Peter’s 8 months old today!

I can’t believe it’s been 8 months since Peter was born! He’s such a happy guy, always smiling and giggling, especially when Nora is around.

He’s eating solids and crawling around on his stomach and all fours. It’s pretty funny to watch – he sort of looks like an inch worm! It gets the job done though – he’s moving around the room pretty easily and fast. We had to bust out our pack n play so that we can confine him and keep him safe if we need to leave him alone in the room for a second or two. He still can’t sit up on his own – but we’re starting to make some progress on that front.

All in all, he’s just the sweetest love bug.


img_0164img_0162img_0161img_0160

Life’s Difficult Lesson

5.1.2017

We all die. That’s the one universal truth, I suppose. Nobody approaches this topic better than my friend Janet (see all my links below to her talk, music video and article). I met her through BAYS and boy am I glad I did. She is a spitfire and she is wise. She is a bright light and she is intense emotion. She is alive and she is dying. She is a contradiction. She is…..well, she just is.

Janet’s been metastatic for many years. She’s enjoyed periods of non-treatment and periods of intense treatment on and off for 10 years.  The first time Janet and I hung out one on one a few years ago, we talked about her reality. She’s the first Stage 4 metastatic person I’ve ever been close to. She told me that she’ll be in treatment for the rest of her life until the treatment simply stops working or she decides to stop treating.  Plain and simple. Black and white.

See, that’s what I adore about her. No bullshit. When she paid me a surprise visit early on during my bedrest stay with Peter. She didn’t mince words. A pediatrician herself, she knew the shit we were up against. I told her some of my naive thoughts, and she calmly, yet gently brought me back to earth. Preparing me for the potentially devastating outcomes that might’ve been for Peter. I’m so grateful to have someone like that in my life. A straight shooter who cares and comforts at the same time. Perhaps its the cancer club that makes us this way? I dunno. But it’s a sisterhood beyond nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life.

Now, it’s my time to be there for Janet.  She’s at a crossroads and her treatment is diminishing her quality of life — which until this point — has been exceptional. When I sat with her at her house last week, she shook her head and told me “This isn’t living. How I feel — this sick and weak– this isn’t a life.” I read between the lines, but she went on to be very clear. She’s seriously contemplating stopping any further treatment. Chemo isn’t working. Isn’t going to extend her life measurably and is making her feel like shit. Rendering her useless on the couch all.day.long. For someone who scales mountains on the regular — she is down and out.

In the non-cancer world, we’ve all been conditioned (for some odd reason) to rally and cheer and champion someone who is dying. “keep fighting” “don’t give up” “you got this” “are you sure?” “just a little while longer” “keep going”.

Now that I live in the cancer world, I intrinsically know that when someone tells me they’re done — I get it. It’s not something to decide on a whim. It was extremely heart wrenching for me to just nod my head at my friend, blinking back my own tears, while holding her hand and telling her it’s ok if she wants to stop treatment. Make her *feel* my support for her decision. Don’t put her in position to comfort me. Don’t put her in position to defend her decision. Selfishly, of course, I want her here on earth as long as possible. But realistically, at what cost to her? It’s not worth it. I love my friend and I want what she wants. Only she knows what’s best for her. I’m just here to support and love her.

Oddly, when Janet visited me in the hospital when I was on bedrest with Peter. I remember making a joke that “surely this penance will buy me out of any cancer recurrence or metastasis, right?!” I went on to say that if I were to get cancer again, I wouldn’t have the strength to enter treatment again. Having been knee-deep into bedrest at that point I was physically and emotionally spent.  I was tapped out. Janet didn’t say what most would….. “oh don’t worry, you won’t get cancer again!” She didn’t shy away from it. She simply said “you’ll find the reserves to do it. you just will.”

Knowing that’s how Janet approaches life. I fully respect her decision to be done. I know she found her reserves and she’s tapped them to the max. Damn, has she ever lived. I am truly honored and privileged to know her and hug her and love her. I will continue to do so for as long as I can.

Below are links of Janet’s speech, music video and an article about her. Janet I LOVE you and insist on celebrating your great, big, bold life NOW.

Peter is 7 months old!

My love bug is growing so, so fast. He weighs 18lbs and is eating solids like it’s his job. He’s beginning to show signs of crawling (or creeping? I can never keep it straight). In any event, he’s moving around really well on his tummy. 

Nora and Peter are still crazy about one another. Honestly, they can’t get enough of each other. Every morning when Nora wakes up I take Peter into her room and she says “Mama, put Peter in my crib. I move over. I gunna make room for him”. After I lay him next to her she sings songs to him and pets him. It’s truly the most adorable thing on the planet. 

Let’s hope this love fest lasts (knock wood, right?!)


​​​

Ok, it’s been a long while!

For those of you still reading my blog, I do apologize. I’m just crazy busy with two littles and trying to balance my own, adult life.

I’ve been posting my updates to Facebook, Insta and Snapchat; and, as a result I’ve been totally neglecting my blog. 

