Monday, July 30, 2007

Team don't have to find a lump

This is from another Blogger, WhyMommy. She is battling this cancer and needs all the positive support she can get. having experienced breast cancer, chemo, masectomy and rebuilding surgery with my MIL, her situation strikes me as even crueler. I'm joining her team, and I hope that this info gets out. WhyMommy has offered this post for anyone to post.

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?
I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.
Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.
Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.
There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.
Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.
You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.
It's been a hectic couple of weeks. Last week was our fair (our state is so small, there's only one) and PB was showing sheep there. What an experience. She is too stinking cute anyways, but we added pink cowgirl boots to the mix and the cuteness level was off the charts. After the all the traveling to and from and time spent (and money, goodness fairs can get expensive), my hubby and I went off for a little weekend retreat. Which was good. But now, we're moving back to normal life.

By Thursday of last week, I could tell that my kids needed a serious amount of sleep, and some time spent in their rooms, in their house. So AT 7:30, I told them they could go outside for 30 minutes, or go to bed. My son insisted he was going to watch TV, and a complete and utter breakdown began. I took him up to his room, helped into PJ's, and settled on his bed to listen to the whining and crying until he finally passed out. During his outrage, he told me that "the answer no is cancelled". I couldn't help it, I had to laugh. And really, isn't that we all wish for...that the answer no doesn't apply, doesn't exist. He finally passed out, I managed to roll out from underneath him, and his final words to me were "I just want to go home." He's getting his wish this week, so let's see how much he enjoys it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Growing up

My kids are growing up. I know, this is what kids do, they grow up, a little each day. They get older and bigger and wiser and eventually they become adults. It's what we work for, what we are preparing them for, every day. Time is ticking...every second, every minute, they move closer to adulthood, and just a little bit further away from us.

When Bug was a little girl, I often wondered what she was going to be like as a teenager. She was already a smart mouthed little thing, and quick as can be. We often joked about locking her in room as a teenager, for her own good. I thought about first crushes, boyfriends, sports, school...all of it. And now she is a teenager, about to start High School. I look back at the pictures of that little girl, think of the funny (and not so funny) stories from her childhood, and it's so neat to link those stories to who she is now. It's interesting to find that the smart mouth is still there, but she is learning to occasionally control it. All in all, she is a teenager I'm proud to call my daughter. But getting to this point, it wasn't easy. So many milestones she's already passed, each one harder than the last for us to grasp, to believe, to handle. You look at this child, you know she's growing up, you see the little changes each day. And then one day, it hits you...she isn't a baby anymore, she isn't a toddler, she's so big! Middle School, school dances, boys. And now, High school. 6 months of them (the teachers and administrators) forcing this fact down our throats, and I think I'm prepared. I see her for the young lady she is, already showing some of the maturity that I've craved and dreaded at the same time. But still, it doesn't seem that long ago when she was a little 3rd grade tomboy, and I miss those days.

Princess Bear, oh my, she will be a 4th grader this year. It seems like just yesterday that she was starting kindergarten. 4th grade seems so big. I've watched her with the older kids at Bible School this week, and it takes my breath away how much she's changed. She truly is a big girl now. She has taken risks and become more fearless than I ever thought she could be. The whining and temper tantrums have decreased, and she is just so darn cute. She looks like the typical little girl in a book, and I just want to stare at her for hours. I mourn the loss of my little girl, I mourn that sweet baby girl with tiny little piggy tails and silly little games, but I love this big girl, this detail junky, foodie girl. (She's become obsessed with Food network. Seriously, she knows stuff about all the personalities and tells me little tips from their shows constantly. It's really pretty cute.)

The Monster is getting so big too, but he's still my little boy. My heart breaks each time I look at him, because I see him becoming a big boy, growing up and changing. I will miss the boy he is now, just as I miss the baby he was then. His sweet voice, funny little stories, menagerie of pretend animals...these are the things I try to cherish and hold close to my heart. The things I tell myself to remember.

And I remember telling myself to remember before, to hold tight to certain moments so that I can cherish them later on. And sometimes, I try to remember those moments, and I can't. And that makes me miss them even more.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th!

What a great way to celebrate our nation's independence...sitting on a historic patch of grass in the first state, watching one of my very good friends son and mine roll around in complete boyhood, sharing glowsticks with lots of kids, eating italian ice, watching amazing fireworks, and listening the Army band play great patriotic music, complete with cannon's firing. What a satisfying evening. And there's several more days of vacation to go...YAY!

Monday we went to Sesame Place. A good time was had by all, and it wasn't too exhausting. Temperature would have been great for most amusement parks, but Sesame Place is mostly water...was a bit chilly for that.

One day this week, we will go to the beach, sit in the sand and build sandcastles, throw out a line and maybe even launch the boat. While I understand the need to plan most of the time, it's been very pleasant to just go with the flow for the last few days.

Oh, and the ultimate shopping without kiddies, in a store that everyone assumes is closed (only explanation I have for there only being like 12 people in the store...normally it's total chaos in there!)

Hope you all had a great 4th of July!