Thursday, October 31, 2013

The "Good Cancer"

You may have heard thyroid cancer referred to as 'the good cancer". When I was first diagnosed, I hung on to those words. Repeated them to everyone who asked about my health. I believed it. And yes, while most people who have this disease can count on a long life (big plus!), I'm slowly figuring out that 'good' is a very poor description.

This 'good' cancer has zapped my energy to a low I couldn't believe possible. My metabolism has tanked, and I've gained a tremendous amount of weight in a relatively short period of time. I've had my throat surgically sliced open twice in less than three months, and am now sporting a lovely scar. I'm trying to adjust to synthetic hormones that affect almost everything my body does. I've paid a small fortune in hospital parking fees, had to drag my children to many appointments and blood tests, and my schedule is now ruled by pills and avoiding interactions. Now I'm waiting for radioactive iodine therapy, and to find out if there is still cancer elsewhere in my  body. I think I underappreciated all that my thyroid used to do for me!

What has been good is the amazing support of my friends, in person and online. In all the ways my wayward husband has let me down, my friends have picked me up and dusted me off when I needed them. My husband's stepmom has been my biggest support, flying across the country to help take care of my kids during my recoveries, and offering moral support and friendship daily. I am so grateful for these blessings.

The medical system in Canada offers free care, and while it isn't always the most efficient service, I am also grateful this condition won't bankrupt my family. Not everyone is so fortunate.

And that is all I'm going to say about cancer. I have it, but I am so much more. It won't beat me, it won't define me, and it certainly won't be grabbing anymore headlines on this blog! On that note, I still haven't been up to much of anything crafty lately, although I do have a baby carrier in the works, and the lure of Christmas crafts will surely get my spirits back up. Looking forward to getting back to the things I used to enjoy, and to reading about what the rest of the blogging world has been doing, too.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Husband Had An Affair & Broke My Heart

It's hard to believe it has been almost a year since I've posted to this blog. I used to enjoy reading other blogs and posting my own projects, but last year, life started to go wrong. This is hard to write about (and my apologies, there's nothing crafty here), but I feel I need to release it.

First, while still pregnant with my third son, a lump I've had in my neck started to grow aggressively. I was scanned and tested and biopsied, and am now waiting for a (presumed) cancer removal surgery in July. It's a lot to process for a mother of young children, but I am hopeful.
In October, my third son was finally born a couple weeks past due. During a routine ultrasound and biophysical profile, he was found to have a heartbeat, but was completely non-responsive (flaccid, no movement, no breath attempts)and was born via emergency induction. I called my husband to say the baby had to come out right now, and could he please come to the hospital. He didn't seem excited about the prospect, but I put it down to stress. It was an excruciating birth full of anxiety, as the outcome for my son was unknown. Thankfully, he arrived safe and sound -- a little smaller than my other boys despite being overdue -- but in seemingly good health. He's a great baby, and I love him to pieces.

Then, there is the matter of my husband, a man I thought was my best friend and someone I could always count on. I was terribly wrong. We had been having some marital strain since after he took an extended business trip August, but we pulled things together in December and had a fantastic holiday. I was in love all over again.
Little did I know hubby joined a dating website called Plenty of Fish back in August after cheating on me while away on his supposed business trip. On Jan. 3rd, he got a response to his ad. A local woman, a mother who was cheating on her partner, contacted my husband. He had drinks with her a day or two later, and he had sex with her two days after that in the back of her truck, along a dark road in the middle of a freezing Ottawa winter. Of course, I knew none of this. I'd had suspicions, but he always denied everything, told me I was acting ridiculously jealous, and to stop playing mind games with him. Eight days after his first online contact with this 'woman', he broke up with me in the middle of the night as I nursed our newborn. He said some really ugly things...things I can never have my children know.


