I feel badly because I have such a backlog of things to report on my blog. Lots has been happening, but I've been so caught up in the whirlwind of it all that I haven't had time to sit still and let the old thoughts flow out through these keys. You can imagine the state of my brain with so much to say, just whirling about with nowhere to go. Yes, my blog is constipated.
First of all, we are back to the grindstone, homeschool-wise. We started up when we ripped the August leaf off the calendar. And much to my boys' disappointment, yes, we did labor on Labor Day. It's not like we dove into some big heavy schedule or anything. It's more like we tip-toed in. They complain anyway, but I think it's really just tongue-in-cheek, because it really seems to be so far so good. The amazing thing, is that this will be our last year of homeschool.
Yes, I am graduating homeschooling this year!
Matt is graduating too, and is intending on going to Cincinnati Christian University and then into the ministry in some form, missions or youth ministry. Mikey will graduate from homeschool, and then do post-secondary education at University of Cincinnati, where he will take his senior year of high school and freshman year of college simultaneously.
I have yet to figure out what to do with myself after cancer, let alone homeschool.
And I don't even want to think about what to do with myself without my little whirlwind, Amanda, around. We moved her stuff to her apartment on campus a couple of weeks ago.
Thankfully, UC is still on quarters this year, and classes haven't started up quite yet, so she is still at home until next week. Next week will not be my favorite. I am so excited for her though, and have just been trying to enjoy getting her set up in her apartment, while trying to split semantical hairs in my own mind, by not thinking about the part of it that means she won't be here.
We also had T-6... and counting, chemo cocktail day Wednesday last.
Which means I only have FIVE chemo cocktails left!
As you can tell from the photos, six is just one too many, but five is just a handful and just seems much more manageable. WAY more manageable than the 24 or so we started out with, which I didn't have enough numb fingers and soggy toes to keep track of. Who knew we'd finally get to where I can just hold one happy hand up? I know that one finger doesn't look very happy, with that band-aid on and all. But it was a fun band-aid, and all for the cause, blood counts and such, so it doesn't really mind any minor pin pricks any more. What hurts it, is when people assume it's flipping people off all the time, when it's just trying to count. Not to mention, show off it's puppy band-aid.
In between moving Amanda's stuff out and chemo, I played in a singles match on Tuesday, and a doubles match Wednesday morning before chemo. It is so much fun competing again. I think I am about 85% back, physically. Still working on my stamina. And still trying to deal with the way the port gets in the way of my serve, and my soggy feet. They do not like to be in shoes. I had to buy a half size bigger pair of tennis shoes for this season, and still I have to peel them off after a match. But I am just so happy to be able to play so I'm not meaning to complain. My feet are happy feet even if they are a bit soggy. And as they are so huge, now you know why it is so hard to knock me down. What helps, is having a famous nail tech for a daughter, who works at a really cool spa called the Mandarin, where she cures her mum's pedis.
And just in time to take a walk at Cincinnati's Race for the Cure 2009, which was this past Saturday. So much fun. I just want to thank all of Team Evanshire for walking "all over cancer" (as Amanda so eloquently put it) with me.
My hat had one pink ribbon on it, for my one-year anniversary from cancer. My friend, Stacy (far left, pink shirt, white sweat jacket, coffee cup in hand) ougtha have a hat just like mine on, but I don't know where it is. We played tennis together, and she was diagnosed a bit before me. It was cool walking with her. Stay healthy, Stacy! Right above my left shoulder, is my friend, Amy, who probably oughta've won some kind of award for being the most recent survivor at the Race. Even though her hat wouldn't be pink, since she just kicked thyroid cancer's you-know-what a couple of weeks ago. Some people are so competitive and have to just show you up and beat cancer in one fell swoop when it takes me a year-and-a-half. Go Amy! Stay healthy!
The "race" number on my back, was 232. A cool number, because of the symmetry, but made cooler, because I wrote down the names of a bunch of my friends who are fighting or have fought cancer. I just wanted to put them here as well, to honor them: Sue, Linda, Stacy, Janet, Cathy, Kristi, Teri, Louise, Jo, Clustefook, Deb, Judy and Chuck, Sue, Bill, Cheryl, Julie, Kay, Eileen, Cindy, Vicki. Rest, to those whose race is done. Godspeed and health, to those who are running. Stay healthy, to those who have been there and done that.
Last year I was just two weeks out from my mastectomy when I did the Race for the first time, and I think I was carried more by the good vibes of my friends and fam than I was cognizant of. This year, it was cool to not be in a medicinal fog, and to be able to try and take it all in a bit more. Although, as you can see from the photo, it was a LOT to take in:
It was HUGE. Bigger even, than my feet. As my friend Sue put it on her Facebook status:
"If scientists had taken a satellite photo of downtown Cincinnati on Saturday it would have shown a mysterious pink mist rising up. It was full of love and hope and friendship and courage, perseverance and faith, strength and gentleness. I was glad to be part of it..." That pretty much says it better than I could.
The only thing left, is to leave you with one more pic, of me and my body guards at the Race.
How lucky am I?