Good lazy

Sep 30

It’s Friday afternoon, and I’ve spent most of the past forty-eight hours in the horizontal position.  I try to leverage the forced quietude for all that it can be, but it looks an awful lot like being lazy.  (And I’m not saying that that is a bad thing–I need to be lazy.)  There is such a thing as good laziness, right?  I have contentment that all of my aches and pains can be attributed to my cancer treatment, not my actual cancer.  It is a blessing I do not take for granted. I am still navigating how to be the best version of Jen whilst on this treatment.  It’s tricky to not know how I’m going to feel as I anticipate the next hour, day, week.  I give myself a lot of grace and a lot of buffer to ensure that when I show up, I’m really present.  It’s easy to prioritize the mornings with the girls, but it feels like little else is as consistent. Physically, I had a better-than-(new)-normal start to the week, and I can’t help thinking that it was due to all the people that were praying for me (and my phone losses) as I over-shared about what was going on in my world via my writing early in the week.  Instead of having four physically tough days this week, I only had two; I felt that the gift of time was very timely and well-spent.  Thank you for your prayers and well-wishes; I feel the difference, which is amazing and sets off a whole bunch of feelings. On this quiet, rainy day–even the rain is lazy–, I just wanted to say thank you for taking a moment from your week to think of me with hope, joy and healing.  Often I feel small in my day-to-day existence these days; seeing, hearing, and feeling the love has helped broaden my view and enhance my perspective.  I learn so much by watching how the people around me love me.  One day I will pay it back–and won’t that be a fun day!?!   Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn...

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With sprinkles on top

Sep 27

Oh, Greta.  She has always been stylish.  She has been systematically un-pairing outfits that I’ve lined up in her closet and mish-mashing them together to make new Greta-styled combinations for years.  Most of the time, she looks pretty great; I actually think she has a knack for pairing prints together.  I would never intuitively make the pairings that she does, but I honestly end up liking the overall effect.  She’s Greta, after all, and she makes her own mark on the world.  Most of the time, I don’t make a stink about outfit (or hair, or shoe, or sock, or jewelry) choices.  She has been wearing summer shorts and capris smeared in nail polish because at the end-of-summer I gave up supervising her arduous nail-painting process.  Her favorited pieces are re-worn the minute they come out of the wash.  Her hair clip(s) are always completely random and do not match any part of the accompanying outfit.  SuperGramma got her twenty pairs of awesome, loud, patterned, printed socks last Christmas, so now she has socks she loves and no longer wears mis-matched socks for dramatic effect.  She sneaks into my bathroom and tries on my makeup.  She knows she is not supposed to do this, which is why she sneaks.  The kid owns her style. Today was picture day. Now, I care about pictures from picture day.  I have two 8×10″ frames in my kitchen with the girls’ yearly photos in them.  I put the newest one in front and store the older ones behind it.  One of my favorite things in the year is changing out the new photos because we pull out all the old ones (for Maren there are many year’s worth in there!)  We marvel over how much they grew, or how different they look, or which teeth are different, etc, etc, etc.  They are growing so fast when you line up those pictures! Yesterday Greta was practicing her picture day smile in the bathroom mirror.  (Completely her initiative.  You already knew that, right?  I am clearly not the type of mother who would make a child rehearse that, no matter how much I care about picture day pictures.)  As she posed with different expressions I made...

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Let’s focus on the flower girls

Sep 26

Let’s focus on the flower girls

Honestly?  It has been bit rough on the Jen-front lately.  This chemo (which I am still grateful for and happy to be on) is kicking my butt in terms of energy and feeling well.  I have next-to-nothing left after parenting, and it hasn’t felt like I’m doing that particularly well.  My best cancer friend died last week (which makes everything else pale in comparison), but I know she wants me to live fiercely.  My phone crap-tastrophe still grates at me as I work to resolve it.  It’s not isolated to me: my parent’s neighbors may have thought they were putting in a pool, but — alas — they had a basement water leak that required trenching to fix.  And their fridge coincidentally died the same day.  Speaking of fridge’s, something brown spilled down the entire length of my fridge–the one I deep cleaned like two weeks ago. Phew, I sound like a whiny mess.  Even as I write it, I know things really aren’t that bad.    I am working on rising above and moving on.  This week it’s just hard because hits keep coming, and I’m admitting it.   Today I walked in to the oncology office knowing I would get the results of blood tests they did last week.  The combination of my bad mojo this week and my emotions running high was giving me some anxiety on the drive in.  Handling anything but a stellar bloodwork report seemed intimidating. Thus, I’m very relieved to report I got a perfect zero on my cell search test (there were no circulating cancer cells in my blood sample).  The meaning behind the test from Dr. Wonderful is that this is a good number and indicates relative stability in my tumors.  Today, stable is good.  I needed a perfect zero today, and I pray it is indeed indicative of stable or even regressive cancer. Quickly, quickly, my perspective is righted on what is important. This past weekend was a great one… my cousin got married so it was a big family weekend.  It was Greta’s first flower girl experience… big sister Maren has played the role a few times, so there was much coaching and words of wisdom from big sister to...

