Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Puddy Bompie Sniffy Fluffy....Olivia


Turning 8 is GREAT!
(Cannot Cannot Cannot Believe she is 8!!!
Holy Freaking COW, when did that happen?
My BABY is 8! 8!  Breathing in and out,
in and out, in and out.)

Some photos of her along the way.
(As usual with my "madd skillz"
aka "badd skillz" they are out
of correct order. You get the
picture though!)

Things I love about Puddy.

1. ALL of her nicknames.

2. That she is a part of our family.

3. Her loving kind nurturing

4. Her creative flair.

5. That she STILL snuggles with me.

6. Her love of SALAD! (her
favorite food.)

7. Her dislike of chocolate and
all things sweet. (weirdo, we know!)

8. That this is her special year.
The big baptism.  (which may or 
may not happen until July--lots
of conflicts until then)

9. That she is my favorite 4th child.

10. She taught herself how to
ride a bike AND how to swim.

11.  She loves soccer, swimming,
friends, dolls, anything crafty,
and hanging with her mama.

12. She dresses better than anyone
I know (ahem).

WE LOVE YOU Little O!!!

Love, Mom

(Can you see why I have a thing
for brunettes and redheads? See
previous post)

Friday, April 29, 2011

seriously, life is not fair

This is Grace.

She is my eldest daughter.

She is 14.

I am pretty sure it is NOT FAIR
that she looks like this at 14.

Not sure it's fair that her, and her
cousins, just "threw on" some of her dresses
on Easter Sunday and bounded over to the
elementary school (in barefeet and 40 degree
weather none the less) and "just took" 
these pictures. No making up, no hair do-ing,
they just went and did it.)

When I was 14, I had braces and buck teeth
and freckles and well, was just plain ugly.

I had to do my hair and make up for pictures
and I am pretty sure they STILL looked bad.

OH WAIT!  She has braces too.

That should make me feel better, right?

Don't we ALL have to go through that
"ugly awkward holy cow I can't believe
I EVER looked like that stage?"

Apparently not ALL of us do...


Seriously, Life.Is.Not.Fair.

I know the world thinks that 
blond is the color to be...

...not me!  I have a serious thing
for brunettes and redheads.

No offense if you're a blond! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

I have it from a good source....

Olivia (7 going on 14):  "How do you know 
if a boy likes you?"

Eliza (11 going on 37):  "You have to get
it from your sources!"

Olivia:  "What's a source?  Come on, tell

Worthy of a good laugh (for me anyway).

Do YOU have a source?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Scar, My Crush, Some Drainage, $20 Cash & What they all have to do with each other....

MY Scar & My Crush

So yesterday was my officially "post-op" visit
to the surgeon.  That mighty wielder of scalpels,
the gifted guru of thyroids, the amazing Dr.

It was to RE-hear the good news I already heard
on Monday afternoon.

Fortunately, nothing had changed since Monday,
the tumor is STILL benign.  And it's still gone.

(Wipe away giant bead of sweat from forehead).

I am still good to go.  (Again with the 

Dr. Sharma informed me that to make myself a stronger
and more courageous person, he would let ME remove
the steri-strips in the shower this morning.

(Alright, he said no such thing--he just told me
to pull the darn things off today and reveal
what lay underneath, let it get some air and
keep antibiotic ointment on it until Sunday.)

I was nervous.  I was squeamish. I am not a lover
of blood or gore or wounds.  Especially when they
are on my body.

Today, girding up my loins (whatever they are anyway)
I stepped into the shower and let the water do its

After 5 minutes of soaking and pulling and soaking
and pulling, my neck was free for the first time
in 9 days.

I was afraid to look.

I went to my room (since the bathroom mirror was all
steamed up)and in case I fainted, the bed would be 
close by.  I figured I could somehow rotate my fall
(all while in the midst of a faint) and land on the
bed!  (What was I thinking?)

It seemed like good logic at the time.  I may have
some Lortab or general anesthesia left in my brain
cells, somehow distorting my thinking abilities.

I looked and immediately fell in love.

