Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Birth Story

It was Saturday night and I was bloated from all I had eaten at Rochelle's baby shower (for Samantha). Jake was itching to go out. All I wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch more 9/11 coverage. We were still 3 1/2 weeks from Nathan's due date so when I got up to do the dishes and felt a "leak" (not the gush that you hear about) we didn't think a whole lot about it. Just to be safe I called the doc and they asked me to come down to the hospital to check for sure. We casually threw the hospital bag in the car and headed out about 10:00pm. We were certain we'd be back home. On the way over I told Jake I had these weird menstrual-ish feelings that came and went. It didn't even cross my mind that they could be.....maybe CONTRACTIONS! Again, weren't contractions suppose to make me grab my belly and double over like in the movies? Anyway, we get to the hospital and his sweet little old lady insists I ride up to maternity in a wheelchair. I tell her I'm fine to walk and that I'm not in labor. She insists so I hitch the ride. They get us settled into a room and ask for a urine sample so I head to the bathroom. As I'm leaving the bathroom, the gush comes...all over the floor. I think I was in shock because when Jake said he was going to clean it up I demanded that he leave it alone so the nurse/dr can examine it and see what it is. Somehow I still thought maybe my water had not broken. Will and Anna show up with a milkshake from Steak and Shake that unfortunately I couldn't drink and then the mean night nurse rushes them out saying there won't be a baby for a long time so they ought to leave. I wish I had ignored the grumpy nurse and told them to stay. The doctor shows up and puts me on pitocin. I labor into the night and just when I think I'll be getting an epidural I'm told I can't. I was never that worried about the pain of contractions, but consumed in the pain I envisioned the actual birthing would cause. When I learned I'd be having the baby without a precious epidural I cried and cried hard. Then it was time to push. Strangely, pushing felt good and I don't remember any pain. Jake remembers a slightly different scenario and I will admit I was a bit out of my mind (really) so his dramatic version is probably more accurate. I pushed for a very ungraceful 36 minutes. Nathan entered the world at 5:41am on Sunday, September 30, 2001 weighting 7 lbs. 6 oz. It's been an amazing 6 years. Happy Birthday Baby!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Week 11

Gym Manager Need To Go Poo

My gym managers, Nate and Reese, so graciously watched Cars while I knocked out my 5 mile run. Amazingly, my only interruption during the hour and 10 minutes was Nate informing me Reese need to go poo. I told Nate I'd give him a buck to walk Reese down stairs and help him. Nate loves money right now so he jumped at the chance to earn a dollar. No sooner had I asked him to do me this favor I remembered we had stashed their birthday presents in that bathroom and immediately jumped off the treadmill and told him I'd take Reese to the bathroom. Reese pipes in and says he wants Nate to take him to the potty not me. I started to get irritated thinking the rest of my run would be screwed if I didn't get back to it...quick. Just then I remembered our training potty was just down the stairs in the garage and I ran down and got it. Reese immediately thought sitting on his potty while watching TV was a cool idea and he was sold. Nate started to wonder if he was still going to get his dollar. I told him if he made sure Reese didn't make a mess and he helped wipe his bum he'd still get the dollar. I handed him some paper towel and hoped back on the treadmill. A few minutes later, Nate popped his head in and told me Reese went potty, but that he was upset his "pretend flusher button" didn't make the poo go down the drain. Cracked me up. I finished my run and promptly paid my gym managers a dollar each for being so good and handling the potty situation on their own.

Monday, September 24, 2007

1st Day on the Job

Today was my first day volunteering at Nathan's school. Honestly, I felt like it was my first day at a new job. I searched the closet for some "work" clothes and thankfully found something presentable to wear. I volunteered in the Media Center first. Was it always called that? Wasn't it just the "Library?" Anyway, I learned how to check in/out books then spent the next half hour shelving books...not my favorite. I'll have to remember to stay behind the desk next time.

