Monday, November 30, 2015

Day 299 - Flip

My hair is a disaster.  Trust me, I'm not complaining because I am glad to have hair (oh the things that we say in Cancerland), but my hair has taken on a mind of its own.  The back is especially wavy, curly, and flippy.  I can't decide what it is going to do, but it certainly is not playing nicely right now.

As long as I keep product in my hair, it behaves a little bit better, but yikes.  I am getting it cut again in a week and a half so hopefully my hair stylist can help tame the mane a little bit.  If he tells me that I need to start blow drying it, though, I will just stick with the crazy hair.  I refuse to blow dry hair that is only 2-3 inches long.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Day 298 - Repeat

I just realized that I used a repeat post title, Sunday Funday, on days 130 and 221.  I feel like such a failure.  Kidding, of course, but I thought that I had an original post for each of the last 298 days.  Oh well..can't change it now.

The Thanksgiving long weekend has officially come to a close. It was a great one full of fun, family and friends.  We all had a really nice time, and it will be hard to get back into the swing of things tomorrow, as is typical after a long weekend.  Such is life.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Day 297 - Hello

I'm a bit late to the party on this (as is typical),  but I cannot get Adele's song Hello out of my head.  I've been waking around singing it, much to Mike's dismay, and I've pulled it up on my phone several times.  She's really got some pipes.

We started our Christmas decorating today - lights are up outside, and we have our tree.  I love this time of year.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Day 296 - Enjoy

Not to get too deep here, but since my diagnosis, I've found that I take the time to enjoy things more. I slow down, have conversations, laugh more, and reflect on simpler things that make me happy.  For example, today I got to catch up with some family members, and I loved the simple act of sitting and talking.  It feels like such a treat to stop and just visit for a little while.

I've had to slow down a lot this year, whether it be sitting at chemo or dealing with the after shock of chemo or surgery, and it is ok to slow down.  It is ok to appreciate the simple art of conversation, and it is wonderful to recognize how special those moments are. I am very guilty of rushing around and trying to come up with things to do, but it is often the unscheduled and unplanned times that end up being the best.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 295 - Thankful

I have so many reasons to be thankful this year.  In fact, a post listing those reasons would probably take forever to write.  The list is long, and I run through it regularly but focused on it more today than usual.  On the top of my list of reasons to be thankful is my health.  Being healthy is the basis upon which a lot of other things are possible.

I think that it is safe to say that I appreciated my health before my diagnosis, but I didn't really know what that meant.  It's hard to describe. Yes, I was glad to be healthy, but I had never known otherwise so could not really understand how grateful I should have been.

I've still got some work to do to get back into shape physically (and emotionally), but I am so very thankful that I have the opportunity to do that. Not everyone is given that opportunity, and I am profoundly grateful.  More grateful than I can possibly put into words.

I'm thankful today and every day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 294 - Angst

A member of one of my Facebook groups was diagnosed with TNBC during the first trimester of her second pregnancy (I am pretty sure that I have referenced her before).  She had a mastectomy first since she could not receive chemo until her second trimester.  She had chemo while pregnant...I truly cannot imagine.  Because she had surgery first, she does not know how well her tumor responded to chemo.  She could have had a complete response or she may not have, but she will never know.

She is so filled with angst.  All of her posts are her panicking about one symptom or another.  Today, she is worried about a rash that she has on her chest and is wondering if she has skin mets.  Since I've "known" her, she has had a multitude of tests to check various symptoms that she has experienced.  My heart breaks for her.  She is in therapy, on medication and actually tries to stay away from the Facebook groups as much as she can.  I wish that there was something that any one of us could say to make her feel better, but there is not.  She is continually waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I hope and pray that it never does. 

In her post today about her fear of skin mets, someone had a really great response to her.  She said something along the lines of "Stop spending your time thinking about the worst case scenario.  I was re-diagnosed as stage 4 about a year after my treatment ended, and I am glad that I did not spend my cancer-free year in a state of panic."  That is good advice and advice that can be applied across so many situations.  

Stop being so concerned about what the future may or may not hold because you will miss out on some great days.  I love that advice and try to apply it to my own life.  We do not know what the future will bring (with anything) so we should enjoy what we have and stop either wishing or fearing life away. 

