Pink Ribbon S*&%

Last year when I was diagnosed, I proclaimed to all who would listen that I was not interested in being covered up with what I called “pink ribbon s*&%.”   Not that there’s not some cute PRS out there – there really is, but I didn’t want to turn into an “everything pink in my world” kind of person.  This year, I have few treasured items that have pink ribbons on them.  My mom sent me a thermal cup that has a great collection of flowers, bugs and the occasional pink ribbon.  By the time I got back on my feet last year I had seen a PRS graphic I really liked that combined the Wonder Woman logo from the movie that summer and the pink ribbon.

I have a machine that cuts out graphics from iron-on vinyl and then I iron them onto whatever I want to decorate.  I was all over this design!  I got a long sleeve grey knit shirt and decorated that thing up.  I thought I looked pretty cute in it too!

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My Pink Sister (friend who is also fighting the breast beast) Jonna is the mother of two little girls.  This spring when she was facing chemo and radiation, I decided she and her girls needed some Wonder Woman shirts.  Of course when you need adult, toddler and infant matching grey shirts, they are not to be found.  I got the right sizes in not matching colors and made them shirts.  Jonna was really excited to get them!  She and the girls have worn them to some breast beast events and I loved making them.

Now we are in Breast Cancer Awareness Month (aka October) and here in Texas it’s still pretty warm.  I decided this morning that I needed a short sleeve shirt with my favorite logo.  I whipped out my Cricut (cricket) and cut the graphic and ironed it onto a short sleeve grey shirt that my sister gave me.  BAM!  New PRSWW shirt for me!

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These shirts are fun to make.  I sometimes think I will never wear a plain shirt ever again.  But they won’t all be PRS shirts.  I have not lost my mind.

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A Perfect Day

Years ago when Clayton was in college in San Angelo and Harris was in Iraq, I came up with a rating system.  If I talked to two boys in one day it was a good day.  Three boys made a great day and if I heard the voices (or saw in person) of all four boys, well that was a perfect day.  Perfect days are somewhat less frequent now days because texting doesn’t factor in.  I have to hear their voices.

This morning at church, I was given two tickets to the Spurs season opener in San Antonio.  Thanks to Bob and Susanne, I was going to get to see my favorite team in action for their first game this season.  There have been lots of player changes this year so I am curious and hopeful about the season.  H is not a huge sports fan so he told me to find someone to go with and have a real good time.  The game was at 4:00 PM so I had to find a partner in crime pretty quickly.  I called Morgan and asked if he thought  5-year-old Maxx might want to go.  He didn’t seem to think he would.  I asked if 11-year-old Ashton would like to go.  Morgan said he would check and call me back.  In a few minutes, I had a basketball buddy!

H and I sat down to lunch and as we were enjoying some delicious leftovers, Harris called.  He has been in Colorado for a few days with some friends from his summer working on the river.  They have been planning this trip for a couple of months and he has really been looking forward to it.  He told us about the sites he’s seen and what the return trip plans are.  He’s having a great time in the beautiful mountains and the weather has been more than cooperative too.  I am so glad he went!

A few minutes after I finished lunch, Curtis called.  In a quite random turn of events, he too was in Colorado this weekend.  He was working in Denver while Harris was vacationing in Durango but of all the randomness in all the world, how did they both wind up in Colorado on the same weekend?  Curtis had some sales success and was already back in Florida headed to his house to rest.  He liked Colorado but didn’t get the memo about cooler temps so he was wardrobe unprepared.  He survived.  It was kind of crazy that they called me within 30 minutes of each other but they were both happy conversations.

On my way to Morgan’s to pick up Ashton, I realized I was on my way to a perfect day so I called Clayton.  He and Courtney and the kids were driving back to San Angelo from a weekend at the coast with Courtney’s family.  Bingo – A PERFECT DAY!  We didn’t talk long.  Some little boy in the car needed to make a pit stop and Clayton was looking for a place to stop. But I talked to him and that’s what counts!

