Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Like A Little Kid on Christmas

Let me share a few things about myself and exactly "what" child I was. Every parent who has more than 1 child I feel has "that" child when it comes to certain things. I am "that" child when it comes to Christmas. I was the child who knew the Christmas present hiding places and who would look while the parents were out to dinner or at Christmas parties. I was also the child that would wake up the house at like 5am to open up presents, oh yes I was that child.

Today I have been that little child on (4 days before) Christmas. I have been sitting with a great shot of the road for HOURS waiting on the UPS man to deliver Alabama tickets for New Years Day. He finally did come in his brown chariot barring our tickets for the Capital One Bowl in Orlando!

So weekend recap:
I had a nice weekend in Birmingham with the bro. We had a celebration dinner Friday night out with Charles' roommate Taylor (aka T) for having his final day of work at his Birmingham internship. I have to give a large blog shout out to T as well. While we were eating dinner and talking about the bowl trip and my day at Disney, he mentioned he worked the Disney marathon last year and was given a free ticket to Disney. He pulled it out of his wallet looked and saw it expires January 11, 2010 so he gave it to us to use since he won't  be down there before then. Is that not the sweetest thing ever?!? Saturday Charles and I headed to Tuscaloosa to go shopping and get lunch at The Brown Bag in Northport, which is beyond the best BBQ in Tuscaloosa. Their food is absolutely awesome and portions leave your more than full. Once we got back to Birmingham we both had to take naps after that lunch. For the evening we met up with our friend Ben to have some coffee and sushi for dinner and a nice evening of looking at lights in Mountain Brook and Homewood.

Mountain Brook

One of the best houses we saw in Homewood

The other house in Homewood

Yep they are neighbors

Sunday we had a nice morning of church and lunch and more coffee. At this point I am off coffee for the rest of the week because no one likes addicts. Haha. Over the past few days Mama and I have almost finished shopping and wrapping.

Next thing to conquer: Cooking/baking

Merry 4 days til Christmas

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dr. Visit 12/16: The Mystery of the Bright Spots

The Mystery of the Bright Spots

Ok, here is the run down. My PET scan last week showed some bright spots in a few selected areas. So Dr. L consulted with Dr. B before I had my bronchoscopy, by doing so Dr. B did a lymph node aspiration biopsy while he was in my lungs. In normal person talk they stuck a needle outside of my lungs into a lymph node that was lit up for a biopsy to test for Hodgkins. Today we got those results and they were negative for lymphoma. They aren't really sure what had caused the bright spots on my scans but in January I'm doing a few more tests like the lung function test to look into the causes. There is a good chance that one could just be scar tissue and some others are being caused by an infection since I have been sick recent and The Sylv is still hacking away and Dr. B said there were signs of pneumonia in my lungs, also the mystery of sarcoid still lingers in the mind of Dr. L so she is consulting with an expert at Emory. Overall today we did get some good news in that the biopsy last week was negative but now lingers the mystery of the bright spots.

Also! Please if you have like 5 minutes make an account with Home Depot (also they don't send junk mail unless you sign up for it) and VOTE for all 3 of our Christmas trees. I get to choose where $5,000 dollars would go to charity and since I couldn't decide each tree gets it's own charity to support. The Bronze and Lime Explosion Tree will donate to Be The Match The Victorian Tree to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The Peacock Tree to Camp Sunshine.

Directions: Go to each link and click on the star at the top of the picture. You can vote for each tree once, but also comments help as well! Thanks so much for your support! The contest ends a week from today at midnight.
The Peacock Tree
The Bronze and Lime Explosion Tree
The Victorian Tree

Thanks again!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Tree Contest-We Need Your Help!

First off we need your help with some prayers, tomorrow is a big day possibly the biggest Dr day that I have had up until this point so prayer is highly appreciated. 

Secondly, we have gotten into the Home Depot Best Dresses Tree Contest! We would love your help and all it takes are comments and votes to win along with the judges choices. Voting begins tonight at midnight. Our trees are gorgeous if I do say so myself. Also by winning we get money but more importantly if we took 1st $5000 dollars would be going towards some cancer charity, more than likely Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

The Peacock Tree
The Victorian Tree
The Bronze and Lime Explosion Tree

Thank y'all so much!
Rebecca and The Sylv

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm here I promise!

Me and Charles and the epically awesome blow up Santa at Palisades Park
Ok first I'll share a picture from the weekend.

