Just another mom blog…

For this child, I have prayed. (Samuel 1:27)

Archive for the month “February, 2011”

Weekly Photo challenge: Curiosity

I am joining a photography club of sorts in which we are supposed to post a picture of our interpretation of whatever the theme happens to be that week. This week’s theme is “Curiosity” and here is my chosen picture:

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The Little Red Car

This is a blog about absolutely nothing except for an ordinary weekend in an ordinary life.  I feel the need to write things down for future reference. You know, a glimpse into my day-to-day life as a twenty-eight year old mom of a toddler. These details will be more precious as time goes on, this I know.

Where has the time gone?  With a heavy heart, I found and purchased my son an Easter outfit.  There is absolutely nothing babyish about it.  I found myself (sheepishly) looking for a 2T bubble outfit, and even went as far as to come up with a very convincing argument for letting him wear it for my husband, who will no doubt express (loudly) just what he thinks about his son in a bubble suit.  Despite my best efforts, I did not fine one.  It turned out to be for the best, since those bubble suits are meant to show off the adorable, chubby legs of an infant.  Nathan’s chubby little thighs have long since been replaced by the lean legs of toddler hood.  (I shouldn’t be sad that my boy is getting bigger, right?)

After he went to bed tonight, I cleaned up the kitchen and started the dishwasher.  I almost went ahead and washed another load of clothes, but I really love the smell of laundering clothes and didn’t want to miss it because of going to bed. Speaking of, I have a confession to make: I sometimes will run a ridiculously small load of whites just so I can add in rain-scented bleach and make the house smell nice and clean.  I don’t feel too badly about this and here is why: I once heard of a woman, on TV I think it was, telling the world that she will fill her sink with bleach or pine sol to make it smell like she has been cleaning when her husband gets home. True story.

I wonder how often us moms get caught up in the business of rearing children and doing our fair share of managing our duties and forget to remember how blessed we really are?  I know that for me, even the hardest, worst day as a mom still makes my best pre-mommy days look so bland. On one of my worst mommy days, I remember sitting there in my pajamas at noon, sick with a cold and sleep deprived,  trying to get a feverish young baby to latch on an nurse. The word ‘miserable’ pretty much sums up how I was feeling at that moment. However, I distinctly recall feeling happy inside. Becoming a mom turned my orderly world upside down- and I am tickled pink about it.

After I cleaned, I then found myself picking up his toys off of the living room floor. I had picked up all but one toy- his little car in the middle of the kitchen. I started to also pick it up as well but stopped myself and had an “ah-ha” moment of sorts.  Something very important occurred to me.  I realized that this little car serves as a reminder that I have been blessed with one of God’s greatest blessings- a child. So what if it is in the middle of the floor?  Besides, I worked very hard bringing this little boy into the world and I would at least like to see evidence of my efforts.

That little red car is still in the kitchen where it is waiting to greet me with a sweet, “You’ve been blessed!” reminder in the morning.

LOVING these toddler boys’ shoes!

A Quick post…

I am currently glued to my computer while Nathan naps because I am waiting on my doctor to email me back. So I thought I would post a quick post…

A couple of years ago while helping out with a kitten adoption, the couple looking to adopt brought their three year old with them. The cuties name is Matthew and was about three years old and he absolutely stole my heart. He was sweet, happy-go-lucky, entertaining and just an amazing little child.

He grabbed my hand and pulled me along the side-walk while explaining in great detail all about something or another. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but he was so animated about it that I just couldn’t help but nod my head and encourage him to tell me more.  He talked at length while pointing at the sky about the “Elly-hopper” which I found out later he was telling me about seeing a helicopter up close.

As I watched him describe his “elly-hopper” encounter, I found myself wondering if I would ever be blessed with an amazing little boy like Matthew.

I am happy to report that I was blessed such a child and I can’t wait to see Nathan describe those “elly-hoppers” to me one of these days.

Rage against the FDA

…well, sort of.

The FDA is making the task of getting a simple MRI a serious pain in the rear.  Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that we have such a safety system in place for us.  However, when it comes to those small pockets of patients such as those with cochlear implants, they are way behind the times.  In fact, this procedure is already allowed in Europe and Canada. Multiple cases of patients with Cochlear Implants safely undergoing MRI at 1.5 telsa or less have been published.  Here in the US, however, it takes a potentially life-threatening case to even be considered for an MRI, and even then it only happens after submitting tons of paper work and signing consent forms.

