Laundry….ughhh!

So, nothing much is going on here, I’m spending the day cleaning because since we got back from Houston I have pretty much done nothing. I mean my house isn’t disgusting or anything but I need to do laudry and that right there is enough to make me want to fake my own death and run away. But I won’t, I will endure folding copious amounts of laudry and not stab myself in the eye with a pencil. Today is pretty much a chill day except for the fact that Luis is sick. I feel so bad for him because I’m pretty sure he has strep, I’m kind of an expert on strep since I’ve had it 4 times in the last 12 months. He doesn’t want to go to the E.R. because they have to do an IV on him since he had cancer, its really stupid because he can seriously go in there for a cough and they’ll do an IV. So, he’s holding out till tomorrow so he can go see his doctor but luckily I have plenty of medicine for him to make him feel better seeing as how I can never seem to finish my meds, I always end up forgetting once I feel better. So, thats my day, boring.

I realized that I had shown pictures of everyone, to include D, and I still haven’t shown a pic of my husband so here is a year-old photo of us (he hates taking pictures). I love my hair in this pic too, I miss it being long. 😦 Have a good Sunday!

Caution: Visiting Mother

So, my mom is here visiting right now and well, although she isn’t driving me crazy yet I’m sure she will be by Friday when she goes home. She was supposed to leave on Thursday but she informed me when she got here that she’s going to wait now to leave on Friday morning, isn’t that nice. My mom is really great most of the time, okay like 70% of the time but the other 30% she makes me want to kill her. She has this way of making sure you do things her way, like tonight I was really shocked that she allowed me to cook how I wanted to because normally she doesn’t let me. She says things to me like:
Mom: “Aren’t you going to “doctor up” your green beans, put some salt? pepper? butter?”
Me: “No.”
Mom: “But it tastes so much better.”
Me: “Yes, but it isn’t healthier.”
Mom: “But the kids will eat better if it tastes better.”
Me: “But they will be fat from eating green beans with a pound of butter in it. I’m not going to clog their arteries with green beans, and besides they eat them just fine the way I make them.”
Mom: “If you say so.”
Sophia always eats her green beans but Nicholas doesn’t, so I lied a little, but tonight it was like he was in my head reading my thoughts. Bless him, he ate the freakin‘ green beans and I didn’t even have to bribe him. It was awesome because it was a nice fuck you to my mom and I didn’t even have to say it. If that same situation had happened like a year ago she would have waited till I went to the bathroom and grabbed the salt, pepper and butter and “fixed” my green beans. Its funny though because when I went to the bathroom I was listening for the cabinets opening, she opened them once but I think she thought better of it.
We used to get along just fine…well, not really fine, she bossed me around and I did what she said or looked the other way when she did something wrong, but this past summer she really pissed me off and I called her on it. The strain on our relationship goes back further than that but during the summer I told her how I really felt about her. This really pissed her off and she victimized herself but then eventually she saw what I was saying and she started improving. My mom has a huge problem with lying and she loves drama and she loves people to feel sorry for her. The biggest strain on our relationship comes from when I was stupid enough to move in with her when I was pregnant with Sophia and Luis was going to Iraq. I had lived with her during our first deployment and it worked out well so I thought it would be a good idea again…I was wrong. It started out okay, Luis was able to stay back till I had Sophia so we were living separately but he was there for me. Then about 2 weeks before I gave birth they let him come and stay with me, it was nice. The problems came after I had Sophia and Luis went on to Iraq. D had been gone for awhile and J was missing him and me and she hadn’t been able to see Sophia yet so she came down to visit us for a couple weeks. My mom and J are like oil and water, neither one of them really like each other, they both say they do but I know them both better and they don’t, they just say that for me. So, J had just gotten Sunny and well, Sunny was special when she was a pup, not a bad dog just very excited (she pretty much still is) and J wanted to crate her at night just in case, so she didn’t chew anything up or pee in the house. Well, Sunny didn’t like the crate at all, in fact she got diarrhea in it and stunk the place up. My mom was a total bitch about this, like it was her fault or something. Still to this day my mom doesn’t like Sunny, but really I don’t know who could not like Sunny, she’s so sweet. So that is where the problems started, then my mom would get mad at me and J for staying up late talking on the Internet…to our husbands in Iraq! She said we were neglecting our children, mind you, she didn’t tell us this…no, she told all my aunts. She also told them that she was taking care of our children because we were so tired from staying up all night online, which by the way is total crap. So she convinced all my aunts that she was taking care of 3 kids while we slept all day, luckily one of my aunts told my cousin whom I am very close with and she told me but it was after J left that all this came out. So, when I found out I was so hurt that my mother made me look like such a bad person and a bad mother that I packed up the kids and went to J’s house and we lived there for 2 weeks, till I got the call from Luis that he had cancer. I never talked to her about it till we were moving all our things out of her house and Luis actually started it. They got in a huge fight and when she asked for me to back her up I turned my back on her and walked away, she ended up slapping Luis in the face and then she left. It was about a month before we talked again and unfortunately it was because I needed her. J was helping me soooo much but I needed someone to stay with the kids while Luis had his surgeries and chemo, so when I called her it was like she won. She never apologized for lying about me and J but I couldn’t really push it because I had no choice. While I was staying at the Fisher House in San Antonio with Luis she told me she had gotten a card from her cousin, I asked her what for and she told me he sent her a sympathy card saying how sorry he was for what SHE was going through. That still pisses me off to this day, I can only imagine what she was telling people she was having to deal with. Leave it to my mom to make my husband having cancer all about her. Anyway, as you can see I am still very bitter about this and it obviously causes some problems between us. She pretends she doesn’t know that anything is different but it wasn’t until that happened that I ever thought about living anywhere but Texas, now I want to get far, far away. I still love her, she is my mom and she is a GREAT grandmother but things will never be the same between us.
So, I hope you followed that. I didn’t start out writing this thinking it would turn into that but it feels nice having that off my chest.

