So this morning…

Aside

So this morning I ran an errand, came home, and got my son ready for one of his last days of school.

Simple, right?

Well, you have to remember this is ME and my family I am talking about.

So, I went to Walmart to exchange a swim suit for my son. He has water days this week and is supposed to take a squirt bottle and towel and you know – water stuff – and they will be outside playing most of the day. I have several water bottles from last summer and the winter (we paint the snow with food dye and water) however, some of them don’t work well anymore and so I wanted to get a new one. Well, you know, you can’t have a squirt bottle that looks like a gun in the schools now. So I found one in the kid’s section that actually looks like a squirt bottle, but is more fun and shoots farther. AND a regular one in case.

But then I was doubting myself, so I went around the toy section asking parents “do you think this looks like a gun? My son needs a squirty toy for school but it can’t look like a gun (roll my eyes and act like I’m all put out by all these crazy school rules) so does this look like a gun to you or not?” They were nice about it, except the lady that hurried her kid along away from me after hastily answering and giving me a wierd look. (please, you are the one with 50 lbs of  cat food, lady!)

On the way home I had this conversation with myself:

“OMG! I can’t believe you acted like that about the toy gun rule! You do live where Columbine happened – what if one of those people were a columbine graduate or grandparent or something?”

“What? That’s just crazy – that school is clear on the other side of town. Besides, it really has gone too far. Boys can’t even wrestle around with each other anymore. Or play ninjas. NINJAS, for heaven’s sake.”

“Are you serious? Just try not to offend people who’s friends may or may not have been hurt in Columbine.”

“SIGH”

(I can’t make this stuff up.)

So I get home and my father in law is “showing people America” – meaning he is walking around the yard with his laptop and someone on skype – showing them our yard. Which definitely isn’t the most beautiful yard in America.

OK, compared to my conversation with myself this suddenly doesn’t sound so weird. I guess it’s time to be done now.

 

**UPDATE: I guess the teacher wasn’t happy with my choice of water bottle. I need y’all’s opinion:

Who thinks this looks like a gun?  If ANYTHING it looks like a water hose connector. To me.

 

 

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Well Played…

I have always been a runner.

I always ran away from my problems.

Even if I couldn’t run away from them physically, I ran away mentally.

And NOW I find myself up against 3 very difficult challenges

I can’t run away from.

And I have a kid and a family, so I can’t run away

mentally,

or chemically,

or emotionally.

Well, played, Universe. Well played.

Life’s hard, then you die.

My mom had many many memorable quotes when I was a child.

One I didn’t understand until I was an adult – actually long into my adult hood was “Life’s hard. Then you die.”

I looked back and wondered, why would you tell your child that? It seemed illogical. Shouldn’t we be teaching our children to look for the good, to be smiley and sunshine and rainbows and all that good crap?

I understand her now.

First of all, she had a hard life. And she didn’t get bowled over by it. She made her own way, found her own place, she was happy all on her own. 

She made a nice life for us, but I feel like she didn’t want us to be fooled into thinking life would always be nice. She also wanted us to see that you can either sit down and give up when life is hard, or you can get up and keep going. Either way it will be hard, and eventually you will die. What you do with the times in between are up to you.

What really brought it home to me the other day was my son was saying how “unfair” life is. About something that was affecting his 5 year old world terribly, apparently.

“IT’S NOT FAIR” he wailed.

And you know what? I feel that way a lot. I mean A LOT lately. 

Just because his problem is “smaller” than my problem in my eyes doesn’t mean his problem isn’t still there and real and very upsetting to him.

And honestly, I felt like the best thing I could tell him right then was that life ISN’T fair.

It isn’t.

And sometimes it really sucks.

Sometimes we can’t understand all that life is throwing our way and we just want to sit on the stairs and wail that “it isn’t fair.”

I thought of all the things in my life that “aren’t fair” right now – and I wanted to tell him about them. But didn’t. He had enough on his little plate. 

So I sat down with him and I said “You are right. It isn’t fair. Sometimes life just isn’t fair.”

He looked at me and blinked away some tears and he said “It ISN’T.” Calmly this time. 

And then he got up and continued on. 

THIS was what my mother wanted to tell us.

 

Shattered Dreams

What I remember my dreams of my adulthood looking like:

I would be a doctor with a handsome husband that made more money than I did. We would have a huge house that somehow seemed to sparkle. And had rainbows. And a pool. And probably some rock music. We would have 2 beautiful kids – a boy and a girl who were twins. Named Journee and Jade. I don’t know which was which – but does it really matter with names like that? I would drive a cool car and probably have my own plane. We would go on awesome family vacations to places like France and Egypt.

