Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oh No He Di'n't...

Dear Daddy Longlegs -

WTH dude?  I thought we had come to an accord?  You stay in the high corners of the ceiling, and eat all of the flies and gnats and skeeters you and your family can handle, and I would leave you alone to complete all that circle of life shit.  And it was working - I left you alone.   Let your little wispy webs exist high up and out of way where I can't see them, and only my mother-in-law looks.  She only comes down once every three years, so we were good.  We were happy.

So why the HELL would you choose last night as the time to weave a web across the doorway to the living room?  AT FACE LEVEL????

Buddy.  It is ON.

Remember Bill Murray's character on Caddyshack?  He is my hero.  I will clean every corner, every crack, every crevice in my house to avenge myself of having to start my day doing the heebie jeebie dance after walking through that.  I am not above delving into the use of chemicals to make sure that my house will be web free. If it comes to using explosives, I'm not afraid.  You betrayed me.  And you. Will. Pay.

I know what you're thinking.  You're sitting up there in the corner laughing, thinking there is no way I can obliterate all of your many children and grandchildren.  You see all of my husband's cutter and think there is no way I can thoroughly clean you all out.  You underestimate who you are dealing with here.  I'm a Taurus.  We invented stubborn.  Not to mention determined.  Have you not been paying attention this last year?  I beat CANCER bitch.  I can take out an army of spiders.


So I advise you get your webby ass out of my house.  You have until Saturday.   After that?

Bring it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two Down...

Today I had one of my pleural catheters removed.

Last November, I had two pleural catheters put in when they installed my chemo port.  They did this because I had so much fluid around my lungs it was hard to breathe.  For a long time, we had to drain every day.  Then, as I went through chemo, the fluid lessened, and we went to draining every other day, then every three days.  Sometime last spring, the fluid around my right lung reduced to the point that I've only been draining that side once a week.  A few weeks ago, it became obvious that we just weren't getting anything measurable out of that side.  So - today the surgeon removed it.

Last November, when I got out of the hospital, I had 3 tubes in my body (I also had an abdominal drain that was removed several months ago).  I was weak and could barely walk.  I couldn't sleep without being on an incline.  Hell - until we got a hospital bed installed at home, I slept in my recliner.  I was on IV nutrition twice.  And at times, I wondered if I would ever get back to normal.

Well - normal isn't what it used to be.  But I'm down to one tube.  I have hopes that someday I won't have any tubes.  That's what awesome in my world today.

It's been crazy busy at work lately, and this probably wasn't the best time to have to take a day off.  But I wanted that tube out so badly, even though I knew it would make my job a little bit more crazy tomorrow.  I have another oncology visit on Thursday, and that doesn't help matters.  But it is so worth working a couple more 11 hour days to be a step closer to tubeless.

I attended a cancer support group this month, and I found that to be really helpful.  I'm not sure why hearing the stories of a bunch of stage III and IV survivors helped me so much, but it did.  I even met another ovarian cancer survivor - one that has many years of remission.  If anyone out there is wondering if they should go to one of those meetings - do.  It's worth it.  The next meeting is on my son's birthday, so I'll miss that one, but I'm looking forward to the one after that.

Next month is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.   A week or so ago, one of my staff was sweet enough to nominate me to win a cake from a professional bakery on Facebook, and we won!  I've requested an awareness cake.  September 5th is my son's birthday, the 6th is National Wear Teal Day, so we're going to have a little teal event at work with that cake.  If there's anything left, then I guess J gets a teal cake for his birthday.  (Oh I kid.  I'll get him his own cake, or big cookie or whatever he wants.  He's turning 18.  18!!)

On the 13th, Hicksville's football team will be wearing teal athletic tape, and I will be sitting at the booster club table, handing out symptom cards and selling bracelets to raise awareness.  A sweet Hicksville lady has designed a teal tshirt that we're going to sell so folks can wear them to the game, and raise a little more money for ovarian cancer research.  On the 14th, I'm hosting a "Teal Fest" at my house to raise a little more.  No idea exactly what we're going to do that evening, but there will be wine and good food, and good company.  Well - I hope good company! 

I probably won't raise thousands of dollars.  I may not even raise hundreds.  I'm starting small with this fundraising thing.  It's a brand new thing to me.  But I feel like I have to.  Like I'm almost being called to.  It's like I figure maybe this is why I got cancer - maybe this is why I survived when so many don't.  I could be just fooling myself, but I've always thought if I can make any kind of difference from what I went through, it'll be worth it.  One way or another.

