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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Depression is Real

No I am not depressed, but I have been. There was a time in my life when I was about 22 years old that I went through an overwhelming depression. I don't usually talk about it. It was religious based. I believe some of it came from questioning my faith but for the most part I don't think God had a thing to do with it. God wouldn't put a person through what I went through. When a thought begins to implant and starts to grows. It persists and eats at you. It consumes you. Then it is very hard, if not nearly impossible to dig yourself out.

Do I believe prayer can help? Sure. However it's just not that easy. Why is it so hard for people to believe that our brains can be just as sick as the rest of our bodies? If someones kidney fails, you don't question them and tell them just pray it away do you? No. They may pray but they also take medicine for it, dialysis or maybe even a transplant. Sometimes our brains don't always work just the way we want them to. Sometimes things go wrong, or fire the wrong way, or perhaps there is an imbalance (yes that is real) and there is no amount of anything that's going to just instantly fix that. If you cannot understand it, that does not mean it isn't real. A person can even be a Christian (or any other faith) and still be depressed. YES. This is possible. Why? Because our brains are just organs that can in fact not always function just the way you tell it to. I grew up and realized that it's not always just as easy as just telling yourself to change and doing it. Sometimes it may take more than that.

I worked this semester in nursing school with a lot of depressed patients. You may think of a depressed patient as a 23 year old girl who maybe hates her looks, or broke up with her boyfriend. What about a 74 year old woman who has all that she could want? What about an 8 year old boy? It doesn't always fit who you think it will fit. Sometimes depression hits those around you that you least suspect. They can't just stop and get better. It may take time. It may take medicine. It may take therapy. It CAN however get better. It's not an instant fix. It doesn't mean you aren't trusting in God either. It just happens sometimes. I wish at the time more people had understood me...because more than anything that is what I needed.

My Birthday

I had a really good birthday. I have still been feeling sick but much better than I was before. The worst part at this point is the painful congestion in my chest. The coughing hurts so much. So I decided to take some cold pills before I left. I figured this way I wouldn't cough through the whole dinner and movie. Great plan right? Not so much. I took the pills on an empty stomach. By the time we got to the restaurant I was feeling a little nauseous and ate very little of my meal. It was a Hibachi grill which was tons of fun. The girls loved it. I enjoyed my entire glass of plum wine. It's a favorite of mine. I just couldn't eat much of the food itself. I felt like I was going to be sick. I can't believe I ruined my meal like that.

 My Plum Wine
 The Mushroom/Broth Soup
We left and went to the theater where we watched Gulliver's Travels with the kids. I know it got plenty of bad reviews but we liked it. I told everyone going in, it's not the real story of Gulliver's Travels. Don't expect it. I knew there would be some bad jokes and plenty of Jack Black's stomach shots. They found it funny and (spoiler alert) other than him peeing on the building and a few people it wasn't too gross. It satisfied the hubby, myself and all the kids. We had a great time. About 40 minutes into the movie the nausea had subsided enough that I was able to eat a little bit of popcorn and take a few sips off of my soda. So I had a good time regardless of the nausea. :)

The last thing I wanted to show you was our holy potato. haha OK. On Christmas Day I was cutting up potatoes to make my homemade mashed potatoes. Lexi was helping me when we came across this potato that had what looked like a cross in the center. We found it fairly amusing considering that it was Christmas Day. We decided it was a sign and wondered how much we'd get for it on ebay. The truth is, if people pay a lot for grilled cheese that have the Virgin Mary's features grilled into it than I bet I could get a decent amount for my now eaten potato. :) lol

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Birthday

Yep tomorrow is my birthday. I am planning on going to see a movie and heading to a Kobes Japanese Steak House. I absolutely LOVE that place. I am looking forward to getting out tomorrow. I have been sick though and only hope I feel better by tomorrow. I have been a running a pretty high fever. Last night I believe it got up around 103 because I was shivering, cold and just shaking so bad in my sleep. I was sleeping so awful, dreaming weird vivid things and the hubby woke up and got me some medicine. I was way too cold to get out of bed to take my temp and honestly feeling too sick to open my mouth to ask him to get the thermometer. So I waited. It was probably an hour or two later I finally got up feeling awful but less cold. My temp was 102. So I figure it had to have been at least a degree higher when I was feeling my worst. I took ibuprofen then later in the day took some tylenol too. I have no temp now but I'm coughing a lot. It hurts to cough. I am hoping that my fever doesn't come back so I can enjoy the day tomorrow. We'll see! The girls all had flu shots so hopefully they will stay healthy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Annual TB and Flu Shots

I don't know how I forgot but I did manage to forget my annual tb shot. So I did that this week. It's why I was at the doctor's office on Monday. I have to go back today to get it checked. I figured I'd get a flu shot while I'm there because everyone seems to be getting the flu! What is with that? Everyone and their kids are sick lately. It's the same symptoms too so I'm trying to avoid it.

I'm hoping to get some Christmas presents today too because no I am not done. I am a last minute shopper, wrapper, etc. I am not like all of those dedicated shoppers who start in September and finish by Black Friday. NOPE. Not me. Never been me. I am sure it never will be. I'm probably going to resort to all online shopping at some point. It's so easy. :) It's not like any stores are around the corner. I live in a small town and it's 20 minutes or so to the nearest Wal Mart. Yes I shop there. I shop at a lot of places and it's just one of them. I hate it this time of year. Ugh. The crazies come out! People are more rude there, than anywhere I have ever shopped. What does that mean?

I am enjoying my Christmas break. I am so glad to be doing nothing for now. I am savoring every single moment. The picture above was just something I was playing around with. That's the picture of me and Gabbi on the mantel.

And the one above here, with the Penguins is my daughter Mikayla. We had fun goofing off.

Friday, December 17, 2010

One of Those Bad Mommy Moments

Gabbi and I headed to the mall today. I needed a dress to wear for Saturday and I also wanted to take Gabbi to see Santa. Unfortunately Santa was gone when we got there, I presume on lunch break. Even more unfortunate was that we didn't have time to hang around because my other girls got dismissed early today, for Christmas break.

