Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hey look at me!

Finally posting! Lots I want to write about. I was smart this time and wrote it down. So much though and some of them need pictures I haven't taken yet so I will wait and put it in another post. Woohoo that means more coming SOON.
First this week we have Sassy's little brother Tiny visiting. He is here while my aunt recovers from knee surgery. The surgery was on Monday and went well, but we are keeping him here so he doesn't accidentally get under foot. He has come at a good time. Sassy is in the beginning stages of heat (we haven't been able to take her in to get her fixed). Due to her leakage she is blocked from all areas of the house except the living room, dinning room and kitchen since they are all tiled. She is also very limited on outside play time, obviously. So Tiny is helping to keep her company when the rest of us are in other areas of the house. She is not as depressed and lonely.
Here is a picture of them in one of their brief chill moments. Tiny on left Sassy on right.

Monday I had my yearly MRI. The drive was rough since I have to go about 50 miles to get to the imaging place. It was pouring rain most of the way and I was driving my mom's jeep instead of mine. Larry had to take ours to work so he didn't get soaked on his motorcycle. I have driven my mom's jeep many times, but it is still stressful when it's pouring, you don't know where the controls are since it's not the same model, and you are going a route that you normally don't. All went well except for putting my IV in for the dye. I don't have a problem with blood or anything like that, but apparently my body was over worked from the drive and I almost passed out with the insertion. I prefer them to put needles in my left arm since I rely so heavily on my right, I don't want to make it hard to use. But my veins weren't cooperating. He couldn't get it in my arm so went for my hand instead. He didn't like the way it looked once he got it in, so I told him it was ok to go ahead and do the right arm for it. But that hand one didn't go so well for my body either. I started to feel real light headed and broke out in an instant sweat. I felt embarrassed so I sat there giving myself a pep talk in my head instead of telling him what was happening (stupid, I know!). I guess I must have turned white cause he asked if I was ok. I confessed so he made me lay down and got me a DP. Thankfully he was the one to put my IV in last year and remembered I had no problem. So he explained what my body had done and why that had happened. Hope he's there next year too. I went to use the restroom right after so I wouldn't need to in the machine. I felt much better, but when I looked in the mirror I could see I was pretty pale. Let's hope for good weather next year. Now I am just waiting for Dr. Chang's office (my neurosurgeon) to get back with me to set my appointment for him to look at my films from the MRI. I have a spot the are monitoring. I am not sure if it is left over from the surgery that was more of a danger to remove than to leave, or if it is a new development discovered last year after my MRI. I never got to ask him about that, so that's top question this year. Fingers crossed it hasn't done anything in the past year.
So it has rained all week causing Larry to need the jeep and leaving us at home. We have been doing some remodeling and moving of furniture in my bathroom and bedroom so I used this time to get it a little more organized (well as much as can while in the middle of it all) so I could get some of my stuff out of the living room. I forgot to take pictures before we started, but not too much has been done so that's some of the pictures I will talk for my next post as the sort of before pictures. I also was able to get most of my sewing table set back up. So I hope to finish that today and get back to work. My projects are stacking up.
I will go now though. Mail was exciting today. I got a magazine, the latest Joann's flyer, and the 2010 IKEA catalog! I had just found my 2009 and was about to find ideas for furniture I want for all our remodeling. Guess someone was listening and decided it would be smarter for me to have the new one now. WOOHOO! Off for some day dreaming time.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Two Years Later

A week after surgery The day the first set of stitches came out. (My neck didn't heal so he had to go in and close it up again about a week after this.)

One year after surgery.

Two years after surgery.

Today is a special day!
Also Happy 17th Birthday to my niece Kelli!
And remembering a special friend, Nicole Taylor, who passed 12 years ago today due to a tragic car wreck. Nicole, you are thought of fondly often, and I thank you for being with me during my surgery to see me through.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Honest Scrap blog/tag

So Charisse tagged me for this some time ago. Let's see what I can come up with.