My therapist and I have talked about this subject on a few occasions, and the comment from my group member really drove that point home.  She has great perspective, and I am glad that she took the time to share it. I hope that her medical team is able to keep the beast at bay for her for a long long time (a wish that I have for everyone impacted by this disease).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Day 293 - Off

I am taking another vacation day tomorrow to have an extra long weekend again.  I am looking forward to the downtime and to a few fun activities that we have planned for the holiday.  If the vacation that I have requested gets approved, I will only work 2 full weeks during the month of December.

Part of me feels slightly guilty about it because I have needed so much time this year, but I have the time to take, and my work is getting done so that helps alleviate the guilt some.  With all that has gone on this year, you'd think that I'd have learned to let go of some unnecessary guilt, but I am still working on that.

As always, I'm a work in progress.  It's probably fair to say that we all are.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Day 292 - Internalize

It is hard to not internalize other people's problems.  I've become a member of several cancer-related Facebook groups, and there are often posts that make me sad and scared. These groups have done much more good for me than harm, but I have to remember to be empathetic without projecting others' issues onto me.  I hope that does not sound cold. It's not meant to be.

We are all different. Our diagnoses are different, and the way that we handle treatment and life after treatment is different.  I am very good at remembering this 90% of the time, and there is nothing specific that is triggering this post, in fact.  I've just been thinking about this topic recently.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Day 291 - Accomplished

I got a lot accomplished today - gym, grocery store, bounce castles with Henry, and some volunteer work.  I originally planned for a 10am trip to the gym but figured that stores would be packed by the time the class ended at 11 so switched to an earlier class at 8:45am.

When I got home, Henry requested a trip to the bounce castle place, and we had no other plans so I obliged.  He made a few friends and had a sweaty blast running around. I could tell where he was at any given time because he was growling like a dinosaur almost the whole time he was there.  Kids are so funny.

This afternoon, I did some work for METAvivor.  I am working on a volunteer training program for them and got a program outline off to my contact on the organization's board of directors.  I have spent the past few months researching best practices and gathering information on other volunteer training programs so was able to compile my recommendations and a basic program outline and send it along.

If I'm on the right track, I'll start filling in the outline with more robust information.  I am so glad to be able to help this organization, and I hope to hear about another volunteer opportunity sometime next month.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Day 290 - Reunited

In August, we learned that Henry's best friend at his preschool got into a 4k program at a local public school.  His mom teaches at that school so him going was a no-brainer.  Henry has not stopped talking about how much he misses his friend since he left the school in August so I emailed his mom to see if they could meet us at a local playground.

The stars aligned, and we were able to catch up this morning. We were at the playground for almost 3 hours, and Henry came home a sweaty, dirty, happy mess.  He was so happy to see his friend, and the feeling was mutual.  We left the playground vowing to get the two boys together more often.  It was so cute to watch them play and listen to them talk to each other.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Day 289 - Giggle

Henry's laugh is one of my favorite sounds in the world.  He's got an infectious and uninhibited belly laugh that always makes me laugh with him.  I was putting him to bed last night, and we were being really silly.  The sillier I got, the harder he laughed, and he harder I laughed.

When I got downstairs after Henry was tucked in, I got a little bit scolded for getting Henry wound up before bedtime.  The old me would have agreed that I should not be silly with him like that before bed, but the new me does not care.  I love the sound of his laughter, and if laughing causes him to fall asleep 5 minutes later than he would have otherwise, then so be it.  Bring the giggles.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Day 288 - TMI

I am happy to report that my chemo-induced menopause has ended.  Sparing details, I am really happy about this.  Menopause at the age of 34 would bring a whole host of other problems and concerns so I am happy to report that I can cross that off of my list of worries.

As a quick follow up to yesterday's post, I called to pay my radiation bill that I mentioned yesterday and had trouble paying through the hospital's automated system so needed to speak to a representative who told me that my insurance company conducted an additional audit of the bill.  He told me to wait for a new bill to be mailed to me but that the new amount owed would be in the neighborhood of $280.  Even better!  I am so grateful for my fantastic health insurance.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Day 287 - Insurance

My company's open enrollment period for next year's medical, dental, and vision insurance started today. Before this year, I had never really thought all that much about insurance other than "do I have it and how much will prescription medications cost."  When I was pregnant with Henry, I gave my insurance a slightly more critical look, but only to know my out of pocket max and whether or not anesthesia was covered.

That changed this year.  During our open enrollment meeting last year, I remember my boss saying "we are only offering one medical insurance option this year, but it is a really good plan."  I didn't think all that much about that comment back then, but I thought about it all of the time this year.  My insurance is really good.  Really good.  Without getting into too many specifics or talking too much about the finances of cancer, I still have not met my out of pocket max for the year and will provide one example of how great my coverage has been.  The itemized bill for my 33 radiation treatments was over $19,000. I owe $459 of that.

