Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dancing, weddings and the Hokey Pokey

Dance rehearsal today was ok. The choreographer is good at teaching those of us who know very little how to do the basics. My lack of training is very apparent, as is my lack of natural ability. I don't think I am hopeless. Just awkward. And I may need a few private dance classes to get what I need to get. Luckily, my part is heavy acting and vocal, but my character doesn't necessarily have to dance in every number. So I have a few scenes doing what I am good at - acting - and it is pretty positive I won't be a featured dancer. And I am ok with that. I'd rather be a featured actor.

The girls that can dance really make it look easy. I admire them. I wish I naturally could make my body look the way theirs do. I don't know why I don't have that kind of body awareness. I just don't. Without the mirrored walls, I simply don't have any idea what my body looks like while I am trying to move it around. I hear all the time that it is just a matter of practice and experience, but I don't think so. I don't discount practice in bettering technique, but I think there is a case to be made for natural ability. I am an actor. I know this. What I do is mostly instinct and observation; knowing how people talk and act when they feel certain ways and being able to recreate that as naturally as possible. This is something I have always been able to do with very little teaching needed. I can train my voice and learn about scripts and breathing and other little things to make me better, but I believe I am an actor because I was made this way, in the same way that I was not made a dancer. I am not saying I can't get any better, but it isn't my inborn ability and it never will be.

For instance, there is a girl in the show that doesn't have a lot of dance training. But she does have a lot of dance experience in theatre. And she is good. Her body moves beautifully and she is lovely to watch. But the choreographer and dance captain correct her often on technique, always tweaking this and that and posture and other little things. Seems to me that she is constantly being corrected. I believe this is because what she is is a natural dancer with inborn ability, but hasn't been drilled and trained into ballet technique. And it must drive 'real' dancers crazy that she is so close, but just not exactly right. So they choose to correct her tiny mistakes and let me fall all over myself with little comment. Of course I am glad they don't comment on how obviously unschooled and slowly learning I am. They are probably making mental note that this particular working girl should be leaning seductively on a banister while the other girls dance. And I am so ok with that. I can give sexy eyes like nobody's business, but please don't ask me to can-can.

Rehearsal ended at 2:00 and I went home to quickly eat, change and head to Austin for a wedding. Andrea's brother got married at 4:00 this afternoon and it was fun. Very irreverent. Bridesmaids wore their own choice of black dress and colorful shoes. And the groomsmen (and bridesmen) wore whatever they wanted under their jackets: bright t-shirts, tux t-shirts, some funky jacket with furry arms. One even wore a head to toe orange tux, complete with patent leather orange shoes and tophat. Very awesome. The vows included 'to love honor and cherish in sickness and in health, for richer and poorer and on all federal holidays.' The rings were exchanged to vows of 'take this off at your own peril.' Pretty awesome. Then the pizza arrived. Yup. The wedding was catered by Austin's Pizza. And there were many kegs to be drunk. I had a couple of glasses of wine and stuck around through the bride and groom's first dance - which was to the Hokey Pokey. Then I hit the road and came home in time to read the book about the potty to Jackson before bedtime.

So it has been a pretty good day. Definitely ready for a good night's sleep. Went to bed late last night, then is stormed a little and scared Jackson. He came to our room at 2:00 in the morning saying, 'It's okay mama, it's only rain, there's nothing to be afraid." Course it sounded so much cuter. 'nuffin to be afwaid' is pretty damned cute even at 2:00 in the morning. I love that boy. But we didn't sleep much last night. And then wine. After a 4 hour dance rehearsal. I am beat.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I love having energy!

I have been busy this week, working and taking care of Jackson and shopping and cleaning and cooking.

