Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve!

The holidays are always filled with so much excitement and so much to do. Today is really no exception. I am celebrating my birthday tonight with my sister, her hubby and several other friends. We are going out for New Year's AND my birthday. The other night was a special just us night for me and the hubby so I am pretty excited. It's sure to be a very fun and crazy night so I'll make sure to post pics. I hope everyone else does the same on their blogs. I really enjoy seeing into others lives and seeing how they do things. I think it's pretty cool. It must be why I love this blogging thing so much. haha

My oncologist called yesterday. I love my docs and nurses but I still get nervous getting an unexpected call. Well they had to reschedule my appointment which is very bad actually because we have planned an entire vacation around this appointment. We are going to visit my husband's parents in North Carolina and we had everything worked out up to my appointment time and where we would stay etc. We had it all timed out. They wanted to push it ahead a week! I told them no way because my hubby got that particular week off. They did some searching and found a free appointment on the 22nd so I took it. It does cause a few issues but glad I could get in! I get so nervous around appointment time and it is really no exception now. I still get this lump in my throat. I don't know what to think. Is it really my thyroid? This feeling never really did go fully away. Why is it worse at night than in the day? Here are questions I'll ask my doc. Sometimes it makes me feel like I might gag. It scares me but you know, it has always really been there and he says I am cancer free so I am guessing it must be the four thyroid nodules growing in my neck. That could do it. Still I will ask. I have to because otherwise I worry like mad! I'll talk more about my update as the time draws near.

Until then Happy New Year's Eve to all!

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Birthday

It's been a really good birthday. I woke up to lots of hugs and kisses from my wonderful family. My husband MADE me a birthday cake. It was his very first attempt and it was delicious. It means so much more than a store bought one simply because it was made by his own hands. I was so proud of him. :)

Tonight we had my mom come over and watch the kids. We went to a Japanese Steakhouse which was a first for me actually. I loved watching them chop and cook the vegetables and steak. He tried to throw a piece of something in my mouth but I totally missed. It's ok. I had this delicious Fuki Plum Wine which was amazing. I loved it and had such a good time.

After that we headed to the movie theatre. We got a huge popcorn but unfortunately were so stuffed we barely touched it. I did manage to eat two Dove chocolates which were oh so good. The movie was Seven Pounds with Will Smith. I warn you to NOT see this movie without a whole lot of tissue! It's a tear jerker but such a feel good movie full of love. It's sad and makes you think a lot. It can be confusing at first but remember it's a movie that kinda starts at the end and goes back. So if you remember that you'll be ok. I personally am a HUGE Will Smith fan. I have been pretty much since he stepped onto the scene back when I was a teenager listening to Parent's Just Don't Understand. Ahhh the days. Now I am that parent!

Included are a few pics of today. Please enjoy!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Mother's Birthday

Well in my family it seems sort of a tradition to have our birthday either close together or on the same day. Today is my mom's 52nd birthday. I haven't seen her in a long time really. I was raised by my father and step mother who to me is just like my real mom. I have two moms as far as I am concerned. I want to wish my mother a very happy birthday today!

I mentioned we have birthdays on the same day or close together. Well obviously mine is tomorrow. So there is that one. I also have a younger sister who shares a birthday with my grandma. My two oldest daughters, ages 11 and 8 also share the exact same birthday. Hubby's is three days before theirs. haha So yes, we keep busy around the birthdays. You would not believe how many people ask if I planned having those girls on the same day. My only reply is "Why would I ever want to do that??"


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Going on 33 and Christmas Photos

Well today is December 27th. (For those who don't have a calender haha) My birthday is in two days. Parts of me say I am turning 32. Why? Well I lost my 31st year. I lost it to cancer though it didn't win in the end. I felt so sick even before my diagnosis. Then once I was diagnosed I couldn't even get out of bed. I lost even Mother's Day being in bed. My girls and my husband did however try to make it a good day for me. They couldn't spend much time with me. It took too much out of me.

So my way of thinking is I get a do over for that year. What do you think? haha Ok. Maybe not. Maybe I earned that year even more than all the others. I think so actually. It was my hardest and I learned more from that year than any other. I learned how strong I am. I became a better and stronger person. I loved my family that much more. I didn't think it was possible to love my husband more but I did. Each day I do more than the last. I know no matter what we have each other. That's enough for me.

To be honest sometimes I say it was my best year. How? Why? Well my husband had spent so much time away from me traveling in the previous couple of years. We moved so he could be home more. No more traveling. It was hard on us. It created tension and he was gone too much. We couldn't be close when he was away for weeks at a time. I missed him desperately. I didn't want to leave my family and friends but I needed my best friend back. So we moved. He took a job where he could stay home. Things improved instantly. I loved it there. The trouble was I was so sick. We figured it was thyroid and other things but never cancer. I mean the thought *did* cross my mind but probably not more so than you or anyone else. We all think about it on occasion I think. We all have the what ifs.

Once I was diagnosed my husband was always there. His job told him to take care of me. They said his family was the most important thing. They really helped him to be able to be with me and care for the kids. He never left my side. It really made up for lost time. I now know he watched me sleep every night. I caught him twice but he's admitted it was a nightly ritual. I didn't sound good during the day but at night it was a very fast paced wheezy breathing. He was terrified. So he watched. He slept during the day when my oldest daughter could watch me. I loved having him at every appointment, every sonogram, every chemo.

So to be honest maybe 31 was my best year. I felt more loved than I ever have in my life. I also had a new baby girl that year. Nah, it wasn't so bad. I beat cancer, got my husband off the road and had a baby girl. I think I'll just say I am thankful and earned that year. So, here's to 33 years in two days! And let's not forget it is also my very first birthday as a cancer survivor!! I have reason to celebrate. We are combining my birthday with New Years and going out that night with my friends. I'll have pictures up no doubt.

Now, just enjoy these pics from our Christmas. And please...don't mind my messy hair. I just woke up! Oh and I rarely post pics in my glasses. lol

Click here for Christmas Photos!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wishing You All a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all. Just wanted to make sure I let you all know that and I appreciate my readers very much. We're all doing wonderfully. I have had a great Christmas with my family. The girls are all finally well and over the virus. I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two Days Until Christmas and More Thoughts on After Effects

Are you ready yet? I am doing ok I think. I need to wrap some stuff. Gabriella has caught the virus. So far it doesn't seem like she has a tummy ache though. Just other unpleasant things and a low grade temp. I hope it goes away for Christmas! This virus is just awful. I don't want my baby girl throwing up for Christmas.

I spent the day at the mall yesterday and shopping with the hubby. We had a really good day and stopped for lunch too. I really enjoy that time we get together.

I mentioned after effects of chemo. I never truly have felt 100% the same. I had all that pressure in my neck when the tumor was there. I felt in on occasion even during chemo though never as bad. After chemo I still feel it sometimes but doc says I am cancer free. It causes paranoia. I am told numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes is an after effect which is good honestly since I DO get that. I got that bad during chemo combined with an awful metalic taste in my mouth. I brushed my teeth probably 10 times a day during chemo. Literally, no joke. I am suffering from back pain but it's different than my usual pain. This is specifically targeted to my upper left shoulder blade. It's bad too. I can't lean my head all the way back. It reminds me WAY too much of when I was at my sickest I would cough violently and it sent stabbing pains into my left shoulder. The pains were so bad it honestly felt like someone took a knife to my shoulder. I was terrified to cough. It made me throw up too. Luckily now at least medicine helps the pain! And it's not that bad either. There are just many things and some you can say is a result of cancer or chemo. Some are not. You just never know for sure. Kind of like when I was sick. I had nausea. How much was attributed to cancer, chemo or the baby? I never knew for sure. The terrible reflux could have been made worse by the tumor. My treatments as well could have made it worse. I hated that I didn't really know. Either way I am better now with just a bit of shoulder pain. I think I can handle it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

After Effects?

