Monday, January 24, 2011

Still here!

Two months since my last post... ugh.  There are lots of thoughts flying around in my head, all the time, but it's just exhausting to even consider expressing them here.  Working full time, taking care of two kids, trying to find some quality time with husband and with friends, doesn't leave a lot of time or energy for much else.  

Physically I am feeling pretty good right now.  I am just finishing my 4th cycle of Sutent; I have scans scheduled for mid February so we'll see if the shrinkage continues.  The side effects from Sutent have stabilized somewhat.  My tongue no longer sports so many different levels and hues, though my mouth continues to be quite sensitive to heat, cold and spice, and my sense of taste remains somewhat off.  My digestive system continues to work at light speed, though fortunately it gives me enough warning that I am rarely in panic mode in terms of finding a bathroom.  I do get more tired than I remember being pre-Sutent and I am trying to get more sleep, which I need anyhow.  That being said, I woke at about 3:30 this morning and couldn't fall back asleep, so here I am.  Last week I started trying to get more physical activity; wearing my pedometer and trying to get more steps in.  I did a little walking during the day at work; one day walked a mile with two of my coworkers and was just exhausted that evening.  I'm hoping that since I am starting on my 2 week break in a few days that I can get the walking going more consistently, so that once I am back in Sutent's clutches, I'm already in the physical and psychological habit of exercise.  

Our holidays were good; the girls had a wonderful Christmas and we all enjoyed ourselves.  I was able to take the week between Christmas and New Years off from work, to spend with them.  That was the first time in my adult life that I've been on vacation that week; the only other times I have been home over the holidays like that I was on either maternity or medical leave.  It was really wonderful.  We did something each day, nothing major but some kind of outing or activity.  By the end of the week at home I was thoroughly sick of listening to sisterly bickering and of brokering screaming fights, but that is life with kids.

Recently I've started to shift my mind set a bit about 'things'.  I don't live with a conscious daily fear of dying soon, but on the other hand I don't want to keep waiting to do or have things that would make me happy.  One example of this shift is that in December I bought a new office chair for my home office.  The chair I was using was pretty old and while not exactly uncomfortable, not very plush either.  For a long time I've told Jim that 'one of these days' I was going to save up to buy a new office chair.  Shortly after Thanksgiving he mentioned a sale on a particular 'executive' office chair at a local office supply store.  Part of me said, no, don't even look at it... wait until you have money saved up for it.  But then I thought, why?  Why should I not be comfortable now?   So I looked the chair up online and saw that it had very positive reviews.  I stopped at the store on a snowy night after work and tested it out; it was lovely... The salesman was very knowledgeable, and very nice.  He did try to upsell me to another chair that was a bit more expensive, but didn't push me.  For a small fee he could assemble the chair for me, which I knew would make Jim very happy.  (Ask him about the mini Jeep we got the girls last year...)  I picked the chair up a few days later and have enjoyed it ever since.  Now I really want to redo my office configuration, so I'm thinking about exactly what I want to do so that I can get started.  The girls like to sit in the office with me when I am at the computer, and so I'd really like to put a loveseat in here so that they can both relax here.  I also need to reconfigure my computer desk because I want to get a second monitor.  We have two monitors at our workstations at work and I have fallen in love with that second monitor.  When I work from home I feel somewhat handicapped by having only one!  So that's on my home bucket list as well.

First though, we need to get our house in order, in terms of all the clutter and junk we have filled it with.  Rebecca's first communion is in May, so that is our target for getting ourselves together.  It's going pretty slowly right now, but we're working toward it.   At this point I wouldn't mind renting a dumpster and just tossing a ton of stuff... really... just to be rid of it.  I just need to work up the energy to really tear through the stuff.

Looking ahead, I want to see what we can handle in terms of a bit of traveling.  Money is still tight, as Jim has had no luck in finding a new job, but I still want to find a way to do some things we've wanted to do.  And while I am not expecting that I will be feeling less healthy (or worse) soon, I still feel the sense of urgency to enjoy what we can of life now.  I have some money put aside that my dad left me, money that is primarily intended for either our retirement years or to be left for the girls.  Recently I've started thinking about using some of that money now, for travel, for our house, for things that would make our lives richer and happier now.  If my time here is short, then it will be a good investment in our family's life together.  And if, as I hope and anticipate, I'm here kicking around for decades to come, then we'll have even more happy memories to share.