Thursday, June 24, 2010

The hazards of numbness

I am finding out there are hazards to having a fairly numb chest. I was blow drying my hair and I had turned off the hair dryer, but it was still in my hand. I bent down to get something out of the cabinet and after a few seconds started feeling a tingle and realized what was happening. Ouch!
Now I have a new scar that looks like a small grill mark on my breast. That will be fun to explain to my surgeon who worked so hard to make them look nice.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quote of the day

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it's the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It's probably the most important thing in a person.”

~ Audrey Hepburn

Josh and the crazy race

Josh was given an extra helping of energy when he was formed. Even as a fetus he flipped, kicked and punched constantly and I can only imagine he was in there talking as well. I thought as he aged this might subside some, but it really has not. On the rare occasion when he is not moving - he is usually asleep. In addition to his Kung-Fu and P90x workouts, he has started running.

Last weekend Josh ran the Chattanooga Mountain Stage Race, he ran:
22 miles on Lookout Mountain - Friday
18 miles on Raccoon Mountain - Saturday
20 miles on Signal Mountain - Sunday
for a grand total of 60 miles in 3 days!

Trail running was a bit of a new challenge for him, and he loves a challenge! Josh of course, made several new friends and heard about several more races that interested him.

We love you Josh, we just can't keep up with you!


Thank you for being a fabulous father to your biggest, middlest and littlest angels!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When God created Fathers

When the good Lord was creating Fathers he started with a tall frame.
And a female angel nearby said, "What kind of Father is that? If you're going to make children so close to the ground, why have you put fathers up so high? He won't be able to shoot marbles without kneeling, tuck a child in bed without bending, or even kiss a child without a lot of stooping."

And God smiled and said, "Yes, but if I make him child size, who would children have to look up to?"

And when God made a Father's hands, they were large and sinewy.
And the angel shook her head sadly and said, "Do you know what you're doing? Large hands are clumsy. They can't manage diaper pins, small buttons, rubber bands on pony tails or even remove splinters caused by baseball bats."

And God smiled and said, "I know, but they're large enough to hold everything a small boy empties from his pockets at the end of a day...yet small enough to cup a child's face in his hands."

And then God moulded long, slim legs and broad shoulders.
And the angel nearly had a heart attack. "Boy, this is the end of the week, all right," she clucked. "Do you realize you just made a Father without a lap? How is he going to pull a child close to him without the kid falling between his legs?"

And God smiled and said, "A mother needs a lap. A father needs strong shoulders to pull a sled, balance a boy on a bicycle, and hold a sleepy head on the way home from the circus."

God was in the middle of creating two of the largest feet anyone had every seen when the angel could contain herself no longer.
"That's not fair. Do you honestly think those large boats are going to dig out of bed early in the morning when the baby cries? Or walk through a small birthday party without crushing at least three of the guests?"

And God smiled and said, "They'll work. You'll see. They'll support a small child who wants to ride a horse to Banbury Cross, or scare off mice at the summer cabin, or display shoes that will be a challenge to fill."

God worked throughout the night, giving the Father few words, but a firm authoritative voice; eyes that saw everything, but remained calm and tolerant.
Finally, almost as an afterthought, he added tears.
Then he turned to the angel and said, "Now, are you satisfied that he can love as much as a Mother?"

The angel said nothing more.

Erma Bombeck

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Celebration Party at the Brights

We had a great night on Saturday at the Bright's house. Lauren, Jenni, Anna and Morgan showed up early to help get everything set up. When we arrived Anna was following Doug around the yard helping him with the bonfire set up and asking him her usual thousand questions. She even offered to brush their dog Marley so he would look spiffy for the party too. Anna is always the little helper. I think she also helped herself to most of their blueberries and raspberries in the garden.

Doug and Kathy were awesome hosts. Doug made some fabulous smoked pork shoulder and Kathy had delicious corn, vegetable salad other fixins. Jenni brought heavenly dessert and bread from Carrabbas and there were plenty of cold drinks to go around for everyone on such a warm night.

The kids made smores and had outdoor movie night watching "Toy Story" on blankets in the yard. Anna and Morgan are still raving about how much fun they had, and Michael declared it "The best night EVER!"

What a great turnout of friends and family for a summer Saturday night. Everyone there was a big part of my journey these past 2 years - I consider them all my co-survivors!

Thank God for AWESOME friends and family!

2 year survivor anniversary

On June 10th I became an official 2 year cancer survivor. Every month and year that goes by I breathe a little easier. I do not want to wish away time, but to me that 5 year cancer free mark will be extremely significant.

Bryan and my friend Kathy planned a celebration cookout on Saturday. I was very excited about it initially. As the day approached I went through periods of excitement and periods of nervousness. I would have irrational thoughts (see at least I realize they were irrational) that celebrating would somehow jinx me.

I talked to my friend Josh at work about it, he just passed his 7 year survivor mark. He made me feel better by saying he understood my fears. Later that night, I pulled out my Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor book for some advice and I felt better.

Here's what Kris Carr, has to say about being a survivor:
A survivor is a triumphant person who lives with, after, or in spite of a diagnosis or traumatic event. Survivors refuse to assume the identity of their adversity. They are not imprisoned by the constructs of a label. Instead, survivors use their brush with mortality as a catalyst for creating a better self. We transform our experience in order to further evolve spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Our reality challenges us to go deeper. Survivors cultivate an essence that will never be victim to a word.

Pinnacle Award - Chattanooga

Last Wednesday, my friend Catherine and I headed to Chattanooga to Blue Cross. We were told we had been nominated by our peers for a Pinnacle Award and needed to go to the ceremony on Thursday. Our company Onlife Health is a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, so we really didn't expect to win anything, but it was an honor to be nominated.

Catherine and I were very excited to get to take a road trip together. We are both so busy at work, and she is finishing up her doctorate as well - we hardly see each other anymore. We checked in at the Sheraton Read House downtown and went for a very nice dinner at Tony's Pasta Shop. We had a great time laughing and catching up.

On Thursday we arrived and headed to the beautiful courtyard in the center of all the buildings. The ceremony was nice and we both walked away with awards. Catherine won the "Employees are Central to our Success" award and I won the "Sustainability" award. Both our supervisors (Belinda and Adam) were there to celebrate with us, as well as Chris our CEO.

I work with some of the greatest people on the planet, and to be nominated by some of them is really an honor. Someday they will show us our nomination letters and we can find out who is responsible for us getting recognized in such a nice way.

Visiting the Halls and Coles

Last Sunday Bryan and I headed to Lebanon to visit with his parents, Deanna and her family for a Mother/Father's day combined celebration. After a great service at Maple Hill, we headed to Demos for a fabulous lunch and then back to the house to visit.

Dan is back safely from Iraq and has returned to his job with the Air Guard in Knoxville, so they will be moving back there. Deanna was so lucky to have her parents to help her and the children while Dan was away. Lauren and Logan seem very happy to head back to Knoxville and all their friends there. They are growing up so fast!

While we were at Maple Hill I also got to meet Mary Ann, a fellow breast cancer survivor. She went to Freed at the same time as Lisa and I have been following her blog. She looked fabulous and said she was feeling well. It's always great to meet fellow survivors!