After the Library, I headed down to Nate's class. They were all in the art room so Ms. C got me started on a project in the "apple room" or something like that where other moms were already busy working on things. I met a woman who has a 6th grader and a Kindergartner and she was so gracious to help me figure out all of the equipment. By 10:30 I was back in the classroom so I could "supervise" the kiddos during "centers" while Ms. C had small reading groups with 1-4 children at a time. I have no idea how she has managed this in the past! For the most part the kids played nicely and eventually started coming to me when they needed something.

I did meet Christopher R****and outside of his 10 minute burping presentation at lunch seemed okay.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Week 9/10

This morning Cheryl and I made our second attempt at running the marathon course. We met at 6:45am (to beat the heat) and were shocked to see one parking lot already full and a number of folks stretching. Turns out the running store sponsoring the race has a "training camp" on Sunday mornings and had already set up water stations at 2.5 miles and 5 miles. We were aiming to make it to the 2.5 mile mark, then run back for a full 5 miles.

After several people had told me the run/walk method to running a marathon we decided to give it a try. I picked up a cheap running watch at Target to help us keep our pace. We ran 5 minutes, walked 1, ran 5 minutes, walked 1 etc. And it works! We ran 5 miles in an hour and 10 minutes. While it was hard, it was manageable since we knew we had that 1 minute to recover. Both of us agreed that when we would run a good distance (2-3 miles), then stop to walk it was really hard to get going again. That didn't happen doing it this way. We plan on meeting next Sunday to do the same thing.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Little Cooper

Ann-Marie and Rob welcomed little Cooper to the world last night! He weighed 5 lbs. 9 oz. Congrats!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Princess Finger

The other night I was painting my nails (which I almost never do) and Reese asked me to paint his. Fortunately, the polish was a very pale pink and I didn't see any harm. However, knowing this would REALLY bother Jake I agreed to only paint one finger. When I was done he told me he was going to show Maddy (school friend) his "Princess finger." Sure enough, this morning when I dropped him off at school he walked right over to Maddy to show her his pretty finger. Then he sat down beside her to color. Today was the first day in his new class that he didn't cry when I left! Who knew a princess finger was all he needed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Today I Shouted...

This appeared in today's newspaper....

