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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pigtails

While fixing Baby Girl's hair this morning, she's not happy. As I'm braiding her hair and listening to the kids playing in the living room, Baby Girl says, "Mom, you're taking too long and ruining my life." I said, "That's my job" and continued braiding.

Yep, Five years old and her life's ruined but her hair looks great!

Friday, July 18, 2008

rambling

Pardon the rambling, but I'm in a mood. We're on the road with over 600 miles to our destination, kids fighting in the back seat. There's no telling where this post will end up or who it might offend. So, proceed with caution.

The night Mom was released from the hospital, I went home to an empty house (kids n hubby went to CO). I decided to invite the Fabulous Who Ha Sisters over for drinks, swimming and fun (pretty much in that order) Everyone showed and the celebration began. One of the sisters, I believe was well on her way to Margaritaville before our first toast. Another sister came late with her hubby, so she had some catching up to do. The other sister's husband ran to the store to get an assortment of chick drinks in honor of as he put it the "Who Ha Whatever" and volunteered to be the bartender. Long story short, we all swam, drank, laughed, drank, swam again then drank more. . . some a liitle more than others. The bartender passed out as I expelled both liquor and gas simultaneously off the patio. One of the sisters still tease me as being a multi-tasker. The next morning I cleaned up the mess, dropped donuts (my hangover cure-all) off at the neighbor sister's house and went to check on Mom.

The week of the 4th, I took the kids plus Little Man's Best Friend, and a friend's two stepdaughters out and about. The two teenage girls were visiting their dad who they hadn't seen in 8 years. My friend, their stepmom brought the girls and Little Man's Best Friend to the house to swim. She asked if I'd watch them while she went home to mow. As we sat around talking, the girls said they were bored just sitting at the house watching movies. Their dad was out of town for work and my friend, their stepmom also had to work. Hubby and I told the girls they were more than welcome to hang out with us. We had so much fun with the girls. We watched fireworks, swam in the pool, ate at great restaurants including Los Cabos, Carrino's, and of course McDonald's. We rode the atv's below the dam, ate breakfast at IHOP, and hit the mall. All the while, I called their daddy to see if they would come join us, they mostly declined. As the week wore on, I grew closer and closer with the girls esp the oldest (anyone would have, they are such good kids). Unfortunately, my friend (stepmom) felt I overstep my bounds and ruined their time to connect as a family. As far as boundaries go, our families have always been so close, we never had lines or boundaries drawn. My husband has been friends (even self proclaimed brothers)with her husband for over 20 years. They've been there for each other through just about all that life can throw at you including the norm such as marriage, divorce, and fatherhood. We were there and closer than ever, when his second wife became sick and died. Our kids are together all the time, pretty much have raised them as siblings. He and his parents moved around the corner from us, the kids attend the same school. Last summer, I introduced him to my dear friend who became his wife and a part of our family. In establishing her new life with them, she is drawing lines and forming boundaries that have never been there.

After the girls left, she came to the house to talk. In essence, she blamed me for things not panning out the way she had hoped. She wanted to connect as a family and steer clear of any appearance of "Disneyland" as she said my dad did when I was a child spending summers in TN. I can't lie, I felt attacked and it hurt. I understand as a new wife and mother, the need to get it right at all costs. I was there once too. I remember being pregnant with Little Man at the grocery store shopping with Nana vowing my child would never act like the screaming fit throwing toddler in the cereal aisle. I also read the awful book Baby Wise and attempted to subject my newborn baby boy to their rigid discipline, schedule, and boundaries in hopes of achieving the story book happy ever after ending. Oh, I also layed down the rules for my husband to follow to make sure he's on board to never ever land. He played the game like a pro for the first few weeks. Haven't we all been there thinking our life, marriage, kids would be different than all others definitely better than our parents who lets face it didn't have a clue. While I know, everyone takes their shot at the american dream of having the perfect christian family with the husband, wife, 2.5 kids and white picket fence, most will realize life just doesn't work out as we plan. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be happier with our life even though the screaming kids in walmart are probably mine, my husband and I will have our arguments and the occasional loud obnoxious fight over everything and nothing, my friends and I might get tipsy and sometimes even stupid drunk on Saturday night and Sunday morning you might find me at church or buried under the covers in my bed. In my neck of the woods, you might catch us at our best or at times at our worst, either way we're there for one another not judging just walking it out together. We should probably go on the Dr. Phil show, huh.