I decided to swing into Hallmark really quick and pick up something for Gabbi. She didn't get to see Santa, so I figured I would find her a little something. Well she was grabbing at everything. It was such a huge mistake to take her in there. I kept telling her to hold my hand and she kept pulling away. She started grabbing at some jewelry, it was really crowded etc. I said "Gabbi come here" and grabbed her hand back, she pulled away and then of course fell down. She landed straight back. There were people all around. I bent down and kissed her and asked her if she was ok, but still frustrated that she was giving me such a hard time. I saw one lady walk away, I think assuming some people just shouldn't have children! lol You know if you think that you really need to take a step back and maybe down off your high horse sometimes. I thought to myself if only that woman knew the whole situation and also how very much I love my little girl. She's the world to me and I did everything I could to make sure she made it into this world safe and sound. I had to chuckle. Yes even I make mommy mistakes. I should have put her in a stroller but I thought it would be fun to walk around with her. Live and learn!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

HESI and Christmas Break!

I took the HESI on Monday. This is a test that basically prepares us for NCLEX which are the nursing boards. We take that to get our license after we graduate. It helps determine our strengths and weaknesses. If you don't pass at our school you are required to do 15 hours of online work on a site called ATI. Well I was SO ready to fail this thing. I was scared, nervous, etc. I passed! I was so shocked I seriously double and triple checked my score. I am so glad that's over. Now over Christmas break instead of doing all of that online work? I sit at home with my family baking cookies and enjoying myself!!!

Now when I was looking for ways to study for the test I asked friends, I searched the Internet and eventually found an online program through the Evolve website. It cost $24.99 but you know what? It helped me SO much. I recommend this to anyone. I didn't know how to study for it. I didn't want to dig into old notes, or old books. There is entirely too much information to process. So I found this and was very pleased. I am considering baking tonight for Christmas but I am not sure I need all that temptation around this house. I'll end up eating too much of it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Merry Christmas From Heaven

Really really missing my dad. I found a poem at Hallmark today. I had to buy it on a little card because literally it made me cry. I love my dad and cannot stand the thought of not having him here with us this Christmas. This will be our first Christmas without him. Last year we brought him home on Christmas Eve. His one wish for Christmas he had told me, was to come home. That was on Thanksgiving and he came home Christmas Eve, when they told us there was nothing they could do. He had pancreatic cancer and they gave him about 2 months max. We lost him on December 27, 2009. Three days later. I held my dad's hand as he left this world. He was there for me when I came into it and I was there when he left it. I was so happy to have his brothers and sisters around him at that time singing hymns. It's something my dad would have loved. He was a good man who has left his mark. He will never be forgotten. Love you dad.

Merry Christmas From Heaven

I still hear the songs,
I still see the lights
I still feel your love on cold wintery nights

I still share your hopes and all of your cares
I'll even remind you to please say your prayers

I just want to tell you, you still make me proud
you stand head and shoulders above all the crowd

Keep trying each moment, to stay in his grace
I came here before you to help set your place

You don't have to be perfect all of the time
He forgives you the slip, if you continue the climb

To my family and friends
Please be thankful today
I'm still close beside you,
In a new special way

I love you all dearly,
now don't shed a tear
cause I'm spending my
Christmas with Jesus this year

Copyright 1989 John Wm. Mooney, Jr (wow hadn't noticed it was written by someone named John until now!)

I'm a Senior!

Well I took my last final today and that makes me officially a Senior!!! :) I am so glad to have just one year left! I am nervous because I know how much more serious things are getting. I have learned so much and am doing so much more than I ever thought I could do.

I did some Christmas shopping today, fought the crowds. I hate it. I really do. Everyone is so grumpy around Christmas. NO ONE says excuse me, smiles, or waits their turn. I stop, I try to be polite etc. I even smile extra wide so people will know I'm not one of those jerks. Well you know I am so sick of it. I am tired of not getting it in return. I got out of the way for some woman who wanted to squeeze between my van and another car to get into the store. I was trying to get in my van and she was barging of course I scoot away because she won't stop coming at me. I say excuse me, and she just sticks up her nose and keeps walking. If you're that person? Well I have a few choice words for you! I'll keep them to myself but you know smile folks! It's not that hard. Smile. Say excuse me. I mean, maybe it's not so bad right? I saw a little old lady crossing the street today. I was waiting to turn left at a green arrow. The line wasn't moving. I was 2 cars into the line. This woman was pushing a wheelchair. She should have been IN it. I believe she was homeless. She looked about 85. The wheelchair had a dirty old pillow in it. Horns were honking, people were yelling and that little old lady inched her way across. It took her well past the time that light turned red. But you know I caught myself. What do I have to complain about? I am in a warm van on my way to get some food. She's a poor old lady who can barely walk pushing her wheelchair across ice and snow. Yeah. I think we can all just shut up right? Let the poor woman cross the street and we should maybe get a few visits from some ghosts. lol :)

p.s. (too much scrooge)

Now it's time to celebrate I think!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gabbi's Amazing Beginning

I'm just whipping up a short story here. I have always said Gabbi was just MEANT to be. She overcame so many odds to get here. Some are funny, some not so much but here goes. Gabbi was a surprise. I had no plans on getting pregnant.

So here is the funny part. I had been on birth control for some time. My family and I were moving. I was due to see my doc. He would give me my new prescription for my pills. Well after we moved my old doc wouldn't refill my prescription because I needed to see him first. So obviously I couldn't do that. I called a new doc and set up an appointment. They couldn't see me for 3 weeks. I figured what could happen??? 3 weeks is nothing!

Don't ever tell yourself that. I was pregnant before I started the next pack of pills. I went to the doc, got my refill and never used it. I cried and cried because number one I felt sick. Number 2 I hadn't planned on more children.

The next road block obviously was the cancer. I found out I had cancer and then had no choice but to have chemotherapy while I was pregnant. She overcame that. I may have shared this last part before, but on our way home from the hospital after she was born there was a car who pulled out in front of us. We were luckily turning but the car to the left of us gunned it and hit the car that pulled out. That car then was rammed into a truck in the other lane. That truck was at a stop getting ready to make a turn as well. So right outside Gabbi's window of our vehicle there was a 3 car pileup. We were the only car NOT involved. We called 911, finished doing what we had to do, and then went home. I am still in awe. I am thankful that we were ok!! That was pretty scary watching that so close.

