Lots of different things going on here....like dressing up as super heroes all day Saturday while I cleaned inside ( check out her fashionable shoes)
Climbing on huge dirt piles with friends and getting so filthy and loving every second of it,
Riding bikes down the street carrying a broom the whole way ( don't know why but didn't ask)
attending a birthday party of sweet FOUR YEAR OLD, Nolan,
Eating way too much cake and ice cream bar ( me, not the kids),
Smooshing balloons between friends ( the kids, not me)
Its been 11 days. Really good days. Really bad days. Mostly good though with insane bad moments mixed in.
I decided last weekend that I couldn't get dramatic about it ( I know, I know...those that know me know that is seriously impossible to do). I just mean I can't give it all my attention. My surgery is ONE MONTH from today. It will consume me if I pay too much attention to it. SO- I'm trying to just deal.
Today was my "team meeting", I call it, with my favorite doctor- my general physican, Dr. Ann Marty. She was my angel last summer and she listens. I asked for this appointment just to talk. Just to be dramatic. Ask a thousand questions. Be a little crazy. Go over the game plan. Ask her opinion. Gain some knowledge. I did and it was great.
We don't see a connection between my health struggles last summer and this. She does however agree with me that perhaps my body was giving me alittle kick and getting me ready for more to come.
She thought my incision looked nice and was healing well. She was happy I got into a new Derm at Christie. She told me to ask him if he could get me in earlier than the 22nd and if so, take it.
She went over my Pathology report and explained and re-explained. She told me that my margins to be concerned about were in the depth, not the width. SO- while that means the surgery will need to go deeper than I anticipated, thats OK and the bone will not be in the way. She felt the bone. No bumps. While she can't guarantee, if Squamous Cell Carcinoma had attached to the bone, you could literally FEEL it and she didn't.
I showed her pictures of what it looked like before my proceedure. She told me there was no way I had only had that for two months....two far along. Too big. too bubbly and weird looking. She assumes that it could have been there for atleast 6 months ( but still thinks we caught it in the early stages).
I told her that I was scared about the surgery as I knew how important it was to get as many cells and tissue as possible in that first surgery to help avoid reaccurance. I told her I wanted it all out NOW- not having to deal with this again in a year or two or five. We talked about what to do if the doc wants to go deep and not wide. Some plastic surgeons only take what they need and no extra in these situations. She told me I HAVE to be proactive with my health. I HAVE to tell my Derm and my surgeon that scars don't bother me and that I want him to take as much as he possibly can in any area that looks like it could contain cancer cells or be suspicious. She gave me the confidence to have those conversations and guided me on what to say.
She printed all my paperwork to hand carry to Christie. She asked me to call her and tell her how my appointment went. She hugged me.
I left with a smile. Must different then how I left 11 days ago. It felt good. I felt happy. I felt empowered. Confident. In control. Deep breath. Just Keep Swimming!
In my home, it should have happened a week ago, not this morning at breakfast. My son is brilliant. My daughter is observant. I should have known that they listen intensly. I should have known they were more aware then I gave them credit for. I should have known they were my babies, came from me, and needed all the details sooner than later, so they could ask questions, deal, and move on.
here's how it went....
( eating breakfast together and talking about our day ( bri had already left for work).
Me: Mara is going with me to the doctor today after school
Al: Why the doctor? For your owie?
Mar: Does your owie hurt you?
Me: It does. Its sick inside.
Al: With Cancer?
(my heart stopped. I froze. My heart started beating and RACING again)
Me: Why did you say cancer?
Al: Because you have been talking about it and crying about it.
Me: I have. You are right. I have cancer. Remember when I told you that I needed to have more surgery on my owie to get the sickness out?
Mar: Yeah and you are going to get stitches and wear a bandaid and have a bigger owie....
Me: That's right. Some people have cancer in their boobies or in their bones or in their lungs or other parts. I don't have that kind of cancer. I just have it in my chest. Right here.
Al: Are you going to die?
( What the fuck? Holy shit! What? Oh My God. Not my babies! Don't take their innocense. My eyes welled up. The lump in my throat was unbearable. Deep breath. Sigh)
Me: No Bubba! No NO! I'm not going to die. My cancer in only in my owie and they are going to take it out in the surgery. I WILL NOT DIE.
Al: Some people die from cancer.
Me: They do. I won't. Do you understand that?
Al: I do.
And it was over as fast as it began. He finished his food and talked about Star Wars. A normal moment again after a surreal one.
I called Brian immediately and told him everything word for word. It wasn't how I envisioned it but it was natural. It happened. Its over. We can talk about it.
My son, my super sensative son brought it up on the way to school...
Al: Does my owie have cancer?
Me: Nope, just mine. Not yours or anyone elses we know
Al: Daddy's friend, Anita had cancer and she died.
Me: she did. But her cancer was all over her body. Mine is not. Remember?
Again it was over.
We'll have many more conversations as the days go on, I assume. I'm not ready but I'm so grateful for his honestly and who he is.
One of my favorite events of the summer, the annual North North Charter Block Party with my 6 favorite families.
Bounce house in the yard
Superhero team unites
Amazing foodand even naps (while she rests up for our newest neighbor to arrive, Samuel)So sad to pack in the bounce house and say goodbye to our favorite people to share our neighborhood and our lives with! Love you all McGreggors, Millers, Offenbacks, Smiths, Andersons, and Mary)!
This is my sweet neighbor who we adore. She turns 12 this week and today was her party. We love spending time with her and think of her and her family as part of our own.
She made me SO VERY proud a few weeks ago when she came to me and asked her to plan a service project to go along with her underwater themed birthday party. I was so touched. For all Fulton Family birthdays and parties we do a service project instead of gifts. Its important to us to give back and celebrate not give and get stuff. So, I sent her a few websites to look at of organizations that build wells for villages without water or support water conversation, etc.
She chose Prairieriversnetwork its a local organization that cleans rivers and lakes to conserve plant and animal life! She asked all her friends and family to consider donating to her cause and also pledged to give half of all the money she got as birthday gifts to Prairie Network. AND SHE'S ONLY 12!!!!
Yummy food and great friends! Happy Birthday, katlyn!!!
Amara woke up singing and dancing she was so excited to go to school! She love, love, loved getting to use the special occasion plate and cup too!
Oh my goodness, she looked cute today and mommy and daddy couldn't get enough of her!
Daddy was the lucky one that got to share the walk with Mara today ( I see this picture and the one of me and Bubba on a wall in my house very soon, don't you?)
"I'm ready to go" She says!
Where did the time go. Look at my babies!
And I thought she might cry when I gave her her new princess backpack!
We played on the playground while we waited for Bubba's bell to ring
Then we headed around to the front of the school where her friends were lining up. She got a few words of encouragment from Daddyand a big smooch from me