Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Wild and Crazy Saturday Night

After a full day of cleaning Saturday, Phil and I went to Ikea with my parents.  We weren't exactly there for anything in particular.  Maybe a table lamp.  Possibly a fleece blanket for Taylor.  So what did we end up getting?

A dresser.

Like a full on 8 drawer dresser.  Cause that's how we roll.  Nice little impulse purchase.

I'd been thinking about rearranging our bedroom for a while.  I LOVE to rearrange furniture and our room had been the same for about 2 years.  It was time.  Plus I had REALLY been wanting this dresser.  And is was 20% off.  Definitely a sign from the Swedish furniture Gods we needed to make this purchase.

So we got home at about 9:30 at night and somehow I convinced Phil that it was the appropriate time to move furniture.  An hour and a half later, after discovering that Phil and I don't communicate well when we are tired (he just didn't see my vision plus he didn't understand my very logical logic of not want the bed to face the door or the closet), the furniture was in its new location and we have vacummed up all the nasty hair and dust that had collected behind the furniture.  It almost could have filled up an entire vacuum bag.  Ok maybe there wasn't THAT much, but it was still nasty.

So what do you do at 11 on a Saturday night?  Try to navigate Swedish diargrams and construct a dresser of course!!

Past experience has shown that Phil and I don't do assembly projects together very well.  The engineer in me comes out and I like to take over.  So Phil put together the actual dresser part while I did the drawers.  We finished at about the same time, around 1 in the morning.  Since the room was almost entirely done, we decided to clean up the room even more!  Obviously.


{The new dresser.  The Windex isn't a permanent fixture. 
Although after seeing how dusty things were when we moved them, maybe it should be.}

{Cotton's new pen locale.  He says hello.}

By the time we went to bed, it was 2 in the morning.  But we had conquered the dresser diagram and really only had one argument.  We will call it a success.

Monday, July 30, 2012

If you love yourself at all...

We had an amazing weekend.  Not amazing in a "we climbed mountains" kind of way.  More amazing in a "look how much we did" kind of way.

But since I was an HOUR late for work today (who does that?), I'll keep today's post brief.  Plus I have the Olympic streaming live to my work computer.  #employeeoftheyear

Let me just say... if you love yourself and the people in your life AT ALL, you will make this:


Peach cobbler.  Made with fresh peaches.  And Tillamook Ice Cream.  This is just part of the reason it rocks to live in the Pacific Northwest.  We have bomb peaches.  And Tillamook Ice Cream.

Seriously.

I think this cobbler could stop wars, it is that good.  Phil was too busy eating it to tell me how good it was.

You can find the recipe HERE.  Here's my little hint: double the amount of peaches.

Now I'm no chef, but I am fairly confident that this recipe could be converted to gluten-free (using a different flour blend), made lactose free/vegan (use shortening instead of butter), or low-iodine (since I'm sensetive to that kind of thing) by using the no soy shortening.  And I like to think I made it low-cal but using more fruit and thus making the serving sizes smaller.

Go.  Go make it.  You won't be sorry.  I promise.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Hard To Get





Cotton is basically a toddler.
When you get a puppy, you don't get them during their baby stage.  We got him at 7 weeks old and alread he was done with his cuddly phase.
Of course I think he is so stinkin' cute that I just want to cuddle with him all day.  But he doesn't want to.
Even though I have comforted him, fed him, taken him outside to pee, and slept with him more than Phil, he still tries to cuddle up Phil first.  Every few days you may or may not hear me yell, "If you won't cuddle with me, you are going in your pen!!  Little bastard."  Just kidding, he isn't a little bastard.
Phil let me in on a little secret... he ignores Cotton.  Then Cotton is constantly trying to get his attention.
And it dawned on me... it's the same way with my nephews and Braxton.  Further pondering made me realize that I was never really good at playing hard to get back in my dating years either.  But we won't go into that.  Thankfully with Phil, I didn't have to play any games.
But I digress.
I love them all so much, I just want to hang out with them and hug and kiss them and play with them.  But they don't really want much to do with me.  Sure they like having me around, but they'd all rather sit on Phil's lap than mine.
Hello!?!?!  Who came to see you when you were born in the hospital?!?!  Phil wasn't even around them.
Geez.  Where's the loyalty.
But it terms out that men are all the same.  Doesn't matter if they are toddlers, little kids, grown men or dogs  Gotta play hard to get.
I'm screwed.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Proof I'm going CRAZY

I think stress may be getting the best of me.  I'm starting to react in very strange ways.  Let me know what you think.

-  Yesterday while driving home, I began talking to "traffic".  As if "traffic" were an actual person, in my car that could hear me.  "Oh traffic, that wasn't nearly as bad as I thought you would be."

