Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween, Christmas, Work and Other Thoughts

I took Mary, her bff and Connor out trick or treating last night. This was the first year that Connor really, really got it. And he loved it. At every door he'd manage to squeeze his way past Mary, her friend and any other kids there so that he was first in line....and totally in the way of the home owner having any chance of closing the door. And heaven help the person if they gave Mary or her friend something different than him...."Hey, I didn't get Smarties!!"  We're still working on that etiquette. I do have to say though, that I had the three politest kids on the street last night. They said thank you (unprompted) at every. single. house. AND they also said "Have a great night" at every single house. Not too bad...especially when they are in essence begging for candy. I still have trouble with the concept of spending the entire year telling our kids not to talk to strangers and to never take candy from strangers only to dress them up and take them out to do those exact two things. I guess this lesson is that there are exceptions to every rule.

But now, Halloween is over. Yahoo! I say this because that means, at least for us Canadians who've already got Thanksgiving out of the way, it's the official start to the Christmas shopping season. Yeah, we're a pretty efficient people, no need to clutter up the autumn season with such silly things like Thanksgiving, get it out of the way in mid October when nothing else is going on, piggy back that with Halloween so that we have almost two solid months to revel in the Christmas commercials, mall displays and muzak Christmas carols.  

I'm not being facetious. I love Christmas and the whole seasons. I love the work up to it. The Christmas parade in our city is in mid November and because we live on a main street and because the city officials who do the judging for the Festive Displays come around starting then we always make sure out lights are up and the house (the outside) is almost completely decorated. Sean is gunning for a lawn sign from the city. Plus it really gets me in the mood.

I don't decorate the inside of the house until after Mary's birthday. The pitfall of being a December baby is that your birthday often gets lost in the Christmas shuffle. So we made the decision to not do Christmas inside until after December 4 - or at least until she's had her party. Oddly, her parties get earlier each year. We're doing her party this year on November 10th. Ha, only kidding, I'm not that mean.

I've got almost all of my Christmas shopping done. I have a few things left for the kids and Sean and then I'm 100% done. It's mainly financial, with my EI running out at the beginning of December I can't worry about Christmas shopping, I need to focus on living on one paycheck and staying out of debt. It's also a mood lift. I love to shop and I love to shop for other people. I drove 40 minutes today to get an insanely expensive coat for Emily for Christmas because I know when she opens it on Christmas morning she is going to be over the moon.  I've adjust my shopping attitude in recent years as my kids get older and I get tired of the constant purging of crap. I'd rather spend a lot of money on a few things they really, really want than to spend the same amount of money on a lot of things they 'sort of' want. Because I can guarantee those 'sort of' items will be at Value Village before the snow melts. I've learned my lesson.

I've been toying with the idea of returning to work earlier than initially planned. I'm thinking I'd like to go back in February. Of course, I'll have to consult my oncologist on whether or not this is feasible but you know, I've met women who are undergoing chemo who are still working part time. I don't think that's feasible for me, simply because of the nature of my job and the exposure to germs but I'm thinking if I stay on schedule with treatment and finish chemo on January 5th that I can give myself a month to build my immune system a bit and return to work for February. I'll still have radiation but the side effects to that are minimal and I can do it everyday after work.  I think getting back to work would do me a world of good, just from a mental/emotional standpoint, not to mention the obvious financial benefits. We'll see, but for right now, I'm excited at the prospect.

I found out about a non profit group that give people recovering from cancer a week away at a cottage. People who own cottages donate them for the time they are not in use and people who are recovering can spend a week there with their family. You have to be finished your active treatments (chemo, radiation and surgery) and you have to apply to be accepted. So I thought I'd apply. It would be awesome to be able to give my kids a week at a cottage next summer, they sacrificed so much this past summer and if we qualify and can get one of the weeks Sean's off....that would be fantastic. Of course, if we can't get one of the weeks he's off it's a no go but it's worth looking into.

I go for treatment number 3 on Thursday. I feel nauseous already. Sean told me his little brother (his brother died of testicular cancer when they were young)  used to cry when he was getting his chemo because he knew he was going to feel so terrible afterward and that is how I feel. I'm dreading it, despite the new meds, I'm convinced it's going to be as horrible as the last two and worse because I'm already sick (still coughing and a little clogged in the sinus) and because it's cumulative, I'm going to feel shitty for longer. I feel like I didn't ever really feel good after the last treatment. But then I'll be halfway done and will be totally done with the FEC (red devil) portion of my treatment and hopefully the effects of the next drug - Taxotere won't be as bad.

I can hope, right?

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