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I'm Baaaaaaaaaaack!!!!

Well, after taking nearly a year and a half off from blogging here I am returning--why you might ask? Well it just so seems that I may or may not have cancer again. That's right folks, THE BIG C may be back for another visit. Strangely enough, I learned of this possibility just 3 years, 1 month, and 7 days after my previous diagnosis--which some of you may recall had been a recurrence which I found out about on exactly the 3rd anniversary of my original diagnosis. So yep, this possibly means cancer for me 3 times in just 6 years all at the age of 37. Isn't life just grand?

I'll have to backtrack a bit, but I'll tell you all about how this 'diagnosis' came to be...
I'm not 100% sure when this actually started, as I've experienced ongoing chronic pain ever since my original cancer and the chemo I endured in 2005. The pain was widespread for the most part; effecting the shins of my legs, hips, and lower back. Aside from the pain, which I was told was a result of the chemo and Neulasta injections -- I also experienced widespread tingling pain caused by nerve neuropathy, another result of chemo and from nerve damage which occurred during surgery. So for many, many years now I have been under the care of a pain management specialist. I've tried all kinds of different drug combinations that essentially weren't effective for either the pain I had, my low tolerance for it, or for my high tolerance to many of the pain medications available. Sometime after moving to New Orleans in 2006 I got in with a doctor that figured out the right combo to make the pain manageable, and not over-drug me in the process. Things had been trucking along just fine, and for a period of time it even seemed as though things had been improving. In Spring of 2009 I began a weight loss journey, that included eating 'healthier' and being more active. As I began walking, biking, and eventually some lite jogging, I noticed some slight improvements in my pain levels. So in 2010 I asked for a reduction in my short-acting pain meds, as the pain in my legs had improved. I still had issues with my back, so my doctor suggested these x-ray guided injections that would block the pain and offer a few months worth of relief. He sent me out to get an MRI done on my lower back, along with a series of x-rays to check for rheumatoid arthritis. Everything came back okay with the exception of my L4-5 showing bulging, degenerative discs. According to the doctor, these kinds of back issues typically respond well to back injections. I had my injections done the Friday before Thanksgiving, and was somewhat disappointed because I didn't feel like I was experiencing any real immediate relief. I decided to wait it out thinking it might take some time to notice. That's when I realized that my typical pain across my lower back region was better, however I was experiencing pain up a little on my right side under my shoulder blade and just a bit of pain around my left hip region. By this time it was already December, and I had thought that maybe I had been sitting funny or over-compensating in some way and that was why I was feeling this new pain. I tried to get in early to see my doctor, but he was all booked up and like an idiot I didn't press cause I didn't see how anything was related. By January my hip pain grew increasingly worse, bringing me to tears for a number of days as my sciatica nerve acted up. Finally, I had a friend take me to the ER cause I couldn't stand the pain anymore. While I was there I explained everything to them thinking that perhaps the injections had pinched a nerve or something. I was convinced at this point it was all related to the injections, and the ER doctor did some kind of rectal exam explaining they were checking for some kind of neurological symptoms or something to that effect, but everything was fine then. They gave me a shot of Kenelog and a short-acting pain killer... I say short-acting because it wore off before I ever even left the ER. They wanted to admit me for pain, but I refused since my daughter's birthday party was being held at my house the next day. Lucky for me when I woke up I was feeling 10 times better thanks to the steroid injection! However, the side effects I experienced from it was less than pleasant! I began having pain in the breast bone almost immediately, and within days my right eye socket had nearly swollen shut. I consulted with a urgent care doctor about the swelling of my eye after my dentist told me it looked like a neurological problem, but the doctor didn't really know what the cause was without further tests, just told me it would be fine and to come back if it happened again. As far as the chest pain, I was told that steroids do strange things to your body. As days passed my eye got better, as did some of my pain. I still had quite a bit of pain in my left hip region that left me limping around. I finally got in to see the doctor on 1/24 and I questioned if everything was connected to the pain injections I had gotten, and of course the answer I had gotten was a big fat no. I didn't really understand at the time why, but I'm guessing it had to do with different regions of my back and different groups of nerves. As January turned to February I continued to complain more and more about the pain as it was not improving and I was taking more of my immediate relief pain meds. My doctor referred me out to physical therapy, but after much debate I decided not to go until I found out what was actually wrong with my hip. I decided it would be in my best interest to request a follow up MRI at my March appointment, we also discussed possibly doing more pain injections, this time in several different spots in my back and into my hip. We scheduled a Lumbar MRI for the following week, with the injections to follow a few weeks later. The PA from my pain doctor's office called me shortly after my MRI with a preliminary report to let me know that my once 'bulging' discs were now torn at the L4-L5, and that it was in no way related to my previous injections because of where the tears were located at. We decided to proceed with more injections that we set up for mid-March when my pain management doctor returned to the office. Since my pain management doctor had been out of town the final MRI report had been sent to his in-box and sat until he returned. So when he returned and reviewed the report he found that the finalized report showed much more than just tears. He called me first thing Monday morning before my scheduled injection to let me know that it appeared I had metastatic disease present in my spine and wanted to refer me out ASAP to an oncologist for a biopsy and/or further testing. It was at this point my injections were cancelled and it was full steam ahead.....


Time Flies

I just realized I haven't blogged in over 2 weeks! I just haven't really felt much like writing. I think it's lack of material. Or maybe I've just gotten bored with it after four years. I haven't decided yet if I want to put this blog to bed, so for now I just take little breaks here and there.

Everyone should be getting their prize packs by tomorrow. I gave all the contact info to Victor earlier this week, who sent the packs out the same day. If you were chosen as a winner, then be on the lookout for yours.

My recent tests went well. It seems I was worked up and nervous about nothing. Each scan came back clear. They didn't even detect any cysts on my liver like what was found last time. I'll follow up again in 4-6 months for more scans. It's a huge relief to know everything is still ok. I asked the doctor how long I've actually been in remission. I never knew if it technically began once I started Tamoxifen, or if it began once radiation was complete. Technically speaking, it began with my first clear scan following surgery to remove the tumor. Which was when I hoped it had started. That puts me at 1 1/2 years in remission--half way to the dreaded 3 year mark. Once I get passed 3 years I will feel better, though statistically speaking I won't be in the clear till I reach 5 years. After that, my chance for a recurrence goes down every year.

This is our last weekend with Danny here. He's feeling homesick, so he's going back to Vegas on Sunday. I can't believe that he's been here for 6 months already. Time really does fly! His leaving is going to be bittersweet. It will be nice to have the house back after all this time....will be able to walk down to the dryer in my panties and not worry about someone else being home. Yet, he's been such a HUGE help around the house. Ruben hasn't had to cut grass since spring, and I haven't done dishes in just as long. But I understand he's homesick and misses his momma. Believe me, I tried to talk him into staying till at least Thanksgiving, but he's been ready to go home for a while now. So tomorrow we're going up to Baton Rouge to take him out to the Cracker Barrel to eat.

His flight leaves early Sunday afternoon, so I had to ask a neighbor if they could watch Natalie cause Ruben & I will be going to the Saints game. This is our last game other than the Dallas game in December. Well, unless Ruben's friend gives us tickets to a game cause they can't make it--but with the season they are having, I doubt they will want to miss a game. Ruben still gets to go to one game with Dave, unless the boys let us wives go--which would be nice!! I looked into getting tickets for another game, but this season's home games are sold out. Those who are selling their unused tickets are asking way too much. I'd love to head up to St. Louis to catch them play the Rams, but with Danny leaving we have no one to watch Natalie. Maybe next year we can catch an away game.