-  My new favorite thing to do with Cotton is to make him dance while singing old rap songs and/or making up my own songs.  I'd film it and share it with you, but I tend to do this with a (even more) high pitched voice and I really don't want to be on Rob Dyrdek's new show.

-  Phil and I got into a "fake fight" last night.  We have those every once in a while.  Where we kind of yell stupid, non-fight things to each other in an angry voice and then break into laughter.  It's a lot like this commercial:


This is because we hardly ever fight.  The highlight of last night's fake fight was when I told Phil I would "poke him with his own foot."  He then looked at me like I was nuts so I said, "If I can get your foot to poke you, then I will do it and you can't stop me."  I'm an adult.

I may need a vacation.  Probably.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's a glamorous job

In case you didn't know, I'm an engineer.  I'm legally obligated to specify that I am only a licensed engineer in the state of Oregon.  There... that's out of the way.

No I do not drive a train.  I design crap.

And it is just as glamorous as it seems.

So far this week, I have checked a truss design, figured out how long it will take me to design a retaining wall, written a memo, and evaluated concrete mix designs.  And it's only Wednesday.

I know what you are saying... "Wow.  I wish I had your job."

I know.  You're super envious.  Try to calm down.

I also get the privilege of working with almost all men.  And they are all way older than me.  That means I often get mistaken for a receptionist or note-taker.  I do take notes during meeting, but only for me.  Not for the other men who are too lazy to write stuff down.

And because I am a woman, nobody makes eye contact with me during these meeting where they want me to take notes.  Whenever one of them does actually look at me, I suddenly become extremely self-conscious.  Is there something in my teeth?  Do I have lipstick on my forehead?  Or was what I just said so absolutely stupid that they couldn't help themselves from looking at me?

But having this job has illustrated to me that I am good at several things:

-  Staying awake despite hours and hours of calculations.
-  Keeping my cool during meetings when I make a suggestion and no one acknowledges it and then five minutes later when a man repeats my suggestion and everyone rants and raves about what a great idea it is.
-  Drinking coffee.

Drinking coffee is almost like a sport for most engineers.  Gotta keep the mind sharp and alert.  You don't want a sleepy engineer.

So back to work I go!  I need to finish that memo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A New Park

We found a new park.


One where I'm less likely to be molested.


And my puppy isn't likely to be choked by strangers.


Where we all can run around in circles like idiots.


And since it isn't an off-leash park, Cotton has been given the important task of making sure his big sister is still on her leash. 


We figure he doesn't need to be on a leash.  He's a puppy.  What are they afraid he will do?  Cute someone to death? 


Possible.  But the leash won't help with that.

And last night, we had two very tired pups.  Which means we got to go to bed NICE AND EARLY.  Mission accomplished.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Monday

Well... the weekend is over.

It was a great weekend.  Saturday, I got to spend pretty much the whole day with girlfriends.  It was an awesome day of girl talk and hanging out that was completely and totally needed.  Sunday was definitely a day of rest.  We slept in, lazed around, and cuddled.

The fact that it was such a wonderful weekend makes it all the more sad that it is over.

Last week was hard.  Actually the last month has been really hard.  Numerous doctor appointments, tests, my first bloodwork post radioactive iodine, my first neck ultrasound for my cancer monitoring, plus a million and a half pregnancy annoucements.

I've had a lot of feelings and a TON of realizations.  And I'm just feeling a little stuck at the moment.  I'm not totally sure how much I should or want to share with people.  I have made a real effort on this blog to be open and honest about how I have felt during all my experiences.  Lately I have been feeling the need to hold back a little.  Kind of hunker down, put my head in the sand, and just make it through the next 9-12 months. 

I have spent so much time trying to get through the thyroid cancer stuff and put it behind us so that we could deal with what started this whole thing: having a baby.  The other day I realized that I had never really dealt with the feelings that come infertility itself. 

And we have had one huge thing happen after another pretty much since we got married.  Cancer is kind of a big deal.  And Phil finishing his doctorate degree is a big deal.  And infertility is a big deal. 

On the one hand, I am super annoyed that we have to spend this time waiting until I am cleared for the fertility stuff.  But on the other hand, I am a little grateful.  This time is letting me get mentally and physically prepared for the next big thing.

So that is kind of where my head is at this Monday morning.  That and thinking about these guys:


They are starting to like each other a little more.  Just a little.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Too Much Cuteness

 




Eventually



For our first anniversary, Phil had a necklace made for me by Fig Jewelry.  It has our wedding date on it and the jewel circle.  He pick the circle because it matches the wedding bands I have.  I loved it!  It is my favorite piece of jewelry (besides my wedding rings) and I wear it most days.

After my first surgery, I bought a longer chain for it.  I haven't liked having things around my neck and the longer chain is the perfect length.

Last week, I decided I wanted another charm from Fig, this time as a reminder that even though we are having some challenges and road blocks  in creating our family, it will happen.

Eventually.

