Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wakin Up & Smellin the Coffee......

I'm slowly working on my 2nd cup of coffee right now, slowly going thru the newspaper and slowly deciding to make another blog entry since I have so much catching up to do. You'll notice that the operative word in the above sentence is SLOWLY......dang.....mornings are so crappy for me and cold mornings just add to my slowness!! Not that I'm complaining......far from it.......I LOVE our Florida COLD WEATHER, and it's been perfect lately.....high in 60's and low in 40's... WITH the sun out...that is stunning weather, and if I could have it my way, we'd have that kind of weather 6 months of the year! Mornings just find me very achy, bones & muscles yelling at me, but hey...small price to pay for having a life to live! I have had a whirlwind of a life lately too, huh? First 3 Jewelry Shows in West Palm (and for those of you who ordered from me....all orders will be in the mail by the end of the week).....then home only 4 days and then left for an 8 day cruise to the Caribbean, and then home for 4 days and then Thanksgiving and the day after was my daughter Ashley's 28th Birthday. Sheesh.....slow down the world for a minute, please. Just for a sec to catch my breath!! Well, no moss will grow under my feet, now that I've been blessed with a "second chance", but I am starting the beginnings of what feels like a cold coming on, so that I'm sure is the Universe's way to say SLOW DOWN CHICKADEE. Which I plan on.......therefore....lucky or unlucky you (LOL).....I'll be slowing down and writing about some things going on is this feeble little chemo brain of mine. Hugs & Peace

Friday, November 28, 2008

To Be Thankful......

I have so many things to catch up on and share with you, but the overwhelming topic swimming around in my mind (and heart) is "Thanksgiving" and "Thankfulness" right now. I'm probably going to sound sappy and like I should be writing for Hallmark cards, LOL, but yesterday (Thanksgiving) was especially special for me this year. I've always been the "chosen" person to say grace before the meal, and yesterday was no different. I was warned, in a joking way, of course, not to go through the entire litany of all that I am thankful for this year, as dinner would have gotten colder than ice if I had! I was sad though, that entire family wasn't present for the meal like usual, but we have only been home from our cruise for 4 days when Thanksgiving came around, and we didn't want to turn around and go back to West Palm for one meal, having just been gone and with all of us being together for an 8 day cruise. (LOTS more on the cruise with photos later)!! So Thanksgiving was at Mom's with Mom, Van, me, Ashley and Kevin this year. We did get Linz and Kate on the phone though, for the "drawing of the names" for Christmas gifts, so they could be a part of the process, while we were drawing Live! That's also something new for our family starting just last xmas and now this one, BUT we are planning to go back to the "old way" of doing things next year. In all years past, we all just all bought presents for everyone and had a field day. Since the economy has been so crappy, Kate starting her own business, me with all my medical bills, and really lots of other reasons, we reverted to name drawing, which really no one likes, but hopefully this is the last year we'll be doing it, and then go back to buying presents for everyone. This way we all have a year to re-coup, save some money and go back to the way we love to have x-mas......everyone buys for everyone! But back to my Thanksgiving thoughts.......I think that it's common to give "lip service" to saying "I'm thankful for this or that", but when a person is faced with what is truly life changing events, it makes one really push the "PAUSE" button and slowly think through the events of the year, become quiet within, and listen to what your heart is telling you what you are thankful for.My list is actually quite endless this year......and I feel that I have always pretty much been the kind of person that has recognized and given thanks for all that I have been given in life, it is only human to "take advantage" of all that any of us are blessed with and not truly recognize and name what we are thankful for, both big and small, but for me on the #1 all time "Thanksgiving" hit list is FAMILY. I have always LOVED and more importantly, I think, LIKED my family. We all are so funny and smart and laugh and just enjoy each other, yet this year my family's attributes that I so adore and feel fortunate for, were there for me a thousand fold and more. I can truly say I OWE MY LIFE to my family. I cry as a write this, as the deep deep gratitude I feel can become an overwhelming feeling for me. I don't know that many people who are as fortunate as I am, to have their entire family literally put THEIR lives on "HOLD" the way mine did for me. I've been sick for so very long and they stood, walked with, carried me, talked, listened, and more, this whole time and I NEVER felt alone......NEVER. They encouraged, cajoled, kicked me in the butt when I needed it, you name needs were met, even when I didn't know what they were. I know I can truly count on my family to be there for me no matter what. Now fortunate am I? I can honestly say I AM the the most fortunate person in the whole universe and extremely thankful for my family. We all tend to get caught up in the material things of life, homes, toys, etc.....but they won't be with you during the hard times, cheering you's your family that will be there. I just want the whole wide world to know, that my family is sooooo awesome, something that is so deeply engraved in my heart. I will never be able to say it enough, and there really are no words adequate enough to express how very truly grateful and thankful I am to have these wonderful people chosen to be on this journey of life with me. My Family.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The "Pee Pee" Results.... :)

