Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ok San Diego/Charleston, its time to spill the beans...

Today is Wednesday, and tomorrow, Thursday March 27th will be my last day of employment at Commonwealth. Yes folks, the blog was shut down, not for maintence, not because I was afraid of insurance woes, but because I had landed an interview for a dream job I never in a million years would have thought possible.....and I got it.

Ill keep the title and the employer mum for a little while. As some of you already know, I had gone on a few interviews in the last few months, with no bites. Nothing too interesting, just looking for a change.

It wasnt until right before I went in for this interview, that I was given a verbal beatdown by a few fellow surviors who informed me that no, I dont need to disclose my "situation" in interviews (I had been) and duh, employers are googling potential candidates and hyper-disclosing myspace pages and blogs should be locked up (They werent).

So whaddaya know? I shut my yapper, temporarily kill the blog and the myspace page, get a great cliffs notes refresher course on interviewing from Stacy en route to the interview and a few weeks ago, I get the call that after three days of interviews, I was the chosen one!!!

Eventually, when I disclose whats going on with my employer (Id like to establish myself for a few months before bringing all this up) and everything is on the up and up, you'll all get a FULL Pictorial slide show of my new professional life.

Here's a few details I can disclose - Ill be "movin' on up" from a receptionists desk to my own office (with window - pics to come), great insurance that will become primary, John's will become secondary, which means the $5000 of yearly out of pocket expenses should be a thing of the past - I very nice raise, and best of all, Ill be doing everything that I love! Everything Im good at! The thought of never having to deal with another invoice/purchase order/shipping manifest does excite me just a little itty bitty bit.

What this also means, though is that I had to break up with Dr. Romer at my last treatment. He was excited for me and has already refered me to a new oncologist (you'll understand why I had to make this change soon) and refused to say good bye. "Im not saying goodbye, I hate goodbyes, You'll be around"...that was fine with me. But when I got to the treatment room, I started telling Joni about the new job and, well, I lost it. I dont lose it like that often, but I have been going to this doctor for five years! These nurses are just friends who poison me every now and again. And Im going to to have to get a new doctor. Im sad, but Joni promised we would still go out and self-medicate. I have a feeling she's even more fun drunk, anyway. She got pregnant as a teenager so you KNOW she's a good time.

The only thing going on with me right now? The tinnitus is still going strong. I still need to watch tv in bed before I fall asleep which John just LOVES. The ringing is still loud - perhaps getting louder? Its hard to tell. This is sort of my "new normal". I cant remember what a quiet room sounds like. Its all high pitched and fuzzy. Everyone's tinnitus is different, mine sounds like when you put your headset on, turn it on, and you're waiting for the music to start. You can hear that its "on". Thats what I hear. All day, Every day.

I still have this perpetual sinus infection that just doesnt seem to go away. Its just getting annoying at this point. Just in time for spring allergies. Spectacular. And those of you who have seen me lately, I have developed a case of leprosy of Biblical proportions. (just kidding, its not leprosy) I dont know what it is, but I developed some sort of rash on the top of my right hand. It itches a little bit, is not contagious, but no one can figure out what it is. SOmeone said it could be anxiety over the new job, but this is GREAT anxiety and Ive had my share of crummy anxiety without this!!! Who knows. I saw a dermatologist who did a biopsy on it last week. Should know something Friday. Its not skin cancer or anything, so dont worry. Maybe this will just go away when things settle down. But right now, its more embarassing than anything. I feel like the kid on the commercial who's interviewing but the guy interviewing him can only look at the stain. People just stare at my hand.

Im like aging hollywood star. Young looking face with the hands of a ninety year old.

Oh well, im sure it will get better.

Hope this pacifies everyone for awhile. Sorry, no pics today. We're going to Nashville this weekend for a rugby tournament to get out of town for awhile. They'll be GREAT pics from that one!!!

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Myspace Layouts

We both were lucky enough to have Good Friday off, so we headed off to Dayton Thursday night....but I still went to work! (With mom!) We headed to Moraine Meadows Elementary on Friday morning, had breakfast with the teachers in the lounge and then went back to the library to await the am kindergarten class. Here's moms desk/office. How could you not be in a good mood at work with this as your office?

