All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!

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THIS Moment in Time – Donuts!

We’re on vacation, and just around the corner is the local donut joint. My boys are off to fetch donuts right now… I’m anxious to see which ones make it back to the condo and which ones  have left evidence on the boys’ faces (sprinkles? chocolate icing? cream filling?)! 🍩❤😋😊

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Boys Only!


All three of my boys raced today, and for the first time all year, I didn’t. It was my turn to watch the boys while Hottie ran a quick 5k. It was fun to hang with the boys and cheer Daddy on with them!

We were told that there was no kids race after the 5k, so I let the boys run the long finish with Hottie. Once they were done and eating their gelato, the race organizers announced the kids race. Ok! We took our two tired boys to the race start and had them take another go at it. Matthew ran hard again and Bryson took his time… he needed a nap! They both crossed the finish and got their chocolate medal!

We came home with a bag of solid chocolates, 2 chocolate medals, a dark chocolate bar with bacon and caramel, a coupon for a pound of chocolate bon bons, and tummies full of dark chocolate gelato and chocolate covered bananas. This is, by far, the best SWAG we’ve gotten from a 5k… which is why we like to do it with the kids!

Now I’m off to hide all of that chocolate!





All Clear

We went to the surgeon this morning, a friend’s husband, and his bedside manner was exactly how everyone said it would be – perfect!  He was 100% prepped, explained what this most likely was, and said, “I’m a black and white guy, and this is NOT cancer.”  I wasn’t concerned, but it was nice to hear it!  Everyone I have told about this has been in a panic and I’m glad that I can say, “it’s definitively NOT cancer.”

So what is it?

Well, it’s a 3mm mass (the size of a bee bee) that has no blood flow to it (hence, it is not a tumor and therefore, not cancer).  In all likeliness, it’s a clogged Montgomery gland and they think it may have been caused by my ramped up thyroid.  My thyroid was all out of whack in April and that can cause these things.  What also causes them is nothing whatsoever – they just happen.  The issue is if it doesn’t resolve itself on its own because they can be (and was for 3 days) very painful and cause visual distortion of the nipple.

So, we wait 6 weeks for a follow-up ultrasound to see if it’s taken care of itself.  If it has, then great.  If it hasn’t, we revisit it.  He did say that the surgery to remove it can cause the nipple and surrounding area to become permanently black, so given that, he has no interest in cutting unless necessary.

We agree.

Hottie asked all sorts of questions and this was NOT caused from running and in fact, the bras I wear reduce the likeliness of nipples becoming irritated and glands being clogged.  Who knew?

So there it is – nothing to worry about.  I’m super glad I didn’t get worked up over this.  I made that mistake with my bone tumor in 2008 (he noticed that lovely scar and asked, “what happened HERE?”) and I told myself I’d never do that again.  I didn’t even walk out of there feeling any sense of relief because I truly wasn’t worried going in.  It was just a normal doctors appointment that truly ended with a pat on the knee, a laugh, and a “see you in 6 weeks!”


Boobs Continued

I know people don’t like asking for updates, but that they’re curious.  So in case you’re curious, I wanted to update you that I am seeing the surgeon on Tuesday morning.

I was SHAMELESS and mentioned to the scheduler that I grew up with the good doctor and his wife, and that his wife and I are buddies and I made sure she was OK with her husband working on my breasts (I really did clear it with her first!).  That resulted in, “hang on, let me find some room,” and, “he’ll see you Tuesday morning!”

My dad always said, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”  No matter how one feels about this expression, it is true in situations like this.  My dad is beyond thrilled because my doctor’s wife is his good friend’s daughter (we truly grew up since birth together) and I’m thrilled because I DID THIS ON MY OWN without my dad butting in and calling in a favor.  Nothing says, “I don’t need the family name or your assistance” like “I called in the favor myself and got it done.”

All grown up! 😉



Quick Update, but I Don’t Know Much

I had my mammogram first thing this morning, followed up by an ultrasound.  When they did the mammogram the second time, there was discharge so that’s still happening.  The ultrasound was right after the mammogram and right away, I could see on the screen what is causing this problem.  In fact, right after the tech left the room, I texted Hottie, “From my medical perspective (I have none), I saw a node on the screen.  I bet there is a cyst.”  He said, “Don’t diagnose yourself.  Let’s wait for the radiologist’s results.”

