They Love Him Before He’s Even Born

They Love Him Before He’s Even Born

I don’t know exactly when or how I met Jason and Denise (aka @iHubby and @snazzy_mcgee) but it was honestly love at first tweet. It’s probably been at least a year and a half now. Internet time is so strange!

You may remember Jason from the great National Championship BlogBet as he’s an Oregon fanatic and well, Auburn won! 

I think the most amazing thing about Jason and Denise has got to be their spirit. Even though I’ve never met them or even talked to them on the phone, I know that they are special people. They’ve had some setbacks (cancer and lingering effects of it) but are on a mission to become the most amazing parents ever. I mean, if I were in the market for new parents, which I’m not because mine are kinda cool, I’d totally be heading out to Oregon so they could take me to school, make me clean my room and pay for my college! Because that would be awesome to make Jason pay for me to go to Auburn again, right?

I asked Denise to share their story with all of you. Jason has told their story from his side but I know there’s another side to the story. The side from the wife who stood by his bedside, who mourned the loss of an innocent adulthood and who mourns the loss of the ability to have their own biological children. But also from her side is hope. Lots and lots of it. She IS truly snazzy. 

What am I waiting for? Here she is: Snazzy, I mean, Denise! 


It’s a pretty risky deal to start off a guest post with telling you about my dream, because who actually reads long-winded diatribes that aren’t real? Especially the dreams of someone you don’t even know? I hate reading about people’s dreams, and in the interest of your time I will keep this short and sweet: I dreamed that my husband and I had three children delivered to us by a stork, and even though I didn’t physically have the kids I knew that they were ours.

This was before my husband, Jason, had cancer. It was before they removed his testicle and before he went through chemo, though he went on to do all of that.

When I had the dream, our lives were fairly inane and remained that way until two weeks shy of our first wedding anniversary. That’s when he thought he had a stomach bug that turned out to be a lump in his left teste. We went to the ER on Sunday night. They removed the tumor and teste to which it was attached on Tuesday morning. On Friday morning we got the dianosis: cancer.

He went through two rounds of chemotherapy and we were instructed to wait six months before trying to have children. We weren’t really ready to have kids then, but at his year-after-chemo doctor’s visit, we requested a sperm analysis be done. Four days later we found out he had no sperm.

That stung more than the cancer diagnosis. Despite never having imagined myself pregnant, I felt crushed. I always figured it would be something I would do eventually and I was starting to warm up to the idea of morning sickness and loss of bladder control.

Having the choice of pregnancy be ripped away from me was more painful than I ever thought it would be. I mourned for myself a little bit; I mourned for the loss of options. One night I had a full-blown pity party, ugly, snot filled cry present and accounted for. Not my finest hour, no, but it was absolutely necessary.

It’s hard to explain why I was sad about something I never thought I wanted; I suppose because the alternative was so foreign that I was scared. I was scared of all of the waiting and the money and the telling my child that she’s adopted and having her hate me; I was scared of being different and unable to relate to my friends who did not adopt. I was angry that so much had happened to us in the past two years; I was pissed because it wasn’t fair. Juvenile, right?

I’m better now. We both are. It’s been six months since the sperm-free confirmation and our irrational fears and hesitancy have been dealth with. I still get little twinges of jealousy and I still sometimes have near-hyperventilation experiences when I think about how long this will take and how expensive it will be, but we will find a way.

We are ready to be parents, and as that is our ultimate goal, becoming parents through adoption meets those needs to a tee. We will provide a safe home, a home that fosters creativity and uniqueness.

There will never be a day that our child does not know how much we love him and that how special he is for being chosen twice: once by his birth mother who chose to carry him and let him go, and once by us, his parents, who loved him before he was even born.


She didn’t mention it, so I will. There has been a Chipin site set up for them to help offset some of the fees that it will take to make their adoption happen. It’s a long process and every little bit will help them make it happen sooner than later. It’s quick and easy to donate a couple of dollars… They won’t agree to naming rights though, I already asked! 

Denise and Jason, thank you for sharing your story and opening your heart to a sweet soul who will possibly never understand how much he/she was loved well before they were even born! 

There’s No Substitute for Some Things

There’s No Substitute for Some Things


I remember sitting in the PICU, receiving the “bad news” about Charlie and watching the nurse fumble around to find me the “good tissues,” which if you’ve ever gotten the “good tissues” in a hospital you KNOW they’re only one step above government-issued Russian tissue. (aka cardboard)

For someone about to blow their nose 1.5 zillion times in an hour, this didn’t bode well. One of our first calls to friends, they asked what they could do. My answer. “Bring REAL FREAKING KLEENEX®.”

