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Holiday Recap

This year we attempted to have a low key Christmas - though we promise to scale things down each and every year and it never ever happens. We're at the point where Ruben and I no longer really buy gifts for one another. I mean seriously, we are adults and we pretty much just buy anything and everything we want within reason. Sure I want a new camera, I want the big Cricut, I want larger diamond earrings - but I know I don't really need them. This year Ruben and I bought a new mattress and box spring...that was our gift for each other. My guess is when you really have everything you really want or need, then you start buying the practical stuff as gifts instead. Since we don't really buy gifts for each other anymore, we allot an amount to be used for Natalie to buy us gifts. We don't allot much money, cause really Christmas is for kids and she's all that matters - though we do buy gifts for our family.
So this year I got the usual - lots and lots of perfume. His mom, 2 brothers, & my sister in law bought me huge bottles of CK Eternity and CK Obsession. These are yearly necessities for me. I'm a perfume addict and will go through a 3.4 oz bottle of Obsession in a year. His mom always keeps me stocked and I wouldn't have it any other way! Ruben used the allotted money to buy me 2 different large bottles of Gucci perfume, and a large bottle of Christina Aguilera Inspiration perfume. This made me very happy - I love having a dozen bottles or more of perfume to chose from! I took his allotted money and bought him a new PSP that came with a memory card, a game, a movie and a voucher to download a game. He needed a new PSP since his brother accidentally ran off with his after his summer visit here. His family sent him some gift cards to buy games or movies. My sister had sent us some Hawaiian shirts and stuff earlier in the year - so we only bought for the kids.
Natalie cleaned up with all kinds of toys, games, and books. My sister sent Natalie a $50 "credit card" for Build-a-Bear - which served as both a Christmas and birthday gift for her. She got lots of Indiana Jones figures, Clone Wars figures, a Ben 10 omni watch and figures, Bakagan figures, Pokemon Trainers, HSM & HM dolls. She got a Camp Rock keyboard, Nerf Dart Tag playset, Littlest Pet Shop Bratz Doctor playset, Bratz perfume, HSM make-up kit and case. I'm not even sure if I can tell you all the games she got, but here are the ones I do know - Nerf N-Strike w/guns, Wii Outdoor Challenge w/mat, Clone Wars w/sabers, Boom Blox, Viva Pinata, plus about 6 more. She got a Clone Wars build your own lightsaber kit, and a RC helicopter....the 2nd one she's had cause the last got run over by a neighbor. She also got these really awesome books on the human body, the frog body, and outer space.....they all had either pop out pages with sound, and the frog one was detailed layer by layer of the frog's body - the pages had little plastic parts of the legs, insides, skin, etc. The books were a huge hit - she's really into science or biology type stuff. I think one of the coolest gifts she got was an EyeClops BioniCam. It's like a microscope. You can take it anywhere and use it to look at all kinds of stuff. you can save the images on a thumb drive, it has a screen but also plugs into a TV for a bigger picture. I used it to look at my diamonds - wow, what you see is amazing compared to the naked eye. And to top things off, she also got a Razor E125 Electric Scooter. I didn't plan on buying her an electric scooter cause I had heard all the neighborhood kids were getting some kind electric bikes, but we had been out shopping and she saw it and called me on an unfulfilled promise I had made. I didn't want to get her one cause I thought she was too young - as most are for 12 and up, but this particular model was for 8 and I couldn't argue she wasn't old enough - plus I knew I couldn't really put it off any longer as we intend to let her chose her own presents for her birthday and I really don't want her to waste it all on just a few gifts. So I figured why not - it was on sale, she wanted it, and she was old enough for it - but instead of letting her have it then when we bought it, I made her wait another week cause I knew it had potential for creating a commotion around the neighborhood with all the other kids. But looking back I see now it was kinda crappy to make it part of her Christmas gifts. It wasn't our original intention, but the gift we planned on buying her - D-Rex was sold out EVERYWHERE and couldn't be found at it's original price anywhere. The only places that did have it online had jacked up the price to some insanely high price, so we said screw it. So that's the just of our Christmas. There's lots of present I left out cause I honestly can't remember all the crap she got!
For Christmas Eve we had leftover spaghetti from the night before - I always make too much! Christmas Day I made a spiral glazed ham, candied yams, green bean casserole, rolls, and then we had a red velvet cake to top things off. We had hopes of going to see Marley & Me over the weekend, but I've been feeling kinda crappy with a head cold for the last week, so we just stayed home and watched some of the many new movies we have....we watched Step Brothers and it was AWESOME - but the good news is that the lump on my jawbone went yay, I was right it likely was just a lymph node - and though it was just the 3 of us, we had an wonderful Christmas together anyway.


The Pictures Are Up

I posted nearly all the pix from Christmas on Flickr for all to see.....160+ pix. I planned on writing a post about all the gifts to go along with them, but the jacuzzi tub is calling my name right now, and my back hurts a bit - so needless to say the post will have to wait one more day!


Happy Holidays

I took lots of pix but they'll have to wait till tomorrow.

Merry Christmas

Ruben and his new PSP.


Lots 'o Presents

All of these except about 6 are for Natalie and trust me when I say
there's lots you can't see. Spoiled brat.

The Wrap Up

Here's what's been going on around here this past weekend.

Friday Natalie had half day of school to kick off her holiday school vacation that lasts till January 5th. She came home and immediately began playing with her friend that lives around the corner. It wasn't long before the girls asked for a sleepover. They played for a bit, then watched some movies - so the evening was pretty low-key.

Saturday was another chill day spent at home. This time of year we absolutely do not go anywhere unless it's a necessity - we HATE holiday traffic. We always have all our Christmas shopping done by mid November. We watched the Cowboys choke away another game. Then sometime after Natalie went to bed, Ruben pulled out all the gifts and we began the dreaded deed. I despise bulk gift wrapping! It's tedious and when done in bulk, it takes all the fun out of it! Ruben ended up wrapping the majority - I ended up doing all the boxes and bags. Once again it appears we over-bought for Natalie - and what makes it worse is that her birthday is just 10 days after Christmas, so she'll be getting even more stuff come the 4th! So we badly need to go through all her old toys - and clothes too, gather it all together and make a donation before the years end.
While wrapping gifts we caught The Bucket List while it was playing on HBO. Have you seen this movie? It is so good, yet incredibly sad! Of course you know the premise of it is about two men who are told they only have so long to live - so they make a list of things they would like to accomplish before they kick the bucket. What you probably don't know is that the two main characters (Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) are dying from different types of cancer. After all this time I still cannot bear to watch movies about cancer and death. It just hits too close to home! At the end of the movie Ruben asked me what I thought and I was too choked up, with tears streaming down my face to even answer him. It took me several minutes before I could compose myself and speak. But despite the storyline/ending it was still an awesome movie - I would recommend watching it!
Also on Saturday, I found a lump on my face. Not a lump like the cystic acne I get, because of where it is located. It's right in front of my left ear, on my face where your cheek bone meets your ear. It's a good 1/4 inch in size - semi-hard (not too squishy), protrudes a bit, kinda wiggles though it seems like it's attached at one point - as I cannot pull and lift it off my face, only move it back and forth. It was quite scary to find - but from all my research online it seems like it may possibly be a lymph node or either a saliva or nasal gland. It seems reasonable to me - lymph nodes swell for various reason, and I have a bit of a head cold right now plus I've broke out with a rash and acne above my left eyebrow - it happened soon after Natalie and I went to the salon. My skin is uber sensitive, and I always break out following waxing or tweezing of my eyebrows. The rash resembled razor burn, and just got worse from there. My nervous, unconscious scratching habit probably caused it to get infected. I'm trying not to freak out about it, as stress always makes my acne worse! Aside from viewing the anatomy of the face, which shows 3 lymph nodes and a gland in that area - I think what is also helping me is that I read several questions from people who have found the same thing, and the answer that was posted to the questions was: as a general rule as far as lumps go - if it moves it's likely nothing, but if it doesn't then it should be checked out as it could be something, although I think generally speaking all lumps that stay longer than 2 weeks should be checked out by a doctor. I am tentatively scheduled to get a PET scan done on the 30th, so I will bring it up to the doctor then if I still have it. So I'm not worrying about it till someone tells me I should be - that's the plan!

