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i know, i know, i have been seriously blog-negligent. if you’re really getting desperate during one of my unforseen hiatuses, just check my twitter feed on the left sidebar under “tweet, tweet.” that should entertain you.

so, after nugget’s tantie left, her aunt katie and uncle “hibbip” (phillip) came for a visit. nuggetdaddy and i made it up for jenny’s show in alexandria. then my mom from florida came for her turn at casa de bits. nuggetdaddy and i both celebrated birthdays.

now, i’m back in the hospital enjoying a week of chemo, hopefully my last before my transplant. my pet scan was good. the report says “virtually no (cancer cell) activity,” that the site of involvement is “1/2 to 1/3 the size” from the previous scan and there is “comparably less (lymph) nodal involvement.”

i’ve just had 10mg of ambien, so i should be checking out soon. i’ll try to blog again in the morning. peace!

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my sister’s one-day sister-in-law (i just know it!) tagged me in a facebook note, “end of year meme.”  it would have been sooo easy to use the majority of her answers because, dude, it’s like she wrote them just for me!  but, alas, she did not, so i’ve crafted my own responses just for you.

 

  1. what did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
    was diagnosed with and treated for cancer
  2.  

  3. did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
    i don’t make them
  4.  

  5. did anyone close to you give birth?
    most recently, the greenes welcomed their twin girls
  6.  

  7. did anyone close to you die?
    i lost an old friend.  he was a great man.
  8.  

  9. what countries did you visit?
    chemoland.  it sucked.
    walt disney world
  10.  

  11. what would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
    energy and hair
  12.  

  13. what date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
    june 12th, it was the last time i nursed my daughter before i started chemo
  14.  

  15. what was your biggest achievement of the year?
    resuming nursing after battling cancer
  16.  

  17. what was your biggest failure?
    having to stop nursing
    yes,  i realize that was beyond my control, but to me it felt like failure.
  18.  

  19. did you suffer illness or injury?
    yes
  20.  

  21. what was the best thing you bought?
    our new house
  22.  

  23. whose behavior merited celebration?
    my mother’s
    my husband’s
    my daughter’s
  24.  

  25. whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    northern virginia’s drivers
  26.  

  27. where did most of your money go?
    our new house
  28.  

  29. what did you get really, really, really excited about?
    taking my daughter to disney for the first time
  30.  

  31. what song will always remind you of 2008?
    the hot dog song
  32.  

  33. compared to this time last year, are you:
    happier or sadder?  happier
    thinner or fatter?  fatter
    richer or poorer?  poorer
  34.  

  35. what do you wish you’d done more of?
    crafted more homemade gifts
    visited more friends
    blogged more
    taken more photos and video of my family and friends
  36.  

  37. what do you wish you’d done less of?
    had less cancer
    gained less weight
  38.  

  39. how did you spend christmas?
    at our new house with my husband’s parents, brother, sister-in-law, and my parents, grandparents, aunt & her family and her godparents & their family
  40.  

  41. did you fall in love in 2008?
    every day
  42.  

  43. how many one-night stands?
    (seriously?  this one i have to change to something more mommy blog- friendly)
  44.  
    what changes did you make to “green up” your lifestyle?
    collected more reusable shopping bags and got my mom in the habit of using them, too
    started a compost pile
    chose a tankless hot water heater for the new house
     

  45. what was your favorite tv show?
    lost
  46.  

  47. do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
    hate?  that’s much too strong of a word.
  48.  

  49. what was the best book you read?
    did i read any books?  i know i started reading anthony bourdain’s the nasty bits, but i can’t even remember if i’ve finished it. 
  50.  

  51. what was your greatest musical discovery?
    steve burns’ and the flaming lips’ steven drozd’s ” i hog the ground”
     
  52.  

  53. what did you want and get?
    to nurse my daughter again
  54.  

  55. what did you want and not get?
    skinnier faster
  56.  

  57. what was your favorite film of this year?
    this is the last question i answered because, honestly, i can’t remember watching any movie in its entirety aside from charlie wilson’s war. so i guess that’s it.  though if i’d had opportunity to watch the x-files: i want to believe, i’m sure that would have beat out charlie wilson.
  58.  

  59. what did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    went to my birthday party, 35
  60.  

