We dig a little deeper

I want to get into things on here, you know, really do some soul searching but maybe we’ll take it slow. I’ll start with something that I don’t really mind talking about right now because it is part of me, I eat, I sleep and I breathe cancer. Two years ago in March, my husband called me from Iraq, he told me that he finally got that mole removed on his back that I had been telling him to get looked at for 5 years. When I think back to that phone call I remember saying, “It’s okay, its probably nothing.” I wish sometimes that I could go back to that time of ignorance, thinking its just melanoma, they take the mole and he’s fine. I thought they are bringing him home just to be cautious, this is not serious. I was so wrong, when he got here things went from bad to worse. I picked him up in San Antonio, he got to see the kids again and we had a couple days before all the craziness and doctors appointments and surgeries. At his first doctor’s appointment we were still very optimistic, we had researched melanoma on the Internet and things seemed very promising. At this point we still didn’t know what stage he was though because his biopsy was done in Iraq.
Surgery 1 : They injected the site of the tumor with this special dye and then did a scan to see which lymph nodes it drained to. They found 4 lymph nodes, 2 under each of his arms so they took them out and did a biopsy on them too see if the melanoma had spread. I was still thinking that all would be well, the lymph nodes would come back negative and we could go on with our lives, we would wear more sunscreen but everything would be fine. We went home and waited for our call to tell us to resume life, instead we got a call telling us that the two lymph nodes on the left side came back positive. This was earth-shattering news, he now had stage 3 melanoma, all our optimism went out the window. Those were dark days for us but we didn’t have time yet to reflect on what was happening, we had another surgery to look forward to.
Surgery 2: A week later we were back at Wilford Hall in San Antonio, where he was receiving his care, getting ready to go in to surgery. This time, I was scared, they were going to go in and take all his lymph nodes on his left side because they now knew that his cancer was spreading and they wanted to stop it before it went beyond his lymph nodes. They also needed to take much more skin from around the tumor (mole) to be sure there were no cancerous cells left behind. This surgery lasted a long time, I sat in the waiting room and watched families come and go until I was the only one left, scared and alone. I cried in that waiting room, we were too young to be dealing with this crap, my husband was only 27. Finally, the surgeon came and got me, he told me everything was OK and I could go see my husband now. He looked awful, he had a huge cut across his back where they took more skin, about 8 inches long and the skin was pulled so tight. I wanted to cry for him, it looked so painful, then I saw his other incision. They took 23 more lymph nodes and they had to cut his pectoral muscle in order to do it. Because they took so much there was basically a hole in his left side that would start accumulating fluids so they ran 2 drains out from under his arm. They mutilated him was all I could think, his chest was deformed now and it kind of grossed me out, what a horrible person am I. I never said anything to him even to this day about the way I felt when I first saw him after that. After a day in the hospital we went back to the Fisher House we were staying at and started trying to move forward with getting this part of our lives over. That night though when I was emptying his drains I noticed there were small clots in it. The fluid got bloodier and bloodier and he was starting to complain that he felt tightness under his arm. We went into the E.R. where they rushed him in for …
Surgery 3: They opened him up again and found that one of the blood vessels hadn’t been cauterized well enough and the bleeding had caused a hematoma. They fixed him up and put a new set of drains in and sent him home a few days later with lots of pain killers. Healing was difficult because they had cut his nerves and muscle so he was very weak for a very long time and to make matters worse he still had to go through chemo.
Chemo was the worst time in my life, he had to go into the hospital everyday for a month straight and get Interferon 2A injected through an IV in his arm. It caused him to retain fluid so bad he gained about 30 pounds in water weight, he ate next to nothing because it made him so sick and he slept almost 20 hours a day. The 4 hours he was awake he had excruciating headaches that literally made it impossible for him to function. After the month was up he was given shots to take home and I had to give him injections in his stomach every other day for 11 months. Things were rough, the kids couldn’t be around him very long because he would turn on you in a second, when he wasn’t sleeping he was hell to be around. At this point it was very hard for me to love him, in fact, I would say that I hated him. I hated being around him, he was never happy, he ruined everything that he was around at that time. He would get in moods sometimes where he wanted to eat, it was rare but when he did he wanted something specific. I would go and get it for him no matter what time it was, cook it and then when he would go to eat it he would say never mind, that pissed me off like you cannot believe. He would yell at me for just about anything you can think of, the kids were always too loud, the room was too bright, he was always tired, he never did anything but bitch all day long. Now I know you are probably thinking that I am a total bitch but you have to understand that a person can only take so much. The shots only lasted 5 months, one night we were sitting on the couch ready to give him his shot and he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said please don’t do it. I tried to tell him that he had to have them, that it was going to help him, but he couldn’t take anymore and when he told me that he wanted to stop I couldn’t blame him. He was miserable, I was miserable, our kids were miserable and worst of all no one understood. It took about a month or two for it to get out of his system but we are still feeling the effects of that horrible 6 months. As of right now, we believe he is cancer free but there is no sure way to tell, we take it one day at a time.

A little more about me.

