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I Sense a Theme

So I recently posted on twitter that I am trying to add running to my activity options. I was pretty excited to have gone out and run in some humid weather and made it through. I use the Couch to 5K program (I use the app on my phone) and this is not my first time through the program. In the past I have been a spring and fall runner enjoying the perfect weather to do so, and always finding something else to do when it gets to be all weather extreme-y hot and freezing cold. There is a local race in Pink-tober that I walked years ago with a friend. Every year since, I would think about running it. This year, I have decided I really need to shut up and do it. Well, technically, I don’t think I ever said it aloud to anyone, so maybe it is stop thinking and do?

While That Guy and I were away I went from making excuses to making a playlist. Then I went for my first “run”. I was just going around our neighborhood and headphone free. And then it all started. One right after another. Rump Shaker. Shake What Your Mama Gave You. Baby Got Back. Money Maker. I Got It from My Mama.

I am subliminally trying giving my not so tiny heinie an eviction notice and dedicating the soundtrack to it’s memory apparently!

And my playlist default songs might need some freshening up.

The good news is I have two whole runs finished and I decided to ask a few friends (and my mom) to run with me so that I have the accountability to just do it this year.

Let’s hear some good running songs from you all! Pretty please!

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Say Anything

So, I’ve been trying to figure out how to write a post about what to say to or how to support someone who is going through cancer, or any medical crisis really. Every time I try to write it, it comes off as really mean and ungrateful. That Guy is blunt about this. There really isn’t a nice way to give specific examples of things said or people who have disappointed me without potentially hurting someone’s feelings or sounding like one of those annoying vague Facebook posts. That is not my intention.

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Places to go, People to see

Like most parents, traveling does not happen as much as it did before kids for us. Being “stuck” in our hometown for the last 15 months, since our last family vacation is making me a bit stir crazy. Now that I am nearing the end of treatment, I am literally dreaming of all the places I want to go, and people I want to see!

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Celebrate Good Times

There is nothing like some time out with girlfriends. Nothing. And I am lucky enough to have some really great girlfriends who live close enough and were able find time to meet to spend a few hours Christmas shopping and having dinner with me. The excuse was to celebrate the end of chemotherapy and my belated birthday. It was seriously the most excitement I have had in a year. You know, a year ago when nearly the same group spent an entire day together. I might make them do it all again after radiation, if they are willing! Yes, let’s pencil that in, ladies.

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Wrapping up with AC

So I had finally gotten to the last cycle of this first chemotherapy duo. I was still having these awful moments where I felt like someone was choking me. My chest was still turning purple. I was dizzy “more often out of nowhere” (a direct quote from the notebook I take to appointments). Another direct quote from my notebook, “When do we start worrying about this pressure in my neck?”

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Third Time Was Not Such a Charm

Immediately prior to the third cycle, I started to have some new strange symptoms or side effects. For one, I was gaining weight, but the chemotherapy protocol I was on included a lot of steroids and fluids, plus I wasn’t hugely active. It wasn’t out of the question that this would be happening. Additionally, the chemotherapy caused photosensitivity so when my chest and face would appear red and blotchy, I reported it to the doctor, but there were explanations for that as well. The pressure in my neck was concerning, but they didn’t know what it could be. Over that weekend, just helping my daughter get dressed made me breathless and a purpley red coloring. Putting That Baby in the car carrier was extremely difficult since I was bending over even if I was kneeling. My puffy achey eyes were attributed to the chemotherapy. I was told that eye drops would help that, as would using my reading glasses more frequently. What concerned the doctor I saw that day the most was the sharp pain I had in my back/ribs area when I took a deep breath. There were reasonable explanations, playing with my daughter and her friend on a playground or just the Neulasta shot or a normal tweaked muscle. With a history of pulmonary embolisms, he felt that was the most concerning to him. Before I could be cleared for chemotherapy, I had to have a CT scan to check for pulmonary embolisms. That Guy had accompanied me to the doctor appointment, but he had to get to work. My chemo buddy friend for the day was able to shuffle her team to extend childcare and stay with me for the long haul. I’m telling you, it truly takes a village!

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Wacky Wednesday – A Bit of a Picker Upper

Breast Cancer isn’t really very funny. Parenthood, however, I will admit can be really really funny. And I do try to laugh at myself as often as possible. When you combine That Girl, That Guy, and My Girls, you get a pretty Wacky life. When I was a child, probably when I was learning to read, one of my favorite books was “Wacky Wednesday” by Dr. Seuss. Since we constantly talk about how wacky my oldest is, some Wednesdays I will be sharing what I think are pretty Wacky stories, quotes, and silliness from our lives. Enjoy!

I’m not sure how other people do it day to day. Sometimes my house looks like a preschool sized tornado just went through. Then when we have anyone coming over we really pick up and clean. Any given day though it is like damage control to just keep toys in their place and even in the right room, let alone dust, vacuum, and deep cleaning every single room. It’s like a spot cleaning and picking up situation more often than not with the real cleaning saved for special events like friends and family. So you could say, I am a bit of a Picker Upper. Moral of the story, dear friends: come visit more often so my house is cleaner and nicer.

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Take Two

Prior to each chemotherapy treatment during this cycle, I had to have my bloodwork done so it was ready for review at my oncologist appointment and I could be cleared to receive treatment. Now that we had gone through one cycle and weeks that followed and we had some time to gather more information as we had more answers, I went into that oncologist appointment with quite the list of questions. Keeping a notebook and a running list between appointments became my thing. A trademark if you will. I love it. I’m not so sure the doctors feel the same way, but I think they are understanding that it is just how I have to deal with things.

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The First Two Weeks Between

My particular experience for this chemotherapy protocol gave me two weeks “off” to rest up and have somewhat of a normal life in between treatment weeks. That is not what they are intended for, but after the first treatment, I was feeling fairly normal for these weeks after the first week. That would change as the summer went on. That is not to say I didn’t spend a significant amount of time during these weeks at the doctor’s office or dealing with cancer related things in addition to having a newborn. It just means, I didn’t spend them feeling entirely terrible all day long everyday and laying around the house unable to do much of anything trying to keep my food down.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

This has been a hard year for our little family. I really feel like saying so does a disservice to That Baby’s birth and I truly hate that we all feel that way. Some day she will understand why 2014 is not going to be a year that goes down as one of the best for this family. She was truly the best thing that happened to us this year. So for that reason alone, it is important to focus on all that I have to be thankful for this year.

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Box of Sunshine!

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