Sunday was the usual - did some laundry, watched some football, relaxed at home. Nothing special, but it's just the way we like it!

Ruben's planned some time off for this week, but had to go to the office today to take care of a few things. We're hoping he won't have to go back till next week, but we'll play it by ear. It all depends what comes up at work. He'll have to take off for the 30th cause Natalie will still be on break and I'm supposed to have the PET scan done. I'm a big baby when it comes to these types of tests, so Ruben will have to go to hold my hand. It's just that I am an extremely hard stick and the test will require an IV so they can inject some radioactive glucose or something into my veins. With only having one usable arm for needle sticks, veins that collapse on a whim, and growing anxiety each time a stick fails. Yeah, these tests really aren't any fun - cause even after it's done, I still have the anxiety as I wait for the results and with the test being right before New Years, you know I won't get back any results till next year! Please cross your fingers and think positive thoughts for me. I really need this test to show no potential cancer clusters in my body so I won't have to do chemo. Other than that we don't really have much planned for the holiday - I plan on making dinner on Christmas Eve, a ham with all the sides. It's only right as we had turkey for Thanksgiving, and with it being just the 3 of us we really don't need both a bird and a ham! Besides, we don't want another possum in our back yard eating the oil from deep frying the bird!
After Thanksgiving Ruben drained the pot but left the container outside. the next day he noticed that half the oil was gone. Every day it disappeared even more. then one night we go to let Lexie outside before bed and here's this possum licking the bottom of the pot. At first we didn't see it till it raised it's paw to attack Lexie. I grabbed the broom and chased it out of the backyard.....there's a sizable gap under our fence so that's how it got in. Imagine that thing drinking oil for a week....ewww!
So other than a lonely holiday with just the 3 of us, our only other plans will be for Natalie's birthday. We plan on spending Saturday the 3rd at the Children's Museum and the Insectarium - then on the 4th we'll have a nice dinner out and will spend the day shopping. We don't plan on buying her anything in advance. We're going to let her pick all of her own gifts. So both days will be exhausting walking all over the place. She's not having a birthday party next year cause frankly the majority of the kids around here are treating her poorly. Besides it's not like anyone really buys her anything nice. We've spent some bucks on gifts for some kids, $80 on one....hell I've even gone as far as to buy things like shirts for the kids just cause I was getting Natalie one and I knew the other kids would like them......and what does she get in return? Re-gifted items, really cheap toys, and not even a second thought from the parents. So why bother, right?

Another Meme I got from Lora

I got this meme over at Lora’s place last week. I haven't done something like this in awhile, and thought it was cool that this one involved music! Though I've decided to do it, I am not tagging anyone else to do it.....but take it if you like.

RULES:1. Put your music player on shuffle (ALL MUSIC).
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Tag 8 friends who might enjoy doing it or just post it on your blog for all to see.

IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OK" YOU SAY? Trip at the Brain – Suicidal Tendencies


WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? Nothing Else Matters - Metallica

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? All For You – Sister Hazel

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE? Saturday Night’s Alright - Nickelback

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? Thanks Fr Th Mmrs – Fall Out Boy

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU? The Outsider – A Perfect Circle


WHAT IS 2 + 2? Don’t Let Me Get Me - Pink



WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? Dyers Eve - Metallica



WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU? Somewhere I belong – Linkin Park

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING? Already had the wedding... but the iPod says I want Action - Poison

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? She Talks To Angels – The Black Crowes

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST? Complicated – Avril Lavigne

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET? Figured You Out - Nickelback

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS? Stone Cold Crazy - Metallica


HOW WILL YOU DIE? Voodoo - Godsmack


WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? Stink Finger – Limp Bizkit

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? To Live is to Die - Metallica

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED? Already married, but the iPod says Someone That You’re With – Nickelback

DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU? With Arms Wide Open - Creed


WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW? Faith – Limp Bizkit

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS? Crazy Bitch – Buckcherry


A Blog Award From Lora

I was awarded by a fellow blogger with the Honest Scrap award!

Lora, an old friend and one of my favorite bloggers, was kind enough to send this my way.

So here are the rules:

1. List 10 honest things about yourself (TRUE and interesting things - not just the color of yours socks!)

2. Pass the award on to 7 bloggers.

Both lists are in no particular order. :)

10. When I was like 10 or so I shoplifted some silly little lip gloss necklace thing that my mom busted me with. She grounded me, took it away and told me that she was going to return it to the store. Years later I found it hiding in this ceramic egg thing she had. All those years she had kept it like it was some kind of keepsake. In fact she never got rid of it until it came time for her to downsize and move to Mexico fall of 2005. I never told her that I knew about her keeping it and I never knew why she had.

9. I've had to learn the hard way on multiple occasions that no one other than yourself or your immediate family can ever be fully trusted. There's always going to be one person that will sell you out, stab you in the back, or wreak some kind of havoc on your life if given the chance.....and sometimes it's your own brother that does it to you. I co-signed on a house for him back in 1996, he lapsed on payments, they foreclosed on the house and he ruined my credit.

8. I know, accept and totally embrace the fact that I am a royal bitch - and if you want to be my friend then you need to accept me for who I am.....I *think* this is why I don't really have any friends. LOL.

7. When I first moved to Hawaii, I was so mad for having to finish my senior year at a new school. I was miserable and hated school so much that I often wrote excuses, signing my mom's name so I could cut class. I never got caught.

6. Even though I used to work as an Accountant, I never actually had my degree. I worked in AR for 4 years, working my way up the ladder when one day I was promoted to fill an opening we had. Though I had taken all of my core classes, and had completed my certification in bookkeeping, once I was promoted I never bothered to go back to complete my remaining credits and get my degree.

5. Every since I saw The Blair Witch Project when I was pregnant with Natalie, I have been too freaked out to watch another scary movie - really. I know, I'm sure I've missed out on some really good ones - and I know Blair Witch wasn't even true or even that scary - but the scene at the end with all the little hand prints freaked me out and scared the shit out of me!

4. I'm a very aggressive, determined person. I always get what I want. It's one of the many traits I received from my mom - and it's not always a good thing!

3. Ruben never actually proposed to me. We found out I was pregnant and went to the store to look at rings. After picking one out and paying for it, I had it on my finger before we even made it to the door. He never got the chance to get down on one knee and ask.

2. Ruben and I had originally started off as friends, we met in an AOL chat room for Vegas locals that would meet twice a week. We had been friends for nearly a year and we had both been dating someone else, when one night in a drunken, jealous, rage I pulled some stupid bimbo I disliked off of him by her hair when she dared to kissed him in front of me. It was in that second that I realized I was in love with him, so I planted a big kiss on him. After that we both knew that things had forever changed. We left the bar and went to the neighboring IHOP where we ate breakfast, and talked about the future of our relationship. Upon leaving, I missed the step of the curb and ate it big time. I had fallen to my knees, ripped my jeans, and was bleeding. I felt like such a dumb ass!

1. When I was about 15, I had a key to my sister's place cause I used to stay over on the weekends and I had spent time there helping her after she had some surgical procedure done. When my sister decided to move in with her boyfriend she forgot to get the key back from me. One Friday night a couple friends and I were bored so we decided to drive out there. I knew she wouldn't be home. We found a bottle of Vodka and nearly drank it all. To make up the difference for what we drank I added water to the bottle. Upon leaving we took the back roads and my friend became car sick. We pulled over so she could throw up, but when we left we came across an icy patch at a stop sign and the car slid through the T intersection landing in a deep, deep ditch. We were miles away from anywhere so we had to walk to the main road, freezing our butts off the whole way. Once we got to the highway, we caught a cab and barely made it back to the mall before my friend's mom arrived to pick us up. No one ever knew what happened that night. I finally fessed up and told my sister about it last year. To this day I have no idea what happened to the car or the guy driving it, but I'm pretty sure his girlfriend broke up with him for wrecking her car!

I know I'm supposed to tag 7 fellow bloggers, but I'm only going to name the few listed below - but feel free to participate if you so desire!