I took Gabbi to school with me today to make up a quiz. I had a friend watch her for me for a few minutes. It was so nice of her and I really appreciate it! Thanks Anna :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Really Missing My Dad

With the Holidays and because I lost my dad last Christmas (27th) I'm really missing him more than ever. I hear his voice so clearly. I see him clearly when I close my eyes. I hear his humor and still cannot believe he is gone. I miss him so much. I sometimes feel so frustrated because I just want him back. It seems so unfair. I know there are many people who can relate. My sister Donna posted this on Facebook and I loved it so much I am sharing it here on my blog. Thanks Donna.

by Judy Burnette many images come to mind
whenever I speak your name;
It seems without you in my life
...things have never been the same.

What happened to those lazy days
when I was just a child;
When my life was consumed in you
in your love, and in your smile.

What happened to all those times
when I always looked to you;
No matter what happened in my life
you could make my gray skies blue.

Dad, some days I hear your voice
and turn to see your face;
Yet in my seems
the sound has been erased.

Dad, who will I turn to for answers
when life does not make sense;
Who will be there to hold me close
when the pieces just don't fit.

Oh, Dad, if I could turn back time
and once more hear your voice;
I'd tell you that out of all the dads
you would still be my choice.

Please always know I love you
and no one can take your place;
Years may come and go
but your memory will never be erased.

Today, Jesus, as You are listening
in your home above;
Would you go and find my dad
and give him all my love.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Watching Christmas Movies

We'll be putting up the tree tomorrow. We would have done it today, but we were all pretty worn out. It's been an amazing lazy day. No Black Friday for me. I thought about it, but it made me tired. lol My girls have been enjoying their day off. I had a hard time crawling out of bed. For some reason I have actually had a hard time waking up lately. Then again that could be due to going to bed too late!

Tonight it's been all about the movies and relaxing. We had left overs and now I'm getting ready to watch the best version of A Christmas Carol of ALL time starring the one and only Alastair Sim!

I'm enjoying a hot cappuccino and honestly it couldn't get much better than this. If Gabbi hadn't clocked her head on the corner of the dishwasher it might be downright perfect. She's ok though and enjoying the spongebob band-aid on her head though there was not one drop of blood. She thinks she is all better now. The miraculous cures of a band-aid. Who knew?

Monday, November 22, 2010


It's coming up fast. I don't know where this year has went truly. School makes everything go faster. I am never without something to do. I have homework all the time. I have tests to study for all the time. I finally look up and half the year is gone. Between school and family there is little time for more. It's the one reason I do like to go out alone with the hubby at least ONE night a weekend. I need that time away. I know not everyone is like that, but if it's a night out with the girls, or a night out with the hubby I just need to get away from home, from the books, and relax. It re-energizes me for whatever the coming week has in store for me!

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving quite a bit. I love the idea of doing this with my family. I want to just spend time with them without TV, or computers or HOMEWORK. I have bought a lot of the things I need. I forgot to buy the Yams. I am the only one that likes them anyway, but to me they are tradition. I love them and how my mom always made them. They were one of my dad's favorites. He liked them how I do, covered in brown sugar, butter and marshmallows!!! YUM. I am thankful for much but I miss my dad. He loved the Holidays. He loved being with his family. He loved getting his girls all together at his house. This is our first Thanksgiving without him. Last year we were to all go to his house, but he took a turn for the worse and ended up in the hospital on that day. We had dinner at my house, kind of rush and tense, but it was a good meal. We took dad a big plate and he did eat it. He never remembered it later, but he did eat it and enjoyed it. I won't ever forget that night. His voice was very very raspy because of the tubes that had been down his throat from when he was in ICU. My phone rang and it was that tune from a Clint Eastwood movie The Good Bad and The Ugly. It freaked him out first. Dad didn't know where the sound was coming from. I showed him. Then my brother in law told my dad he sounded like Clint. Dad thought that was cool. Brian asked him to say "Go ahead, make my day" I think "do you feel lucky" might have been in there somewhere but I forget exactly. The point was he sounded like Clint and it was great. I will always remember it. It was funny.

Miss ya dad!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Gabbi!!!

Please stop by and leave your birthday wishes for my little miracle baby girl Gabriella. I know she's not a baby anymore. She's 3 years old today! Please leave a comment and wish her a happy birthday :) Thanks!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tomorrow is the Big Day!

Gabbi will turn three years old tomorrow. I am so excited. We did have a birthday party at my mother's house on Sunday. I have clinical tomorrow night if you can believe it. I am so sad that I'll be spending much of the evening away from my little girl but I don't know what else to do. I will enjoy the time I have before I go and then when I get back as well. This should hopefully be the only time this ever happens. I love my girl. I hate the fact that I won't be able to be with her all day tomorrow.

This reminds me of when my oldest Lexi turned 3. Her sister Mikayla was born that day. I felt really guilty for not being there on her birthday! Ha! The nurses ended up bringing us a birthday cake for her. It was so nice and we'll never forget it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Three Years Old, Three Years in Remission (Almost)

Gabriella's birthday is almost here. On November 17th she will celebrate her third birthday. She is getting so big! If you go back to the beginning of my blog after I first discovered my pregnancy you'll see why I say it with such disbelief! She's my little miracle. She's full of energy and such a happy little girl. Spend one day with her and you'll want to have a little girl, even if you never thought you wanted kids before!

Gabbi is such a happy girl. She was an unexpected blessing to our family. We hadn't really planned on having more children. Yet there I was pregnant and then shortly after diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was told to have a therapeutic abortion. Regardless of your beliefs on that (because it's not the focus of my story) is that I couldn't do that. I knew there was no harm to me in continuing with the pregnancy and I would accept her however she was. I couldn't do that based on "unknowns". That was all it was. They didn't know what could happen. They weren't sure if anything would happen. They thought it might be better for me mentally. Obviously they don't know me. I think I could have survived but couldn't have lived after something like that.

