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I've been tagged again, but at least this is a quick one!

I was tagged again!

This one came from Lora.

List five weird things about yourself:

1. I am totally disgusted by feet and toes. I cannot stand them and will try not to touch them if at all possible.

2. I hate being late or not having enough time to finish a project or do something, and totally stress/obsess over it, which in turn causes a lot of over-reaction and anxiety on my part. Yet at the same time I am somewhat of a procrastinator also. Imagine that!

3. I have this thing for gossip magazines and celebrity life. I'm addicted to it. I love watching some of the MTV/VH1/E! reality shows like True Life; Newlyweds; Meet the Barkers; Cribs; Pimp my Ride; The E! True Hollywood Story; Best Week Ever - just to name a few. I also love those countdown shows, the fabulous life, and the decade shows too!

4. I'm anal-retentive (or so Ruben says) and slightly obsessive/compulsive about stupid little crap. I may even be a little bit on the hypochondriac side too.

5. I'm a perfectionist at nearly all I do, and often won't stop doing something until I am satisfied with what I've done - even once others have told me to stop!

Okay, since this one is a quickie, I'm going to share the love. I tag: Cynthia & Donna.

Merry Christmas to all!


I've been tagged!

I was tagged by Cynthia

The rules for this particular tagging are as follows:
Remove the blog name in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add yourself to the bottom slot.

1. Beth
2. Deanna (View of Life)
3. A Scrap of Life (Annette)
4. i am a coconut (Cynthia)
5. Hope, Strength, Courage: The Story of my Survival through Breast Cancer (Angi)

Then you get to select five people to pass the love on to.
1. Lora
2. Donna
3. Jeff
4. Valerie
5. Kenny

Now, on to the questions!

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was just about to turn 21. I had just moved to Vegas to be near the majority of my family, and I had just split with my former husband and we were divorcing!

What were you doing one year ago?
I had just moved to Elko with my husband Ruben who was promoted to Area Supervisor for the office he runs here. I was happy to no longer be working, I was finally a SAHM, and I was pregnant for the 5th time and we were convince that I was going to carry this one to term (however I didn't and lost it in Jan. after 14 weeks).

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Keebler Double Stuff Fudge Elf cookies
2. Neopolitan Ice Cream
3. The occasional candy bar - brand varies.
4. Cucumbers or Jicama w/lemon and salt
5. Chicharrones (not sure if that's how you spell it, but the mexican fried doritos with lemon and hot sauce that you get at the swap meet in Vegas)

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
1. The Reason by Hoobastank
2. Welcome to my Life by Simple Plan.
3. These Boots Were Made for Walkin' by Jessica Simpson....courtesy of my daughter
4. My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas....again, courtesy of my daughter
5. Let's Get it On by Marvin Gaye.....courtesy of my hubby who sung it to me the night of our first kiss.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Scrapbook all day, maybe even make a business out of it.
2. Pay off my home and buy a freaken nice ass house somewhere.
3. Send my child to private school and set up her college fund and trust fund.
4. Buy my hubby any car he wants, and both of us new Dodge's even though we just bought ours last year.
5. Travel all over the world/buy me tons of jewelry/and have plastic surgery on every inch of fat I have.

Five bad habits:
1. Not exercising as much as I should.
2. Not doing the dishes when I should.
3. Not massaging my arm like I should.
4. Not doing the laundry like I should.
5. Not eating all day, just drinking Mr. Pibb.

Five things you like doing:
1. Scrapbooking.
2. Shopping for scrap supplies.
3. Going to Scrap Crops and Conventions.
4. Watching Grey's Anatomy.
5. Sleeping in Late.

Five things you would never wear, buy, or get new again:
1. For now, V-Neck shirts.
2. Bathing Suit.
3. Daisy Dukes or any shorts really since I don't wear them.
4. AquaNet or any cheap hairspray or shampoo/conditioner for that matter.
5. Dresses/skirts....won't ever catch me in one again.

Five favorite toys:
1. My 10 new sizzix dies and 4 sizzlit alphas/window and fram dies.....actually all my scrap supplies!
2. My new Sony Cyber Shot digital camera.....LOVE IT, can't wait to get additonal lenses for it!
3. My new Notebook did I ever function with wires?
4. My new Palm Pilot....where would life be without my digital brain!
5. My photo printer - although I would like a new one even though this one has hardly been used!.


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Yesterday it snowed all day long in somewhat of a blizzard fashion. Yet for all that we barely accumulated 3 inches or so, and there was no snow day today like we had hoped for. So Ruben had to go off to work this morning, and I had to take Natalie to school. It really kinda sucks. It's cold and windy, but the snow is sort of clearing away - guess cause it's rained a bit today.
Today was spent trying to wrap up loose ends so we can leave for Vegas tomorrow when Natalie gets out of school. I need to finish laundry and start packing. I made a bunch of calls today, paid some bills, and went to the post office which was not fun.....the line was outrageous!
This past weekend I FINALLY finished up on the gift album I have been making for a friend. She's like the only one who stood by me during chemo. There were others, but she's the one who hauled my ass out to the park, called me all the time, and tried her best to keep my spirits up or just listen to me vent. I would have finished this long ago if it weren't for all those damn doctor appointments and weekend trips to Vegas for them. But I am so excited It's done, and last night I made a goodie bag packed full of all kinds of extra embellishments for her to use when she puts down the photos. I posted some pics at 2Peas, but they aren't the best photos I could've done. I should have scanned each one, but didn't have time. Kari a friend I met at Natalie's school, another mother, invited me out to play Bunco. Let me tell you, I cleaned up pretty good for my first time playing! I won a HUGE bath basket for having the most losses, and another BIG tub filled with Christmas goodies for having a Bunco in the 6th round and having the bear when the bell rang. It was a lot of fun to get out of the house and not hear mom! They lost a member that night, so I agreed to go from a sub for one player to a regular player. It's $7 a month, one night a month, a few hours away from home with the girls, eating, talking and winning prizes!
I don't know if I will have much time to post later this week. Once I get to Vegas I have a doctor appointment Wed. & Thur. and dinner with a friend Friday. We are only staying down there till the 26th, when we come back to another freezing cold house and bed! If I get a chance I will post about our Christmas, if not I will when I get back. I hope the rest of you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones!
Merry Christmas!


December 15, 2005 - Staying at home is work also!

For those of you that believe that being a stay at home mom is a picnic, think again. Sure there are some mothers out there that sit glued to the computer all day, or sit on the couch and watch soaps or what-not. But then there are the rest of us, who despite the lack of respect and appreciation work our butts off day to day on minor things that more than likely go un-noticed. For example, today it took me 1 1/2 hours to make 2 phone calls. 1 to my credit card company about fraudulent charges on my account....that call alone took an hour. The other call was to dispute a billing error with the bug spray company. I also finished up my Christmas cards, pumped gas, drove my daughter to and from school, attempted to find someone to clear the brush on our land, get info on appraisals for carpet and tile, call around for new insurance, balance the checkbook, and start dinner. And while the evening is not over yet, I still plan to fold and do laundry, dishes, finish helping my daughter with her holiday cards, shower, pull out clothes for tomorrow, and pay some bills. For someone who is a SAHM I feel more stressed, worn out, and pre-occupied than I did when I worked. Most of the things I do go un-noticed because I wasn't able to get to some big project like wrapping the presents, but still nonetheless I worked hard today and accomplished as much as I could. My job is no 9 to 5 job either. It starts when my daughter wakes me up between 8:00 and 8:30 and doesn't end until it's time for bed. ALL day long I feel like I am making food or getting snacks for my child or helping her with her school work because I want her to have a better life. Do I get to sit around and do the things I love like scrapping? No, I have an album I am 6 pages away from finishing for a gift, yet I've had no time to get to it, let alone half my parents mail. For those of you that take your kids to daycare everyday, imagine what it is like to hear mom, mom, mom, 50 million times a day and have to help out and answer each time. Do you really know what it takes or what is involved in raising a kid and spening EVERY second of EVERY day with them? I'm lucky if I get to pee by myself! I just don't have enough hours in the day to do all the things I would like. And while Natalie does go to school, the 2 hours and 45 minutes that she is there is each day leaves me little time to accomplish much more than a project or two at home or a trip to town to shop or get groceries. Especially when you break down that 2 hours and 45 minutes, because of that I have to spend 30 - 45 minutes on the road to come home or go to town and go back to pick her up.
So to all you SAHM who work just as hard as I do or more everyday, SALUTE! And for the rest of you that think all we do all day is slack off I say F you!


Our list of 5

If you ever were a Friends show addict, then you know all about the list of 5. You know, the scene between Ross and Racheal were they agree that they can have a list of 5 people that they could sleep with if they ever had a chance and both would be okay with it?
Well last night my husband and I laid in bed watching Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Good movie, we quite enjoyed the sound of it on our new surround sound in our bedroom - we now have a surround sound for each TV in our house! Anyway, after watching half the movie, he mentioned that Angelina Jolie just moved up a notch on his list. I know Jennifer Aniston also graces his list, but I do not know the other three or what order they are in. All I know is mine is forever changing.
Currently my list is as follows:

1) Ashton Kutcher - not the "Dude Where's my Car" Kutcher, more like the current "Punk'd" star.
2) Nick Lachey - hell if Jessica doesn't want him, I'll take him in a heartbeat. He has gorgeous blue eyes, and he's rich and romantic to boot!
3) Patrick Dempsey - not the "Can't Buy Me Love" one, the neurosurgeon Dr. Shepard on Grey's Anatomy. Man if I had a doctor that hot I would have no complaints with always going to see him!
4) Orlando Bloom - Yes, dear elfing Legolas minus the ears. Or better yet from "Pirates of the Caribbean"
5) Viggo Mortenson - I will bow to King Aragon anyday.

