Sifitng through the positive and the negative

First off I have to give a huge thank you to everyone who has read, shared, commented and messaged me about my last post. I have had the most views I have ever had yesterday and I was pretty dang close to having a record-setting day on Sunday!! So awesome to see all of the views, comments and shares 🙂 I am going through my emails and notifications as we speak so I am hoping I don’t miss anyone. It was an awesome pick me up on a scan day to see my views soaring. Speaking of my scan I passed with an A+ according to my Doctor 😉 It was awesome news to hear but we had to say goodbye to my Oncologist because she is leaving 😦 She did promise me that my next Oncologist would be as smart and nice as she is so that made me feel better. Another positive on scan day; I saw the absolute neatest thing at the clinic I go to. When we walked in we noticed some nurses and Doctors gathered by the door and we both wondered what was going on. After we checked in and sat in the waiting room I noticed an elderly couple walking from the chemo area into the waiting room. Once they got closer to the staff that had gathered by the door everyone started clapping and cheering for them. Then the gentlemen rang a bell because he had just finished his last chemo!! It was really awesome to see that! Oh did I mention the couple was holding hands? Super cute ❤ Since this is only my second scan at this clinic and I didn’t receive my chemo there we had never seen this before. When I finished my last chemo I received a bottle of sparkling grape juice and a little basket full of info about life after treatment. Some of the nurses that I had stopped to see me before I left. Actually the first nurse to administer my chemo gave me my grape juice and told me she asked to be the one to give it to me because she was so proud of me that I finished my chemo 🙂 All of the nurses really made my last day of chemo a pretty awesome day 🙂 All of the positive thoughts and words were and still are greatly appreciated! It is truly wonderful to see and experience medical staff that truly care about their patients. Thank you to all of you for doing what you do!

You are probably wondering what in the world my negative is. Well, on Sunday we learned that someone decided to go on a shopping spree on us at Wal-Mart in a different state. Blurg. I found out something was a miss at the worst place possible. I was innocently swiping my card at the grocery store and it wouldn’t work. So I had to write out; wait for it…. a check! You know those pre-historic things you have lying around that no one uses anymore?  Except for me at the grocery store on an extremely busy Sunday. Somehow these little nerds living in their parents basements have learned how to steal your numbers and put them on another card to be swiped at any destination of their choice. Well, nerds I hope you get scratched by your fake cards and your mom quits cutting the crust off of your sandwiches! It sounds like we will be getting our funds back it will just take a little time. Luckily my card was flagged so these nerds only got two purchases on us. Oh and I filed a police report so watch out nerds I am coming and I love watching mystery shows. Not the fake ones either but real life so I know what I am doing 😉 Sorry for the use of the word “nerd” but I figured the other words I was using for them were not appropriate for a blog. So in-between lab work, my scan and my appointment I got to make a whole bunch of phone calls. Nerds…. I did get a little time to pick up a super cute Super-Woman t-shirt for Avery. But instead of being an adult super-woman she is toddler sized which makes the shirt even cuter.

One more negative is that Avery and I are in the midst of allergies. So we are both wearing a new perfume called Vicks vapo-rub and our world is very foggy. So if this post doesn’t make sense you can thank Mucinex. I think I am the only person in the world that cannot handle taking allergy or cold meds. The only time I took Claritin I swear I had an out-of-body experience. I did find an allergy med that I can handle taking but I needed reinforcements this time (insert Mucinex and a truckload of Kleenex)

Back to positive. I was thinking for like a week that maybe I needed a small break from y house so even though scan day was coming I was excited to get out of the house. Well that feeling lasted for about an hour because once we got to the clinic I saw a little girl who looked just like Avery and it made me miss her terribly. I guess she missed me too because she has been clinging to me ever since I got home yesterday. As far as she knows I was only gone for 5 1/2 hours because she slept until 8:00 a.m. yesterday but I guess that was long enough for her. I take it Percy missed me too because he has also been by my side since I got home. My last positive is that my labs and scan were clear so I was able to wake up this morning and enjoy a very pretty sunrise. I will post a pic and if you look really close you can see the moon. Again thank you all so much for reading and the awesome messages and comments!!

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Remission Life

You made it. You heard those wonderful words that every cancer patient longs to hear. You are in remission. You passed the biggest test you will probably ever take; and beat the big demon cancer. Now it’s time to celebrate! Hair is coming back, you are starting to feel better and your new normal is coming together. Of course you are still tied to the Doctor with follow-ups, lab work and scans but you are starting to taste the freedom.

The first month after I was told I was in remission was awesome. The chemo fog was lifting and I was really enjoying the rest of my maternity leave. Then the second month came and with that my looming scan was on the horizon. I am not going to lie scan day is awful for me. I am nervous and pretty much feel like I am going to vomit until I get those awesome words. You know the ones that your scan and lab work is good and you are free for another three months.