They did. Obviously they are keepers.

Even with real Kleenex®, and I mean REAL, name-brand with the little round ®  thingy or whatever Kleenex®, your nose is still going to get angry with you. About 48 hours into the waterworks, the nose was rightly chaffed, red, dry and hurty. So hurty that you resort to rubbing chap-stick all over your nose just to get a little relief. (Shut up. You know you’ve done that, too.)

I do believe this was all before lotioned Kleenex® came about, so we were doing the best we could. It was eleventy billion times better than hospital-issued tissues, though.

After Charlie died, we provided bags of necessities to families in the PICU in his memory. They all included REAL Kleenex® packets and we also donated large boxes of Kleenex® to the nurse’s station to give to parents who were receiving bad news or mourning the loss of their child.

Fast forward to present day.

I will report that my ENT’s office uses Kleenex® in their rooms. Good sign as soon as you walk in. If they’re gonna be all up in my nose with probes and stuff, they better have something good for me to wipe my nose and tears when they’re done. That’s one of the only reasons I agreed to let them do the surgery on me… they know good tissues and PROVIDE THEM.

Nose surgery equals lots of nose wiping, or dabbing as it really has been. Lots of Kleenex® has been used. By lots, I mean two full giant boxes in 4 days. The husband was kind enough to buy the lotioned kind for me and aahhh, can I just say how heavenly that’s been?

(side note: Kleenex® boxes also make great bedside trash cans.)

I didn’t realize how heavenly the lotioned Kleenex® was until yesterday when I ran out and resorted to a fresh roll of toilet paper because I didn’t feel like taking my pitiful butt across the road to Target to get some more.

Now, I buy good toilet paper. I don’t buy the awesome pink stuff that feels like it’s made of kitty cat fur (my Grannie does, or she used to), but I do buy nice, soft, absorbent, triple ply stuff. But this toilet paper has left my nose dry, scratchy on the outside and begging for a nice layer of chap-stick to ease the burn.

Good toilet paper’s got NOTHING on Kleenex®. NOTHING.

So today I will go out and buy another box or three of real, lotioned Kleenex® because I don’t see an end to the nose-wiping in my near future. And there’s no reason to skimp on something that is going to cause you pain, heartache and chaffing.

**Kleenex® did not give me any product or money or anything to make me write this post. I buy Kleenex® and all opinions contained in this post are mine and mine only. If they want to sponsor me to get Kleenex® into hospitals for ALL patients, not just those who get bad news, I’m down with that. Otherwise, this is just me, still slightly hyped up on pain med, blabbing on about wiping my nose on their fabulous product.


Shoot, It’s Tuesday

Shoot, It’s Tuesday

Wait, there’s a subtitle, too.


Goodness, y’all. I feel like I’ve been mowed down by a rampant contestant in a lawnmower race at the Redneck Games.

Confession: I’m not a good patient. I repeat NOT a good patient.

And the husband? He’s a decent nurse. I repeat DECENT nurse.

By that, I mean, he was really great for the first 24 hours when I was knocked slap out. Once I was awake and could go to the bathroom without falling on my poor sore face, he was done, I think. Not bashing him. He’s not a nurse by trade (thank heavens) and since there was no obvious blood or stitches or whatever, why wouldn’t I be back to normal?

But at the same time, while I want to just lay around (and I do a good job of it) I’m ready to be back to doing my normal stuff. I can’t bend over to pick things up. (great excuse not to pick up toys and junk) I have to bend at the knee and squat which is oh-so-annoying. Ever tried to unload the dishwasher without bending at the waist? Try it. You’ll laugh. And then you’ll sit back down and give up. I promise!

Anyway, I feel bad that I missed having a Memorial Day post up yesterday.

There are so many Military people in my different circles now. Strange that there are more NOW than there were my whole childhood growing up in a town next to a major Air Force Base, but there are. People who are retired from the military, who currently serve, who are spouses of soldiers and are holding down the fort while their spouses are deployed. There are children of soldiers and unfortunately, those who have lost their lives fighting for our Freedom.

I’m working on a story that I think a lot of you will love, but I have information to gather first so I can make sure it’s fully accurate. Stay tuned for it.