It’s a go…..almost.

Okay, so I talked to Luis and he said the oncologist gave him the okay to deploy in March as long as he makes it to Germany in July and January for his scans and stays in an office job. So basically everything is great because he already talked to the Sergeant Major and he said that would be fine. We are on the last leg of trying to get him deployed, now we just need him to be placed back with his unit, which we should find out soon enough. J and D are so excited, J is excited because now she’ll have her bff going through this with her and D is excited because he’ll have Luis with him in Iraq and D needs him because D HATES Iraq. I know this sounds silly but I’m starting to feel like an army wife again. I kind of feel like I lost my identity for while, things were so hectic when he was going through the med board process. I know I shouldn’t let my husband’s job define me as a person but it is a huge part of who I am. A lot of people don’t understand why we wanted him to go back to Iraq, even some of our military friends don’t get it. When we got married he was already in the army and I made the choice to be an army wife, it was a life I WANTED. I’m a fairly independant person, part of this is because my father wasn’t around much when I was young so I learned to do a lot of things myself, my mom taught me how to take care of myself without a man around and I think it kind of stuck with me. This caused a lot of problems between Luis and I when we first got married, I did everything and he felt like he wasn’t needed, but we learned to use that to our advantage. He understands now that its best that he isn’t needed because he doesn’t worry about me when he’s deployed or in the field, he knows I can handle anything that comes my way. He also understands now that just because he isn’t needed it doesn’t mean that he isn’t wanted and that is what is most important. So we’re excited about him getting to deploy again because it gives us a little bit of our life back. We know its going to be harder this time because we have kids now and last time I was just pregnant but our kids are strong and they can handle it. We still have 3 years that he has to remain cancer-free in order to completely resume life as usual but this gives us a little taste of our old life and we’ll take what we can get.

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.