Thursday, May 31, 2012

Take your Doggie to work

Yesterday, I took Taylor to work with me.

Since I am a big ball of hormones these days, I have noticed that I am full of feelings.  In addition to getting sad at a lot of things, I have developed a HUGE attachment to Taylor.  I have always loved her.  But now I want her around all of the time.  Tuesday night she ran errands with me.  Wednesday, we went to work together.

She is such a well-behaved dog, that she really doesn't bother anyone in the office.  She watched people walk by and followed me around the office.  She sat in on our staff and admin meeting.  She was such a good girl that at lunch time, I took her to the park.


I was trying to burn off some calories in preparation for gorging myself at Buffalo Wild Wings that night.  Taylor was busy hunting for squirrels.



And we had a mini-photo shoot.  Senior photos, if you will.



Technically, she isn't wearing a leash for these pictures.  We were breaking the law.  Shh!!  Don't tell anyone.

I think she liked it.  (The park, not the photos.  She is a horrible model.  She did decide that while I was taking pictures of the park, it would be an excellent time to poop.  That dog has the smelliest crap.  I'm not sure what kind of ethnic food we have been feeding her but it needs to stop.)


She only barked at one client all day.  And it was kind of under her breath.

I want to take her to work with me every day.  We can make her the office mascot.  I will make her a vest with a pocket for a scale and a pencil.  She'll fit right in.

In case you were wondering, we walked 1.35 miles and my legs were worn out.  From walking.  Obviously, I am ready for a marathon.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Check Your Neck!

I feel like thyroid cancer is all around me.  Within the last 5 days, I have heard of 2 more women being diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  It scares me that people have to do through that, but I am also glad that they have found out they have it so they can get it OUT of their necks and beat the crap out of it.  Cause here's the thing... thyroid cancer is VERY treatable when it is caught early.  So you need to CHECK YOUR NECK!

The same way you can do self-breat examine, you can do a self-neck check.  I really wish I had taken some pictures of my neck before I had my first surgery.  My nodules were fairly small (just over a centimeter in greatest diameter) and they were visible.

Here's how you do a self-neck check:

1.  Stand in front of the mirror.
2.  Tilt your head slightly back so your neck is extended.
3.  Take a small drink of water and observe your lower neck while you swallow.

If you see a lump move when you swallow, go get it checked out.  95% of thyroid nodules are benign.  And if you are one of the lucky 5% who have thyroid cancer, welcome to the club.  The best resource for information about thyroid cancer that I have found is the Thyroid Cancer Survivors' Association.



It is really interesting to me how I am affected by hearing of other people being diagnosed.  I'm sure it is because it hasn't even been six months since my first surgery and official diagnosis.  Heck it has barely been six months since I had my biopsy.  I feel like I am reliving my experience all over again with them when they are diagnosed.  I just want to hug them and cry with them and let them know they will get through this.

And then we will bash faulty thyroid cells, curse the low iodine diet, discuss ways to pass time while in insolation, and profess our eternal love for Synthroid.  Good times.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bad Habits

I have this WONDERFUL habit of not doing laundry until the last possible second.  And the sad thing is, I have enough underwear to last A LONG time without doing laundry.  My husband does not.

It probably isn't the best wife idea to leave laundry until your husband starts begging you to wash his underwear before he starts turning them inside out.  Ok he didn't actually threaten to start wearing his underwear inside out.  But he did beg me to do laundry.

See... he's not allowed to do laundry.  He likes to dry things that shouldn't be dried.  Nobody's perfect. 

So yesterday, I did a million loads of laundry.  And folded them.  The miraculous part is that I also put them all away.

Phil checked to make sure I hadn't been abducted by aliens.

By the way, my lower back is super sore from loading and unloading the washing machine.  Just goes to show what excellent shape I am in.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, my family decorates the graves of some of our family members.  This year there were 19 of us. 

Most of my grandpa's family is all buried at the same graveyard and decorating their graves is something my grandma and aunts have done for YEARS.  My parents and I started doing it with them after my grandma died.

{My Aunt Teresas putting together 13 arrangements.}

My great great great grandmother came to the Unites States in the late 19th century from Russia.  I think it is really interesting to learn our family history, and a lot of it is located in the one cemetary.  One of my favorite parts of decorating the graves is explaining to people the funny stories about our family tree.  Let's just say, the branches may run a little parrellel, but they DO NOT CROSS! 

