We were the closest family possible. Our world was turned upside down on 05/03/09 when my best friend, the person I love most next only to our children, my sister Trina was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Her body gave out on her on 01/09/10 but she will ALWAYS be a part of our daily life and will continue to be in my posts. I started my blog to chronicle our daughter's international adoption from Guatemala and have continued to use it as a journal.

What you will find is my family trying to adapt to our new lives that were handed to us.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Week Already?

Holy crap, it's been a week since I posted?! That usually means one of two things; A- that things are shitty and I'm retreating or B- that things are good and we're busy living. Thankfully it's been more of option B.

We had a great Thanksgiving but more on that later.

Papa had to have "emergency" gallbladder surgery on Saturday, 11/21. I say "emergency" because they did have time to schedule it but he had been in the ER Thursday night and they wanted to take it out as quickly as it could be scheduled. It was a long day as papa's surgery was scheduled for 9 am and he had to be at the hospital at 7 am but he didn't end up going in until noon-ish. Sissy was feeling well enough to wait with mom at the hospital and I took the kiddo's to a cousin's birthday party. We had a lot of prayers and positive thoughts being sent our way as everything went great and the 90 minute surgery was closer to 45 minutes. After the birthday party I brought the kids to the hospital. Valentina was not happy about seeing papa in this condition. Again, everything went picture perfect and papa was home around 6 pm that evening.

When the kids and I got to the hospital room where Papa was, this is how I found sissy. I told her it looked like she was chillin' with a beer!

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We had our dinner late so we had time to go out and see Norm's side of the family. Sissy was feeling good so she was able to be over all afternoon and evening. Valentina managed to corner her TT for a quick pre-dinner mani-pedi.

The kids table.

Last year we started a new tradition of putting up the fake family room tree Thanksgiving night and having the kids trim it. We've also had a tradition of going to the same tree farm and getting our live tree the day after Thanksgiving. Well, we ran out of steam Thanksgiving night and didn't get the tree up..... until I got my second wind after everyone else was sleep and I'm proud to say I got it up all by myself.

We kept our tradition of getting our live tree on Friday. We managed to steal Asa and take him with us. On our drive to the tree farm I counted the number of times we've picked out our tree and realized that it was our sixteenth trip there. However Norm corrected me and said that it was only our fifteenth time because we scrapped it in 2007 (Valentina had just come home, chicken pox, etc.... and we already had our fake one up). Either way, we had a great time traipsing through the trees with both kiddo's. After we got home Norm put up the live tree and the kids decorated the family room tree. I was saving the living room tree for me.

The family room, aka kids, tree. I pull out the box of decorations and let the kids go wild. All the years before the kids arrived I always had a huge, grandly decorated, tree. It was always perfect and looked like a department store tree.........
........ but those trees were never as beautiful as this one! Mom asked me if I was going to redo the decorations after the kids went to bed. Nope! It still looks the same tonight, if not a little worse for wear.

That said, I am selfish, keep the living room tree for me and I still have it decorated beautifully. Last year after Christmas I found a ton of beautiful, red themed decorations and decided to change from my gold and white palette to a red one. I found the red to be more appropriate as I have a lot of Product (RED) items that I used as decorations. I also bought 4 strands of red lights to use on my tree.

Friday Valentina has a standing appointment to spend the night with Beya and Papa so as soon as she left I popped in "It's A Wonderful Life", lit some candles and went to town decorating my tree with all brand new lights and ornaments. After I got about halfway done I came to a sad realization. Because of the red lights, the red ornaments didn't show up at all so the tree just looked like a red blob. I took every single thing off the tree and had to start over..... only I discovered I didn't have any clear lights.

Saturday night. Take two. Finally, success!
The picture is a bit blurry because I didn't use the flash but I think it glows and looks better this way. The tree topper was a birthday gift from sissy a few years ago. It's a heavy, glass, (RED) heart that says Inspi(RED).

A few days ago we got a lovely package in the mail. Some of our family members in California have been sweet enough to make and sell these scarves as a fundraiser for sissy.

They are super soft, only $25 and never has a tag been more true!

If you want one, email Angela at:

m i a n a a b e @ y a h o o . c o m (remove spaces)

Finally, sissy is doing well. Today at least. They (Beya, papa, sissy and the kids) went to the cabin today and won't be back until tomorrow evening. Sissy was great Thursday and Friday but Saturday she was in bed all day and vomiting anything she tried to eat. It's very hit and miss as far as if her food will stay down and she aches all the time but she handles it all so amazingly well. I'm not going to sit here and say there aren't times we don't get frustrated, wonder why or just say "FUCK!" Okay, that last part is only me, haha, but seriously, who runs around being grateful for cancer? Not us! But overall we are fine, hopeful that the Xeloda is working and doing its job, have a great time with the kids and are enjoying the holiday season. The days that sissy is bedridden are difficult on all of us, especially Asa. We more than make up for it on her good days and right now those outnumber the bad ones so we have much to be thankful for. Cancer never stops to fucking suck but we are adjusting to it and learning to "live with cancer" as the doctor calls it.

Since mom rarely blogs anymore I will say this on her behalf;

life IS good

and I mean it.


Alaska Family said...

Glad to hear that everything has been going ok!! Your tree is so pretty, and Im sure Asa & Valentinas tree is as well! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, we love you and miss you.

Tracey said...

The trees are beautiful!! I love how the bottom third of a tree always looks the best! (gotta love kiddos:)

I am glad that sissy is doing well. Life is good...

Loves you!

Valerie said...

I totally thought Trina was drinking a beer in the hospital! I was even going to tell my Dad, b/c we all know all the time he's spent in the hospital with my Mom, he deserves to be able to drink one there!
I had to LOL at the kids decorating the tree. I LOVE it! Reminds me of ours, the bottom looks a little crowded...
Mom went in today for her second treatment. Hopefully she will be well enought to go with me and the kids and my sister and her daughter to see Santa tomorrow. Glad all the positive thougths and prayers are getting thru to Trina. Hugs! Cancer sucks!

Anonymous said...

Better late than never................

Mandy said...

Trina does look like she's drinking a beer. I am glad that you all had a nice Thanksgiving. The trees are beautiful. Hope you continue to enjoy this season!

Anonymous said...
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Rose said...

Thinking of you guys. Hope everything is good and you are busy with happy things.