He said he wanted more than work and 'parenting', and that he was leaving me to pursue those things. To say I was devastated would be a huge understatement. I felt empty, shocked, betrayed, anchorless. Of course he neglected to tell me he'd been having sex with someone else. That came out later, along with revelations that he's been having emotional affairs online for years, and that he bought condoms in case he 'had sex accidently' with some woman he met while out running during his last 'business' trip. He also admitted to drug use, secret friends, and other things. Who was this man?

Over the course of the next two months, I had to endure him trying to buy a house behind my back, paralyzing me financially, listening to him on the phone declaring his love for her, calling me a whore and other names (the irony!) and watching him go out to spend nights and days with her. He was obnoxious about it. He even called the police on me one night because I followed him on his way to see her (he took in my car without permission) after they had supposedly broken up. I felt broken and defeated. At some point, he admitted he had lied about using condoms, and revealed he had been having unprotected sex with her. Although he claims it didn't 'occur' to him, that meant my baby and I had been exposed to whatever STDs she might have. My sweet, innocent baby boy won't get a clean bill of health until he's two years old. There were times the man I married was with both me and her intimately within hours of each other (he kept a log of most of their sexual exploits, which he later sent to me). I couldn't believe this was my life. It still makes me sick to think about his choices.

We tried to hash out separation details. We would agree to certain things, like trying to allow the kids to stay in our house instead of selling it, visitation, etc., and then the next day after he spoke to her, he would renege on all of it. She desperately wanted him to sell the house.

Finally, one day near the end of February, I heard him crying upstairs in the bathroom. As much as I hated all he had done to me, I still loved him and so I went up to comfort him. It was incredibly difficult, and I felt ill talking to him about her. But I did it. My compassion didn't seem to have an impact. The following night he sent her an email stating she was the best thing ever in his life, the most amazing love making of his life, that he was bound to her forever, and that maybe he should try to take some time to calm me down to make the separation go easier so they could be together again in a month or so. He said he could still see her during the day, but no more overnights. Thirteen or so hours after he sent that bit of vileness, he came to me and said he'd made a terrible mistake, still loved me and our kids, wanted to save our family, etc.

This sudden turnaround seemed suspect to me, but he seems to have seen the error of his ways and corrected his behaviour. We have been going to couples counselling. Is it enough? I don't know. I'm incredibly hurt by his many betrayals (there is so much more than I have written here), and I resent both him and her.  I don't trust him and have very little respect for him as a man right now. I worry about the kind of example my kids will have -- particularly if my health fails further. I love him in a deep place in my heart, but all the little feelings of affection I used to have -- that flutter when he walked into a room, the urge to hold his hand or kiss him or touch him in passing, the feeling of having a solid best friend -- that's all gone, and I wonder if it can ever come back.

So that's why I haven't been posting. Surviving this betrayal and upheaval has taken literally every ounce of energy I have. I want and need to get myself back, to start doing the things I love doing again, so hopefully I will have more positive things to post in the future. Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Loops and Pockets: Boy's Own Style

Just a reminder that you can find my post about adding loops and pockets to boys' pants over at Cook Clean Craft today. Here's a little preview:


Enjoy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sad News

Yesterday brought some sad news. One of my cousins passed away in his sleep early Saturday morning. Like me, he was in his mid-thirties, and seemingly in good health except for being overweight. His unexpected death has been a grim reminder that even 'young' people can't take their health and longevity for granted. It's time to make changes.

Rest in Peace, Trevor.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mmm, Corn Dogs

When we have treats in our house, they usually come in the form of dessert. The other night, however, I was at a loss for what to make for dinner, when I spotted an email from allrecipes.com touting a recipe for corn dogs. I happened to have part of a package of wieners in the fridge left over from Canada Day weekend, so I thought I'd toss healthy eating to the wind for one night and give these a shot. Oh my goodness, they were delicious, on top of being fast and easy to make.