Ok I'll just explain... Three brothers from one family married three sisters from another family.  There were actually four sisters, so one had to marry into a different family.  I wonder if she felt left out or unique.

After we decorate the graves, my dad sets up his tripod and we take a family picture.  Some may think it is a little strange to take a family picture at a cemetary.  Yup... We are weird.  Then we go out for lunch.  This year I got to make our waitress feel SUPER awkward when she asked us if we were celebrating any birthdays and I explained we had been decorating graves.  Good times.

Not all of our family is buried in the same cemetary.  My great great great grandfather is buried in a Pioneer Cemetary located in a Vineyard called Cox Cemetary.  This time, we ran into one of the Cox decendants and she explained a bunch of the history of the cemetary.  We are the decendants of pioneers.  I knew my love of the Oregon Trail Game wasn't unfounded.

{Not a bad view}


{Old Pioneer graves}

 I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Some Advice Please!!

We are entering a VERY busy and potentially stressful few months here in the Janney Household.  The goal is for Phil to become a doctor by the end of summer term (which translates to the end of September/early October).  During this time, he needs to wrap up his research, run a bunch of complicated computer models, write a few papers and get them published, put together a dissertation, defend the dissertation and find a Big Boy job.
In the meantime, I am still working on getting my body back into balance and get these darn thyroid hormones figured out.
Phil has done such a WONDERFUL job of taking care of me through getting finishing graduate school (the beginning of our relationship), getting me through Lyme Disease, getting my engineering license, and thyroid cancer.  Now it is my turn to return the favor.
To the best of my ability, I want to make all other aspects of life disappear.  I don't want him to have to worry about laundry, food, dogs, cleaning, etc.  And I need this to happen while I am still a little ragged, very busy at work, and without feeling overwhelmed.
This is where the advice comes in.
Please please PLEASE send me any and all advice on how to easily be an awesome housewife who works (yeah that doesn't make sense, but you know what I mean).  This can include cleaning and laundry tips, easy recipes, organization techniques, whatever!  Anything that you think could make this easier on me, I will take it.
If nobody comments on this, I will assume everyone hates cleaning as much as I do.
Ready... GO!

More than just a Puppy

I realized on my way home last night that I was feeling like the girl in Mean Girls with all of the feelings.  You know which one:

{Image from HERE}

And that really is how I have been feeling.  I am the perfect combination of sad events and lots of hormones and it is DANGEROUS.  It's really only dangerous if you don't want to witness me bursting into tears over a commercial or my coworkers or the idea of the puppies dying or mentally disabled people (all of which have brought me close to tears in the last couple of days).

When Phil and I decided to get a puppy, it was supposed to be like a celebration.  We knew that we wouldn't be getting the dog until after I was done with all the thyroid cancer treatment stuff.  And since we wouldn't be able to move towards having a baby for at least a year, the puppy was kind of like a surrogate baby.

I waited impatiently to get through the second surgery and the recovery process, then through the low-iodine diet and hypothyroidism.  Through the radioactive iodine and the whole body scan.  Two days after we get the results of my scan, the puppies were born.  And a few days after they were born, we decided we would be getting Lincoln.

It felt like our luck was changing and that maybe the hard times were behind us.  We figured the pendulum was beginning to swing in the other direction, in our favor.  As I mentioned before, I was having a hard time accepting that things were actually starting to get better, but I was slowly coming to grips with the fact that maybe we were done with the sadness and entering into a new, Spring-full chapter.

Then the puppies died.

And it felt like the pendulum was still swinging in the wrong direction.  Maybe things weren't getting better, afterall and I was right to be hesitant to feel relieved.  Maybe I am cursed and destined to have all these hard trials.

That was a horrible feeling.

And then I got just really sad.  The dog wasn't just a dog, I had kind of made it a symbol for all the things that I want to move towards: being done with cancer, moving on with life, and having babies.  For how sad I was about the puppy dying, I started to worry about all of the loss and possible heartache that could await us when we do start trying to have a family:

-  IVF can be a super emotional and heartbreaking process.  We could end up spending thousands of dollars just to come out empty-handed.  And with a lot of heartbreak.
-  Or I could get pregnant and have a miscarriage. 
-  Or if we decide to move towards adoption, there is a whole new level of potential heartache there.  We could think we have a baby and have a birth mother change her mind.  Or it could take years to find a baby. 

