Life Is Just So Daily

Monday, January 31, 2011

Why??? Why, why, WHY do I always end up sitting next to someone who sucks on and crunches ice? Y'all better pray that I don't act on some of these plans that are brewing in my head for ways to spill her cup of ice! Does she know how nasty that is? Does she know how rude it is??? And for the love----how many times is she going to refill that cup!???


Thursday, January 27, 2011

At the intersection of this, that, & the other....

Okay.... On the job front: I've given my notice. I've informed my peers within my department. I've informed those that I coordinate. I've now informed those within the department that I serve.
My last day will be Friday, 2/4....

On the other leg of the job front: went to have my new-employee physical. In the future, if anyone challenges you to come up with a type of test that you can't study for, a possible answer is: a urine drug test.
I've got to get my 2nd TB test read tomorrow. Good times.
(TB, YUM!)

Orientation for the new job is coming up soon.

I officially start there on Monday, 2/7. Good times.

Challenges during this time: saying goodbye to coworkers...being the 1st in my position for this place, and kind of helping to shape the job that it is....being here for over 8 years! I can't believe I've been here for that long. Let's see---I worked for my previous employer from '99 to '05, and then here from '02 to '11. Yes, there was some overlap because from '02 to '05 I was PRN with employer #1...
Another challenge: I still have to clean out my desk. I may need to spend a bit of time over the weekend doing this...or one day next week....We'll just have to wait & see how my week pans out...

Bonus to the new job: 40 minutes travel time, as opposed to my current commute of 1.5 hours. Yes, I commute an hour & a half one way. Not for long, though!
Another bonus to the new job: I'll be closer to my grandmother at her assisted living.
Yet another bonus to the new job: I'll be working with one of my friends...Well, kind of. She'll be in the ER at the new place, and many of you are not going to believe this but---I WONT BE IN THE ER. {Can you believe it? I'm so an ER person. I can hardly believe it. But, hey----this time is a time for change & new challenges. Bring it.}

In other news: Mom Update time!
Well, she woke up Wednesday morning just feeling a bit---better. {Dare I type that word???}
So----to recap: Chemo Day one was on a Wednesday. We'll call that Day 1. Day 2 & 3: tired. N/V: present Night of day 3 through to Day 7. Will that be the norm? I dunno. I can tell you for sure though---if there is a single unscented product on the face of the Earth, she's sent someone to the grocery store to buy it. Unscented detergent, soaps, cleaners, and yes, even unscented toilet paper. The smell of just about anything can induce vomiting. Her gag reflex is even sensitive to the sound of the word "cancer" and the thought of the 2 day chemo pump. {Not that I in ANY way know what chemo is like, I have to say that I can relate to the non-smells making you nauseated, mom. Remember when my hair first started falling out & the whole alopecia areata thing was new to me? Well, just seeing a bald spot on my head made me sick to my stomach. That's the closest thing I've got. I know, I know---it pales in comparison.}

If I haven't posted it yet----we've been searching high & low for the silver lining to this cancer cloud. The best we've come up with: a handicap parking placard. No, she hasn't gotten one yet....but we're really hoping to score one so that we can get front-row-joe parking. There's got to be SOMETHING that resembles a benefit here. Who's with us, people???

Moving on.... Gage is officially riding his bike with no training wheels. Yes, I have pictures. No, I haven't uploaded them yet. Just like I haven't posted about our Girls Night Out on 1/15, or pics from mom's first chemo when she was really looking quite energetic & optimistic....and had no idea how bad the nausea was going to be...and the wig shopping. Oh! Mom's picked out a cute wig.
Anyway----back to Gage. He's riding with NO TRAINING WHEELS. What a big boy. He's still not flawless at it just yet, but he's more confident than he was. It's so cute.

What else? Well....his little girlfriend, M.... My goodness she's rather 'fast' these days. Three days this week Gage got a kiss from M. It started with a kiss on the hand on the playground. Next---she went in for the lips in music class. Yes, she was successful. Wednesday---kiss on the cheek on the playground. My goodness...... I barely know what to say! I asked Gage if he kissed her back, or if she just kissed him. He said that she was the one who did it. I said, "Well, what did you say?" {this was after day #1's kiss.} He said, "I didn't say anything. I just went back to playing." Great, kid. She's probably been crying in her bed because she kissed you, you said nothing, and then you ran off to be with the boys! You're beaming about the kiss & she's probably analyzing & re-analyzing every detail... ok, or maybe it's just me who's obsessing! Anyway...he's gotten his first girl kiss & he's only 5.
I don't even know what to say about all that. On the one hand it's cute. On the other hand.....he' FIVE!
I want him to just stay little.

