Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Marriage already?

I really shouldn't watch the news anymore. Top three stories: a double murder of a 22-year-old couple at UT, a drowning at Town Lake and dude fell from the 360 condos downtown and died. And this is Austin. Wonder what it is like in truly crime-ridden cities. This is why I read the news online. You can scan the headlines and click on the news stories that affect you and skip some of the terrible accident reporting.

It rained a bit this afternoon and Jackson & I sat on the swing out front watching it. He ran onto the sidewalk and got wet and squealed and ran back to me to get warm. Such joy. I love this small boy.

I was holding him and he started to play with my wedding ring as he does sometimes. So I asked him, "Do you know what that ring means?" I told him it means that his daddy loves me. That daddy gave that ring to me because he loves me and that daddy wears a ring too, that says that I love him. I realized my mistake almost immediately when he turned to me concerned, "Where is my ring? I want a ring too!"

Oh shit. What do I do now? Do I get him a ring that he will lose? Do I get him a plastic gumball-machine ring and hope that satisfies him? Hmm...

I decided to tell him that you get a ring when you get married. It went down like this:

HIM: What's married?
ME: It is when you promise to love someone forever.
HIM: I want to get married!
ME: Ok...who would you marry?
HIM: (thinking very hard) Not cats though, right? (Sarah cat was sitting next to him).
ME: No, you don't marry cats, you marry people. (Notice the gender-neutral language)
HIM: I can't marry you?
ME: No I am married already to your Daddy.
HIM: I love Aunt Elaine forever, I'll marry her.

So Aunt Elaine, Prepare to be wooed. Jackson wants a ring.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What now?

I am drinking wine tonight. Why not, right? Heh.

So I am depressed, understandably. I don't quite know what to do with myself. It isn't like a cancer diagnosis. I can't put a positive spin on it - I'll fight, I'll beat it, it won't get me down...I don't have a course of treatment to dive into and keep busy with. It's just sad.

Nothing positive to focus on except "You can try again, it doesn't mean you can't have another." And I know that.

But I wanted this one. I wanted this baby, dammit. In Feb, near or on Valentine's day or my Dad's birthday. I feel like life has taught me plenty of lessons in 'you can't always have what you want.' I didn't need another one. Seriously.

So now what? I am feeling decidedly spendy. As I did while going through chemo, I simply crave shopping trips. Course money is tight and I can't go spending the little discretionary funds in my account. So I am not. But it is tough. I mentioned on facebook today how cool it would be to take off to Vegas for a weekend and my friends started posting dates and prices and suggesting a group trip. Not in the budget, but it would be cool. You can't hop on a plane to Vegas to escape your disappointment...but it wouldn't hurt would it? I could cry into my Cirque du Soleil program.

I am happy to spend time with my now four-year-old boy. He got lots of new clothes from his Omi for his birthday and is looking sharp in t-shirts that aren't too small and the matching shorts and such. He is loving and articulate and I adore him. I guess if you only get one, he is a good one to have. He let me sleep in this morning, coming in only to ask if he could have a juice box, which he opens himself and to kiss me and tell me he loves me.

When I got up he must have sensed my desire to hermit myself and stay home today, because he asked me if we could go to the Palace. He got some Color Wonder markers from a Palace gal for his birthday and he wanted to go to the Palace to play with them. I was still feeling anti-social, so I wasn't sure I wanted to go. But then Sonja called from the office to check in and ask me a few questions and I felt slightly normal for a few minutes while talking business. So I decided the best thing might be to go to work.

So after lunch at IHOP with Elaine, Jackson and I headed to the Palace for a few hours work. And it was good. I got a few things done and Jackson was happy to watch his movie and color and play with the Volunteer.

Tomorrow I am taking Jackson back to school and heading back to work for a full day. I am sure it will be fine. I am physically a little weak and tender an mentally more than a bit battered, but work calls and busy is good.

Monday, July 20, 2009

No baby for me.

Long, painful story in a nutshell, as of last night I will not be having a baby in February. All my discomfort and bleeding led to the inevitable end and it is over. And I am sad and disappointed.

