Thursday, June 28, 2007

BEYOND excited

So, here we are, a week away from heading to NYC for a few days before our big family cruise!! To say that we're excited would probably be the biggest understatement of the year. This is coming from someone who NEVER thought she'd want to go on a cruise. I have to tell you though, I've heard so many wonderful things about RFamily cruises, that I can't imagine that it will anything less than incredible!

Preparing for this cruise has turned me into a bit of a creative monster!! For those who know me, you realize, I'm very LEFT brained analytical...I'm a librarian for gosh sakes! The creative bug bit me when someone mentioned door decorations and everyone on my obsession, The Forum, started piping up about decorating their doors. So I succumbed to my left brain rationale and have let my right brain have a little fun!! Now, those of you who may read this that are one the ain't gonna be all that! In an odd way, it'll take my analytic side(the way the door decorations will be organized) and my creative side(what I've come up with to represent "r" family.) There's a guy on the cruise who is an AWESOME scrapbooker, so I expect his door will be incredible. Ours will be amusing, thought-provoking and informative...again, I am a librarian, so information is my thing! What I expect it to do is let people who are walking by get to know our family without needing to ask all the obligatory questions. I'll take pictures, so folks can see what I'm doing. Debra gave me full creative reign on this one!!

I'm bringing the laptop, so I intend to write daily about our adventures. I doubt I'll post daily because of costs. However, once we're back you'll get to experience our adventure from my blog AND Debra's.

Right now, we're just counting the days.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Personal musings

WARNING - this entry is pretty personal. I've had a lot of *stuff* come up lately and just want to write about it. It's not too personal to share, but some of you may feel like you've stepped into my psyche and that may be uncomfortable for certain people. Don't say you weren't warned!!!


I've been in a really crabby mood and physically exhausted lately and it's starting to wear thin on me. I don't even like spending time with me, so I'm not subjecting anyone else to my mood. Unfortunately for Sofie, she gets to spend time with me...good/bad or ugly! I began the last day of my short vacation spending an hour with my "spiritual advisor" of sorts. After that session, I enjoyed the afternoon at Duke Integrative Medicine with a great meal, massage and quiet time. I scheduled this time, hoping to get some insight into what's going on with my body/mind/spirit. Fortunately, I got the clarity I needed and will hopefully turn a corner on this mood soon!

I realized that I still haven't processed my own Cancer and health issues. I've been in overdrive(mentally) since January when we found out about Debra's recurrence. The first place I went was Debra's death. I started grieving and working those stages right away. I wanted to be *prepared* for whatever was going to happen and I wanted to be present for Debra and Sofie during this whole situation. I stayed in that place while Debra went through her second round of chemo and when it wasn't working, I was really mentally preparing for a future(sooner rather than later) without her. Then, luckily the oncologist switched to a drug regamine that seems to be working great! Unfortunately, I'm still stuck in the old framework of Debra dying. I've got to get out of that place and start taking better care of my own self or I won't be in a place to help Sofie, Debra or anyone else for that matter! I have to start acting as if Debra will be here indefinitely. Just know that's really hard for my logically intuitive brain to do. It's going to take some retraining, so bear with me.

I'm less cranky after the massage, having time with friends and not even thinking about cancer, and experiencing a wonderful acupuncture session. I see some of the old, pre-cancer Jamie creeping back in to my persona. I'm looking forward to seeing more of her...or at least a modified version of her.

I'm still battling nausea and lymphedema of my legs, so hopefully the suggestions and treatments I have with massage and acupuncture will help out. I know I'm in control of my body and I need to let it know I'm in charge!! Wish me luck and support me however you feel you can.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Beach blog

We celebrated the end of school/beginning of summer by taking a trip to the beach. We picked Sofie up from school on Friday afternoon and headed East to the beach. I was still disoriented from the new drug I'm taking for "inner ear" stuff, so I wasn't really in the mood to be in a car for several hours, but I did okay. We stopped once for a stretch/bathroom/food break and that was very appreciated.

We arrived a little later than I expected, but still got in before dark. Sofie wanted to go straight to the beach, but had to be patient while we unpacked. My feet were a little swollen from the lymphedema, so I rested/elevated my feet while Debra took Sofie out for beach time. When they got back in, we didn't feel like doing a restaurant, so we went to my Mom's place for ham sandwiches!! (She hadn't gone to the grocery store yet, but had sandwich makings!) It was perfect, no fuss, no muss. And Sofie got to see Nana Sue and her husband, Stan, for awhile.

An exciting thing occurred while we were there!! Sofie came over, sat in my lap and was wiggling one of her bottom loose teeth. I asked her if she wanted me to pull it. "Do you WANT to pull it out?" she asked. I told her I'd be happy too if she were ready. She said yes, so I grabbed a tissue, wrapped it around that tooth and tugged. She lost her first tooth!! She didn't even cry, although she admitted later that she almost did. :-) The tooth fairy visited later that evening, after she fell asleep. Unfortunately, our night was nowhere near over with!

Around 130a, I was still awake and couldn't get to sleep. Sofie was in my bed and very wiggly, so I tried to get her over to Debra's bed w/o too much fuss. Debra was sleeping soundly, so I figured it would be fine for both of them to sleep while I tossed and turned. Nope, that wasn't in the plans. Sofie woke up with an earache...a bad one. We tried to comfort her, but nothing worked, so an hour later we were in the car headed for the Emergency room at the nearest hospital. (You can probably read Debra's blog for details on that visit) It was a pretty quick visit. She was given antibiotics and Tylenol and we went back to the hotel for a few hours of sleep.

I admit, I was really cranky on Saturday. It was hot, I was very tired...did I mention it was HOT?!?! We went to the outlet mall near us and didn't really have a good time at all. Sofie didn't want to be there because it was too hot and boring...she definitely didn't get the shopping gene that Debra and I have!! So, her crankiness, combined with my crankiness...well, it didn't add up!! We stayed a little while, shopped a little bit, had lunch and headed back to the hotel/pool. When we got back I napped a little and Debra and Sofie rested/chilled in the cool hotel room. A little while later they headed down to the pool and I joined them shortly thereafter. We hung out by the pool for a long time. Debra read, I rested and got in the pool with Sofie. After a couple of hours, I went inside and Debra and Sofie went to the beach for a "few minutes." Those few minutes turned into over an hour!! Sofie, yet again, met a kid from our local area. She must have some sort of Triangle Radar!! It was good though.

We ate a lovely, filling dinner at a really good Mexican restaurant then went home and had a nice long evening of uninterrupted sleep. Next morning we packed, headed to my mom's for breakfast...yummy. Sofie and Debra fell asleep on one of her guest beds and I took a short nap on the other. When we all awoke, Debra and Sofie headed back to the beach for one more round of sun and sand. I hung out with Mom.

The trip home was uneventful, now I have to make good on my promise to myself to purge and get rid of old clothes and get my condo organized!!

Off to clean the fridge.