Thinking about all of the potential loss and sadness that could be awaiting us just seems unbearable at the moment and it all came rushing to me Tuesday night.

But the only way to avoid heartache and loss is to never try for things.  Of course your expectations go up when you are trying to have a baby or, in this case, get a puppy.  Because for the most part, things work out the way they are supposed to.  When they don't, it is disappointing.  But not trying for things that you want in life is no way to live.  And I would hate to think that I am so afraid of loss and sadness that I become unable to live my life.

It is worth the risk of being disappointed.  And when things finally work out, I know the past disappointments will be more than worth it.

{Image from HERE}


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Emotions

As I mentioned before, I have had a big deadline at work that has kept me very busy this week.  I've been working like a mad-woman.  Getting to work at 7.  Leaving the office at 6.  Working as fast as possible.  And then taking my work home to work for another few hours.

Since I have felt exhausted for the last, oh, 6 months the fact that I have even been able to work this hard is nothing short of miraculous.

But I am tired.  And between my normal female hormones and messed up thyroid hormones, I am SUPER hormonal.  Add on top of that the puppies dying.  And the fact that yesterday I had another endocrinology appointment that caused a minor freak out (long story...).

I'm kind of an emotional mess.  Things that shouldn't make me sad make me feel like I could burst into tears.

Here's an example:

I have mentioned in the past that I share an office with an older man who tends to be a bit of a downer.  Last week, my computer crashed and I had to move to an open computer for a few days.  I moved into an area of the office where a lot of people work and a lot of stuff gets done.  I noticed my mood picked up, I was able to focus better, and I got WAY more work done.  Plus, I had learned a lot more about the project we have going and how my boss handles different projects and engineering problems.

It became apparent that it would be a good idea for me to change offices.  And the idea of getting away from my own personal Eeyore was appealing.  So I moved.

Every day since I changed desks, my old office mate has stopped by and asked how my new desk is working out.  I think he misses me.  Now I'm worried that he is lonely.  And the idea of him being literally almost made me lose it.  We are talking waterfalls.  Even thinking about it now kind of makes me tear up.

What is wrong with me?!?!

Ugh stupid hormones!

I really don't know how Phil deals with me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

RIP Lincoln

Yesterday, we found out that Lincoln had died on Monday.  Not just Lincoln, the entire litter died.

{Bye Bye Lincoln.  You were a very cute pup.}

To say that we are sad is kind of an understatement. Phil called me yesterday morning while I was at work and it was all I could do all day to not burst into tears. I think I may have some misdirected emotions toward the puppy. More on that later.

The breeder isn't quite sure what happened. She is having the puppies all looked at to figure out for sure what why they died. She is the sweetest lady. Phil said she was crying as she talked to him on the phone.

A friend of the breeder has offered some puppies from a litter she has (a week younger than Lincoln's litter) to those of us who had the deceased puppies.  So we are still getting a puppy.  Phil and I are so grateful that she is so grateful.  We don't know much about those puppies yet.  Our breeder will get in touch with us in a couple of days (she is a little preoccupied right now) with the details. 

Hopefully our breeder and the puppies' mom will be able to get some rest (the mom was so upset about not being let back into the "puppy room" that they had to give her doggy valium).  I can't imagine how much it would suck to watch 4 puppies die.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dedicated

Today was quite the day.  I'll get into details more tomorrow, but right now I just need to keep my head down and keep working away.  After working 11 hours already today, I will be putting in another 2 or 3 hours tonight.  The same thing happened yesterday.  Try to hide your envy.

I didn't realize how intense I am about my calculations until this morning.  I got to work and realized that my body was sore.  And not in locations that make sense for sitting in a chair, hunched over my desk.

My quads were sore.

I guess when I design things, I get my whole body into it.  I had no idea I was so FULLY committed to my job.



Now I am off to eat THESE.  I (or Phil) made them again.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Manic Monday

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!  I did.  However, my Sunday was spent working.  Parked on the loveseat, with papers and my wood manual.  I have so many calculations to do in the next couple of days that I really shouldn't even be allowed breaks to eat or go the bathroom.  But you have to do what you have to do.

The breeder put another picture of Lincoln up yesterday.

{Too much milk.  I look like this after Olive Garden.}

I honestly don't think he could be any cuter.