Today I had a Dr. Nair appt to go over the results of my 24 hour Urine test which I dropped off on Monday and the results would indicate if any Multiple Myeloma Cells might be creeping and sneaking around in my blood system BUT my results came back a BIG FAT ZERO! Yay for my pee! I was just SOOOOO excited to hear this news today. As a matter of fact, my entire blood counts are looking awesome and even those pesky little platelets have already reached 211 according to today's test and as I've mentioned before, the normal range starts at 140. So some really really great news today which makes me a very happy gal. Lately though, I've been having just a low grade anxiety around "relapsing". I know this is the nature of my disease and something I will have to learn to live with, although "learning to live with it" is an even ludicis way to look at it. How do you "learn to live" with waiting for the news that your cancer has become active again? I don't think you really do ever "learn" that. I guess it's the ole "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling. It's not all encompassing or too invasive, but it's been there and I recognized it and gave it some thought. In several ways lately, my attention has been drawn to the fact that more than a few people have relapsed around the 1 year mark, so now it's kinda weird, because at first I was counting the days AWAY from my transplant and now I'm counting days TO the 1 year anniversary mark, and that's 1 thing I think, that has been contributing to "goin down the road" of thinking about relapse.'s not consuming me or anything....just a nagging little thought that creeps in now and then. My life is really great right now.....I'm physically feeling better than I have in more than 2 years now, I'm busy and excited about Jashlin Jewelry, and for the first time in a long time I'm setting goals and working towards them. My life was so uncertain for so long, that thinking about setting goals, let alone setting them, was near to impossible for me. It's kinda difficult to frame goals in your mind and outline steps to reach them, when you're not even sure whether you will live or not! I've always been a goal setting kind of person, so living my life in limbo for so long was hard for me. And getting back to my previous line of that I'm only a few days from being 6 months post transplant, I guess what I'm trying to say it's the time now, when I am getting farther and farther away from my transplant and knowing my kind of cancer is not "curable" and I will inevitably relapse, the farther away from transplant makes me closer to relapse. Am I making any sense to you? It's all kinda jumbled in my head a bit, but I hope I am being clear in expressing myself and this fear. More on this later...... On a lighter and happier note.......well, besides getting the BEST medical news ever today :) I am leaving for an 8 day cruise in a few days and couldn't be more excited! I'll be really busy tomorrow with organizing and packing and doing those "last minute" stuff that seems to come up before a get-away, but I am sooooooo looking forward to a week on the "high seas"....island hopping.....watching las vegas type shows....chillin....sitting on the deck with a good book....playing some blackjack...... going to the clubs......taking some shore excursions and most of all, just spending time with my family. I might even treat myself to the spa for a thing or hair appts for me though LOL I'll be taking the laptop with me so will check in with you during the week. peace & hugs

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wow.....being the Early Bird today!!!

Ha...........and you didn't believe me did you? Not that I can blame you, since I have said in the past "it won't be a week till I post again" and it turned out it was a week, but NOT this time. I told you I was going to prioritize and I did. I'm working on the last bit of coffee and "perusing" the daily paper, then gonna jump in the shower and run the "PEE CONTAINER" to the lab!! You walk in the lab with this can that resembles a rather large plastic gas can, but of course it can't be non-descript. It's an orange neon color that's like walking in with a flashing sign saying "I've got PEE......I've got PEE.....I'm having my PEE tested.....I'm having my Pee tested". I don't personally care one way or another, but it does crack me up, the peripheral "stuff" that goes along with this cancer crap. God blessed me with a warped and twisted sense of humor for which I am eternally grateful :)
First things first......Let's all stand up and sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sister, KATHRYN LYNN TANCIG (aka.....Kate.....Kathy......Aunt Kate) She deserves the BEST of everything as she truly is the most loving, caring, thoughtful, fair person in the entire world and anyone who knows her will back me up. Of course I'm a bit prejudiced being her sissie, but it's all true :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATE! After dropping off the PEE CONTAINER ( I think I like capitalizing that word), I'm gonna run a few errands and then come back and hit the studio. What is also time consuming with having an "internet" jewelry business is the importance and time it takes to photograph and write a description of the items. I think jewelry is a rather "tactile" thing. Everyone wants to hold it up and look in the mirror etc etc and on the internet you can't do that (I'm sure in the future someone will figure out how to do that!!) so in the meantime, I have to take some kick ass photos and be very descriptive in describing. (that's redundant!) It really takes forever to get the photos great and clear with no shadows and weird chit in there and then to go over every piece and basically describe it bead for bead, takes me a long time. I suppose I'll get better at it and quicker the more I do it, but for now it takes me a long time. And then AFTER taking the photos....then you hae to upload them into the camera....crop and "fix" them, name them, watermark them (for copyright purposes.....ha.....I WISH a big time designer would find me somehow). So between working on filling my WPB orders and trying to get some new stuff up on the web, well....I'm a busy gal till I leave for the cruise. Also gotta squeeze in a doctor appt for an IV session and seeing my awesome Dr. Nair, running to the bank (oh yes I need some gamblin money and spending money for some cool "island shopping"!) and just the usual last minute "before a trip grab stuff "shopping I need to do. I can either do that today or on Thurs. as I'll be out and about when I take my brother Greg to the airport that day as he's flying back to Colorado for his winter job. Sometime between now and noon Friday when we leave for WPB I'll throw in some laundry since having some clean clothes to wear might be nice too :)
When I was at Kate's last week it was Halloween and my nephew Chris had to dress up for his job so I thought I'd have some fun too. I used to have a Halloween Party every year to go to when Colleen had her annual BASH, but no more, so I've posted some Halloween photos of myself I just had to take!! Talk to you tomorrow...... and oh yeah.....sometime shortly I'll post a link and some photos of my jewelry for sale, but here's just a few photos to start. Love ya.....and, oh yeah, PLEASE SIGN IN and leave a comment once in awhile so I know who's coming to say HI.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I sound like a Broken Record......

