The hardest job you will ever love

I hate to call parenting a job but I have been wracking my brain all day and I can’t think of another word so that’s that and a bag of chips. Anyway, in a previous post I said that Avery got a big girl bed. It is going okay but the other night was pretty rough. We went to bed around 8:00 and she finally fell asleep around 10:30. At about 10:40 she was up and on her way to our bed.Β  I intercepted her with one foot on the bed and we returned to her bed. At 3:00 a.m. I woke up I was still in Avery’s bed. Crap. Worst part about it was I woke up to Avery crawling over me to get out of her bed. Ugh. So we proceeded to the couch because at this point I was ready to try anything just to get some sleep. The couch didn’t work so I did what no parent should probably do according to the book of parenting. I put her in our bed. I know, I know it was wrong but I was soooo tired. I think I get one mommy point by leaving her in our bed alone until she fell asleep by herself. I did sneak in a couple of precious hours of snooze time on the couch. I am happy to report that the last two nights she has slept in her own bed and she also took a nap in there πŸ™‚ It was so nice to sleep without a toddler kicking and hitting me. I know I am probably jinxing myself by talking about how she slept in her bed but I will take the chance.

When I found out I was pregnant I never would have guessed how hard it was to be a parent. The lack of sleep, the dirty factor, the things they don’t tell you about parenting etc. But I also never would have guessed how rewarding it would be either. Avery is a little behind in the talking area so I have been scouring the internet trying to find tips on helping her to talk. I came across this wonderful blog that gives tips and things on how to help your toddler to talk. One of the tips was to do board puzzles. So this morning we sat down and did some puzzles. When Avery started speeding through the puzzles and putting them back together I was so happy and excited! Not only for me but for her! She was so happy every time she would put a piece in and we would clap and say yay. It was so cool to see her learning so fast and what was even better was that I taught her. I have never been much of a teacher and was a little scared about that aspect of parenting but I swear kids are like an open canvas waiting to learn. (She has been playing with her puzzles for a while now but we really never sat down and focused just on them.) I also never knew how much my heart would just fill up with love for this little person at 3:00 a.m. when she reaches over and grabs my hand.Β  (I have always been the type of person that needed 12 hours of sleep a night at leastΒ  so if I like you at 3:00 a.m. after an hour of sleep you are pretty special) Now the other night things got kinda hairy, I will admit but when she slept in until 9:30 this morning I missed her. There are times when I think ugh I need a break. But when I do get a break about an hour into it I miss her and usually want to go home. Even though I hate when she is sick, I love all of the extra cuddles ❀ Last week she was not feeling well and had a fever so I put one of her little frog princess washcloths on her forehead and she fell asleep like that. It was so cute I wanted to take a picture but I didn’t dare because I wanted her to sleep. Every time I think gosh I just can’t love this little person more she holds my hand, learns something new or hugs my legs and then I realize I will always be able to love her more.

It seems like you could be on a good parenting high like no other and then you take your kids out in public and they’re like bam gotcha! Like when you take your child out in public and they throw a massive fit and run around like they belong in a zoo. Or when you run into someone and their child is roughly the same age as your child and they have to go on and on about how their child is so much more advanced then yours. I hate that!! I try not to let it bug me but it always does. All three have happened to me lately and it makes me want to stay home and order all of our groceries online so I never have to leave the house again. But then I realize it’s all part of the “job” I have to say this is the best “job” I have ever had. (If any of my past co-workers woke me up in the middle of the night one of us wouldn’t have made it until morning.) It’s the only one where the “person” or “people” you are working for kiss, hug and look up to you. I think one of the best things about the “job” is when Avery needs something and I am the only person she wants. If she is crying I am the one she wants, if she wants to cuddle or is tired it is only me that can do the job right. I love that! Not that I want her to cry or be in need but I think you get the picture. With every job there are things that a person dislikes and things a person likes. I can honestly say that with this “job” the likes turn into loves and the dislikes are easily and soon forgotten πŸ™‚

Avery and her dolly ❀ She refused to fall asleep one night and then we came downstairs and she fell asleep on the floor with her dolly

Chemo aka rat poison

Chemo sucks. I hated it and still have very strong feelings of dislike for it. I am not even sure where to start on the long list of reasons why it sucks. Yes it did help save my life, I will give it that but that’s it. I am 100% positive that anyone that has had chemo or knows someone who has will agree with me. A little history on my chemo; my “cocktail” consisted ofΒ  Cisplatin and Etoposide. I had chemo every three weeks, three times a week for four months. The day after chemo I would go back and get a shot of Pegfilgrastim which helps your body make more white blood cells.

