Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What a difference a year can make

So today is my birthday.  Yes, Yes.  I am celebrating the 9th anniversary of my 29th birthday.  :) 

Someone asked me today if I had any big plans for the day.  All I could think was ... it's so nice not to have big plans for today.

Last year at this time I had just found out that doctors had found a rather large tumor on my right kidney.  And better yet - quite by accident.  They had not even been looking in that area - it just happened to show up on an abdominal CT scan that was done looking for something else.  My birthday was spent making appointments.  Appointments with the urologist, appointment at the hospital for pre-op testing, bone scans, upper endoscopy to make sure we weren't missing anything else. My birthday was spent educating myself on kidney cancer and the effects on the body of having only one kidney instead of two.

My beautiful RAMP girls took me out to dinner and I'm afraid that I wasn't the best company that night as I felt like I was kinda just floating along and not really participating.

So do I have much planned today?  Nope.  Isn't it great?  :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

All sorts of conflicted

This is hard.  And, frankly, I don't like it!

I will be honest with you - I'm avoiding school like the plague.  There are some people I just can't face right now.  I love y'all like a fat kid loves some cake, and I just can't face the fact that I am not going to be entrusting my kids to your care on a daily basis.  I know it's not like I'll never see you anymore.  I also know it's not like you people won't still be praying for and caring for my children even now more than ever.  Most of you haven't been my kids teachers in years (Terry and Gynell!!!! Bless your heart!!!), but as the end of the school year draws near I find myself all weepy just driving my kids to school.  And my girls' teachers are being so wonderful - giving them beautiful and meaningful gifts to remember their time at Wake Christian by.  The girls love it and love telling me about it, and I go in my room and boo hoo.  Not to mention I sit down in church right behind the teacher that they most likely would have had next year in 3rd grade (and who has always been my son's favorite teacher) and I can't make it through the service without bawling.

And yet I am feeling sure of what I'm doing.  God is showing me that I'm doing the right thing.  He never promised me it would be easy - though that would have been a nice side effect.  We took the girls over to their new school today to take a tour so they would feel more comfortable and have a better understanding of what to expect over there.  The guidance counselor was showing us around and we ran into the current second grade class that they would be in as they were cleaning up after lunch.  So she introduced the girls to them and said that they would be in their class next year in third grade.  The kids started to clap for them!!!!!  The girls felt like rock stars! It was so neat.

So, yeah, I'm conflicted.  I hate the leaving part.  I'm tired of crying over it - especially with this dang headache.  And yet I'm also excited about the cool things that are also happening and how God is taking care of all the details and how the kids are excited about this new adventure.  I was so worried that they would not be.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Change is in the air

So my husband and I grew up going to a small private Christian school our whole lives.  I even took it a step further and went to a small Christian college.  And when I say small ... my graduating class was 22 kids. 

Going to a Christian school is all I have ever known.  It's all my husband has ever known.

And, up until now ... it's all my children have ever known.

And while I love and appreciate all that a Christian education has to offer me and my children, there are also limitations that are inherent to small private schools.  Namely they they just don't have many of the resources that are available in the larger public schools.  And so I have always said - even before I had children - that while I really want a Christian education for my children, if I feel that they need resources that they just can't get at a smaller school I won't hesitate to get them those resources because I don't want them to struggle.

Well, darn it all if God isn't calling me on it!  We knew that it was likely that one or more of our children would struggle with learning issues.  And both of our girls have really struggled since entering school in Kindergarten.  Wake Christian has gone above and beyond in their attempts to make things work for them.  Hear my heart - I love that school.  I love those teachers.  LOVE THEM!  It absolutely breaks my heart to be leaving.  I have to follow my heart and what I feel God is leading me to do for my children. We have spent a lot of time in prayer over this very difficult decision.

We thought that our son, Caleb was old enough to participate in the decision of whether he wanted to stay at Wake Christian - the only school he's ever known - or if he wanted to leave and go to a public school as well.  He is entering middle school (Lord help me).  I was completely surprised by his reaction.  He asked very mature and intelligent questions about the public school and about his choices.  In the end - he decided to go to the public school and we felt his decision was a wise one.

