Wednesday, September 25, 2013


"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." - George Eliot

I was getting out my Halloween decorations today and realized I hadn't seen my things in TWO years, not just one. That amazed me, and saddened me, and at the same time filled me with joy because I get to see them again and I was overjoyed - I'm not kidding, I adore my Halloween decorations. I love Halloween and fall - I LOVE them. I stopped and thought about where I was last year right now and also realized that last year, today, was my last A/C chemo. I was heavily pregnant and bald, too big and tired to even attempt decorating or celebrating my season, and waiting - worried - about what is now this teething, extremely loud, hilarious, beautiful and healthy little monster - the one who has smile at times that is simultaneously hysterical and the epitome of pure bliss.

So as I went through my multitude of Halloween boxes in the garage and found forgotten treasures, I was able to look back at the past year and remember where I was - which is a feat considering my short term memory is still shot - and see how far we have all come, and breathe it all in, and smile like my girl.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A whole lot of growing up going on...

A little piece of my heart broke off today, but it also burst into about a thousand pieces of pride...
Since before Jack was born, the one thing I have been SO excited about was him going to school. Not to get him out of the house (although let's face it...), but because the start of school just meant the opening of a world of opportunity for him. I completely get Meg Ryan's giddiness at the line "a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils"... I literally cannot wait for him to bring home lists of schools supplies in the coming years, permission forms to sign, books to cover (okay, I get that it may be an Ipad to cover), new friends to talk about, crunchy leaf days to be tattooed in his memory. Yes, yes, I understand there will be nights when I am gluing some stupid diorama together (am I completely anachronistic? do kids even do these things anymore??) and I will be of no help to him past third grade times tables, but still. The possibilities, the reading under the covers late at night, the love of just plain learning something new - it all lies ahead for him and I am going to suck in and be grateful for every single moment of it that I can.

Little big girl here - 11 months old.
Top two teeth finally appearing - resulting in not so great nights.
Eating everything in sight.
Standing up. Soooooo close to walking.
Growing blond hair.
Loves her brother madly.
Cannot believe she has been here almost a year, my little chemo-sabe.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

20 years...

I'm not quite sure how it's possible that I have my 20 year high school reunion this weekend. Granted, I may not feel like high school was just fact, most of it I have blocked out I believe...but I do feel like I just went to college yesterday so for me to realize that was 20 years ago this month that I started college is MIND BOGGLING.

I am excited to see whomever shows up. I went to a pretty small Catholic girls high school, so our reunion will consist of a luncheon - that I didn't have to plan! Yay! Because funny enough, as much as I despised high school (and not for the fact that it was all girls or Catholic or anything like that, just for the plain old fact that I would have hated high school anywhere) I ended up planning our 10 year reunion. Still not sure how that happened. While I hated high school with a passion, I didn't hate the girls I went to school with. I can't say that I had many super close friends, but I was friends with a lot of the girls. I tended to float amongst the circles I think. Plus, there were quite a few of us who had been in school together since first grade so whether we hung out every day or not, we still knew quite a bit about each other. Anyway, out of a pretty small graduating class of I believe 105, give or take a few girls, we have had some bad luck bestowed upon us. I know I'm one of at least 5 girls who have had or are actively fighting cancer, and we have all had different types, not one the same as far as I know.

We lost our sophomore biology teacher, Susan Todd Hurst, to breast cancer right after our ten year reunion and I believe she was our age or a few years younger than us when she passed. We were her first class when she started teaching and I was happy she was able to come to our reunion, as sick as she was. She had two young boys when she passed, and I've thought of her quite often over the past few years.

We are also missing two girls from our class. One I had gone to school with since first grade. Monica Ruiz. She had the longest hair ever, and she lived down the street from the girl who I was best friends with for quite some time in grammar school, so while we weren't close friends, she would invite us over in the summer to use her pool and hang out. I have to say even though I went to school with Monica for 12 years I don't know very much about her. As I said, we weren't close friends but we certainly were not enemies - we just didn't hang anywhere near the same circles. A few years back, of few of the kids I went to school since first grade with found out that she had committed suicide - she had been diagnosed with schizophrenia shortly after high school graduation and just didn't see an end to the misery according to a website post her husband had written. Really quite a sad situation and I'm sorry she had to go through that.