First reason I hate it is because you feel like dog shit. Sorry for the swearing but chemo deserves a swear word. It feels like you have the flu x 100 all of the time. After a couple of days out from a round of chemo you start to feel a smidgen better but then it’s usually time for more. I also had a lot of soreness. Everything hurt from my limbs to what little hair I had on the top of my head. Yes my hair hurt, well I guess it was more like my scalp but whatever. One of the nurses compared it to having fibromyalgia. Those of you that have that I totally feel for you. It sucks. I was pretty much forced to pretend I felt okay because I had a little that needed attention and to be fed every three hours. But there was one day that I literally could not get off of the couch. Thank God my husband was home because I don’t know what I would have done without him that day.Β  I was supposed to go and get my shot for my white blood cell count but we were in the midst of a snow storm so I had to reschedule. It was the day after my third round of chemo so I was feeling crappy anyway.Β  I am not even sure how long I slept that day I just laid on the couch in and out of consciousness. I remember one of the times I did get up and it literally hurt to walk to the bathroom. I am still a little sore and depending on the weather I still have some bad days but I am so glad that I am not in as much pain as I was during chemo.

Another little wonderful thing that happened to me was I did have some hearing loss. I can thank the Cisplatin for that. I started having some ringing in my ears during chemo and that is a side effect of Cisplatin. I did get the amount of Cisplatin I was receiving reduced by 10% and it took care of the ringing. The hearing loss is not severe at all I mostly have a problem hearing someone talking to me if we are in a large crowd. (Which probably happens to a lot of people) It is kind of comical to listen to my husband and I when we go to a restaurant because he also has a hard time hearing in crowds.

The last reason is the most obvious. The hair loss. I know I will probably sound vain but that was the hardest part. I tear up thinking about it even now. My hair was kinda my “thing” I am not a size two and I don’t have a gorgeous face but my hair kicked some serious butt. It was long, thick and beautiful. I could curl it and straighten it and it looked good both ways. People would always say to me “People pay a lot of money to have their hair look like yours.” When those luscious locks started to fall out I had a small mental breakdown. I think some of it was it kind of cemented to me that yes, I did have cancer. By looking at me before my hair loss people probably just thought I was sick with the flu or something. But now everyone would now. They do make some great wigs but I couldn’t afford them. I did receive a free wig from the American Cancer Society and my dad bought me one for Christmas. Some people told me I should just shave my head right away so I wouldn’t have to go through losing it. I wish I would have listened. When you have cancer you lose control of a lot of things. Your whole life is based around surgeries, chemo and other treatment. Your hair falls out, your body hurts and you feel like crap. So to have some control and be in the driver’s seat again is a good feeling. When my hair started to fall out it ended up getting tangled in my other hair so I looked like I had a rat’s nest on my head. So one day I decided I was going to cut it shorter and donate it. So I did and then two days later my husband shaved my head. I will never forget that night. I went to take a shower and I could barely wash my hair. There was just gobs and gobs of hair all over the shower. After a cry fest in the shower I decided I had enough; I wanted to be in control. I got out of the shower and told my husband tonight was the night. He kept asking me if I was sure because he knew how much I loved my hair. I told him I was more than sure because I knew I could not have another shower like that again. So the shaving began. First I had to see what I would look like with bangs. I had never had them before and I discovered why that night. Then I gave myself a mullet. I kinda wish I would have taken pictures of my different hairstyles πŸ˜‰ Then it was shaving time. My husband shaved my head for me and finally I was in control. (Well technically he was in the driver’s seat cause he had the clippers) I was so glad I did it! No more hair falling out. A couple of days later he shaved his own head and so did my dad. I wish we would have taken a picture together.

After my hair was gone I got to enter the wide world of hats, scarves and wigs. Kind of a cool world; there are so many different colors and styles. I also realized something; I was okay with looking like a cancer patient. My hair was gone and there was nothing I could do about it but that was okay because I was still here; ready to raise my daughter and spend time with my friends and family. To all of the people out there that have lost their hair due to cancer or something else I admire each and every one of you. It is hard to step outside with no hair everyday and walk around on this earth. I wish I would have done it more. Looking back I wish I would have taken more pictures and just plain went out of my house without a wig. If you are in the process of losing your hair or you have lost it don’t be embarrassed.Β  You are beautiful and if you have the guts to show off that beautiful bald head you are awesome in my book!!

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One of my wigs.
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Hair starting to come back πŸ™‚
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The only pic I can find with my bald head. As you can see what I did have left was gray.

Big girl bed :0

The time has come Avery has finally gotten her big girl bed. Not that she has spent a lot of time in it but it’s there. I had high hopes for her new bed but those got dashed at 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning. All of a sudden I was awakened by little feet and crying. I think she was pretty appalled to wake up in her bed.

I guess I have a confession. I have been letting Avery sleep with us. There I said it. Do I feel better? Not really. It all started when she started getting teeth. Before those stupid teeth she was a great sleeper. She would fall asleep by herself all the time. I could actually lay her down when she was still awake and she would put herself to sleep. I think I jinxed us because I bragged too much. I am sure people wanted to slap me when I would say things like “My daughter is such a good sleeper, she sleeps all night.” I saw the eye rolls but I chose to ignore them. Maybe people went home and thought to themselves I hope that little girl quits sleeping so that lady would shut up. Well their wish came true.