$459 is still a healthy check to write (I don't really write checks, but that sounds better than "healthy card payment to make online"), but $459 is quite do-able compared to what it could have been.  I have a lot of other examples of bills like that but won't bore you with details.  My insurance is fantastic, and I am so very grateful that my company took the time to research and provide us with such an excellent plan.

I am also so happy to report that the plan has not changed for the 2016 calendar year.  My company did add a lower-cost plan for next year as an option for those who do not anticipate needing regular medical care (does anyone really ever anticipate that).  I elected to keep us all on the current plan that I know is really good.  I'd rather have excellent coverage and anticipate that I will always opt for the higher-premium/better-coverage plans moving forward.

I'm very grateful for wonderful health insurance.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Day 286 - Victor

Yesterday, my surgeon said that he advises patients to get to the point in which they stop being a "victim" of cancer and a "victor" over cancer. I think that is good advice and advice that is easier said than actually taken.  That mentality is something to reach for in the future, but is not readily attainable.

I also know that I said that I would stop writing in this blog weeks ago, and I was not quite ready to do so, but I am getting closer. I don't know why I am having trouble letting go of this, but I don't really have all that much to say these days.  It's time to wrap it up, and I hope to be able to emotionally make that happen soon.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Day 285 - Follow Up

I saw my surgeon for a follow up appointment this afternoon, and I usually feel a lot better after talking to him (with the exception of my ultrasound appointment on Feb. 3).  He took a lot of time to talk to me during my appointment and also did a very thorough exam.  I mainly wanted him to tell me what I should be looking for/feeling for during self-exams.  He told me that my left side would probably always feel different from the way that it did before cancer and that it would probably always feel different from my right side.

It does, and I am glad to know that the differences are normal and expected.  He also told me that I should be working very hard to move on with the caveat that "I am not sure how well I would move on so just do the best that you can."  He said that he'd like for me to get to the point in which I only think about cancer 4-6 times a year when I go for follow up appointments.  I don't see that happening anytime in the near future, but it is a good goal.

I also have an appointment for a mammogram in February.  My hospital system just started using 3D mammograms last month, which are much better for women with dense breast tissue (me).  I will have a 3D mammo that my surgeon and I will discuss before determining if I need additional imaging as part of my long-term care.  If the 3D mammogram is not as clear as we would like for it to be, I will add ultrasounds and MRIs to the treatment plan. I will be interested to see how the 3D mammogram works for me.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Day 284 - Magical

Today was pretty magical. We started the day with a walk on the beach toward a local lighthouse.  Henry and I did that walk a month or so ago with some friends, and I knew that Mike and our friends from Philadelphia would love it.  They did.  It was a little cool on the beach but bright and sunny.  Perfect fall day.

This evening, my friend Kristin and I took Henry and her 2.5-year old son to the a holiday lights festival.  I know that it seems early for Christmas stuff, but the lights festival opened this weekend, and I figured that it would not be crowded and that the kids would love it. I was right on both counts.  We rode a train through an "enchanted forrest," had hot cocoa in Santa's Village, and drove through the rest of the park to see the light displays.  This park does an incredible job on the holiday lights, and I am so glad that we went to see it.  Henry's voice was basically at a shout the whole night.  He could barely contain his excitement.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Day 283 - Bounce

Today was so much fun.  It was full of friends and full of kids playing.  Our friends from Philly are here, and we went to the Farmers Market this morning to hit the bounce castles and food vendors.  Henry and his buddy Nolan played hard at the market in the bounce castles.  Watching them was very entertaining.

This evening, our local friends and their two kids came over to join the fun, and we all had a shrimp boil.  All of the kids who could play played the night away, and we had great food and even better company. I loved today.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 282 - Shooting Star

We were sitting around a fire in our back yard late tonight, and we could see tons of stars in the sky.  I saw a really bright shooting star as I sat there and looked at the sky. You might imagine my wish.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 281 - Slow

Years ago (+/- 10), we lived in Richmond, VA.  During some of the time that we lived there, I participated in a workout called Seal Team PT.  It was (and probably still is) taught by a former Navy Seal.  There were two class times each day - approximately 5:30am or 6:00pm, and I always went to the morning class.  It was a great workout though a little crazy at times.  We would bear crawl up hills, carry people on our backs, run with a giant inflatable boat over our heads, all very Seal-like. There was also a lot of running.  A lot. I was in great shape.