{I had the other charm added behind the one Phil got me.}

{The back of the new charm.}

I love it!  Now when ANOTHER person announces they are pregnant, or publishes another blog post with pregnancy updates, or posts more pictures of their cute sweet baby, I can grab my charm and remember that it will happen for us too someday.  I just need to be patient.  Don't get me wrong, I am SO HAPPY for those having babies.  But it is a bit of a challenge to not feel sad at the same time too.


Fig does other custom necklaces, with charms and a variety of chains.  I got one for Joanna on Braxton's first birthday.  Joanna got one for her mother-in-law with the grandkids each on their own charm.  And two of my coworkers have bought their wives charms with their kids' names on them.

If you are in the market for a custom necklace, check out Fig and give Laura a call.  She has a workshop you can visit or she will work with you over the phone or e-mail.  Both of these charms were designed with just a consultation over the phone.  Laura is THAT good.

*This was NOT a paid sponsorship.  Although I wish it was.  If Laura ever wants to give me a charm, I am totally into it.  :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Adventures at the Dog Park (Part 2)

Part 1 was yesterday.  And you all seemed quite appalled at the woman that tried to teach my puppy how to be bulimic.  Only one person commented on how weird it was that I almost got violated at the dog park.  There's a lesson to be learned here:

Choking small cute animals is significantly worse than trying to touch a woman's breast.

However, I don't think that would be a good defense for possibly groping someone in the park.  "Officer, it really wasn't that big of a deal.  At least I didn't choke a kitten."


Anyway... the day after  Part 1 occurred, we went back to the dog park.  Before we got out of the car, we did check to make sure the meth addicts people from the day before weren't there.  They weren't, so we were good to go.


Taylor runs around, playing fetch with tennis ball and Phil while Cotton and I run around (yes Cotton AND I), having a good time.  All of a sudden, two grey pitbulls ran very enthusiastically in our direction, their owner is no where to be found.  The first thing they do is take a big dump right in front of us.  The owner makes no attempt to come pick it up.

That should have been the first clue.

Then one of the pitbulls takes Taylor's ball from her and proceeds to run around, almost taunting her with it.

We scooped up Cotton and lured Taylor away so we could get some distance between us and these dogs.  so we walked away and did more running and chasing, trying out best to make sure Witching Hour is as short as possible.  Taylor runs off towards the water bowl, which happens to be next to the picnic table that everyone is sitting on.

We decided to follow her over there, while I carried Cotton and then we would be going home.  We walked over to towards Taylor and one of the pitbulls charges up to me and starts jumping on me.  Now, my arms are full, so all I have to get the dog away from me are my legs.

Have you ever had a large pitbull charge up to you and jump on you?  It's not exactly a comforting thing.

So I started using my legs to push the dog off of me.

Now the owner perks up.

"NO!!  You have push her off with your hands!" she says to me as she jumps to her feet and comes over to me.  Her dog is still jumping up on me.

"Well my hands are kind of full right now... with my dog," I replied. 

What I should have said was, "Thanks for picking up your dogs $hit."  Or "How about you supervise your damn dogs."  Or maybe "Why don't you keep your dogs from jumping on other people instead of making strangers train your dumb dog."  Although apparently, dog park people do think they should train each other's dogs.  Hence why the people the day before tried to teach my puppy to not bite by choking him.  But I didn't.

After her dog jumped on me a few more times, we decided it was time to go.



I think it is time to find another dog park.  Until then, we have taken to running around the living room to wear Cotton out.  You want a good mental image?  That would be me, running around my living and dining room, maneuvering around my coffee table and dining table while saying, "Come get Momma!" over and over again.

No I will not film that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Adventures at the Dog Park (Part 1)


We've had quite a few adventures at the dog park lately.  It's a great way to get Taylor some exercise and social time with dogs that don't just bite her and get Cotton to run around and wear him out (which shortens the witchy hour significantly).

Saturday night, we got to the park and Taylor ran off to play with the other dogs.  I decided to hold on to Cotton until we got away from the other dogs.  That didn't stop people from coming up to meet and pet Cotton.  One of those people was a man in his 40's that looked like maybe he was coming off of a meth binge.  He proceeded to pet Cotton while I was holding him.

Now, that wouldn't normally be a problem, except that in order to pet Cotton, the meth head man was coming dangerously close to petting my boobs.  And that's not exactly something I go to the dog park for.  I actually don't ever want a meth head stranger to touch my boob.  But that's just me.

I decided the best way to remedy the situation was to was to put Cotton down.  Then meth addict strange man's fiance' came over and started petting him.  And by petting, I mean sticking her fingers in front of his face.  Since Cotton is a puppy, he took that to mean that he could chew on her fingers.

