat right but not as successfully as I'd like.

Kendall & I took a lovely long weekend in the San Juan Islands in Washington state. I had to be in Seattle for work so we took advantage of that. It was a perfect long weekend. We relaxed, had massages, ate great food, drank delicious wine, saw orcas & bald eagles and explored an amazing part of our country. The girls had a good time with Payton and were happy to have us home!

Speaking of girls, they're both doing great. Hard to believe there's only a month left of school. They have a fun summer planned. 2 camps plus EB got accepted to a special program at Vanderbilt where she will stay in the dorm & study forensic chemistry for a week. Pretty cool.

The first round of seeds are sprouting in the garden. Monday starts demolition on the laundry room. And Kendall runs the marathon Saturday!

Well that's the news from here.

All well & NO health news!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Gosh do I have a lot to live for this birthday. It's good to be 42! Sure is a hell of a lot better than how I felt when I turned 41. Now that a year has passed since starting chemo (I finished the first full round a year ago!), I find my memories framed in a context of where I was in my treatment. Further reinforcement that this will always be part of me.

The girls & I are on our way to Florida to spend spring break with my dad & Maryann. We ran into our good friends in the airport so I got a treat to spend a couple hours with Mindy & the girls get to sit with Kyra on the plane. Aren't they cute!

My brother is brave enough to leave his girls with me for the week so I know we will have a wild & crazy time together.

Things are good, been traveling a lot which makes the gym tough. I gave myself a couple days break from "no sugar" for my birthday but back at it Monday! Leg swelling is there for sure but I'm managing it thru diet, exercise, therapy & massage.

Not much other news. Enjoy your break!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pink Highlights

Oh yes I did, get my hair highlighted PINK this weekend.  I love it - its so fun.  I think my stylist thought I was maybe off my rocker but she had a blast doing it.

Emilia also got her hair colored for the first time.  Gulp.  She got an auburn color in the front which fades to a rich dark brown in the back.  And about 4" cut off.  Not blonde anymore....

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fun Times

This weekend Emilia & I got our cake making skills back out to make a baby shower cake.  What do you think?

Other than that, life is pretty good.  Its great not to be a cancer patient anymore.  Traveling a lot this week & next then headed to Papa & Mimis for Spring Break on the 23rd.  Can't wait to spend the week with the girls, their grandparents & their cousins.  Should be a lot of fun.

We are about ready to start the laundry room!  Will sign the contract this week with demolition slated for May 6th!  Woohoo.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"No Evidence of Disease"

The best four words a cancer survivor can hear! I heard them twice today - on my chest X-ray report and my pelvis MRI report. Three more months til I go back thru the emotional wringer! Thanks for the prayers and positive thoughts. Clearly they work!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Long Time, No Write

Seems like I'm long overdue from a nice newsy update, doesn't it?  Or maybe folks are happy I'm writing so infrequently now.  I am not really sure.  Regardless, here goes.

The last week was a whirlwind, spent in the cold upper Midwest. Amber, Lorraine & I took 2 groups of customers snowmobiling in the U.P. of Michigan last week.  It was a wild travel week with delays, lost luggage, long van rides, changing airlines mid-stream, flight cancellations, etc.  I was pretty happy to be home on Friday night, albeit 5 hours later than I expected!  I missed my little girls and Kendall but it was an exhilarating, fun, challenging week.  On Tuesday we snowmobiled for about 9 or 10 hours - over 125 miles on the beautiful trails in Michigan.  I had no idea it was such a huge hobby up there.  I can see why - its thrilling, challenging, a great workout, a great way to explore.  The group of customers we took were all from the Southeast so for many it was their first experience snowmobiling.  Watching grown men have fun in the snow like little kids is quite a thrill.  Here are a few pictures...
Amber & I
Our first group (I'm in there somewhere)

This is bad ass - we snowmobiled to our OSB plant in Sagola for the tour.
Can't be in Green Bay without visiting Lambeau Field!

I have to admit to driving my snowmobile 75 mph on the frozen lake.  Wow, talk about a rush.  I managed to sneak a peek of the speedometer as we barrelled down a single track trail thru the woods at 45 mph.  Little bit scary at times, I have to say.