As I've said before, I have never been a strong runner.  It has always been my exercise hurdle that I have never truly gotten over.  Yes, I have run, but it's never been particularly easy or enjoyable for me.  One morning during Seal Team PT, we were running (and running) halfway across downtown Richmond  It seemed like all we did that morning was run.

Like usual, I was in the back of the pack and was struggling mightily.  Just I was slowing my steps down to a walk, someone from the group ran up behind me, grabbed a fistful of the jacket that I had on and said "you can slow down but don't stop running."  I have no idea who the woman was who said that to me, but it made a big impact on me that day and has stuck with me over the years.  I picked my cadence back up to a run but slowed my pace, got my breathing under control, and ran the rest of the way.

I haven't always heeded her advice, but it is great advice. If you want to be good at something, then you have to do it.  You have to keep going even if you have to go really slowly.  I thought about that as I was trudging through some run/walk intervals this morning.  I did not feel very skilled or efficient during the running parts, but I ran.  I didn't stop running during those times though I wanted to many times.

I've had to slow my pace a lot of times this year.  There have been days when I could barely crawl, much less run, but I kept on crawling (metaphorically of course).  Stopping was never an option, but slowing down so that I could keep going happened often.

Speaking of slowing down, I am finally taking some days off of work. I was off today and will not be going back to work until Wednesday.  I exercised, saw my therapist, and went to the spa today. It was a very "Real Housewives of Charleston" day, and I loved it.  My colleagues gave me a spa gift certificate during the welcome back party that they had for me in Los Angeles, and I enjoyed cashing it in today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Day 280 - Baby

Some of our dear friends are coming to visit later this week and are staying for a handful of days.  They are bringing their 2.5-year old and 2-month old children with them, and I cannot wait to see all of them.  I am excited to catch up, see Henry and their little boy play, and get my hands on that baby! 

I love babies...always have.  I think that it is unlikely that we will have another child.  Whether I will be able to have another child is unclear at this point (chemo puts you into menopause, and sometimes it's permanent), and whether we want to have another child also remains unclear.  Until we have clarity, I will enjoy snuggling other people's babies and holding them so that their parents can eat a meal in peace.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Day 279 - Morning

Henry tends to jump out of bed in the morning ready to roll and with a lot of energy.  He's a morning person, much like his mom.  Though I generally have to wake him up for school, once he is awake, he's moving.  This morning, I went into his room, turned off his white noise machine, and sat in his rocking chair until he woke up.  He got out of bed, came right over to the rocking chair, and snuggled with me for a good 5 minutes while he woke up.

It is very uncharacteristic, and I enjoyed every second of it.  He is very affectionate, but still moments are rare.  I closed my eyes and breathed in the smell of his hair and felt his chest rise and fall.  It was such an incredible way to start the day.  He and I barely fit in that chair anymore, but I'll squeeze anytime he wants to rock.

I loved this morning.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Day 278 - Trade

As I've said many times before, aches and pains freak me out.  Someone who has not had cancer is likely to approach a minor ache or pain quite differently than someone who has received a cancer diagnosis.  Both during and after my treatment, I've had some freak out moments due to aches, pains, and strange sensations:
  1. Strange feeling in the upper right-hand side of my abdomen. I asked for an ultrasound that was clear. That sensation has not resurfaced. 
  2. Full feeling in my ears due to what was determined as eustachian tube dysfunction. I took Mucinex and Flonase for a while to dry out my sinuses,  and that feeling went away.
  3. Slight cough and tight feeling in my chest.  This occurred about a week after Henry came home with a really bad cough/runny nose so the rational side of me knew that I had a minor chest cold, but the emotional side of me freaked out.  Freaked out.  I did not get any tests done, though, as I am trying to keep the freak outs in check. The cough and tightness both went away partially thanks to a few bottles of Zicam (which is amazing by the way).
  4. Lower back pain.  I woke up with lower back pain one morning before I went to California.  It lasted for a few days then went away while we were in California.  It came back once I got home.  I feel quite confident that the pain is due to our kind of crappy mattress so I am going to sleep in a different bed for a few nights.  If that does not do the trick, I'll mention the pain to my surgeon when I see him for a follow up appointment next week. 
It seems like one pain gets traded for another, and one freak out moment gets traded for the next.  This is a very common thing to happen after cancer treatment, and I know that intellectually.  Knowing that and managing my emotions accordingly is a work in process.  It sucks, but I knew that it was coming. I am fine, but I wish that I did not fear my body betraying me again.  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Day 277 - Arms

Anyone who has had lymph nodes removed is at risk for something called lymphedema.  Lymphedema occurs when the lymphatic system cannot drain excess fluid, and it causes painful swelling, numbness, and reduced range of motion.  Generally speaking, the more lymph nodes removed, the greater the risk for developing lymphedema.