I'll be doing a post next week on after effects of cancer. You might think once it's gone it's gone but really there are things that you still feel. Numbness, tingling even some pressure. I hate it and sometimes you don't know whether to worry about those things or to just tell yourself it's normal. Even my doc said I might just get used to it as normal over the years. That doesn't really make me any happier! So I think I'll do some research on it and then do a post. I know how I feel. I am sure others have the same issues.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Don't Forget To Vote!

Please vote for me here on my site to the right over there. Yes there. Vote for me! If you have something you want ME to vote for, feel free to comment with your voting link. I will vote right back for you. Thanks.

Ice Storm Pictures

We got our ice storm last night. School was canceled today. The good news is Mikayla (the one with the tummy aches) has felt perfect the past two days. I'm thinking that virus was just making things a lot worse for some time now and it's finally gone. I do think the ice is beautiful. I am not fond of the cold at all. I do however love the way the cold makes me want to curl up under a big blanket and read a book. I love my hot chocolate too. Warm fuzzy socks and a sweatshirt all go right along with this cold weather. I can't complain about that because I think I'd miss it if I didn't have it anymore.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ice Storm and Neck Tension

They are calling for a huge ice storm today. This is bad, but an even huger issue with the salt shortage around here. They are calling for about an inch of ice on the roads and expecting power outages. If I disappear, well you will know why. I'll post tomorrow if I am able to get online. I hate ice. Though I will say it's beautiful after an ice storm. The trees are covered in cases of ice just like a crystal. Tall dried weeds in the fields and ditches will look like sharp blades of glass. It's a pretty awesome site. I just don't want to drive on it! So I hope that everyone around these parts is ready for what they are calling a terrible ice storm.

Onto neck tension. I have it. I have it bad. I never did until I started drawing really intensely. I would hover over a drawing for hours without stretching. I'd be stiff and sore but it would get better. One month I got a headache and it did not go away for a good month. I thought terrible things and didn't know what was wrong with me. My doctor told me it was neck tension. I did some series of stretches and it got better though at first it hurt more. Now anytime I sit at the computer for long periods my neck and upper back/shoulder area hurt terribly. I hate having pressure of any kind in my neck. It feels too similar to the pressure the tumor put in there. So I get paranoid. The follow up is coming January 23rd. I need a good massage. I think maybe also a chiropractor. haha

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's a Wonderful Life

Well for the second time this December the hubby and I cuddled up on the couch to watch It's a Wonderful Life. We were finally getting a break. The kids were in bed. It was quiet. Mikayla is my 8 year old who has the frequent stomach issues. This past month as I mentioned before we have all had them. There is a BAD bug in this house. I am not sure what it is but stomach aches, and nausea. Angel had a vomiting episode 2 weeks ago. She is better now. Well I never know how much to believe Mikayla since she ALWAYS has stomach issues. She wasn't feeling well and I knew it. I have an appointment for her on Friday to hopefully get things worked out. I figured if I had stomach aches this week then honestly she will probably feel even worse. So I planned on taking her in and that was that.

Unfortunately that kind of planning only really happens in my dreams. I heard a cough...then two. I told Jason (the hubby) that I better go check on the girls. I walked into their room only to see Mikayla sitting up, half asleep throwing up all over her bed. It was bad. That's all I can say. I sat there rubbing her back, telling her it was ok. Her bed was already destroyed and it was really too late to save anything. So I just tried to wait for it to end. Then I looked up to see Angel walking around the side of the bed in a daze....covered in puke. Yes. Mikayla threw up on her sister. I mean...all over her. She has long red hair and it was drenched. Her face, yes drenched. I yelled for Jason and he came running. He grabbed Angel while I tended to Mikayla. He got Angel into the tub and seriously she had it in her her nose. UGH! I have never seen anything like it. They had been snuggling earlier and I thought it was cute! Angelina was falling asleep while we cleaned her in the tub. She thought she had thrown up but when she realized what happened we just got a huge "ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww" in return. I love my girlies. They sure keep my days busy and honestly this is one of those things you will be telling your grandchildren some day!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Wonderland!

It's snowing like mad outside and has been all day. I got myself up and started getting ready for the day. I even put on makeup and did my hair. Then I looked outside and what did I see? A blizzard. I do not drive in bad weather for obvious reasons but this year I have been told there is a salt shortage. It's apparently true because usually the salt trucks are out there BEFORE the storm hits. They usually salt the roads and as soon as it starts they start plowing. I have yet to see a truck. I haven't even heard one. I am pretty terrified at how bad this winter will be. The roads are barely distinguishable from the corn fields. I will be staying inside with a cup of hot chocolate tonight curled up on the couch with the hubby!

A New Van and Random Thoughts

Yes I got a new van. I've been driving a bright yellow Neon which let's be frank, suits me perfectly. I'm 5'2" about 102 pounds....and I have blonde hair. I sometimes think I look a little too perky. If I wear pink, which I love, I slightly resemble that girl from Legally Blonde. lol I still love it. I'll look like a Barbie Doll. I don't care. I think it's slightly annoying to *some* people. Oh I am not always like that. I do wear my dark colors too. I love purple as well. (chuckle)

Me in my usual pink.

I love this new van. It has a DVD player in it. I have been dying for one. I need it for long trips. I absolutely love long road trips. Especially with the hubby there. We have such good times in between breaking up fights between the girls. The doors are automatic on it. I am taking a little time getting used to it though. In the mornings when I drop the girls off for school it's kind of a speed drop thing. There is a huge line so we try to go fast. I pull up, they open doors, climb out, slam door and I go. Fast. Not today. I pull up pushing button for automatic doors to open. Nothing. CLICK CLICK CLICK. Nothing. UGH! Oh. Yeah. I UNLOCK the door. Click, open. Yeah!!! Now, click to close. NOTHING. EEEP! Line of cars behind me. Door will NOT shut. :( So I pull into a parking spot with the door wide open. I put the car into park, hit the button and it shuts. Apparently I'll have to put the car into park before that feature will work right. I'll have to learn to change up my usual routine which will take some practice at first. I am sure I was an amusing sight this morning. I always take the kids to school in my PJ's. haha

Random thoughts? It's December 16th. I know I say it a lot but hey, it's my month. My birthday is creeping up. The holidays are around the corner. I am thinking of this year as a lot of firsts. My first birthday in remission, my first Christmas in remission and let's not forget the New Year!! My first year without cancer in probably 5 years. Maybe more. I just know I started to feel symptoms in 2004. Who knows how long before that it actually started. So I am thrilled. Seriously I have had some depressing things happen this past month but you know, I won't be knocked down. I am strong and I just keep getting back up again and I always will. I am not easily brought down. I don't recommend trying. I am a fighter and really you have to be in life. Cancer could have killed me but I fought and if you get a cancer diagnosis you have to do the same. Do not ever think of it as a death sentence. As a commercial for a cancer center I saw said "There is no expiration date stamped into the bottom of your foot." I had a strong support system and it helped but it comes down to you. Like I said, I may fall....but I won't stay there. I get right back up again and if I have to, I'll fight some more.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Husband Meme

Well I saw this one on Bethany's blog over at Happy to be Called a Mommy. I thought I'd give it a shot! Try it on your blog too...umm and if you have a boyfriend, wife or girlfriend you can just change it up a bit.


1. He’s sitting in front of the TV: what is on the screen? Maybe UFC or a video game.

2. You’re out to eat. What kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Ranch.

3. What is one food he doesn’t like? Sauerkraut

4. You go out to the bar. What does he order? Captain and Coke

5. Where did he go to high school? in Illinois :P

6. What size shoe does he wear? 11

7. If he was to collect anything, what would it be? classic cars

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich? he loves potted meat, corned beef, spam even. He likes his hot mustard too. (Not all on the same sandwich lol)

9. What would the Husband eat every day if he could? Tacos

10. What is his favorite cereal? He's not really a cereal eater. But if I chose one it would be Fruity Pebbles.

11. What would he never wear? a tutu? I don't know. lol

12. What is his favorite sports team? Dallas Cowboys

13. Who is his best friend? Me.

14. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do?
Forget to pay bills. (eep)

15. How many states has he lived in? Well, he was born outside the US....then lived in Illinois for the most part. He has traveled and stayed other places but he's home for good now. Thank God.

