Tuesday, May 29, 2012

long time, no write

time flies when i am working and having fun. here we are with another week already rolling along, we are almost to the half way point. seriously loving that.

our long weekend was a good one, highlights included:
playing with the trains at our favorite saturday morning stop, after finishing cinnamon rolls and gluten free banana bread
planting flowers in the sunshine with mema. very fun. last year i was too sick to plant many flowers, so my mom and malena planted flowers in the two planters on our back deck but we didn't plant flowers anywhere else. this year my mom planted flowers on our front porch too since i can keep up the watering, etc. it is nice to have some more flowers around the house this year, i missed having color all around us last summer. a little bit of healing.

eating lunch outside on a sunny day. can't beat that. hello, sunshine (and sunscreen).
qt at the park. checking out the ducks. having some slide time. checking out this fire engine. swinging. all fun.
you knew there would be some frozen yogurt. so good. i am hungry for it just looking at this picture.
hanging out with our friends, including our red-haired one called elmo.
deciding which ponies to bet on with dad at the races. go for the longshot, they are always worth the bet. it was nice to be at the races (a semi-annual family tradition) and not feel like hell like the last two times we were there. the picture below was me (with my go to hat in those days) and my dad last year, i was feeling rough but forgot about that for a moment when our horse came through with a win.

loved the weekend, missing it already.

today i went to see an allergist to see if some of my problems might be related to food allergies (other than my celiac disease). as a sidenote/rant, i really sometimes hate having celiac disease, like yesterday when i got really, really sick from somehow getting gluten in my system. ugh. what a waste of a good afternoon and then trying to recover the last part of the day. but i only let myself get frustrated on occasion for a minute and then i quickly buck up and get over it. related to how i have been feeling lately, i will see how it goes the next couple of weeks and then will maybe see the doc who diagnosed my celiac disease to see if there is something internal going on. i will probably also check in with my counselor. but i need to take a breath before making yet another appointment.

when i was filling out the paperwork for my appointment today, i had to circle "cancer" on the list of medical conditions i have. i think that was the first time that i have had to circle that on new patient paperwork since i was diagnosed. it was one of those moments when i realized i will now have to circle or write that word everytime i fill out new paperwork for a doctor. just another reminder it is never that far away. not that i need the reminder.

when i met the doctor today, i took my coat off and he looked at the scar on my left arm and immediately said "there has got to be some great story about a bike fall or a climbing fall that caused that scar that you can tell me about." i said "i wish, but not that great of a story". he didn't ask further, i think that he made the connection since we had already talked about my melanoma diagnosis. to break the ice on that awkward moment i told him that having scars all over was just part of my new drill and that it was better than the alternative so i coudn't complain (though you all know that sometimes i do, but i try really hard to make that the exception rather than the rule).

i have a bunch of sidenotes to share, but will save those for tomorrow.

happy wednesday peeps - i can almost see friday (and it is looking good), how about you?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

fight like a girl

this weekend my sister-in-law kim and her family held a girls night out bunco party to raise money for the shore walk that we are doing in june. such a great idea, such a fun night. they worked so hard to put it together. great food. great women. great laughter. great drinks. great fun. great cause. $820 raised for that great cause. awesome.

it obviously meant a lot to me that they would put in all of the hard work to put the night together. everyone that came knew they were putting money towards the walk to support my team. not everyone that came knew me directly. but everyone who came knew how much i appreciated it by the end of the night when i was able to say thank you, of course, while tears were streaming down my face. it is powerful to have so many people gather to support something that means so much to you, and to realize that the night would not have ever happened had i not been diagnosed with cancer. sometimes the good outshines the bad. this was one of those times.

so very, very grateful.

it all rides on the roll of the three dice.
betsy the bartender - she doesn't mess around.
ummmm.....why have i never seen one of these before - shouldn't ever blender have a tap? i think that the answer to that question is definitely yes.
tons of awesome food.

the best, and i do mean the best, taco dip in the world that kim makes. it doesn't last long. so good.
yes please.
of course there were great raffle prizes drawn all night long.
kim with a shirt that says "cancer sucks" - i totally agree.
fight like a girl. that has been, and will continue to be, the plan.

we wrapped up the weekend with a 17th of may celebration to honor our norwegian roots.
this week is a busy one (well, aren't they all really?) so i will be back on later in the week.

happy monday peeps. hope your weekend was as good as mine.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

tuesday, why aren't you friday?

