Parent teacher meetings and holidays

Had a parent teacher meeting with Madison’s teacher today.  I was not really sure what to expect.  I know that she enjoys school and I know that she is bright.  I also know that she is very hyper and never stops moving or talking. Sometimes she reminds me of a kitten who runs from room to room.  The meeting went very well.  Although her teacher and I agree that she is a “pistol” she assures me that Madison does understand when it is time to play and time to work.  I was so proud to sit there!  She is doing so well!  She has tested in the top 97 percentile, she is helpful and very happy.  All great things a mother wants to hear about a child!  I am so proud of my baby!

In my “pre-surgery effort to ensure all things are taken care of”, I pulled the pile of holiday dresses out of the closet.  I am so thrilled that Megan’s Christmas dress from last year fits just fine and Madison fits into an older dress of Meg’s.  Being as these dresses are worn for a few hours, one day a year, I am just so happy that I do not need to spend money on dresses this year!  There are layoffs all around, treats of property tax increases due to Superstorm Sandy on top of the already slow economy.  Really need to tighten things up this year!  Frank’s company has had two rounds just in the last month.  Nerves are a bit raw.

Tomorrow some food shopping for Thanksgiving.  A few days until surgery…

Looking back, Moving forward

So with my next and hopefully last surgery next week as well as Thanksgiving, I got to thinking about what this year and a half has been like.  A bit of a roller coaster to say the least.

  • March 2011 mammogram and breast ultrasound; lump confirmed
  • June 2011 needle guided biopsy
  • June 2011 surgery to remove the lump due to “abnormal” pathology results
  • August 2011 Breast MRI
  • Doctors appointments with specialists
  • early 2012 abdominal CT to ensure I was  DIEP candidate
  • Blood work
  • more doctors appointments
  • July 2, 2012 Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy and DIEP flap
  • More blood work
  • more appointments
  • August 24, 2012 Breast reconstruction and revision
  • More blood work
  • more doctor appointments
  • November 7, 2012 Pelvic Ultrasound
  • November 9, 2012 Colonoscopy
  • November 19, 2012 Breast revision Pt 2 **Pending**

In between Birthdays, Holidays, back to school nights, summer break and normal daily activity because the reality is, doctors, scans, tests  and surgery have been normal daily activity for me for a many months now.  I have tried to keep a good attitude but there is a stress that hangs over the family since it is on going.

What have I learned?  Shit happens and most of it can not be controlled so, relax.  I will not say I do not have my moments but as a whole, I am more relaxed.  I am enjoying my family and our time together.  I am putting “us” first.  I am more thankful for what I have!

And with Thanksgiving around the corner, what am I thankful for? These are easy…first although my list looks long and obnoxious, I do not have cancer!  I am thankful that I did not wait to take action.  I am extremely thankful for my health.  I am in the best shape I have been in for years. I am Thankful for my beautiful family. I am also so very thankful for concerned doctors who continue to go the extra effort to ensure that we check everything.

My list is not finished yet.  Surgery next week and follow-up appointments after.  I will have to repeat the pelvic ultrasound and hope the cyst removed itself, if not it will need to be removed.

So although there is more to go, I sit here so very thankful for a wonderful year.  A beautiful family and good health, what more can you ask for right?

Black Friday, Christmas Decorations, More surgery and a Happy Birthday

The day after Thanksgiving for years was a huge headache for me due to my years in retail. Many that I worked with love the day, I dreaded it!  Arrive in the building somewhere between 3 and 6 am after eating enough to last a week and then work 12-15 hours. I am first to admit I am not exactly a “people person” and the crowds of crazy, pushing people who are annoyed that tens of thousands of other people had the same idea to shop, does not help my feelings toward people. The lines are longer than any other day of the year, yet many seem annoyed and openly want to share that annoyance with any and all who wish to listen.   Now many stores are opening on Thanksgiving which I find ridiculous.  IF they are only having employees working who volunteer to do such then fine but my many years lead me to believe that people probably working for minimum wage or close to it are not given a choice to keep their job or spend time with family.

But I digress.  So once I left retail, Black Friday became Christmas decoration day for us!  I have more Christmas stuff than I do normal everyday knick knacks.  I collect statues of Santa Clause.  I have the cheerful soul in many occupations, fireman, golfer, pirate, toy maker I even have a wall street santa, (don’t tell the occupy folks!)  I have them in Lenox and cloth, big and small, standing and seated and I love them all!