16. What is his heritage? Lots of things like me. But I think there is some German in there....and Irish perhaps.

17. You bake him a cake for his birthday; He'd rather have brownies.

18. Did he play sports in high school? He played basketball. I played too...and for the same school. We went to high school together.

19. What could he spend hours doing?

Playing video games.....and spending time with me.

Please Help Me Out :)

I have been a member of Wellsphere for some time now. They are now hosting a contest. It is the 1st Annual People's HealthBlogger Awards. I would love to get as many votes as possible. It really would be such an honor so if you like my blog even just a tiny bit (haha) please vote for me! I appreciate it so much. Please leave a comment and let me know I have your vote.

Stomach Aches All Around

Well this past two weeks has been interesting to say the least. We have all gotten some terrible stomach aches along with other aches and pains. It seems to come and go which is odd. My stomach is starting to ache again as I type. I am guessing we have all caught some irritating bug that is taking his time leaving. Two of my girls have had it as well as hubby. So we've been spending a lot of extra time just cuddling up on the couch with a big blanket and a movie. I love watching all the old Christmas classics. My favorites? "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Christmas Carol" with Alastair Sim. That is the best one in my humble opinion. I much prefer it in the original black and white as well.

My stomach aches are the explanation for my lack in posting and dropping the past few days. It's a pretty irritating kind of ache. I felt better after eating...then it came back hours later. I hope it passes soon! And I pray that the baby does not get it. It's so hard when little ones like that get tummy aches because there is little you can do and they cannot tell you what is wrong.

I would love to know what others favorite movies are at Christmas time. Maybe I'll create a poll. haha

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Program

Great socks mom!!!

My daughter Angelina has the long red hair

There is nothing quite like a Christmas program to get you into the Christmas spirit. The only bad thing about small towns is the fact that there is never enough room in the schools for all the people to sit and watch. It was awful at first. We were standing in the center isle. There was nowhere to sit and nowhere to stand up against a wall. There wasn't even standing room. So here we are in the center isle not sure what to do. It is our first year at this particular school. The hubby did however go to school here for awhile as a child.

Anyway, finally the school must have realized the problem. Not only were we in the center isle but there was a LINE behind us. People were still trying to come in. Where would any of us even go? Finally the principal opened up another row of bleachers that had been vacant. Why? I don't know. Regardless we sat down and had a good time. Gabbi was so good and clapped after each song. She just likes to clap when other people do. She loves all people. She smiles and grins and doesn't even get a tiny bit scared. I have a dear friend online who made her a pair of socks. I run a crochet site and she helps me manage it. She sent Gabbi some adorable beaded socks. Gabbi played with them through the whole concert. She'd eat the beads given the chance so it's not too often I let her put them on. She literally eats ANYTHING she can get her hands on.

My oldest daughter Lexi started band this year and chose drums. She is such a tomboy and SO much like her dad. She however still enjoys the girly things. I passed onto her my love of clothes, shoes and purses. Yet she'll hop on a four wheeler and go crazy....if I let her. =/

My middle child is probably my most difficult. Well she was my middle child I suppose until I had Gabbi. Mikayla fainted when she was a baby. One year old and she fainted when she got hurt, or upset. That was a stressful time let me tell you. She doesn't do it anymore. Now she is a kid with constant tummy aches. She has seen the doc many times and it appears to be just an issue she'll outgrow. I'm taking her again anyway. I'd hate living like that.

After Mikayla I suffered a miscarriage. It was a boy. We know because of tests done. That was a seriously difficult time as well. But we healed. Time really does heal all wounds.

My daughter Angelina was born with a hemangioma on her bottom lip. If you do not know what that is, well it's a benign tumor technically but really just a birthmark that grows rapidly. She was on steroids at 3 months of age. We got the growth stopped thank God because they can get so bad. I made a lot of friends when researching info on that. I was on the news for that too!! haha I think I keep getting my 15 minutes. Next year I hope I can make it onto a certain talent show I ALMOST got on this year. Anyway....that's a bit of info on my kids and my interesting life. Honestly I feel like my nerves have been tested. I'm ever so slightly neurotic. hee hee. I try not to be and I think I'm getting better with age! There are absolutely no promises in life. And that's ok. I just roll with the punches and I'm stronger because of it. I like who I've become after all the trials and tribulations I have been through. I'm not perfect by any means at all but I do strive to be a good mom, a good wife and that's all one can do right? :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Day With the Hubby

Well I haven't been home at all today. I spent a lot of good quality time with my husband, Jason. We hadn't done any Christmas shopping yet (gasp) so we had my mother stay with Gabriella and off we went. We had a wonderful time and got some really nice gifts for the girls. I love feeling like they are going to have a good Christmas. It's the only thing that matters at all to me.

I had planned on taking Gabbi with us, but you know, sometimes you just need alone time. I think it's nice walking hand in hand and just not worrying about the diaper that needs changed, or anything else at least for a short time. After thirteen years of marriage there comes a time when it feels good to just take a few moments to say I love you and pretend like it's just the two of you. Then it's back to the real world with four children! haha I enjoy it while it lasts though.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas is Coming and Another Follow Up Not Far Behind

Yes Christmas is so close. It seems to be so far away all year then BAM. It's here before you have time to do any shopping. I love Christmas time really. I enjoy the music. I enjoy the snow if we get any. I don't like driving on it, but that's another story. I like that warm cozy feeling you get with a cup of hot coffee, a good book and a soft snow outside. That's like top of the list for my favorite things to do. This is my first Christmas in my own home too. We bought a house early this year and so I am making the most of my very first Christmas in my own home and my first Christmas in remission. I took the girls to the mall to see Santa and ride the little train they have this week. Angel and Gabriella sat on Santa's lap and I couldn't resist buying a picture. Gabriella was smiling huge and waving at Santa and anyone who walked by. See her arm slightly raised? She kept waving at everyone. I had so many people comment on how happy she is and how so many kids cry on Santa's lap. Not my Gabbi!!! She thought he was pretty awesome. haha

Now I realize January 23rd is not that close. It's still pretty far off right? Well it seems like tomorrow. It's my next follow up and I always get panicky around that time. I'll probably develop all kinds of symptoms in the next few months. I'm sure I'll blog about it. I have to remind myself it's normal. I have to tell myself repeatedly it's just because I am having a check up. Still, I get nervous. I feel the pressure in my veins more. I feel more aches and stuff or maybe I just notice the usual parts of...ahem...getting older and think it's cancer. How lovely hmmm? I know I have mentioned it before but my birthday is smack dab in the middle of all this too. I apologize to my readers for saying I felt 33 was old. I mean just for ME. haha Since I barely feel 25 most days this is odd for me. I don't really *feel* older. Even the cancer couldn't stop me in my tracks. I don't even think it gave me any wrinkles. (sigh of relief) I know they are coming though and as long as I am with those I love and surrounded by people who love me, I really don't mind. Bring em on!!!

The Spider

Well I decided to start off the day with something funny. Sorry by the way for my lack in card dropping and posting but my laptop is still out of commission. I try to get on this family computer as often as I can but it's just not the same!

Ok. For the funny part. In around 2005 or 2006 I was home alone. I was doing some laundry in my basement. Now this was a very large house and the basement was concrete. So one day I was separating the whites from the darks. I had large mounds of laundry on the floor and I was picking them up and placing them in the right basket. As I did this I saw something move in the pile I just placed in a basket. In the top of the mound under a few shirts and poking out his 2 incredibly long front legs was the most gigantic black spider I have ever seen. Now I have seen many large spiders. Wolf spiders get pretty big and those are really common around here. This guy was pitch black. I still have no idea what he was. I did realize I had just had him in my arms though. In the laundry. *Shiver*

So, I am stuck in my basement. The washer is to the left. The basket in the center isle loaded with laundry and a huge spider. What to do??? I panicked mostly because I had no idea if it was poisonous. I am not afraid of spiders in a controlled setting like a zoo...or something. haha I don't want one on my laundry or running across my arm. Which has also happened, but totally another story. Anyway....I had to get out of the basement. I crawled on top of the washer and squeezed myself behind the water heater and ran upstairs.

