The perfect age for imagination

My youngest son loves science and history. He enjoys learning new facts and is not shy about explaining the facts he has discovered. He is also 7 years old and has a highly developed imagination. This makes “facts” far more interesting when explained by him. Here is what he has taught me so far this week:

1. “The Loch Ness monster eats stones.”

I said I had no idea, to which he explained that it’s simple to understand. “The Loch Ness monster is a modern day variation of the plesiosaur which has been discovered by paleontologists to have swallowed stones. That it is possible the stones helped digest food. So of course the Loch Ness monster swallows stones to help digestion too.”

2. “A girls lifecycle is longer than boys”

I asked if he means average lifespan. He does not. “A girl can have a baby that might grow into another girl, that would have a baby, and the cycle continues. Boys can’t do that.” I had never thought of it that way.

3. “You are a girl momma and you were broken cause you had me and brother.”

Broken? “Yeah, cause a cat that can’t have kittens anymore is fixed so before that they are broken. Momma was able to have the human version of kittens so must have been broken, and is now fixed.”

Sometimes you’re paranoid for a reason

Just over a year ago I posted this. A description of my fears into the void in hopes of easing my own mind. My husbands blood work came back with some abnormalities. He was doing monthly blood work at the time to keep an eye on his response to a new diabetic medication, so to have abnormalities show up suddenly within a month was concerning to say the least. His GP referred him to a hematologist, whom we quickly discovered was actually an Oncologist. Fears grew. He was also scheduled for some additional tests and scans. I continued to “accidentally” find my way to WebMD through google searches, and continued to find he had symptoms of a few serious illnesses including colon cancer. I kept reminding myself that if we diagnosed purely through WebMD we’d all be diagnosed with cancer. So I pushed back my fear.

Day of the appointment came, tests results from the few they did were available, and the Hematologist/Oncologist showed no concern. “It’s just Anemia, the other abnormalities are from the lack of iron. Sometimes this pops up suddenly, don’t be worried we just need to get you on iron supplements.” He went on iron and followed up exactly on schedule. No change. “Your body just doesn’t absorb it well. We’ll put you on a higher dosage.” The next follow up appointment showed the iron in his blood went down. “Don’t worry, we’ll get you in for an iron infusion. It’ll take care of it and you’ll feel much better.”

So hubby walks into the office the day of the infusion and they explain that it’ll cost $5000. He asks what kind of payment plans we can do and they say none. The amount must be paid in full before any treatment is done. He continues to try to work with them as we don’t have the money and the doctor had said he needed this. “Sorry, but we don’t do these infusions until paid in full. We’ll go ahead and cancel the appointment and reschedule for when you are ready.” The doctors office continued to call for a while to explain he needed to go in for the infusion. Once he did they would schedule his follow up with the Hematologist. He stopped responding to the calls after a while as they still wouldn’t do a payment plan. He continued to work with his GP, continued to do blood work, always was honest when describing health and symptoms. The GP never seemed any more concerned than the Hematologist/Oncologist, so we trusted them.

April of this year his GP bumped up his iron supplements again as he still wasn’t absorbing it and a week later the occasional stomach pains he’d had for so long grew more severe. After a year of unspoken fear and trusting the doctors instead of my instincts I finally got him to agree to go to the ER. He had been unable to move for 3 days because of the pain of what he assumed was iron poisoning from the increase. The admitting nurse said “well, that could be it, but they’ll run some tests I’m sure to determine the cause.” She looked concerned. The ER doctor listened to his symptoms and asked questions finally asking “And your doctor hasn’t looked into this further?” She got him in for a CT scan. The scans showed dark spots on his colon. She said he would be admitted for further testing, but until they get the results from a biopsy there is still room to think positive. She too looked concerned.

Within 5 minutes of getting to his hospital room he had a gastroenterologist, hospital GP, and his previously seen hematologist/Oncologist standing in the room. They all looked concerned. As the first two spoke on what tests they would do and then left to go schedule them the Oncologist stayed and said “this is why you were supposed to do the iron infusion. So you wouldn’t end up in the hospital.”