So here we are almost celebrating her third birthday. I had chemotherapy during my pregnancy. I started at just 10 weeks along. I finished my last chemo about 3 weeks before she was born. She was born healthy and perfect in every way. I thank God for blessing me with this beautiful little girl. I love her to pieces! She's my sweet little miracle and as much a cancer survivor as I am. I will celebrate three years in remission on February 8th, 2011. I had radiation after her birth and a PET scan after that in which I found out I was all clear of that nasty cancer. It has never come back and here I sit thinking about all my blessings. It's a good month for her birthday. Thanksgiving is coming up and her birthday is just a week away. I am so thankful for my little lady! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November? Really?

It's hard for me to believe it's already November. I must say school really makes time fly by. It's been an interesting month for me. I am doing my OB clinical and my Psych clinical right now. I say my days are no longer normal. I see and experience things people just usually don't on a normal basis. I have seen a vaginal delivery and a c-section in just two OB clinicals. I also tended to a baby who needed NICU. I watched that whole process which no, is definitely not easy.

I am loving every minute of it though. I want to take a second to say last week in Psych was particularly special to me. I had dinner in the hospital cafeteria with my teacher. We got to talking and I discovered she graduated from MY high school. She asked my maiden name, I told her, she asked if I knew John and of course this took me by surprise. I said yes that is my dad! She went to school with my dad. She graduated high school with him. I miss my dad so much. It doesn't make me sad or bring up bad things to talk about him anymore. Actually I just like feeling closer to him. If I think of how he suffered and what he went through that's when the tears come. I cry when I talk to him. Every now and then I just need to talk to him so I do. It makes me feel better anyway. I hope somehow that somewhere he can hear me. This was his favorite time of year. Football and family. He loved getting the family together during the Holidays.

*sigh* I miss you dad.

Monday, October 25, 2010

HOPE Video Diary Part I

Here is a video diary from a woman I met online, Liz, who also was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant. It's NOT unheard of. It DOES happen and it doesn't mean the end for your baby or you!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween and My Oncology Follow Up

Gabbi is ready! lol Nah if you ask her she'll tell you she is gonna be a princess. I plan on getting her a princess costume. I am not sure which one yet? I am thinking Cinderella could be a lot of fun to do with her. She loves these little plastic teeth. The orange is just disgusting to me. haha I keep thinking who would want orange teeth fake or not? Yuck.

She gets a kick out of them though and that's what counts!

I saw my doctor on Friday. I had been concerned because my white count was low at my last appointment. I had just had the wisdom teeth pulled though so I was thinking it was related to that. Well this time my count was perfect. All my blood work was great. The doc said I didn't give him anything to do. You really want to hear that from an oncologist. I am glad. I can breathe a little easier now I think. I start to get nervous around checkup time. I have never felt 100% the same. I run out of a breath a bit easier....the pressure in my neck causes it I believe. I still have the thyroid issues. 4 nodules and enlarged. It causes some slight distention in my neck veins that I find COMPLETELY noticeable. I hate it especially when I sing. Well anyway I think that the reason my throat feels more pressure some days than others is allergies. I discussed it with the doc and usually when I'm having a bad "throat" day it coincides with sinus drainage or something. He said those tissues become slightly swollen with allergies and since it's already swollen because of thyroid and scar tissue it makes sense that some days is ok and others not so much. I need to always take my Claritan and maybe something else to relieve this discomfort. My left ear gets to popping and it stuffy as well. I will move my mouth funny or swallow a lot to deal with it. It's not stuffy constantly or popping's doing BOTH constantly. It's hard to concentrate and pretend like it's not happening when you're talking to someone. VERY hard. I hate it. It's been bothering me for a long time and getting worse. So we'll get my butt to my endocrinologist and try to deal with it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween and Dressing Up

I posted about this on my other blog but I really want to see the opinion on this. I absolutely LOVE dressing up for Halloween. As a teen I was sad when I was considered too "old" to dress up. I love it and I missed it. So what did I do as an adult to resolve this problem? I started having a Halloween party every year. I should do a costume contest. I think that would really encourage some interesting costumes. If my parties got big enough I would. I have found my costume for this year. I'm super EXCITED about wearing it.

I guess my question to you is do you feel dressing up for Halloween is just for the kids or can be fun for adults too? I love it. Some adults are too nervous to do it. I think they honestly worry about what other adults think. I'm putting a poll up on this blog and my other blog. I want to see what the general thought is. You know where my vote goes. Any reason to dress up is good to me. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lazy Sunday....With a Side of Studying

It should be the other way around. I have a rather big Psychology test tomorrow. Actually it's Nursing Care of Clients with Psychosocial Problems. That's the name of my class. However I can't imagine telling you all I have a test on that. It's just easier to say "Psychology", wouldn't you agree?

The big problem here is that I don't think I'll make my class tomorrow. The kids all have Columbus Day off. I didn't even realize they still got that day off. There is so much controversy surrounding Columbus and all that he did. From what I gather he wasn't that great of a guy. I'll be honest, at this particular moment I don't care. I just know that I really have no other way but to stay home with my girls. The hubby has to work. My oldest daughter is 13. The idea of leaving a 13, 10 and 8 year old alone all day long isn't a good one I don't think. The 13 year old is mature enough but she might think baking would be a good idea while I'm gone....or she might think punishing her sisters is a great plan. That might involve some hair pulling, biting, hitting, slapping and other not so pleasant things.

Nah I think I have to stay home. That means I'm going to have to make up this test. That sucks. I really don't like having to do that but I am not sure what else I can do. They really should think of these things when they make test days. A lot of my fellow students are parents. Sometimes there is a Holiday. It would be easy enough to not make a test day on a Holiday that schools have off. It puts parents in a real bind.

Going to college as a parent isn't easy. There is so much to consider. If I put the amount into my work that my teachers expect, then my family feels I'm neglecting them. They get upset with me. Then my grades aren't as good. It's hard to balance it all. It goes even so far as to trickle down to my extended family. I don't see my mother or sisters much at all anymore. I did manage to get out and celebrate my sisters birthday last night though! That was a lot of fun. I even met someone who reads my blog. That was really cool! :)

Well back to the studying. Have a great Sunday all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wisconsin Dells Vacation

My anniversary was on September 23rd. We celebrated 15 years together. We got married in 1995. We have actually been together since 1993. We were young at the time. I was just 19 years old. He was just 21. I had just graduated high school in 1994. We are one of those young marriages that honestly most people chuckle about and say behind your back at your wedding how much time they give you. lol So I figure 15 years is pretty darn good.

