Sunday, October 19, 2008

Well, Ill be honest. When I was growing up, I never imagined this was where I would spend my child's fifth birthday.

It would have been festive with family and friends, and there wouldnt be tears, and shopping for a gift wouldn't have me gulping often as I aimlessly walked up and down the aisles. I settled on a Halloween/Autumn tree with little orange and white bells. I know the cemetary has a "wipe em clean every season or so" policy, but it seems as though they have exhibited a laissez faire policy on the baby section of the cemetary. I dont talk out loud when I visit JP. I mostly just think to him. I apologize for anything I might have done wrong to have made this happen, and I assure him that if he were still with us, he'd have a great life. He'd be in kindergarten now. Can you belive it? No doubt with John's genes he'd be academically advanced and having learned from my scrapbooking skills he'd be taking art classes with the 3rd graders. At least thats how I imagine it. Happy Birthday JP. We miss you so much.

Luckly, I have a lot of things in my life that keep me smiling...

Mom & Dad had Drew yesterday and last night. They pretty much beg Nick & Mere to "take him off their hands" on a semi-regular basis. Living 2 miles apart doesnt make this a difficult setup. I woke up early waiting for Drew to get up. He's so cute in the morning. After I got him out of the crib and played with him for a while, I let him kick it hillbilly style in the family bed with gma and gpa.....yee haw!!! (AND NO, DAD NEVER TAKES OFF THE MICHIGAN STATE SHIRT AND NO, LETS NOT TALK ABOUT THE OSU GAME BY THE WAY...)

Saturday night I came up to watch Fairmont's volleyball team play in the state tournament. They played the #1 seed (Lebanon) and played great & took them to four games but ended up losing after four really close hard-fought games.

Before I went to the game, I had to stop in a Speedway to get cash to get into the game, and I overhear one of the employees having a conversation with someone. I dont even know what he was talking about, but as he walked back to the stockroom, he laughed and exclaimed, "YEAH! I guess thats an effort in fertility!!!" Reminded me of Joey Tribiani talking about a "Moo point". I called Stacy immediately to tell her and she laughed and confessed that up until recently she had been saying - oh, I cant even remember what the phrase was, and she'd probably kill me if I put it on the blog anyway - I REMEMBER! - she would say, "For all intensive purposes". Sorry Stace.

After I visited the cemetary, I went over to Nick's softball game at Delco. Mere and a happy Drew were waiting.....
Go Daddy!
He just makes it so easy!!

Nick, cranking up to send a line drive over the shortstops head. Thats dad coaching first in the background.
(a la Captian Kirk)
The sunset at the end of the game was spectacular so we had someone take our picture as we were walking out.
As we left, the sunset became more beautiful by the minute as sunsets do, and I was able to take a number of shots on a barely-there battery.

This one was with flash.....
And without.....
Such a cool tree...I love the fall.

Donny Fortener Home Improvement update: New lights on the deck and, for those of you who havent seen it yet, dad replaced EVERY plank on the deck (they didnt seal it properly when they made it years ago) and it looks BRAND NEW!
Its hard to tell from this shot, but he's pretty much replaced 75% of the deck with new wood and stained it with a nice dark color.
Tomorrow is chemo #5 of six. Just ONE MORE after tomorrow. Ill be so excited to detox for hopefully a VERY LONG TIME and get some of my energy & wind back. While I dont HATE getting blood transfusions, (I mean, theres worse things I could be enduring) it is getting to be a little annoying and predictable. I suspect another tumor marker test will get done tomorrow. My last one went down about TWO HUNDRED points, so lets hope this next one goes down another two hundred.
Im having my last two chemos on Monday. This past Friday was really busy at work and last week was the busiest week Ive had since Ive worked was HEAVEN. The days went by in a flash, and it was the closet thing Ive felt to having a "workout" in about six months. I was physically and mentally exhausted at the end of the day and it was great.
Tomorrow will be a full day of procedures....after chemo, Im finally going into the dentist to get some repair work done. A few months ago I literally flossed a filling right out of my mouth. I mean, the sucker popped out of my mouth and hit the mirror and I havent seen it since. This means I have a gaping hole in my mouth and I have to floss everytime I pop something in my mouth. Every snack, cracker, breakfast, lunch and dinner I gotta floss out a filling sized chunk of food out of my grill. So annoying. Thank God for those little mint flavored flossers - what a great invention!
Can you believe scrapbook weekend is just around the corner? Hopefully Ill have enough energy to finish my college scrapbook. Last year I was so sick and hardly got ANYTHING done. I know Stacy and Jami dont like when I "pre-work" my pages before we go, but that might be the only way I can get that done, along with a secret project that I cannot speak of. Also, Jami invented the term "Scrapbook Mountain" of late, I have heard her referring to it as "Scrapbook Island", and Stacy informed me yesterday that she was renaming it "Scrapbook Resort & Casino".
Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


You know, I dont think I ever mentioned that I had to have a second blood transfusion a few weeks ago. I had a feeling my counts were low, and sure enough, Joni called me back and the first thing out of her mouth was, "Where you wanna go?", as in, you have no choice, pick a hospital to get transfused at.

