Today has been a very long and full day, but it marked the beginning of our Christmas break. Brian and I were able to attend Christmas parties for both kids at school. We actually ended up being late because of car problems, and we had to split our time between the parties, but I think we managed to be around enough to make both of them happy.
This is the first time I've attended a school party. I realize you're in shock and might need to remove me from your Google Reader now that you know I'm a horrible mother to school-aged children, but it's true. And let me just tell you that I was in awe of all the parents who were helping, headed up the games, etc. Children in large groups make me shiver with fear, but thank goodness for those parents who are willing to step up and take one for the team!
The infamous Camdyn. We hear never-ending stories about Camdyn. Not gonna lie. It gets a little confusing as we try to figure out if Rory is talking about Camdyn or Camden. ;)
Partying is hard.
By the way, I made sausage balls (for Camden's party) for the very first time, and I combined two simple recipes. They were so delicious that Camden ate 10. TEN. And that would be in addition to a very full plate of other goodies.
1 softened block of cream cheese
2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
2 lbs sausage
2-1/4 cups Bisquick
Using a KitchenAid (because it made the whole mixing thing SO easy for this girl who happens to be thoroughly disgusted by raw meat), stir all ingredients until combined. Roll into balls and bake at a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cooking time is going to vary depending on how small/big you make your balls. Mine were fairly small, and I baked them on stoneware which sometimes takes a little longer. I think it's possible if you cook them in a glass dish or regular cookie sheet that your cook time will go down a bit. This recipe made about 70 sausage balls, btw.
I was responsible for a veggie tray and dip for Rory's party, and surprisingly, the cherry tomatoes were a huge hit. So were the sour cream and onion chips. I refilled plates for no less than 4 kids in a 3 minute time period, and their only request was more sour cream and onion chips.
After their Christmas parties, the four of us headed into Nashville to run a few errands and for my last chemo treatment. Everyone at Dr. W's office has been asking about Rory for months. Now that she's in school, they never see her so I thought this would be a good opportunity to bring her along. On my week 2 and week 3 treatment, I am typically the last patient of the day and so I knew they'd be willing to let her accompany me in the chemo room (our doctor's office has a rule of no visitors in the chemo room because of limited space). They were all thrilled to pieces to see her, and our visit turned out to be quite a bit longer than usual because the nurses were busy talking to her instead of hooking me up.
I was so glad it worked out for Rory to be with me because we found out it was the last day in the office for Peaches, who happens to be my favorite medical assistant. Not only does she LOVE Rory (and that love is absolutely returned), she has been such a main stay in my cancer treatment experience. She's the nurse I mentioned hugging me as she handed me the Kleenex after my CA125 news a couple of weeks ago. Believe me: this is not the first time she's supplied me with Kleenex. She has hugged and cried with me on good days as well as bad days. On my very first day of chemo when I had a moment of panic as they accessed my port for the first time, she is the one who sat down next to me, put her arms around me, and promised it would be okay. Thank heavens I didn't remember all of these moments during our visit today because I have been a sloppy mess ever since, but was able to keep it together during our goodbyes.
Not only did I have to say goodbye to Peaches, but it struck me on the drive home how different things are this time around. Last year when I finished up my 6 rounds of chemo, and we thought I would be done for good, there was so much rejoicing as I headed out the door that day; September 1, 2011 to be exact. Today I finished up 18 additional chemo sessions, but there was no rejoicing, no hugs from the staff or wishes that I stay gone for a very long time.
Nope. Today they handed me my new bloodwork schedule as well as a chemo schedule (resuming January 10). I was hoping at least we could all pretend there is a possibility that scan is going to show NED (No Evidence of Disease).
Despite that disappointment, my plans are to make it through the next few days the same way I normally do. Snuggled up on my couch with maybe an extra cup of coffee or two. Because we're on Christmas break, the couch will be a little more crowded with the two munchkins and Brian alongside me. I'm also going to revel in the fact that no matter what happens after January 10, I have a break until January 10, and that's the longest one I've had since July 5. I usually wake up feeling pretty good on Sunday and I'm looking forward to our Christmas service as well as a few holiday activities I've got up my sleeve to surprise Camden and Rory. Family starts arriving Christmas Eve night, and I can guarantee that a good time will be had by all.
My chemo buddy today.
My chemo buddy today.
And fudge from Peaches. She told me to think about her when I ate it. So I did. And cried. Even Brian got a little teary-eyed. And it was good fudge. I'm going to miss your smiling face, Peaches.