Finally! The 3rd Time's a Charm...

I spent most of last night and all of my waiting time at the oncologists this morning sorting through medical records from multiple doctors. I finally weeded through them, sorted them, put them in order and destroyed the many, many dupes. My files ended up being reduced to nearly half of the original size - which made it way more easier to discuss the files with my new oncologist. I went in there with an open mind, hoping for reasonable treatment options. After all this was actually the 3rd oncologist I've seen, though I must say I had no issues with the original doctor - I was just told they had an office closer to my house so I switched offices. It was the doctor in that office that told me 6 months.

We reviewed my cancer history, pathology, and treatments. I explained to him what my last oncologist recommended, and why I disagreed. I told him what I was hoping to achieve and that I had no issues with doing chemo if it was really necessary - but that I could not see any reason why it would be. After listening and looking through my records he performed an exam, during which he asked me if I happened to be a nurse. I said no and asked why. He told me that I was very knowledgeable on the subject and asked how I came to be so. I explained to him how I work with some breast cancer communities writing, answering questions, and helping women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. He applauded my efforts for educating myself and helping others. I guess he doesn't get a lot of patients like me. I know all the ins and outs of my disease, but I tried real hard to make sure I didn't come off too strong. I didn't want him to think I was hard headed or would only do things my way. When I pointed out how Femara failed to do it's job of preventing my estrogen from binding with my cancer cells, he pointed out that it wasn't just the hormone therapy that failed me - chemo failed me as well. He told me that since chemo failed me and because I've already had a recurrence I am at a higher risk for it to return elsewhere in my body, but he agreed that doing chemo at this point is not the answer. Before he puts me on Tamoxifen he wants me to get another PET scan, which will show if I have any suspicious activity going on anywhere in my body. My last PET scan was clear but it had taken place back in April - a lot could have happened since then as I have not been on any AI meds. So providing that this next scan they are scheduling for the end of the month is clean and that my blood test is ok, he's totally in agreement with skipping chemo and going straight to hormone therapy. He even said that even if I hadn't requested this course of treatment, he still would have recommended it for me. If this scan comes back clean - and lets hope it does - all I would need to do is start a daily regimen of Tamoxifen, have my blood drawn quarterly to check the cancer markers, and get scans done every 6 months....and by scans I mean PET, Chest, Bone and/or Dexa scans. It looks like I just may have finally found the right doctor - how about that?


Coming Jan. 20th - My Life with Laura: A love Story blog book tour

On January 20th I will be participating in a blog book tour with Chad Moutray, the author of My Life with Laura: A Love Story.

The book can be downloaded from Lulu (linked above) for $5.00 or ordered as a paperback. It is described as a love story, albeit a tragic one. Chad and Laura dated and married. Shortly thereafter, they gave birth to a beautiful daughter, Charlotte. Life was perfect...until they learned that Laura had breast cancer. This book describes the exciting experiences of courtship, the beauty of their wedding, the joy of family, and the struggles of dealing with illness. Laura remained a beacon of strength to many throughout her battle with breast cancer. She was strongly rooted in her faith. This memoir tells an inspirational story, even for those who did not know her. It is dedicated to Charlotte, so that she will better know her mother.

On January 20th I will be featuring a review of this tragic love story on my blog, Cancer is NOT a DEATH sentence, though such was the case in Laura's battle with triple negative breast cancer. My review will include favorite passages of the book as well as Q&A's with Chad about the book, and Laura's battle with breast cancer. Please help show your support and order your copy today!

Prepping for another opinion

Tomorrow morning I have an appointment with a new oncologist to get another opinion regarding chemotherapy. I'm really opposed to doing chemo and could not agree with the 6 month treatment recommended by my prior doctor. I see no medical reason for 6 months. Hopefully he will agree with me. As I see it chemo only rids my body of any cancer cells that are growing or have spread - which had been ruled out by my previous PET scan. If there is no trace of cancer anywhere within your body, why would 6 months of hell be needed? my cancer is estrogen receptor positive - chemo cannot stop it indefinitely. Even though my ovaries have been removed, my body still produces bits of estrogen - and without some type of medicine like Tamoxifen, there's nothing to stop my estrogen from binding with cancer cells, allowing it to grow. I think it's reasonable to skip chemo and go straight to the hormone therapy or at the very least do only a minimal bit of chemo, like 2 - 4 sessions. I'm not even sure yet if this will be "the" doctor, as I am still awaiting appointments with 2 other practices. Also in the meantime of trying to acquire another opinion I am seeing my plastic surgeon to see if we can move forward with my breast reconstruction. The discomfort is killing me! When I first made a follow up appointment with my PS I wasn't expecting to get in to see another oncologist for at least a month, but this place could schedule me the very next day proving I had my records. I put off the appointment for a week just to make certain I got everything I needed. Now looking at this huge stack of files, I see I have more than I need and I now must find a way to weed through it all and remove the many duplicates and somehow organize it all by tomorrow morning! I wanted to make the doctor copies, but there is just way too much paperwork here - I would need my own actual copier in order to do it and there is no Kinko's around - and I fear what it would cost to do such!

So wish me luck that all goes well! I'll keep you posted!

Winter School Pix


The finished product

I'll post more pix on Flickr later.

Waxing's not so bad

Natalie got her unibrow waxed for the first time. She was nervous but
agreed it wasn't that bad.

A Day at the Salon

Natalie's ready to be rinsed. I'm still under the dryer waiting. I
can't wait to see the finished hair. I'll post more later.


The Last of the Snow

The snow's all but gone. All that remains are a few melted, ice
packed, balls of snow. This snowman is a testament of how deep our
fans go. We bleed black and gold regardless of last nights loss
against the Bears.

Cheap Gas

Prices finally hit the $1.40s. I can't recall the last time gas was
this low!


Today it Snowed!

This morning was routine as always. Ruben listened to the news while he got ready for work. I helped Natalie get ready for the bus - then suddenly the phone rang. It was the emergency office for our parish, saying there was a winter weather advisory in effect till noon. I told Ruben that and he just laughed. Sure it got cold last night - and it was cold this morning, but this is Southern Louisiana it doesn't snow here. But sure enough shortly after hearing the advisory it began to snow. At first it was more like a sleet - more rain than snow. It didn't take long for it to become full on snow. Big, white, fluffy snow flakes coming down hard and fast. The grass, roofs, and cars all got a nice little blanket of fluff, however the roads just remained wet and slick looking. Sure the snow is melting from the grass - after all it did stop snowing 2 hours ago, but the roofs are still coated. I tried to get some good pictures, but it's almost impossible to get a perfect picture of snow flurries. I posted all the pictures on Flickr if you want to see them all.

I think it's quite funny considering how much I hate snow. It's not supposed to snow here and it's been 4 years since it has. Just like it never snows in Vegas but I can recall at least 2 times of it happening. I'm not saying a want warmer weather back, but I really do hate snow and living in Elko for 2 years only made my hatred for it worse.

Tomorrow is Natalie's meeting with the school board for talented and gifted children regarding her art. According to the request I received I'm not even allowed to go in with her. It says to either wait or to return after an hour. I think participating in this program would be a good outlet for her. Some of the kids around here haven't been too nice to her and it's total BS. So since none of them are genuinely her friend (expect a rare few) we won't even be holding a birthday party for her in January. Instead the two of us will be going to a salon on Saturday for cuts, color, highlights & waxing. She wants both blonde and red chunks in her hair - I'd do it, but I can only do the blonde ones as that's what I did to her hair last year. Besides it will be a bonding day for us. Then for her actual birthday, which is on the 4th, we will spend the weekend celebrating. We're going to go to the Insectarium, Children's Museum, and shopping wherever she wants. I think she'd have more fun picking out her own things to buy, then us getting her gifts. Originally I thought about maybe giving her one of those $500 pre-paid visa cards, but Ruben doesn't want to really put a limit on it - he just wants to buy her what she wants. We'll deal with the money part as we shop. Obviously we won't let her get too overboard, but we do want her to think that she can get anything her heart desires.....and unless it's something extremely ridiculous, too mature or immature for her or way over priced, we will get her whatever she wants. She's had a rough year so she deserves to be spoiled!

