Monday, April 30, 2012

need energy please

i called today and got an appointment on friday for my doctor to do some bloodwork. i think that something might be up with my thyroid. awhile ago my mom had showed me an article about some research related to thyroid problems being caused by the contrast solution that patients have to drink before ct scans (remember the pictures of the awful liquid that i have to drink? yuck). i am wondering if it is my thyroid not because of that article, but i thought about the article again the other day as i was contemplating what might be up with how i am feeling. i have to say though that it really pisses me off to think about cancer patients having side effects created from scans. who knows if the contrast is related to my thyroid. maybe they are not related in any way. maybe my thyroid has nothing to do with this at all. but i said last week that if i wasn't feeling better i would make an appointment (mom will be happy). i am a girl of my word. i know that something isn't right. so i will start with bloodwork. if that doesn't indicate what the problem is, i will probably make an appointment with my oncologist.

need to figure out what is wrong.

the sooner the better. right? right.

+++ kelli and karla - super excited to have you ladies on the team - get ready to hit the pavement:)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

mazama, i miss you already

awesome weekend with the ladies, here are some highlights:

+++ the view from our cabin

+++ what i would see when i would open my eyes in the morning
+++ the sun going down on the valley

+++ spectacular dinner with homemade (cabinmade) lasagna and salad. yum.
+++ cinnamon chip french toast with fruit and mimosas
+++ hike with a little bit (up to knees in a few spots) of snow remaining on the trail

+++ wildlife soaring
+++ total quiet...the only sound you hear is the wind moving the trees
+++ laughter, and plenty of it
+++ post-hike beers on a sunshiny deck with a name that could signal you might be there for a while

+++ shopping...and purchasing in downtown winthrop

+++ great views everywhere you looked

+++ a little bit of wine

+++ great friends. fresh air. blue sky. yellow sun. loud laugher. quiet stillness. white snow. green fields. needed rest.

perfect weekend.

Friday, April 27, 2012

hello friday

hi all, hope your week has been going good.

i haven't wrote much this week (as you can tell). not really for any specific reason, i just haven't felt up to it i guess. i have been really tired lately and so my energy level is really low. by the time that we get malena down, and do a workout, i am pretty maxed out. hoping that trend ends soon. i miss having energy. i kind of remember what is what was like, pretty sure that i liked it, definitely know that i miss it.

my left hip has been really hurting me for about two weeks now. i sometimes almost have to limp due to the pain. i am sure that it is just sore from working out, sleeping on it, or doing something else to it without knowing it. but of course my brain constantly thinks it is a tumor and cancer is on the move - mix that with how miserably tired i have been - and my mind wanders to places it doesn't belong. i should probably drag myself to the doctor for some blood tests just to make sure that all is ok if i don't feel like i am coming out of this soon (yes mom, i promise).

last night didn't help my wandering thoughts. at about 7:30, out of nowhere i was immediately nauseaus and had to lay down. i then got the chills. i went straight to bed. it literally felt like my body had an interferon relapse and kicked in as if i had just done a shot. i haven't had one of those triggers for a long time so it really took me by surprise. didn't feel nauseas today so hopefully that doesn't happen again. ever.

am heading over to the east side of the mountains this weekend for girl time with some of my favorite ladies (we will miss you kp). fresh air. great views. good friends. laughter. reisling (you knew that was coming). more laughter. i am ready. it will go super fast as all weekends do, especially ones that require 5 hours of driving (which means i get 10 hours of catch up time with my good friend ellie - woohoo!) to get to the destination. but i have been looking forward to this trip for quite a while.

i hope that your weekend brings you lots of good things too, and i will write you on the flip side. xo.

+++ you need to read this post if you want to know what it means to dig deep and kick cancers you-know-what. also, you know it is going to be good when the last line is "And, oh yeah, fuck cancer."
+++wallace, you rock!!! i got my cinnamon bears today, and already dug into them - they were soft and chewy, a great batch:) thank you, thank you, thank you - so fun to find that fun mail in my mailbox. give greta a high five for me!
+++karen, thank you for your donation to the walk - it means a lot. give vince a big hug for me too;) xo
+++ totally identifed with this blog post, i too have boxes with cards i will forever keep from friends and family. i also loved the idea of writing my own letters for malena to open in the future. at my baby shower, each of the ladies wrote a letter to malena for her to open each year on her birthday until she is 18. we have now opened three of those letters, i have cried reading each one, and will forever keep them for her to have and cherish. notes from the women who loved her from the very beginning, doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, April 23, 2012

late weekender

had a great weekend, it went fast as they always do.

