My cancer saga started when I was diagnosed at 38 with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I have a twisted sense of humor and have tried to continue that laughter and optimism on my journey...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A not so normal day of... Medical DP?

Episode CXII - buns up kneeling wheeling and dealing

I guess it was bound to happen. I mean it was bound to happen to me. I was scheduled for a true medical double penetration day... get your minds out of the gutter or at least attempt too. I was going to both the Gynecologist and Gastroenterologist in one day.

Why would any human being schedule a vaginal exam and sigmoidoscopy on the same day? Are they completely idiotic? Possibly. However, when they are the only days you can get and you are told you have to go, you take it. You drop your drawers and you take it!

The last minute scheduling of both was due to unexpected issues. My lower region has decided to go haywire. My front was acting unusual. I had no weird symptoms, but I was leaking. My back was acting unusual, it was bleeding. So basically, I had issues both holes and they had been going on for a while. Not only did I get the DP today, I still had my nasal endoscopy on Thursday... I was getting it from both ends this week!!!

Making the best of it...

To start this medical nightmare of a day, I showered. There was no way that I was going to go to the Gyno without showering. It was bad enough that I was going for an appointment about discharge. There was no way I was going to be unclean. I think most women feel this way. When people are going to check the lady parts out, we want them clean!

When I got to the office I did my normal waiting routine. Gyno offices take a long time. All those people out there having babies... taking up time...

On the way back to the room, I requested a urine culture. It was not that I was expecting an infection, but I wanted them to be sure. I was glad I asked, as they found some white blood cells in the urine. That is usually due to an infection, but they would send it off to be sure. There was no need for any medication as my family doctor had seen me yesterday and prescribed me an antibiotic due to some complaints about my lymph nodes in my right underarm area. So, either way... I got it covered.

Step one completed... peed in cup!

My Gyno is so funny. She cracks me up and makes every visit easy, which is a good
since she is all up in my business!!! As she was performing the exam she loudly says, "You have a yeast infection and it is a mess up in there." Words every woman wants to hear.

I had an internal yeast infection, so I had no typical symptoms. No burning. No itching. No real way to know... other than my intuition and realization that my leaking was not normal. Listen to your bodies people!!!

Step two completed... exam complete!

I left with a prescription to treat the yeast infection. And since I am "unusual" (she said it) I was given me extra dosages. She knows me too well.

By the time I made it home it was time to prep for the sigmoidoscopy. Yeah! I can not imagine why they need a cleaned out back end. So, I was suppose to use two enemas before the procedure. One at least 2 hours before and one 1 hour before. They recommended two, so I did three over the period of the time... I am "unusual".

TMI... It happened!

There is nothing like the cold bathroom floor. There is nothing like giving yourself enemas and waiting on that cold bathroom floor. I will spare you the details... you are welcome!

Step Three... expelled bowels!

I arrived at my 1 pm appointment ready and willing to make the experience good... tolerable... funny... something. The nurse at the check-in desk asked me who my doctor was. I forgot. I seriously blanked. I had no idea who he was, but I knew his last name started with a "P".

The minute she looked at my chart and told me his name, I felt ridiculous for forgetting. However, I have so many doctors now and so many appointments I honestly could not remember. Plus, my brain has not returned from treatment and the other medications are not helping. Sure... that's what it is!!!

I made a bunch of inappropriate comments. Duh! There is no way I could not make jokes all day. I mean they are going in my bum. I am not going to be medicated. It is a raw rear-entering examination.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy... thank goodness it's flexible!

The entire procedure is odd. First off, you are awake, naked, and talking to the doctor throughout the exam. A narrow tube goes up your rear and the images are displayed on a large (and I mean large) television right in front of you to see the entire process. The entire process!

Step Four... make excessive inappropriate jokes!

Sometimes there is still unexpected things that happen. No matter how prepared you are, there can be moments that surprise you. And well, I was unprepared for the visual images that will forever float in my brain prior to the internal pictures I was prepared to see.