The Rules:
(1) Thank the person who nominated you for this award {that would be me}
(2) Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
(3) Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
(4) Name 10 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
(5) Nominate 10 Honest Scrap Bloggers.
(6) Post links to the 10 blogs you nominate.
(7) Leave a comment on each of the blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.**********************************************************************************
1. I love magazines. I have narrowed down my number of subscriptions to 3 but will often buy the ones at the store I stopped subscribing to if they have an interesting article. I stay so busy I can't get them read most of the time, but I will not just throw them out without reading them first. That would be wasting money and killing trees. So I have a monstrous stack waiting to be read.
2.Socks gross me out! I will not put on a pair of socks again even if I had put them on and for some reason had to take them immediately back off. And I HATE touching other people's socks.
3. I am obsessive with how the laundry gets done. I don't like anyone else doing it and will let it become massively piled up if I can't do it instead of letting someone else help me.
4. This is very revealing, but I'm proud of it. "I saved myself for marriage." I don't look down on or think any differently on anyone who hasn't chosen to do this also. Heck, most people would be embarrassed to say that in these times, but it was a choice I made. I am most proud of it mainly to show off my strong stubbornness and will power.
5. I have lived in Texas my whole life, so far. I have traveled to many other states, but only lived in the Lone Star State.
6. I have always been proud to look younger than my age. I know that one day I will really want it, so I have never allowed myself to dislike it. I do dislike people who treat you poorly because they think you are young.
7. I have a blast with my name. I enjoy shocking people on the phone when they ask for Toby and are stunned silent for a minute when they find out I am a girl.
8. I have always been a tomboy, but within the past couple of years have become more girly. Since marrying my husband I have started to have an obsession with handbags. I love clothes and shoes and accessories such as scarves. I have never felt the need to impress anyone with my looks, but am now into them more (of course this would come about after I no longer have my fabulous figure :P)
9. I love fall. I love marching band season (Football-I can take it or leave it). I love the comfortable weather and being able to wear what ever you want: jeans, shorts, t-shirts, or sweaters. Most of all I love the colors. The reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and browns. I get so anxious to decorate for fall I often do it while still in the 100 degree weather.
10.My family is very into pets. I've always liked them and asked for them growing up, but was told no most of the time. So I've had to learn to not ask with my husband because he likes them as much as I do. We have had many cats and dogs, chickens, ducks, hamsters, birds, fish, turtles, and our newest addition is an iguana. But for that we got rid of the fish. So our current brood is 3 dogs (one lives in East TX with my mother-in-law, though) 2 cats, and an iguana.
So there are 10 things. Don't know how interesting they are, but I did it.
I am tagging from my blog list:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

It's a Special 2yr Anniversary for Me!

Today is a very special day. Two years ago it was the first of a string of the scariest days of my life. But now I celebrate it for all that it means and for all the fabulous things that have happened since that day. So much has happened in two years that I still can't believe that's all it has been. And if it wasn't for this day two years ago it may not have all happened and all the wonderful things to come may not have happened either.So in honor of today here is my blog post talking about it from July 6, 2007

*I figure if I don't keep people updated on this, I may end up with my butt kicked.

If you read my last blog, some of this will be a little bit of a repeat, so I apologize.

As I mentioned before, in one of my physical therapy appointments, one of the therapists, saw the reaction of my eye, and suggested an inner ear problem. She sent me on to an ENT. I saw him for the first time 2 weeks ago. The reactions I had to the various tests he performed did not lead him to feeling it was an inner ear problem, but more likely neurological (brain) problem. So he ordered an MRI/MRA (the MRA is where they stop the MRI for a bit and give me a shot of dye. The dye shows them possible abnormalities (I think that's the word I'm looking for)). He also ordered a hearing test to just double check things.
I had the MRI done last week, and the ear test and got the MRI results yesterday. The hearing test is normal! So when I tell everyone to turn it down, or say what when I don't hear, I'm not having problems.
The results from the MRI were not quite as happy.
My eye problem is neurological. Wow even typing how to inform people of this is hard. How do I make it easy on you? Guess I take my doc's approach. Get it out. I have a benign tumor on the left of my Cerebellum. The key word there to be thankful for is benign-non cancerous!!! It also is thankfully a moderate size. Where it is located, it is putting pressure on an area that controls skills of my left side. This explains my problems with my left eye moving, and why I have become clumsy in the past few years, stumbling towards my left side, and so on. Some tests of my skills were quite comical. I can't describe them all, but there is no way I could pass a sobriety test hehe. It is not currently possible for me to walk heal to toe without stumbling or even falling.
Anyway, my ENT got me referred and into a neurosurgeon yesterday. Thankfully the ENT's assistant was right. He really is one of the best.
Ok, now a little bit of a description on the tumor: Best way to describe it is like my mom said, it's a "birth defect" that often doesn't show up till later in life. When my brain was developing as I was a fetus, some of the blood vessels got twisted. These vessels have now created a mass that is putting pressure on my brain.
This mass is going to have to be removed. They don't think much blood is flowing through it right now since I have no signs of past bleeding out. But if it is not removed it could do this and cause me more problems down the road.
The doctor thankfully doesn't want to put it off. Not due to any life threats, but so I don't sit worrying for a long time. For this I am thankful. I've never had surgery before. But heck why not take it like everything else and make my first time a big one.
So the surgery is going to be in about 2 weeks. I have to have some other tests done first. I will have anagiagram to make sure there isn't much blood currently flowing through the mass. And I will have another MRI done. The other one wasn't clear enough for him to use to make out his plan on performing the surgery.
The surgery is going to take approximately 6 hours. This is not due to how long it will take him to cut it out, but how long it will take to cut and to use all the various machines for them to see. One will help him with seeing exactly where he is going, better than just using a scope. And after they have removed it, they will place me in another MRI to make sure they get it all, so they don't have to perform another surgery down the road. The MRI will take a while because they will not close me up when they put me in, so they will have to cover the area and keep it all sterile.
How they will get to the mass: The location of it will have them going through my Cerebellum to get to it. They will be able to go through folds though causing very little damage to brain tissue.
Like all surgeries, there is some threat on your life, but it is a small threat even though they are operating on my brain. The worst possible results would be some damage that causes my current symptoms to be worse. The removal of the tumor out weighs the leaving of it greatly.
So what I need from my readers: Not a bunch of sympathy and pity. This is all still quite shocking to me. Yesterday was very emotional for me and my husband . (I went to the ENT on my own thinking results would be good. So my husband was quite upset to have not been with me. He did come home and was with me at the neurosurgeon). I want to try and continue things right now normally. Much to my husbands protests, I sent him on to work today. I actually wanted to be at the gym right now, but felt the need to get this all down. I will tell you, this news truly does change how you look at the world and life. This is why I want to proceed normally. This change on how I look at things is a bit disturbing. I didn't appreciate my life as much as I should, and I want to do that now. And I want to do that by doing my normal stuff. So please don't send comments. Especially ones that say: Oh my gosh Toby, I'm so sorry!
I would merely appreciate prayers and to know (without you having to say) that I can call on you if I need some help taking care of my family during and after the surgery. If all goes well I will only be in the hospital 4 to 5 days. Only is his word. For having never been in a hospital more than a few hours, 4 or 5 days is forever to me.
So that's it. Please don't pity or worry. I truly feel God will take care of me and do what He feels is best for me. If you have questions, feel free to ask. It may be one I don't know and need to ask myself.
Love and Blessings to you all!!

