Saturday, September 29, 2012


Soldier Girl is graduating after all!!
She got a chance to re-test on PT, and with a battle buddy kicking her ass the whole way, she scored above the standard and passed. WHEW!!!

I knew she could do it, I just didn't know if she knew she could do it! Thanks to all that said a prayer for her!

This is probably my shortest post ever, but I still have a ton of things to do before we hit the road!

I promise to take tons of pics, and I'll try to update somewhere along the way. :)

One happy mama. <3

Friday, September 28, 2012

Countdown & Chemo

Just four more days til I get to see my soldier girl!!! I still have a ton of things to do before we hit the road on Monday, but figured I should post an update here before time gets away from me any further.

On Tuesday this week, I received a very tearful phone call from my daughter. It was only a seven minute call but it seemed like it lasted an eternity. She called to tell me that she had failed her makeup PT test. :( She was calling from a payphone and the connection was terrible, but I think what she said was that the first time she had problems with her pushups, and on the makeup she was over her run time by 30 seconds. She didn't know if she was going to have another opportunity to re-test or if she would just be moved to FTU. I'm praying that she gets another chance (or has already had another chance and just hasn't had an opportunity to call) and putting positive mom vibes out for her, even having conversations with her in my head, telling her to get her mind right and get this done.

I would love it if you would help me put those positive vibes out there for her too!

Chemo is done for this round, and though hubs still feels like utter crap, we have good news to report! Also on Tuesday this week (Tuesday was quite a rollercoaster!), hubs went in for an MRI to see if the chemo was doing what it was intended to do. I hate MRI days. Yes, the hubby hates them too, what with the needles and whirring-clicking-banging-humming of the MRI machine, and then the wait to see his neuro-oncologist, they turn into all day affairs every time. I don't usually go with him, since I would do the same thing there as I do at home - worry and pace, worry and pace.  And that's what I did all day Tuesday. I tried to stay busy, but my mind kept wandering back to the worry.

When he finally got home, he said that his doc was running more than three hours behind schedule* and he didn't wait to see her. Chemo not only makes him tired and seriously nauseous, but cranky and impatient too. So he left a message with the receptionist to have the doc call him with results.

*Neuro-oncologists aren't a dime a dozen, and choices are limited. We love this doctor, and she will give us as much time as we need or want during a scheduled appointment. Which is also why she runs so far behind schedule - she offers the same to all of her patients.

Luckily, she called just an hour or so after hubs got home, with results from his MRI. The tumor has "shrunk significantly"!!! Remember, it was only 3mm when they caught it in early August. But the chemo is doing it's job!! This probably means a few more rounds of chemo, but it's better than having another surgery! Woot!!!

I know I haven't done much talking about shooting lately, but that's because we haven't been shooting lately. I miss it. :'( I need to go shoot! 

I start the new job at the range the week after we return, so maybe I'll have opportunities to throw some lead downrange after work once or twice a week.

I also need to fill you all in on my self defense class! That will be a long post, so it will have to wait til I have some time to sit and write some more, but so far I'm loving it! I'm covered in bruises, and I hurt from strained this and pulled that - but I have already learned things I could put into practice right now if I had to. Hopefully I'll have a chance to write that post during our 17 hour trip to see my soldier girl. :)

Until then, take care of yourselves and shoot straight!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Countdown, Combatives, Chemo and a Chorus

Just 10 more days before I get to see my soldier girl! 

I sent off my last stack of letters to her a few days ago - and when I say "stack" I mean it. A total of 15 pieces of mail, so she'll have things to read clear up until graduation day. :) Good thing she doesn't have to do pushups for mail anymore! Not writing letters everyday now has freed up a little time, and at first I felt a little lost as to what to do with the extra time. Then I realized I have a crap ton of things to do, and just over a week to get them accomplished! Yikes!

I've been slowly moving things from my home office into my daughter's room new office to give me a little more space to work (and hopefully the space to start sewing again). My old office will get turned into the reloading room. I've received some criticism from family members over this "Where will she stay when she comes back from AIT." Uhhh, a dorm on the college campus of her choosing? As a dear friend of mine so eloquently put it "She's a grown ass woman now. She can take care of herself." ;)

Anyhow, the office move is almost complete, and then we'll move the reloading bench and the accompanying tools/supplies, and my house might look like a house again, instead of a gun shop!

We started the combatives class on Friday. It was a two hour class, and I already feel like I have tools in my arsenal that I could use right now if I had to. I am battered, sore and bruised, but I'm going to try to participate in today's class today too. We'll see what happens. :)
I've learned how to negotiate my way out of being pinned to the ground, and how to react if shoved into a wall or other vertical surface and come out swinging to create enough space to escape.

Don't misunderstand....there is no false sense of security here with me thinking these will get me out of any situation. I know I have MUCH more to learn. This class has reinforced in my mind that a gun certainly isn't the right tool for every situation - something I already knew.
During the grappling exercise where I had to negotiate my way out of being pinned to the ground, there was no way I could even reach my gun (if I had had it on me). The key was getting out of being pinned down, creating space between me and my attacker and getting out of there when possible.
I had a couple of different partners for this exercise (of varying body types) and I surprised myself by being able to get out of it with even the biggest/heaviest guy in the class, and I'm pretty small (5'2" and 110# soaking wet). It was about knowing how to move to start creating space between us, and fighting dirty where needed.

Hubs starts chemo today, and has an MRI on Tuesday this week. I'm praying for good news, and for the side effects to be minimal.

