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photo by candice eley
photo by candice eley

read the full post at my sister’s blog, if i had a photograph

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today marks the passing of one year since my stem cell transplant.

last year i spent thanksgiving in the hospital fighting for my life.  this year i celebrated at home with my family.

happy thanksgiving to you and yours.  let’s do this again next year.

i’d like to take a special moment to thank all of you, my readers, for joining me as i drag you alongside me, over the river and through the woods.  i’d also to thank our families, my hero – my husband, my life – my daughter and our valiant oncology nurse, megan.

thank you all for being at my side, in whatever capacity that might be.

tonight, i’m going out with the ladies from our neighborhood for what they’ve aptly named “ladies’ night.”  i’ve been terribly depressed for a good while now, so hopefully this will provide me with a much needed, albeit short, mental respite.

it’s hard to blog when i’m depressed.  you can gauge my state of mind for yourself just by the frequency of my posts.

monday, i go back to inova loudoun for the week for my last dose of eshap chemo before my transplant.  no, cancer doesn’t get labor day off.

 

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

to… mor… row… tomorrow!

right now some of you are appreciating that more than others.  some of you are also doing choreography in your chair now.

tomorrow is my pet scan.   it’s at 10 am eastern time, at the hospital for which my uncle is chief of radiology.  he’ll be having his best pet specialist read it and i’m sure we’ll have the results as soon as he can get them.

so in the meantime, i’ll return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading and holiday preparations as a distraction.   i do hope you’re enjoying some egg nog and the occasional cookie, or three… or four.

nursing is continuing to go well.  nugget’s taken to exclaiming, “mama, beebies!” when she’s inclined to nurse.

 

happy holidays to you and yours, from bitsofmyself, nugget and nuggetdaddy!

don’t you understand, tink? you mean more to me than anything in this whole world!

-peter pan (1953)

hugs for mama

halloween treats from mama

tinker bell is here!

where's my wand?

here it is!

sparkle power!

off to neverland!

time for candy, mama!

on the train at the mall

more candy, dada!

preening pixie

counting my loot

ready to go home

nugget daddy and her grandmamie brought nugget to my hospital room to get ready for  trick-or-treating.  she was, of course, beyond adorable in her tinker bell dress and wings, sparkly green tinker bell shoes, tinker bell wand and ballet pink tights.  i pulled her tiny tresses up into the best tink-like puff i could manage, fluffed it up with plenty of hairspray and added a clip with tiny white flowers.  she politely shrieked, “dada! dada!” and beamed with pride as she was showered in nugget daddy’s hair product.  what, you didn’t think it was mine, did you?

pink night stars face and body stamp

green night stars face and body stamp

then we selected where she wanted her green star stamps placed and where best the pink star stamps were suited for.  earlier, i ‘d done a sample patch of each color on each of my cheeks so she could see how they both looked.

fairy puff shimmer powder

then we applied a very liberal dusting of pixie dust.  i should have gotten her some “pixie dust” glitter of her own to keep in her “berry bucket” for dousing unsuspecting passers-by.  ah well, there’s always next year!

tinker bell dvd

we made a few rounds though the halls to the different nurses’ stations.  nugget was heartbreakingly cute and insisted on holding my hand, always unsure of how to navigate around all the wires attached to her mama.  i told her it was almost time to go to the mall for more trick-or-treating and that her grandmamie would be getting her the tinker bell movie while they were there.

we said our goodbyes and i swear, i just couldn’t get enough hugs or kisses from my sweet baby girl.  i watched as they made their way down the hall, all the while nugget was cheerfully waving goodbye, happy as a clam, all pixied-up and ready for more candy collecting.

pottery barn kids' green fairy flower bagi stepped back into my room just as the tears started rolling down my face.  i tried to sob silently for my own selfish sadness.  i hoped she was having the time of her life, holding out her fat little felt flower bag – surely that’s what fairies collect halloween candy in – and squealing with delight with the acquisition of each new piece of candy.  she had oh-so-politely signed “thank you” for each treat she’d collected from the nurses and i hoped that trend was continuing at the mall.  i’m so very proud of my little tinklet.

i hope i can get out of here  this weekend in time for the good post-pumpkin day costume sales at the disney store and old navy.  otherwise, i might have to send someone armed with a fully charged cell phone and a whole lot of patience on my behalf!

 

 

bleomycin toxicity appears to be the real culprit behind the fever.  the pneumonia they thought i might have had is actually pneumonitis.  it’s basically the same thing, pneumonia being caused by infection while pneumonitis is not.

 

the treatment is steroids, solumedrol in my case.  i’m getting it in my iv for now and will switch to pills once i go home.

  

 

 

                                                                            

i’m still on antibiotics, levaquin, as a precaution, though all of my blood cultures have been coming back negative.
 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

right now i have to use extra oxygen to get up out of bed.  hopefully, i’ll be breathing easier once the steroids are in full effect.

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

i’m terribly sad to be missing trick-or-treating with the nugget.  nugget daddy will bring her here to get ready and maybe we’ll do a few laps around the nurses’ station before they head off to the halloween event at the mall.  it’s going to be a little too cold for nugget to go door-to-door in her tinker bell costume, so the mall it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we’re hoping i’ll be well enough to leave the hospital this weekend.  nugget’s grandmamie has been here taking care of her, and nugget daddy and i couldn’t be anymore grateful for all of her help.  i’ll still need a lot of help once i’m back home, but i’m sure we’ll manage to work something out.

 

we’re anxious to see the progress on the new house.  all the flooring is in, as are the cabinets, sinks, tubs, and granite counters.  toilets and faucets should be in soon, if not already and appliance installation has started. 

we’ve ordered all of the appliances that we chose not to buy from the builder and have almost all  of the lighting fixtures now, too.  we definitely weren’t spending our money with the builder on those selections.

  

 
 

we have crocus bulbs to throw down under the sod as it goes down.  i’m hoping to be well enough to do it myself.  they’ll make a spectaular addition to our lawn in winter as the first early sign of spring.

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