Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Did you miss me?

Well, I'm sorry I was MIA for a while. I've been sick, tired, worn out, busy, going places, seeing people, enjoying Thanksgiving, being very sore from radiation and most likely the start of lymphedema, without internet and helping one very excited 5 year old boy work on his science fair project.

Phew. Did that wear you out? It wore me out that's for sure!

Anyway, on a good note ... I've been out a few times in the last few weeks. It's still pretty exhausting and I need what feels like a few days to recover from getting out. But, there have been so many moments I didn't want to leave the house in the past, so this feels like a major win!

Also, tomorrow is my last day of radiation. Oh yes. The last day. Can we all just cheer together? On the count of 3. 1 .... 2 ... 3 ... Yay!!!

Okay, now that that is out of the way, I'm saying good night now. Because some virus is going around and of course it got me. So I'll be resting and relaxing for a few more days.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Actual crafting

Once upon a time, there was a girl who started a blog to share some of the crafty projects she was making. She wrote about knitting, sewing, and other crafty things she made. Sometimes, she strayed and wrote about reading or her children or other various things, but for the most part she wrote about crafting.

But then one day, her lovely little blog was taken over by an evil monster: breast cancer. And where once she wrote about knitting and sewing, she now wrote about side effects and exhaustion. Where she once shared pictures of her projects, she now shared pictures of her bald head.

But the brave blogger fought back. She knew she would not allow cancer to take over the blog forever. And so today she is here to show you a new project she is working on!


 Last week, I went to Hobby Lobby to pick some stuff up. My five-year-old saw this needlepoint project and begged me to get it to make it for him. So naturally, I bought the kit and began work on it. This isn't the easiest project for me to work on right now because my fingers are still bothering me. But, it's also not that bad and it's given me a lovely new project to do.

Some of my long-term readers might remember that I like to start new projects at the beginning of things, like the start of the new year or a big vacation we are taking. So, while I'm technically not done with treatment yet, I'd like to consider this a new project for starting life after treatment. And not only is this a new project, but it's a new craft for me. I've never done needlepoint before. So far I'm enjoying it and can't wait to see the finished product hanging in my son's bedroom.

For now, I'll just show you a picture here or there as I get more work done on it. And just because I can, I won't tell you what the picture is yet. Instead, I'll let you have some fun by trying to figure out what I'm making!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Fun!

On Sunday, we were blessed with beautiful weather – that is as beautiful as weather can be in the Chicago area in November. So, we all went outside for some fall fun.

My creation

There was raking to be done, piles of leaves to be made, and of course lots of jumping!

 My creation

 It was so fun to be outside with the whole family. Everyone had a blast jumping and leaves. Yes, even the husband and I played in leaves!the kids jumped in, dove in, and somersaulted in the leaves.

My creation   My creation   My creation

Tuesday, November 08, 2011



I haz hair

Exciting news at our household .... last Tuesday I was at my mom's and we noticed nothing. The next day, the husband noticed my hair was growing back in. {I didn't}. The next day my kids noticed. {I could sort of tell, but it was only in the back I needed two mirrors to see it}. Then, I could tell, but the hair was so small that a camera couldn't pick it up. Now, a camera can pick it up ... so look ... I have hair again!


I know. It's not much. But you can see it {can you also see how thin my eyebrows are? On a funny note, my eyebrows started losing falling out (along with my eyelashes) a few weeks ago ... several weeks after my last chemo! So strange!}. It's coming in very dark. But it was dark before, so this isn't a huge surprise. Still, if had come back lighter, I wouldn't have complained. Oh well. I'm taking what I'm getting.

I know, I know. On one hand it's just hair. But really? It's so much more. To me it's a sign. My body is healing. Things are trying to get back to normal. It's almost like that first bloom in the springtime. You know spring isn't over yet and snow could still fall, but it's a sign summer will come again. Just when you feel like winter will never end. And that's what this is for me ... and I'm so excited! =)

Monday, November 07, 2011


So, I'm beginning a 365 project. Basically it's to take 1 picture every day for an entire year. I figure now is as good as time as any! {I may change this to 315 - which would be 6 days per week. And also, most will be self-portraits!}


Sunday, November 06, 2011


So, every day, Monday through Friday, I have the pleasure of driving to the hospital and going for my radiation treatment. I have already had 15 treatments and will go today for my 16th (this puts me at about the halfway point).

The good news is, the radiation department has such a great set up. There is hardly any wait and I am in and out very quickly. The first thing I do when I get there, is swipe my card.This is how I check in. After I swipe my card, I go into the woman's changing area. There are cubbies there, one for each patient, where we keep our hospital gowns.


This way we don't need a new gown each time we come since we are there daily and only wear them for about 10 to 15 min. it seems wasteful to use our new gown each time. I get into my down and wait for the nurses to come get me. (I don't think I've ever waited more than 5 min. which is really nice)

Me rocking my gown from Annie and Isabel and my arm warmers (because I'm always freezing there)

The nurse walks me to the actual radiation room. I lay down on a table and they line everything up just so. I have four tiny tattoos that they use to line me up in a very specific positions. I get two doses of radiation that target the lymph node area (one from the top and one from the side.

Then the nurse comes back in and covers my right breast with a bolus. The bolus is this rubber-like thing that helps concentrate the radiation on my skin instead of allowing it to go deeper - which it would do if the bolus were not there. I get an additional four doses of radiation – two from the p and two from the side. Each radiation dose last from 4 seconds to 12 seconds (at least in my head when I'm counting one-one thousand two-one thousand etc. those are the numbers I come up with). And then, I go get dressed and make my way home.

I'm usually there for about 15 to 20 min., so not too long. Every five days they also take pictures to make sure that I'm still being lined up in the correct position to get radiation. And on Wednesdays I stay and meet with the doctor. He checks my skin to see how it's holding up, goes over any side effects I'm having, and just make sure that things are running smoothly.

Everyone there is great – the nurses, the Dr., all the other staff. And they run the place very efficiently. But, I can't lie. I will be so grateful when I get that last radiation treatment and don't need to be there every single day!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I probably should have posted this yesterday, but you know what they say? Better late than never.

Halloween 2011

We had a lovely Halloween. The 12-year-old was Oscar the grouch. The nine-year-old was a witch. And the five-year-old was Darth maul. I was most surprised by the five-year-old, as when he left to go get his costume he told me he was going to be a firefighter!


We trick or treated in our neighborhood with some of our friends. Came home had a simple pasta dinner and then headed to another friends house where the kids went trick-or-treating again. I was able to rest during this time and hang out with my friend. The kids got a ton of candy. I don't even know were going to do with all of it!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Monday as well.