That's about all I know for now....

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Every Bit The Nightmare We Expected.

Yes, well, in case you were waiting on a mom update, here it is: This chemo is every bit the nightmare that we expected; and more.
The nausea & vomiting? Oh, they're here.
The cold sensation that feels like a shock from a battery?
Yeah, she's got that too.
Hypersensitive to smell? You bet.
Just thinking about all of it makes her mouth start to water with the pre-puke saliva fest. Mmmmmm.
And then, the tears.
She's exhausted.
She's nauseated.
The zofran causes a headache that makes her think about ways to actually remove her own eyeballs in an attempt to just relieve the smallest bit of pressure.
The oral meds aren't staying down long enough to really work anyhow...
I could go on from here, but you get the point.

So, you need to throw up, and run to the bathroom.
Problem is, the tile floor is cold & shocky.
You forget & touch the edge of the toilet while you vomit.
The toilet is cold & shocky.
All you want to do is rinse your mouth out with water.
The water faucet is cold & shocky.
The water is too cold to touch & you don't even DARE put that cold water in your mouth because you've heard that the pain from that makes you feel like you cannot breathe.

My poor mamasita.
We're going to get stronger drugs.
Mark my words.

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Super Bowl What?

Ahhhh....the Super Bowl.
Guess what Super Bowl Sunday is for me??? The 2nd best shopping day, EVAH!
Why? Well, because Black Friday is always CLEARLY the ring leader there, and on Super Bowl Sunday---the stores are usually very customer-free. Yaaaay!

Guess where I will NOT be this Super Bowl...
You ready???

And because I will no longer have this job when the Super Bowl gets here----I shouldn't have to worry about all of the mega-traffic-road-closings & lock-down that's being instituted around here.
And---because I couldn't care less about football or football stadiums, or anything along those lines, I don't even care to watch the game. I am however supposed to be co-hosting (with my Hubby) a kick-a$$ Super Bowl Party. how on earth am I supposed to get in the mood for football???
I only like football (or most sports) when I know someone playing. If I know the players, it's so enjoyable! But this whole "feels like you know them" crap is a bit stalkerish to me. Sure, I enjoyed cheering for the Rangers in those final games, but under no circumstance did I feel like I knew those players. I have no vested interest in either of these Super Bowl teams, and really only pop into the room when Hubby calls me in to see a funny commercial.

Anyone else feel this way about the big event???

Friday, January 21, 2011

I quit my job today.

I start a new one soon.
It's going to be different.
I thought I would feel better today.
...but I don't.
I feel a bit sad about it.
I felt bad for my boss.
{maybe that's me being narcissistic about myself, my abilities, and her ability to replace me...I dunno. But the point is---I felt bad.}
Tomorrow will be better.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chemo 1: Almost Done.

Well, I went with mom for Chemo 1 yesterday. First of all, let me just tell you that she had a mediport placed last Monday. 2 days later: let's use it for chemo! I've got pics. It's not...pretty. It's quite functional, but it's not pretty. I didn't go with her for that---and when she told me "a central line," I pictured it...differently. I pictured a triple lumen catheter, but no, it's a mediport, under her skin.

Went for chemo yesterday. Before chemo, they infuse anti-nausea meds, & then start chemo drug 1, which infuses through a bag. Chemo drug 2 gets manually pushed through a syringe (medium-sized-syringe, not super-scary-looking, and it gets pushed slowly) after chemo drug 1 is completed. Chemo drug 3 is then added to the regimen, by way of a pump that slowly administers the drug over 46 hours. The pump? She gets to wear it in a super-attractive fanny pack. {What's up? That's right: a fanny pack. Jealous much???} About that fanny pack: we're sooooo going to have to seek an alternative to THAT.