I feel so neglectful lately and I really really miss writing in my blog, so no excuses, I'm just going to prioritize things and make it go back up to the top. The intentions were there, yet I didn't follow through and I'm kinda mad at myself about that. I have all these things I want to talk about too and they just rumble and rumble around in my head. I do talk about them, but really haven't been doing too much of that lately either.....what a shock! I've just been really busy trying my best to get Jashlin Jewelry up and running that that's all I have been focusing on really. For 2 weeks prior to the WPB shows I was preparing and making jewelry, making beads, firing the beads and then you have to clean the holes of the beads too. Then I went to WPB for 5 days and had 3 very successful Jewelry Shows (one at Jan's office, one at the school where my niece works and one at Kate's old work) while I was there and since I've been home (came home Wed. the 5th), I've been working on custom orders, making beads, etc etc. I feel somewhat under the gun as I leave this upcoming Friday the 14th to go back to WPB as I'm leaving for a cruise on Sat the 15th!! YAY!!!! It will be my sissie's 50th Birthday tomorrow (the 10th), so instead of doing "the usual" she wanted to make this memorable, so a few months ago, the family decided to go on a cruise to the Caribbean and best of all, my Uncle Tom and Patty are joining us from Wichita so I just can't wait to go! It will be Kate and Dicky and Mom and Van and me and Tom and Patty and Terry and her husband (Dicky's sister). We'll be going to Puerto Rico, St Thomas and another St. Somewhere (can't remember right now.......LOL) Sounds like the Jimmy Buffett song! :)
I've been on cruises before but not the size of this ship. It's the Carnival Liberty, so if you get bored look it up on the internet and see what kind of ship, activities and food we'll be looking at! They say you gain 10 lbs on a cruise, so that sounds great to me! Clocking in at 99 lbs today! The food is supposed to be fabulous and it's like all you can eat lobster and yummy things like that. Count me in....I'm even getting kinda hungry right now just thinkin about it. Getting back to WPB for a minute.....while I was there I had a long overdue get together with some friends that go all the way back to Elementary School and High School. My friend Jan (do you know she is the only other Jan I've ever known my entire life?) had a jewelry party at her husband's office where I met some really nice people, saw Jan again after many years, and another friend Kathe came to see me there and I've actually known Kathe and her family since we were little bitty 5 years old!! On that Sunday, Jan, me my friend Beth and my friend Julia met for brunch at this really cute cafe and I had a great time playing "catch up" with all of them. Everyone looked TERRIFIC too!! I feel so fortunate that Jan reached out to me when she got word from Beth that I had cancer. Jan then emailed me and that's when our re-connection began. She and I have been emailing back and forth and I truly so appreciate the effort Jan has made and that my friends made an effort to come see me while I was there. From now on, we will not lose touch and that's the way it was meant to be. I love the way the Universe works. Really wonderful things happen through the so called "bad times". It really does show you who in your life is there for you, when you least suspect it. In that same vein, I have received many emails from people who have stumbled upon this blog in some way and have made "friends" with them as they too are going through this journey or someone they love is going through it and we have joined hands in support of one another. How wonderful that this ugly ugly disease can make something so beautiful. I'm having a bit of anxiety today, as today is "pee" term for the every so often " 24 urine collection" I have to do. I collect all day today and 1st pee in the morning and then have to run it to the lab. It's something I will have to do for the rest of my of the little cancer gifts......and I don't think I'll ever really get used to it as the test results will let us know if my protein levels are up and that in turn means my MM has returned. This urine test and a bone marrow biopsy are the determiners, so now it will be the wait and see game while waiting for the test results. I am now 6 months post transplant. I've posted some photos of my get together with friends. won't be another week or so when I come talk to you here. I have lots of things in my head.