Wednesday, November 26, 2008

All in all, a good day

In the light of day, I can see that yesterday was really quite a good day. Had you talked to the angry demon that took over my body last night, you would not have thought this was the case. So here's how the day went.

8:00 am - Arrive at my Mom's house to go to Linda's surgery. We took separate cars, so I then proceeded to Aurora. I stopped at Festival Foods on the way because I had gotten Linda a singing snowman the night before and wanted a gift bag for it. When I was little Linda had a singing snowman. you pushed his middle button of coal and he sang. I loved it, so when I saw the singing snowman the other night it reminded me of Linda and I thought it would cheer her up. And for those of you that don't know, Linda has breast cancer. The good news was that she was Stage 1 and the tumor was very small. However, Linda already has an auto-immune liver disease, so any other type of illness is harder on her than it would normally be. She could have had a lumpectomy, but opted for the mastectomy hoping that the chemo would be less strong, and then they wouldn't do radiation, which would make her liver disease worse. Ok, onward...We laughed quite a bit in the pre-op room and kept Linda's mind off things. She was in fairly good spirits.

9:20 am - They take Linda to nuclear medicine to look at her liver before the surgery. Mom and I go to the waiting room and I decide to go find Gina and let her know how things are going. She said she'd be working on the second floor so I went up there first. No Gina. So I go the first floor where she normally is and they tell me she's on the 3rd floor in Peds, so I head up there. Finally get there and she has just gone downstairs for something. At this point I gave up. I found out later that all the people I was asking were instant messaging each other to try to get me to stay in one spot. LOL

10:30 am - Linda is back from nuclear medicine and we went back to stay with her until the surgery. At this point the surgeon came in to draw on her. It was at that point that I could tell she was getting scared and nervous and probably pretty sad. Luckily, she only had to endure that for about 5 minutes before they injected relaxation medicine into her IV. She was already tired (I have a feeling she didn't sleep the night before) so after about 20 seconds her eyes were closed, though she was still talking. I asked if she felt anything yet and she did that tired-roll-of-the-eyes thing and said "no". LOL! Then as they wheeled her out she mumbled "See you after my nap."

11:30 am - After Mom went to let the dogs out she came back and we headed to the Christmas crafts sale to kill some time. I found a cute papier mache basket with the music from "Jingle Bells" on it for Jon's mom. Then we headed up to get Gina and went to have lunch in the cafeteria. It was actually really good for hospital food.

1:30 pm - After finding out that Linda made it through surgery fine, the doctor came out to talk to us. In addition to removing the breast, they took out 7 lymph nodes to test them. They do a preliminary test and that was negative, meaning the cancer hasn't spread to the lymph nodes. They still have to test them again, but this was VERY good news.

2:00 pm - We accompany Linda up to her room where she will spend the night. She was very tired so we just made sure she was settled in and left. She will be home today.

2:45 pm - I arrive back at my apartment and have a couple hours to kill before Mom picks me up to go to the Appleton Christmas parade. I decide to do a little Christmas decorating. I realize it's not Thanksgiving yet, but for some reason this year I got the urge very early. I got a box of Dickens village candle holders at a rummage sale for $5 (I still want the collection of the actual light-up village, but will have to make do for now) and decided to put that up. We have two closets with platforms above them where we have plants. I thought it would be cute to put the village up there, however, it's just a tad too small, so it's hard to see them. Today I will put them on the ledge by the stairs and put our stockings up to hang from the platform.

3:30 pm - Matt calls me from Associated Bank and tells me that he wants to offer me a position. After being unemployed for over 3 months you would think I would feel relieved, but I really didn't feel anything. I don't think I will quite trust it until I have a paycheck in my hand. Still really good news though.

5:10 pm - Mom and I head to downtown Appleton to watch the Christmas parade. Jon will be riding on the Heid's float and playing Christmas songs with some of his co-workers. After having to go to the top level of a parking ramp to park, we make our way to College Ave. to have some dinner. We planned on Erbert and Gerbert's, however it was packed so we went to the Chinese place next door. Best Chicken and Broccoli I've ever had!

6:20 pm - the parade starts. We were in front of Heid's, however, which was at the end of the route, so we didn't see anything until almost 7. We chose to stand behind some middle schoolers because they were sitting in chairs and I could get better pictures. But middle schoolers can be loud and obnoxious and definitely tried my patience.

