Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018

Further proof of God's faithfulness

And the power of your prayers: both my bone scan and my CT scan results came back clear which means the cancer has not spread to bones, lungs, abdomen, anywhere other than where it had already been found. Thank you, God, for your protection and your faithfulness. Thank you all for your prayers and support. The only other thing the bone scan revealed was arthritis, which wasn't any real surprise other than location. My doc said it was in my shoulders as she touched her own collarbones. As I feel it in my hands and neither of the above places (yet), we'll just roll with that later! 

She also reported that all my blood work looked perfect. I have all those numbers but they don't mean anything to me other than they're good, haha. I do remember that platelets are 132,000 and I'm fairly sure she said 12.7 for hemoglobin for those of you who know what such amounts translate into. I'm content knowing it was good news. 

She looked me full in the face and said I'd probably lose my hair this week or next week. I appreciate the concern and the sweetness, but hair has always just been hair to me: no biggie. I am glad that I cut it short first before it falls out. I'd imagine it's still heartbreaking to see short tufts on one's pillowcase but it would be harder to see long locks. I am excited for the shaving to happen, actually, but as Damon's awards ceremony is next Tuesday I'd like to wait until at least that evening as I don't want to scare any of my smaller friends unnecessarily. Waving one last time to the bus with no hair is an entirely different story, one I'm looking forward to with relish! *Insert maniacal laughter here*

Now you know everything that we know. We have a meeting next week with my radiation oncologist to discuss our options and then an EKG to determine my baseline heart stuff before the possibility of the Herceptin messing with it. More firsts! 

And lasts. Next week are the very last days of 9th, 6th, and 2nd grades. The boys have squabbled since they got home this afternoon about anything and everything which bodes fantaaaaasticly for the long summer ahead... 

Liam has begun the orthodontic journey that is getting braces. He survived a few weeks of having rubbery separators between his teeth and today those were removed and his custom made expanders were... installed? Can I say installed? Think metal bridges attached to molars which will widen both his upper and lower jaws. I have a "key" which will be inserted and rotated in his upper expander every day for a month and in his lower expander every other day for two months. He's understandably sore and his Turtle Speed One eating habits have, alas, deteriorated into the realm of Slower Than Molasses. Thankfully we have the weekend to recover before he tries to get breakfast into him on a school day. Braces go on the day after my third chemo treatment. Sounds like a movie marathon kind of weekend to me!

In other news, Dada wrapped up a week of helping train other quality folks from around the globe. He put in mucho hours and had some fun, yummy dinners out this week. I know because I partook in some of the leftovers, hehe!  I may or may not have had some steak for breakfast this morning which sat decidedly better than the Raisin Bran I had yesterday. 

Carrie has been participating in a wood working project for one of her classes. She chose to make a clock and is nearing the final touches. You know, details like, oh yeah, a clock kinda needs hands. She did a nice job painting on Roman numerals and has stained it. She has been procrastinating a bit on the entire process and was flabbergasted to discover that school lets out an entire week before she thought it did. And then there is her brother, who could probably tell you how many hours and minutes and seconds there are left until dismissal on the last day. 

Damon had field day today and said his favorite part was the jumping race where they had to jump over "these triangle things". Sorry, that's all the information I got out of him while he's on the iPad away from his brother. Divide and conquer. 

Have a great weekend! May it be relatively peaceful in the madness that is May. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Snippets and scans

Today I have two scans, two more personal medical firsts, and I'm kind of excited about them. Definitely intrigued. 

I'm having my very first CT scan done and my first bone scan. While I am not thrilled about more injections into me, this time of contrast dye, I think the technical aspect of both sounds fascinating. I'm sure Liam is going to wish he was with me when I relate the procedure with the camera passing over me. If you're interested, I thought this link was fun: bone scan 

Once again, I'm not supposed to eat or drink anything as of two hours before the tests. Some sites say I'll be drinking water throughout them, so that would be okay with me... I hate feeling like I'm shriveling up from the inside out.

I've been struck by how much chemo reminds me of pregnancy. I know I've told some of you this already, but let me enlighten any who are curious as to how that could be. 

I always called pregnancy a "total-body takeover" which I think was coined Vicki Iovine in her "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" which is absolutely hilarious and spot on. There seem to be no body systems not affected by being pregnant.

