Sunday, June 8, 2014

around here

+++ around here i was very happy that mary's surgery went well on thursday. the surgeon took out two areas in her leg but the surgeon didn't see any melanoma in one of the spots. mary also apparently had some public service announcements that she provided to people that she saw with tans when she was under the meds;) super happy that she is doing well on her recovery and i know that she will be back up and running in no time.

+++ around here malena lost her first tooth! big milestone for us. i was so happy (yep, there were tears) that i was here to see it. i love all of the big and small moments of each day, but man, those milestone moments are pretty great. we were all excited to have the tooth fairy visit our house on friday night, she sure is a quiet fairy as she didn't wake any of us up:)

+++ around here we had our weekly starbucks date on friday morning. they now have gluten free rice krispy treats that come individually packaged. rice crispy treats for me for the win!
+++ around here i got my first 6 mile training run in for the 10k which felt awesome. super excited about that, three more months of training to go. i think i've got this.
+++ around here we had family at our place for the weekend which is always a good time. it was great weather so the kids got to enjoy the kiddie pool. fun cousin time (with of course lots of sunscreen on) for hours and hours and hours.
+++ around here we had the shore run/walk today and alli's angels was a big team this year. we raised just under $2,000 for cancer research which is awesome. i wore a tribute patch with the names of those friends and family that have fought cancer, those 3 miles were for them.

+++ around here we had a picnic at the park in the late sunday afternoon sunshine.

+++ around here i will get to hang out with beth again tomorrow night so there will be no post on tuesday morning. here is the latest update that beth sent out today..

"Life is filled with ups and downs. I see that more clearly now than ever. And I feel deeply, so I experience those highs and lows. And this week has been no exception. There was a shooter at Seattle Pacific University this week that killed one student and injured three before he was stopped by a "hero". In this tragedy what we are focusing on more in the news coverage is not the shooter, but the hero that jumped in and the faith, love and community of SPU. That is such a nice reminder in the middle of this tragedy. I have known many people who have studied and graduated from SPU, who teach there or have family there now so this hit close to home this week.

Not that I need a reminder of how precious life is but you never know what may happen. We really have no control and that has been a hard reality and reminder for me. And all we can do is control how we respond to things that happen in your life. As my friend Nikki put it to me, I am good at my job because I think I can control things, but the rest of the world is just flying by the seat of their pants. So now I am like the rest of the world.

I went to a support group event night this week. My nurse had wanted me to come and told me she would drive me there if she had to! I did show up and there was a reason I was meant to be there. I met quite a few nice people, seems like a nice group and we were all different ages and had different stories. I am definitely one of the youngest there.....My nurse had a few key people she wanted me to speak with and they were helpful and encouraging. But there is one person she wanted me to speak with because I could help. He was debating and doing too much research into surgery and making some decisions for himself. He has been through a lot over the past 11 years, fighting making decisions that could help save his life. He recently met with Dr. Fichera, my surgeon and was debating on using him. He also met with 2 surgeons I had met with, the one who gave me my diagnosis and the one who made me cry as I call him. So I was able to give him honest feedback about my opinions of the surgeons and I said I think Dr. Fichera is the best. He also asked me how I made some of my decisions. And I said I didn't feel like I Had a choice in some of my decisions, that this is what was going to happen to treat cancer. But then I told him that was my choice. I am young and planned for a long life, so the choice I made was to live. And I guess that was a choice. Because I certainly don't like all the things that this cancer does to me in the short and long-term, but I would never choose not to fight because I want to live a long and fulfilling life. So maybe it didn't look like a choice, but the choice was easy and I didn't have to think about it.  

