Friday, December 28, 2012

This Is My Winter Song

What would you think if I were to tell you that I really hate the week between Christmas and New Year's? 

After all the anticipation, the parties and events, the endless sweets, the shopping, the stress of getting the gifts just right, there is such an emotional let down after the last package is opened.

Christmas decorations start to look pathetic to me. Driving around town, I see wreaths looking bedraggled, strands of Christmas lights drooping, outdoor holiday displays in disarray. The sky and the landscape are all in shades of gray and brown, making it difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.

It's downright depressing.

And then my personal soundtrack during this time of limbo plays this song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. The melody is haunting and causes me to feel cold down to my very core. And that's without even paying attention to the lyrics, which I don't because they are so very sad.

Come on, New Year. I'm waiting.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Well, I Certainly Learned Something

Things I have learned while cleaning out a preschool craft closet located in the very bowels of the church:

Mice are not nice, contrary to what cartoons may suggest.

"Good enough" really isn't good enough.

100+ year old buildings have many, many nooks and crannies in them.

Mice do not like rice.

But birdseed? That, they like. A lot.

If everyone treated everything like it was something precious to them, there would be less closets to clean out.

Please don't look in the closets at my house.

For some tasks, there just isn't enough chocolate.

The storage container companies should get together and make their lids interchangeable. 

If nearly everything from INSIDE a closet is piled OUTSIDE a closet, completely blocking the only exit, and if I should HAPPEN to see a mouse where I wasn't EXPECTING to see a mouse, I can find myself on the other side of that pile of closet contents without knowing how I got there.

Leaving LOTS AND LOTS OF BIRDSEED in a closet without putting it inside tightly sealed containers means you're just ASKING for it.

Powdered heavy-duty latex gloves suck all the moisture out of my hands.

Which is a conundrum, because they also make my hands sweat.

Glitter doesn't vacuum up very well. Neither does ultra-fine play sand. Using a crappy vacuum cleaner doesn't make it any better.

Know how to make yourself really aggravated? Take a container that has the contents of a large bottle of glitter spilled inside it and then accidentally dump it on the carpet.

There IS such a thing as saving too many empty baby food jars.

Whatever horrible, disfiguring disease I might get from breathing in mouse poo is still better than the claustrophobic feeling I get when wearing a mask over my nose and mouth.

If I had a dollar, no, even just a PENNY, for every grain of rice in that closet (most of which has been dyed every color of the rainbow), I would be writing this from a warm, beachy kind of place.

And, in case you are interested, the current tally is Mouse 3, Dyanne 1. Just remember, she who laughs last did NOT get caught in a glueboard or trap.

(Okay, yes, I DID get my gloved hand caught in a glueboard while I was working on the closet. I'd have just glossed over that if it weren't for the fact that I had several witnesses see me do it.)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 Days, Preschool Style

The Twelve Days of Christmas, Preschool Style

On the 12th day of Christmas, my preschoolers gave to me:

12 smashed goldfish crackers

11 broken crayons

10 runny noses

9 block towers

gluey messes

7 squabbles ended

6 playdough sculptures

untied shoes

4 boo boos kissed

3 juice spills

2 pee pee dances

Aaaaand one sitting in the sad chair 

Monday, December 17, 2012

And Then I Don't Feel So Baaaaaaad

Snapping out of my funk. Going to think of a few of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews):


Unexpected messages from friends.

Okay, ANY messages from friends.

Finding money in a pocket.

Baby toes.

Good hair days.

Warm, snuggy pajamas on a cold night.

Paying for something in a store, only to find out it costs even less than marked.

Reading a really good book (that obviously excludes the "50 Shades" trilogy).

Hearing a song on the radio from high school and enjoying the memory attached.

Pretty underwear.

Spending time with my person.

Grilled cheese sandwiches.

Having my hair washed at the hair dresser's.

The smell of a hardware store.

Bubble baths. 

Working with bread dough (very Zen of me, I know).

Double stuffed Oreos.

A brand new box of Crayons.

The Peter Pan ride at Disneyland.


Do I even have to say "Diet Coke" or is that a given?

Okay, Diet Coke.

Yep, feeling better....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Still Stuck And It Still Sucks

Continuing my pessimistic and whiny streak with more things that suck....

Itches that can't be scratched because the nerves don't connect.

Having to pee when the cat is all comfy and cozy on your lap.

Spilling sugar on the floor.

Cute sweaters that turn out to be 100% acrylic.

Crying in front of people.

Cheap tissues.

Clif bars.

Bridges that go over any kind of water, from ditch to bay.