I only had three wieners left in the package, so I cut each one in half, and stuck in a popsicle stick. I mixed up half the batter recipe (using a whole egg, because I couldn't divide that in half), and dumped the batter into a drinking glass to make it easy to dunk the wieners. A quick fry in peanut oil (sticks and all), and the corn dogs were done. My kids devoured them, and I added some salad on the side to assuage any mommy guilt I may have felt about the questionable nutritional content of dinner.


Corn Dogs (from allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
2 (16 ounce) packages beef frankfurters
16 wooden skewers
Directions

In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, sugar and baking powder. Stir in eggs and milk.
Preheat oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Insert wooden skewers into frankfurters. Roll frankfurters in batter until well coated.
Fry 2 or 3 corn dogs at a time until lightly browned, about 3 minutes*. Drain on paper towels.

* My corn dogs cooked for barely a minute, instead of the three called for in the recipe. I broke my cooking thermometre last time I used it, so maybe my oil was hotter than I thought, but just keep an eye on them when you're cooking, and you'll see when they're done.

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Changing gears, I have some exciting news. Narelle from Cook Clean Craft has invited me to be a guest blogger next week as part of her Boy's Own Style series.

Boys own style


Check me out there July 9th, as well as the other great guest posters who will be sharing their best boy clothing ideas throughout the month.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Handmade Gift Exchange

Wow, the month of June has flown by in the blink of an eye. And that means the deadline for the Handmade Gift Exchange going on over at Craftaholics Anonymous is just about upon us. Well, for me it was today since the post office isn't open this long weekend.
Add my usual procrastination to orders to rest after I had bleeding and contractions at 25 weeks, and it's a miracle I finished at all, but my exchange partner will be getting this summery market tote. The second shot is truer to the real colour. I had, literally, only 15 minutes to get to the post office, so photography was not on top of the priority list!


Since I was home, I sent hubby to the store for yarn. He didn't come back with the green I had in mind, but I added a strand of cream from my stash, and it didn't turn out badly. This wasn't the project I originally wanted to make, but under the circumstances, it was something I could do easily from the couch, so I hope by exchange partner likes it anyway.

On that note, the baby seems to be staying put after our scare, and I'm starting to feel more like getting out of the house. I spent a couple hours at Ikea with my boys today, and, it turns out, that was too much, so I'll be taking it easy for a while longer.

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends, both bloggy and real!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Spiderman Light

Before my first son was born, I bought a couple little wall sconces from Ikea to light his room softly at night. When son #2 came along, one of the two sconces migrated to his room. The design is a very basic pale blue with moon and stars. Fine for little kids, but my big guy (I'm almost SIX, Mama!)decided he would much rather have a Spiderman light fixture.

With son #3 well on his way, which likely means needing a bigger vehicle to fit everyone, our budget is really tight right now. We just don't have the cash to replace a perfectly good light with another perfectly good light. That said, I figured a trip to the Dollarama couldn't hurt. There, I found some neat Spiderman window decals. I popped out the old moon and stars sconce cover, and added Spiderman to the front. The result was okay, but the light bulb was shining through pretty brightly without the cover in front of it. I thought adding paper to the inside (where the old cover was) might be a fire hazard, but hubby came up with the idea of using a scrap of window screen to filter the light. Perfect. Love when he's cute AND smart (=



Josh knows he didn't get a new light, but he's happy it's not so babyish as the old version.

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Remember when I posted about participating in Kids' Clothing Week a while back?. It was a bust. Not a single finished outfit, and one night, I was so tired, I actually fell asleep at my sewing machine long before my hour was up. On the bright side, I have a few projects that did get started, so hopefully we'll see them soon. Soonish.

Despite my KCW fail, I've joined the Handmade Gift Exchange being hosted over at Craftaholics Anonymous. There's a hard and fast mailing deadline of three weeks from now, so best get to it!

I've been stalking my receiving partner a little, looking for ideas, but I have no idea who will be gifting to me. I hope she's not stalking my lack of posts lately...I'm pretty boring right now!