A blog named BETTY

Friday, August 31, 2007

Crazy, Sexy Cancer

This show, "Crazy, Sexy Cancer" has been advertised on TLC for months. The first time Hubby saw the commercial, he turned to me and said "Hmmph. That must not be the kind you got." Bwahahahaha! I soooo had to agree with him.

After all these months of promotion, the show actually aired this week. I was glued. And not just because I could so relate to every second of it that it was almost painful, but also because it was REALLY well done. I thought, anyway. I may have been a little swayed by her "all the cool kids have cancer" approach. But seriously, it's a documentary film by a twenty-something woman with cancer, and it was so REAL, but also funny with just enough of the artsy. I had to force myself to go to sleep before the end, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest.

One thing I came away from the show with is a huge sense of gratitude, especially about my children. I am considered young to have had cancer (especially for a kind that afflicts 70-yr-old men!), and I've felt that profoundly at times. Felt sorry for myself, I suppose. Most of the women featured in this documentary, however, were even younger, and they were facing a future not knowing if they could have children. Wow. I guess I'd spent so much time shaking my fist at fate for putting my young children through the yucks of cancer that I hadn't even considered how lucky I am to even have them. gulp!

10,000 silent but heartfelt 'thank-you's' ascending to heaven...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I missed blogging for a few days...uh-oh--starting the neglect right out of the gates! Shnookie2 (13 yrs)--who thinks if I'm on the computer AT ALL, I must be blogging--said this to me: "You love BETTY more than me! sniff!" LOL She's such a funny girl!

So, the biggest news around here is that I went to my oncologist this week for my 3-month check-up, and my blood counts came up a little! Dr. Glenn was practically giddy, as was her helper-doctor, whom I've never seen before, but he evidently can read a chart, as well as take cues from the main doctor-lady. Happy! Happy! They both stood there above me, smiling from ear to ear, congratulating me. I felt like the big girl who just did the first poop in the potty. Go me!! (I actually said that, several times, cuz it's hard to know what else to say.)

Since I know you're dying to know!...Here are the results:

Red count (Hematocrit)- 34.3 - which is normal and has been for awhile now, therefore proving that it IS possible for me to be normal in some area.
Platelets - 98 big ones!- which is officially the highest I've had in at least 4 years! To give perspective, normal for a typical human being (I say this cuz I'm really trying to accept that normal for others may never be 'my' normal. Being extraordinary is a burden. sigh) is between 140 and 390. As further perspective, the lowest platelet count I have recorded for me is 15, which was right before I started my last chemo. Now that I know the averages and such, I get why they were shocked that I wasn't spontaneously bleeding nonstop. (Platelets are what clot the blood.) Luck was obviously on my side, in that those last few platelets were the strongest, most super-human platelets known to mankind!
White count - 3.04 - which is also a new natural high for me. (I got to 3.25 once, but that was after an injection of Elasta, designed to boost the white. Only technically cheating.) We're especially happy about this one, since it's been the big battle for me. White cells fight infection; normal is between 4 and 10; I got down to .4 several times during chemo and no one was happy about that! (least of all me, particularly when it resulted in shingles. OUCH!!) Cute story here: Hubby promised me a new car if I got over 2.0, which is ridiculous, since I have no control over them. But he likes to give people incentives to up their performance, and he knows what motivates me! He'd probably take total credit for my improvement if you asked him :). But he did make good on his promise, and my white counts (and my very white butt) enjoy the brand-new minivan very much!

So now ya know! My poor kids know waaaaay too much about blood counts. They've said so many prayers that've started with "Bless Mom's white count to come up." They'll all either go into the medical field or else never step foot in a medical office again. We'll let their therapists untangle that mess.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Shnookies 1 and 2, as usual, were gone visiting their Cali dad all of July. I hate, hate, hate, hate it. AND I dislike it very much. It is like a few days of heaven when they get home--we're all just giddy! This year, they got home on August 2nd, and it was extra nice cuz they came home in the middle of the day (instead of at night like usual), so we had the rest of the day to party. Shnookie 1 had his friend, Andrew, over (I'll say his name, since I don't care if anyone stalks him. If you need his address, just email me. HEE!) within an hour. I had to run somewhere, and while I was gone, it started POURING rain. I came home to find Shnook 1 and Andrew playing basketball in the rain, soaking wet! I cannot tell you how happy that made me!