So now you know it!

Who are you willing to cheat for?

December 14, 2005 - Stop thinking about it, just do it!

Sometimes ya just gotta stop thinking about everything and just do whatever it is so it's done and off your mind. Yeah I still have holiday cards I am working on, laundry, mail, bills, and presents. But I have bought all the stuff for my daughter's 6th birthday party, booked a spot for the party, and started on various other projects, although I still have millions more waiting to be done.
But before all that, I wanted to share with you a story about a man I met in Vegas just prior to finishing Chemo. My hubby and I met him at Home Depot, and upon seeing my bald head he inquired if I had cancer. He then began telling us his story of how he battled testicular cancer that had spread to his stomach and brain, had a child despite it all, and sits with a prune in a jar on his desk so he can give all his interviewees a hard time. Yeah he might have shared too much info with us, but he gave me the same advice that he followed. When his hair began to grow back, it came back as a fro'. Since it wasn't the 70's he decided to shave it off and try again. He ended up with a rather nice head of hair. So yesterday I just quit thinking about it and did it. My hair was coming back super curly and wirery, or a fro' as you will. So after dropping Nat off at school, I got out the clippers and for the second time in my life I gave myself a buzzcut. Needless to say it certainly stunned my daughter and husband. Ruben's not happy about it to say the least, says I look like Sinead O'Connor, but I'm thinking more G.I. Jane......of course that's minus the biceps and tight abs. My hair had gotten to the point I started blow drying it to straighten it out some, but instead it ended up more spiked than anything. At least now I can just brush my teeth, dress and go. What do you think? Before and after........


December 12, 2005 - Here it is, that time of year again!

With all the recent trips back and forth to Vegas, I nearly forgot that Christmas is right around the corner and I have yet to get the cards and pictures ready, let alone wrap a single present.
We spent the weekend down in Vegas having my stitches removed. The plastic surgeon said things look good and scheduled me to come back in February.....not sure why though, as I can't have the surgery done till around June. While there, we spent a lot of time holiday shopping, and finally took our annual Christmas picture. We came home late last night to another FREEZING house, but luckily NO snow this time. YAY! This winter has been much milder than the last.
I've spent much of today writing out holiday cards, printing pictures, letters, and labels. I can already tell this Christmas will definately be a lot more stressful than previous ones. I find it odd how I feel way more busy, stressed, and worn out now that I am a stay at home mom than I did when I worked last year. Guess it's all the doctor's appointments and traveling back and forth.
Speaking of doctor appointments, last week I had to take my poor dog Lexie to the vet. Guess after the last trip to Vegas, she somehow developed pink eye. Poor thing had goop coming out of her eyes about 7 times a day, and her eyes were so red and irritated that she looked pathetic! And here $85 dollars later she's still not looking much better. She's on antibiotic pills twice a day for a week, eye ointment 3 times a day till gone, plus she had a flourescent eye exam and an allergy/ steriod shot.
As I sit here and look at the stack of mail (both mine and my parents) that I have to go through, bills that need to be paid, the 2 bags that need to be unpacked, the laundry that needs to be done, and thinking about all the presents that need to be wrapped, it's no wonder why I feel as overwhelmed as I do! Yet for some reason I just can't seem to get myself motivated to do any of it. Guess it's because I don't know where to start. The only thing I have decided thus far is that I am ordering pizza for dinner!
Guess you could say I'm not much in the holiday spirit this year and maybe that is why I am having such a hard time getting things done. I feel a bit depressed again. My parents have moved to Mexico, my tissue expander had to be removed which in itself reminds me of the orignal mastectomy....almost like a loss of another child and having to start over again. I'm quite upset and disappointed about having to wait till next year to go through reconstruction again. Not to mention a lot of stupid things running through my head, like should I shave my head again because I'm not happy with the way my hair has been growing in? Why doesn't Dr. Grey and Dr. Shepard get back together again on Grey's Anatomy? Why did Nick and Jessica have to announce their split after Thanksgiving? These 3 thoughts and many others plagued me much of last night, leaving me with a horrible case of insomnia.
Yet despite all the things I should be doing, I sit here and blog and bitch about all my worries and troubles! Guess I should get up and start some projects before the hubby comes home and I have even more things to do!


The first fire of the season....

Don't let the title fool ya, it's not exactly what you think. We've had our pellet stove blazing non stop since we returned from Vegas on the 28th. It's definitely winter here, as it's colder than a well digger's ass. It's currently 21 degrees, and the overnight low is supposed to be 7. That alone is enough to make you want to pull out the thermals! But even before this past week when the weather changed and it got THIS cold, we still had it somewhat fired up. Luckily we changed out our wood burning stove for a pellet stove this past February. The pellet stove burns cleaner and is more efficient, and it saves Ruben from having to chop wood and haul it into the house. The pellet stove runs off a thermostat, we just throw a bag or two of pellets in every other day or so and we're good to go. It's easy to clean and maintain, just open it up and vacuum. Since the clean-out for the piping is inside, it saves you from going out and climbing on top of the two story roof, which is definitely more to say than the wood stove. The clean-out for the wood stove was outside, and we hardly had enough brush links to reach to the top, nor did we have a ladder tall enough to get on top of the roof. That wood stove always scared the crap out of me. There were times the living room would fill up with black smoke. Little did we know that the chimney cap was clogged. As I said, no ladder to get on top of the roof. Coming from Vegas we didn't know the importance of maintaining a fireplace, of sweeping the chimney and inspecting it. We're lucky we didn't die in our sleep from carbon monoxide!

Well on Thursday I think one of our neighbors learned the importance of it all, and a very valuable lesson they will never forget. I was driving home from dropping Natalie off at school, and as I near the Marina & Park where I turn to get to our house, I see the road is blocked to go any further. As I looked over toward where our mailbox is, I saw a huge fire that about 4 trucks were working on putting out. It's my guess that the fire started as a result of not maintaining the chimney as the season kind of snuck up on us this year. It was a damn shame too, the house on fire was a beautiful one too. My only hope is that everyone, including any animals, got out safely.
I have the same irrational fear everyday when I leave my house, that I am going to come home and find it on fire and poor Lexie would be stuck inside. That's why every day when I take Natalie to school, I turn the pellet stove off. Sure by doing that the house cools off some, but if it gets too cold the heat will kick on....and I don't have to worry as much about the heat catching the house on fire. I hope the family that resides there has found a place to stay, and didn't lose it all in the fire, and for all of us around it, I hope we all learned an unforgettable lesson! Please take the time to get your chimney sweeped and inspected, or you could wind up like this.........


December 1, 2005 - I can't hardly believe it's almost Christmas!

SORRY - I know It's been a while since I updated my blog. To be honest, it gets tiring, because NOTHING has gone right lately. In October I began the 1st phase of breast reconstruction. I should have known better to just wait till next year, and start over clean. I just wasn't ready for it, and my body made sure everyone knew that but me. Otherwise I wouldn't have wasted all that money traveling back and forth to Vegas. Because shortly after getting the temporary implant (tissue expander) placed, I developed this rather LARGE bruise that covered all of my right breast and some parts of my abdomen. This hematoma had been caused by busted blood vessels that developed during the surgery, or close after. As if that weren't enough, the following week, I got outta bed and noticed the whole side of my shirt was wet from blood and I suddenly realized that I began bleeding like there was no tomorrow. Even though I followed my doctor's advice, and had taken antibiotics after surgery, my breast had still become infected. Despite it all, the implant had to be removed due to massive scar tissue that formed around the implant. I spent 3 days in the hospital over thanksgiving. When I was finally released, I learned that I had to stay in town to follow up with my surgeon on Monday to have my drain bulb removed. When I saw the doctor he was pleased with how it was healing and removed the drain, but not the stitches. So now we have to drive back down on the Friday after next to have them removed...great, more wasted gas! He informed me that I will have to wait at least 6 months before I am eligible to start the reconstruction process again. So it looks as though, Natalie, Lexie (our dog) and I will be spending the summer without Ruben again in the lovely 120 degree heat of Las Vegas.
My only source of console at this moment is that maybe I can take Cynthia up on her offer and use her scraproom while I am down there - and since my hubby will surely limit my baggage due to the fact that I went way overboard on the packing last time, I may be lucky enough to use some of Cynthia's supplies as I recall she has tons that she needs to purge, and knowing her I really can't see how anything she owns wouldn't be fabulous! Who knows she may even be able to teach this dog some new tricks as well. I love her LO's and Cards so much, it's no wonder after looking at them why she is my scrap idol! You can check out Cynthia's blog I am a Coconut to see all her awesome work. She is totally going to regret making me that offer to me = ) I just hope that I am capable of scrapping!
So anyway, back to what I was saying before I started daydreaming about Cynthia's Scrap Space.....which by the way I am contemplating re-doing my own to more closely match her use of vertical space, instead of my current busting at the seams design! Sooooo, after seeing the doctor on Monday, we decided to head home so we wouldn't miss anymore school or work. About 2 1/2 hours outside of Elko we hit our first winter storm. Let me tell you, it was coming down so hard and fast that we practically had zero visibility. I was quite terrified considering that we have yet to put my studded snow tires on for the season. Thank goodness my Durango has 4 wheel drive! We made it home safely despite the fact that some of the other drivers on the road didn't, and found that not only did we accumulate about 3 inches of snow, but that our house was FREEZING! Before leaving for our trip, we had made sure that everything was off - that included the heat and the pellet stove. OMG it had to be about 30 degrees inside our house. In fact it was so cold, our fish Jolly died! We cranked up the heat and pellet stove to warm the place up before bed, but nothing, and I mean nothing, helped to warm up that spot right between the comforter and the sheets. It literally felt we were laying on a slab of ice! Have I ever said how much I hate snow and cold weather?