+++ loved this article (tnx em for sharing)
+++will keep this in mind when i am doing laundry (which is right on the top of my list with things that i dislike, next to pumping gas - mom, i get that one from you)
+++it's all about attitude
+++liking this blog a lot, just bought her book over the weekend and can't wait to dive in
+++just started an e-course called "do what you love" to get my creative juices moving. pretty sure that i will decide that i need to quit my job and make cards full time (sshhhh...don't tell barrett).
+++my sis and i kicking it into high gear - go team!
+++aaron - saw this pic on your page today, loved it;) miss you. xoxo
+++jo/mike - thanks for your donation to the walk, i really appreciate it!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

weekend wrap-up

+++ on saturday barrett and i went to a melanoma clinic that fred hutchinson/seattle cancer care alliance put on for melanoma patients. we went last year too, and both years i have felt mixed emotions about it. i like hearing the latest research, seeing the smart doctors that are working hard on making improvements in the fight against melanoma. i have a hard time hearing the statistics, they aren't good. the last part of the clinic is a patient panel. that is tough and healing at the same time. tough in hearing the stories, most of which include recurrence. healing in hearing the stories, most of which make me feel less alone. this year i also thought about vida, we were at the clinic last year when we got the call that she had passed way. this year i also thought about jim, last year i took home a bunch of information and sent it to him on how to deal with insurance problems. i miss them both. so the day was full of emotions, some felt only internally and some felt externally as tears rolled down my cheeks. but i felt reassured that i am not alone in this world of melanoma and all that it brings. for that feeling, whenever and however it comes, i am thankful.
+++ we had a great mom's day today. brunch. swim lessons. crafting. jamba juices. checking out the ducks at the lake. sliding. swinging. biking. kicking the soccer ball. painting fingernails and toenails pretty pink. sunday night pizza. workout. perfect day. over too soon.

+++ tyler/jess/denise/kadeena - super excited to have you all on the team - can't wait. let's hope we get the type of sunshine we had today - we will need to pack a lot of sunscreen;)
+++ chris - thank you for your donation to the walk, i so appreciate it! xo

Thursday, May 10, 2012

cupcake? yes, please.

+++ today malena and i ran to the store for a couple of things. we found some cupcakes along the way. we decided to pull up a chair and eat some cupcake before we headed home. a little dessert before dinner as a little special treat. very fun. kind of like taking a ride on a swing.
+++ love, love, love, loved this
+++i am enough. enough said.
+++totally related to this blog (thank you marcie-roo for sharing with me)
+++ for all of the moms, happy mother's day. xoxo

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


results came back today. all of my labwork was fine. so my doc suggested that if i wanted to talk about the possibility of depression i could go back in.

so great news that nothing was wrong.

not sure where to go from here.

not that i wanted it to be my thyroid. not that i wanted it to be something else. not that i wanted it to be anything.

i guess that maybe part of me was hoping it was something that could have a defined remedy so i could start feeling better asap. i guess that part of me anticipated that the results would come back clean. i guess that part of me knew if the results were good the word depression would come up. i guess that part of me wasn't ready to think about depression again, this isn't the first time it has come up. i guess that part of me is sick and tired of not having energy, i barely remember what that feels like. i guess that part of me is just sick and tired. period.

onward. whatever direction that may be.

+++ ellie - woohoo!!! super excited to have you on the team - do you want to bring a flask with wine?
+++ i don't need more bowls (or do i?) but if i was going to buy some new ones i would so be getting these
+++putting this on my "to read" list
+++i love feta so i am pretty sure that i am going to love this recipe
+++i love apples and i love cheddar so i am pretty sure that i am also going to love this recipe

Monday, May 7, 2012

the unexpected moments

"sorrow comes in great waves...but it rolls over us,
and although it may almost smother us it leaves us on the spot
and we know that if it is strong, we are stronger,
inasmuch as it passes and we remain."
 (henry james)

today i had a work meeting with a man that i had worked with before, but hadn't crossed paths with for a while. i didn't think about the last exact time that i had seen him, and really didn't think about the fact that i probably hadn't seen him since before i was diagnosed. so when i got the call that he was in the lobby, i headed out to greet him.  as i was walking towards him i could immediately tell that he didn't recognize me, and in that instant i realized it was because he had not seen me in over a year. last time he saw me i had long, blonde curly hair. today i had a short pixie cut that was strawberry blonde. i didn't see it coming, or i would have prepared myself. but there was no time for that. his head immediately tilted to the side and he said "wow, i don't even recognize you, your hair is so different." of course, my right hand went up my neck as it always does now, and i said "i guess last time you saw me i probably had long blonde hair, right?". he said "yes, and i am totally suprised that you would cut all of that off." he said it nicely, he obviously had no idea that it wasn't because i wanted to go with a totally different haircut, and i think that he was a little thrown off too. as soon as he said that, i could feel the tears start to well up. luckily, i took the lead to return to my office so i had my back to him. i could catch my breath and get it together in the ten seconds it took us to walk back.

it was kind of like this weekend when i was at my grandma's party. i had mentally prepared myself anticipating that some people wouldn't recognize me, or would ask about my hair, etc. at one point about half way through the party, i was crossing the room to get some coffee for my grandma. a woman stopped me, grabbed my hand, and told me that she was praying for me. since i was focused on getting that coffee, i wasn't ready for it. don't get me wrong, i totally appreciated the thought, i just didn't have a second to steady myself for it.

unrelated to how i have been feeling lately, there are moments that i don't see coming that kind of blindside me. sometimes only for a second. sometimes for many, many seconds.

all a part of this journey.

