Sunday, June 26, 2011

the simple joy of going mossing

every since i was about 5 years old, i have loved collecting moss. ( i was a strange child, o.k.? ) my family and i lived in a small house near a creek bank and it was shady- a great place to find moss. i would collect pieces, and make a sort of doll house with them- using acorn caps as dishes, as well as pieces of mica, rocks, sticks or whatever else i could find. i had a real doll house inside to play with, but it never compared to the one that i made myself.

my fascination with moss continues to this day. i have a moss garden set up in a large planter near my house, and i love to see the various kinds of dried moss in the craft section at Michael's. i especially like reindeer moss- the color and texture of this one is very nice. do you think they have it at the north pole? just kidding.

the best way to get moss, however, is to go mossing. i am fortunate that i live in a place that moss seems to love- shady, gets lots of rain, near the forest,etc. we have FINALLY finished, well, o.k. mostly finished, our house remodeling project. we have now turned our attention to our flower gardens, which have suffered a bit due to the amount ( or lack of) time we have spent on them this spring/summer. we bought some bedding plants to fill the planters in the front of our house and planted those this weekend. but they always look better, and retain moisture better, dressed out with pretty, green, yesterday, my husband grabbed a big bucket, and we took off for our moss hunting grounds. i love to look at wildflowers,too while we are collecting moss. this time of year is sort of an  in between time  for wildflowers. you can see more wildflowers  here during the spring and fall, but still i saw some really pretty tea berry plants, plenty of ferns, along with some queens anne's lace. i also saw some poison ivy, but i did not collect that one.

we managed to collect a whole bucket full- just enough for our planter boxes, as well as a couple of special pieces that i arranged in my moss garden. luckily there is a ton of moss around here, but we never take it all. it will grow back,of course, but we always like to leave some. makes the forest look better, i think.

tomorrow morning we are starting on a small remodeling project- we are screening in our back porch. along with a great selection of moss here, we also have lots and lots of mosquitoes, too. i am excited about having a place to sit in the early morning or evening without the worry of being carried off by the bugs. this project will take a week or so. the carpenters will be extending our small back porch a bit, so they will have to extend the roof line some. this will mean they will have to remove our satellite TV and INTERNET dishes, so i will not have access to the Internet for a while. they say it will take a week or so. i have learned that remodeling projects always seem to take longer, so it will probably be two weeks or so. i am writing to let you guys know that i will not be able to blog for a little while. but just as soon as they get the dishes back on the roof, i will pick up where i left off. i am hopeful that when i do get back to my blog, i will be able to tell everyone that my scan has been scheduled, my doctor has decided to let me take the capsule instead of the liquid I-123( my doctor and i are still going around and around about that),  and all will be right with my little world.

so i will be busy cleaning up construction mess( more than i would like to), mossing( perhaps), and shaking the coins on my belly scarf in zumba class( definitely). i hope that everyone is enjoying the little pleasures of summer and that you are well and feeling good. . blog you soon!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"We can never know about the days to come, but we think about them anyway. Anticipation is making me late, it's keeping me -W-A-I-T-I-N-G . And tomorrow we might not be together. I'm no prophet, i don't know natures way. .....these are the good old days." Anticipation by Carly Simon

well, i certainly am still waiting to get my scan! it seems my doctor and i can not come to terms with the fact that i am allergic-anaphylactic allergic - to sulfite preservatives, which are present in both the LIQUID i-123 and I-131. i researched this, and found proof from the product listing. i am not sure why the liquid is so much better than the capsule, either. oh, and of course thyrogen has been on back order, which has caused a lot of worry and waiting for several other people. i believe that now, or at least in july, the thyrogen should be back on the market, according to the reports that i have read. so i am w-a-i-t-i-n-g  for my doctor to switch my tracer dose to something that might not kill me( seriously) and for the thyrogen to become available again. i am hoping that i can get my test done the week of august 1st. i am going to stay all week in raleigh, so that would give me some time to visit with my daughter before she has to start back to school. everyone keep their fingers crossed for me, o.k.? i certainly am going to need it.