Now it was time to watch some basketball!  Ashton had never been to a professional sports event and he was pumped!  Our tickets were for seats just above the opponents bench and we got to see the Spurs shoot up close for the second half of the game.  The Spurs won 104 to Miami’s 100 and other than lots of turnovers and a fair number of fouls, they looked like a team that has played together for a long time – which they have not.  It made me excited for the season!  After the game, we grabbed some Whataburger for a victory dinner and I took him home.  He thanked me several times and I told him how happy I was to have sports guy to go places with me.  I guess it was an even perfecter perfect day.

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Tomorrow begins a fairly regular week.  I hope yours goes really well.  Rest well friends.

Apologies, Apologies!

So here’s the scoop – tonight’s post comes to you via my iPad. That means one finger typing. That also guarantees brevity.

Yesterday was the first anniversary of my doctor calling to tell me I had breast cancer. My plans for the day were to have lunch with a friend and then do some other stuff. Circumstances changed that plan and I just had to flex. I didn’t wallow in the anniversary. I told a couple of people but I thought I handled it pretty well. I’m glad it’s over. Next anniversary is surgery day and I think I’ll be fine then too. I’m healthy and loved. Does it get any better?

Rest well friends!

It Was a Bad Day

One year ago tomorrow marks the last day I didn’t know I had breast cancer.  In and of itself, it was a really bad day.  As a result of being connected with organizations that help breast cancer patients and survivors I have written lots of my story to share.  Tonight I just want to share about my awful biopsy day.  It was without a doubt, one of the very worst experiences of my life.

My annual mammogram showed two calcifications.  My OB/GYN’s office asked me to follow up with more mammography and ultrasound.  That testing led the radiologist to recommend biopsy of both calcifications.  The biopsy was a nightmare. There is no other description for it.  You take off your blouse and bra and lie on a metal table with a hole in in for your breast to hang through.  The table is raised so that the technician and radiologist can work comfortably.  Your cheek is at the top edge of the table so the top half of your head hangs off the table.  The technician wanted to get both calcifications in the upper right quadrant of my right breast into one x-ray view for the radiologist to be able to collect tissue without having to reposition my breast.  As I lay prone on the table with my breast hanging through the hole in the table, she compressed my breast, stepped over to take the x-ray, stepped across the small room to view the x-ray on the computer and then came back to me.  She would release my breast, pull on it some more, compress it again and repeat the process.  I lost count at 8 compressions.  There were 9 or 10 total but I gave up counting.  This part of the process took about an hour.  Then came the numbing of the boob.  Lidocaine injected into tender, smashed tissue is grossly unpleasant and very painful.  Then you wait a few minutes for the Lidocaine to take effect. The tissue from the first calcification was collected and x-rayed to make certain the calcification was there.  Once that was confirmed, the technician asked how I was doing.  I told her my neck hurt.  She offered to release my breast, let me stretch and reposition me.  I declined.  I just wanted it over with.  More Lidocaine was injected and they managed to find the parts of my breast that were not numb for that second shot.  The second tissue sample was collected, x-rayed, and confirmed.  By this point I was crying.  Tears were dripping off my nose onto the floor because the top half of my head was above the edge of the table.  They released my breast and turned me over to put pressure on the incision to prevent a hematoma from forming (the biopsy I had 5 years earlier that was negative for cancer resulted in a golf ball size lump that lasted for a month).  After pressure for a few minutes, I was then put through one more standing up mammogram to make sure they could see the titanium clips that would tell future mammographers where this biopsy had been.  My tears would not stop.  The entire thing took about two hours and Hollis drove me home.  I cried most of the way.  I fully expected this entire torture session to be another negative result. My OB/GYN called the very next day.  Pathology showed DCIS (cancer) in both samples. One month later I would have my surgery.  I’ll write more about that later.  I just wanted to tell you about this very bad day.

Let’s Wrap This Up!

Sooooooo I actually woke up before my little house guests this morning – sort of.  Capri woke up once during the night and Cayden talks in his sleep so I checked on him once to make sure he wasn’t calling his parents to come get him at 3:00AM but all in all, the night went really well.  They slept until about 8:30 which was great.  We took our time getting going.  I fixed smoothies for breakfast and once we were dressed and fed, we went outside to play.