I guess that wasn't what she had in mind.  In an effort to correct Cotton's biting, she started shoving her fingers down his throat while saying, "This works to stop them from biting cause they hate it when you stick your fingers down their throats.  Sometimes they throw up a little, but it's ok."

Um... is it ok?  It is ok to stick your fingers down SOMEONE ELSE'S dog's throat?

Cause I don't think so.

I don't know, just my opinion.

We started walked away from everyone at that point.  When we got far enough away, Phil turned to me and said, "I'm not all that comfortable having someone that looks like they are high choking our dog."


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I'm not Kosher

Friday was my appointment with my new endocrinologist.  It went really well.  He said a lot of things that I really liked:

-  I had one of the best surgeon's in the region.
-  It was a good decision to have the second surgery and radioactive iodine.
-  I have an excellent prognosis.
-  I can e-mail him directly with questions.
-  My labs can be done where ever I want.

Things like that.

He also switched my thyroid medicine.  I don't have to take pills all day long anymore.  Just one.  Made of pig thyroid.  After some research, I found out that a lot of people really like it, it's gluten-free, and there is some theory that because it is pig thyroid and not a synthetic hormone it works better in the body. 

Whatever.  As long as it works and makes me feel alright, I'm game.

Walgreen's was pretty interesting with it though.  In true Walgreen's fashion, they tried to give me the generic form of the drug.  (NOTE:  It isn't recommended to take the generic thyroid meds when you have thyroid cancer.  In other circumstances, I am all for generics.)  They explained to me that they wanted to give me the generic because it would save me money.  Duh.  Using the generic form of my old meds would have saved me $70/month.  That's $840.00 per year.  A definite savings.

The difference in price from the name brand and the generic of my new hormones... $1.  I think I can spring for the extra $12 per year.  I did a cost/benefit analysis on that one.  Where did I put my pro/con list?  Oh... here it is:

Pro Generic - Save $12 per year

Con Generic - That's 3 less grande mochas per year.  Or one and a half Essie nail polishes.  Or one cocktail.

Anyway.  The other thing that came from my appointment was that he wanted to go ahead and do my 6 month check up.  For a while (about 5 years), I will have some blood tests and neck ultrasounds done every six months to see if the cancer has come back.  I had my blood test done on Friday (won't get the results for a few days) and my neck ultrasound is today.

Today.

Geez.  I'm so done with having medical check-ups done.  In the last 3 weeks, I have had my skin check, annual, endo appointment, blood test, and now ultrasound. 

I just hate waiting for test results.

If you would please, could you pray/send good thoughts for my ultrasound today and other tests.  I would really appreciate it.

But my new thyroid meds mean I am definitely NOT kosher.  Who are we kidding?  I could never be kosher.  I love chocolate chip cookies (made with eggs and butter dunked in milk), bacon, bacon wrapped steak, pulled pork, mashed potatoes and gravy... you get the picture.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Conversations

I've been wanting to write this post for a while.  I actually wrote it the weekend after I got my scan results and was a little shy about posting it.  It isn't the best written post and I definitely wish it was better.  But the general message needs to be put out there.  I have gotten several wonderful comments regarding how strong I have been through this thyroid cancer period.  That strength is not from me.  Believe me.

The last year has been a definite test of faith for me, between the fertility news and then the cancer.  It is hard to go through things like that without thinking "why us?" or "seriously?!?  This too?"  Especially when EVERYONE around you seems to be having babies, living fabulous healthy lives, and winning the lottery (ok that might not have happened).

Not once did I feel abandoned by or angry at God.  Although I did feel like I had this conversation with God a few times:

Me:  I'm scared.

God:  I've got this all under control.  Don't worry.

Me:  How am I not supposed to worry?

God:  Just don't.  I'm here.  Trust Me.

Me:  Aren't You a little busy to be here with me?

God:  Never.


{image from HERE}

I know prayer works.  When people prayed for me to be calm and feel His peace, I felt it.  I mean, the thought of having someone cut open my throat was enough to push me into a full-on panic attack.  There isn't a doubt in my mind that if it hadn't been for God and His peace, I wouldn't have been able to handle this past year. 
During my one hour wait for my annual exam last week, between hearing fetal heart beats and running in front of pregnant women to give my urine sample, when the anxiety and worry of everything was getting to be just a little too much... I prayed.  I prayed for His peace to come over me.  I prayed for His comfort.  I prayed that everything would be fine.  And I prayed that if something did come back strange, that that it would be caught early, with an easy fix like last time.  And while I was still anxious and I was still scared, it was manageable.  And I felt God's presence with me.

I'm not saying that there won't be other challenges in the future for Phil and I.  I know there will be.  But I also know that I am not alone. 

And I know when we get ready to start the fertility stuff, I won't need to worry.  God's got it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Random Recap

-  The comments you guys left yesterday were very nice.  Basically, you all are awesome.  The lesson I learned:  if you want lots of comments, talk about getting your woo-ha looked at.  That's all I have to say about that.

