Check me out at… January 10, 2010
I promise I’ll get back to regularly blogging over here, but in the meantime, check me out at Fat Girl Running
This past December, as I was getting myself and Annelise ready for a day of cookie baking with my Grandparents, the phone rang. On the other end? My Grandpa. “Don’t come over Jess. Grandma is having a stroke. We’re going to the hospital. Love you kid” Click. Silence.
It turned out that she didn’t have a stroke, but the news wasn’t any better. It was a brain tumor. A rather large and fast growing one, to be more specific. Back in September of 2007 (a little over a year before), my Grandma had brain surgery to repair a leaking blood vessel in her brain. Because of that, she’d also had an MRI done in early December of 2007, so this tumor had grown since then. A year for a tumor to get big enough to cause significant loss in function of her throat, mouth and tongue. Pretty scary.
Doctors at Froedert hypothsized that it WAS cancer, they just weren’t sure if it had metastisized from a bout with breast cancer about 12 or 13 years ago, or from a small melanoma she’d had removed about 5 years ago. Almost all of us had initially assumed it would be the breast cancer. Breast cancer is scary, its in your face, its fatal for some. Melanoma? Really? This just didn’t seem possible. After the tumor was removed and the rest results came back, though, it was revealed that it WAS the melanoma. A small spot that she’d had removed years before, something none of us had ever even considered to be so serious, was the cause of all this pain and suffering.
Since then, my grandma has also undergone radiation and some minimal chemotherapy to make sure that the tumor was completely gone. Frankly, she hasn’t been herself. Lets face it, all that trauma and treatment can’t be easy for a 79 year old body to handle, and because of it, I think some of her spirit has also suffered. Its hard to see her now, when it seems that so much of her spunk is gone.
Yesterday, I received an email from my cousin “I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but….Grandma has another tumor”. Its a hard thing to swallow, the fact that this cancer is back. I guess she will be undergoing a gamma knife procedure, which is basically one very concentrated and precise dose of radiation that has very good results. Its non-invasive, which is a good thing. I’m hoping and praying that maybe after this, she can really get back onto the road to recovery.
To be truthful, after all of this, I won’t ever set foot in a tanning bed again. I really did give them up years ago, but would go to “pre-tan” for a vacation or something similar. I’ve had some questionable spots removed in the past, though and my mom had a few precancerous spots. My maternal aunt also had a melanoma removed some years ago. All this ads up to some scary stuff for me. I sometimes feel like people don’t take skin cancer as seriously. Its not something you hear of people dying from, and certainly its far more “curable” than practically any cancer out there. While I think this is wonderful, I often wonder if people just aren’t as worried about it as they should be.
Its not that I want to stand up here on my pulpit and preach to those of you that still like a good tan. Its certainly your own choice and we all have to weigh benefits versus risk. I certainly don’t like the most healthy life I could be living, so who am I to judge? But if this post can even get one of my friends to slather on a little sunscreen before going to the pool, then I consider it worth it
Pregnancy: Round 2 June 7, 2009
Or: Why yes, you really DO block out the shitty parts of pregnancy once you pop out that kid.
Being pregnant the second time is HARD people. Not only is it harder on your body (which, BTW, must feel those hormones and go, “Oh, hey, we know what to do. Lets loosen up all your joints. Can’t walk? Oops. Sorry about that), but you already have a kid. 2 year olds don’t like to be neglected. CPS doesn’t like you to neglect your 2 year old either (Note to CPS, I’m not neglecting her. I promise). All that time I spent feeling sorry for myself during my first pregnancy because I was SO tired and SO sick? Yeah, I should have been thankful that I didn’t have to change a poopy diaper with nausea, or chase around a toddler outside when I could barely keep my eyes open.
And the joint thing I mentioned above? HOLY SHIT. I don’t need my pelvis to start spreading out in April when I’m not due until OCTOBER. If someone were to submit a video of me to LOLcats, the caption would likely be “Pregnancy waddle: I has it”.
Speaking of what will now be known as “the waddle”, my enormous belly doesn’t make this any better. If one more person asks me if I’m having twins, I might punch them. I AM NOT HAVING TWINS. I already had an ultrasound. While we’re on this topic, when I TELL you there is only one baby in there, saying “Oh, my mother’s brother’s best friend’s sister’s boss’s maid’s barista thought that too, but one was hiding. She had no idea until she gave birth”. IT IS NOT TWINS. You might as well just say “Gee, Jess, you sure do look gigantic. You must be growing two babies in there, because there is no way a woman that is 5 months pregnant should be such a whale”. Thanks. I’ll just go cover myself in sand on the beach and see if someone from Sea world tries to rescue me.
Hello Blog, its been awhile, lets get reacquainted March 24, 2009
Well. After 3 months its probably high time I update this thing. Lets start with something big, shall we.
Wait, what? Yes, that’s right I am pregnant, preggers, prego, knocked up, bun in the oven, in the family way, etc, etc, etc. I’m about 8.5 weeks along and I’ve seen the heartbeat on the ultrasound twice, so I feel fairly OK with letting the news be known. I’m due October 30th, so we could have a little halloween pumpkin a’brewin in here, but lets hope s/he comes before that (but not TOO much before that), m’kay?
In other news, my precious little baby girl turned TWO this weekend. I really have no idea where those last two years went. She’s now stringing together 3 word phrases, “no, mama, MINE” being a favorite, as well as “Thumper, go potty!”. She’s learning to ride a “bike” (tricycle) and is as active as ever. I just can’t believe my baby is TWO.
That’s really all that is new here on the homestead. We don’t lead very exciting lives.
War on Christmas? December 11, 2008
I will preface this by saying that I am a Christian. I celebrate Christmas, both the religious and secular side (and yes, there IS a secular side to Christmas). Now, go here and read this blog post (that I totally ripped off from someone else).
I think this article is great. I am very, very tired of people getting all up in arms about store clerks wishing them “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. There are OTHER HOLIDAYS IN DECEMEBER. Other gift giving holidays, in fact. So someone wishing you “Happy Holidays” is probably less about being PC, and more about wishing someone well during this ENTIRE holiday season (read: the season that is NOT just all Christmas, all the time)
I think its nice when someone wishes me a Happy Holidays. I also think its nice when they say “Happy Hanukah”, or “Happy Kwanzaa”. Do I celebrate either of these holidays? No, I do not. However, I think its lovely that the person wishing me well wants to share their joy at holiday time with me.
So really, lets stop worrying so much about being PC, and just spread a little more joy. We could all use it.
Would you like to know the truth? November 13, 2008
The truth is that I often feel like I have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to parenting my toddler. Ok, that is a lie. I ALWAYS feel like I have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to parenting my toddler. Really. I know jack shit about being a mom. And that is really scary.
I think I’m doing an ok job. My kid has pleasant enough and people seem to like her (despite things like this). My friends that are moms say most of her behavior is age appropriate and that they think what I’m doing is fine. I read books and magazines, talk to people and gather information, watch what other parents do. I’m trying not to bumble through this like an idiot, but really, most days it feels like I AM just bumbling.
What it comes down to is that now, more than ever, it is apparent that I am helping to shape a person. Someone with feelings and thoughts and personality all her own. Someday, she will be an adult and I don’t want people looking at her and thinking “WTF did her parents do wrong?”
And yes, I know its selfish to worry about people judging my parenting. Really, I do want to shape her into a reasonable and productive person. Someone that is caring, compassionate and hardworking. A good person.
Hands down, this is the hardest job I’ve ever had.