We took our "honeymoon" to Wisconsin Dells. Back then it was a whole lot of fun! I didn't want to go there at first. I was disappointed because everyone else that got married got to go to a Beach somewhere you know? However we were short on funds in those days so we went somewhere realistic and it was a blast. We had so much fun. We decided to go back and take the kids with us this time.

We had a really good time. The girls loved it. Roller coasters line the streets. Not to mention all the go carts and water parks. We had a water park in our hotel which was nice since it's cold outside. The outdoor parks weren't open anymore. We stayed at the same hotel we stayed in 15 years ago. I could see our old room. We got a different room this time, but I could see our old room from our new room.

Check out the pics! Click the Link Below :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You Know Your Dog is Getting Old When...

you take her in for her shots and checkup and the vet hands you pamphlets on how to extend your dogs life, and help her in her older years.

I'm pretty sad that Sasha is getting up there in years. I'm proud of the fact that she's about 10 (we adopted her so we aren't totally positive), yet I'm scared because she is a Siberian Husky and their lifespan is about 10-15 years. Obviously this is a little scary.

She is doing good. Her checkup went good but we're concerned about a little patch of missing fur on her back. It's by the tail. It's pretty raw. The vet checked for fleas but didn't see any. She was due for some Frontline. We hadn't used any in awhile so I picked that up today. The vet put her on some antibiotics and some spray that I'm going to be putting on her in a moment. I really do love my dog. She's the best dog we have ever had. I read a lot about Huskies online including here:

She absolutely loves to run and will any chance she gets. If that means running away from me then she will do it. It's scary because she will run until she runs out of energy. That is usually halfway across town so we are careful about not letting her get away. She is much stronger than me so I have a hard time keeping her from walking ME. She is good about sitting but likes to jump up at people in excitement. Since we adopted her when she was around 5, she was already trained to a certain extent. She is house trained and will sit on command or shake your hand but she doesn't have much interest in obeying other commands. She'll get down if I tell her to, but a few seconds later she is back up again. It's a repetitive thing. I love her for her personality though. I realize she's probably really well behaved for a Husky.

I'm going to get a good picture of her tonight. She's a really pretty dog with ice blue eyes!!!

I also wanted to put a very important note in here. Gabbi and I were recently featured in a blog. I was contacted and asked if they could post our story to share. I was more than honored to do so. Please check out this link and comment on the story.

Scroll down and you'll see our picture. Click on the link in the intro and that's that. :) Let me know if you read it. I love comments.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spongebob Scrubs and Kids

I am doing my Pediatric clinical right now. I love kids. I really do. I should! I have four. I love my girls but the idea of working with kids scared me more than anything. I don't like seeing a child sick or hurting. The smaller they are, the more scary it is for me. Today went well though. I bonded with my patient pretty quickly. I wore my Spongebob Scrubs (that I absolutely was determined to get). When I walked into my patient's room, he was wearing Spongebob PJ's! I introduced myself and told him my daughters like to call me Sandi Cheeks. haha That was a hit. After that it went pretty well.

My Gabriella is doing well in daycare. She is almost 3 and still not wanting to be potty trained. She tells me as soon as I got home that she "went pee in the potty!" I hope so. It is hard to dedicate the time training her that I need to because of full time Nursing School.

I actually missed my follow up on the 10th with my Oncologist. I had my regular 3 month follow up but because it's so far away and due to my schedule at school I postponed it until October 5th. I have that day off school so it will work out better. I still want to go into Oncology! You know what is weird is going back to being the patient. It feels really different having seen both sides so intently now. I actually miss my doctor and my nurses. They became like a second family to me for a long time. :)

On another note I hit 300 followers today!!! Thank you to all those who read my blog. I am sorry I haven't posted updates as frequently as I should. It's hard when I'm writing papers anyway and studying all the time. I like blogging more!!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day and Flu

Well I've been sick for about a week now. It started with Gabbi and a low grade temp. It progressed from there. Within 2 days I was sick. I felt better today but then the body aches started back up. The fever is still gone though. Thankfully. I also have a really bad cough and lots of painful congestion. It's been a hard week and then of course it destroyed any chance of having a good time over Labor Day.

I missed a couple days of class due to this, but cannot miss any more. So hopefully I recover 100% soon. Gabbi seems better on the other hand. I'm glad because hearing her struggle sleeping through the night was just too hard. Hopefully this will be the end of sickness in our house for awhile.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Blueberry Waffles Yum :)

I got a little crazy for lunch today and made a breakfast/lunch. I whipped up some homemade blueberry waffles and decided they needed a blueberry topping as well. I made a blueberry sauce that turned out PERFECT. It was very tasty. I also dusted it lightly with some powdered sugar. It was a hit with the kids as well. I've been really craving some blueberries lately and this hit the spot.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Well school is back in full swing. I am enjoying this year much more than last so far. I know this year will change a lot as time goes by. I have Pediatrics the first 8 weeks of this semester. My second semester will be OB. Both of those sound good to me. Honestly this is when having kids actually benefits you. I am absolutely comfortable with it all. I can't count how many diapers I have changed. I have read baby books with each pregnancy because I like to know what is going on. I read What to Expect When You're Expecting which is a great book!

I hate that I have a story to contribute to most bad subjects though. My first daughter was by far the easiest. I thought it was going to stay that way until my second daughter turned 1. She started fainting. It's not uncommon actually. Scary things can happen. Having kids isn't all sunshine and roses. I learned first hand and the hard way. I wish things had been simple but they weren't. Right before my second daughter turned 1 I found out I was pregnant again. Yeah it was a shock and no we weren't trying. I was about 9 weeks along when I knew something wasn't right unexpectedly. I had just been to the doctor a few days earlier and had actually seen the little heartbeat on the sonogram machine. It wasn't loud enough to hear, but you could see the flutter.