That's mom holding up "Hooray for Diffendorfer Day" - click on the title to read about it. Its actually pretty cool. Dr. Seuss was working on it and died before he finished it, so famous author Jack Prelutsky stepped in to finish it. At the end of the book, there are numerous pages with Dr. Seuss's notes, sketches, and brainstorming. Interesting to see how the rhyme & Measure that flows through a Dr. Seuss book often hit that same rhyming "road block" that we've all ran into when writing poetry.

When the kindergarteners came in for Literacy Lab, I took the coloring station, becuase, Im awesome at coloring and I think I have a think or two to share about the skill....awwwww:


> I was happy to see that my ALL TIME Favorite book as a child has been getting a work out in mom's library. If you have little ones, you need to get this book:

Heres a few sample pages:

In my defense, I really didnt get much sleep the night before and I woke up really early. I was tired all day long, so a nap was definitely in store before lunch. I was a somewhat intrepid to use the pillows (boogers and germs and all) so I reached into my shirt and pulled out what turned out to be the best, softest, warmest pillow I have ever used. Mom took this picture....and yes, thats what you think it is.
Friday we went to Red Lobster to celebrate Merediths birthday and I forgot to get the camera out. Can you believe that?

Saturday was Emily F's 30th birthday party, and it was a good time. Someone brought a bottle of wine and there was NO corkscrew in the place, so a little Hillbilly intervention ensued: Yes, he's prying a screw out of the cork with a hammer:

It worked! It was a bit scary though, as the guy on the left was trying to pry the screw out with the hammer and john was holding the bottle with both hands right over his crotch. I was envisioning an potential bottle backfire on "the boys", but crisis was averted and all worked out:
After the party we stopped over at the Sports Deck. Now, I would never bash child rearing in a bar because we spent much of our childhood at Kramers & Tanks, but we walked in to what looked like a fifth grader singing karyoke......with pagentry level makeup on.....and go-go boots. Oh yeah, and mom and dad clapping on the side, all proud. Really? You're going to let your 12 year old cake on makeup and sing in bar? Really? I mean, the girl wasnt bad, but I think mom and dad had dollar signs in their eyes. Send the kid to a girls slumber party where emotional drama can ensue and she can cry herself to sleep like the rest of us did!!!

Ok, in light of pulling the kindergarten pictures above, I considered pulling the verbiage about the kid singing in a bar....but then I reconsidered. If you're caking makeup on your kids face and parading them around on the adult karyoke circuit, you gotta be ready for a little feedback....

I also got to meet Amy, a fortscancersux faithful reader who's son was on the middle school baseball team Nick coached a few years ago. It was nice meeting you! :)

We got some wings to go, went home, and devoured the wings before heading back out to Taggarts to meet up with Emily, Bone & Crystal, and Tracy and all her sisters.

Here's me & Emily. Ive known her pretty much all my life and we were CYO soccer/basketball/volleyball teammates from about the 4th grade- 7th grade, playing for the Ascension knights. She's an awesome soccer player and still plays on mom's softball team. Oh yeah.....and she was WASTED!!!!! She bent down to roll her pants and had near collision with the pool table. It was pretty funny

Tracy was there with her sisters, and as alaways, they know every club line dance (and there were about seven that I didnt know)....
And we took the cat with us to mom and dads for the weekend and they fell in love with him. I dont know that they're ready to take in a cat, but It think they're definitely ready take in OUR cat! Guinness did his usual cutesy stuff, hopping on their bed, curling up and sleeping on mom's stomach, waking them both up with in-your-face kisses and his favorite, nibbling on toes. Mom was definitely sad to see him go!
Oh, one more thing, Nick had us watch this video on youtube....its had over 13 million views so im sure many of you have seen it already, but if you havent, its pretty good:


Sunday, March 16, 2008

MySpace Comments

Ok, Offically its the day before St. Pat's, but we pretty much celebrated it yesterday so we're all screwed up. Id like to lodge a request that St. Patricks Day be celebrated like Thanksgiving...the such and such Saturday of March. This way, we dont have to deal with the delimma of having to work on such a sacred holiday, and worse, waking up and getting ready for work as you watch the local morning news feature live coverage from every Irish Pub in town and amazingly, tons of people who are properly buzzed before 9am.

Im sure you're thinking, "'re just going to drop the blog cold for three weeks and show up like nothing even happened?" Oh yes, my friends. Something DID happen, and I must confess, it didnt really have anything do to with insurance issues, or "blog maintence". Ill get to that towards the end of the post, for now, lets recap the weekend, shall we?