Pretty soon, Shnooks 2 and 4 were also out there, splashing in the big puddle we get in the driveway. Then they were joined by a neighbor friend, and it was a splashing free-for-all. I got my camera and started snapping away. (Used the 'underwater mode' for the first time, btw. Probably shouldn't have, but I just had to jump at the chance. Goodness knows this is the closest I'll ever get to being actually 'under water' with my camera! Come to think of it, why does a non-waterproof camera have a underwater mode? Hmmmm)

So all the kids are running free in the downpour, and I'm just giggling and happy as a clam about it. Why? First of all, my oldest and youngest are reunited with each other and their friends, so I feel whole again. Second, I have this distinct fond childhood memory of playing in the warm rain as a youngster and just feeling free as the wind. Now, many of my so-called childhood memories have turned out to not be true, since my older siblings are involved in them and have absolutely no recollection of the fantastical situations I envision (like a snake chasing me up a log and Laurie saving me from certain death). I'm a vivid dreamer, so I'm never quite sure what tricks my over-active mind is playing on me when it comes to memories. So, I was never quite sure if this was 'one of those' memories. Afterall, when it happened I lived in Eastern Oregon and couldn't have been older than 4. Then we moved to Western Oregon, where I became VERY familiar with rain, and never once did I ever have the urge to don my swimming suit and play in it, cuz it was always FREEZING. As a result, I had serious doubts regarding the validity of that particular recollection. Flash forward to 2007, giddy mom with her underwater camera in Northern Utah... IT'S TRUE!! IT MUST BE TRUE!! There ARE places in the world where rain is not cold and wet and miserable all year long!! And my beautiful kidlets are getting to make that beautiful memory of their own. I am complete. Sigh. (good sigh this time.)

Oh, and while we're sharing all these happy vibes, this experience also reminded me that there is a silver lining in everything--evin in having a driveway that has never drained properly, despite being re-poured twice and having every drain know to man attached to it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Acts of God

So I had a hurricane named after me. (At least, that's how I like to see it.) I had high hopes for my natural disaster namesake, but it didn't amount to much. Is it wrong to be disappointed? Is it sick that I'm jealous of the Deans out there who are getting to watch their gathering drama? Probably. I missed the 'big one' by one slot. If only mother nature would've mustered up all her fury while 'ERIN' sat ready on the national weather service's roster of names. Sigh.

My favorite dream of having a hurricane namesake was that people would actually listen to me. Like "ooooh, Erin is talking...watch out or she'll unleash her fury!" Maybe even my children? Not gonna happen. Sigh. You'll understand when it happens to you.

Did I mention 'sigh?'

oooh! Perfect segue into the cute story I've been meaning to record for posterity:

Last week, we're driving home in the car and Shnookie4 (that's what I'll call my youngest child for now until I get over worrying that someone will read this and stalk her) asks from the back: "Mom, how are tornados made? Is it when it's windy and someone throws dirt into the air and that makes a tornado?"

Hmmmm. My thoughtful answer: "Well, no, nature makes the tornados, but I'm not sure how it all actually happens." (Telling myself that of course I really know, but there's no way a 7-yr-old could understand my flawless scientific explanation. Yeah, right.)

Her immediate response: "If you don't really know, then maybe that IS how it happens."

She has a point, you have to admit.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Make way for BETTY!!

I have a blog!! I have been writing in it in my head for over a year now, but I find that doesn't do me much good. And--of course--it doesn't do humankind in general much good, since what I have to say will revolutionize existence as we know it. I know...how selfish of me to keep it all to myself. HEE

I thought my teenagers would think it's cool that I'm blogging. Uh, no. They both were totally like "WHY would you do that?" I choose to think that this is just another instance where I am way ahead of them in cool, and they'll realize it later. I can't think of a single example, but it happens all.the.time.

As for the name of my blog: it totally cracks me up, and I'm thinking I'm oh-so-clever. Another strike out with the kid folk. More fodder for the delayed 'cool mom' phenomenon. They shall see...BETTY will rule the universe!!! mwahahaha