Friday, July 8, 2016

Nails, Jeans, Mustard Seed, & Blood, Oh My!

Didn't get much sleep last night.  I would watch some Criminal Minds, doze off and then watch some Gilmore Girls, and then doze off again.  It was pretty ridiculous.  My insomnia I get from all the weird collection of meds I am on with my Stage IV cancer meds is driving me crazy.  I finally decided to get up off my butt and put on some super rad Jamberry nails from my serious Jamberry addiction.  Have any of you seen my collection?????  It is kinda embarrassing.  Well, not really embarrassing, I don't get embarrassed, but it is definitely out of control.  I loved how it turned out. 

I love Bohemian style!!!

Remember how I blabbed on how I need someone to take Carlie jean shopping.  Well, I figured we would give it a whirl.  So I let Carlie pick a lunch place  - Mustard Seed Asian Cafe.  This is the 2nd time I have let someone talk me into this place and I just do NOT get it.  NOT BUENO!  Does anyone actually think this is good Asian Bistro?  Seriously try to convince me - I JUST DON'T GET IT!  Anyways, Carlie loves it because she love Shrimp Pad Thai.   

See that happy face...can't resist it!

First of all, I am sorry MOM!!!  Jean shopping for a grumpy, moody, LONG-legged (seriously my inseam didn't even exist back when I was a teenager - I am not joking or exaggeration) SUCKS!!!  And then I expected her to hand me everything off the hanger and them put it back on.  

WOW - spoiled to the extreme.  But, in my head I am thinking anything that gets us through this experience any faster is worth it to me.  Then it is even worse, I get to the point that I don't care what the price is as long as we find something.  

Well, she is a lucky girl and got her "first" expensive jeans and jeans capris.  I hope she appreciates this....she probably doesn't (but I do he...he....he....he....)  I am so twisted.  So after we got that far I was SO TIRED and in way too much pain we had to leave.  Thank goodness Corey's mom was there to chauffeur us around or we would have NEVER made it.  And to end the madness I bought her a Orange Julius because for some crazy reason I thought her behavior was pretty fantastic.  I am a bad mom.  So progress made OR just one huge step backward for young teens everywhere....not sure.
    By the time we got home I couldn't walk.  This seems stupid since I was in a wheelchair the whole time.  This also worries me.  Please pray for me, I seem to be going downhill faster than I thought I would.  

I crawled immediately into bed and had my husband help me with my StoryCorps Program.  I told 40 minutes of stories from my childhood and I guess it was successful because he told me he had not heard A LOT of them cool dat!  

Time for me to be gross again.  I haven't done that in
awhile, I know you have missed it.  I was kind to the newbies andidn't post the tampon nose or the blood that had dripped all over the bathroom.

Then I proceeded to have an hour bloody nose that ended up needing a tampon.  Man the tampon trick really work.

I am now so tired and frustrated and sad and worried and anxious about the downfall of my body I am just going to have to finish the post tomorrow.  I just can't finish.  I am going to be a quitter.

Love you my peeps!!
- Gina the sometimes not so awesome but forced into quitting girl

*** Got up this morning way to early and I am now torturing my children with very normal chores.  You would think I was the most evil mom in the world...oh well...maybe I am.  But, I really am trying to not leave bratty children behind that the rest of the world would have to endure and put up with.  So, you are welcome.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hospice Help!

I have had the worst sleeplessness ever since I got home from San Diego a week ago.  I just keep blaming it on overdoing it, but it still wasn't going away after a week.  Today two of my favorite hospice ladies came over to help me problem solve.  So we changed some medications strengths  and times I am taking them.  Wish me luck.  I literally have been asleep the past week and it is getting really old, really fast.  I have things I need and want to do.  I am really afraid I am running out of time.
I need to:
 - Record all my Story Corps (stories of my life)
 - Create, arrange, buy presents for my kids and husband in the future
 - Make a list of the songs that will go along with my slideshow that will be shown at my wake
 - Pick my funeral songs
 - Final Honey-Do List :)
 - Finish a few ideas I want done at my funeral

  It is so weird to help plan your own funeral!!!!!!!  We have bought our burial plot and designed the headstone.  I think my hubby ordered my casket online (i need to check this out and give approval).  I want a cheap one, but not so cheap I look like a hillbilly.  