Chemo seems very similar, which makes sense to me a non-medical person, because it's sheer volumes of chemicals being dumped into an otherwise unsuspecting body. I can picture my cells holding various bits and pieces and musing, "hmm. What am I supposed to do with all this new stuff?" I can see baby cells slamming them together like a 6 month old sitting up child whacks blocks together, maybe only connecting pieces by accident. Then the big cells look at each other and shrug, "okay, we'll give it a try!"

My GI tract is just off enough to cause excitement that nobody wants. The various medications had predicted anything from constipation to diarrhea, and let me just mention that I am not having constipation issues. Immodium is my new friend, people. 

Tastes and smells are affected, so even if something sounds appealing, which is getting rarer, it doesn't always stay that way once it's in front of me. For a Hobbit, not enjoying eating is just pitiful. Even cookies aren't appealing right now. Cookies!

I told the kids yesterday that my mouth felt like I'd been sucking on a camel. Not a freshly washed camel, mind you, but one that had been through 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. Liam, of course, asked how I knew what a camel tasted like. You know that puckery feeling your mouth gets if you fall prey to temptation and eat way too many sour Warheads or something similar? Or even an obscene amount of movie theater popcorn? My mouth and lips and soft palate all feel pebbled. PSA: do not attempt to enjoy Atomic Fireballs in this condition. You have been warned. I was afraid I was going to have crisped children as I was pretty sure that I could actually breathe fire. Wow. Not the smartest thing I've ever done, but now I know. All Fireballs will be joining my hair ties and other supplies until chemo is over. Yikes. 

I've been told alcohol-free mouthwash and a baking soda with salt rinse help, and they do. Gum, not so much. Gonna take some getting used to, sadly.

Remember the hair, skin, nails changes, ladies? Yep, that too. It is easier to pluck as my hair is loosening, so there's a perk, I guess, but I'm sporting a third eye between my eyebrows and another on my chin right now that make me think not-so-fondly of high school days...

On the plus side, short hair is much easier to keep clean-ish and my hairballs don't look like tumbleweeds any longer. One of the reasons I stick with long hair is I'm too lazy and cheap to do the required maintenance cuts every 4-6-8 weeks to keep a short 'do looking the way it should. I won't have to worry about that this time. Soon I may look like Sinead O'Connor and then Mr. Clean! Wheeeee! Talk about streamlined mornings. Eyeliner, earrings, and out the door. I've already quit with the mascara as I'm losing quite a few eyelashes when I rub them. Just not worth taking more off with the mascara, I suppose. Yes, Mommee, I will remember the sunscreen. I promise. Ain't nobody want to see a peely, sunburned, egg of a head. Did I already talk about the chicken pox? I can't remember and I'm too lazy to look. When I was a kid, my brother graciously shared his chicken pox with me one summer. I remember lying on a sheet on the couch and wanting to scratch something, anything, but being told not to because it would leave a scar. I remember thinking, "there has to be someplace I can scratch where nobody will ever see." My aha moment hit and I elatedly began scratching my scalp for all I was worth. It felt wooooonderful, and now all I can wonder is, how pockmarked will my scalp be in a few weeks when I get to see the damage I inflicted? Oh well! Serves me right! The kids have already asked if they can draw constellations on my head with magic markers if the scars are there. I know you're all dying of not surprise. 

Feelings. Wow, the feels are all over and dripping off of the map, just like during pregnancy. Some moments I think, "I've got this" and the next I feel like I need to watch every sad movie I've ever seen in a marathon so I can finally get all the tears and snot and frustration out. The problem is that those feelings usually creep out towards bedtime when I'm most tired and vulnerable, and everyone knows that when you cry at bedtime that your eyes are all swollen and icky the next day and your pillow is wet and your nose stuffs up so you can't breathe through your clogged nose which makes you breathe through your mouth and dries out your throat... no thanks, I've got enough going on, thanks. I will have to schedule my prescribed good cry and not at bedtime. 

So all of these lovely issues, and no baby at the end. Why did I sign up for this again? Hmmm. Turns out living with breast cancer is relatively easy. Living with the treatment of it is an entirely different can of worms, one I'm not even sure I want to open the whole way. Bleh. 