Five days, two biopsies, three iron infusions, two blood infusions, and one major surgery later we had answers. Colon cancer, stage 4. A year ago I feared his symptoms were colon cancer or similar, but I choose to trust the doctors instead of speaking my fears. He now has no chance of remission from one of the most treatable cancers because it took too long to diagnose. It is so easy to beat myself up for not pushing for more tests, but that takes energy away from a family that needs me. It is even easier to be furious with the doctor, but he doesn’t care so why bother. Instead I focus on treatment, on hope that doesn’t exist, on taking care of my two young children while my husband lies in bed suffering the symptoms of cancer, surgery, and chemo.

But I learned from my paranoia mistake. The Oncologist wasn’t answering our questions, and was ignoring other symptoms. I didn’t ignore my instincts this time, I changed doctors. The new oncologist had the same reaction as the ER doctor. “He didn’t look into these new symptoms? He didn’t run more tests after your diagnosis? He started chemo that soon?” Turns out the original Oncologist did not preform standard scans to find a baseline which would show the effectiveness of chemo, he started chemo two weeks sooner than he should have after surgery, and he ignored pain that showed possible signs of spread to the bones and spots showing possible signs of spread to the lungs. He also omitted information on a more cost effective way to do chemo that has the same results.

Hubby got all the scans done with the new Oncologist and he has tumors covering his liver and lungs, but fortunately none in his bones. He now has a baseline and while they can’t switch chemo types yet they will with his next round to save him both time and money. He now has a pain specialist, a new GP, and a psychologist who all partner with his new oncologist. He now has the treatment he needs. Too late because of my ignoring my instincts, but hopefully soon enough to elongate his life.

WebMD won’t always be right. It’s usually not cancer. But it is better to ask and push for tests. Be sure to rule it out before assuming the doctor is always right. Trust your instincts even if they turn out wrong. I learned a hard lesson and my husband will now pay the price for that. Beating myself up steals energy from my family but secretly I may never forgive myself. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

I’m wife enough for him

So hubby and I got to chatting about communes, cause that is apparently our version of causal Saturday morning chitchat πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ And he said we couldn’t live in one cause it will lead to a suicide pact or an FBI raid. I explained we didn’t need to go THAT far with our commune and tried to bribe him with the prospect of multiple wives. He looked horrified! I’d like to think it was because he couldn’t imagine loving any wife as much as me but let’s face facts here, I’m just too damn high-maintenance for him to imagine having multiple of me to deal with. Sometimes being high-maintenance is a good thing, it means I’m more than enough wife for my husband πŸ’

The math is on my side

My father is a math teacher. There was a shooting at his school a couple years back. He knew the shooter personally, he saw the victims daily. He remembers fitting 60 kids in his classroom to protect them as shots went off nearby. He went through special courses on helping students through grief for weeks afterward.

I don’t know what can fix this type of thing. I don’t know how to protect our schools. I can’t solve this problem. I’m sorry. But being the daughter of a math teacher I know how to read my numbers.

The likelihood of having someone I love in a school shooting twice is significantly lower than having a loved one in a shooting once. The numbers tell me my children are safe because this won’t happen to my family again. Perhaps I sound selfish or stupid, but everyday I watch my kids get on a school bus and I say goodbye. And some days when the world is dark and I begin to fear for them, I have to rely on the numbers. Math helps me cope with the darkness of this world and the uncertainties in life.

When you fear, find that something you can cling to. Maybe you feel you know an answer to solve the problem, cling to it and share it. Maybe you are strong in your religion, cling to it and have faith in it. Maybe, like me, you have math, cling to it and rest in its certainty.

What ever it is that guides you through the terrible things in this life, keep it close. There are still good things in life, we just need our filter to see them sometimes. My filter is math, and I will use it as best I can.

Broken Heart

I was 13 and you cancelled our plans again, and it broke my heart.

I was 14 and you took me to dinner because my brother told you you didn’t spend enough time with me. You promised to do better. You didn’t. And it broke my heart.