John has now been a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians for just over a year now. (Think Knights of Columbus for the Irish, or as my brother calls them, "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen") He again walked in the Cincinnati St. Patricks Day parade this weekend and looked mighty dapper in his new sash if I do say so myself!
First comes St. Patrick of course:
Ok, actually, first comes the bad.
And the bagpipes! Stacy hates bag pipes with a passion, so naturally, I called her, hoping to get her voicemail where I could leave a two minute message of nothing but bagpipes. She answered, though, and was only mildly annoyed. Frankly, I dont mind the bagpipes, and furthermore, they're a welcome symphony compared to the embarassing flood of wasted billions of homeland security dollars spent on an absolute ARSENAL of Hamilton County Law enforcement equipment. Massive trailers, tanks, bullet proof automobiles and trucks of every shape and size, who's sole purpose is to be dusted off once a year for parades, where over excited members of law enforcement perch their children up on one knee as they sound the obnoxious "WHOOP, WHOOOOOOP, WHOOP-WHOOP.............WHAR-WHARRRRRRR". As if the ringing in my ears was not annoying enough. I may have said this before, but I would have been willing to sacrifice my life in the absence of this "protection" had the money been spent improving ANY aspect of this city. Oh, geez, time to get off the soapbox. Sorry for the rant, its been awhile. Enjoy the bagpipes:
OH! Here come the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen!! J-Mac isnt far!!
There he is, looking mighty dapper if I do say so myself....
I LOVE this picture! My camera doesnt have the greatest shutter speed, so I was really pleased this turned out.
And as always, our favorite patriarch of our favorite bar that we dont frequent nearly enough....Danny Thomas of Haps! And look who's driving! Its Gregg! Watch the road Gregg! Dont want to mess up the pretty zone!
One of the tax preparation places around here has folks dressed up as the Statue of Liberty standing on the streets enticing people to come in and use their services. They had a group walk in the parade and were handing out goodies. Have you ever seen my dad turn down a free novelty gift?
We met up with John who really had his hands full with Hibernian duties....

And then it was off to Hap's for a few hours to meet up with some friends. We were only there from about 2:30-5, so I would hardly call it "partying hard", but we do what we can.
Looks like somebody got all tuckered out!
And Guinness (the offical name of our cat) gets famillar with his namesake.
Actually a little too familliar:
Whew! That was a solid post. It feels good to be back. Later this week Ill let you all in on the secret behind the "Great Blog shut-down of Aught Eight"!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Im baaaaack......!!!!!!
Yes, I know its been a long painful two weeks, but Im back. Not much has changed, and sad to say, Im not feeling real inspired about anything in particular right now so Ill just give you a pictorial recap of the past few weeks. Hopefully someone on the road, or a Kroger or will piss me off and inspire another rant. Until then, you'll have to settle for this.

Im watching the awesomest show ever- The Bachelor "Where are they Now" AWESOME! I love seeing all the psychos and what they're up to now.
This is what Im lookin' at right now. Shmoopy doing the taxes & Guinness taking a nap. Awww... Ok....quick recap of what you missed.....Baby Showers.......
.......Mere & I trying on Bridesmaid dresses for her brothers wedding (yes im in it) and finding the dressses we liked only to find out the dingbats at David's Bridal directed us to the wrong rack of dresses.....
The boys napping again......
A foot of snow on Friday/Saturday......

....John after shoveling......

.....A nice, warm fire......

A clean bedroom floor after seven loads of laundry (ugh)............

The cat.....

.....And a special birthday song for Aunt Jan at Buca Di Beppo!!!
Wow! That was the laziest two week recap ever! It will take me some time to get back in the swing of things so bear with me!
Everyone get ready for a new season of the Bachelor!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hey All, The blog will be inaccessable from tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, the 23rd) for about a week for some maintenance. Come On back in a week!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Well, Here Goes!