Taylor was of course jealous of Lincoln's pose, so she attempted her own.

{On my side of the bed.}

But Taylor's picture ended up looking like a dog boudoir photo, which I am really uncomfortable with.  At least she is wearing her scarf.  She' not indecent.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My furbaby

As you are aware, we have been trying to get another dog for a few months now.  The last litter was born a couple of weeks ago and all we needed was 2 girls to be born, and we would have our puppy.  One girl was born and we were pretty bummed.  We would have to wait another month to see if we would get a dog.

Or so we thought...

Early last week, the breeder called and offered us the last puppy from that litter.  A little boy.  We originally had wanted another girl for a couple of reasons.  First, we were afraid the dog would pee everywhere.  Second, we didn't want the new dog to try and get romantic with Taylor, if you catch my drift.  She's not into that.  And we are certainly not wanting to see that.

After some discussion with the breeder about our concerns and our hopes for this dog (that he will be bonded to me since Taylor could honestly care less about me when Phil is around), we decided to take the puppy.  The breeder says girl puppies usually bond to men better than woman so a girl dog might not be the best fit for us.  In the words of the breeder's husband, "They don't call them bitches for nothing!"

So here he is:

{Photo via the breeder's facebook page}

We had a name all picked out if it was a girl: Penny (from the William Butler Yeats peom "Brown Penny").  But now we had to figure out what to name a boy dog.  My brother, Nick, suggested Lincoln since Lincoln is on the penny (such a funny guy).


{He's got a name and a tag waiting for him.  Isn't that the cutest collar?}

And the breeder thought it was a cute name and accepted it.  We should have named him "Tim Riggins".

The CUTEST video can be found HERE.  Lincoln is the one in front that falls over.  I've watched it approximately 47 times.  We only check this hourly to see if she has added new pictures.

{Lincoln's tag, collar, and dragon}

We are so excited and can't wait to bring him home in 34 days!  Not that we are counting or anything.

Taylor's excited too.  She just doesn't know it yet.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

TP Problems

The other day, I went into the Ladies' Room to do my lady business.  Without going into too much detail (since this is a post about the bathroom and I don't want to give everyone a mental image here), when I was finished with my business, I looked over to the toilet paper roll and saw this:




There are 2 sheets of single-ply TP on there.

Really ladies???

2 sheets... you can't do ANYTHING with 2 sheets.  You can't even effectively wipe your nose with 2 sheets.

Usually when the roll gets low, someone will put a new roll next to the potty so it is ready when needed.  There was no extra roll this time.  Some lady really dropped the ball here.  Did I mention that there are 4 women in my office?  So it is pretty easy to figure out who the culprit is.

You know life is REAL interesting when you are posting about toilet paper.  Beats cancer posts.  :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A DVD Player, A Bicycle, and Phil

I was driving home yesterday and Gotye's "Somebody that I used to know" was on the radio.  Some horrible song was on after it, so I switched to another station.  Of course "Somebody that I used to know" was playing on that station as well.  So I plugged in my iPhone and began listening to that instead.  The next song that popped up was the Glee version of "Sombbody that I used to know" (which I prefer to the original actually).



This song always make me think of the biggest and worst break-up I ever had.  It also happened to be the best and worst relationship I have been in (my marriage is by far just the best relationship ever).

The relationship was with the TA for my Vector Calculus class. We dated for just over 2 years in total, during which time I think he broke up with me about 17 times.  Each time he said he wanted to see what his options were (such a sweetheart) and each time I wanted him to come back.  One of the things I am most embarrassed about is that I didn't have any confidence to kick him to the curb the FIRST time he said that to me.  He treated me like garbage.  I was so heartbroken/embarrassed about this relationship that I spent a year on the other side of the world just to make sure I was as far away from him as possible.

Anyway, the part of the song that does not remind me of this relationship is the part that says "have your friends collect your records..."

Here's how you know the break-up is bad:  neither one of you bothers to collect your stuff from the other person.  By the time our relationship was over, we were both so ready to be done with each other that we both agreed the other person could just keep whatever we had left at the other's house.  I think he got a pillow of mine and a pillowcase.

I, however, made out like a bandit.  He gave me a DVD player and a bicycle.