November 24, 2005 - Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Well after spending 2 days in the hospital, I am very thankful to be home with my family - although I am not at MY home in Elko. Every since Monday, when my doctor told me the bad news. I have been freaked out, totally upset that the expander had to be removed. My husband tried his best to cheer me up by buying me a new digital camera, We went to Best Buy to look at camera, and decided on the Sony Sure Shot DSC-HI. The camera is awesome, but since I had to check into the hospital the next day I hardly had a chance to play with it. I spent most of Tuesday in pain. By Wednesday, I finally started feeling better, but was still really bummed about being in the hospital and having to start over again. Ruben & Natalie stopped by to see me. They brought me flowers and two little stuffed animals, one is an adorable Russ brand Pink Hippo that matches the Spotted Dog Ruben bought me last surgery - they both have BIG eyes. The other is this little teddy bear Natalie picked out for me. It was great to see them, but after a short period of time she became antsie and it was evident it was time for Ruben to take her home. Later that night is when I got a surprise visit from my favorite Blogger (I am a Coconut)Cynthia! She is a nurse in the peds units and stopped by to meet me once her shift started. As a Get Well Soon gift, she brought me a HUGE bag of awesome and wonderful if just meeting my scrap idol wasn't enough. We talked for quite a while, and she even invited me to come scrap in her room next time I am down and feeling up to it. I just know she can teach me so much. I called my husband later and told him about her visit and he said it was the most spirited I had sounded in days. Not to say I didn't enjoy my visit with my family, but meeting Cynthia made my day....and the handmade card and supplies just made it even better. If she hand't hugged me I woulda thought it was some kind of Morphine induced dream. I truly hope what she gave me was just things she purged from her supplies as she has said before that she is overrun with items, because I can't imagine a virtual stranger spending that much on little ol' me. But regardless of the bad of goodies, just talking with her made my day and made me feel so much better. I can't wait till she gets pregnant so I can send her a care package filled with the same love. Hell I can't wait just to get home and start on that 8x8 SEI Aunt Gertie's Album kit she gave me. It is BEAUTIFUL. Browns and pinks are so in right now and will be adorable for a little girt! I just love it! I spent the night sleeping in a scrapbooking heaven, and was released today from the hospital just in time to spend thanksgiving with my family. I truly hope everyone else enjoyed their thanksgiving. Through-out this post are some pictures taken with my new digicam, and below are things from my bag of goodies from Cynthia. Thanks so much!!!!


November 17, 2005 - I've been Tagged just for reading a blog!

2 names you go by:
-Angi, mama, & honey (just a few of the ones I like)
-Ang (one that I hear a lot & used to hate, but has grown on me)

2 parts of your heritage:
-Well my Maiden Name is from England, but I was born & raised in the US.
-I'm like white on rice

2 things that scare you:
-The Cancer coming back in my other breast and having to go through this all over again, or cancer taking me from my love ones, or worse yet, it taking them from me!
-Being re-called to duty with Casino Services. Just joking, they don't want me since I quit. I'm old and rusty!

2 everyday essentials:
-Meds, Meds, and more Medications.....all washed down with Mr. Pibb. Gotta keep that Cancer away!
-A nuzzle from my dog, and hugs & kisses from my daughter & husband

2 fave bands/artists:

2 favorite songs:
-The Reason

2 things you want in a relationship (other than true love):
-Understanding and Support.
-Being able to be yourself and not be judged for it.

2 favorite hobbies:
-Scrapbooking & Rubber Stamping.
-Shopping Conventions & Crop Classes.

2 things you want really badly:
-To not have financial worries.
-A baby boy just so my little girl will have that younger brother she wants soooooooo badly, but unfortunately I am unable to physically (no uterus or ovaries) - so maybe adoption one day, but again that goes with having financial freedom.

2 places you want to go on vacation:

2 things you want to do before you die:
-Travel to distant islands.
-Win a LARGE sum of money to foot the bill for all my traveling needs.

2 ways in which you are a true girl:
-I love Diamonds!
-I love more Diamonds! Oh and Jewelry also!

2 things you are thinking about right now:
-Is re-financing our home to pay off our cars and make minor upgrades to our house worth it?
-I hope my plastic surgeon will give me my saline injection this trip on the 21st, and I hope it doesn't hurt!

2 stores you shop at:
-Internet (not many places to choose from in this little town)

2 people guaranteed to make you laugh:
-My Husband is always good for a laugh
-Cynthia's Blog - sometimes she is so funny I just about pee my pants!

I guess I tag...Lora, Valerie, or Donna since I don't really know any other Bloggers!


November 11, 2005 - Back from Vegas, but not better

Sorry I haven't posted sooner regarding my trip to the Plastic Surgeon, but I have been extremely exhausted and have been trying to rest. When I saw the doctor on Monday I wasn't bleeding much, so he decided not to put any stitches in it. Basically he just made sure it wasn't infected. However because the hematoma busted and caused the bleeding, I was unable to get my first injection. So once again, I have been thrown off schedule. At this rate I will not be able to have my second surgery until next year, which really sucks since I will have to pay my out-of-pocket expense all over again for the new year. He did say that I was doing the right thing by bandaging it up and covering it with gauze pads and surgical pads, and now I go back on the 21st for my injection. Thing is it has still been bleeding non-stop, but the good news is that the bruise/hematoma is going away. I think that it will continue to bleed until the hematoma is completely gone. The other night while sleeping I completely bled through my bandage and t-shirt, then when I woke up in the morning I had little red bumps all over my right side of my stomach. Not sure what they are from, and really my doctor's office isn't either. I thought maybe an allergic reaction, but since it is only on the one side, who knows. But I wanted to let everyone know I am alive and well, just not doing much of anything for the time being while I heal.


November 4, 2005 - Back to Vegas, a week before scheduled....

Here I was, thinking that I was on the road to recovery and getting myself all psyched up for my first "big" injection on the 14th. But as I lay in bed Thursday night (the 3rd) surfing the internet on my laptop, I noticed that my t-shirt felt pretty damp. I lifted my shirt up only to find that my tank top too was absolutely soaked. Immediately I thought the worst. I thought that the saline from my tissue expander implant had sprung a leak. You could definitely say that I was in PANIC mode. I showed the spot to my husband, since he could see it better than I. That's when he informed me that it wasn't saline, it was blood. Suddenly I didn't feel well. I became extremely worried. We went into the bathroom, and I dis-robed, so we could took a look at the incision site. First off I had particles sticking to my jogging bra. As soon as I removed it, these 3 spots just started dripping blood, and it wasn't a slow drip either. The blood was not bright red, it was more of a brownish red, or a watered down reddish color. I immediately had to sit on the toilet afraid I was going to pass out. We called my Plastic Surgeon's office to have the answering service page the doctor for me. Unfortunately, I did not get to speak with my doctor, but I did talk to another doctor in his practice. This guy really made it sound like I had nothing to worry about. He reasoned that it is more than normal for it to do this. I don't see how, but accoring to him the hematoma I had was rather large and may have busted or drained. They are worried about the chance of infection, so even though they gave me Keflex for it, I still have to go to Vegas first thing in the morning to be examined........Lucky me cause that means I get up in about 2 hours*YAY!*
So anyways, that is where I will be M.I.A. until Monday when I have my dr. appointment. Hopefully he will be able to correct the problem on the spot. Hope the rest of you have had a better start to yourweekend


October 31, 2005 - Happy Halloween

Woke up this morning to get my lil' princess all ready for her big day. Today the kindergarten class is putting on a Halloween parade for the other classes and having a party to celebrate the day. Natalie went to school as Cinderella, and was completely decked out with a crown, gloves, royal septor, and even a touch of make-up and glitter. She looked so adorable, and I think her costume by far surpassed that of some of the other girls. As for the boys, we had Batman, Dracula, Spiderman, & the Thing just to name a few. It's too cute to see little boys running around with fake muscle suits on, they look like they've been pumped up with air!
Later tonight we are going Trick-or-Treating with her friend from school - Ruben, and his little sister. We're going to meet up with his family later after school and go to the convention center where it will be nice and warm and safe.
Hope that everyone has a nice, safe Halloween. And I hope to get some better pictures tonight, but in the meantime, here's my little princess.......


October 26th, 2005 - Why do doctors cause undue stress and anxiety if it can be avoided?