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A painful lesson

Sep 25

For months, months, I have been ranting about my lack of understanding about technology.  In 2008, I lost my hard-drive on my computer in a insta-crash.  With it, I lost most of my videos of baby Maren.  Since then I’ve been fierce about backing up my computer, and rooted in the truth that I need to be on top of this stuff. I wave my hand above the head about “The Cloud”, how I “have” The Cloud, I pay a storage fee for The Cloud, but I find it to be elusive and frustrating and hard to manage.  But it felt better to have back up capacity than to be vulnerable.  I’ve started-stopped-started-stopped trying to catalogue our digital files because I try to stop at the point where my frustration boils to tears.  It’s so slow, I can’t tell how many copies of the same thing I have, I don’t know what file name extensions mean, and I-used-to-feel-like-an-intelligent-human-what-just-happened.  Unfortunately, this means I make little progress. I also know that neither my genetics nor my age are helpful in this equation. (Ha!) With the same mindset, I’ve been trying to be vigilant with my phone, but have been knocked-down-dragged-out frustrated with my lack of ability to understand the communication between my devices.  I truly thought that, while my content wasn’t organized content, it was all there somewhere.  And, it was all backed up somewhere. This morning when I woke up at five in the morning and couldn’t use the light on my phone to find my water glass, I had a bad feeling.  (Note: no water came in contact with my phone.) My time spent with the tech support people with regard to my black-screen-no-matter-what-do-iPhone is telling me this: despite thinking I’ve had my phone backed up for the past fourteen months, it has not been backed up. So, fourteen months of photos and videos of our memories are gone.  Which is sort of “not a real problem”, but as a mama heavily invested in memory-making moments, it feels like a real problem right now. My phone is not working (at all), which is a “pwoblem” because, while expensive, at least there is a solution. I’m having a hard time stomaching the...

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A beautiful week

Sep 19

A beautiful week

I’m back in the chemo chair today, and praying over the treatment, my loved ones, and plans for the future.  I am neutropenic, which means that I am immuno-compromised and susceptible to illness.  Nonetheless, life goes on.  In forty-eight hours last week I went to the pediatric office twice: once for each kid.  Greta came home sick from school on Tuesday with strep throat, and subsequently spent the first 24-hours (the contagious window) with Chief Sister and the Rozzinator.  Maren has been to the pediatrician four times in six weeks, and on two rounds of different antibiotics.  She’s not sick enough to miss activities or school, but she has a troublesome cough and lacks some of the skip in her step.  I took her in to rule out walking pneumonia (per our third visit to the pediatrian two weeks ago), and her doctor thinks her current symptoms are just another virus.  Please pray that we can *all* get healthy and stay healthy! Greta missed the bus for the first time.  Maren was late to school for the first time.  Supermom (not)! Meanwhile as we crisscross our town I realize I have moved from the “rugrats underfoot” stage of parenting to the “eat in the car” phase of parenting.  There are more glamorous ways to put it, but I think you get the idea.  I love the phase we are in. We drive around town rocking out to our “sing-along” playlist, and Greta wants to know why Adele sings about green beans.  Maren and I dissolved into giggles as Greta belted out “green bean” in place of the real words.  We are part of a big volleyball carpool that treks around our town, and Brad has earned the “fun car” title because of his playlist in his car.  All of the fourth graders think he is the fun one, so obviously I need to up my musical game. Greta is full of gumption.  She’ll say, “I want a strawberry, please.” “No, G.  No snacks before mealtime.” “Well, I just want one bite of a strawberry.  Please,” eyelashes batting away. Leveling my mom gaze at her: “Nope.” “Well, I just want to give you a kiss.” And I simultaneously inwardly laugh and cry as she flounces over and plants...

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