  BUT, then here is the most important thing.  I really want to accomplish the above list BUT,BUT,BUT,BUT.......I MUST spend as much quality time with the family as possible too.  So trying to balance this when you are super sleepy has been a big challenge.  
  We are meeting up with my sister Michelle & Ed and their 6 kids AND my brother Scott and Mitchell and their 5 kids AND my mom AND Corey's mom next Monday.  (Lance's family will be missing and I am not too happy about that) We rented a really cool cabin Monday-Thursday up in Kalispell, Whitefish, and Glacier National Park.  Hopefully my strength will hold out for us to create some fabulous memories in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Tonight Corey & I decided that was too short of a trip so we booked a hotel room in Whitefish starting a few days earlier so we can have some mellow family time before it gets too crazy.  
   I just don't know how I can survive without my family.  How does one do that?  I don't think I can.  Then I get selfish and think how can they do it without me?  We think Carlie is going through another growth spurt (she is 11 and is 6'0"), She is now growing again....aaaaargh!  She needs her mommy to take her shopping, especially for jeans.  I am frightened what her dad will pick out.  It is hard enough to buy cool, age-appropriate, somewhat modest clothing for a girl that age, BUT an awkward 6 foot plus size 13 women shoe girl......OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!  Who is going to help my kiddos navigate making friends and making good choices in these friends.  Don't get me wrong Corey is an excellent parent, BUT being a mommy and daddy and a recent widow has got to be an insanely hard thing to do.
Well, it is getting super late and I must get a little sleep and take some more pain meds.  Thanks for listening to my little feel sorry for myself rant.
Love you my peeps,
Gina the Awesome

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

San Diego - Let the Fun Begin

I took at least one million pictures on our San Diego trip.   Instead of dumping them all here in the blog post (that would) take FOREVER!!!  I am going to drop them in an app I really like call Moments.  I will also try to put a few hundred favorites :) of them right here in Facebook for the electronically challenged.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This would be a very, large post.  I am going to break it up over the next several days.  I had such a wonderful time San Diego even though we had some yucky setbacks.
   My sister somehow arranged for us to get a beautiful room at the Hotel Del Coronado that walked directly out onto the glorious beach.  This girl spared no expensive.  She did get my sister in law Mitchell and her dad Ernie (the smoozers of all smoozers) to call down to the hotel to see if we could get even a better deal by playing the cancer card. It was pretty amazing. So now we got much better rooms for less cost than the cheaper rooms would have been.  AND we now had the head of security and personal on our side checkin in on us.                                                                                                                                                                    
  We did decide to go to San Diego that day(booked on Thursday - left on Sunday, came back on Thursday.  It was a fast a furious trip.  We were able to get two of my sister-in-laws to come with us too.  Mitchell drove in from Arizona (long story: air conditioner broke, spent 5 hours in Yuma, AZ (arm-pit of AZ) getting it fixed by Pep Boys (or so we though so)**************AVOID THIS CHAIN AT ALL COSTS!!!!  Pep Boys, Mini, Moe, and SUCK. They lie, cheat, and steal, and then ultimately don't fix a thing.  Seriously, no joke.  Pep Boys is a joke.  Kim was a little more lucky in her travel plans she found a pretty decent last plane ticket and came up a day early to hang out with her friend.  Michelle and I used Ed's mileage (that man flies A LOT) and landed in San Diego Sunday morning.  We were so lucky that my cousin Brad, his wife Katie, and their new baby boy,Walter came to pick us up from the airport and then took us out to crepes for brunch- Brad's treat.  How awesome!  They took us to the hotel to get settled in.  I was only 10 am so the rooms we wanted were not ready so the hotel staff set us up in a room to hang out in and eat while we waited for a more suitable room.  It was so nice and thoughtful, because I was exhausted and my feet and ankles were totally swollen and needed to be elevated. This trip was VERY last minute which made it even more expensive.   I can't believe that my sister made it happen.  I always dreamt of staying in this historical hotel.
   While we rested and waited for Kim and Mitchell we made some plans to meet up for dinner with my old college roommate Joanna Brooks at a local Mexican food place.  Not only was I stoked to get real Mexican food (it doesn't exist in Montana).  But, I was going to see one of all time best friends. :)
While we were waiting we decided to go get some ice cream at the hotel's cute little shop.  YIKES!!  I expected it to be expensive, but holy cow.  I tried a bunch of ice cream flavors and they were all BLAH.  Then I tried the pineapple was decent., so One TINY cup of sorbet (seriously about 5 bites) costs 8 bucks.  Let's just say I found better places on my trip to get my ice cream fix...for sure after that.
   Finally, our rooms were ready.  We had a choice of a 4th floor Jr. penthouse suite in the original part of the hotel OR a room on the back of the hotel that you literally walked out your back porch on to the boardwalk and beach.  Guess which one this beach bum picked.  That beach air was thrilling.  I am to the point in my body deterioration that I CAN'T go very far without wheelchair.  It is so pitiful and I can but only walk for or short distances with my cane. 
   After Kim and Mitchell (FINALLY) showed up we had Joaanna pick us and take us to a super fun mexi place across the street.  It was super yummy and vibrant and I totally pigged out.  The best part probably is she brought her 10 and 12 year daughters with their with their beautiful freckled faces, jokes, singing, and dancing.  They were glorious. They were definitently the life the party. So hilarious.  I insistently feel in love with them.  After laughing so hard and eating too much we made out was back to the hotel room. What a fun night - THANK YOU Brooks GALS!!!!!!!!
Peace Out!!!!
Gina the Awesome

Sunday, July 3, 2016

We are BACK!!!! Oh San Diego, you are Magical!