last night, i got on i should know better than to do this when i am depressed, but i did anyway. i looked at one of my favorite things to buy- belly scarves! i have the reputation of having a belly scarf to match all of my tee shirts( well not ALL of them). so i ordered a light pink one with silver coins and a sheer black one with silver coins. man, do i love to make those coins jingle!! today i went to zumba, and during one song, i managed to flip some of those coins onto my back( one of my personal goals, lol ) lucky for me, the scarves are inexpensive, because i sure do like that bling- and the sound that it makes. also, we were dancing to one of my favorite songs- " What is it?". funny story, but when i was trying to tell my daugter what the name of the song is   ( she is a part time zumba instructor in raleigh) we sort of ended up like that abbott and, costello joke- who's on first? i told her about the song, and she said, what is the name? and i said " what is it?" we went on like that for a while, and she finally said I DO NOT KNOW, IF YOU COULD JUST SING A FEW BARS OF THE SONG, MAYBE I COULD FIGURE IT OUT! i am not sure, but i don't think that she has heard it yet.

i had a great experience this week. i just reconnected with my best friend in high school- all because of facebook. i had  not seen her for, well lets not say how long- just a long,long time. it was so good to email her and catch up a bit on what she has been doing since high school. we lost touch- you probably know how that is, but i have been thinking about her often. i told her a little bit about my situation, and she even read some of my blog. she has had her challenges in life,too. i told her that while we can not choose the hand we are dealt in life, we can control how to play it. everyone has challenges and it is how we deal with them that makes us the kind of person that we are. sounds like an oprah moment, but it is one thing that i have figured out, one "thing i know for sure", so to speak.

would it not be great if we figured this out in our twenties? i suppose there are some people who do come to this realization- that life is precious, and we need to enjoy every moment, do what we love, with the people that we love and be thankful for all good things coming our way. i still feel that way- even a year after my diagnosis. i think this is a game changer for me. it has stuck, long after the surgery,chemo,etc. of course i do not feel out of the woods yet! i will feel better after my scan ( if i ever get to have that scan!). of course, i will just have to be patient, and wait a little bit more, as carly recommends. of course, i do need a few more zumba belly scarves in the meantime....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"...thank you for the music, the songs i'm singing. thank you for all the joy they're bringing. who can live without it, i ask in all honesty? what would life be? without a song or a dance, what are we? so i say thank you for the music, for giving it to me. " Thank you for the music, by Abba

of course in this song,abba,  is thankful that they can sing so well. i am not able to sing very well now- i have good and bad voice days, along with salivary gland issues- still. yet i am so very thankful for the music that i hear. and i still sing in the car - on my way to and from work, when i am by myself. i sing with a joyful heart, if not always hitting the correct notes. i left a message on our answering machine for my husband yesterday. we happened to be working  different schedules and i wanted to tell him something. of course, my husband never checks our voicemail, so it was still on the machine when i got home. i listened to it and was shocked to hear my voice. o.k. i was having a bad voice day, but still- was the voice on the answering machine really me???

on another website that i occasionally read, someone had written an article about their "new normal". i wrote a similar article on that same topic  a couple of blogs ago. i promise that i did not read hers first! but i imagine that many, if not all, cancer patients have the same feeling that " we" do. we have new normals for ourselves. things will never be exactly the same, but that does not mean that they can not be good again. it is hard sometimes to adjust to what we have to do now- after having cancer. i used to be able to sing pretty well, but i am having to adjust to a new voice and the fact that i would embarrass myself if i sang out loud. i still love music dearly, and i enjoy listening to good music. that fact  will never change. but i am having a little difficulty adjusting to this new normal.

the thing that gets me through this challenge, is that i know i  had to have the surgery, that was  a certainty. my surgeon did a great job with what he had to work with- the cancer was invasive into the parathyroids, lymph nodes,and some of the surrounding tissues. i imagine that the vocal cords were pretty twisted too, and not in a fun way. so, he did his job, and i am here today. i am grateful to be here! i am trying not to whine too much about my singing/speaking changes. i am adjusting to my new normal. i do however,  wish that people would not ask me if i was sick sometimes- i sound like rachel ray with a very bad cold at times. but i just try to tell myself that squeaky, husky voices are " in" right now. lucky me!