Overall, that relationship had a HUGE effect on me as a person.  He helped me gain some independence, travel, and helped me transition to living on my own.  It is also because of that relationship that I decided to go to England and get a Master's degree.  If it weren't for that, I wouldn't have met so many of my close friends and definitely would not have met Phil.  He also helped me determine exactly what I wanted in a man and how I wanted to be treated.  Those criteria helped me see what an amazing catch Phil was and he was definitely the guy I wanted.  All the heartache was most definitely worth it to get Phil.

Plus I got that DVD player and bicycle.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Make THIS tonight!

My sister-in-law gave me a recipe this weekend she said we just had to try.  So we did.  And it was SO GOOD!!  So I think you should try it too.  They may not sound or look all that appealing (hence why there are no pictures), but BELIEVE ME they are good.  My SIL says her little boys even love it.


Creamy Chicken Burritos

Ingredients:
1 package of thin-sliced chicken breasts
1 large jar of Pace Chunky salsa
1 package of cream cheese (my sister-in-law says the low-fat kind isn't good)

Put all the chicken and the entire jar of salsa in the crock pot and cook all day.

30 minutes before you want to eat, stir.  The chicken will shred as you stir it.  And then stir in the cream cheese.

Serve on warmed tortillas.

And then write me an e-mail and thank me for the wonderful recipe.  :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Feeling better?

It's been 2.5 weeks since I got back on my beloved thyroid medicine.  I get to have another wonderful phlebotomy experience on Wednesday.  I am just SUPER excited about it.  I will be specifically asking for Tonya this time around.

Anyway... I know I am feeling better these days.  But I think people assumed that the second I got back to taking the thyroid medicine, I would be feeling normal again (who knows what normal feels like since I am now missing a very important gland).  So I started thinking about whether or not I was actually feeling better and came up with the following lists.

Feeling Better
- Worked out 3 times last week.  An hour a piece.  I'm not sure how long it has been since I have done this.  Easily, it has been 6 months.  I am OUT OF SHAPE.  Who knew walking could be so difficult?
- I can safely yawn again without my entire body cramping up.  In fact, I haven't had a muscle cramp in about a week and a half.
- I made dinner.  Like a couple of times.
- Cleaned the bathtub.  It was disgusting.  Let's not talk about it, you'll think I'm gross.
- I actually want to do things.  Crafts, cleaning, projects, work...  It's weird.

Not Better
- Waking up is still REALLY hard.  And getting ready feels like torture.
- My ability to focus is non-existant.  I had a really hard time putting some reports together this morning, as in figuring how to photocopy stuff was more of a challenge that ever before.  Pretty sure my 86-year-old grandmother would have had an easier time doing it (Hi Grandma!!).
- Yesterday, I was ready for bed at 5:30.  Newborns stay up later than that.
- I am SUPER grumpy.  Mother's Day was offensive to me.  My brothers are taking turns being mean to me.  Everybody hates me.  Nobody can drive correctly.  People whine about their "problems" and they aren't real problems.  You catch my drift.  I wrote this seriously snarky blog post last week and never published it because I didn't want to offend anybody.  I probably shouldn't be allowed around people right now.

Good news!!  It will only take like 4 or 6 months to get this all figured out!  Smiley-face.

It's better than having to prepare for another radioactive iodine treatment though so I will take it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

TGIF

Thursday was a LONG day.  I had to get up at the crack of dawn for work (seriously didn't know I want capable of getting up at 5:30 in the morning), worked a full day (which included realizing once again what a jerk my brother can be), and then a workout with Anna.  It was a good day, but long.  Today I have a million things to do, and the energy to do none of them.

So I don't really have a lot to say.  I am thankful it is Friday and that we have some fun activites planned for our weekend.  I figured I would leave you with this song.  I was introduced to it by Cait and we (Phil and I) are fans.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A New Season

I have a lot of feelings these days and a really hard time expressing them.  I wrote 5 blog posts this weekend and I don't like any of them.  They don't really have a clear purpose or message.  Probably because I can't get my own thoughts figured out.  I'd hate to spend the entire week with posts that don't really make sense or bombard you all with all these emotions I am having.  You probably don't want to hear about them and it feels really personal.  For the first time in a long time I am struggling with how much to share.

I was attempting to explain to Phil how I felt this weekend and he said, "At some point you are going to have to accept that you don't have cancer anymore."  Once he said that, I started kind of tearing up.  So many months of worrying like crazy and it was basically over.  I can't seem to wrap my mind around it.  I'm excited and exhausted and grateful and overwhelmed all at the same time.