In other news, Fricasse and the rest of the chickens have finally stopped sitting on their eggs.  Eventually we'll get the two different breeds we have separated.  Wilbur, the wild hog we attempted to raise to adulthood, gave in to the heat.  We are so not hog breeders.  Lactation and her pregnancy seems to be progressing well, but we noticed this evening that she's developed a pretty bad limp.  We're not sure what happened to her and we're hoping that it's not too serious.

The garden is doing very well - we're starting to get some tomatoes, eating green beans during the week, and I actually canned some black-eyed peas last weekend.  Good Lord willing, we should have home grown cantaloupe to eat before too much longer, and I've got my eye on this year's entry into the biggest watermelon competition at the fair.  Last year I got third.  I'm aiming for first this year!  I also made grape jelly a few weeks ago that was turned out *gorgeous* - so I'm going to enter that in the fair too.  Winning the bell pepper division last year turned me into a fair ribbon junkie.

All in all - just another fine day in the boonies. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Contemplating the Mundane

The last two days have been lovely out in Hicksville.  I've woken up to temps in the 60's, rain yesterday and clouds today.  It makes it so much more pleasant to pull grass and weeds in the garden.  This morning I was pulling wheat from the hay around my potato plants.  I pull it, twist the roots off and feed it to Lactation.  She loves getting something besides dried hay and the tops of weeds.  Yes, it's a pain to have to pull the wheat when you use wheat straw as mulch, but taters seem to grow so much better mulched in like that.  The only sounds were my roosters crowing and the neighbor's donkeys braying.  A peaceful contemplative morning.

I'm not going to church these days - not because I have anything against church, but because I only have so much time to work in the garden.  It's too hot in the afternoons and evenings, so Saturday and Sunday mornings have to do.  I do my talking to God during these mornings in the garden, praying for my loved ones, my friends, and in general.  I miss seeing everyone at church, but it doesn't feel right to go to Family Night when I haven't been to church in weeks. Once it cools off, I'll be back.

I had my followup with my new gyn on Friday.  I didn't realize how nervous I was about that visit until I heard her tell me "I don't feel any masses, or nodules.  As a matter of fact, everything feels normal.  No enlarged lymph nodes, nothing."  The wave of relief that washed over me made me realize just how much worry lives at the back of my mind. 

I'm grateful to be feeling so well.  To be able to make jelly and freeze corn, to weed and harvest my garden, to shell black eyed peas and snap green beans.  Still haven't gotten into the swing of cleaning the house every week, but I do keep up with laundry for the most part.  I know I'm lucky, and every day is a gift.  But it's so hard to stop worrying.  To wonder at every ache or twinge. 

To try and keep my mind off of worrying, I'm trying to be more pro-active.  I'm working to get the only home game in September designated Ovarian Cancer Awareness night.  The coach has agreed to have the boys wear teal athletic tape.  The booster club has agreed to let me sit at their table and hand out symptom cards.  I'm thinking of selling ribbons or bracelets or something to raise some funds for ovarian cancer research.  While at my new gyn's office, she told me that someone from my surgeon's office was organizing a Ovarian Cancer Walk that I'm thinking of participating in.  It won't cure me, but at least I feel like I'm doing *something*.  And maybe, just maybe, there will be some woman who reads the symptom card I'll be handing out and recognizes that she might want to see her gyn the next week instead of assuming that there's nothing to worry about it.

I tried a counseling session, and I'm just not sure that's what I need.  This week I plan on going to a cancer survivor support group meeting - hoping that talking with others that have gone through what I have will help.  I haven't had as many blue days, but they still crop up.  It may end up just being part of my new normal, but I'll attend that support group meeting just in case. 

What seems to help the most is talking with my friends, my husband.  I seem to head to that blue state when I'm not talking to people, trying to be "brave" or "tough."  I do better talking about things, and not dwelling with might have beens.  I'm also learning to ration my time on Too much time there has me wondering when I will recur, instead of wondering if. 

It's the busiest month of the year at work, and after a full day there, I'm not always in the mood to do much when I get home.  I tell myself day after day I'm going to blog when I get home, but most days I just want to rest when I get here.  So far the hubs isn't minding being the one to make supper most days, but I'm not sure how much longer that will last.  One of these days I'm going to get organized again.  Really!

Until then, it's mornings in the garden, and waiting for football to start up again.  Mid-Size University has a new coach, and we can't wait to see what he can do.  Hicksville football is in two-a-days and my youngest has decided to play his senior year.  Senior mom and dad shirts are ordered already, and we're ready for our friday night lights. 

Just like normal people.