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Getting Your House in Order

This month we will celebrate 3 years of living in our first house.  When we moved in, I remember vowing to do the few minor repairs needed straight away, to never let the house go and to always fix things the instant they broke.  I recall a conversation with my realtor I believe, about people who live year after year with dripping faucets, patched but unpainted walls and loose doorknobs  - and then magically find time to fix them the moment they are going to sell the house so that some other family can live comfortably in their home.  I vowed never to be "those people" and to keep my castle pristine.  But as I looked around my home this summer, I realised my castle walls were crumbling.  Shower head with no pressure?  Check.  Sliding glass door that requires a running start to open?  Check.  Countless other jobs screaming "pick me! pick me!"  Checkity check.  And those dry wall patches?  Everywhere.  That's not to say that I don't love our home, and that it is anything close to derelict; rather, it is just mind-boggling how easily we let disorder and borderline chaos creep in to our lives and set up camp, when the solution is so easily attainable. 

I decided to make a long list of all of the items needing attention (remember, writing goals down works!), and then to tackle them in a realistic manner.  Although we've only ticked three items off the list to date (by far, the best being a new shower head complete with fabulous water pressure!), I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders simply knowing that we now have a plan.   

Now, instead of picturing my dishevelled home, picture the human body; yours, actually.  Are there any loose fixtures that have been neglected?  Areas that have been patched but not fully repaired?  Any internal warning signs saying "fix me! fix me!"?  If so, I urge you to take the first step and acknowledge them.  Make a list if it helps organize your thoughts.  Once you see something in writing it becomes harder to ignore, and even the best procrastinators (read: me!) eventually come around and take action.  A year before my diagnosis when I felt the first lump (which turned out to be nothing), I naturally began paying more attention to my body's internal signs.  I admit that I knew there was something growing in my breast long before I was diagnosed with cancer, but I failed to act on it for several months, likely for fear of acknowledging its existence (and, let's face it, mostly because I didn't want to deal with it during my pregnancy).  I was very lucky that I didn't ignore things too long, but it could have gone in a very different direction.  I guess I'm just advocating here for all of you dear folks to keep on top of your health, and to keep in tune with your body.  I can say with certainty that I knew something was wrong long before it was proven.  Our bodies are amazing things and really do speak to us, if only we will take the time and courage to listen. 

Now, the fun updates.

Taxotere schmaxotere

Here is where I continue to disprove everything I've heard about Taxotere to date.  Round two was easier than round one!  By far.  Not only did I not experience any exhaustion, but my sense of taste returned after only 3 days, and I had only 24 hrs of bone pain.  And the pain was half as severe as round one.  I did end up with the tongue infection again, but an early start on the meds for that took care of things in a matter of 3 days.  I never skipped a meal and ate everything I normally eat.  Bliss!  My only complaint, if you can call it that, is that I appear to be eating more than usual - not a bad thing for someone who typically wavers around the 100lb mark, I figure.  So if you're out there (as I was) and thinking that Taxotere has a standard script, fear not!  I have proven that you can go at least two rounds and function normally, shuttle your kids to swimming lessons, go on a family holiday, take care of household chores and strike several home repair items off of your list.  Take THAT cancer!

As if that wasn't a blessing report in and of itself, here goes the bountiful rest!

Blessings Report

My surgery date has been set!  October 25th, and it will be a left mastectomy with full (left) lymph node removal.  So wonderful to know that things are progressing.  Soon, this will all be a distant mammary.

Only 2 rounds of chemo left!  September 6 and 27.  Sniff.  I think I will miss happy hour. 

I have peach fuzz!  Yes, yet another Taxotere side effect gone awry, my hair has started to grow back vs. stay fallen out.  The two longest hairs on my head?  White, of course.  Wonders never cease.

Head henna for baldies?  Just learned about this from a dear friend and it is so me.  I wonder if I can incorporate my peach fuzz into the look?  Stay tuned...

My son turned 5!  And he speaks like a thirty-something (wait, is that a blessing..?)

and here's the biggie:

All of my amazing teammates and supporters in the CIBC Run for the Cure, being held on September 30, 2012.  I have raised $723 towards my goal of $1000 and my team has raised over $2500!  All proceeds are in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and will fund breast cancer research, education and health promotion initiatives.  To join me in kicking breast cancer to the curb, visit my page and click on "donate to Ellen" under my photo. 

And I'll put this one last as it's got the pics:

Returning from an amazing week with my family at a cottage in Québec.  Although I did manage to catch a cold, I did not get a fever, which meant we got to enjoy the full 7 days without a trip to the hospital!  Truly a blessing.  If I've said it once, I'll say it again.  Mini-breaks=best cancer therapy ever. 
early morning calm

the perfect beach.  all ours!

twilight approaching

lonesome dock

another little piece of heaven


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