Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Transplant part deux

Two years ago today the biopsy that changed our lives occurred.  No one ever wants to hear the word cancer, and the doctor that told us was as indelicate about it as possible. In fact he was a disaster. It was Dr. Strickland that first laid out what Mark was facing and how we would face it. His team since then, including Dr. Greer, Dr. Kassim, Dr. Savani, and Dr. Jagasia have been nothing short of remarkable!!

Mark was unshakeable during the diagnosis and treatment planning and I was a wreck but two years in we are still here! What a ride it's been and we've had more support than I could ever imagine. Help that I will never be able to repay and friendships and family ties strengthened that have made our lives richer than money ever could. Speaking of which: Thanks to everyone for all their prayers yesterday and today! Mark always seems to be doing so well that you don't realize how serious all this is until you're in the room and they escort the special transplant cooler in and ask if your living will is up to date. Eek!! It reminds you that life is a fragile thing and we have to be grateful for every day.  He's been very tired today but feels good otherwise and we are headed back to reality and work tomorrow. Another hurdle bites the dust!

This journey has been tough but it's grown us into tougher people and better people if I do say so myself. We've truly learned a lot about the definitions of faith and grace.  And we've really learned what it is to humble yourself. Sometimes that means laying it all down in front of God and saying "ok it's yours, you take it and I'll just be right here." When you are a type A control freak that is the hardest lesson to learn as a Christian. And sometimes humbling yourself means graciously accepting a meal or a gift when it appears. When you're an employed professional that is very hard as well. You don't want to need help and sometimes it's hard to just shut up and be humble and accept that God has sent you an angel to give you what's needed. I will spend the rest of my days trying to be that angel for others as often as I am able and always keeping my eyes open for chances. I'm working harder not to miss the little things. I don't always succeed but I'm getting there.

So thank you all once again for being here!

Thus concludes the latest update from Wright land. We are off to prepare for two more days of work and then vacation! Yay! Sometimes reality rocks!

See you soon!

Friday, July 17, 2015

High School Fears and Adult Happy Thoughts

Well, we are on the road to my 20 year high school reunion. Holy crap I'm old!!! Lol!! I have always been Patty Simcox (please see list of characters for Grease if I lost you there). I love to be in the thick of it! I don't want to miss a thing or let a moment of life go wasted. (On occasion this has led to gross over-scheduling on my part. Oops!) I try to be the forever figurative cheerleader for involvement and putting yourself out there. 
But to be honest I wasn't sure about this one. At our last reunion I was in amazing shape, I felt great, and frankly I think I looked pretty freakin good! 

Not. Now. 

Being big has never been an issue for me as long as I felt good and my health was good! No, seriously! I know no one believes that, but it's true! When you're bigger your whole life eventually you just deal with it. It doesn't mean you need to be a slob! Work out, eat right, do your best, and eventually the self esteem comes. Took me AGES to figure that out!! But stuff happens. You see, I married a great guy and got comfy and we put on a few pounds as a couple, but when Mark got Leukemia I let my health and well being go. Utterly and totally. Grabbing meals on the go and eating hospital food became the norm. There was never time for working out or at least I failed to make time. I don't feel good about how I look right now. So I thought...maybe I should skip this.  I can just visit the people I'm not totally mortified to face, right?  

Then it occurred to me that while I may feel a bit like a blue whale, there may be others in my class that feel the same way and what kind of Patty Simcox would I be if I tucked my tail and hid!! I mean I'm really proud of a lot of my classmates and their accomplishments and I'd like to tell them so! Furthermore I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments dang it! I have an amazing family, great kids (the world's cutest two year old is currently passed out in the car next to me), awesome friends, not one but two masters degrees, I have students who call me mom, I've seen some of the world, and I live where I want doing what I want. All in all that's not too shabby. 

So here we go!! I've put away my high school fears and put on my big girl panties (please note this never translates to granny panties- I'm far from there yet!) and I am ready! In fact I'm kind of pumped!! At our ages you either take what you get or piss off frankly. I am who I am and except for my current mirror reflection- below my kick butt hair that is, I love who I am! 

So to you who might be pondering skipping your reunion, forget it! Just do it!! I LOVED my 10th and I have the same delightfully high expectations for this one. You'll find most of that high school putting on heirs crap stayed in high school! Thank you Lord!!! :) Let's do this!!! 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

I am not a droid

I discovered this week that I am not a droid.

I really thought I could be! I so wanted to be!

Yes. I'm talking about a freaking phone. What's better: the iPhone vs Android debate. Each saying "Come to the dark side! We have cookies!!" And I mean both want you to come to the dark side. There is no good guy! That's the great ruse. Both suck our money and our time, both have amazing features, and both cost a young fortune.