Best Team in the League!

OMG, did you happen to catch yesterday's Saints game? WOW! It was incredible! The hubby and I were among the Who Dat Nation in attendance at the Dome yesterday. We got there a bit early to beat the traffic and find a decent parking spot, and boy am I glad we did. The Dome was PACKED. I was surprised by how many Giants fans there were. We had 4 of them sitting a few rows ahead of us, and I almost felt sorry for them cause everyone was giving them such a hard time. But then I remembered they were Giants fans, so I joined in. LOL. We were on fire! The crowd was so loud, and had so much energy. I've never enjoyed a game quite like that. In fact I'm still pretty hoarse today from all the screaming I did.

Before the game started, I was all concerned because as it turns out the rumors are true. Reggie's back with Kardashian. I am not a fan of that union, not at all. But surprisingly, he played pretty good. Unlike some of the previous games where he had fumbled the ball. So maybe she's not the Simpson to his Romo. Doesn't matter though, I still don't like her.

Our next game won't be until sometime in November, not sure which game yet though. We're sharing season tickets with one of Ruben's co-workers, and they don't usually decide who's going to what game till the Friday before. Though I do know we will be at the Cowboy game in December. Other than that, I don't know if we'll be going to one or two other games. Ruben and Dave went to the Season opener, so instead of having four games each, we now only have three games and one where Ruben and Dave will likely go again. Unless of course somehow Erin and I are lucky enough to get the tickets instead. Doubt it will happen, but I guess there's always a chance. Or maybe we'll just get the extra game cause they travel around a lot for their kids BMX races.

All I know is I'm really looking forward to the next game. I was on the Saints website this morning and saw an ad that got me thinking about going to an away game. I don't think we'd be able to pull it off this season, cause in a few weeks my brother in law will be going back to Vegas. Which will make traveling a bit more difficult cause we will have to factor in our daughter and the dog. I was eying the November 15th game at St. Louis. Once upon a time Ruben had been a Rams fan - and they did win the Superbowl the day we got married back in 2000. But it would be hard for me to go there and not see my friends, whom I haven't seen in 15-20 years. Besides, I'm already planning a trip there in January. So I've just got to be patient. I think it would be better to plan something out for next season anyway. Then again, they are having an awesome season NOW! I'm so terribly impatient! However, Ruben just set me straight. With his current workload this class, it's just not possible. Bummer, there goes that idea!

So what else has been going on around here? Just the usual. I know I've been away for a while. I'm really slacking, but it seems that it's not just me. A lot of my fellow bloggers are only posting monthly now, and while I don't want to do it, I find myself doing it just cause there isn't anything noteworthy going on. I mean seriously, do you really want to hear me go on and on about errands or my weight loss? I didn't think so. Though I will say the weight loss is going well, though it has slowed a bit. Which is likely my own fault because I've been cheating on the weekends, drinking and eating regular food. Stadium food is enough to get you every time! On the health front I was reminded last week that it is time for my 4 month check up. So come Friday I will be having chest, ab & pelvic CT scans done - along with lots of bloodwork. I'll be seeing my oncologist ont he 26th for the results. Though I am nervous, I'm sure everything will be okay. It's just the anxiety of waiting and wondering. But I will be sure to keep everyone posted.

Also, I'm still waiting to get info from Kimberlee & Debbie. Once I have their info, I will be contacting everyone to let them know I'm passing along their info to Celebration 4 Life.



I need the following people to email me their contact info, so they can receive their prize pack:

-Kimberlee Cook

Everyone else, I have email addresses for, and will be contacting you shortly to get your address from you.

Please send your email to: MLSSBUGS@AOL.COM


A Celebration 4 Life Giveaway

I’m back with that special announcement I told y'all to watch for! Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we're going to do something special. The folks over at A Celebration 4 Life wanna give away some goodies! Here's the details:

One cap and one cooling neck wrap can be all yours if you enter this giveaway. And if you win, you’ll get to choose the cap and wrap of your choice. Pretty generous, huh? It gets better.

Celebration 4 Life will award 12 winners. Yes, 12. So be sure to leave a comment (but only one) so you have a chance at getting these great goods.

Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  • Visit this site and leave a comment below sharing the model number of both the cap and cooling neck wrap you want (note: Caps with the thin reflective bands are standard size, and the ones with the wider reflective bands are smaller).
  • Leave your comment no later than 5PM CT on Monday, October 12, 2009.
  • You may enter only once.
  • Open to legal residents of the 50 United States, and the District of Columbia, who are 18 and older.
  • Twelve winners will be selected in a random drawing.
  • Twelve winners will receive one cap ($13) and one cooling neck wrap, ($5), valued at $18.
  • Winners will be notified by email and in a post on this blog, so make sure to check next week to find out if you’ve won!

Before you leave the Celebration 4 Life site, check out their free downloads, and use them if you can. OK, that’s all. Good Luck!



Celebration 4 Life

I owe a big thanks to Jacki Donaldson. Over the past couple years, she has passed along to me several great opportunities. The most recent has been with a gentleman from A Celebration 4 Life, a company I had never heard of until a couple weeks ago. So, let me start off by telling you a little about the company, then products they carry.

Life™ products are an expression of a State of Mind. The symbol was developed after Victor had lost his Mother to pancreatic cancer. As this is HER symbol, he ensures that all Life™ products are of excellent quality. The products focus on celebrating life by spreading positive and hope-filled statements.

The Life™ symbol offers: Hope, Optimism, Gratitude, Abundance, Empowerment, Vitality, Energy, Freedom, Possibilities, Joy, Aliveness, Purpose, and Perception of Endless Potential.
It reminds us that there are always options. It gives us Belief in Possibilities versus beliefs in tragic outcomes. It allows us to Celebrate each precious moment of Life and it helps us recognize the importance of these moments.

I am so honored that Jacki recommended me to Victor, and thankful to be a part of this. I like the message these products send, and what the Life™ symbol itself stands for. Victor graciously sent me a sampling of his products--which let me tell you were far more superior than what I expected.

My favorite is this Cancer Sucks t-shirt. I like the message it sends, plus I am totally a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. You can pick up the t-shirts for $13, which is really quite reasonable given that they're 100% pre-shrunk, silk-screened cotton.

I'm really excited about this Keep Cool Bandanna. It's going to be great for my afternoon bike rides, since it is still pretty hot and humid here in Louisiana! It's just $5, made from 100% cotton, it cools body temperature for hours and it's reusable.

This hat, which is just $13 will also come in handy for my evening bike rides since it has reflective strips on it. The mesh will help keep my head cool, and it's completely adjustable. But best of all is the embroidered logo on it. I love the raised surface of it.

Oh, the best part of all, is that most of these products are also offered in other 'cause' colors, so it's not just breast cancer stuff. You can pick your color when you place an order (toll-free at 866-756-8078 or online).


National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is almost here!! I know in many areas The Race for the Cure coincides. Even though I don't plan on participating in any races this year, I do still try to support them.

My 'sister-survivor' Christina in Texas is participating in her local race in 10 days, and had these great custom t-shirts printed up. Obviously, I cannot be in Texas for the race, but that didn't stop me from making a donation and buying one of the awesome survivor shirts - which I am waiting patiently for the mailman to deliver. I do believe I ordered the black one, but upon further examination of the fine print on her Facebook Fan Page, only the pink t-shirts will say survivor on them. So I'm actually not sure which I am getting, since I am in fact a survivor. Oh well, it doesn't matter much cause it's supporting the cause which truly matters. Either way, are these not some cool shirts?

