Thursday, October 30, 2008

What's going on...

Okay, first - news on Dad. Unfortunately, it's not much. They told us the cancer is "moderately aggressive" and said they didn't catch it early like they like to do, but they're not late either. They caught it "medium." So, could be worse, I guess.

First thing they want to do is have him get an MRI, then they'll determine what kind of treatment they'll do. The two options are to do surgery (which is less expensive) or to do radiation for 7 weeks paired with a hormone treatment (more expensive). However, this all depends on the results of the MRI and also what kind of side effects Dad is willing to accept on a possible permanent basis. The doctor was really great about acknowledging Dad's situation regarding insurance and money and trying to come up with the best plan of action.

So Dad has homework now - he's got to get the MRI done within a month, but as a self-paying customer, he can go anywhere he wants to go, as opposed to just where the insurance or the doc says to go. So his homework is to research places to get it done and negotiate an acceptable price. The doctor said he should be able to negotiate a price the same as whatever their best insurance company pays, especially if he pays with a credit card. That's pretty much it for now.

In other news - which means Peanut, because face it, unlike most of my other hobbies, this is one I'm doing 24 hours a day and am therefore completely consumed by it - things are moving along nicely. I'm in week 24, which means I am 6 months pregnant, yikes! It has gone by so fast and I can't believe I'm already halfway through. Less than 4 months until my due date.

I am still feeling really good, although sleeping is getting harder. Aside from starting to feel uncomfortable, I feel like I'm just not sleeping very soundly, and of course have to get up to pee at least once a night. All very common, according to my books. I've also gained some weight! Last I checked, I was one pound over my pre-pregnancy weight, so we are at a net gain of +1 now. Slightly under the +20 my books tell me, but the doctor wasn't worried at the last appointment, so neither am I.

I do seem to be growing by leaps and bounds, however. Though I'm not putting on much weight, my belly is getting bigger and bigger. To be honest, I feel huge and ungainly despite the fact that people keep saying I'm "tiny." Har har, I've never been "tiny" in my life. At 5 feet tall, short, yes. Tiny, no. Anyway, I'm finding it's getting a little harder to breathe and harder to eat very much at one time, what with Peanut taking up all the good real estate. If I feel like this now, I shudder to think how much of a whale I'm going to feel like in two months!

Peanut is VERY active now - moving around like crazy and has even given me some pretty painful thumps that were quite a surpise. And he's no longer playing Hide From Daddy, so Mr. Fantastic and I have a new pastime of laying on the couch with his hand on my belly, just feeling Peanut. Also, we enjoy putting the remote control on my belly and watching it twitch.

Maybe it's just because I'm perpetually sappy, but I really love sharing that time with Mr. F. I love how much time he spends rubbing my belly or resting his cheek on it or kissing it...especially since my entire life, my biggest physical insecurity has been my flabby belly. It's so much more attractive (to me) now and where I had always shied away from Mr. F touching me there, now I welcome it. Plus, it's absolutely adorable watching him and I find it completely endearing. It's making me love him more every day. [/sap]

And finally, might I add that LL Cool J on last night's Martha Stewart was priceless.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Just when things are going good...

Something else happens. Don't worry, I'm good, Peanut's good. But we got some bad news about my Dad last week...he's got prostate cancer.

We won't know anything more until we meet with the doctor next Monday to discuss everything. I know this kind of cancer is easily treatable, and I am encouraged by the fact they waited two weeks for the conference as opposed to rushing right away to meet with us. I take that to mean they’re not overly concerned at this point. So right now at least, I’m feeling pretty optimistic.

The worst part about this right now, is actually the fact that Dad has no health insurance. We’ve been unable to get him coverage for several years because he’s not old enough for Medicare but his “income” is too high to qualify for assistance, yet he can’t afford individual insurance on his own. He is one of the many uninsured in America that "slip through the cracks."

I honestly don’t know what he's going to do and I have no idea how much it’s going to cost. We really have to wait and see what kind of treatment they're recommending before we can have any idea what to expect cost-wise. And of course, it would be pointless to get him health insurance now, because any individual policy he purchased would give him a pre-existing condition exclusion for any treatment related to the cancer.

I haven't updated about my dad much lately, because he's been doing really great and I didn't want to jinx things. But back in June, he quit drinking. He even completed an intensive outpatient rehab program and has been going to weekly AA meetings. He even has a sponsor. Mostly, he chose to quit as a reaction to his DUI in hopes that his sentencing would be lighter (we'll find out in Nov), but as the program progressed, he really seemed to have a change of heart and came to a real understanding about what he's been doing.