The camera on the thin tube is turned on before entering. Basically, I got a view of my butt... then my butt cheeks being spread... then my rectum... and then... he's in...

When my giant bottom was up on the TV for everyone to see all I kept thinking was I hope I cleaned well, as there was no time to shower after the last enema.... please... please... let me have wiped my very best. I had, but either way too late!!!

The trek up the intestines to the sigmoid colon is right in front of your face in theater sized images. The tube will climb and you will see water flush off any residue. And thankfully there is very little (thanks 3 enemas). It is surprisingly very pink! Then it happens... there is one point where you are told, "this is going to be uncomfortable."

Anyone who really has done anything medical knows that means it is going to hurt. In the exam, there is a point when they have to make a turn... and that means they keep at it until they make the turn. It was not the worst pain, but it was not fun.

Step five... remain calm!

Of course, I suggest long deep breathing. It really helps with the continued climb through the large intestines. Trust me they are going to make their way there whether you like it of not. Breath.

Throughout the exam the nurse and doctor will repeatedly ask you if you are alright... well, nooo!

Step six... lie... this is all ok!

After the tube reaches the top, it move backwards slowly and the doctor really examines everything. I got to see my diverticula (which really are pouches in the lining). That was pretty cool. Then we made our way back even further and we got towards the rectal area. There was a hemorrhoid, fine. But there was an area that was inflamed. It was red and irritated and swollen. The skin was not nice and pink. He decided to take a few biopsies. Snip. Snap.

I watched as he took three samples from my intestinal lining. It looked like large metal tongs cutting out my skin. Then there was bleeding. There should have been a disclaimer...

The doctor and nurse in the room are constantly talking to you. And the conversation is actually interesting. It is rare that as a patient you get to see and learn about what they are doing and why. That was the positive aspect of the procedure. Plus, they actually give you insight into what is going on.

Step seven... exam finished!

It is not the worst experience I have had. I have endured far worse, so the minimal discomfort and awkwardness is something that does not phase me anymore. I was just glad to be done with it. And for me, it looked like I was inflamed for some reason which was causing the bleeding (and the hemorrhoid probably did not help). But overall, well overall... I looked pretty good. I was a bit tired, even worn out.

But medical DP will do that to a girl!!!

Step eight... do nothing!

In my head...

Episode Reference: Dinah-moe Humm, Frank Zappa song
(too foul to post here!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Can't hear. Can't swallow. They are overrated anyway!

Episode CXI - moving to the country gonna eat a lot of peaches

Time to hear if I am still deaf??? Yes... yes... I am... or at least that is what I think they said, but I could not really hear them.

off to see my ENT

My hearing has stayed at the same level of loss since I finished treatment. I was actually glad that I had not lost any additional hearing. So on that end, it was a successful visit. However, I was still upset that I am unable to wear my hearing aids. It is not that I do not want to wear them or cannot wear them. I choose not to wear them.

With all of my nervous system problems the use of the hearing aids makes me feel like I am if amplifying everything. It's as if the additional processing it takes to hear only makes my pain increase. Weird, I know. I am not alone. Even my google searches on sensory sensitivity and fibromyalgia led to multiple articles that confirmed there was some link between it all. Yeah... I just referenced Dr. Google!?!

While I have not fully figured out what causes it, I believe it has to do with the nervous system. I mean all those nerves in your ears trying to process all that sound... amplify it and amplify an already amplified nervous system. Ouch... or at least that was all I can figure it would be.

However, I cannot tolerate any addition pain so I choose to be slightly deaf. I am missing parts of conversations and possible all conversation if I am in a crowded place or if a person is soft spoken or if I am in an open place or if there are other sounds to process. Basically, I can only hear you if you speak loudly and at my face!

Other than my general lack of listening, I spoke to my ENT about my recent swallowing issues. I know - what else can go wrong with me?!?! Well, apparently I am unable to swallow correctly. Over the past month I have noticed that pills and food were not getting down my throat. Basically, I felt like things were getting stuck.