-  And my fear about my appointment on Wednesday is completely offset by my excitement about my appointment today.  Seriously... who gets excited about seeing the endocrinologist?

Me.  That's who.

But I think everyone can sympathize with having a less than steller experience at a doctor's office.  And since this is a doctor that controls how I feel, how my body functions, and helps make sure my cancer doesn't come back/catches it early, it is kind of an important doctor to like.

-  One more thing... this doctor will play a very large role in our ability to try to have a baby.  You read that right.  For some of us, it takes more than 2 people to make a baby.  Romantic, yes?  I figure I am doing my brother and sister-in-law a favor: when their kids ask where babies come from, they can honestly say with a straight face, "From the doctor."

-  Remember the woman with the bubbles last week?  I'm not even joking, a day later Phil and I saw a woman riding in a rascal scooter down the sidewalk reading.  As in she wasn't paying attention to where she was going, she was really into her book.

-  A man in Oregon just got treated for having the plague.  The plague?  I didn't even know that existed anymore.  You want to know how he got it?  He was bitten by a stray cat.  So now not only do you need to worry about rabies when you get bitten by a stray animal, you can toss the plague in there as well. (I'm officially afraid of your cats Shannon.)

-  I feel like a weirdo sometimes because I find myself praying for other bloggers, which are people that I don't know.  But then I realize that is one of the cool things about blogging... being there for someone when they need you, even if you don't know them.  Jesus would be proud.

-  I want to make THIS this weekend.  I bought the berries, so I'm ready.

-  Cotton went from 10:30 Wednesday night to 3:00 Thursday morning without peeing!  That means I got 4 whole hours of uninterupted sleep.  I feel like a new woman.

-  Karla asked me for things to do/see in Oregon (one of her friends is honeymooning out here) and after I gave her the list I realized how awesome Oregon is.  As if I needed to be reminded.  Here's a short list of what I came up with:

Oregon coast, Tillamook Cheese Factory, Seaside, The Pelican Pub, Breweries in Portland, Wine Tasting in the Newberg area, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Smith Rock, Bend, Sunriver, Multnomah Falls, Silver Falls, Shellburg Falls, Pittock mansion

There are so many more.  Like the Shakespeare Festival.  Lost Lake.  Ok I need to stop listing these things.

-  Speaking of Oregon, we finally got summer.  Only like a month and a half after the rest of the country, but whatever.  While my allergic-to-the-sun-super-white-pasty skin isn't happy about the gobs of sunscreen I have had to slather on, my Vitamin D levels are loving it.  And so is the rest of me.

-  Last but not least... Guess who got his first bath?



That's what happens when you urinate on yourself, just for the record.  I'll bathe you.  Please don't come over and pee on yourself.  It will be awkward.
Ok this has officially been the most boring random recap ever.  The pictures of Cotton totally saved it.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Who doesn't love a good pelvic exam?

Disclaimer:  I know I have had quite a few deep and reflective posts lately.  Sometimes (and for most newlyweds in their 20's) life is sunshine and dancing in wheat fields.  But sometimes it isn't.  And that's just reality.  I promise I am still the funny, sarcastic, mildly bitchy person I used to be.  But life is different now.  And while the cancer thing is kind of behind me, it really isn't.  It never will be.  Hopefully you all aren't rolling your eyes and thinking "Gosh GET OVER IT!"  But if you are... Bite Me.  :)

It's been an interesting month or so.  There's several phases and stages of dealing with something like cancer/infertility.  The initial fear.  Then the shock.  The bravery and stubbornness that comes when you are going through the treatment process, which is also coupled with a little depression and self-pity.  Then it is over.  Elation comes.  And then things happen that bring the WHOLE THING come flooding back.

And that is what the last month has been.

Situations that are exactly the same as last year.  Doctor's appointments at the same office, in the same room, with the same doctor.  Follow-ups to make sure the cancer hasn't come back.  Hearing about other people's struggles and journeys through thyroid cancer.

I've tried to deal with it with a splash of optimism.  Saturday was the anniversary of when my nodules were discovered.  And I really wasn't sad or bitter about it.  I felt relief and excitement about the fact that my cancer had been found early, while it was easily treatable and the prognosis was excellent.  It was a day filled with gratitude and Phil and I celebrated with a trip to the dog park, a yummy homemade dinner, glass of sparkling wine and cuddling session on the couch.

But my annual appointment was hard.  It didn't help that I have PMS (never does).

First of all, it is some weird form of torture to be an infertile woman, sitting in the waiting room of an OB/GYN.  I want a separate entrance and waiting room.  Or at least give me an appointment time where I am not surrounded by pregnant women.  Could there have possibly been more pregnant women?  Many of them looking excited and hopeful, with their husband/baby-daddy by their side.

Gag me.

