Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Baby is Thirteen Today

My baby boy was born 13 years ago today. I can't believe that little bundle of joy that I carried in my tummy and eventually in my arms... is now a teenager! Yikes! Doesn't seem possible. The years just zoomed by and those years living in a small apartment with the little baby learning to crawl and walk seems like just yesterday. Now he's a teenager, complete with being mouthy and 3.5 inches taller than me.

While his birthday is today, we are not really having a party for him or anything this weekend. We never do because of Valentine's Day. However, he is going to be having a party later in the month with his friends from school. (Well, if he gets his history fair project done this weekend)

It's amazing the journey he's taken from being this 7 lb, 21 1/2 inches long bundle to being

this 140 lb, 5' 31/2" teen

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Month In Review... January

Ok, so I'm five days behind...

  • I am 19 months past the partial resection of my grade three brain tumor.
  • It has been 15 months since I completed external beam radiation.
  • It has been 7 months since my complex partial seizure and I am happily behind the wheel again!
  • It has been 2 years and 5 months since my brain tumor was discovered accidentally.
Medically - My last MRI showed no change so we are in good position there. I am waiting to hear back from Mayo still on when we should schedule my next MRI. I will probably give them a call in the next day or so to make sure they did receive my scans and if they have had the opportunity to review them. I'm not exactly sure how all this is going to work right now but I do know that I get copies of whatever they send to my doctor and I have not received anything so I'm guessing nothing has gone out yet. I see my Neurologist again the first part of March so I should at least be able to get the copy of my MRI report from him that day.

I've also been fighting a respiratory infection. It started as sinus and borderline bronchitis back before Christmas and has steadily gotten better, then worse, then better, then worse... I did go to the doctor and I'm on an antibiotic so that at least it's loosened up again and not just the hacking cough it was. However, it runs out on Sunday and I'm still getting episodes where I am struggling to breathe because of the coughing. Might have to end up going back for round two.

At this point, I think that's all to report on the medical front.

Emotionally - Other than just extremely stressed, I haven't been doing too bad. I've had a few instances where I just blow up at everyone but it's usually after I've had one of those days where you just can't see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. It seems like my good days are pretty normal but I am getting more and more bad days because of being "snowed under". However, it's mainly just life and a combination of many things coming to a head at once. Work is nuts, things at home is nuts, and basically just everything is nuts. LOL

Unfortunately, the respiratory issues has prevented me from getting into my workout routine again so I'm not getting my typical outlet either. I'm sure when I get over this and get back into it, the emotions will simmer down again and the stress will raise my blood pressure 20-30 points less.

Mentally - Yes, I'm mental... LOL Actually, it's really hard to gauge how I'm doing mentally. I've been pushing myself hard in the mental category at work so by the time I get home, I'm basically a mental lump. Thus why you haven't seen many updates. It seems like my ability to put two or three words into a single sentence disappears around noon each day. Thus why I'm scheduling all of the meetings that I have to be alert in, before noon and I schedule mundane tasks in the afternoon. You know, even the tasks the the twit down the hall from you can do. :)

This mental exhaustion is also the cause of a lot of my emotional anger. I need that down time and I don't usually get it, especially right now since there are a lot of tasks going on all day at work related to our products being moved. (I could go into details but I'd just bore you all) Anyway, I'm to the point that it's almost necessary for me to spend two days of the week at home working so that I can get that down time. Unfortunately, I'm not always able to schedule them on the Tuesday and Thursday that would make the most sense. I can get through a whole week or even four days but it's a huge struggle to do so and most of the time that last day is lost to me because I remember very little of what I did in my zombie-like state. (Therefore, to those that I work with, if you need me to do something challenging, either catch me at the beginning of the week or make sure it's after I spent a day working from home!)

Physically - Exhausted, frustrated at not being able to get back into a workout routine, exhausted, still losing weight for no reason, exhausted, ready to quit coughing up a lung for several hours each day, did I mention exhausted?

Seriously though, I have had decent energy despite the respiratory issues. It just hasn't been energy to do anything outside of the things that MUST be done. Not only that but I've had both my knee and ankle act up over the past couple of weeks and that slows me down (prevents me from working out) as well. Gotta love what being a catcher does to you!!! However, if I can get 10-12 hours of sleep the night before and take breaks every 30 minutes or so, I can push myself and get things done that need to be. However, if I go over that 30 minute mark, the coughing starts and I'm zapped. I have the little routine going. Drink water, do inhaler, work for 15, drink water, work for 15, drink water in room with humidifier, do nothing strenuous for an hour, repeat. :)

Work - The chaos continues! Just as I feared when I took on the two projects at work, the plant closure project is taking up a good portion of my time. Again I won't bore you with the details but it involves a lot of modifications to rights, installations, and various other tasks as they run into issues. Yes, some of you that work in computers are probably saying, "so what, that's not a big issue" but when you don't have control over your own domain it becomes quite the headache. I choose not to say anymore at this point but just suffice to say that probably 40% of my time right now is handling these types of things. Really, right now, it's a lot like working about three full-time jobs. (No wonder I'm mentally exhausted, eh?) I'm a Tech over the site I'm at, handling Project Lead duties, and then being a "Consultant" for other areas. I'm learning a lot right now, some of which I could do without learning, but it's quite interesting to say the least.