Ann ***** learned she had breast cancer after waking up, after surgery, to a missing breast.
"Back then, there were no choices," the ***** resident said, referring to her radical mastectomy in 1962, in which doctors removed her whole breast, along with all of the lymph nodes and the muscles surrounding it.
Forty years later -- except for sharing many of the same fears -- Hope **** of ***** faced a far different medical landscape when she got her breast cancer diagnosis, and many more choices along the way.
In addition to mammograms for early detection, there were detailed tissue biopsies before surgery to guide physicians' recommendations; and a vast arsenal of cancer-fighting drugs, some able to target a tumor directly, while sparing nearby healthy cells.
And, depending on how far along her cancer had progressed, she could choose the standard treatment for early breast cancer since the 1980s -- a lumpectomy, preserving most of her breast, along with radiation therapy.
"I cried a lot," Hope said, after learning the lump in her breast was cancer. "But I told myself, 'I'm beating this. I'm not letting it take me down.' "
Today, she is a five-year breast cancer survivor, a statistical milestone for surviving any cancer, while the 75-year-old Ann recently celebrated 45 years of being free of this disease.
Although breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in women behind lung cancer, experts say, mortality rates are declining, most likely the result of finding these cancers earlier, when survival rates are highest -- about 98 percent -- and improved treatments.
In 2007, the American Cancer Society estimates 178,480 women in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and about 40,460 women are expected to die of the disease.
Hope said she discovered the lump in her breast shortly after the birth of her first son, Nathan, five years ago. But, with no family history of cancer and age 29 at the time, "I was not thinking cancer."
The lump seemed more of an annoyance than a threat, she said, so she contacted a lactation consultant, who recommended putting a cabbage leaf over it to "cool it," which failed to work.
That's when she contacted her doctor. He scheduled a mammogram, then a diagnostic ultrasound and finally a biopsy, which confirmed her worst fears: breast cancer.
But it also laid out a therapeutic path offering the best chance for survival, including aggressive chemotherapy.
For six months, she said, she endured eight cycles of cancer-fighting chemicals every three weeks, losing her hair and her appetite along the way.
At the end, lumpectomy was not an option -- the cancer was too far along -- nor was sentinel node biopsy, a cancer test that tracks potential spread of disease through the "sentinel" or first lymph nodes, mitigating the need for further surgery, if the nodes are cancer-free.
In her case, doctors recommended and she agreed to a mastectomy, which was performed at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. Surgeons removed her diseased breast and 17 lymph nodes, all of which proved negative.
"By the time I had the mastectomy, the tumor was totally gone," she said. "I have a picture of me bald at Moffitt afterwards -- smiling," and full of her namesake -- "hope."
Continued battle
But Hope's battle with cancer did not end there.
Several years later, on the birth of a second son, Reese, she developed a sore on her tongue, which turned out to be malignant, requiring still more chemotherapy and the loss of a third of her tongue.
"Radiation for my breast cancer was a cakewalk, compared with the radiation for the tongue," she said.
But the ordeal prompted creation of a cookbook with her husband, Jake, called "Easy Eating," whose proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
"When you get sick, everybody wants to make you a casserole," Hope said, laughing. "I lost all my taste buds," along with more than 30 pounds.
The second cancer also turned her preventive side into full gear.
In February 2006, she had breast reconstruction, opting to remove her healthy breast to prevent another breast cancer, but not her ovaries, because of negative tests for two inherited breast cancer genes, she said.
"If they had been positive, I would have had my ovaries out, too," she said, "because that increases the risk for recurrence."
Hope conceded that friends often ask if she's afraid of getting another cancer in the future.
"I tell them, every time I go to the doctor, my stomach falls to the ground," she said. "But then I think of something corny, like my kids' wedding, and I am there."
Discovering a lump
Ann *****'s medical battle against breast cancer has been far more straightforward, though not without frustrations, over the years.
What brought her to the operating table, she said, was a pea-sized lump she found, like Hope, through breast self-examination.
"I still remember I went in the hospital on a Friday, with six of us having surgery that day," she said, "and I watched every one of them go home."
Ann spent 10 days in the hospital and, in a separate operation at the behest of "two older surgeons," had her ovaries removed three weeks later.
Because her father had died of cancer several years earlier, she said, she took great pains to hide her cancer from her mother -- no easy feat, given the lack of prostheses at the time.
"We would wear these cotton things for about a year," she said, "and they would suddenly go 'poof,' and we would have to replace them."
Ann never chose to reconstruct her breast.
But once mammography screening became standard in the late 1970s, she said, she began undergoing these tests annually.
The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society recommend women begin getting mammograms every one to two years beginning at age 40, or even earlier, in women considered at higher-than-average risk for the disease.
"Some women say they hurt," Ann said. "But it's an easy thing to do, compared with the alternative."

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kindergarten Bully?

Nathan comes home on Thursday with a note saying he was hit by another student and sent to the clinic! He had told me of this kid Christopher R****, who had been sent to the office a couple times. I thought, "What kid gets sent to the office in Kindergarten? What could he possibly be doing to warrant that?" And how is it that in the first weeks of school Nathan knows his first AND last name? Does the teacher get frustrated and say, "CHRISTOPHER R**** I WON'T TELL YOU AGAIN TO LEAVE YOUR NEIGHBOR ALONE!" Then Nate tells me, "Mom, he didn't go to Pre-school." How is it that he knows that? Maybe Ms. C explained this to Nathan to help him understand that Christopher is getting adjusted to playing with other kids and learning the rules of a classroom. At any rate, Thursday's note from the clinic was not the first time I learned this child hit Nathan. Just the day before Nathan told me he had been hit by Christopher. Is Christopher hitting other kids or just Nathan? Not that that makes me feel better, but I find some comfort in known Nathan is not his single target. Why in the world would he decide to hit the biggest kid in the class? I emailed the teacher Thursday afternoon, but she was out on Friday so I haven't heard back from her on what is going on. I'm sure it's just the normal adjustments to Kindergarten, but I have to say I'm bothered by the whole thing.

I spoke to Ms. C today. Seems little Christopher is a handful. Fortunately and unfortunately Nate isn't the only child he's bothered. Ms. C said he's a very angry child and this is his first school experience...making his adjustment very hard. His mother just returned from being in Iraq for 19 months. She said the mother is very eager to work with him so she's hoping he'll come around soon. Me too.