Not all things, but mostly small things. Rice. Pills. Even fluids. I figured that I was at a doctor's appointment with a ENT, I should use him for both ear & throat... he would know what to do... right?

something's stuck in there...

So after a brief discussion of my symptoms he decided that I needed a Swallow Study and a Nasal Endoscopy. Yeah, more tests!!!

While my Nasal Endoscopy would have to wait a few weeks until my next ENT visit, I was scheduled for a Swallow Study the following week.

new week. new test.

When I arrived to check in for the swallow study, I was at the "other" hospital. Most everyone has one of those hospitals. It was not the main hospital, but the smaller less popular hospital. The one that you do not really want to use, but sometimes have too. Well, I was there. And it was what I expected.

The waiting area was older. It showed wear-n-tear. It needed some upgrades... bad. The main desk in front of me was missing a portion of its veneer wood paneling. Sweet!

When my name was finally called I walked to the very last partitioned section. The woman was foreign which meant I was going to have some difficulty understanding her. It had nothing to do with her, but with the fact I do not have my hearing aids in and reading lips of English as Second Language persons was challenging for me. So, I leaned in and did my best not say "excuse me" too many times.

She was efficient and ready to take my payment. Post-cancer seems to be more expensive or as expensive as cancer. Once the money was exchanged she asked me about my cancer. It never ceases to amaze me at what people say. Usually people say the most ridiculous or insensitive things with ignorance. It was not like she was meaning to be rude, but what she said was rude.

Essentially I was told, "well thank goodness it was breast cancer as that does not really kill people any more." That was said by a woman who works in a hospital. Breast cancer leads to metastatic cancer which does kill people. That comment seemed pretty insulting to the many women I know with mets and the women who have died. You work at a hospital!!!

After seriously being confused by her comment I made my way to another waiting room where I was grateful to be seated in an area without any patients or crazy commenting workers. The speech pathologist was ready for me only minutes after I sat down. She was amazing. She was funny. She was knowledgeable. She was making the hospital appear better than it was. She did not make any inappropriate comments.

We made our way back to the exam room and I was surrounded by people. She had a high school student interested in the field shadowing her. There were multiple x-ray technicians and eventually a doctor even showed up. We discussed my many issues and my many treatments. There was a lot to discuss.

Afterwards I stood in front of an x-ray machine and they moved the machine close to my face and chest. I took a few gulps of barium milk. I took a few more gulps. I had a bite of barium applesauce. I had a powdered barium graham cracker. I had a spoonful of barium peanut butter. Sadly, I thought the peanut butter was ice cream, so I took a bite larger than I should have. Nothing like trying to get peanut butter off the roof of your mouth. Sticky!!!

The x-ray machine was filming my every bite and spoonful and gulp. When I was finished I was even allowed to watch my own images. It's so rare to actually get feedback. Normally you have to wait until your next appointment to learn anything. Instead I was watching an awesome black and white film of my face, neck, and body processing food.

I cannot express how cool it was to watch. It was really cool.

example of the image and a look at what swallowing is all about...

Afterwards, she discussed the findings. First off, she said so many things I cannot even begin to remember them all. In fact, she said so many Latin-based or Greek-based or Something-based words it blew my mind. I am only working with a tiny fraction of my brain here!!!

Basically, there were some issues with my upper esophagus. The sphincter in that area was not working as well as it should and she felt it may have been due to hardening from radiation. I was a bit taken back since I did not radiate my neck. I only went over my right chest. They felt that radiation (which can travel) may be the cause. Overall it was a minor issue, but the difficulty swallowing (or dysphagia) was a pain in my neck!

Radiation treatment can affect areas around the treatment area. It is not "common", but it can happen. Do I really have to get basically everything that is not suppose to happen?????

So, the area in my throat has thickened a little. She said when I just can take it anymore I can opt to do a Esophageal Dilation, aka throat stretching. That's essentially as odd as it sounds. It involves an endoscope in down your esophagus where a small balloon is inserted and inflated to stretch your esophagus. So, before I have one of these I will just tolerate my discomfort for a while.

