10/16/18

I worked from home today, which was incredibly lovely. Mom sounded the best I’ve heard her in a long time! She even spoke about Thanksgiving, which was promising. I think the family will end up at my folk’s place, and I’m particularly excited because Mr T is coming with me. Can you believe I’m 43 and never brought anyone home for Thanksgiving?

It’s late so goodnight!

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1 week

My surgery is in one week! To commemorate the occasion, I packed two bags of clothing and shoes to donate.

Mom is slowly gaining some energy. Dad ordered Italian tonight. No news on returning to chemo. One day at a time, as everyone keeps saying.

Mr T made me a lovely “linner” yesterday before I drove to Hartford for work. Landed another donation – the donor doubled her gift and said it was because I convinced her to give more. Fundraising IS fun!

I’m watching The Sinner now on Netflix. Anyone else watched it? It’s very compelling. Jessica Biel is excellent in it! She’s come a long way since 7th Heaven.

A big thank you to my cousin KS for sending me a necklace with the word “breathe” on it. Lovely thing to get in the mail on a rainy Monday. I will wear it and look at it as a reminder to focus on my breathing.

Mammo Day

Two years ago, I had my first mammogram. I was 41 and it was time to get monitored for breast cancer like everyone over 40 does. I had to go for a second one because they had trouble reading the first one. I remember a wave of fear cane over me as I sat in the waiting room.

What if there is something wrong? Here I am, alone, and there is no one here with me if I get bad news. Thank goodness everything was fine & I went along with my day. I asked if I should get any genetic testing since my aunt had breast cancer. The doctor said I should be fine. Nope, no need.

This morning I returned to the same waiting room. Same dressing gowns, same Keurig serving nature’s nectar – coffee! I sat down to fill out the paperwork and it looked like this:

As I started to fill it out, the tears began rolling down my cheeks. I thought about the difference 2 years can make – filling up the form with new family history, now put a “rush” on meeting with a geneticist, sitting alone in the room, but knowing I could text Mr T for moral support.

The test was very painful this year but I got through it. Now I wait.

Speaking of Mr T, I let him down tonight. We were supposed to have dinner & a sleepover, but I just couldn’t move today. Between a scorching headache and my stress, I just couldn’t get out of bed to drive over there after a long nap. I know he’s disappointed in me and I feel terrible. I just couldn’t push myself this time. I know he’ll eventually read this post so please know I love you & I’m sorry.

I spoke with mom, dad, and Ken earlier. They were having corned beef sandwiches and chilling at home. I also felt guilty for not being there. I flaked on all my obligations this weekend. But, instead, I needed to focus on my self care. Sleep, decompression. Hopefully everyone will forgive me this time around.

Small Miracles

Mom is home and slowly acclimating back to her regular environment after a 1-week hospital stay, which we all believe was crucial to her well being. She has her appetite back, thanks to a happy little pill that gives her the munchies. She’s had pizza, chocolate, even a hamburger! Dad’s working on a plan for the next stage, which will include some physical therapy and nursing care at home to help her out. He’s got a lot on his plate and he’s handling it like a champ. But he’s exhausted. So if you call or text him, don’t keep him on the phone too long. Ken is visiting this weekend.

I spent the morning at the hospital getting my pre-surgical tests – blood, EKG, and chest x-ray. Tomorrow, I have a mammogram to make sure all is good there before I have surgery. My PCP insisted on it. And that’s it. I’ve fulfilled all of the pre-surgical requirements so the next step is my pre-hospital stay diet, and then a week from Monday, I will have 75% of my stomach surgically removed. And my life will be forever changed.

My review yesterday, overall, went well. My boss said I have far surpassed their expectations for me, and with the 7-figure gift I’m finalizing, I have met my FY19 goals within 11 days of the fiscal year! So that’s pretty fucking fantastic, pardon my French. It can only go up from here with work. My boss said he’d like to put together a promotion plan for me so that by next year, I will gain a “senior” title.

And, Mr Ted came over last night for dinner. He gave me – seriously – the best massage I’ve ever had. He eliminated knots in my shoulders, legs and back that I’ve been carrying around with me for years. Seriously, I told him I felt like I should give him a tip! My body feels better today that it has felt in years. He’s a keeper.

Self Care

I decided today not to drive to NJ again this weekend. My arthritic knees are so sore & I have a lower back-sized knot in my, well, lower back. I think spending 12 hours in the car again might put me over the edge.

Dad understood. He said I need to take care of myself too. Fortunately my brother is going.

Mr T cooked me dinner last night – chicken Marsala. It was good! I hadn’t seen him in ages – two weeks, maybe? – so it was good to see him and catch up. I realize how much I missed him.

So, this weekend I will lay low and go through my clothing to figure out what can be donated now.

Mom is better. She’s eating more – asked for pizza and chocolate today! I feel like the urgency for me to go has subsided a tiny bit. She’s stable right now. She still doesn’t know if and when she’ll be back on chemo.

That is the daily update. Tomorrow is my review. Those normally stress me out so much but this past week I secured a 7-figure bequest and a 6-figure bequest plus a 5-figure pledge, so I’m good for this week.

Upswing

Our campaign event has come and gone; overall, a success.

Mom is doing MUCH better today! She’s still in the hospital but feels more energetic, is eating more, and sounds like she’s in better spirits. She had just about given up hope so I am relieved, to say the least. I may even sleep tonight.

I haven’t seen Mr T in about 2 weeks – maybe longer! Way too long. He’s cooking dinner for me tonight, I’m brining dessert (meant literally, not in a dirty way!). I may hug him for about 45 minutes.

 

Putting on a Happy Face

What’s that expression – fake it til you make it?

I get it. On the outside, I’m wearing a suit and wedges with a fancy purse and my mom’s opera length pearls. I have on eyes shadow and lipstick. I look fairly put together, I think. I will add the most Americans have off from work today for Columbus Day. I’m wearing pearls.

On the inside, I feel icky. My head is spinning and all I want to do is put on fuzzy slippers & pjs, and watch Netflix.

Tonight is our big Campaign Kickoff, where we invite our donors who have supported the organization where I work with $100k+ over their lifetime of giving. The President of the University in Israel is here. So is our CEO. I’m driving them over the the event shortly. So, while I’ll be wondering how my mom is doing today, I’ll be putting on a happy face.

Apparently mom has Cdiff again. I’m quite annoyed because I specifically spoke to the nurses about this 2 weeks ago when I was at the dr’s office with mom and they blew it off. It makes me frustrated. The poor woman is losing hope and we can’t seem to find medical support that is invested in her success. My dad is working on it, and so is my brother.

As of 4pm today, I will be focused solely on work and can’t respond to calls or texts. Many of you reached out to me today to see if you can visit mom. She is quarantined right now at the hospital. Please remember that sometimes it is hard for me to put on my brave face and text everyone back right away. Sometimes I’m sobbing in my bedroom when your text comes in. Trying to be strong but it isn’t always easy.

Cheers for now!