I was 15 and hadn’t seen you in months and you heard from a family member I was in therapy. You called to find out why, saying you feared that you had “screwed me up.” You didn’t understand my depression or how to even try to speak to me about it and it broke my heart.

I was 16 and you tried to make decisions for me on driving, school, and work. You felt being right was more important than acknowledging your x-wife might have better ideas. It broke my heart.

I was 17 and angry with you. Speaking less, doing less, avoiding you more. And you didn’t notice. Didn’t try to bring back the communication. And it broke my heart.

I was 26 and hadn’t seen you in 2 years. I decided not to be angry, just to accept. The decision broke my heart.

I was 30 and trying to give you time to spend with your grandkids. We were pushed away by your new wife who told me to leave. I saw the look on your face as you felt hopeless to stop her. That look broke my heart.

Last week I cancelled our plans, as infrequent as they are. You had been drinking and I was exhausted. I choose to stay away. You say it broke your heart, that I would cancel on you. But why should it take you this long to feel our distance? Why have you not seen the countless ways you have not been my father these many years? And why, upon hearing your pain, is it again my heart that breaks?

Failed them again

It was supposed to be family movie night. I would come home from work, we’d snuggle on the couch, drink some hot cocoa, and watch Cars 3. But I got to work and all plans left my mind. While I focused on the mountains of paperwork and hours of analysis and data entry, my husband went to the Thanksgiving event at the kids school. While I struggled to help my team balance work and make realistic goals to avoid unnecessary stress, my husband helped the kids with their homework, encouraging them as they continue to learn. And as the work day came to a close, I stayed. Forgetting movie night, I sat at work to try to get stuff done. I felt so far behind and wanted a chance to catch up. Until an hour before bedtime when my husband called and asked “aren’t you coming home?” “Yeah, just finishing up a couple more items.” “What about the movie? The kids have been watching for you to come home so we can start.”

I failed my family. I prioritized wrong and missed a chance to snuggle my kids. I got home and they were so sad because it was too late to watch the movie. I apologized, they wandered off to play a little before bed but still with these sad faces. A couple minutes later I heard giggles. Went to see what cheered them up so fast. They were playing with Daddy. My husband to the rescue, again.

I love that they are so close to their Daddy, and that my husband is always there for them. But I feel like such a failure as a mother. Tonight I felt that terribly. I still do. How can my work become so important that I lose sight of spending time with the kids? Will I ever have a chance to prove I can be there for them? Or will Daddy always be the one they need?

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee we’d be sitting on my couch enjoying just a plain black cup of coffee. Unless you want cream or sugar in yours, I can totally make that happen. But only for you (shhh don’t tell the others). We would be whispering and enjoying the quiet comfort of home, and avoiding the laundry room completely. I went to start a load of laundry this morning and a giant cricket was in my laundry room! 😱😰☹️ I don’t do bugs, but my husband is asleep and I’m not going to wake him up. He had a rough night of restless leg syndrome and slept very little the poor thing. So being the kind and loving wife I am I got over my intense fear of all bugs and placed a cup over it. Now it can’t run away before my husband wakes up. To my defense, I did try to get the cat to kill it before going the cup route, but she thought my pointing at a bug meant to place her head up to my hand to be petted. Cats aren’t very helpful during bug emergencies. 

If we were having coffee I’d thank you for be willing to come here instead of needing to go out. Life has been a complete shit storm right now. My medications are working great, and I’ve been doing self care techniques to keep building those habits, so I’ve been coping better than I usually would. But even still, the constant crap that life is throwing at my family right now is exhausting and stressful. So I finally hit a point this week that I no longer had the mental ability to leave my house. I called in sick, laid in bed, and did almost nothing. My fear of the world took over and I felt like I could no longer cope. Except that I did cope. I took the time I needed to stay home and recover. I meditated and colored. I did crafts with the kids during random bursts of mild energy, and I had them snuggle and read me a book when I simply couldn’t get out of bed. I remained safe with myself, and happy with the family. I call that a win.

If we were having coffee I would ask how you have been. What have you done this week to take care of yourself, or to bond with a family member or friend?

