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Monday, April 23, 2018

Checking in

Life is too busy to properly blog, but I'm going to do a quick list of last week's activities. This chemo break is making it possible to participate in life instead of just watching life happen around me. That distinction is a very big one, and I'm so grateful for this break.

A few quick things:
  • The whole family (including grandparents, Michael, Liz, and Addison) went to see Mary Poppins at Welch last weekend - so fun!
  • Camden had 2 soccer games last week and their first win! He was incredibly excited, as was the whole team. So excited, in fact, that not only did they pour water over the coach but their bus driver stopped them before walking into the restaurant and said, "Guys. Please act as if you've won a game before."
  • Rory and Addison had a cousin sleepover - something we used to do often - but since chemo started and grandparents moved, those sleepovers have been few and far between.
  • Spent the afternoon at my parent's house with the grandparents and aunts and uncles to celebrate my grandparent's 70th wedding anniversary. I played the piano while everyone sat around and sang hymns - my mom and her siblings and parents are all musically gifted and singing tends to always be a part of their gatherings.
  • Worked 3 days in the office (this doesn't typically happen because of chemo)
  • Lunch with a friend on Wednesday, followed by the best $4 latte I've had in a long time! (Locals, it was the Bingster from Ugly Mugs.)
  • Camden had an afternoon off school so we went to see Ready Player One. This moviepass business is really fun! When's the last time I saw two movies in the theater in less than a week? Never, that's when!
  • Computer officially died which means I have no way of getting my big girl camera photos to computer. This is a sad day and I don't quite know how we're going to fix the situation.

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They have very different ideas on what time to get up on Saturday morning.
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On this week's agenda
  • Two soccer games plus a soccer tournament; Camden is going to miss the tournament because . . .
  • Camden and Rory are competing in the state competition in music and drama and Bible memorization
  • Rory has an overnight field trip and will be missing the Bible memorization part of the competition
  • Two doctor's appointments for me
  • An orthodontist appointment for Camden
  • Guitar/voice lesson for Camden
  • State testing for Brian's school
  • A whole lot of planning on how to logistically make all of this work.
Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Five on Friday (April 13, 2018)

How about a little game of bad news, good news.

Good news: I flew to Oklahoma last week for a combined visit with Becky/work trip.
Bad news: I became very ill and missed the work part.

Good news: Becky's father-in-law is a doctor and her mother-in-law is a retired nurse.
Bad news: I ended up with a bag of IV fluids in Becky's living room.

Good news: Becky's father-in-law doctor called ahead and then walked me straight into a hospital room, bypassing all the bureaucratic parts of being admitted to the hospital.
Bad news: I needed to be in the hospital.

It was a pretty awful weekend, but I see the sunshine peeking out among the clouds. The past few months have been both physically and mentally exhausting, and I find myself incredibly anxious all the time. Chemotherapy for 18 months is no walk in the park. We're making some changes, including the addition of two more professionals into my team of doctors, and I already feel more encouraged and strong. Turns out there might be a good side to spending the weekend vomiting with an audience. Ugh. Not to mention, Becky and I certainly made a memory!

5 quick things

1. I've documented pretty well over the years how much Camden hates to mow the yard. Which is why the adults were incredibly surprised when he charged up his iPod and casually mentioned he was headed out to mow the yard. He noticed the tall grass and knew he could help. This single moment made me feel like we've succeeded as parents.

2. Camden took the math and reading ACT a couple of weeks ago and scored an 18 in math (he wasn't happy) and a 27 in English (very happy). If he can do this well in 8th grade, I have high hopes for a great senior ACT score and scholarships. Lots of scholarships.

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3. Tennessee weather is finally having a turnaround and we've attended two soccer games in a row, both accompanied by sunshine. Both losses, but we won't focus on that.

4. For the majority of our marriage, Brian and I have spent Thursday evenings watching Survivor. Back in the day, we would set the VCR (it airs on Wednesdays and we're always gone, of course) then a DVR changed our lives and we abandoned VHS tapes. However we watched, it's been a consistent little date night amid the week. Something no one tells you about parenting is that as your kids grow older, they start to infringe on all the little times you have set aside with your partner. They stay up later; start watching your TV, etc. This season of Survivor started and instead of date night Thursdays, we now have family night Thursdays. Sigh.

So when MoviePass had a $7.99 special, we jumped on it (totally should have waited until our tax return was complete because UGH) and decided this subscription could be a little investment for our marriage. It is increasingly difficult to find time for even a kid-free conversation these days, much less date night but we are just going to make it happen.

5. Rory plucked her own eyebrows. Yes, she did.
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Celebrating my Grandpa's 90th birthday while I was in OK.
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Friday, March 30, 2018

Five on Good Friday (March 30, 2018)

He Himself bore our sins on His body on the cross so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed. -I Peter 2:24


1. Today marks 7 years since my cancer diagnosis and we celebrated with ice cream for breakfast as usual!

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2. We also celebrated 14 years with Camden by eating at Kobe Fusion, a sushi restaurant - Camden's choice although trying sushi was one of Rory's resolutions for 2018. Actually, her only resolution.