OK. Now what? I can't let a big huge giant black spider roam free right? I couldn't ever do the laundry again either. haha So I wanted some bug spray but had none. I grabbed a broom and the only spray in the house. Scrubbing Bubbles.

Oh yes. Here is where it gets funny. So...imagine a 5'2", small girl creeping up on a big hairy black spider and working up the nerve to spray him with a can of foaming bubbles. I laugh thinking of this and how serious I was. I finally worked up the nerve. I figured, I'd stun him then whack him with the broom. I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed. Before I knew it, I had a large blob of bubbles running across my basement floor. JUST bubbles. You couldn't see any spider. It was just a gigantic blob of bubbles running...and me chasing it with a broom. I tried to smoosh him but I think he was a super spider because I'd smash and he'd run again. He got under some boards and that was it. I never saw him again.

This was all before I got sick. This is why I need my hubby here, to kill my spiders for me. :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Day I Stopped Singing

This one is something that is very personal and not really something I shared before other than maybe with my husband. I come from a family who loves to sing and I am no exception. I was raised in the church so I grew up singing hymns. I always enjoyed it and from a young age was told I had a good voice. That was all it took for me to belt it out. As I grew older I realized where my voice needed improvement. I never wanted to be one of those people who *thought* they could sing but only embarrassed themselves!! Eeeek. So I would record myself. You always sound different when you record yourselves. Sometimes I would just cringe at how awful I was or other times I would smile because I got it right. It is my favorite way to practice.

I realized I couldn't sing as well before anything happened. I'd try to sing and when holding a note I didn't run out of breath my throat literally closed off. I would feel terrible pressure in my veins. My neck would bulge, my face would turn red and then nothing. Not a squeak, or an off key note just nothing. Not even air. I was so scared. I figured my thyroid was the culprit. I was not so lucky.

I finally did get winded just singing a note or two. I couldn't breathe more than 2 words without gasping. I kept trying and it kept hurting. So one day, I decided I couldn't sing anymore. I came to the conclusion that until I figured out what was wrong, and until I could breathe normally again I was only damaging my voice by trying. I cried. It was a hard day but a realization I had to come to.

My mother in law cried when she heard me sing again. It brought tears to my own eyes because I had no idea it meant so much to her. She cried that she feared she would never hear me sing again. I have been in competitions and almost got on a talent show that I am not able to mention because I signed a contract. Grrrr. I'd love to show off but cannot. Those close to me already know. haha Anyway maybe this year. I'll try again. My voice is back. I sing again. My veins still bulge. Though not as much. I'll never have the air back I used to have but I can sing again and I'm thankful for that. I'd post another video of me singing but unfortunately I have shut down my youtube for now for personal reasons.

It's sad to me because I remember the precise second I decided to stop singing. I am so glad I can sing now!

Friday, December 5, 2008

So Much Negativity

Lately I have seen a ton of negativity online in unusual places. I don't really get it either. First of all I have seen people arguing with each other amongst blogs. Now, we all have our own opinions and really unless it's a debate type of blog or political I do not see the benefit in arguing with someone on their blog. You know what I do when I see it? I close it out...and move on. I don't want to see it. I don't need to see. I think it's so sad. I realize everyone is different. Not everyone will be just like you. We need to just accept that and you know, even if you feel really strongly about it the blog is not the place to start making your point. Not on THEIR blog. I don't believe in singling someone out either.

Onto my second observation. I am part of a group called Freecycle. I have for a long time though I really rarely use it. I think I did one time. It's been about 5 years. I stay a member of it just in case. If you are not sure what it is, look it up. It's a great program where you basically post wanted items and you post offers to get rid of items. Absolutely NO cost. It's against the rules. It is to keep things out of landfills. It's really a great idea. I have seen some awesome things go through those sites. Baby clothes to Jacuzzis! The jacuzzi was a probably once in a lifetime thing so don't get your hopes up. haha Anyway it is like a message board but off topic conversation is strictly prohibited. You are to only ask or offer that is IT. For some reason the moderator must be taking a vacation because a fight has broken out! Someone declared that another person didn't *need* what she asked for. So now they are arguing. Almost every post. I am so confused by this. I would never feel the need to post whether or not someone needed something and honestly who cares? I don't care if you need it or not. It doesn't affect me at all. Am I alone on this? What is with the online negativity?

What to Expect

One big question I think I always have on my mind and I am sure any cancer survivor does is what should I expect now? I realized the fear is worse actually once you are declared "in remission". I hate to say it but it's true. The reason? Well I am not technically cured until I reach the 5 year mark. I don't see the doctor every 2 weeks anymore. I am not surrounded by people trying to fix me anymore. To top it all off during my illness I was also pregnant so I had my regular OB and a high risk OB. I was pretty much always having a doctor's appointment.

After it was all done it was quiet. There weren't any doctors. There was no one trying to make me better. It was done. So, it's easy for paranoid thoughts to creep in on occasion. I have always suffered from a bit of neck tension. On days when it's bad it feels similiar to the pressure I used to get so momentarily I turn neurotic and get scared. Then it goes away. The other pressure did not ever go away. I realize I am being obsessive and stop. The point is I still know that it's normal to feel this way. You can't live your life worrying about tomorrow or what the next day might bring. You really must focus on today and getting through each day as best as you can. And I have definitely realized that worrying about what has not happened and may never happen is a waste of life and your time. Enjoy what you have Don't waste it. It's too precious. Remember each day is new. There are no mistakes in it yet. It's fresh. So make the most of it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First Christmas in Remission!

You know, after you go through something like this you see everything in a different light. I mean everything. First it was my first Thanksgiving in remission and now Christmas is upon us. It's so hard this year financially for everyone I know. I even just realized that we have a salt shortage this year for the icy roads. I hear the sirens go off several times a day from the fire department and I know it's an accident. I just know it. I realized last night while making a trip to get Gabriella some formula that the roads had been plowed but no salt at all. This makes a huge difference. You slide and slip. It's scary and I guarantee I won't be driving on it much. Normally around here they are salting the roads just at the storm warning. I usually feel fairly safe. Last night it was blowing and drifting right into the roads. We made it home safe. That's what matters!

I have another miraculous story about Gabbi's life that I am not sure I've filled anyone in on. I think about it sometimes. For all the bad things I remember that I must have a guardian angel just sitting on my shoulder waiting to protect us. The day I checked out of the hospital we were so excited. I put Gabbi in her cute little teddy bear snowsuit and got her all ready to go. I got wheeled out and we were on our way. We had our little one in the vehicle and we were on our way home. It was a good drive because at the time we lived 2 hours away. I had been taken by Life Flight to that hospital. Anyway we were driving down the busy 4 lanes and my husband decided we need to stop at ATM and get money so he slowed down to make a right hand turn. As he did this the car at that turn pulled out right in front of us. If we hadn't of slowed down we'd have slammed into him. The SUV behind us didn't like us slowing down I suppose so started to slam the gas and pass us on the left, which they do have the right to do except that he slammed into the car that pulled out in front of us. There was a truck also in the far lane waiting to turn to go into the same place as us. He was just sitting there waiting but when the SUV hit the car, the car flew right into the truck. It was a 3 car pileup literally feet from my window where I was sitting by Gabbi. I saw car chunks flying up in the air. It was a serious shock and we called 911. I hoped everyone was OK. Seriously...what are the chances? I need to give my guardian angel a raise.