Today, I got in the mail some Mary Kay stuff I ordered, which included a roll-up/hanging bag that can hold pretty much all my makeup and stuff, at least all the stuff I use regularly. I actually have a lot of make-up that I rarely use but don't want to part with. I always think I might need it in a show. And sometimes I do. But since I got this new bag and have been acquiring new skin care and make-up stuff the last year or so, I figured I should really go through it all and get rid of things I don't use and can't imagine needing in a show. And any make-up I have had since high school had to go. I am sometimes a bit of a hoarder and have been systematically going through my house throwing things out for a month or two. I did my closet a few weeks ago and tonight I did my cabinets in the bathroom. I had stuff in there that expired seven years ago! Bottles of peroxide and 10 year-old hand lotion I have never liked but wouldn't chuck. Not anymore though, I just had a grand old time chucking crap and reorganizing things so I can actually use them. It is so nice to have the energy to take care of Jackson, work half-day at the Palace and come home to spend 4 1/2 hours working on my bathroom. Awesome.

Here is a quandary for you all. If your son is enjoying himself playing on the floor amidst all the crap you have pulled out of the cabinets and becomes fixated on a tampax and wants to carry one around like a toy, is it ok to let him? Is this going to permanently scar him because the 'toy' he chose to take to bed with him tonight was the fascinating individually-wrapped tampon? I hope not.

Oh, good news, the cancer center called to let me know that my PET scan showed no evidence of Lymphoma. So I am still all clear. I asked if they still want me to schedule a CT scan since they couldn't do it the same day. They are going to get back to me next week when Dr. George gets back in the office. So maybe I'll get a CT too, or maybe the insurance company wins and they decide not to do one. Is that their master plan, those sneaky bastards at Aetna? Maybe so.

One of the new Mary Kay products I got today was their microdermabrasion 2 step system. They say it has the same professional grade exfoliating crystals used by dermatologists. I don't know about that, but I do know that I tried it tonight and my face now feels like a baby's butt. The difference is amazing and I am sold on it already. I really should give in and sell the stuff as much schilling as I do for them on my blog. At least I know how to work the system so I don't pay full price for everything.

Tomorrow is the first dance rehearsal for Whorehouse. 10a-2p. Four hours. Of dancing. I sure hope my energy holds up and that I don't completely embarrass myself. I should probably go to bed now.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Interesting News

So the mole I just had removed from my back tested positive for 'atypical cells'. Not cancer, but pre-cancer; cells that had begun to mutate. I don't have to do anything about it right now because the test shows that they removed all the atypical cells. We got it before there was any big deal. I just have to go back in three months to follow up. I figure I will do a serious mole check and make sure if I have any more that I get them removed soon.

S everybody, check your body! If you have moles that aren't perfect circles, that are as big or bigger than a pencil eraser, or have changed size or shape in your memory of them, go get 'em removed. Skin cancer requires chemo and I assure you, you don't want to do it if you don't have to.

I sure as hell am not going to be taken out by a fricken mole after all I have been through. Sheesh.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lots of Stuff

It has been a busy several days. Saturday David, Jackson and I packed up and headed to Harker Heights to visit the In-Laws. Jackson got quality time with his Omi and Grandpa and his Uncle Kris, whom he adores.

We had a huge dinner and I ate way too much and had a couple of margaritas and got kinda talky (sorry guys). I had a really good time and Susanne, of course, gave us generous Easter bags with clothes and candy. She knows I love chocolate from Germany. Milka is the brand. It is infinitely better than a Hershey bar. It is richer and tastier and creamier and I can eat two or three squares a night and make a bar last for weeks. It is somewhat hard to find. Susanne found some at World Market. Which is funny because though it is Made in Germany and certainly has been around since my Husband was a kid in Germany, it is distributed by Kraft Foods out of Illinois. Says so right on the back. Anyway, thanks Susanne, I love the chocolate and new jammies.

Sunday morning, Jackson and I got up and headed to Santa Anna to visit my Dad. My Uncle Dan and his family were at Dad's visiting for a few days. It was kind of a trip to see their oldest son, who I held as a day-old baby. He's 15 now and such a young man. When he was born, my Dad took my picture holding him in the hospital and later painted an oil painting from the photo. So Kenny got to see a painting of me holding him when I was just about his age. That makes me officially old.

