Monday, March 15, 2010

School is Cool

Today was Annabel's first day of Mother's Day Out.  I am so proud of her!  We had a rough night last night because of the time change and Annabel didn't get to sleep until very late.  I was worried that would make for a bad morning, but it was painless despite all of the preparations required to get out the door.  We talked about school while she ate breakfast and then we made her lunch together and put it in her lunchbox.  She wanted a cheese and mustard sandwich, apple slices and cookies and chocolate milk to drink (of course!).  I also threw in a box of raisins because I knew the apples would brown a little even though they'd be refrigerated.  I was ready for resistance when it was time to get dressed (because that would be the norm), but again, incident-free.  We made it out the door as planned, which is unusual.

The program starts at 9, but I had already planned to get her there late this morning to skip the commotion of all the other kids getting dropped off since it was her first day.  Before we got out of the car, I told her again what was going to happen when we went inside.  She did not like the part about me leaving, but I assured her that it was going to be okay and she would have fun.  We went in and I walked her to class.  We took a spin around the room to look at the toys and books.  When she let go of me, her teacher Miss Beth was taking care of the business of distraction, so I gave her a kiss and reminded her that I would see her after lunch. She didn't cry, but I could tell that she was trying hard not to and I knew exactly how she felt because I was doing my best not to cry, too.  I went to the office to handle the paperwork and watched on the video monitor from there.  She stuck close to the teacher and watched the other kids.  Before I left, I got to look into her classroom for a few minutes.  She was still standing next to the chair where her teacher sat, but she looked a little more interested in all the activity.  I got in the car at 10:00 and headed home.

I accomplished more this morning than I have been able to do in the past few months!  On my way home, I stopped by Dunkin Donuts to get my free Monday coffee.  I was fueled by caffeine and managed to clean the kitchen, knock out some laundry, organize Annabel's drawers and fill a bin of stuff for the attic.  I also dusted the bedroom and changed the sheets.  I even dusted the blinds!  I don't know that the blinds had ever been dusted, they were so dirty.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am not a good housekeeper, but today I was really motivated.  I spend so much time at home lately, you would think I'd manage to keep it cleaner, but it is really hard with a 2 year old's "help".  So it felt like a real luxury to have the house to myself to get things done.  I turned the music up loud and kept moving until it was time to get Annabel.

I left the house at around 1 and when I got to the church, Annabel's class was playing outside.  I went to the room to get her stuff and discovered that she didn't eat one bite of her lunch.  When I got outside to the playground, she just stared at me for a minute.  I'm not quite sure if she didn't believe I was there or if she is just mad at me for leaving her.  She was still close to her teacher, but the other two girls in her class were right there, too.  Miss Beth said that Annabel did well for her first day.  She kept to herself a lot and was quiet, but she did talk to the teachers and to the other kids.  As we were going back inside, Annabel told one of the little girls that her hair clip was falling out.  I think I was there a little too early because one kid asked where his Mommy was and another little girl told me that her Mommy would be there soon and that her Daddy is at work.  So cute!  Annabel has not told me much about her day; I have had to ask a lot of questions and I don't get the same answers every time.  I guess that's the way it's going to be?  When we got to the car, she fell apart a little bit because she wanted her drink, but she was fine when I handed her the chocolate milk that she didn't drink at lunchtime.  As soon as we walked in the door, she wolfed down her sandwich and apples and now she is taking a nap.  It was a long day for her!

Scott and I were pretty amazed this weekend about Annabel's increasing conversational skills and sense of humor.  We got her a new doll at Target on Saturday that sort of looks like her.  I think she wants to name the doll Annabel, but she wouldn't say it, so we kept asking.  "What do you want to name your doll?"  "Me."  "You want to name your doll "Me"?"  "No, me."  "You want to name your doll "Nomi"?"  "No, me."  And on and on and on.  This cracks me up to no end, so I just perpetuate it.  Luckily, she thinks it's funny, too, if not slightly annoying.  After Target, we went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch.  Annabel was eating chips and salsa and I could tell that she got something hot in her mouth.  I asked her if the salsa was hot and she told me no, it was spicy!?!  I have no idea where she learned that, but Scott and I were impressed.  We had to make another trip to Target last night and Scott pointed out a shirt in the toddler department and Annabel told him it was a boy's shirt.  Of course, it was, but I have no idea how she knows this!?!  He tested her a few minutes later with another boy's shirt and same thing.  Hilarious!

