Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cheers to photographers!

I LOVE pictures. I love to take them and look at them (not so much be in them though) I have literally thousands of the boys over the past 10 and 8 years taken with my old Konica Minolta--which sadly doesn't exist anymore.
If I could afford it I would have family pictures done every month by different photographers. I love seeing the different styles , the techniques, and how different the end result is depending on the photographer. It's such a cool art medium.
We recently had family pics done by a friend of ours, Jen, whose art I love because of the bold colors. When she was on the World Race I couldn't wait to get her updates with all the amazing colors and faces from around the world so when she had an open session I totally jumped at the chance to have her snap some shots. It was SO fun and the pics turned out AMAZING! (Just click on her name and you'll see what I mean.) BEAUTIFUL!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Shades of Gray: Results are in

6am-Alarm goes off. I, of course completely ignore it and let Brad get up and turn it off.
6:30am-2nd Alarm goes off. I ignore this one too because it turns off on it's own. My children are a little harder to ignore as one turns on the shower to wake up and the other jumps to the floor from his top bunk. Normal morning routine has begun.
7am- Kids grumble as they are forced to spend five minutes picking up the living room. As we live in a 900sq ft apartment it takes less than five minutes for the entire room to be done.
7:15am- Kids are out the door to head to school for breakfast and I start to get ready for my day. Today is not a normal day. Today I find out the results of the first MRI I have had in a year. It's now been almost a year and a half since the surgery...ages ago and yet just yesterday. I didn't spend a whole lot of time this weekend considering what the results might be. We had family day Saturday and 3D Alice is definitely a distraction. Sunday was filled with church and choir and other weekend busyness that happens to get ready for the next school week.
8am-The apartment is now empty and I have an hour until my appointment. I hate to be late. Too many years of choir have instilled the "if you're on time you're late" philosophy, but 45 minutes early seems a little ridiculous. So I put away dishes and check facebook and piddle around.
8:20am-Possibly too early to leave but it's rainy and foggy and Austinites do not drive well with these conditions so I go.
8:45am-It took 25 minutes to go 4 exits! That is slightly ridiculous. I'm glad I left early.
8:47am-All checked in. There is an older man with me in the waiting room all hooked up to IVs. He's about to undergo a directed radiation treatment. They bring a wheelchair to take him away. The nurse also has his radiation mask and I think of Matt Chandler and his recent treatments and say a quick prayer--both for him and his battle and thanks that I didn't have to go through it (can we say claustrophobia? I'll take an MRI any day.)
8:55am-I'm finally in an exam room. It's extremely quiet and this is when the butterflies start. What will the results be? What did the MRI look like? What if they aren't good? I remind myself that God is sovereign, but what if... I remind myself that Gods got this; this is not a surprise to Him, but what if...what if...
9:15am-Dr. Wilson comes in and we go over the report...it is not possible to discern whether the gray areas are tumor tissue or areas still healing from the surgery. What does that mean? Because of the kind of tumor I had when they grow back it's in the same location as the previous tumor, usually around the edges of what has already been removed or killed by other means. So we wait. We wait to see if these gray areas begin to grow or to shrink. We wait to see if I begin to have other symptoms that would indicate growth in those shades of gray. In the meantime, I'll serve. sing. laugh. love. live. and deal with whatever comes as it comes.

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34

"yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." James 4:14

Saturday, March 6, 2010

By request: Mexican Martini Recipe

So this was actually a really easy recipe as far as ingredients, just took a few to get the ratios correct. I used a jigger to get my ratios and have no idea what they are in ounces. I highly recommend keeping the ratio for the first three ingredients the same unless you just want to be smacked in the face :) Enjoy!

1 jigger silver tequila
1 jigger triple sec (orange "flavor")
2 jiggers sweet/ sour mix
2 T olive juice
1/2 lime, squeezed for juice
dash of orange juice

Pour ingredients into shaker with ice. Do a little shimmy and shake; strain into glass. Makes about 8oz of martini. You can rim your glass with salt if you like them a little saltier (adding more olive juice will also do this). Let me know how yours turn out and what mods (if any) you make to the recipe!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Umm...no. I don't like having an MRI

That's almost always the first question I get asked about the procedure when I have to have it done. Here are all your MRI questions answered (as far as a head scan goes):

They are not fun. First thing I do is check in, fill out gobs of paperwork (even though I've had this same procedure done multiple times) and put on those stylish hospital pajamas. I've gotten to the point where I don't where any jewelry because ALL metal has to be removed. Wearing metal while in a giant magnet is NOT a good idea and a mistake I have made only once and never repeated--fortunately there were no explosions :)

Next, they stick me with an I.V. Halfway through the MRI contrast dye is added because my procedure is always with and without contrast.

Finally it's into the tube, and I mean tube. Those nice, open, big machines that you see on t.v. are nothing like the one i get squeezed into. This pic is fairly accurate:

Add to that, because it is a head scan I also get to wear the cool "darth vader" mask: See full size image

These masks also have little stabilizers they place against your face to keep you from moving your head. SO, earplugs are in, because MRIs are LOUD (quick sample here--turn down volume): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oI9YnhPNcQ , Vader mask is on, panic button in hand, and hopefully I'm on the board enough that I'm not going to fall off the sides. I get slid into the tube (see above pic) and the MRI starts. I get about 20 minutes of those wonderful sounds before they pull me out to inject contrast then about another 10 minutes of sci-fi noises and the procedure is done!

Results take 24-48 hours to get to my doctor (unless they discover a walnut sized tumor than they tend to let you know the same day) and I find out results at next appointment with him. Currently my doc is Dr. Wilson. He runs the Cyberknife program here in Austin which is a pretty amazing technology. Check it out:http://www.cyberknife.com/cyberknife-overview/what-cyberknife.aspx

Hope this has answered some questions and if you have to have one done and are a little nervous check out the site below or ask me questions :)