Literally right when I got my results, the weather around here changed. We hadn't seen spring in Oregon for more than a day at a time. Ever since last Wednesday, there's been sunshine almost every day. There has actually been a change in the seasons around here. Winter is gone and a new, sunnier Spring has arrived. I find it hard to ignore the timing of it all.

I am cautiously optimistic for what this new season brings. Mainly I am cautious because after months of worrying, it feels strange to put cancer behind me. But it needs to happen and it is time. I just don't know how life sans thyroid will be like yet. I probably need to wait until my hormones are normal to figure it out for sure.

Mainly I wanted to apologize for my lack of response and boring blog posts. This morning I realized that I hadn't responded to any comments you guys left last week, which was pretty bratty of me.  I am very sorry.  So if you got an e-mail from me this morning about a comment you left me last week, now you know why.  :)

I am off to design some buildings and size some water quality facilities.  No big deal.  And to figure out what to do with this sunshine.  I will leave you with proof o the lovely weather we have been having.

{This morning I went to a site to auger some holes and look at the moisture of the soil.  I know you are SO JEALOUS of my job.  There happened to be this old chimney onsite.}

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Really Walgreens?

As I'm sure you are painfully aware, I am just recently back on my thyroid medicine after 5 (horrible) weeks becoming super hypothyroid.  A fate I wouldn't wish on my enemy. 

The night before I was to start taking them, I lovingly opened the bags and may or may not have sang songs of joy to my husband about them.  That is... until I noticed there weren't many pills in the container.  Then I read the instructions:

"Take 1 pill daily, alternating with 175 mcg every other day"

I didn't have any 175 mcg pills.  And I only have 15 pills to last a month.  This meant I was going to run out in 2 weeks and not be able to refill them for a month.  I got a mild panic attack.



2 visits to the pharmacy later and the prescription got fixed.  The endo had sent in a new prescription for 30 days of the correct dose.  All's good.

Except insurance wouldn't fill it because, according to them, I didn't need any more pills for 2 more weeks.  (Side Note:  Why is my health insurance questioning the advice of my doctor?) I made several calls to Walgreen's.  They managed to not fix the problem and I was getting dangerously low on pills.

At this point, I began to feel like a drug addict.  And I was seriously questioning my insurance and Walgreen's.  Why wouldn't they fill this dang prescription?  Were they afraid I was going to sell them?  After over a month of hypothyroidism, those pills were like gold to me.  Does Synthroid go for a lot of money on the black market?  Not that it matters because ain't NO ONE getting mine!

Yesterday I called in the morning.  The tech said they would call my insurance and get it figured out.  Later that evening, I went to pick the meds up and they weren't ready.  Apparently they still needed to call my insurance.  They proceeded to call at 6:30 in the evening and then inform me that no one was available to talk to him because they were closed.  Duh.  That's why I called in the morning!!

I finally got my prescription.  And it's a good thing since I was about to start cutting people if I didn't have them in time.  Not really.  Maybe.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The rest of 2012 (and some 2013)

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, my goal for 2012 was to kick cancer's ass.

Thanks to the wonderful news I got on Wednesday, I am definitely doing what I need to to achieve that goal.  There are still a few steps on the process to truly kicking thyroid cancer to the curb (mainly finding the right medicine to keep my TSH nice and low).  I'll never be fully done with thyroid cancer.  But once my thyroid levels get back to normal, I should be feeling up to getting back to a normal life.

Huh... gotta think real hard about what life was life before we were looking into fertility clinics and found those dang lumps in my neck.  Ok so life will never be like THAT again.  But we will figure out a new normal and forge ahead.

For the last couple of months, I have been keeping kind of a mental list of the things I wanted to do once we got this cancer business behind us.  It is still sinking in that the hard part is behind us.  That is a different post for a different time.

Here's what we have planned for rest of 2012 (and the beginning of 2013):

- Europe!!  Our good friend, Ryan, recently moved to The Netherlands for a couple of years.  Sounds like a good excuse to go to Europe to me!!  Our grad school friends are all planning on going over there for like 2 weeks to see Ryan and do some travelling.  I am so excited about this trip!  So far, we are thinking Ireland, The Netherlands, and Spain. 

