Monday, August 20, 2012

39!

This time last year I was newly boobless and hopped up on all sorts of good drugs.

Today is my 39th birthday.

I never really stressed about getting older; why bother? You can't stop it so rather than complain, just embrace it. Despite the trials and tribulations I've endured this past 9 years my 30's have been the best years of my life. And I fully intend to enjoy the final year of them.

It was a quiet birthday. Sean had the day off because he had to go to court as a witness against the GO Bus driver who rammed into him last year. But, unbeknownst to us the case was adjourned (again!) so we were in and out.

So we came home, hung out for a bit and then went to the driving range to hit a bucket of balls. It's the first time either of us has been in 2 years. It was fun, though my left arm didn't hold up too well (I'm all arthritic from the herceptin)

We went the butcher and bought some great big fat steaks (no grocery store meat fridge steaks for me!) Sean made them to perfection - just this side of dead and served them up with baked potato and grilled veggies. Mmmmmm.  And ice cream cake for dessert.

And now here I sit, nursing my glass of wine while Sean kills people on the xbox. I'm going to go soak in the bath with my Kobo. My girlfriends got me a Chapters card for my birthday so I've got to replenish my book supply. I think I'll buy the second 50 Shades of Grey book. I wasn't sold on the first one but I've been promised that it gets better.  If it does, I'll buy the third.

I'm one year older....one year stronger.....one year better!

Happy Birthday to me!  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Have You Noticed?

Have you noticed that my posts have lacked depth lately?

I have.

I'm sorry, my brain has gone on vacation apparently. It's been a busy summer.

Where do I begin?

I spent the first part of the summer getting caught up in my one year follow up appointments. I saw my radiation oncologist (who wants me to be seen every 3 months - alternating between him and my medical oncologist) He said everything looked good and that the patch of itchy skin on the surgery sight "doesn't look like skin cancer" which until that very moment I didn't fear it was and now I obsess about it non stop.

I had a physical and my thyroid numbers came back elevated. This happened while I was vacationing at the trailer with the fam and therefore without the assistance of Dr. Google. Thankfully my friend and resident medical know-it-all was only a text away and she reassured me that it was likely just hyperthyroidism.

I had the numbers checked again and it turned out it was a lab error and in fact, my thyroid is just fine.

Then we move on to the weird neck pain/lump in the throat. I felt like I had a swelling in the left side of my neck and I've felt like I've had a lump in my throat since I had the sore throat during radiation. Naturally I'd convinced myself I've got some kind of neck cancer. Oh, and let's not forget the new chronic heartburn. Esophageal cancer? We won't take into consideration that because Sean's family has been here the entire month of August I've been eating everything in sight and drinking....a lot. I went to the Dr and he didn't feel or see anything in my neck/throat and thinks it's likely stress. I don't doubt it. As I come to the end of my herceptin (5 left) I find myself getting more anxious about a recurrence.

On a happier note, I've got an appointment with a new plastic surgeon in November and I'm optimistic about this guy.

In two days I'll be celebrating my first 'Rebirth Day'.  My boobiversay. My first full year without my full lady parts.

I've been planning a tattoo and I've finally settled on the design I want. I'm hoping Sean will take my not so subtle hints (read: me telling him I didn't want the lovely $400 sculpture - I want my tattoo)  and tell me to go ahead and make the appointment. It's not that he's opposed to the tattoo - I've already got one  - it's more the cost. And normally that wouldn't be a problem too but you see I've decided to treat myself to a vacation.

I've talked a bit about it but I'll elaborate.

One of my PP sisters is getting married/renewing vows and I've decided to fly across the country to crash her wedding. (okay, not a total crash, she knows I'm coming) But, it's giving me the chance to spend some time with not one but two of the women who were such a big part of my 'long distance cheering section'.

I'm sure there are some people who know me (IRL) who think I'm absolutely insane to fly across the country to spend 5 days with someone I've never met. It's something we teach our kids about - you never know who is on the other end of your computer screen.