So let me make it up to you. Below are Peter’s monthly growth pics, plus a few other fun ones thrown in for good measure. 

Nora continues to love her brother with all her might. They’re adorable together. Peter is thriving and the happiest little boy you’ve ever met. 

For the first time in a long while I’ve got a lot on my mind and will try my best to post my deep thoughts here. Not that anyone cares, but it’ll ultimately make me feel better to write and get it out. 

I thought I’d lost my blogging voice – but indeed it’s still here. Just lurking beneath the surface. So, I hope to pay more attention to that inner voice in the coming months. 

Stay tuned! Lucky you…..


Peter’s One Month Old & Pumpkin Patch

Hey everybody!

Well, I missed posting Peter’s one month photo yesterday – agh, such is life with two under two! Better late than never, right?

I can’t believe it’s already been one month. Time is just flying by. Peter’s jaundice is all better and he’s growing like a weed. He weighs 8lbs 10ozs and is 20 inches long. He’s got a touch of baby acne, cradle cap and thrush (damn you pesky hormones!), but he doesn’t seem to be bothered by any of it.

Nora is an amazing big sister. She loves to hold Peter and kiss him. She’s got so much love to give!

img_2980img_3017img_3015

img_2992

How he really feels about this photo shoot!

This morning Paul played hookey from work for a few hours and we took Nora and Peter to the pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay. It was a fun morning – but we had to play a little man on man defense as we each tended to a child. As soon as we got to the farm, Peter needed to eat. So I took care of that while Paul entertained Nora. Sadly, we weren’t able to get a family picture — but we did the best we could. Something tells me it’ll be a few years before we get a family picture again! haha!

This weekend we’re having a Sip & See for Peter. We’ll have an open house for a few hours so that friends can drop by to meet Peter. Stay tuned for pictures from that as well as Peter’s newborn photo shoot. xoxo

img_3044img_3043

 

img_3041img_2974img_2972img_2963img_2965img_2967img_3026img_3030img_3037

 

img_2969img_2955img_3053img_3055

This one snuck up on me

Yesterday was my 4-year cancerversary. It snuck up on me for sure – but it’s not like I forgot about it. It’s always in the back of my mind. Happily though, Paul totally forgot about it. Which I’m fine with. It’s not a ‘versary I like to dwell on too much.

I spent a cozy, delicious day snuggled at home with Peter. I had plans to run an errand or two – but ended up nesting at home with my new little bug instead. It was heaven. Until the witching hour that is. Around dinnertime, literally, everybody in our house was grousing. Peter was crying for a feed, Nora was melting down after a long day at daycare, Maisey was plead-barking at the back door to be let out for a potty – and Paul and I were divided in separate rooms tending to the tiny humans. It was perfectly imperfect. I felt like crying, but chuckled in my head instead. I suppose these are life’s little moments!

Some updates for you on the cancer front:

Earlier this summer, I was accepted into a clinical trial for TNBC survivors. The trial is by Cynvenio and they believe that they can perform a biopsy on our blood to detect whether we’re having a recurrence up to 8 months before current tests could catch it. The trial is specifically for triple negative folks like myself. I don’t have to do a whole heck of a lot except give my blood 4 times a year. I thought I’d get kicked out of the trial b/c I missed the second draw due to bedrest with Peter. But they were cool about it and let me miss one draw and stay in the study.

One of these days when I have some time I’ll post more details about the trial itself. I’m sure you can google it if you’re really curious. Who knows if it actually can detect what it says it can — but that’s the point of the trial, right? I’m happy to participate and do my small part to help advance science.

I’ll leave you with some scrumptious pics of the kids and a hilarious video of Nora and Peter, enjoy!

Athleta

Some of you may have noticed my mug in Athleta’s October catalogue 🙂

I wasn’t sure if I was going to post anything about it because the catalogue shoot happened in mid-April before Peter and I landed in the hospital. I can’t tell you how many times I thought about the photoshoot while I lay in the hospital bed willing Peter to stay inside. Part of me felt like an ass for doing it and highlighting my post-cancer pregnancy. Stupid girl, you let your guard down, now this terrible thing has happened — that’s what you get…. (oh, the psychology of it all).

I was so superstitious this summer, it’s not even funny. So I decided to keep mum about it.

Thankfully Peter arrived safely (save this whole jaundice issue we’re currently working through) so I suppose there’s nothing to jinx anymore (though with my luck, I’ve learned to never say never).

Here’s what I can say at this very moment in time: There IS bold, beautiful, messy and joyful life in the wake of cancer. Yay!

As always, please think before you pink…….


Here’s a link to the current Chi Blog post about the photoshoot. There may be another post about me at some point in October. I exchanged emails with their social media person while I was in the hospital. I’m a little afraid my comments were incoherent since I was so preoccupied with bed rest and all things pre-term-labor-related. If they happen to post something I’ll be sure to link to it here for you.