At first it wasn’t too bad cause she would sleep in her swing. But the catch to that was her swing was in the living room so one of us would sleep on the couch. At first it was like a t.v. lovers dream. Golden Girls, That 70’s show and tons of my other favs. I would stay up late soaking up all of that t.v. goodness ❀ But then I woke up one day and my back was killing me, then it was my neck and then well you get the picture; I felt like I was 103 years old. So we tried putting her in her crib. I think she really did laugh at us when we did that. She cried so hard one night she puked. Then we sold our house (thank God, we had the worst neighbors ever!!) and we moved into a rental for the winter until we found a house. Our rental was very small so I felt more comfortable leaving her in the swing in the living room when we were asleep in the bedroom. After about a month in the rental she outgrew her swing. I think she actually broke it because she was way to big to be in there. That is how we ended up in our current situation.

Back to the present. We are three nights into the big girl bed. First night she was in her bed sleeping for four wonderful hours:) Second night she laid in bed for two hours until I gave up and laid with her on the couch until she fell asleep. She did have a stuffy nose and fever so I did feel bad for her. Tonight will be the third night. I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. She did surprise me today by falling asleep on the couch by herself for a nap so maybe we will have a good night πŸ™‚

One thing I wasn’t prepared for was my reaction to the big girl bed. I have been dreaming about the day she slept in her own bed for months. I had plans like reading, writing and of course t.v. watching. When my dream came true and she fell asleep in her own bed I cried for about 15 minutes. Ugh! I am not sure why but her whole little life so far started flashing before my eyes and then thoughts of the future. I had her married off with her own kids in about five minutes after she fell asleep. I kept thinking oh my gosh she doesn’t need me anymore. Wow was I crazy!! Maybe I should have listened to “Let It Go” a couple of times. When I came down the stairs sobbing I think husband thought I was nuts πŸ˜‰ So I pulled myself together and enjoyed some 48 Hours Mystery before I fell asleep. Which totally backfired because I ended up having a nightmare that the murderer on the show was chasing me and I had to call 911. Normally I would just keep this to myself but I woke husband up by yelling out “He’s coming” and “11 Center st.” in my sleep so I guess the jig is up. I am assuming I was on the phone with 911 at the time so that’s where the “He’s coming” is from and 11 Center st. is our old address. I can’t even sleep without embarrassing myself.

Wish us luck tonight! I know it is going to take Avery a while to transition into a new bed but I am hoping for smooth sailing πŸ™‚ Maybe by the time she is 16 she will be in her own room πŸ™‚

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Avery during her nap today. She fell asleep doing some work on her laptop πŸ™‚
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Deep sleep πŸ˜‰
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Percy being a jerk and sitting on Avery’s couch that folds out into a bed. I was hoping she would take naps on it not him. He is lucky he is so fluffy πŸ˜‰

Why I started blogging

There are a couple of reasons why I started blogging. First reason is my daughter. Even though I am in remission and everything is going great so far I always have that nagging feeling that my cancer will come back. (Well I guess it can’t “come back” to where it was because those organs are long gone) So now I convince myself that I have a different type of cancer at least once a week. Once you have been told that you might not live or in my case “Some people make it” you have a lot of thoughts spinning around in the ol’ brain. I have always been filled to the brim with anxiety and worry and since my cancer diagnosis I have enough for 200 people. During my third round of chemo a social worker came and asked me if I had a living will and suggested that I do so. I asked her to leave and never saw her again. Everyone that I have talked to has said the third round of chemo is the worst. You feel worse and etc. That was definitely true for me. It was also more stressful. I had the dippy social worker and I also had the billing department at the clinic calling me when I was literally hooked up to the i.v. telling me my insurance wasn’t going to pay for any of my chemo because it wasn’t pre-approved. UGH! Anyway back to my daughter, after I was told I had cancer it really got me thinking what if I am not going to be able to raise my daughter. Scary thought. The solution was to write everything down for her. Tons of things came to mind to write about. Well when I had her I realized I was not going to have time to write a book of advice, stories and feelings. So after thinking and considering for about a year and a half I decided on blogging. I figured then she would be able to go back and look at our life together and maybe get to know me a little better. I do feel better about things now that I have started blogging, I feel like now she will know me a little better if something were to happen to me. She might be a little embarrassed when she gets older but right now we are bff’s and I ❀ that πŸ™‚ So, Avery when you look back at this when you are 16 know that once upon a time you loved to hang out with me and ride in cars with me instead of your friends πŸ˜‰

Second reason is I truly do want to help people. Whether it’s making them laugh, feel better about their own situation or maybe droppin’ a little knowledge. When you lose a child or have cancer everything goes really fast. You have so many decisions to make in a very short amount of time. All of those decisions are ones you never thought you would have to make. So if my rumblings can help anyone in their decision-making then I have reached one of my goals. I know how nice it is to have help in those critical decision-making moments. I don’t claim to be an expert in anything but I have been put in quite a few tough situations so I can offer a little advice. I also don’t claim to be funny. My so-called humor has gotten me into some trouble in the past. I always have to tell myself “Autumn you are not funny, just shut your mouth” Sometimes it is nice to have someone who you can relate to. So if someone comes across this mess of a blog and they actually feel a little better that would be great!