How's mom doing???
Well, she's tired.
The hypersensitivity to cold---oh, it's on. She described it as a "shocky" feeling. Granite countertops? Can't touch them. Soda cans? Can't touch those either. It's not an overwhelming thing, or it hasn't seemed to be so far...but VERY WEIRD.
Nausea & Vomiting? Nope. We may not necessarily be out of the woods on that side effect just yet----but it hasn't started yet that's a good thing, right??? She's on this drug that we call "the wonder drug." Why do we call it that? Well, apparently it's just good for what-ails-ya. Instead of treating nausea & vomiting after the fact, you take it to target that part of your brain that tells you that you are nauseated. Hmmmm. Scientists are so smart! Oh, and it's used for treating Schizophrenia too. See where the whole 'good for what-ails-ya' comes in? Nausea AND Schizophrenia!? It's a wonder drug! {Now, just think of all that we could do for mental health in this country if we could just convince the powers that be to slip this stuff into the water supply! Not only that, we could prevent nausea nation-wide. I'm a genius, I tell you---a genius!}

Any how.... Mom's doing well with her chemo so far. Her fingertips get cold & shocky...but not to fret: she's got some super-comfy-&-warm gloves. They happen to be cute too.

What else??? After chemo we went to the wig shop. I've got some pictures from yesterday to upload & share with you all soon.... After that, it was back to Mom's house. We had butter beans for dinner, and yummy chocolate cake. I climbed up into my mom's bed in the six o'clock hour, and was fast asleep during the eight o'clock hour. There is just something about being there, with her, under her roof...oh, it just makes me sleep better. Like I'm somehow aware of the fact that I'm in an environment where I don't have to BE the grown up. I'm the kid. I can just SLEEP. And so I did.

...until 4:30 this morning, when I woke up, afraid that I'd overslept! Mom lives 2 hours away from me, and I had to shower, drive home, & get ready for work....and then BE at work at noon today.
That's what I did....I had plenty of time.
Got up early...showered there...had a cup of coffee, and hit the road. 2 hours home in the freezy-rain. Not ideal, but necessary. I even had time to unload the dishwasher, reload & run the dishwasher, kind-of make the bed, sort the laundry & wash two loads of laundry---all before leaving the house to head to work. I'm pretty frickin' amazed at myself sometimes!

And so I'll close: a great time was NOT had by all. Though their were laughs...lots of laughs...and it was GREAT to be with my wasn't much fun for her.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Chemo Day Has Arrived.

UPDATE: it's about 2:30 now. Mom is doing great. The hypersensitivity to cold: already started. Handed her a V8 can that had been sitting at room temp. She was fine at first, but then about 10 seconds into it, her fingertips had a "shocky" feeling. She's had no nausea...yet. She's asked me to take her to a wig shop after this... So that's the plan.

It's way early in the morning as I'm typing this.
It's chemo day.

I'm up. It's early.
Gotta get Gage to Memaw's by 7:30.
Head outta town to Mamasita.

She's going in at 10:45 to start Chemo 1.
{Much like Air Force 1, only not nearly as cool.}

Got her mediport on Monday.
It hurts her a lot.

I'll keep you all posted.
thank you guys so much for all the well wishes & prayers!

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Six Days Ago. SNOW.

Well, last weekend it snowed here.
Out here in the sticks, we got quite a bit of snow! It was great!

We went next door to hang out with the neighbors.
You can barely see him...but here's Gage...

Despite the cold weather, the men headed out to the local carniceria & got some AMAZING fajita meat, which James cooked on the grill. YUM!

Jess makes a mean lunch, so we were all very excited to dine together. And afterward, being the 'Susie-Homemaker" that she is, she made us all cupcakes.

The boys made a wet mess going in, and back out, and back in from the snow... But, they all had a TON of fun!
...making snow angels...

The daddies joined in the front yard fun.
Poor James took a lickin' & kept on tickin'.
He had more snow thrown at him than anyone!

The boys worked together to try to make the snowman...

And the snow made a great lemonade chiller!

Now, with all this cold weather, you'd expect us to drink warm beverages, like hot chocolate. Well of course, Jess---the hostess with the mostest, didn't disappoint. We had hot chocolate, and inside, we could snuggle by the fire...

...ummmm...yeah, snuggling....about that.....

We all had fun. And Ladies---hands to yourselves.
This man is all mine.
That's right: Mine.

Teee Heee Heeee....

Oh, we played yahtzee too.
I forgot to mention that...

Last but not least---with THAT many boys around---it goes without saying: don't eat yellow snow.

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Super Cute 80s Party Invite...

