Saturday, October 29, 2011

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For most of my life, I've always had long, long hair. But at the beginning of summer, two years ago, I had ten inches taken off and I donated my hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

I donated my hair on behalf of three women. My longtime friend Diana, diagnosed with lung cancer in the summer of 2008 and went home to be with the Lord in January 2010, and for the sister-in-laws of my friend Amy, both who had been diagnosed with breast cancer earlier that year.

You can read about it and see the before and after pictures on the post I wrote "Taking a Load Off".

Who would ever have thought that as my friend Trudi cut my hair that warm summer evening, that less than two years later she too would be diagnosed with breast cancer.

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This afternoon, I went to "Dancing for a Cure", a dance recital put together where all proceeds go to breast cancer research. This afternoon, and at the show this evening, Trudi got up before two almost sold out audiences, and told her story.

She told her story of how one weekend morning, as she rolled over in bed, she found two lumps and how she put off going to the doctor until weeks later when she couldn't lift her arm up to get something high out of the cupboard without pain.

She told of the day she and her husband were told that the biopsy revealed, "it's Breast Cancer".

She told of how she thought that having only 9 of the 31 lymph nodes testing positive for cancer was a relatively positive thing, while her doctor thought otherwise and upgraded her to Stage 3.

She told of the two rounds of chemo. The effects of loosing her hair. The five weeks of radiation, five days a week.

She told of the booth at opening day of our local town soccer club. They were taking pledges for an upcoming walk for Breast Cancer. Trudi signed up to walk. A year ago, breast cancer awareness wasn't as close a topic as it had become in the last nine months.

I'll never forget the morning she told me. It was at school, kids were running about on the blacktop, waiting for the bell to ring to begin their school day. She wanted to be the one to tell me before I heard it from anyone else. Her news hit me hard.

I've known people who knew people diagnosed with breast cancer, or so and so's Mom, or the friend of so and so. Or so and so. But never had I had a friend who'd been diagnosed with breast cancer. Now I personally KNEW someone who had breast cancer. She's my age (a couple years older, but close enough). She had two kids the same ages as our girls. I remember calling my mom once I got in the car and tearing up upon telling her. Trudi's cancer has touched many a hearts.

This is Trudi with her eight year old daughter. Trudi is a Breast Cancer Thriver. The last eleven months have been horrible ones. Filled with doctor appointments, Chemo appointments, radiation appointments. But she's alive. She's thriving. And she's an inspiration to many....

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's been a Busy Month!

October has turned out to be a very busy month for me. And slowly, one by one, I'm checking things off my list!

Myself and another Mom were in charge of the 6th grade fundraiser that ran the last part of September into the first week of October. The kids sold raffle tickets and are raising money for Science Camp in April. There were three different deadlines for the kids with and each deadline meant a trip to the classrooms to pick up any tickets that had been turned in. And then there was the counting of the money and the raffle tickets, etc, etc. The buying of the prizes to be raffled off, etc. I spent countless hours working on the record keeping and making sure everything would be easy for the teachers to stay informed of the students who paid, who still have a balance, etc. Last week, myself and the other Mom were finally able to turn over all the money and the balances to our office manager and to the teachers in preparation for parent conferences to be held this week. I was sure happy to hand all that over!

On October 13th, our family attended our first Fall Ball at the school. In the six years that Hannah's been attending the school, we've never once gone to any of the dances. But this year, rather than the traditional Monster Mash that's been done in recent years, our Fall Ball Committee did a Country Hoedown! I had the best committee chairmans overseeing and planning the entire thing (Thank You Letti!!!) It was a fun evening of line dancing, face painting, food, and a country photo booth! We had all kinds of props that made for great and fun pictures! I've heard nothing but wonderful things about the evening and how much fun families had and what a great change it was from years past. I think we may have a new tradition!
Members of the 2011-2012 PTA

In addition to to 6th grade fund raiser, and the hoedown, I also had a school wide Box Tops contest come to an end last week. Which for me, means counting all the Box Tops that have been held on to until the last minute and then verifying the count and ready them for shipment, and then printing up notifications for the winning classes, etc. We collected almost 20,000 Box Tops!
This is what 15,800 individual Box Tops looks like. 316 bags of 50!

The other thing that's been on my plate this month is a project at church. October is Pastor Appreciation Month and for the second year in a row, I've taken on the project of collecting donations and special cards, etc, and then purchasing gift cards and putting together a gift for our Pastor and his family. Numerous emails having gone out, as well as printed copies of the letter handed out at church, proved very successful and we were able to bless our Pastor and his family by presenting them with a package of beautifully written cards, gift cards for dinners out, as well as a Visa gift card to go away as a family for a few days. That was presented to them yesterday, and thus another project finished for me for the month...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Day in Pictures...

