Friday, January 29, 2010

Getting growing

My prize from last year's Romano Family Picnic was this wonderful Zinnia grow kit. It was brought by my nephew (thanks Jack!) and it's been waiting patiently on my shelf for a while now. I was thinking I'd wait until closer to spring to start the seeds but I need some new green growth in my house in this, the dead of winter.

Stay tuned to see how it goes!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What a difference one year makes

Almost one year ago I received a call from the doctor to say that I had breast cancer. It was a Friday afternoon, coincidentally the same day as the annual work holiday party. I think maybe I was numb but I don't remember much of the party. That call started a long journey for me, one that I never would have expected to take. In the end, it forced me to look deeply into what I really wanted out of life. Hence the adoption, my next journey and hopefully a much more fulfilling one.

How it went down...

1/28/09 - routine mammogram
2/4/09 - Ultrasound and biopsy
2/6/09 - Got call from patient coordinator, learned of the cancer, Stage 2A, Grade III, no lymph node involvement
2/9/09 - Met with patient coordinator, time to make decisions on surgery
2/10/09 - MRI
2/11/09 - First appointment with radiation oncologist, more paperwork to read
(2/16 - 2/25 trip to Costa Rica)
3/2/09 - Met my surgeon
3/6/09 - Lumpectomy, outpatient surgery
3/10/09 - Met my oncolgist
(3/22 - 4/6 cruise to Hawaii)
4/8/09 - 1st chemotherapy - Taxotere and Cytoxan, experienced allergic reaction to Taxotere but able to finish. Slept most of the weekend.
4/22/09 - Hair loses the battle, head is shaved and wig comes out.
4/30/09 - 2nd chemotherapy - Taxotere again, but reaction was too strong so treatment stopped. Still slept most of the weekend.
5/21/09 - 3rd chemotherapy - Cytoxan and Adriamycin this time, followed by a Neulasta shot the next day. Not a fan. Sore and tired now.
6/3/09 - 4th chemotherapy - AC followed by shot again, uneventful.
(6/5 - played in annual golf tournament, would have made all 18 holes if not for the 45 degrees and rain)
6/18/09 - FINAL chemotherapy - same as before but better because it was the last one
7/8/09 - 1st radiation treatment, followed by 32 more, every day for 6 weeks
8/26/09 - FINAL radiation treatment
9/3/09 - Final appointment with my oncologist, everything is looking good!
9/4/09 - Decided to get on with my life.

I had so much love and support from family, friends and even random strangers. Restores my faith in humanity a bit. Still feel badly that I never managed to send any thank you cards for all the cards and gifts and more importantly, the help and support. Now, to look forward and never forget how life can be taken away from you in an instant.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Immigration day!

Finally! I didn't sleep at all last night in anticipation of my appointment for fingerprinting at USCIS today. After so much waiting and doing nothing to further the adoption along it felt really good to have something to do.

My appointment was at 11am and the morning seemed to drag. I left work to find the Application Support office, which is located between a LeeAnn Chin and a UPS store in a non-descript strip mall in St. Paul. I wasn't sure what to expect. I found a mostly empty waiting room with folks from all corners of the world. Next to me in line was a woman from Colombia and a man from Nigeria, both applying to take their citizenship exam. I fidgeted the entire 30 minute wait. Tried to relax, but was just too excited.

The fingerprinting did not go as well as I'd hoped. Apparently I have very dry hands with deep lines which made my 'match' score just over 50%. Which, the nice lady explained, could mean a rejection and yet another letter saying I'll get a letter with another appointment sometime later. ARGH! Well, my last set of fingerprints didn't look as good as these and they passed so maybe these will pass too. I'll cross my (deeply lined, very dry) fingers!

Now I wait. I'm hoping for two weeks. I could wait for 60-90 days if what the form says is correct. Two weeks sounds more fun than two months. So anxious! In the meantime I will be making copies of the rest of my dossier so it will be all ready when the glorious I-171H arrives.

tick tock tick tock...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My first hiatus

I know, it's the second post and already it's late. Still working out the kinks in my computer and the browser wants to crash every time I edit. This weekend I'll pull myself and my blog together I promise. In the meantime, I google the USCIS St Paul office for directions to tomorrow's fingerprinting appointment. The last form left to get for the dossier!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Well here it is. A blog. Will it be successful? How do you quantify success in a blog? Currently my idea is to chronicle my journey to adopt a child from Ethiopia. I'm in the middle of the process now but there's a long way to go. Off we go!