For now, I’m going to go try to get a shower and then go get the keys to our house! Yay! I’ll take the camera and get some pictures, too. We’re t minus 2 weeks til moving day!! Get me OUT of this apartment and kill me if I EVER in my LIFE say that we can “just live in an apartment for a little while until our house sells.” Kill me. Seriously. I give you permission.

Photo credit: Maraker, Creative Commons License 2.0

The One Where I Don’t Show You a Picture of My Face

It’s also the one where I won’t show you a picture of me in my hot compression socks, gown and blue hair net.

So surgery went well, according to the doctor. It went well according to me mostly because I woke up afterwards.

Our nurse was so discombobulated, it worried me. She couldn’t find her clipboard or pens or anything. The best thing she told me was that I was not pregnant. Yay me!

We overheard the following conversation from another room and nearly died laughing:

Anesthesia dude: So we’re going to run an IV for fluids and anti-nausea meds and Propofol.

Crazy lady (spoken with SHEER PANIC in her voice): Oh my gosh, you’re going to use that Michael Jackson drug on me?

Anesthesia dude: Yes, ma’am. That IS what Michael Jackson was using when he died, but when used appropriately… (blah blah blah. insert facts about how it’s not a BAD drug and how that was just user error.)

Crazy lady: Well, is there anything else you can use?

They stuck the biggest, most ginormous needle in my arm for the anesthesia. I thought I would surely die. But I just went to sleep. And then I woke up. And then I somehow got home.

Jason’s been a pretty decent nurse, though ALL I HEARD yesterday was the sound of clinking plates and bowls. I don’t know how much he ate but it sounded like (in my drugged up state) he ate an entire meal every 30 minutes.

I luckily don’t look like I got slapped upside the head with a skillet but I feel like it. My face is really swollen and the gauze pads I wear under my nostrils are hot.

Sleeping with your mouth open because your nose is so swollen and stopped up is not cool.

And what’s up with not being able to swallow when your nose is completely stopped up? It’s nearly impossible. And then you get gatorade all down your shirt. And the steroid pill starts dissolving in your mouth. And then it burns and tastes like shit. WHY can’t you swallow when your nose is stopped up? Somebody answer that for me.

Enough rambly stuff. I should go now. Time for more meds and a nap.


Challenge: #15byTypeA


Yup. I agreed to a challenge! I’ve officially lost my mind…


You’re probably wondering what Type A means.

Well, I made a decision back in the summer to make this blog “go” meaning I was going to give it, and my writing, my all. I’m successfully doing that. I’m writing consistently. People seem to like it. I’m doing some freelance writing (would love to do more) and really making things happen that I want.

I’ve said it before, but I feel like my blogger and Twitter friends are really and truly my, uh, FRIENDS. I would love nothing more than to meet them all in real life. But, alas, that’s not really possible!

But it is possible to meet some of them. I decided to treat myself to a conference. I’m driving to Asheville, NC in June for  Type A Conference. I’m beside myself with excitement. So excited, I even sprung for my own hotel room. Alone for FOUR NIGHTS! (take a minute to vent your jealousy)

I’ll get to go and represent myself and Band Back Together and make connections I wouldn’t be able to make from the comfort of my own sofa. But. That means I’ll have to get out of my yoga pants and t-shirt and look like a normal member of society.

And honestly, I’m not comfortable in my own skin right now, let alone my clothes.

I’ve got lots of hormone issues going on at the moment… thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, blah blah blah. They’re all being worked on to even them out, but in the meantime, I’m a swollen, puffy, *moody* mess. I’m so swollen, I had somebody ask me the other day if I was taking oral steroids for something. It looks like I’ve been on them for months. But I haven’t.

Those issues provide a valid excuse for part of the weight, but the other is just extra weight. And it must be removed.

Yesterday, some girls were chatting on Twitter about losing X amount of weight by Type A. I joined in. We chatted more. More people joined in. And here we are.

We have ourselves a challenge.

We’re going to empower and encourage each other along a road to losing (ideally) 15-20 pounds by the conference.

I’m not exactly sure what my plan of attack is but it may have to involve a surgeon to remove a limb or two personal trainer or something.

So whether you’re going to Type A or not, if you want to join us, please do. If you’re on Twitter, the hashtag is #15byTypeA and you can follow there. Or if you’re on, add me as a friend — jana0926.

Good luck and YIKES!

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