It isn’t fair.  In other countries, I would have the choice between having magnets surgically removed from my head versus simple having the MRI with them being left in.  The risk of MRI with the magnets is still less than the risk associated with possible surgery complications.  Plus, they would have to shave parts of my hair off to even access the implant site.  So the FDA is basically forcing patients to undergo unneccessary surgery with risks.  I know of several ENTs who are publishing article after article in hopes that the FDA will change their guidelines and stop their idiocy regarding so-called patient safety for folks like myself. I am hoping that once I have my MRI done, that I can join the long list of patients who undergo MRI with magnets left in, and suffer no ill-affects from it.

My doctor is trying diligently to get everything in line for me to have this done.  She is taking time away from other seriously ill patients in order to deal with this mess.  I am grateful for her efforts, and also that of my ENT surgeon.

Seriously, they are asking me to jump through hoops on this. The receptionist asked me kindly to please send her a copy of my implant device card, the serial numbers on both processors/implant, the make/model/year implanted, a list of every crayon I used in my childhood, and how many times I sneezed last year. (Well, maybe not those last two but it sure feels like it.)

“Patiently” Waiting…

I have spent the weekend and past few days trying to wait patiently for the surgeon to call.  I am nervous because of the not yet biopsied tumor number 2, which isn’t getting any smaller, you know?  It is beginning to cause some discomfort as well.  It feels like sharp/stabbing pains that radiate away from the smaller tumor longitudinally. My nerves are frazzled from this entire experience. If you have been through this before, then you know exactly what I am talking about…

Ok, for an update…at 4:30 I decided that Dr. Jennifer was not going to call me back today or else she would have already called me.  So I called her office placing a general inquiry as to what Dr. Jennifer’s plans are for me. The staff lady said that Dr. J wants me to discuss with my ENT surgeon about my options for solving the cochlear implant magnets issue.  I emailed the surgeon who promptly responded with a number for me to call him at.

He basically said that I can either wait until one of the ENT’s can remove the magnet, which will be a month away at best. Or I can sign a consent form allowing them to do the MRI with the magnets intact.  Due to this second tumor causing discomfort and the anxiety it is causing me, I opted to just sign the consent allowing me to have the MRI done sooner. I emailed the cancer surgeon, Dr. J, and told her of my decision so that we can move forward with this.

Let me just add that all of this occurred within the last 30 minutes of office hours with a crying, cranky child. This child has been awakened from a salesman knocking on my door for the second day in a row.  This guy somehow always manages to knock when I am unable to answer the door and when my child is taking his evening nap.  His 30 second action of door knocking resulted in an entire afternoon of a seriously cranky toddler on my hands.  I am sure that he will be back tomorrow. I am not sure if I will answer the door yet because I do not think I will be able to prevent myself from an unsolicited get-together between my fist and his nose.  I think I will just leave a note instead asking him to leave me the heck alone, there is a napping toddler in residence, thankyouverymuch. Sighs.

Oh well. At least I am making headway on this health issue.

On the topic of Marriage

Our four year anniversary is coming up, and it has started me thinking on the topic of marriage.  We have had a wonderful marriage which has had its share of growing pains, but overall we have been very blessed in our union together.  I am by no means even remotely an expert on the topic of marriage, but I can share what I have learned and what has worked for us.

In marriage in general, for those who are engaged or single, I would suggest to keep your heart open to finding that special person.  I think that sometimes the person God sends us is not always going to match our childish ideals of a spouse, that sometimes we are sent the precise person that we need instead of what we want.  It is somewhat like how parents provide healthy meals for their children even if the children would rather just eat desserts.  In a similar way, I think that we are sent someone who is healthy for us and who will help us grow as people in good ways. I think too that it is extremely important to pay close attention to their character and not just personality, looks, or other things.

The reason is because while falling in love with a personality is nice, it is the character of the person that you will be living with on a day-to-day basis and it is their character which will ultimately determine if your marriage lasts or not.  I wouldn’t put too much stock on lofty feelings of romance or being “in love” because believe me, I have never met a single person married for many years who claim to have remained in love the whole time.  So during times when being in love fades or disappears all together, what keeps you two in the union? Character and Integrity. Not looks, money, personality, or anything else. The good thing about marriage is that it keeps you together until you can fall in love again.  It allows love and commitment to gain momentum and maturity.  When you chose to stay together through these tough times, the reward is tremendously greater than any other ideal that you could chase after, especially the whole notion of self-happiness, which is usually fleeting and ever-changing to begin with.  Someone once said that the most important thing in a good marriage is not happiness, but stability.  Stability in marriage provides its own rewards that far surpass the benifits of chasing the moving target of happiness.  I also like this quote by William Penn:

“In marriage do thou be wise: prefer the person before the money, virtue before beauty, the mind before body; then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, and a second self.”

