Mr. Golden Sun-1 B-0

I’ve been neglecting this blog.  I just haven’t had much to say and honestly, adjusting to 2 kiddos and a husband that now works from home hasn’t left me with much down time where I can quietly gather my thoughts and write about what’s on my mind.  I so miss writing here though, sharing my thoughts and my photos.  This has been a good outlet for me and I need to carve out some quiet time and space in this busy life so I can write.

I find myself angry these days.  I’m feeling unimportant and purpose-less (is that a word?) and it sucks.  It’s a very trying time in my life.  There’s been a ton of stuff happening and I’m feeling the weight of it just camped out on my shoulders.  I’ll share it all with you, but let’s start with the most current of stressors.

I have/had skin cancer.  It sucks.  I had a small, flat spot show up on my face near my hairline when I was pregnant with A.  I assumed it was a hormonal change and figured it would go away.  It didn’t.  I’ve had 2 more pregnancies since then and I had another spot show up while pregnant with C.  This one was closer to my hairline but was a raised bump instead of a flat patch.  It was really quite gross…almost wart-like.  I’d mentioned it to my GP over the years and he was nonchalant about getting them biopsied and inspected.  I wish he’d been a little more insistent.  The only reason I had the biopsies done when I did was because we’d met our deductible for the year and wanted to have everything taken care of while I was only responsible for 10%.  Since Hubs was leaving his current position and would be losing that insurance, I decided to get it taken care of.  Needless to say, both spots came back positive for basal cell carcinoma.  The most common form of skin cancer, slow-growing, rarely spreading, but skin cancer none the less.  To have both spots removed I went to a dermatological surgeon that performed Mohs Surgery leaving me with 2 gaping holes in my head.  Thankfully, he was able to get clear margins on both spots with only one cut (the Mohs surgery is where they do the pathology right there and keep cutting down and around until they remove all the cancer).  I was cauterised, patched up and sent straight to the hospital (my 4th stint in a hospital in 3 years) where the plastic surgeon used a skin graft to close the opening closest to my hairline and stitched up the opening closer to the center of my forehead leaving me with a 4cm incision site.  Lordy.  I’m now about 4 days out from the surgery and I closely resemble a cyborg.  Even though I have no idea what a cyborg is or what one looks like, I’m pretty sure I resemble one.  The last time I left the house was last Thursday morning when I went in for the initial surgery with the Dermatologist.  Did I mention I spent all day Thursday with a horrible migraine?  I was begging for drugs once I made it to the hospital.  I haven’t been able to wash my hair since then and I just took my first shower where I took painstaking measures to scrub the skin I could get wet yet carefully avoiding my bandages and incision sites.  My hair is disgusting.  It’s matted with blood and gunk in 2 different spots that I can do nothing about until the sutures are removed later this week.  I’ll go to scratch an itchy spot on my scalp only to find it caked with dried blood.  My eyes, bridge of my nose and cheek on one side are puffy, and there’s bruising under my eyes.  I can’t wear my glasses thanks to the swollen face and the fact I can see the bridge of my nose and part of my cheek, thanks to the swelling, is driving me batty.  And my mother in-law wants family pictures next week…  The skin graft was taken from behind my ear and there’s bruising down that side of my neck and my ear is swollen and numb.  There’s no bandage where the skin graft was taken and I’m supposed to keep antibiotic ointment on the incision site so I constantly have goo running down my neck and into my hair as my body heat liquifies the ointment. The actual incision site on my forehead looks like I’ve taken a gunshot wound to the head.  There’s a bolster sewn over the skin graft to keep it in place and the incision in the center of my forehead has slightly bled through the tape so it looks like a big, bloody spot about the size of a quarter in the center of my head.  And everything is starting to itch.  My girlfriend says that means it’s all healing…  I was secretly hoping for some nice, clean, white soap-opera type head bandages…no suck luck.  When my doctor suggested getting these spots looked at saying it could be some basal cell carcinoma, he said it was no big deal to get them taken off and that would be the end of it.  Holy hell.  This whole ordeal has been waaaaayyyyy more of an ordeal than I could have ever imagined.  You can only imagine the amount of appointments this has all required…and I requested to have all of it done by the end of June so I’d only be responsible for 10%.  It’s been less than calm around here lately.  And we’re not done.  There are still 2 spots on my head I’m concerned about.  One on my forehead and one in my hairline.  There’s also a spot on my leg I’m watching.  And of course, I’ll now be closely monitored by a dermatologist, for who knows how long, to check for any new moles, spots, growths, etc.  Sigh.  It could be worse I suppose, and there’s always a chance I’ll never have another cancerous spot show up, but for now I’m suffering some major consequences.

