Monday, February 27, 2012

Clean and Clear

Got my results back from my scans and labs. All clear! I expected as much when I didn't get a call with any kind of info right away. For the most part, no news is always good news. I also scheduled my port removal. It will be so nice to have this thing out of my chest. It will have been in for almost exactly a year when it is taken out. Hard to believe. 
Although I didn't quite get to all of my questions at this appointment (I never do. Either I forget, or things are rushed, and in this instance, we ended up spending what I think is a bit too much time on my grieving of Saoirse.), I did ask about when my next scheduled scan would be and about getting pregnant. My next scheduled CT should be in 6 months, which is August. My doctor says that, obviously, they wouldn't scan me if I was pregnant. She also noted that most feel it's best to wait for a year once finishing treatment to make sure that the body has time to recover from the harshness. Of course, I feel like I still have some recovering to do. I am feeling great, but I have not gotten back into exercising as regularly as I would like, and I would love to finish off my full detox and make sure that I have made my body safe for carrying a normal, healthy pregnancy. But my favorite part of our conversation today, the part that made me feel like I was no longer a "cancer patient," was when my doctor said, "Don't let a protocol dictate your family life." It made me feel like a person who had some control over her own life again. I haven't felt that way in a year. It's nice to be human again. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

New Lease on LIFE!

We have been vegan for 6 days now, and so far so good. I have found TONS of amazing recipes and, so far, they have all be delicious. I even made chocolate cake today! I am loving the way I feel. I've been sleeping better at night (with the exception of the random weird dreams), I have more energy during the day, I want to get up and do things, and I am feeling happier. I can already feel such a difference. For once, I am starting to feel more "normal." 

Seriously - if you haven't watched "Forks Over Knives," check it out. It is worth a look. There is some serious science in there. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Vegan is NOT a four letter word

So, in an effort to change our lives for the good, and improve our health, we have been reading and researching about how our diets in this country affect our overall health. After lots of research, and too much time spent on the internet, we have decided to make some major changes in our home and our lives. 

Change #1:
NO MORE CHEMICALS! We got rid of all of our traditional household cleaners, pesticides, and personal products. We will be replacing them with all natural oil soaps, and cleaners made from basic ingredients like vinegar, salt, lemon, and backing soda. 

Change #2:
ALL ORGANIC! Pesticides have a very strong link with Neuroblastoma in particular. They can also carry compounds that can have a profound impact on overall health. Avoiding them (and GM products) as much as we can is our goal here. 

Change #3:
WHOLE FOOD/PLANT BASED EATING! For a very full description on this concept, and the science behind it, see the documentary "Forks Over Knives."(ps: it's now on Netflix!) We are trying to prevent cancer in particular, but the benefit of having healthier hearts, and better overall health makes this lifestyle worth the little bit of extra effort at the grocery store. 

Change #4: 
EAT LOCAL! This one will take a little time for us to adopt. We have signed up for a CSA this year through the Farm Direct Coop. We are very excited to get some amazing local, organic produce over the majority of the year. We will be growing our own garden too, and will be putting a lot of effort into gathering enough produce over the season to hopefully can and freeze for the winter months. I think the most difficult thing to track down will be local beans and nuts, but we will be looking into that over the coming months, and hopefully work something out. We are still loving our local, organic produce being delivered to us each week by The Fruit Guys, and it's so great to know we have that to rely on. 

Some major life changes, but all for the better. It will be tough at first, but so far we are determined to make important changes like this to help our family grow strong and healthy in the future! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

All the little siblings...

Sometimes it seems like every one of the moms I met while pregnant and a new mom are having second kids. I see photos of the little ones, brand new, and all scrunched up. They are super cute. Then I see their toddler siblings, looking in awe; smiling, laughing, poking, squeezing, trying to hold them. I think about how we so looked forward to Saoirse having a sibling. She would have been a great big sister. I can just see her coming up and wanting to help - feed the baby, bring the baby a blanket, put on the little socks, wrap him/her up, put him/her down for a nap. I can imagine she would just look out for him/her and be sure that he/she was ok. She always wanted to help, and she was always mindful of what was around and what we needed. Somehow she knew that she was supposed to be kind and helpful to others. She was quite the little sharer, and always liked to make sure everyone she played with got to share her toys. 
I always wanted my kids to be a little farther apart in age (Mike wanted one right after the other it seems). I was determined to have one at least somewhat consistent on the potty before I brought out more diapers. I'm sure we would have compromised on that at some point. When I got sick, we were resolute in the fact that I would have to wait at least two years before getting pregnant again. That way I would be out of the highest risk zone for relapse, and we hopefully wouldn't find ourselves having to make a nasty decision. When Saoirse got sick, we knew that we didn't want to put our energy anywhere else but towards her. We knew that if we could get through treatment without distractions, and could focus all our energy on her, she would be better for it. We were focused, and it didn't bother me that we had to wait to have our next baby. 
But now, I am slapped in the face with the realization that not only do we still have to wait for my health, but we will not be bringing a new baby home to his/her sibling. Our next baby will be a first. He/she will be the oldest living sibling, and will therefore have those responsibilities. He/she will not be our first baby, but will be raised as such in the sense that he/she will get all the attention, all the toys, his/her own room. That baby will not benefit from knowing Saoirse. Knowing the strength and goodness that she was every day. Knowing how hard she fought, yet how happy she was. Knowing just how amazing it can be to live, even though your body is destroying you from the inside. He/she will not have her to look up to each day, to model him/herself after, to follow around and learn by example. That child, that hasn't even been put into practical idealism, will never know the most beautiful person I have ever met. That child doesn't exist yet, and I already feel bad for him/her - for what he/she will miss. How will we tell him/her about Saoirse? How will we be able to convey what she meant and what she stands for? How can we even fathom to share what we know of her with this new baby? I can't imagine that we can do her justice. 
So now, we wait. Wait for the all clear from my doctors. Wait for my body to be healthy and free of chemicals and toxins. Wait for our 24/7 job back. There is one thing for sure; the new baby's middle name will be "Saoirse." 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

curls and swirls

So my hair is officially trying to be curly. Here's the problem. Only half my hair fell out, meaning that the half that didn't fall out is still the way it was. So now when I wake up in the morning, my hair is flipping nuts! Its everywhere! Up, down, sideways. Hopefully it will figure itself out sometime. I'm trying to get it to grow out, so we'll see how it goes. I think it will be in that awkward phase for a while, but luckily I look good in a hat. 

I've decided I'm going to get a journal to write in. I just read a book called "Bed Rest" that I picked up in a thrift store. Its written diary style, and I liked the way it read. I'm not planning on turning it into a book, but I liked that she wrote down everything she did and can really remember it all. I also think it might put some perspective on the day to day that we are living right now. I still feel like we are kind of in a time warp, and I haven't figured out how to get out of it. I think writing what happens each day as it goes might be a way to really see the days, and hopefully they won't keep just disappearing into thin air. I think I'll find a nice handmade leather bound one that has nice blank pages. Then I can scribble and draw if I want too. I'm on a mission - I'll try and find one in the next couple days. 

In other news, I'm a master fire builder. I will share more later, but I am totally proud of myself right now for this. Just figured I'd gloat a bit.