Speaking of scary, I have a strange cancer story to tell.  Our flights in Chicago were cancelled on Monday so we had to take a van from Chicago to Green Bay - a bit over 3 hours driving.  I was sitting next to a very nice gentleman from the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Somehow along the way the topic of cancer came up & he began to tell us a story of his daughter's best friend who died from cancer at the age of 16.  Before the words left his mouth, I knew what he was going to say - that she had Ewing's Sarcoma.  He began to tell us how its a terribly aggressive cancer & no matter what you do it keeps going from place to place and pretty much always kills the person. He told us how she had the most horrendous chemo you could imagine, how long it was, how she had surgery & radiation and eventually she died.  The guy meant nothing harmful by his story & of course he had no idea I'd had cancer at all, let alone Ewing's.  The more I thought about the conversation, the more terrified I got.  See, this is the first time I've heard a story of somebody who even knew what Ewing's is.  And its also the first time a stranger has told a cancer story - because up til now it was pretty obvious I'd been in treatment.  Now, if you don't know me, you can't tell - I just look like a fat girl with a short haircut.  What if the guy is right?  What if Ewing's does kill everybody?  I know factually he's not right, but boy did it stop me in my tracks & make me think.  I guess its a situation I should learn how to navigate, because I'm quite sure it will happen again. 

It also made me think a lot about this week coming up, which is my 6 month check up week.  Tomorrow I have an MRI of the pelvis, Tuesday a chest X-ray & a visit with Dr Keedy.  I had to reschedule my appointment with Dr Holt for April so I won't see her this week. 

I am feeling great, pretty much back to my normal self.  My endurance gets better every week.  I am seeing a fabulous physical therapist who is working on my lymphadema & my scar tissue.  My leg swelling has been much better - I believe its because I've stopped eating sugar.  The therapy is helping too but the therapist still really recommends a compression stocking.  I just can't do it.  She said I may have to eventually but right now I'm going to try to keep managing it with diet, therapy & exercise.

She also explained to me how the chemo affects the heart muscle.  She said she looked at my blood pressure from before chemo, thru chemo to now & it has gradually climbed which indicates the heart muscle weakening.  She said that also explains why my heart rate gets so high so fast when I exercise.  The good news is that it will recover.  The bad news is it will take a long time of exercising at a very low heart rate until it gradually strengthens.  Low heart rate = low calorie burn so that doesn't help my weight loss efforts.  But it must be done.  I'm starting back with my trainer this week & I continue with medi weight loss.  The progress there is slower than I would like despite my being very strict & disciplined about my eating.  Patience, Judy, Patience.

The best news of all I think is that I feel like myself again, FINALLY.  I feel motivated, I feel healthy (but fat), my willpower has returned.  I'm finally starting to sleep well again.  I can very honestly say sometime in the last month I stopped feeling like a cancer patient.  Thank God.

This week was Dr Seuss's birthday celebration at school.  Check out Eri's spirit!
Silly Socks!!

Wacky Wednesday.  Yes her pants are inside out!
Yesterday we went to see Life of Pi.  Very odd movie - I'm not sure if I liked it or not.  After that we went for dinner at Ken's Sushi - an old faithful spot for us.  On the way there, we started talking about the P!NK concert that was in Nashville last night.  On a whim, I pulled up Craigs List & bought 2 tickets on the floor for Emilia & I.  We had an absolute blast.  What an amazing athlete, performer & singer she is.  And she's dedicated to being a Mom & Wife too.  Her show was just breathtaking.  My iphone pics from the event suck so I won't bore you with any.  It was one of those nights that made me happy to be alive!!

We are starting on our laundry room/office remodel.  Never a dull moment around here.  Right now we're in the design stages but you know me, I'm ready to tear down the wall & get on with it.  I'm pretty excited about it.

The girls & I will be headed to Florida on the 23rd for Spring Break.  What a change from my birthday last year when we did the head shaving.  Because the morons in IT deleted all my pictures from my computer (I have grown to think of it as a way of not wallowing in cancer pictures from last year!), I can't post a reminder pic.  It was a year ago this week that I started chemo though.  A year.  I have sure learned a lot in the last year.  In so many ways.

Well now that I've taken so much of your time, I will let you go.  Wish me luck, please, with this week's check ups.  I will let you know Tuesday how it went.

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