Third reason is I actually like doing it. I really wasn’t sure if I would; which is evidenced by the length of time it took me to start blogging. I am usually a very fast decision maker. Sometimes too fast. So for me to actually think something through is kinda crazy. Now I wish I would have started sooner. Another thing I have learned in these past three years is that time is very precious. In one second the rug can be yanked out from under you. So if you are thinking about trying something new, do it!! If it doesn’t work, so what at least you tried. If it does work that is awesome!!

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#1 reason for blogging πŸ˜€ This is probably my favorite pic of Avery so far ❀ She is nine months old in this pic

You are not going to win chores, not today

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Fur trap!!
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My cutie waiting to play ❀ Notice the maroon carpet
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Dining room flooring. It looked like a good idea at the time.

Since we have moved into a much larger home than we have had previously I find myself cleaning all of the time. I face a couple new obstacles in my new cleaning adventure. The two biggest obstacles are my daughter and my cat. They are the messiest people I have ever met. (Yes my cat is human) I have come to the conclusion that cleaning with a toddler and a cat is like cleaning a desk full of papers with a fan on. For example the other day I swept, swiffered and moped our dining room. About ten minutes later my cat puked and my toddler spilled milk all over. Ugh! Now the milk wouldn’t be such a problem except we have really dark flooring in our dining room and milk seems to show up even after it is cleaned. And the cat puke, well its gross. I am not sure what I was thinking when I picked out the flooring. It. shows. everything. I think my cat is mulching or something because I have never had to deal with so much fur in my life and my poor floor is suffering. Now it is a dark brown with a hint of orange fur.

In our living room some idiot installed maroon carpet. (It wasn’t me) Why in the world would you do that?? It shows everything and then some. If Avery eats one cracker you know it. If I leave the house when I come back I know everything my daughter and husband ate just by the crumbs on the floor. I vacuum at least once a day if not twice. Between the fur and the crumbs I am almost ready to rip the stupid carpet out myself. I had big plans for what little tax return I would be getting. Now those have disappeared because I have set my sights on one huge maroon eyesore that needs to go far far away.

The other day my bestie stopped over and we were talking about cleaning and how much we didn’t want to do it. She works full-time and I know how hard it is to keep a house clean while working. Our convo brought me back to when I did work full-time and how much my “week-ends” sucked. I put “week-ends” in quotations because it never really felt like I had any time off. Between grocery shopping and cleaning it seemed like I never left work. Then I started thinking about my life now. Here I am blessed with this wonderful little girl that I get to spend every day with and I waste most of my time cleaning. She doesn’t care if every nook and cranny of the house is clean or the laundry is done. All she cares about is her toys and her cartoons are available. I almost feel guilty that almost every morning is dedicated to dishes, laundry and other chores. It should be dedicated to spending time with my little girl who is growing up way too fast. Before I know it I will be back to work and my “week-ends” are going to stink again and I will be wishing I would have spent more time with my little when I was at home with her. So today the chores are not going to win. I am going to play, dance and repeat.

Shopping after 30 and two kids……

So I have been on the workout train for about a year now and I just realized that it is very hard to find workout clothes in my size. I have two pairs of shorts and two pairs of pants. That is it. Now I know that I am not the only person in the whole wide world that is my size that works out and would like to wear comfortable clothes while doing it. I have been scouring the internet trying to find clothes that don’t cling to me like a dryer sheet. Sometimes on a good workout (I have both good and bad workout sessions.). I think about going home, getting online and ordering (gasp) a tank top and some shorty shorts. So then I can be a little more comfortable and less warm while working out. Except I am me and I am wearing one of my two pairs of shorts or pants, an over sized t-shirt and a headband. I am also literally panting from running up a hill and sweating like a pig.Β  Then I come home and look in the mirror and realize I do not look like Pamela Anderson running down the beach. I have come to the realization that I will never find workout clothes that don’t stick to me like glue and I might have to buy a sewing machine and make my own damn clothes! I am half-tempted to buy one of these outfits take my picture and send it to the company. Maybe then they will realize they need to have some more choices in their collections. I mean what happened to cotton? Good old cotton that doesn’t show every nook and cranny of your body. I did find two cotton shirts that I use for working out they are nice and big and I love them. One day I was looking online for more and I noticed on the website that they suggest that you cut the shirt with a scissors to customize the shirt to your body. Huh?? For one I am not going to cut a $25 shirt. For two you don’t want to see me in a crop top. I don’t even like looking at myself in a towel.