Enough about me. I do not want this blog to be hijacked by cancer. It gets enough from me as it is. 

Picture this: a second grade, rather tall for his age boy in pajamas and a hoodie, backpack weighted down by 6 hardback library books and 1 self-owned paperback, a lunchbox, his daily folder, a snack container of cheezits, and a small flashlight. Additionally he's carrying a cloth grocery bag stuffed with his pillow and two throws, waiting for the bus. His face is tearstained because he's not taking the sleeping bag which is bigger than he is. I compromised on the extra throw, one for under him and one for on top of him, but he's still not having it. Today is the read a thon and phys ed, and his heart was set on lugging even more than he already had to school. We already had the talk about "are you sure you wanna take so many books? This is really heavy!" "I got it, Mom!" We already talked about how no matter what he's going to have a fun day. To shift perspective and thus hopefully attitude, I mentioned that while he's reading in his pajamas all comfy and cozy with his friends, I'd be at the hospital again getting poked for more tests. He's subdued where he had been mutinous, but I hate that I have to ever play the cancer card. This morning was not my best from a digestion standpoint, and making it out to the bus stop with him was looking iffy but we made it. He boarded the bus with all his Stuff and life went on. I hate how this summer is going to be hard on them in regards to what I physically will and will not be able to do, but we will soldier on. I can't wait to hear after my scans how much fun he had and what the best part was. Which reminds me, I need to pack a book for all the waiting I'm going to be doing in between scans while waiting for the dye to get where it needs to go... maybe this weekend I can stay in my pajamas and have a read in! Come on over, and bring your books! 

Counting today, there are only five days left of the school year. Can I get an eeeeeeeeeeeeek?!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Goliath is down!

*Viewer discretion is advised for photographic content*

Once again, I am humbled and blessed by the faithfulness of my mighty God. In a week full of scary firsts, he held me close through every medical test, chemotherapy administration, and port placement surgery, not to mention keeping all 3 Things safe on their field trips, rides to and from and during karate, and Real Life in general. I truly do not understand how those who choose to do life without God can even summon enough courage to get out of bed in the morning.

Some of you know from my frantic "I am going to bite something, someone, anything" texts how badly I cope at waiting while being hungry and thirsty. I was instructed to eat or drink nothing, not chew gum, not consume mints, nothing after midnight on Thursday in preparation for the port surgery Friday around lunch. For those of you keeping track, that meant this Hobbit would miss breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, and perhaps not be eating until afternoon tea, which is just about as unacceptable as it gets for a poor, pitiful, pathetic Hobbit whose brain felt like it had shriveled to the size of a raisin in the back of her head by the time she was rolling into surgery. I've tried to be really, really good about drinking especially as I want my veins to be stab-able on the first try! To not have any water in me was terrifying, and I wasn't sure they'd be able to use the IV needle that my kind oncologist's office had left in just in case.

Thankfully they were after flushing it and making sure there were no signs of infection brewing. I was still poked to give blood, but Steve was quick and compassionate and so sweet that he made the first few tears fall. For whatever reason, it is so hard sometimes to be on the receiving end of kindness. Sometimes I wish they'd just be brisk and then leave, but the extra encouraging word just about breaks my heart.

Soon enough we met with the surgeon one more time to go over what would happen, and then met the anesthesiologist who had his own questions to which I answered, "I'm a boring patient." He grinned at me and said he liked boring patients. I felt like I was in good hands. The friendly, cute nurses came to stick in my relaxing, "pre-anesthesia margarita" (as my Aunt Chris calls it) and wheeled me off to the OR. 

I remember commenting that Liam would love the OR because the lights reminded me of an octopus, the huge digital clock on the wall, the myriad of Stuff I'd never know the purposes of. I met another nurse but didn't catch her name. I don't remember anything else. 

Apparently, according to Dada, while under general anesthesia, I grilled my surgeon about if he'd always wanted to be a doctor. I don't even remember seeing him or the anesthesiologist enter the room! I can just hear Nana laughing about "how nebby" I am... nice to know that my subconscious and my mouth still take over even when I'm under. Yikes.

