Saturday, December 31, 2011

Hello 2012...

I made it!  I have been told on two occasions so far this year that I "don't have enough cancer" to be included in some things.  My christmas decorations are already down.  I have inspected the continuing ed catalog for ways to educate myself this year.  Then I decided I needed a plan.  I tend to fritter my time away without a plan.  So here are the resolutions I have made for this year.  
1. Work harder to enjoy the now...because there is NOTHING I can do about the later.

2. Yarn Bomb Something...I'm wondering which tree or bench on campus might need a new scarf?

3. Buy a convertible...or at least make really good friends with someone who will let me drive theirs on sunny days.  I will feel the breeze blow through my stubble at some point in 2012.

4. Take a photography class...I would love for the pictures I love not to be accidental.

5. Travel more...I have a nasty case of wanderlust.  My goal is to see at least 2 additional states this year.

6. Make my bed everyday for at least a month...I hear it takes 30 days to create a habit.  Maybe if I make my bed for that many days...I will actually be able to make it everyday this year.  I do love how my room looks with the bed made.

7. Make sure my shoes make it to the closet.  It is truly amazing how many times they stop short of the floor of my closet.  I have found them in the the chair in my bedroom...even right outside of their closet.  Hopefully this year they will make it home every day!

I typed in pile of shoes and this came up...too precious!
8. Take a train...somewhere.  Probably Austin...but maybe

9. Make sure I don't lose touch with Robin...create outings and require her presence.  Even if she makes that sulky teenager face at the start...past experience shows she will be my giddy little girl by the end.

10.Organize at least one Family Craft Night/Day...2011's Tie Dye Party was a hoot and a half...any suggestions for this year?

11. Go to the botanic gardens at least one time each season.

12. Complete my Pay it Forward Challenge.  Make sure that at least once a month I complete a crafty project and send it on to one of my winners.
Hopefully I will be able to keep myself on track and finish each of these resolutions.  I have thought up a charm to add to my Brighton bracelet for each completed task.  Welcome...Welcome 2012...I am sure this will be my year!
to the moon and back,

Friday, December 30, 2011

489 we know for sure that Topotecan is not doing its job.  So I have an appointment with Dr. Cloven today to discuss where to go from here.  She promises that there are as many chemo drugs as there are stars in the sky.  The trick is finding which one of these drugs will work to stall my cancer.  I am hopeful that this time will be the time we find that drug.  That is the doctor's job...they need to focus on my meds...and whether or not they are working.  My job is to enjoy everyday.  My job is to take some of the worry off the faces of all the people I love.  So starting today I am going to work very hard to project what I want to feel...even if I don't quite feel it.  Fake it 'til you make it...right?!?  I'll post another update once we meet with the doc.  I think I will be looking into heading to MD Anderson to see what they might be able to do for me.  It is a research maybe they will have some new treatment for me to try.  For now...I'm working on keeping my head up.  Have a great day.
To the moon and back,
quote of the day,

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thankfulness...Day 120

silver lining...I got to chunk potatoes at beautifully decorated houses and then drive away.  Actually the Bug and my nephew chunked the potatoes and I was the getaway driver.  A couple of years ago my aunt introduced me to this new tradition.  The potato is wrapped with a poem about Christmas lights bringing good cheer.  You toss the wrapped potato in a yard that lifts your Christmas spirits.  We had a couple of places on the list that we KNEW deserved to be potatoed...but it was the surprise houses that made the trip.  Here are a few snapshots from the evening.  The candy sprinkle tree house was my favorite...a tad overdone...but my favorite nine the less.
to the moon and back,
Nesting dolls...and a nativity...totally potatoed!

pic snapped from under the candy sprinkle cotton candy tree.
I am in love ans they are potatoed!

If you look VERY closely you can see the Bug at the center of the trees

I mean...the pics cannot do these trees justice.  They are sooooooo amazing!

My nephew loved potatoing this house....
it has an "A" for his name,

And you get a bevo...and you get a bevo...Everybody get a bevo.
Too funny....and yes potatoed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thankfulness...Day 119

silver lining...even though my hip joints are achey today...I found the want to play outside with my nephew and the bug.  I will add pics later.  I mean I really played.  I rolled around in the grass...chased them down with my camera...and they  were the ones begging to go inside when we were finished.  I am so much better when I am surrounded by the people I love.  It would have been easy to stay my pajamas...on the couch.  Instead I have the memories made today...of laughter...popsicles...and the Bug wearing a toddler car around her waist.  Life is good...all I have to do is let is happen all around me and I see it.  
What wonderful things did you guys see today?
to the moon and back,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thankfulness...Day 118

silver lining of the day.  I get to spend quality time wrapping gifts with my Mom.  This has been a crazy year and I really can't believe I made it all the way to another Christmas.  I am anxiously awaiting a call from my Dad, telling me that he is on the way here with my precious daughter.  I just wanted to write a little post about how blessed I feel today.  I hope everyone has a very happy holiday and a merry merry Christmas!
to the moon and back,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thankfulness...Day 117