Tuesday I am meeting with a new oncologist out in Houma. It's about 35 miles away, but they could schedule me right away.....unlike Ochsner or Tulane who are booked solid for months! I'm still trying to get in to see them cause I figure it won't hurt to get more than one 2nd opinion. I'll let you know how that goes. As a back up plan, I scheduled an appointment with my plastic surgeon for the 22nd cause I'm hoping we can finish my reconstruction surgery before I start chemo. My one expander is so uncomfortably painful. I want it out, but we've come so far for me to just give up. We'll see how things pan out. Cross your fingers for me!


Lexie likes corn

Stopped to get some crab boil for dinner - crabs, potatoes, and corn
coblets. Lexie loves anything I am eating. Who knew dogs like corn?

Recent Ramblings

So much to share I don't know where to start.....

  • First off it appears my holidays are safe from the awful chemo treatment. My search for a new doctor will take a while as for one place I am on a waiting list to be called and assigned an appointment - and the other place needs my medical records first which I am trying to gather from the many doctors who have been involved on this case. So a big sigh of releif there!
  • We are done with all our Christmas shopping - however it all still needs to be wrapped, packages sent and of course I still need to stuff the envelopes so that I can get the cards out this week. Blah! But at least all the rope light wrapping is soon to be done for this year at least. Yay!
  • Friday Natalie has an appointment to meet with a board from the Arts Program for Gifted and Talented Children. I've had a few request to post her work, but I have yet to get her drawings back that were used in their decision. I swear though, I will post some work just as soon as I can!
  • In case you were wondering - yes we still have major drama issue going around over here. We are totally fed up with the situation and say to hell with them all cause it's not just the kids saying mean things to Natalie like "all of you are fat, stupid and ugly", or one coming to our house though he's not allowed by his parents to come play here, he still comes just to ask her friend that is over playing to come play with him and not invite Natalie. It's become such a rude, ridiculous intrusion that we no longer allow it to happen after the 3 attempts he made this weekend. Oh and then after a whole day and a half, when it came time to go home - these so called friends gave Natalie's friend a hard time for staying the night and didn't want to play with her anymore. It's ridiculous and I'm tired of it. The parents are just as bad as their rotten kids are. They gossip and cause drama just as much as any high school student does. We were labeled as outcasts before anyone ever even attempted to get to know us - that's how small minded and immature these people are. They're all trying to one up the others, they all act like best friends yet the second one of them walks away the other is all bad mouthing them. It's insane. But you know what? I don't give a fuck what these morons think of me or my family. They don't know us in even the slightest bit - but whatever. Ruben and I will just stick to the general pleasantries if we must, and remain friends with the few who truly deserve it. We've learned to keep our mouths shut cause each time we say something, someone twists our words and tells all the neighbors some screwed up version of what used to be the truth! Neither of us will waste one more second dealing with their hypocritical double standard bullshit.....ya know what really ticks me off? I expected this kind of crap in Vegas, but not here. What the hell happened to southern hospitality and charm? I expected them all to have manners, not act like some hillbilly white trash inbreeds. Yeah, see, I can be judgemental too.....ok, time for a new subject.
  • I finished reading the 4th and final novel in the Twilight Series. I really liked the series, though it got a bit strange in some parts. For the most part though, it did stay true to the whole forbidden love story that drew you in in the first place. Oh I think I forgot to mention that I also saw the movie on opening night at twilight amidst a bunch of oohing and aahing tween girls. The movie stuck mostly to the book, though I did find some areas particularly cheesy. You can tell they did it on a low budget. Speaking of low budget movies - I caught The Lost Boys The Tribe on TNT last week. Oh man, straight to DVD then it's shown on cable in the middle of the night. Ugh. Let me just say it deserved it too cause it was pretty crappy. Shoulda just been a made for TV piece. They tried to keep Corey Feldman looking young and playing the same role he did in the first 20 years ago. However Corey Haim outgrew his baby face and ability to look so young. I think they cut all his scenes but the last one which made you wonder what the hell has happened in the last 20 years. The original was such a cult classic and the 2nd was just a piece of crap that should never have been made. I'm glad Ruben talked me out of buying the DVD when it came out - but I'm sure a bunch of Corey fans bought it.



Our five piece train that took for.e.ver. to wrap in lights. We still
have 4 deers left to wrap in rope lights and lots more lights to hang
up till we're done for this year.

Even though this was a huge pain I think we may buy more frames and
rope lights next year now that I have sources to buy discounted
supplies myself. We just need to decide what other kinds of décor that
we want.

Toy Soldier

The trumpet boy.

Lil Drummer Boy

One of the two toy soldiers.

Frosty says hi

Our big snowman and the two lamp posts in the background.

Harley Santa

The completed lit piece.


Here's a peek at my rope light wrapping handiwork. Notice the mis-
spelling of the wire frame.


Time Flies By

I can't believe that the last week went right by in the blink of an eye! So much for a Thanksgiving vacation. Ruben and I spent about 90% of last weeks waking hours wrapping rope lights on all of our wire frame Christmas decorations. We finished a 5 pc. 3D train, one large 3D Frosty, two 3D lampposts, two 3D toy soldiers, one Santa on a motorcycle, and wording that says Season Greetings - which contains a typo....notice I said Season instead of Seasons. Wrapping all of those pieces using zip ties was tedious and sucked ass each time the ties would break and you'd end up scraping your knuckles. I have scrapes and bruises up and down my arms and hands.....and the fun's not yet over. Today I got 3 more rolls of 150' clear rope lights in so we can also wrap the 4 animated deers we have. Next year we'll probably add more wired decor but after wrapping the deer we will be done for this year. Ruben will likely be putting out the decorations this weekend. I will surely take pictures and post them just as soon as he's done. Usually he has everything done the day after Thanksgiving, but we weren't done yet......and because we had so many items to wrap I had no time to blog or finish reading the 4th book in the Twilight series - Breaking Dawn. I've slowed down a bit on the reading mostly because of the decorations - also because I have nothing to read once I'm finished. I've begun searching for a new oncologist. It may take me over a month to get an appointment, but I'd rather not go through treatment during the holidays anyway. I hope everyone else enjoyed their Thanksgiving vacation. Before you know it Christmas will be here!


Gearing up for Christmas

This is how we've been spending our week. Ripping off old string lights and putting new rope lights on all our Christmas displays. Looks fun huh?

Last Minute T-Day Plans

Well it looks like we won't be alone tomorrow, which is awesome. One of the neighbors living in the cul-de-sac behind us had talked with Ruben this weekend about getting together for the holiday. Originally we planned for their house, but their dining room didn't get painted in time - so we're doing it here, which helps me in justifying the purchase of my dining room set! When the subject was originally brought up we were still under the impression that I would be doing chemo this week, and had concerns that I would be too ill to go all out - plus with just the 3 of us, cooking a huge holiday dinner is a bit over the top. Though I must admit Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It holds a lot of nostalgia and sentimental value to me - it really makes me miss my mama and my family. We're still going to deep frying a turkey, but I'm not cooking all the sides. I bought a pie (cause I don't make pies!), I made an ambrosia salad and plan on making rolls - maybe even my mama's fried green beans. They're bringing an apple pie, potatoes, peas, and other sides - so we'll have a nice spread. Plus it sure beats being lonely and wasting all that time in the kitchen cooking and having leftovers for a week!
Ruben and I have been working on re-doing all our Christmas displays in rope lights, which totally sucks ass! Not enough splices were ordered to do the job, but luckily my hubby is pretty crafty and came up with a way to make his own. We have 8 displays we're re-wiring - plus we bought the frame for a 3-d train set that we'll have to string in LED lights for now as we won't have enough rope lights to do the 5 piece set in for this year. In fact we may not have enough rope lights to finish the 2 toy soldiers we have left to do. Cross your fingers we'll have enough to make it work. As it already is, we realized that 2 of the pieces we did were wrong - well only one part really. We bought a huge 2 piece word set and after wrapping it we noticed that it says "Season" instead of "Seasons"....ugh! I swear I think we can both agree that buying and doing all this work turned out to be one of the biggest mistakes we've ever made, and Ruben loves to decorate for the holidays, but like I said this sucks ass. It's just this crap's not cheap, and re-lighting them takes a lot of time and effort - aside from all the money we spent on the frames and lights. Never again! I'll post pix once we have it all done and the house is decorated. The tree is already up, and aside from decorating it, all the inside decor is done.
Anyway, I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving! I'm just thankful that chemo was a no go after all, though I do not look forward to searching for a new doc for a 2nd opinion!