Plus, I still get to see what the Nasal Endoscopy shows in a few weeks...     joy!

In my head...

me resting with Molly (the dog) 

All these appointments were wearing me out. I guess the new year did not bring new breaks, but more like new tests. I still have more to go, but at least the swallow study was painless. It was easy. No needles. No IVs. No prep. It involved eating. The biggest complaint (which it was not even a complaint) could be that the barium in the foods tasted a bit funny. Honestly, I did not really notice.

Even though they found something, it was not something huge. Not to say that my trouble swallowing is easy. It is annoying. I am having to slow down my meals, take smaller bites, and drink water between food. I am having to turn my head from side to side to help alleviate the narrowness. Is it a pain??? Yes. Is it the end of the world??? No. It is just another thing for me to deal with. Tack it on the list.

But so far, I would rate that test as one of the all time bests of my tests.

Episode Reference: Peaches, The Presidents of the United States of America song

Sunday, March 8, 2015

bundle up... pack up..

Episode CX - You're off to great places

My son (15) is going to Japan with his cousin (14). Yes, you read that correct. Japan. They are going to Japan!

Last Thanksgiving I made some random comment that my son could go with his cousin on his school's winter trip. Of course this was dependent on both high schools agreeing that it was alright. Then they did the unimaginable, they both actually said ok!?!?!

I have lost my mind... Japan...
well... maybe I'm delusional...

The reason I even offered such a grand trip to such a young boy, was from my only "regret". Blah! I really dislike that word... regret... it should be more like "a desire to have done" instead. I have said that if I died my only desire would have been more traveling. Morbid, I know, but if we are putting out wishes I would also desire to have my 20 year old body back, a house with an art studio, and the ability to embarrass my children more than I already have.

I digressed. Basically he got the opportunity of a lifetime. Japan - with his cousin - and without parents. I was slightly jealous and very excited for him. I immediately said go for it! We have spent the past few weeks really preparing for the trip... did I say we... I meant me. I wanted to make sure he had what he needed and then a few things extra because he was going to be off on his own. Food!!!

I wondered if the school would notice if I tried to play off as a student so I can go too. I do not think they will fall for it!

The boys headed off on their adventure...

I asked very little questions trusting the chaperon's experience and he took off on his adventure. I have learned over the years to not really worry when he travels, especially on a school trip. The minute he walked away I had no say. I had no input on his choices. I would just have to hope that he makes careful, thoughtful choices. Wait... he is a 15 year old boy... what was I thinking?

The boys were safely on their way. Since I was in my hometown, my daughter and I decided to stay and visit with my family. Plus we were getting ready for a big winter storm. By big, I mean big for our standards. Any time we have more than a dusting the whole area shuts down like a blizzard is coming. Even with the forecast of potential snow the people go crazy and buy all the bread and milk.

The snow did fall. The 6-9 inches of snow was like a blizzard. It was actually enough to build a real snowman and not those little tiny mini-snowmen that we normally make. However, I must admit our snowman was so sad that it was too embarrassing to post. I am not even sure I got a picture of it... it was that sad.

It was fun being at home with my parents and my daughter for the winter weather. Not only was it fun to play with them, it was even more fun to watch them play with my daughter. Plus, they saved me all the hard work of physically playing outside in the cold. The only person who was pretty much not having fun was my husband who was home alone trying to get to work despite the weather.

Me with my snow buddies (aka parents and daughter)...

In my head...

No doctors appointments. Just a break to visit with my family for a few days. Time to play. I did learn that the cold was brutal on my body. When I took my daughter sledding at the local golf course and sat outside watching for hours, I hurt. I hurt in new ways. My facial nerve, trigeminal neuralgia, went crazy... and it lasted for days after it started. It was like I got chilled to the nerve.

Despite the cold, it was nice to just take a full week off of the insanity of doctors and scans and tests and medical oddities in my life. While it was no week in Japan, it was still a break... and I did not have to endure the excessively long travel time.