  61. what one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    having more energy and less nausea after chemo
  62.  

  63. how would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
    chemo casual
  64.  

  65. what kept you sane?
    prozac and ativan
  66.  

  67. which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    oh, how i love me some brit-brit.  girl is a spectacular disaster!
  68.  

  69. what political issue stirred you the most?
    the presidential election, though that was more of a circus then an issue
  70.  

  71. whom did you miss?
    my friends from orlando
  72.  

  73. who was the best new person you met?
    my chemo nurse, danna
  74.  

  75. tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
    this is your life, right now.  this is what you get.  stop preparing for “someday” and start living it the way you want to now.
  76.  

  77. quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
    “it’s a brand new day,  whatcha  waitin’ for?”
  78.  

  79. tag five people to post their answers to this 2008 wrap-up meme. please link back to this blog from yours.
    non-lucid drivel
    the twinkies

    motherhood and cancer
    life with the moonhils
    returnjourney

 

it’s difficult keeping up with a toddler all day.  it’s really difficult when you have cancer.  we have to start doing something different, for everyone’s sanity.  sure, people come to help, here and there, but it isn’t enough.  there are simply too many days when i can’t manage on my own.  we’ve got to find a solution.

we’re working on plans right now, plans for our house, plans for our lives, plans for my treatment.  it’s challenging figuring out how all the pieces of each individual puzzle are going to fit into the big picture.

we have to start splitting our time between here and there, “here” being where we live and “there” being where we will live.  down there we’ll be with my parents who will help with nugget and nugget daddy won’t have to “commute” two and a half hours.  i’ll be able to keep an eye on the house construction and bring a steady flow of coffee and doughnuts to the site.  up here i’ll continue with my treatment at my oncologist and we’ll keep nugget happily enrolled in her gymboree class.

tomorrow is my birthday.  so come life, let’s see what plans you’ve got for me this year.

 

at thursday’s chemo i got the results of last week’s ct and pet scans.  both scans were clear!  this is excellent news.  it means that i will finish out my six cycles of abvd, get scanned again, and as long as everything is still clear i will not have to do any radiation.

nugget had her arm x-rayed thursday before i went to chemo and her degree of fracture has gone from three to thirteen.  while still within the acceptable range for her age, we’re hoping to see some improvement at next week’s x-ray.  if it gets over fifteen degrees then they’ll have to remove her cast and set it.  my poor baby girl!

this week, nugget’s grandma nettie is here visiting.  they’re having a most excellent time playing together!  this morning we got some super cute photos of nugget that i’ll be sure to post sometime next week.

nugget’s tantie sent me the most delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies this week.  i’ve put nugget daddy under strict orders not to eat them all.

last week nugget’s grandmamie and grandad celebrated their twenty-eighth wedding anniversary.  wow!  grandad’s birthday was also celebrated and next week is nugget daddy’s birthday and my birthday.  squee!  we’re really busy with the gifting in august.  i’m hoping to take nugget daddy to dinner and a movie, the x-files: i want to believe.  i asked for a party.  we’ll see what actually happens.

 

 

 

my dear, sweet friend, krista, is getting married today in california.  it breaks my heart that i’m not able to be there to share her special day.  i can’t wait to see all the pictures and hear all about her and jeff’s fabulous honeymoon in greece.  i wish them both a lifetime of happiness together!

jeff & krista

nugget is very interested in language.  this week she’s perfected “up” and is working hard on “bug” and “duck.”  last night she signed “more” without prompting and it was the best i’ve ever seen her do it.  baby einstein - my firt signsmaybe we’ll try the baby einstein my first signs dvd again.  usually she’s completely unimpressed by baby einstein, but i keep holding on to the idea that one day she’ll enjoy it.  that’s what everyone keeps telling me anyhow.

that’s right, i’m willing to rot my child’s brain with television.  i know, i know, so not crunchy-ap-hippie-earth-mama-y.  i’m sure i just lost ten granola points.

