Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I just saw this post by one of my favorite bloggers, and even though I have a very small blog audience, and because I know all of you have big hearts, I thought I'd share it with you.

Hi Brandy! I am a long-time mostly lurker, and I wish we were getting to know each other under better circumstances. Please know that I am not much of a prayer, but I definitely know how to keep people in my head and heart, and hope that it helps them. And now you and your totally awesome internet guy are on my list, so I've got my fingers crossed for you.

My name is brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He's a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He's the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He's the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He's a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He's made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He's listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He's recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He's the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I'm overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren't sure what's happening. He'll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what's going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as 'brandy's hot awesome dude'). If you don't pray, please keep him in your heart. This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven't seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I'm throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn't a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It's just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven't already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.

It will come as no surprise

to anybody that I am sick.

I was going to say "really, really sick", but I think I could knock it down to just one "really" at this point, because I am fever free(ish), and that is usually a turning point for me.

Just like last year, I went and got myself sick right after Christmas. Actually, this year, it's been a little bit different for a few reasons (like the fact that I am actually writing this while it is still December, rather than the middle of January), but basically, it went like this:
  1. I realized I was getting sick as we were going through the frenzy of last week's Christmas preparations, and I started taking my back up antibiotics as soon as that happened.
  2. Unfortunately, I still had a million and a half cookies to bake, and a sick Lil Girl to entertain, and Mum who was sick (and had left all her Xmas shopping til the last minute as usual), and therefore I had to do things like manage to get my own food and essentials like that, and so I couldn't really just rest and try to head things off as much as I might like to have.
  3. On Christmas, I wore myself out even more. Mostly having fun, although there was some managing of things that I really should've just let go mixed in there too. But still, mostly having fun.
  4. By dessert time on Christmas day, my throat was scratchy, my head was stuffy, and I knew I was getting a fever. I started coughing, but everybody was coughing, so no big deal, right?
  5. Wrong. Big deal. By three in the morning, after everyone has finally given up on the Beatles Band Hero, and either gone home or gone to bed, I knew I was in serious trouble. I was having trouble breathing, my throat was so swollen; I could barely move because of the damn fever; and Imight be wrong, but I think someone must have transformed my room into a sauna as a surprise Christmas present for me.
  6. Saturday and Sunday disappeared into a fevered fog. I have vague recollections of chills so violent I required four blankets (which all hurt: thanks FM!) & two heating pads, and the fact that there seemed to be an endless cycle of having to drink, having to get up to pee, and crying because it hurt so bad. I gave up on watching movies, and spent a lot of time staring into the window lights for no damn reason except that I couldn't think enough to realize that I knew how to shut them off.
  7. Monday morning, the fever broke and has been mostly gone since then, which means I was able to rewatch (and actually understand this time) Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (awesome), and the antibiotics finally start to kick in so that I was finally able to swallow something other than soup.
  8. "Eating" nothing but soup for three days does not agree with my stomach. My stomach decided to make its disagreement well known.
  9. Yesterday, I finally got in the shower, and Mum changed my disgusting sheets, and after that I felt vaguely human again. Brain power started slowly coming back, and I remembered things I am supposed to stay connected to like my sister's mother-in-law's surgery and my cousin's ultrasound results.
  10. We finally get to today, where I feel halfway decent (for me), and have gone from sounding like a cigar-smoking Darth Vadar to just a cigar-smoking frog. The hacking cough is lighter and less croup-y, and my tonsils are back on their own sides of my throat.

While this is hopeful, and I'm glad the antibiotics are really working this time, I would really just like to not catch every damn thing. Next year, I'm making the cookie dough in August, and freezing it all. And I'm going to start shopping now, because I can not let myself get so run down. And it pisses me off that 15 years into this damn disease, I still haven't managed to set - and keep - the limits that I need to in order to help myself stay healthy. Which isn't to say that I wouldn't have caught it anyways - Lil Girl, Mum, (not) Youngest Nephew, & his dad are all/have all been sick either this week or last week, so it's not just me of the ruined immune system, but I know that there are ways to protect myself more, and I hate that I let my guard down in that area when things get stressed. Because these damn infections are starting to get more and more serious, and I am not going back to the hospital if I can help it at all.

So, now onto step 11: rest, rest, Guitar Hero, rest, eat real food, watch crappy TV, more rest. Join me, why don't you?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Hope you are all where you wish to be this Christmas. And with people who matter to you. Just thought you should know you matter to me.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yesterday was a day lost to smells - between the gasoline for the snow blower, and my dad deciding to burn orange peels, I spent the day battling both nausea and a migraine, and accomplished nothing. I can't afford lost days during normal times of the year, but at this point, I was so angry about the whole situation, my dad was pretty lucky that I was immobile & non-communicative. He just doesn't think, or, even worse, he doesn't ask, and I'm beyond frustrated with the whole damn situation. But that was yesterday. Moving on.

Thankfully, today I am feeling a little bit better, with just a hangover kind of headache. The pukiness has dialed wayy down, which is lucky because I have to make about 65 batches of cookies today. :) I love baking, and I've been looking forward to this, so I'm not going to let yesterday spoil my mood. It's a new day, and I'm amping up my Christmas spirit.

