Today is my five-year diagnosiversary!
I’m embarrassed at how long it’s been since I last posted. So let’s rush past the “oh, it’s been so long since I last posted” stuff and to the update/meat of the post.
It seems I am no longer a person with osteoporosis.
Yes, it’s true. The heavy-duty IV osteoporosis meds I’d been doing twice a year seem to have worked their magic. I don’t know the specifics and numbers, but I know that the bone density scan I had last month revealed that things are shaping up, bone-wise. I still do have some osteopenia (kind of JV Osteoporosis) in one leg, and I’ll continue with the calcium supplements and switch to an oral med, and that should help keep me in JV.
so that was great news to get.
No news continues to be good news for us over here, at least with regards to my health. The checkup scans and whatnot that I had in late October came back all clear, all NED (No Evidence of Disease). That’s good stuff!
One of these days, I have got to sit down and figure out if I can/should start working on prerequisite classwork for nursing school. While it’s fabulous coming to Raleigh-Durham where the nursing school options are rather plentiful (certainly plentiful in comparison to Oxford’s!), it does present a new problem: namely, WAIT LISTS. It seems that there’s a good two-three years’ worth of folks on the wait lists at the area nursing schools, but you can’t even apply ’til you’ve done your prereqs. Add to that that I’m not considered eligible for in-state tuition until midway through the Fall 2009 semester and it presents a bit of a puzzle regarding where and when to start the ball rolling on Nursing School in NC. Never fear, though, I love me some logic puzzles, so I’ll figure it out soon enough, I’m sure.
We’ve been here in NC for about a month now (we like it lots!) and things are going well. I’ve met my new oncologist and like her very much, but I’ve not been able to get my scans or Zometa yet (not even a flu shot!) because of stoopid insurance stuff. Sigh. Well, at least we will be covered again in the next week, but still!
It’s been an insanely busy summer, one reason being that we’ve decided to move to North Carolina.
Lots went into this decision, but mostly we want to be closer to family. I’m still planning on sticking to the nursing school goal and T’s new job is going to bring him a lot of good challenges. The boys are so very excited about it that within an hour of telling them about the move, they were bringing us their shoes and saying, “let’s put on our shoes and go to Raleigh NOW, Mama!”
Oh, if only moving 700+ miles was that easy!
Well, we’ll get there, but it might take a little longer. I’ve got an appointment with a new oncologist in Raleigh in October, though, so it’s for sure not going to take longer than that.
I’ve never been big on travelling. I don’t precisely know why, I think it’s a combination of really disliking the hullaballoo and madness of traveling and just simply liking being home. Tom is always teasing me that I am a major homebody and my response is always, “no kidding!” Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed going to Hawaii last year and of course to North Carolina, Boston, New York, Chicago, various Gulf Coast beach towns, Arizona, Wheaton, and DC to visit friends and family since we moved here 7 (SEVEN??!) years ago. But I very very much enjoyed coming home afterwards.
But this week, a friend shared a link to an amazing video. I’m only about three or four years too late in “discovering” this, but basically the story behind this amazing video is that this guy travelled all over the world and videotaped himself dancing wherever he went; in this latest version of the video, he is joined by locals. Oh I can’t even begin to describe it well enough, I’ll just post the link and you watch it.
My point here is that NOW I GET IT. Now I see why one would want to travel. Why one would want to see such glorious places and people. Why one would happily choose to overlook the discomforts and inconveniences of travel today. Holy buckets.
Not only that, but I’m feeling a little like I haven’t held up my end of the bargain as a cancer survivor. I was reading cancer blogs today and realized that three years ago at this time, I had just finished my second round of chemo. And here I am today, three years later, cancerfree (albeit ovaryless and with osteoporosis at age 36, too), but I haven’t done much of anything to improve the world or take advantage of this time I was given. Yes, I still plan on going to nursing school so that I can go to work at my oncologist’s and pay it forward, but nursing school won’t be happening until the boys start kindergarten, at least. But, I, I. I don’t know. I haven’t even stinkin’ danced on the beach in Fiji.
Took me a while to get this posted, I know. I just haven’t come round to liking this photo all that much; it kind of depresses me that it’s part of the annual photostream. Oh well.
Here be 2008’s addition to the annual Father’s Day Family Photo:
Kind of typical of us…Tom and I are muttering “smile! smile for the camera!” as we wait for the camera timer, Thomas overdoes the smiling, while Alexander gives his worst effort possible at posing.
