Monday, March 25, 2013


Recently I have become busy. Still not as busy as someone who works full time in addition to being a mother, but busy. I also have the option of stopping my busy-ness anytime I want, unlike someone who goes to a job everyday. However, I do spending a lot of time working for other people. I volunteer for Captain Adorable's school. I am on the yearbook committee and I go to school once a week for an hour to read with children from two kindergarten classes. Now and then I am lucky enough to get to come in to the classroom as a helper or a guest reader. In February I was elected President of my homeowners' association (HOA). In addition to those opportunities, I also have begun volunteering as an attorney for two pro bono organizations.

It makes me happy to volunteer. I like to contribute but I think I get more back! Working with the kindergarteners teaches me to understand the learning experience of beginning readers, which allows me to better help my beloved son to learn to read. My experiences volunteering as an attorney build confidence in my ability as a lawyer. My experience with the HOA makes me feel connected to and proud of my neighborhood and my neighbors.

I am so thankful to have these opportunities. I am so blessed to live this life.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Cancer Research and Treatment

Recently I finished reading The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It took me a long time to finish because it is a long book and because it contains a huge amount of information. I took away several things from the book: 

  1. Cancer researchers are human beings just like the rest of us. Cancer research, therefore, is influenced by personal egos and politics, just like everything else people do.
  2. Cancer researchers spent long periods of time barking up lots of wrong trees.
  3. Cancer patients have to thank AIDS patients--specifically ACT UP--for better access to experimental drugs and insurance coverage for clinical trials. ACT UP did a lot of protesting and changed the way that drugs and insurance were regulated by the government. Their courage and persistence has created more options for cancer patients as well as AIDS patients.
  4. The US government has pumped huge amounts of money and legitimacy into cancer research. I hope it continues to do so.
  5. Cancer is us. Cancer is written in our genes. 
  6. Prevention is key. That means cancer screening (mammograms, PAP smears, colonoscopies, et cetera) is a gift. Not a chore! That also means avoiding the carcinogens which we can avoid in our work places, our food, our homes is more important than we currently acknowledge.
  7. I am so lucky to be alive at this time because of the treatments available to me now. Otherwise I probably would have died a year or two after my diagnosis.

I have already returned the book to the library, so I cannot share any quotes, but I found Mukherjee's understanding of what cancer patients experience to be deep and his means of expressing that experience to be both sympathetic and poetic. His scientific/medical explanations are careful and thorough. I learned a lot about cancer from reading the book.

I have just started The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis. I'll share my what I learn from that book as well.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Digging For Gold

I finally understand the playdate problem I grumpily posted about back in January. All I have to do is invite the child over for a playdate. The mom doesn't come, so she doesn't have to clear her schedule. Captain Adorable gets to have a friend over, which he loves, and I get to know the kids he likes to play with. I don't feel comfortable sending my child over to a house I've never visited with people I've never met, but obviously this is simply par-for-the-course for many, so I guess I can take advantage of it and host playdates, yay.

Yesterday Capt. Adorable had a friend over. When they got home I gave them a snack (Clif bars, crackers, and an apple) and we sat at the table and talked. They showed me the buckets they had made in school (of paper and glue, how darling) to prepare for their planned activity of the afternoon--digging in our backyard. Apparently they were going to dig for gold, get lots of money, and "buy thousands of books!".

Here they are, hard at work (this was taken from a screened in area of our deck, sorry). You can see there is not much in our backyard besides trees and ivy, but we do have a fire pit and I asked them to dig well away from that.
I am now dreaming of a tree house and a zip line or three. :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Snowquester 2013

The snow storm predicted for yesterday, being called Snowquester by the Washington Post, was supposed to leave us with 8 inches of heavy wet snow. We got a call from the local electricity company to tell us to prepare for being without power. School was cancelled. Snow plow trucks were every where and the roads were pre-treated to help keep them clear.

Here are two photos from the walk that Captain Adorable and I took around our neighborhood yesterday afternoon.
Fun to wear galoshes and walk through a Big Puddle.

Neighborhood boat ramp. 

Look at all that snow! Haha. We got a call that afternoon saying that schools would be open the next day (today). The Post did an article about who got snow and who didn't that was kind of interesting. My take away lesson: snow is hard to predict.

However, we did get to go to the family skate party to mark the end of the hockey season. That was a lot of fun and rather chaotic. We skated (as I was skating around the rink I noticed how different it was to skate with hockey players--all the children out there were better skaters then me!) and ate pizza and cookies. All the players got trophies and all the coaches got presents. We'll be back next year!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Next CT in Six Months! And busy times...

I emailed my oncologist because I got tired of waiting for news. In answer to my quesitons, he told me that the final report for the CT scan on January 30 was not changed from the preliminary report (which showed no new nodules and no change in current ones). The really exciting news, however, is that I get to wait 6 months for my next CT scan will be scheduled! That's July, baby!

This coming week is extremely busy, with my schedule full of meetings and classes and Captain Adorable's schedule full with 2 hockey practices and the end-of-season family skate and party. We've also got 2 cousins from Captain Obvious' family coming to spend an evening and a night before heading back to Montana (where they live). On top of all that, one evening the captains have to go pick up loaner equipment for the next sport Capt. Adorable is trying out: lacrosse. I would go as well, but I have a previous commitment elsewhere.

We're hoping to go sailing over the upcoming Spring Break. A family adventure--even though it will be cold, I think it will be fun. Our summer plans are being laid now--camp sign-up starts in February, so we've got 2 weeks of camp paid for and scheduled, plus a visit to Oma and Opa has been reserved. ;) I'm even starting to think about my 40th birthday (in September) and how I'd like to celebrate.