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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!