So I know that my profile has some info about me but pretty much you know nothing about me so I decided we should get to know each other. We being me and whoever the hell reads this. So my name is Allison and I am married to a great guy who a lot of the time doesn’t piss me off but sometimes he really makes me mad. We have 2 kids, they are 4 and 2 years old. We also have a small zoo with 2 labs, a yellow and a silver, and 2 cats, a tabby and a white one. We live in Fort Hood, Texas because my husband is in the Army and as strange as this sounds, we are hoping he’ll be getting to go to Iraq in March. Now, I know a lot of people will think that is a really bitchy thing to say but we have our reasons and I will go into them another time, maybe tomorrow, but I will need a lot of writing space for that one. I have 2 older brothers that I don’t see very often and for some reason they never call me back when I leave messages so I’m beginning to think that they don’t like me. My parents and my brothers and their wives live in Houston along with the rest of my family. I have like 60 million aunts, uncles and cousins and they pretty much all live in Houston so you can imagine how pissed they were at me for marrying someone in the army since we can’t live in Houston. We live close though so we visit often, in fact we’re going there on Friday. I’m really lucky because I don’t have to deal with in-laws since my husband disowned his family when he was in Iraq the first time. They were pretty much horrible parents, well, his mother was at least and his brother is just an idiot. My family, on the other hand, is perfect…ha ha ha! I get along with my family okay and so does my husband but since I got married 5 years ago we’ve slowly been drifting apart. Like I said before, I barely even speak to my brothers and when I come in town they never call me back. When I was younger I always felt bad for people that didn’t get along with their family but I think I’m starting to see that sometimes it isn’t anyone’s fault, it just happens, you grow apart. Well, anyways, when I met my husband I was in college but I dropped out so we could get married, he was leaving for Iraq in 6 months and we wanted to spend what time we had left together. I always said I would go back and I finally did last year. So right now I’m trying to prepare for a deployment and finish up school and take care of 2 kids, and yet, I still have time to be bored and start a blog. I’m going for my associate’s in fine arts right now because I want to be an interior designer but I might change it and just go for my bachelor’s, it all depends on if my husband goes to Iraq and if we move when he gets back. So, that’s good for now, you know a little more about me and I’ll keep writing more in the coming week.

Tis the season…

…to be grateful.
I am grateful for many things in my life. My kids are healthy, we live in a nice house that I feel safe in, we have pets that love us, we can afford things that not everyone can, but these things also come with sacrifices. I understand this but it seems to me that not everyone does. There are certain people in life that, I don’t think, understand that things don’t just fall in your lap, even though sometimes you perceive that things fall in others’ laps. If you sit at home and do nothing then nothing will happen to you, you have to go out and make things happen. Also, I don’t think I have ever met a single person that nothing good has ever happened to. I do believe that good things happen to me and my family often but I also believe that it is because we appreciate it when it does happen to us. If I get something from someone for free or I find a good deal on something, it didn’t happen while I was sitting at home and I make sure to convey gratitude to whomever gave it to me. I always write thank you notes and I think that lets people know that they are appreciated. I love to receive a note when I do something for someone else, it makes me know that they understand that I didn’t have to do whatever I did, that I did it by choice, it makes me feel appreciated. I do more for people that appreciate me and are grateful for what I give them so I treat others as I would want to be treated.

Feeling a little bit crazy

So I am trying really hard not to feel like a crazy cat lady that talks to myself because that is kind of like what this is. Since I have no friends on here yet and I don’t know if anyone has even read my blogs (not that they are very interesting) it makes me feel a little bit like a loser. I guess I need to make my blog intersting or maybe I shouldn’t talk about my blog on my blog, I think that might help. So if anyone is reading this, maybe send me some suggestions on what exactly I should be blogging about.

Trying to be eco-friendly and not kill my husband at the same time

I just got finished taking an environmental science class (which, come to find out doesn’t count as a science class at all for my degree plan but that is a whole other subject) and I’ve decided to try and be more “green” much to the dismay of my husband. Now, I’m not really a wasteful person to begin with, my biggest flaw is that I have a shopping problem. So last night I went to the commissary (for you civilians, that is a grocery store) and they started carrying reusable bags and they’re 70 cents each. So I told my husband I was going to buy 2 everytime I go to the store until I have like 10 or 12 and I’m going to start using those instead of wasting all that plastic. My husand…got mad at me! He told me that I am turning into a hippie and that he doesn’t want to be “green” and if I start to be “green” then he has to be and he doesn’t want to. He also told me that if I use the reusable bags then we will have nothing to pick up dog poop with. So I tried to explain to him that we can use plastic bags once in a while if we get low but to be honest we don’t pick up poop that often, we pretty much suck at keeping our backyard poop-free. He also told me if I want to be more eco-friendly then I should start walking everywhere and give up my SUV. Honestly, its not like I drive some huge Suburban, its an Explorer Sport. So by the end of the conversation he pretty much said its stupid to try and help the environment unless you stop driving, stop using all water, stop using all products with any kind of plastic (to include bread because it is wrapped in plastic) and pretty much I need to live in a tree. Apparently my view of every little bit helps is stupid because for him it is all or nothing.

What is this blogging all about anyway?

Okay, I’ve been reading a few blogs and I thought that it seems like fun so I thought I would start a blog. I’m not really sure yet what I am going to write, I just need something semi-productive to do when I’m bored. I don’t watch t.v. like normal people because I don’t have cable and we only get like 2 stations here without cable. I don’t not have cable for weird reasons either, I just really don’t want it. I feel like when I watch t.v. I waste my time, also I get a little addicted to it so this is how I control it. I watch a couple shows online but other than that I pretty much only use the t.v. for video games. Its funny too because my husband asked me what I wanted for christmas and for some reason I put an LCD t.v. for our bedroom on my list. I think we’ve watched a movie in our room like twice since we moved in almost 2 years ago. I’m weird like that too, sometimes I want things that I would never use. Sometimes I buy things that I don’t even want, my husband gets really mad at that but I try to ignore him.