Natalie and Santa

Yesterday we did some shopping and got a little face time with the big
man while we were at the mall. Santa gave Natalie a set of reindeer
ears and happily listened to her ramble on and on about what she
wanted for Christmas. I love how she "posed" for this picture. What a

Reindeer Natalie

Things Don't Always go as Planned

My chemo class did not go well last week. In fact, because of so my chemo was cancelled. The doctor prescribed a 6 month regimen that I didn't agree with. 6 months is a bit strong considering that my cancer has essentially been removed. Since there's no evidence of it spreading I don't see why such a strict regimen would be needed. Even my original cancer only called for 4 sessions which lasted 2 months. Chemo won't prevent the cancer from returning, it just kills any rouge cells wondering my body - what will help is the adjuvant treatment that would follow, likely Tamoxifen. It would prevent my estrogen from binding with any dormant mutated cancer cells. So this really messed up my plans, and now I must search for a new doctor. I transferred to this doctor's office cause it was somewhat closer to home. I made it clear to him what my wishes were. I didn't even want to do chemo to begin with. I mean if there were medical evidence to support the need for such treatment, then I would happily allow it - but he's not provided me with such, so I will have to go get another opinion. If I had done the 6 month treatment, then I would be looking at probably a year before I could finish reconstruction and I honestly don't want to wait that long cause as it is my expanders are bugging the shit out of me cause they're so uncomfortable. So obviously the whole idea bothers me. I wanted to be finished as soon as possible so that I can also finish my reconstruction by summer at the very latest. So now I have to find a new doctor, but at least my Thanksgiving won't be ruined from chemo this week - right?


Reading is good for the mind

I know I said it's become an addiction, but I think obsession is more like it - though I prefer to just think of it as reading is good for the mind. And since I start chemo next week I need to make my mind stronger so not to lose all my thoughts or memories! Seriously, 3+ years later and I still suffer daily from chemo brain. Another round of it and my daughter will be smarter than I. Pathetic I know. So I'm hoping through reading that I will be able to at least prevent some of that fogginess! As it is I won't be able to do much in regards to the increasing fatigue, nausea, or pain. See now why I didn't want to do it? It's not just the losing the hair part! Though I don't want to, bald is so much more low maintenance. Hell shampoo isn't even a requirement!

All I ask is for my mind to stay strong - otherwise I will be attending school with my child!

It's become an addiction

Had another awful doctor visit. My pain management doctor is leaving
to his Mississippi practice. Therefore I have to find a replacement
doctor fast. Sigh.
My order didn't arrive as I expected so I stopped in Barnes & Noble to
pick up New Moon. The 2nd book in the Twilight saga. I'll have to
return my online order once I receive it. I just couldn't help it
though. I've grown attached to Edward and Bella as silly as that
seems. I mean really who falls in love with characters from a book?
But right now it's the one thing keeping me from becoming completely
depressed - as sad as that sounds. Sigh.


All Done

Four hundred and some odd pages later and I'm all done. I started reading Monday evening and I've hardly been able to put the book done. I loved it all and I can't wait to see the movie. I'm hoping that I will feel up to it Tuesday afternoon - after all, I do start chemo Monday...or so is the plan. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow afternoon. My car is in the shop till Friday, but I have a nice little rental. Friday aside from having to pick up my car, I will also have to pick up my diamond bracelet - which lost another stone; and sit through a 2 1/2 hour chemo class even though I have been through chemo before. What a waste of time. Oh and I so hope books 2-4 show up before Monday cause now I'm out of reading material! Ugh! I didn't think I would finish it so fast! I read the whole thing in 2 nights! I had no idea I would be so into it. I can't even recall the last time I read a real, adult book - LOL! So now it's either scrap or go watch TV till bed. The hubby is at the Hornets game with Natalie - and quite frankly I'm just still not in a creative mood which sucks since I already began a project! With my impending chemo we've even called off Thanksgiving. Instead of me cooking, I believe we intend to order a prepared feast. Which hurts to do cause Thanksgiving is so sentimental to me. But I just don't feel up to it. In fact my mood is so bad about the last few weeks that I've even called off our yearly photo session. Yeah, I know - me not wanting to take pictures, OMG it's serious! So no Christmas photo this year and I haven't even lost my hair yet! I'm just sulking right now and really don't feel like doing much. So on that note I think I will go lay down and watch TV since I have to impatiently wait for UPS to come deliver my other books. Sigh.


Excuse my Abscence

After my Muga Scan on Monday - which was successful(!) we went to
Barnes & Noble so I could pick up a book for chemo. Well instead of
buying the series I intended to, I instead was drawn to buy Twilight.
Let me just say I am enthralled into this book! I read half between
last night and this morning. I've read so much that I had to go online
and buy the other 3 in the series so of have something to pass the
time during chemo. I'm so into it that I think I just might see the
movie once it opens.
Ok now back to my book.


I filled my tank (well 20 gallons of it at least) for under $40. It
was only $37. Haven't done that in ages!

Oh and Bond rocked!!!!!!

A Day at the Movies

Didn't get my car into the body shop like planned so instead I went to
see Quantom of Solace since I was in town and near a theater. Tomorrow
my car goes into the shop and I have to go to the mall to pick up Wall-
E from the Disney store. Yay - the mall at Christmas time.


My Car Has a Boo-Boo

I was leaving the hospital today after a failed attempt at a Muga
Scan. For some unknown reason the nuclear meds didn't mix and now I
have 4 nice bruises on my hand/arm. So now I have to try again on
Monday. Fun. More bruises.
So I'm heading home and the road is a bit slick from a sprinkling of
rain. I stomped on the brakes yet I still slid into the Ford F150 in
front of me. I hardly damaged his truck...just bruised his number a
bit. However his trailer hitch punctured and cracked my bumper. Aside
from being cracked the one floodlight no longer works and the brackets
holding it in place musta broke cause it's hanging a good couple
inches. So now I gotta get my car looked at so my bumper can be
replaced. Plus I got a citation and now I'll have to go to court in
January and will have a nice little fine to pay. Not to mention the
uncertainty of what will happen with the guy I hit. Though he did say
this was his 3rd accident this year - so his bumper may have already
been dented and I worry if he or his passengers will claim back
problems - though the impact surely did not help my knee any. I hit
the brakes hard I guess so the impact jolted my knee.
What a way to end my not-so-perfect week. Yeah one more thing to not
be happy about. I just hope this guy doesn't try to sue me or something!


Some Good News......

Natalie was chosen to be interviewed for some special art program at
school. She had to turn in 3 detailed drawings last week which
apparently they liked. So she'll meet with someone from the program
and will be given some more assignments to do to determine if she gets

Then in other news - last night Ruben and Natalie went to the Lakers
Hornets game but through accidental directions they ended up outside
and unable to get back into the game when after the first quarter
Natalie decided she was hungry. The whole thing upsetted Natalie cause
they missed the game - and also cause some cop threatened to get
physical with Ruben. So I called the Hornets office today and spoke
with someone about the incident. I kept my cool about the whole thing
but I let him know how upset I was. Well my complaint scored them
replacement tickets. So Natalie was really happy today.


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


Sent from my iPhone

Wonderful Surprise!

UPS arrived earlier to drop off this surprise for me. Monday when I
was at the oncologists office I got a call from Tara at Trusera. I was
crying over the phone cause I had just found out about chemo. She & ger team sent
me this delish apple basket to cheer me up - which I must say worked
wonders. It's a nice reminder of the great people I have in my life.
Thanks Everyone at Trusera !

Other Tote

This is my other find at Sam's. Each goody bag was under $20!