Joni was out today taking her Oncology Nurses Certification and she passed! Yay! Im sure she'll be sad to learn that she missed out on taking my port's virginity, though. Luckly Nurse Donna stepped right in and handled the situation. After the surgery yesterday they put this clear sticky tape over it so I could shower, and when I got to chemo, I tried to convince Donna that she could push the needle right through the plastic tape. Never have I been in this situation before, but I told nurse Donna with the certianty of a five-year med student, that ABSOLUTELY she could push that needle through the clear tape. She said, "Uh, Ive been doing this for FIFTEEN YEARS and you CANNOT push a needle through TEGADERM!!!! She was right. She took if off and quickly and painlessly pushed the access needle through the port and voila!:

PLEASE NOTE!!! I dont know if its the angle or what, but this video kinda looks like Im showing bare chest. But my falsie is actually on the other side and you are looking at my UPPER CHEST just under my shoulder blade. This is not intended to be erotic.

UPDATE! I cant belive I forgot to mention we have a new houseguest for three days! Dad has been taking a football coaches clinic in Sharonville so he's been crashing here at night for a couple days. Tonight I braved the icy roads to go out and get wood for the fireplace, and Doritos and Dad's favorite Cheese Corn Puffs. I had movies picked out for dad to choose when he got here. The Friday convention was done at 830, and we were expecting him home by 9:00. I called to check up on him, and he sounded like he was at hotel party......

.....He was! He ran into his college football teammate from Wilmington, "Mange", who was there with the rest of his hs coaching staff from Portsmouth. Dad was drinking beer and getting cozy with guys. (I let him take my camera with him to get a shot of his buddy)

ONE LAST THING....Mom had some second graders in the library the other day and was asking them about Presidents day.

"Do you all know why we had yesterday off?" she asked.

"PRESIDENTS DAY!", they all yelled.

"Now what do we know about presidents day?" She gets some feedback and further explains that two very popular presidents were born in February and so we have a holiday each year. She asks the children, "now what do you know about George Washington, the father of country?"

One little boy raises his hand and informs my mom, "He died on the cross for our sins!"

And of course this was the first image that popped into my head.....

Happy Belated Presidents Day.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sorry, no gory pictures of the surgery....

And trust me, I asked. Like TWICE! Both of the nurses looked at me like, "um, yeah, we dont get paid for photography services" mentioned that the camera wouldnt be allowed in the sterile area. They must have seen our house after the beer pong tournament. That camera got around. The more I started to think about it, though, it probably wasnt a good idea. Any time Ive let my camera take off with someone without my supervision, it usually comes back with a fuzzy, but hairy mystery crotch shot. Not that that would happen in a hospital, but you never know. The last thing I want is to check my camera and see a picture of me on the operating table all passed out getting teabagged by the surgeon. Mom took this shot. This is of the scar from the first time Doc took it out. The scar has stretched a bit so he said he would tighten it up. Fine by me.
Here was my presurgery view. This was taken during one of the 27 second stretches when mom was not on the phone. Here she is, thinking about who to call next:
I think this was one of the anesthesiologists maybe. or a nurse. I dont know. There were three of them there and mom was all, "Hey! Lets get a picture for the blog!" Two of them immediately backed away and one jumped right in. Shoulda got her name.
This is me after surgery. I thought it was funny that he drew a circle with a dot so Joni could find it tomorrow...duh! Mom laughed and called it my third nipple. Fortscancersux has officially gone porn!
Here's a closeup of the scar....yeah. Not that big of a deal.
All Ive been yapping about all week was how excited I was to get "put under". I have a horrible time getting to sleep, so theres something euphoric about just getting dropped in a matter of seconds. I usually prefer that they tell me when they're going to push the sleepy juice, but all I remember is lying in this very cold, bright room with about five nurses scuttering about, all wearing face masks, and we started talking about college, and rugby, and how I met my husband, and we're laughing and....and...and.....I wake up in the recovery room.

Nobody told me! I think that might be one of the highlights of their day. I think I would enjoy getting someone totally engaged in a conversation and then secretly, without them knowing, press a magic button and watch them clunk out in mid speech. Im pretty sure thats what happened.

One thing Im proud of though, is the important interactions with my surgeons when i finally come back to life. When I got my first port in, I remember waking up before the surgery was over, seeing a blue tarp over my face, and calling for my surgeon, who was just finishing stitching me up.

"Liiiissssa. Liiisa."

"Im right here."

"Will you itch my nose?" (I meant scratch of course) Then a helper guy pulls the blue tarp off my face and rubs gauze pad on my nose, pretty much making it worse.

Today was no different. I wake up and look around. I see my surgeon busy writing on my chart about something. Ive got more important things to discuss though.

"Dr. Kirkpatrick?", I call. He quickly puts the pen and speedwalks to my bedside.