And as I sit here and think about the changes that are coming I am starting to feel ill prepared.  I have NO IDEA what they are about to face - none. I mean I could go on about the differences between Christian and public schools when my daughters started to say "you mean there won't be any Bible stories there?  They don't pray before lunch?"  That's kind of just the tip of the iceberg people.  I never went through a lunch line in a cafeteria. My kids are entering a year round schedule where they are essentially  in class for 9 weeks and then "track out" for 3 weeks. One of my daughters will be getting specialized help with her education in the form of IEP.  All 3 of them will be riding a bus to school.  My mom was a bus driver when I was young - and I rode on her bus, but I never got on a bus and rode to school.  My girls will be on a different campus from my son.  I was always at a school that was a K-12 campus.

Don't get me wrong - I feel confident that I am doing the right thing for my children.  I just get sudden attacks of panic when I think of all the things that I can't anticipate or help prepare my children for.  And I know that experience is not a unique one.  I know I'm not the only parent that worries about sending her children out into the world.  :)  And so I will pray over my children and entrust them to my Lord.  This is a new and exciting adventure for all of us.

I have already enrolled them in their new schools and met with their principals and guidance counselors in their new schools and have been very encouraged at how eager they were to welcome us, to work with us on the transition.  They were knowledgeable on the challenges that my children would face in making this transition and were anxious to work with us to face those challenges in way that seem to make a lot of sense.  In the end, we are looking forward to the new school year - which actually starts July 11 because it is a year round calendar.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


So a lot of you know I had a countdown going on.  The countdown was for a vacation that I had coming up. My mom has worked for a company called At Home America for 20 years.  She is a rock star.  She wins the incentive trip every year.  This past year she won enough to bring me, my sister, and our husbands with her.  It was a great fun trip as it was also a chance for us to celebrate our husband's 40th birthdays.  In fact, my husband turned 40 while we were gone.

Just where did we go?  Moon Palace resort in Cancun, Mexico.

And did we have fun.  It was our first vacation without children ... ever.  And we thoroughly enjoyed just not having to be on a schedule the most.

But the funnest thing we did was that my husband decided to celebrate turning 40 by going parasailing!  He had always sworn he would never go parasailing because he is scared of heights.  I didn't even have to like persuade him or anything - he just decided he needed to do this to mark it off his bucket list and feel young again.  It was amazing.

It was especially fun being on vacation with a ton of people you knew.  Everywhere you went there were people we knew which was really fun.

I can't thank my mom enough for everything.  We needed this break so much.  Daren let loose like he has NEVER let loose before (please no comments mom - you did so good - you were such a good mother-in-law).  And let's just say that for the most part what happens in Cancun stays in Cancun.  Wink, wink!


I have grown up struggling with migraines.  I got my first one in sixth grade.  Good Lord I can remember it now.  I digress.

They got much better after I had my hysterectomy (along with my gastric bypass - the best thing I ever did). But I occassionally get one that digs in and hangs on.  When that has happened my neurologist has decided to do a course of Topamax as a preventive  medication for the headaches.  I did this about 4 years ago for about 6 months.  It worked well - got the headaches under control - I went off the medication when the headaches got manageable and it was good for a long time.  Well I have a headache that won't let go now - it's been here for over a month.  I think it's stress related (more on that later), but it will not die.  So back on Topamax we go.

Ramping up on Topamax SUCKS big time.  Topamax is an anti-seizure medication and has some rather loverly side effects.  It makes my fingers, toes, and even my nose tingle randomly.  And darn it all if it does not make me STUPID.  But in the past it has made my headaches go away.  So I am suffering through the side effects to get to the point where the headaches go away.  The thing that is different this time around is that I have had gastric bypass.  So I have 2 things that are different - one I weigh less - so one would think it would take less of the drug to do the same work. BUT I also have the malabsorption issues to deal with because of the gastric bypass so it may actually take more of the drug to do the work than it did before.  Bottom line - it may take some trial and error to find the right dose to do the job.

Hello? Is this thing on?

Excuse me while I clear some cobwebs around here ....

Tap tap tap.  Is this thing on? 

Just making sure ...

Cause you know ...  I go through spurts.  I know - I have been absent for a bit.  But get ready - I'm about to go off in this piece!

Cause you know ... it's all about Pam.