It hit me Sunday that this year that may not be possible since I once again have surgery Monday.  The breast revision, revision. Although it should not be too earth shattering, I do expect that I will have lifting restrictions and soreness for a bit.  Next weekend we are swamped and then surgery so the decorating had to get done this weekend.  It took the better part of yesterday and a few hours today but everything except the Christmas tree itself is up inside the house.  Frank is in charge outside.  Just like before each of the surgeries, going through my checklists of everything that must be handled before my forced down time.

The best gift ever! Took me 6 years but I finally did it!

Saturday was Madison’s birthday party.  It was a nice day.  The kids all had a great time at the karate school party.  The family also seemed to have a nice time back at the house.  Madison was thrilled with her gift, Baby butterscotch.  She is one spoiled child!  I can not believe my baby is six.  Time flies!

My baby and I with a giant Hello Kitty Balloon. Can you guess the theme?


So the additional tests have presented a mixed bag I guess we could say.  Although I was hoping we could close the chapter on this book by the end of the year, the ovarian cyst found will require a repeat ultrasound in 2 months so not going to make the end of year mark.  I realize it is probably nothing, but after a year of CT scans, MRI’s, tests, surgery and non stop doctors appointments, not to mention an up coming surgery, it is a let down to still not be able to round the corner.

On the other hand, the long awaited, little anticipated colonoscopy was today and the results were great. No issues found!  The doctor says she sees no reason I can not wait 10 years before repeating the process.  Like everyone said before hand, the procedure itself was nothing but a nice nap.  The prep, well that was not as nice. Thankfully it is over!

Now the focus turns to something really important, my beautiful babies sixth birthday party.  Madi and I baked some brownies for the family portion of the party tomorrow.  The festivities will start at the girls Karate school with a Hello Kitty themed kids party.  Madison is thrilled!  She was bouncing off the walls as I finally got her into bed tonight.

Funny, I do not look forward to my birthdays as much.



Just another day

One week after Superstorm Sandy, we are in the midst of another (much smaller) nor’easter.  For my area it brings an early snow.  The roads are still too warm for it to lay but it is enough to cause stupidity.  I was driving to my radiology appointment earlier and was the third car in line at a red light.  All three of us were waiting to turn left.  The light changed, the first car started through the intersection just to be broadsided by some young girl who either was not looking, on a phone, a terrible driver or caught up in the “sky is falling” early snow syndrome that hits so many in my area the first few times the white stuff shows itself.

So once I was able to continue on my way, I made it to my much-anticipated pelvic ultrasound.  I quickly downed my 32 ozs of water int he parking lot and headed in. The tech was a very nice young woman who was very chatty.  I guess many woman come in nervous.  After years of biopsies, two child births, a miscarriage and the mastectomy this was just a few minutes of inconvenient time for me.  I was pleased that the appointment was timely and really pretty quick.  Can’t ask for much more than that I suppose!

I did think of how funny it would be if my husband or any man for that matter were to have to switch places with me (or any woman) undergoing these procedures.  Don’t get me wrong, Frank has been wonderful with me during this entire process, but I could not imagine what he would be like if we had to switch places.  I mean the common cold is earth shattering.

Tomorrow I start my Prep for Friday’s colonoscopy . Today my instructions were to stay away from fruits and veggies, nothing was said about the girls bowl of halloween candy :-)!  I find it somewhat amusing the it is called Moviprep.  On a quick glance you may think that some great film may start playing as you mix up the fine concoction.  At closer glance it stirs images of other types of moving.

I think in my mind I will hang onto the first!


So back to the topic at hand.  This is a busy “just in case” week for me.  Tomorrow I will drop my script off at the pharmacy for the colonoscopy prep.  I was given an option to take pills instead of the drink but it was some crazy number that sounded just as obnoxious to get down as the drink would be so I opted for the liquid.

Tuesday the girls both have dentist appointments, get them in before the end of the year.

Wednesday will be “fun day with a radiologists” and the pelvic ultrasound.  I had one of these after Madison was born.  I had terrible unexplained pains.  We never did get a great explanation for the pains.  Was told that I had something they described as Gallbladder Sludge..gross.  Diet changes and thankfully I have never felt pains like that again.

Thursday is “prep day”.  Or maybe better thought of as “don’t wander far from the bathroom day”.

Friday of course is the colonoscopy itself, a day to look forward to if you have a very strange idea of fun.

Saturday we will be celebrating my babies sixth birthday.  So between now and then I need to get the house cleaned up.  It is not in terrible shape but it is not in “company” shape.  I actually cleaned out a few closets donating some things to storm victims of Sandy.  A few winter coats in great shape just grown out of, comforter, some clothes and  hygiene products.

So many small business in my area are acting as drop off spots, makes you feel that maybe there are still good people in the world.

By the end of the week I feel I will have been sufficiently poked, prodded and probed.