August 30, 2011

Busy Girl

Here's our girl, learning it's fun to slide along on her cast on tile flooring (and hardwood).  Crawling forward and backwards, sitting up on her knees, getting close to pulling up to stand.  That's the physical part, then there's the verbal.  Today she wanted to get my attention while I was reading something, so she said "No, Mama.  Please look at Olive."

She's had a very busy weekend hanging out with her great Aunt Judy!  She's visiting from OR, left today after a long weekend.  She was born to care for kids--Olive had a great time with her (and I got a few naps in!).  She's my mom's sister, so it feels close to having my mom playing with Olive.  I'd like to think she'd have been involved and love hanging out with her... but there are a lot of other people who have given their time to be with Olive and I am grateful.

So yeah, it was a good weekend.  Got to show off my daughter, my town, got to go out for dinner with Ben, catch up with family, let my back heal.  Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with a weekend by myself!

August 25, 2011

Out of commission

Still on the mend.  I managed to crawl up the stairs that evening and have been mostly in bed ever since.  Slowly getting better, but it's tricky to determine when it's going to be okay to lift Olive again...  The past couple of days were not as smooth as I thought, because apparently my body was no longer accustomed to oxycodone and gave me a nice full day of nausea and vomiting to prove it.  Better today, though, and able to keep things down.  Ben has been toughing it out after some long days at work--thanks to Julie for helping yesterday, and looking forward to Aunt Judy coming tomorrow (let's hope she's up for some Olive-lifting!).

Because most of the last couple of days have been pretty drowsy, not a whole lot of profound thinking here.  I swear one of these days I'll be on the verge again...

August 24, 2011


Crap. I am currently stuck in the basement having thrown out my back. Just happened suddenly as I was taking clothes out of the dryer, couldn't move without huge nerve pain. Ben is kind enough to fetch me things--this laptop, for instance--and is telling my body that he's sick of its drama. Me too!
Up until then it was a fairly decent day. Got to hang out with Mia for a while after work. I think Olive was showing off for her! She got up on her hands and knees and started crawling forwards and backwards and kept at it for quite a while. She was pretty proud of herself (me too!).
Now what? I'm going to have to pee soon, too...

August 22, 2011


Sorry--I forgot I left you hanging about Olive and the cast until a few people asked me. She's fine. Her "owies" stopped the next day and haven't really come back, so I never took her in. She's wiggling just fine. In fact, she's decided to start wiggling to the foot of the bed and is a little too close to the edge for my comfort. Time to add another pillow!

Otherwise...Had a nice but too short visit from the Davises. We'll get our lives to cooperate for our leisure one of these days! But certainly not today, either. Hectic. Looking forward to things slowing down next week, but at least I get to sneak in a few other friend visits this week (thanks to the Dittmars for dinner tonight!).

Last week I went to Borders going-out-of-business sale and wound up buying a few cancer-related books. I get sucked into it sometimes. I go through spells where I've had enough of it, and then phases where I want to learn more again, hear other people's stories. I can't help but compare myself to those others, though, and not always in the most magnanimous ways (i.e. she just had a lumpectomy and no genetic component--big deal!) Grow up, Jenny. Cancer is cancer, and it's never good.

August 17, 2011

Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday, Darlin'! (And Bruce, too. And Schmed--where's Schmed?)

If it's any consolation, this last year has really stacked enough wisdom for a while, so maybe you can take the next couple years off and not grow as a person, just kind of screw-off and watch a lot of tv.

Thanks, sis, for babysitting so I could surprise my hubby with a trip to the drive-in after a yummy supper. We've been talking about going for years, just have gotten maybe a little sidetracked from time to time...

I'm getting over my mood. The fall out of all this past year is just going to come in waves sometimes. Mia, you were right--it makes my want my mommy!

We've got a little possible kink in Olive-land. I think her cast might be too tight in her one hip--she's getting more and more tender with diaper changes, so we may have to take her back in for an adjustment... That's great, I was so bored.

Okay, bedtime! Goodnight.

August 15, 2011


Good weekend and all that (thanks again, Mo, for watching Olive while we went to APT, which was lovely!).

I'm just kind of in a mood today. Well, I think it's a couple of things. First, the subject of more children came up again and again the right decision seems to be no, but it's a sad conclusion for me to draw and brings up a lot of other feelings that I was trying to be done with. Feeling guilty that I didn't pursue the genetic piece before bringing Olive into the world. Feeling that every day I could apologize to Ben for all of this, and especially for limiting his future choices, and it still would never be enough. But we do the the best we can with where we're at now, right?

I had my year post-surgery appt with my surgical oncologist today. I was this close to crying. That shouldn't be weird, I suppose, only it is for me. Ben & Julie can correct me if I'm wrong, but through all this past year I can't remember actually getting upset enough to cry in an appointment. Maybe I was crying in the ER the one time where I had a pounding headache, a fever, and was nauseous, but otherwise I think I tried to stay pretty analytical through most times.

