Thursday, August 30, 2007

Life sucks and then you die

Remember that stupid phrase from High School? That's how I'm feeling today. So, those of you in me familia have heard (from mom no doubt) about my depressing news of the day. Just thought I could give you the facts here, so rumors don't run wild, and so we can just talk about normal things when we get together. Then should a question arise about my condition Ill just say 'read the blog'. Wouldn't that be rude! Maybe I should make this a 'journey through cancer site' to give others inspiration when they get the news. Then again, I'm more feeling inspired I'm going to die.
Before you get too upset, let me reassure you its not as bad as it sounds, and I'm sure its better than how mom made it sound. The Dr. did sound pretty alarmed today as he asked me about my second surgery which I had to convince him never happened. "Okay, we biopsied it after the first reports said it looked like melanoma, and then remember we sent it to California to have your DNA unraveled to make sure that's what it was, and in the mean time you went to see Dr. Noise the plastic surgeon who does a lot of these?" "No, Ive never heard that name, and I thought we were just waiting to see what the results were." "Well I would have sent you to a specialist....Anyway, we've got the results and they aren't that great so you really need to get into someone." He 'pulled a thousand strings' to get me into a guy on Tuesday. He said it was 2.5 mm thick (which is 'moderate' risky melanoma) so they need to test my lymph nodes to see if it had spread and maybe take more out of my leg. The day just got worse when I figured out which kind of melanoma it was. It was on a mole, and I thought it was just a wart because it grew so fast and was round just like a wart, bumpy, and the same color as the mole, but a little pinker I guess. I got it taken off just because the kids would scrape it and it would bleed. It didn't have any of the symptoms of of the normal skin cancer. But when I read the symptoms of this nodular kind it fits perfect (they even describe it as cauliflower growth which is exactly what it looked like). So here's a little about it:

"Nodular melanoma (NM) represents 15% to 20% of cases. It arises very rapidly, is the most aggressive type of melanoma, and is the second most common type. Unlike superficial spreading melanoma, which tends to spread outward, nodular melanoma grows rapidly upward and inward. NM usually develops in unblemished skin rather than in a nevus. It is often in a fully invasive stage of growth when it is diagnosed.

NM has a typical skin cancer pattern. It is most common in light-skinned people and usually affects areas of skin that are frequently exposed to the sun (e.g., arms, legs, head, neck, and scalp). NM usually develops in middle-age.

NM characteristically appears as a uniformly black-colored nodule (small, knot like bump), although the nodule also may be brown, blue, gray, tan, or even red. It feels very round, and the borders are smooth and regular. These lesions often are mistaken for blood vessel abnormalities because of their berry color and texture."

Anyway, I haven't really been nervous up until today. Worst case, I still fit into my wedding dress for the burial. And if any of you are worried about me, let me set your mind at ease as Josh is asking me every five minutes how I'm doing, can he do anything? Its cute and annoying.
I'm sure this will pass and we can get rid of it all. The chance of things not going well makes thinking about my boys unbearable.
Happier posts to come!

Friday, August 24, 2007


On James and Sams' bedroom door. I dont know where in the world they found this one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

First Grade Blues

Today was James' first day of 1st grade. My big anxiety was that he wouldn't eat anything for lunch as it takes him 4 times as long to eat as anyone else and recess is right after so he for sure will ditch the tedious meal to play with his friends. Oh, and he is battling his first loose tooth, which prevents him from biting things. I wish that was the only worry. I was fine until I put Luke down for a nap and realized it is going to just be Sam and me for a couple hours. I felt empty. Letting them go is so hard, not just because it will be a long time before they come back, but they come back different. Better I hope, but who knows. So many influences. I remember every time I would get sad about him going to Kindergarten he would console me by saying "its only 17 years, Alisa!" Consolation indeed. James told Kari "I cant really think of anything I didn't like about 1st grade!" I guess that's good enough. I love you James!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

JK for President

Okay, its been a long time since I posted, so I'm going to narrow my subject to a July topic. Namely, Harry Potter. I have to admit I wasn't the biggest fan until this last movie came out and and cried for 2 and a half hours (and i never cry at movies). I think i was good I didn't really remember much about the book, but as it progressed I remember how much I hated Umbridge, and felt sorry for Harry's friends, and how unfair life was for Harry. I don't know, its was a great show. So that got me excited to read the last book. Josh had finished in like 2 days (I have to give him credit, its the first of the Harry Potter books he hasn't been guiltily hiding in some corner of the house 24-7 until it was finished) The book was amazing, JK is amazing. She has conquered the world for all I care. Can you imagine how many hours were spent reading her books in July alone? I went to get my oil changed in the middle of the book and all three people in the waiting room (an older lady, a business man, and a Harley girl) also had their books out so we were instant friends. It is fun to have something in common with almost everyone you meet on the street. I finished the book at my family reunion (the included pictures) where many were also caught up in the magic (and the others had already finished). Just some thoughts about what Harry will be to my kids. Dont you think its been fun growing up with him? I dont know, its like you have a year of questions in your head and speculations about whats going to happen to the boy. But its not possible to find them out until the next July. James will very likely (and with his attention span, VERY likely) pick up volume one and finish the entire series in a couple weeks. Will that take away the thrill of it all?