7:15 pm - still waiting to see Jon

7:45 pm - It turns out the Heid's float was about 4 from the end. My feet are now frozen, as are my legs, but I've got my camera ready!! I put it on "night" program which turns out to mean "you'll get enough light for the picture but it will be completely blurry." I switch back to the regular program, however then all I get is a black picture. Mom suggests we follow the float. This is next to impossible because so many people are already leaving. So not only did I not get a picture, but I spent so much time trying to get one and chasing the damn float that I didn't get to see Jon play anything.

7:50 pm - Mom and I head back to the parking ramp.

8:10 pm - Mom and I are still waiting to even back out of our spot

8:25 pm - We finally get out of the ramp just as Jon calls, so Mom drops me off at Heid's. By this time I'm so irritated because of rude people that I have no desire to even talk. Just the thought of Christmas puts me in a good mood. So when I attend Christmas events like a parade, I'm downright giddy. I think that's what makes it so disappointing when everyone around you is crabby and thinks their time is more important and won't even let you out of your parking spot. It's like the crabby people shopping. Seriously, the holiday is about Christ's birth. Yes, it's great to give and receive presents and spend time with family, but if that part of it makes you so crabby that you shove people out of the way (literally) and give dirty looks and say nasty things, than you've clearly lost the meaning of the holiday and should be in a church rather than out shopping.

9:00 pm - Jon and I finally arrive home and I collapse on the couch. It was a good day, but the mix of emotions that started 14 hours before has taken everything out of me, including the will to talk. Jon makes me hot cocoa and rubs my feet before we head to bed.

7:30 am - Wow, yesterday was awesome.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Ok, so first off, let's update on the stomach situation. Apparently the gall bladder wasn't the only problem. It took care of some of the symptoms, but not all (I won't gross you out with details) so I have to go in today for an endoscopy so they can look at my stomach and small intestine and see if they can figure anything out from there. I really don't like the idea of having a tube down my throat while I'm awake, but whatever, hopefully I'll get some answers.

Now, onto the job front. I got hired at the Oshkosh Human Society and started there last Friday. This is about the farthest thing from my dream job as I could get. I spend 4 hours cleaning cat cages. Basically I'm a glorified janitor, and isn't that why I went to college for 10 years? I thought so. Anyway, I've been in rescue the past two days which is basically the area where they keep the newer cats that they don't have room for up front. There are 23 cages which I am responsible for feeding, watering, scooping poop, and making sure that the bedding is clean. It's disgusting work. I do like spending time with the cats, however 20-30 cats in one room is hell on my allergies. Yes, I am allergic to cats, however it apparently takes a room full of them for me to have a reaction. I also think that a cat in your own home helps you develop an immunity to that particular cat, which is why I am able to have 2. I have a feeling this job will last maybe another 2 weeks.
I know what you're thinking - it's a job, who cares what it is, it's money. However, here's the thing. Last week I got a call from AssBank and I have an interview tomorrow. Of course it's for a position I applied for 4 years ago (ok, maybe 4 weeks) but my friend Katie that works there gave my information to the branch manager. So there's option number 1.
Then, last night I got a call from the recording professor at UW-O. It seems that his daughter's school, Laconia High in Rosendale, can't find a long-term sub for their choir director when she goes on maternity leave. I can't imagine why this would be a problem, but the important point is that they called to see if I would be interested, which of course I was, and then passed my information along to administration. So hopefully come December I will have my own choirs to direct, even if only temporarily.

The other problem with the OAHS job is that they pay minimum wage and are pretty hard on the employees. I realize that they are under a lot of pressure and their jobs are difficult, but that doesn't mean you get to treat the employees like crap. On top of that, I'm pretty sure I would end up working Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I'm sorry but I'm just not willing to do that. I'm 32 and I've paid my dues by working holidays since I was 15, so I'm done. Family is more important to me than a paycheck when it comes to that. Wed-Fri I'm just dog-walking though, so I don't think I'll mind that as much.

Ok, the last thing I wanted to talk about is my friend Sarah's blog. She has two that I follow, but the one I'm talking about is her stamping blog. I love stamping, but just have never had enough time to do it. So I keep up with Sarah's blog to get ideas, and then steal them. LOL I really do plan to make Christmas cards this year (I've been saying that for years and finally gave up the last couple of years) and Sarah has some great blog candy up today that I'm trying to win for just that purpose. Anyway, if you're into stamping and want some great inspiration, check out her blog here.