Moving on to other clothing. I am not going to wear jeggings. No way no how. Some people can pull that off but not me. I see too many people who think they can wear them and they can’t. Maybe jeggings should be removed from the clothes menu so people don’t make the mistake of wearing them. Another problem I am having in the shopping department is the see through clothing. I have one question, why? I don’t mind wearing cami’s every once in a while but why should I have to wear them all of the time? Then there are the clothes that have a huge section cut out of the back. Just today I was online and I found a couple of cute tops. Thank God I looked at the back of them. Huge section missing on every single one. I guess I should be working on my upper back so I can wear clothes?? I don’t even know what kind of exercises to do for that.

I usually try to stick to my closet staples. Black, black and more black. I have now incorporated dark blue and a little dark grey. Scarves are my friend. In my opinion they can make a basic outfit look a little dressy. I like tops that cover me up and pants that don’t show my butt crack. I don’t mean to sound like a prude but there are parts of me that I like to keep to myself. I have been out of the shopping game for a while now. Having two kids in a little over a year landed me in the maternity section for quite a while. During chemo I stuck to sweats and t-shirts and I never really stopped until lately. It amazes me how much things can change in a couple of years.Β  I don’t need or want to wear tops that are two-sizes too big or pants that look like “mom jeans” (remember the skit on SNL?) But I don’t want them to be two-sizes too small either. Recently on a shopping outing I received some help from a store employee that obviously works on commission and she decided she was going to help me find an outfit. After 100 outfits she finally looked at me and said “You must be in-between sizes.” Great. It was nice to hear that I was getting out of a larger size but how in the heck am I going to find something to wear when I am in-between sizes? To my knowledge they do not make half-sizes in pants.

I am hoping that this trend of see-through shirts, jeggings and almost backless tops are going to be a thing of the past that we can all joke about. Until then get used to the yoga pants when you see me πŸ™‚

People are AmAzInG- Part 2

Pressing forward to the people in our lives that did so much for us while we were going through hard times. This is the second part of my People are AmAzInG posts.

I was in the hospital on bed rest when I was pregnant with my son and I received tons of visitors, cards, letters and flowers. Some of them really surprised me.Β  Some of the cards came from patients at the hospital where I worked. It was so nice to know that they were thinking of me along with my friends and family. When my son passed away I could not believe the outpouring of support we received from people in our community. More cards, letters, flowers and momentous came to our door. People brought food so we didn’t have to worry about cooking. That was so nice because the last thing I wanted to do was go to the grocery store. We had a small private memorial service for our son and the way our family and friends pulled together was amazing. We had a lunch at our house and I don’t think I had to lift a finger. They all made the food, brought tables and chairs, plates, napkins and cups. People dropped off books about grief and angel figurines.Β  My friends and family were kind of “on call” for me. I would call and they would come over or talk to me. They were always checking up on me which was much appreciated. I didn’t always feel like talking about what happened but it was so nice to just talk to people about anything. My co-workers at the time were pretty awesome too. They sent some things to the funeral home and sent me a card. A couple of them came to visit me in the hospital too. I am kinda weird and I saved all of the cards that we received and I keep them with my sons things. It is nice to see them when I go through his things to see how many people cared about him and us πŸ™‚

Then I was diagnosed with cancer. I was at work when I found out so obviously my co-workers knew about it. It was a Friday when I got the news so it was kind of nice to have the weekend to process everything. I spent a large chunk of the weekend shopping online for preemie clothes to keep my mind off of the “cancer” Saturday morning I had a knock on the door. The NP that I worked for dropped off Sprite and chocolate for me. I ❀ Sprite. It is my absolute favorite drink in the whole wide world. I am a firm believer that Sprite helps a person out in any type of situation. If you’re feeling down, drink a Sprite; if you’re sick drink a Sprite. That bubbly goodness will make you feel so much better. For added joy have it on ice πŸ˜€Β  Anyway back to the story. She was so helpful and nice to us during our cancer journey. She organized a meal plan for us. Three nights a week we had supper delivered to us. My friends and family brought us supper over. I couldn’t believe it! If you have ever been through chemo you know the last thing you want to do is cook. Since we were getting food three nights a week I basically never had to cook because we would have leftovers. Not only was the food nice but it was good to chat and visit with everyone. Then everyone could see Avery too πŸ™‚ I was amazed that people would actually want to take the time to bring us food. Now it wasn’t just sandwiches or something. We would have a five-course meal. There was dessert, meat, potatoes and snacks. Someone even brought us Erbert and Gerbert’s. I LOVE that place and the closest one is an hour away. I actually gained weight during chemo.