Today when I went in for my doctors appointment over at Ochsner Baptist Hospital, there was a woman near the check in desk that was signing people up for the race. She had this awesome shirt with her, but I was afraid it would only be available to those who signed up. So I asked about them, half expecting to have to enter. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the shirts had nothing to do with the race, but were just items for sale. All proceeds to benefit Ochsner's Cancer Services. Now, I've never dealt with Ochsner's program before, as last year I saw an MD Anderson affiliate over at East Jefferson Hospital, but I have heard wonderful things about Ochsner's Cancer Services. I really like this shirt because it incorporates the fluer-de-lys that is a integral part of Louisiana. What about this shirt, isn't it just great? I just LOVE the slogan!

So, with Breast Cancer Awareness Month right around the corner, I just wanted to make an announcement that sometime next week I will be making a special post as I am participating in a giveaway for Celebration 4 Life. Stay tuned for details!!


The Funniest Video I've Seen in a While

New Moon Trailer

While I'm still looking forward to seeing New Moon, I'm not anticipating it nearly as much as I did Twilight. Perhaps it would help if I had someone to go see it with, rather than go by myself on opening day like I did last year. There's no way my husband would be caught dead in the theater. Hell he'll barely even admit to watching Twilight in his own home. If asked, he will say that he was forced to endure it. I'll admit these films are a bit on the cheesy side, and honestly, they don't really do the books any justice at all. But they're not all bad. Yeah sure, I don't really care for the way they did the whole wolf looks cartoonish, and the acting and dialogue can both be bad at times. But hot half naked men certainly makes up for all the faults - or at least it does in my book. Enjoy!!


Never Forget

Where were you 8 years ago today?

I remember being in my car, on my way to work, listening to KOMP. It was just after 6:30 when they made an announcement about the first attack. I couldn't believe what my ears were hearing. I thought it had been some kind of cruel joke. So I called and woke my husband up, who had just went to bed a few hours earlier cause he was working swing shift then. I made him turn on the news to see if it had been true, and was saddened to learn it was. Once at work, I couldn't concentrate on anything but the news. A co-worker of mine had brought a little portable TV with her to work. Most of us had gathered around to watch the breaking news reports.

It's hard to believe that it's been 8 years already, as it still feels like it was yesterday.


This Kid Has Some Moves....

I found this video over at VP's blog, so I had to share it with y'all. Enjoy :)

I couldn't resist doing this :)

Ruben's going to kill me for this!

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Car Lust

I'm trying my damnedest to talk my hubby into letting me buy a new car!


Kicking it into Overdrive

As many of you know already, in May I began a crusade to lose weight. I've been working pretty hard for the last 4 months, though in all honesty I did not lose any weight while Ruben's mom was here visiting or while at Disney World. It took all I had not to gain weight then!

I started off walking 2 miles a day and restricting my calories to 1500 or less. It was kinda hard at first. I had to give up all my favorite things....steak, soda, junk food. I'd like to think I am living healthier now, though I am by no means the picture of perfect health. I was even able to get Ruben to give it a try. I switched from walking to biking a couple miles. A couple miles then turned to 4, then 5. Last night I biked 7.5 miles and it felt great. So I decided to mix it up a bit, and added 500 crunches and a mix of pelvic thrusts and butt lifts prior to bed.

Sure, I woke this morning feeling a little bit sore, but that didn't stop me from repeating the regimen this morning. It feels good, and I think that somewhere along the lines I've kinda become addicted to working out. Or at least I hope that's the case and I'm not just pushing myself harder, trying to achieve too much too fast. I know that if I stick with this I'll reach most of my goals by my birthday.

I told you how I wanted to lose weight for my trip. Ideally, before going back I'd like to be the size I was when I left. Ultimately, I'd prefer the size I was before we moved to Hawaii in 1991, though I'd be happy to settle for the size I was when my first husband and I split up in 1994 and I moved to Vegas.

Anyway, in the 4 months since May I have managed to lose 30 pounds and a total of 30 inches from my bust, arms, waist, hips, thighs, calves. The biggest loss has been the 7 inches I've taken off my hips, with a 5 inch loss from my waist coming in at second. I still can't really see the difference. I can tell that my panties are too big cause no matter what they are ALWAYS uncomfortable. Even my smaller size shirts can be a bit roomy, but there hasn't been a real major difference. At least not one that I can see.

Ruben's closing in on about 28 pounds now and is wearing pants that are 2 sizes smaller. He's catching up with me FAST, which means that I'm just going to have to work harder cause I'd imagine that I'm probably about to platue here real soon.

Any suggestions as to what to do to keep it going?


Post Op Recovery

I think this has probably been the easiest surgical procedure I've had done yet. Either that or I'm getting too used to it all. I had my surgery on the 24th, which lasted a little over 2 hours. They took me back just after 11am, and I was in my room eating a turkey sandwich by 2:30. By 3pm we were already headed on our way to the grocery store on our way home. I came home and didn't even take a nap or anything. Not just that, but I was up and alert the very next morning. Ruben says I was running up and down the steps, which is a bit of an exaggeration. I wasn't quite running. I truly felt great though. Even the dreaded drain didn't even really bother me much this time. But he placed it somewhere other than my side this time, which made a HUGE difference in my level of comfort.

Yesterday I had my drain and staples removed. I was a little worried going in cause my whole left breast is yellow. But I was told that it is doing real good. The yellow should be the last phase of the bruise. It was bruised because he did a little lipo on one area to try and remove the lumpy tissue. I'm still pretty swollen, but it feels as though I still have some lumpy areas. It's never going to be perfect, but it does look 100% better than it did before, because it's now in the correct position. Not only do I look even, I look like I have so much more volume even though the size of the implants did not change.

So since everything was ok, I was even given the okay to go ahead and resume biking or walking as long as I didn't over do it. So last night I took a 4.5 mile ride. It actually felt really great to get back on the bike again - which means that I have gone completely mad. I mean, who ever would have thought a day would come that I actually look forward to exercising? But I'm glad that I'm actually getting there and not despising it so much. I've lost a couple more pounds, which brings me to a grand total of 40 pounds lost so far. Though, I still for the life of me can't tell where I've lost it at. Yeah, my new pants - which are 4 sizes smaller than what I used to wear, are starting to feel a little baggy. But not quite enough to go down to the next size yet. I'm looking to start doubling my biking miles. I think I'm going to add about a mile a week. I'm planning on going back to see some friends in Illinois sometime after my birthday. It's what I told Ruben I wanted for my birthday, though what I really want is a new Camaro - but I know realistically, I cannot ask or expect him to buy me a $45k car as a gift. So instead, I'm going to fly back for an extended weekend - not sure which just yet, meet up with some friends, have some drinks, reminisce and have a good time. Part of my prerequisite for going is to get back down to the size I was when I left - or at least close to it. I'm pushing towards losing 60 pounds in like 23 weeks. Wish me luck, cause it won't be easy!

Ruben has also done a fab job of losing some weight. He's at like 25 pounds now, but still has a ways to go to get that motorcycle he wants. The only problem is that he just started his first class towards his Bachelors last week, and he's got to figure out some time management cause school is kicking his ass and he needs time to walk, spend with his family, and of course watch football.

Speaking of football, we'll be at Thursday's pre-season game between the Saints and Dolphins. I'm really excited about it. I still don't have a clue about the game or how it's played, but I like being there. Ruben is trying to teach me all the terms. We'll see how much I actually pick up!


Every Scar Tells a Story

Jacki Donaldson, writer for That's Fit is featuring my port-a-cath scar revision story over at her Breast Cancer Blog, . Please stop by and check it out!