So, how did I get so lucky as to have some lovely skin cancer at the tender age of 31?  I’ll tell you.  I have no idea.  We had a pool growing up so my sister and I spent our summers outside…I’m sure that didn’t help.  I also had a convertible when I turned 16 and had the top down all the time, probably another contributing factor.  I layed in tanning beds in high-school, college, and even as recently as when I got pregnant with A.  I canceled my tanning membership when I found out I was pregnant.  I didn’t tan non-stop or year-round, just a few months here and there throughout the year.  The biggest factor though, seems to be genetic.  The dermatologist says fair-skinned, blue-eyed folks are just more prone to skin cancer.  It’s not that I haven’t taken precautions throughout the years, I’ve always been diligent about sunscreen on my face, but like most people, I didn’t really focus on the hairline.  I’ve always worn sunglasses, so my eye area has been protected, but I’m not big on hats.  Also, the hormonal changes from pregnancy does weird, weird things to your body…this was also confirmed by the dermatologist as a contributing factor.

I’m sure my girls will ask to tan when they get into high school.  The answer, is a resounding HEEEEELLLLL NO!  I will, however, agree to let them spray tan.  I know all too well the vanity of a teenage girl and I’d rather appease their vanity with a spray tan than have them go behind my back and lay out in the sun slathered in baby oil because they don’t possess the ability to understand there are consequences to their actions.  I don’t blame my parents though…the warnings about sun damage and skin cancer 15 years ago were not what they are today.  And to be fair, as a child, I never burned…I was super tan all summer just from being outside.  My poor girls though…both have my fair skin and blue eyes and you can bet I will be FANATICAL about sunscreen usage and sun avoidance.  Oh, and I’ll be investing in some fun hats for myself!

So that catches you up for now.  I left out a few things though. The pastor of our church is leaving at the end of July.  It’s a big deal because I would really like some stability, SOMEWHERE, in my life and his leaving came out of nowhere.  We had our first trip to the ER a few weeks ago.  A was staying with my in-laws since I was in DESPERATE need of a break and she spiked a fever and was having trouble breathing.  I was practically out the door before Hubs even got off the phone with his mom.  She ended up in the ER at 11:30 on a Tuesday night diagnosed with a sinus infection and RSV.  We spent the next several days nursing A back to health while keeping her and C separated since C getting RSV just wasn’t an option.  Then a few days later A found and poked herself with an unidentified, used needle near a parking lot.  Seriously…what kind of asshole leaves a used needle (turns out, it was a disposable needle from and epi or insulin pen) near a parking lot?  At this point, once I realized she’d actually punctured her skin, I lost it.  I’d had all I could take.  I was sick to my stomach and I cried.  I cried for A, for all the doctor visits I knew would come, for me, for our family, for the desperation I felt, for the fear I felt, I was just done.  We’re still not finished with that whole ordeal.  Her doctor ordered blood work (um, NOT fun, AT ALL) immediately to check for really scary diseases like HIV and Hepatitis.  At the 6 week mark, when anything she may have contracted would show up, we have to check again.  Hubs has left his job and is now self-employed, full-time and we’re all home. All the time.  It’s an adjustment and comes with a MAJOR learning curve.  And because I seem to be a glutton for punishment, we’re headed out of town next week to spend the 4th of July with my in-laws at their place in Fredericksburg.  It will be fun, but their place is only 600 sq. ft. or so.  It’s close quarters.  Should be, interesting, to say the least.  I’m planning to drink lots of beer and wine.

So there it is.  My life lately, in a nutshell.  It’s stressful right now and I’m in need of a break.  I’m in need of some good stuff, some positive stuff to start heading our way.  I feel wound up, stressed to the max all the time.  Hopefully I can find time to get back to regular writing.  It helps me so much to be able to get my thoughts out and it helps to go back and re-read when I feel like I’ve been standing still and no progress has been made.

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What a great day.

Gosh, I had a truly wonderful day today.  While nothing extraordinary happened, I thought it would be nice to blog about a lazy, uninspired day that was really great.  Being a mother is awesome, and I rarely find something to complain about with regards to being a mother; but parenting is hard folks.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or not doing it correctly.  So talking about the good times, as a parent, seems like a good idea.