this weekend we had my neice taylor in town to celebrate her upcoming graduation from high school. her and i kicked it downtown seattle all day on saturday. eating. shopping. finding the perfect dress. spa time. a little more shopping. dinner and ice cream with malena and barrett. playing soccer. blowing bubbles. watching late night movie at the theater. awesome. we had a great time and i was thinking about how fun it will be to have those kind of girls days with malena (as long as she lets me tag along) when she is older.

we also got some park time in yesterday. we had fun playing on the playground and checking out the ducks. when we went out to the pier, there were teenage kids hanging out. i had one of those moments when i realized that in the blink of an eye, malena will want go the park, but she will want to go without us. she will want to be with her friends. i reminded myself to pay attention when she starts to show a lack of interest in going to the park. i want to remember the last time she goes down the slide. the last time she wants to be in the swings. the last time she makes sure that we are watching her every move.

oh, how they grow. and go.

+++ thank you steph, kristy, jen for your donations to the walk - you are awesome ladies;)
+++ liked this post on the other side of a weekend
+++ i got my kelly rae roberts original print - love, love it. makes me happy.
+++ i could totally relate to this post, i felt very much the same way last year when i did the shore run/walk for the first time. it was very overwhelming. it was very good. both at the same time.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

half way point

wednesday, i like you because you represent the half way point.

+++ got some fun mail (thanks jill!) today including a book that i am excited to dive into. especially love the page that jill bookmarked for me that is called "a love letter". it reads "it's the energy of mindfulness in us that allows us to write a real love letter and reconcile with another person. a real love letter is made of insight, understanding, and compassion. otherwise it's not a love letter. a true love letter can produce a transformation in the other person, and therefore in the world. but before it produces a transformation in the other person, it has to produce a transformation within us. some letters may take the whole of our lifetime to write."

+++ really, really liked this blog about "the lasts" with kids. you know how i feel about those. i thought about this article tonight on two specific occasions. one when malena and i were playing a match game in our living room and she asked if she could sit in my lap. one when malena and i were heading upstairs and she stopped walking, held up her arms, and said "mommy, will you just carry me up" and as i did, she gave me a hug and rested her head on my shoulder. oh, how i hope that i embrace the last time that she asks me to pick her up or to sit in my lap.

+++ i liked reading this article as i too am usually the one trying to capture the pictures, i need to be better about getting myself on the other side of the camera. good motivation.

+++ you never know when you will need to help a friend or family member in an unexpected way. perhaps one of the most unexpected ways would be to help point them to a resource they could use if they had been diagnosed with cancer while they were pregnant. so that you can be a resource to them, you should read this blog from shannon and learn about "hope for two: pregnant with cancer". i know how it feels to not have many resources to go to for support, there were no melanoma support groups that i could reach out to. i think that it is so great that "hope for two" exists. now you know too, maybe someday someone will thank you for helping them make a connection that they would not have otherwise been able to make on their own.

+++ i am getting six free copies of the recent version of mamalode - woohoo!!! i will be sharing them with some mamas i know. woohoo!!!

+++ i read an article by jim shepard which was focused on writers taking about their fears, insights, etc. one part of the article i thought was relevant to more than just writing and i really related to it. "if that's true, and we don't know what we're doing at first, then at least for a little while when we're trying to compose something, we need to remember to cut ourselves some slack. there'll be plenty of time for brutality later, when revising the mess we made. but we need to be allowed to make that mess in the first place. when we shut ourselves down prematurely, it's as if we came across a child happily playing in the sandbox and asked what she was making, and when she said she didn't know, we told her "then get out of the sandbox. if you don't know what your making, you have no business in there." or if she answered, "i'm making a castle," we responded, "oh, a castle. that's original. no one's ever made a castle before." that girl in the sandbox has every right to respond, "i don't know if it's original. i won't know until i've made it."

friday, i have my eyes set on you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

oh july

my oncologist's office scheduled my scans yesterday. scans on july 10th, results on july 11th.

here we go again. you ready? me neither.

i knew the scans would be in july but was kind of dreading that because it is already a tough month.

july 16th will be the two year anniversary of my diagnosis. as you may remember from last year, july 16th carries a lot of weight for me. and not the good kind. in some ways i am glad that the scans are before the 16th - i kind of feel like they won't be tainted by bad mojo. in some ways i am already dreading how anxious i will be feeling that week with the combo of my scans and the 16th being back to back. but good scan results could make me feel better about the 16th. maybe. i hope. we'll see. i wouldn't put money on it.