Shameless Promotion (ha! At my typo *shamless*. So glad I caught it)

Well, I have decided to put up an auction. I use Proactiv. *Gasp* Well I have since my 8 year old was a baby. It cleared it up and I've been ejoying clear skin for some time now. Sound like an informercial don't I? The difference is it's just me. I am just saying from MY experience it works. My past 2 shipments I got these free tubes of the Refining Mask. I am sure you've all seen the commerical where they put it on *Just a dab*. haha I always laugh at that. Anyway it's true. It works. I just have my own big tube that I bought so I don't really need these. Feel free to take a look. I put the price pretty low and especially since it was 2 tubes. You don't even have to use the system to try out the mask. If you have questions, I'll answer. Just let me know. It appears as though if click the pic it's not taking you to the just go here:

Blog Award

I just received this blog award from Doodles of Life I want to thank her for the award. I am so honored when someone thinks my blog is worthy. Since my laptop got broken I have missed a few awards. I am going to go back through my e-mail and double check. I have created a new folder specifically for blog awards. I will post them once a week, or two depending on my mood. :) This way, I no longer lose where those awards were. I thank everyone who has ever nominated my blog for award. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. It's my life and so very important. When you are going through such a difficult trial, all you can think is of how it might one day help someone else. My goal is to inspire, to encourage and to make everyone out there realize there is in fact a light at the end of the tunnel. It's not always worst case scenarios out there. Sometimes, just sometimes you get a happy ending.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Miracle Baby

I really do call her that. She's my miracle girl. I worry about naming her Gabriella. Why you say? Well I love the name and chose it because I wanted a strong name. I wanted something that meant something. It took so much strength and faith to get through my pregnancy and the fear of the cancer. I chose it because it means "Strong by Faith in God". Now you can look it up on different sites and different baby books and they'll all really give you different definitions but all basically the same idea. I felt it was sooooooo perfect. Then came High School Musical. You can't possibly be alive and NOT know what that is. Maybe it's just me with a house full of little girls. The main girl's name is Gabriella. Now, I realize it is not an uncommon name but now I am fearing that by the time MY Gabbi is in grade school there will be no less than 5 of them per class. ha! Anyway, that is something I have been thinking about. I think the only possible thing that could be worse is if someone thought I chose that name because of that movie. I admit the singing is not bad and it's not bad for kids to watch but it's not exactly my Friday night pick.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lots of Snow and a BIG Award! :)

Well in the past 2 days we have gotten quite a bit of snow. I heard it was 4 to 8 inches depending on where you are at. I saw a terrible accident. I hope everyone was ok. I feel the sudden snow was just too much. No one really expected the roads to be so bad so fast. I am trying to drop entrecards today by the way but for some reason the widgets all look pure black to me. If no one else is having this problem it means it's the hubby's laptop. I am using his for awhile today. Mine is broken so I don't have all the time I wish I had online. I don't use the home computer too much since it's in our basement and I need to be around the miracle baby Gabbi while I type. haha

She is getting so big by the way. She's not walking quite yet. I think she will be before too long though. She really talks a lot and screams in the highest pitch you've ever heard. It's a little hard on the ears but I love every minute. She thinks it's pretty hilarious actually. Her favorite show is still Yo Gabba Gabba. I have seen it a bit more now and honestly though it's very odd it does teach her things. It shows them all sorts of good morals and teaches her about all kinds of things. I don't mind the occasional tv show. It helps too when I have no choice but to cook dinner or help one of her sisters with their homework.

I got a pretty big award and I am excited about it. I put my name in and I was selected as the winner at this site: Please stop over and visit. I am going to have a spot over there once I get my ad to her. I hope you'll all take a look. I hope I'm back for good now even though I have the laptop issues and for some reason the entrecard problems. I have no idea what to do about it. I can only say I'll be here as much as possible and drop as much as I can as well. Here is my award!

Monday, December 1, 2008

I LOVE Blogging

Well, my bad week wasn't quite over. Things have been really hard lately. My laptop broke to top it all off. Well, my daughter accidently knocked it on the floor and where you plug it in, to charge it up, well that knob just fell right out so I can't plug it in anymore. Ugh. I tell you what I am so frustrated but this too shall pass as they say. I wanted to get right back on then that. I need to get it fixed and I have no idea what something like that costs.

I said I loved blogging because even though I haven't been on here today I had so many encouraging comments. I never really let myself get too down. I am a pretty optimistic person but when things continually seem to just go wrong it's hard to keep your chin up. I can do it though with the wonderful support system I have always had.

It's December and Christmas is really coming up fast. I am actually pretty excited because my birthday will be here soon too. It's not until the 29th. I think someone said Happy Birthday but it's not for a few weeks yet. I'll be 33. It seems kinda old. haha! I am ok with it though. I get mistaken for younger and honestly even if it weren't true I'd pretend it was. :)

Someone said they hadn't noticed my lack in posting. That's so funny because I had slowed down but I guess since I usually write about 2 or 3 a day, one a day seemed like nothing. I'll try to get all my drops in tomorrow and I'm going to do some now. I hope everyone has a great evening!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bad Week to Top All Bad Weeks

Some of you may have noticed my lack in posting. Maybe my lack in Entrecard dropping didn't slip past you. Well, I have had a bad week. I can't really go into detail but you know, we all have those weeks, those days. I have been feeling pretty bad. Then I come in here today and I have all these wonderful comments. I want to thank each of you who left me a comment. You in one second reminded why I do this. It helps me. I thank you again. I really needed the kind words.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hope Everyone Had a Great Holiday

My Thanksgiving was wonderful. I spent a lot of close time with my family. My four girls and my parents and the hubby. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and so much to be thankful for this year. It's my first year cancer free since discovering I had it. I have a wonderful family. Are we perfect? Far from it. But I think what makes us perfect is how we work together through life and are there for each other when we need it most. I have great daughters who though they of course act like your typical little girls are wonderful little helpers. They helped take care of me when I was sick too. They had to grow up so fast. I am sorry that they had to have such a wake up call but I also believe for at least the two older they learned something through it all. I give thanks for everything. I've been married for 13 years. Through ups and downs I have no doubt we're in it for the long run. I started dating him when I was a mere 17 years of age. We were young and naive but we knew we wanted to be together. We got married when I was just 19. My life really didn't go in the direction I had planned but I just feel things happen for a reason. I can't imagine having gone through that cancer alone. I think of how things COULD have been. I also think it made my relationship stronger. Honestly we had to imagine for a moment leaving each other. I could have left him in death and I would have had to leave him and my girls. I did come close but thankful I got the help I needed before it was too late. I am just thankful. I have had a lot on my mind these days. My birthday is coming up soon. One more year and I am thankful I made it. :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wish You All............

A wonderful Thanksgiving! I probably won't be around too much as I have a TON of cooking and cleaning to do. I want you all to know I'll be right back to my super dropping of entrecards on Friday. Thanks to all who read my blog and comment. It's appreciated more than you know.

Thought For the Day

A Stronger Person Than I Ever Realized

In my life, I have experienced hard times. This cancer was honestly not the first difficult thing I went through. From day one I had to work through difficult issues. I have dealt with things no one would want to deal with. I always found myself weak...and small for being sad during hard times. Then through all this I realized something. I am strong. I made it through all the difficult trials. I beat cancer. I think it finally dawned on me that the little shy girl who used to live here has left a long time ago. Now I've gotten tough. I hate proving how tough I am....but if it comes down to it I can do it. I guess cancer has helped me to see myself in a different light. I think I always had it in me. Cancer just helped me to know what I could do and honestly it's a pretty good feeling.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Reaction to Pregnancy and Cancer

In the early part of 2007 we were in the process of moving. I had a really large old house. It was one of those houses where the solid woodwork was all real. It was nice but hard to take care of. Dust was inevitable no matter how hard you tried to clean it up. I was having a terrible time at that house keeping up with the laundry. I had to walk down 2 sets of stairs to get to the basement from the main floor. The washer and dryer were in the basement. Not even side by side but each on one side of the room. Then I had to walk up 2 sets up stairs with a laundry basket, then up another flight of stairs to the floor where I our bedrooms were. If I was going to the attic it was more stairs.