Soccer's Back!

I LOVE watching Nate's soccer games! We were a little depressed when soccer ended back in the spring and they weren't even playing real games. In previous seasons the kids just practiced skills on the field with a parent and played a mini game the final 10 minutes. This is his first season with a uniform and 45 minute game, 4 on 4. I thought the kids would play with their shoes or pick daisies, but they actually play and play good! I love the fact that all the parents cheer for goals made on either team. I wonder at what age that stops?

Friday, September 14, 2007


Practice what you preach...we came in late Wednesday evening from dinner out, it was nearly 8pm and I was in a hurry to get the kids bathed and in bed so they wouldn't be grumpy come morning. Nate runs into the bathroom before I can get there to go potty. When I get to the door, it's locked. Understandable..the kid needs privacy for this kind of potty break. I wait at the door a little irritated I can't get in to at least get the water in tub going. I knock, "You done yet?" He replies, "Not yet." I wait some more, wiggle the knob, "Now?" I hear an irritated Nathan say, "NO." I run go get pajamas and then back to door...I knock and wiggle the handle again. Then Nathan responds in this very grown up manner, "Mom, sometimes you just have to wait for things. You have to have patience and you seemed to have lost yours."
Enough said. I sat down and patiently waiting for him to finish.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Birthday Prep

I can hardly believe that my little men are turning 6 and 3 in just a few weeks! This is the first year we are not having a party at our house. We've always opted for the small family/close friends, make sure the house is clean type party, but since the kids are both in school and have lots more friends I had little interest in hosting 25 kids pumped full of sugar running around the house. The kids really wanted to have a party at Pump-it-Up and we were ready for a low maintenance celebration. Since Pump-it-Up will be doing all the "work" I've decided to make the cake...a first. I found a cute space shuttle cake on-line that I'm going to attempt to recreate. I remember my mom always made us cool cakes and I loved it! If you know me, you know I'm all for a nice party, but have little interest in consuming myself with over the top detail and decorations. It simply stresses me out when too much is going on...that I'm responsible for. I've always admired those folks who love to plan and prep for a party and go all out. I start out will all these grand intentions, but always resort back to keeping it simple to hold onto my sanity.

I loved the pictures I took of the kids at the beach over the summer so much I used them as part of the party invitations. And his year I'm ordering the personalized "Thank you for coming to Nathan and Reese's Party" stickers I've been eyeing the last few years. I could never justify the cost, but I'm going for it this year. In lieu of the traditional junk toy goody bag (I've never been fond of them) I'm getting a copy of Magic Tree House #8 Midnight on the Moon, perfect for our space theme, for the big kids and a pre-school space book (to be determined) for the younger group. Nathan has just recently been turned onto the Magic Tree House books and we love to cuddle up at bed time and read a chapter. Although I'm usually pretty tired come bedtime it is still one of my favorite times with the kids.

On to a completely unrelated topic.....I've been on quite an emotional post-cancer roller coaster this week. I went to the conference, left inspired to share my story and use my experience to help others. Yesterday, I met an amazing woman, Ann, diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 30 years old when her two boys were just 5 and 2. She is a 45 year survivor!!!! We had so many similarities it was wild. I felt like I was having a conversation with my future self. You'll probably read more about her in my blog next week, but for now I'll just leave it at that. I'm struggling with how I feel about talking so much about my battle. It's one thing to blog about it...some how there is safety behind the computer. But publicly, I struggle with it. I don't want to be all about having cancer and I like it when people I didn't know back then don't know. When I was with Ann I ran into my neighbor from across the street. The conversation and how I had met up with Ann warranted me to share with my new neighbor that I was a cancer survivor as well. I felt like I was telling a dirty little secret. Part of me wants to forget cancer ever happened to never talk about it again, the other wants to shout it out loud like it's some kind of award I won or that talking about it will some how help me make sense of the question I often ask myself "why me?"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Week 8

I had a good week. I thought I'd have a tough week fitting in all my runs around the conference, but I managed to keep up. I even used the gym at the hotel...a first for me. I always admired those folks who kept up with their workout while on vacation or away with work. I always opted for extra sleep!

