Monday, February 21, 2011

Kristy the Cysty vs. VATS: the Royal Rumble of Pain

I know, I know I have been a terrible blogger, being neglectful for almost two weeks now. I have started different posts but never completed or never had a great flow to them. I think that's what some hard pain killers do to me, I can't compose much in a good manner. Anyways I'll get this party started

First Kristy the Cysty definitely was the worse pain, KO'ing VATS quick in comparison. The worst part was the chest tube, so once I got out of the hospital on 2/11 I felt much better than I did for the almost 24 hours in the hospital. I think my pain level only ever reached around a 7 at the tops while Kristy topped the scale at a 9.9, the only reason she was not a 10 is I have a fear of that .1.

Second, the cancer is for sure back there were 6 different samples taken during the VATS and they were 6 for 6 in confirming Hodgkin's. So with that being said I meet with a doctor tomorrow to discuss and hopefully figure out a quick plan to rescue some of my abilities to eventually have kids because the chemo and stem cell transplant will more than likely take all of those abilities away. Dr. L wants everything done quick because she would like to start all of my treatments and everything else ASAP.

Third Dr. L's plan
  • Chemo 2 or 3 times in the hospital for around 5 days, every two weeks
  • Staging me again
  • Possible radiation
  • Upping my stem cell production, in which I will have to give myself shots. Honestly warn your kids if they are afraid of needles they will get cancer because I was the kids that freaked out to the point that I would pass out, now I'm going to have to give myself shots and I can almost watch my labs being taken but I don't pass out. 
  • Removing the stem cells
  • A butt kicking 8 day chemo treatment in the hospital to kill all living stem cells in my body
  • Returning the stem cells to my body and more time in the hospital
Fourth, when your Dr. F said "Once you start doing more your pain will get worse" I should have really listened because really he should have said "Once you start doing stuff your body will tell you that it hates you and won't want you move." Yesterday was a long, exhausting day. My Great Uncle Virgil passed away Friday and yesterday was his visitation that we were able to make it to because I need to stay close to home in case I get called in to Emory to fix my port (I'll make that #5). But yesterday we left the house at 8am to make it to church and lunch with Charles and we returned home at 11pm, like I said exhausting both mentally and emotionally. Prayers would be greatly appreciated for my cousin Pam and her daughters, since in the past year she has lost both her mother and now father.

Fifth, yep the the port is still not going the correct direction for flow. The port they/I want the line going downwards but it's going upwards so I have to go back to Emory to try to fix it because if they don't get it done this time they will have to replace it before chemo starts.

Sixth changes happened on the background because I could do that without needing to be completely "there" in the head and I felt I needed something a little more colorful to fit my personality. BUT I still don't think it's my forever background because it's still not quite fully me.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pre-VATS Brain Dump

I feel like on some level I've been failing y'all lately just because when I write it's recipes, which if you do try them they will not let you down but also I guess I've just been keeping busy waiting on the VATS. On some level this will just be a brain dump, no rhyme or reason or flow so I will probably go with bullet points just to keep some form of organization of topic.

-I named the blog "It's the Little Things" because I feel life is all about the little things that keeps you happy/sane/regulated/content/in perspective plus it's an awesome play on my name. My most recent "little thing" obviously is cooking because well it keeps me busy, planning, thinking and out of complete brain apathy. I have also started the flowery headband creations because it will be something I can do that 1) are cute 2) make great gifts 3) will be perfect in Katie's wedding.

