Thursday, April 27, 2006

Word Association, Cancer Sucks, and Funny Stuff

So I was cruising blogs today and came across Crouching Mommy, Dirty Laundry. The very first post had this word association exercise so I figured I would give it a try because it looked fun. The first word is the word given and after that is what came to my mind...

Rising:: sun
Third:: wheel
Disruptive:: kids
Surround:: sound
Distant:: relatives
Suction:: cup
Fried:: tired
Nuggets:: McDonalds
Clip:: cut
San Antonio:: humid as hell!

Okay on to the next fun thing I found. Can you tell I'm bored? Actually I'm burning nervous energy because I'm waiting for my "Bugger Off" response on a writing job. I figured that the worst they could say is "no" so why not at least try.

Oh yeah, for those who care- recent bloodwork has revealed that my calcitonin levels (the cancer marker for medullary thyroid cancer) is back on the rise. This means that anyone who was holding their breath and hoping I somehow got lucky with the surgery and was cured can start breathing again. Not happening. Sorry. I expected it but it still sucks to get proof of it you know? All I ask is for 10 more years with my kids. If I can have that then I'll have to be happy and count my blessings. Everyday is one more day I might not have had with another cancer so I'll take what I can get.

Okay back to the fun stuff. I joined blogexplosion and it's so funny to see the jump in hits to this page. Of course, most of the people from those hits aren't actually reading the blog so it's mostly just a fluff count but still, it makes you feel all im-pot-ant when you look at your statcounter. LOL. I also surfed blogs through there last night and found some really neat ones. Infinitely Pie has a post called A Day In The Life Of God that is HILARIOUS!!! The kids and I were laughing hard after the first "Calls Tom Cruise, hangs up".

I also found out that there are some really messed up people out there, alot of women bitching about how awful their lives are (honestly, the crap was really petty. Think they would want to trade with me? My cancer and short life for their "the dishwasher is broke and the baby is teething"?), some really weird guys who think their views actually matter, and some chic who talks about herself in the third person. LMFAO.

I'll get back to writing about our lives later on. I just thought this was a fun little break and I know I for one needed the laughs and stress relief. ;) Thank you to everyone who wished my kiddo a happy birthday and please be sure to check out his site if you get a chance (Thanks Samuel for the comment to him).

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Just Yesterday... Happy Birthday Big B.

Just yesterday I held you for the first time and couldn't believe how small you looked.

Just yesterday you were cruising along the furniture preparing to take your first steps.

Just yesterday you held your baby sister and told me what a pretty baby she was.

Just yesterday you started your first day of Kindergarten and made me let go of your hand before we got to the door of your class.

Just yesterday you loved watching Gargoyles with me in the morning before school.

Just yesterday you were in Junior High and seemed to grow a mustache overnight.

Just yesterday I watched you, as a High School Freshman, get ready for your first dance.

Just yesterday we started homeschooling and I started watching you blossom into the wonderful man I knew you could be.

And just today you are turning fifteen and reminding me that in three more years you will be able to strike out on your own. It sounds so wonderful for you yet I can't help but hide the tears when I think about it. The years have gone by so fast and everything really does feel like just yesterday. So many things I wish I could do over in your life because you deserve the best.

Thank you son for never hating me for my mistakes and thank you for continuing to love me even after you found out it was my genes that gave you cancer and changed your life. I hope that you will always love me and know that I tried. I always tried. Sometimes I made stupid choices but I always thought I was doing the right thing.

I'm sorry you got this disorder from me but I'm not sorry I had you even if I was just 16 at the time. You have changed my life so much and always for the better. Thank you for coming into my life. I love you.

Happy Birthday, Big B and yes I know this means you're old enough for your learner's permit but can we just pretend for a few days that you're not? Mama just wants to watch Gargoyles with you, read books together, and also read your journals I kept one more time so I can go back to just yesterday if only for today.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Lessons “Burned”

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking a four mile hike with my two oldest children on the local Hawktrail. During this time of year the birds come through on their usual migratory path and you can see over 100 daily with the help of binoculars. In the brochure it says that the hike is "difficult" and 1.5 miles one way. That didn't sound so bad. We're tough, we could take it!

Before starting out, we got together our gear (water, my injection kit, extra meds, snacks, phone, etc) and I made extra sure to rub both kids down with plenty of sunscreen. As an afterthought, I haphazardly smeared a little on my own arms, neck, face, and nose. I was feeling pretty smart at this point thinking I was actually prepared and covering all the bases for once (I'm well known for forgetting things constantly).

As we hiked up the mountain we were sure to pace ourselves so we didn’t tire out too quickly (This was our first difficult hike together plus we're just plain out of shape). We were looking forward to making it to the top and seeing some hawks and other raptors. The weather was perfect for a day outside- not too hot and a light breeze to cool us off as we went. This made me wonder if I should have worried about sunburns at all.