Again we were flooded with cards and well wishes. People sent us packages in the mail for Avery and sometimes there would be a little extra for us πŸ™‚ Speaking of Miss Avery my friends threw me a baby shower. I didn’t want to have one since I had one only a year ago for my son but they insisted. So in about one week they put one together so I could have everything before she came. It was at my house one evening. I had lots of friends and family come over and we received such nice gifts. I even had people send gifts along with others for me. People that I used to work with or I kinda lost touch with over the years. It was so nice. Not only because we received a lot of things we needed but it was a night where I didn’t have to think about the “cancer”

When Avery came home we had a couple small issues. I needed a babysitter when I had chemo and a ride to and from. I had chemo every three weeks and it was three days at a time. The first day was the longest about eight hours and the next two days were four hours. Well it’s kind of hard to find someone to babysit smack dab in the middle of the day. Plus Avery had that wonderful little condition where she would quit breathing when she ate so some people were too scared to watch her by themselves. I really can’t blame them because it freaked me the hell out when it happened. But we did have a couple of friends and family that would watch her and drive me so it worked out. Usually my husband stayed home on my long day so we only needed babysitters for two days.

After I was done with chemo I was able to enjoy the rest of my maternity leave with my baby girl. Then I went back to work part-time which was so nice because I still felt like a walking zombie. If you have ever had a major medical problem then you know all to well the expenses that come with it. We were trying to keep up with the medical bills but for some reason it was never enough. I won’t go into all of it but lets just say I yelled a lot at quite a few people in the billing department at the clinic.

Then a little angel appeared at our door. Our neighbors at the time have a pig roast every year and the proceeds go to a person or persons that have had a major medical problem (usually cancer) They informed us that we were chosen to be the recipients that year. OMG I didn’t even know what to say! I think I was in shock for a couple of days. Of course we said yes and thank you. So it began, well for them anyway. I can’t even imagine the planning that goes into this event. It is held at a campground a couple of miles from the town that we live in. So we were able to spend the night and have some fun. People donate gift baskets and they are raffled off and other larger items. There are games and food. Oh the food πŸ™‚ They sell t-shirts beforehand so everyone wears them the day of the pig roast. My friends and family helped in the gift basket department and with some other planning. It still amazes me that this couple dedicates probably six months or more of their life every year to help someone else. I am going to call them “O” and “T”Β  So “O” is a cancer survivor and actually just got cleared!! He put his five years in and now he is done going to the oncologist πŸ˜€ Yay for him!!Β  “T” has become a good friend of mine and we still talk to this day πŸ™‚ I can’t say enough about them. It is a huge weight off of someones shoulders when they are able to pay some bills and get those horrible bill collectors off their back. “O”, “T” and their daughter will always have a special place in our hearts. I can only hope they realize how much we appreciate what they did for us! Every so often you meet or become closer with extra-ordinary wonderful people. They are definitely those people!! One of the best things about this is that now we are able to help with the pig roast and donate to the other recipients. Last year I helped with the kids games and donated a gift basket.

We also received some donations from a craft sale. As I have mentioned before I ❀ craft sales. One of my friends I will call her “LB” was involved in a craft sale. She decided to donate some of her profits to us. Well two other people jumped on the bandwagon. Plus she had people coming up to her that couldn’t attend the sale purchase something or give a monetary donation to us. How wonderful!! We are very grateful to all of them πŸ™‚ I know what it takes to set something like that up since I used to do direct-sales. It can sometimes be a pain in the bum but she never complained and was always very upbeat πŸ™‚

I really hope I didn’t forget anyone and I apologize if I did. Still have a little chemo brain going on πŸ˜‰ Sometimes it can be hard living in a small community. Everyone knows or thinks they know your business. But we have found out it can also me truly amazing πŸ™‚ People that I hadn’t talked to in years sent cards or letters wishing us well and were praying for us. We actually had a couple of churches put us on there prayer-chains. At times I was actually at a loss for words (which if you know me you know that doesn’t happen like ever) when people were doing all of these nice things for us πŸ™‚ I am truly humbled by all of the support we have received. Thank you everyone so so so so much!!! There is a special place in our hearts for all of you ❀

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Avery sporting her Pig Roast onesie πŸ™‚

People are AmAzInG- Part 1

In the past couple of years we have a had some bad things happen to us. We lost our son, I got cancer and our daughter came into this world two months early. Through those things I have learned that people are truly amazing. Yes we had some bad experiences being in and out of the hospital and we have had some people who were not so nice to us but all in all people have been wonderful to us. So I want to give a big shout out to those people who have helped us through these hard times. I have decided to split this into two parts because there is so many people to recognize.