Static electricity.

Coconut flavoring.

That a knife has been missing from the knife block in the kitchen for MONTHS and NO ONE in the house has any explanation for it.



Easily accomplished in JoMo....

Sitting at a railroad crossing, waiting endlessly for a coal train to go by.

Not being able to drive across town without crossing at least one railroad track, increasing your odds of having a coal train cross your path and having to wait endlessly....


Little rubber bands from braces lying ALL OVER THE HOUSE.

Matching socks.

The price per pound of bacon.

Friends who live too far away to see regularly.

Maybe I've gotten it all out of my system now. Then again, maybe not....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Not Feeling It

Frame of mind still decidedly pessimistic; therefore, a list of things that suck:

Hot flashes.

Stupid people who are given driver's licenses and who then proceed to GET IN MY WAY when I'm trying to drive somewhere.

Sweet salads that turn out to have cottage cheese in them.

Wet newspapers.



Hot flashes.

Scooping the litter box.

Sinus infections.

Anything involving car repairs.

Doing laundry.

Hot flashes.

Feeling left out or forgotten.


Charlie horses.

Realizing you really need reading glasses.


Hot flashes.

Hitting your head hard on something and having no one to blame but yourself.



Constantly misplacing stuff. Constantly. 

Achy bones. 

Achy anything.

I'm done for now. There WILL be a sequel....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Stuck In Reverse....

When you try your best but you don't succeedWhen you get what you want but not what you needWhen you feel so tired but you can't sleepStuck in reverse....

Sometimes, hormones take over, and even the BEST HAIR DAY EVER can't fix it. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

BRA Day (And It's Not What You Think)

There's a Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day and I MISSED IT?! HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?

A recent article in the Kansas City Star about breast reconstruction stated the American Society of Plastic Surgeons launched the first BRA Day (cute, I know) on October 17 of this year. The purpose of the campaign was to promote awareness and patient access to breast reconstruction. May I say, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, LOUSY JOB WITH THE PUBLICITY! If the Joplin Globe hadn't picked up a truncated version of this article (probably as filler) I wouldn't have known about it still.

The article went on to talk about a woman who visits cancer patients at KU Med Center who are facing mastectomy and breast reconstruction and talks to them about her reconstruction procedure, allowing them to take a look at her own reconstructed breasts. And the article also talked about a "show and tell" in New Orleans, with reconstruction patients revealing their new breasts to other cancer patients.

Apparently, it is NOT usual for women who have had breast reconstruction to show their new breasts to others.


My breast reconstruction is a miracle of modern medicine (thank you, Dr. Geter!), and I will gladly, GLADLY, show anyone who wants to see them. Hell, I'll even let you feel them if you want. (Hey, they're mostly numb. I can close my eyes and usually never even know that you've touched them.) 

While it's an individual choice for each breast cancer patient, all it takes is one look at a photo depicting mastectomy without benefit of reconstruction to make you understand just how important of a step this can be for a woman's recovery. Thanks to my awesome reconstruction, I can almost forget that I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I won't let it get past me NEXT year... 

Friday, November 30, 2012

But That's All History

Nothing is simple anymore.

I have had a raging sinus infection for several days. RAGING. I felt so incredibly bad that I decided to start planning my funeral, because I was (and still am, actually) convinced that I wasn't going to pull through. So far, I have lined up pall bearers, several soloists, including one on bagpipes, a eulogist, what I presume will be an entirely inappropriate poem, and an offer to write my obituary, which the writer promises will include my failed attempt at using a nettie pot. And the nettie pot incident can be blamed on my daughter, who made me watch a tutorial on YouTube about how to use it but failed to read the part of the directions that said not to attempt if BOTH NOSTRILS ARE COMPLETELY CLOGGED.

Yeah, told you so.

I finally broke down and made an appointment with the nurse practitioner in my primary care physician's office (that's fancy talk for going to my friend Cindy's office and seeing the nurse practitioner because Cindy doesn't go in on Mondays). 

Because it had been several years since I had visited the office, and quite possibly also because since then, the old office blew away in the tornado, I had to fill out all new paperwork.

I was asked if I were on any medications.

Until six months ago, the answer to that would have been, "No." And that was always met with a bit of surprise by the asker. But  I was really very healthy. 

For this, I had to get my phone out and check my medication list that I save there. 

Then I was asked to list all surgeries and hospitalizations I had had.

(A word to those of you who have never had their medical records blown to kingdom come by a tornado: sit down some time with a clear mind and MAKE A LIST of all that information and keep it somewhere safe. You THINK you can remember all that stuff, but it's harder than it looks.)

