Om Namah Shivaya


Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010 hello 2011...

Roughly 17 hours from now we'll all be popping the champagne, getting a kiss or two, throwing confetti in the air, watching the boys set off fire crackers and yelling "Happy New Year!" to the world.  

New Year's Eve is that ultimate time for reflection.  It's our chance to look back on the year we just lived and make plans for the year about to happen.  It's the turning of a leaf, the bending of a page, the closing of a chapter, the finishing of a book.  Never before have I looked back on a year and thought "Damn I'm glad to leave that behind me!" but I'm sure glad that 2010 is rapidly coming to a close and this journey of breast cancer is over.  10 months go I found the lump, 7 months ago I was diagnosed, 6 months ago I started chemo, 2 months ago I had my breasts removed, and 4 days ago I had my permanent implants put in place of the tissue expanders...what a wild ride and yet what a fortunate one as well.

As I reflect back on the year I have just lived and marvel at the speed at which it passed me by, I do have some goals for 2011 to put down.

1) To practice yoga daily again
2) To make more interesting dinner's
3) To be ever present in the moment and the stillness within
4) To get back to being the wife I was before cancer
5) To give my all to everything I do
6) To live life to the fullest

This year there's nothing really that I want to "give up"; I feel I gave up a LOT this past year and it's time to get some of it back.  I just want to focus on me, Tim, our life, our friends, my job, my family, and my health and within all that I want to "Strive for progress, not perfection".  

So whatever you do tonight, whether you go to a big grand party downtown in a ballroom dressed to the nines, or party in your PJ's with friends, remember to be *safe*, *happy*, and *thankful*.  I hope to see all of you in 2011!  Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Oh sleep you elusive beast....

I don't know if it's all the surgeries, all the medications, or all the rest I've been getting during the day but a sound night of sleep seems to be a dream of a distant past for me. For the past week or so I've been pinging awake at 330am and have had to fight to go back to sleep until 630. This usually just involves me tossing and turning for 3 hours as I hover somewhere in that twilight state. Usually I just say "Eff it" and get up because it's easier to just start my day then to keep fighting the clock and my body for a little bit of sleep. I hope that as this surgery heals more with each passing day, my sleep becomes more blissful and less painful. I hope I am able to sleep on my side again (oh how I miss sleeping on my side!) and it would be really nice if just once over this winter break I could sleep in until 8 or 830 but that's just wishful thinking.

So for today I am going to try and wear myself out throughout the day (lots of cleaning and laundry to do and I want to go for a walk) and NOT take a nap so that maybe, just maybe I can sleep soundly tonight. I'm also going to be fully off the heavy meds starting today so that should help as well. Keep the fingers crossed!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What's better than Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve????

New Boobie Eve!!! That's right; it's "New Boobie Eve" today. The time is finally here where these painful rock hard softballs (otherwise known as tissue expanders) will be replaced by implants. I am looking forward to this surgery because these suckers haven't been very fun as as they've expanded more they've become more painful. I honestly hope that there is immediate muscle relief when they're exchanged out and that I'm able to sleep on my side again within a week. That would be heaven. We'll find out tomorrow. Till then,

Here's to ringing in the new year with new tatas!
Happy New Boobie Eve!

Friday, December 24, 2010

"Holding Feet" among other things...

My husband and I are big snugglers, love love LOVE to snuggle. I can't imagine a night without falling asleep "spooning" yet here we are going on about a 3 month stretch where that position, and snuggling in bed in general, is impossible for me. The tissue expanders make it painful for me if I sleep on my side for too long, which is exactly the type of position you need to lay in in order to "spoon", and which also happens to be my preferred position to sleep in so now you understand why my sleep hasn't been the best the past few months.

Anyways, since we can't really snuggle in bed we've taken to falling asleep "Holding feet". It's just like the idea of holding hands except we're "Holding Feet" as we fall asleep. It'll be interesting to see what happens when these expanders are gone and the implants take their place...when we can "spoon" again. Will the holding feet disappear into oblivion like the past five months have or will it be that eternal reminder of a journey we went on together and came out stronger on the other side; or maybe it will stay in place because I find that I can't really fall asleep until we're holding feet.

Among other things I hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas so far. Mine has been quiet as Tim is still asleep and I finally wore the dogs out enough that they went back to bed. Guess I'll just sit here and stare at the tree and presents until Tim gets up.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Stout is Out!!!

Ahhh Christmas Break. What a wonderful feeling that it's finally here, yet oddly bizarre. I really thought this semester was going to drag by with a slowness that would make me wanna puke; but surprisingly it has raced by at a speed that seems inhumanly possible. Finding the lump seems like two lifetimes ago, Chemo seems like it happened in a distant past, marching camp seems like a dream, marching season a blur. Day after day, class after class, grade after grade, doctor's appointment after doctor's appointment, rehearsal after rehearsal. It's been one wild ride.

