Monday, August 18, 2014

The quick and dirty, comic and tragic: A catch-up post

I owe you all a major catch-up post. There's no way to cover all that has happened, but we are all intact, and Magpie is doing great.

The most challenging aspect of things the past several months is that my mom was diagnosed with early stage lung cancer (non-small cell adenocarcinoma,  which unfortunately is pretty scary news even in the early stages). After her diagnosis, she spent a month in the hospital after having a major post-procedure complication. It was so hard to see her so sick and really difficult to juggle my desire to be physically present with her, to parent Magpie, to maintain my marriage to some degree, and to function professionally. Fortunately for me, although my mom lives across the country, she happened to be here when she was diagnosed and therefore underwent her much-more-complicated-than-expected procedure here, so at least physically I could see her daily and offer my love and support. She is doing much better now and has been discharged home on oxygen. The goal of the procedure was to ablate the cancer, but the doctors are not sure and won't know for months whether it was successful. My mom has significant other health issues, so I am not sure what options remain if she still has residual tumor. It's been a tough time, and I am definitely concerned that I will be losing my mom, and Magpie her grandma, much, much  sooner than I would wish.

To give a whirlwind update on the rest of the immediate and extended family that I sometimes blog about, Will is doing well at work and health-wise. My sister got married to a wonderful man (yay!). She got pregnant almost immediately (double yay! Especially given our worries on that score). Unfortunately, she then suffered a mid-first-trimester miscarriage (major ugh and lots of sadness and tears shed by all). Incredibly, she seems to be taking it in stride, which is impressive, and she is hopeful to try again in the coming months. My friend S. who has been in the midst of long LONG-term adoption efforts internationally, whom many of you helped in her fundraising effort and quilt raffle, is less than a month away from hopefully having her daughter finally home after six long years of waiting. I can't post more details about it now, at her request and out of an abundance of caution. But amazing things are underway on that front, so please send all positive thoughts her way. I will post a much bigger update on this when I get the all-clear to do so. Life in academic medicine is continuing apace, and the good news there is that I'm getting promoted. Not to leave out the animal kingdom in this post, our boxer dog Moxie celebrated her fifth birthday this summer. Yay for boxer dogs! She is amazing and such a good "boxer sister" to Ms. Magpie.

And Ms. Magpie herself? She has been doing great. She's 21 months now and is talking up a storm, eating well, running, jumping, starting to engage in imaginary play. She is still tiny - I put her in 6-12 month Gap jeans the other day...and they fell down around her knees! Yikes! She weighs 22 pounds-ish I think, but is very slender... She is more and more fun each day - it is a joy to watch her and to interact with her, even though she is an intense little creature. She's also sometimes now demonstrating some of the "terrible twos" behavior, even though she isn't yet two. I'll do a whole post on her development in the next few days if I can. Other Magpie developments in the works: We are in the first few days of unexpected pacifier weaning. I will do an entire post on this shortly, so stay tuned on that. ... We are also in the preparation phases for potty training...mostly gathering books on the subject for Magpie and potty chairs and even a Potty Time Elmo that will be presented at the appropriate time (who ever would have thought such a thing existed?). As part of the psych-ops preparations for potty training, I am spending much more time talking about pee and poop than I ever imagined. Seriously, in my wildest dreams...

More soon. I promise.


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  1. Thank-you for the update. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. She is in my thoughts. Glad to hear Magpie is doing so well. Happy birthday Moxie.

  2. I am so sorry about your mother. We lost both my grandfather and my mother (nonsmoker) to lung cancer so your news really resonates with me. I know what a tough road it is and you and your family are in my thoughts.


  3. Oh, Mo, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. Please give her the Internets best wishes, if appropriate.

  4. Mo, I'm terribly sorry to hear about your mom. I am pleased that she was with you when diagnosed and that you could be physically and more involved emotionally than from a distance.

    Miss Magpie sounds cute as a button and "developmentally on track" (that's what I tell myself about tantrums and such).

    Also, a big congratulations on your promotion!


  5. Dear Mo,
    Thank you for the update!
    I am so sorry to hear about your mom. My thoughts are with her and with you.

  6. I've been wonderinghow you all were doing. Thanks for the update. I am very sorry to hear about your Mom, and about tour sister's m/c. Looking forward to the other updates!

  7. Wow, what a wonderful and newsy update-- thank you! I am so sorry to hear about your Mom and will send up strong prayers on her behalf. I am glad that you could be with her during such a terrifying time. I'm glad that your sister got pregnant so quickly, but so tragically sad that things ended. I will hope that the next time is smooth sailing.

    Congratulations on your promotion-- that's HUGE! You're an academic rock star, but I guess that we all already knew that. And on the potty training front, it's a long road (says the one with the 3.5 year old who STILL won't poop in the potty) and you'll get to talk about poop and pee much more than you expect for a long time... (A source of great amusement at our house last night was that the kindergartener has figured out how to make farts with her underarms-- my spouse was shocked that girls find this funny too). So hang in there on the potty training/tantrums, etc. You'll do great, just like you always do. Sending you much love and light.

  8. Sorry to hear about your mother. We have the same problem with to wide pants, and I mostly by from H&M, pants that you can adjust the waist (elastic and buttons on both sides in the waistline) or leggings, jeans are a hopeless case unless they have this elastic/button feature that many of the H&M pants have. French/spanish kids clothing is also great, they really do have tiny kids there :) ( ,


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