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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