P.S. To those who talk to my brother: please don't bombard him about this either. I prefer him to be allowed to talk about it with who he chooses to. He has his own stuff going on, and I don't want him sitting thinking about all of this any more than he has to. Please, please, PLEASE respect this request!!! If you HAVE to choose only one to respect, make it this one!!*

Today 7/5/09: My advice to you. Be thankful for each day you have even the scary ones. That day really is the beginning of the rest of your life!This changed how I look at everything around me and I truly worry less and am more thankful for each day and all that is around me!God Bless you all as he has me!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Long and Short all at Once

That's the way I feel about summer right now. With how extremely hot it is so early this year it feels long. With my kids here and at their mom's and figuring out where they will be when it feels long. With my husband working to find an honest job (I say honest 'cause he has almost and then has taken two different ones where they were doing wrong to their customers) it feels long. With me trying to get my foot in the door to a career I want it feels long.
But then there are the want to do's that make it seem so short. I want to work on sewing projects (haven't gotten farther than half cutting out that dress). I want to get out all the yarn I have bought (and with some super sales lately that pile has grown again) and finally learn to really knit and crochet. I want to spend time with friends. I have gotten to do some of that. I want to be able to just sit back and read all day. I am happy to say I am half way through my 3rd book this summer. I wish that number was larger, but I have picked some that are thicker than others and that just are a little slower read (no less interesting though). My brother's girlfriend is my inspiration. Last summer I believe the total was 25 books she read. At Father's day she was half a book up on me. I haven't gotten the recent tally but I'm sure she 's quite farther than me now.

What I've read this summer:

This one is a Christian novel and has two more in the series I am looking forward to starting shortly.

Make sure you have Kleenex handy for this one. You can pretty much figure out what the ending is, but it still gets you. Also the author mentions some major life events that happen to her that will get you too. I want to read Marley and Me also, but since I've seen the movie I think I will for-go reading the ending on that one.

And this one is making me want to learn knitting even more, but they do warn you of it. There is a follow up to this one and at least one more novel by this author that I hope to read.

Soon I will read the Twilight books. I have had the first one for a while now, but decided to hold off reading it till after the movie since often I don't like the movie if I've read the book first. I picked up the second one a couple nights ago so I could get it before the price went up on it as it gets closer to that movie coming out. Main thing I need to do is quit going to the library. I have so many books at home I want to read, but then I drop in there to let Holly check out or pick up pharmacy books or a book on CD and always have my attention caught by another bright cover and end up checking out a pile of books for myself. It's an addiction!

OK, off to read while I do chores at the same time.