Visiting Dan and Kate and their boys was a treat. I haven't seen them in so long. Kate is stricken with MS and has lost a lot of motion in her legs and must use a cane to walk and a wheelchair for anything more than a few feet. Her husband and 3 sons help her a great deal and she gets by pretty well. I don't really know what to say about it other than it really sucks ass that there aren't more treatments that could stop the degeneration. Stem Cell treatments look promising, but the USA is not a leader in such research, go figure. I just know that I admire the hell out of Kate for her strength and ability to live her life with love and humor. But having been in a life or death struggle myself, I know that you just do it and get through and enjoy everything you can. There simply isn't another choice, not for me and not for so many people living with disease and illness. You just say "It's not going to effin win" and you keep going.

Jackson had a ball playing with the boys, who are 11, 13 and 15. They are outdoors boys who like nothing more than a few balls to throw or kick around. And having come from up north, they really took advantage of the nice weather to be outside as much as they could. Jackson just ran around after them and kicked his own little ball. They were really good to him and were careful to watch out and not run him over. I forgot my camera like an idiot so don't have any pictures of them running around.

Yesterday, Mary Ellen finally posted the cast list for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I am going to be Angel, one of Mona's working girls at the 'chicken ranch'. I am so excited! It is a good part. A few decent acting scenes and several solos in at least one song. And the best part is that several good friends and tons of other cool people are also going to be in it. My best friend, Andrea, got a fabulous part and gets to sing the best song in the show! I am so excited to be in a show with her again. It has been awhile. Years, in fact. The read-thru is tomorrow night and I am very excited. Did I already say that? Yup, I'm excited.

I can't believe how affectionate my son has become. This is the baby who at 5 months old couldn't stand to be held when he was tired; who would only sleep in your arms when he was burning up with fever and feeling terrible. He has not been a lovey little guy and I learned to accept that I didn't have a cuddler.

Well, now that he is four months shy of turning three, he has decided that he loves his mother. He wants me to hold him and he actually puts his head on my shoulder and hugs back! This is a huge shift for him! He likes to stand in front of me while I am working and put his head in my lap. He says he loves me all the time and cracks me up by asking all the time, "Do you love me, Mama?" This he got from his father, who asks me several times a day if I love him. Jackson has taken up the habit and it is so cute. When he is showing me affection, he says "Oooohhhhh". He got that from me. Whenever I sneak a hug in while dressing him I say it. I don't know why, I just do. Same reason when I hug someone, I pat them on the back. My mom says I have done that since I was a toddler. Don't know why, I just do. So I am enjoying all the hugs and kisses and "do you love me's" and "ooohhhh's". I figure he may go back to his old anti-hug self at any moment so I'd better relish it while I can.

What else? Oh yeah. I had a PET scan this morning. I was supposed to have a PET/CT scan this morning, but Aetna, who knows better than my doctor apparently, decided that getting the CT at the same time as the PET would be too convenient. I was already hooked up to the IV and laying in the machine that does both tests. But it wasn't to be. The tech told me that lots of insurance companies, as of January, are requiring that the PET and CT scans be on different days. No one knows why other than to cause as much inconvenience as they can and possibly make the patients pay more. Two office visits, two IV starts, two scans, patient pays 20% of two visits instead of one. Of course I suspect that after I meet my yearly deductible and out of pocket, that they let me do both scans at once like last year. We shall see.

Of course this isn't such a hardship for me as it is for the patients coming from nursing homes who can barely walk and have hard-to-stick veins. The tech said it was really sucking for the sick and elderly people. Such an arbitrary rule that has absolutely nothing to do with doing the right thing for the patients. Just whatever the insurance says is what the healthcare industry has to do. And you people who are terrified of socialized medicine, what is the difference exactly? How is this any better?

So at some point soon I will have a CT scan, hopefully not in downtown Austin in morning traffic. I will let you all know the PET results when I get them later this week.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'm not Francine, but I ain't bad

I got a callback for Best Little Whorehouse, which was held last night. Pretty unexciting actually. I had a good time hanging out, visiting with the several old friends who were also auditioning and watching the goings on. I was called back to read/sing for 'Mona's girls' aka 'the ho's'. We were not scheduled to read/sing till 8:45 but it went pretty much as expected - they didn't get to us till 10:00. But that was ok, I was patient and having fun hanging out.