What was different today? Well, my surgeon is young and was pregnant with her first child when she operated on me last July. So I'm telling her about the last year since the surgery was over and I went through the rest of treatment, and I could see her thinking through all the logistics as if she would be going through it with a baby. Super empathetic, even just about Olive and the cast and dealing with an immobile toddler. Talking through all my issues with my R side, with the shoulder pain and mobility and the arm swelling, talking about how I know all the things I should be doing a few times a day to improve things but I just don't work it into my day and put myself lower on the to-do list. She kind of stopped me as I was talking it through and told me to stop feeling bad about it, because I'm choosing to do the things in my daily life that I went through all this for in the first place.

I don't know why that makes me sad and why I'm crying right now and have felt like it all day--just processing, I guess. I think I am going to struggle for a long time of feeling like not quite enough of anything: not quite taking care of myself well enough, not quite as energetic a wife and mother as I'd like to be, not nearly as complete in my career as I know I could be, not as consistent of a friend though I want it given back to me, all of those things and more. And I don't need anyone to pat me on the back and say "That's okay (cancer girl, i.e. we'll keep giving you a pass)". I know that the world will still give me leeway and I certainly will take it. But it's hard to feel that way when you really know how you'd like to be--I'm not still wandering like in my 20's...

Alright, enough of that to sit on tonight--I got it out of my system. As a reward for making it through that beeswax, here's Olive:

August 11, 2011

All's well

I was going to use a cheesy pun, like "Cast of characters" or something, but I'm not feeling too clever. We're just tired here.

We made it by 6:15 (up at 4:45)--thought Olive might nod off on the ride, but she decided to be wide awake. And then we had to wait over an hour. Things went smoothly, all's looking good from the MD's perspective, and we got a big thumbs-up on our skin- and cast-care! The new cast is shorter in the legs but doesn't seem any shorter in the torso, seems more scratchy, and is red (Olive's choice). Then crankier coming out of anesthesia than last time, but she didn't get put as far under and didn't have ongoing pain meds. Then a long rest of the stay killing time to wait for a CT scan and wait for the okay to leave. We were all exhausted and hungry, ate lunch quick and took a long nap.

The rest of her evening was good--no pain associated with the new cast, getting used to moving her R leg. Much, much more kicking.

August 10, 2011

Birthday Girl

Happy Second Birthday, beautiful daughter!

(I think I'm far enough removed from the labor and delivery that I've forgotten the less beautiful details...)

Miss Olive, who is a "big girl", was a little bit cranky today! Overstimulated maybe--we'll get back to some more presents in the next few days in small doses, and she didn't even want a second cupcake. A big thank you to all who have sent cards and presents.

I can't even begin to bring you up to date on her development--she's had word explosions every few days. Tonight she said "suppertime" very clearly out of nowhere, talks in 3-4 word phrases, makes a whole lot of connections on her own. She's going to be major trouble to keep up with...

Short one tonight because we have to be at the hospital by 6:15 tomorrow morning. Fun! Maybe we'll post some pictures of our 2-year-old then and we'll give an update after the cast change. Should be no big deal, just a day sitting around and waiting... Goodnight!

August 7, 2011

Car rides

Fairly normal week, which is to say busy but good. Let's see, updates? Olive had a pre-cast-change appt and things are a go for this coming Thursday. The MD said this next cast will be above the knee on both sides and a little shorter in the torso, too. He said a lot of kids are able to stand and figure out walking in this version--we'll see. It'll just be about an hour to do the change itself, with additional time to put her under so she doesn't wiggle and have her come out of the anesthesia. Shouldn't be a bad day, and she'll be back at it on Friday.

She's gotten some early birthday celebrating under her belt already, with some more to come. Thanks, everyone, for really good, engaging presents for a kid who's immobile--some really good stuff!

I'm okay. still struggling with the right arm swelling and my chest has felt very sensitive and bruised lately, but that's kind of an average day for me.

We went to Milwaukee for the weekend for a variety of reasons (b-days, motorcycle rally, babysitting/extra hands, quality family time, nostalgia time). The ride there was just me and Olive and we got stuck around Oconomowoc for about 30 min of extra slightly-cranky time. But I got her jamming out to the right music and things turned around. The way back was smooth sailing as she enjoyed some new presents and learned how to rock on her toy piano as she's dancing--very cute! It struck me part way through the ride back how different it was from many, many long car rides in the last handful of years. I can't tell you how many tearful drives I've had to & from visits as Mom and other family were sick and declining, as I processed my own diagnosis... It's nice to feel like there are more happy things to focus on at present. Not that things aren't still hard, but they're not feeling as heavy.