 

jack's big music shownugget would much prefer i vod her some jack’s big music show.  smartly, noggin added an additional show to their daily lineup.  but since it’s only twenty minutes long, and sometimes mommy needs more than forty minutes a day of semi-quiet, i’m most grateful that it’s also available on demand.

our local toy store called this morning to ask if we were done with la nug’s birthday basket in their birthday vault.  nuggetdaddy said we’d come by today or tomorrow to pick out a few things from it.  well, okay, he said we’d come by but i don’t think he meant that we’d necessarily be purchasing anything.  silly nuggetdaddy!  despite it being unpleasantly cold this afternoon, i decided we’d go ahead and stroll over there.  nugget made out like a bandit.  she got three books, a maraca, a ladybug ball and a froggy nailbrush for bathroom.  fine, the nailbrush is for me.

daddy kisses   mommy loves

bunny kisses togu ladybug ball

we also grabbed a few items from from the clearance table.  a set of boikido musical blocks that were in her birthday basket were actually on the sale table too, so those came home with us along with two small gifts for her tantie and auntie.  they’ll be stocking stuffers.  nooo, it’s not too early to be christmas shopping.  oompa stopped carrying boikido products, citing inferior qualtiy and customer dissatisfaction.  i’ll be keeping the receipt handy just in case.  they look very similar to the haba fantasy blocks tantie gave her and she loves those.  we’ll have to see how these hold up.

   boikido musical blocks haba fantasy blockshaba fantasy blocks       

haba fantasy blocks

after the toy store we strolled across the plaza to the grocery store.  of course the one prescription i needed refilled was the only one i hadn’t gotten from the allergy/asthma specialist.  whatever.  breathing is so overrated.  as i browsed the aisles for dinner ideas while waiting for the pharmacy, nugget decided to sack out in her stroller, ladybug ball clutched firmly to her chest.  hilarious!  no wonder so many people had been looking at her.  i thought they were just admiring her regular everyday cuteness, but this was quite the spectacle.  she’s still asleep in her stroller and snowsuit, parked next to nuggetdaddy’s home office desk.  i can only hope that this becomes a new habit for her!

i settled on ground beef and fingerling potatoes at the market.  i have serrano ham left over from the birthday party that i’m going to wrap beef patties in and i’ll sprinkle the potatoes with pecorino before roasting them.

breakfast of champions

yellow cake with chocolate fudge frosting

tomatoes on the vine

i like tomatoes to taste like tomatoes.  wintertime tomatoes are always risky.  will they taste like summer?  no.  will they taste like cardboard?  i sure hope not.  these at least smell like tomatoes.  they were the best i could find, so they’ll really just have to do.  they’ll be making their way into tomato, mozzarella and basil paninis.

in addition to these little beauties, i have six pounds of plum tomatoes that tomorrow will magically transform into a lovely pappa pomodoro.  we’ll be celebrating nugget’s birthday and i have so much to do.  at least i’ve managed to bake the cupcakes and make the “baby party mix,” which nugget declared most acceptable.

baby party mix

red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

wordless wednesday

“one moment in her presence and you can forget the rest. for the girl is second best to none…”

2/19/07

a year ago, today we welcomed our daughter into the world.  she had already been a part of our world for months, but this, this was her big debut.

it was scary.  it hurt.  a lot.  a whole lot.  nothing went according to any of the well thought out plans, not a, b or c.  there were drugs, fevers, emergencies, scalpels, no time for tears or fears and then, plenty.  slice.  pull.  snip.  and just like that, our star was born.

her ten tiny toes, her perfect mouth, her little hands that held on to our fingers, they were all small miracles.  the sum of her parts, she was the biggest miracle of them all. did all of these people swarming around us

know?  did they know she was the one?  the one of so many infertility treatments, the one ivf protocol that finally worked?  the one embryo that implanted?  the only one that would ever be a baby in our arms? the one dream that we dreamt for oh-so-long that finally came true?  we knew.

the 365 days that followed helped fade some of my feelings over the whole experience, how it all shook down that day and over the week that we spent there.  or maybe now i just don’t have the time and energy to fixate on those memories.  i’m too busy chasing after nugget, picking up her toys, reading her story after story, too busy being her mommy.  and i love every single moment of it; i live for it.

“she’s the one.”

2/19/08

one

today i tied bows for my daughter’s first birthday party invitations.  there will be cake and ice cream, balloons and presents with bows.  there will be singing, giggling, champagne toasts and tears.  i hope it will be everything my little girl could dream of, if she knew to dream of these things.  she is everything i have ever dreamt of, my every birthday wish come true.

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