Episode Reference: Oh, the Places You'll Go, Dr Seuss book

Thursday, February 12, 2015

smile... in the good and the bad

Episode CIX - Show me how big your brave is

Unexpected surprises and exciting things can happen!

Even in the midst of my crazy life, I had some very positive things going on. I was contacted by a person about my artwork. Seriously. Someone who reads my blog wanted to purchase some of my artwork for a cancer charity, Sparrow's Nest. I was honored... excited... I was down-right happy!!!!

A cancer agency that cooks and delivers
meals to the families of moms with cancer
learn about Sparrow's Nest, click here

It is amazing to think that through my blog and cancer experience, a woman found me and was willing to support me in an unexpected way. I have never tried to sell my artwork until recently and now my very first sell would be hanging with people taking care of other cancer fighters. I love it!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could be this lucky.

My artwork ready to be shipped...

With the artwork off to New York, I was off to the family doctor. It was time to check in and figure out how my new medication was working on my Fibromyalgia. While I had noticed some small positive affects, I was still living in chronic pain. I was still hopeful for more answers or solutions!

Smoke & Mirrors... Smile & Makeup....
off to the doctor

It is amazing to me that people tell me that I look good or that I do not look sick. Throughout my treatment people thought I looked good for having cancer. Now without my blaring bald head people often say they would never guess I had been ill. Recently, I was even asked if I lost my hair during treatment. If they only knew that I had and it grew back a different color... redder!!!

I hope people will use me as an example. Just because someone does not look sick does not mean they are not sick. There is a lot of judgment towards people appearing well, but having unseen illnesses. Even though I may look healthy, I am a walking time bomb. I am usually doing my normal routine in pain. I refuse to stop going. I am just smiling through it!

The funny thing is that even though I feel horrible, I am happy. I am a happy person. I believe in smiling. I believe in laughing. I believe in having a twinkle in my eye. So, despite my chronic pain, my constant aching body, and my post-cancer-war-torn body... I put on a smile and people notice.

I am choosing to handle pain with grace and strength and a smile. And on days I felt smiling was just too much I opted to stay away from people, other than my family. I still smiled. Even if I cursed (which I have done more profusely than a sailor), even if I cried (which I have done alone and with others), even if I wanted to quit (which I have questioned the idea of living), even in the best and worst moments... I smiled. I joked. I laughed.

Because I am alive. Even in the pain... I am here and I will fight... I will laugh. I will smile.

The fluctuation in weather was definitely causing multiple fibro flares to happen. And flares... well... they are bad. No one had ever discussed what a flare was with me, so I had no idea what one really was. I just knew there were times when I truly felt worse. It was like every part of my body... every symptom becomes more crippling.

Glimpse into what causes a flare, click here.

Basically, I am becoming friendless. The cold is not my friend. The rain is not my friend. The hot is not my friend. Can I just find some low 70 degree weather? Year-round? Without rain? Is that too much to ask?!?!

And since we are discussing fibro flares... stress, over-exertion, weather, lack of sleep, and a bunch of other things can cause a flare. Seriously, if I fart I could have a flare at this point! I live in a constant state of never knowing what to expect... well, other that I hurt!!!

Since I have unrealistic weather and life expectations I better just learn to manage the pain the best way I can. Other than hibernating under my heating blanket, I might need to put flashing hazard lights around me as a warning to keep a safe distance away.

In my head...

Life is full of good and bad. I am just choosing to cherish those good moments...

I was thrilled to have my first artwork purchased (other than a family member). It was hard for me to initially post my artwork online. I think artists tend to be horrible self-promoters, or at least I am. I can always find faults or corrections to any work I create. I live with that art is never finished feeling.

However, the Sparrow's Nest is an amazing organization supporting other cancer fighters. Hopefully those patients will find time to follow their passions and use that to aid in their healing. Find the good!!!

As for the bad, the chronic pain, it is just part of my existence at this point. I have spent almost two years dealing with some type of ailment. I am not sure I even expect it to change, but I am hopeful it will. You would think I could call myself a Master Jedi of Pain now earning a cool light saber and possessing skilled mind control (you will look at my art website and buy something)... it was worth a try...

