In the meantime

~~While we wait for the final word on the adoption, here are some things that have been on my mind~~

Let me first start by stating that I don’t want this to become a blog about cancer but I do think it is worth talking about. When I was first diagnosed with Endometrial cancer my head was swimming, I felt so overwhelmed and isolated. This type of cancer is VERY rare for a woman my age and body type (It almost exclusively occurs in women post-menopause and/or with significant weight problems). I felt like I had no one to talk to, all of the forums I read were women much older than I was. The experimental treatments my doctor suggested were/are new, I dug and dug for research to sway me one way or another and came up with nothing.How was I supposed to make these huge decisions that would affect the rest of my life? I didn’t know how to handle my own emotions about it, I was scared. It turns out its pretty awkward calling people to tell them you have cancer, so we decided to keep things fairly hushed.
Micah was so very supportive, loving, kind (and etc etc :)), I am lucky to have him as a husband. I tend to be more lead by my emotions and feelings, Micah has a logical thought pattern. He was able to help me separate the loss I was feeling with facts of the situation, when I wavered he helped my hold strong to my faith. Without him to help me sort through the muck I’m not sure how I would have done it.
The game changer for me came while talking to a good friend who herself was battling a particularly vicious form of breast cancer. Being able to have someone understand my feelings and talk to me realistically without pity was cathartic. I will always hold a special place in my heart for her.

This may sound a little morbid but nowadays I enjoy talking to people about my experience. If there is anyone that could benefit from my story I welcome it with fully open arms.
If there is anyone out there who happens to stumble upon this blog and has any questions about my experience with cancer, hysterectomy and oophorectomy, post-surgery treatments and medications, or would like a referral to my Gyn-Oncologist PLEASE PLEASE feel free to ask. Between this topic and our adoption I have been asked some pretty dumb questions. These days I’m of the opinion that there are no dumb questions, only dumb people.

Maybe I’ll do a ‘Frequently asked questions’ post, cause you know what people love? TMI, people love themselves some TMI.

Update

Fear not dear readers, MicahandSteph will be back soon! For legal reasons we decided to put the blog in hiatus while we went through the adoption process. Good news is it should be done (fingers crossed) soon! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

You’ll also get a bunch of my thoughts on:

-Our adoption process

-Life with a toddler

-Endometrial cancer

-Why we love Richmond

-An exploration into why Max’s breath smells like garbage

-Menopause

-And probably some crafts because I’m cool like that

And much more! See you soon!

Year in Review

When I stop to think about 2013 I am overpowered by some pretty strong emotions. Without a doubt last year was the best and hardest year of my life, I feel like I could say that about almost every year at it’s close… but I really mean it about this one. One of my pet peeves is when people say ‘No regrets’, there is things I totally regret about last year; I regret some decisions that had to be made, hurt and disappointment that had to be processed, physical pain that had to be overcome. The difference is even though I regret some decisions that had to be made, looking back and knowing what I know now I would still choose to experience it. We need those struggles so we can understand what we have achieved. I am proud to say that I made it through 2013 and am a better person for it.
As many of you know in March-ish of last year I was rushed to the emergency room and ended up needing 2 blood transfusions, after a slew of biopsies/ultrasounds/lab work ‘Don’t worry, it’s most likely a fluke’ turned out to be a rare form endometrial cancer. Cancer is scary when you hear about it happening to other people, cancer is terrifying when you are told it’s inside YOUR body.
In the wise words of Uncle Joey ‘Cut. It. Out.’, I wanted it out. Fast forward more months and more surgeries (including a full laproscopic davinci hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo oophorectomy), I now have 5 new scars and more room for my remaining insides to move around. I regret having to make the decision to have such a definitive surgery at a young age, but I know it was absolutely the right decision. I regret these scars on my body and the medication I will take for the rest of my life, I don’t miss the worry and nightmares of the cancer growing and spreading to other parts of my body- Peace of mind always comes at a price. In my opinion when people say ‘No regrets’ what they are trying to communicate a sense of self value, but I think they are robbing them selves of owning the struggles and hardship that goes along with refining ourselves.
I had cancer and I’m not ashamed because I now know that I can do hard things.

Passion Pit at the National

I went to a fair amount of concerts as a kid, like 1200% more than Micah. Maybe because I grew up in a small town and there was less to do? I’m not sure. The first concert I ever went to was the Monkees when I was about 12
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It was surprisingly energetic given the age of the members at the time. I loved the feeling of being encompassed by the music, having a whole crowd of people all focused on the same thing.