I'm up to a 4 mile run and a 7 lb. weight loss. Yes, I couldn't resist the scale. I had a good couple of weeks so I couldn't pass up the urge to see my progress.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


I'm home from an amazing weekend spent with a large group of very selfless and inspiring people. The Rosen Shingle Creek Resort (some how the name doesn't do it justice) was amazing...enormous, beautiful and immaculate. The ACS covered the bill, and I don't even want to know the price tag of my stay. Tatiana and I had a great time and I am so grateful she decided to go with me. I ended up knowing several people from ACS that attended and met several others over the course of the event.

Tatiana and I managed to keep our cool and did well on our presentation. We were approached by several people who were moved by our story and shared their story with us. Many of the volunteers/staff there had been touched by cancer personally and I'd say probably half were survivors themselves. I was particularly touched by Kristin Hoke's story. She was originally scheduled to be there, however, she was just recently diagnosed with a recurrence of her breast cancer and couldn't attend. Here is a bit of her story....

Kristin Hoke anchors WPBF News at 5 and 11 p.m., part of the tri-anchor female news team. She joined WPBF in the fall of 2000. Her arrival was like a homecoming, due to her strong family ties to Florida.
Bountiful Blessings - By Kristin Hoke
All my life, I was the person who pulled into the grocery store and found a space right up front. I considered myself a fortunate, blessed person. I always worked hard for everything in life, but felt like I had a guardian angel smoothing over life's bumps. Then, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was given a ten percent chance of living. But my mom taught me a critical life lesson -- that faith and will power trumps all. My mother told me "I will see your high school graduation". And she did. Her strength was inspiring. Seven people in my family would battle cancer, but I always thought I would beat the odds.

In 2004, I married my husband Eric, getting one step closer to the dream of having children. I had many life goals, but becoming a mother was always the most important to me. Six months into trying to start a family, I was diagnosed with a highly invasive breast cancer. I sat in that doctor's office, not caring if I lived or died. Shaking, in tears... I asked my doctor, what about having kids ? The look on his face told me everything. He could provide little answers. Chemotherapy and radiation affected everyone differently. There were no promises. Was this really happening to me ?
Just two days after my surgery, I dragged myself out of the recovery bed, and drove 50 miles to see a fertility specialist. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I didn't care. I was trying to protect my life dream. I took every step I could to protect my body's ability to create life. Starting chemotherapy was an afterthought. I was on a mission to preserve my future.
A month later I started chemotherapy. Four rounds of what nurses called the "pink death". I went through four rounds of this poison, made from the bark of the "happy" tree. It was hard to believe nature could create this toxin, that could tear apart cancer cells and healthy cells. On day fourteen, I lost my hair. Ironically, it happened when I was taking pictures with TV viewers who attended our WPBF "Health" Expo. As the afternoon progressed, I lost more and more hair, until I realized it was time to go home. Then came the next life lesson. I sat there crying and my husband told me, "don't let that cancer chase you... you go after it !" I got his point. Bad things happen, but it is how we rise to the occasion that determines our path. I asked him to shave my head. I felt empowered, and ready to face whatever cancer threw at me.
Radiation would follow, six weeks worth. I remember laying on the couch, burning up hot. My black lab Buddy would lick my face for minutes on end, doing his best to remove my fever. He watched me as I battled the remnants of this disease. He offered up another life lesson... patience. When you are a type "A" personality, it's a tough one to master. Over six months of treatment, I realized everything in life has a time and a place. This was my time to heal. A month later, I was finally able to get off the couch and walk him around the block. He and I shared the victory.
I had to practice my patience once I was done with my treatment. I bugged my oncologist endlessly to give me the all clear. All I wanted to do was move forward. Finally, almost a year later, I got the green light. Now, I would find out if my life dream was still in reach. For months, I waited and prayed. Then it finally happened. After waiting ten years to be pregnant, I was staring at a plus sign on the test. My heart raced. Was it really my time ?
For months I worried that the chemotherapy would affect my body's ability to hold onto this precious pregnancy. But with each month that passed, I gained confidence that everything would be alright. I will never forget the beautiful benchmarks: gaining that feminine belly, feeling her move inside me the first time, seeing a foot or elbow stick out of my side and giggling.. it was all good. I joked with my oncologist that the morning sickness was worse than chemotherapy, and the first trimester fatigue was worse than radiation! But I signed up for it all. This was beautiful life growing inside me.
Cancer and pregnancy have reminded me that all things good and bad have a place in your life. Learn from them, and thank God everyday for your blessings. I can't wait to teach my daughter that optimism and faith are not accidents. They are a choice, and they frame how rich your life will be. Motherhood is a dream come true.