So I was feeling better after doing some shopping - that was till I
left. I had bought me this delish berry sundae and was eating it on
the way out. This damn old skinny granpa looked at me and said if you
keep eating like that you're gonna get fat. Damn prick.

More Scrap Stuff from Sam's

I got this purple organizer and a red basket tote both filled with
goodies and 8x8 albums. I'll post the picture of the other after this
I stopped there to induldge in some retail therapy after my
appointment with the plastic surgeon. My reconstruction is now on hold
till at least two months post chemo. I knew I'd have to wait but that
doesn't mean I have to like it!


Where to begin......

Yeah, I know, I've been missing for bit. Haven't made any posts lately because, well for one I've been enjoying my scraproom with a project I am working on, and the other reason is because I've just had a lot on my mind that I was hoping would pass and I could let go of.

Lately I've been trying this new thing out. Instead of getting all upset on the spot - like I might normally do, I am biting my tongue and sleeping on things to see how I feel about them later. I want to make sure that I am being rational and not emotional. Because I am one to fight back if attacked, it means that I often have to turn away so not to shoot death rays out of my eyes. It's been hard, real hard - but sooner or later I will reach my boiling point and likely go off on the next person to piss me off.....below is just a smidgen of it all.......

There has been so much drama going on around here I feel like I'm back in high school. People twisting things, lying about things, people running their mouths, people trying to cause drama - oh and people sucking up, people acting like they are so much better. I'm sick of it. Then there are the ones who make snide remarks about my daughter which really gets me. Just cause she can be dramatic (and what child isn't?) people are assuming that she is or can be a liar. Now there is a big difference between exaggeration, trying to test the limits, and flat out lying. She's tested her limits with some, or has said things that others have taken the wrong way - but she has not lied. Some people think that she lied about the night someone tried to pick her up...all cause she wasn't hysterical when she asked for a walk home. But I sat with my child and heard her tell me and 3 different cops the SAME EXACT story. I also found out from her re-telling the story, that when she asked for someone to walk her home that before she could even tell why she needed help she was told they were too busy, and she kept saying but, but - and each time she just got shut down and was told to just go cause it was dusk, and she lived just across the street, and they were busy, and to shut the door. Hearing her tell me that after the neighbor said to me make sure she's telling the truth made me so furious. If a child is asking for help, it's because they need it - not just for the hell of it. Seriously people, how am I supposed to react to this? I mean if you have a problem with me - fine. But she is just a fucking kid, and trust me when I say no child I have ever met is perfect! They ALL say or do something. I've watched and heard fights then have the kids lie straight to my face about what happened. Natalie has been ridiculed by one lil' boy who has repeatedly told her she's chubby - then ask her if that means she'll be fat like her mom. When I overheard that I really had to walk away before I said something nasty about him. The whole thing pisses me off greatly cause when any kids are here, I treat them just as I would my daughter - and for some, that affection and attention is more than they get at home and definitely more than what my daughter gets when she's in someone else's care. I can tell you now it's only a matter of time till I explode. It's not just some of the kids that are pissing me off, but some of the parents as well....and I don't need this bullshit. I have enough stress of my own. So in a nutshell that has been my life for the last couple weeks.

Oh, and as if that weren't enough - yesterday I met with my medical oncologist. The good news is that I am NOT a gene carrier for the BRCA I or II breast cancer gene. Yippee! That means that there is no way Natalie has it - so that's the best news ever! I'm still waiting to get my Oncotype DX test results, however the doctor and I came to an agreement to go forward with the chemo, even though I really don't want to. I'm not looking forward to it, and I'm certainly not happy about it. I guess you could say I just said screw it cause I'm honestly tired of waiting. It's been 8 months. I just want to get on with my life. I've been waiting for 3+ years to get reconstruction done so I could turn the corner and finally start a new chapter of my life - one that preferably doesn't have cancer in it. I see my plastic surgeon tomorrow for a follow up. I doubt he'll want to continue until I'm all finished with chemo and healthy. Then Thursday I have some labwork to do. I have to collect all my urine tomorrow for 24 hours - that should be fun. Then Friday I have my Muga Scan to check out my heart. The following Friday I have to sit through a 2+ hour class on chemo. I then will start chemo the next Monday. That's how we'll kick off Thanksgiving. I believe I am having 4 sessions of a Taxotere/Carboplatin combo. He didn't tell me how we'll do the 4 sessions.....last time I went every other week. So this is how I will be spending my holidays. The sheer thought of it makes me sick. Seriously, I feel like puking now and I haven't really eaten anything since I found out....though I did have a few beers last night. I really need to stop from shutting down - I was just starting to get out of my room and be more social with the neighbors, though you can see what that got me. Right now I don't even want to scrapbook or blog - I just want to go take a hot jacuzzi bath and curl up in bed. I've got a brand new pair of Saints pajama bottoms just waiting for me. So I think I will try to get that bath in before Natalie's bus arrives.


Scrapbooking Finds From Sam's

Went to Sam's Club this weekend while we were out doing Christmas
shopping. Luckily for us we have this awesome neighbor who kept
Natalie all weekend for us. Natalie was having a sleep over with
Arlene's kid - which was great on so many levels - Natalie had fun all
weekend and played great with her friend - and we practically
completed our Christmas shopping, other than a few minor items.
So anyway, we stopped by Sam's to stock up on some items and I found
the scrap tote goody bag, a lot of my favorite pens that I swear I
could buy by the caseload and I stocked up on printer ink since
printing all of those Halloween block party invites used up my brand
new cartridges. I know I didn't actually "need" the scrap tote, but it
was too cute to pass up. Plus it's filled with lots of goodies as well
as a 12 x 12 album. I can't wait to bust it open, but it looks like
this will be another busy week with doctors.
I'll explain more later as today I met with my oncologist. :(


Every Mother's WORST Nightmare!

Last night my daughter came in about 5 minutes late (5:35), crying hysterically. When I asked why she was so upset, she said to me that some man asked her if he could give her a ride home, though she was less than a block away - and when she said no thanks, he told her to come here, which prompted her to run to her friends house. No one was home at the friend's house, so she just hung out till she saw that he sped off. Scared she went to the other neighbor's house and asked if she could be walked home - though their house is just across the street from ours, but she was in the middle of cooking dinner and told her she couldn't. Natalie didn't let her know what had happened cause she has entered into this "privacy stage" where she is holding back from telling certain people stuff. I called over to talk with the neighbor as she knows pretty much all the neighbors and what they drive - and from Natalie's description it did not sound like any one I knew....especially since everyone around here knows her by name, and this guy did not. So, I did what my neighbor suggested and called the sheriff's office, who sent by several units. Natalie went over all the details with a detective from the juvenile investigative division. I was very shocked to hear all the details Natalie recalled. We live in a very safe neighborhood - other than a few tween punks who shot out some windows with a BB gun, or spray painted some signs, we've been fortunate to not have anything bad happen to anyone around here....and from what Natalie told the officer, it doesn't sound like this man will be back.

This is what Natalie remembers of the man asking to give her a ride.....

He drove a red SUV, newish with chrome bumpers - the rear one had a dent. There were no step railings or running boards, but it did have big chrome rims. The top of the SUV had a luggage carrier with some sort of luggage case on it. One of the windows on the driver side near the rear was cracked. The back had 2 bumper stickers/magnets on it - a heart with an arrow and a Saint's Fluer de Lis. She didn't get the license plate number, but it was a LA plate cause she said there was a pelican on it.

The man was in his 30's, had a goatee that was bushy at the bottom. He was darker than her (so Hispanic or Black). He had light colored eyes, and a couple gold teeth. No earrings or watch, but he did have a gold necklace with a cross and a gold pinkie ring. He had on a black hat with a blue cross like symbol on it on top. He was also wearing a black shirt resembling a polo.
From the rear view mirror hung a set of dice that were green and white. He was drinking from a Coor's Light bottle. He had a cooler packed, as well as several suitcases stacked in the backseat.

If you ask me that's a whole lot of details, but that's just her nature - she's very curious and nosey! I can honestly say that from his description he does not live anywhere back here. We live in a very nice golf community. He also sounded like he was all packed up and ready for a road trip. Thankfully Natalie knew better than to ever get in a car with someone we don't know. If it wasn't for that, god only knows where she'd be today! Keep your fingers crossed that somehow they find this guy before he tries to pick up another child!


