It’s been a while

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I know, I know. I haven’t checked in for quite a while. Dealing with life has kept me busy.

As of right now, I am in such a stressed out state that I don’t even reach out to my closest friends. I hate to be thought of as a burden or a charity case, and try to handle everything myself. This, in turn, creates more stress…not less. Who knew?!?

So, what non-stressful things have been happening?

Well. We rescued a dog on Valentine’s Day. She’s an American bulldog mix. Mixed with what? We have no idea. I suspect it’s Greyhound.

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Her name is Amber, and she’s a Parvo survivor! She’s the sweetest little asshole you’ll ever meet 🙂

I’m addicted to crack….Trivia Crack, that is. It really helps to take my mind off of things, especially when I kick my (way smarter than me) mbff’s butt. Don’t tell him, but my husband helps me on the sports category.

My children are crazy, and driving me crazy, but that’s also a good way to get my mind off of things.

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Is it just me, or does my son look like Carl from The Walking Dead?

Speaking of, I am super bummed that the season is over, and now need suggestions for something to take its place until it comes back on.

Really, nothing else has been going on, so this pretty much catches us up. I hope all of y’all had a wonderful Easter, and I’ll try not to be such a stranger.

Pet Peeves

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I’m a bit of a curmudgeon, so I have a lot of pet peeves.

1. We all make mistakes. Humans, by nature, are NOT infallible. Please, for the love of all that’s good and right in the world, proofread. Nothing makes me want to stop reading a blog faster than someone too lazy or quick on the draw to hit that send button before making sure they’re using the right “their” over there!!!!

2. Eating like a cow chewing cud is a big negative in my house. As appealing as your dinner looks on your plate, I don’t need to see it being masticated. Also, please trust me when I say, anything you need to say to me can wait until you’ve swallowed that bite.

3. People who just post a “news” story without researching it. This happens on social media A LOT!! Seriously, ma! I don’t think Channing Tatum died in a freak skiing accident (damn it all to hell!). No, Facebook is not going to close your account if you don’t post that stupid legal notice.

4. OPMs aka. Other People’s Monsters.  My children are not the best behaved. I admit that. They ARE NOT the ones in a restaurant screaming at the top of their lungs, or running between the tables. They ARE NOT the ones in a movie theater that will just not shut up. I know you think it’s just darling that little Susie asks you a million questions about whyistheboybeingmeantothegirl and whydoesthegirlstilllovetheboy and whydoesthebutteronthepopcorncomeoutsoyellow and whycan’tihavecandy and whydoesthesodamakemytummyhurt and whyisthatladytellingmeshhhhhhhuuush and ireallyreallyreallyneedtopee and MOMMYINEEDTOGOPOTTYRIGHTNOW!!!, but the other members of the audience who also paid good money to see this movie, absolutely do not think it’s cute.

5. Drivers who wait until the last-minute to switch into a turn lane. You’ve driven the same route for a year now. You know that the middle lane is not for turning, yet you wait at the red light while all of us lowly, non-Lexus drivers wait in the correct lanes, and then when the light turns green, BOOM! cut us off. Here’s a little clue. Your Lexus is just an overpriced Toyota. Your Infinity is just a high-end Nissan. You are no better than me! Stop cutting me off!!!

Oh my gosh! My lists could go on forever, but I don’t want to bore you to death. Suffice it to say, I am the equivalent of the old man shouting “STAY OFF MY LAWN!!!” at all the elementary kids getting out of school.

Seriously. I’ve done it, already.

Mawwage

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How does one go from a loving embrace to wanting to throat punch someone within a few hours?

Be married to my husband.

He’s a good man, a hard worker, a great friend, BUT if he doesn’t drop the bass from his voice when speaking to me soon, he’s going to be no more.

We have been married for almost 13 years, and we’ve been a couple for 15. Ups and downs like any healthy relationship (with a few misdeeds on both of our parts). We have two beautiful, if not conscientious children.

We have different parenting styles. I prefer to nip the behavior(s) in the bud, while he has an “I’m laid back until you annoy me to the point of exploding” approach. Homework in our house is a Sisyphean effort. I tackle the reading, writing, social studies, and projects. He warily approaches fifth grade math. It may seem like an unfair division, but as I’ve said before….many, many times….I don’t math.

The problem with this is simple. The mister works all day, and gets home usually between 6 and 7 p.m. He works in a field where he’s surrounded by whiners all day, so to come home and be bombarded with questions about fractions, decimals, and why the hell any of this is important can be a tad overwhelming to him. This in no way gives him permission to come at me like a spider monkey when I suggest the Prince take his questions to his teacher tomorrow, seeing as how the mister can’t seem to answer a question without a condescending tone. I get it. The boy is a bit of an asshole. He puts off work until the last minute, then expects to be saved. He comes by it naturally. Both his father and I do the same. Damn. Thing.

