Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Little Princess No More

This post has been one of the hardest for me to write. But, there comes a time when I have to face the facts and admit it. My daughter is no longer princess-obsessed.

Last Christmas. And sigh... Yes, we're in matching jammies. 

There was a time when she would come home from school and immediately go her her dress-up station and pull out a princess dress and wear it the remainder of the day. She would nap in it. She would sleep in one every night. We would go to the grocery, run errands and do other things as a princess. We were a princess for Halloween. We went to Disney World last December. We had to pack a princess dress for the park, and an additional one for her to sleep in. We had a princess birthday party. That was all less than a year ago.

I'm not really sure when it happened. Gradually, I would guess. I remember finally getting her a coveted Elsa dress for Easter and she really didn't want to wear it. Huh??!!

As I look back at Christmas pictures from last year, she is in a princess dress in almost every one. Seriously. 

This phase, like many others will fly by in the blink of an eye. Some I prefer to move quickly (like the fits and sleeping through the night) but this one saddens me. It's kind of a wrench in my stomach. There is just something so magical about a little girl dressed up like a princess. 

She still loves princesses, and Aurora is still her favorite (she even decided to be Anna for Halloween whew!) but the dress up phase is definitely behind us. It makes me a sad mama. These moments are just so fleeting and get replaced with other things the older they get. 

But regardless of the dresses she wears, my little Jules will always be my little princess forever and always. 

At Disney

Hanging out at the house


Hanging out

Naptime :)

Playing outside


Last Christmas with Aunt Essie 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

So...Cancer Sucks

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month in case you haven't turned on a TV, shopped in a store, or looked on any form of social media. October always drove me crazy. I used to work for a non-profit as well: The American Heart Association. Although February was heart month, our Heart Walk was always in October, so I always felt we were "competing" for awareness. (sad but true, you fight for media spots and donation dollars). The pink EVERYTHING would just irritate me. (More women die of heart disease EVERY year than breast cancer, what good does buying a stick of pink gum make??) Then this happened a few weeks ago:

Mom: "Well, my biopsy came back and they found something."
Me: "What did they find?"
Mom: "Well, they said I have breast cancer"

And then your world stops, and then starts going again 1,000,000 miles a minute pretty much immediately. This was on a Thursday. On that Monday, we had her first doctor consultation to find out exactly how bad it was and immediately we were thrown jargon, terms we didn't understand, lab work we couldn't read, and we had to start making plans - Mastectomy or Lumpectomy? We knew it could be bad, but we didn't know how bad. We had to wait and see what they found when they got in there. So, the doctor left the room and we had about three minutes to decide. Based on what we knew - smallish ductal tumor, super aggressive, but it's 50/50 on which surgery we chose - we chose lumpectomy with radiation after. Decision made, surgery on Wednesday. I had the kids in Knoxville with me, so I drove back and immediately came back on Tuesday night. It also gave me time to google the crap out of her lab reports. It looked bad. Her tumor was 80% aggressive, anything over 20% was deemed "bad". Her estrogen receptors,  and progesterone receptors were both negative. Basically cancer is treated to those hormones. And hers both being negative was not a good sign. 

Surgery came. Dr came out. They took out the tumor and three lymph nodes, which were negative in its frozen state (meaning in the surgery room) PRAISE GOD!!!!! There is nothing else I can say. It's shouldn't have been negative. No way. Her labs looked too bad, and we were expecting the worst. It is indeed a miracle of God. 

Her post -op appt came. Good news and bad. The cancer had NOT spread, praise the Lord. Bad news - she is officially diagnosed at a triple negative breast cancer patient. A very rare form, it only occurs in 10% of breast cancer patients. It has to be treated differently than other types of cancer, there is no hormone therapy, and cancer is highly likely to return. So, she has to do chemotherapy to rule out any cancer cells in her body elsewhere. 

So, her first chemo treatment was this week and she rocked it. So what if she'll lose her hair? Psssh - hair grows back. My mother is one of the bravest, positive, precious people you will ever meet. She will be FINE. She has to be. She is a fighter, and there are too many people in this world that need her for her to believe otherwise. She would never let you know shes hurting, or shes sad, or if she needs help. That's her style. But we've been those annoying children at every doctors appointment asking 100 questions. 

She had the gene test done on Monday. You know the one. The one Ms. Angelina Jolie famously tested positive for and made headlines by choosing to undergo a double mastectomy to lower her risk. The BRCA test. So, we are hoping that comes back negative. If it comes back positive, not only does it put me and my sisters at risk, but due to that triple negative diagnosis, mom will immediately have to undergo a double mastectomy and hysterectomy. So, thats our next hurdle. God doesn't give you anything you can't handle right??? When you walk out of that that doctors office with two pages of a foreign language - it's a very helpless feeling. You are putting your complete faith, trust, and LIFE in a doctor/team that you have to believe will help you, without even understanding what is going on. (of course we do now - it's amazing how much you learn and know when a month ago you knew 0%)

What really been shocking and surprising is that how many people you find out have had it/have it once you're diagnosed. I mean, you kind of "KNOW" that, but do you really?? I didn't! It's been mind-blowing! It's AWFUL...but AWESOME! You have this personal army of survivors and support that is there for you - to help you, to pray with you, and to cheer you on. It's like God says "They've been there. They're there to help you. Let them love you. They want to."

It's going to be a long hard journey, but I am beyond grateful and thankful that the world is pink in October. I am completely eating my words. There is a reason that breast cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer - thanks to awareness and research!!!!  Go schedule your mammogram if you haven't already. I just turned 36 and have already talked to my doctors. They still recommended my waiting until I was 40, but that I'm welcome to go anytime for peace of mind. Please go. Get it scheduled and do your monthly self checks. My mom got hers regularly. Early detection saved her. It would have been SO much worse if caught later. 

Get your mammogram done! It would not have been anything she could have felt because her tumor was so far back. She wasn't feeling any symptoms either - not tired or sick. Thank God for regular mammograms and early detection. Especially with her type of cancer, it's especially aggressive. She's a fighter, and we love her to pieces, but yeah - cancer totally sucks. 

Click To Vote For Us @ the Top Baby Blogs Directory! The most popular baby blogs

Monday, October 6, 2014

That Boy, Though

Life lately with this guy has been, well.....tough. All of a sudden my sweet little butterball with the biggest heart you can imagine is now ALL.BOY. He is super hyperactive, rough, teasing - just a little shit, pardon my french. He has those sweet moment that comes though now and then, but he's changing, and growing up....and I don't like it one bit.

He is now all obsessed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. OBSESSED. Gone are Jake and the Pirates. Now we want to "fight bad guys" all the time. Toys are now action figures, and swords, and "nuntchucks". (although Gingy is still #1 thank goodness!)

Oy vey. Hoping it's just a phase, but knowing there's more to come and I better just brace myself. But then there are some moments of quiet, when you can't find Josh and you expect the worst, and he'll just be playing with is toys alone, and it so imaginative. Jules doesn't do this. Josh does, though, and it's the sweetest thing ever, and a quiet moment in the midst of the loud boy chaos that is now my life.

Click To Vote For Us @ the Top Baby Blogs Directory! The most popular baby blogs