The pix are on Flickr

Just thought I'd throw it out there that I posted a batch of Halloween photos on Flickr. I should have more once I get the ones my neighbor took - I'll post those when I get them. Enjoy!


Why is it that things never go as planned?

Here's another day coming and going that I won't scrap. The dog groomer is here and I'm waiting for Lexie to be done - then I'm hoping to head into town to hit the mall or Target, if I have time. Yesterday my day consisted of bills and reconciliation. I may not be an accountant anymore, but old habits die hard - it's month end and still the same ol' routine nonetheless. Tonight I'm supposed to go to Sam's Club with the neighbor to buy things for our Halloween block part.....yeah, I'm giving up an evening of Grey's Anatomy for Sam's. Sick I know? Tomorrow my day is shot cause Natalie's school is hosting their Octoberfest, which is more like a Halloween festival. Then I have to prepare the meatballs I plan to make for the party, set up or help with the whole thing, then trick or treating. Yay! Doing it in our neighborhood is definitely going to be different for us. Usually we go to the other side of town where like a whole sub-division holds a block party. We'll see how this pans out. It's hard to get everyone involved, especially since we don't know those who live outside our particular area. So needless to say there won't be hundreds here like we're used to!

Earlier I checked in with my oncologist to find out if he had gotten my samples and or test results yet cause I was supposed to see him on the 3rd - but he doesn't have everything, so my appointment got pushed back to the 10th. Great, another week trying not to wonder and worry. least for the sake of my own sanity! Then on the 12th I will finally get to see my plastic surgeon. It's been like 3 months I think - and despite my best efforts, I have been unable to "push" my expanders into place. Not sure if he'll be happy with that - all I know is my left one is really bothering me. I'm tired of it pushing on my rib! But I am hoping to have details to tell regarding my treatment, though I think that my surgery or injections will still get pushed off for another month or two. I say that cause though the redness from my radiation burn is gone, I am still pretty dark brown - like a nice summer base coat tan. I also think it will get pushed back cause I wore a bra a while ago, in hopes of "pushing" my expanders away from my ribs. Well the under wire left me with some kinds of mark. Not quite a bruise, but it was reddish, then brown and took well over a week for it to fade. So we'll see.

Also, over the last 2 weeks I have manage to completely give up my hardcore soda addiction. I switched it for tea. I figure sweetened tea has less calories than consuming 3 sodas a day. Well I can surely tell that the tea has more caffeine in it. Three glasses a day and I can feel my heart thumping in my chest. So I think I may need to cut back on when I have my last glass, though not much really affects my sleeping these days. But it must be working cause Natalie told me that she can tell I have lost some weight - and I have, a bit...though I'm sure that my drinking 6 Coors Light with the neighbors didn't help matters any!


Scrappin' is Good Therapy for the Soul

Having a clean(er) room is having it's benefits. Rather than stress while I wait to see my doctor; wonder or worry about my test results; scratch or pick at my face from anxiety; or let the things that people say or the way in which they say them bother me....which is all sometimes easier said than done - I am instead taking full advantage of my workspace and supplies in an attempt to use what I've got and keep myself preoccupied. Now granted I am only putting a minuscule dent in things, but it's the whole process that counts. Being creative and crafty is a good form of therapy! Now, the bigger dents will come once I locate and purge all my duplicated supplies, which I have tons of - but that is a job that will have to wait till a later date. Right now I'm just tickled to have created a page every day since Sunday....and while a page a day is awesome, I'll just be happy if I continue to do at least one a month - though I think I may skip working on a page today to pay bills (blah!) and write up a "Personal Promise" story for Fight Pink. I think it will do wonders and hopefully keep me from that brink of depression. As it is, I totally overlooked that yesterday would have been my mom's 19th wedding anniversary....hopefully I won't overlook the fact that tomorrow is my sister's birthday!

Anywho, here's another completed page. Yes, I'm trying to go back to the beginning and scrap some of the pages from Natalie's baby years. Oh, I also posted pix of my cleaned up studio on Flickr. Enjoy!


Fight Pink

I was contacted by Fight Pink, who asked about featuring my story on their site. You can check it out here.


Putting my supplies to use

Since I have all this clean, open space - I just couldn't resist!

When my neighbor gets home from school, he's coming over so I can make him a card for a baby shower for his aunt. It's the least I can do since he helped me clean- - right?


If you are 30 or older you will think this is hilarious!!!!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were.
When they were growing up; what with walking
Twenty-five miles to school every morning. Uphill... barefoot...

BOTH ways

Yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up,
There was no way in hell I was going to lay

A bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it

And how easy they've got it!

But now that... I'm over the ripe old age of
Thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.

You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my
Childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!

And I hate to say it but you kids today you
Don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something,
We had to go to the damn library and
Look it up ourselves, in the card catalogue!!

There was no email!! We had to actually write
Somebody a letter, with a pen!

Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox
and it would take like a week to get there!
There were no MP3' s or Napsters! You wanted to
Steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself!

Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the
DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you
Were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID either!
When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school,
Your mom, your boss, your Bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you
Just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video
Games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games
Like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'. Your guy was a little square! You
Actually had to use your Imagination!! And there were no multiple levels or
Screens, it was just one screen

And you could never win. The game just kept getting
Harder and harder and
Faster and faster until you died! Just like LIFE!

You had to use a Little book called a TV Guide to find out what was
On! You were screwed when it Came to channel surfing! You had to get off
Your ass and walk over to the TV to change the Channel and there was no
Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons
On Saturday Morning. Do you Hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK
For cartoons!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat
Something up we had to use the stove ... Imagine that!

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids
Today have got it too easy.
You're spoiled. You guys wouldn't have lasted
Five minutes back in 1980!

The over 30 Crowd


How I Spent My Day....

In between loads of laundry, I decided to put me clean studio to use. Now I need to finish up writing my cancer story so I can email it to a breast cancer site that wants to feature it. I'll be sure to post a link once it's up!


My desk is clean

Plus you can see the surfaces of my work tops as well as the floors.
Simply amazing. I think between laundry I may just scrap a page or two.

Finally Clean

Today my neighbor helped me clean up my studio. Things aren't as
organized as they could be, but at least it's clean. It was a real eye
opener. I realized that I have way too much stuff. No more buying
supplies for me. Not for a long while! Next time we'll work on
sorting out the drawers of stickers, dies, emblies and the two big
totes of stamps so I can find all the dupes I have and work on
reducing all the excess I have - which believe me is a lot!


Awards at school

Natalie has been really improving at school lately. Last week she was
awarded "star student" for her class and today she got a medal for
perfect attendance! I'm so proud!

Things On My Mind

Friday after my horrid day, I spent the night relaxing - enjoying my pizza and beers. I truly think it helped me de-stress a bit. Out of boredom I stumbled upon the premiere of Crusoe. OMFG, I think it's my favorite new shows of the season. It was awesome. The man was truly a genius! If you haven't heard about this new series, I highly recommend checking it out!

Saturday I just lounged around most of the day, sick in bed while Ruben cut the grass and stuff. We went out to dinner afterwards, as it's been a while since we had a nice dinner "out." I had a lobster and for the first time that I can remember, I didn't like it - what a waste of a dinner. I'm not quite sure if I just didn't like the way it had been prepared or if I just lost my taste for it. One of my mom's favorite foods was lobster, so maybe I was sad....though I do think I've had it since her death.

Sunday morning I woke up with the thought that I royally screwed up. Thursday Natalie and I went and got our flu shots and not even thinking, I allowed the nurse to stick my right arm which is a BIG no-no. Since I have no lymph nodes in my right armpit I'm not allowed needle pokes or blood pressure to be done on that arm cause it could lead to serious infection. I'm going to have to call the doctor and ask if I need to follow up with any antibiotics. I can't believe I blanked on it. I guess cause the lady told me that it's better to get the shot in your right arm if your right handed. Damn it's been 3+ years and this is the first time I have made a mistake or forgotten. Hopefully it won't turn into anything serious!