Home/Family - Let's see... John did get my bathroom floor finished before Christmas so that was a really good thing. We need to go through and make some minor adjustments to it but nothing serious. We have also begun the tackling of "the room" since Christmas.

What is "the room"? It is the room that was going to become the baby's room and was temporary storage for all the baby stuff I had kept from my son and other things that we weren't ready to find a home for yet. Some would call it my "dungeon". Basically it was floor to ceiling with stuff that needed to be sorted through and most of it given away. Yes, it should have probably been tackled in 2007 after we stopped our journey to conceive but 2007 also began the journey of brain tumor, surgery, radiation so it just never got moving. Last year, I tried several times to start working in it but it would never fail that after 20 minutes or so I'd run into something that would set me off and I'd have to walk away from it.

For those that do not know the story of the journey to conceive, John and I tried for almost two years to have another child. We had declared that in December 2007, we would stop trying whether we succeeded or not. I was ready for that and mentally prepared to walk away from it. However, it was August of 2007 that I was diagnosed with the brain tumor. Not knowing what we were dealing with or what the future held, we agreed that our journey was over. Instead of trying to conceive, we found ourselves trying not to. The struggle I have is "what if I didn't find out about the tumor until 2008? Would we have conceived during those last few months?" These are the questions that arise every time I tried to close the final chapter of our conception journey. While I was ready to accept it was not meant to be if it didn't happen at the end of 2007, I wasn't ready to accept it in August.

However, the room is nearly complete, most of the items have been given away, and the room is slowly taking shape as our game room. When it is done, I think I can finally close the book on the baby we never had. :)

Speaking of babies, my baby boy is going to be a teenager next week. YIKES!!! I'm feeling a bit old. LOL Actually, this is one of the reasons I had to get over the baby issue and get that room cleaned up. He wants to have a wii party with his classmates from school and then have the boys spend the night. Needless to say, I want that room to a point that they can spend most of their time in there. Luckily, we have a few more weeks because his party won't be until near the end of the month due to Valentine's Day and a 4H conference he is going to. 13!!!!

In other family news, I am happy to say that I'm learning what my husband looks like again. :) He has been home on time (mostly) since returning after the holiday. YAY!

I will choose not to get into the trouble that has been brewing with my husband's family. He hasn't confronted them yet, so I'm not going to say anything here. Let's just say that two of his family members are on very thin ice with he and I right now. (It's no one that would be reading this so don't worry.)

Play - What's that? Ok, seriously, we haven't really done a whole lot in the arena of "play" lately. I've been too sick to dance and we've been busy on the house so really the closest thing we get to play recently is Facebook, the computer, and with me Plano Hogwarts. I have been spending quite a bit of time on Facebook and Plano Hogwarts. Plano Hogwarts is like a second family to me and I love being there. Besides, I'm the Head of Hufflepuff so I have to be around and help out the newer members. Really I love it there. Facebook has been a very fitting place for me to relieve frustrations and stress over the last several weeks. I have a few games I play that don't really require a lot of brain power and they are just relaxing in several ways. I guess you can give Facebook credit for keeping me relatively calm and with as few anger spells as I've had. An evening messing around on it, puts my blood pressure back where it should be. :P

Relay - Well, I've had two wonderful speaking opportunities over the past month at Relay Kick-offs in our area. I spoke at the PrairieLand Youth Relay and my own Logan County Relay about being a survivor and what Relay means to me. I hope I did a good job and I am looking forward to a time when I can do more of these speaking engagements. I love doing motivational speaking and talking about what it takes to be a survivor. I really think it's my purpose in life... to share my journey and give others hope. Opportunities through the end of this year will be limited based on work and other activities but soon things will be more flexible. If you want a speaker matching my description, it can't hurt to let me know and I'll see if I can work you in.

I really need to get working on Relay stuff for this year. I have to send out team letters, send out personal letters for donations, have a team meeting to decide on name, theme, and activities, etc. There just never seems to be enough brain power in the day to do it all. Notice, I no longer say time, it's brain power. I waste a lot of time trying to get my brain power back in line so it's not time that is my issue. :)

Ok, I think I've rambled enough for one day. Huggles.