 I never thought I would be able to help someone else in the middle of my cancer year. But this man said he was meant to meet me and was so glad, and he has been corresponding with me wanting to stay in touch. They say things happen for a reason. And I don't know yet why I got cancer this year, why me, why now. I don't spend a lot of time dwelling on it. Or why Alli got cancer, because she is one of the best people I know. But it is nice to know I maybe helped someone else in a brief moment, in an unplanned way, decide to make a choice that could save his life, at least for awhile. And it's my cancer diagnosis that made that happen. Actually Alli has always been an inspiration to me, despite her fight, when we have gotten together before I got diagnosed she always made sure to find out what was going on in my world. It felt like she made it a priority to ask me everything about my life before we even talked about her. And I want to try and be like that as well, I don' t want 2014 to be all about cancer, I want to have good memories too of being with friends and family, and that there is laughter and joy despite this terrible disease. And I want to be there to support them, because they have things going on in their lives too and I don't want to diminish that.
I also met with a cancer buddy this week. I have gotten matched with people who are similar age, or have similar diagnosis, etc. and have been communicating with them over the past couple months. This week I met up with one and she is so positive. Almost too much and I never considered myself a negative person. :) But she does help me think about things in a different way. I felt like I had a lot of encounters this week about that.

I have made so many strides this week in my energy and moving around. And it has been good for my mood. I have had full days of work and fun, I am walking faster and more. I feel like even since last week it has been a dramatic change. I feel more like "Myself" than I have since the diagnosis. And people have been commenting on it. Everyone keeps telling me how good I look too, I am guessing with how sick I have been I do look so much better than I did. And I don't look sick right now. And it's even better now since I got my hair cut on Friday! (I love you Karen!)

You all seem to enjoy knowing what I am up to. So here are some highlights from the week and weekend, with pictures. I worked every day this week. Not full days but some were fuller than others. I went to a client project meeting and it went well and my client seemed so genuinely glad to have me back and engaged in the project. I had coffee with one client and he also was so kind telling me how great it was to see me, how good I looked and again offering his help. He told me he would bring me groceries or whatever I needed, which is so sweet. I am trying to fit in and connect as much as I can in this next week with colleagues and clients.

I worked our company booth at a conference this week. Just for a few hours. But ran into so many people who were genuinely happy to see me. I also saw my very first supervisor and one of my friends from my first real job in Minneapolis. It was so great to see them, they haven't changed. I still get so excited to see people and when people are happy to see me, because it feels like so long since I have been actively involved in the outside world.

I hung out with different friends each night this week. And we went out and did something each night, and I think they were all pleasantly surprised that I felt up to it. So we were out grabbing dinner, or frozen yogurt (my favorite treat which I eat almost daily), shopping at the U Village Sidewalk sale. It's been nice to catch up and spend one on one time with these people who are so important to me and I love dearly. And I want to do these things while I feel good.

So this weekend was what my friend Heather would call "A Beth weekend". It's the last weekend I get like this for awhile, I am feeling good, the weather is great and I get to do what I want. So I filled it with things I enjoy doing and spending time with friends. Friday night I went out in my neighborhood for dinner and dessert. It was nice to be out and enjoying the vibe of Capitol Hill. And we walked because it was such a beautiful night. Then Saturday morning we walked to one of my favorite bakeries and got pastries. My favorite, chocolate croissant. And ate breakfast outside. I am doing my best to try and gain weight by eating things I enjoy and not caring about the calories. Shockingly slow going. Saturday afternoon I went down to the waterfront and Olympic Sculpture park with a friend, pictures below. And then a pedicure and a fun, silly movie. Today I had brunch with a friend. And am now enjoying some time on my balcony as I write this and tonight I will be hanging out with a friend and likely going to go see a band, something I Haven't done in awhile.

This week brings more of the same. I plan on being at work every day. Tuesday morning I have an early morning meeting. I have to be there by 7:30 am, uggh! But the president of our company is in town and we have a breakfast with him where I am one of the people chatting about my program. So it is important to be there and I want to be there. As you have heard me say I want to make sure I don't get replaced and do as much as I can when I am feeling well. So I am back to my feisty self.

I am meeting with my nurse and my surgeon tomorrow afternoon. We will talk about the surgery, surgery prep and recovery. I am not ready for the surgery, it is coming too soon. This time of feeling good is so short. And my parents come back next Saturday, another reminder that the surgery is near.

And we will see what else this week brings, because you never know. Thank you so much for your love, support and prayers."
+++ around here please send some love and mojo to my mom-in-law on monday as she has an outpatient surgery to help relieve some pain that her back has been causing her.
+++ around here i hope that you have a great monday and tuesday.

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