Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hoping and Praying....

It's that time of year when I start to get a little nervous and tense.

Tomorrow will be the third anniversary of my Dad's diagnosis.

In 11 days it will be the 2nd anniversary of when I discovered my own yet-to-be-diagnosed cancer.

I am due for my yearly mammogram next month but there is a problem.

You see, here in Ontario there are three different types of mammography machines. One type, the computed radiography machine, is not as accurate and has been known to 'miss' small cancers. These machines are now being replaced throughout the province (76 of them in total) with a better machine that will not miss these small cancers.  Here's the rub.....the place I have my mammogram done has one of those machines that needs to be replaced. If it weren't for the fact that I'd had several ultrasounds and two breast MRI's and the mastectomy I'd be in one hell of a panic over this thinking this machine missed my cancer last time and that's why it wasn't found....
but the simple fact is, if it had been detectable they would have found it with the MRI's or the dissection of my breast. A small part of me worries though about my mammogram from last year.

Getting back to the matter at hand....I'm not inclined to have a mammogram on this craptastic machine that might miss a small cancer in my left breast. I'd rather have it on a different machine. So my options are....wait for them to replace the machine in July or have my mammo somewhere else.

I'm opting for somewhere else. My sense of urgency on making sure my boobs are boob is healthy is not allowing my mind to reconcile with waiting a full extra month. I want my boob squished on schedule please.   But I can't reach my Dr to tell him to book me in somewhere else. Frustrating.

And then there's the interview.

Interview? you ask, What interview?

Last month I went to a job fair for my local school board. I dropped off my resume when I went in, sat for an hour listening to them telling me about the job I've already done for the past 3 years and then left deciding I wasn't going to pursue the job further. I didn't want to go through the trouble of getting my reference letters, getting another reference letter from my priest (it's a Catholic board) and getting my criminal reference check done again (pricey $$) Because I didn't have the required paperwork in with my resume I assumed that was the end of it.

Not so.

I got an email two days ago inviting me for an interview, despite not having submitted any of the other paperwork.

Now I'm going to be the first person to admit that I often think to myself (and complain to my family and friends) that I'm not 100% happy in my current job. Don't get me wrong - the job itself, I LOVE. I am totally committed to my role and the kids and it still is my dream job. However, for the past 2 years (well, since I went back to work in April 2012) I have been stressed out with my work environment, unhappy about the situation I am in and I know there will be no changes to that situation for at least 4 years.

Quite frankly, I don't know if I can handle 4 more years in the environment I'm in. The stress is taking a toll on my well being.

Cancer changes you and where it was a total leap outside of my comfort zone to even take this job in the first place - it is even more out of my comfort zone to leave it. But I'm no longer the person who sits around letting the what if's scare me.  I have an opportunity to work closer to home (little or no commute? Yes please!) Perhaps (if the stars all align) even at my kids school.....dare to dream......

So next Friday, with the blessing of my principal (and a glowing letter of recommendation!) I will go to my interview and hope for the best.

I am confident that I will be offered a job - mainly because I do the very same job with my current school board. I know my stuff. I am confident in my abilities as an Early Childhood Educator and I'm bringing a kick ass portfolio. So I'm hoping and praying they'll offer me at the kids' school....

imagine the luxury of being able to walk to work.......

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there who are reading this. 

13 1/2 years ago I became a mom and it was the single greatest moment in my life ( x 3 ). Without my children my life would feel hollow. 

Mothering is not for everyone and I know several couples who have remained childless by choice, whatever makes you happy, but for me, I know of no greater gift than the gift of your child's love. 

And yes, I mean all of those heart warming sentiments when my children are making me feel insane or when I'm telling one of them for the 39000th time to not leave their socks in the dining room or yelling at them to stop doing cartwheels in the house or that baseball is an outdoor game. 

Where would I be without my children? 

I'd probably be planning a more exotic vacation than Orlando for the summer. I'd most definitely not be driving a mini van, maybe a Jaguar or a Charger instead. My house would be clean and a lot more fashionable and modern. My backyard would have grass - not patches of grass. I'd wear beautiful clothes, not mom jeans and yoga pants. I'd have a full social life. 

Sounds great right!? Hell, there are many days that that sounds like paradise. 

But do you know where else I'd be without my children? Probably 6 feet under.

There is no way I would have beaten cancer if I weren't a mom. The simple fact is, the trips, the car, the nice house and clothes, the fab social life, those are all wonderful but hardly worth living for. 

Emily, Mary Jo and Connor are my reasons for being. They are the reason I get out of bed everyday. They are the reason I go to work, they are the reason I come home. 

When I was sick I ended most of my posts with "I will beat this. I have to. I have too much to live for." 

I gave my children life. And they gave me a reason to live. 

On this Mother's Day I pray for everyone to find that reason to live. Whatever that reason may be. 

And for those women whose arms are empty  - whether it be by choice, loss or infertility, I pray that your heart is filled. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm APPsolutely in Love....

Remember that time when I said I'd NEVER get a smart phone because I'm too damned cheap and don't need to be that in touch with the world all the time and then a year or so later I bought an iPhone?

Yeah, that was funny wasn't it?

Remember that time when I said I wouldn't waste my money on an iPad because I have a perfectly good laptop that does everything I need it to do and, well, now my iPhone picks up the slack with apps.....

Yeah, so I bought an iPad mini a couple of weeks ago.

I did have an ulterior motive though.

We're getting iPads at school and I wanted to find good, fun apps for my class to use. And since I have my own built in 5 year old product tester I thought it would fun for him too.

The truth of the matter is, he spends more time playing Temple Run than anything educational. Oh, and I found out our school iPads come preloaded with apps...we don't get to download our own so all that testing was unnecessary.

But here's the thing. I'm in love with my iPad. And now I'm on the search for apps....apps meant for people like me. (anal, hyperorganized, and creative.)

I found one. It's called SnapRecipes

If you're anything like me you have piles of recipes torn out of magazines, recipe books with 4 or 5 pages marked and the rest going to waste, a binder full of handwritten recipes.....
The shelf above my microwave was starting to look like an episode of hoarders.

But with SnapRecipes I can store them all on my iPad with minimal work.

How minimal, you ask?

It's as simple as typing in the name of the recipe, clicking a few buttons to categorize your recipe and then snapping a picture of the recipe itself. 

But what about recipes you find online? you ask.....

Well you can store those to. Simply take a screenshot of the website.

Holy's so easy!!

So here's the thing. I spent hours (not kidding....hours) looking at different apps to do this and most of the ones that you could use photos of your paper recipes on were either free but you could only store 20 recipes and then you had to buy a membership or paid apps but you had to buy credits for the amount of recipe photos you could store.

But SnapRecipes has no limit. And no membership fees. So it's the straight goods - $1.99 for the app and you're set.

You know what this means? This means I will no longer have the last 35 copies of Catelaine above my microwave. I will not have the Kraft What's Cooking magazine there. I will not have that giant binder of recipes with papers falling out and recipes smudged and crinkled and ripped.  I will never again print a recipe from a website.

And when I want to cook from a recipe....I'll pull out my iPad and start cooking.