With my Doctor, or rather, with my Doctors hands.

Seriously people!  

The first thing I did was call Kyle and ask 
his permission to have a crush on 
the surgeon for 24 hours. (The guys hands at least).

Kyle gave his OK.  I exclaimed that the scar looked
THAT GOOD!!  (Don't get me wrong, there is something
there--but it looks easily 1000 times better *AND
ONLY 9 DAYS OUT* than I EVER would have imagined.)

In 6 months, I'm pretty sure people will be signing
me up to be a neck model.

Well, maybe not, but I'll be ready if they do!

So there, in a nutshell, is the story of my crush and
my scar.  I wish I knew 10 people I could refer to the
good Doctor JUST so we could all drool over 
how great our scars looked when he was done with us.

But alas, for now, I drool alone.


My Drainage

For some strange reason, though not so strange to me,
EVERYTHING is making me cry.

For TWO SOLID months, through dying and death, and 
possible cancer scares and ultrasounds, biopsies,
Dr. visits and surgeries, I have pushed and plowed

The fewest of tears were shed.  I felt like I was 
holding EVERYTHING inside....that is, until Monday.

And then after hearing the news, it's like a faucet
has been turned on somewhere deep inside my soul
(understandable of course) and I am draining.

Every ounce of every heart ache, sadness, worry, 
fear and angst is coming out through my eyes (and nose).

I watched movies and cried.  Action, adventure,
Indiana Jones type of movies.  Yup, and cried.

I saw commercials, simple TV ads, again with the

My kids fought, I cried.

My kids wanted to go on vacation.  I cried.

They wanted to stay home.  I cried.

It snowed.  Lots of tears.  (Come to think of it
THOSE tears may be because of the actual snow
and nothing else at all).

I read a book...and well, cried.

People brought more dinners, and I, of course,

I told my husband about my crying and cried some
more because I was already crying.

I took a shower and cried.

I sat on the toilet (with no intention of using
it whatsoever-lid down, clothes on) 
and cried some more.

Body shaking, soul wrenching, tear drenching sobs.

So I am give you fair warning, IF you see me
and I start with the tears, please don't be offended.

Just hand me a kleenex and give me a knowing look.

You've done nothing wrong.

My body is just expelling A LOT of pent up emotion.

Two months is a long time to "be strong". feels good.  Really, really good.


$20 Cash

After being given the "go ahead" to resume my life
yesterday (man does it feel good to leave my house,
and drive and run errands--oh the little things!)

I went ahead and ran 2 hours of errands today.

I got more than a few stares at my scar (that I
am certain looks super fabulous, but it could
be a little freaky for other people who don't
quite understand the magic of Dr. Sharma and what
I've been through).

What do they know anyway?  I look fabulous!

I called Kyle and told him I am paying ANYONE
who dares ask (none of you or your relatives count)
what it is, or why I have it.

Everyone would look/stare/gawk and then look away
quickly when I met their eyes.

I thought I would be embarrassed have people looking,
instead I am actually HIGHLY amused!

The checker at Costco was the best, she kept scanning,
then looking, scanning, taking another peek, scanning,
look, scan, look.  I just stood there trying not
to convulse into a full body laugh.

So the first person to not only stare, but to ask,
gets the $20!  (Sam Johnson you don't count if
you're reading this!)

And that, my friends, is the update on my life 
for today!

A Scar, A Crush, Some Draining and a $20 Cash Prize.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Here's the advantage of having 
your husband work in a Dr's
office (although it COULD go 
both ways!)

My pathology report gets sent 
to THEM (my primary care
Doc) TODAY....

The fabulous Dr Amy Banks 
(my PCP) called to tell me
good news (and I quote) 
"So you can QUIT worrying
2 days sooner....".


IT's BENIGN!!!  


I had a"follicular thyroid adenoma" which is a benign tumor of the thyroid gland.

The golf ball is GONE!!!  I can recover and heal and move on with my life!

THANK YOU EVERYONE who held my hand, literally and figuratively
throughout this latest adventure in my life.

As I said before,

I am a very rich woman indeed!