I got back Thursday, June 30th around 3-ish from San Diego and I am EXHAUSTED beyond belief.  Lots to blog....good and bad.  I promise I will start tomorrow and try to get it all published by tomorrow night.  Thank goodness I have a sister that did a bunch of Instagram and Facebook posts so you were not in the complete dark.  But, overall I am a blessed girl with amazing family, friends, and no joke total strangers that worked so hard to make this a magical experience for this sad and more and more anxious cancer patient.  Let's just say that Ativan (anti-anxiety med) has become my friend.  No matter what your belief system is.  Dying is scary.  I am scared.  I really, truly am.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Is This the Last Time?

Today's blog post might be short even though I have a lot to say.  I am exhausted.  I only got a couple hours of sleep the night before and I have had a busy day today (well busy for my failing body).

I have being thinking a lot lately about how I am doing some things for the very last time.  For example, I most likely celebrated Berkeley's birthday with him for the very last time.  That this is probably my last summer on earth.

Today it really struck me big time at Carlie's orchestra concert.   Carlie is entering the 6th grade this fall.  She started orchestra this past year in the 5th grade.  I have been amazed at how quickly she has picked this skill up and I really feel that she has found one of her great talents and passions for her life.  I brings me such joy to watch the joy it brings her to play.   Probably one of the neatest things for her is when she is upset or stressed out she will go to her room and play and play until she feels better.  What a wonderful way to be able to manage stress in life.  She also is amazing at memorizing the songs.  Another super amazing thing is she is never afraid to try out for a solo.  This girl has no fear in her violin stylings :)

Anyways the first two weeks after school got out she attended a Orchestra Camp held by the school district.  Her teachers for the camps were her old teacher and her teacher for next year.  Her teacher for next year is super talented and super cute.  Those girlies are going to be so in love with him.  I was so impressed with all they learned in a two week period.  They play all the classic type strings songs, but they also play really cool rock music, etc.  The teacher broke out his drums and they played a Cold Play song and it sounded fabulous.  I am so excited for her and this opportunity.  SO MUCH FUN.  I need to get her going on private lessons ASAP.

Here is her "impromptu solo".  I was so proud.

So back to what really struck me.  This might be the very last concert I get to see my baby girl perform in.  I was watching the concert, videoing, and taking pictures, grinning ear to ear as I listened to her solo (of course she was a soloist) and the main thing I found myself having to do is keep from crying.  If anyone was watching my face they probably thought I belonging in an insane asylum.  I got glimpses of her all grown up in high school in advanced orchestras, kicking some butt.
Sao I have this problem (I guess it is a problem) that everything thing we do and say I am going to be thinking that this could be my last time I am with my kids on the first day of school OR even was last year the last time.
I am not ready to give up all the aspects of being with my kids as they grow up.  At least with Carlie I am started to see her discover her talents and see some possible directions for her.  The heartbreaking thing is Berkeley is only 8.  I have no idea where he is going.  He is just an adorable, difficult, little tornado, bursting with energy.  He needs me to help channel this energy into positive directions.
My kiddos are my life.  I can't imagine not being around, but I am going to have to come to terms with it.  Not sure how, but I will be forced into it one way or another.

Peace out!
Gina the Awesome

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sister Surprises, Hospice, Concert, & Swimming....Keeping Busy

I am going to start of by saying, "I AM EXHAUSTED!"  My body is killing me.  I say this because I know that after you read what I have been up to you are going to think I am Wonder Woman (well I kinda am, but that is because of my smoking' hot bod and & amazing acting skills).  But, Wonder Woman with super energy and strength - no way.  But, I am doing the best I can.
     My sister just decided to drive up Tuesday morning (yesterday) for a surprise visit (8 hour drive & she has 6 kids that she had to arrange care for to leave them behind - ok....she is the real Super Woman.)  Anyways, she shows up and takes me and my two Missoula buddies to the Phillip Phillips, Matt Nathanson, and Eric Hutchinson.  I really wasn't that excited to see these guys - didn't know their music.  Come on, an American Idol winner, how cheesy.   We will just forget that I watched American Ido religiously the first 8 or so seasons.  DOn't tell anyone!   BUT,  I was excited to go see some live music with some of my favorite people.  I am all about live music and some jamming.  WOW, was I pleasantly surprised.  All three of them were AMAZING & let's just say easy on the eyes (that never hurts).  The best part is my favorite was the opener Eric Hutchinson (still love me the unknown).  He had such a groove and vibe to him.  Then Matt Nathanson was hilarious....such amazing rapport with the audience.  And HELLO they played a tribute to Prince so I had to dance & then they kept playing rad songs so therefore I had to dance some more.  I kept my super sweet stylings mellow though so I wouldn't hurt myself.  Then, gee whiz the American Idol kid.  Dang it I have to admit that boy can rock it and has some serious song writing skills. I even found a song that must be played at my wake.  yeah I know mormons don't really have wakes, but this girl is.  There must be a party with delicious food, laughing, and music - OR ELSE!!! 