I had 3 lymph nodes removed from under my left arm (out of probably 30ish) so my risk for developing lymphedema is low, but my doctors still request that I remain cautious with my left arm as strain or trauma can increase the chances of lymph-related complications.  Part of that caution was taking it WAY easy on my upper body in the gym during radiation and for at least a month after.  Being the good patient that I am, I took that advice and barely used my upper body at the gym.  My trainers modified each workout for me to include very light upper body exercises or to avoid my upper body entirely.

Today was the first day that I really exercised my upper body since July 16 (the day before my surgery).  Thankfully, it was a pretty light day in that department, but I did do pushups and some other exercises that I previously avoided for the first time today.  I will surely be sore tomorrow, but it felt good to be able to participate in the workout without significant restrictions or modifications.

Slowly, slowly small pieces of life before cancer are starting to resurface, and I am happy to find them.  I never know when I will find one of those pieces.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Day 276 - Bull

We went to a festival at a local winery today.  Before I go too much further, SC does not have the climate for wine. The only grapes that will grow are muscadine grapes that are super sweet and translate into sugary wine.  We don't go to this winery for the wine, but their annual "Blessing of the Vines" festival is pretty fun.  We don't go every year but make our way out there when the festival works for our schedule. We did have some wine while we were there, but it was only because no other booze was offered for sale.

This year's festival featured a mechanical bull. Bull rides were $5 and benefitted the local elementary school. Kind of funny since mechanical bulls really only belong in bars, but we went with it (as did a lot of other festival-goers).  All walks of life rode the bull - a grandpa being cheered on by his grandkids, a bachelorette in a dress (we saw London, we saw France, we all saw her underpants), and Henry.

Henry is pretty much up for anything so he rode the mechanical bull with gusto. The operator took it easy on him until the end when he was promptly bucked off.  The bachelorette in her dress and sash was a much better sport than I would have been in that situation.  I would have told my friends to take a hike, but she begrudgingly rode the bull and flashed the festival.

Other than that, it was a very family-friendly event, and we had a lot of fun.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Day 275 - Accent

We went out to dinner for our anniversary tonight.  A friend gave us a gift card last month to one of our favorite restaurants, the Fat Hen, that we cashed in tonight.  Henry tagged along and wished us happy anniversary at least 3 times while we were at dinner.

The crowd at the Fat Hen did NOT consist of young families.  Henry was the only child that we could spot in the restaurant which always makes me a little uneasy. We were seated between two older couples who did not have 4-year olds with them, and I could tell that the couples were not exactly thrilled that Henry was basically joining them for dinner.  He was on excellent behavior, though, and ended up making friend with the couple to his left.

At one point, Henry and Mike got up to use the facilities, and the woman next to us asked where we are from.  I said that we are from here, and her response was "not originally" in a very heavy New York accent.  I don't have a southern accent so people automatically assume that I am not from the south.  I don't have an accent at all, and nor does Mike.  I told her about our respective backgrounds, and she revealed that she and her husband moved to Charleston from Brooklyn several years ago though her accent gave her away before she told us where she grew up.

I'll admit that I can do pretty good southern and New York accents that I bring out on special occasions, but I don't speak with an accent as a general rule.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Day 274 - Trip

I've booked a few more work trips - a very quick one in December and a more extensive one for January.  I am doing my very very best to return to a more "normal" way of functioning.  (What is normal anyway?)  I feel well, both physically and emotionally and am operating accordingly.

There have been times over the past year when I would have been afraid to try to find some normalcy.  After all, I was living my normal life when my diagnosis hit me out of the blue.  It's hard to explain, but there have been time when I was afraid that someone else would hit out of the blue if I got back to a more "normal" way of life.  Those thoughts still sneak in on occasion, but I am better at identifying them as unfounded and irrational.  That thought process may not make any sense, but I've been there.

Fear creeps in, and fear hits me at the strangest times, but I will not allow fear to rule my life.  It takes regular effort to keep the fear at bay, but the effort is worth it.