So here's the run down on last week's bronch. In June I was knocked out to the point that my eyes wouldn't open but not to the point where I couldn't feel everything going on. This time I made sure that Dr. B aka Dr. McDreamy and his staff knew that I needed to be knocked out good. First they gave me 5cc's of something and the ceiling tiles started dancing because I was still awake and they seemed surprised so they gave me some more and I was gone. I don't remember 20 of the 30 minute observation period or do I remember the elevator ride to pick-up where Daddy was waiting...yea...it's all a blur that's how gone I was still. I got a little sick once at the hospital a little spit up in the truck and once I got home I was starved since I hadn't eaten or drank in like 16 hours. Lesson: you are better off eating cold foods after a procedure hot stuff is not good. Mama had made me chicken noodle soup but that soup didn't stay down long at all. Thank goodness for chicken salad and one of my nausea pills and I was good to go after that. I still don't know anything and we won't I guess until Thursday.

Also last night I tried a change-up on the Mexican classic tacos with Lettuce Wrap Tacos. I got this idea from a commercial on Food Network and let me say they were awesome. I just traded out the traditional taco shell or soft tortilla with a leaf of head lettuce. I decorated them as I pleased with a little bit of cheese and a little ranch dressing as opposed to sour cream to give it a little bit of a salad taste. I would highly recommend the switch because they were phenomenal and if you have kids you might be able to slide some vegetables in on them.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ignorance is bliss

Ignorance is bliss [please hold while I step on a soap box]

This is a statement that I completely believe in at this stage in my life. I'm starting to dread tomorrow because well I just hate the throat/nose numbing stuff that is used for a bronchoscopy. Yes I just said nose they take this camera and jam it down my nose into my lungs and also take pieces of tissue. Now you can see how/why I have come to hate it. Nothing about it says fun to me, plus their anesthesia typically makes me puke with the combo of the fluid that builds in my stomach/lungs during the procedure. The thought of "ignorance is bliss" I find very true for not fun medical procedures. I honestly would rather have someone knock me the slap out and cut me open than have a bronch done. I think back upon all of my procedures over the past 2 years and the first one is never as bad as the ones that follow it because after the first there is always apprehension. You know how you feel that evening or the next day and just how uncomfortable it will be for you, how long you hurt/ache, how sick you will feel/get and just how it sucks all the way around.

My first chemo was the best that I had and second best was the last. I've decided the first was so good because I was ignorant to it all and my spidi senses had not kicked in yet. And my last one was so good because I was just excited to be done and honestly there is just no way to get excited about having chemo. As much as people said "Just don't think about it" "Breathe and go to a happy place" "Relax it will be over soon" really unless you've sat there between hyper/spidi senses, your body rejecting poisons being pumped into it, the side effects of the drugs to say those things is just pure blissful ignorance and that's about as blunt as I can be. I really wish I were ignorant to most of everything I write about but sadly I'm not so I get to push on and try to block it out and just look forward to making sure this time I have a bronch that I will be completely knocked out as compared to the one in June where I did not have near enough anesthesia...I really wish that were a witty joke but sadly I get to move on from it too. :)


Reba's Knock-out Punch

Reba's Knock-out Punch
2 cans of Cranberry Juice Concentrate
1 can Pineapple Juice Concentrate
1 can Orange Juice Concentrate
4 cans of water
2 2 liter bottles of Raspberry Ginger Ale (if unavailable regular ginger ale works as well)
1 bottle Cranberry Juice
1 bottle Pineapple Juice
1 bottle Orange Juice

Directions: For the first round of punch combine and mix fruit concentrates with water. Pour into punch bowl and fill the remaining punch bowl with Raspberry Ginger Ale. For the rest of the event just keep punch bowl filled with equal amounts of juices and ginger ale.

*Also in this punch a water and pineapple juice fruit ring with lemon slices and fresh cranberries look great, as do just fresh cranberries floating.

Roasted Vegetables

Oven Roasted Corn
1 can of whole kernel corn drained
Olive oil

Directions: Preheat oven 400*. Drain corn and pour onto a metal jelly roll pan (you may want to line with foil for easy clean up). Drizzle with olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Tony Chachere's(if you want a kick of spice) Cook until browned it takes about 15-20 minutes This feeds 3 adults a helping, so you can multiply as much as you need to easily.

Roasted Vegetables 
1 medium onion chopped
6 yellow squash chopped
1/2 bag of baby carrots
Olive Oil

Directions: Preheat oven 400* Cover a jelly roll pan with Reynolds Non-Stick foil for easy clean up. Toss you vegetables onto the pan with a liberal coating of olive oil. If you don't have enough oil the carrots will not really get soft. Sprinkle some kosher salt, pepper, and Tony Chachere's on top and roast for 50 minutes until the carrots are to the bite that you prefer. I enjoy a little over cooking to get the veggies caramelized and a soft bite on the carrots. Also don't limit yourself to just these veggies you really can use anything.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Toffee Dip

Toffee Dip
1 8oz pack of Heath toffee bits*
1 8oz pack of softened (reduced fat)** cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Blend all ingredients and serve with cookies or fruits, whatever strikes your fancy. I like to serve with store bought ginger snaps and apple slices.

