Thursday, March 17, 2016

Around Here . . .

I guess when I am not talking about hiking, I have nothing to blog about!

Around here, things have been roller-coastery for me. Last week, I was feeling a tad depressed. We were suppose to take Brycen to Asheville, but my stoma was showing signs of light bleeding. I want to travel so bad, but even a place 2-3 hours away seems too far.

So Friday I MADE myself get out of the house for something other than playing with Brycen outside. My mom and I went to Cheesecake Factory with a gift card I received from my birthday, and then to one of my favorite independent stores, Paper Skyscraper.

Outside, spring had sprung a little early:

On Saturday, Brycen started T-ball. What a difference between playing a sport at 3 years of age versus 4. The three year olds were adorable, but also provided the comedy! One little guy ran straight to second and kept going until he reached another field, where soccer practice was taking place. Brycen was much more content and relaxed with T-ball than he ever was with indoor soccer. In fact, I think he might have even been bored at times waiting for all the kids to have a chance to bat!

We celebrated his and his cousin's first practice by taking them to breakfast, where I had my first chicken and waffle experience. So good.

After we all went home and had a nap, it was off to my brother's house for a cookout, and for lego fun. I was doing great! So much energy.

On Sunday we decided to to do a little giving. We brought flowers to a close friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with cancer. We then crossed Charlotte's midsection, getting every single red light. I hardly recognized my old neighborhood! Brycen whined the whole time. There needs to be a faster way to get from East Charlotte to West, but B loved handing out a birthday present for another dear friend. And peeing on her sidewalk. Boys.

Random sky picture, because I LOVE hazy skies. I often can't stand hot days without a cloud in the sky to provide relief. 

I was still going strong Monday. I had CT scans done at a new place, not the hospital - and they offered CHOICES in contrast beverages. So instead of 32 ounces of odd tasting water, I got 2 16 ounce cups of Cran-Raspberry juice. Yummmm. I had never been to an office where people were so pleasant on a Monday morning, even though I was 15 minutes late for my appointment. (Again, Charlotte traffic).

We stopped for donuts on the way home, and then I got to work on another drawing. I had been completing a drawing every day or two . . .

. . . but it all ended on Tuesday. Chemo day. My CT scans from Monday morning showed growth in some areas but stability in my liver, which prompted my oncologist to continue my current every other week schedule - which is basically keeping me alive these days. On top of that, my stoma was enlarged and sore. Luckily a good friend of mine sat with me, and kept me entertained for the 2 or so hours. I rarely get to see her, so I was basically "throwing up" news after news about me and questions as to catch up. You know the stream of conversation when you have no idea how you got onto the topic? That was us! After I was hooked up to my 46 hour pump, she drove me home.

Tuesday night my stoma was still greatly enlarged, and I could see veins were ready to pop. I quickly put a cold compress on it, and it shrunk to normal size. All day Wednesday I slept or worked on a puzzle, and things seemed to be quiet in the ostomy bag.

t wasn't until after 9pm when I checked my stoma I realized it was heavily bleeding. Fortunately we got the bleeding under control, so no ER trip. But it means I will need a few days of laying as still as possible to not agitate it. This afternoon (Thursday) I went downstairs, propped myself on the couch as to not disturb the site, and realized I was bleeding AGAIN. Just from walking down the stairs! This time it was just lightly, but it sent me into a tizzy of a bad mood. Why do I have to deal with this damn thing when I feel so good otherwise? It is really scary because 99% of the time I don't know it's bleeding. It doesn't hurt. I'm scared I will bleed out while sleeping. I am scared I will pass out during a baseball game. And the worst part, is doctors really are baffled by it, except to say "just take it as easy as possible -it only bleeds when irritated." So I have to spend 3-4 days on my back playing games on my phone until I am cross eyed? Because it is really hard to sit up to draw, eat, even type this right now, without pissing off Ornery Mona the Stoma.

Guess who is more irritated?

But let's end on some happy pictures, from TWO weeks ago, when spring was just started to drift in. You can see by our hats it was still chilly:

I hope all is better with you!!

One more thing: Next month I am renting a place on the beach. Ocean front. I don't care the weather, people who know me know I love a rainy day as much as a sunny one. Brycen will be with us for at least half the trip, if not all (except I don't want him to miss T-ball). A friend from NYC might be here, she might not. All I know is, this damn stoma will NOT ruin this trip. Will. NOT.


  1. Hi Sunshine,
    stupid stoma! Why the heck is it giving you grief? Where is the stoma expert hiding? There HAS to be a better plan than keeping still...can it be reversed yet? Did you ever get a "girdle""?

    Your drawings are fabulous! I see some insiration from Thousand Islands area. The colors are so vivid! What markers are you using? Sharpies?
    you should get prints made. Your style is unique!

    B in T ball...yay! All kids get antsy waiting for their turn to bat, who wouldn't? Another life lesson from baseball...waiting. In general I think women do it more than men, but baseball is an equalizer.

    I will ask my nurse friends here about "MONA"...maybe there is a solution to be had.

    Keep up those fab drawings!!
    Aunt Patty Cakes

  2. Rollercoaster is right! Damn! But I'm glad to see you blogging. I've missed your posts. And I hiked on the AT today and thought about you!

    Tell that Mona to behave so you can go to the beach! Hope you've got some good reads to keep you company while resting. It's supposed to be cold here this weekend (snow on Sunday?! Nooooo!), which is good resting inside with a book weather, in my opinion. Unfortunately, we also have to spend the weekend cleaning out our laundry room...

    But yay for chicken and waffles, T-ball, puzzles, cheesecake, drawing time, spring blooms, clouds & blue skies, conversations full of tangents with good friends, donuts, BBQs, and playgrounds. So much great stuff here! xo

  3. Damn. Sounds like another rough week. Tell Mona to get her sh*t together because I'm looking forward to your MANY beach trips! Especially now that the weather is warmer!

    PS your post really made me miss grilling out 😐. We need to find a grill somewhere...


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