Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Kids and Deployments

This deployment has been so different than the others. The biggest difference is now we have a child involved. Jack has kept me so busy, in so many good ways. We are part of a MOPS group two Tuesdays a month and have a "Mommy and Me" gymnastics class on Wednesday mornings. He is climbing on the sofa to read and has so many words I can't even count! (He can put 3 words together...a big deal for a 20 month old! He says "I git youuuu" and "Mo mo cook-ee puh-leeez!" When he asked for more cookies, I just about gave him the whole box I was so excited!) I also get a baby-sitter at least 1 night a week so I can have some adult time (Tuesday is my tap dance class).

For the most part, Jack is handling this deployment extremely well. The week before Ian left, we began working on the concept of "right back." Jack started understanding pretty quickly that if we leave his Lambie in the car it will be there when we get back. This has translated into when Mommy leaves the room, leaves the house for a few hours (and a baby-sitter with him!), and ultimately to Daddy will come home. There have been several days that Jack has missed Ian so much it takes a while for me to calm him, but I know how good that is. He remembers Daddy and misses him, that equals attachment to Daddy...a very good thing. I feel the Daddy Doll has helped tremendously (go to www.daddydolls.com to get your own!) with the separation.

We have good days and bad days, but mostly great ones. Jack and I leave the house everyday, even if it's to go for a walk. We get together with friends often so we don't have too much time to miss our Hero (or watch the news). Each day the deployment gets a little easier, but we also miss Ian a little more. With just under 3 months left, we can now start planning The Day. The Day our Hero returns to our arms. The Day Daddy can drive cars with Jack. The Day Ian can take out the trash and change a diaper.

P.S. Today, August 29 marks 100 days of deployment...the longest we have ever made it without news of cancer or more surgery!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cancer Facts

I have received lots of facts and information since I started actively advocating for Survivors. I received the following through my LIVESTRONG advocacy email group:

In the time it takes you to read this short page of information, another five people were diagnosed with cancer and two more people will have died from cancer. Cancer kills about one American every minute of every day, or about 1,500 people every 24 hours.

About 1.4 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2006. More than 20 million new cancer cases have been diagnosed since 1990.

One of every two men and one out of three women will get cancer in their lifetimes.

Three out of every four American families will have at least one family member diagnosed with cancer.

About 565,000 Americans are expected to die of cancer in 2006. In the U.S., cancer is the second leading cause of death, responsible for 1 in 4 deaths.

According to the National Institutes of Health, overall costs for cancer in 2005 were nearly $210 billion, including medical costs, the cost of lost productivity due to illness and the cost of lost productivity due to premature death.

Approximately 77% of all cancers are diagnosed in people aged 55 and older.

An estimated 9,500 new cases of cancer are anticipated among children aged 14 and younger in 2006. Other than accidents, cancer is the leading cause of death among children.

The Good News:
Cancer researchers have a clear understanding of how cancer evolves, from the initial disruption of genetic material, and the signals that drive and nourish this growth and cause it to spread. We are at a crossroads in the history of cancer research and we are poised to make exponential gains, to even reduce it to a chronic disease, like diabetes. Early indicators include:

For the first time in more than 70 years, annual cancer deaths in the United States have fallen. The number of cancer deaths in the U.S. fell between 2002 and 2003, the first annual decrease in total cancer deaths since the 1930s, when nationwide data began to be compiled.

As of January 2002, it is estimated that there are 10.1 million cancer Survivors in the U.S. Approximately 14% of the 10.1 million estimated Survivors were diagnosed more than 20 years ago.

People can reduce their risk of getting cancer through diet, exercise, weight loss and the practice of other healthy lifestyle factors.

Today, 64% of adults diagnosed with cancer will be alive in five years. Among children, nearly 75% of childhood cancer Survivors will be alive after 10 years.

Does this make you want to prevent cancer from killing even more Americans in 2 days than September 11? If so, here are a few ways you can help:

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

2 Months Down

In about 4 months Ian will be home. That still seems so far away. It's a thousand degrees outside and he won't be home until it's cooler. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the end of this deployment. It's been really hard, I hate crawling into bed at night (see what time I posted this). But having Jack to care for has kept me busy and from thinking about Ian being gone too much. There are times when Jack will ask for Dadda, so we look at pictures, get his Daddy Doll, and talk about how we miss him lots and he'll be right back. And we pray every night for God to keep Daddy safe in Afghanistan, or as Jack says, "Gan-stan."

Another thing that has made the deployment easier is Ian. He's been super sweet with phone calls and sending me sweet notes in the mail. Our 6th anniversary was last Saturday and he sent me a huge bouquet of red roses, a gorgeous potted orchid, and M&Ms. Not just any M&Ms, ones with a personalized message! It felt like Christmas as UPS and Fed Ex delivered the packages. I felt so special, which I am pretty sure was Ian's goal.

So some good things do come out of a deployment...but I'd still rather have my husband home than a million M&Ms.