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee you might mention that it’s been a few weeks since we had coffee together. And for that I am sorry.

If we were having coffee we would be hiding at home as I am still pulling myself out of a deep depression. But I would be healthier and chattier and able to enjoy the day with you. 

If we were having coffee I would share with you how excited I am that I received some craft stuff in the mail. I ordered it a while ago, before the depression hit, and am so happy it arrived yesterday like a congrats from the universe that I will have the mental power to use it this weekend. And the best part? It’s crafts I can do with the kids 😁

If we were having coffee I would ask how you have been and if you’ve been making time for self care. I hope you have.

Enjoy your coffee all 😌

No Sleep

My brain tonight (and so many other nights)…

Did I leave a knife on the kitchen counter? What if the kids grab it, or the cat knocks it over? I think I put it away, but what if I didn’t?

I should go check that, and check the door lock again while I’m up. I know I already checked the lock a few times, but what if it’s a false memory? Maybe I didn’t actually check.

Kids talking in his sleep. Maybe his dreams are getting too much. I know he sounds fine, and he’s always fine when he talks in this sleep. But what if this is the first time he’s not? Maybe he’ll get trapped in a nightmare. Maybe I should sleep next to his bed just in case.

Maybe I should have both the kids sleep in our bed. What if someone breaks into their room?

What is that sound? Is that the neighbors or a burglar? Maybe it’s a kidnapper?

Are the kids craft paints put away? I know we put them away, but what if we missed one? What if the cat drinks it and dies while we’re asleep? I should go check that. And the knife I put away. And the door lock. 

But what if someone knocks on the door when I’m up checking on things? I can’t speak to someone in this mental state. But they’ll know I’m here, they will have heard me. They’ll never leave, I can’t hide or escape them. Maybe hubby will check the paint and knife and door lock?

But he might start to hate me if I wake him up. Why does he stay with me? I’m a terrible person! Why did he ever bother to marry me? Why did he settle? I can’t destroy his life. I won’t wake him up. He’s too sweet and would check everything. It’s not fair to him.

I should just go to bed. I have to sleep. If I don’t sleep well, then the kids will hate me. They probably already hate me. I’m a terrible mother. Only a terrible mother would have gone this long without getting up to check that the knife and paint were properly put away, and that the door was locked. I only checked these items 3 times before laying down. A good mother would check again.

I’m exhausted. 

If we were having coffee…


If we were having coffee we’d be hanging out on the couch wearing fluffy slippers and sipping hot mochas. Holidays tend to bring out my anxiety and introverted ways, so I’ve been hiding in the house quite a bit. My knitting is keeping me company this holiday season.

If we were having coffee you would have heard me chatting with my kids about holidays. I’m a firm believer in teaching them about different religions so they can be respectful of all people and belief systems. Since it is Christmas Eve I taught them about Christianity and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. They asked if it was his birthday, and I explained no, that he was probably born in the spring. But this is the day Christians choose to celebrate his birth which is pretty cool.

I then explained the history of Hanukkah since tonight is also the first night of Hanukkah. I explained the Jewish people hiding as Greeks tried to force them into their culture instead of letting them worship G-d in their ways. And how they only had one nights oil while they stayed in the temple, but that it lasted them 8 full nights.

If we were having coffee we’d laugh about the crazy lady at Petsmart this morning who explained to me that her nephew had sharks as a kid while we looked at the fish. I can’t decide if she thought “shark” was the name of a different kind of fish, or if she truly believes you can keep sharks as pets.

If we were having coffee we’d be smelling the gingerbread men baking in the oven, and looking forward to a cozy evening with our families (or by ourselves). If you are not with family tonight, snuggle up with a good book, some cocoa, and some music. Enjoy some relaxation, it’s okay to be alone and you deserve to be happpy. If you are with family, try not to stress and enjoy your time with them. Know your limits if anxiety is creeping in, but also rest on the love of your family and friends. They love you and love having you around, even if you’re a bit quiet. 
Many blessings to you all!

Happy Hanukkah πŸ˜ŠπŸ•Ž