now the waiting begins again. waiting is easier for me when i don't have a specific date looming. but i knew it was coming. i can almost taste my cinnamon bears now (and you know i am taking them with me this time, can't chance the gift shop emotional breakdown like i had last time).

on a good note, i get the stitches on my head out tomorrow so i will once again be stitchless. i am liking that.

small victories. you have to love them.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


it is that time of year again. bubbles. bubbles. bubbles. when the weather is nice, there is nothing that malena loves more than being outside and blowing bubbles. we had a great time today playing out on the deck. blowing bubbles. laughing. blowng bubbles. laughing. you get the picture. the sunshine (even if only showing up for a day or two at a time) is helping my mood to pick up a little bit (you were right wallace). bring on summer. i am ready.

this weekend i learned that kristian anderson passed away from cancer. so very sad. i have posted about kristian before. i first heard of him when i saw the video that he made for his wife. although i have posted it before, i am posting it again for obvious reasons. i hope that you will take a couple of minutes to watch it as a way to honor him. i am sending good thoughts out to his wife and children in australia.

+++ if you need a unique, handmade baby gift, you should order one of these blocks. i first received one when malena was born, and have given many more since then as gifts.
+++ if you like banana muffins, this recipe might be for you
+++ i am totally inspired by the homespun hostess - saw her ideas in "mingle" and she definitely knows how to throw a cool party
+++ had fun looking at all of the fun party ideas on this site

hello monday, i think that i am ready for you.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


pretty sure that with a fairy like this on my side only good things can come my way, right? right.

+++ chris, tnx again for the info on the fairy pics  - you rock;)
+++ moms will love reading this article (tnx for sharing em)
+++i picked out my mother's day present. kelly rae roberts put some of her original paintings up for sale today. i purchased this one. i am a happy girl. can't wait for it to show up. i could not pass up the opportunity to have one of her originals. so excited. happy mom's day to me a little early;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


this morning i stopped in at a tully's before my first meeting of the day to do some work. the tully's was near my old office and i hadn't been in there for years. i remember the very first time i sat in a chair within those four walls. i was waiting to walk across the street for a job interview. that one hour in that one interview years ago, and the offer that followed, would forever alter the course of my life. the career i would have. the friends i would make. the husband i would meet. the baby girl i would adore. sitting in that chair today looking across the street at where my life took a major turn was grounding for me. in some ways that interview felt like a million years ago. in some ways that interview felt like two seconds ago. the girl who sat there in her new suit all those years ago had no clue where life was going to take her. but i clearly remember that was she was ready to find out.

also grounding for me was reading this article - amazing strength (thank you sasha for sending it to me).

getting a little bit more grounded each day. i like that.

+++ i think that malena would totally dig this on earth day
+++ loved seeing kelly rae roberts house - awesome
+++ i have not read an april meeker blog yet that i haven't really liked
+++i could do serious damage shopping on this site
+++this totally cracked me up (jen/michelle - did you know that our boyfriend was so great? love him more than ever;))
+++jon...i had dinner at red robin (or "chicken robin" as malena calls it) tonight. wondering when you are going to fly in from bangkok for dinner like the old times. hurry up already and stop moving farther away from me. not ok. xo.
+++have always meant to watch this show as i have heard great things about it, going to tune in for the new episode coming up. probably with a glass of reisling by my side.

Monday, April 9, 2012


my favorite word.

my dermatologist called today. i missed his call and saw a voicemail on my phone from his number. i closed my office door and looked at the voicemail prompt for about two minutes. i worked myself up to listen to the message. what a relief. i think that i will actually sleep tonight.

i really like getting good news. there is still that part of me that feels like i should quietly celebrate to not draw attention to myself from the cancer gods. there is still that part of me that wonders why i get good news when other cancer patients don't. there is still that part of me that is happy. there is still that part of me that feels thankful. there is still that part of me that feels guilty. there is still that part of me that thinks i am one more good result away from cancer. there is still that part of me that thinks i am one more good result closer to a relapse.

tonight i went out with some friends for a happy hour to celebrate two dear friend's birthdays. i didn't say anything about my results. i figured i could do that tomorrow. i knew that they would want to know the results. but i just wanted to enjoy a night with my friends. to hear their laughter. to see their smiles. to listen to their stories. i didn't feel like cancer deserved to be part of the night. so i enjoyed the time. i didn't give cancer the satisfaction of being included in the time that was about my good friends celebrating another year of life.


how sweet it is.