I like this tree

Every day I ride my bike through the neighborhood. And every time I go
through this one area I stop to admire this live oak. Isn't it
gorgeous? Well today I finally remembered to stop and take a picture.
It looks like the ones you see in movies. This is a southern oak at
it's finest.

Today on my ride I had a beautiful stray lab running next to me. I was
going to take a picture but by time I got my phone out of my pocket he
had got tired and stopped. Maybe next time.

Come Monday this should look better

Monday I will be checking into the hospital for my ELEVENTH breast surgery. Hopefully this will be my last one. Aside from removing capsular contracture, and repositioning my implant, my surgeon is going to perform a revision to my port-a-cath scar. It's not much, but this scar hurts like a sonabitch. I can't stand to have my seatbelt across my shoulder. And whatever you do, don't touch it cause I still have some of those nylon sutures in the midst of all this scar tissue. So I'm really hoping that will all change come next week and it's all healed. So say bye bye ugliness!

Rain, rain go away!

Today I was out running errands before my surgery on Monday, and let me just say the weather was god-awful. I got soaked on several occasions. It seems to have let up now, so I'm debating about whether or not I should go for my bike ride or not. I'm afraid it will start raining half way through it.

Facebook Addiction

Alright, I admit it. I'm addicted to Facebook and may soon need an intervention. The problem is they have these games that are so damn addictive. It's like Hotel California I swear. You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave. The past 2 weeks I've been scrapbooking like crazy. 15 pages, which is more than I created in the last 2 or 3 years combined. Thing is I would probably have done more if it weren't for stupid FarmVille. I don't think I've ever been sucked into a game like I have with that or the others made by Zynga. Aside from the games though, I've really enjoyed talking with old friends. They're all sure to make me LOL daily. I feel bad for neglecting my blog, but most of the blogs I read have also slowed down a lot. Anyway, if you're looking for me, well now you know where to find me. I'll be tending to my farm. LOL!


The Beginning of Fall

Fall is officially here, at least to me it is. I know that technically fall doesn't start for a while. But since school is back in session, it is for all intensive purposes, fall. Now I just wish that we would have fall like weather as well, then I would be absolutely tickled.

Natalie started school this past Thursday, which I honestly don't see the point to. I mean really, what good is it to go for two whole days? Monday will be her first full week. I am thoroughly enjoying the peace and quiet. Especially now that I am scrapbooking again, which I didn't get to actually do enough of this past week.

I spent one day attempting to organize all our pictures, which isn't quite as bad as it seems. It turns out that I have not printed any pictures since December 2005. Needless to say I am uploading obscene amounts of pix to have printed. And while I said I spent a day organizing photos, that did not include organizing digital files, which I need to do desperately. Luckily I have files left to go through, cause after my hard drive frying last weekend, I wasn't sure if I had lost everything or not. As it turned out, I had backed up about 6 months ago, so the loss was minimal.

Wednesday Natalie lost her first molar. I panicked when she told me it was loose. For some reason I didn't think it was normal for a molar to be loose. But my friend Joanna told me it was normal and no big deal. I was so relieved cause I thought for sure we'd have to make an emergency visit to the dentist. Natalie got to meet her new teacher at a back to school bash at the school. Afterwards, we attempted to watch a Saints practice game. But due to the weather it had been canceled. It really had me bummed, cause I was looking forward to hopefully getting some pictures and autographs...oh well, I'm going to try to make it to the practice tomorrow mourning if I can. Thursday Natalie came home from school missing another tooth! She had lost her second molar while at school. Thing is, we didn't even know it was loose!

Friday Ruben hooked up my new computer. He had gotten all the parts in on Thursday, and got it all put together. Once Natalie got home from school, we got ready to head to the Dome. Ruben was given tickets to the first pre-season game against the Bengals. We're splitting season tickets with one of his friends from work, so we get to go to half of the regular season games and maybe both pre-season ones. It seems everyone at the office had plans and were unable to go to the game. So we had extra seats. Me, Ruben, Danny and Natalie got to go, and we had two extra tickets to bring along our friends Arlene and Abby. We had a lot of fun, and the Saints won. I have some 500 pictures to go through and post onto Flickr, but here are a few for you to enjoy now.....


Scrapping Away

I've been a busy little bee this past week. Last Saturday I finally decided that it was time to get back into my scrap studio and create something. I completed one layout for each day this past week, and still going strong. That's why I haven't blogged any.

Aside from scrapbooking I followed up at the clinic, losing 10 lbs. since we returned from Disney. Then Thursday, Natalie and I had a girls day out since Ruben was out of town. We went out to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, then we did a little shopping, went to the salon and got her hair cut and brows done. Yesterday Ruben came home just in time for me to fry my desktop computer that was in my scrap studio. I kept getting error messages about corrupt files, and Firefox would just shut down in the middle of whatever I was doing. So Ruben suggested I install this program that would help resolve any issues. Well as I was restarting the computer after install, I got an error message that basically said this hard drive is screwed. It wouldn't boot up at all, not even in safe mode. Needless to say, I was a bit depressed when I went to bed last night. I had no idea if any of my files had been backed up, as it had been several months since I had even turned it on.

I couldn't wait till this morning to hook up my laptop and start checking all my external drives. So far it looks like I have everything, or at least everything that I know of. Ruben's researching parts to build me a new one. It really bummed me out cause I have been sitting here all week scrapping and playing on Facebook, but it's all good now. You have no idea just how addictive that damn Farkle game is - as is the silly farm games, and war games I've been playing while creating.

Oh, I do have some good news to share with everyone. I'm so excited, even though it's not that big a deal.....I just found out that one of my photos of Jackson Square is being used in Schmap New Orleans Eight Edition. No, I'm not getting paid for the use of my photo. But I am getting recognition, and that's just as good for now. So that's what's going on here. Please check out the link above for Schmap and also take a look at my Flickr account. I posted my layouts there along with some pictures of Natalie's new do.


Broken Window

Friday we noticed that something appeared wrong with one of our new
windows. The new windows that are supposed to be unbreakable and
hurricane rated. The windows that withstood Ruben standing on them.
Upon closer inspection we did indeed find the pane was cracked and we
don't know how it happened. It's a second floor window and there's no
sign of anything hitting it or chipping it. Luckily there's a lifetime
warranty on glass breakage. One that also has limits and exclusions. We
called the window company expecting a fight and what we got was no
questions asked. They must know that something like this has to be a
defect in the materials. They ordered a new pane and in a few weeks
things should be good as new again.


Summer's Drawing to a Close

Summer is dwindling down, and will be over before you know it. Not summer the season, but summer vacation. In just 13 more days Natalie will be going back to school. I've already done all her back to school shopping for supplies, uniforms, and necessities. Which is always fun, except for all the money spent on such items. Though I love the whole school uniform thing cause it's no hassle, I hate that we're buying 2 whole sets of that she only wears to school. I'm both relieved and worried. We've had enough issues in the past with certain teachers, and faculty members at the school that I'm just really not looking forward to do it all over again. I personally cannot wait until she is out of this elementary school and into middle school next year. But I am trying to keep an open mind, and remain somewhat hopeful that this year and this teacher will be different.

One of my biggest concerns is that Natalie has really gotten into playing this one video game, and doing stuff online and I'm afraid that it will interfere with her desire to learn and excel. I'm just not sure how to get her excited anymore. Maybe it's time to try Sylvan, or at least it will be if this year doesn't go according to plan. I checked out their website and found that they have samples you can download for grades K-5, and a partner site called Book Adventure where you can search for grade appropriate books, and quizzes which will come in real handy! This way I can make sure that not only is she reading, but that she's comprehending! I'm going to have to weed through all my old links and check out what other types of tools I can find to help her succeed.