Episode Reference: Brave, Sara Bareilles song

Monday, February 2, 2015

My Craptacular Adventures

Episode CVIII - it never rains but it pours

Where to even begin?

It was like the past few weeks were jammed packed full of crap. I am not kidding. It was just one horrible thing after another. Of course, I tend to turn horrible into something good in the end, but still it was a stinky couple of weeks...

Sums up my relationship with crappy things...

Craptacular Issue #1 - Bullying

My daughter has had a horrible year at her school this year. She has had multiple bullying issues within her class. Issues range from mild name calling (stupid, fat, ugly), to taking her snacks and food, to more severe issues including being called a “son of a b***h”, "piece of s**t", pushing, scratching, pulling her shirt up in PE, telling her she is too ugly to love, her parents don’t love her, she should not exist, etc.  These issues have been escalating all year.

Did I mention she is in only in the 2nd grade?!?!

I could go on and on about how horrible the situation has been and how sad it is to watch my sweet girl begin to feel worse and worse as the year has progressed. I mean it is not like she has not already gone through enough. She managed to go through my cancer with no issues, but now... now the excessive bullying was breaking her down. So, we did as all good parents do and met with the school.

By the end of the meeting we felt we had been placated. There overall view was that "kids will be kids". We brought in a list of multiple issues with multiple children. While some of the concerns were minor, others were extremely concerning.  The list was meant to show the totality of what she endured this year. We really wanted one child to get help, as the severe bullying needed to stop!

In the meeting they said a number of insulting things including one where they implied her problems could just be reactions to my cancer, like she was now all of the sudden seeking attention. Although we were dissatisfied with the meeting, we still wanted to give the school a chance to improve the situation. We were hopeful despite all of our issues with the meeting. We wanted to be hopeful!

Without knowing what to do I had to rely on the support from some of my friends who also happen to be parents of children at our elementary school. I did not want to start an online debate or issue, I wanted the school to take the time to rectify the bullying problem. I found a few friends and confided in them seeking encouragement, support, and advice.... those poor friends... they should have hung up on me.

Craptastic Issue #2 - The Stroke

It was one of those things you dread as a child, a phone call about your parent. My husband's mother had a stroke during the night. Thank goodness that her partner/husband/man-friend was there to do all of the right things. He knew something was wrong and as soon as possible he called an ambulance.

While we were unsure the severity of the stroke, we knew it was not good. We spent the morning trying to get out of town. It is amazing how long it takes to really get out of town in a hurry. While my husband was leaving work, I was trying to rent a car, pack, contact the schools, pick up the kids, get the rental car, and board the dog. Nothing moved along quickly. I felt like I was in slow motion!

Finally, after hours of very hard work we were ready to leave.

Days in the car with these people...

The trip was going to be long. And I can only make it so far in a car without excruciating pain. We knew it was going to be a two day trip to get there, as it was well over a 14 hour drive. We made our way til the late night, stopped at a hotel, and got back to it first thing the next day. More time in the car with the kids... shoot me!!!

Thank goodness for cell phones and having the ability for instant information. We felt like all the news about his mom was pretty good and even wondered if we jumped the gun and came down unnecessarily. However, we knew we wanted to be there with her and just hoped she was improving.

It was past dinnertime when we arrived and my husband went to the hospital to check out the situation before we took the kids. I took the hotel shuttle downtown to eat at a local restaurant and keep us all distracted.

Late night dinner with these tired and worried kiddos.

By the time we got back to the hotel, I noticed my body was not used to the Florida heat. Along with some swelling... I got a crazy insane hot flash...

Having to cool off back in the room!!!

While we were at dinner my husband was dealing with his mother's dramatic turn for the worse. She was having a brain bleed. She was moved to ICU. We arrived just in time for him to be there to help support her through the very critical next few days. It was so scary. It was so horrible.

Then she began making slight improvements. We were so grateful for that. She improved enough that the kids were able to visit. They loved visiting her at the hospital. I honestly believe that those smiling youthful faces were encouraging... well, when they are behaving!!!