"Did you put the purple port in?" He walks away as he answers.

"No, it was a clear one."

Im only half lucid at this point but I still make an attempt to give a dissertation on how I found a picture of a purple port on the website and how I thought that might be the one they used....because I really know what the hell Im talking about.

By the time we left the snow was coming down at a pretty good clip and it took us an HOUR to get from finneytown to 75...should have NEVER Taken 275. Should have taken Regan to 75. Duh.

Finally got mom to watch "Under The Tuscan Sun" tonight. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that movie! Really packs a Hail Mary punch at the end, doesnt it?

I think tomorrow Im going to get some film footage of Joni sticking my port, so you can all be further educated on port protocol.

Thats it for today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

SURGERY TODAY! (Thursday)....
Your cliffs notes tutorial on Portacath's I found these great images to give you an idea of whats going on here....As you can see, I have used a copyrighted image so hopefully I dont get sued. You see the sacrifices I make for you??? you see??? This just shows where it the doc puts it in....etc....

Here are a few pics I pulled off Bard's site. I think these are legal. The purple thing is the port...that goes under my skin just under my right collarbone. The yellow butterfly thingy is what Joni uses to puncture the port through the skin. Joni will have me stuck and going Friday in a jiffy since she wont be avoiding me and my shitty veins.
This gives a close up view of the port and you can see the round screen that gets punctured.
Here is another side view of what the port looks like when its stuck and receiving chemo.

Im going to take my camera tomorrow and BEG the nurses or whoever to take some photos. Beware! Im hoping to get some pics while in surgery. Yummmy!!!

did anyone see the Lunar eclipse tonight? Very cool. I had no clue. Mom called me. Im glad she did. Basically did dishes all night. Still irrigating the sinues, still a little stuffy but its getting better I can feel it!

We had a little bit of snow again this morning so I wrote a nasty email to channel nine for pulling Good Morning America. I used phrases like "2 fargin inches of snow?", and used all caps with lots of exclamation points. sure its really going to hit the news room hard. I signed it, "Annoyed in Finneytown".

That should take care of it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Still irrigating...still slowly feeling better each day. Might just get this surgery after all! Still on target for Thursday at 11:30....Chemo Friday morning. Yee friggin haw.

Has anyone been tuning in to "THE UNIVERSE" on the History Channel? Best. Series. Ever!

Space is scary.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ok, someone asked to see the pages. Since I was sick, I didnt really get that much done, but I did manage 10 2-pg spreads. I was mostly a zombie a whole time, and didnt even get halfway through my material. Ive got WAAAAY too many pics from college so I really have to trim things down - I still need to finish Junior/Senior year, which will probably be another forty pages, bc I really didnt have much from Freshman/Sophomore year. But here goes:

Jefferson Hall- Freshman Year Dorm:

Freshman Year Mom's weekend:

(That's O'Douls we're drinking there....wink, wink)
Ohio U Womens Rugby: A few snapshots from some freshman/sophomore year action.
Wyoming Road Trip - Josh, Krebs, Amber & I headed out to Wyoming in a Beretta and an '84 Tercel and spent the whole time praying the ever-stalling Tercel would make it back up a mountain and back home.
Wyoming Continued:

Sophomore Year -
"Convo Chaos"
- (Annie, Im gonna need your help on some of these names)

Sophomore Year Sibs Weekend & Misc. Soph Shots -
(Yes, Annie, O.L. got some real estate couldnt he??)

Sophomore Rugby Shots - Columbus Classics, UD, Pittsburgh...
(click on the photo to see Stetson with hair ten years ago)I took enough photos the night I was called "Bjork", "Afro Puff" and a variety of other "freak" related nicknames for doing something wacky with my hair....... and a party at 28 Montrose, where we would live the following year:
Mom's weekend, Dads Weekend & our Sophomore trek to Bong Hill with the rugby rookies. Always a good time!
Well, I had my consult visit with Dr. Kirkpatrick at Bethesda who'll be putting my port in on Thursday right before chemo on Friday. Hopefully Ill be feeling better and this sinus infection (if thats what it is) will be long gone by then! Im going to keep doing the sinus irrigations...this is what Ive been using: (the first box)

Oh yeah, and Dr. Kirkpatrick wrote me a script for a Z-Pac so hopefully that will help, too. Im sick of blowing my nose!!!