I didn’t have to wait long.  When the tech finished up, she said, “I’m going to go talk to the radiologist to make sure I got what she needs, and she’ll want to come talk to you.”  Yep… never what you want to hear.  The radiologist only comes in when there’s something to talk about.

What I saw on the screen was correct – there is something in there.  First thing she said was, “you’re going to see a breast surgeon as soon as we can get you in.”  I didn’t get upset because she was quick to tell me that there is something there, that it’s probably just a cyst, but that they can’t biopsy it because it’s small and within some very dense breast tissue.  It has to come out, and they’ll likely take the entire duct it’s attached to.  After they remove it, it will be tested.

Then she handed me a card of a surgeon who they and my OB prefer… and he’s my friend’s husband.  He is very renowned here for his surgery skills (was rated the surgeon that all other doctors in the area would send their family to) and it’s not weird to me to have him do it, so I’m waiting for a call to get that scheduled.

Good times.

I’m fine, I’m not worried.  It’s just a hassle and it was a little traumatic when she said, “you’re going to see a breast surgeon,” because that’s the first thing I heard when we found my bone tumor and that situation was very difficult (way worse than both C-sections combined).  But – this is not the same thing and I got over the shock quickly.

I have not cried at all over this, which is a good sign.

Now… I wait for a phone call from my doctor or the surgeon…



Damn Boobs

(This post has quite a bit of “TMI,” so feel free to skip it if you don’t want to read about boob issues.)

Why do our breasts need to be such a bother sometimes?  During puberty, they hurt, which is normal.  During pregnancy, they hurt, which is normal.  As we’re attempting to breastfeed our babies, they hurt, which is normal (even though the “breast is best” machine tells us that it’s not supposed to hurt).  Even after breastfeeding is well established, they can hurt due to mastitis and plugged ducts, which is… NORMAL (but needs to be dealt with).

When you’re 40 and done gestating and nursing babies, hurting breasts are “not normal.”  Breasts that have a discharge are, “definitely not normal.”  I have both on the right side.

I noticed it the morning I ran my half marathon, as I was getting dressed and before I ran.  My right nipple hurt, like it was bruised, but nothing else did.  I blamed the running I’d been doing and went on my way.  After the race and once I was back at my parents’ house, I thought about it again as I noticed the nagging pain.  My little sister said, “I bet it’s from running.  As long as there’s nothing coming out.  Is there anything coming out?”

I hadn’t thought of that.  So, we gave it a try and… yes… something comes out.

Damn it.

My family has a long history of breast cancer, and my youngest aunt on my mom’s side is going to die from it here soon (I just found out two weeks ago that it’s stage 4 and mutating rapidly, and therefore only a matter of time).  My sister told my mom about my issue and she became concerned and they both insisted that I call my doctor first thing on Monday.  One of my younger cousins had the same thing a while back and it all turned out OK, so when my mom told me that, I assumed that this really was no biggie.  So I did what any non-alarmist would do and sent an email to my doctor’s nurse Sunday night so that I didn’t need to bother anyone on Monday when the office opened.

She scheduled me for an appointment right away – first available appointment.  I found out that they move people around to make room for people in my situation.  Hmmm… I started thinking that maybe this is a big deal.  We discussed the symptoms and the doctor said it is not from running since I had a rest day before I noticed the pain and because I wear the same type of bra every time I run.  We were all hoping it was from running, so this discussion deflated me a bit.

The discharge was collected and sent to the lab.  I was then instructed to get blood work to make sure it’s not elevated prolactin levels because that would indicate a growth in my head putting pressure on the pituitary gland.  I was scheduled for the first available mammogram and ultrasound.  My head was spinning and I asked if she would be concerned if she was me.

“We are going down all paths at the same time to minimize worry.”

Not the answer I wanted, but she’s right.  And as she says, this is very likely nothing.  BUT – because of the family history of breast cancer and because breast discharge is NEVER normal, they need to investigate it until all paths are trodden.

I am not worried.  I was worried right after my appointment but I never cried.  When I had a bone tumor in my rib that they first thought was a breast lump and they had me scheduled with a breast surgeon immediately after my mammogram – that’s when I cried.  I wasn’t able to function back then when that was going on.  This?  Not worried.