I noticed how winded and wheezy I got. It was so hard on me, I can't even explain. While moving the dust was really flying in the attic and basement. Sweeping and cleaning was kicking it all up so my wheezing got so much worse. I felt....light. It is hard to explain but I was sort of light headed. Not dizzy. Just light headed. My sister was helping me one day pack up and move boxes out of the attic and it seriously was hard for me to pick up one box and move around with it. I was thinking to myself how lazy I must have gotten for that to be difficult for me. I had been working out and even doing a yoga class so I didn't understand it. I didn't tell anyone. I felt so pathetic and lazy. I tried my best but she was flying while I was barely moving. I wheezed and coughed.

I was pale as well. Ok, yes I am naturally very fair but this pale was minus any color at all. I just looked white as a sheet. I should have figured it out. I should have known. I didn't though. I assumed as the doctors assumed I was developing allergies and maybe asthma. I figured once we moved I'd get a rest. Now? I look back and remember I started to get tired way before this. I remember standing in a magazine isle at the store. I'd pick up a magazine and my feet would start to hurt. My legs got so painful and my back started hurting so bad that I would feel I needed to sit NOW. See, I just assumed it was all a part of getting older. I started first feeling those symptoms around 2004 so I was 28 years old. Ha! Getting older. I laugh now. Anyway I also remember walking around the store with my hubby sometimes. I'd get numbness and strange tingling up and down my left arm. I'd get a pounding in my chest and I'd feel I needed to sit. I HAD to sit. I remember telling my hubby I was tired and needed to go home and lie down but I was really not good at being honest and telling him something was wrong. I didn't want anyone to think I was just being a baby. That was me though. I've since received firm lectures to always tell him what's going on with me.

I didn't even know I was pregnant while were moving, but I was. We didn't get out of the house until April of 2007 and that's when I started feeling worse than usual. I felt so sick and short of breath. Not just short of breath, but painful breathing. It stung and hurt. I used to yawn in sections. Seriously I would start to yawn, stop, breathe a little deeper, stop so that it came out sort of choppy. I learned to control the pain that way. So when I moved I had to switch gynecologists. I tried to get my birth control pill refilled but the old doc refused saying I needed my yearly checkup. I begged to no avail.. So I scheduled an appointment with a new doc but she didn't have an opening for 3 weeks. I figured I was ok.I had just stopped taking the pill. I should still be protected. Wrong! I got pregnant in that small time frame. So her life to me, was just always meant to be. She overcame such odds. I started suspecting pregnancy but I had first of all not planned on more children and second of all I knew I was sick. I knew something was not right and I didn't know if I was capable of doing this.

Well, the test came out positive and I cried. I cried and cried. I just wasn't expecting it. I was sick. No one had helped me. How would this affect it? I needed to be happy. I wanted to feel the joy of bringing a new life into the world. So what did I do? I got my oldest daughter, 9 at the time and told her the news. I knew she'd be happy. She'd been praying for a baby brother. haha She was very happy, tears pouring down her cheeks. It's just what I needed. I knew her happiness would help me and it did. I was scared because I felt sick but how could I not be excited to have a new baby?

Fast forward 2 weeks. I had seen an endocrinologist for the second time. She sent me in for an MRI and here I was at the cancer center. I was in total denial of anything serious being wrong. Even though I was panting, wheezing and barely able to stand up. I still denied it all. Then, I sit down. My doctor comes in. He sits down and looks at my husband and I and starts to go on about the results of my MRI. I pretty much heard ".....we all appears.....we are pretty sure......lymphoma.....very treatable.......don't worry.....we'll make some calls......biopsy the surgeon....register tomorrow....."

So. Here I am choking back tears. Lymphoma? That's cancer. What? This isn't possible. I'm pregnant I told him. It makes things more difficult but it can be done. We have to make choices. We'll see a specialist after surgery. We'll discuss things. We were 2 hours away at this doc from my kids school. I had to go preregister for surgery for the following morning. My hubby had no choice but to make that 2 hour drive to go get the kids and bring them back to me. I felt like I lived with tears choking back into my head pretty much 24/7 those days. I should have just let them fly but I was always around a doctor or nurse and didn't want them to see me cry. So that's where it all started. I felt like it all went so fast, I didn't have time to sit back and freak out. I pushed the thoughts away and just put all my faith in God. I had to...for my own sanity. My baby girl helped me though. Instead of thinking "woe is me" and "I have cancer" I thought "I have to get better for my baby" and "I hope baby is ok" and "Oh hunny I felt her hiccup!". That was my pregnancy. I was happy and excited. She did well the whole way through. I had her to look forward to. Instead of worrying about whether or not I'd get better, I knew I would. I knew I would have something good at the end of it all. Now here she is, a big girl. She'll probably always be a teeny bit spoiled. I don't want her to ever take for granted what it took to get her here though. She'll know her story so well she'll probably get sick of it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Surprise Ending....Even I Couldn't Have Predicted It

I did this video of Gabriella earlier this month. She was laughing so hard at her sister Mikayla.

I Have Gotten a Few Awards!

I got this award from over at 30somethingandsearching. I wanted to say thank you to her for this!

Here are some rules:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the persons you’ve nominated.

I got this award from The Road I'm Traveling

The rules for this award are:

1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate 10 other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

So I am going to try and nominate some blogs here. Usually this part takes me awhile. I know I got some awards recently that I misplaced or meant to get back to and then couldn't find them. I feel very bad about that. I know I got one from Pink Stinx awhile back and am not sure that I ever posted it. So I am nominating her for both of these awards. I always give her an award, but she's one of my favorites so check her out!

1. Pink Stinx
2. Random Ramblings
3. On the Verge
4. On the Bricks
5. Sex Diaries of a Mom
6. Dwayne Dot Com
7. Contests 4 Mamas

I'm just doing 7 today...and I'm not gonna go around telling those I nominated because I don't want anyone to feel they have to post this. If you see yourself nominated here feel free to post it back to your own blog! I really do put thought into who I nominate. I enjoy reading all of these blogs each day!

What Does, What Doesn't...and What's in My Head?

After you go through something like cancer, topped with chemotherapy and radiation there are bound to be lingering side effects. I never really fully felt like I could breathe again until I gave birth. Pregnancy alone makes you winded so I just waited it out and started to feel back to normal again. I have strange symptoms to this day though. All can relate right back to chemo. It's usually due to one specific drug in that regimen. Every now and then you get tingling or electric feelings in fingers and toes. It's pretty rare these days. It happened a lot more early on. In the ABVD regimen the "B" drug can cause lung damage or lung problems. So whenever I have felt winded at all I get nervous. I immediately think "is the cancer back? Do I have lung problems?" I have lately been feeling the occasional prickly feeling in my neck. Sort of an itchy feeling too. OK. Is it, allergies? Side effects? Cancer? So you see, after you have cancer it never stops haunting you. You don't want to be obsessed but yet your body is never the same. The pressure in my neck comes and goes. Some days I'll be completely convinced something is wrong and the next day I'll feel completely fine.

Cancer is a bully. It knows it can continue to haunt you once it has touched you. I personally am determined to not ever let it win.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Think I Did Well

I have been tinkering around with my blog today. One thing I hate most is if the page takes too long to load. Often I will close out a page if it takes too long so I try to pay extra special attention to my own load times. I tested my page over at It's a great site! I test my page usually once a week. They say if load time is more than 10 seconds you are losing traffic. I try to keep mine quite a bit lower. Well I hadn't tested my page since I uploaded my drawings and my load time was at 12.9 seconds! Yikes. So I made those pics into thumbnails. I actually got rid of the blog labels at the bottom of my page. If anyone knows the purpose of those labels, feel free to let me in on that. I just noticed that list was getting massive. They are automatically added and it was wasting space at the bottom of my blog. So I removed it and tried to organize things a little better here. My new test came up at 6.9 seconds! I shaved off 6 seconds which I think is pretty awesome. I also adjusted my archives. Since I post a lot more now than I used to, I am archiving by week instead of month. You'll see the archive list to the right. You can read all the way back to the beginning of this blog. So, test your load time. See what it says. 10 seconds or less is the general rule. You'll get more traffic. There is my tip of the day. haha

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What I am Thankful For

I found this online today. I won't tag anyone because you just never know who has time to do it...but if you'd like would be fun to read. I'll comment if you link back and let me know you did it. :)

1. Which do you like better: Cooking at your house, or going elsewhere?

I think I prefer staying here, cooking and my family brings a few dishes. I have had years I really loved going to family's house but with the kids and the baby sometimes it's easier to stay home.