At lunch time we went to Sely’s and got tacos all around.  They were great in the restaurant.  Capri is all about having Papa carry her everywhere and she looks really cute on his hip.  Cayden ate all of his taco and the last third of his sisters’.  His mom says it’s usually the other way around.  They were well behaved and hungry – it was great!  We came home and played some more.  Capri took a nap and I packed all their stuff for the trip home.

We had an early family dinner scheduled and H manned the grill brilliantly as he cooked hamburgers.  Mine with cheese, please.  Maxx had some fun with cousins for sure.  I loved hearing Maxx and Cayden giggle when they were playing.  I pray every day that they will be good friends forever.  Maxx was trying to tell Courtney something that Capri said and his imitation of her was hysterical!  Hollis’s mom came too and brought her much loved chocolate chip cookies.  Courtney cannot be trusted around those cookies.  Just ask her – she will tell you!  I got some sweet baby cuddles with Calla.  She smiles and coos and she’s learning all the faces in the family.  It was a really good dinner!

Tomorrow I will probably go back to my grateful list.  Soon however, there will be a diatribe about hot flashes.  But not tonight.  It’s been too great a weekend!

 

Saturday with Cayden & Capri

Lord have mercy, I am one tired Omi!  But it is the best kind of tired ever!  I dropped off Maxx at about 9:30 this morning.  He got up about 7:30 and played quietly in the living room until I got up which was as soon as I heard him.  I fixed him a strawberry banana smoothie and he dressed himself.  On the way to his house, we drove through Whataburger so I could get a cinnamon roll.  He initially asked for some fries.  By the time I ordered, he wanted a burger, fries, sprite and a cookie.  I said “you’re having a burger and fries for breakfast?”  He said “No, I had a smoothie for breakfast!”  I told you, he has his dads’ appetite!  I dropped him off and headed to my morning committment.  When I finished with that, I picked up Cayden and Capri from Honey and Bear, their other grandparents about 1:00.  We came right to my house and right away, we took advantage of a really beautiful day that topped out at 80 degrees.  I let them run and play as much as possible!

 

About 2:45, I brought Capri in for a quick nap and after Papa made Cayden and me each an egg and cheese taco, Cayden insisted he wanted to make a pillowcase like Maxx did.  Maxx forgot to take his home and Cayden was really impressed with it.  Fortunately, I had some fabric set aside for pillowcases for Cayden and Capri so I pulled out Spiderman and prayed he would be a hit.  He was!!  Cayden parked himself in my recliner and we chatted while I prepped the fabrics and then we sewed together.  He ran the pedal and I fed the fabric.  I was shocked at how well he did.  He discovered the slow speed and the fast.  He has been driving a battery powered tractor for over a year so I guess it figures he would be good at pedal power.  Here he is sewing while Sissy snoozed:

 

Once we got Capri up, she was not really interested in sewing.  She wanted to go back outside.  We stayed out as long as we could before mosquitoes could begin attacking.  We played inside a while and then I fed them dinner.  From there, we just bided out time until we could hit the tub.

A word about the little female child.  She’s so great!!  She’s sweet as candy – snuggles your shoulder any time she can.  She’s tough as nails – falls down, gets up and keeps going.  She’s besties with her brother – they played together beautifully all afternoon and evening.  Last of all – that girl is part monkey!  She will climb, jump, swing, run and grin the whole time!  She was sliding down the gravel pile on her butt and ran around and climbed up to slide down again.  She and Cayden took turns “rescuing” each other from the trailer hitch on the trailer.  They have great fun together and seem to be really good friends.  Papa got a kick out of watching her climb onto the end table and then jump onto the sofa.  She would giggle, make sure he was smiling and climb on the table and jump again.  This went on for quite a while.  She loves being tossed onto the bed for diaper changes and held upside down anytime you want to play.  She’s just FUN!  In a year or two she will get her own ideas about how to spend her time with Omi but right now she is content to let Bubba call the shots on what they play with.  She’s really easy.

7:30 brought bath time.  They can both take off their clothes and a bottle of bubbles and some wands are all the bath toys they need.  I sneaked in shampoo, conditioner, body soap scrubbing and they each let me brush out awesome curls while they brushed teeth.  Then they ran naked through my house for a few minutes just to finish the drying process.

