Monday, June 30, 2014

World War Z

**Just a reminder, I am part of the Netflix stream team and am being compensated for blogging about Netflix. But as always, all opinions and thoughts are my own! 

Two weeks ago my husband came home from work. We had no softball that night, no where to be, and nothing to do (a rare event around these parts this time of year).

He told us "I heard Netflix has World War Z in now! Let's watch it tonight!" I was interested in watching the movie so I thought shy not. The kids wanted to watch it too, so even more reasons to watch it. (Though it shouldn't have been!)

After dinner, we all went to the basement and sure enough, the movie was available so we started playing it.

This was a good idea for 4/5ths of the family. It was a terrible idea for 1/5th of the family. It wasn't supposed to be that bad, so we let the 8yo watch it.

We are idiots.

I was up that night with him a lot. I had to remind him a lot that the movie was fake. And zombies weren't coming to attack us. We didn't need to protect ourselves against it. Or prepare for doomsday. Sigh. In the future we will stick to letting him watch Johnny Test (which he's been watching on netflix lately and enjoying. And is much, much, much more age appropriate!)

The letting the too-young-child-watch-a-movie-that-was-scarier-than-we-thought-it-would-be issue aside, the rest of us loved watching the moving together.

Between the move, softball, unpacking, doctor's appointments, etc, we haven't had a lot of time to just sit together. So it was lovely to just hang out together and watch World War Z! It was an interesting movie with a slightly different spin on how the zombies act than what other zombie movie/shows have done!

And as a bonus, the next day I walked over to the library and checked the book out of the library (which is quite different from the movie!)

All in all, a good night. Well, if I count the three wake-ups from Mister Man, who definitely was NOT ready to watch this movie at all LOL!


A few weeks ago,  I headed over to my cancer center's geneticist to visit with her.

I had read, a while ago, that there was possibly more genetic testing in regards to breast cancer.

When I was diagnosed, I was tested for BRCA1 and BRCA2. To everyone's amazement (given the family history), it came back negative.

When I read there was more genetic testing that could be done, I thought I should do it. Then dragged my feet. I want to know if there is a genetic component. And yet, there's a small part of me that doesn't want to know.

If there is, it could mean I gave that same mutation to my daughters. Or my son. It could mean I am also high risk for a second cancer, or even a third cancer, or some other issue. It could mean more doctor's appointments, more tests. It could mean more anxiety, more worrying.

At the end of the day though, I want to know. Because it could also mean proactive treatments, extra monitoring to catch things before they become bigger issues (though, as I've said before, early detection isn't a cure all). It's more information, more knowledge.

I can't fathom how this is a bad thing.

So I went in a few weeks ago. I met with the counselor. I learned I was eligible to try to get this done. So that day, I went ahead and had my blood drawn. I signed all the papers, took all the information stuff home, watched her pack it up and place it in the mail pile to go to the company.

At that point, it was time to hold our breath to see if the genetics company and insurance company could work out how it would get covered. Given that this panel of tests isn't exactly a minor expense, we weren't quite sure how this would all work out, but somehow it did. The genetics company had to call us if the test expense would be above $100 out of pocket for us. We were told we'd be notified in a week. No call has come though.

Now it's another waiting game. The actual tests are 6-8 weeks to get results. I'd like to hope we're close to 6 weeks and not 8 weeks. But I also know it will be whatever it is. I can't control it. I will patiently wait for the counselor to call me back. Depending on the actual results, one of my doctors (who will also get a copy of the report) may be calling me as well.

I won't be mailed a copy of the results though. I'll have to get a copy from the genetic counselor (or doctor). I guess they don't want you to see you have some weird mutation and freak out? It's good though. I'm sure it will be a lot to digest, even if it shows there is nothing there at all (because then what caused it?). If it shows something that could have repercussions, the counselor will also go over what additional medical things I should be doing ... scans, tests, etc.