After making me wait 30 minutes past my appointment time, they lead me back to another room where they ask me if I am interested in any information on birth control.

Really?

I replied, "No thank you" with a smile on my face.

I finally get taken to my exam room (the same exam room I was in when she found my nodules), getting all nakie and prepped for my wonderful pelvic exam when I hear the rapid beating coming from the room next door.

A fetal heartbeat.

Geez.

After another 30 minutes of waiting, the nurse finally comes in while saying, "Well I'm sure glad we checked out your thyroid last year."

At this point, I had been trying to hold it together all morning (I was having a really good mascara day and didn't want to mess it up).  I used my 30 minutes of naked waiting time praying.  Praying for peace, praying that things will be alright, praying for patience and a kind heart.

It worked.  There didn't seem to be any real problems (fingers crossed). 

The nurse then talked with me about thyroid hormone regulation and the importance of not getting pregnant before my thyroid levels are stabilized.  She said it can take 6 months from the time of ablation to get things figured out.

Heck... I'm already 3 months past my ablation.  Half way through that 6 months.

There's the optimism sneaking in again.

I can't let myself get to a place where I am sad about not getting to be pregnant yet.  I need to give myself a break.  The bright red scar on my neck is a physical indication that things are still fresh and I am still healing. 

One step at a time.

It makes me all the more excited to meet with a new endocrinologist tomorrow.  That's the next step.

Aren't you excited you get the play by play of my medical life?  Yeah I have great boundaries.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Stress and Botox

As I'm writing this, it is Tuesday night and currently Cotton's "witching hour" as we like to call it.



He's terrorizing Taylor to the point where she finally snaps at him, but then he keeps taunting her and she just runs away.  Kind of making it worse.  Good times.  Not totally sure how you make one dog be less of a pushover, but I'm pretty sure once he is bigger, she'll have no problem putting him in his place.  She's too nice for her own good.

I'm not.

Between the no sleep, doctor's appointments, and drama with Phil's dad... this week has been stressful.  While Cotton is quite a good boy for most of the day, I do not look forward to his witching hour.  It's ok.  It won't last forever. 

Phil's dad had some complications which included some kind of bacteria escaping from his liver.  He got a fever and uncontrollable shakes, which he felt didn't exactly need to be reported to the hospital right away.  Being on the other side of the country causes a little bit of stress for us especially when we hear that he is having symptoms that something is wrong and won't call the hospital.  Parents.

Phil had a decent talk with his dad Tuesday night, where he explained to him that we don't nag him to be annoying.  We just want him to live.  Novel concept, I know.

Anyway... in an effort to cope with that stress and the general anxiety I have about my upcoming appointments, I am doing my best to "self-sooth".  Apparently I have no stinkin' idea how to do this.  But I am going to try and get up early, take my time getting ready, have a nice bowl of cereal, get something tasty to drink from Starbucks, and take deep breaths while I wait for my lady parts to get checked out.

Hopefully Phil will take me out to dinner afterwards.  Or at least pour me a glass of wine.  :)

We'll get through the week.  And hopefully this weekend will be filled with naps.

On a completely unrelated note, I went to a "spa night" at my dermatologist's office.  I was by far the youngest person there and didn't win a single thing.  No Botox for me.  I think it was rigged.

It's all good... I don't need Botox anyway.  With my health luck, I would end up getting Botulism from it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Babysitting

Saturday, Joanna let us watch Braxton while she went to a wedding.  We had a BLAST with him!!

Cotton was so excited to see someone closer to his side, so he may have gotten a little rambunctious with Brax.  But overall, they did ok with each other.

Like any good baby-sitter, we immediately plopped him in front of the television...
{Thomas the Train (or "Mommas" as Brax calls him) is funny}

While Taylor stood watch...

Then we read an ABC Book of Shakespeare characters to him...

It was educational for him, I'm sure...

And I fed him aged cheddar and crackers, along with chocolate cream cheese.  His parents are foodies.  I know they would appreciate it...

And he snuggled with Uncle Phil...

And mostly, Cotton slept (after he got done biting)...

We are awesome babysitters.

I think Braxton had a good time.  He [Braxton] is a very well-behaved boy.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Tired

I'm a little tired this morning.

Ok that's a lie.  I'm VERY tired this morning.

Cotton woke up 3 times in the middle of the night last night.  2:30.  3:40. 5:30.

And then when I slept longer than I should have, it was a mad dash to get showered, ready for work, Cotton fed, Cotton's bladder and bowels empty, Cotton's crate ready, and get Cotton in the crate.  Did I mention we have another dog too?  Yeah Taylor is a piece of cake.

The good news is that I am a little too tired to stress about this week.  I've got 2 doctor's appointments this week.  One is my annual exam, which really shouldn't be a big deal.  I have never been nervous to have one done.  Honestly, they really never bothered me.  Are they fun? No.  But no big deal.  Until last year.  And now I find myself VERY anxious about all medical appointments.