For those who are married, I think the important part of marriage to remember is to actually be the right person for them.  This should be unconditional and not dependent on how they behave, your emotions, or what you get in return.  It is not something that you can neglect just because you are mad at them or simply don’t want to do.  You should aim to be the right person for them without fail. This means different things for different people, however, if you both do this (read the character and integrity part above) then chances are you will have a long and content union.

For myself, finding and embracing my spiritual identity was important.  Some people enter marriage already knowing their spiritual identity, for others it takes place in those early years together.  It is important to help each other find and stay true to your respective spiritual identity.  What I mean by this term is the role you play in day-to-day life as a spouse and parent.  Not just how you divide and conquer these roles, but how you help each other each day.  We all have our weaknesses and strengths, and it is important to help each other recognize and correct them to the best of our abilities.  I’m speaking a bit abstractly here, but hopefully you know what I am trying to get across.

I am not perfect, but I always try my best.  I keep an open mind to ways that I can be a better wife and mother at all times.  I am always learning and even just recently made a huge improvement which really benefited our union.  I am proud of the level of depth and maturity our union has managed to attain in such a brief amount of time. I am also looking forward to many more years of memories and time together with my husband.  Even as I age, I believe I will grow even more beautiful in his eyes.  The following quote sums it quite nicely:

“Character contributes to beauty. It fortifies a woman as her youth fades. A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, of discipline, fortitude, and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.”

Biopsy Results

Yesterday I called the cancer nurse and she said that the biopsy results came in and that the sample is NEGATIVE for cancer cells!!! I was SO excited and relieved. I sent emails and texts messages to everyone to let them know of the results.  They were all so happy to hear the good news.

I wish I could say that I felt completely relieved, but I did not and for good reasons.  The results of this sample do not mean that I the tumor is 100% benign, nor does it mean I am cancer-free.  The biopsy sample was not sufficient to cover the entire tumor.  Usually the doctor gets between 3-6 samples from various points of the tumor because sometimes one part can have cancer while the other is benign.  So “negative for cancer cells” does not mean the same as benign in this case.  However, the ultrasound report did not mention the tumor being heterogeneous, which is a fancy word for saying that the tissue varies in how it looks.  Since my tumor DID look the same throughout, then it may very well be that it will have the same result regardless of where the sample is taken from, and thus negative for cancer cells. This is what I suspect and what I am hoping is the case.  I feel that this tumor is benign. Even with being cautiously optimistic, this represents a huge step in the right direction.  I feel good about it. Really good.

Dr. Jennifer, the breast cancer surgeon, has not yet reviewed my pathology reports from the biopsy, breast cancer gene test, and tests for the pituitary (brain) tumor. I know only that it tested negative for cancer cells.  I called their office back and spoke to the nurse, who said that she will contact me after she consults with my ENT/Cochlear Implant Surgeon about how best to go about my MRI body scan.  My ENT surgeon has to remove the magnets from just under my scalp prior to the MRI scan.

I am not exactly sure what is in my future, but I do know that I will have this magnet excision/MRI scan soon and most likely a lumpectomy to remove the tumor. From the moment I met Dr. Jennifer, I felt instant relief because I know that I am in great hands and that she won’t let anything bad happen to me.  Likewise, my other physicians genuinely care about me and will keep an eye out for me.  This is comforting.  In addition, by the time Dr. Jennifer finishes my health work-up, I will know exactly what I have and she will come up with the best treatment options for me.

That being said, I have to note that I have had a lot of friends and family praying for me. I don’t mean just gossiping followed by “bless her heart” comments either. I am talking about honest to goodness down-on-their-knees, heartfelt prayers to let me stay here on earth for a long time so that I can see my precious son grow up and maybe even see my grandchildren one day.  I feel eternally grateful, loved, and supported by each and every one of them.  So on behalf myself and my family- THANK YOU and ((HUGS)).

For other news, Nathan is MUCH better from his bout of Roseola.  He still has a little ear infection, but aside from his ear being tender to the touch, he is acting totally back to normal being his silly, sweetie-pie self. He did something really cute yesterday.  I was watching a show and put it on pause, and the screen looked very similar with words of the same color as our video relay chat/telephone. We always call once a week or so to video chat with Nathan’s grandparents, called BB and Pop-pop. Nathan, thinking that it was another video relay call, pointed at the TV excitedly and asked, “Bay bay Tay Vay? At Bay bay?”  He says the AY sound when he means EE, so he was asking, “BB TV? That BB?” meaning is that BB on the TV.

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