Starting with getting my tonsils out at 7 (a sad story that I will have to share with you some time), I started ticking off c-sections and other lady part stuff. And that's where the list used to end.

Now I have to add "bilateral mastectomy with tram flap reconstruction" to the list. Words like that will garner you a double take, incidentally. When you add "hemorrhoidectomy" to the list, you get, "Wow, you've had quite a year."

I don't want to be one of those people with lists of medications and ailments a mile long. 

Yet, here I am. No. Freaking. Backsies.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The End Of The (Reconstruction) Line

A bittersweet day - it was my last follow-up visit with my plastic surgeon.

One last time to put on the haute couture gown that is big enough to go around me three times. 

Do I look like I'm dying from
a sinus infection? Because I am.

One last time for Dr. Geter to look at his handiwork like a proud papa (he SHOULD be proud - they're AWESOME!).

One last time to visit and laugh with the office staff, all of whom made me feel special every time I was there, with a special shout out to Suzanne, the Tattoo Guru for making tattooing too much fun.

One last bear hug from Dr. Geter.

One little tear as I walk to my car.

One more step towards recovery.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Life In Numbers

My life in numbers: 

52  The number of years I am old. Young. The number of years I am young.

3  The number of times I've been pregnant.

2  The number of children I have birthed (if c-sections count as birthing).

1  The number of husbands I have had (and also still have).

19  The number of years I have been married.

12  The number of years I have taught preschool.

53  The number of monthly Zoladex injections I have yet to receive in my stomach.

7  The number of pills I take every morning.

37  The number of times I say, "Run water in that dish!" in any given week.

7  The number of cats that I have had..

2  The number of cats I now have.

5  The number of blue cats I have had (including two current ones)

14  Average number of times per school day that I tell a preschooler to "cough into your elbow."

0  The number of cups of coffee I have consumed in my lifetime.

213,277  The number of Diet Cokes I have consumed in my lifetime.

31  The number of states I have visited.

3  The number of states in which I have lived.

8  The number of towns in which I have lived (KC, Springfield, MO, Branson, MO, Nashville, Ventura, CA, Agoura Hills, CA, Nevada, MO and Joplin, MO)

5  The number of surgeries I have had this year.

2  The number of tattoos I have.

1  The number of broken bones I have had (my nose, in college, on a water slide).

6  The number of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls I can eat before I get sick.

5  The number of loads of laundry that are waiting for me in the basement.

94  The  number of cents it cost to get a small hamburger, small fries, and a medium Dr Pepper  at McDonald's when I was in high school.

Your turn.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

No, Thank YOU

My last "thankful" post for November. Maybe.

I had my monthly oncology appointment this week. Nothing remarkable to report there, EXCEPT....

When I told him that I was unhappy about my loss of muscle tone and the five (squishy) pounds that I have gained since my system has been fully engulfed by Arimidex, he said,


THAT, my friends, made me feel fiiiiiine. Even if he was just saying it to be nice. 

THANK YOU, Dr. Croy. I needed that.

Monday, November 19, 2012

More Thanks To Give

The month isn't over. More thanks to give:

31. I am thankful that, although they are a VERY IMPORTANT diagnostic tool, I will NEVER have to have another mammogram.

32. If I had to have cancer, I am very thankful that I got what I got. I'm a lucky girl. LUCKY.

33. I am thankful for my medical team. 

34. Please join me in giving thanks for Sonic Happy Hour drinks.

35. Bubble baths. 

36. When former preschoolers run up to me, waving their arms and saying, "Miss Dyanne! Miss Dyanne!"? Thankful for that.

37. When those former preschoolers are in middle or high school and still want to give me a big hug and tell me how much they loved preschool? Even more thankful for that.

38. Very thankful when people not only read my little blog, but also make comments.

39. For ice cream.  

40. For all my families: the ones that are related to me, as well as my facebook family, church family, blog family, volleyball family, preschool family, and I could go on, but you get my drift. Thankful for you, one and all.

I think I'm done now.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thankfuller and Thankfuller

I KNEW I could come up with some more:

21.  I'm thankful that I grew up in a time when you could purchase penny candy. My kids never knew the joy of having a dime, a little brown paper bag, and a plethora of candy choices, each one only a penny. Get several BB Bats - they last a long time!

22. I'm ever thankful for friends who knew me when I was younger and stupider and still want to be friends with me today.