-I have learned I am not good at waiting for major procedures. My first one was done two days after coughing up blood so it was a whirlwind. My second was 10 days after graduation but having Kristy the Cysty (the ovarian cyst) and being in 9.99 pain out of a 10 distracted me for that time frame. Now you have the VATS, I have had 15 days of waiting, anticipating and I have just had to keep myself busy some how. I feel like I have already made a title for a soon to be possible drug induced post named "Kristy vs VATS: The Royal Rumble of Pain"

-I was driving today, probably not thinking about the best results for tomorrow and a song came on and I know you're about to scratch your head, but it was "Friends in Low Places" by Garth Brooks. I remember things like dates and people and events well and a lot are always associated with music. That song is Matt, has been since 7th grade and will be for the rest of my life. I am not sure if I have ever mentioned Matt in my blog, this one or Caring Bridge but we met in 6th grade in homeroom and always ended up in similar classes and homerooms throughout middle school. High school we lost touch a school of 2,000 with a grade of 500 and having off setting schedules where I had Math and Social Studies in Fall while he had Science and English. Our junior year he was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma after fighting for almost two years, going into remission once and given the news that there was nothing else that could be done Spring of Senior year, he lost his battle just 2 weeks after graduation. "Friends in Low Places" was his favorite song and today when it came on I kind of just felt it was Matt and everything I have done over the years have always been with Matt in mind. Our last day of 8th grade we were in our home room just sitting and talking about what we wanted to do with our lives after high school, after college and it breaks my heart that he never got that chance. Also I cannot mention Matt without mentioning Joel who also went to middle and high school with us who was diagnosed with leukemia our freshman year of college and lost his battle January of what would have been our sophomore year. This makes me the 3rd of our class to have cancer, the first girl and hopefully first survivor.

-I don't always go hardcore touchy feely in my blog because well most of the time they are momentary lapses or feelings. When I had my biopsy in May I knew it was Hodgkins, there was no doubt about it deep inside my head what it was and what was going to happen. This go around I feel different about it mainly from looking at the scan but honestly I won't know what it really is until probably Monday.

-It's snowing outside and it's a nice little fear of mine that this will cause issues tomorrow but hoping good thoughts.

Well until later next week sometime probably: Have A Great Weekend!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sloppy Crockpot Chicken Sandwiches

I had a whirlwind trip to Alabama the last 36 hours but it was great to see my babies which I guess it's time to upgrade them to kiddos being 9 and almost 4. I was sent on the mission to pick up the deer meat from the processor for Daddy's friends who shot two 8 points of my uncle's orchard this season. Anyways I got home a little before 3pm after dropping the cooler off at Juvenile Court with Daddy and I had no idea what I was going to fix to dinner, then I remembered that a recipe I found Sunday night and that we had a bag of frozen chicken in the outside freezer.

I made what AllRecipes calls Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue I liked to call Sloppy Chicken Sandwiches because well they are sloppy and it's a much shorter name. :)

Sloppy Crockpot Chicken Sandwiches
  • 6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  1. Place chicken in a slow cooker. In a bowl, mix the barbecue sauce, Italian salad dressing, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the chicken. 
  2. Cover the Crockpot, and cook 3 to 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low. 
  3. Once cooked shred with two forks and add back to sauce, until ready to serve.
  • You can serve as sandwiches or however you like
  • Use Kraft BBQ sauce or any other thick sauce, if you use a Vinegar based sauce like Dreamland it can easily be too watery, I used both probably leading to the sloppiness
  • Also you probably will be able to make some mean brunswick stew out of leftovers.
  • I served with pickles and baked beans that I doctored with mustard, molasses, brown sugar, chili powder, Kraft BBQ sauce, and ketchup. I didn't measure any of this just add to a can of Bush's and bake at 350* for 45 minutes.
Happy Surgery Week Everyone!  

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I came up with a new craft some what thanks to Etsy but not wanting to pay them and realizing I could do it myself I figured it out with a little web research and just creativity along with The Sylv.

Back story: I am in a wedding in June with absolutely gorgeous strapless light yellow dresses. Once I get it I will be wearing it around the house just because, yes that's how much I love it. Anyways I know my hair will not be long enough to really "do" by then so I started a search for the perfect flowery clip/headband to put on my head so I have something a little special about my hair for such a special day for two of my very special friends. I decided that between me and my Mama aka The Sylv we could do this.

This is the one that was made for the wedding, but also every day wear. I love it!