Other than gearing up for school there really hasn't been a whole lot going on around here. I've been doing lots of reading. I finished my Walt Disney book. I read the MJ Unmasked book in under 12 hours - which let me just say that not all the sensational claims lived up to the hype. It did manage to change my opinion on a thing or two, but it wasn't quite the bombshell it was supposed to be. Now I am onto reading Night World.....yes, more vampire books. I'm really having a difficult time finding just the right books. Some I've picked up are just too lame, and others I just can't fully get into. But so far I am enjoying the first book even though it is considered "young adult."
Ruben and I are still dieting. I've lost 10 pounds since we came back from Disney 3 weeks ago, and Ruben has lost 18. Though I swear you can't see it on either of us. The only difference I've noticed lately is that it seems my panties are a bit larger. I know this cause they are constantly bothering me because they shift and ride up. Had they fit right I wouldn't be having this problem. I wish I could actually see the difference. I'd think that with all the walking I've been doing that my legs would slim down some, but they haven't really. Or at least not noticeably. I go back to the clinic next week for another weigh in, so I'm hoping to shave a few more pounds off before then. I'm a little concerned about my surgery coming up for the 24th. I'll probably be resting for about a week, and while I can watch what I eat, I won't be up for walking or biking. I'm hoping that the inactivity doesn't affect me in a huge way!

While I'm looking forward to the peace and quiet that comes with back to school, I feel as if I'm in a race against time. It's not like we have any last minute vacation getaway planned, but I would like to do something before school starts again. Perhaps if the weather isn't too bad we can visit a park or zoo, or even catch another movie or something. Do you have any plans to celebrate the end of summer?


Thank GOD!

According to this report Kim K, reality ho and Reggie Bush, Saints
Running Back have broken up. Maybe now we'll have a winning season!


New Moon Footage

Just wanted to share some New Moon footage that was shown at Comic Con this year. I'm not sure when there will be an official release of these trailers, as this footage was not to be seen by anyone outside of Comic Con. But someone was kind enough to break the rules, tape this, and post it on YouTube. Enjoy.


Blackberry Cobbler

I was mashing up some blackberries to make blackberry water (it's a Mexican thing, Ruben's family blends water and sugar with whatever ripe berries or melons are around. It is very good!) So I'm sprinkling sugar on them and mashing them up, and it dawned on me that I should actually be making cobbler out of them. Blackberry cobbler was my absolute favorite dessert mom made. Problem is I don't know the first thing about making cobbler. I read somewhere that you can use already prepared pie crust, but I don't think it taste the same. If that is a shortcut, there has got to be a better way to spice it up. I'm hoping that someone can tell me the right way to make a cobbler - and hopefully one that's not to difficult!

Speaking of my mom, tomorrow is the 3rd anniversary of her death. I think I can honestly say that it has finally gotten a tad better, but not by much. It's times like this that make things the most difficult. Like thinking about something she used to make, something I never learned how. I think that so much was lost. And not just recipes, but family history, facts, relatives, etc. It's amazing to me how a little thing like blackberries can bring about a flood of emotion. Maybe by using them to make a cobbler I can heal a little.


Distractions, and New Addictions

Like so many others out there, I have seriously been neglecting my blogging duties because of several new time consuming addictions I have picked up recently.

First, all of my spare time was being spent reading. Now that I have finished several different series and books, I have slowed down a bit while I search for new interesting reading material. While I was at Disney I bought a new book after visiting the attraction Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. I found myself both curious and intrigued by what I had learned, and naturally wanted to know more. The book, Walt Disney: An American Original, is a biography of the life of Walt. I'm taking a it a bit slow--so I'm only half way through with it, but so far what I have read, I have really liked.

I've already selected what my next book is going to be. Unmasked: The Final years of Michael Jackson. I know, it's kind of funny. Somehow I've gotten caught up in all this craze since his death....Natalie too. She's been blaring his music at full volume for the last few weeks. Yesterday she was singing Man in the Mirror at the top of her lungs. You could say she's even become a bit obsessed with him and his music. it's funny how much she can take after me at times. In any case, I did the same thing after Anna Nicole Smith died--I bought the book Blonde Ambition.

I've become a Facebook junkie, but not so much for Facebook itself. I accepted a couple invitations and now I'm enthralled with playing Vampire & Mafia Wars. I've even downloaded the apps so I can play them on my iPhone.

All this game time has really interfered with everything else. Though I have been walking at home on the treadmill this past week, I really haven't had much desire to do so. Ruben and I have committed to dieting, and while I've only taken off a few pounds since we returned home, Ruben has gotten off to an excellent start! He's lost 10 pounds already. The first few days all he ate was salad. He even moved the treadmill downstairs to the living room. That way he watches shows he dvr'd while he walks. We made an agreement that if he loses 100 pounds, I'd get him the motorcycle he's been wanting. We really are striving to be healthier. I've just got to get back on track and return to my nightly walks. I just have been feeling like a cold is coming on though--one likely brought on by stress.

Stress has been at an all-time high since we got back. Ruben's company is once again laying off employees. It's quite terrifying when you think about it. I mean here it is hurricane season and we just returned from a vacation in which we spent mostly all of our savings--now add on our new windows, and a review of my case with Social Security. Yeah, all we need now is for Ruben to lose his job. Though it looks like he may be in the clear, at least for now. They laid off and demoted several people from his department across the country, most of whom he knew. On the flip side, he received his 10 year packet from work. It sounds like they have some really great choices this time, lots better than for his 5 year. I was surprised to find out they still offered this given their financial problems. It's a nice surprise. He gets to choose from a foosball table, a Canon camcorder, a Dyson vacuum cleaner among other things. Not bad huh?

Ruben also got confirmation from his advisor. He's all set for classes to begin in September. The school accepted 62 of his credits from ITT. He just needs to take like 18 liberal arts classes in addition to the curriculum for the BSM program. His advisor said everything was all set with his financial aid, and that he's be receiving his books and schedule shortly.

On a final note, my surgery to remove capsular contracture and correct placement issues has been approved. My surgery is scheduled for August 24. I'm excited, and I hope this final surgery really will correct my problems and even things out a bit.


Happy Birthday Ruben!

One of Ruben's friends at work sent him this video for his birthday. I just had to post it here, so everyone could enjoy a good laugh.

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Home Again

Hi All!

We're back from vacation, and as I type this, some 275 pictures from our trip are slowly being uploaded to Flickr. We had a wonderful vacation with the exception of the heat and rain. I'll never book another trip there in the middle of the summer. It wasn't just that the temp was in the 90's, it's that with the heat index the temperature was well over 110! Heat like that just really zaps the energy right out of ya! We got back Tuesday evening, and we're still trying to settle in. Ruben of course unpacked as soon as we got home - my suitcase is still sitting on the floor. Luckily, the house we rented was equipped with a washer and dryer, so we brought back very little dirty laundry.

Now that we're back, we're hitting the diet hard! I was fortunate enough not to gain anything while we were gone - but I didn't lose any either. Of course there is no such thing as dieting while on vacation, so I ate like a mad woman. I only broke even due to the many miles we walked daily.

Yesterday I finally got my car back from the Dodge dealership after two full months! Once I got in my car I discover that my stereo and XM reciever were not working - and since it's aftermarket equipment they are not responsible for it. I was completely livid, cause the service manager was a complete jerk about it. He tried to make like since he gave me a oil change on the house, that we were even. Ha! A $30 oil change does not make up for possibly frying more than $1000 worth of stereo equipment. Ruben took it to the place that installed it, Car Audio Connection over in Harahan and the guys there fixed it for free. I'm just so relieved that I didn't need a new unit. When they pulled out the deck they found that the dealership hadn't even re-connected the wires. So now I wonder what else they may have done half ass.