23. While I HATED it at the time, I'm thankful I had to sit at the kid table at my grandma's house. Character building.

24. I'm thankful for any chance I have to hold an itty bitty baby. 

25. Yoga pants. Who isn't thankful for yoga pants?

26. I'm thankful I don't like Twinkies, anyway. 

27. I'm even MORE thankful for Little Debbie cakes. They are totes better than Hostess cakes any day.

28. I'm thankful that gift cards were invented. How fun are they?!

29. Indoor plumbing. Enough said.

30. The world is probably thankful that about 90% of the stuff I think about stays inside my head.

I'm sure there are more. Give me some time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Ain't No Doctor, Ain't Got No PhD, BUT....

All right, I may not be a trained professional, but I'm feeling pretty certain that the little pains and oddities I am suffering from are, indeed, the dreaded side effects from taking Zoladex and Arimidex (and that I have been trying to avoid) and NOT just a product of age.

The first one I have had to check off my list is hot flashes. Yes, I'm having FREAKING HOT FLASHES. Okay, they're not that bad, actually. They are, at worst, annoying, sometimes requiring me to fan myself furiously for a minute or two. The ones at night are the worst, but, really, I set myself up for failure by turning on my electric mattress pad. And why do I do that? Because my inner thermostat is so completely whacked that I go from freezing to sweating and back again in the blink of an eye.

The weepiness is much better, although I still fall apart occasionally. For the record, I don't like falling apart.

The slight achiness I began noticing a month or so ago? Still with me and increasing. First, my hands, specifically, my thumbs and the backs of my hands. It's most noticeable when I hold my hands in one position for an extended period of time, like when driving (bet THAT instills you with confidence when you see me driving down the street!) or trying to carry something heavy, like a crock pot stuffed to the brim with (completely delicious) mashed potatoes (with bacon, sour cream, chives and cheese - see? delicious!). Or when holding a book. Or trying to open a jar.

The bones in the tops of my feet were the next ones to act up, going from a little awareness that I HAVE bones in the tops of my feet to having my feet and ankles stiffen so that I walk like Herman Munster when I get up in the morning. It also occurs when I've been sitting for an extended period of time, like when I'm playing working on the computer or when driving (really, I'm a safe driver. REALLY.).

The pain crept under my kneecaps next, hiding there and sneaking out only occasionally. Now it has set up what appears to be a permanent encampment, spending much of its time jabbing at my kneecaps with a railroad spike. (It only hurts when I move, Doc.) It's there during the Good Morning Song at preschool, there after plain ol' sitting for more than a few minutes at a time, and there while doing Zumba. Okay, and driving. Kind of bothers me then, too. And, more noticeably, when getting OUT of the car. 

That pain in my left hip that I thought was my IT band? Still could be, but in addition, my left hip is quite tender, the right one less so. I stiffen up when sitting, like in the car, for example. 

And the most disturbing side effect of all? My muscle tone has gone to complete and utter mush. I feel like a neutered cat.  And let me tell you, I spent the winter and part of the spring working hard on muscle definition, and my legs, if I do say so myself, looked pretty darn fine. Hah! Not any more! I walk regularly. And when I say I walk, I don't just walk on flat ground, I walk on hills. And I Zumba like a boss. And what do I have to show for it? DOUGHY LEGS! And arms. And other places. And, no, I haven't gained weight, for those of you who are wondering and don't want to ask. I did some research, and a loss of muscle tone is, indeed, a possible side effect. A REALLY SUCKY side effect. 

Don't think I'm complaining, because I'm not. I'm just reporting.  A little pain? Puh! I spit in the face of pain! But if you see me lurching about, remember that I AM NOT OLD AND DECREPIT. And if you say I am, I will kick you in the shins. Just give me a few minutes to work the kinks out first. And a head start. Give me a head start. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Still Thankful

Still being thankful....

11. I am thankful that no one in my family is allergic to dust. Or cats. Or dusty cats.

12. I'm thankful when the filter between my brain and my mouth actually works.

13. I am very thankful for electric mattress pads with dual controls.

14. Pumpkin. I'm thankful for pumpkin.

15. I'm thankful for snow days and wish we got more of them.

16. When I dropped my straightening iron mid-straighten and caught it against my naked boobies (yes, I was straightening my hair while naked - don't judge), I was quite thankful that they are numb.

17. I am thankful that tv remote controls were invented, because, quite frankly, it really sucked to have to get up and cross the room every time you wanted to change the channel or the volume.

18. I'm so thankful for Pinterest, because I needed another time waster in my life.

19. Philosophy Amazing Grace lotion and body wash. VERY thankful.

20. I do so love my Zumba class, and I'm utterly thankful that I am not the worst one in there....

I'll bet I can come up with some more....