+++ my friend marcie-roo sent me a link to some great quotes today (like the one above), if you like quotes as much as i do check these out
+++ thought this was creative as a way to use the downloadable prints that i linked to yesterday for someone other than a mom

Sunday, May 6, 2012

weekend, where did you go?

monday? really? bummer. i would like more weekend please. pretty please. with sugar on top.

the party for my grandma was really nice - she was surrounded by family and friends, a great way to celebrate the milestone of being 90. at one point, i saw her drinking some beer out of a keg cup and laughing it up with the guys in the family. loved that moment.

there were a lot of people there that i haven't seen for a while, and some that i have only met once before. many of them asked how i was feeling, told me that they were praying for me, that i was looking better. it has always been very comforting to know that i have so many people rooting for me from near and far, those that know me well and those that cheer me on simply because they know someone who loves me. i like having a lot of peeps in my corner.

on friday i went to the doctor and she said my varied symptons do sound like thryoid disease but she is running a large spectrum of blood tests. i should hear back tomorrow or tuesday on what the results show. we did talk about the fact that i already have one autoimmune disease (celiac) and all of my ct scans and whether or not those factors put me at higher risk of thyroid problems. we will wait and see and go from there. wait and see. three of my least favorite words these days.

happy (or atleast bearable) monday to you. i know we can do this. it might hurt a tiny bit and might be a little rough, but i know we can stick it out. when we do, we will be one day closer to friday...the big payoff.

+++ if you need a free, downloadable print for a mom in your life, you need to click here
+++ loved, loved reading this and know that i will think of it from time to time as i stand on this side of the camera capturing life happening on the other side of the lens.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


"just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly..." (proverb)

i have always really liked that quote. loved it today especially when i saw it as i opened a card from my friend michelle (thank you hooch, loved the card). it was perfect timing because it had been a long day. the quote reminded me that things keep changing and tomorrow is a new day. deep breath.

i am actually looking forward to going to the doctor tomorrow because i am actually looking forward to figuring out what is going on with me. on the roller coaster of my emotions these days, one minute i am up, one minute i am down. today at work i lost it (over a complete non-issue), and i never - and i mean never - cry because of work, even on my most hellish days (and there have been plenty of those). so hopefully we figure this out soon so that i don't turn into a blubbering idiot in the office. my dear friend kimberly (love you farley) brought me gorgeous flowers and it is so amazing how the look and smell of beautiful flower in my office can make a difference. loved that completely unexpected surprise and getting to look at and smell them all afternoon.

i don't anticipate that the doctor will tell me anything tomorrow and will likely just draw my blood. i will keep you posted when i hear some results. if the bloodwork comes back clear, i may go in and get tested again for food allergies. i realized when i was driving home today that some of the issues remind me a little bit of when i was so sick all of those months before i was diagnosed with celiac disease.

this weekend we will be celebrating my grandma's 90th birthday. though my grandma josephine has passed, both of my grandma's will have lived into their 90's which are some good genes to have in my favor. i would love to live to be 90. i hope that i do. it is hard for me to feel confident that i have a good shot at it. my ability to feel a connection to that far into the future is different now, my milestones come in smaller installments. instead of looking out to 90 years, i tend to think in terms of the months until the next scan. keeping all of my fingers and toes crossed i stay healthy until then and that i get good results. small amounts of time. big amounts of hope.

happy weekend all, i hope that yours includes some down time to relax and enjoy. monday will be here before we know it (unfortunately, ugh).

+++ f-j...remember, no deadlines - just goals. one day at a time. love you.
+++ sasha & tim - happy ten;)
+++ shannon - woohoo!! benign = awesome.
+++ wallace, those may seriously be the best cinnamon bears i have ever, ever had (and i have ate a lot of cinnamon bears in my time).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

i can do it myself mommy

+++ i wonder how many more times in my life i will hear those words. i am guessing a lot and i like that. malena tells me more and more that she can do things herself. it is so fun to watch her take her independence whenever she can. but sometimes i am just not ready for her to not need my help. i guess these are just the first years of many more when she won't need my help. holding on. letting go. a balancing act that i will hopefully get to do for a long time to come.
+++ after i dropped malena off at pre-school today, i read this article. i wonder when i will bring home a mango jamba juice and realize that malena isn't here to drink it.

wednesday, i am happy to see you.

+++ kerry - thank you for your donation to the walk, and you are so in next year when your knee is ready to rock. give brad a hug for me too!
+++ marcie-roo, so happy to have you on the team;)