And during the times she needed rest or therapy or a break from our loud obnoxious energy, we made our way around Fort Myers. Touring local historical sites and eating at interesting places. The kids needed distractions from the seriousness of it all too.

It seems I have become an expert in finding happy moments in the midst of crazy!!

Ford & Edison Winter Estates & Ford Garage Resturant

After a week, we had to go home. There was no good time to leave. There was no easy way to leave a family member ill. However, we had to make our way back home. We were so grateful to see that she was surrounded by people who were able to support her. She had many friends there that would be willing to help and that made leaving slightly easier.

Plus, we had to make that long trip back home...

A very brief stop to Busch Gardens Tampa.

On our way back we took a quick detour into Busch Gardens. With all my ailments (and trust me I was hurting from standing in the hospital, bending over the hospital bed to talk, sleeping in a tiny bed) I was unsure about my ability to enjoy myself. So I caved... I caved in a way I never thought I would...

I rented one of those horrible rascal scooters. I did it. And I loved it... I am embarrassed to admit it, but I loved it. I would have never been able to walk the park without it. And while I did not really ride the rides, I rode the scooter. Yet I was present for my kids to have a bit of fun... and they needed and deserved some fun. Watch out world... I was in the need for speed!

Craptacular #3 - Bullying Part 2

So what do I do after returning from a week of stress and worry about my mother-in-law? Basically, I jumped right back into dealing with my daughter's bullying situation. When I got back so much had happened.

You know it is not good when your friend calls you crying because she is so upset that she is the one to tell you something that happened. She and a group of parents were told some horrible things at a PTA meeting. A teacher actually talked about my daughter, while she did not use her name, she referred to her at as the girl in 2nd grade who is lying about bullying. She went on to discuss issues in a public setting things that she should not have been aware of.

This teacher is in a different grade, who is not involved in this process, openly discussed my daughter’s situation and anonymously labeling her a liar.  This showed me that someone within the group at the first meeting openly shared the nature of the issues with at least this teacher and, most disturbingly, the faculty had already reached conclusion that my daughter was dishonest. I was appalled!

Things in my life just never seem normal or uncomplicated. Now you see why I told you earlier that my friends should have hung up on me... or at least ran away screaming. Instead that brave and kind friend went to the school meeting with me. Can you say... over and above the duty?!?!

I was not surprised by what they told me during that meeting. They said that they had held an investigation and did not find anything to support my daughter’s claims aside from a few minor behavior issues. All but two of the children they interviewed had denied any wrongdoing. They said they are unable to do anything about past issues because we did not report the incidents at the time they occurred, but they are looking out for future problems. They basically called my daughter a liar... like the teacher did the night before.

After we told them we had parents and proof of both the bullying and the teacher talking at the PTA meeting, our meeting suddenly changed. Magically they began to believe that bullying might have occurred. However, they never really apologized or acknowledged what happened to my child. Basically, I did not trust them any more. How would I keep my child at a school that publicly labeled her a liar and behaved so unprofessionally?

In my head...

Did I mention that these past weeks were crap... it was crap! The bullying was bad. The stroke was bad. Seriously, I am tired of bad.

We literally bought our home to be in this amazing school district. We never imagined that we would be dealing with issues like this... especially with 7 year olds. I never imagined that the issues with the school would get so far out of hand.

I really just wanted the kids to apologize to my child, offer help to the child with severe bullying, and for them to better monitor the kids so it stopped. Instead, I felt like more and more issues and problems with the school just kept coming to light. I fell down the rabbit's hole!!!!

With only a few options available, I applied to the local magnet elementary school. I am hopeful that she will get in to that program for next year. It is done through a lottery... so keep your fingers crossed... and until then... it looks like I will be homeschooling...

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

Episode Reference: The Adventures of Huck Finn, Mark Twain
"Oh, what a turn you did give me!
and how glad and grateful I am it ain’t no worse;
for luck’s against us, and it never rains but it pours..."