Well I flew back from Vegas and my first saline injection late Monday afternoon. Spending the weekend away from my Hubby and our girls was tough. I spent most of Sunday sick, and I'm not sure why. I think I was really anxious and nervous about getting my first injection. I slept crappy all night, if even at all and got up early Monday morning to head over to the plastic surgeon's office. When it finally was my turn to be seen, I became extremely nervous as I saw my doctor walk into the exam room with 2 HUGE tubes of saline. It had to have been 120 cc's of saline easy, maybe even 160 cc's. I started to worry about how much this was going to hurt and the prospect of flying back home to Elko today, and my stomach really began doing flips! I started off the exam by saying how I had felt fine the week after having surgery, then all the sudden I began to have a lot of intense pain. I told him how Karen and I concluded that I must be over-doing it at home and that I should really try to take it easy. Then I explained to him how the next day I noticed my right breast was all yellow and somewhat hard, and how it changed colors to black and purple like most bruises do. He looked at the area, which at that time was almost all black, and started feeling around. This is where he really began to panic me. He explained to me that the bruising I had was caused by busted blood vessels, and is called a hematoma. He asked if I had been taking any blood thinners, to which I replied no. He explained to me that I was lucky that the breast tissue was beginning to soften up, and that's when he dropped a bomb on me. He explained that if the tissue had remained hard, it was quite possible that this hematoma would be causing my skin tissue to die and he would have to rush me over to UMC right now to remove it. Suddenly I didn't feel well. I hadn't eaten all day Sunday and had thrown up a couple times, and now this! I wasn't sure if I was going to throw up again or just pass out. It took all I had to walk over to the sink and wet some towels to put on my face. I was a nervous wreck and scared to death. I was very lucky to have the tissue softening up, it's the only thing that saved me on this day. He said that because of this he cannot inject the saline today. So basically I wasted $225 to fly to Vegas to get the shit scared out of me, and that's it. I have to wait 3 weeks now for my first injection. He estimated the bruising to be gone by then, and already I can see it lightening up in color, however both Ruben and I are afraid to touch the area to see how hard or soft it is. It is very difficult just for either of us to look at it! Ruben has swore to make sure that I take it easy from now on - no more dishes, laundry, or carrying anything heavy until this is all over. He wants to make sure that I don't over-do it again. I couldn't ask for a better husband!


October 15, 2005 - Why is it that......

Gaining weight doesn't hurt (or at least in most cases), but the losing weight part does because of the working out. Well in my case, the gaining also hurts, hurts bad! Last week I went back to Vegas to have the 1st part of my breast reconstruction surgery done. Initially, I did not plan on staying in the hospital after having the expander placed, but once I woke up in the recovery room, forget it! I was in SO much pain afterwards that there was no way in hell I wanted to go home, I needed something serious for pain! I spent most of the afternoon in tears, cause I was in so much pain. Luckily, I saw Dr. Moon (the pain management doc) the day before and explained my situation to him and how the plastic surgeon WOULD NOT give me anything for pain. So the hospital had to make several calls to him before they finally got the pain med combination just right. Unfortunately my stay was at UMC, which is a County Hospital. It definitely was not my pick for the procedure, but my surgeon is a Professor there and I've been told by many that I have THE BEST plastic surgeon in the state of NV. So far I think I have to agree with everything that I have heard about him. It took me 2 months to get in just to see him. When I booked my appointment, the receptionist told me that he was all booked for surgeries until next year. But once we actually saw him and talked to him about my case - how I would have to travel back and forth for the injections, and surgeries - he promised not only to get me in this year, but to have it completed this year. Normally a routine expansion can take around 3 months or more just to stretch the skin to a full size C cup, but he said he'd do it in half the time by doubling up on the amount of my injections. He told me that he would start me off by filling my expander with some saline at the time of surgery - 60 cc's to be exact, and then I would need to fly down to Vegas every 2 weeks for my saline injections to help speed things along and hopefully get me to the 2nd surgery. Now I have no idea how much he will be injecting in me at those times, how long any of this will really take, or how badly it will hurt - All I know is how badly 60 cc's of saline hurt. Of course you say the surgery itself obviously didn't help much, and you're most likely right. All I know is that the first few days were fine. I was doing pretty well, just a little sore, but otherwise feeling well. Then all the sudden, about an hour before getting ready for school on Thursday, it struck me.....this sudden onset of pain in my upper chest and side. My chest and side were HARD, and hurt like nothing you could ever imagine. It hurt to bend over, to reach for anything with my right arm, to touch anything. My right armpit hurt all over again. I woke up Friday to find a big bruise on my chest area. I've been very lucky to have a wonderful husband who has really done his best to help out around the house so I can rest and not do anything to further injure the area. He has helped with grocery shopping, taking Natalie to and from school, keeping us all fed, and the laundry done. He's managed to do all this while working himself and being sick. I spoke with my doctors’ office and was told that most likely I just over did it when I was feeling better, and I agree. I knew there would be some degree of pain, but to be virtually pain-free then revert back was not normal. I think I tried to do too much around the house too fast, which I will have to remember for my next appointment. I go back for my next injection on 10/24. I want to make sure that I don't do this again; I cannot be down for week at a time, especially with how fast moving this all is going to be. At least today I am feeling slightly better, although I still feel lightheaded when I first get up, and like puking on occasion. Aren't you glad I shared? I know TMI.
On with another note, something I forgot to mention earlier - when I spent the night in UMC I had a wonderful roommate who had been in a terrible car accident. Her name was Laurie (hope I spelled it correctly) I forgot her last name, and the name of the construction company she worked for, but my hubby and I spent much time talking with her and her parents. They were wonderful people. She checked on my much of the night (when she was awake - she said it was the 1st night she slept in 2 days or more). She had gorgeous flowers everywhere from her clients wishing her well as she broke her arm & leg in the accident. She had been in some desperate need of contact lens solution, so I had my hubby bring mine in, and upon leaving she gave me one of her big, huge, beautiful bouquets of flowers. Where ever you are Laurie, I hope you are doing well and I think about you daily, as you struggle with your 3 months bed and house rest before you are able to return to work again. Take care and know we are thinking of you!


October 3, 2005 - Packing is a bitch!

Tomorrow we leave for Vegas, and I gotta tell you I'm still quite stressed over the whole thing. It seems everywhere I look there's something needing to be done. I still have 6 pages in my album to finish, so no way that's going to happen and I'm mad as all hell about that. I've got dishes to do, laundry to fold, and I have to pack clothes yet for my daughter, plus of course all those last minute items like toothbrushes, medicines, etc. I just know I'm going to forget something like food for the dog or something. I tried to spend some time relaxing this weekend, but it's hard to when your stomach is all tied up in knots and you've still got a bit of a head cold. Thankfully, I think the cold part is gone, or so I hope. Otherwise, I will be one pissed off bitch if they cancel this surgery on me due to it. I got my paperwork in the mail last week and it looks like they moved up my surgery time, but they didn't include much for can I wear a bra after? After my mastectomy I couldn't wear one for 6 weeks, because the elastic cuts off blood supply. I was also hoping for some info regarding the saline injections. I feel like the rest of the year is in limbo because I don't know when I will have to fly to Vegas for them. My husband laid in bed last night and asked me if I minded inviting his family up for Thanksgiving. I told him it didn't matter to me, the only thing that is of importance is that I cannot stress. He doesn't understand the whole little stress thing really, but then again he's not slightly neurotic like me. I have this need to have order in my life. I cannot live in chaos, even though I find myself living in it everyday. I just don't know how to deal with it, it causes anxiety and stress. It's a disorder I have, I know this. So I told him let's do one thing at a time, let's just get past the surgery first and see what our next step is before we go planning the future. So we'll see how Thursday goes, and what my schedule is for my injections. For now I will just take a deep breathe and try to go with the flow as hard as that may be......but on the flipside, I saw a Victoria Secret's commercial last night and for thr first time this year I actually said, man I miss having boobs like that! It sure will be nice when this is all over and I am whole again!
And if I get a chance while I am gone, I will post about my daughter's little kindergarten romance going on at school.....that is if I am up to it between doctors appointments and parents and all.


September 28, 2005 - Learning to cope with stress.

In my last post Ruben was gone for over a week in Vegas on business and I felt like a single mother and it sucked. Once he returned home, he rushed off the following day to Reno for 3 days on business, and once again we were left on our own. Things were finally back to normal (somewhat) over last weekend, but then after school on Monday Natalie came down with a cold and both of us have been holed up at the house the last two days sick. I'm hoping tomorrow she will be better and be able to go back to school. I'm really starting to panic that next week, I will be in Vegas having surgery. I broke out with that damn rash on my face twice back to back - so I'm beginiing to think it's not all sun or heat related and maybe more stess or anxiety related. This woman at Nat's school, another parent suggested that maybe it's Lupus. Wonderful, another thing for me to worry about. Lupus cannot be diagnosed, or cured - so how do I know if I have it and what do I do for it? All I know is that this is no longer acne, and I can't hide indoors all the time. I know that I have to learn how to cope with stress, but in the meantime I also need to find treatment for this rash. I am also having a lot of anxiety at this time, I'm worried about going back for the surgery. I'm worried about the pain, I'm worried about me being sick and them cancelling it on me, I'm worried that this will be the last time I see my parents for a long time as the finally sold their house and are moving to Mexico. It's a lot of things hitting me all at once, and I just realized it today. I freaked out on my husband the other day, and I don't even know what for, but it was because I was stressed out. I guess it's because I have all of this building up inside of me, and I feel like I can't breathe anymore. It sucks, because I am so stressed and I have 8 more pages to do in this album that is a gift for a friend, and I am so stressed I have scrapper's block, so now I don't even know if I will be able to complete the album by next Tuesday or not, but I'm hoping that maybe by posting this it will let off some steam and maybe I'll be back to scrappin this weekend.
In the meantime, does anyone know of any good ways to deal with stress that doesn't include taking any herbal supplements?