Also, yesterday I had a follow up appointment with my plastic surgeon. Sometime in the near future I will be going back into surgery to correct my left breast. I don't really know when yet, cause first we have to get approval from the insurance company. But I will keep you posted.


Seeing Shamu

Today we're at Seaworld -- and let me tell you it's hotter than hell
here! Tomorrow's our last day, before we leave Tuesday afternoon so
we'll be heading back to Hollywood Studios. But today we're going to
check out the shows and rides at Seaworld. There are two pretty cool
looking coasters I can't wait to get on!

Deadly Crash at Disney

Woke up this morning to this news; Early this morning there was a deadly monorail crash at Disney World. WOW, so glad we skipped Disney yesterday - and so thankful that we were not involved in such a horrible accident!


Happy Birthday America!

Today we are taking it easy and avoiding the parks. It's going to be a
lazy day of shopping and swimming. We slept in a bit late this morning
and now we're kicking the day off with breakfast from Cracker Barrel.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July!



After a delicious Mexican lunch we headed over to the Outpost so
Natalie could get her face painted.


Hello from Hollywood Studios

So far, our trip to Disney has been a wet one. It's raining already
this morning. We have a 70% chance of rain with a high of 89 -- which
I suppose is better than the forecast for Friday that is a 40% chance
of rain and a high of 96. Either way it's humid.
The rain yesterday shut down several rides, which sucked ass. Since
the good rides were closed, the indoor ones were freaken packed! It
was insane. We weren't getting anyway at Magic Kingdom so we hopped
over to Hollywood Studios, where we rode Tower of Terror twice and the
Aerosmith rockin' rollercoaster. We went on a backlot tour and ate at
a 50's diner. The park closed at 7 last night for some private event.
Which was fine cause after dinner we were just too exhausted and
soaking wet to continue.
Not sure what today holds for us. We're off to a wet start today.
Hoping the rain will stop real soon.
::Fingers crossed::


Grabbing Some Grub

Settled into the house and headed out to Downtown Disney to get some
food at Planet Hollywood. We haven't eaten since breakfast this
morning, so we're absolutely starving!

Backseat Buddies

Lexie has FINALLY settled and laid down. Normally with each bump in
the road or roar of the engine she stands up, but I guess she finally
got tired.
Here is Natalie and Lexie enjoying a road trip.

Goodbye Pensacola

We stopped this morning to gas up before hitting the road. This was
the view from the gas station.


On our way.

Decided to leave 10 hours early. Ruben has some Marriott Reward points
that we'll use for a room in Pensacola. We were getting too anxious to
start our vacation to wait till early tomorrow morning. We hit a nice
spout of rain on our way out of town - which is good cause our grass
needed the water.


Vacation Friday

Woohoo! It's vacation Friday. The Friday before vacation begins. We've got a busy weekend ahead of us prepping and packing for our trip. We'll be leaving about 3:00 am Monday morning. While I'm super excited about the trip, I'm bummed that I didn't get my Durango back in time.

I called the dealership yesterday to find out if by some miracle I'd have my car today. I was informed that they had gotten the instrument cluster panel in, however the part was bad. So now they are waiting on a new part to come in. Hopefully one that works! I have no clue as to when they might receive the part, because once again the payment for the part must be approved for by the government.

Another vacation bummer - I didn't lose the 10 pounds I had hoped for. I did however lose enough weight to be back where I was before Ruben's mom came, so that's the bright side of it all. In truth it's all my own fault. My friend Arlene, whom I was walking regularly with had surgery on the 10th and has been on rest orders. I should have pushed myself to go alone, but it's just not the same. Hopefully when I return on the 8th we will begin our walks again. God knows that after Disney I will need to do something, cause they just have way too many yummy treats there to be good and stick to a "diet".

Was yesterday not a completely devastating day? The mass coverage of Michael Jackson's death practically took down the web. The whole ordeal completely overshadowed the death of Farrah Faucet! It was madness. I was waiting at the pharmacy when I read reports of his cardiac arrest on Twitter. Before TMZ confirmed his death, I was on the phone telling Ruben I thought he was dead. The fact that he wasn't breathing when the ambulance was called, and that a photog was threatened when trying to get a picture of him being rolled into the hospital, told me that things were real bad.
If you're on Twitter, did you catch all the RT's of the shameful post Perez Hilton made about Jackson before he found out the entertainer had died? Once it was official, Perez had removed the post. You can see a screen shot of it here. I swear Perez is a douce bag. There is a petition going around to remove Perez Hilton as Teen Choice 2009 Nominee. You can sign it here. Nobody who posts the content he does, nor uses the hateful words he spews, should be considered for an award at a show aimed at kids. HE IS NOT A ROLE MODEL! There are a few other petitions going around calling for his site to be shut down and such. Check out the article from Hollyscoop.

Right now I'm waiting for the press conference from the coroner's office to begin. E! News has a live feed going, but it looks like it might be awhile before we get the results of his autopsy, as the conference has been delayed again for another 2 hours.
I've been paying bills and taking care of other business online while I waited. While on vacation, I don't want to have to get online cause I have to. I'll only do it if I want to, and have the down time to do so. Likely, I will be posting pictures from my phone - maybe making a blog entry or two, as well. I love having a phone that is capable of doing so much! Sometimes I wonder how I ever lived without it. LOL.

It looks like Ruben may be returning to school this fall. That is IF everything works out. He's gotten some info, applied to a couple schools, and submitted his app for a Federal student loan. We gotta wait and see if his loan is approved. Otherwise he'll have to take one class at a time, as money permits. Right now the loan isn't even our biggest concern, it's the fact that ITT cannot locate his transcripts. The campus he attended in Vegas closed awhile back, and for some reason ITT cannot locate the transcripts in their system. He has a copy somewhere around here, but the transcripts must come directly from the school in order to be accepted. So it doesn't much matter that we can't find his copy. We did find his actual degree, which he is going to have to fax over to ITT as proof. We'll just have to see whether it helps any or not. Cross your fingers!


Pictures from the Party

I posted 30-plus pictures from the birthday party we went to yesterday afternoon. You can find them at Flickr, just click on the link to take you there.


Blog Block

Have you ever gone over in your head, a topic you wanted to post about? You get it all planned out, yet when you sit down to type it all up you draw nothing but a blank. That's the way I've been feeling lately. Each time I've sat down to post, my mind just goes blank. Nada, zip, nothing. All I can come up with are ramblings of various odds and ends. So I guess I'll start with that.

Today is the end of my mother-in-law's 3 week visit with us. Her flight leaves at 6 something. These past 3 weeks have went much too fast! I know Ruben is going to be heart broken come tomorrow. The only upside is perhaps I will once again lose weight. The past 2 weeks I've been unable to lose a single pound. In fact I gained 2! I was hoping to be another 15 pounds lighter by our Disney trip in 9 days. It's going to be hard, but I think I might be able to drop 9 if I walk a lot before we leave. Of course I'm likely to gain some of it back while on vacation, but that's ok cause I'm not going to worry about anything except having fun!