This morning I dropped Ruben off at a rental car place by the airport. He'll be out of town till Thursday, which means he'll be missing tomorrow's Hornets pre-season basketball game. He was supposed to go with the neighbor across the street - he got free tickets from a co-worker, but instead the neighbor will now be going with someone else since it is a school night and not something Natalie and I could do.
I've also started thinking today that I might just go ahead and call my doctor's office and tell them regardless of my test results, that my doctor should just go ahead and get things ready so I can do chemo. I still would rather not do it, but I just don't see that happening - and rather than delay more time, I should just do it and get it over with. Of course we need to take our Christmas photos first....not sure when or where we'll do them at this year, but since I don't want to be bald in them, then I need to figure it out!


Some OLD ass pictures

This post is for Lora, who recently posted a cheerleading picture of her daughter and a super old picture of her dressed up for Halloween.

I don't have many pictures from my childhood anymore - not since my mom got rid of everything she owned to move to Mexico before dying. I knew somewhere I had a cheerleading picture from when I was about 5, but I had no idea the things I would find when I looked through a pile of pictures my mom gave me. It was a walk down memory lane. Though I can't recall much of my childhood, I do have more pictures than I thought I did, proving that I did actually have one. I posted some on Flickr, that y'all will get a big laugh at - but below are pix from my days of being a cheerleader and one the only Halloween I can remember dressing up. Enjoy the laughs.

Events that make for a bad doctors visit and day.

  • Your favorite leather wallet broke cause you have too much crap in it.

  • Your new watch broke after only a few months.

  • You find out that you had/have two different cancers.

  • You find out your current cancer is not a recurrence, but rather a SECONDARY occurrence.

  • The doctor wants to run some tests on 3+ year old samples that your insurance may not cover.

  • You doctor decides to do a BRCA I and II gene mutation test to see if you're a carrier that ultimately may affect your child's life and future.

  • While performing said test, the nurse has to poke you twice and fish for your collapsing vein just to get some blood.

  • Your vein is collapsing cause your sick with a cold and dehydrated.

  • You get snubbed by a breast cancer survivor group who is having an event in the hospital you are at upon asking for info on the charity.

  • You go to the mall to pick up your wedding ring and indulge in a little retail therapy, which results in a watch bought that is too big and a new purse that is too now you have to go back to return the item and pay to have links removed from the watch.....but if you wanted to pay to have a watch repaired you would have repaired the one you've got!

Also, I have FINALLY posted pictures of our house all decorated for Halloween now that we are sans bushes. Check out the rest posted at Flickr!


Thoughts on this mornings visit....

I just saw my oncologist this morning, hoping to hear my blood tests were ok and that I could skip chemo. Instead he pointed out some differences that suggest my recurrence was actually a secondary occurrence. The only real differences I saw were in my DNA Pliody and S Phase results - oh and my PR status was 0% instead of the original 5-10% I had back in 2005. I don't know what any of Bloom scores or what have ya, but I did note that somewhere in my original diagnosis back in '05 that they detected both invasive ductal carcinoma and in situ, though I was only told about the invasive. Is it possible to have both? Or is it just that you have one that grows to invasive? I don't know why I didn't think about these things earlier - but he also decided that he wants to see if he can get ALL my samples sent out for an Oncotype DX test. I guess it's good that I have a doctor willing to go back and look for all the answers, but I can't even imagine that they still have my samples from February let alone 3+ years ago! And let's hope my insurance covers the test cause it runs $3,000 a pop! I don't understand what an Oncotype test will tell him cause bottom line is that after 3 years I have cancer again despite a mastectomy and chemo. Isn't that test used to predict your need for chemo and if the cancer is likely to return? Also he pointed out that my pathology has two small but different words to describe my cancer - one was moderately well and the other poor though I don't recall reading that anywhere. That's another reason why he thinks this is a secondary. Then he also decided to do a BRCA I and II gene test and now my world is in panic. I was always told that since no one in may family ever had cancer I likely didn't carry the gene and that was that. But now it's possible I may have the gene and I worry about if I do have it, as that would affect my daughter. She's only 8 and has been affected by cancer enough. I mean having her was an accident, so knowing then wouldn't have mattered. But when I think about if I have it and passed it on to her and how that might affect her decision to have kids and generally her health overall, I'm just terrified of the aspect of it all. I always wanted to know why I had cancer, but the flip side is I'm not sure if either of us should know if she's a gene carrier. I was hoping for good news today, but as it stands I will have to wait another 2 weeks then maybe go from there depending on if they have the samples and can do the test. He changed his mind and said he'd recommend chemo now and I told him that if I have to do it then I will, I can't dispute science. I just don't understand why the results would even matter considering that bottom line I was diagnosed with cancer again 3 years after originally having it.

When Life Gets Tough.....Go To Mo's

Saw my oncologist this morning then ran some errands while I was on
the westbank. My appointment didn't go as planned - which I'll explain
later when I get home. So my simple solution to a not so great day?
Retail therapy, then a cold Coors and hot, steamy pizza from Mo's.
Hopefully things will be better this weekend and I won't majorly
stress over the next two weeks :)


My Own Worst Enemy & Other Nonesense

Last night I finally caught up with the premiere of Christian Slater's new show My Own Worst Enemy. Unlike Knight Rider it rocked. Watching it reminded me how much I love Christian Slater - and seeing his nice tight abs has me thinking maybe I should put him back on my list! He still looks incredibly like Jack Nicholson, I hear he does a good impersonation too. Oh, and like Robert Downey Jr. I am glad to see he's making a comeback after past indiscretions. It seems that the original Hollywood bad boys were blacklisted for years cause of something they did, but Lindsay Lohan can come along and get 2 DUI's and get busted for coke in one year, but every thing's ok just cause she went to rehab. Our society is deeply warped on what is considered as acceptable behavior now.
So seeing him reminded me of one of my favorite lines ever which was from his character in Robin Hood with Kevin Costner, when he says "fuck me, he cleared it", I swear it's my all time favorite line....more than any Toy Story quote! Not too long ago Ruben & I were watching the Legend of Billie Jean and we were cracking up cause he's so freaken young in it....then of course that movie raised the whole question on whether or not he is truly related to Helen Slater, who plays Billie Jean. I think it is his sister, but I'm not 100% sure. I loved him in Kuffs, Pump Up the Volume, Heathers, Untamed Heart, True Romance, Very Bad things and 3000 Miles to Graceland. He has a knack for playing weird, dark, disturbed characters. So I'm excited to see what he'll do with this role as a split personality who is a government CIA operative. Kinda like a twisted Bond maybe? If the stupid NBC site worked, I would say head over there and catch up on the episode online - but it seems to be down at the moment. So you can check out the episode on instead.

Oh - and here's a little tidbit I picked up on who sooooooo has the story wrong. They are reporting that the Saints fans worship Kim K's ass - "In the three New Orleans Saints games Kim has attended this year (including Sunday's game against the Raiders), her man tied an NFL punt return record, set his season high receiving mark and scored 5 of his 8 TDs. Take that Jessica Simpson!! (**cough, cough, jinx, cough**)And get this -- right after Reggie racked up another 2-TD game yesterday, Saints coach Sean Payton gave Kim a big hug. He did the same thing last week when Bush broke off two electrifying punt returns on Monday Night Football. Saints Nation has caught on too -- we hear the fans are chanting her name at home games. If only they watched "Dancing with the Stars."
Uh, I was at that game and I can tell you NO ONE was chanting HER NAME. Lots of BUSSSSSSHHH and DEEUUUCE but not Kim - and we had damn good seats a couple rows up from the end zone. I asked Ruben if we didn't hear the crowd from where we were, then how in the hell would she have heard it from the box seats? I love gossip and all, but dude get your story straight. Kim K is a skank and Reggie could so do so much better than her. Again, it goes back to our warped society. She, like Paris films a sex tape and leaks it and suddenly she's a celeb? WTF? Back in our day she'd just be a ho, not get her own reality TV show cause of it. Gee thanks Ryan. In your quest to rule Hollywood, you're filling our TV's with crappy shows about no one of substance. I think maybe it is time for Seacrest to actually be "out".