Septmeber 16, 2005 - Life as a Single Mom SUCKS!

Now now, don't go taking that the wrong way. Ruben and I didn't decide to suddenly file for divorce, nor would we ever. We have too much invested in this marriage, and even still like every marriage after 6+ years, it is still a work in progress. Besides we love each other too much to seperate. What I meant though, is that this past week he has been out of town on a business trip and I am playing single mommy, and it sucks something fierce! My daughter is consuming every free second I have, and I am finding it almost impossible just to shower, let alone have 5 minutes in the bathroom to myself! Even the 3 hours she is away at school is a total waste. By time I run to town and do some grocery shopping, I have to race back to pick her up, so it's not like I have much time to do anything around here. By time I start something, it's time to call it quits to go pick her up. I tell ya, I really don't know how they do it. I don't even work, thank god, cause if I wasn't a SAHM, I would be even more stressed out and exhausted! I really have to give a standing ovation to all those single mothers out there that do this every day and make it work. You truly are amazing women!
I was really hoping to accomplish some scrapping while the hubby was gone, as I've got all these supplies and pictures calling out to me - but I just haven't been able to find the time to do anything other than add some new pictures to my Flickr account. I figured it was overdue! I also added some new links to some of my favorite blogs. My hubby comes back on Sunday, so hopefully then I will get some scrapping done, and will have some new creation to post on Monday. But until then check out the new items I mentioned, and have a wonderful weekend!


September 11, 2005 - A Day for Tribute

While today is a day to remember those lost on 9/11 by honoring their memory, their stories, and our great nation. I was doing a tribute of of my own of a different nature. You see, yesterday my hubby left for a business trip to Vegas and will be gone for more than a week. So, on this day I thought about him, knowing his flight safely arrived in Vegas yesterday afternoon, and scrapped a LO of him and our daughter. Now while the LO might be rather plain or simple, the reason it I love it so much and it deserves so much attention is that I took these picture one night at dinner on my Palm Zire 72 camera that is only 1.2 MP. The pictures came out so unbeleivably great, they came to be my absolute favorites. It's not often that I get a smile like that out of my hubby since he hates taking pictures, and they both look so genuinely happy!
I hope you all enjoy my tribute to my husband, the World's Best Dad!


September 8, 2005 - Tidbits of somewhat useless information!

It's funny how just a regular haircut can become so meaningful to someone who just a few short months ago was damn near completely bald. Well on Labor Day that's just what happened to me, and it just tickeled me pink! My hair had finally grown out enough that I actually woke up every morning with hair sticking up every direction. Funny how a little thing like a case of bedhead can excite you. I found myself gelling it every day and finally said that the quickest way to get it to grow is to get it cut every 6-8 weeks, or at least that is what Hope my stylist always told me. So Monday night the hubby got out the clippers and gave me a slight buzz cut, being extremely careful not to do more than anything than just trim it up a bit. I still find myself gelling it daily, but at least now it's a clean cut look.
Yesterday my hubby took my Durango with him to work and stopped by the muffler shop and had a FlowMaster put on it to help increase my gas mileage. Now it sounds just like his Ram. I feel like I'm driving a Nascar, and even though it is a tidbit loud, I am loving it. It sounds so manly! I love revving the engine, but worry that it's going to end up getting me a ticket for speeding.
Tomorrow is picture day at the school. I'm so excited, it will be my first "official" school picture of her to scrap! I've already picked out several different outfits because I just can't make up my mind. Funny thing is I'm co-ordinating her clothes with scrap paper in mind....hahaha. What a true scrapper I am!


September 3, 2005 - A Busy Little Bee

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I've caught that little scrappin' bug and I've just been one busy little bee! In the last 7 days, I have created 6 new layouts - all of which are posted on My Scrap Bio or on 2 Peas in a Bucket (links to both are on the side.) Prior to having numerous health problems this year, I had a goal of getting published in one of the scrapbooking magazines I subscribe to. Although it hasn't happened yet for me, I am working had to try to achieve my goal before year end - and if all else fails, then I'm all the more closer to completing my scrap journal/book on surviving breast cancer. It is my hope to be able to share that scrapbook with everyone, and getting published is one way to get my story out there. So if you don't see posts from me as often as I would like, it's because I am hard at work scrappin' and trying to adjust to my new life as a kindergarten mom - as if I weren't already tired enough, running my daughter back and forth to school is even more tiring! But regardless, I hope to post my work and other little tidbits on here at least weekly.

Above is my latest creation. It took me most of the afternoon to complete as I have to take lots of breaks to prevent the pain in my arm from killing me. Hope you like it!

The journaling reads:
Shortly after finding out that I had Breast Cancer and that we would have to move to Las Vegas for chemotherapy, we debated about how we would tell Natalie about my condition.

Then one day she looked at me and said something about me being sick. I asked her why she said that; thinking in the back of my mind, Oh God she figured out what all the whispered conversations were of. She replied by saying I was sick because of that, pointing to the acne on my face. To which I laughed off telling her that acne does not mean that Mommy is sick, it just means that Mommy is stressed. But I told her that she was right, Mommy is sick and that is why we were going to Las Vegas, so grandma and the doctors can take care of Mommy and make her better. I told her that the doctor is going to give me medicine to make me better, but the medicine will also make my hair fall out. I told her just because my hair falls out, it doesn’t mean that I am going to die, and it doesn’t mean that I’m not still Mommy; it only means that I will be funny looking for a while. I told her that if she didn’t like me bald, then I could wear hats, wigs, or scarves – whatever made her happy, and if she still wasn’t happy with the way I looked that I would let her draw on my head with markers. And that made her so excited she couldn’t wait for my hair to fall out just so she could draw on my head with markers!


August 31, 2005 - School's in Session!

Natalie started school for the first time on the 29th. Now that school is in session, I'm having to learn how balance everything all over again. Most of the morning's spent feeding her and getting her ready for school. Once I drop her off I only have 2 hours and 45 minutes until I have to go back and pick her up, which doesn't allow me a whole lot of time to do much of anything. But despite the new hectic schedule, she is adapting well. She is very excited to be going to school and has handled her first few days exceptionally well. Not once has she cried when dropping her off, not even when the other kids in her class did. Instead on the first day I was the one doing the crying! But I am slowly adapting as well.
I found this poem at a local scrap store that is perfect for her 1st day:

We went to school today,
my little girl and I.

I worried all through breakfast,
afraid that she might cry.

I watched her walk away with pride
and I was quite alone,

The tears I thought would surely be hers,
are indeed my very own!


August 27, 2005 - Once again, I'm a Happy Scrapper!

Since returning home after 4 long months in Vegas undergoing treatment, I haven't done much of anything but take it easy and try to settle and ease back into a "normal" life. I've managed to do some dishes, cook a few meals, do some laundry, clean a little here and there. Hell, I even helped the hubby finish painting my scrapbook room. But it wasn't until last night that I finally did something that put me back on track to feeling a little more like my former self. I scrapped. Now it's been a long hard year, and I haven't done hardly any scrappin', so I have supplies and pictures piling up everywhere! But last night I caught that bug, and couldn't go to bed until I was satisfied with my creation. Just sitting down and creating one simple page, was an incredible feeling! I hope as school begins next week to actually be able to finish more layouts, and return to being the Scrap Addict that I am!


August 25, 2005 – Back to School open house.

Today we went to an open house at Natalie’s school. It was supposed to be an opportunity to meet the teacher, see the classroom, and get answers to our questions, but the teacher was so busy we barely go to say hi and receive our packet of information. I was somewhat disappointed in that, as I wanted to talk with the teacher regarding my condition, and let her know that Natalie will be missing some class as a result of it – but I guess that conversation will have to wait until another time. We did however get to see her classroom, which was very nice, and we also got to see the playground. Natalie played for a little while with some other kids, although we didn’t really meet any that were in her class. While she played, I talked with another mom, who I would like to get to know better. She was very friendly, a SAHM like myself, and from what I gathered, a scrapbooker as well. It’s just too bad that her son is in the other teacher’s p.m. class, instead of being in the same class as Natalie – but at least with them both being in the p.m. class, I will see her again and maybe make a new friend who can come scrapbook in the afternoons with me.
I still can’t get over the fact that in just 4 days my baby will be going to school, but at least watching her play with others helped assure us that she will be just fine, even if I won’t be!


August 22, 2005 – School hasn’t even begun yet, and she‘s already had her first test.