Friday, April 6, 2012

eggs...and some candy:)

"easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things,
but in terms of ideals."
(charles m. crowe)

this quote was on an easter card i got in the email today (you rocked the card like always jill). how is it possible that it is easter time again? wasn't it just christmas? time is seriously flying by this year. it will be the fourth of july (and raining in seattle) before we know it.

+++malena and i baked our cadbury mini-egg cookies tonight. seriously, they are so good. as you can see, i did manage to not eat all of the mini-eggs before i made the cookies. but malena and i did have a few while we were baking just to make sure that they were edible;)
+++ our easter decorations have been crafted up - we had a blast making these bunnies, it was a good team effort
+++ i am ready for my mom's homemade eggs benedict. yum. might have to take down a mimosa (or three) while i eat. yum.
+++ egg dyeing
+++ egg finding
+++baskets full of fun and candy (malena loves her m&ms)
+++tea party for the little ladies
+++laughter, laughter, laughter

happy easter peeps, i hope that you get to eat one too:)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


last weekend we headed over to pullman to see my sister and my niece, and it was a weekend of many firsts.

 - we got to check out my niece's dorm which was super fun. the last time that i was in a dorm room was when i took her on a college tour at western (which she didn't pick, but i love her just as much as a cougar). before taking her on that tour a couple of years ago, i hadn't been in a dorm since i was in college. walking into her dorm sent college memories flooding back. some of my best and lifelong friends are the ones that i met while living in 111 nash and 447 kappa. i wouldn't trade those memories for anything. it was very cool to see malena walking around a dorm and checking it all out, i wondered what her first dorm room would look like and the friends she would make. i  hope that she will be as fortunate as i was, she will consider herself to be very lucky. i know that without a doubt.
- we walked around the campus on a beautiful sunny day. i loved following behind malena and watching her take the campus in and ask a million questions about everything that she saw (including watching the football players on the practice field which she was totally entertained by). i thought about which school she would go to. i wondered for a few moments if i would be around to walk with her on her college campus. but i only thought about that for a little bit and then kept walking forward watching her make her way across the bricks.
- we went for ice cream, but this time was different. malena always picks mint chocolate chip. always. this time she picked "the pink kind" aka strawberry. i was so surprised. i was also excited to see her make a new decision. we may just have a new favorite.
- malena's first time in idaho. check another state off of the to do list.
- malena and i had a slumber party each night. she wanted me to sleep right by her and she would fall asleep facing me with her forehead right against mine. very fun. our first time crashing under sleeping bags.
- first road trip with my newphew and malena. she was so entertained making funny faces at him and laughing, and laughing, and laughing. for mile after mile. so fun to watch and hear. pure joy. couldn't help put laugh along.

a weekend of firsts. couldn't have been better.

+++ read my first issue of mamalode front to back. love. love. love. i am entering a contest to win six free issues so i can share the love.
+++for the ladies....if you are on facebook and have the timeline, curly girl designs created new covers like the one below. awesome. if you "like"her page on fb, there is more info from her post on monday.

+++ totally identified with this article, i too feel the need to turn a corner. reading this article was the push i needed. sometimes the perfect words come at the perfect time.
+++this weekend i am going to make cookies but will substitute chocolate chips with cadbury mini eggs (em - i am still drooling from your pictures last week). yum. i just have to figure out how to not eat the mini eggs before i get them into the cookies. that might (will) be tricky for me. (michelle -i have already made some good progress on the bag you sent me;))
+++sharon - loooove the good news about your tests this week - so great!!!! enjoy it - you deserve it. 

happy friday peeps.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


today was my dermatologist appointment to have him look at the mole that i was concerned about on my head.

he biopsied it. i figured that was likely since the color had changed over the last couple of weeks. better safe than sorry.

as always, it shook me up. the bright lights in my eyes when he brought them close to my face to help him see. feeling him cut a little patch of my hair so that he could do the biopsy. the sting of the needle going in so that he could numb my skin. the pressure of the biopsy. the pull when he put the stitches in. the wipe of the alcohol to clear the blood. the feel of the bandage on my skin.

so i wait on results again. i really hate waiting on results. but it is what it is. i take comfort that i am paying close enough attention to get in as soon as i see changes.

i wonder if my head will be bruised in the morning like my arms are when i have stitches. i am hoping that i might just be so tired tonight that i can get some sleep. i barely got any last night tossing and turning about the appointment today.

results won't likely be back until next week.

i will keep you posted. send good vibes to my head...and my heart. xo.