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The Day Before Hurricane Irma – What it Was Like and Moments I Want to Remeber

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The last two days before Hurricane Irma hits are emotional and tiring. But before whatever aftermath she leaves behind, there are some moments that I want to remember. I think some lessons and perhaps some regrets. This post will be random and I will probably jump from one moment to another. So try to keep up.

It’s Saturday night and yesterday is a blur. I think I tried to work, but that was unsuccessful. Maybe I went shopping. Or was that on Thursday? Eventually, I got my act together and started to do laundry since we would most likely be without power for a while. I had a glass a wine.

The Day Before Hurricane Irma

Saturday started really early. Like 12am early. We awoke to our phone alarm going off telling us that we are now under a Hurricane Warning. That means she is for sure coming up our way. My best friend texted me around 1 something in the morning and the texts messages from my other girl friends commenced around 7am. The most beautiful coast in the United States (in my opinion) was getting hit with a major category 4 hurricane. The biggest this area has ever seen. The west coast of Florida is not only beautiful, its peaceful. My favorite place is sitting on the beach watching the sunset. How can something so beautiful be so scary.

The text messages between my girlfriends and I ranged from, how paranoid (and rightfully so ) our husbands were acting to how many bottles of wine we bought at the store. We vented and shared our anxieties. I’m so thankful to have these girls in my life.

My sister, Gianna and I left the house around 8am to make one last trip to Publix. We needed more ice so we were on the hunt for that. Thank you Walgreens and Racetrack for still having ice. As expected shelves were empty, but thankfully we did all our main shopping a few days earlier. As we pulled back into our driveway, we saw my husband boarding up our windows. He had his tool belt on which made my daughter laugh.

Daddy looks like Bob the Builder! It was pretty funny and cute at the same time. He was outside prepping our house ALL DAY. I think he sat down for like 15 minutes because our 2-year-old was yelling and crying for his Daddy. Trace joined his Dad outside and helped with the preparations.

Since my parents live across the street, I went over there and helped move some stuff inside. My sister and Mom did most of it already. My Dad was sitting in his recliner totally relaxed. Three years ago my Dad would’ve been prepping just as hard as Justin. He’s some pretty major health issues and it has affected him both mentally and physically. I started second guessing our decision to stay. My Dad uses a walker and even a wheelchair at times. We decided the day before that my parents would come to our house during the storm.

Nothing is going to happen, he says. Three years ago he would’ve been a nervous nelly and driving everyone crazy. Maybe he would’ve even made the decision to leave. Dear God I hope we made the right decision.

I see people on Facebook judge and making comments about the choice of staying or leaving. I feel so sorry for those who say something negative or snarky about either decision. I’m sorry your small mind will only allow you to see through a small lens.  

As we were prepping the house you can hear a number of skill saws going. Wood was being cut and nails were being drilled. We can already feel the wind. Neighbors driving by stopped and checked-in. Family from out-of-state called and texted us. Some where wondering why we didn’t leave. My cousin in Orlando offered her home. Funny because on Friday the hurricane was headed her way, so I offered our home. The track shifted over our direction over night so her house was now looking like a better option.

I just have to say that even if I had a one bedroom apartment, I would open up my home to all my family. Especially, with a storm as nasty as this.   I’m really touched that she offered.

I feel nauseous as I’m writing this. We skipped lunch and had overcooked shrimped for dinner. 

I said this was going to be a random rant. 

Our 2 year-old was a handful today. I probably only played with him for 30 or 45 minutes because I was “too busy” prepping things. He was driving me crazy with his hitting and throwing fits. Ugh. I feel awful and wish I had slowed down today. Tomorrow, he will get all my attention. Well, at least half. Gianna needs her Momma too.

I’ve gathered all important documents and put them in a big Ziploc, which is in a bigger plastic envelope, which is in our suitcase. The suitcase has some clothes, shoes, toiletries, medicines. Trace has his own little bag packed. There’s a big black bin that will hold valuables, pictures and maybe some more clothes. All this in case of an emergency. Thanks Mel, for the packing advice.

We have a safe room, lanterns, flashlights and enough water and food for at least 2 weeks. I just want my 8-year old to feel safe. We prayed hard tonight. I can tell she’s a little apprehensive. She too will get all my attention tomorrow.

Throughout the day I kept thinking about our law enforcement, nurses, first responders, the drivers delivering gas and the guys at Publix restocking the bread. THANK YOU. 