And pissed off at the medical establishment. I am RH negative which means I need a shot of Rhogam so my body doesn't make antibodies against RH positive blood I may have been exposed to from the baby. I need it soon so as not to endanger subsequent pregnancies.

The birthing center can give me the shot but they are out of network with my insurance company and it will cost $125. I don't want to pay $125 for a shot my insurance should cover. So I got on the phone.

I called my family doctor to see if they have it and would give it to me. They don't have it and neither does my gynecologist since she doesn't do OB. Which I think is stupid since she prescribes fertility drugs. If you are trying to get people pregnant shouldn't you keep some Rhogam around in case you are successful but they have a loss? Neither would the docs call in a prescription for it and let my mom, an RN give it to me. So I talked the birthing center into referring me to the Perinatologist I saw last week for my ultrasound. They said I could come in for the shot, but would have to have an exam and ultrasound as well to confirm the miscarriage and make sure I am not retaining anything. Fine. I can do that.

But then they called back to say that I would still have to pay out of pocket for the Rhogam because I am not pregnant anymore. Cause Dr. B is a high-risk pregnancy doc and I am not being referred for a high-risk pregnancy, but for a miscarriage. So either way I have to pay for the whole thing. Motherfuckers. I cancelled the appt.

I have $125. I can pay for it. But I don't fucking want to. And I don't want to drive to Austin for the privilege of getting this shot of gold that I must have but am having a hard time getting.

So I am about to go to the ER. They can do an exam, give me a shot and send me home. I will probably pay $125 for the ER visit but I don't care. I can't believe this is how I have spent the morning after I lost the baby. On the phone. Trying to find a Rhogam shot that my insurance will cover.


Thursday, July 16, 2009


OMG! Today is my cancer diagnosis anniversary. Two years ago today I was given the news that whatever was in my chest was malignant. My world changed forever and I entered one of the hardest 6-month periods I hope ever to experience. (I blogged it all starting here.)

And I kinda forgot to say anything about it in the blog I just posted. It wasn't til I posted it and looked at the date on it that I said, "Oh yeah, look at that, it's the 16th!"

What a difference two years makes.

All is well!

My ultrasound yesterday was a relief and a wonder. The baby looks great, as active as a jumping bean and they see nothing to be concerned about. She couldn't find any source of the spotting I had, and said that wasn't unusual. Just one of those things.

So I am a much happier and relaxed person today and am allowing myself to be excited about this baby, something I haven't done really, since I found out I was pregnant. And I really am due on Valentine's Day, Feb 14th. My Dad, whose birthday is Feb 17th says there is a big inheritance in it for a granddaughter born on his birthday - whom I should name Victoria after him. I laugh heartily at his cheek, but secretly won't rule out the possibility.

Of course we won't know anything about gender for a couple of months, so no use speculating on names at this point. And as much as I wanted a girl the first time around (seriously, seriously wanted a girl) I have learned though my incredible son how very little it matters. The world is a better place with my little boy in it and I will feel the same whether this is the coveted granddaughter or a brother for Jackson.

My Dad came and picked up Jackson yesterday and took him home with him for a couple of days to Santa Anna. At first the boy didn't want to go. He wanted to go visit Grandpa, but he wanted one of us to go too. He was distraught and weeping at the prospect of leaving home without us. I was afraid the pick-up would not go smoothly and we would all be upset.

But after having his cry in the morning and then going to school, he got used to the idea because when Grandpa actually showed up, Jackson was happy and ready to go. Not one tear. So the little lollypop-light-disco-spinning-candy-fan I bought at Walgreen's for a pick-me-up road trip bribe was completely unnecessary. You know those little $3.00 candy/toy things they have that fascinate the hell out of your kid in the check-out line that you refuse to buy on principle that they are $3.00 and crappy plastic? Well, I was feeling guilty about what I though would be Jackson's desperation not to leave home without a parent. So I bought it. He loved it, of course, especially the fact that a tiny fan spins when you push the button. He kept saying he could cool himself off instead of the air conditioner. I guess it wasn't a badly spent $3.00 after all.

He will be home on Saturday morning. Which gives me time to get the house cleaned for his birthday party on Saturday afternoon. And to spend some time with David at Big River dress/tech. I went last night and the show is really coming together. I think people will really like it. And I get to go to opening night and the after party without having to worry about Jackson at KidSpace needing picked up and feeling guilty about that.