But when it was finally our turn, it was late and they were tired and we didn't really get to do much. Got to sing a couple of bars each in one of the songs the ho's do. And got to read a couple of sentences. That was it. Turns out the director plans to simply cast the girls she wants and work out which girl plays which parts another day. I was disappointed because I was all geared up to really audition, compete, give em hell. And it turns out I didn't have to. It kinda took the wind outta my sails.

But, I am fairly certain I will be cast as one of Mona's girls. I felt really good about my initial audition and then singing with all the other girls I could see where I fit in that group and it looks good. Plus, I am not sure how many girls there will be, but there were not too many extra called back. Maybe even everyone will be cast and placed according to who can sing what. If so I feel pretty confident because I was as good a singer or better than most and not too far behind those above me.

I have learned thru this audition that I have got to stop underestimating what I can do. I don't consider myself a singer because I can't belt the blues like Aretha. I so admire and almost worship great singers. I want desperately to come back as a soul singer, a blues woman, a Francine Reed. (Link goes to Francine song on Lyle album.)

Because I can't sing like that I do this all or nothing thing. I can't sing like Jennifer Holiday so I don't sing at all. Stupid, really because all I am doing is sabotaging myself and denying myself the joy of acting and singing in musicals. "I can't dance," I say, "I can't sing." When the reality is that I sang as well or better than most at this audition. And I do a pretty mean Janis Joplin at theatre karaoke parties. Maybe I can't play Reno Sweeney but that doesn't mean I can't get a decent part in a local musical.

So hopefully my instincts are right and I will get a part in Whorehouse and in May, you'll find me scantily clad on the Palace stage. Cast list probably won't go up til Monday. I'll let you know.

I also had an appt with my dermatologist yesterday and had a couple of moles removed. One had 'abnormal' boundaries. They would normally have just watched it for a while to see if it changes or grows, but because it is in the middle of my back, they wanted to remove it. They tend to remove anything you can't monitor well yourself - backs and scalps they told me. And because I have a prior cancer they are also very careful. They sent it off to be tested for skin cancer. Just a precaution, really, so I am not nervous about that. I don't expect it to come back as anything.

I am more worried about the fact that I can't reach the little wound on my back to clean and care for it. I can't even reach the band-aid to take it off. I am supposed to keep it moist and covered so it heals nicely. Not sure exactly how to work it. If I shower in the morning after David goes to work, I have no way to change the dressing. I am seeing my mom in the morning, so she can help me then. I guess I'll figure it out.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Auditioned!

Just got home from my audition and I am feeling relieved that it is done and happy that I didn't suck. Really! I didn't suck! I did my monologue pretty darn well, my song was a good choice for me and I was able to sing it with a little attitude (Bonnie Raitt's Love me like a man) and I even did better on the dance than I expected. Not fabulous, as I truly am not a natural dancer. I am an awkward dancer. But I managed to remember the steps and perform them almost correctly. I only looked dorky probably and not totally hopeless. So I am done and will see if I get a callback. Hurrah! I managed to get over wanting to vomit and auditioned for a musical for the first time since I did Annie in 2002.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Groceries, Audition and Lawn Mowing

We went to the grocery store at 5:30 this evening. Apparently this is a very popular time to stock up cause everyone else was there too. And Jackson insists on us using the car carts which are as long as boats, but don't have as much grocery space as a regular cart. Hard to drive in a busy store.

But still I felt grateful to be able to fill my cart with the food we wanted even though prices have gone so far up in the last few months. I worry that if things continue as they are we will have to actually budget for groceries and really look at the prices of the things we like and see where we can cut back. David brings home a good salary, but gas prices and food prices and pre-school and co-pays really eat into it. I am sure this is a pretty familiar story for many folks. Not too frightened yet, but uneasy about things to come. And the medical bills are coming, I am due to be getting some any day now, plus the PET scan coming soon. I hate thinking about money. Blah.

But we cooked a great dinner of tilapia and rice and salad. I am generally not a fish person, but am learning to like it. I just have to find the least 'fishy' fish, like salmon and tilapia. Good stuff.