Children are sleeping, patio furniture is in the kids playroom, phones are charging, our dog Mia is acting strange and Daddy and I are still up. It’s time to go to bed.

Be kind everyone. Take care of each other. It’s 1am and tomorrow is going to be a long day.

 

 

September 10, 2017
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Cheers to 2 rounds of chemo down!

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After my 2nd chemo treatment all I wanted to do was go for a walk. Justin had to go to the store so I told him to go and them come back to pick me up. I once roamed these sidewalks as a care free college students and damn it-those where one of the best times in my life. During college I loved being outside and finding my own quite haven to study. Although Moffitt sits on somewhat of “unknown” territory to me. This girl, knows that if you keep walking, eventually this campus will lead you to some water, fountains, and some shaded benches. I found it of course. Right in between the Psychology and Natural & Environmental Sciences buidlings. Us Public Relations/Mass Comm students NEVER had to venture this far West on campus. Lol! Right now, I’m staring at a body of water with ugly ducks and a fountain shooting up probably just as gross water-yet, I think its the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all week. I’m officially 25% done with my chemo treatments! My hair started falling out 3 days ago, so this weekend its coming off- all of it. Honestly seeing my hair fall out in clumps isn’t as traumatic as everyone said it would be. I guess I prepared myself as it being the most horrible experience through this all. Now, if my eyelashes start coming off, then that may be a whole different story! This picture featured is one of my new wigs. I call it my Brit Brit hair 🙂

As I’m sitting here I can’t help but reflect on the side effects that I’ve been so blessed with these past 2 weeks:

Bone pain from Nuelasta: Easy peasy rememdey is Vicodin and Claritin
Dry skin, or rashe
Fatigue
Hair loss
Constipation (lasted only 3 days thank God!)
Flu-like symptoms, including Sinus pain
My face broke out during week 2-I honestly don’t remember the last time my face looked like this-maybe middle school??? I made Justin go to the store and get me good ole’ Clearasil. With some diligence, I must say it’s working!

Random things: Before taking a Tylenol or Advil I must take my temperature and make sure its under 100.5. Why? B/c temperature may = infection = no bueno. My low immune system did get the best of me this round, but I’m going to do everything possible to keep it in check this time around. My aunt bought me the NutriBlast which has been AMAZING and I recommend it to everyone! It makes disgusting veggies taste like a fruit smoothie. So far my favorite concoction is : Spinach, bananas, mango and blueberries! Yum! You can even through in some chia seeds for the ultimate immune ass kicker.

Cheers to 2 rounds of chemo down!

June 15, 2013
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What gets you through the first week of chemo? Here’s my list:

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Love-from family, friends and even just acquaintances

My daughters laughter and smile

My husbands “matter of fact” attitude

My sisters heart, smile and strong attitude-stronger than mine

Mom’s meals

Dad’s words of wisdom

Praying to God

Positive thinking from fabulous friends such as  http://craftybeerrunner.com/ and http://mariabrennansart.blogspot.com/?wref=bif 

Co-workers who extend a genuine helping hand

Lorazapam & Vicodin & Nausea meds

Girlfriends who don’t listen to you when you say “ I don’t want company”

A great haircut involving,  a few 4-packs of cheap wine and veggie straws

Music

My blog

Encouraging messages from you all

Determination & knowing that there is something greater on the other end.

June 4, 2013
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The Treatment Plan

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This post will be short and sour. I promise I find some rainbows in the days to follow. Friday comes and we sit down with Dr. Kiluk. I have Stage IIB Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, PR-, ER- Her-, with a nuclear grade of 3. So what do all these things mean? Basically  it means that hormone therapy will not work for me since this tumor is negative in all three categories (PR,ER,HER). I have what is called Triple Negative Breast Cancer-it accounts for 15% of breast cancer. Leave it to me to not be in the norm-it was never my style anyway.  Unfortunately, I can’t take a magic pill and the tumor will slowly disappear. As it stands right now, I have 4 months of chemo, followed by surgery, followed by radiation and somewhere in there a new set boobs. However, the PET Scan & MRI results showed that the cancer has not spread! Thank you Lord Jesus!

Dr. Kiluk describes it as a marathon and I just came around the first mile.

June 1, 2013
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May 13, 2013

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It’s only fitting that the title of this first post is the date when my life would change forever. I know people say that all the time, but I didn’t realize the magnitude of that “life event” that would make this statement so true and powerful. Here I go…

May 27, 2013
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