So yay, the baby is ok and Big River is almost open. The stress in my life should reduce considerably. And as long as my nausea reduces soon, things will be good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jackson's Birthday

Today was Jackson's 4th birthday and we were pretty low-key about it. David is in tech week for Big River and I am not feeling great. So we had a little birthday for him at the Palace with his Palace friends and ate some cake. He had presents to open - mostly cars and car paraphernalia - from the volunteers at the Palace who have seen him every day since he was born. It was a good little party. We promised him we'd have another party on Saturday with his Omi and Grandpa. So he knows he is not done with his birthday. But I think he would probably be content with his presents today if no more came. He took some of his new cars in his bath and to bed with him.

I can't believe he is already four. Time sure flies. It doesn't seem that long ago that he was a tiny baby. Of course it was a lifetime ago and BC. When I was a long-haired youngster who hated drugs and refused to give birth in a hospital. Ironic that I was so vocal about not liking drugs and medical intervention and I ended up partaking, 2 years later, of the most potent and poisonous interventions available in western medicine. Funny. Kind of.

I have been on a roller coaster for about a week now with this pregnancy. I have been having off and on cramping and spotting and at some moments I am convinced that I am miscarrying. Then it all stops and my nausea and pregnancy symptoms come on full force and show that my hormones are still up so maybe everything is ok and I am worrying for nothing. But it is driving me crazy, not knowing. I have an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow and we will have some answers. They can tell me right away if they see a heartbeat or if this pregnancy is not meant to be.

So think good thoughts for me tomorrow. I am hoping it is all false alarm and worry and that is all.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Rest is hard.

Jackson is sleeping on the floor in the hall. He snuck out of his bed with a blanket and made himself a little bed. I didn't notice till a few minutes ago when I was putting laundry away. So funny. I am just going to leave him there til David gets home from rehearsal. Then he can hoist him up and putting him back in bed. Jackson looks quite comfy there in his blanket, so I figure he can stay there.

I have been trying to take it easy. Been having some bothersome cramping that makes me worry about possible miscarriage. It is pretty mild, but I can't help but worry. Of course there isn't any sense in worrying. In the first trimester, if something isn't right, there isn't anything you can do. So I just have to try to relax and wait.

I had a check-up with my oncologist today. I was supposed to have a scan on Monday which I canceled, of course. So scans while pregnant. Dr. George doesn't seem concerned at all that I am pregnant and just plans to see me every three months instead of every 4-6 months. There really shouldn't be any problems. And if for some reason we question whether the cancer is coming back, I can do a chest x-ray with a shield for my belly, or even an MRI if we really need to do some looking.

I also stopped by my family doctor to make sure I don't have a bladder infection. Seems that could be the cause of some of my discomfort and pressure. Prelim results look ok, but they will know for sure in a day or two.

In the meantime, I am trying not to stress and worry. My bosses kicked me out at work today, sent me home to rest. It is really, really busy right now - playbills, the new season playbill, lots of work to get season ticket sales going. I could work all day every day. And I would if I could. But my body keeps reminding me that I need rest. And I have to eat every 2 damned hours or I am starving and feeling sick.

So think good thoughts for me that the cramping is nothing and that I manage to get the rest I need, but can't mentally commit to. I have such a hard time slowing down. Especially when there is so much to do.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Bonnie, the Marvelous Wig Lady

The statesman ran a great article on Bonnie, the wig lady at Pat Painter's Wig Salon. You should be able to see it here. She is the one who I went to who gave Andrea' and I such a good afternoon trying on and playing with a hundred wigs. She handed me a "Fuck Cancer" button and bracelet when I walked in the door and was so irreverent when she showed the pair of underpants with hair glued to the outside. She told me I'd need a wig 'down there' too. I did not have a head shaving party, Andrea' did it for me in my kitchen. But I have nothing but fond memories of Bonnie and Pat's and what an oasis she creates for a woman losing her precious hair. If you know anyone in central Texas with cancer or alopecia, send them immediately to Pat Painter's on Burnet Road. Thanks Bonnie! Here is what I blogged at the time, if you care to read it.