It was a hard walk and although we didn’t make it all the way to the top ( well Big B did but Sissy and I stayed a half mile behind wheezing like a dying car motor), we had a lot of fun talking, joking, and encouraging each other along the way. We lunched at this flat little summit and even pretended to get lost so we could feel all cool for finding our way back to the trail. After we finished our hike, I checked the kids and proudly announced that we had made it without anyone getting sunburned. We were tired but everyone was in one piece and feeling pretty proud of ourselves.

Later as I was sitting on the couch trying to relax (more like sore and wanting to die!), I noticed pain on the back of my right shoulder. Sure enough, I had missed a few spots with the sunscreen and now had several small sunburns across my shoulders, forehead, and neck. I had been so worried about the children that I had given very little concern to my own care even though I am the one who burns the worst every year because of my light complexion. My family was so worried about me and felt so sorry for me that they proceeded to all laugh at me as I glared at them and flipped off my husband behind a couch pillow. Mean sarcastic bunch! I'm so proud.

So as we head into sunburn season this year, remember to not only protect the children with high SPF sunscreen but yourself as well. Have someone get all the little spots you can’t reach yourself so you don’t end up with a spotty burn like me. Don't give your family a reason to laugh at you and I won't be held responsible for anyone's husband being hit with a couch pillow.

After all, it’s hard to have fun with your family if you’re too busy recovering from your lessons “burned”.

By the way- feel free to post any great sunburn treatments/remedies you might have in the comments. One lady sent me one that said rub a tomato over the burn. That was a new one to me but one I definately might try in the future.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Support Holocaust Remembrance Week

Last week the children and I watched the movie “Paperclips”. If you’ve never heard of this story please go to their website and read about it. They explain much better than I ever could. I have always been interested in the Holocaust- all aspects of it. For me it has been a lifelong struggle to understand how so much evil can exist and how so many can suffer because of close-minded views and hatred. Each time I read a new story, see a new movie, meet a Holocaust survivor I truly feel a deep pain in my heart. I think this more than anything else has brought me to tears too many times to count. So much lost and for what? What is even sadder is that our world seems to not have learned much of anything from it all. Racism, Anti-Semitism, and Hate still reign supreme in the world today. We dishonor the millions of lives lost each time we refuse to learn and grow.

One thing that stuck with me about the movie (besides the immensity of it all) was the fact that during World War II, Norwegians started wearing paperclips in protest against the Nazi occupation, anti-Semitism, and as a sign of solidarity (since a paperclip’s main purpose is to “bind” things together). The paperclip was also chosen because it was patented by a Norwegian and thus a product of their own country.

So I got to thinking, how could the children and I show our support against the atrocities of the Nazis during World War II? How could we show our pain and sorrow at the knowledge that over 6 MILLION Jews (over 1.5 million were children) were killed by their Nazi oppressors? How could we honor these lives so sadly taken too soon? I had always felt before that there really wasn’t much I could do besides teach my own children about the Holocaust so they in turn could teach future generations. Now I found there was more I could do.

After researching, I found out that there is a Paperclip Campaign that goes on every year. This year it will be during the week of April 23rd according to one site but others are doing it on different weeks throughout the month of April. The idea is to wear a paperclip on your collar or lapel to show your support against racism, prejudice, and hate crimes.

Not only will we join in by wearing paperclips on our collars (for the entire month of April I've decided) but I also plan on taking the children to the local Holocaust Museum, asking the libraries to participate in Holocaust Remembrance Week, and the children and I will also be handing out small cards with paperclips attached to everyone we meet in hopes of spreading awareness.

Let us also not forget the over 5 million homosexuals, Muslims, gypsies, and other victims of the Holocaust. Yes, the Nazis destroyed more than just the Jewish community. They destroyed pretty much anyone in their path. Did you also know that most of Europe AND our own United States was extremely anti-Semitic before, during, and after World War II? It was not just the Nazis who wronged all these people and we need to think about that as well.

I hope that you will join us and I would love to see pictures or posts on other blogs about this. Let’s not forget those who died because their beliefs differed from those who were intolerant to anyone and anything not exactly like them. Let’s honor those who survived the Holocaust and continue to tell about it so we don't forget. Let’s remember that very easily and quickly things can change for the worse. Let’s not forget that EVERYONE has a right to follow their own beliefs whether we share them or not. It’s not about what you believe but that you believe. Hope, faith (both religious and non-religious), and love are truly what gives humanity a chance.

To those who survived the Holocaust- you are forever my heroes. Your strength, forgiveness, and will to live amazes me daily. Bless you for everything that you are.

Below are some websites to check out having to do with the Holocaust. Also please check to see if your local library carries any books on the Holocaust. If not, try requesting that they attain some.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
The Jewish Holocaust Resources
Candles Holocaust Museum

If you know of anymore please post the link in the comments section so I can add it. Thank you.