Silver lining of the tree is up and decorated...thank you Mimi, PawPaw and the Bug.  I mostly lay on a heating pad (I was freezing).  It is beautiful.  There is something about Christmas decorations.  They just make my soul feel lighter.  I of course dip into the more whimsical color scheme for Christmas.  No basic red and green sireeee...I have hot pink, red, lime green, teal, and white.  It works for my house, and for the Bug too.  Not sure my parents fully buy into it yet, but they play along.  My mom really got into decorating the tree.  It's been a long time since it felt like a family project to get the tree up and ready for the presents.  For many years my mom sat in the living room alone decorating a tree that no one seemed to care about except her.  I would like to think even if I had to put the tree up all by myself and decorate it alone too...that I would still do it...but I'm not sure.  I know sometimes it is hard...blending our generations together under one roof...but I'm happy we are all here together.  It makes it where nobody has to be alone unless they choose to...sometimes even if a person wants to be alone they have company.  I know lots of people who have to walk through life without the support of parents and other family.  I see people alone at chemo every time I go.  I will never be one of those people.  My mom will move mountains to be there for every treatment.  She says the thought of me getting pumped up with those drugs and sitting all alone breaks her heart and she can't let it happen.  I don't say it enough...I love you Mama and keep my house running when I just can't get everything done.  Thank you, and I hope we get to decorate the tree together for lots of years in the future!
I also got to play with my new camera today.  I took some adorable pics of the Bug in her tree and also got some action shots of my pup.  I haven't said anything about the camera because I wanted to have some pics that I took with said camera to post.  I guess it was about 3 weeks ago...I bought the Canon Rebel t2i at Sam's.  I have been searching for the perfect DSLR for about 5 years.  I am so impulsive about some things.  I will walk into Hobby Lobby and walk out one hundred dollars lighter without batting an eye (truthfully I might do that 2-3 times a month).  This this camera...took some time.  I looked at Nikon...I looked at Canon...I read reviews...technical reviews...real people reviews.  I compared the t2i and the t1i...then I compared the t2i and the t3...then the t2i and the t3i.  Are you seeing the pattern here?  Everything I read about the Rebel t2i was great...but you know what nailed it for me.  This year at Thanksgiving...I stole a glance at the camera my cousin Matt uses (Canon Rebel t2i).  I know the camera is a tiny piece of what makes amazing pictures's like installing a Viking and hoping the stove will transform you into a gourmet chef overnight.  I know that camera doesn't make the greatest photo the person behind the lens does the work.  I've been practicing for years...point and DSLRs...even my iPhone...I finally felt ready to make the jump.  Now I have some pics to show off.  I love this is light enough not to feel cumbersome, but heavy enough to be substantial in my hands.  It is my new baby and I love it very much.  I has a special place behind the bar in my living room so it is never far off if I need to capture something.
Well those are my two silver linings of the day...good night friends
to the moon and back, 

pics of the day

I love the way she lays...her rear legs look like frog legs

Nothing like a good roll in the grass on a sunny day

I did edit this one a bit...but look how
grown up she looks...SCARY

face of an angel!

my next hairpiece...HA!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Under Pressure

I forgot to post this earlier.  One of my friends posted it to twitter...and I loved it.  Watch all the way to the end it is AHMAHZING!

silver lining...2 kermit puppets instead of just one!
to the moon and back friends

Thankfulness...Day 116

I've decided to make a change.  I'm not sure simply being thankful for something everyday is still bringing me the personal lift it did at the beginning.  Lately life has been landing some sucker punches and being thankful has been a bit out of reach.  So...I have decided to find the silver lining instead.  The silver lining acknowledges the clouds that are present and just puts a positive spin on them.  The presence of big beefy storm clouds in my life is a fact...but by golly I can stitch a pretty sparkly silver lining around each one.