And now this....

WPBF TV 25 anchor Kristin Hoke, who two years ago openly shared her courageous battle against breast cancer, says the disease is back and she's again undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
Doctors discovered the breast cancer last week, she said, while she was being checked out for a cough she'd recently developed.
During a phone interview Friday, she talked about how she's feeling.
“I’m doing better today than I have in the last week,” said Hoke, 39.
“I went through chemo yesterday — my first one— and it went pretty well; I was real happy with it," she said. “A lot of battling cancer is apprehension, and you know, a lot of nerves. Even though I knew what to expect, it was just different this time."
She said she was feeling good Friday and "not feeling nauseous."
"So far so good,” she added.
Hoke endured surgery and chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer during 2005.
Until last week, she’d been cancer-free.
In April, she gave birth to her first child, Isabella "Bella" Margaret.
She said since her co-workers at the ABC affiliate were told of her condition Monday, she's been inundated with phone calls from fellow staffers and co-anchors Lisa Hayword and Tiffany Kenney.
"Everyone has been calling like every three hours,” she said. “It’s really great to know you work with so many decent human beings.”
Hoke said she had a biopsy performed Monday and has begun chemotherapy.
“I have a reoccurrence,” she explained. “It’s in other areas of my body besides my breast tissue . . . but it's my original breast cancer that is back.”
Rumors that she has lung cancer are not true, she said.
“It’s not lung cancer,” she said.
“I basically have lots of tiny little dots -- they’re not even tumors yet," she said "They’re some specks that the chemo will take care of. And so the doctors are focused on getting rid of these small lesions and making sure they don’t come back.”
Hoke, who had returned recently from maternity leave, said she won't be returning to work until she's further along in her treatments.

Instead of her scheduled appearance she sent a video clip that was recorded last week. I fought the tears as I watched. I saw myself in her story...just a mom enjoying her new baby and cancer was trying to take it all away.

Before the weekend was over I was asked once again so share my story at an up coming Relay for Life event. More public speaking...urgh! Then, right after that the executive director of the local ACS asked me to consider being next years Making Strides Against Breast Cancer chair. My initial response was no.......but, I'm telling you after spending two days around this amazing group of people I'm actually considering it. And if all these invites hadn't already made me feel special the woman who heads up the entire Reach to Recovery program for the state of Florida asks if I would consider doing Reach to Recovery work for the entire state and not just my county. I immediately said yes to that one!

I have always admired people who give their time to a good cause and while I've volunteered for ACS for 4 years I feel like my work has really just begun.

If you have not already made a donation to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer I'm asking you to please consider it as no new mother should have to worry that cancer might take her away from her babies. Please check your area for your local Making Strides event or if you would like to donate to my team please email me at and I will send you the link.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Blogging because I can...

It's official...I'm a blogging nerd. I've been sitting in my hotel room for 30 minutes and I've already logged on to blog. I don't even have much to say. Tatianna and I got here around 8:00, checked in, scoped out where we need to be tomorrow, the gym and food. This place is amazing. By far the most elegant place I've ever stayed. Since the ACS is paying my way I splurged on the Internet connection, $12 for 24 hours.

I'm going to enjoy some quiet time and extra sleep as Tatianna and I don't have to be anywhere until 9:30am tomorrow morning. From there we will be rehearsing for our session and then the festivities begin. No doubt I'll post again so I can get my money's worth from this $12 Internet connection!