After 5 years of talking to these ladies daily, via email, text, mail and phone - I know some of them better than I know some of my 'in person' friends.

But all of that aside, I'm excited beyond belief to be stepping outside of the 'quiet, reserved, shy, non risk taker' me and go on this adventure. And I'm so excited about seeing the pacific ocean and mountains. And I'm so excited to be sharing in my PP sisters special day.

I just have to get on that plane.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

30 Things - #16

To see what this is all about, click here

16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

These are in no particular order.

1. Beating Cancer

It's certainly not something I accomplished alone. I had a full (and fabulous) medical team. I had the biggest and best cheerleading section. But, even with all of that, at the end of the day it was me and me alone who had to go through it and had to fight to come out victorious on the other side.

2. My Kids

Not having them, that was the easy part (my apologies to my friends who have/are battling infertility - you know the spirit in which that was intended)
I am proud of the people my kids are becoming.

I am proud of how thoughtful, kind, smart and funny Emily is.
I am proud of how Mary is not the least bit afraid to be herself, no matter what other people think.
I am proud of how smart and sensitive Connor is.

They are far from perfect but it is in those flaws that I find the most beauty.

3. My Marriage

6 years ago I had to make a choice to walk away from my marriage or fight for it. I chose to fight for it.
I am proud of how strong my marriage is now. We've overcome a lot of adversity and built something that will stand the test of time. I think my kids will be able to look at our marriage and understand that while it's not rainbows and roses like in the movies, if you work at it, it can be even better.

4. Finishing School.

This might not be an accomplishment for many but A: I hated school when I was younger and B: I rarely went. It's not only a miracle that I stuck with it but remarkable that I graduated despite never being there. Imagine what I could have done with my life if I'd actually tried?!

5........has not been accomplished yet but it's in the works. When it happens, you'll be the 5th to know.

Monday, August 13, 2012

30 Things - #15

To see what this is all about, click here

15. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Okay, wtf kind of question is this?? Honestly, it's something Mary would ask me.



If I were an animal I'd be a cockroach so I would be indestructible.




I'd be a bird so I could have a birds eye view.



I'd be a cat so I could sleep 20 hours a day and it would be acceptable.

this is our little kitty Licorice. He got stuck this way in the girls beanbag chair
























I'd be fish so I could live in the water. I love the water.



I'd be a butterfly so everyone would think I was beautiful.



I'd be a giraffe so for once I'd have long legs.



I'd be an elephant so Bob Barker would pay to have me moved to California.



#16 will be much more interesting.





Friday, August 10, 2012

30 Things - #14

To find out what this is about click here

Another job interview question.

14. Describe 5 strengths you have.

My favourite job interview answer for this question..... "I am able to be a team player but am also able to work independently with minimal supervision."  This translates to - I'll work with other people if I have to but truth be known I'd rather you just tell me what to do, when it's got to be done by and everyone can leave me the hell alone. Ironically, this is truthfully how I work best. I'm a great team player - provided I'm the captain of the team.

And that brings me to number 1.

1. I'm organized.
I'm not OCD organized but I think I'm organized than most. I have mental lists a mile long of what needs to be done - and more recently because of chemo fog, I have paper lists. And they all get done. I'm a planner, I don't fly by the seat of my pants well and organizing speaks to that for me.


2. I'm kind.
I know this might be considered a personality trait rather than a strength but I consider it a strength. It's easy to be kind to the people you like, the challenge is to be kind to those you don't like. And while I genuinely like most people I find more and more (especially after cancer) that I have no patience or tolerance for certain kinds of people. I just don't like those people as much as I once did but am still forced to interact with them on a regular basis.


3.  I have a great sense of humor.
I don't mean I tell knock knock jokes. I see humor in everyday life - particularly when it comes to the irony of life. I tend to find things funny that others don't quite see the humor in and really appreciate when others do as well. When I had my mastectomy my bff bought me a birthday card with a joke in it about sagging boobs. Another friend made my birthday cake in the shape of a boob. My brother joked that most people pay an arm and a leg for their houses but I paid my right boob.