I had nothing on the calendar today. Nothing going on that needed my attention at school (PTA, 6th grade science camp fundraiser, Box Tops, etc). My laundry is all caught up. It was a day that was totally open. So what better way to spend the day than make a trip to My Happy Place. It's my favorite time of year at the Disneyland Resort - Fall and soon it'll be be Christmas. I dawned my tennis shoes, transferred the necessities from my big purse into a small shoulder purse, and once the girls were dropped off at school, I was on my way.

There was a little hesitation when I first hit the freeway. The weather forecast had rain forecasted for tomorrow, so I thought I'd be safe. But there were reports of rain in the neighboring cities between here and Disneyland. I called Disneyland to see what the weather was like there, and while it had already rained there this morning, the sun was beginning to make an appearance.

I debated back and forth on whether to continue going and finally came to the conclusion to go anyway, no matter rain or shine. I hit patches of sprinkles here and there, an the morning traffic was cooperating all the way from here until I had to get on the other freeway. And then it was STOP and GO for the entire time until my exit!!!! Which I think is approximately 20 miles. It took me an hour and a half to get to Disneyland, when it normally would take me about 50 minutes!!!

This picture was taken as I was getting off the freeway! Yippeee! I reached my off ramp!Upon arriving to the parking structure I had already decided to throw caution to the wind and just deal with the sprinkling rain which had started when I exited the freeway, but once a few cars from where I'd parked, I noticed it had begun to rain harder, so returned to the car to get my umbrella. Now only if I'd had a jacket in the car, I would have been set!

And this is the view I saw quite often throughout the morning, the bottom of my umbrella in my line of vision. It began raining once I got inside the gates. Main Street was clear as most people had gathered into the shops of Main Street or under the eaves to get situated with rain ponchos, etc. I had my big umbrella so I waltzed my way down Main Street. I strolled through Tomorrowland to see what the wait was for Star Tours, only 30 minutes, but the line was outdoors and I didn't want to wait in the line. So I kept strolling. I ended up riding the Monorail and taking in the soggy sights of the park and some of the construction going on over at California Adventure that is hidden to the eye at street level.

People everywhere obviously came prepared, or found the nearest Dollar Tree, and had ponchos. I couldn't help but snap a picture of this adorable line up. All these little Asian girls had matching rain jackets!! That was sure going to make keep track of them all a lot easier!! And for the rest of the people who didn't come prepared, good ole Disney was prepared with their ponchos for sale! There were lots of these! Walking close to any of the people who had Disney ponchos on you could smell the newness of the poncho. LOL. I must have hit the line in the bakery just right, it was actually short. So a chocolate chocolate chip muffin and a nice cold Coke was my breakfast for the day and I staked out a dry table along Main Street to sit and people watch. I love to people watch at Disneyland. It's entertaining. I browsed through the stores of Main Street, and then through the big Disney store in Downtown Disney, as well as the candy store in Downtown Disney. I eventually made my way to the car. I wanted to give myself some extra traveling time back to the school just in case there were accidents on the freeway from the rain. I stopped off at the discounted Disney Warehouse to see what they had in stock. Christmas is coming and I was keeping my eye open for POTC shirts for Hannah. The warehouse didn't have much that caught my eye, except for this purse. It's a pin collectors bag really, that comes with an album to display your collectors pins, but I've had my eye on it for a long time to use as a purse. It had been $64.95 when it was in the parks. And now at the discount warehouse, it was $49.99, which really wasn't that great of a deal, so I passed. I left empty handed. And on the freeway I got.

Heading back towards home, there is one more Disney discount warehouse right off the freeway on the way home. I wavered back and forth on stopping. I decided I had the time to stop, so I might as well stop. They had practically all the same stuff, a little more clothes. But they also had the purse I had just seen!! However, here, at this Disney warehouse it was $20.99!!! Almost $30.00 cheaper than where'd I had just seen it a half hour before!! I had a gift card I'd recently been given by a teacher at school, so I bought it! I have a discount card for the discount Disney warehouse (isn't that a funny one) and it gave me an extra 15% off! So I got it for $19.80!!! When it was originally $64.95! I was pretty happy, even more happier that I hadn't bought it at the previous discount warehouse!

The other thing I contemplated briefly buying, was for my Star Wars loving geeks in my family...They were $27.99 each. So I passed.

It was a wonderful day! I love my quick trips to Disneyland. I love strolling through the park, seeing what's going on, people watching, and just taking a day off from the busyness of life outside the magical gates. I'm thankful to be able to do such days! And I look forward to more in the future!!