I had convinced myself that I could move to the Galaxy to save myself some money. I liked the phone. But in order to save money I was buying the 5 with the 6 coming out any second and condemning myself to two more years of an adequate phone whose tech was fading fast in favor of the new model.

My friend and tech genius Brian said very plainly (pardon the over used pun) "These are not the droids you're looking for." The Galaxy 6 looks amazing but I am a creature of habit. I knew the apple 6 was amazing and all I had to do was bring it home, plug it up to my computer and all my crap from texts to music would be right there. I fear change. I know Apple is the devil and I have eaten the fruit but I gave in and remained loyal to my clan. Yes I can only use their stuff for as long as we both shall live but I really like their stuff, man!

Now why have I spent time on a blog you probably could give a rats patooty about. Because I realized what the great phone debate was about for me It wasn't about the overloaded phone I kept asking to perform miracles it couldn't handle. It wasn't about who really had the better tech. It was about my worth!! Totally weird right!?!

For two years we've struggled...a lot...financially and mentally. I'd scrimped and saved for a new phone. The money was in the bank. The bills were paid. But I didn't think I deserved the phone. So many of my mom friends suffer this same mentality. We put our family first because we want to (and frankly for a while mine needed me to). We stress, we wonder what we could get for them instead. My husband had to threaten to yell at me yesterday to get me to pull the trigger. I did something for myself. I made a silly, frivolous, "I want this" purchase and then I felt awful. But by the end of the day yesterday I was coming around. It is ok to do something for me every once in awhile:) In fact God reminds me all the time in His word to remember my worth. Truth is it's probably something I'll always struggle with and I know I'm not alone. Why is it so hard for us to believe we deserve good things? And no I don't just mean expensive things. I just mean nice things that also include time for ourselves, or allowing joy to be our first emotion everyday.

So let me remind my mom friends to do stuff for you every once in awhile!! It's ok! And it doesn't have to cost a thing! It could be stopping to paint your toes:) Just do it!! (Nike, Star Wars- I have no issues stealing lines from anyone)

And for my fellow frugal peeps: Get a Sams membership people!! My phone was 50-100 bucks cheaper then AT&T and Best Buy and they offer a coverage for the phone for two years that beats AppleCare in number of replacements and replacement coverage. Crazy pants!!

Ok. I'm off now to play games on my huge screen and put off my real mom jobs a wee bit longer! See  ya soon!!

Friday, March 6, 2015


So how sentimental am I? 

Over a year ago a tiny person just learning to walk, finger printed the crap out of my beautiful old barristers. You must understand the love affair I have with these antiques. They are the most valuable furniture in the house and were rescued when someone who didn't know what they had tried to throw them away. I even tried to explain that these were 1930's stackable barristers with their original glass, but they just wanted them gone.  So they got gone into the back of my old pickup. These bookcases were fixtures in an SIU building from the time they were purchased until they moved in with me.  I. Love. These. Bookcases. 

But the fingerprints made by tiny hands were allowed to remain. I left them there for a while so her daddy could see her efforts at moving around the house. It was important he not miss anything...not even the fingerprints, while he was sick. 

Then I got attached. I've dusted around them, cleaned near them, and today I gave in. In the same way I need to stop letting the past weigh on our future, I needed those cases to be clean. So that tiny princess who was just learning to walk when she made them, very articulately asked if she could help. Seemed fitting for her first glass cleaning experience to be those prints. Her much bigger hands helped wipe away the mess. At any rate, the bookcases are spotless and you can laugh if you will but I choose to love both memories:) 

...well and I took pictures.

...also I probably should have thought of the picture thing a lot earlier because that dirty glass has been driving me bonkers!! Lol!! 

More proof that 2 masters degrees does not make me smart. :) 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Totally tubular

I just asked Mark Wright to make this chicken dish I used to get at the Newell House in Carbondale. My friend Aaron made it a few times during visits as well, so I knew Mark could probably figure out what I wanted from a general description. So I calmly, and with a naive assurance that he forgives my lack of culinary terminology, began to explain the dish is made using snooty cheese and tubey pasta noodles. The snooty cheese was Gorgonzola. That was easy. I use snooty cheese to refer to all my faves: bleu, Brie, Asiago, Camembert, etc. 

However, after he figured out I meant rigatoni by tubey pasta noodles, he hasn't stopped making fun of me!! Apparently pasta and noodles are the same thing and he's deeply concerned the grocery store may not use sophisticated names for food such as tubey. He's just not being very nice and continues to look over and randomly laugh at me as we watch Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives (curse you Guy Fieri for your love of and therefore frequent showing of pasta!!) 

Listen people-there's a reason I'm not allowed in the kitchen. I should not be teased about stuff that's in the room I've been barred from! That is all. I hope my lack of knowledge concerning tubey foods brought you a smile (though I hope not as smug) like the one Mark Wright is wearing currently.