After two years of remission (yay!) I received another dose of awesomeness. I have now graduated into a six month scan schedule. As long as I am a good girl and get my yearly physical I can do my scans every six months instead of every three. Nice on the anxiety level and the pocket-book.

I may have played down the anxiety regarding scan time. The anxiety starts rearing its ugly head about a month and a half before scan day. There is a lot of me refusing to go to any appointments and coming up with tons of reasons I have cancer again. If you have ever had cancer you know what I am talking about. Your finger can hurt and you think this is it; my cancer is back. In the end I always end up going. Of course I am trying to read the faces of the lab tech and radiology techs. (Like the lab tech knows if my cancer is back by the looks of my blood when it is still in the tube) I am always sure that the radiology tech has seen cancer all over in my body by the look on their face. They are probably just creeped out by me looking at them all of the time but whatever. Then after a couple of hours that creep by like a turtle on its way into town; it is Doctor time. You just know your fate; the cancer is back. Then they come in the room and tell you everything is clear and you wish you would have brought a bottle of champagne and those streamers to celebrate.

Remission is something to celebrate. Not just after a clear scan but everyday. You fought the good fight and you won. You may not know it but us survivors are an example for our fellow fighters still sitting in that recliner getting chemo. They need to be lifted up just like you may have during treatment. So let them know; after surgeries, procedures, chemo, radiation and tons of testing you did it! Now you can call yourself a survivor and they can too. Remission life does have its ups and downs with scary testing and side effects from treatment but you need to enjoy it. Keep fighting through the anxiety and side effects just like you did during treatment. Get out and live life for yourself, your family and everyone out there still fighting. Really no one loses to cancer. Even when angels are taken from us they did not lose. They fought as hard as they could to stay and that is a great accomplishment. Now, if you are in remission enjoy the remission life and get out and live it. Do something you may not have done before treatment or something you have always wanted to do. I feel like I was given a second chance at life and I am going to live it up and have some fun. I encourage everyone to enjoy the remission life 🙂

Don’t Bring Me Down

I can’t help but see the mom bashing on social media, blogs, internet and everyday life. It seems like everyone has an opinion on what everyone else is doing. Whether you are a working mom or stay at home mom we are still moms. Whether you breast feed, bottle feed, cloth diaper or buy disposable diapers we are still the same. It makes me wonder why does there have to be so much tension?

In my eyes everyone has a right to their own opinion. But why do we feel the need to voice it in a negative way. Being a mother in this day and age is hard enough without added pressure from people who are our peers. We should be lifting each other up instead of bringing each other down.

When I chose not to breastfeed I had to explain myself up and down to tons of people. My reasoning was a little longer than  saying it doesn’t work for me or I don’t produce enough milk. I was to undergo chemo two weeks after I had my daughter. I had a couple of options. The first was to breastfeed for two weeks and then stop. With that came running the risk of getting an infection and then postponing chemo. The second was to breastfeed through chemo. I did not feel comfortable with that. The third was to not breastfeed at all. I chose the third. The reasoning behind my choice was I felt if I got an infection and had to postpone chemo then what was the point of putting my daughter through the NICU experience if I couldn’t start treatment to ensure time with her.

After each time of having to explain my choice I always wondered why do I feel the need to defend my choice. This is my life and my daughter’s life and I felt I made the best decision for us. I would literally run; well walk as fast as I could after a hysterectomy from the breast-feeding specialist at the hospital I had my daughter at. I understand I was a different case from most but everyone was saying different things to me and it seemed that no one was sure on what they thought I should do. Then I realized why should I waiver on my decision based on someone else’s opinion?

I see tons of articles on why moms should or shouldn’t go back to work. After the article there is always the comments and the fighting. Why should everyone feel they need to defend their decision on staying home or working? Some people don’t have a choice they have to work. Some people just know it is not for them. They would lay their life down for their children but they need to socialize with adults and get out of the house. Some people can make staying at home work and they want to stay home. Shouldn’t we all support each other decisions? Wouldn’t it be easier if we lifted each other up instead of the constant passive-aggressive comments? This mom thing is hard enough without everyone having to defend every single decision they make. Is my daughter going to be a bad person because I put her is disposable diapers? I hope not otherwise me and Pampers are going to have a problem. Are children going to be bad kids because of the brand of bottle we use? Probably not. Will my daughter be crazy because I let her watch Bubble Guppies? Maybe, crazy for Bubble Guppies but in general no.

I can’t say this for every mom but I can definitely say this for myself. I come up with tons of things to worry about all by myself I don’t need any help. Maybe I lived in a dream world when I pictured moms at the park getting along. I really didn’t think it would be a big deal when I pulled out non organic puffs. I know I am guilty of it too. Forming opinions on people or things when I do not have the full story. That’s the thing we never really know the full story. Maybe the mom next to you gives her child generic goldfish because she can’t afford the organic ones. Your neighbor may have to work because she carries the benefits and that darling little one in the car seat has asthma and their inhaler is ridiculously expensive. The mom you see at the library that never has her husband with her is alone because they work different shifts to cut down on daycare costs. The girl at the grocery store that is always alone didn’t want to be but she has no choice because her husband is in the military and he is gone right now.