And finally....I have another blog where hubs' and I talk about life with brain cancer, and I've been doing a "New Music Monday" series (well, trying anyway...sometimes it's Thursday or Saturday before I find the perfect song to post LOL). This weeks entry is by a band called "Otherwise" out of Las Vegas, called "Soldiers." The band describes the song on their youTube page as such:
The song began as a metaphor for the battle that unsigned bands go through to get their message heard as artists, then quickly transformed into an anthem for everyone living on the front-lines of life. "When I started writing the lyrics, I was staring at my bandmates and thinking that they are my brothers in arms," says the singer. "It was going to be our anthem, but by the time I finished I realized it was an anthem for our whole nation. We are all soldiers fighting for something, whether it's to put food on the table, to be heard, or just to be happy. Every soldier is human, and we're all human."
It just fits my life so perfectly right now, for many reasons. Well worth a watch & listen.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


It seems like just yesterday I posted Really, Monday? Suddenly, I have 2 weeks before I hit the road to go watch my baby girl graduate from Basic Training. And of course, a billion things to do!

Where did the freaking time go?!?

I've been busy (in case you couldn't tell by my lack of posts!) - so I guess that has helped to pass the time.

I've been busy reading and writing letters....a lost art, really. Most people just pick up the phone or fire off an email, right? Well, you don't get to do that with Basic Training, so letters are IT. I spent hours scouring the 'net for inspirational quotes, grabbing headlines from the news, trolling baby girl's FB page to send her updates, and writing-writing-writing. I have no idea how many letters I've sent her, but I have a stack of 13 letters from her here on my desk. The latest one she wrote over the course of 2-3 days - it's 7 pages long! That made my heart happy. <3
She's doing quite well, but ready for Basic to be in the rearview mirror. 18 days til I get to see her!

Hubs is doing chemo again the week before we go, so I'm praying that most of it is out of his system before we hit the road for the 17 hour drive. His next MRI is during that same week. Praying for good (or at least neutral) news.

In other news....the bruises I got at Krav Maga are still not completely healed. They're a lovely shade of yellow now, so at least they're healing. Sadly, this particular KM school turns out to not be what we were looking for - too much testosterone and too much focus on "if you do this, you can kick anybody's ass." I don't want to kick anybody's ass! I want to do what I have to do to get out of a bad situation alive and be able to go home. So that school is out.
On a positive note, we have found another school that teaches a different style that is focused on the self-defense aspect, and not on beating the crap out of someone just because you can. We observed several classes, asked a ton of questions, and will be participating in a few classes this next week. But I really like what I'm seeing, and that the instructor takes the time to break things down and explain the mechanics of things - instead of throwing you to the wolves (remember folks, I have NO martial arts or self defense experience). They even do knife and gun training - with dummy weapons of course. I expect I'll have lots to say near the end of next week after participating in a few classes.

And finally.....I got a new job. :) At a gun range. :D
It's a web dev position, but they plan to cross train everyone on most everything, so it's going to be a fantastic learning experience for me!

Hello, open door..... :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Round 1 Down

Mr 2A made it through his first round (or is it really his 14th round? or round 1 volume 2?) of chemo. First couple of days were ok, but the rest of the week was a wreck.
When he was on chemo last go-round, it was the same med, but the dosing schedule was different since he had to do it for a full year. They spread them out, so his side effects weren't as bad.
This time it's full force, and full force effects.

A full week of extreme nausea, throwing up, fatigue, and generally feeling like he'd been hit by a train. :(

He's feeling much better these last couple of days. Way less nausea (that will go away once the chemicals all get out of his system, and then he'll get to start all over) and less fatigue, although mid-day naps are common for him for the last couple of years.

A 3 week break, then another round.....and then a 17 hour road trip to go watch the Soldier Girl graduate from Basic Training. I'll admit, I'm more than a little worried about that.

But we'll roll with the punches, 'cause that's how we do. 

Headed for our 2nd Krav Maga class tonight. I haven't formed a definite opinion yet, so I'm going to hold off on posting about it. But I will leave you with this......

Right forearm...there are still lumps under those bruises, and our first class was a week ago.
After tonight, those are going to look way worse.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Xanax and a bump in the night

Because of all the stressors in our lives lately, I haven't slept well in a really long time. I would go to sleep easily, and stay asleep most of the night (except for getting up a couple times to get a drink or use the bathroom). But I never could get that deep restful sleep that would leave me feeling refreshed and raring to go the next day. Every morning was a struggle to get out from under the covers and multiple bashings of the snooze button. Until my doc prescribed xanax. Now I am asleep within 30-45 minutes, and sleep like a rock for a solid 8 hours. Great, right?

Maybe not. Mr 2A just told me a story.
Last night, around 2am he heard a crash in the kitchen. He sat bolt upright in bed, grabbed his gun, and sat pointing it at the bedroom door for a few minutes, listening. It wasn't the cat. She was laying on the bed at my feet. There's no one else living with us right now, just me and him.

When he didn't hear any other noises, he went to investigate, he found this on the kitchen floor.

This thing has sat in the same spot on top of the refrigerator for several months since it was last used. But somehow, it decided last night it was time to jump off the fridge.
Glad it wasn't anything more nefarious than a piece of tupperware.

But here's my concern.
I. Didn't. Hear. A. Freaking. Thing.
And pre-xanax, I would've done exactly what my husband did (except I would've woken up my spouse!).

So now the question I have to mull over is....which is more important?
Good, deep sleep? Or being able to hear that bump in the night?