About 2 days later I went back and found out my baby was gone. He had died due to chromosomal abnormalities. I know all of this because I had chosen to have tests run. I was terrified it was my fault. That is a very common reaction. I wondered about everything from the ibuprofen I took to the face wash I used. You do get paranoid. There was nothing I did though. It was a very difficult time. Shortly after is when Mikayla suddenly began passing out when she got hurt or scared. If I yelled no she was down for the count. We ran an EEG and a study that involved a lot of electrodes on her head.  In the end though it was because she had a difficult time catching her breath when scared or hurt. She no longer passes out but still has difficulty sometimes catching her breath. She's 10 now. She grew out of it. We were talking about this in Peds the other day. It just made me think about it.

Then I found out I was pregnant again. Yes yet another one and I was scared to death. I had what is called an AFP or Triple Marker test at 16 weeks. I wasn't told it was an optional test, or that they have a high false positive rate. So when my came back positive I was scared even more. I had just lost a baby, and the baby I DID have was fainting and now I was pregnant again and told the baby may be higher risk for Down's or neural tube defects. Ugh. Well after a mentally draining pregnancy she was born perfectly healthy.

Does it end there? No. Angelina was about 1 week old when I noticed a tiny pin head sized bright red dot on her bottom lip. It was a strawberry hemangioma and that sucker grew like mad. I was really scared until I learned more about it. Well actually that didn't help a lot either. Those things can grow large and disfiguring. We put her on oral steroids at 3 months of age when it was just looking ready to burst. I started documenting it early:

The prednisone worked. She didn't have to use it for too long either. We are considering laser surgery to remove the remaining color from her lip. It's still a little fat but not bad at all. They do go away with age usually but the problem is if they are growing rapidly and in a place that could disfigure or even kill, such as an airway. Here is my beautiful red head now:

You really can't tell. Of course we all know it didn't end there. I got pregnant yet again in 2007 very unexpectedly since I had been taking birth control. Long story short I was only off of it 3 weeks. lol Then I knew I was sick too and that is where the cancer story comes in.

So the next time someone wonders why I am overprotective mom, well think about it for a couple of seconds. Yes I am over protective. Yes I worry a lot. It is what it is. I doubt it will ever change! I just hope my experiences will be something I can use to help others in life. I wish someone could have told me about what was going on with Angelina's lip. I wish someone could have told me it wasn't my fault I lost the baby before I stressed out like I did. I wish that I had known my baby could live even if I had chemo and you know that wish did come true with Hope For Two

I could go on. I have led an interesting life to say the least. Now I'm back at school and will graduate in 2011! So I am pretty excited. I have come a long way. I figure these life experiences are for a reason right?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Five More Followers

I just noticed that's all I need to hit 300 followers on Blogger. That's not too bad! Thank you to all my followers. Thank you to all that read and especially the commenters. I'm a sucker for a comment. I just love them! I feel so special to have hit this point. My blog started very small and has grown over the years.

Thanks again :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

My New Shirt!

I ordered this from a store online. I had seen them so many times and really wanted one. Now that I am around 2 1/2 years in remission I finally felt brave enough to get one! I have reached a point now where no matter what I did beat this thing. I love this shirt. It's so sassy. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Our New Addition Rose

This is our kitty Rose. She can be a good kitty, but likes to play to rough,  but I guess kittens will be kittens. :) I missed having a cat and when our neighbors cat had a litter of kittens we couldn't resist. The rest of the litter was basically white with some black. However their feet did have the stripes. She's getting big already!

The Horrible Roommate

Have I ever shared the story of my horrible roommate in the hospital? I was thinking about this tonight. I don't know that I have. I can't believe that I wouldn't have, but honestly I don't remember telling anyone other than family. So here goes!

When I went into the hospital at 29 weeks pregnant with preterm contractions with Gabriella after a chemo treatment I was put into a room with another woman. I won't go into how I had to be lifeflighted because my contractions wouldn't stop. I won't elaborate on the steroid shots I had for Gabbi's lungs because of the fear I was going to have her or how the medicines wouldn't stop the labor. I also won't go into how I was so out of it from the magnesium drip that I barely could focus much less think. I remember them coming into my hospital room in the one hospital I was at, telling me something about my breathing and the contractions...and Lifeflight. That's it. Then my kids and husband watched as I was flown away to another hospital a good 2 hours from them.

OK. Now onto the roommate. I had been through a lot. Hard chemo....preterm contractions.....terrible pain from them...etc. Stress....and now I was sharing a room. I complained because HELLO I was on chemo. I didn't want to catch something and this woman was saying she felt sick. She complained non stop. I was trying to save my baby and be as good as I could be to save the pregnancy and this chick NONSTOP said she just wanted to have hers. She was too early. She was about where I was. She sat there in her bed ALL night telling me how she never wanted her baby and had wanted an abortion. Then she complained it was her birthday and no one would come see her. Then of course her boyfriend and dad came in and sat with her anyway. I couldn't get sleep. I rarely spoke but she told me nonstop how she never wanted her child. I had to listen to a counselor come in and explain the hazards of just delivering her baby. They told her how many issues this baby would have IF it even survived. I don't know what happened in the end. I left before she made her decision.

Here I was scared to death, having cancer, and maybe having my baby too soon...and this woman thought of nothing but how she didn't want her baby. I'll never forget it. I was so ready to go home I couldn't stand it!!

Oh and of course we know that Gabriella was born perfectly healthy at 36 weeks along. :) I did have some preterm contractions again after my final chemo at around 32 weeks...but it didn't last long and I only stayed one night in the hospital that time.

Look at my little lady now....applying make up in the car. Ha!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Had a Great Trip

This past weekend the family packed up and headed to St. Louis. We went to see the Arch and we also went to Six Flags. We had a lot of fun. Gabbi LOVED the characters. She wanted to see each and every one. I made sure she did. The older girls had a great time as well. Lexi (my oldest) enjoyed her first roller coaster ride with her dad. She rode the Screaming Eagle. After it was done she came back up to me all red faced and watery eyed. She loved it and I believe she might be hooked. She also took a ride on the batman. It's a lot of fun. I didn't get a chance really. I had Gabbi the whole time and really didn't feel like leaving her for long. The waits were HUGE. They got lucky with the Batman though and only ended up waiting around 20 minutes.