2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird?

hmmm I think I'd rather it be frozen. Super fresh food honestly creeps me out a bit.

3. What kind of stuffing?

I know it's awful of me...but I HATE stuffing.

4. Sweet potato or pumpkin pie?

Pumpkin Pie. I found a yummy looking recipe for a double layer pumpkin pie! mmmmmm

5. Do you believe that turkey leftovers are a curse, or the point of the whole thing?

Ummmm what is thanksgiving with no leftovers???? I raid the fridge by 8 p.m.

6. Which side dish would provoke a riot if you left it off the menu?

Mashed Potatoes and gravy

7. Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock?
No, but it's a good idea.

8. What do you wish you had that would make preparing Thanksgiving dinner easier?
2 stoves? haha

9. Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour?

no, actually I choose to have a late lunch. I usually do a 3 p.m. type dinner so I have a light snack around lunch time (or just pick off the things I'm cooking hee hee) and then I don't have to rush. It's how I like it.

10. If you go to somebody else's house, what's your favorite dish to bring?

Cinnamon Chips Gems. If you haven't made these, look it up on Hershey's Website. They are mouth watering.

11. What do you wish one of your guests wouldn't bring to your house?

Can’t think of anything other than do NOT add green pepper to anything! blech!

12. Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you're happy to see?

No, no drama. Good conversation and loud kids...pretty much.

13. What's your absolute favorite thing on the menu?

Turkey and mashed potatoes and gravy!

14. What are you thankful for this year?

I'm thankful this is my first Thanksgiving being cancer free since knowing I had it. I am thankful I have a healthy baby girl out of all of it who just turned one. I am thankful I had a wonderful husband who took care of me through it all and stood by my side...never complained. He mowed the yard, then cooked the supper. He even tried so hard to brush the girls hair into ponytails. Something he never had experience with. He brought me my meals (what I could eat) in bed...and rushed to the store if I had a craving just so I would gain some weight. Yes, thankful for the hubby. And I am thankful for my other 3 beautiful girls...and how much they helped when I got sick. They had to grow up fast and learn to help around the house too. This year I am all better and for that I am most thankful.

Old Man Winter is Tapping on the Window

Yeah I think he wants in. We had some snow recently, which always surprises me in November. I guess it shouldn't. I remember years though when I was a kid and I begged and begged God for snow. I wouldn't see so much as a flake until January. It's sad for me when I see no snow on Christmas. It's just how I have been conditioned I think. Still, I love a snowy Christmas morning. It sets the whole mood.

The snow we got was on the 17th. It came down pretty hard for about 15 minutes. I was surprised when I looked out the window and I picked Gabriella up and tried to make her look at it, since technically she wouldn't remember snow from last year. This is kinda her first experience. She didn't care though and I also think she thought I was sorta nuts so I quit bothering her.

The snow didn't stick but the cold sure did. I hate cold. Hate. I will be OK with a quick dash to the car and begging the heater to hurry up and heat me but any longer and I turn into a real baby. My toes go numb no matter how many socks I have on or how thick my boots are. I could have a turtleneck and a giant coat. Still, I go numb.

This reminds me of the most odd of all symptoms I had before I was diagnosed last year. I think there is actually a name for it. I do not remember what it was though. I had been outside in the cold. I was freezing but needed to run back to the store. I was feeling short of breath at this time but not at my worst yet. I was still believing it was thyroid related. Anyway, I put my purse in the crook of my arm and got ready to walk out the door. I had still been rubbing my hands together trying to warm up my fingers. I noticed one finger in particular was painfully numb. I looked down in aggravation and the top of half of I believe my ring finger was white. White as a sheet of paper. Just the top half. The bottom was good and pink/red. I blinked a couple of times, not sure what I was seeing. I wondered if the cold had anything to do with it...or did I hang my purse on my arm and pinch a vein...but that's weird. Why the top half. I showed the hubby and started rubbing the finger trying to get the color to return. The finger looked dead. It was scary white. I can't even explain it. I rubbed and rubbed and nothing. Hubby rubbed. Nothing. I started thinking I was gonna lose my finger if the blood flow didn't return soon. I ran it under warm water thinking the cold had something to do with it. Nothing. I rubbed more. Finally I turned on hot water and rubbed up and down on the finger like crazy and it was just insane watching the blood flow return to that finger. I saw it coming back into the finger from bottom to tip.

It was the wildest thing I swear that happened to me simply because I have NEVER heard of that before. I always get a little nervous when my fingers go numb now but honestly I think it was the pressure of the tumor on the veins so probably not something that should ever happen again. Still.....scary!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Too Much Caffeine?

Do you ever have a day when you feel stressed for absolutely no reason. You notice you have this uneasy feeling but no real cause. I've had that feeling today. I think it's probably just my hectic life and running in all directions. I have so much on my mind. I have a million things to get done. It seems overwhelming sometimes. Now with the holidays coming up there is that much more on my mind. Still I can't relate the stressed feeling back to any one specific thing. I think it also has something to do with how much coffee I consume. Seriously I get anxious when I drink just a tad too much. I have to be pretty careful. Top that off with my regular cups of diet pepsi and we're in a lot of over caffeinated trouble! haha I have been buying some caffeine free generic lately. It's not as good as my diet pepsi but I think I'm just ever so slightly addicted to the carbonation. I need to break the habit. Now, if only I could figure out how.

Christmas is Upon Us.....but How Excited Can We Be?

Well, one of my main goals in life is to provide my children with a healthy, happy life. I'll do that one way or another. It's this Christmas thing. I love Christmas. It's like the most beautiful, happy time of year. Or is it? Isn't it a reminder of how broke we are? haha Especially when you have four children. There are so many things we need to pay. I have medical bills pouring out of my ears. Everyone wants my money and when I think of Christmas I'm honestly thinking of spending money that needs to go elsewhere. It's the only way to do it. Don't we all rack up credit card bills around Christmas time? It's supposed to be a wonderful time of year. How come it leaves the middle class and everyone else in debt? It makes the whole mood much less joyful.

I want to make sure my girls have the best Christmas possible and they'll never know that things are tight. They don't need to know. They can grow up oblivious to it and that's fine by me. I know Christmas has become so commercialized but still. I get those warm fuzzy feelings around this time of year. Until you go out on Black Friday. Then you remember how nasty people can be. Ha!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More on Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis doesn't only occur because of age. I have seen it happen not just with cancer but all kinds of things and at any age. I think it occurs more frequently in those that are younger. I realize doctors see many patients, do their best to make a diagnosis and move on to the next. If a patient is frequently complaining that they are not getting better, or are in great pain or discomfort more needs to be done. Suggesting one is just depressed and putting them on antidepressants could be fatal. Sometimes and very often it seems to me, these patients aren't at all depressed but truly do have something wrong with them. So, I think more awareness needs to be out there. We need to somehow change how the whole system works.

When I was 16, I lost one of my best friends to a car accident. It was a tragic situation and so hard on their family. Her brother had just been diagnosed with cancer days before. The whole family was just totally in shock. He actually recovered and things went well for years. Then their mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was a wonderful woman. I really cared for her. She went undiagnosed for a long time. She had frequently complained of pains which the doctor prescribed pain pills for and sent her home. By the time it was discovered it was really too late. At the time my husband was a driver for the ambulance service. She was a frequent caller of theirs because of her condition. She lost her life. I think so much more should have been done for her as well. She wasn't as young but she was still misdiagnosed. I think in her situation they tried to say her pain was a part of getting older so it can work both ways.