She was able to get me in at Kettering at 6pm, which was good, because I wasnt going to miss any work. I drove straight from Cincy to Dayton after work and go there just in time. I honestly thought Id be out of there by midnight. Maybe drive back to Cincy and be good to go in the AM.

Unfortunately, I didnt get my blood until 11pm and the whole treatment wasnt over until 4-5am. So I slept (sort of) there, and was going to head back to work the next morning. You dont exactly get to sleep through it, really. They have to come in and take your BP and your temp every 20 min or so, so you're awake on and off throughout the night.

But its better than missing work in my opinion. Around 6 I was ready to go, but was informed that I was brought in under a "23 hour observation"....which meant only a doctor could release me. I asked, "Well, when do the doctors come in?" They say, "Oh, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon"....UH. NO!

So Im beeping the nurses all morning asking "What I gotta sign to get out of here" and Im beeping them and nobody will come back to my room, they'll only answer the speaker page. Apparently they thought I was going to get violent.

So I finally call the Medical Society from my room and have Romer paged. He calls, and Im whispering into the phone so the nurses dont hear me, "DOC! YOU GOTTA GET ME OUTTA HERE!! I need to get to work!!!" Romer hangs up, calls the nurses station and about seven minutes later Im signing my discharge papers. Reason #589 that going back to Romer was the best decision I ever made.

Well, that was the story of transfusion #2. This weekend was transfusion #3. Karen stuck me on Monday and my hemoglobin was 8.1. By Friday it was down to 7.5. Here we go again. The doc on call asked where I wanted to go. Lets try the Valley this time! Its not fair that just one hospital gets to enjoy my visits! So doc on call puts an order to Miami Valley and says I can go any time.
We were coming up to Dayton anyway for Ryan's football game (back to Welcome Stadium) so I thought, Ill just go in the morning and then be good to go for the game.

Well, we drove up Friday night, and to make a boring story short, it turns out, the hospital had the orders, and not only could I go at anytime in the morning, but I could just head over that night! And thank God I did, because I learned that multiple transfusions can lead to your body building antibodies that make it harder to match you I got to Miami Valley around10:30, and didnt get my blood until 2AM!!!!

If I would have headed over there on a busy Sat morning, who knows if I would have made it to the game. All in alll, another pleasant experience, and it turns out, Dad and all my aunts are B+, so in the future, they all said they could donate in my name. Im getting better and better and this.

But thats not why you read this blog! You read it for adorable pictures of Drew!!! Drew and Uncle John were watching some tv this weekend....

...must have been something funny!
Hes only six months and he's crawling and walking along the couches. It wont be long before he's walking.
Got out of the hospital around 9am and spent the day on the couch. Then we headed off to Marions before the football game - CJ vs CARROLL at Welcome Stadium:
Here they are, all my B-POSITIVE aunts! You'll see these hooligans again once our trip to Scrapbook Island (Jami renamed it) rolls around in a few weeks.

I also never got around to posting any pics of the Kelts Breast Cancer Fundraiser - Kelts raised $4000 for the KOMEN FOUNDATION!!! Way to Go Kelts!!! Thanks to mom and dad who also sold a bunch of tickets.
One of the many perks of having Breast Cancer, is that I get to pull the winning tickets at the fundraiser. O'Connor won a "Basket of Cheer" (Basket full of booze). You're welcome Brendan!!!!
Mom and Dad at Haps, right before a fight broke out by their table. (I was honored that people were getting so emotional over breast cancer!! - Actually, the guy who started it was apparently drinking since 9am that day, but maybe it was in honor of Breast Cancer)
Here they are - 2008 LEAGUE CHAMPS!!! The Cincinnati Kelts Womens Rugby Team!! They just won league and are in Chicago right now playing for the Midwest Championship. I was going to go with KJ but as you know, other things came up so I didnt go.

Kelts women beat the Milwaukee Scylla yesterday 48-5 and are playing Detroit today. They're either done playing or they're playing right now. Detroit is really good, and after you play them, you have a have a hard time saying Detroit without saying "F**K" before it. This has plagued Cincy women for the last five years or so. (Im going to call right now to see whats going on)

And finally, a belated thanks to Nancy Kramer (Faffs wife), who created this quilt patch for a program through Panera for the American Cancer Society. I love it! Thanks Nancy!!!
Well, I just talked to KJ and Cincy lost to Detroit. (F**K Detroit!!!) Im so proud of this team and how well they've developed since the Cincy-Dayton Split. They have so much talent, personality, and are hands down the hottest bunch of rugby women in the Midwest!

One more week till Treatment #5. Its almost over!! Time to start really hoping for good Tumor Marker/PET scan results. I refuse to scrapbook with a dark cloud over my head. REFUSE!!!

Have a great week everyone!! F**k Detroit!!!!