- Work on my photography skills.  Since we are going to Europe and all.  I want some kick ass pictures this time.  Not like the point and shoot ones I took when I lived there.

- Run again.  I signed up for The Color Run on Team Smuppies with Jes.  She says she isn't a crazy marathoner and she'd better not be lying since I haven't done much in the way of physical activity in the last 6 months.  Hopefully when we actually meet each other in real life, Jes and I actually like each other.  If not, this could be an awkward 3.1 miles.  I also kind of want to do the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon (mostly because I want to go to Disney World) but I don't think that will happen.

- Visit Karla again.  I miss that girl.  She must have g-chatted with me every day while I was waiting for my scan results.  It was a wonderful distraction.  And since I haven't gotten to see her since her wedding, it has been too long.

- Learn Spanish.  Preferably before we go to Spain.

- Visit Phil's college roommates again.  Those guys are stinkin' awesome.  Seriously.  I am secretly hoping I can convince all of them to move to Oregon.  I'm thinking Oregon girls are the best chance for this.  Too bad ALL of my friends are married.

- Find my inner domestic goddess again.  Remember when I used to cook and clean?  Back in the day when my husband didn't have to do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING for me?  Yeah... those days did exist.  I would like for them to exist again.  So would my husband.
 
- Become Mrs. Dr. Janney.  Techinically it would be Dr. and Mrs. Janney.  But whatever.  We are SO CLOSE to Phil being done with grad school.  As if the last 6 months weren't hard enough dealing with cancer, we have about 4 more months and then Phil should be done with grad school and be a full blown Toxicologist.  Yay!

I think we are due for some fun adventures and I am really excited because I really feel like there are some good times ahead of us.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Hello there Gym... It's been a while

Something unexpected happened yesterday afternoon.  After months of absense, countless hours of sitting and resting, and endless minutes of feeling like a blob...

I went to the gym.

In an effort to loosen my very stiff, still tense back muscles I went to yoga.

It was weird.  And hard.  I'm super weak.  The mirrors in the exercise room were very unforgiving.  I feel like my fitness level is back where it was in 2009, which is pretty depressing.

Phil keeps telling me to cut myself some slack.  I have a good excuse.  And he's probably right.

But I need to get back in shape.  Especially since I signed up for the Color Run with Jes and Team Smuppies.


Jes says she isn't much of a runner, but I not much of a mover these days.  Not sure if I could even crawl 3 miles (ok slight exaggeration).

Remember how I used to run half-marathons?

Oh man... I am currently working on lowering my expectations and figuring out a plan for getting back into shape without killing myself.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Almost 2nd Anniversary


{photo courtesy of Miller Photography}

I realized this morning that our 2nd wedding anniversary is only a month away.  This means I need to get crackin' on my gift.

Last year, I did awesome with a gift for Phil.  1st anniversary gift is supposed to be paper.  I got him concert tickets.  I was pretty proud of myself for that one.

Since we are trying to get a puppy and pay for all my medical bills, we decided we weren't going to spend much on our anniversary gifts for each other.  Like $50 max.  And in case you were wondering, the traditional anniversary gift for the 2nd year is cotton.  The modern gift is china.

I am going to make an executive decision and say that china is out.  Tell me that wasn't created for a woman trying to complete her wedding china set.  I don't think Phil would be all that excited for another place setting.

That leaves cotton.  For some reason, my mind keeps going to undershirts and underwear.  What a romantic gift... underwear.

He's a lucky man.  I'd better keep brain-storming.  I'll take suggestions.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Puppy Perspective

A combination of stress and still being hypothyroid are taking a toll on my body.  I had a tension headache for 5 days while I was waiting for my test results.  And even after getting the good results, my body still hasn't been able to relax.  I think I may actually be getting a cold or something now from being so stressed.

I woke up yesterday morning and my entire body hurt.  Neck, back, joints all hurt like crazy.  I finally got out of bed after I got on facebook and saw that the litter we are on the list for a puppy from was being born. 

YAY!

We were 2nd on the list for girl puppies.  All we needed was 2 girl puppies in the litter.  An ultrasound had been done showing there were 5 puppies in there so the odds were definitely in our favor.  There had to be at least 2 girls in there, right?

I checked and checked and checked facebook all day.  There were no updates.  Finally the breeder called us last night:

4 puppies were born. 3 boys.  1 girl.  No puppy for us.