It all goes back to this. We know our bodies. We shouldn't be paranoid but we should be aware. If we know something is wrong, and one doc says you're fine, you're just depressed. Go find a new doctor.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Age and Cancer?

Does cancer care how old you are? I think we all know the answer to that question. No, it doesn't. So why do doctors so often misdiagnose someone because they are young? Why do symptoms get ignored or people get passed off as depressed or obsessive?

I had many symptoms that shouldn't have been ignored. I was told for four years I had a thyroid problem. I did have four thyroid nodules so I do not blame the doctors for initially thinking that's what caused the sensation of pressure in my neck. I do however blame them for telling me "The nodules aren't growing. They just aren't big enough to be causing those symptoms. Come back for another sonogram in a few months." This is what I heard time and time again. I would leave crying. Why did I have to live with this horrible pressure??? I would HOPE and pray they'd find that the nodules were huge and needed to be removed. I wanted them gone. I wanted the pressure gone. Imagine feeling like someone had their thumbs jammed into both sides of your neck all day. Right where our veins are in the sides of your neck. Imagine the pressure you feel in your head when you have your worst head cold. You know how you bend over and your head feels like a bowling ball? I felt like this every day. 24/7. I was sent to Ear, Nose and Throat specialists. I was put on Allegra, Singular, and even given prednisone for eyelid rashes and swelling. Yes, I even woke up each morning with my eyelids swollen so badly I wouldn't even go anywhere. I used to try to sleep elevated wondering if this was all a part of getting older. I had so many signs. I was wheezing. They told me maybe I have allergies, or slight asthma. I couldn't breathe. It was SO much worse at night and until I could no longer put my hair into a ponytail because if I tried to put my hands above my head my whole face turned beat red and choked me to death, no one listened. My chest was visibly swollen, my neck veins protruding grotesquely before any doctor paid any real attention to my complaints. I know there are hypochondriacs out there. I realize some people really are depressed. But doctors need to listen to their patients. They cannot take a risk by just saying "You're depressed, take a pill." I was so lucky that my cancer didn't invade all my major organs and kill me for how long I let it go. I listened to the docs. I felt they must be right. It took one very kind endocrinologist who finally listened. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was the day I went to this new doctor. I sat down and told her my complaints. I told her how no one listened. She said she could see my problem and knew I was serious. It was quite possibly the worst case of superior vena cava she had ever seen. I was relieved. She saw it. She knew something was wrong. I was going to get help. She did a thyroid biopsy then an MRI. That's where it all began and how we found out was wrong. I love that doc to this day and yet that was the only time I ever saw her. She quite possibly saved my life.

I am not saying you should be paranoid or worry that every little thing could be cancer or some serious disease because it most likely is not. The thing is we know our bodies. We know if something is wrong. If you feel something is very wrong find a doctor who will listen. Even your family members may tell you it's in your head but if you just feel like something is not right get it checked.

My oldest sister had excruciating pains after her fourth child. She constantly complained to her OB/GYN that her bones felt like they were breaking down below. He called her depressed and wanted to give her pills. She was in agonizing pain but he felt she was just having postpartum depression. She came to my house crying. I know my sister. I told her she was not insane. She found a doc who listened and guess what? Her uterus was prolapsed. Literally coming out of her. She had to have a hysterectomy. If she hadn't persisted god only knows what could have happened. The thing is, I am not encouraging anyone to be crazy or feel like something is wrong if it isn't. I am talking about obvious, no doubt about it, you are in pain or something is NOT right. We knew it. There was zero doubt that something was not right. I think that docs often think that because we are young these things cannot happen. They do happen. It's time you listen to your patients. It just might save a life.

An Award!

I got this award from My Autism Insights and Dolly's Daily Diary

Thank you so much for nominating blog for this award. I love it. I hadn't gotten this one before. It's always nice to see my blog is appreciated by others. Thank you again!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Year I Was Born

I got this over at Comedy Plus.I decided to give it a try. You try it too! It's pretty cool.

In 1975 (the year you were born)

Gerald Ford is president of the US

Evacuation of US civilians from Saigon as Communist forces complete takeover of South Vietnam

FBI agents capture Patty Hearst, who is indicted and convicted of bank robbery

Teamster Jimmy Hoffa disappears without a trace

Marines rescue the crew of the American ship the Mayaguez near Vietnam

First Lady Betty Ford says in an interview that she thinks her children have tried marijuana

Natalie Imbruglia, Drew Barrymore, David Beckham, Enrique Iglesias, Angelina Jolie, and Tiger Woods are born

Cincinnati Reds win the World Series

Pittsburgh Steelers win Superbowl IX

Philadelphia Flyers win the Stanley Cup

Production begins on Star Wars

Jaws and The Rocky Horror Picture Show are the top grossing films

Soul Train premieres on television in the United States

"The Way We Were" (performed by Barbara Streisand) wins the Grammy for best song

Saturday Night Live and Wheel of Fortune premiere

Birthday Pictures

Here's my little miracle baby on her first birthday. I made the Wacky Cake as well. I doubled the recipe since it only made an 8x8 pan. I had my parents over so no way was that enough. I doubled it and it turned out SO good. I just decided to not do frosting. It's so moist and delicious I didn't even feel it needed it really. Even though I have a sweet tooth and LOVE frosting I felt I was saving calories for us all by not doing it. I could have found a no milk frosting and I believe someone posted one here before but I just decided this one time I'd do it without. I thought it was delicious! So did everyone else and my mom wants the recipe. Here are some birthday pics!

My oldest daughter being wacky with the yummy Wacky Cake

Awards and a New Status at Wellsphere!

I have more awards to post tonight. I am juggling Gabbi here so I am going to try and get those done later tonight so I can get the right links up. I also wanted to say I was chosen as a top health blogger on a site called Wellsphere some time ago now. They are now doing something called Health Maven and I have been chosen to do that too. Basically people can ask health questions and if given my own personal experiences I feel I can answer it then I will. They gave me this nifty badge for my blog. I really like it and am honored to be chosen for this. I will be doing a new post shortly with birthday pics for Gabriella :)

sandilynn1975's on Wellsphere
Wellsphere's Health Maven
Wellsphere - Health Knowledge Made Personal

Monday, November 17, 2008

I Got Some Blog Awards!

I'm way behind in posting the awards I got from On The Verge. I am honored to get these awards. I love her blog! I am a regular reader there so it is such a compliment that I would be given them. I have been so busy with Gabbi and I having bad colds. Then I got busy planning her birthday. Now that it is all done and Gabriella is tucked safely in her bed I am ready to get my awards posted! So here goes.

The Rules:
1. Each player starts with eight random fact/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. A the end of your blogpost, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their name.
4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.

So I guess I am supposed to write 8 random facts/habits about myself. These are always hard. I have a hard time thinking of anything. Here goes.

1. I have four sisters and no brothers, just like I have four daughters and no sons.

2. I like to stay up waaaaay too late.

3. I am a chronic insomniac. I wasn't until I was prescribed prednisone for an allergy in 2004 and then never could get my internal clock right again.

4. I like to sing loudly in my car to the radio. Sometimes I am even listening to my daughter's Chipmunks CD! haha

5. I absolutely love to dance. It's hard to get me off the dance floor.

6. I watch the same TV shows every night to help me sleep. Frasier and the Golden Girls! lol

7. I like to read while watching TV.

8. I have sat here for 10 minutes and can't think of anything else. lol

OK. I have to pass these awards on. So here goes.

1. Life 2.0

2. Comedy Plus

3. Happy to Be Called a Mommy

4. The Virtual Dime Museum

5. Pink Stinx

6. Random Ramblings

7. Health Nut Wannabe Mom

8. I Kicked Cancer's Ass