The night ended with a glow in the dark parade which was beautiful! My mom went with us on the trip and is also in the pics. We had a really good time. :) The only unfortunate event was we stopped to eat on the way home. We decided to stop at A&W. It's been ages since we ate there. We decided to get Gabbi a plain old hot dog with nothing on it. Usually hot dogs are pretty safe as long as they aren't the cheesy kind. (Because of her milk allergy) Well we weren't home 15 minutes and she threw up. I checked online and sure enough there is "skim  milk protein" in the hot dogs at A&W. We have gotten her plain hot dogs numerous times with no issue at different places. Now I won't be chancing it ever again! She actually wasn't as bad as usual. It still seems as though the reaction is more mild. She threw up about 3-4 times total and not again. She also didn't get the lethargic reaction she used to get. I'm really hoping she grows out of this! I am so sad this girl has NEVER tasted ice cream! She can't have pizza for crying out loud. haha

Still we had a great time and Gabbi keeps asking to go to Six Flags again. :)

Pics of my vacation at this link:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Love My Baby Girl

Just a picture I took last night. Love my girl. She's getting so big! :) She'll be 3 November 17th. It's hard to believe so much time has flown by.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Red Robin!

Gabbi just sang this out of the blue the other day. I never taught it to her. She just picks EVERYTHING up. It was so cute and so perfect so I decided to get it on video. If you know the jingle, you'll appreciate it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Growing Up!

It's definitely hard to believe it was only 2 1/2 years ago that this little girl was born. Uncertainties abounded about whether or not she would have health issues. We delivered her a good 4 weeks early though you'd never know. Look at the chub! She's my cutie pie. I love her to pieces. She's enjoying her summer. I held her tight the other day. I couldn't imagine life without her. It was suggested to me at the time by a specialist just because of the unknowns. I just couldn't imagine having made that choice simply because she has made our family so complete. I fought for us both and I'm sure her strength made a big difference as well.

Now? She loves swimming. She loves playing in water and splashing around. She hates getting her face wet still. We have no pool. I take her up to the pool here in town. She loves it and begs to go swimming. How time flies! If you go back to the beginning of my blog I started posting right after I found out I had cancer. I was about 7-9 weeks pregnant or something like that. I posted sonogram pics and everything! time flies!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Night Daiquiri

I am really not doing much for a Friday night. I picked up my mother and she's hanging out with me tonight. I whipped us up a strawberry daiquiri and we're watching some TV. It's a pretty laid back night. Mom is catching a plane early in the morning. She is taking her first vacation since losing my dad. She's going to see my dad's sister who is a wonderful friend as well as family. She was really there for my mom when dad died. I don't know what we would have done without her there.

Mom really deserves this vacation. It will be a stress reliever for her. Until then, I am sitting back with my drink and enjoying my Friday night.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer and Fairs

Summer time really is about the fairs isn't it? Or is that just me? haha Swimming pools, and fairs. I love good fair food. Actually I am a huge fan of a lot of the cooking shows on TV. I do not like the "contest shows" though. I don't need to see someone trying to cook well and failing or having the judges tell them it's raw or that it tastes terrible. No, that ruins it for me. I watch cooking shows to see GOOD food. One of my faves is Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Oh I love that show. I would love to just hang out with that guy for a day. I think I'd never feel so well fed in my life. That food looks awesome. It's right up my alley.

I strayed from my point. I love Fair food because it has that same feel to it. I got a Gyro which was pretty tasty I might add! Then towards the evening I got a funnel cake covered in cherry topping. I of course shared the latter with my girls. I want the taste minus the guilt! On the way out we saw corn on the cob. We got one of those too! It was all very good. I love love love the fairs and good food. Our local carnival was a joke as far as food was concerned. Sorry, but when I order a $4.00 ham and cheese I am not expecting a cheap hamburger bun, lunch meat and processed cheese. It was pathetic. Since then I have had some good fair food...thankfully!

The kids had a great time riding the rides. I took Gabbi on a few as well. I have a bout a month of vacation left. I need to do things to REALLY enjoy it. Suggestions?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

Thinking about taking the kids out to see some big fireworks tonight. Hopefully this rain doesn't destroy those chances. I am so sick of rain this year.

On the plus side I was watering my tomato plants and guess what? I have a red one!!! I love tomatoes. I am really sad that my dad isn't here to give me food from his garden this year. It's sad to his garden all grown over with weeds. Mom is getting it taking care of, cleaning up the yard and all that, but I miss seeing his plants and him down there taking care of it.

My mom's house is also starting to smell like all "woman". There is no man scent left. I know it may seem silly but when my dad was there it didn't have a perfumey scent. Now? His scent is just gone. I get sad over things like that. When I go see my mom I open her medicine cabinet, grab out my dad's aftershave and smell it. I love that she still has that. It smells just like my dad. I miss him.

Gabbi is growing like crazy and looking like quite the little lady these days. We gave her a "princess makeover" this past week. She insisted. :)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My New Tattoo

I have been wanting a violet ribbon since I became a cancer survivor. I went through a lot and this was sort of my own symbol of beating it...winning the fight. It's a reminder of all I went through. When I was diagnosed they didn't think I would last 3 weeks without treatment. It was a difficult time combined with the fact that I did indeed feel like I was dying.

I came back, kicked cancer's ass and here I am today. I got my tattoo, spent the day on the Harley and even got a rather funny looking sunburn to top it all off. It was a good day. I had a great time out singing at the end of the night with my favorite local Karaoke DJ, Dennis.

I'm proud of what I have accomplished. Now I'm going to be starting my second semester in Nursing College. Who knew 3 years ago that I would be here today?

I do miss my dad though. He lost his battle. It's so wrong that he lost his battle right after I won mine. It's like cancer is there to remind you, that though you won, he can still take your family....your friends....and yeah even come back for you. It's always there. My dad's ribbon is almost identical to mine. Mine is violet, his is purple. So I got the tattoo for both of us. (And no my dad did not approve of tattoos, just so no one thinks he did haha) But I got it anyway. I wanted it as a tribute to him with his initials and birth year and the year he died. On the other side, is Survivor 08....the year I was declared in remission. Yeah it means a lot to me. I have wanted it for a long time and now I am so happy to finally have it!!! :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Got an Award!

