Wednesday, February 27, 2008

favorite tricks

new way to use a spoon

peeling crayons

"clipping" with scissors

Monday, February 25, 2008

someone's thoughts about cancer

Read this for more on "help that helps" etc. It's a good message.

fancy dress dancing

These were taken 2 weeks ago, around 7:30 am. E woke up and wanted to wear the fancy dress, agreed to the tights but insisted they be the pink ones not the white ones. Then she ran to the living room to dance. Later realized "need socks!" and I explained that tights have built in socks. She was not convinced.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

surgery update

I woke up! It wasn't nearly as stressful this time around. I have a bigger bandage and more pain, but it's not bad today. Yesterday it was. We got home around 3:30 I think, and I slept almost the whole time til this morning at 7:45. I would just wake up to take pain medicine (3 times) and throw up (once). I called my friend who's a nurse to ask what drugs I could take together because I had a migraine to boot. woo hoo, what a party. Thanks for all the love everyone's been sending me! Marie put a link to information about my procedure on her blog post yesterday, in case you're interested in details.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

surgery is on

The last-minute wrinkle was nothing to worry about, my surgeon reassured me. So tomorrow at 10:45 am Eastern time I'm having a partial mastectomy with sentinel node biopsy. I've long wanted a breast reduction so this might be the ticket! :) I can get the other one sized to match, later. Thanks for all the warm thoughts and prayers. Don't be afraid to call and check on me!

E has gone off happily (a little too happily, if you ask me) with her hero Grandpa and his utilitarian sidekick Grandma. She'll be back in a couple of days. She said Grandpa would play trains with her and Grandma would cook her eggs.


I'm scheduled for another day surgery tomorrow, but there may be a last-minute wrinkle, who knows. Cancer moods are up, down, up, down - truly the proverbial roller coaster. I talk to my surgeon today and will make another post tonight as to whether it's on or not.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

it's snow!

From Thursday morning, Valentine's Day, when we woke up to a surprise snow.

I put this one in here because I like how her tongue's sticking out.

Amidst the playing and photographing, I forgot about warming up and scraping the car! So E read maps and pushed buttons while I did that. There was about 2 inches, I think, of really light fluffy snow, which mostly melted by the end of the day.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

E has a cold

Can I just say? Thank GOD for that green nose-sucker thing they give you at the hospital when the baby's born!

done list

Today was pretty good. Let's see, what did I do?

* took a walk with E to the farther of my two coffee shops, read the paper there, walked around the college campus and let her climb lots of steps
* played in the park with neighbor and her two little girls
* taught E to use scissors
* ran the dishwasher and finished the laundry I started last night
* caught up with 3 people on the phone
* read my email
* moved some papers off the "dining" table
* took some pictures
* cut up some strawberries
* gave E a bath
* let E wash two dishes
* showered and cleaned my teeth (never take this for granted!)
* danced with E on a yoga mat
* played tea party with E for about a minute
* gave the cat Ellie May my lap for a few minutes, skimmed two magazine articles
* picked up all the toys after E went to bed
* watched a video with my husband
* typed this post
* the usual toddler care - diapers, meals, pushing juice, cleaning a runny nose, washing hands, look at this, look at that, yes, that's right, wow, you can do it, no Mommy do it, Mommy stay, Mommy see? did you hear me? what did Mommy say? stop it! (both of us say that last one)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

info on fatigue

A friend sent this link to a site about cancer-related fatigue. I don't think I'm suffering it - yet. But it's good information for anyone who struggles to find enough energy to get through their days, and I know there are a few of you out there who might benefit from some of this advice along with me. You could stroll through all the cancer details down to the general advice for reducing stress and increasing energy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What we eat around the world

food for one week

Click the word "food" and have a browse through this Time magazine photo gallery - very interesting to see what other families around the world eat in one week.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

le week-end

Sorry, I haven't taken any E pictures recently. She's spending this weekend with Grandma and "Gippa" (now that she can say Grandpa that's what it sounds like).

