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Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Most Scary Lesson I Learned as a Mom

OK, maybe not quite the scariest thing that ever happened it itself but such a simple lesson learned. It happened a long time ago. Gabriella was about 5 months old. she slept in her bassinet next to my bed. I liked having her close so I could check on her a lot.

I trimmed her nails often but they grow fast. One day I noticed they were a little long. I figured I would trim them the next day. Trimming baby nails is so difficult because you don't want to hurt them. I was never anxious to do it. My hubby hated even watching me do it. You do it so they don't scratch themselves.

Well it was about 2 or 3 a.m. and Gabbi woke up crying for a bottle. I always left my TV on with no volume for light. I wanted to be able to see her in the dark as well. I looked over at her and saw something on her face. It was dark and hard to see and I was half asleep so I blinked my eyes and tried to focus on what it was. Then I noticed something on her cheeks, forehead, nose. I realized it was blood. Yes...blood smeared on her face. I grabbed her and ran out to my kitchen and flipped on the light. It wasn't a ton of blood, just small amounts smeared on her face like she had bled somewhere and rubbed it as babies tend to rub their eyes, face and mouth. I tried not to panic and figured I had to find the source. So I wiped her down and saw it. The tiniest little scratch on her nose. She had cut herself with her fingernail in the night. She scraped a piece of skin off her nose. It bled just enough so that when she rubbed her hands on her face she just smeared it everywhere. It looks like a whole lot of blood when it's smeared but in reality it wasn't that much. I felt so so so bad and immediately trimmed the nails that were honestly not *that* long. I would have trimmed them sooner if I had thought they could really cut her.

So here is a lesson to all. Keep babies nails trimmed! Don't delay...don't put it off, don't think I can do it tomorrow. Who knew fingernails could cause such a panic? haha

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Moving Past the Scars

I have some pretty good scars from the whole cancer thing and I really do hate one of them. The biopsy scar is huge. I think I could almost handle it if it weren't for the large dent in the end of it. They shaved off bone to get to the tumor and now my skin sinks in just a bit there. This is all on the top of my right breast. So that has an affect on my self esteem. Then of course you add the little black permanent dot tattooed into the tip of it where they marked me for radiation and it can cause self image issues.

I think most of the time I wear my scars proudly. They are a part of who I am. It's the one truly permanent outward sign of all I have went through. It doesn't mean I don't have moments where I cringe and think it sort of messes up how my chest looks in a shirt. I get insecure. I suppose it's normal and I must accept it as who I am now. I sure do miss my smooth chest though. I have a scar on the left from the port surgery. The doctor said it shouldn't have left much of a scar but it did. It grew a bit and got red and angry. It's nothing compared to the biopsy scar though. I am sure I'll look back years and years from now and remember everything because of the scar though. Our scars do remind us don't they? They take us back and we remember everything that caused that scar.

Luckily my husband loves my scar. He claims it as his own. After all, it was really hard for him too...and my physical scars feel like his own.

A pic where you can see my scar pretty well from just a few days ago.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Posts Without My Consent and the Little Boy With Hodgkin's

I made a mistake thinking I could share my Mypoints link through my blog. I love the program and do support it. I have gotten a whole lot of gift cards just by clicking e-mails. I signed up for some newsletters too but over the years I have had probably 10 giftcards ranging from $10 to $25. It's pretty nice. BUT I put the e-mail address of this blog in because they didn't have a way to post a link individually. I thought perhaps the e-mail would just show a link but unfortunately it sends out an entire html e-mail. Not only that? It keeps resending! I am not posting these Mypoints e-mails. It's like junkmail posted to my account. It keeps doing it too. I might have to change the e-mail address of this blog so it won't work anymore. I get on here in the morning and there it is. Another Mypoints e-mail. So I made a HUGE mistake trying that out.

On another note, I was reading about that little boy who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. His mother was denying him treatment and opting instead for the alternative route. With treatment his cancer is 90% curable, without it, it's most certainly fatal. In my opinion denying him treatment just to avoid drugs or be natural is nothing more or less than child neglect. The judge ordered a doctor to examine this child and it was proven the tumor has spread due to her negligence. Do I think she believes she is doing the right thing? I think she thought so. I think she was brainwashed into thinking she had to do it...for religious reasons or whatever. I don't know why people do not see doctors as the gifts God gave us for healing? Why can't they believe that doctors are exactly the way God wants to heal us? I thank God for doctors everyday. I know they aren't all great, but many are.

I know how sick I felt at my worst. I didn't know how I would last one more day feeling the way I did. I thought for sure I'd die any second and to intentionally put a little boy through this just tears my heart up. On a good note the judge is ordering the boy be allowed to finish treatment. He has a long life ahead of him with this medicine. I absolutely agree in this case that the judge should intervene. I think in cases of child neglect the law SHOULD intervene and that's exactly what this is. The child will die without treatment. So I think it qualifies.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Parents Magazine Cover Contest!