I have a feeling when I see the nurse and she asks me about my cancer (which she will), I will burst into tears.  I kind of feel like I should say something to her.  Perhaps a "thank you" for finding my nodules while they were still so small?  I know it is her job, but I'm so glad she does her job well.  Even thinking about it makes me a little emotional.

My second doctor's appointment this week is to see a new endocrinologist!!  I called their office last Friday to check on any cancellations and they had one for A MONTH sooner than my appointment.  YAY!!  I really hope this endo is a better fit for me.  Not sure I can handle going back to the one I have now.  I'm going to give myself a heartache just for these follow-up appointments.  Pretty sure that isn't ideal.

Also, today Phil's dad goes in for a scan to see if the treatement he had done is working for the tumors in his liver.  And we REALLY want this scan to be good.  If you want to throw out a prayer for Phil's dad, I'm good with that.  :)

For now, I will leave you with a super cute picture of Cotton at the park yesterday.  We had the small dog park to ourselves while Taylor played with some big guys.  And I am going to get another cup (or 7) of coffee.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

1 Year Later

I know there have been a lot of mushy posts lately.  But I am not really going to apologize.  It has been a challenging year and after hearing you have cancer (even if it is just thyroid cancer), things just aren't the same.  And that's partially because my hormones are now toyed with every three months and partially because cancer just changes things.

I rarely post on Saturday (mostly because not many people read my blog on the weekends).  But today is different.

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of when my nodules (Ned and Noami) were discovered.

I'm not sure I will ever forget exactly when the nurse felt them and the fear and anxiety that rushed through my body.  She told me that most likely they would be benign, but we needed to get them checked out.  And she's right... about 95% of all thyroid nodules are benign.  And I didn't even have the most common kind of thyroid cancer.  I'm just lucky I guess.  :)

Every step of that process was scary.  And it didn't help that there were days between appointments and very little answers for months.  Heck, it took from the beginning of July to the end of November to even find out it was cancer, something I am not pleased about in the least.

If you had asked me a year ago what I thought my life would be like in a year, I would have said I would be pregnant or have a baby.  I would have guessed that my husband and I would have navigated our way through infertility and stressfully made it through.  And that's what I hoped.  But that's not how things turned out at all. 

I have a baby now, but he is hairy and bites a lot.



And my husband and I are so much closer and it was stressful at times, but it isn't because of infertility.  Having him by my side as I cried anxiously before surgery, trying to make me laugh through the times and the fear.  Telling me everything would be alright even though he told me later he was very scared.  Having him wake up every 4 hours while sleeping next on the couch to make sure I ate and got my pain meds after both of my surgeries.  And watching as he made me meal after meal of low-iodine food.  We are so much closer now and I love him so much more than I did before.  He's the kind of man I want my future son(s) to be and my future daughter(s) to marry.  I got me a winner.

While I really wish I hadn't had to go through the last year and have cancer, I think it has changed me for the better.  And I am starting to see the blessings from things that used to seem like burdens I had to bear:

-  Along with a goiter and thyroid cancer, I was found to have Hashimoto's Disease.  It is an auto-immune disease that causes the body to attack the thyroid.  It causes swings in thyroid hormones which can make managing it difficult.  And auto-immune diseases run in my dad's side of the family.  Premature greying of the hair, pernicious anemia, rhumatoid arthritis, vitiligo... several of my family members are afflicted with these conditions.  In my case, my Hashimoto's could help keep my thyroid cancer from coming back since my body will attack any thyroid cells that could possibly show up in my body.  Sucks for my relatives... Awesome for me.

-  If it hadn't been for the infertility, I don't know if my thyroid nodules would have been found.  I had had an enlarged thyroid for over 10 years and it wasn't until I mentioned the fertility issues that someone carefully examined it.  If the fertility issues weren't there, my tumor could have grown, broke out of the capsule and spread to my other organs.  In an ironic twist of fate, infertility may have saved my life.  It's just one example of our alike Guiliana Rancic and I are.

-  I am very afriad that my cancer will come back or I will get another type of cancer.  But since I have already had cancer, I will be getting regular check-ups to make sure everything is ok.  In a lot of ways, I am better off than most people.

There are so many more, but this is getting a little long.

Thinking back, I get a little emotional.  I'm pretty sure I will burst into tears during my annual exam next week.  But that's ok.  I'm ok being that weirdo.