How many people laugh at having a body part removed or cancer? Not many but to me, those things were funny and brought a smile to my face when I needed it most.


4.  I'm self aware.
I know what I like and what I hate. I am confident without being cocky. I am comfortable in my own skin. I don't need validation from anyone.



5.  I'm committed.
I don't do anything halfway. If I'm going to do something I'm going to go at it head on and to the best of my abilities. It might not be even close to being perfect - or even right for that matter but it will be done as well as I can do it.
This goes for my relationships too. I will give it 100% - but I expect 100% in return.


So, did I get the job??

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ready....Set.......

Awwwwwwww.......

Yeah, I'm cute!!


How can you not love that little face!!

When I was little I wanted a dog. I wanted to name it BJ. Our neighbours had a Bijon they called BJ and I thought it was the best dog ever.

My Grandma bought me a stuffed Beagle for my first communion and I called it BJ and it went everywhere with me (even to Las Vegas when I was 22....I'll tell ya about that story later)

I still have BJ the Beagle and will never ever part with it.

Last year when we got Chicklets

Sean told the kids we'd get two kittens so they'd be able to play. But when the time came he changed his mind and we came home with just one. We let it slide but over time this lovely kitten grew into a cat and well, he was lonely. I toyed with the idea of letting him out but we live on a main street and I don't want him pancaked. Been there, done that and it wasn't pleasant.

Anyhow, a couple of weeks ago Emily told me  that her friend's Beagle was pregnant.

What?! I could have my very own BJ!!?? 

But alas, Sean is not a fan of dogs. Truth be known, I love dogs but they are a hell of a lot of work and while the idea of a dog seems fun, I'm more inclined to have the lower maintenance pets. But I pushed the dog issue.

Yesterday Sean said "I'd rather have another cat than a dog."

Now, I'm no fool and if he's saying something like that I'm not giving him a chance to change his mind so I immediately got onto Kijiji and found us a kitten. And last night, little Licorice came home.

Chicklets is less than impressed with his new housemate. He caterwauled, he growled, he hissed. He even tried to bat at the kitten a couple of times. But mostly he's just following him around the house, growing at him. Showing him who's boss.  The little guy, who isn't bigger than a handful, hisses back occasionally.  It's really like a house cat hissing at a lion. Cute and not at all frightening.

We're all in love and look forward to the day that Chicklets accepts his new little housemate. Until then, we're keeping a watchful eye.

Oh, have I mentioned I'm allergic to cats? It doesn't bother me with adult cats but with the kittens - when they are up in your arms all the time....yeah, time for a Claritin.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Have A Drink?

Sean's sister has been visiting from Newfoundland so we've been doing a lot of visiting with her. Also a lot of eating. And drinking. Oh the drinking.

I've discovered a new love for martinis and well, my liver is not so happy with me. She's leaving early next week. Two days later his brother is coming in though.

I'm not complaining, it's  great to visit with my in laws, we don't see them often; once every 5 years or so, so I'm enjoying myself.

My sister in law was talking about a martini club she and her friends had started, each person who came would be responsible for bringing the fixin's for a different martini and a finger food and all sorts of shenanigans would ensue.

I'm thinking this would be something I'd enjoy - once a month with friends. Might have to see what we can do about that.

But enough of that.

I've been working a lot the past couple of weeks too. I know what you're thinking - working on summer vacation? Why yes, yes I am. My hope is to have all my major prep done before school starts so that during my prep time at school I can get other things accomplished instead of paperwork. I also made a lightbox for the science centre. I'm going to start updating my Kindergarten Blog again soon.

I'm also counting down until my trip to Vancouver. I'm so insanely excited!! My bff went shopping with me to find a dress to wear to the two weddings I'm going to this month and I came away with two gorgeous dresses and shoes. Woohoo! I also got my hair cut on Wednesday so it would look a little less chemo hair and a little more "Wow, that chick really likes short hair"

Not a lot to say today but I'm here, resting my liver and relaxing!