Today I met with some of my adorable hospice team and the chaplain (can't call him adorable, but he was extremely nice and insightful).  They have me set up with a 2 wheelchairs, NEW sleeping medicine, higher pain patch dosage plan, told me my oncologist (I LOVE her) wants to stay involved in my medical care as much as possible, a better pharmacy that DELIVERS!.....etc....etc.....etc....  We also told them how we (my sister....girl crew) wanted to go to San Diego on Sunday, but we were worried about being so far away from my medical care team.  So we were looking for something closer.  They told us we were crazy and that we needed to go to San Diego.  They told us they would set it all up for us....explained that they do the same thing for hospice patients that visit Montana.  They would call the closest Hospice center to us in San Diego and have them meet us at the airport with a wheelchair and anything else we need.  My hospice people would give them my records (with my permission of course) and be prepared to treat and take care of me in San Diego for all little or big problems.  WOW!!!!!!!!!!  I had no idea they did this.  So AWESOME!  I feel blessed.  I was perfectly happy to go anywhere with a beach, BUT hello San Diego - keepin' it's The Hotel del Coronado - DREAMY -  DREAMY -  DREAMY........ I can't believe it.

Let's just say my sister is the

     So I woke up this morning and I wasn't sore from my dancing and my sleeping pills worked GREAT!!!!  How cool is that.  Carlie had a great morning of Orchestra camp (she is getting so good) & Berkeley is progressing in swim class.  My sister & I took the kids swimming at Splash Montana this afternoon.  It is a great local water park with 3 slides, a lazy river, and a huge baby pool, kids pool, and old school lap pool.  Wore the kids and the moms out & have been home ever since relaxing.  

Some AMAZING women from my church also brought over the yummiest quinoa enchiladas for dinner (they are such thoughtful and fantastic ladies...and man can they cook).
I had some horrific pain on Monday night, but since then I have had  it under control for the most part.  I am not saying there is no pain, I just have kept it at a 5 or below.
I am feeling blessed that I have such wonderful friends and family that are going out of their way to serve me, entertain me, nurture my family, etc.  Some of them are doing HUGE outwardly noticeable things and some are doing behind the scenes things that I only notice.  I am so beyond thankful for IT ALL.  I know that my last few months on this earth that people are going to bust their butts to make me as comfortable and happy as possible.  How much better can it get in this crappy of all crap-ola circumstance?  
I am blessed.

Peace Out!
Gina the Awesome

Monday, June 20, 2016

Happy Father's Day...See ya Soon

 I usually hate Father's Day. I haven't liked it since 1997.  I had one of the best dad's possible and he was taken early from us by the devil cancer - melanoma (a particularly nasty one).  This cancer just absolutely horrifying.
But, I find this year I have quite a different attitude.  Don't get me wrong.  I miss him terribly.   
This year I understand my dad a bit more.   I am in his shoes now.  This is my last Father's day.  I will not get another Mother's Day.  Heck, I am not sure I will make it to my daughter's 12 birthday on September 19th.
  So here I am reflecting on the fact that these important (to me) holidays are over and this gets me weepy.  No more fun, family traditions.  BUT, now I realize that I will be seeing some of my very favorite people soon.  My dad, grandpa & grandma Jolley, granny, Aunt Trish, etc.....etc.....I PRAY that these relatives and other friends and relatives will be there to greet me because I am going to be one BIG HOT MESS.  Everyone thinks I am so strong.. Boy, are they wrong.  I have no choice.  Either keep it together or fall apart.  Falling apart doesn't do anyone any good.  For some reason my Heavenly Father has decided I am more needed in heaven than on earth.  WHY!!  WHY!!   WHY??    Honestly I am still angry about it, but I hope to be able to understand the purpose someday.   

Last night I had a really bad night of pain.  We finally got it under control.  But, this meant in the morning I had a MAJOR medication hangover.  I could not keep my eyes open.  I was hoping to write this post last night, but I failed.  Oh, well.  Blame it on the Stage 1V :)  That is one good thing about cancer.  When you totally flake or fail at something you have a pretty good reason.

So since this is my last Father's Day I am going to post a bunch of pics of one of the greatest men EVER!!!!


Today I took the kids to the new shaved ice place (finally it is open) and it was delicious!!!  Kinda a mellow excursion, but it was fun.  We also met our friends Rebecca and Leah there.