I've always wanted her to learn another language while she's young. I may have waited too long to get her accustomed the the only other language I can speak (French). In the car on Thursday I started speaking French to her and she roundly rejected it. Everything I said she would try to repeat, but like this:

Me: "Je t'aime, Emma!" E: "No, juh tem!"
Me: "Bonjour, Emma!" E: "No, bah juh!"
Me: "Tu n'aimes pas que je parle francais? Pourquoi?"
E: "No pooh quah! Stop it!"
Me: "Tu veux que j'arrete? Arretes means 'stop it'. Can you say 'arretes'?"

One of my American neighbors uses French as her primary language with her daughters, even though their family is not French. I got inspired by her and have tried it with E a few times but never more than a comment or two. I seemed to think that my French wasn't good enough to bother with. Perfectionism runs in the family - see Helen's blog post of Feb. 8th. My neighbor says if she doesn't know a word in French she uses "franglais" (aka "Frenglish"). At least the girls are getting familiar with the sounds of French and can probably much more easily learn a Latin-based language in future. E's still young, though opinionated, and I'm not going to give up.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

help that helps

"People like to be told how they can help," when you're going through something serious. While I'm in treatment plan limbo it feels like there's nothing appropriate to do (it's easier to know what to do when I'm recovering from surgery or whatever, instead of just going about my research). Yet I'm still stressed and you still want to help! Here are some things people have done for me that I really appreciate, in no particular order:
  • Sent cards and "thinking of you" notes in the mail, which are all taped up on my kitchen cabinet for the duration.
  • Taken walks with me.
  • Called to say hi.
  • Put their names on my babysitting list.
  • Sent emails saying "thinking of you".
  • Invited me out for distracting fun.
  • Offered to help my research.
  • Put me in touch with other survivors they know.
  • Hugged me.
  • Prayed for me, in their way.
  • Cut me some slack at work.

I've also received casseroles and soups and pies and I was just tickled with that! But for now I'd rather save the covered dishes for when I'm recovering (again). I never like to cook anyway, so I'm tempted to say "keep 'em coming!" but the truth is, most normal food I have to eat single-handedly and the fridge can only hold so many perishables. If you want to give my husband and daughter some comfort food, make them cupcakes. The casseroles are for me.

I don't mind everyone knowing what I'm facing. I don't mind being on prayer lists or whatever. Generally I'm not crazy about sharing all the gory details with people I don't know well, but hey, sometimes a wild disclosure mood strikes me and I will pour it all out to some poor soul! Sometimes I want to talk about it and sometimes I don't. I'd rather talk about my feelings than about my "decision". I appreciate people asking before they give me their opinions of what they would do. I haven't had any of the "horror stories" that apparently most people get bombarded with -- so thank you all for being positive. Thank you for following my lead in conversations. I really appreciate being asked "How are you doing today?" even if I don't feel like going into it at length.

I hope this helps :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


For all of you looking for an update, there isn't much of one from my appointment yesterday. I didn't learn enough to make a decision. I'm going to talk to other people, so my decision date depends on when I can get appointments. Don't worry, I'm not dragging my feet. But I need time to read and learn about this stuff since no one is exactly taking my hand and telling me the right answers. So, I'm not calling you with updates as much. I'm devoting my free time this week to researching and will give you an update at the end of the week. This doesn't mean I want you not to "bother" me, just that you won't get a lot of detail when we do talk! I'd rather talk about how I'm feeling than repeating all the facts I know.

Monday, February 04, 2008


This is E with the little boy "B" we babysat last week. It was taken at our house a couple days before that.

Thanks everyone for your calls, voicemails, emails, cards, and prayers. They really help! I found out I need more surgery and currently am weighing all my treatment options. I put all the cards you send up on my kitchen cabinets. Thank you to my aunt who sent mother-daughter matching scarves! I will call you, just haven't gotten around to it yet. I've been keeping myself very busy.