SO blessed to be surrounded by the love of so many good souls.

Now I'm going to go sit in a corner and cry 1000 tears of joy and relief!

my neck...

...itches today.

that is all.

carry on.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

post thyroid surgery day 5

Anyone who wants to skip this maudlin post,
please do so.

I am typing out emotions therapeutically and also
for anyone else out there on the world wide
web who may be I was looking...
for personal stories prior to my surgery.

Personal stories were few and far between, 
and I desperately wanted something to gauge my
experience by.

Even though each of us has our OWN experiences,
it's nice to base our "expectations" on something.

Today is Day 5 post thyroid surgery and for 
some reason it seems to be the day ALL my emotions
are hitting me.

It may have something to do with my fathers death,
3 short weeks ago.

It may have something to do with the fact that I feel
like I was running towards a cliff and barely
had time to plug my nose, take a deep breath and
hold it, and then dive headlong into the waves 
crashing below me without stopping to think
about what I was doing.

I am pretty much and "stop and think about it"
kind of this headlong rushing is new
to me.

Now that I have had time to sit and sit (and sit
some more) the waves of emotion are coming at me
fast and furious.

Today, they feel a little overwhelming to me.

I feel a little tender.

I am waiting with nervous anticipation for results
from my biopsy, my breath catches in my throat 
and my eyes (re)fill with tears at the thought of
pressing "rewind" and "repeat" all over again.

I emotionally cannot (cannot!) cross that bridge
until I have to (or don't have to).

(Don't have to! Don't have to! Don't have to!)

I am ready to find out once and for all the news
about my health.  

Waiting sucks.   Yup it does.  Big Time.

I am down to Ibuprofen for pain.  Throughout 
the WHOLE process the pain has been VERY 
manageable.  I was worried about that, and am
relieved to report that it was NEVER
more than I could manage. (Except for that
one night, 2 a.m., less than 48 hours out).

Pain meds, and the ice pack they sent home from
the hospital with, were my constant companion for 3 
straight days.  The ice pack was GREAT!

Swelling seemed to peak at Day 2 and has gone
down everyday since then.  Although my neck still
is not back to normal size, it is much more within 
the "normal" range.  I can do that!

Sleeping at night is uncomfortable, I have a crink
in my neck from only being able to lay in one 

Did I mention that after they cut you open they
pull aside all your neck muscles? (the ones used
for laughing, talking, holding up and turning your
head, coughing, sneezing, yawing, swallowing, 
moving side to side...well, you get the picture).

Well, those muscles are pretty sore today.

I can't look at my toes, or at the ceiling. or
to my left or to my right.  

So if any of my kids want to give me the bird--now
would be a good time to stand slightly to the left
or right of my peripheral vision and do so.

You're home free!

I feel a pulling on the inside of my neck 
(from the things that were cut out and 
then sewn up again) that is not so much painful, 
but more uncomfortable.

If I were NOT me, I would be grossed out by the
blood covered bandage stuck to the incision line
across my neck.

People keep saying "it's not 'that' bad"...seriously
people?  I am pretty sure that code for "it looks
pretty bad, but lets not tell her!"

Maybe not.  

Because of the general anesthesia, my sense of
taste and smell are shot at the moment.  Not
sure when returns...soon I hope.  

I keep cracking open cans of Dt Dr Pepper only to
put them down again after a sip.  They just taste
too gross.  (I never thought I would say that!)

Maybe this will be the reason I need to give up
the hard stuff.  (wink wink).

The last frustration I have is not being 
able to participate in my own life, and 
my children's lives.

I know that this is a temporary pit stop and things
will be back to "normal" in a week or two (or month
or two) or whenever normal happens.

It is just hard to sit and pause.

I thought I would be better at pausing, but I'm
not.  I definitely like "motion" better than "pause".

The two things I know are that:

1. Waiting sucks.
2. Pausing sucks.

(Are they the same thing?)

But the other thing I know, from past experiences,
is that "this too shall pass" ...halla*freakin*lujah!

(And can we get an AMEN?!)

