Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Playing Catch Up

One second you are waking up, making your morning coffee, getting ready to tackle the day and handling your day-to-day life.  The next second your life is turned upside down.  When you are diagnosed with cancer you feel as if your life just exploded in front of you and when you find out you carry a genetic mutation that caused your cancer and can cause other cancers is like being diagnosed all over again. 

From that you go through numerous surgeries, chemo, radiation, scans, appointments to go over the scans, follow-up appointments from the radiation, chemo, surgeries, scans.  I had more doctors numbers in my phone then friends and family and being known and knowing your doctors and their staff on a first name basis, while can be comforting, is a true sign that their offices were more of a first home then a second home or hospital. 

As the person going through it, I felt at some moments that I was the strongest person in the world and at other times I felt like a failure and a burden.  The past 18 months were spent on auto pilot, basing our lives on when appointments were scheduled.  My family and I were holding our breath, never knowing what was coming for us, good or bad.  My body had literally been put through hell and I can finally say now that I am starting to feel like the old Emily.  I'm actually smiling again, I'm painting and crafting and working on projects.

Looking back on my breast cancer diagnosis and everything I went through I was able to decompress and realize how truly depressed I was going through all of that.  I am finally at a point where I can actually admit that yes, I was DEPRESSED.  Given the circumstances I think anyone would be, but for me I knew that the only thing that would help me would be time.  As painfully terrible that was when I realized it, I knew that a therapist wouldn't help me.  She or he would only tell me what I already know and I'd have to pay for that.  I preferred dinner dates and therapy with my friends.  (If only it was covered under my FLEX spending account).

There was a lot that the hubs and I took care of during the latter half of 2014 that I neglected to blog about, or in the moment I thought that I would eventually get to it.  I would post to Facebook, but I had a total mental block and  just did not have the energy.

So to play catch up on all of the small things that the hubs and I have been going through:

We've moved the kids to their new "day care" in November:

froedert, fertility, IVF, PGD, PGD testing, Li Fraumeni, TP53, genetics, genetic mutations, natera, daycare, aurora, cancer, breast cancer, taking care of business, depression, chemo, surgeries
That is our first official family photo!!
I was rushed through the egg harvesting process in order to start chemo and after I was all done and ready to move forward I did my research and decided to go with Froedert based on their knowledge with PGD testing and the amazing things I heard about their facility.  So we picked up the canister, went to Aurora, picked up the kiddos and brought them to their new daycare where they are currently chillin until we are ready to go through IVF.
 In typical Emily and Chad fashion, we had to get them a happy meal.

froedert, fertility, IVF, PGD, PGD testing, Li Fraumeni, TP53, genetics, genetic mutations, natera, daycare, aurora, cancer, breast cancer, taking care of business, depression, chemo, surgeries, mcdonalds, happy meal, embryos, boy or girl
When we were in the drive-thru they asked whether we wanted a boy toy or girl toy, and the hubs said boy.  So we know what he's hoping for with the six little embryos.
We have also decided to move forward with the PGD testing in May 2015 even though we do not plan to have the IVF done until May-June 2016 (depending on my baby clock obviously).  I've been asked why we are having it done so far in advance, any my answer to that is because frankly we want to know what we have to work with.  The uncertainty of not knowing which ones if any carry the mutation is a lot of stress on my mind and I deal with that by taking charge.  Needless to say we are very nervous and excited at the same time.  Any positive juju or prayers sent our way will be greatly appreciated!
In other news, our sweet baby Mae is a complete lunatic.  She is definitely polar opposites from June bug but somehow they make it work.  She is peeing in the house a lot less, and she really only does when she's mad at us, but still loves to dig through my work bag, grab my "that time of the month" (obviously unused) supplies and run through the house.  She loves eating the leaves that fall off of a plant that we have in our guest room, no worries the plant is safe for dogs.  She has somehow convinced June to join in her shenanigans and they love eating the "chips" aka crunchy leaves. 
She recently had a bad case of gas that could seriously trump any human and the hubs' facial expression explains our pain.  It was awful, but she is so adorable.  I guess life is about balance, right?
froedert, fertility, IVF, PGD, PGD testing, Li Fraumeni, TP53, genetics, genetic mutations, natera, daycare, aurora, cancer, breast cancer, taking care of business, depression, chemo, surgeries, dog days, dog, english springer spaniel, baby mae, mae, pet
Recently my family lost a piece of their hearts.  My grandfather passed away and while he was entering his 90th year it was still a difficult loss for us.
grandpa, family, love, rip, R.I.P, grandparents
He was such an interesting man.  He loved talking about his days in the Navy, enjoyed sitting out on the porch and photographing the seasons change.  There were so many memories I have with him and my grandma growing up but my most treasured were at the camp ground.  We would catch frogs, go fishing, ride bikes, he taught me how to drive a golf cart, and that you could get your groove on to polka music.  I remember those hot nights, eventually falling asleep to the Beer Barrel Polka in the background.  In our LONG drive out there, or what felt like a long drive, we would make a stop at the local Sentry and pick up donuts.  I always had to have a long john and my grandpa loved the crawlers.  I will miss his knowledge, his funny jokes and how he called me "mouse".
concord camp ground, concord, camp ground, twins, grandpa
While I will miss him every day, I know he is with my grandma now which comforts me.
I'm grateful for the memories that I have but I would give anything to go back to 12 year old Emily.
Hug your loved ones and tell them how much you care! <3


  1. A lovely article Emily - love your upbeat attitude now that must be beating the depression into submission. Good for you. And had a good laugh about your kids in daycare ... !! At least your Springer is giving you and your hubby some training in preparation for the smellier aspects of diaper changing... ;-)

    1. Absolutely!! It was definitely a dark time in my life, and I am very very happy to have made it through! The only thing with my kiddos daycare is that it's FREE for the first year, which is definitely a better option then actual daycare! Little Mae is definitely giving us a run for our money....she is a spicy one for sure!!! Thanks for reading! xo

  2. Sad to hear the news of your grandpa. Is that you in the photo with him? You tomboy!! :)
    I'm sorry to hear you've been depressed; you've kept that to yourself all that time. But you've been through that valley and things can only improve now. That's what people are also telling me. Your hair looks gorgeous! How long is it now?

    1. Katerine,

      It was definitely sad losing him, but I keep the memories we shared close to my heart and mind. That was him and I, out at the camground. I was a total tomboy growing up, loved sports, and getting dirty!! I still do, but I know how to put on a little makeup from time to time! My hair is definitely getting longer. I keep the sides and back shorter, so I don't end up with a mullet, and the tops growing out, maybe 5-6 inches on top, but then it curls so I lose a few inches!! Remember that you too will make it through your valley and will become a stronger person on the otherside!! hugs


    2. Thank you so much, Emily. Tight hugs to you. xxx