I put the word normal in quotation marks in this post because, I will never get back to where I was. I am ok with that because an attempt to do so would be an exercise in futility.  Life has changed.  It happens.  Change happened to me in a very profound and jarring way, and I will never be the same.

Work travel was part of my pre-cancer landscape so it makes sense that it is going to be part of the post-treatment world. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Day 273 - Dance

You know those people who spontaneously break out in dance?  They can be in the gym, in a store with good music, or anywhere really and just start dancing to the music. There are people in my gym who basically dance through every workout, and the trainers dance their way across the room as they are telling us what to do.  I'm not one of them.  Not even close.  I am a terrible dancer, and I think that part of it stems from self-consciousness (or high self-monitoring as I've mentioned before).  I don't feel terribly comfortable dancing which is probably why I am not very good at it.

I've always admired people who can just start dancing, not caring at all what others think in that moment.  While I'm nowhere near being able to walk through the grocery store dancing, I am loosening the reigns on self-consciousness.  I am more comfortable with myself (and my physical appearance) than I have ever been.  I am who I am, and I am ok with that. That is not me being egotistical, just ok in my own skin.

I went for a run/walk today during lunch and listened to the Pitbull Pandora station during my exercise.  Let me just tell you, it's hard NOT to dance listening to that station.  I held it together (obviously) while I was outside, but I did find myself dancing a little bit in my kitchen while I made my lunch.  The music was so good that I left it on after I was finished with my workout. Mike was not home, and the dancing probably would not have happened had he been home.  The fact that it happened at all, though, is somewhat notable.

I'd like to continue to lighten up a little bit, but you probably won't find me dancing at the gym anytime soon. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Day 272 - Dinner

When I was growing up, more often than not, dinners were eaten together as a family.  Sometimes they were quick, sometimes they were involved, sometimes they were late, but they were most often together.  I will admit that I have not been good about doing the same for my family.

Sitting down together for dinner is something that I have always wanted to do (and have manged sporadically), but it is not consistent.  It's difficult to move right from work to dinner preparation, and I will admit that I am a bit controlling when it comes to cooking.  I often used the time between work and getting Henry fed to play with Henry or let him play outside with his friends (both of which I consider to be important), and dinner together got pushed aside. I managed to get something healthy on the table for Henry, but the bulk of the cooking and eating for Mike and me was done after he went to bed.

Last week, Mike told me that he'd like to help with dinner preparation so that we could get dinner on the table easier and earlier so that we can eat together!  And it's working.  Last night and tonight, we managed to eat dinner together at the table at 6 or 6:15.  I know that something like this sounds so simple, but it was overwhelming to me.  Now that Mike and I are making dinner together, having a meal as a family is a much more attainable goal.  Surely there will be nights when it just does not work, but taking the time to pause and sit down with each other is awfully nice, and I still managed some quality play time with my Henry before we ate.

How wholesome are we these days?!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Day 271 - Observations

I found that people made a lot of observations (to me) about my physical appearance last week, which I guess people tend to do.  Most of them centered around my hair as I suspected they would.  People weren't necessarily unkind about my hair, but they would walk up to me and just make statements such as "you cut your hair" or "wow, your hair is different."

I feel like a polite person would follow up such statements with "it looks nice" or something like that, but most people didn't.  Maybe they thought that my hair looked nice, and maybe they didn't.  I don't really care, but I did find it strange that someone would just walk up to me and repeat a fact to me about my appearance.  Clearly I know that I have short hair.

One person pushed a little bit and said "what made you decide to make such a drastic change?"  My response "chemo."  Then we had a nice discussion about the past year, but if someone is going to be so unapologetically blunt, then I will do the same.

There were also a few comments about other aspects of my appearance, but the hair comments were the most prevalent. I wasn't necessarily offended by the comments so let's say that I am observing the observations.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Day 270 - Treat

I took Henry trick-or-treating last night, and it was so much fun.  I had a big talk with him before we went about how important it is to say "trick-or-treat" and "thank you" after getting candy (I hate it when kids just silently walk up with their loot bags open), and I could hear him bellowing "HAPPY TRICK-OR-TREAT" at every door.  It was very cute and made me smile all night.  He came home with some good loot and a lot of energy, exactly as it should be.

We had a low key day today - brunch downtown, grocery shopping and general chilling.  Henry was playing with some friends in the yard this afternoon and somehow managed to run smack into our back door so he is currently icing his face as I type this.  He'll be fine but may have a shiner for a few days.  Henry is a lot of wonderful things but "coordinated" is not one of them.