What my life is really like:

Today I had two very different episodes that basically describe my entire life.

First: I pick my son up from preschool and have to sit in the parking lot consoling him for about 10 minutes because he is so hysterical I can’t even buckle him in. What was wrong? We haven’t gone on family vacation “ever”. We can’t get a dog because we are renting a home which doesn’t allow pets because we can’t buy yet because of medical bills. (Luke, I blame you for this one. Not cancer or my spending – you.) He is leaving his preschool of two years to go to a new school in the fall. But it doesn’t start until fall. He will miss his friends and teachers. I told him we can see his friends over the summer which started the dog problem again. Because if he had a dog he wouldn’t be lonely. AND he doesn’t have a brother or sister. Of course it came out in 5 year old tears and screaming – which sounds a lot less “sensible” than what I have written here. *Apparently* I am a failure as a mom.

Second: 

In order to get us both out of our funk I decided to let him relax for half an hour after we got home, then we went to a new park we love. When we got there he immediately found another “different” little boy and they hit if off famously. They chased each other around, splashed, swung, climbed, slid, dug, looked at a fire truck, and bothered a pair of police men all in the span of 2 hours. It was “the best day EVER” according to my son. I am the BEST mother ever, *apparently*.

Yes – we are a little dramatic. Both of us.

So, no sparkly houses or pools. Medical bills. No big awesome career for me. In fact I dropped out of college to… well to go completely insane as I remember it. No dog. 

I DO have a handsome husband who makes more money than I do. A beautiful son. And all the love I could want. I guess it evens out in the end.  

 

 

Melancholia

There have been times in my life that have been so full of emotional pain that I wasn’t sure I could make it through them. There have also been times of simple melancholia. Simple sadness, simple “nothing is quite right – ness”. 

A friend posted a Faulkner quote today on Facebook and it almost broke me. 

“Given a choice between grief and nothing, I’d choose grief.”  ~William Faulkner

There have been times in my life when this simply wasn’t true. When I was hanging on to this life by mere threads and by the simple fact that I had hoped for something better. Sometimes you need that something better to get through hard times. Sometimes the emptiness in life is just too much.

The last few weeks have been hard on me – I have fallen into what I can only describe as a pool of grey. I am sad, but not depressed. I don’t want to do the things I normally do, but I am not laying in bed all day. I am down, but not beaten.

I know that I can change this. I know the ways to at least help it. But as usual I wallow in the grey, taking my family with me, or letting them go on their own way for a while. 

At least I have come to the point in my life where I know the quote above applies to me. I am too in love with my family to choose nothing. I want to be here for them and them for me.

So, I will wallow no more. I will take my son out in the sunshine and I will spend time loving him and I will allow my mind to open to the calm and happier times. 

Nothing is forever. This will pass. In the meantime, motherhood may be the thing that has turned my life around more than anything else, and I will remember that, and thank my son.

Dear Doctors

Dear Doctors of the World:

When dealing with a cancer patient or cancer survivor using the word tumor 

should be saved for extreme circumstances ONLY.

Saying “if your eye doesn’t feel better tomorrow we will have to do an MRI to rule out a brain tumor…”

Casually.

As if in passing.

is a big fat NO NO! 

UNACCEPTABLE!!!

 

Please, if we MIGHT need to rule out a brain tumor TOMORROW, 

IF 

a,b,and c don’t happen,

JUST KEEP IT TO YOURSELF UNTIL TOMORROW!!!!

 (for the love of man!)

Sincerely, 

Cancer patients everywhere.

Food Issues

Our family has food issues. 

There I said it.

My in-laws eat stuff that is totally different than what I make (of course) and since they have been here for the last year my MIL makes large amounts of Russian food for her husband on her days off and stocks the fridge for him. Actually, that’s not totally true. I made meals several times a week when they first got here, but they stopped eating my food. My husband prefers his mom’s food, but will eat mine just so I don’t complain to him about him NEVER eating my food. I have basically stopped cooking. I try to act like it doesn’t hurt my feelings.

My FIL eats at like 9am and 3pm. In fact, when my MIL makes dinner (on her day off) she makes it at like 3pm. Who eats at 3?

My husband is only home for breakfast most days. My MIL doesn’t eat dinner (or much of anything lately now that she’s on the “egg diet”).

Basically everyone eats what they want, when they want, where they want. We didn’t start out this way. There was a time when we had a lovely dinner together every night – several years ago.

