Monday, February 28, 2011

Not Your Usual Breakfast Comment

Today I had a PET/CT scan. As usual, this required that I fast beforehand and follow some other general guidelines (such as no exercise for 24 hours--now THAT one is hard to take, I tell you). These scans also require that I keep a roughly 10 foot space between the kids and myself after the scan for the remainder of the day in case I am shedding radation. As you might imagine, this is difficult for the little ones to understand, and I am so grateful for the older children, husband and grandmas who are quick to hold, help, change or read to smaller siblings in order to distract them from this ordinance.

At any rate, I have now done nuclear tests so often that my kids can recognize the difference in my morning routine on a scan day. Particularly observant this morning, Julia said, "Oh, do you have a scan today?" I confirmed that I did. (I'm sure her ability to recognize this had NOTHING AT ALL to do with fact that I might possibly have been a bit edgy without my morning coffee).

"Will you be radioactive?" she asked next. I confirmed that I would be.

Tony, listening to this from the other side of the breakfast counter, promptly wailed, "Aaaawwwww, I HATE it when you're radioactive!"

Not your typical breakfast conversation to be sure, but a very real part of our crazy reality.

Scan results will be ready Thursday, and I will make every attempt to post them that same day. Thanks for waiting along with me!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Locks of Love

I have not been able to cut my hair since my diagnosis. At first it was purely psychological--I was supposed to lose my hair and, indeed, was prepared to do so. When I found out I was spared that particular side effect thanks to my study drug, I clung to my tresses with all my might.

After a few months of observing the women in the infusion room who were not as fortunate as I in their follicle response to chemo, I began to realize that I was growing it for a purpose. Locks of Love is an organization that makes real human hair wigs for children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment or other health disorders causing hair loss. My hair met their specifications for donation, provided I could give them 10 inches. Now, that's a lot of hair. Nonetheless, I was determined to give back what should not have been mine and so the growing began.

Last week I made the cut and sent the envelope off with much joy and a beautifully complete sense of purpose. I have had the chance to return a gift that was given me and I couldn't be happier about it. Plus, I love my new haircut!

Here's what 10 inches of hair looks like...

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

What Does This Say About Our Family?

Tonight was open house at Sacred Heart School. We were visiting Lindsey's classroom when Sam caught sight of her "Life Goals" poster on the wall. We stopped to read it together.

There were about 10 things on the list, roughly half having to do with places Lindsey would like to visit. I was reading off this list--Visit New York, Visit Paris, Visit China, etc.--when I came to number seven: "See Big Ben".

Sam paused for a minute and then said, "Big Ben Roethlisberger?" clearly impressed that his non-football-fan sister would have this on a short list of her life goals.

After explaining to Sam that she meant the clocktower in London and subsequently witnessing his total disappointment in this, it occurred to me that we just might want to spend a little more time on world culture and a little less time on football stats.

Or not. 'Cause really, which will be more useful in everyday life? Seriously!