Ive included an interview with JK she did after the book was out-maybe if your a fan you will enjoy it-if not you for sure will not.

"Spoiler alert: This story reveals some key plot points in the final Harry Potter book. So if you've haven't finished the book, J.K. Rowling asks that you not read this story.

If you found the epilogue of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” rather vague, then J.K. Rowling achieved her goal.

The author was shooting for “nebulous,” something “poetic.” She wanted the readers to feel as if they were looking at Platform 9¾ through the mist, unable to make out exactly who was there and who was not.

“I do, of course, have that information for you, should you require it,” she told TODAY’s Meredith Vieira rather coyly in her first interview since fans got their hands on the final book.
Ummm … yes, please!

Rowling said her original epilogue was “a lot more detailed,” including the name of every child born to the Weasley clan in the past 19 years. (Victoire, who was snogging Teddy — Lupin and Tonks’ son — is Bill and Fleur’s eldest.)

“But it didn’t work very well as a piece of writing,” Rowling said. “It felt very much that I had crowbarred in every bit of information I could … In a novel you have to resist the urge to tell everything.”

But now that the seventh and final novel is in the hands of her adoring public, Rowling no longer has to hold back any information about Harry Potter from her fans. And when 14 fans crowded around her in Edinburgh Castle in Scotland earlier this week as part of TODAY’s interview, Rowling was more than willing to share her thoughts about what Harry and his friends are up to now.

Harry, Ron and Hermione
We know that Harry marries Ginny and has three kids, essentially, as Rowling explains, creating the family and the peace and calm he never had as a child.

As for his occupation, Harry, along with Ron, is working at the Auror Department at the Ministry of Magic. After all these years, Harry is now the department head.

“Harry and Ron utterly revolutionized the Auror Department,” Rowling said. “They are now the experts. It doesn’t matter how old they are or what else they’ve done.”

Meanwhile, Hermione, Ron’s wife, is “pretty high up” in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, despite laughing at the idea of becoming a lawyer in “Deathly Hallows.”

“I would imagine that her brainpower and her knowledge of how the Dark Arts operate would really give her a sound grounding,” Rowling said.

Harry, Ron and Hermione don’t join the same Ministry of Magic they had been at odds with for years; they revolutionize it and the ministry evolves into a “really good place to be.”

“They made a new world,” Rowling said.

The wizarding naturalist
Luna Lovegood, the eccentric Ravenclaw who was fascinated with Crumple-Horned Snorkacks and Umgubular Slashkilters, continues to march to the beat of her own drum.

“I think that Luna is now traveling the world looking for various mad creatures,” Rowling said. “She’s a naturalist, whatever the wizarding equivalent of that is.”

Luna comes to see the truth about her father, eventually acknowledging there are some creatures that don’t exist.

“But I do think that she’s so open-minded and just an incredible person that she probably would be uncovering things that no one’s ever seen before,” Rowling said.

Luna and Neville Longbottom?
It’s possible Luna has also found love with another member of the D.A.

When she was first asked about the possibility of Luna hooking up with Neville Longbottom several years ago, Rowling’s response was “Definitely not.” But as time passed and she watched her characters mature, Rowling started to “feel a bit of a pull” between the unlikely pair.

Ultimately, Rowling left the question of their relationship open at the end of the book because doing otherwise “felt too neat.”

Mr. and Mrs. Longbottom: “The damage is done.”

There is no chance, however, that Neville’s parents, who were tortured into madness by Bellatrix Lestrange, ever left St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies.

“I know people really wanted some hope for that, and I can quite see why because, in a way, what happens to Neville’s parents is even worse than what happened to Harry’s parents,” Rowling said. “The damage that is done, in some cases with very dark magic, is done permanently.”

Rowling said Neville finds happiness in his grandmother’s acceptance of him as a gifted wizard and as the new herbology professor at Hogwarts.

The fate of Hogwarts
Nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts, the school for witchcraft and wizardry is led by an entirely new headmaster (“McGonagall was really getting on a bit”) as well as a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. That position is now as safe as the other teaching posts at Hogwarts, since Voldemort’s death broke the jinx that kept a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor from remaining for more than a year.

While Rowling didn’t clarify whether Harry, Ron and Hermione ever return to school to finish their seventh year, she did say she could see Harry popping up every now and again to give the “odd talk” on Defense Against the Dark Arts.

More details to come?
Rowling said she may eventually reveal more details in a Harry Potter encyclopedia, but even then, it will never be enough to satisfy the most ardent of her fans.

“I’m dealing with a level of obsession in some of my fans that will not rest until they know the middle names of Harry’s great-great-grandparents,” she said. Not that she’s discouraging the Potter devotion!

“I love it,” she said. “I’m all for that.”"