We are sad, but not too sad.  The breeder has another litter due in about 3 or 4 weeks.  The owner of the sire has dibs on the first girl from that litter, so again we are hoping for at least 2 girls.  If that litter doesn't work out, she has another one due a month after that.  By the end of the summer, we should have a puppy.

Phil and I have decided we aren't really be too disappointed about this though.  Afterall, I did find out my cancer hadn't spread this week.  :)

Overall, we will still count this week as a win.  It's all about perspective, people.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Scan Results

There's a long and annoying story about how I got my scan results.  Let's just say it involved me going to the doctor's office at the end of the day and standing there until I got my results.

It worked.  I got to see my doctor. 

I walked into the exam room and she said:

"Good news!  No metastatic disease!"

YAY!!

The doctor was sick Monday and Tuesday morning (of course).  I had called this morning and the nurse said he would call me this afternoon.  Then he didn't.  I had had a tension headache for like 5 days and was about ready to blow, I was so tense from waiting.

Thankfully, the nurses and staff at the endo's office are nice and very understanding.  They even said I was one of their favorite annoying patients.  Don't worry they said it in a nice way.

They were all pretty happy for me that the scan results were good.  We had a nice moment.  One that would have been missed had they just called me back.

The good news hasn't really sunk in for me yet and I'm not sure why.  I think I am having a hard time accepting good news these days.  It will hit me eventually.  Next steps will include getting my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels nice and suppressed (around 0.5).  In 6 months I will have a ultrasound and thyroglubin levels checked.  And another scan done next year.

In the meantime, I would like to thank all of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers.  They were definitely answered and I am very grateful for all of them and all of you.  Whenever you hear the word "cancer" one of the first thoughts that crosses your mind is whether or not it has spread.  This is the part I was the most scared about (which is hard to believe because I was pretty freaked out by the first surgery).  I'm not sure how I would have gotten through everything if it weren't for my family, real-life friends, and my blog friends.  :)

Ok... it is really starting to sink in now.  Kind of want to cry now.

{image found HERE}

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I can follow a recipe...

Saturday I mentioned that I wanted to make THIS recipe.  Well, while Phil was gone Sunday I went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients.  That was a step in the right direction.

Once Phil got home, we both realized we were starving.  So I decided I would muster up the energy to get in the kitchen and actually cook dinner.  I'm pretty sure the heaven's parted just then as this was nothing short of a miracle.

I got half way through assembling the dish when I realized:

1) I had bought the wrong kind of parmesean cheese (shredded not grated).  Not a big deal.

2) I wasn't supposed to add the 3 cups of mozzerella to the ricotta mix.  Turns out I wasn't supposed to add any of it.  I ended up using 4 cups of cheese instead of 3.

3) The dish had to bake for over an hour.  I needed to be eating in about 7 minutes.


I was feeling pretty spectacular about my ability to read a simple recipe.  I finished putting the casserole together and then put it in the fridge.  We had a frozen pizza Sunday night and ate the dish Monday night.  It was good.  Cheesy, but good.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Case of the Mondays

I tried calling the doctor's office to see if I could find out the results of my scan.  The doctor was out sick today (of course) so there was no news regarding the scan.

I was pissed.

The day was made even better when I found a metal wire in my lunch (care of the brush we use to clean the grill).  Then I came home and Taylor was all kinds of needy.  After I got her to leave me alone for 5 seconds, I got to spend the next 2 hours listening to her hack up part of her crate blanket that she spent all day eating.  It really is wonderful to hear/watch her hack things up into her mouth and then have her eat it again.

Yum.

In an effort to cheer me up and distract me, Phil asked me to help him with his data analysis reports.  He had two reams of print-outs that needed to be stapled together.  Each report was 3 pages, so every 3 pages needed to be stapled  together.

{2 reams of paper stapled together.  The glorious life of a graduate's wife.}

I was happy to help and save Phil 2 hours.  At work, this isn't the type of task I would usually do (since it isn't the best use of my time).  But considering the fact that Phil will eventually be a doctor (of philosphy), I will be the least qualified person in our house (with just the master's degree and the engineering license).

Add my stapling experience to the fact that Sunday I bought Phil 12 pairs of the Nike socks he likes, and I gained some MAJOR wife points.
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