I was given a lot of information that day. I came home and promptly filed it all away without reading it. They are testing 19 DNA points. 19. I figured why learn about 19 mutations, what each one means, and start to fret about it before knowing if I even needed to learn about it. Once we know, I'll tackle it all.

In the meantime, I'm waiting. And I'm actually waiting patiently. Summer has been busy so far and that's been a big help in passing the time! But still. I'm waiting. Wondering if this will show something or not.

Has anyone else done more than BRCA testing? Did you think it was worth it? I'm so curious. No one else I've talked to has had this done, and yet, I know somewhere out there other people have! So, if you have, can you share in the comments? Thanks!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Craziness!

Summer has been flying by so far!

I think every summer I think it's going to be relaxing, with time by the pool to read and daydream, maybe take a quick dip. And every summer I'm shocked that things are so crazy and busy. You'd think by now I'd have learned!

It's good, it's just busy!

We're feeling pretty situated in the new place now. Still some boxes to unpack, but mostly the unimportant stuff that I won't unpack until I need it - which in some cases could mean never. I suppose that's my sign to get rid of it, but I hold on anyway.

The kids have some summer camps. Thankfully, one child is taking her with a neighborhood friend and those parents have been driving. I can't even begin to describe how awesome and helpful that has been!

I'm back in occupational therapy for some new cording issues. We caught them super-early though, and just a few sessions in and things are so much nicer (and not so tight). My therapist is an angel straight from heaven. She's the same woman I saw last year who, in my opinion, did some miracles with my body. So I had pretty high hopes going in this time, and she's met them and exceeded them!

I've started a new crochet project that I'm so excited about! And a few more craft projects in the works! Of course the trick is to find time to work on them.

Hope you are all having a wonderful summer so far! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tired Is The New Black

*Just a reminder that I am part of the Netflix Stream Team and I am getting compensated for sharing this with you, but as always, all opinions and thoughts are my own!

Y'all, I'm so tired these days, sometimes I don't know if I'm coming or going!

We've been quite busy around here. Lots of driving to and fro. Between all of us, from last week and this week, there will be 9 doctor's appointments. Spread out over 4 people, but still. 9 times I have to drive myself or someone else to the doctor. And we're still in the throws of our school year. Because some children took advantage of us moving and didn't always get schoolwork done when told to (and no, they aren't terrible children. They're just children. And prone to get distracted much too easily).

And cleaning. And cooking. And softball. And dance. And camps. And physicals.

And well, I'm sure you understand. I feel confident if we were sitting in a circle, we'd all be nodding along, saying "me too!"

But still. I'm so tired. I haven't had much time to nap. Which sounds like a silly thing to complain about, but remember I have doctor's orders (well, okay, orders is a bit strong, maybe suggestion), to nap.

And there's a lot of knitting I'm NOT getting done.

The days fly by. It's summer. But I'm still waiting for the days of lounging by the pool while the kids run around with friends and play.

I know, I know. Have some cheese with my whine, right?

No cheese, but I have been staying up late every night to indulge in some Orange Is The New Black. I started this show back when season 1 came out on Netflix. I watched the first few episodes and wasn't sure. It's not exactly my normal kind of show. But some friends encouraged me to stick with it. And I'm so glad I did.

I love this show. Okay, I could do without some of the more, um, graphic scenes. And as I start to play an episode each night I silently pray that the kids or granny won't wake up and walk in at an awkward scene.

That aside, the characters are great. I love that we are learning about more than just Piper. Red, Tastee, Big Cindy, Nicky, Mr. Healy.

That is my gift to myself. At the end of the night. A chance to sit, get a bit of knitting done, and enjoy a show that brings a smile to my face.

I think things will taper down a bit soon. We're a lot more unpacked. We got some yearly doctor's appointments done and over with in the last few weeks. And then I'll want to be outside, reading in the hammock, playing with the kids, hanging at the pool. But for now, I'll get through the day and then sit down at the end of the day and enjoy an episode (or two) of Orange is the New Black. And I'll wake up tired the next morning, lather, rinse, and repeat.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Avon Walk

So, this past weekend, I walked in my third Avon walk. I went knowing it would also be my last. It was bittersweet to say the least.