 

At 8:00, we cleaned up the toys, told Papa goodnight and went to bed – sort of.  They weren’t going to leave each other alone side by side in the bed and I didn’t fit between them.  I brilliantly solved this problem by letting Cayden get up and play on my phone while I lay next to Capri until she dozed off.  This took an entire 3.5 minutes, give or take. Then, I put Cayden to bed and stayed nearby until I was sure he was asleep.  This took less than 10 minutes.  I left the room (without dozing off myself – yay!) at 8:24 with both of them down for the count.  Then I decided I better wash their clothes.  Especially since Miss Thang was sliding in that gravel pile all afternoon.  Those are all dry, folded and ready to pack in the morning. Enjoy the photos.  It was a great day!

Tomorrow, all the parents and most of the kids will be here for lunch.  I will have the share all the darlings with their parents but I will get some baby snuggles with Calla! I am really grateful for Cayden and Capri.  They are fun, smart, adventurous kids and time with them makes me really happy!

Rest well friends.  I’m pretty sure I will.

My Day with Maxx

No list today.  I am grateful for Maxx and I got to spend all day and evening with him.  In fact, he is in the guest room sleeping right now and he wants to hang out with me tomorrow morning too.  It has been a wonderful day.  I picked him up this morning and we came home for a while.  He loves time with Uncle Harris and that guy was here when we got back.  We played with the cats, the guys burned some trash together and then we had lunch.  Maxx is a serious chicken nugget man.  He eats them with ketchup and it doesn’t take him long.

After lunch we went to New Braunfels to see Hotel Transylvania 3.  We had the entire theater to ourselves.  Maxx moved around and even tried out sitting alone a couple of rows behind me.  He came back to where I was pretty quickly.  I sneaked in some cookies and juice for a snack and we ate them pretty early in the show.  This kid never complains.  He asks for things but he takes “no” for an answer very easily.  The movie was not deep.  It had some funny lines and the cast of voices was pretty incredible.  The monsters take a cruise to get a break from life in a hotel that serves monsters.  The cruise was all monsters.  There is a cute love story and a jealous grown kid – see, I did pay attention.  The music was really good and Maxx enjoyed the whole flick.

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When it was over we went to Hobby Lobby.  He spotted some fabrics he liked, particularly one with cats all over it.  He said he really liked that one.  We wandered on and found the remnant section in the clearance area.  There was about a yard of the cat fabric for $2.69.  I only need 3/4 yard to make a pillow case.  We grabbed that cat fabric!  Then we went to check our the hard plastic animals.  Maxx is SERIOUSLY into dinosaurs and he picked out a T-rex to have as his very own.  Then we headed home.

Once here, Maxx picked out the other two fabrics for his pillowcase.  A zebra print and a neutral for the accent.  I told him I would get them ready and he could help me sew them.  I trimmed and pinned while he watched TV and then we made a pillowcase.  I drove the fabric, he worked the pedal.  He was very proud of his work.  I washed and dried it so he could sleep on it tonight.

 

Papa got home about 4:30 and we went to dinner about 5:30.  Maxx is also really fond of bean and cheese tacos.  He loves to go to Sely’s with us and Uncle Harris usually joins us.  Tonight, the parking  lot was beyond full.  They have a party room and obviously there was a party in it.  We waited an extra long time for everything but this kid was absolutely great!  He played with Uncle Harris.  He drank sweet tea and ate chips.  He just waited for his dinner.  Uncle Harris and Papa were more tense about waiting for dinner than the five year old.  Just made me love him even more.

 

Maxx loves exploring at our house.  He and Uncle Harris collected snail shells this afternoon and Maxx wanted to check on them when we got home from dinner.  He also wanted to see how bright Papa’s head light (as in light that you wear on your head) is in the dark of our yard.  He really liked how his path was illuminated no matter which direction he went.  By the time he had his fill of all this, it was time to hit the sack.  He got his cats pillowcase, I read him a story about 4 kittens and he dozed off pretty quickly.  I am so happy to have him spending the night with us.  I want to make memories with him and make sure he knows what a treasure he is to us.  I have him for a few more hours tomorrow morning and I can’t wait!