, No, I haven't been missing in action, I've been busy in action...the 2nd half of the school year has been crazy, crazy, crazy! Two in school has been quite a challenge and that has been one second grader and one pre-k kid. Come September we will have a 3rd grader and (sob, gulp, I just can't stand it!) a kindergartner. Yes, my baby is going to kindergarten (though for a long time she thought she was going to a Candy Garden). Now, I'd love to be one of those people is who SO awesome at multi-tasking 24/7...but I learned a few years ago that my mind and body just don't always respond well to that. So I had to take a little break from blogging to attend to school field trips, cub scout stuff, my Creative Memories business. I have also been working on something BIG...something I don't think I've ever shared on the blog before...this year I will be celebrating my 5 Year Anniversary of being Breast Cancer Free! And to celebrate I've decided to do something BIG! Last year, I was reading some breast cancer stuff somewhere along the internet, and I came across this amazing sounding event - The Susan G. Komen 3-day Walk for A Cure. Yes, it's a 3-day Walk. It's a 60 mile walk over 3 days. So I've been training. I've been walking miles upon miles since the end of March, early April...something like that. It's all becoming a blur. I walked 10 miles between Monday and Tuesday this week. And I've been fundraising. Each walker must raise at least $2300 to participate....but when I first read about this event, I felt like it was my destiny. That sounds corny but I don't know how else to word it. You see, I was diagnosed at the age of 32. I was 6 months pregnant. I found a lump under my arm, which I didn't understand at first, meant cancer had already spread to my lymph nodes. 3 to be exact. I thought I was going to die. And, obviously, I didn't. But it was a long, hard year and a half. A preemie was extracted by c-section. She was 3&1/2 pounds and lived in the NICU for 5 weeks. A lumpectomy and lymph node dissection was performed 2 days later. Another lumpectomy 2 weeks after that. I had an icky drain hanging from under my arm for weeks. I could barely hold my own baby because of the pain under my arm. Then started the chemo. Ugh. Ugh. And more Ugh. (I am not one of those women who looks stunning with no hair!). Then radiation. Like the worst sunburn you've ever had. On your boob. And under your armpit. Ouch! And then 52 weeks of biologic therapy after that. Every week, getting IV infused to help keep my agressive cancer from returning (thank you Herceptin!). So...after all that...what I really wanted to do was NOT think about breast cancer for a while. As long as you can not think about it when you still have to visit the oncologist every 3 months and take tamoxifen on a daily basis. So anyway, I spent the next little while kind of avoiding cancer thoughts, getting to know my baby more, spending QT with my toddler and trying to put everything back together that I felt had fallen apart while I was going through treatment. But really...not that much had fallen apart...very little had fallen apart...because I had this great network of friends, family and neighbors who did a lot for us. No, they did EVERYTHING for us. They dropped off groceries. They dropped off meals. They drove me to chemo. They kept me company at chemo. They took my toddler on playdates. They sent a cleaning lady. They held a benefit and gave us $$ to pay our bills so Joe could take some time off work. They sent cards. They flooded Ella with baby gifts ~ clothes and diapers and toys and everything a baby girl could need whose Mommy just didn't have the time or energy to shop for her. They set up her nursery and filled her drawers with clothing. They took the crib from Joey's room and put it together in Ella's room. They put together Joey's new toddler bed. All while I was still in the hospital. We were blessed and lucky and thankful. And so while I tried to put cancer out of my head for a while, I couldn't put my friends out of my head. About halfway to 5 years, I thought, I'm going to throw a party when my 5 years comes. I'm going to celebrate and I'm going to invite all my friends so I can truly and properly THANK them for all they have done. Then some more time passed and I thought, well, maybe I should pass around a donation bucket during the party, so we can send some money off to another family going through cancer treatment that needs it. Then...I saw the Susan G. Komen 3-day Walk for the Cure. $2300 minimum fundraising goal. 60 miles over 3 days. Sleep in tents, pee in port-a-potties, no hair dryers or curling irons. And I thought, the complete opposite of what my normal self would think, I thought; OH MY GOD, I NEED TO DO THAT! Even more bizarre, I WANT TO DO THAT. I felt like this was a way I could give back to the breast cancer community some of what has been given to me. And I just feel a pull toward what I feel is going to be an amazing experience. So while I've been blogfully neglectful, I have not been laying on the couch, eating bonbons, reading chic lit and scrapbooking to my heart's content. (Don't worry, I'm still throwing that huge party - now it's a Celebration & a Benefit for the Walk! Yes, I've been busy booking bands and entertainment and lining up raffle gifts and food donations along with training and my other fundraising!).
So we sisters said we were going to veer off the DEALS path occasionally in 2010 to blog a little about life and let you into ours, and hopefully get to know each other a little better this year (get to know you, we already know each other pretty well). So here I am, blogging about life. And trying to get back on track with blogging more. I've still been deal seeking, bargain hopping & salvation army shopping! I've been working on some thrifty decorating projects which I hope to share over the coming weeks (soon as the weather gets nice enough to hold some of my spray paint to my projects) and I've been following Ana from Knock-Off Wood all winter. Have you seen that blog?? If not, you are in for a real treat!