My exchange surgery is tentatively scheduled for April 15th.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it is outpatient surgery.  The coordinator at my plastic surgeon's office hasn't gotten confirmation of the date yet, but I will know for sure on Friday when I go back for my usual follow-up appointment.  I am not sure what the recovery from this surgery will be like, but I know it is not as major as the mastectomy.  If all goes as planned, he will just use the incisions from my mastectomy and deflate the expanders to remove them.  He plans to clean the area with antibiotics before he puts the implants in and then he will sew/glue me up and send me on my way!  I haven't read the literature that I brought home last week, but he has suggested silicone gel implants.  I guess there are other options and he said that if I'm going to obsess over the things popping, that I should consider another option.  With saline, if it pops, the saline is absorbed by your body and that is not so with the gel.  I don't plan on obsessing over it, so I am going to go with what he suggests.  If I hate them or they don't work (look nice), they will just have to be replaced. 

On Sunday afternoon, Shannon and I went to Yoga for Women's Health together.  I was nervous about it because I still have pain and I don't think I have full range of motion in my right arm/shoulder.  I use it normally, but it is just not the same because of the lymph node removal.  I am really happy that I went!  I was able to pretty much fully participate and while some of the poses were challenging, I didn't ever feel like I was going too far or causing damage.  I got a good stretch and found it to be very relaxing and refreshing.  I have been to yoga a few times before, but this time, I felt more "into" it.  The instructor was really helpful in explaining everything explicitly without dumbing it down too much or going over my non-yoga-minded head.  I also think I finally "got" the breathing thing.  I really enjoyed the class and plan to go whenever possible, hopefully once a week.  There is another class there that I want to try called Restorative Yoga and it is for people with chronic conditions or who are recovering from illness or injury.  I was going to try that today, but I am a little sore from yesterday, so I'll wait until next week.  Other than a little soreness in my hips and legs, I have some burning in my chest muscles.  My chest muscles feel like they might be old, brittle rubber bands.  Again, hoping that is a radiation thing and it will get better.  I am also looking forward to starting the oncology rehab program, but I am not sure whether my oncologist will want me to start before or after my surgery.

Tomorrow is my first 3 month follow-up appointment with my oncologist.  I am nervous about it because I'm afraid that going there will cause more anxiety than relief or confidence.  I am not sure that I will have any tests or screenings to make sure that it is gone or hasn't come back.  I guess I will be nervous either way and going to the oncologist is just a(nother) reminder of cancer.  I have a lot of questions for her, but I haven't made my list yet, so I need to work on that this evening.  Three months is a long time between appointments, so I need to make sure that I cover all of my questions and concerns.  I have mostly felt that I get proper attention during my doctor's visits, but I am worried that might be different now that this is a "follow-up" visit.  I don't like it when doctors are dismissive or quick to run through the necessary information exchange.  Again, I have not ever felt like that with my oncologist, but I haven't really seen her much since my surgery.

So, that's another update in a short amount of time!  I am glad that there is good and exciting news to report.  I do like to update my blog, but it is really hard to do if I can't devote some quiet time and concentration; it's difficult with the stops and starts of a normal day and sometimes I'll start a post, but by the time I get back to it, it's old news and gets scrapped.  Such is life!

1 comment:

  1. Sandra ChristensenMarch 17, 2010 at 7:26 PM

    Hi Katherine, You sound like your doing well. Annabel is so adorable and sounds like a very smart little girl. How great it must be to have her in your life. I'm so glad to hear things are going as scheduled. I can't believe your exchange surgery is right around the corner. Good Luck and keep us posted. Love, Sandi