Micah and I agree on most music, he’s not so fond of country (but he is slowly breaking it in) and I have yet to crack the ‘classic rock’ nut (I haven’t given up hope). One thing we do agree on is Passion Pit, I think their last album ‘Gossimer’ was the sound track to last summer for us. When we heard they were coming to the National, we jumped at the chance.
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And while things were a little more crowded that we would have liked (it was a sold out show), we were not disappointed.
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The set was gorgeous and they put on a great show
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I love it when you hear music at a concert and it sounds the same as it does in your car, it seems more authentic.
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Two thumbs waaaay up! Or maybe two hands up in the air? (see what I did there ;))

A little under the weather

The weather here in Richmond has yet to make up it’s mind. A nice thing about the quick changes is it makes for some awesome storms. I thought I understood what thunder was before moving to Virginia, boy was I wrong. At times it seems like the sky breaking into pieces. An excess of rain also means lush plant life, sometimes I have to remind myself where I am because it looks like a rainforest.

ImageA couple days ago after a great downpour, I was leaving the store as the sun was setting. The colors were stunning, I drove a couple of blocks over to the Lee monument to snap a pic… Boy was I glad I did!

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As I was leaving the intensity of the sky slowly melted

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ImageI <3 Richmond

 

 

Norfolk

Micah and I had the wonderful opportunity to be invited to Harborfest in Norfolk. When we lived in Fredericksburg Micah’s parents lived in Norfolk, it was nice to have family only a couple hours away (not to mention they lived on the beach!). We made sure to come down as often as we could, believe it or not one of Max’s favorite thing in the world is to run on the beach. It’s the only time I ever see old man Max run :)
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Ok, ok, ok Back to business. We arrived a couple hours before dinner so we could check into our hotel and walk around a bit before it got dark.
We were lucky to get a beautiful room on the 9th floor, which means we had a wonderful unblocked view.
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Then we headed to the boardwalk
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More looking at Naval ships
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It was drizzling which ment we had the place pretty much to ourselves
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The Tall Ships were out in full force, so fun!
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In fact At&t had made arrangements for a group of us to go out on a tall ship the next morning on the ‘Parade of Sail’, unfortunately Hurricane Andrea was barreling up the coast. They ended up canceling the parade :'(
They still treated us to a seafood dinner
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And the next morning we enjoyed a hearty breakfast, balloon show (by Katie Balloons, possibly the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen, and wrapped up guy doing very impressive balloon animals. He made Buzz Lightyear wings, a wearable Hulk arm, and then a dachshund for me
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After we hung around for a bit but eventually came back, we had a radio remote for the Store to plan! Unfortunately again, since Andrea was still lingering… it was a downpour
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But it cleared up by the afternoon and we enjoyed a delightful afternoon.

It was a nice little getaway, even with the rain <3

Well Shoot

Since moving to Richmond I’ve made some great friends, one of those people is none other than Amelia. Have you ever met someone who no matter what they do it’s fabulous? That’s Amelia times 10. She is also an accomplished photographer, you can find her work at http://www.AmeliaJohnson.net

When Amelia rang me and asked if I’d like to participate in a film workshop in DC, I jumped at the chance. Her only request was that we come dressed as a Bride and Groom. Micah and I got married almost 8 years ago, and while my wedding dress will always have a soft spot in my heart, it’s looking a bit dated. In true Amelia fashion, she just so happened to have a dress she was sure would fit. She also explained that there would be about 17 photographers and we’d need to be there from 3-6. I had no idea what to expect, the adventure was on.

It’s a bit uh… warm here in Virginia at the moment. As much as I wanted to wear my hair down, I doubt people wanted to take pictures of some girl with sweaty greasy hair. Updo it is. I did a quick check on pintrest and found something I thought would be reasonable to attempt (since I’d be doing it myself it couldn’t be too fussy), slathered on applied some makeup and we headed up. DC is about 2 hours from Richmond, we crossed our fingers for no traffic. Required selfie (am I the only one who hates that term??) to show off my hard work.
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The house where the workshop took place was a former rectory in Dupont Circle. When I say it was impressive, I mean like woah. I wish I had taken a picture, but we were running late so we hustled in. Amelia had laid out a beautiful vintage wedding dress, paired with a silk bib necklace with pearls. It was gorgeous and fit like a glove.
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One of Micah’s favorite shows is Mad Men. I was surprised when I put the dress on, how much I looked liked Joan (Christina Hendricks).
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I didn’t realize my hair had that much red tone.

Anyway the day of was a whirlwind of ‘Look here’, ‘Now kiss’, ‘Pull her in tight’, ‘Micah Smile!’. By 6:30 my feet were a bit sore, but I’d trade sore feet anytime for an experience like that. It was so fun to be so close and almost intimate with Micah, in front of a big crowd. It was also interesting to see the different styles for each photographer. The workshop was based around using film rather than digital, so sadly we’ll have to wait a bit to see the results. But suspense is half the fun.
Here are some pictures I snagged from instagram. To ensure the photographers got credit for these photos, I took a screen shot that included their screen names. They were all very talented people.. check em out!
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I can’t wait to see the real photos!!