First off is the medical staff that cared for me, my son and my daughter. My OB/GYN is amazing. She has been with us through it all. I started seeing her when I was trying to get pregnant so we have been together a long time. I think she was almost as happy as I was when I got pregnant with my son πŸ™‚ When I lost my son I asked the nurse to please call her and tell her what had happened. I didn’t want her to come in thinking everything was fine and then bam not so much. So a little while later there was a knock on my hospital door. It was her. She came in on her day off to see us; totally unexpected. I had to have an ultrasound before I had him and she stayed with us for the ultrasound and talked to us after the ultrasound. She hugged us and made us feel so much better. She always made sure I had the best care possible. She checked up on me and made me feel so comfortable. I couldn’t have asked for more. Than I got pregnant with my daughter. Her awesomeness continued. This time around I was sooo nervous. So I was very pesty wanting to come in and hear the heartbeat and all of that good stuff. She always obliged my requests and assured me everything was going to be okay. When I found out I had cancer she was on medical leave but after I had my daughter we had another knock on the door. She came to visit us and see how we were doing. She is an amazing Physician and a wonderful person. I was obviously upset when I found out I wouldn’t be able to have more children but I was also upset because that meant I wouldn’t be able to see her anymore 😦  There are countless other things she has done for us but I should probably move on because I have so many other people to acknowledge.

As I mentioned in a previous post the nurse I had the day I lost my son was amazing πŸ™‚ I hope she knows how great she is ❀ After I had my son I met another great nurse. She was the head of a program they call TLC that they have at the hospital I had my son. She is the one who took some pictures of my son and she gave us tons of info and made sure that we got his hand prints, hand molds, and foot prints. She called me for a year after I had him to make sure I was okay and to answer any questions I had. That has got to be hard job and she does it so well. She made sure that everything went smooth for the rest of our stay. Actually all of the nurses and Doctors were great the whole time I was in the hospital. (I was on hospital bed rest for two weeks before I had my son)

The Doctor that delivered my son is also pretty special. I am sure that is not what he had in mind that day when he walked into my room. He was on call all weekend and was very compassionate. He asked me what he could do for me and I said “I want to go home asap” Less than 48 hours later I was on my way home πŸ™‚ Actually all of the staff that weekend was pretty great. When I was pregnant with my daughter I came in on a Sunday because she wasn’t moving. The Doctor that delivered my son was on call and both nurses that I mentioned before. They were all so genuinely concerned about me and my daughter. They all knew I had been diagnosed with cancer and were very helpful that day. A funny story about that day. I ended up going in by myself because my husband and step-son were hunting and I had upset myself so much that I didn’t want to wait for them to get home. Β  After we found out everything was okay and I put my time in on the monitor they were going to discharge me. I had the Doctor and nurse in my room and they kept looking around and I was thinking what in the world are they looking for. The Doctor asked if I was alone. I said yes and thought oh crap what is going to happen to me?!?! (I watch way to much ID Discovery) Then he asks “Does your husband ever talk?” Omg I laughed so hard!! I couldn’t help but think was this a burning question with the staff we had gotten to know so well over the past couple of years. I replied, “Trust me he does, I have to live with him”Β  Now he does not think this story is very funny especially when I tell it over and over. I think it is and everyone that hears it thinks it is. Sorry husband but I had to tell it again.

Moving forward (gosh we know a lot of people) The Doctor that discovered my polyp is also my OB/GYN’s husband. The day when I came in he decided to do an exam. Thank God he did. I don’t think I ever properly thanked him for that. I can’t imagine what it was like for him to have to call me and tell me I had cancer. I think I was so stunned when he called that I never said that I really did appreciate what he did for me. I would also like to thank the PA that did my first exam when I was pregnant with my daughter. She convinced me into letting her do an exam and boy am I glad that she did because it helped narrow down the time-frame as to when I got cancer.

One more shout out to the OB department and then I promise I will move on to something else. As I mentioned before we stayed at the Hope Lodge when our daughter was in the NICU. Well a nurse and two medical assistants from the OB department set that up for us. We had no clue what we were going to do when I left the hospital. I was able to stay for four days and I believe it was the second or third day all three of them came to visit. I was happy they came to see me but then they gave us the awesome news of what they had done for us!! I had never even considered staying there and having it all set-up for us was wonderful πŸ˜€

On to the Oncology department. (I promise this one won’t be as long) First off my second Oncologist; she was wonderful. She overloaded me with anti-nausea meds so I was able to take care of my baby girl instead of being in the bathroom sicker than a dog. She listened, answered questions and really did care about us. She is very straight-forward, knows what she is doing and always has a plan. She reminds me a lot of my OB/GYN. Two very smart women πŸ™‚ Then comes the nurses that administered my chemo. What a great group of people! They made me feel so comfortable and I really enjoyed talking with them. They would actually sit down and talk to me about how I was feeling. Of course they always asked how my daughter was doing. If you know me at all you know that if you care about my kids you are awesome in my book. At my last chemo I received a lot of literature about “life after chemo” One thing that stuck out to me was how people have a hard time not communicating with the staff on an almost daily basis like they are used to. In my mind I was kind of thinking yes I appreciate everything they have done for me and I will miss talking to them but I am running very fast out of this chemo room and I hope to never be back in that chair. Well after about a week I totally understood. When you are receiving chemo you pretty much have access to someone 24/7 to ask questions too. There is your Doctor, the nurses that give you the chemo and the nurses and Doctors that are on call that you have access to. After your done with chemo you don’t have all of that access. Of course you can call if you have questions and things but for some reason it is different.