I am auditioning tomorrow for the next big musical at the Palace - The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I don't generally do musicals as I am not much of a dancer and though I sing well, I sing quietly. But this one just seems like a heck of a lot of fun and I figured I'd give it a shot. Why not? I don't have anything else to do and David will be directing a show in a few months. So Monday evening I'll head down as see how it goes. I figure I will do great in the monologue portion, pretty good in the vocal portion and passing to poor in the dance portion. But since it is my home theatre, perhaps Mary Ellen will have some compassion for my lack of dance training and let me in the chorus anyway. Heh, I'm not sure all the whores have to dance so much, maybe I could get away with suggestive movement. I can do sexy. I think. I just can't really dance. Hell, I'm even game to go on stage in really skimpy costumes, I've done it before. I wore a teddy onstage in college and in a show pre-Jackson I got stripped of my blouse onstage and had the long, black skirt I was wearing pulled up to be a sleeveless slip-dress. Quite a shocking and terribly funny moment it was. Ah, the good old days.

I took a few pictures this afternoon of Jackson and his daddy mowing the yard. Very cute. The little boy read me a couple of his favorite books before bed. It is always surprising to realize how much he knows. From a squirming lump, to a boy who can recite most of goodnight moon. Parenthood is awesome. Hard work, but awesome.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ponderings and Ramblings

Last night in my dreams I had my long hair. I actually remember dreaming that I looked in the mirror and saw myself with it and thought, 'oh wow, my hair isn't gone after all.' It didn't really even start as a dream about my hair. But as soon as my dream self realized that my hair was back it became a dream about hair. I washed it and spent forever in the dream luxuriating in rinsing it and then combing it and it even had a nice wave in it. Lots of body. It was my old hair, only better. I never had body or anything resembling a wave or curl. Even perms didn't last more than a few weeks. When I woke up and realized that it was just a dream I was so disappointed.

I don't really hate my short 'do'. I even am pleased that it looks better than I imagined it would. But it isn't how I see myself deep in my subconscious, I guess. I started thinking about it and realize that I have my old hair in every dream. I can't remember a dream where I was bald or had short, short hair. Not that I see myself in every dream, but there is a self-awareness in dreams and that awareness has never gone bald and started over from nothing.

Losing my hair really hurt. It was like my identity fell out with all my hair. It was such a traumatic event that even now 7 months after I became a bald cancer patient the memory of it and the loss of it still hurts. The 'it'll grow back' crowd just doesn't understand that even after it grows back, the pain of losing it is still there. I still miss my hair. I fricken dream about it.

Ironically, knowing what I know now, if I had all my old hair back, I wouldn't even keep it. I would immediately go to the salon and cut it into a really cute swing bob or something. Perhaps it is just the lack of choice, the powerlessness and the devastation that illness + baldness creates that has left such a lasting scar.

I have such mixed feelings when people are so excited to see me with hair on my head that wasn't store bought. I know their excitement is mostly a good deal of happiness that I am well now and done with treatment. I just have a hard time being excited about it. Yay, I'm not bald, but I still hurt from having been bald. I still have the cancer bomb hanging there for the rest of my life. I still have a long road of awkward lengths to deal with before I get to choose how to wear my hair like other people.

But I am happy to be alive. Bitching about hair loss is just that, bitching. I know that chemo saved my life and I all I had to trade for it was my hair. They said 'give me your hair and you can have your life back.' Heh, 'and money, we want your money too. And you have to feel like shit for six months. And dream about your hair from time to time. And there is no guarantee it will stay gone. But give us your hair and we'll give you a chance.'

I guess it isn't so bad of a trade. It just sucks sometimes to be saddled with the experience of it. I read a few blogs of other cancer patients and out of the 7 that I read 3 of them have relapsed and another one is terminal. Not very good statistics and it isn't a very representative number, maybe I should broaden my reading list.

And that brings me to the whole question of what do we who have/had cancer call ourselves. I guess the common lingo is 'cancer survivor'. But for some reason I feel self-conscious using that term. Can't really explain it other than to call myself a cancer survivor might jinx my remission. It also makes me feel like there should be a lifetime network movie about me and I don't want to feel like a victim. I'm pissed off sometimes and I do say 'poor me' sometimes, but who wants to feel like they live in some movie starring Shannon Dougherty? Not me.

