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Friday, April 25, 2014

A Little Bit of Silly Times Three!

Last night the triplets decided they were going to try to crab walk up the little stairs that have sat next to our bed since they were tiny and needed them to climb up.  I am not sure where they get these ideas but just as a thought, they did go all day at school without speaking unless their teacher spoke to them.  Talk about pent up energy being released!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Survivor Files: HEALED!

I went to the Wound Clinic today and was given the "all clear"!  See what was written across my check out papers! HEALED!  What a great word!  I am feeling so much better physically now and by taking my multivitamin on a regular basis and adding extra iron to take care of the anemia problem I have started dealing with in my post-40 years.  The energy level is higher and my outlook is more positive.  Now as the last few weeks of the healing continues and the skin gets thicker and less fragile, I will be preparing for two more less-invasive reconstruction surgeries in the upcoming months.

Bye bye Wound Vac!

I got to pack up the wound vac and get it sent back to KCI without any tears or the least bit of sentimentality!  It is amazing AGAIN how much waste there is in this whole process.  There were 8-10 packs left over each of the canisters and the sponge/tubing.  Once again KCI won't take hundreds of dollars of parts that go along with the vac, they just want the vac.  I took the boxes of supplies into the Wound clinic so they can use them for whatever.  Glad again that there is something I can do with them because I can't throw all of that away.  I am so excited to be rid of all of it and I hope that I will never have to do it again!
Here is a new development: when I am wearing lower jeans and
shorter waisted shirts I don't know that my belly is sticking out
because all of my stomach is numb.  So, if you are out with me
in the future and you see my stomach, know that it isn't planned,
I can't feel that my skin is showing.  Please tell me!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Road Closed - No, REALLY!

It has been a week now of road work in front of our house.  We do have to say, it is a lot cooler when the work is done is being done right in front of our house when we can have a front row seat on the front porch.  Matthew is loving the show!

It is funny how many people drive their vehicles past the "road closed" sign before they get over the hill and then have to turn their cars around and go back.  Because really, there is no way through on this road!  Many have to see it to believe it!
Pulling up the asphalt
Digging up the end of our driveway - we will
be getting a new sideawalk in front of the house!
Watching the cement come up on day 2 along with the rebar
Cool dump truck dumps sideways!  We have a big pile of
gravel at the end of our driveway!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mario Quilt #1 DONE!

Photo Dated March 2, 2013...looking back, I am amazed
that in just a little over a year that I have one done!
I started about a year ago when I went to JoAnn's after seeing a really cool quilt pattern and thinking "finally, a quilt I can make for the boys".  I had made quilts for the girls' beds and the boys were wanting an upgrade to their old dinosaur motif.  When I saw the pattern on the "Cut to Pieces" blog, I knew this was the one that I would tackle.

A little extra...quilted "ZACHARY" on
the top middle of the sashing...he LOVES that!
Zachary and I went to the store to pick out the perfect colors to match Mario and all of his friends.  You see, this quilt is a series of one inch squares puzzled together to make squares of Mario characters.  I found many of them that others had used online but I had to make up a couple too.  For example, Matt could not have a Mario quilt without Toad and there wasn't a patter for Toad.  So, Dawn and I sat one night and she drew the outline and I worked with the grid to make it fit with the rest.  I am currently working on four Toads for Matt's quilt because he had to have Red Toad, Blue Toad, Yellow Toad and Green Toad all on the quilt.
Bound with bright primary thread
spelling "Zachary" all the way
around...he loves that too!

With a small interruption of breast cancer through the summer and fall months, I was not as quick as I wanted and since this was a different technique, it took a little longer than I would have liked.  The results were amazing!  It is very time consuming but I am blessed to be able to spend the time on my kids right now and I enjoy every minute!

The Bed is Made!
There are some things I will do differently as I work through Matthew and Ryan's.  They each picked the characters they wanted and we worked together drawing out where each character will be on the quilt.  I will report more on my progress on those as I do them (now that I know a little more about what I am doing)!  There are still a lot of squares to do for the next quilts but as I straightened my work area, I got things set up to be much more efficient this time around.

I can't wait to show Ryan and Matt the new squares as their quilts take shape.  For today, I will smile knowing that even though I have been fighting some battles of my own, I have accomplished a pretty big goal through all of the surgeries, the doctor appointments and tests.  It is rare moments in life that I think any of us really amaze ourselves.  I have amazed myself this week and I thank God for getting me through this last year and giving me something to do (a lot of things actually) and plenty to show for it!  Don't forget to praise Him for who He is today!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Survivor Files: Seeing the Surgeon

Walking up behind an elderly man at the cancer center today as I was leaving, he turned to move out of my way and as he did smiled and we had the following conversation:

"You know many years ago, the Indians lived in this country a long time before we arrived?"  I smiled, not quite knowing where he was going with this.

"Yes, I did know that", I replied.  Eyes lighting up with a mischievous grin he continued.

"Do you know why?"  Imagine me trying to figure out how to approach the question.

"No?" I answered with a slight questioning tone.

With a big smile he finished with "because they had reservations!"  We both laughed, shared a few pleasantries and parted feeling a little lighter.

We are all on this earth for a short period of time in the course of human history.  I have felt worn down, trampled on and punched in the gut more than once as I travel through my days by people I don't even know.  That is why in the middle of my visit to the cancer center where my surgeons office is located I am amazed at how many MORE smiles and "Hellos" I receive than any other place I go.

I am praying for all of the scowling, complaining, mean looking people that are out there crossing paths with each other that it won't take a diagnosis of cancer or another terrible illness for themselves or a loved one before they see how important a moment in time is to those they share it with.

My message before the report on what the surgeon said is this "BE NICE everyone!  Smile at people, hold the door open for someone today, stoop down to pick up something that someone else has dropped and most importantly, give a little grace or mercy to someone who you feel has wronged you.  Most of the time you may have no idea what they are going through.

That is a big enough message for one day, but...what happened with the surgeon you may ask?  Well, good news!  Last week I had all good intentions to post the results of my visit at the wound clinic where they were going to change my dressing.  I was busy with so much that am just now finding pictures for the blogs that I have written to post so that I am up to date.

At the wound clinic last Thursday they announced that there would be no wound vac needed any longer, so after 1 1/2 weeks with the not-so-fashionable purse that makes farting sounds and makes my boys giggle, I have been freed of that burden!  Packing with the prisma stuff again has been my protocol and there has been real progress!

Doc says that if we schedule a couple of months out, he should be able to do the first of the final two surgeries to complete the reconstruction.  Both will be outpatient surgeries and will take about 2 weeks recovery and the doctor says that he is SERIOUS about me not doing ANYTHING for two weeks that would strain my muscle and tissue on my chest (basically keep your elbows to the side and no lifting or bending over.  (I have a poor record in this area)

I am excited because it feels like a light at the end of the tunnel.  He told me that I don't have to see him again until right before the surgery where we can talk about the plan.  So, for now I will be working with the wound clinic for the next few weeks to completely heal this incision that has been open in different places since Thanksgiving!  WAAA HOOO!