Yesterday, I woke up and took a little walk around the neighborhood. And no, I'm not crazy. And yes, I had just walked 30 miles the weekend before. But I could feel my muscles tightening up so I knew I needed to get them moving, even if it was just a slow, leisurely walk!

When I got home from the walk, I sat down to write a message on facebook. It was a lot longer than I thought it would be. But re-reading it today, I realize I can't say it any better. So today, I'm going to just copy and paste that message over here, because even though it's not polished, or proof-read, I think it perfectly sums up the last three years for me!


So I just took a short (slow) walk around the neighborhood, and as I watched the clouds roll in, I did some thinking. I'll share with you, and it's long (for which I'm sorry, but not too sorry!)

Doing my third Avon walk this year was, in a word, amazing.

There were some bumps in the road (literally and figuratively). There were too many stories that made me cry. Stories that made me smile. Hugs and cheering abounded.

I spent the entire walk with at least one of my teammates Sue, Cathy, and Laura (and most of the time all of them) around me. We had a some friends come walk with us for small bits of time. I got to see my daughter Abigail shine as part of the youth crew, and give the rest of my family a HUGE hug and walk with them for the last mile-ish.

The sun shone, the rain stayed away.

3 years ago I did my first avon walk, mostly because of Rita and Deanna, and joined this team One More Mile. Little did I know that other friends would join, that people who joined and I didn't know before the walk would become my friends too. I didn't know there would be so much laughter and so many tears, and sometimes both at the same time. I didn't know how much the kindness of strangers would encourage me to take one more step when I thought I couldn't. I didn't know how good a hug would feel as I was crying to get on a bus when I couldn't take one more step, despite desperately wanting to keep going. I didn't know that this year, I'd be the one who stopped and helped people and encouraged them and told them it will be okay as they cried getting on the bus because as much as they wanted to, they just couldn't walk one more step at that moment.

 I didn't know that over the course of three years, I would raise over $10,000 to help fund research, education, and treatment/testing for other women. I didn't know that I'd walk a combined total of 106.2 miles.

I didn't know how much I would cry at the finish the line the first year because darn-it, I had done it! I didn't know how much I'd cry at the finish line this year, because it was the last year and I was surrounded by so much love and some pretty awesome people.

In 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It changed my life in some ways I'll never be able to accurately put into words. But it was the reason I walk in 2012. And again in 2013, and once more this year. Cancer sucks. Treatments are long and grueling. Complications only exasperate those feelings. But there are some beautiful and bright moments amongst all of that. The Avon Walk is one of those for me - despite feeling long and grueling.

It's been a good three years. This year, I felt stronger and healthier than I have at the other two years. This year, I finally feel healed from everything I endured from breast cancer. My body is no longer my enemy. It's a good place to be.

I will not for one minute regret ever walking in my Avon walks, but I also don't regret not signing up for next year. I had three good years. It was what I needed. And now I need to take a break. So I will.

But I know next year, as the walk happens, I will feel a bit of sadness. I won't have my walk sisters (who will always be like sisters in my heart) - Cathy, Laura, Sue - beside me. But I'll have the memories in my heart. And I'll go cheer for those who are walking again (Get ready Laura, Diane, Sally and anyone else who's walking... I'm coming with my voice ready to scream and some popsicles if it's hot!)

All of this to say, thank you to everyone - yes every single person - who donated, who cheered me (on facebook, on twitter, via e-mail), who prayed for us, who sent good thoughts, to the new friends I met on the walk, to those of you who helped carry bags when I needed it, to everyone who has been a part of Team One More Mile - Rita, Deanna (and mom), Becky, Jill, Diane, Sally, Charyn, all of Team Amazeboobs, And of course to my family who dealt with all the training walks, the fundraising, who support me, cheer for me and love me (even when I'm tired, crabby, and worn out!)
Pretty much thank you to each and every one of you. I couldn't have done any of this without you.