That said...silver lining for mother's heartfelt belly laugh at my puppy in the backyard.  The puppy is in the backyard because I have strep and a red blood count of I am too tired to get up every time she sees a squirrel outside to take her out.  However...getting to the place where I ignored he whimpers at the back door led to the need for a new comforter on my bed (silver lining there...I got to buy new bedding...WHEEEE!). So the pup is outside and she is frolicking around the yard chasing all the squirrels (not catching any, but making some valiant 180 degree leaps in her efforts).  Finally she realizes more squirrels come into the yard of they CAN'T see her.  So she hides behind her tree.  The Bug has a tree and Rosie (the pup) has a tree...I'm glad they don't have to bicker over the same tree.  The pup is a precious cocker spaniel and petite for her she hides nicely behind the tree.  My mom stepped outside to put out some water, and Rosie leaped out from behind her tree.  My mom died laughing.  I mean picture it complete with the appears from nowhere..ready to pounce.  It really is funny.  Without strep and like 6 blood cells pup would have been inside and no one would have that gem of a mental picture.  You're welcome.

Well, the Bug started her Christmas vacay officially today and she will be going to see a local production of Narnia tonight.  Things are peaceful at the house and I think in a little bit we will be decorating our tree.  I hope to put up our aluminum tree, and kitchen tree tomorrow...that will leave The Bug's feather tree and my ceramic tree hearth display.  If I haven't mentioned it before I like Christmas VERY much...and I like Christmas decorations even more.
Have a great weekend
To the moon and back,
pics of the day

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thankfulness...Day 115

Today I am thankful for the ability to switch focus.  
My aunt came over last night, because my precious was struggling with some assignments she had put off to the last possible moment.  I believe that sometimes God allows the Bug to flounder because I need help.  Maa came over and I had a chance to talk to her about m general disposition.  I am really struggling with my new chemo regime.  It is sort of demanding to have treatment every week, and as of my last treatment this particular drug didn't seem to be doing its job.  My brain seems to have turned into a hamster wheel of negativity.  The drugs aren't working...the drugs aren't working...THE DRUGS AREN'T WORKING!!!!!!!  I know that these thoughts are never going to bring anything good into my life, and they are ruining my outlook.  I have taken pride in the fact that no matter the situation I can find something positive.  Cancer has actually brought a clarity and a don't sweat the small stuff attitude that I truly appreciate.  However, I am creeping up on two years of this battle and I am starting to have trouble subjecting my body to the poisons necessary to kill the cancer...when it seems to in fact be killing cells I need instead (hair, nails, stomach lining, blood).  My red blood counts have been dropping steadily over the last few treatments and today I was completely beat.  My aunt's favorite thing to say to her children is "You can choose to be part of the problem...or part of the solution."  Of course I asked how exactly can I be part of a solution for a disease that I cannot control.  Her response really hit a nerve with me.  She said..."deciding to ignore the outcome of my treatments and dwell in the tiny miracles that occur around me being part of the solution."  Finally someone put it in a way that I get...I can actually see the strength of dwelling in the present.  Now I just need to put the disastrously negative loop in my brain on pause.   So I thankful that I can switch focus and see the positive in most situations...I will still be working on stopping the negative loop while looking around me for the positive.
To the moon and back my friends,
Thought for today:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gingerbread Fun

Yesterday I woke up feeling pretty awesome...not even awesome for one day post chemo...just plain awesome.  The Bug and Mimi were going to decorate gingerbread houses and I really didn't think I would feel up to it, but guess what....I did.  I was dressed and ready to go when Mimi got home from jazzercise.  I think she was a little surprised to see me...ready to go anywhere.  Like I said, yesterday was a great day.  It was the Bug's birthday and I just decided it needed to be a good day.  I don't want her youth to be speckled with good memories amid tons of memories of things her mom missed because the chemo made her feel sick.  I don't want my disease to define her teen years.  The fact that it seems to be defining my thirties is such a bummer.  So off we went to decorate gingerbread goodness. 
I should have known how this would pan out.  I got really into decorating my house, and the Bug was over it after about 25 minutes.  It was fun to watch her stream of consciousness decorating.  Her house is dotted with large white gumdrops.  Her backstory (there is always a backstory) is that an old geezer lives in the house and the children of the neighborhood like to give him a hard time.  So they throw large snowballs at his roof.  So her house has at least 4 large white gumdrops stuck in strange places.  She has a tree in the front with a candy cane resting against it.  Mini houses need candy cane love too.  After she finished her house and left my mom and I at a table blissfully decorating our houses...she made friends with a little girl who was there to help clean up after we finished.  They talked about dance...the little girl had been in a local performance of the Nutcracker...the Bug likes watching other people dance.  
At the end of this experience...I was the one who had to be hurried along...pushed into being finished...cajoled out of the building.  So I think a merry time was had by all...even if we only had an hour to complete our gingerbread masterpieces!
to the moon and back,

Pics of the day