Thursday, January 10, 2008

this and that

  • For the new year, we decided to join the 21st century and get DSL. It was a huge pain in the a$$ to install it on the Mac — involving hours of frustrating phone calls to mostly clueless tech support people at both Qwest and Apple to figure out how to configure the Mac's settings for this modem. In the end, the solution was easy and straightforward, but it wasn't written anywhere, and I had to glean clues as I went along and figure it out on my own, pretty much. (Oh, the hardships we Mac owners face in this Windows world!) Now that it's up and running, I love it. In fact, I can scarcely believe how fast and easy it is to get online! How on earth did I make it this long with just dial-up?

  • I am 28 weeks pregnant, with 12 weeks to go, and I have gained 11 pounds so far. Not even a dozen. I know it's partly due to the weight I lost during my surgery, but still. I gained nearly 50 pounds with Daniel, if not more. The midwife says it's perfectly fine, though, and the baby is certainly big and kicky enough, so I'm not worrying about it. And I passed my glucose tolerance test, which screens for gestational diabetes. My blood test (taken an hour after drinking down a glass of a very sugary drink) resulted in a score of 134. I needed 140 or lower ... so I passed, but just barely. With Daniel, my score was 96.

  • Our doula, who was with us when I had Daniel, is going to be joining us again for this birth, and I'm so excited! It was great to talk to her on the phone last night. She's had a second baby since Daniel was born, so we had plenty of notes to share on our feelings about adding another little one to the family. Like me, she said, it was hard for her at first to accept that her firstborn would never be the sole center of her mothering world again. In fact, she felt guilty about it for a while. I'm glad to hear it's a normal reaction. I've been following the blogs of friends like April, Sarah and Missy, who just added second children to their families (or Kerry, who added triplets), searching for insights on what it's like. All in all, our doula predicted, it'll probably be harder for me than for Daniel.

  • Last night, I was copying out a recipe for spaghetti pie that a friend had sent me — she'd brought it over while I was recovering from surgery, and all three of us loved it. As I wrote, the thought flashed through my mind: I'd better write this out really clearly so that in case I'm not around anymore, Steve will know how to follow these instructions. How many people have thoughts like that? I didn't, pre-cancer. Now, I have them almost every day. Like, I want to be optimistic and relaxed and live as if I have a long life ahead of me, but on the same token, I also want to be prepared for contingencies. Just in case. So I think about things like what recipes Steve can cook easily, whether he'll be able to follow my bill-filing system, what advice to give Daniel about meeting girls when he grows up. Things like that. Just in case I'm not there.

    I told the above to Steve last night, and he said, "You mean, you aren't planning to stock up the freezer for us before you go?" And we had a good laugh. Thank God.

    Ellen said...

    Em, you will have a long, healthy life! You must believe that you will because somehow or another, it keeps the world going. If anything, it will keep the rest of us going if turns out the "c" pattern trickles down our line of sisters.

    Anonymous said...

    I was at a violin lesson when I was 22, and my lymph nodes were so swollen by this time. It was just weeks before my diagnosis, and by this time I sensed something was truly wrong. My violin teacher was talking about how I had a lot of potential, and how "the sky's the limit." I had a sinking feeling in my stomach when he said this. I knew there was something more powerful than violin talent that was going to rip through any potential I had. It was a disgusting, horrifying feeling that I remember to this day. Yes, I survived cancer, but the road was so rocky that the scars I have nowdays tear through any quality of life. The fact that I didn't even need the radiation treatment, because the Hodgkins came back anyway - if only the spread would have been caught BEFORE I had radiation, I would have had JUST he chemo. As it was, I had both, possibly all for nothing. And it's the radiation that is responsible for my heart problems (which have shortened my life), my aweful voice, and my high risk to breast cancer. It's almost like I would have been better off having caught the Hodgkins LATER, because I ended up needing the advanced treatment regardless, and could have skipped that foul radiation treatment.

    Anonymous said...

    Okay, I'm sorry for that vent above, although I think the anger that fueled it is very real.

    But as far as what Ellen said, it's true, Em, that your own maturity in dealing with your cancer has helped me deal with my own. Yes, even given the vent above, I'm doing better after having seen you deal with yours so well. Maybe it's because you have a supportive husband, who knows. But seeing how well you deal with it has "given me permission" to deal with my own in a better way. I think I've mentioned this before. And like Ellen said, if the "c" pattern trickles down the line of sisters, we need good examples like you. My own inability to emotionally deal with cancer is not a good example to my sisters.

    Emilie said...

    Susanne, trying to compare my situation to yours is sort of like comparing apples to oranges; you've been through so much more than me — two surgeries, chemo, radiation, all the heart and voice issues — and you've dealt with yours for so much longer. I've only lived with this for a few months. Who knows where I'd be, emotionally, if I were in your shoes? Please don't beat yourself up.

    Missy said...

    Em- I've been formulating a post in my mind about siblings and how Alex is doing with all the changes. Seeing your post tonight and your mention of checking my blog for insights gave me the motivation to get those words out and write something. So check it out when you have time... :)