Hubs had a 7am flight to catch, meaning he left the house at 5am, meaning he was up at 4am, which also means I was up at 4am.  I used to be able to sleep right through his getting ready in the mornings, not real sure what’s going on right now.  Anyways, after he left around 5am, I went back to sleep until 8:30!  Between 7 and 7:30 is the normal wake-up time around here.  I had asked him to put Goose in her kennel so she wouldn’t wake us up and it worked!  Both A and I snoozed until 8:30.  I needed it and so did she thanks to 2 late nights in a row.  We got up, had breakfast and to top it all off, it’s been a relatively successful potty training day around here!  She got enough stickers on her chart to get a new Beanie Baby (thanks to a large stash I had from high-school when it was all the rage to collect them) and went all day without an accident.  I’m admittedly kind of half-assing the whole potty training thing, but she keeps waking up dry in the mornings and holding it for long periods of time so I don’t feel like I can completely ignore this opportunity.  She still fights me to sit on the potty and always whines and, occasionally, screams and cries, but she’s just so proud of herself after she’s done and she’s so excited to put a sticker on her chart.  The Beanie Babies help too…she gets one after she gets 5 stickers…even though the LAST thing we need in this house is more stuffed animals of any kind.  Oh well.  I decided to give her Cheerios for breakfast.  In a bowl, with milk.  She loved it and did really well with her spoon.  After breakfast we watched tv.  We laid in bed for a while watching cartoons and I would occasionally get up and do something productive.  After a few shows we sang some songs and did some puzzles.  It was about time for lunch where she proceeded to eat all of her peanut butter sandwich (hold the jelly), all her pretzels and her entire cup of applesauce.  Mealtimes are normally a battle in our house so I was really pleased with both breakfast and lunch!  I was able to easily put her down for a nap and had some nice down time to eat my own lunch, take a shower and re-install her car seat in my car since I’d taken it out to wash the liner over the weekend.  I ended up waking her up after 2 1/2 hours because if I let her go these days, she’ll snooze for 3-4 hours.  That doesn’t bode very well for bed time.  After her nap we got dressed and ran a quick errand.  I needed to return something at the mall and while I was there decided to let her play at their indoor playground.  And oh by the way, how cool would it be to be so fascinated with something as simple as an escalator?  It’s like we were at an amusement park…We came home, watched a little more tv, ate dinner, took a bath then off to bed.

So you see, nothing spectacular happened, but there’s been very little crying and drama today and I’m functioning on enough sleep so I know my attitude is better which I think is KEY.  This week has the potential of being really rough as Hubs left this morning and won’t be back until Friday evening.  I don’t think he’s ever been gone that long.  I’m really glad our week started out so pleasantly and I’m thrilled to finally have a day where I feel I succeeded as a parent instead of failing.  My hormones are completely wonky these days, which is to be expected, but it’s still stressful.  And frankly, a 3-year-old is hard.  I needed a little reassurance that I’m not totally failing as her mother as things around here have been a little tense as of late.

I’ll know more after my appointment next week, but as of my last appointment it seems that Baby C may have flipped into the correct position all on her own.  My doc will begin internal exams next week (she thinks I’m a riot since I told her thanks for the warning and I’d be sure to “tidy up” for her, only I’m much more crass than that and so is she) and will be able to confirm her position at that time.  I haven’t totally ruled out the possibility of a c-section, but I did manage to scour up the motivation to finish up my Hypnobirthing book just in case.  The only complaints I have are feeling tired and a little achy and my ridiculous acid reflux.  I’m thankful to be at home and have the opportunity to rest whenever I feel the need.  My acid reflux is another story.  I doesn’t seem to matter what I eat, drink, don’t eat or don’t drink.  It’s horrible all day long and wakes me up at least once a night.  I take meds morning and night and chew Tums all day long.  Oh well, I just need to hold on for a few more weeks.  I’ve been told apple cider vinegar works wonders…I’m seriously thinking of trying it.

Since I’m feeling happy and thrilled about my girl today, I thought I’d be brave and post a recent picture of her.  It will most likely end up being taken down soon once I think about all the crazies surfing the Internet, but for now, here’s my little girl.  🙂  And for the record, she’s ridiculously tall with dirty blonde hair and big, icy blue eyes.  Her daddy has his work cut out for him.

A