Friends don't always see eye to eye, but our families have always been close. I hope that doesn't change.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Time to Feel Better

Mom (in her words) is pretty much "sick and tired of being sick and tired." She thought that after radiation, she would bounce back quick. Towards the end of last week, she decided to quit taking her pain meds regularly. She thought it was the reason she felt worse. She complained that she felt better in the hospital then at home. We tried to explain that she was on Morphine Extended Release and Diladid shots every 3 to 4 hours while in the hospital. She wondered if she was getting worse since radiation stopped but I think the drugs in the hospital just did an awesome job masking the pain.

She's been using the dilator as instructed and it's not been as bad as she thought it would be. The outside burns have healed amazingly well. I wasn't sure that it would recover it was so burnt, swollen, and totally messed up. She did have another round of blisters come up following the last radiation treatment. It bothered her pretty bad especially when she had to go to the bathroom. But all in all, it's so much better than before.

The last week or so of radiation was called boost. That's when they narrow the focus of the rays to the tumor itself. So that part of Mom's body was really hit hard with the more concentrated, potent ray, hopefully wiping out the tumor for good. Mom has hurt really bad in that area. I assume that her insides look like the outside did at it's worst. A couple of days last week, she went to the bathroom and strings of skin came out. When the skin came off the outside, it came off in sheets. Weird, because when you get a sunburn and peel, it flakes. The burns from the radiation had Mom's skin falling off in sheets. Anyway, it freaked Mom out, when it happened from the inside out.

Mom's also been struggling with nausea. She has to force herself to eat, b/c food tastes bad. Right now she's lost just over 10 pds, she can't really afford to lose much more weight. I'm not sure if the nausea is caused by the pain, the pain meds, or maybe just a side effect of the chemo/radiation.

Last Thursday, I went to Mom's house around 1:00pm and she was in bed hurting really bad. I checked the medicine log and she hadn't taken pain meds since the night before at 10pm. I brought her the pain meds. Dad said that he tried to get her to take the meds before but that she refused. She's tired of being drugged and is also worried about becoming addicted.

My church has been bringing out food for Mom and Dad. The lady who came last Thursday, Wren (sp?) brought their favorite soups, salad, and sandwich from Panera and also connected with Mom concerning the pain meds. She said that she lives in pain from arthritis and Fibre Maiga (sp?) and knows first hand about pain meds. As she talked to Mom, Mom just sat on the couch and cried. I couldn't understand why Mom refused her pain meds but maybe she felt like a failure or that she wasn't being tough enough if she took the pain med. Wren told her that it's proven through research that people heal faster when they use pain meds to stay ahead of the pain versus those who try to tough it out. The pain meds obviously mask the pain letting your body relax and heal. Wren really connected with Mom and as a result Mom took her pain meds regularly through the weekend.

She came to our 4th of July bash. She was pretty tired but stayed through the fireworks. This week Dad is in New York until tomorrow. Mom seems like she's okay. She wants to go to work tomorrow. I'm a little nervous about her driving. I told her that I'd take her but she said, "No."

Over the last week, I've dived back into my life, family, and such (have some blogging to do on that) I hope Mom doesn't feel abandoned. She really is still struggling with everything but is no where as sick as before. I call quite a bit to check on her and go by the house once or twice a day.

Next Tuesday, she has a doctor's appointment with her oncologist. I'm sure we'll know more about upcoming tests then.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Oh Boy

Mom is done with both chemo and radiation. I went with her today to get dilators, just when you thought you'd seen and heard it all. Mom sure doesn't want the scar tissue to cause major problems but at the same time can't even imagine using those things. I told her we could go to an adult store and find one softer and maybe light up, spin or vibrate. I swear, you've got to keep a sense of humor or I'm sure you'd lose your mind. Mom's last day of radiation was yesterday. She was asking me if I thought she'd be better by the end of the week. I hate to discourage her more or sound negative I just answered maybe but for some it takes a couple of weeks to notice a difference. We don't really know what's next as far as tests and such to see where she stands. I guess the focus should be on healing and recovery instead of the other.