*These are found on the baking aisle at most stores I used Heath Bar bits that also have chocolate with them and it tasted just as amazing
**In our house we just use reduced fat cream cheese

What a weekend! What a day!

There is so much to write about and talk about and just everything!

Saturday was just crazy busy but oh so much fun! Saturday can be broken into 2 days: Brunch and Birmingham

I threw my chosen sister Katie her first wedding shower in the form of an ornament brunch. Some people have looked at us funny, others in jealousy, but most realize how cute and good of an idea it is. It wasn't anything too complicated but so much fun was had by all. Here is the menu, also I will start posting my recipes soon, just not now because this post will be long enough.

Reba's Knock Out Punch(I named it on my way home from Alabama riding down 20)
Sausage Pinwheels
Party Ham Sandwiches
Fruit Salad
Monkey Bread
Cranberry Fruit Dip
Toffee Dip with apples and ginger snaps
Red Velvet Brownie Balls by the fabulous Pindsey Lou
Cheese Grits

This blog hasn't been introduced to all of my best friends from college and really from my life. Things that I've learned is I have a lot of friends, a lot who care and just a lot of love and it's awesome. Between class, church, camp, church camp, friends-of-friends, I just have a lot and it's awesome. So my trip to Birmingham was an evening with some of my best friends from college. They are awesome, truly awesome. We had dinner at Surin 5 Points-West. I checked another first off my list of many things that I have missed. I HAD MY FIRST SUSHI! (In about 7 months at least) Their Negihama Roll of yellow fin and chives was truly fabulous! After dinner a few of us who were either staying in Birmingham or Tuscaloosa went to Workplay(an awesome music venue in Birmingham) to see A Very Neighborly Christmas with Dave Barnes, Drew and Ellie Holcomb and special guest on the piano Mr. Gabe Dixon whom I LOVE. It was just a great night here is a taste of all 3 marvelous singers!
Drew and Ellie Dave Barnes and my favorite of his songs Gabe Dixon also my favorite song of his

Let's just say it was a great day and night! I just love my people and that I have so many of them.

Today(, well I guess yesterday since it says 1:11 am on my computer as I'm writing this...)
I woke up at 4:30ish to yelling outside and I guess I was overhearing a drunken-domestic dispute because well I know it was drunken because of the slurring words and the fact that I thought I was in a weird dream for a minute, and domestic because Charles had mentioned before that his neighbors some where around him had domestic issues. Anyways I went back to sleep because I was exhausted and we had a fabulous morning of church and a great lunch with some dear friends from his church at Silvertron Cafe. Let me say if you're in the Birmingham area it is completely worth it, I had an excellent meal of pork shanks and cheese grits.

After lunch I packed up and headed out to do some shopping at Leeds, Alabama where the Bass Pro Shop is and now an OUTLET MALL! I picked up some fabulous gifts for the parents from each other, I guess I am the parents' Santa on some level for each other because well it's easy to hide. Also funny part of my day, let me just warn any of you in the Birmingham area thinking about shopping at Bass Pro Shop: IT IS PACKED! I got through line quick and I could get everything I needed there were just a lot of people and a lot of cars. Anyways I pulled into the parking lot and had the thought: "There are a lot of people here, I wonder who I will run into that I know." Sure enough I am in men's clothing browsing for Daddy and a woman catches my eye who looks a lot like one of the girls Daddy graduated with from high school who has followed my whole cancer story, sure enough it was Susan. It was quite funny and a delight to run into Susan and Barry also doing some Christmas shopping.

Once I got home and at around 8 Alabama's bowl was announced and they will be playing in Orlando on New Years Day. I immediately got an email from The University offering tickets and I jumped and got into the system and asked the parents the question: "Can we go?" I was shocked when it was a yes. So instead of my friends coming into town :( we are spending a day at Disney World on New Years Eve and New Years Day watching Alabama play Michigan State. I couldn't have asked for a better Graduation/Christmas present. I would have loved for Alabama to have made it back to the National Championship this year, but it wasn't in the cards. This is why life is funny you think it wasn't a great season because of being 9-3 but now that everything has fallen into place I am thankful for it because as Mama said "I was worried I wasn't going to be able to get your dad down there, now it just works" As you can imagine I am pumped! I am so excited! I haven't had much on my Christmas list this year because there is not much that I need or want because my life is pretty simple currently, but a trip to a bowl game and Disney World is all I need.

I'm going to wrap this up now since I had a nice long sleep in between. Today is PET Scan day! Woo! It's really not that bad as long as I tell my friend to not use saline everything will be golden, if he uses saline it's not the prettiest event in the world.

Happy Monday World!