This has been therapeutic. My pimp hand isn’t twitching half as bad. Now to go listen to some Drowning Pool…

There are other cancers besides boob cancer….(original posts from 2011)

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“How, Chemo-sabe”

How, indeed!  I did very well for this being my first day of chemotherapy.  I don’t feel nauseous, just tired, but that could be the Ativan they give during fluids 😉  I was able to see my very good looking doctor beforehand, so yay me!  I was also able to make him jealous, because I told him about my dentist appointment.  I don’t think I have ever made a doctor cuss, so this was a first, as well.  I was totally prepared(well, almost).  I had my phone, my iPod, my laptop, and a word puzzle book….7 hours, man!  The only thing that I should have taken, was a sandwich.  Though they are kind enough to supply snacks, and drinks, the snacks consisted of peanut butter, cheese, or plain crackers.  I had two packs.

Let me just say, I understand that we must face trials during out lifetime, and we are rarely prepared. Do they have to be one on top of the other?  Waking up this morning to an 84 degree house was not fun.  Yes, my dear readers…our a/c went out!  My father went to check it out, and has a friend coming sometime tomorrow, but then it is a matter of getting it fixed. Praying that it only needs to be recharged.
Keep praying for me, and I promise to keep the faith.
Shanna
But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits.  Psalm 5:11

Guilt should be a 4 letter word!

I finished my first cycle of chemotherapy last week, and I feel great!  Yes, this is what the title is all about.  I feel great, and so many people just don’t after chemo.  This is not to say that I will feel this way the next time, or even the time after that, but let me take you through this short journey, please?

First, I’d like to say, that no matter what you may think of me or my diagnosis, I have only been scared once or twice during this time.  It has never been a fear of dying, or pain…just the unknown.  Normal, right?  Now, I’ll let you in on a little secret….I hate surprises!  No joke. Ask my husband. I badger him for weeks before my birthday and Christmas, because I want to KNOW what I will be getting. People pleaser that I am, I want to be able to school my features, just in case.
I went in on Tuesday for the first round in my first cycle of chemo.  I felt pretty prepared.  I had my laptop, my iPod, a puzzle book, and my phone. Ya know, just in case I got bored.  My chemotherapy regimen is Cisplatin and Etoposide(vp16). These are the chemo drugs that are used for the hard hitting cancers, ie. lung, testicular, stomach, ovarian….you get the picture.  All cancer’s are hard hitting, but just like a snowflake, no two are created the same. Some are more aggressive, some move faster than others. Nobody knows how they are going to react, and nobody knows what will alleviate the reaction.  I have said it time and time, again, this cancer is a crap shoot, and I’ve never gotten the hang of that game of chance.  So, I get to the doctor’s office…on time…believe me, that is a big deal.  I go in for the exam(that nobody told me would occur), and everything checks out.  Next stop, blood draw.  I’m going to stop right here.  If anyone is going through chemo, or may need to go through something with infusions/blood draws, I highly recommend getting a port!  Any doctor who doesn’t try to get their patient one is a sadistic…well, you know.  O.K. – blood draw.  My blood cells come back at a normal count, so we are good to go.  First, because of the toxicity of the chemo, I need fluids to prevent kidney failure.  This takes about an hour.  As they are giving me the regular fluids, it is infused with a very potent cocktail of Patron, vodka, gin, and a splash of lime, but more than likely, it is Ativan and promethazine.  These are to relax me, and keep me from becoming nauseated.  As this is the complete opposite effect that Patron has on me, I’ll stick with this mixture.  I have roughly 5 milliseconds before this kicks in, so I decide to try my hand at some brain teasers.  Next.  Let me try the laptop.  Nope.  Solitaire?  Huh!  All of these things I have brought with me, hold no interest.  Guess I’ll take a nap.  2 hours later, and I am awakened by the beep of the infusion machine.  Time for a potty break.  Hook me back up, Jim!  I’m ready to get this over with.  What’s that you say?  I have 4 more hours?!?  Oh joy!  Long story, still kinda long, I finish my first day with minimal fuss.
2nd day is much the same, with the exception of time.  My 2nd and 3rd day are comprised only of the Etoposide.  This only takes an hour and a half, at most.  The funny thing is, they dose me with the same amount of relaxant.  Needless to say, I am useless when I get home.  I have a 7 and a 4 year old, they need me, and I am asleep all day!  I go back for my 3rd infusion, and I have a bargain that I would like them to meet.  If they half the dose, I promise I won’t get sick!  Lucky day, they decide that since I am doing so well, we can forgo it altogether!  Thursday was a good day.  I finished in record time(at least in my mind), and went home to take a small nap to prepare myself for Friday. Bum bum buuuum.
Friday was a fun day.  I got to go to the doctor, again!  He and I had discussed what sort of actions could be taken to help boost my white blood cells during the short intermission between cycles.  His suggestion – a shot of Neulasta.  Can I get that straight up, please?  Needless to say, it worked wonders on my energy levels.  Friday evening, my uncle and aunt came into town, just in case I needed help this week.  I was very happy to inform them that I would not need their services, though I appreciate the offer very much(there goes that independence, again!)  In my chemo induced brain fog, I forgot that they were coming in, and also invited some friends to stay with us from out of town.  Luckily, we have plenty of room, and very understanding guests.  I felt well enough to clean the bathrooms and wash some clothes!! This is a really big deal, as I have not felt like cleaning in about 6 months.  I do it, don’t get me wrong, but I actually FELT like doing it.
The only other side effect that I assume is from chemo, is heartburn.  I had it horribly on the second day, but the third day, I took Prilosec, and it seemed to get rid of it.  The nurse informed me that with women, whatever you suffered from during pregnancy will probably be what you suffer from during chemo.  Thankfully, I did not have morning sickness with either child, but I had raging heartburn!! I think I can live with that.
I won’t bore you with the details of my awesome weekend. I did that enough with the details of my chemo.  Suffice it to say, I feel major guilt for feeling so great.  I’ll get over it, don’t you worry, but at this point in time, I just wish that I could will my well being onto others that are not so lucky.  My body is an enigma.  My doctor accused me of having super hero blood, due to the healing process of my incisions.  There is a higher power helping me, I can assure you.  I have never stopped praying, as I am sure most of you are doing, as well.  My wellness is nothing short of a miracle.  I am not healed, but am healing.  I can literally feel it.  Keep the prayers coming, because I am definitely keeping my faith.
 (Jeremiah 17:14 NKJV) Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; Save me, and I shall be saved, For You are my praise.

