15 December 2009

"off" week

I can't believe that it has been so long since I last posted anything. In between resting, there has been much to do in preparation for my son, Michael's wedding, which is this coming Saturday.

This is my bonus week. Dr. Singh allowed me to add an additional week before I begin round two of my chemo treatments. I would have normally had a treatment yesterday. But, to help me have an extra week of recovery so that I can be stronger for Michael and Kristin's wedding, I got to skip it. The trade off is that I have to have my treatment next Monday, which is the day before my birthday and the week of Christmas. I will be pretty sick for the Christmas, but I would much rather have the strength to enjoy my son's wedding day.

I am frustrated with my limitations during this season. I want to "do". I have five areas in which I have tasks that need to be accomplished:
1) the wedding cake for Michael and Kristin
2) the reception food
3) making the boutineers and corsages for the wedding party
4) Christmas Stockings for my in-law children (a joint effort with Catherine)
5) Christmas "shopping" (for me mostly online this year)

The wedding cake is coming along. It is a 5 tier design covered in white fondant and with fondant draping and white sugar roses that requires more time and attention than the average wedding cake. I saw a photograph of this cake when looking for ideas for another bride. I showed it to Kristin and she fell in love and had to have this cake design. And really, isn't that one of the perks of having a wedding cake designer/baker for your future mother-in-law.

I'll tell you all something about this cake..shh...don't divulge my little secret...the top four tiers are not really cake, rather decorated styro-foam cake forms.

Since we always have open house style receptions I always have had "kitchen" cakes made in all the different cake flavors that are ready to cut at the beginning of the reception for those who arrive early, long before the cake cutting. People shouldn't be penalized for arriving early. Everyone deserves cake.

When I made Mary and Christian's cake, her top three tiers were "fake cake" and the bottom two were real cake with another 150 servings of kitchen cake. There was SO much cake left over which we happily gave to people who helped. But, in the end, Mary has a reminder of her cake every time she comes over because I have the top part of her cake on display above the kitchen cabinets.

So, I decided to do the same thing for Kristin. She'll have a four tier replica of her wedding cake on display to remind her of her happy day every time she comes over. Some day, I hope to make replicas of Elizabeth and Catherine's cakes as well.

What this means is that I can work on all the fake tiers days in advance, because there is nothing perishable about these tiers. The actual cake for the enormous bottom 17" round bottom tier will be made on Thursday. But, I still have about three hours of work on the four fake tiers to go.

About a week ago, my dear friend Beth arrived from L.A. to attend the wedding and to help me with advance preparations. The week has flown by. She is most willing to help with whatever task I give her. Mostly it is going to the grocery store to get ingredients for the food we are making for the wedding reception and making the food to put in the freezer. We have made good progress and thanks to several kind friend who offered to make the other recipes, we didn't have as much to do. She will also be a big help with the flowers, as she has done this before.

The Christmas Stockings is my "I can rest while I do this project" and it has been fun. But now that it is the week of the wedding, I don't have time to work on them and that makes me sad. I made my children's Christmas stockings (felt stocking with felt appliqué and sequins to make them sparkle). I had always wanted to make a stocking for each of my new sons and daughters (I like that better than the word "in law). Catherine bought the supplies and together we searched coloring pages on line for items to use as patterns for the appliqué. She and I cut out the felt and then I started hand sewing the items on the stocking. I got those done in a day or two, but the sequins take forever and that is where I am at right now.

Christmas shopping is all done, except for one item Doug must pick up at Wal Mart. This is the first time in 20 years that I haven't had to complete shopping on Christmas Eve. Go me....well, go 'on-line shopping'.

Now, suddenly I am seeing that this is pretty ambitious for someone with my weaker than usual constitution. But, you see, my life still goes on. Cancer can't stop me. Or, should I say, chemotherapy can't stop me. I won't let it. It definitely slows me down. I had my first outing day yesterday going to two stores: Aldi's and WalMart. I was gone a total of 2.5 hours that seemed like 4. I was spent. It was just too much. Today I am paying for it. I am so fatigued and weak that I can barely function no less stay awake. I have a headache too.

This is the first time that I have had an "extra" week between chemo treatments. I really thought that I would feel different. "Better" different. But, not so much. Still tired and weary. I have got to rest and not wear myself out so that I can be strong for Saturday, which I know will be a VERY long day. It will all be worth it.

I refuse to let my spirits drop. This is my favorite time of the year and I want to be a part of the joy of the Christmas season in anyway that I still can. Daily I am filled with gratitude for family and friends and good doctors and nurses. Mostly, I am grateful to Heavenly Father for sustaining me the last two and half months. I am not alone. Not ever.

I wish you all the most peaceful and joyous Christmas with all the blessings of heaven poured down on you and your families.


melissa said...

I'm glad you get an "off" week and hope that you are able to have a very Merry Christmas. Or at least a Not Super Horrible Christmas. I love your kitchen cake idea! Wish I had thought of that.
Thinking of you . . .

Mikkelsens said...

I'll be praying that Saturday is a "feel good" day for you so that you can enjoy, not just endure it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I hope the wedding is beautiful and you have enough energy to enjoy it! Saturday is our 17th wedding anniversary, so we will be thinking of you and the newest young couple to share our day!

Kevan said...

The wedding is going to be so beautiful!! You are such an amazing woman and we are praying for you constantly. I hope that your next round of Chemo goes gently so that you can feel a little joy and comfort this Christmas!

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