I won’t even start on my food issues – because honestly, I just can’t go there right now.

Then there is my son. He had some feeding issues as a newborn. Then he ate baby food just fine, but never wanted to change over to big boy food. I eventually got him changed over and he ate most things. Then he slowly eliminated foods until we are at this point down to 3 actual meals and everything else is a side. Cheese, crackers, fruit, yogurt, etc. 

We started going to a “feeding clinic” where an OT helps him “learn about food”, and is supposedly going to help us out of this mess.

Our first assignment is to eat family meals together (HA!), eat all food at the table, and stop grazing (I basically feed him when he asks and I believe that is the only reason he is still growing normally – now they want me to change that????) 

So, the only meal of the day we can eat as a whole family is breakfast. We are supposed to make it a social time. (come on, really? that’s half my weight problem – food is social for me) BUT my husband refuses to ask my MIL and FIL to eat with us – so they come if they want…. The rest of the day it is my son and I. I try to make it interesting – but let’s be honest – when you are home with your mom all day long sitting at the table with her isn’t all that exciting… 

I can’t tell you how frustrating this last week has been. I have had to argue and cajole and fight with him to sit with me at the table for every meal/snack. I have had to deny food when he is hungry, then try to convince him to eat when it’s “time” to eat. (honestly, I think kids should be taught to keep that “I’m full” response to foods, instead of loose it like us overweight adults have) AND I am supposed to serve family style. So I put all the food on the table and everyone takes what they want. “I choose what to serve – you choose what to eat.” I have been putting his “preferred” foods on there with whatever I make ~ I am not going to starve him.

With all the arguing about food being in front of him and stinking him out, about having to sit at the table, about having to eat with us, about not eating when he wants… I haven’t even tried to get him to eat anything new. For reals. I’m not really to that step yet, anyways!

Today we had a late breakfast with his dad (day off) and he sat there trying to make our son drink a yogurt smoothie. He smelled it, he touched it, but he wouldn’t try it. (actually touching and smelling are big steps, DAD!) They are sitting there yelling at each other (which is counter productive and not AT ALL what we were told to do) and after all the arguing about food all week, I lost it. I totally lost it. I went upstairs to take a shower, my husband did the dishes because I was so upset and then I talked to him about it – explaining that is the exact opposite of what we WANT to do. FOR THE LOVE OF MAN, you were at the appointment with me!!!

Maybe in the end all this frustration about food will lead to some weight loss for me – I can’t even stand to look at the stuff right now.

Iron Man Karate Gear

My son tried out the “black belt program” at Karate today. As opposed to his regular program, in the black belt program they learn nunchuks and ascrima sticks and sparring and breaking boards, etc. We had already decided to wait until after summer because we will be gone some and it’s more expensive. But I wanted him to have a goal to work toward so I took him to try it out.

WELL, he did really well focusing and really enjoyed it. AND of course they were having a great deal. Today only. No down payment, (which is huge) and a discount on the gear.

The following is a text conversation between my husband and I:

me: they are having a really good deal on the program (details of the deal) plus gear – but we don’t have to buy that all at once right away.

him: do you think he would like it?

me: I really do – I have never seen him focus so much in class.

him: well do it then, but don’t buy gear until we get paid

me: ok

I sign him up and then send this text:  Ok done. If we buy all the gear together it’s only $300.

him: WTF??? What is it Iron Man Gear?

me: Yes. Yes it is.

him: well I guess it’s a good deal then.

 

Link

Russian Beer Opener

To be fair, I don’t know for sure if this IS from Russia. I can’t find any indicators that it is. I can’t even hear what the girl says to see if it sounds like Russian.

BUT this is what I think of when I think of Russia. I mean, this is the Russia I got to see. (NOT St. Basil’s cathedral, Red Square, or the momuments, parks, museums, and bridges of St. Petersburg.)

Please click on this link – best 39 seconds you will have in a long time (unless you are a man, of course).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEP-uDL_554

Let me break it down a bit for you.

1. First we have this pretty young gal (who knows, she could be 40 – they all look alike) who is in her sparkly hoodie, tight velour track pants, and has her makeup done even though they are obviously doing nothing this day.

2. Then there is the old man – 1980’s sweater over a 1970’s button down – not buttoned, track pants (a staple), and wierd socks under strange slippery type shoes.