But I am not really a cancer patient since I am done with chemo. I still get my counts checked all the time and get PET/CT scans every three months. I still have a port implanted in my chest. I guess I will feel more like a cancer survivor when I feel less like a cancer patient.

On an interesting note that I have continually forgotten to blog about, I can't listed to my mp3 player without feeling sick to my stomach. I used to listen to it during chemo and now when I so much as take it out of its case my stomach starts to roll and I feel sick. I discovered this on the plane to NYC. I knew it was all in my head, a product of my brain mistaking the mp3 player as the cause of my nausea from chemo. I forced myself to listen anyway and after a song or two the feeling went away. It happened on the plane ride home too. Heh, even thinking about listening to it makes my stomach roll. It seems to be imprinted - mp3 player = yuck.

We took advantage of the weather yesterday and went to the park with Jackson. Elaine met us there and brought her camera. She sent this shot and I love it. The baby is not such a baby anymore. He is a little boy.

I had the opportunity to hold a 7 week-old boy today and man, I really want another baby. Felt so good to hold the compact little squirming bundle. Don't know if and when that could happen for us. A pregnancy for me would mean committing to 10 months or more of no PET scans. For some reason they won't give you radioactive sugar by iv if you are pregnant. When would it be ok to stop the scans? And do I have any unfried eggs after chemo? Questions that only time can answer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Scientific American has published an article this week talking about the improvement in life span of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma patients who take Rituxan with Chemo. This was the R in my R-CHOP treatment. Glad to read that it is really making a difference.

Except I still hate to hear them talk about 5 year survival rates. What do I care about 5 year rates at 31 years old with a toddler son and the (pipe)dream of having more children? I want to talk about 20 years, 30 years, not 5. Five years is simply not good enough.

Am I supposed to say now that I am ever so grateful for any measly ol life extension? Well, I'm not. I want more. Demand more. Insist upon more. Am I ungrateful? Youbetcha. Fuck off, cancer. Don't come back. Not in five years, not in twenty. So there. Case closed.

True Story

This story starts with a confession. I do. Occasionally. Fart. I know, it is shocking, but true. Sometimes it happens.

And this morning while I was changing Jackson, I passed wind. Then Jackson got really excited and said, "Did you hear that? Daddy's home!"

Monday, March 10, 2008

Two Things

Two news stories today made me want to rant a little.

First, the answer to our health-care crisis is right under our noses. It's in our drinking water! Studies are showing that much of our water supply is contaminated with prescription drugs. So all of you without health insurance, drink up! There's sure to be something in there to cure whatever ails you. Tada! I should run for president.

Or Governor.

That seems to afford you all kinds of perks. You get to be "involved" in prostitution rings. What? You don't? Oh. Well then, you just apologize, and say "My bad" and everything will be ok. And your doormat of a wife will stand behind you at a press conference where you apologize.

I don't get it. Why do these women attend the press conference? I am not saying she should leave him. It is her marriage to deal with. Either it is over or it isn't. But damn. Does she get no time to be pissed off a little bit? No time to say "Hey, I'm really hurt right now and I don't want to stand behind you on TV."

I would never stand behind him at the press conference. I would hold my own press conference. I'd probably curse him publicly for humiliating me and ruining his own career and the stability of our family. Then I would announce that I would be out of touch on a retreat spending a great deal of his earnings and would discuss counseling and the possible saving of our marriage when I got back.

But no. I would never stand behind a cheating, lying man at a press conference. Not even for the 4 million dollar purple diamond ring Kobe Bryant's wife got after his press conference.

I'd take the damn ring in payment for the public humiliation. But I still wouldn't attend the press conference.

A Comparison

My bloodwork came back largely normal today. Not cancer patient normal. Normal normal. WBC at 7.2! No artificial assistance, I made all those cells on my own. Isn't that exciting? It really is, trust me.