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3. Scan results are in with a small decrease this time to bring my total to 38% with a CA125 of 24. I am doing this current cycle and then have a 4-week break, and I could not be more ready. Brian went with me this week since he was on spring break (he generally tries to go with me for scan weeks but doesn't take off work for just regular chemo weeks). It was a looonnnggg day and we didn't make it home until after 8:00 p.m. Moving forward, my schedule is going to change slightly. I will have labs and see Dr. Crispens on Tuesday afternoon (preferably after work) and then come back first thing Wednesday mornings for chemo. This should mean two shorter days instead of one long day and I hope the infusion wait time is greatly reduced by being there first thing in the morning.

4. I would call spring break uneventful, but I hope it was restful to some degree for Brian. The kids definitely had it easy and Camden slept in until 10:30 nearly every morning. Rory went to a 2-day 4-H cooking class and had a great time. Ironically, she came home from the second day of class and cut her finger twice while cutting up cucumbers for me. That girl!

5. I am in a serious book slump. I started and quit no less than 3 books this week. Does reading a cook book count in my reading total for the year?

It's a full Easter weekend with Good Friday service tonight (actually a night of worship and Camden is playing), egg hunt tomorrow (I'm probably sitting this out to make sure I don't use up all my Sunday energy), Easter services Sunday plus nursing home service (my dad is preaching and Camden is playing). 




Friday, March 23, 2018

Five on Friday (March 23, 2018)

1. Fourteen years ago today we flew to Chicago to become parents. Camden was the sweetest baby and we are just the luckiest to be his parents. Photo is from his first week home. I cannot look at it without crying.

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2. We welcomed spring this week with temps in the 30's and snow/freezing rain, which sounds about right for Tennessee. Breaking records for heat one week, way too cold the next.

3. Sunday night we went to a Crowder concert to celebrate Family Day with the kids. After Brian and I went to see Crowder last fall and just had the best time, we knew that we wanted to give the kids the same experience. Unfortunately, the concert was managed by a church and not only did they oversell tickets, but the set up was horrible and we could not see a thing. Literally, I didn't even lay eyes on Crowder or his band because the set up was so awful. I couldn't even see the very small screen set up behind the stage. I was also sick as a dog (see next point). Anyway, the kids still had fun I think, but it wasn't the magical experience that Brian and I had hoped.

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4. I was diagnosed with pneumonia (the result of 3 weeks of a cold) and ear infections Monday. It was a pretty awful day; I'm not sure when I've felt so horrible. As a result, I was off work Monday, worked from home Tuesday, had a half day of doctor's appointments Wednesday, worked Thursday and now Friday morning I've been making up some work and not feeling as good as I'd like to be honest.

My parents have helped out tremendously with last-minute rides to school for the kids, taking dirty laundry out of the house, bringing clean clothes back in along with supper. Mom accompanied me to the doctor (regularly scheduled scans and eye dilation) while dad took the kids to Dunkin' Donuts and school. Everyone should be lucky enough to have parents like mine.

5. Rory's school choir is competing today in Murfreesboro and it's all she's talked about. Camden had yet another soccer game cancelled and it's all he's talked about.

Spring break starts at 3:15 this afternoon (when school lets out) for Brian and the kids, and I'm not sure Brian has ever been so ready. Happy Friday, friends.

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Rome day at school. Rory is good at being a goddess.
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Friday, March 16, 2018

Five on Friday (March 16, 2018)

I have planned this in order to display my glory through Pharoah and his whole army. After this the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord. -Exodus 14:3-4

The week started out with cold and snow but we're on day number two of beautiful spring weather and even though I'm generally a cold-weather kind of girl, 70 degrees is about to win me over. We only have the good stuff planned for the weekend - guitar lesson for Camden, lunch date for the adults, church on Sunday, and a Crowder concert for the whole family Sunday night. And only one more week until spring break for Brian and the kids!

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1. Speaking of breaks, I received permission for a 4-week chemo break. The break would have started immediately but I wanted to delay for a month for no other good reason that I wanted to enjoy the anticipation of a break. Wednesday was the last treatment for cycle 16 (hurray!). Mom and I went to lunch prior to my appointments and then I introduced her to Barista Parlor.

2. Brian experienced another bout of gastritis this past week - something specifically related to stress so spring break can't come quickly enough. The good news is that medicine seems to work quickly for him.

3. On Monday afternoon, we came home to clean laundry and clean sinks thanks to my mom. What a gift! The kids were so cute, especially Camden, who emphatically declared, "she's not doing our laundry!" when I told them she had offered. She received a couple of hours alone in a quiet house and fast internet and we got clean laundry!

4. Our much-used and much-loved espresso machine started smoking this week so we may be putting that excellent Bed Bath and Beyond return policy to work.

5. Fields trips are few and far between once you move past elementary school, so Camden was especially excited to go to the Corvette museum in KY yesterday. And in true sentimental form, he bought himself a little souvenir. Boys and their cars.

(he took his own pictures and edited them as well)
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Happy Friday!