Natalie had her first test at school today, a Pre-K screening test to see where she is at and if she is ready for school. While I’m a perfectionist, and Ruben is very competitive, we had somewhat high expectations for her to do better on this test than what she did. Now don’t get me wrong, according to the teacher, she did quite well on the test, and we are proud of her for that. She is exactly where she should be at for her age, and is considered ready for kindergarten. But somehow we had hoped for a higher score than 75 out of 95, but that is just the over-achiever in us talking. With my numerous medical problems this year, I didn’t get to prepare her for school as much as I would have liked to, but all that is in the past now and is spilt milk. All we can do now is try harder to help her and make sure she excels this year – which will be hard when we already know she will be missing some school in October and December when we go back to Vegas for my reconstruction surgeries, but there’s nothing we can do about that except make sure she is doing her schoolwork while we are gone and keep on top of the learning, so it’s not just a “vacation” for her. Regardless of the test, Natalie was excited to be at the school, and was happy to find kids size toilets that didn’t flush automatically (she has a fear of those toilets that flush by themselves despite me telling her that they will not suck her down!) After the screening, we went out to dinner and I took this picture of my two greatest loves with my Palm.


August 19, 2005 – On the verge of an all out breakdown.

While I say that I’m on the verge of an all out breakdown, I’m not really. It’s just that yesterday I was talking with my daughter and I came to the realization that in less than 2 weeks, my baby will be heading off to school for the very first time. As much as I knew this day was coming, nothing could really prepare me for it. We were sitting yesterday afternoon talking about the invitation we received to the school’s open house next Thursday, and it dawned on me that my child had lived a very sheltered life. She’s never been to daycare or pre-school, just to a 3 week tot camp last summer. I started to panic about sending my baby off into the big world. Would she go straight to her class or disrupt others? Would she know where to meet me after class? All I could think about was at 2:15 that dismissal bell ringing and all the kids making a mad dash to leave school, and my baby being caught up in the confusion. Would she know better and not leave the building without anyone but mommy or daddy or a teacher? Does she know not to wander out into the parking lot, or get into cars with others? As much as we have tried to teach her not to talk to strangers, we have not been successful. The little girl loves to talk to anybody and everybody that will listen. Does she know not to take candy from strangers? Yes, but does that stop her? No. But the biggest fear of all I think, is, will mommy be alright? I really thought I would look forward to her going off to school, because it would give me some time alone to get things done without her, but now as we get closer to the big day, I’m more scared than she is, and I just hope that I will be able to let go of my baby!


August 17, 2005 – A love/hate relationship with radiology equipment.

Today was the big day. I don’t think either I or my husband has slept well in the last week. Worrying, wondering, waiting – it seems that is all we do lately. I dropped Natalie off this morning at my husband’s office while I went to the hospital for my mammogram. Have I ever told you how much I dislike that damn machine? I guess for me, it’s going to be a love/hate relationship with it for the rest of my life. Yearly mammograms, and every time I find a lump that freaks me out. It’s not just that I dislike that machine, but I also really hate the ultrasound room – not only was that the room they told me at last time that something appeared wrong, but it was also the same room where I had learned I lost my baby at 14 weeks, which started this year of unfortunate events….and not only was it the same room this time, it was also the same tech as the other two times. But today she redeemed herself and that room, by telling me the good news that the radiologist compared my films, and my results were negative/benign. Not only could they not find any changes in my mammogram, the ultrasound she did could only find normal breast tissue despite a lumpy area. In fact the lump that was so prominent just a week ago could hardly be found today. We concluded that it must have been a cyst that drained – which is exactly the results I was wishing for. So maybe I wished it away? Yeah right, I know it doesn’t work that way. The reason that I know this is because my life can never be simple. Like I said before, for me it seems good and bad always seem to go hand in hand….and proof to that is today when things are good, our water heater takes a crap and things go bad.
Oh well, I may have cold water, but at least I don’t have cancer again.


August 9, 2005 – For me, good and bad seem to always go hand in hand.

I got a call this afternoon before leaving for my doctor’s appointment that surprised me. It was Karen from Dr. Zamboni’s office calling to set a date for surgery. His first available appointment is October 6th, and we will need to stay in Vegas for at least 3 days afterwards. I don’t have all the details yet, but the important part is that it is scheduled. They will send me surgery information and paperwork for my pre-op labs to be done before coming down.
Before my appointment with my OB/GYN, I ran into the hospital and picked up my mammogram films to take with me today. I showed him my previous films, and this suspicious lump I have now. He didn’t say much as to his thoughts on what it is, just that he wants me to go get another mammogram and ultrasound done over at the hospital ASAP, but the soonest they can get me in is on the 17th. So for now I’ll just wait till then.
I took my films home so I can scan them and have my own copy for my scrapbook, how pathetic is that?

August 8, 2005 – A day on the phone.

A reminder went off today to call the school to get info on Natalie’s kindergarten class. School starts in a couple weeks, but I have no idea if she was in AM or PM class, what time class starts or gets out, or anything really. So I called to get some info today and didn’t get to find much out except that they are sending the info out in a few days, and that she was in the AM class, but I had her switched to the PM class to make it easier on me. Guess I have to wait on the mail to find out the rest.
I checked to see if the lump was still there, and unfortunately after much searching I did find it. It wasn’t easy, but it is there. I said if it was there I would call my OB/GYN for an appointment today so I did, Dr. Cain is out from back surgery, so I’ll see Dr. Fox tomorrow.

August 7, 2005 – Home at last!

We got up later than we planned on this morning. Ruben got the Durango all loaded up, and then we ran up to the store to return some clothes that didn’t fit while Natalie ate breakfast. We finally got on the road around 12:30pm and rolled into town about 8:00pm. We stopped by the shop so I could pick up the Ram and get some groceries. I found that everyone was staring at me in the store, and one lady made a rude comment to her kids – telling them to stay away from me. I was surprised; no one ever re-acted that way to me in Vegas. Oh well, it’s still good to be home nonetheless. I can’t wait to sleep in my bed tonight.

August 6, 2005 – This cannot be happening again!

We spent most of the day packing everything up, as we’re leaving tomorrow to finally go home. Before bed, I decide to take a nice, hot, relaxing bath. As I lather up I feel this really distinct feeling, a feeling you never forget. As soon as I felt it I yelled for Ruben, I wanted to make sure I was really feeling what I was feeling. He saw the look of panic in my eyes and confirmed that it was indeed a lump, although it was different somewhat than my first lump. He asked me what I wanted to do, if this changed anything. I told him no, it doesn’t change anything. I want to go home, that is where my original mammogram films are, and they will want those to compare any new films to if it goes that far. I told him I would wait till Monday and check again, and if it’s still there I would call Dr. Cain and make an appointment. I don’t even know how it could possibly happen, with just going through chemo, and the chemotherapy agent pills I still take daily. All I know is that this lump wasn’t there Thursday.

August 5, 2005 – The PS and PT’s.

Today we met with one of the most highly recommended Plastic Surgeons that I have heard of. Since I had to wait nearly two months to get into see him, I will say it was worth the wait. The appointment had its good news and bad news. For example, when I initially made the appointment I was told Dr. Zamboni was booked solid on surgeries until next year. After meeting him he told me he would like to get me in this fall, however, it’s not for the procedure I had wanted. I had my heart set on a TRAM Flap procedure where they use your own body tissue instead of an implant. I didn’t want an implant because I don’t want to have to go through 2 separate surgeries or more and all the saline injections for the tissue expander, or to have 1 hard boob, and 1 soft boob – but as I was told, in order to have a TRAM Flap done, I would need to lose 50 lbs. first, because the tissue isn’t just fat, it’s muscle as well, and if it’s not right it won’t take and the tissue will die. So, unfortunately I have to go with a tissue expander first, which he said he would put more fluid than normal in, then I have to fly down every 2-3 week for saline injections which he will double the amount on. Normally it takes about 3 months to stretch the skin out to size, and can be quite painful if too much is injected too fast, but since I am on morphine already because of my bone pain, he said he would double up on the injections and to just continue seeing the pain management doctor, so it should take about half the time, about 1 ½ months. Once the skin is stretched out completely, he will take out the tissue expander and replace it with an implant, while at the same time doing a breast lift procedure on the other to make them appear symmetrical. Then somewhere down the road, I will have a nipple fabricated out of a piece of skin and sewn on and also an areola tattooed on. It’s a good thing I won’t have much feeling in that breast, because that does not sound like fun! Although it’s not the procedure I want, at least the majority of it will be done this year. (While we waited for the doctor we played with our Palm cameras. It’s not the best quality of pictures, but it’s a handy little device. Oh, and those red spots on my face, not acne, that’s that lovely rash I get when I’m out in the sun. This is courtesy of buckling my daughter in her seat yesterday.)
Afterwards, we met up with our friend Tony, who we both used to work with in the Vegas office, at PT’s when he got off work. They had a couple beers, and we chatted over dinner. While there we ran into another friend we used to work with, Rob. It was nice getting to see them both, and spend some time with them before leaving town.

August 4, 2005 – Follow me to the Moon.

Today I had my follow up appointment with that amazing, big, burly, pain management doctor, Dr. Moon – the one who snapped me like a twig. He did such a wonderful job with my back I thought I would make Ruben an appointment there also, since he has been having back pain for as long as I can remember. First he started off with some x-rays on Ruben’s back; next we each got the little heat/electric shock massage. Then I watched as Dr. Moon tossed Ruben around like a rag doll, cracking his neck and back, and giving him 6 shots of vitamins in his back. Afterwards, he cracked my back and neck, but he didn’t toss me around quite like he did that first time. He also skipped the shots this time, woohoo! Once complete, we discussed a plan for getting my prescriptions and for following up. He wants to see Ruben next month when he comes down for the Manager’s Forum, and he’d like to see me at least every 2-3 months.