and by golly, thyroid cancer did not affect my dancing! i am going to zumba tonight after a two week absence. ( we have been working non-stop on getting our house back together after the remodel). i will salsa my heart out tonight, and hopefully not be too sore tomorrow. i may not be able to sing very well, but i surely am the dancing queen!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"duh,duh,...duh,duh...DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH..(insert scream here) oh no,it's a BLOG ATTACK!! you can hum this to the scary music from the jaws movies if you'ed like

this blog will NOT let me sleep tonight! it is an open letter to all of my blog followers for your help. as some of you might know, my friend Wendy and i have this website called: we offer a FREE necklace to a thyroid cancer patient, as well as providing (hopefully) good information and our support. it is a non-profit program- we accept donations for necklaces, as well as new or homemade jewelry. all that we ask of recipients is that you provide your "cancer story" and it can be as long or as short as you would like, along with a picture of you. we then will send you  your necklace- our offering of hope and support- and print your story/picture on our website.

some of you might be a little hesitant to write a story chronicling your adventures with  thyroid cancer, but i know from experience how liberating this can be. i started my blog a year ago, as a way of helping others deal with some of the issues i was facing. i hope that i provide good information on thyroid cancer/treatment. but i would be amiss if i did not admit that my blog has been a lifeline to me. it has helped me deal with my situation, and to know that i am not alone. i have "met" some amazing and inspiring people through my blog. that is why i am reaching out to all of you to help us with this project! we are having some trouble getting the plane off the ground so to speak. we have lots of necklaces that we would love to send to fellow thyroid cancer patients.

if you would like to help us with this project, please email me at : and we can get started. i would like to thank everyone, especially our first two recipients on our website, in advance for your help and support.

there, i did it. now maybe i can get some sleep.

Friday, June 10, 2011

gee, maybe i am back to "normal" now

we have just finished a three month, well closer to four month, house remodel project. i have been so exhausted that i began to worry that my cancer was back! then i realized a few things: 1) i am getting older- not a bad thing considering the alternative and 2) my thyroid has flown away, and no matter how well my thyroid medication works, it is just not quite the same. i need to be more patient with myself, and realize that i can not work as hard as i did when i was in my twenties( and i had a thyroid then, as well).

i think that every thyroid patient- especially a thyroid cancer patient- that i have talked to has complained about exhaustion. people just do not realize what a powerful organ that our thyroids are. and with most things in life, you really do not miss it until it is gone. when i get sad and start to miss my thyroid, i think about the cancer, and the really,really bad case of thyroiditis that i had before i had it removed. have you ever had thyroiditis? it is so painful and i was to the point that i was just hoping my temperature would be low enough that they would not postpone the surgery. thankfully things went on as planned, and of course that took care of the thyroiditis.

with the remodeling project, i would work for several hours- cleaning- we had dust EVERYWHERE. one day i was in the kitchen trying to fix an omelet before i went to work, and i almost had it out of the pan when the carpenter cranked up his saw. this great "cloud" of sawdust covered everything in the room. and i do mean everything. i can now say that i know what sawdust tastes like,though. ( not too bad, and i just thought of it as a little extra fiber). along with cleaning, i helped move boxes and the occasional piece of light furniture. the thing i did not like, was that  after a few hours my bed pulled me in like a magnet. i could not have resisted it if i had  tried. was that normal? no, not compared to  a few years ago. but i guess that this is my new normal. o.k., i need extra rest now. i feel lazy sometimes, but i still take a nap if i can. some days are better than others, energy wise, and i will admit to going to bed earlier, or sleeping later.

i exercise, yes, zumba!, and i do the best that i can. my house may not be "martha stewart" ready,EVER, but that is o.k. i work full time, even though at times i feel beyond exhausted. but i am here, and i have an awfully lot to be thankful for. i will admit that adjusting to the new normal has been tough. but i am getting there.