When I woke up in recovery there were more nurses to meet, and my sweet friend Cheryl from mammograms came to take my chest X-Ray, a precautionary measure after port insertion as that procedure does involve sticking a needle and catheter into a big vein. They could potentially puncture a lung, hence the "before you go anywhere, you're getting an X-Ray" habit. In my case, all was well. Yay! Good job, everybody!

I think I spent close to an hour in recovery, looking around, watching the nurses, hearing the heartbreaking cough of a small person, chitchatting with whichever nurse was checking on me, finally some ice water after my X-Ray showed all was well, and I think my surgeon came in to say the first spot they tried twice didn't work so they had to move to plan B, which was something we'd covered ahead of time.  

They wheeled me out to the post-recovery place where I was allowed to get dressed with Dada's help, went over how to take care of things, some more chit chat to yet another friendly, smiling nurse. I was released with a scrip for pain meds and sent on my way with well-wishes.

Every single person there was once again, kind, thoughtful, comforting, encouraging. Thank you God for the medical personnel you have in my life!

We dropped off my scrip, headed to one of our favorite down town restaurants where I finally got to dig into some fries and a BLT and the best ice water with lemon I swear I've ever tasted. Then Dada ordered pie a la mode and I ate almost all his ice cream.

We picked up my meds, including an allergy med and Aleve which I'm supposed to take during and after my infusion for my white blood cell booster. 

We went home and tucked me into a big chair with my snazzy fancy blanket from my girls where I zoned out with a few episodes of Star Trek- The Next Generation. Yes, I'm a nerd. I wasn't sure I'd have the brain power to stay awake through anything with real thought required. I almost dozed off multiple times as it was.

Dada brought me an ice pack for over my incisions and a heating pad for over the back of my neck and shoulders, which was definitely the sorest part. I must have been propped up pretty high during the surgery or something because my range of motion as far as turning my head went is still a little affected. The heating pad worked wonders and I might replace it again tonight. I went to sleep with it and the ice pack and slept about 4 hours with them mostly in place before I woke up to use the bathroom and drink some more. I got several more hours of sleep until the morning noise around here (i.e. Bosley and birds) got too distracting. I needed to drink some more and use the bathroom again anyway, haha.

So I took all my meds that I needed to take for the first half of today, had breakfast, and headed off to karate graduation, which went very well. I sat with two of my best karate mom friends and my family and watched Damon receive his black belt! Yay kiddo! Lots of hard work went into that, let me tell you. I'll post pictures as soon as I get them from Dada's phone to mine...

Yet another thank you to every person who has been praying, for those of you sticking me on the prayer lists you know about, for lifting me up, for sending me cards and Stuff, for the cookies and the texts and the love that we are feeling every step of this journey. I can't express how amazing it is to be so covered! Thank you! You are wonderful and I am so thankful that God has put you in my life!

I realize this is a private photo and much thought has gone into placing it here where it will no longer be private. The truth is that this is all crazy and confusing and will very likely get much worse before it gets better. I don't know what five more sessions of chemo will do to me other than hair loss for sure. I have no idea what kind of future surgery awaits me, what the scarring from that will look like inside where nobody can see it and out where the whole world could, or how I will feel when this whole adventure is over and I'm proclaimed in remission, should that be God's will. 

I picked this one because I am smiling. I am upright and healing. I look strong after what has been the hardest week of my life. 

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous- how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." ~Psalm 139:13-16

"She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." ~Proverbs 31:25

Goliath never stood a chance.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Finally, Goliath

Today is Friday. Today I get my port placement surgery, or as Dada laughed when he read the paperwork, "part placement" as someone's handwritten "o" ran right into the "r" so at first glance it looks like I'm having auto body work done. This, of course, led to mastectomy reconstruction jokes which then led to rolling of eyes and more giggles. 

This is what I've been most nervous about in a week that has hosted a lymph node biopsy and two days' of chemo treatments because the first session is so long they needed to break it up. Those medical adventure firsts were in addition to the Real Life stuff we were doing: two field trips done, one more today, a 15th birthday celebration, karate, school, you get the idea. Tonight is more karate and tomorrow is black belt graduation.