In honor of this great spontaneous cell production and just because the comparison is so africken-mazing, I am going to share a photo with you. This was taken at my request the second week of November just before my mom and husband near-carried me to the car to go to the ER for the first of my 5-day hospitalizations. It was a week after my 6th and final round of chemo. To me, this is what chemo looks like - along with dehydration and the beginnings of a pseudamonas infection on my face. A few hours later the spot on my cheek would swell to about the size of a baseball and require minor surgery and another two months to heal. And lots of bitterness to get over.

And then there is this one of David and me having a blast in NYC. Just a small dimpled scar is left on my cheek. And I am not so very bitter. And not so very sick. That is nice.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Not Much

Life is pretty laid-back right now. Except for the being sick thing. Jackson and I still have snotty noses. I get my blood levels checked again tomorrow and I am hoping my WBC will be more than the 1.7 it was last week. Up is good.

We did our taxes this evening and counting up all the money spent on medical bills was tedious but rewarding. We paid $1198 for prescriptions alone last year. Wow. All the co-pays really add up too. But it means we get a decent tax return and we are so glad the year 2007 and the tax prep for 2007 are done.

Though things are mundane right now, life with a 2 1/2 year old is not. Jackson is such a funny guy. He told me this morning "that's some nice jammies you got there, mommy." I don't know where that comes from, the 'you got there' statements. During the thunderstorm last week, he came into my room and told me "you don't have to be afraid, mommy." He is getting so affectionate lately. He has never been interested in cuddling and being held. But he is learning what it is all about, I think. When I say "I love you, Jackson" he says "I love you too, mommy." He even crawls up in my lap an says he loves me out of nowhere. And he wants to be hugged and held much more than he ever has. I am enjoying it. What a sweet boy he is.

Can I just say that I absolutely hate daylight savings time? We have been messed up all day because of the time change. I hate this. I am always so happy in October when we get to switch back. Except it isn't in October anymore, it is not until November now since Congress decided to prolong the torture. Can we just leave the damned clock alone?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I'm not sick anymore! Hooray!

I am finally feeling better today. I have been down on my hind end for days and days. Then the antibiotic ripped my stomach to shreds and I had stomach cramps for a day and a half. But I am now less like a human snot machine and can actually eat again and sort of taste it. I suspect flu, but didn't confirm it.

Jackson is dealing with it too. He is done with the fever part, but still in the terrible snot part and he still refuses to blow his nose. Poor boy. I think he should be able to go to school on Thursday, but he still needs a bit of recovery time.

Since I felt better today and my mom was here, I took advantage of it and cleaned house. I want all the germies out of here. I have the doors and windows open to air everything out and have cloroxed the house. Clean sheets and mopped floors and fresh air. Finally managed to unpack and put all the suitcases away. I am so glad to be feeling better and tomorrow I can get back to work. Hopefully my degermifying the house will keep David well. I hope.

Jackson figured out this morning that he can get out of his bed. Instead of sitting in bed yelling for me to come get him up, he simply came wandering into my bedroom this morning about 7:40 and said "Mama, I get out of my bed." The only thing cuter would have been him running in saying, "tada!" He is napping now and I am waiting to see if he yells to get up or if he comes wandering out.

I hope he wakes soon, cause I need to get in his room and degermify in there too. He needs all fresh bedding and his window opened and everything vacuumed too.

You know, it may sounds weird to some people, but it feels damned good to be able to get up and clean my own damned house if I want to. Being down on my ass for six days reminded me too much of the so-recent chemo days. Mom kept complaining I was doing too much today, but I can't help it. I feel good today and that makes me want to do what I feel like doing, no limits.

I just hope my counts come up and stay there. They were low on Wed and I went in Friday to have them checked and they were even lower. They contemplated IV antibiotics which could have meant another hospital stay, but Dr. George really felt my illness was viral or flu and more antibiotics wouldn't help. So i got to stay home on my own couch. We had my counts checked yesterday and they were slightly up; WBC was 1.7. Normal is 5-ish to 10-ish. So I am still not in that normal range yet. I get checked again in a week and I hope to see a big jump. At least to 4-ish. It makes me nervous that my bone marrow has still not recovered enough to work as it should. Dr. George says it isn't unusual for it to take a year or more. But I am impatient. What are you waiting for, bone marrow?

I will be scheduling my next PET scan for sometime in March. I'll post on that when it happens.