To help with that, I thought I'd share the kids' Santa picture as My Best Shot for this Monday. If you're one of my once-a-week type visitors, let me just wish you the happiest of holidays while I have the chance. Hope the snow hasn't messed too much with your plans.

As always, don't forget to head over to Tracey's, because the Best Shots are one of my favorite parts of the week.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

We're still waiting for the snow to start here,

but we're all safely wherever we are supposed to be, so I'm definitely in the "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" crowd. I tend to disbelieve the weather guys - as more often than not their predicted amounts are not even close - but right now they're still saying 8-15 inches in our area, although they're leaning toward the smaller amount closest to us. We shall see.

If you're buried under the snow, use it to your advantage: bake some cookies, watch some Christmas movies, wrap some presents.

That's what I'm going to try to do.


I'm sorry for the light posting - I think this must be part of the reason I do NaBloPoMo every year: so that I won't feel so guilty when I can't post all the time in December. I've been sick (shocker); Mum's been sick (so that I have to try to do more for myself); my brother and sister-in-law have been disagreeing (and dragging me into it); and our newest addition added a good 7 hours of (totally worth it) travel to my plans last weekend (which I am still kind of recuperating from). So: it's been a lot, I'm trying to cope with stress in positive ways, but I'm not really sure that I'm accomplishing that. (Fact: if my dad turns the heat down one more time, I might lock him out on the porch. Those are good coping skills, right?) I hate not writing, though, because then I get all clogged up in my head, and my mood suffers. So I'm going to try to be better this week about saying things here, so that certain members of my family don't have to go buy tents.

Deep breath. New day. Off to wait for the snow.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My goodness

have I had a busy weekend: a 2nd birthday party for my cousin's twins on Saturday (about an hour away), and then yesterday, instead of getting our Christmas tree, we got my newest nephew instead!

Here he is SisterS's new baby, BabyB ... it'll have to do for now: Poor Youngest Nephew is going to need a new name too, but I'm too brain-fogged to think of a good name for either of them today, so ... settle for a picture?

I thought so. Here's our newest addition. I'm now an auntie to four great kids: How did that happen? (And, literally, this is less than half of my siblings... I could be in big trouble, eventually.)

Have a great week, everybody, and don't forget to head over to MBSM.

Monday, December 07, 2009

I took a couple of days off

from posting. I was in a mood/trying to get things accomplished in real life/fighting off a cold/sick of my own voice/frustrated with the entire world/take your pick. I am still most of those things, come to think of it.
I had to reschedule my appointment with Zack that was supposed to be on Wednesday (now it's February 1st... sigh) because of snow and a car that won't work, and feeling generally like crap (but not crappy enough to necesitate seeing him immediately), and I am disappointed about rescheduling it because I really wanted to talk to him. I am getting some Christmas shopping done online, but not enough. I am getting some decorating done, but, again, not enough.

And I know I am the only one putting all this pressure on myself, and that makes me even more frustrated.

I like to give myself all this credit for all of the adaptations I make in order to live with my illnesses, and I talk a good game about how you have to listen to your body and know your limits, but sometimes I can't help but be my own worst enemy. Christmas time - with it's clump of surrounding birthdays and all the 'essentials' of the season - seems to erase all of my logical decision making skills.

Should I work for 10 hours straight on scrapbook pages, because it is too much work to clean off my bed and then take it all out again? Of course I should! Should I volunteer to make something else for somebody, even though I haven't finished the 12 other projects I've got going? Of course I should! Is it ok if the kids sleep over from now until Christmas? Of course it is! Should I add another pie, and two more types of cookies to the list of things I want to bake next week? Definitely! Should I go to the mall, with all the germy people? Should I forget to eat and take my pills because I am too busy? Should I drop everything because someone else needs me to do something else I hadn't planned on doing? Absolutely, without a doubt!

Sorry for the grouchiness... I'm definitely not a Grinch, as Christmas makes me feel warm and fuzzy. It's more that I need to realize I can't do all of the things I want to do, and I need to cut myself some slack on letting things go.
Should I just wrap myself up in the fuzzy blanket, have a cup of hot chocolate, and try to take a nap? Now that's a pressure I can cave under.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Mission Accomplished

Tomorrow, let's try adding something like 4) Accomplish some damn thing or another, why don't we?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

November has come and gone,

and I didn't publish either of the two posts I promised: The Oracle/abilism post I've been writing since Halloween just still seems like a first draft (even though it is actually my third), and the XMRV post has ballooned into something that looks like 5 posts, with additional information coming in everyday. So I apologize for that - I am still hoping to get them both posted relatively soon. In the meantime, I am kind of* excited about decorating the new house for Christmas; I've gotten a few bits and pieces of shopping done; and I'm eagerly waiting our newest arrival (SisterS is due 9 days!), even if he is going to live too far away for me to regularly snuggle.

Do you have your December planned to the hilt, or are you taking it as it comes?

*"Kind of" because I am also exhausted and still flaring, and it seems that this flare I was worried about back in September has really decided to settle in here for a while. I also love how it takes me three months to declare myself actually worse, even though it was true from that first day... blah.