3. In the back ground we have several interesting items of note. First is the lovely scenery surrounding the area. Second is the stack of corrugated tin roof metal. Third is the collections of wood/plastic/large jars/large rocks/rusty tools/wires, and more. Fourth is the 3 sheds of differing make and model – presumably to tinker in, possibly keep pigs or chickens, possibly keep screaming children – who knows? As a matter of fact, I think I see a coop of some sort behind the one with the red roof. Maybe that’s actually the house…???

4. Irresponsible use of power tools. This is rampant in Russia. Not only do they think they have to fix everything themselves, whether they know how or not, but they also do it using the most dangerous and irresponsible method. We don’t own a large ladder, so when my husband wants to get something done up high, he stacks several sized tables together and climbs the tower. This shit really happens. (as a side note – fires are also done irresponsibly – as big and crazy as possible, with someone squirting lighter fluid onto it WHILE it’s blazing)

5. NO safety equipment whatsoever – not even a pair of sunglasses. Recently we were at my parent’s house for a week. My brothers were asked to cut up some old fence posts that had been taken down for fire wood. My husband was very excited to use the chain saw and said he “didn’t need safety goggles and gloves” – luckily my brother is a “safety first” guy and insisted. Ah. The russians.

Easy Cancer My Ass!

When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer the doctor (who is truly a wonderful doctor) said “Well, if you have to get cancer, thyroid is the one to get. You get your thyroid out, take a pill for the rest of your life, and that’s it.” Thyroid cancer is often times referred to as the easiest or best cancer. Let me give all you docs and nurses out there a clue. NO cancer is easy or best. Cancer sucks. The big one. Yes, thyroid cancer is the most treatable cancer, and has the highest recovery rate. It also has the highest recurrence rate.

Obviously it didn’t go that way for me. It’s been a long tough road that most likely isn’t at an end yet.

This morning I was putting my pills together as I do every week. I have to use two of those “old lady” pill organizers because I just don’t want to dig through the bag of pills for 15 pills a day. Yep. 15. It dawned on me that this is crap. having to take this many meds is crap. 

Image

The pills on the counter are my daily pills. Left is morning, right is evening. I am officially supposed to get up at like 5 am and take two of them separately with a giant glass of water, so they are taken apart from my vitamins and other pills and food and any drink besides water. This doesn’t work for me *apparently* (cough)

since I realized this morning I hadn’t taken my thyroid pills for 4 days!!!!! Biggest no no for someone with no thyroid. Biggest. No wonder I feel like crap.

All the pills you see here except the big pink one on the left (multivite) and the little purple one on the right are pills I started taking since my thyroid surgery. I won’t go through them all, but I have to take 4 different supplements – HAVE to, don’t choose to – my body doesn’t absorb certain minerals and vitamins properly any more due to parathyroid damage – bet you don’t even know what THAT is). I have to take medicine for my heart rate, to replace my missing thyroid, to help lower my cholesterol which is in part due to my thyroid medicine, to prevent me from having a child since my body CAN NOT handle it now, to help me sleep at night because of the high dose of thyroid meds they have me on (also why I have to fix my heart rate) (just benadryl), and more. And you wonder why I am so crazy? I cringe every morning just thinking about all the toxins I am putting in my body. And this doesn’t even include my “sometimes meds” – like for migraines and chest pain and such. Those are the worst ones.

You may ask what would happen if I went off all my pills. Well, first my heart rate goes up. Like the next day. It makes me irritable, unable to sleep, feel like crap all the time, and have more migraines. Then my triglycerides and cholesterol go up – all of these things (heart rate too) will wear out my heart or eventually cause heart attack. My little purple pill allows me to sleep, bend over, squat down – because it controls my extreme acid reflux. My life is intollerable without it. And yes, I have tried a bunch of natural crap for that. I might get pregnant which might actually kill me – my body can’t take it now my doctors say. Without my minerals and vitamins I get really ill – migraines, terrible body aches and muscle and joint cramps to where I can’t sleep or walk, and more. Without my thyroid meds I would get sicker and sicker, not able to do the daily things I need to do – like brush my hair, get out of bed – and then I would slip into a peaceful coma and die – which would be completely welcome at that point. When I have had to go off my thyroid meds for a treatment I honestly thought I would die. I couldn’t even carry my 4 month old baby. I slept like 20 hours a day. It was terrible.SO, you see, I can’t go off my meds. 

Next time you start to think about what kind of cancer you would rather have, just stop and say NO to cancer. Because let’s face it – all cancer is cancer and it sucks. The big one.

 

Just say no to cancer: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-prevention/CA00024  – also if you google “prevent cancer” you will find many lists that tell you what foods to eat to help avoid cancer.