The biggest difference I've noticed this time is that he no longer acts like he doesn't have a problem. In the past, he's never admitted that he's an alcoholic, never said the words aloud. This time, he has. Now, he talks about not drinking as something he has to do for the rest of his life. It's been really good for him, mentally as well as physically. He seems happier, is more pleasant to be around and he just looks a million times healthier and heartier than he used to. I am so, so proud of him for recognizing his problem and making such a huge change in his life.

It's such a shame that he's made this wonderful change in his life, only to get sick now. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we'll be able to get him well quickly and without breaking the bank. I really want him to be around for a lot longer, I want him to be a part of Peanut's life, I want him to continue being a part of my life.

As always, I'll take any good karma you want to send our way and I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

State of the Peanut

Week 22

Still feeling great for the most part, although I think I'm developing lactose intolerance or at least some kind of a thing with milk. I can have dairy – cheese, yogurt, even ice cream – with no problem, but if I just drink some milk it makes me incredibly sick. Very strange.

Before my surgery, I drank a ton of milk but after it was much harder on me and I cut back. But just in the last month or so, if I have any more than a mouthful, I get terrible stomach troubles. Ugh. Mr. Fantastic is worried about my calcium intake but I have assured him I take calcium daily in addition to my prenatal vitamin, and I also drink calcium-fortified o.j. So nothing to really worry about except I hope I'm not passing on some kind of milk allergy to Peanut.

Mr. Peanut is still being a rock star, more so every day. Right now he's got a lot of room inside still and so has plenty of space to move around. Which means he is all over the place – I'll feel movement on one side and seconds later, there he is on the other side.

Every time I feel a twitch, it makes me smile. I have neverbeen pregnant before and had no idea how it would feel, how I would feel. It's weird, to think of this whole other being inside you, sleeping and hiccupping and going about his day. But it's also justan absolutely amazing feeling, having these frequent reminders that it's my child in there and I'm growing a person.

It's also really funny to feel Peanut react to certain things I eat. Depending on what it is, sometimes he really goes crazy. Like when we had Mexican food the other day – seriously after about two bites he was jumping all over the place. He got so active so suddenly that it surprised meand I started laughing at the table. Or I'll take a bite of something and immediately get a twitch in response and I'll say, "Oh, Peanut likes this!"

I can't wait until Mr. F can feel the movement. It's something I really want to be able to share with him. Especially because I think Peanut is playing a game with Daddy, trying to see how many times he can make him come over to feel and then hide.

Peanut: *twitch*

Me: Oh!

Peanut: *twitch twitch twitch*

Me: Hee!

Peanut: *twitchtwitchtwitch twitchtwitchtwitch*

Me: Heeee!

Mr. F: Really? *feels my belly*

Peanut: *crickets chirping*

Mr. F: *sad* Darn.

Me: Sorry, honey.

Peanut: *gleeful cackle*

Really, it's prolly another couple of weeks before Mr. F will be able to feel from the outside, but I still can't help imagining Peanut is being devious, especially considering who his parents are.

By the way, I had croissants with Nutella baked inside forbreakfast today, per a friend's suggestion. NOM. Very, very delicious and so easy to do. And seriously, like one of the best things I have ever eaten in my entire life. As good as theNutella crepes we had on the Eiffel Tower. Maybe better because I didn't have to go all the way to Paris for them. I highly recommend you try it. (The croissants, not Paris. Although, Paris isn't too bad either.)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's a...


So the 28% of you who voted boy may now feel smug in your correctness. Sorry to you 49% who voted girl. Consolation prize to the 23% of you who voted Peanut would be an uncooperative little dickens who won't show us his or her bits, because Peanut did indeed begin the scan by uncooperatively holding the umbilical cord in front of his privates. However, he was movin' and groovin' like crazy and eventually gave us several excellent crotch shots with clear and definitive evidence of a willy. The ultrasound tech called him a "rock star," he was moving around so much. In fact, when we started the scan, he was in breech position (butt down) but by the end of the scan, he had flipped himself around and ended up in vertex postion (head down).

The visit went well - everything looks great and they estimated he weighs about 14.5 ounces, which is bigger than my book suggests for this week, but which the doc said is right on target. I also gained 1.4 pounds since my last visit - well done, me! And they are not concerned in the slightest about my weight because the baby is growing just fine and that's all they really want. I'm feeling great - lots of energy, not sick at all, plus I'm feeling lots of movement now, although I was shocked that I didn't feel it at all when Peanut did his big flip.

So now we have to start thinking names, which we haven't really done with much seriousness beyond me throwing things at Mr. Fantastic everytime he jokes that we should call the baby Gorak. Mr. F was very excited to hear it's a boy - he, too, was certain it was going to be a girl. H3 and I decided everyone thought girl because I'm such a girly girl that it just seemed fitting. Anyway, now Mr. F can start thinking about football and all the other exciting boy things we'll get to do. My poor neice will have to settle for continuing to be the only girl cousin - until next time!