Before I Go

I'm headed out tonight for an American Cancer Society Volunteer Conference. Initially, I was excited about going, then not so excited about missing a few days with "my boys". Saturdays are such great fun around, swimming and hanging out at home with my men...and I won't be here. However, I'm starting to get excited about the conference again. Last week I was asked to speak at a Making Strides meeting and after my little talk (it really wasn't a speech) I received so many thank yous and comments about how I was inspiring. I some how have to make sense out of all that has happened to me and having little moments like that make it all feel okay. I even had the executive director of the local YMCA offer me three sessions with a personal trainer to help me get ready for the half-marathon....just from a 10 minute ad lib that night. Very cool.

At the conference I'll be part of a session regarding my volunteer work for Reach to Recovery. Reach to Recovery is a program through the ACS that provides support for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Most of the volunteers are older, since let's face it...most people diagnosed are "older". I'm obviously the youngest volunteer in our county so I provide support to women under the age of 45 who need someone to talk to...someone who knows what they are going through. They also wanted me to invite a "patient" I had spoken to that would be able to discuss the receiving end of Reach to Recovery. I instantly thought of Tatiana. Several years ago when I got the call for the ACS to call her I thought her name sounded familar. Turned out we briefly worked together about 12 years go. She's young with kids and had a similar breast reconstruction so we've stayed in touch. We're driving over together and I think it will be fun to have someone I know to hang out with.

An update of the kids:
Nathan is adjusting to Kindergarten well. He LOVES his teacher and has made a few new friends. When I pick him up I'm itching to hear all about his detail...and he replies, "I don't want to talk about it." Like he's 14 instead of 5. What is up with that? I've backed off and stopped asking so many questions. Now, I play Betty Crocker and have a cool snack ready for when we get home and while we sit at the table he opens up and gives me enough information that I'm content. I still probe for more, but try not to play 20 turns my litte "teenager" off.

Reese flew by his first week of school like a champ. Friday of the first week his teacher tells me he's doing so well, is ahead of the other kids and she wants to put him in the next class up. Of course, Jake and I beamed and said, "He's so smart he's already skipping a grade." This new class does seem like a better fit for him, but he's cried (just a little) each day I've dropped him off. I watch through the window in the door and he stops right after I leave so I'm hoping he'll stop soon. He tells me about his new friend, Jessica, and how pretty she is. So sweet.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Baby Shower

Meredith and I had the privilege of throwing a baby shower for our good friend Ann-Marie this past weekend. She got lots of loot for little Cooper, who will be arriving in just a few more weeks!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Week 7

Somehow this week got away from me and I didn't do my regular posting. I caught myself thinking many times that it was my first full week of having the kids in school and I should be blogging, blogging and more blogging. But, obviously, that didn't happen. I had all these things I had saved to do once I had some free time and got ahead of myself.

Twelve weeks until the marathon.......I woke up Sunday morning before everyone else, put on my new running gear (running shorts with a cool pocket for my cell phone and house key, a pink fit-dri shirt and my Nike iPod armband). I headed out just before the sun with a route in mind, not knowing how many miles it was or if I could even run the entire thing, but I looked like a runner so maybe I was a runner. I passed a few walkers and a few early risers getting their newspaper, waved "Hi" and smiled and thought to myself, "Yea, I'm just an athlete out for a run. Can you see my muscles?" Who the hell was I kidding? However, it did seem to pump up my confidence and kept me running. I ran and ran and ran, stopping briefly at the pavilion for a visit to the water fountain and then right back to running. I didn't bring a watch so I had no idea how long I had been gone or how far I had run, but I came to a point were I stopped and walked for a bit, caught my breath and started running again....all the way back home. When I got in the house everyone was up and I gathered up the kids while Jake stayed behind to read the paper. We hopped in the car to retrace my steps and see how far I managed to run......4 miles! I was so #%$@! impressed with myself!

I'm in love with my iPod. Jake and I stayed up late Saturday night listening and downloading songs. My running play list starts with Hey There Delilah - Plain White T's and ends with the Rocky theme song. Just when you feel like you can't run another minute the song hits you and you just keep going! I love it.