I'm ready to relax for a bit and focus on myself. To finish the basement floor and get some paint up on the walls. Have fun with our friends and loved ones, sleep in late and do a whole lot of nothing. I hope that all of my friends, family, and loved ones out there have an absolutely wonderfully Merry Christmas, and a safe and Happy New Year!!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

"A Candy Cane Reindeer's Christmas Adventure"

I opted out of the annual girl's ornament exchange last night because I wasn't feeling the best (I didn't think anyone would want to sit next to me while I was constantly blowing my nose) but I sent my candy cane reindeer party favors with a friend because and this is what I found on my facebook page this afternoon from my friend Bonnie.

Dear Emily-
I wanted you to know that my reindeer had such a fun evening. He hung out on my water glass and enjoyed the party from his rim. There was a tiny issue when the waitress tried to drown him...but he survived..and survived he did! He snuck onto my scarf with his sparkly green antler and jumped into every picture before I even noticed. He also saw all of the plaza lights before jumping into my coat pocket. He slept there. He was awakened by a big black Scoutie nose and started ringing his jingle bell as loudly as possible and I came to his rescue. He rode shot gun this morning all the way to Cerner and has spent a full day job shadowing and meeting my colleagues. He has asked that he stay the environment is much safer...(hence the drowning and the dog tonsil view). He hangs out in my cubical now and is grateful for his adventures!!

I've been making these little guys since I was 16 I believe. I'm 32 now, so half my life. Every year the pile grows just a little bit more as I get such a kick out of giving them to people. Over the years they haven't changed much; it's still a candy cane with a pipe cleaner twisted around a pencil for antlers and googly eyes w/a pom-pom for a nose glued on, but they all have their individual quirkiness. This year in honor of my battle with breast cancer I gave them pink noses instead of the normal "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" noses, and a few years ago added a bell for a festive jingle!

I know that my husband thinks I am absolutely *nuts-o* for making as many as I do each year and I *know* I'm crazy now because I made 400! get a message like this from a friend, to know that my high school kids are giddy with anticipation for Sunday afternoon so they can get theirs, to know that my 5th graders faces are going to just *light up* when they get theirs next week, and to see family, friends, and co-workers with them stacked up on their desk or bookshelf, or somewhere at home...that's what makes it all worth it.

So keep your ears perked for the jingle of little candy cane reindeer as they make their way up and down the hallways of my school's, and may their jingle be heard loud across the world as they come out from their careful hiding places to adorn Christmas tree's (and I'm sure maybe a Menorah or two ;). I'm glad you all enjoy them, and if I miss you this year you'll be in the pile next year!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I am reminded again at how very fortunate I am...

I didn't follow Elizabeth Edwards story word by word but was saddened yesterday when it came across the news that she has lost her battle with breast cancer. As I sat listening to the news break with Diane Sawyer I was struck by not only how incredibly brave Elizabeth was but also how incredibly fortunate I have been. She battled for SIX YEARS. Six years?!?! I can only imagine; and she had to fight it while putting on a brave face because her husband had an affair but that's a totally different topic.

She led her life and her battle in the public spotlight and did it with grace and dignity. What she wrote on her Facebook
page, which was quoted in the news, touched me to my core and reminded me that not everyone gets to win this battle...that I am one of the lucky ones. Mine never spread, it never "Metastasized"...what an awful any other part of my body. I don't even want to think about what the reaction would have been had they said "The Lymph-nodes are not clear" on Oct. 15th instead of "You're cancer free". *Shudder* Granted, there is that teeny tiny spark inside of me that whispers occasionally "What if it comes back??" but then there's the one inside who watched over me the entire time that roars "You do not know how strong my love is and if it comes back I will kick it out again!"

So I am thankful that day by day my energy is returning, my hair is getting longer, my spark is coming back, and I'm feeling like *me* again; and I am fortunate that I had a huge and wonderful support system around me whether they were right there in the thick of things or praying from far away. Know that I will ever be vigilant and conscious as to what is going on inside of me so I can stand guard over my precious life and live my life with grace and dignity.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Boy how this week has flown!

I was really anticipating a long, painful and slow feeling week at school. Mainly because that's how I feel after any type of time off. Remarkably though, it has flown by at a speed that amazes me. Two weeks till Winter Break! Eek! So exciting! :)

Lots and lots to do this weekend and I think I'm feeling up to the challenge. Have to go through my entire wardrobe and do the yearly cleaning out, need to put my clean laundry AWAY, need to start the cookie's and put up Christmas decorations (while watching "A Christmas Story" :), take the
spacers out and sweep the floor, finish up some laundry and hopefully get a workout in. I'd also like to go to Lowe's this weekend and buy the carpet and paint so the coupons that came in the mail don't get wasted. Whew! That's quite the list but I'm looking forward too it.

I'm allowing myself until about 9 o'clock, then I gotta get going. This last expander appointment is hurting more than I had expected *and* it's all on the front this time which is different from all the other fills which have made my back hurt. We still have one more to go, then the darn things have to sit for 4 weeks before they can be swapped out with the permanent implants. So much for ringing in the New Year with new tatas and a *true* end to this journey. Oh well, it is what it is.

Currently I'm feeling: Aside from the chest pain I feel great. My energy returns a bit each day.
Procrastinating: Nothing at the moment. I still have an hour before I need to start.
Reading: Ken Follet's "Fall of Giants", also "Best Friends", and "Out of the Blue"
Watching: Eclipse
Doing to make me smile: Working on *my* to-do-list today