In hindsight, it may not have been the best night to add chicken to the crock pot overnight. I've been smelling those lovely wafts upstairs all night and I'm not allowed to eat, drink, chew gum, nothing until after surgery, starting at midnight last night. I'm pretending to be a Gremlin, but as I'm truly a Hobbit who will be missing breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, and perhaps afternoon tea, I'm certainly not going to be still pretending by the time the food gets to me! I am going to be one bona fide Gremlin. My stomach is already protesting. Might be a long day. I report to the hospital at 11:15 and the surgery begins at 12:45. I do already have my iv needle from the chemo still in my arm, so perhaps that will expedite the process. Or not. We shall see. If not, I might take a bite out of the bed in recovery.

I'd mentioned on Facebook about this being a Goliath of a week with many medical firsts for me amidst the Real Life stuff that needed done. Our good and wise friend Dave commented that we always look at ourselves as David in that fight, facing down the big and scary giant. He said the reality for Christians is that we are actually the Israelites and that our God is David. He is the one in front of us, always, armed and more than prepared to take on anything that comes at us. I can't tell you how refreshing it is to pivot my mindset to the fact that I'm not the one facing any of this by myself. So thank you, Dave, for passing along the words of wisdom. Especially before a day when I'm going in completely vulnerable. The surgery prep means no makeup (so no brave game face), no deodorant (so no hiding nervous sweat which is always worse than we-were-having-fun-sweat), no jewelry, no hair product, no food, no water, no nothin'! Eeeeeeek!

Long story short, please pray it all goes quickly (I'm sure the part where I'm under general anesthesia will be a blink) with no problems and that I have no reactions to anything and that I can eat! Lots!

Interesting tidbit I learned yesterday: breast cancer patients are the only ones inclined to gain weight as everyone, especially other women, want to feed you because that's one of the ways we love on people. I'd first been told to eat whatever looked and smelled good as apparently chemo can mess with tastes and smells. I was specifically told that if only a milkshake sounded right, then better to have the milkshake than nothing. Yesterday I was told that whatever my weight was going in to chemo is what it should be when I'm done. I admit I pouted a bit.

To back track a tiny bit, yesterday my Rita took me to chemo and to get my hair did, haha. My stylist washed it up which is always a highlight, chopped off many inches to donate, and then snipped the rest into a snazzy new 'do which Carrie declared looked just like hers when I got home. It looks very similar to how it was when Carrie was a tiny small soul. I love it and am a little sad that I'll only have it for 2 or 3 weeks, but it's always something to aim for once it grows back. 

I also got something similar to a glade plug in which infuses me with white blood cell booster magic. Later today it will give me a bee sting like injection that will prompt my bone marrow to kick up white blood cell production. Then I can "unplug" it and turn it in at my next appointment as it counts as "sharps" and I shouldn't just pitch it. 

Then I'll have both items out of my left arm and can sleep on that side again, too- wheeeeee!

I'll keep you posted. Dada might keep you abreast of the situtation. ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Here we sit like birds in the wilderness...

Not that bird. Poor Cheeky Beaky.

Not that bird either. This little one sternly supervised use while we put the garden in on Saturday.

I think I've mentioned the camp song we'd sing while waiting. You're always waiting in life for something. "Here we sit like birds in the wilderness, birds in the wilderness, birds in the wilderness. Here we sit like birds in the wilderness waiting for the (Wren Boys/ Robin Girls/ Whomever)" 

I'm at chemo, so here I sit.

"When life hands you lemons, make lemonade."

Similarly, when life hands you breast cancer and an IV pole and a squashy, reclinable armchair for hours of medication dripping into your bod and making you need to pee, blog. 

We met with my oncologist to go over the MRI and the lymph node biopsy results I've had since we last met. We finally heard the words that everyone wonders about: stage 2 since the cancer invaded a lymph node. Wonderful news is that I am BRCA 1&2 negative, so big thanks and praise to God for that. One less thing to have to deal with. This road will be bumpy enough, thanks!

After some more discussion, and on the third needle attempt, we started with an hour of Perjeta and then flushed for an hour with saline. Now I'm hooked up to my hour and a half (for the first time- it won't always be this much, so it won't always take this long) of Herceptin.

Because my appointment was at 10 and these meds take this long without the actual chemo meds in addition, I'll do the three hours of those, including the pre-chemo meds (think steroid, white blood cell booster, Benadryl), tomorrow.  They're even going to leave my IV in so that they don't have to re-stick me tomorrow. I've been instructed to keep it dry if I shower but was also informed that I am allowed to come in stinky. Hehe! These ladies are the best!