I was recently notified about a contest that Parents Magazine is having and I think I'll be entering Gabbi, just for fun. We can upload up to 6 photos. There are two categories. Parents Magazine Cover Contest (3 mos - 2 yrs) and Parents Magazine Cover Contest (2 - 6 yrs). The two cutest kid winners will appear on the dual cover of the November 2009 issue.

Once photos are uploaded, you can use a template to create your own Parents magazine cover featuring your own cute child, and you and your readers will automatically be entered into a cash sweepstakes that will award a $10,000 cash prize to a lucky winner. The deadline for entries is June 24.

Here are some photos of last years winners to kind of get an idea of what we are doing here:

This is for fun! And possibly to show off your cute little baby or child. We all know our kids are the cutest no matter what of course, but I think this would be a really really fun thing to do. So get to it! Let me know if you enter. I am thinking of getting a really good pic of Gabriella to enter. I have lots of pics, but nothing remotely professional looking. Yes, I have never had professional pics with her. Actually I haven't had any professional pics in YEARS. Those cost money...something that doesn't just flow freely around here. I make up for it though with the fact I never am far from my camera!

Monday, May 18, 2009

He Has "My" Cancer

For cancer survivors out there, do you ever think that? Or if you are currently battling the disease and hear that someone else has that same cancer, do you think to yourself that now you share something with that person?

I just read that former "Survivor: Africa" winner Ethan Zhon has Hodgkin's Disease. Maybe it's because really Hodgkin's is a rare cancer that I feel that way each time I see someone else who has fought it, or who is newly diagnosed with it. I just think to myself that they have my cancer. Not that I want ownership over something like this! It's just a battle that I know well and one close to my heart.

I admit, I never watched Survivor. But I do sympathize with anyone who has to go through anything remotely similar to what I did. He has different treatments than me. They stated he must go through three months of radiation. I had 12 chemo treatments and one month of radiation. I am not sure if it said he has to have chemo or not. I did read that his specific Hodgkin's is called CD20-positive Hodgkin's lymphoma. I will be honest. I have no idea at all what that means. I forgot again to ask my doctor what stage I was. I hate not knowing!!! It drives me mad. I want to know. I want the exact name, stage and all of that though I doubt we'll ever have any definite answers since I couldn't get a full body scan. I will have to remember to ask the next time. That isn't until August. I hope I remember.

I am wishing this young man well. Hope he gets better fast. Then he can say he is TRULY a Survivor indeed.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I have been thinking now that a little over a year has gone by in remission, of all that I have been through. It's insane when you think about it. You are dished out all this news in such a small amount of time. My human brain had a terrible time absorbing it all. It was so hard to really understand when I felt so sick just how sick I was. I just wanted to *feel* better. I didn't care about anything else. I just wanted to feel better THEN I could think.

That picture above was taken November 16th, 2007. I went into labor at 3 a.m. November 17th. So I got no bigger than that. I was 36 weeks along. I think I look pretty big!! I love it though. I didn't lose my hair. (not all of it) So I managed to not look like a big fat bald lady. Trust me. I was terrified of being bald AND fat. It may seem vain in the whole scheme of things but I like to feel attractive at least. I never felt too unattractive while I was sick. There was a time...but I was so out of it I didn't know much anyway. When I spent 5 days in the hospital trying to stop my preterm contractions.

I was high on Magnesium and definitely did not feel well at all. I needed oxygen to help me breathe.

I feel so ugly in those pictures but I have never been afraid to show them because it's my reality. It makes it more real to me too I think. It all happened day by day and I dealt with each thing individually. I tried not to let it all get to me and scare me. It wasn't easy. I only got terrified once. It was when they found the fluid around my heart. I got really scared. Now that I had the good ECHO I can finally put that behind me officially.

For those regular readers, these pictures will look familiar. This one reminds me of my scars.

On the far left is my biopsy scar. I hate the dent. I have a dent from where they literally had to shave bone. The big plus sign is now replaced with a little black dot. It is from where the radiation was done. They mark you with permanent marker. I couldn't wash that off and they touched it up everyday. The right side is where the port was. It's bandaged in this picture. That was right after they took it out. They took it out before I even finished radiation.

The picture above is from the ceremony the day of my final chemo. I got a certificate. I was having preterm contractions here just as I did the chemo before it. I spent one night in the hospital. I went through the whole ceremony knowing I'd be going to the hospital when I got done.

Almost a year later here, my hubby and I go out to celebrate my 33rd birthday.

Look how grown up Gabriella is now. She is even talking on the phone. haha Or pretending too anyway. She's such a big girl.

She's my little miracle baby. We've been through so much together. I am thankful to be in remission and that my baby girl is ok. I have so many more pictures. Each one brings back memories, some good...some not so good. I still like to sit here and browse through them. I look at that face and into those little eyes and everything feels right. I have learned a lot and grown so much. I have thought many times that she won't understand all she went through to get here, but I'll sure do my best letting her know.