To see just how much hair we’ve all grown since beginning taking these photos back in 2005 (right after Round #1 of chemo for me), click here to see this post of past photos.
CasaCaudill tagged me!
What’s tagging? Well, quoting Becky (who quoted her original tagger): “for those new to ‘Tagging’ – it’s a form of blog networking, which you answer 5 questions and pass the questions along to 6 other bloggers.” Got it? Let’s get started then.
1. Where Were You Ten Years Ago?
Using my brilliant math skills, that tells me that ten years ago would have been June 1998. I think maybe that is about the time I got my last single girl car (that’s what I called it), the VW Cabrio. Hunter green. Super-spiffy. It had heated seats. What else do I remember about 1998? Very little. I very likely was living in my beloved apartment on Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria (Virginia). I think it’s possible that that summer I went to a lot of weddings, too, some of which I was probably even a bridesmaid in.
2. Five Items on Your To-Do List Today
- feed the children (mine, I mean)
- try to get to the gym at some point
- take recycling to recycling center
- mop kitchen floor
- daydream about new houses
3. Snacks I Enjoy
- Caramel ricecakes-and-Cool Whip sandwich dealies from Hungry Girl
- Wheat Thins
- Salt & Vinegar Chips (Utz, please)
- red grapes
4. What would you do if you were a billionaire?
- Quit daydreaming about a new house and make it so (plus new furniture and all that good stuff)
- take care of family
- more DSLR camera whatnots
- go to a game at Fenway in those seats right behind the Red Sox dugout. Hell, let’s get season tickets.
- take the kids to Disney because I know they’ll flip when they see Buzz Lightyear “in-person”
5. Places I would Live
You know, I’m kinda loving it right here, although I would love to see family and friends more often…and have a stinkin’ Target nearby. But I suppose it wouldn’t be at all awful to live in Hawaii. Am I right? Right? You know I’m right.
Last…Six Bloggers I’m passing the challenge onto…
Coming soon: our Fourth Annual Father’s Day Family Photo…
My fifteenth college reunion was this past weekend. It was very fun and very good to see old friends after so long. Wheaton (and the weather) rose to the occasion and I very much enjoyed my weekend away from home (T stayed home with the boys).
But we discovered something kind of surprising, but really — in retrospect — not all that shocking. I’m not the only member of class of 1993 to have had breast cancer and a mastectomy. While I had saline implants and did chemo and Michele had DIEP and is on tamoxifen, we both faced some of the hardest, scariest months of our lives fighting a common enemy. I’m so happy that we’ve both kicked cancer’s ass but good.
Of course, we’ve heard of the 1 in 8 women you know will have breast cancer in your lifetime statistic, but to find two cases of pre-menopausal breast cancer in the population of a not-large class from a small New England liberal arts college? That gave me pause, and I have to say, I’m a little scared for the rest of the class of 1993! According to my very poor mathifyin’, statistically, there’s still quite a lot of fellow classmates (both men and women, as men can also get breast cancer) who someday may be in their own battles with breast cancer. Michele’s cancer was found during a routine mammogram and I found my lump myself; I’m hoping that the future potential patients have similar experiences and will also catch it (relatively) early.
On a happier note: Michele, will you please let me know how I can support you and Greg in your 3-Day Walk? And of course share how it goes. Erin and Sue are really angling hard to get me to do a 3-Day with them in 2009, but I’m nervous…that’s a LOT of walking!
Two years ago, right around this time, we lost a good friend, Jess, to ovarian cancer. It hardly seems like it’s already been two years.
I often think of Jess, still wear a beautiful pendant (today, in fact! and you can see it in the cupcake/diagnosiversary shot below) that we her friends all got to show support for her in her fight for her life (seriously, it’s gorgeous…a circle of friends holding hands, just lovely), and hope all the time that I am doing her at least a little proud as a cancer survivor. No joke, you know how some people say “WWJD?” as shorthand for What Would Jesus Do? Well, my WWJD is What Would Jess Do?
I also wanted to take the opportunity to honor her by posting something she wrote and posted on her blog the day after I was diagnosed. It’s an amazing piece and it underscores all the more how tremendous a loss it is to us all that she’s now gone.
I’m putting it behind a cut; while brilliant, it isn’t entirely family-friendly.