Our other lost friend is Dr. Naomi Fukushima. Naomi was a kick, she was a tiny, petite little thing who was quiet until she let a zinger go and then it was on. She was spunky. And smart. We had quite a few classes together over the years and I would think considered each other friends, at least school friends. She was at our reunion, had been married very shortly before that I believe. Then about a year later was diagnosed with an extremely rare pulmonary sarcoma, which I believe was so rare there was something like less than 200 diagnosed cases of it. She fought and fought and fought, but from what other friends have said, she was a doctor, her dad was a doctor, and she knew. Our reunion was in fall of 2003, by May of 2005 she died. Again, cancer, you beyond suck.

So I want them to know that they are not forgotten, and will be remembered when we get together this weekend, and they will be toasted. And I hope to God they are looking down, intervening with someone, saying you have enough of us for a while, you don't need any more of the Class of '93 anytime soon.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

An up week...

Except for the dreaded "it's about to turn into fall everywhere else except for Southern CA, let's have our 90 degree weather now" time, along with the realization that I dislike August but holy-crap-August-is-already-over-and-I-have-a-month-and-a-half-to-plan-a-first-birthday-party-holy-shiz, this is an up week on the roller coaster of my life.

Let's play catch-up. The retreat - the retreat was great. I probably would have appreciated it more had I been a little further out from the whole deal...I'm still dealing with and processing way too many emotions, thoughts, fears, etc. to appreciate a woman who is supposed to be talking about body image telling me what to do about sex after cancer having never had cancer herself. Other than that, the nutrition lady (carrot juice, in a word-  yuck - but a 10 year study behind it regarding 50% reduced recurrence and the carotene levels in the blood, so yeah, me and carrot juice are new pals :P) was great, the facial and massage - awesome (mindtrip overcome), the yoga lady - fabulous, and the place was great, the weather was great (for me),  and the girls were great too. So thank you Image Reborn for providing a great weekend!

Here are some pictures of the place - this is at The Canyons, who I believe donated the penthouses for the weekend...

Apparently Will Smith used to stay in this penthouse when he stayed in Park City, before buying is own house...this is NOT my room :(

Bathroom bigger then two of my kitchens, honest to goodness...again, not my bathroom

This was the fireplace on my side...perfectly nice penthouse...not quite as big as the other one..oh well :)

In other more mundane yet terribly exciting news for me...we have a fully potty trained boy in the house which if you have kids, you know how exciting that is. Jack has been teetering on fully training for months now but resisted, well, let's just say he's been peeing for months in the potty. Nothing else though and only at home, no matter how much I begged, cajoled, bribed. (Jack does things at his own pace, decided when he wants to do them, and when he decides then that's it, he does it. He is here to teach me patience and how to let go.) Now, he goes like a pro, AND finally went in a public place this weekend (in the bathroom in a public place, let me clarify) - whoooohooooo!!! 

Sister girl did NOT have good nights while on vacation. I got two full wonderful nights of sleep at the retreat and came back to two barely-got-maybe-three-hours-nights before we came home. Well, actually I'm not going to say anything because I am highly superstitious about the sleep thing and wish not to jinx myself so check back in a month for an update.

Shoulder X-ray from last week was clear so it appears that, thank goodness, my shoulder is just retaliating against me constantly lifting a 17 pound baby up to smell her butt to see if she pooped or not. Sorry, just a fact.

Football has almost started (believe me, I am well aware of the reality of my team this year but I will still keep the faith), Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back (soon I will live in a place where the return of PSL's coincides with the return of fall, not hell), and there are parties to plan, costumes to make, candles to smell, and pumpkins to dream of. Let's get busy livin'.