Let’s do ourselves a favor. The next time you see the mom that is all alone struggling with her groceries; hold the door open for her. When you see your neighbor pulling out of her driveway give her a smile and a wave. When you see the mom at the library by herself say hi. The next time the mom at the playground pulls out her snacks start a conversation with her. We are all here for the same reason; to raise our children the best way we know how. Maybe if one of us starts being positive and trying to understand everyone’s situation we can make this mom bashing stop.

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Don’t let anyone dull your shine

With all of the trials and tribulations we have been through in the past there is one thing I have learned. Don’t let anyone dull your shine. Sometimes people can be cruel and just downright jerks. I have other words for them but I will try to keep it clean 😉 The second you let someone make you feel bad then they know they have won. People that actually get their kicks off of making other people miserable need to be put in their place. All you have to do is pick yourself up and keep going. I realized people hate it when you do that. Plus it is more effective than yelling or making a big scene. I know this can be very difficult, I have lost my temper many times but it’s not as effective as just lifting your head up, putting a big smile on your face and moving on. Now as a mother I realize this is more important than ever before.
My daughter is with me pretty much 24/7 so she sees everything I do and hears everything I say. Even though she isn’t talking yet I know that she is soaking up all of that precious info. Sometimes it surprises me how much she does soak up. I am trying to be more aware of what I say and do in front of her. Of course I am only human and I probably curse too much, judge people and maybe gossip but the only way I can really teach her is to follow the rules myself. If she sees me judging people and talking nasty all day then that is what she will think is acceptable. (Not that I do those things all day but you get the picture)
Recently someone told me something about my daughter that I did not want to hear. She was present when it happened. It made me very upset to the point I was almost shaking. Even now I can feel my blood pressure rising. It took me a while to calm down and I am still working on it but in the process I realized something. Whatever the situation with Avery is whether it be school, learning, friends, boys or anything else I have to teach her how to handle the situation with a good attitude. I may be upset about what happened but I shouldn’t show it to Avery. I can tell Avery until I am blue in the face to have respect for people and treat them the way that you want to be treated but if I don’t do the same then she will never really learn. Don’t get me wrong I will make sure my daughter doesn’t just roll over and take it but there are plenty of ways to defend yourself with class. I also always want her to know that she is smart enough and has the tools to do anything she puts her mind too.
When I saw my first oncologist she told me that some people make it. I let it really get me down at first. Then I came to the realization I was going to be one of the people who make it and that was my only option. Call it stubborn or bull-headed, but guess what; I made it. I waited way to long to be a mom and be able to bring a baby home with me and I was not going to give that up for stupid cancer. I truly feel it’s your attitude that helps you in every situation. If you have a bad attitude then things may not turn out your way. If you have a good attitude the outcome can be fabulous 🙂 Don’t get me wrong I have my days but I try so hard to have a good attitude.

One of the first times I went out and about without a wig after I was able to dye my hair someone said to me “Are you sure you want to be out without a wig?” Heck yes I did. Wigs are sweaty, itchy and uncomfortable (at least mine was) My response was “I am positive.”  I walked away and never looked back 🙂
People judged me because I decided to have my daughter early and begin treatment. Trust me I live with the guilt everyday but I am going to put it to you like the Doctors put it to me “You can have your daughter early and she won’t remember her time and struggles in the NICU or you can go full-term and she won’t remember you because you might not be here if you wait and you’re daughter needs you.” I think I made the right choice 🙂
I also hear the occasional “You should put your daughter in daycare, she would learn so much more.” Hmm this statement makes me want to use some profanity. I don’t judge parents that have to work or choose to work so please don’t judge me. Some people have told me I was being selfish for staying home with my daughter and I was robbing her the socialization she needs. This is another one that makes me go hmm. This is another time that I have to keep my head up and keep truckin’
I may not make everyone happy but you know what not everyone makes me happy either and that’s okay. We are all different, with different opinions and thoughts. If we were all the same life would be so boring. But there is a time to be heard and a time to be silent and move on. There is also a time that you know in your heart that you are right and you know what is best for yourself or your family. Don’t let ANYONE dull your shine. That’s when they win and that’s not acceptable. I am going to end this with one of my favorite quotes from The Help.
Every day you’re not dead in the ground, when you wake up in the morning, you’re gonna have to make some decisions. Got to ask yourself this question: “Am I gonna believe all them bad things them fools say about me today?” You hear me? “Am I gonna believe all them bad things them fools say about me today? You hear me today?” All right? As for your mama, she didn’t pick her life. It picked her. But you, you’re gonna do something big with yours. You wait and see.