How creative & cool is this 80s party invite?

I love it!

(I covered up the RSVP/Address info...)

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Ready? Set? Go. Mom Update.

Today's update: Met with Dr.B at Baylor yesterday. He says the same thing---chemo for 24 weeks, 12 rounds.
Mom's going to get treatment with Dr.W, who is closer to her home...educated at Harvard...very personable & warm.

She's set to have a post-surgical CT today, mediport placement on Monday, blood work on Tuesday, and start chemo Wednesday.

Ladies & Gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts, and stow your tray-tables. The Captain has been cleared for take-off.
Good times.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mom Update...

I just got word that my mom’s 2nd opinion appointment (that we’ve been working on since last week!) will be this afternoon.

Mom met with an oncologist in Tyler this past Monday. Despite my efforts to be there, the weather just was not cooperating, and I didn’t get to go.

What was the outcome of that appointment? Dr.W (the Tyler oncologist) suggests a 24 week regimen of chemo for the Stage 3 Grade 2 cancer, with a round every 2 weeks. So, 12 rounds total. Some of the meds will transfuse over 2 hours, and at least one will transfuse through a pump over 48 hours. She’s set up to continue with Dr.W, and is hoping & praying that this 2nd opinion doctor (Dr.B at Baylor Dallas) agrees with Dr.W’s suggestion, because she really likes Dr.W so far, and he’s got a good reputation within their community.

Her first chemo is set for 1/19.

She attended “Chemo Class” the other day, which she described as awful & wonderful. It was awful just being there, and learning the side effects of her specific cocktail…. But wonderful that the nurses took the time to get to know her, and really tell her what to expect. She said that they answered questions that she didn’t even know to ask. Her specific drugs have a low risk of her losing her hair, a moderate/mid-grade risk of N/V/D, and they said that with certainty, she will be hyper-sensitive to cold. So much so, that reaching into the refrigerator will likely produce a sensation similar to sticking your tongue to a battery. YIKES! We’ve learned that her foods need to be served warm, not hot to reduce the smells (??? Who knew?), and nothing cold or icy…. Of course then they also said that the infusion room is generally cold…. So, that’s going to be tons of fun…. My poor mama.

I feel very fortunate that everything really has moved so quickly. We only found out about all of this mid-December-ish, and she’s already had her surgery, and already set for chemo. That’s really pretty quick. I imagine that from her perspective, it hasn’t been quick enough.

And to close this email on a quirky note, I’ll quote my Mamasita: “It could be worse. It could be a parasite!”

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You Creepy-Crawly-Nasty Thing.

Look who has been hanging out on our back porch.

"Ummm...Hi. Is this the exterminator?"
"Well....umm...I need service IMMEDIATELY!"

See, I wasn't sure that it was a black widow because from the above angle, I couldn't see the red marking on the back... When I threw something at it & it started crawling---well, yes, I was certain: It's a black widow!

I've got the heebie-jeebies just posting about this!

Hubby: I don't care what you say; we don't live in suburbia! We live in the damn COUNTRY!
We've got more spider-neighbors than human-neighbors.
I'm just sayin'...

The exterminator is coming tomorrow.
Apparently we were due for our routine service this month anyhow... Timing couldn't be better!!!


NY's 2011!

Well, we were lucky enough to make the cut & get invited to a NY's Eve Party at Patrick & Amanda's.

Man, what an event!
Pics from the evening...

There was a whole mess of sparklers & firecrackers to kick the year off right....

Annabeth & Lindsay...

R, James, & Jessica...

Amanda & Erika...

Some of the men folk...

My funny Hubby...

Josh & Lindsay...

R & Jessica...

Me...on the fun-filled evening...

It's NEW YEARS! Happy 2011!

And then we headed outdoors for firecrackers! This was Gage's very first experience with firecrackers.

The boys had fun with sparklers...

And then, Gage was pretty much done with it...

We left shortly after the outdoor firecracker fun, and T (Gage's friend, Patrick & Amanda's son) got to come home with us & spend the night. Yay! We nestled the boys onto the living room couches, & put on "Despicable Me." It probably wasn't even 5 minutes into the movie before they were both fast asleep because we let them stay up to ring in the new year...

The next day, this little one was still very excited about his New Year's goodies...

Let me assure you---the horns that he brought home were put to good use...and then, mysteriously disappeared. Hmmmm....

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