Tomorrow we've got to get Ruben's student loan app submitted. He's put off going back to school long enough, so now he's just going to have to buckle down and make the time to do it this fall. We would really like for him to advance further into upper management, and to do that he needs to get his bachelors. The one thing holding him back has been the funds. We both hate the idea of debt, but really who has tens of thousands of dollars to pay upfront? We also need to find out what credits of his associates will transfer over. Some schools like UoP won't accept his credits from ITT, which I think is total bullshit. So he may end up returning to ITT if Tulane or Delgado won't accept them.

Have you seen Benjamin Button yet? We've already watched it twice now, and I have to say that this movie has made me a Brad Pitt fan. Sure I've liked some of his other films, and sure there are a few scenes in BB that appear to be just a bit overly photoshopped. Specifically where made to make Pitt appear younger. But it was this particular film that made me appreciate Pitt for his beauty, though he's had a body of a god for just about all of his films - and he's looked better in some flicks than he has in others. I think I may just have to go back and re-watch some of his prior work now that I can appreciate his, um, talent.
Also, I'm curious, has anyone else been experiencing problems with IE not being able to open certain sites, aborting the operation? I've been having this problem off and on for several weeks with several of the blogs I follow. It's extremely frustrating and I don't know how to fix it. I ran a Google search on it and it seems this problem has been going on for quite a long time. It's a totally annoying pain in the ass! It's really cutting into my blog surfing time.
Ok, well it's off to the showers for me. We have a birthday party to go to later this afternoon before we take ma to the airport. Hope everyone has a great weekend and awesome Father's Day!



We're all piled in the car and heading to Mo's for a late lunch.
According to the car's thermometer it's 100 here in New Orleans. And
this doesn't even factor in the humidty! Hot damn!


Pictures from the Quarter

Yesterday we took my MIL down to the French Market to do some shopping, which I saw as an opportunity to finally put my new camera to use. I didn't get to snap everything I would have liked, cause it was hotter than hell out and all that walking around was tiring.

I have tried several times to post the pix below, but damn Blogger won't load most of the images. So I guess you'll have to go check them out at Flickr. Some images I processed using Coffee Shop actions, others I left alone. I still have LOTS to learn about using my new camera. Let me know what you think.


So Far, So Good

Yesterday I met with my oncologist to get the results from my 6 month follow-up chest, abdomen, & pelvic CT scan that I had done on Tuesday. Ordinarily I would have had a PET scan done, but my PPO turned it down cause there was no evidence of recurrence - which I find pretty fucked up, since the test is what's used to detect and determine recurrence. Besides, I would think that since I have already had a recurrence, that that in itself would justify the need for the scan. So they denied the test, and instead I had the CT scans done.
I wasn't really sure what I was in for as I've never had an abdomen CT scan done before. I've had enough chest CT scans done before to know all about the nuclear contrast. But with an abdomen scan you have to drink this very disgusting crap called barium. It's like drinking cold Milk of Magnesia. It's basically a near-flavorless, creamy, chalky liquid. It's bad enough they make you fast for these tests, but then to make you drink 12 ounces of this goo is damn near torturous. Making matters worse was the fact that a transformer near the hospital blew, causing the power to go out. Luckily the CT machine was running off a generator, cause man would I have been pissed off if I fasted and drank this crap all to have to do it another day when the power was back. But since the power went out, the hospital was all backed up. I was there for over 2 hours.
Normally I don't handle these types of test all that well. Any time I have to get an IV, I damn near freak out. My veins are in such bad shape, it makes it very difficult to find one and get it working right. Usually it takes multiple attempts, and the more they stick me the more I freak out. So usually taking these tests require a Zanax, which means I get stupid, which means it would be best if Ruben were to take me. But he was out of town this week. He's been traveling a lot for work the last few weeks. I didn't want to put the test off, cause the anxiety of waiting and worrying is just as bad as the whole IV thing. So I braved it alone this time, and I survived. Was it a better experience than past attempts? A bit, but it still wasn't very pleasant. I was fortunate enough to get a good nurse who really took her time finding a spot before attempting to stick me.
Ok, so my test results came back with no evidence of any distant or metastatic disease. The only thing that showed up were some cysts on my liver, which my doctor says is of no consequence. I asked him if he was absolutely sure, given the fact that my mother died from end-stage liver cirrhosis. He assured me that as of now the cysts are completely harmless. Besides, he'll see if there are any changes when I have my follow-up scans done in 6 months. Then he ordered some blood tests and sent me on my way.
It's a HUGE relief to verify that I am still cancer free. I'm trying to think how long exactly I've been cancer free. My recurrence was found in February 2008. I had surgery done in March to remove some of the chest wall area where the tumor was found. In April, I had had a PET scan done to determine if there was any metastatic disease present - which came back clear. My follow-up PET scan done at the end of December also came back clear. So technically speaking, I've been cancer free for just over a year now. But in terms of remission when it comes to oncology, I'm not really sure cause I didn't finish radiation until August, and I didn't start on Tamoxifen till January 2009. A year sounds so much better than just 6 months, but I'm pretty sure it comes down to the 5 years on Tamoxifen. In any case I'll just be happy to make it past 3 years without another recurrence!

Oh, I also want to share a link I found with y'all. The site is called F My Life, and some of the stories shared there are just so freaken hilarious. You have to go check it out. I promise you that you'll be LOL and ROFL. So enjoy! The link is above as well as in the sidebar.



Oh goody. After fasting for hours I get to drink this nasty, chalky
crap. Then I get an injection of some nuclear meds. This CT scan is


Chrysler is Making me CRAZY!

I am so unbelievably fed up with Chrysler, I swear I could seriously maim someone. If you recall back in May my dash literally fried. Causing my instrument cluster to go out and my wipers to permanently stay on. Well my Durango has been sitting at Bergeron Chrysler Jeep Volvo for a month now waiting to be repaired. The instrument cluster was part of a factory recall - one that had already been performed back in 2006.
Anyway, given Chrysler's financial problems of late, they are having some serious problems getting parts manufactured because they owe all their suppliers money. In my case there is only one company that makes the instrument cluster, and because of slow or non-payment on Chrysler's behalf this company refuses to manufacture the part until they get paid either some or all of what is owed to them. I had hopes that perhaps Chrysler could just pay in advance or C.O.D. for the cluster panel, but I was shot down when I called Chrysler. You would think they would want to hurry this along as they've already paid some $900 this past month for my rental. But since Chrysler is receiving rescue money from the government in addition to having filed bankruptcy, all payments must go through and be approved by the government. And no one even knows when they will start releasing payments or in what order they will be made. I have no clue when I could possibly get my Durango back, and I am beyond pissed.
When I called Chrysler on Friday to ask if they could possibly pay for the part in advance, I was told that Chrysler will only pay $20 a day for any rental that is not a Chrysler product, but if I could get switched over to a Chrysler vehicle they would pay up to $40 a day. At the time I had been in a Chevy Silverado for about 2 weeks and was furious at the thought that I might have to pay out of pocket for any overages. I had to call Enterprise and ask for a different vehicle cause I didn't want to be responsible for any charges, and I certainly didn't want to be put in some sub-compact piece of crap. Enterprise worked things out so I wouldn't have to pay any out of pocket, and they found a Jeep Commander that fit within the $40 a day. The Jeep is a bit better cause at least it's the same size as my Durango, which we'll need for our trip to Disney as I don't think I'll be getting my car back in time. In fact I wonder if I'll even be getting it back this year.
Oh, and if you're wondering what I get for my inconvenience? Not a damn thing. No oil change or tire rotation, no replacement key that I need that costs $200, not a single thing. They made it sound like I'm privileged just cause they are paying for the rental car upfront, even though the rental is part of my ESP contract. Could you imagine if I were still making car payments on it? Paying for something I can't even use, something that is just sitting at the dealers collecting dust. It makes me so freaken angry! I can't wait to buy a new car - and I'll tell you after all this crap, there is no way I'd ever buy another Chrysler product again. And you can almost certainly forget about that Chevy Tahoe or Camaro I want since GM just filed bankruptcy. It won't be long until they experience the same problems getting parts. This whole freaken economic crisis has really fucked everything up, hasn't it?