August 3, 2005 – Are we living in the age of cancer?

I found out today that a very good friend of mine was just diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone, so I can’t say who. This just upsets me beyond belief. It seems every where I go, either someone I know, or someone they know has just recently been diagnosed with some form of cancer. Cancer has become all too common, especially when a 31 year old with no history can develop it. So I wonder, are we living in the age of cancer?

August 2, 2005 – In the immortal words of Arnold, I am happy to say……. “It is not a tumor.”

Ruben and I spent another sleepless night tossing and turning. We waited all morning and still no news from my oncologist regarding my MRI results. As we were getting ready to go over to my mom’s house to help her set up her new notebook computer, I called the office to see if they had received the results yet. Surprisingly, they had, but they were waiting for the doctor to review them and sign off on them; then once that was done someone would call me back. So we patiently waited some more, wondering what news was heading our way. In the meantime we had started the drive across town to moms when we got the call from the nurse, Shannon. She said the doctor reviewed my results, and my MRI was negative. I did not have a tumor in my head. In fact, my results were excellent. She had said that more than likely what I had been feeling was a combination of too much stress, and anxiety mixed with side effects of my medication, and if it continued to be bothersome I should try new anti-anxiety medications or try taking my Femara at night instead and see if that helps any. Just hearing this news alone was a BIG stress and anxiety reliever! To celebrate the good news Ruben & I went to Best Buy and each bought Palm Pilot Zire 72 Special Edition. Ruben needed to upgrade his Palm for work, and I needed a digital brain to track all my contacts, expenses, medications, surgical procedures, appointments, car maintenance, and so much more on. The possibilities are endless, I can play games or listen to music while I wait, record voice memos, take pictures. It’s like a little computer for my purse. I so love it!
The title for today comes courtesy of my step-brother Tom. He is overseas in Italy in the USAF, getting ready to transfer to England with his wife Amanda. When I told him the news of my MRI results, those where his exacts words of his response.

August 1, 2005 – 2 sedatives, a shot & 2 bruises, and 1 broken MRI machine add up to 2 hours.

Ruben (my chauffeur these days) and I headed across town today to Henderson hopefully put an end to these restless nights worrying. We get to SDMI, I check in, they take me back into another lobby. They give me forms to fill out and a gown to put on. I get done with filling out the paper work, and sit and wait. No one comes for me. Suddenly I realize that I’ve been back there for over an hour. So I got out my cell phone and gave him a quick call to let him know that I was going to be a while longer. Apparently he already knew that though, as the whole front office had been talking about the computers and the MRI machines being down, although no one had the courtesy to come back there and tell us anything. After another 10 minutes someone finally came back to tell us that one of the MRI machines went down while someone was on it and they didn’t know how long it would be until it was back up. While she was there, I asked her about sedation, since they do not have any open MRI machines at that location, and I’m a little more than somewhat claustrophobic. She went and got me 2 sedatives to chew up and take with water, which tasted pretty nasty. But once they got those machines up and running, I was glad I took those awful pills. As if sticking me in an MRI wasn’t bad enough, they covered my face with what seemed like some sort of face mask, so I was even more entrapped. Even still THAT wasn’t even all bad. It didn’t get bad until I leaned my doctor order the test to be done with a contrast injection. The injection was to go in my vein, my very bad veins. She poked me once and made the vein collapse. Her efforts left a nice quarter size bruise at the top of my elbow. She tried again in a different spot on the inside of my elbow. This time she got lucky with my vein, but somehow she still managed to leave a mark. Thirty minutes later we finally walked out of there wondering just how soon tomorrow we would know if I had a tumor in my head or not.


July 30, 2005 – Tammy & Louise are at it again.

I got another card today from Tammy and Louise. This one is a true testament to the times. It said: “Here’s a helpful technique for managing stress during difficult times: First, get one of those glass sno-domes with a happy little snowman and idyllic, peaceful winter scene…, get a hammer.” They also included the recipe for Holy Water – incase you didn’t know, you just beat the hell out of it = ) Thank you once again Tammy & Louise, I’ll have to remember that for the next time I am stressed, but I’m hoping this is the last time it will ever get to be this bad. Next weekend I hope to return home, pending my MRI on Monday of course – which I keep telling everyone is when we will truly find out just how blonde I really am.

July 29, 2005 – Finally relief at last, until no-one shows up to say good-bye.

I finally met with a doctor today to talk about my depression, anxiety, and stress – and unlike the assessment person I spoke with over at Montevista Hospital, he was not judgmental at all. Instead he changed my anxiety medication, and advised me to follow up with someone in Elko once I get home. Then we went off to my next appointment. Luckily I showed up like an hour early for it, because the paperwork I had to fill out was unbelievable! I had to fill out one of those scan-tron test that was 4 pages long, front & back! I was at this appointment for over 3 hours, but he turned out to be the most amazing doctors I’ve seen. He was the pain management doctor. I didn’t notice it, but my husband said he was this big, burly man, and he must have been, because he picked me up and snapped me like a twig. He just twisted me and bended me and yanked me, and my whole neck and back cracked. If that wasn’t scary enough, he then gave me 3 shots in my back of what he called vitamins. Of course there were no shots, or cracking for the other parts of my body that hurt, but he did give me better pain meds. I left there feeling incredibly better, for once in weeks my back hadn’t hurt. So since I was feeling so much better, both physically, and not as much mentally stressed as I had been, we headed over to PT’s where I had made plans to have a good-bye party with my old co-workers. I sent out an email the week before, had heard back from several people, yet once we got there NO ONE SHOWED. I think if Ruben hadn’t been there, it would have been enough to send me back to the edge – but instead, I said screw it and had a nice dinner there with my hubby while we both tried to have a nice relaxing Friday evening. Maybe it’s better no one showed up.

July 28, 2005 – A worried Ruben rushes to my aid.

Ruben’s flight came in this morning just in time for my last lymphedema therapy session. I’m glad he finally made it for one of them, since I will after all be relying on him to help me with massaging my arm. Afterwards we went and picked up a surprised Natalie who didn’t know her Daddy was coming to town and had dinner with gramma and grampa. While there, my oncologist called Ruben and explained to him his worries. He didn’t know Ruben had hopped on the first plane and came to town to care for me. This is when we learned that he’s afraid there might be a tumor in my head. Even though he used the word highly unlikely, it did little to make either of us feel any better.

July 27, 2005 – Help at last, or more fuel to the fire?

Today I started my day by dropping my dog off at the groomers, then going in for some blood tests for my oncologist. Afterwards, I met with an assessment person over at Montevista Hospital. Here I thought I was going to get help, and instead here’s this woman digging into all aspects of my life, not getting really any background info, and making assumptions. This did not sit well with me. Here I am trying to get help for depression, stress, and anxiety – and she mistakes what information I am telling her about my anxiety medication and flat out calls me an addict, all because I take it twice a day. I damn near went off on her because I was so pissed. How dare she judge me? I have been under so much stress and anxiety the last few days, especially with thinking something is wrong with my head, and this woman is doing nothing more than stressing me out more! I left there so upset, I called Ruben and told him what was going on. I didn’t want to stress him out, but I was so freaked out about something potentially being wrong with my head, I didn’t know what to do. So he made a few calls and hopped on the next flight out. Luckily, Ruben’s former boss (now his bosses boss) Russ is an amazing man, and has been very understanding through-out this whole ordeal.

July 26, 2005 – What does too much stress and anxiety get you?

Today I met with a friend for lunch which was nice, since I haven’t been seeing much of my friends lately. Then afterwards, I had probably one of the worst doctors’ appointments of my life. I made an appointment to see my oncologist today for several reasons. I wanted to talk to him about the SSA Disability, why another doctor in the office who does not treat me, would sign off on the paperwork. I also wanted to talk to him about the depression I’ve been feeling and the chronic pain, as well as other side effects I had been experiencing. I wondered if it was just my meds, or if I was just under too much stress and anxiety. He told me that the only option for the chronic pain was to stop the Femara, go on Tamoxifen for 5 years then go back on the Femara. I told him I didn’t want to take 2 steps back just to start all over again, so he suggested seeking a pain management doctor to treat me. He also wanted me to find a psychiatrist to talk to about the depression right away, which I told him I had been trying to do, but had been unsuccessful. But it wasn’t until I started to tell him about my other side effects that made it one of the worst appointments I had been to in a long time. Other than the pain, I had been feeling lightheaded, dizzy, unstable, and sick to my stomach. There have been several occasions indoors and out that I have felt like I was going to pass out, or throw up. Just the look on his face alone scared me, and the words he uttered next were something I never thought I would hear. All I heard was that he wanted a MRI done on my brain STAT, and I couldn’t even tell you what he said after that. How do you tell someone extremely stressed that you think they need to get their head checked, and not stress them out more?


July 25, 2005 – Getting my heart, I mean port cut out.

