Finally settled in to Rumson NJ

Sober October

Much has transpired in the few weeks since I last posted to the blog, not all of it good.

A little over a week ago, an MRI revealed that my cousin Dori’s brain tumor was starting to grow again. Dori had been having more frequent seizures (3 in 10 days), so the diagnosis wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it was still devastating. Her last surgery/radiation/chemo treatment proved quite effective and she went more than 2 years without any evidence of tumor growth. This time around, surgery is not an option. It is possible that radiation won’t be an option either (they’ll find out next Thursday) — so for now we’ll have to see how well she responds to chemo alone.

The timing of the MRI just so happened to coincide with a previously scheduled trip to Rhode Island. Erin and I had been invited to join Dori in watching a production of Cinderella at the PPAC theater in Providence. After confirming it was still ok to come, we made the 5-hour drive to Dori’s house. Erin is a pretty good passenger as far as little kids go. We didn’t have to stop for any potty breaks (the quick stop for lunch was sufficient), and she only started to complain that she was “getting bored of this car” towards the very end. Parents are fortunate in this day and age to be able to pop in multiple videos (in this case Frozen, Rapunzel, and Backyardigans) to help keep kids entertained during long car trips.

Erin and I were absolutely spoiled during our stay in Rhode Island. Lots of great food, lots of little goodies, lots of tickles (between Erin and my Uncle Tommy). It never ceases to amaze me how my Aunt Peggy and Uncle Tommy can be such excellent hosts with everything else they have going on. My grandmother was there, too. She had flown up a few weeks prior to help out with Dori. It was good to see everyone, and it was very hard to leave. Erin had been somewhat timid around Dori at first (she takes a while to warm up to people), but as we were saying our goodbyes she gave Dori the biggest hug. It was so sweet.

On our way back to NJ, we stopped and had a quick visit with my Uncle Billy, Aunt Linda, Cousin William and his two beautiful little girls. Alexis and Emma are only a little older than Erin, and they have a basement stocked with toys…so Erin had a blast. If only I had remembered to take pictures. Sigh :(

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Being a parent is hard. Much harder than I had ever imagined. There are so many things that are completely out of your control. Like brain tumors. I have, thus far, been fortunate enough to avoid any major health issues with my kids. But there are still little issues that manage to break my heart. Like how many of the kids who Evan knows, kids he considers to be his friends, don’t want him on their team. He doesn’t quite understand why, but I know it’s because he’s not very athletic. My kid is the kid that gets picked last. The thing is, he seems to really like sports. He talks about soccer all the time…he’s just not very good at it. To make matters worse, Evan doesn’t understand that he’s not very good. His perception of his own abilities far exceeds his actual talent. It’s quite a conundrum. I’m sure with more one-on-one practice he’d get better…but he doesn’t really like being coached by his parents, and it ends up being a very frustrating thing for everyone. On the bright side, Evan’s team won their last soccer game today and Evan recently became a junior green belt in karate.

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Not much to report with Erin. She’s had a big growth spurt lately and now wears the SAME SIZE as Evan. That’s not to say that Erin is in any way tall for her age…Evan is just really small. He’s way overdue for a growth spurt of his own.

JP is still working on his new project and I’ve been busy interviewing for a job. I’ll have more to report on that front in the next blog post. In the meantime, I have been trying to enjoy the last few weeks (days) remaining before I have to re-enter the full-time working world and brave the painful commute. I’ve also been trying to get to the bottom of my health issues. I haven’t been myself for quite some time, and I refuse to accept my doctor’s assertion that it is just a consequence of getting older. I am only 38. That’s not old.

So I had my first mammogram last week. Unfortunately for me, I have really dense breasts. I know that many women complain about losing their boobies after having children, but mine got bigger and stayed big (much to my annoyance). What has been a minor annoyance became downright painful when the first screening mammogram revealed the need for additional images. I swear it was like my breasts were being squeezed into a vice grip, three times on each side. After all that, I had to do an ultrasound anyway. Everything is “probably benign”, but I have some calcifications and cyst clusters that the doctor wants to keep an eye on, so I have to repeat this painful process in 6 months. Lucky me.

I see an endocrinologist on Tuesday. I am fairly certain that the vast majority of my issues are hormone-related, and I’m hoping this doctor can get to the bottom of it. Fingers crossed.

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1 Comment so far

  1. geedagee October 31st, 2014 8:26 pm

    They compare mammograms to laying on the garage floor in the winter and having your car run over your boobs. :( Try avoiding any caffeine for a couple of days prior to the mammogram.

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