Here is the one I made tonight out of two rolls of ribbon for $1 a piece, so look out for a lot more flowers to come.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Almost Guilt Free Game Day Food

Well being an Alabama fan it's really easy to start grinding out all sorts of Tailgate like foods. I am a front page of Yahoo! junkie and I found this Spicy Buffalo Tenders with a Healthier Spin recipe a few days ago so I decided to give it a swing, along with making up my own Spinach and Roasted Corn Ranch Pasta Salad. I also did change up the recipe just to fit my measuring cups and techniques to have minimal dirty dishes, because I hate doing dishes. Overall it was a definite yummy and relatively quick meal that could have fed a lot more than just the 3 of us.

Spicy Blue Cheese Dip
2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 Tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 t Garlic Powder
1/4 t Poppy Seeds
1/4 t Paprika

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 Buffalo Tenders

3 tablespoons buttermilk
2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 pounds chicken tenders
6 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
6 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons oil, I used olive oil
Baby Carrots

-To prepare tenders: Mix buttermilk, 2 tablespoons hot sauce and 2 tablespoons vinegar in a large freezer bag until combined. Add chicken; toss to coat. Transfer to the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

-Meanwhile, mix flour, cornmeal, and paprika in a shallow dish.
-Remove the chicken from the marinade, pat of the excess marinade and roll in the flour mixture until evenly coated. (Discard remaining marinade and flour mixture.)
-Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken, placing each piece in a little oil. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and chicken, reducing the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Transfer to the platter. Drizzle the chicken with hot sauce to taste. Serve with carrots, celery and Spicy Blue Cheese Dip.
**With your leftovers you can make a spicy chicken dip with the rest of the blue cheese dip, shred the chicken tenders, add some more sour cream, cream cheese, blue cheese, and hot sauce. You can find the recipe on the back of Frank's Hot Sauce.** This dip is now just sitting in our fridge for some snacky food for the rest of the weekend

Spinach and Roasted Corn Ranch Pasta Salad
1 cup uncooked pasta
1 cup washed spinach, chopped
2 cans whole kernal corn
1 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup cheese

-Cook pasta as directed, rinse with cold water and set aside
-Roast corn in oven Directions here and add to pasta along with washed and chopped spinach, toss with ranch dress and cheese. I made homemade ranch with the Hidden Valley ranch packet because in my opinion it's the best ranch.
Corn Roasting

-Serve cold and if the salad seems dry you can add more dressing, I just added some reduced fat sour cream and a little more milk

For your "awwwww" moment of the night her is a picture of my little "helper" after I woke her from her sleep to take her picture.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Roasted Vegetable Soup

You may remember this post Roasted Vegetables. Well Sunday night we had the roasted vegetables with dinner and we had a quart container full of leftovers. As I have written before I watch too much Food Network, if that's possible. Any who Ina Gartin aka Barefoot Contessa really started me on the roasted vegetables but also I remember watching her once take the roasted vegetable leftovers and make a soup, I attempted it and it turned out phenomenally.

Roasted Vegetable Soup
3 cups chicken broth
1 quart roasted vegetables
1/2 cup half and half

After roasting the vegetables heat the broth up to at boil. Once it boils turn it down to low and add in the vegetables and use your hand emulsifier or put the soup into a blender or food processor until small chunks remain and pour in half and half. Taste the soup to make sure the spices are right, also mine turned out a little too salty so I just added more water and a little more half and half and it turned out just right.

Roasted Vegetable Chicken and Rice Soup/Stew
1 cup of rice, cooked
1 pack chicken tenders
Roasted Vegetable Soup (Recipe above)

Cook 1 cup of rice following the package directions, once finished add to roasted vegetable soup. While the rice was cooking I marinated my pack of chicken for a little while and then cooked it in a medium-high pan with a splash of olive oil until browned. Once the chicken was finished I shredded it and added it also to the roasted vegetable and rice soup. After all ingredients were added I checked the spices again and let simmer on low until ready to serve.

Note: this is very easy to change up, if you like runnier soup just add more water and half and half. You can add no meat, or different meat, just make it your own. It is also man approved and he didn't even care that broccoli was in it and he always complains whenever Mama and I roast broccoli.

This would feed 4 very hearty servings