Today wasn’t a good day. Nothing started off right. It doesn’t seem like anyone seems to understand what it’s like to have cancer, and don’t sit there and tell me about oh your friend or your grandparents or this or that. Face it, you don’t know shit about cancer until you have had it. You don’t know that person feels or thinks. So why would a doctor who has never seen me, who isn’t even my treating physician say that after treatment I should just “bounce right back.” I called my oncologist’s office and I’m going to see them tomorrow to get this crap straightened out, because I am not happy. I’ve made several calls there about my depression, then this other bozo doctor takes my chart and goes and does this, that’s not right. Causing my Disability claim to be denied, and when I talked with the lady at the SSA about it, she was telling me about how she’s had friends who have had breast cancer and this and that and talking like it’s no big deal. Well I’d like to see her get it, then tell me if getting your breast cut off is no big deal, and living with chronic pain, and daily inflammation and swelling in your arm is no big deal. My bones and muscles ache so bad I feel like I have been playing soccer and have bruises on my shins. My back hurts to sit, stand or lay. There is the constant fatigue, insomnia, “chemo-brain” and the inability to concentrate I live with. There are days I can’t even spell things like my name, fifteen, or remember my daughter’s own name, let alone the address and phone number I am at. There are a lot of these side effects that I will have to learn to live with for the rest of my life, and some that will take up to a year for me to overcome before going back to my normal life. But even though I have dealt with the cancer portion of this, from the time I found the lump in January till now for 6 months, and I am on chemotheraphy agents for life, and will deal with lymphedema for life, they do not think this will affect the next 6 months of my life to “deem” me disabled. And here I am still going through active treatment, and haven’t even begun reconstruction. What freaken idiots. All I can say is appeal, and if that doesn’t work then I say lawyer - 1 for Social Security and 1 for the 2 idiot doctors who put me in this condition, because I’d really like to take them for all they're worth. The man that screwed up my hand/wrist and left my fingers with no feeling when he preformed carpal tunnel surgery on me in 12/03, and the man that told me I had to have a radical mastectomy and took my chest wall and all 16 of my lymph nodes, when it was ALL unnecessary.
If that wasn’t upsetting enough, I had to go see the “Fresh Surgeon” today. This time she didn’t get fresh with my mom, she must have just had a thing for Ruben. But I’ll tell you what, 2 shots of lidocaine, and it still freaken hurt like hell. If I would have gritted my teeth any harder I would have broke them. And this was after taking 2 xanax and 2 percocets before going. I saw that sucker sitting on the table, it was huge, bigger than a nickel with a thin tube about 6 inches long. Yes, I wrapped it in gauze and took it, it was mine. It’s for my scrapbook! I don’t know how many stitches I have, because I didn’t look. All I know is how much it hurt. Never again… least I hope!

Oh, but I did learn one fabulous fact while I was at the doctor today. I lost 11 lbs. in 25 days. That's a total of 22 lbs in 3 1/2 months, and I am back below my pre-pregnancy weight


July 24, 2005 – A Revelation to Happiness.

It dawned on me the other day in the midst of all this. Being depressed, stopping meds, the crying, sick to my stomach, fighting with friends, crying, losing weight, not eating, being sick to my stomach – oh wait I said that already. I just needed to revert back to my prior days. See I have my own set of beliefs. I live life by my own set of rules. My first husband did a real number on me, always calling me fat, and stupid. In just a year in a half he caused so much mental abuse, it took me a long time to get over it, because when you hear it everyday you start to believe it (and at 19 I was not fat, I was 145 lbs. & not stupid). I had a thing for losers I suppose, because years later after I moved to Vegas I dated a guy for a year who, I swear brainwashed me. Once again, this loser did a real number on me. Not only was he a loser, but he was psychotic at that. One time he held a loaded gun to my head and threatened to kill me, and believe it or not I still stayed with him after that. It wasn’t until I was unhappy at my job that he told me, “if there’s something in your life you don’t like, then change it, it’s that simple.” That’s exactly what I did. I got a new job, but I still wasn’t happy. Then I realized, it wasn’t the job making me unhappy, it was him. So I dumped him. Needless to say, he found a new girl as psycho as him who cranked called me till I changed my phone number, then later cut my brake line, and keyed the whole side of my truck so it had to be re-painted, but that’s beside the point. My point is that every since then I have lived my life by this creed - that I do not need anyone to make me happy. I have never cared what anyone has thought about me, and I really could care less whether or not you like me or want to be my friend because this is who I am – like it or not.

Luckily I found Ruben who was not a loser or a psycho and found a love, happiness, and a friendship I never possibly thought could exist. My happiness lies within my heart, and the 3 very special members of my family (1 just happens to be a fuzzy mutt-dog). They are my inspiration for everything that I do, and are responsible for my everyday joys.


July 22, 2005 – Off my meds and loving it!

Once again it was another case of that little warning that you probably never even read that comes on the pamphlet when you pick up your medication. The one that says: Children and adolescents who take this medicine should be monitored daily for any worsening of their condition, thoughts of hurting themselves, or any other sudden or unusual changes in mood or behavior, especially during the first few months after starting this medicine and after any change in the dose of this medicine. If any of these serious side effects occur, contact the doctor immediately. Yeah I think daily crying falls under unusual changes in mood or behavior. So it’s a good thing that when I noticed I was crying so much more than the usual caught up in the emotion thing that I stopped taking my anti-depressant – this happened I think on Sunday night. I had a feeling it had a lot to do with the medication, yeah I still have some symptoms of depression, but like I have said before, with all I have been through this year who wouldn’t? I would think that would be fairly normal. My body has been through a traumatic experience, several times this year alone. So will I still seek help? I’m likely to, but I can say that here it is Friday and it’s been 2 days since I’ve cried, and while some disturbing things have happened the last few days and I’ve been mad as hell, overall I feel fairly good.
Let’s start with the General Surgeon I saw on July 20. She said she would take my port out next week in the hospital. Now while I’m sitting here trying to figure out my schedule for next week, holding off all appointments with friends for lunch, and my lymphedema therapist, and my doctor – I decide to call to find out what the hold up was, because they want me to get a chest x-ray first and they need approval from my insurance for the procedure, but they haven’t even begun, and the scheduler is off till Monday. I don’t understand why it takes them so long when the doctor that put it in got approval in one day from the insurance company. Only one thing to say here – SLOW OFFICE STAFF! So I called the surgeon who put the port in for me, yes the “Fresh Surgeon” (see entry below from April 8th), and I will be going to see her on Monday. Against my better judgment, we are going to remove the port in the office. This doesn’t bode well with me because I don’t do blood and pain well, but they assured me that I will not only be numb, but also not feel a thing. I can also take my xanax and percocet before I go, but I will need a driver for the procedure.

The second thing on my bitch list is FIDELITY NATIONAL HOME WARRANTY. This company sucks major ass! My swamp cooler still has not been fixed, they do not return phone calls, even though my policy states that upon receiving a request for service FNHW will contact a qualified contractor within 3 hours during normal business hours, and 48 hours on weekends and holidays– yeah right. It took them 2 freaken weeks to call my husband back, and the stupid CSR calls to ask if the swamp cooler had been repaired yet. Um, NO, you guys haven’t dispatched a repair tech yet! He called them on Thursday July 8th, and they just called him today on the 22nd, even though I have called several times and left messages for a manager by the name of Anthony Flores and have emailed him several times, and STILL no one has bothered to call! This is just part of my bitch fit with this horribly shitty company. And I’ll tell you what, if it weren’t for others reading this, you’d really know what kind of sailor potty mouth I have, and exactly what I think of Fidelity! When we purchased the house, we purchased additional coverage for the roof, washer, dryer and refrigerator. We paid for this coverage OUTSIDE of escrow, it cost us an additional $250 smackaroos. Coverage that they don’t even have freaken half the vendors for in our area! But did they tell me that when they took my freaken money? HELL NO! Will they give me a refund now? HELL NO? Will they give me a cash out on the swamp cooler, not with out having a licensed contractor look at it first, which will only take about 3 weeks – believe me, I’ve called all around town. Will they re-imburse my expenses for my husband and his friend buying parts and spending 2 ½ hours repairing it? NO, why you ask? Because they are not licensed contractors, that’s why! So tomorrow we are going to contact our real estate agent that sold us the house and get her involved, because it’s more than just the swamp cooler, there’s a roof leak and no roofing vendors, and damage to the roof under the swamp cooler that wasn’t exactly disclosed when we purchased the house. The previous owners told us there had been a leak in the swamp cooler and they had fixed it, only because we had noticed the miss-matched paint on the ceiling, but that is in Natalie’s room and no-where near where the swamp cooler is and the external roof damage that was never fixed.
It makes me miss my old house so badly, the carpet and tile we hand picked. The new garage door and opener we installed. The fresh paint and custom baseboards. How I painted half of Natalie’s room all by myself sky blue, and Ruben hung up the railing, and I hand stamped flowers, ladybugs, dragonflies, bees, and grass. How I stencil kokopelli’s in my kitchen, and Ruben replaced the counter all by himself. How I miss all 4 of my brand new delta and moen faucets, and all the new light fixtures. Our brand new 4 ton A/C gas pack unit. We had that house a home almost before we ever moved in…..and we only had a cold slab leak, a few busted sprinkler lines, a dead tree that took us hours to dig up, and 2 good home warranty companies that never gave us a problem with anything we ever called on. And to think I drive by there now, and it’s all gone downhill, the new tree we planted, DEAD, the grass, DEAD. Such a shame they didn’t upkeep our first house with the same love we did.