Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Dream Vacation

We got back from our amazing vacation late Sunday night.  My first time in Europe was more than I could have imagined. I was able to relax a bit and not let cancer consume my thoughts for the first time in months.  It was difficult to maintain my healthy diet but I tried not to worry about it.... I even had some french bread, a few bites of chocolate and a glass of wine (or two)

Our flight over was pretty easy. 9 hours never went by so quickly.  We landed in Zurich about 7 AM, our bags arrived too and our ride to St. Moritz was there waiting.  St. Moritz is about a 3 hour drive from the airport so we asked the driver to swing by a cafe.  They speak Swiss German there so ordering was a lot of pointing and nodding but we survived our first dining experience.  The coffee was SO strong. I soon realized that coffee in Europe means espresso unless you specifically ask for an americano.  I've got to mention that there were elementary aged kids walking around the city.  I was in awe.  Apparently it is so safe that people just let their little kids walk to school- through the city!!!  They were so cute. St. Moritz is such a nice ski town.  We stayed at the Kempenski Grande which is located at the bottom of one of the ski mountains.  We intended on walking into town immediately but we both crashed right when we got to our room.  After a quick 3 hour nap we made out way to the main village.  It was SO cold. I think that was our last walk in Switzerland. We took a cab everywhere else.  We went to this outdoor, post ski bar, a few shops to grab some gifts for the kids and made our way to some random restaurant for food.  Saturday was our first day of skiing. We set up a "lesson" which is basically a tour guide of the mountain who also gives you pointers. His name was Rolland and he was so nice and funny.  We had a great time. It took me some time to get my confidence on the skis again.  He even noticed, saying something like, " there's something going on in your mind that's keeping you from letting go". I laughed thinking he had no idea.  We had lunch way up on the mountain in this private room with 8 young locals. We basically crashed their lunch but it ended up being a lot of fun.  The room was so cool,  Windows all around and a cozy fire place.  Rolland recommended a great restaurant for dinner, Bella Vista.  The owner is a hunter and most of the meat they serve he hunted.  We went there for dinner and we both had venison.  It was amazing!!!!  We were with Rolland on Sunday too, just at a different mountain. The conditions weren't very good that day but we went out anyway.  I was actually skiing my best right before I made a stupid mistake, fell and totally messed up my knee.  I assumed I actually hurt it because it loudly popped.  I think Sean was more upset than me. Long story short, a ride down the mountain in a snow mobile and a trip to the ski injury hospital later I was sort of diagnosed with a meniscus injury.  We had met a few people the night before at the lobby bar and I ran into them in the lobby after my accident.  Sean and I hung out with them that night and had a blast.  Some of our favorite parts of St. Moritz and the Kempenski Grande were the heated bathroom floors, the amazing breakfast spread, the mountain restaurants, the frozen lakes and the beautiful surroundings.  We were set to leave for Paris on Monday morning and we woke up to so much snow!  It was an interesting 3 hour drive to the train station but we made it.  We grabbed some really good pizza in the train station and departed on our train from Zurich to Paris.  It took about 4 hours. I really enjoyed traveling by train.
Paris literally took my breath away.  As soon as we walked out of the train station I was blown away.  I never expected to love Paris as much as I do.  The city is amazing.  So much history. It is so well taken care of too.  We stayed at Le Meurice which is an old palace that they restored and made amazing.  It was so fancy.  We attempted to find this hip restaurant but we got very lost.  Somehow we mangaged to find a Canadian restaurant where the servers were American. We had a good laugh about it and were happy to get out of the rain and to get food into our bellies.  Tuesday was for me.  A day of shopping and walking around Paris. I had a blast!  We had lunch at a great place and had huge dinner plans. We at at Le Jule Vern which is at the top of the Eiffel Tower.  The view was obviously incredible and the food was good too.  We had a private tour of Versailles and the Louvre on Wednesday. It was like years of history class jammed into one day.  I really enjoyed the tour.  We left for London on Thursday morning on the Eurostar.  That was a very easy and quick ride.  London was cold too and pretty rainy.  We immediately found a pub.  Sean was on cloud 9.  We had a private tour of The tower of London and Westminster Abbey on Friday. Our tour guide Peter really liked to talk; especially about how America is America because England let us go.... whatever :)  I loved the history in London too.  We had dinner with one of Sean's clients and his fiance that night.  Saturday was supposed to be the shopping/explore day but it was rainy and cold so we went to Harrods, ate lunch at this amazing Indian restaurant (I haven't eaten that much in a while) and then we rode the tube and found our way to the London Eye. I hated it because I'm not the biggest fan of heights but Sean loved it :).  We had a nice dinner Saturday night and spent all day Sunday traveling home.  Sean and I both were able to relax and celebrate life and our 7th wedding anniversary.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the unexpected but sort of expected post

I just heard back from Heather with Dr. Bartlett's office regarding my slides.

"Hi Jenesa,
Thank you for emailing again.  I have been delaying my reply because our pathologists actually said there are 2 appendix tumors, which is not what we predicted and not what Dr. Bartlett's impression was originally.  We have our pathologists doing some additional reviews and showing the tumor(s) around to the rest of the group.  It's surprising but I need more time to get the final word from them and then I will certainly share it with you.  Sorry for the delay and the change in diagnosis again.  It's not always totally straightforward in the world of medicine, as you know.  
Thanks.
HJ"


I'm pretty upset.  It just sucks.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I'm still here

Life has been busy.  Work is kicking my butt.  I may have come back a bit too soon as far as my sanity is concerned but I'm getting by.
I've been doing a lot of thinking these days.  I drive a lot more this year with work since my territory changed, which is good and bad.  It's good because I get extra time to myself but bad because I typically spend that time thinking and ruminating about all of the things that has happened or that could happen.  Like I've said in previous posts, I really annoy myself sometimes.
I'm beginning to think I need to take the time to forgive myself for living with this pain for 2.5 years and not demanding answers sooner. I know that sounds silly but deep down inside I'm disappointed in myself that I put myself last..... behind my kids, husband, job, friends and daily craziness.   I keep trying to figure out why I assumed I was fine when I was having horrible, reoccurent pain in the exact same spot of my body.  So, I'm sorting through that emotional rollercoaster right now. Lesson learned though.....RULE NUMBER 1, having pain in the same exact spot, over and over, is not normal!!!!  Never again will I let anyone I know, including yours truly live with pain.

Of course my mind is also preoccupied with those pathology slides that are in the hands of Dr. Bartlett and Heather. I am very curious if they've looked at them yet, but I'm too afraid to call or email.

And Ava has been comlaining of having a headache.  She's complained about 6 or 7 times within the past 2 weeks.  She says her head hurts right on her forehead.  One time she told me she was dizzy.  I'm trying not to give her attention when she says this but of course I am internally panicing.  After going through what I went through... my mind immediately goes to the terrible.  I'm going to ty to get her to drink more water because I don't think she drinks enough during the day.   I'm also going to keep a little journal of when she complains to see if there's a trend.  I'll email or talk to her teachers too to see if she's complaining at school.  I'm sure it's nothing but I'm worried. I'll also be bringing her to the pediatrician early next week to run it by him.