My New Camera

Here's the new Nikon D5000 camera Ruben bought me. Like my camera strap? I picked it up last week at Bennet's Camera. I can't wait to take it out to City Park and snap some pictures.



Today is my monthly follow up visit at the weight loss clinic, and
while I've only lost 2 pounds in the last 2 weeks for a total of 17
pounds in a month, I did lose several inches. I lost 2 inches total
from each of the following areas: biceps, bust, waist, hips, thighs,
and calves. Plus 4 inches from around my upper belly. I'm down about 4
pant sizes, they fit a tad snug but the next size up is much too big.
I still have a minimum of 30 more pounds that I'd like to lose, though
65 is the goal. Losing 30 will put me back at the size I was when I
moved here.
Since the beginning of March I have managed to lose 25 pounds. Now the
question is will I be able to continue to lose weight and can I take
off another 15 before Disney? Guess it's time to stop cheating and
start working out more.


"Whoever said winning isn't everything never had to fight cancer"


Sent from my iPhone


A little of this, a little of that, a whole lotta post....

Well, here it is - the start of summer vacation. More than two whole months of no school, cause down here there is no such thing as year round school. So for those of you with kids who are out for the summer, what are your plans for summer break? We don't have much planned really, and luckily I don't work, so there's no child care issues like some families have.

Right now the plan is just to enjoy our 3 weeks with my Mother-in-Law, who safely landed late Saturday evening. After much hard work busting our asses, we managed to pretty thoroughly clean our house before she arrived. If we hadn't cleaned up, I guarantee you that she'd be spending her whole vacation here cleaning. Which pretty much defeats the purpose of a vacation, right? As it is, she's been cooking up a storm, which is making it extremely difficult to eat right.

In the last week, I've cheated quite a bit - we went to see Night at the Museum last Friday and I drank half a large soda and enjoyed a cinnamon pretzel. Then for dinner I had a hamburger at this awesome burger joint. And now she's here cooking things like rice, beans, tacos, and other delightful Mexican dishes. I'm trying hard not to over-do it, but it's not easy. I try to treat myself just a bit. I've not been able to lose any weight this past week, but I have been fortunate enough not to have gained any back. Not helping matters any is the 24 pack of Coke bottles I found at Sam's Club. I kicked my daily soda habit, only indulging in an occasional drink. But I have such a love of soda from actual glass bottles, that it was impossible for me to pass them up at Sam's. So for the time being, I'm not to having more than one a day if even that.

Did y'all watch the MTV Movie Awards? The part where Bruno (a.k.a Sasha Baron Cohen) landed bare-butt in the face of Eminem was funny as all hell. That is until I found out the whole thing was staged.
I truly think that was the best moment of the night, though the much anticipated trailer of New Moon was right up there with it. So far New Moon looks to be done up a bit better than Twilight was, though I must say that the werewolf is a bit disappointing as it looks a bit cartoonish. What did you think of it?

I found the rest of the awards disappointing. Yeah, I liked the movie Twilight, but Dark Knight should have won the award for best movie hands down. Twilight isn't even in the same league as Dark Knight. So how that crappy little low budget flick beat out the 2nd highest grossing movie of all time is beyond me.

Monday afternoon I got the camera of my dreams. My wonderful hubby decided out of the blue that I should get the camera that I've been wanting for the last couple years. He bought me a Nikon D5000 12.3mp DSLR. It is so awesome, and I have so much to learn about using it. The package we bought came with 2 Nikon VR lenses; a 18-55mm and 55-200mm, and lots of other goodies. I haven't really had the chance to play with it too much, but I plan on maybe taking it out this weekend if the weather is nice. I want to go take some pictures at City Park and Audubon Park. I'll be sure to post pix as soon as I can.

Today we are finally getting our new windows installed, which I'm oddly excited about. Right now I'm sitting here sans air and windows while the guys pull out and replace the old windows. Luckily it's not quite as hot and humid as it was supposed to be, though according to AOL weather it's 80 something degrees right now. These new windows look so nice. I just wish this whole experience had been more pleasant. We've run into some really bad customer service, or should I say lack of customer service from Window World. It's been so bad I doubt I would recommend them to anyone else. With having 30 windows in our house, and the cost to replace those 30 windows we should have been treated a bit better!

Today my oncologists office called. My insurance denied approval for my follow-up PET scan, so instead we are going to do a CAT scan on Tuesday. I will meet with the doctor the following day to get the results. Let's hope this new breast cancer medicine has actually been working for the last 6 months and my scan comes back clear. I can't bear to go through this cancer shit again. Twice in a lifetime is twice too many, know what I mean? Though I have been neglecting my blog the last 2 months, I swear to post just as soon as I know the results.....and I promise to at least attempt to blog more often from now on. I've just been putting it off cause there hasn't been much of anything going on in my life, especially anything exciting. But I've had a decline in visits, so I need to step it up!


Kickin' Off a Summer of Fun

School's out and swimming's in. There's no better way to start the
summer. Here's Natalie showing off her new swim suit that we bought
over the weekend at Old Navy. Several of the neighborhood kids wear
these types of board suits instead of regular swim suits, so naturally
Natalie insisted on getting this the moment she saw it.


Where did May go?

I can't believe it is Memorial Day already, and just around the bend is the end of the school year! Come Saturday my mother-in-law will be here visiting from Las Vegas for 3 whole weeks.
It's going to be super hard having her here while I'm dieting, the woman cooks like no one else - and nothing she makes can be classified as "healthy", it's all Mexican food high in calories and fat. Sure I'll indulge a bit, but mostly I will be trying my damnedest to eat sensibly. It seems that my weight loss progress has slowed a bit. Which is to be expected. After all losing 13lbs in two weeks is a bit much. I guess at this point I need to focus on exercising more while I continue to eat right. For about the last week I've been using the new EA Sports Active for the Wii. I'll tell you that there is no doubt that it works. My legs burned so bad after just one use.
Here it has been nearly a week since I had an allergic reaction to eating a mango and my face is still flared up. I had to call the dermatologists office today cause my hives had gotten worse. He called me in a script for an oral steroid. I guess the shot I was given on Thursday had begun to wear off. I woke up this morning to my eyes all swollen and my face red and itchy. This whole experience has not been fun, that's for sure!
This weekend Natalie and I went shopping to get her clothes for summer. We spent the majority of the day at the mall going from store to store. It was tiring! While we were there we stopped into the salon and got her eyebrows waxed. I'm telling you a little bit of wax makes a world of difference.
Only a few more weeks and we'll be getting ready for our trip to Disney. I'm so excited. I swear it can't get here soon enough. It's been too damn long since we had a real vacation. While Ruben is out of town this week, I need to spend some time online finding the best prices on tickets to all the parks we want to go to. I still think we're nuts for going on the 4th of July, cause I'm sure the parks will be absolutely packed! I need to find out what the park hours are, and get information about them closing the park once it reaches capacity. I also need to figure out what reservations I need to make. Still so much planning to do - plus lots of cleaning before my mother-in-law arrives, and I need to find out when our new windows will be ready to be installed - not to mention all the work that needs to be done before hand like moving the furniture and blinds. Yup, with all that needs to be done vacation will be here in a blink of an eye!