It's been awhile since I had one on here. I have a hard time getting them posted when I do. I've been enjoying my summer break, relaxing and not working too hard, so I have time to sit back and enjoy my blogging. Here is an award I received from Lipglossed Mom.

 Thank you so much!

It's been a slow week. The hubby has been working second just for a few days this week then next week as well. It takes some getting used to not having him around. Good thing it's only temporary. All the kids are heading outside to play. I will be all alooooooone. ahhhhhhhhhhhhh :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Oldest Daughter Lexi

She loves to sing. This is the local Talent Show tonight. She did so good. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Follow Up

I am feeling a bit tired this week. Most likely due to this tooth issue I have had. I am going to probably need to get back into that dentist if it doesn't clear up soon. I think it might have gotten infected. When I saw my oncologist my white count was a little low which has never happened. It's scary when my blood tests aren't totally normal. Doc seemed a little concerned but everything else turned out good. I told him I had my wisdom teeth out and he said it was probably because of that. Still the hubby wants me to go to the doc in a couple of weeks and get some blood work just to make sure it's back where it should be.

It's probably a good idea if for nothing else but peace of mind. My blood pressure was pretty low too. 88/56. I tend to run low pressures. Around 98/60 or so. But this was really low for me. She asked if I was feeling tired. I was. I feel it's probably because I hadn't drank anything all morning. Really my pressure seems to drop when I don't drink enough. I tend to do that a lot since I'm not a fan of water. I pretty much consume caffeinated beverages for the most part. Gotta stop that! I know it's not healthy.

I am now wondering if my tooth IS causing the low white count that it might signal an infection and therefore I probably need some antibiotics. Eh. I just hate going back to the doc AGAIN. Might force myself to go though.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yet Another Follow Up

Tuesday the 15th I go see my oncologist for my regular 3 month follow up. I have lost track now of how many of these I have had. I used to count, now it's just a part of my life. I'll do this for another 3 years then I'll see my doc every 6 months for the rest of my life. As my doc says, Hodgkin's is something that once you have you are always looking for and hope to never find.

I sure hope we never find IT or any of the other cancers that could occur as a result of having had Hodgkin's or the treatments. Ironic that those things can cause other cancers. I am watching my thyroid too. I already had nodules and with the radiation there it is sure to give me problems at some point so we keep an eye on it. I had my thyroid levels drawn. I should get those results this week. I wanted to have them to take with me when I see my oncologist because he keeps telling me to see an endocrinologist. I put it off a lot, finally called them and I can't get in until late August. How stupid is that? I just went to my primary doc and had them draw my blood. If there is a problem maybe I'll get into the endocrinologist sooner.

Hope everyone is having a good Sunday!!! Look at my new kitty! I want to call her Aurora Rose (though the hubby isn't big on the princess names lol). She is a sleepy cat. All she does is sleep so Aurora was fitting. I liked Briar Rose too...which is also Sleeping Beauty's name with the fairies if you remember. So I cut out the Briar and just added Rose as a middle name. The girls call her Rose. I think it's gonna stick whether daddy likes it or not. haha :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

She Talks My Head Off

I love it. Yes Gabbi is a talker. Actually she'll have a conversation with you and it shocks people. I know I am surprised at how well she talks at only two. I am not sure if my other girls did. I just don't remember. My next youngest is 8 years old. Gabbi however picks up EVERY word you say and I mean every.

I feel like she has a memory like almost photogenic. Not quite, because she doesn't necessarily remember everything the first time, but practically. One night I decided to test this memory of hers. It seems she picks up on things so easily and then later repeats it back to me and it never ceases to shock me. She'll remember things I didn't think she even heard.

So one late night Cheers came on. She loves music and commented on the theme song. She talked about the music and just said "Mom, music? Mommy song?" And I agreed. I then decided to tell her the name of the show. I just said "It's Cheers Gabbi. That is Cheers."

Well I forgot about it. Two nights later the show comes on and I think nothing of it. Gabbi comes up to me tapping me on the shoulder smiling devilishly and says "Cheers mom. It's Cheers."

Yeah. One time I told her what it was....two days later she tells me when she hears the song. Yep. My genius baby. :) haha

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Two Wisdom Teeth Gone Today

In other words, I had them ripped from my head. It felt that way anyway. I never liked to hear the horror stories about wisdom teeth extraction. So I will start with the good news. I am still alive. During this procedure, I wasn't sure. It started with the numbing gel. I accidentally swallowed just a tiny bit. I don't know if it made a difference but boy I could not swallow. It felt like my tongue was HUGE and I just couldn't swallow very well.

After the numbing gel they did the injections. I had several on my upper left...then in the roof of my mouth on both sides...and of course more injections into the upper right gum. I was good and numb. They took me into another room. I had a small cavity. I have not had a cavity since I was 16. And those didn't even need any anesthesia because they were so small. I was shocked I had one. My teeth have always been so healthy and I am a person who always brushes her teeth. I love nice white, shiny teeth!

So after that little hit to my pride I faced the fact my wisdom teeth need to come out. They've needed it for a long time. My bottom wisdom teeth are just under the gum, growing in sideways. You can see the tops...but they are impacted so they'll be surgically removed. I'll be put to sleep for that thank God.

They filled the cavity then went to work on the wisdom tooth. I closed my eyes and kept them that way the whole time. She pulled my cheek so far over I thought my skin would turn inside out. She pushed down so hard it felt like I was being punched. Then she began the extraction as she pushed harder, pulled harder until my eyes were pouring tears. I wasn't really crying...but my eyes were watering from the pain of it. A few times I moaned in pain. Could NOT help it. The extraction itself wasn't that was the breaking of my face that hurt.

Now I have a prescription for codeine and I can't eat any good solid food. I had chocolate pudding for supper. I might try some kind of soup tomorrow....but nothing chunky. I can't open my mouth very much at chewing would be a major problem even IF I was ok with something getting inside the holes where my wisdom teeth once were. I hope I don't wake up in MORE pain. =/

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bad Storms Yesterday

(The above pic is outside my front door. I took this pic.)

There were varying degrees of intensity depending on where you were but I heard about tornadoes touching down in various places. I haven't heard of any significant damage. I heard about quarter sized hail.

The local fire department then posted these pics these to their facebook page. It was a little ways outside of town!