Day 30: One thing you’re excited for

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Ok. So, I have to let you in on a little secret. The only reason I was pushing to finish this challenge, was for this particular post.

One thing I am excited for is this weekend. If you are a music addict, or slightly in the know about music festivals, you will know that this weekend is the first ACL Fest weekend. I’ve been for the past couple of years, due to my philanthropic bestie with testes. The first year I went, he purchased the wristband as a survivor gift. Last year, I was able to go in a designated driver capacity. This year, I’ll be paying him back, but I’m most excited about it because…..I am taking my children! My son is 10, so this is the last year that he would be able to get in for free with an adult pass. He’s going to be so excited, and he’s been begging for me to take him to a concert. Any concert. He doesn’t care.

The great thing about this festival is the fact that they have a festival in the festival. Austin Kiddie Limits. It’s a kid’s tent that has activities and children’s performers. The School of Rock always performs, and though it’s not the kids from the movie, my children have seen the movie and are in awe of the fact that these people are their age. I can’t wait to show them in person, that they too can play an instrument, if they so choose. My son enjoys most of the music that I do, so I’m sure he’ll want to experience everything there is to experience. My daughter is a Top 40 chick, so the pickings may be slim for her. She’ll enjoy Kiddie Limits, because she likes Steve Songs from PBS Kids, and they will have crafts for her to do.

So, that’s going to be my weekend. Pretty exciting. I can’t wait to introduce my children to this amazing event, and post all of the fun pictures on Monday 🙂

Day 28: Somewhere you’d like to move to or visit

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Well, this is a broad subject.  There are a lot of places I would like to visit, and not move to. On the other hand, there’s nowhere else I’d rather live than where I am right now.

1. Canada – I’d only like to visit in the Summer, because I don’t do snow well, and I hear that the summers are glorious!! I live in Texas, and summers here are hot, humid, and miserable.

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2. Seattle – Again, only in the summer, because cold and rain don’t mix well. Also, there’s a girl who lives there that I would love to meet! We “met” on Instagram and realized quickly that we were sisters of the soul. So many parallel life situations that it was kind of scary/spooky.

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3. Greece – The pictures that I have seen look amazing! I would want to go with my children, so that we could explore all of the history that the great country has to offer.

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4. Disneyworld – Once more, somewhere I’d like to take my children. This, at least, will happen before I die or they get too old (pssh! Who’s too old for DW?!?)

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Day 24: 5 words/phrases that make you laugh

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1. Twitter, or more importantly “tweet”. My daughter was born in 2007, and this was before I knew about social media. My husband and I aren’t ones for medical terms when it comes to body parts. That means that we assigned the name “Tweeter” to her girly bits. Now, there’s a brainworm for ya 🙂

2. Fart. C’mon!! It’s funny!

3. Bless your heart….we all know what is really meant when that phrase is muttered under the breath.

4. (Lord and mama forgive me) Cock knocker. Who the hell thought this one up?!? My stepbrothers called each other this imaginative name all the time!

5. “Could I BE wearing anymore clothes?!?” Makes me giggle uncontrollably. Every time.

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