I've never been the best at waiting (see just about every previous post) and this is no exception. Other tests were discussed that I am to have and I want to know the when, the where, the what's-it-going-to-entail, the am-I-getting-poked-again, the how-long-will-that-take, and the when-will-we-know-results? I keep telling God I don't want another lesson in patience, that I didn't pray for patience, that whoever is praying for me for patience is going to get beaten with my Dammit Doll. Google that. It will make you laugh. And whoever sent mine to me, thank you, there was no note with it so I can't hug you! That makes me sad because I appreciate your sense of humor. Thanks for making the time.

For those readers who are not on Facebook, I'll ask here: please pray against diarrhea as it is one of the major side effects of Perjeta. As our family has colon cancer red flags also, I was against using this in case the constant irritation could trigger or mask colon cancer symptoms, and really, who wants diarrhea ever? Ain't got no time for that! You are allowed to laugh as you pray it, but please do pray it. I've got a summer to live and I intend to live it.

I asked about the sun exposure as my chemo meds specifically listed "avoid sun exposure, wear 15+ sunscreen, blah blah blah" and Dada said about me, "she won't listen!" My joy was great when my doctor looked at me and then looked at him and my nurse bestie Linda laughed that Dada would be probably at more risk than I would be! YAY! She also said, "wear a hat." Got it. I usually soak a bandanna in the pool and tie it over my hair anyway or slap on my big floppy hat, so I can only imagine how much nicer that will feel when I have no hair to hog all the cool water! Big yay God for not making me stay out of the sun after a midwestern winter and before another one. BIG YAY. 

Bigger than this YAY! That's as large as this blog font will go. Pathetic.

Hoo boy, I am really bad at waiting. Another 70 minutes to go. I can see why napping here would be a good way to kill some time. Thanks to my beautiful karate mom Girlfriends, I have the most amazing blanket to snuggle and stay warm with. Unbelievably sweet and thoughtful. I am so blessed. I will have to get pictures. I brought it today but am warmish so  am not using it right now. A picture of it shoved in a bag will not do it justice, so I will wait. Remind me.

My sweet friend Kathy brought me lovely flowers which tipped over in her car en route. My thoughtful friend Julie mailed me a cozy T-shirt, some lotion and lip balm, and a fun little purse. The nurses here at the cancer care spot gave me a new snazzy bag from Thirty-One stocked with a throw, some hand sanitizer, tissues, lip balm, a notepad, some other cute cheerful gifts, and a card from the patient who inspired the care items. My point is not to brag about my Stuff, but to show that I am being well taken care of and am loved! I'm getting cards, prayers, and texts like crazy and am seriously blessed. So thank you for being part of the tribe who is lifting me up. Thank you for the Facebook encouragement, for the messages, for the stories, for all the love you send! It is overwhelming and sweet and amazing and humbling. Thank you! Please keep praying!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Mayday on May Day

A certain 7 year old was exploring past the boundaries of our property. I caught his attention and ordered him back to our side of things, posthaste. My first mistake was turning away while he was still descending the far creek bank and heading back into the house, assuming he'd follow.

Once again, to my wondering eyes should appear a normal looking boy, but no, I am met with a mud covered, wet, mostly triumphant human being who apparently had to hit every single water molecule on his way back across. 

After being ordered to strip to skivvies outside and then come in as I was starting his bath water, the kid magics himself into thin air. There's the pile of his clothes and boots, but no kid. And no skivvies, thank heaven, so we can assume for the moment that he's still in them.

I track him down again to be informed, "Liam dared me 50 dollars to go back in in just my skivvies." 

Are you even kidding me? First of all, your brother does not have anywhere near 50 dollars. He has about 53 cents. And secondly, seriously!? In your skivvies? And yet, why am I surprised? 

The Shenanigans continue as he loudly informs me, "I have a snail on my finger and I can't get it off!" Turns out that, yes, there are leeches in the ditch/creek and he found one or was found by one... either way, he got it off himself as I'm on the cell phone on the front porch to Dada, doubled over and crying with laughter because we had just talked about how surprised we were that none of the kids had found leeches yet. Leave it to the Damonater...