Phil and I may bust out some sparkling wine tonight to toast the anniversary of finding my nodules.  It was an important day on the road to getting healthy and making sure I get to be with him for many years to come.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Random Recap

I've been wanting to do another random recap for a while now.  And I figured Follow Friday was the perfect excuse.  Here are a few random thoughts from the last week:

-  Yesterday morning I was driving to do a site inspection and I noticed I was driving through bubbles which seemed pretty odd.  Why were there bubbles on a major road?  A couple minutes later I was stopped at a light, a few cars back.  That is when I noticed an older woman (in her mid to late fifties) with a bubble gun.  And she was sticking it out the window to blow bubbles.  It was kind of weird, but whatever floats your boat I guess.

-  I read somewhere that the type of thyroid cancer I have and enlarged thyroids (goitars) can be caused by iodine deficiency.  I kind of buy that I wasn't getting enough iodine.  I never use salt and for a while there I didn't eat a balanced diet.  But one of the ways to keep the cancer from coming back is to get plenty of iodine.  I am taking this as an excuse to eat as much dairy as I want (since dairy is filthy with iodine).  Lattes, Root Bear Floats, Cheese... we are best friends now.  I'm going to be fat.

-  I have a very boring blog name I think.  But then again, I am not sure how some people come up with their blog names.  It seems like two random things mixed together sometimes.   Maybe I should rename the blog "Spider monkies and Tutus" or "Popsicles and Springtime".  I have no idea.  Those are probably already taken.  If you have a weird blog name, just please have an explanation of it in your ABOUT ME section.

-  We are on day 6 with Cotton and it has been a very interesting week.  I will write more about that later.  But I'll just say I have already lost like a pound simply from not having time to eat.  And also, I can apparantly operate on interupted sleep.  I think that is thanks to my thyroid meds.  There need to be some side effects to being hyperthyroid.

-  I'm going to make Phil t-shirts for his birthdays and Christmas from now on with different phrases on them.  He's hiding his enthusiasm, but I know deep down he is looking forward to it.  The first shirt will say "Bazinga".

-  I broke my dad's push lawn mower earlier this week.  I think I am going to be grounded.

-  I think there were some pros and cons to the 4th of July being on a Wednesday.  On the upside, I LOVED only have to work 2 days before getting a day off.  It broke up the week quite nicely.  On the downside, I have been very confused all day about what day it is.  Yesterday I kept thinking I would be watching The Bachelorette all day.

-  And speaking of the 4th of July, I did NOT appreciate the fact that ALL OF MY NEIGHBORS were setting off illegal fireworks.  And neither did my dogs.  They are all on my list.

-  To finish off this random recap, here's a random picture of Cotton:


Melt my heart.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Welcome home Cotton!

To say that I was excited to get Cotton would be a bit of an understatement.  It honestly felt like it would never happen.

I felt like I was in a world of waiting.  For a long time I was waiting for a baby.  That didn't happen.  I was waiting for my nodules to get resolved.  Two surgeries and a little oral chemotherapy later, that took longer and a lot more work than I would have liked.  And now here I am waiting to be cleared to have a baby again.

That wait will likely continue until next April.  Maybe next October to get my hormones right for that according to my current endo.

So when we had to wait so long for the puppy, I just didn't know if I could handle it.

When Lincoln and his littermates died, we really didn't have another prospect for a puppy for a long time.  More waiting.

I had a hard time really believing that Cotton would ever be coming home with us.  A lot of the details about bringing him home were unclear for a long time (the trouble with working with people sometimes), even after the puppy visit.

But he's home now. 

{Showing off his weiner again}

I may or may not have cried on the car ride home with him.  I had started singing and Cotton, who was asleep, woke up, looked at me, and laid his head on my chest.  Staring at me the whole time.  Then he fell asleep.  Ok yeah I cried.

And despite the fact that we had a rough Tuesday night (he decided he wanted to be a little hellion), the last four days have been the first time I have been really excited and relaxed in a year and a half.

Welcome home Cotton.  Momma loves you.  You were just what I needed.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Skin Check CHECK

Yesterday morning I had my annual skin check.

Since I haven't had the best experiences at the doctors office this past year, I have some anxiety about these "checks".  After all, the whole point of them is to make sure you don't have anything wrong with you.

Last year, it was the whole bug bite turned "we don't think its lymphoma" saga.  That was right before the nodule was found.

This year I wanted to make sure he knew about all my moles.  And that included one on my boob.  So I got to flash my dermatologist.  Good times.

And nothing says GOOD MORNING like having someone look between your butt cheeks.

Once again, I had the important decision of what underwear to wear.  Very important decision.  Here's what I had to pick between this time:

Option #1:  Black underwear that says "Hello There" across the butt.

Option #2:  Underwear with blue whales on them.

Option #3:  Grey boyshorts with neon pink polka dots.


Here's what I have really learned... I have the underwear selection of a 17 year-old.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Cotton and Taylor




 Cotton loves Taylor.  Taylor tolerates Cotton.  They are both being spoiled rotten.  So far so good.  :)

I kind of feel bad for my neighbors today.  We did a test run in the crate last night... Cotton wasn't really a fan.
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