Saturday, June 11, 2011

Peace and Quiet

It's Saturday night. My little cowboys are in West Texas starting their summer off right with their grandparents. Hubby is watching the UFC fight at his brother's house. Abby Dog and I shared a Schlotzsky's sandwich and now we are catching up on my recorded DVR shows and enjoying the peace and quiet.

I deserve some peace and quiet, if you don't mind my saying so. We bought a new house and moved. Preschool ended and I watched my Baby graduate. I kept on dragging Goliath and Little Middle out of bed and to school every day, long after every other school district in Texas was done. I had a less-than-enjoyable doctor visit (I am fine.). Finally--FINALLY--Summer 2011 is here! I usually am not a fan of summer. It's way too hot and there is a little too much quality time with the kids. But this year, I am more than ready.

The last day of school was tough. Because of our move, the boys will attend a different elementary school next year. I have done everything possible to get them excited: We visited the school book fair and bought--what else?--Star Wars books. We took a tour of the campus and met the counselor and the principal. We admired the playground. But I know that none of those things make it easy for my sons to leave behind their friends and favorite teachers. There were tears in all of our eyes when we walked out of the doors of their school for the last time.

We celebrated the end of school by heading straight to the pool. The first swim of the season was great! It's already 100+ degrees here. You know what they say about Texas...we have four seasons here: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Christmas. Anyway, Baby was triumphant at the pool when I showed him that he is finally tall enough to touch the pool bottom in the lazy river, and that he is tall enough to go down one of the big slides. Victory! Now if we can just get him swimming confidently like his brothers...

We love, love, LOVE our new house. It is nearly twice as big as our old one. Each of the boys has their own bedroom, and they are really enjoying having their own space. I have a huge bathtub, a kitchen with two ceiling fans and more than enough cabinet space, and a laundry room that is an actual room. That hasn't endeared me more to the laundry chore, but it makes it a little easier to keep up! We have nice neighbors and fruit trees in the backyard. Our own little piece of paradise...aaahhh. Of course, no experience in this family is complete without some sort of mishap. We had lived here almost three weeks when our washing machine went berserk and we had a flood. The water in the laundry room was deep enough to cover the top of my foot when I was standing in it. Even worse, the Gain-smelling river ran straight into the hall where we have wood floors. I ran around town like a crazy person before I finally landed at Home Depot, where I rented a wet-vac and made friends with a sympathetic old man with chewing tobacco in his back pocket. With a little help from my good friend Momma Wolg, I managed to suck up the water, but not before it damaged the flooring. The silver lining: My feet smelled nice and felt super-soft from all that sloshing around.

Things have been pretty quiet here in CancerLand. Back in the spring, I went to M.D. Anderson in Houston. MDA has been on my radar for a while, but I haven't felt well enough to make the trip for quite some time. My reason for finally going was two-fold: One, I wanted/needed to get a second opinion about "what's next?" and two, MDA is renowned for their clinical trials and experimental drugs to treat cancer. Having been assured that cancer will forever be a threat, I want in on that action! I spent nearly a week there and during that time, I had every test and met with every specialist imaginable. At the end of the week, I was informed that without a doubt, cancer is not currently present in my body. I worked out a plan to return for scans and to remain under "surveillance" by the staff there. And, I asked about and gratefully accepted a prescription for a drug that I hope will keep cancer at bay for a while. The drug is an anti-estrogen--theoretically, the less estrogen that my body produces, the less chance there is that cancer cells will be able to feed and grow. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but it would be silly and irresponsible for me to not explore any and all options.

My news about MDA was not greeted with the enthusiasm I had hoped for by Dr. M here in Dallas. In spite of that, he will be performing yet another surgery on me next week to remove my chemo port. I can't say that I'm excited about surgery, but I will be thrilled to have that thing out of my body! Hopefully I won't need one ever again.

With the little boys out of town for a few days, I've had time to explore a new obsession: Pinterest. PandaMom gave me a few pointers, and I am well on my way to digital organization! It makes me feel all artsy and crafty, which I am NOT in real life. Still, it's nice to imagine that one day I might be able to bake a pink heart into the center of my plain-Jane cupcakes or make a wreath out of crayons for Teacher Appreciation week.

Every year I buy Little Middle a new pair of flip flops, and every year he wears them for just a few weeks before he breaks them. Every. Single. Year. When I went to his class party on the last day of school, he was barefoot because his shoe had broken. So I gave up and I bought him a more solid, pricier pair. If they don't last him the rest of the summer, he's just gonna have to wear tennis shoes. That might have sounded heartless when I said it out loud when pulling out of the store parking lot, but Baby assured me, "You're the best mommy we could ever have." Little Middle retorted, "Yeah, but that's 'cause she's the ONLY mommy we can ever have."

And on that note, I'm gonna go enjoy my peace and quiet. Happy Summer!

1 comment:

Stacie said...

My son, Gavin, had craniospinal radiation down at MD Anderson in 2008. We have kept up with follow-up appointments down there, even though our oncologist here seems to think that's silly. However, we value the 2nd opinion aspect, no matter where we are in the cancer world. It's always a threat. For example, Gavin had an MRI at the end of May with a questionable spot on his spine. I mailed the CD to MD Anderson. The oncologist, neuroradiologist and radiation oncologist all took a look at it. Well worth keeping in the MDA loop.

So glad that you are cancer free right now. Praying that you continue to, despite all the horrible odds. While I do not personally know you, I so respect you for the wonderful way you have shared your journey with those around you and those on the blog.

God bless you!

Much love,
Stacie Smith