Last but not least the NICU staff. This one is going to be a little shorter because I kind of already wrote about them. (Not like any of these people will be reading this but you never know) Avery’s Doctor was awesome and so was the rest of the staff !! We were invited to a picnic for the NICU last summer and I was really looking forward to going and seeing everyone but we weren’t able to make it. I am hoping for another opportunity to connect with them.

I have a hard time telling people how I feel and such so writing is a good way for me to do so. Maybe it’s the face to face thing. I know I have probably forgot some people but this is getting really long and if someone does read this they are probably asleep. Thank you to everyone that cared for all of us and we really truly appreciate each and every one of you. Even if we are “quiet” or have a hard time “expressing” how we feel please know we are very thankful. I know days can get hard especially in the field that you work in but try to remember how good you are at your jobs and how you have touched our lives and I am sure countless other patients and their families.

Toys, Toys, Toys and Shopping

After the big Birthday blowout Avery received a lot of great gifts which left me wondering what in the heck am I going to get her for Christmas?? One thing that is at the top of the list is Rapunzel’s Tower. I have been searching for it for about two months. I know this mystical toy exists because it showed up on my cartwheel for 30% off. So I went to pick it up except they didn’t have any. I thought alright I will try another store and another and then websites. Then my best friend said she would like to get it for her for her Birthday. I was like great! She couldn’t find it either. Ugh this tower is impossible to find!! So the hunt continues. I would like to get Avery some toys that encourage her to speak. Not sure if they make those so if anyone in internet world knows of any drop me a line. Or comment, yeah comment so I get a notification and that always makes me happy πŸ˜€

Searching or hunting for toys is a huge challenge to me that I gladly accept. Any present for that matter. The feeling I get when I find the ultimate present is wonderful. Maybe I need to get a hobby but I’m not really good at anything so moving on. Sometimes I fail I think I got someone the best present and then the recipient opens it and I can tell it isn’t their favorite thing in the whole wide world. Does that discourage me? Heck no! That means next year will have to be bigger and better. Have I gotten close to a physical confrontation in a store to get a present? The answer is yes, did I lay a hand on the lady? No I didn’t, would I have? Maybe, maybe not. Online shopping is a much safer choice for me.

Last year I had planned a shopping trip with some of my aunts on opening day of deer season. If you are from Wisconsin or the Midwest you know that deer season is a shoppers paradise. Your significant other is out in the woods freezing their butt off and you are getting ready to hit the stores. I can’t even contain my love of shopping during this wonderful time!! There are craft sales, bake sales, sales at the mall and just sales, sales, sales!! I usually have a route planned so I can hit all of the places I want to go. Since I took a year off when I had my daughter I was soo ready last year. I had a babysitter lined up, a route planned and my tennis shoes on πŸ™‚ But then I woke up on that wonderful morning and I heard a sniffle and then another. Avery was sick. Crap. I couldn’t send her off to the babysitter’s so I had to do my shopping online. I went a little overboard that day. Maybe it was the deals I don’t know but let’s just say my mailman did get some chocolates that Christmas because of all of the packages he had to deliver. I found out rewarding your mailman is a plus. Since the chocolates he would ring my doorbell every time I had a package. Unfortunately he is no longer my mailman because we moved. I do miss him greatly πŸ™‚

Back to the toys. I have been scouring the internet to find some toys for Miss Avery. I really haven’t found anything that jumps out at me and I think where’s my credit card. I am kind of running out of ideas too. There is so many things to choose from. Do they make toys that your toddler can chew on, lick and throw across the room that still work after all of the abuse??Β  I am also looking for books. She got some great books for her Birthday to add to her collection. She has quite a few books but I think a girl can never really have enough. The only problem with books is that Avery likes to eat them. I have found a lot of cardboard in her mouth and diaper. I would like to get her a book that can be personalized. Maybe with her name incorporated in it or something.

I have never been this stuck before in the gift department. It stinks. Honestly if anyone knows of a great educational toy or a cool book let me know πŸ™‚ Or if anyone wants some suggestions from me I can give you some. I have meticulously picked out most of Avery’s toys so I might be able to help πŸ™‚ Happy Shopping to everyone!! (I know it’s a little early but I like to get a head start)

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Some of Avery’s books πŸ™‚