I guess it's time to go back to my bed, I've been
sitting and typing long enough and well, my neck

Maybe I'll go unpause that movie in the DVD

At least something will be moving forward then.


Friday, April 8, 2011


When the time comes to remove the gauze
covering your neck incision...let your husband
do the honors... 

...And even when it sticks at one point (and
you let out one really loud curse word),
let him keep pulling. 

There is a reason someone invented husbands.
(Who think wounds and blood and puss are
really cool.)

As opposed to wives (mostly me) who like to
faint at the first sign of blood. 

When you think that 48 hours is enough time
on pain meds post surgery...

...and you wake up at 2:05 a.m. whimpering in
pain, just know it's OK to go back on the "good
stuff" for one more dose.

There is a reason someone invented Lortab.

When someone shows up with food for dinner, or
to take your daughter to dance or calls to run
an errand for you...

...know that it's OK to say "Yes" and "Thank You"
and "Someday I'll surely be able to pay you back."

There's a reason someone invented good friends
(who are more like family), and neighbors and sisters.

Let them serve you for a minute.

When you can finally (rejoice!) shower and wash
your hair for the first time in 4 days... so gently.  Make sure you do not look at
said neck wound BEFORE entering shower and pat
dry slowly after exiting.  (That sucker hurts.)

There is a reason someone invented shampoo, and
soap and steri-strips.  Let them do their job.

When your husband says (very nicely--and not in a
male chauvinistic way at all) that he hopes
you get back to 100% soon so you can "do your part"

...Smile and be grateful he's doing your part
for you, while juggling 1001 other things and not
Smile and be grateful he realizes how much MOMS
do everyday 
...and Smile because soon enough YOU WILL BE 
back up to 100% again.

And never has that sounded so very good.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

surgery highlights

1.  Urine analysis ("Why?" I asked)
To make sure you're not pregnant they answered.
We had a good laugh.

2.  Xanax is NOT strong enough to calm
your nerves on surgery day.  Although
it did keep my blood pressure in the
"normal range" which is a plus.

3. The only "breakdown" I had was in the O.R.
when they started strapping my arms down (in
case I involuntarily wanted to stop them from
slicing into my neck once I went under).  
I had a little tear (or two). 
The sweet nurse held my hand,
the anaesthesiologist knocked me out and I
have no memory of them strapping down
my other arm or cutting into my neck.

THANK GOODNESS!  (I did mention to Kyle that
20/20 show they aired last year where the lady
was "awake" during her whole surgery....WHY OH
WHY? do they do those shows?)

4.  Waking up in recovery, alive! and sick
as a dog.  Apparently anaesthesia causes
me great nausea.  Even TWO kinds of anti-
nausea drugs didn't help.  Scalpel to neck
plus throwing up = a painful combo.

Thankfully it passed.

5.  Being done!  Nothing better than knowing
I had made it through and was still alive.
Am I the only one to have that irrational fear?
Of dying on the table?  4 kids will do that
to you.

I am pretty sore and tired (mostly just sore),
on some good drugs, my neck is pretty ugly and
swollen, but that too will pass. (HOPEFULLY!
sooner than later).

I am in pain, but not as much as I thought I 
would be in (don't get me wrong, I hurt--just
not excruciatingly bad).

On the lookout for some cute scarves to cover
this mess.  

Today I "get to" remove the gauze covering and
take it right down to the cut on my neck...I think
I may pass out.

Kyle is on duty for that one.

That is my post-op update for now.  

One right thyroid lobectomy done for now!

I have some Sharpie lines running across my throat
and a triple chin from swelling...but am counting
my blessing for a great surgeon who has gifted

Two thumbs up for all the staff that helped me
at LDS Hospital as well.  My stay from start
to finish was complimented with EXCEPTIONAL
customer service.

Off to lay in my bed with my new BFF (the Ice

Thanks (again) for all the texts, calls, well
wishes, food, love, support, movies, food, books,
did I mention food?

It means a lot!  (Especially to my children who
like to eat.)

Hugs and Kisses,

Mrs. Frankenstein