Today was such a great day. Cousin H3 came to the appointment with me since Mr. F is still out of town. And then we went and got some lunch, then pedicures, then absolutely blissful prenatal massages followed up by yummy dinner at PF Changs. It was wonderful to spend the day with her, and I'm so glad she was there to share the ultrasound with me. We are both so thrilled we're both having boys!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

State of the Me

Okay. Time for another state of the me. Lots happening.

Firstly, I've got the plague again, even worse than last time. I'm feeling better today, but for the last few days I've felt like death. The worst part is not being able to rely on my precious DayQuil to fix me. My OB says Tylenol and allergy pills, but the 24-hour Claritin I had wasn't making a dent. Mr. Fantastic took my miserable self to the grocery store where we spent like $50 on cold remedies and Halloween candy, both of which made me feel immensely better. The doctor suggested I try Benadryl or Sudafed instead of the Claritin, so we got both, but so far I have only tried the Benadryl. I must bow before the altar of Benadryl, for it hath ended my misery. Thank goodness! I haven't taken it since I was a kid, because it used to make me super hyper. Now, it puts me right to sleep and dried up all my sneezy sniffles. Ahhh.

Even though the plague is under control, we still have a lot going on. With Peanut on the way, we've decided to sell our one-bedroom condo and buy a house. Yikes, in this market?! I know. But we don't have room in our place for us, let alone a baby. Technically, we'd prolly have room for the actual baby, just not for all the associated crap that comes with a baby. Anyway, so the realtor came over last week to check out our place and basically told us that half our stuff had to go. So this weekend, despite the plague and general feelings of avoidance, Mr. F and I rented a storage unit and packed away a whole bunch of stuff. It was a very daunting task which mostly involved heavy lifting on Mr. F's part and the filling of boxes on mine. Plus both of our brothers came to help with the lifting and driving portion, so it went pretty quickly.

We have crazy storage space here – awesome closets which, over the course of 6+ years, I have been able to cram full of an amazing amount of crap. It was kind of cleansing going through and tossing stuff or putting things in the goodwill pile. Plus, now my closets look unbelievably organized and actually as if they will hold more than I already know they do. Huh. I would've thought it would be a bonus for buyers to see just how much crap you can fit into a closet, but apparently not.

Our place, now devoid of all "personal" touches such as photographs and tchotchkes and literally half our furniture, looks like a hotel. Well, a very messy hotel, anyway, until I get around to straightening up and arranging what's left of our stuff. Once the place is all spiffed up, our realtor will come back and take pictures and such and get us on the market.

It's kind of sad, really, but I guess not having too much stuff or anything personal is what helps potential buyers imagine themselves living in your home. I don't want to leave here but there's just no way we can stay. *sad face* Still, I am really looking forward to a new house and preparing for this next step in our lives. I hope someone sees our place and falls just as much in love with it as we did. And then wants to give us lots of money for the privilege of living here.

The scary part of this whole moving house thing is that we can't buy a place until we sell ours. Which means once we get a contract on our place, we have like three days to pack the rest of our stuff and move out, as well as look for and buy a new place of our own. Yikes, again. I suppose if we had to, we can put the rest of our stuff in storage and live in a hotel for a week or whatever until we find a house we love. Daunting prospect, regardless!

So, along with the plague and the moving house thing…Mr. Fantastic has changed jobs. He hated his old job, has done for a long time and basically was dreading going in to the office every day. It was draining all the life and happiness from him. Even though it's not exactly the best time for it, he left. The good news is that he got a contract for two to three weeks with his brother-in-law's company. It's great money for such a short period, and it's doing something completely different which will be a good change for him.

The bad news is the job is in Nebraska. He left this morning. He was very wary of leaving me for such a long period of time, and truthfully, I'm not thrilled to have him gone, but we decided it was the best thing for us to do right now. I'm fine and there's no reason for him to worry about me or the baby, although that's not going to actually stop him worrying. Mostly, I think we'll just miss each other a whole bunch. I already feel kind of lonely in my half-empty house that's now empty of him, too.

We're not entirely sure how we're going to manage this whole packing up and moving and whatnot with him being gone, but we'll make it work. He keeps reminding me not to lift anything heavy, but it's mostly toasters and lamps and pillows and such now, so I'm not worried about that. And we still have to think about what Mr. F will be doing when he gets back in a few weeks, but I'm sure we'll figure something out.

Anyway, I've got a lot on my mind. Monday was a bad day – I was feeling so dreadful and thinking about all the things happening and had a few spontaneous bouts of weepiness that I know made Mr. F feel awful too. Now that I'm not feeling so sick, things don't seem as overwhelming but it's still a lot to have going on all at once. I know everything will be fine but phew, some days it feels like too much.