I woke up today to no pain – which is great!  And my prolactin tests came back just fine so there are no growths in my head, also great news!  Still waiting on the lab work on the discharge and then I have my mammogram and ultrasound tomorrow morning first thing.  I will know for sure this week if this is anything to worry about, but I’m sure it’s not.

We will have done every test imaginable, put my breasts through lots of exams and discomfort, and caused my parents to worry (my dad is shaken, which surprises me) and it will be for nothing, which will be good.  But still… a lot of drama for nothing.

All I can think right now is, “damn boobs.”


My Support Team… My Loves

I ran a half marathon this past weekend.  It was amazing and such a great race for me – the best and fastest 20K/half I’ve ever run (this last race was #4).  Hitting a personal best, feeling as great as I did throughout the race and at the finish, and kicking off racing season with a bang was all great – but it doesn’t hold a candle to the highlight of my experience.

My boys came out to support me – in the pouring rain.

As they dropped me off close to the starting line, I blew them each a kiss and said I’d see them along the way.  Because of the rain, I wasn’t sure that I would see them.  It’s a pretty tall order to get two little kids out of the car multiple times to stand in the rain and wait for their mom to run by.  As I waited in the rain for the gun to go off, I felt emotional and even teared-up thinking about them standing along the race route waiting for me in the rain.  I knew they may not be able to make it work, but I was hoping they could.

And they did!

I gave Hottie a course map the night before the race with three general areas circled that would be nice points for the boys.  He said that they would do their best but that the weather could be an issue.  I agreed.  I honestly hoped I’d see them once.

They came to the first point circled on the course map, but I was running faster than anticipated and they missed me.  Shoot!  I had no idea until after the race that they were there, but my heart melted when Hottie told me.  I saw them around mile 6/7 as I came down a straight stretch, but they didn’t see me.  I shouted out for Matthew and they got so excited and had a hard time grabbing their little signs (in all fairness, they were also eating donuts)!  I really wasn’t concerned about my pace so ran up to give them each a kiss and it was just wonderful – I ran faster after that!

My phone/headphones started to fail at about mile 10.5 and I kept hoping I’d see the boys again so I could give them my electronics.  We had JUST bought the new phone the night before (not recommended) and here I was in the rain with it.  I was terrified I was killing it with the rain and just then… there they were again calling for me!  I ran over to kiss them (again) and hand off my phone when the boys said, “Mom!  We brought you oranges!”  Cut orange wedges are my favorite race food – I learned that 6 years ago when running Grandma’s Half in Minnesota.  Of course, Hottie remembered that and brought them for me.  How wonderful!  I sucked on one of them as Hottie fished my phone out of my running belt (my fingers were frozen and could not function) and then they sent me on my way after another orange wedge.  As I ran off (with no music), I heard, “Go Mom Go!  Go Mom Go!  Go Mom…”  Seriously – there is nothing more motivating!  I heard them in my head until the finish line… where they were NOT!

Once again, I was running faster than anticipated and I crossed the finish line without my support crew.  HA!  It was a very anti-climactic finish given the awful, cold weather with very few spectators there.  I wasn’t sure what to do!  I couldn’t get my fingers to work they were so cold and couldn’t even zip my coat or open my water bottle.  I walked back to the finish just to make sure I hadn’t missed them and I hadn’t – they weren’t there.  I went to the relief tent and asked for a blanket from the EMS table so I could warm up and then asked a gal if I could borrow her phone to call Hottie.  Her phone had taken it as well and my fingers weren’t working, so it took forever to get the call made.  Turns out, they had just gotten to the finish line, so I headed their way.

Matthew’s little face lit up when he saw me and he and Bryson kept saying, “great job, Mom!  You won the race!”  They were so excited!  I got a kiss from everyone and we headed QUICKLY to the car!  As I held Matthew’s hand, headed for shelter from the never-ending rain, he looked up at me and said, “I heard them say on the radio, ‘Courtney Donaldson from Urbandale.”  I was so happy – they were there for my finish (just not at the finish line, but getting out of the car), and my little boy heard them announce my victory!

Hottie, God love him, took me straight to his downtown office to take a shower to warm up since we had two bags full of dry clothes and shoes, and because I now had a “towel” in the form of the flannel EMS blanket I walked off with.  My boys continued to support me as they waited in Dad’s office (eating even more donuts) while I took the longest, hottest shower ever!  And as I was showering, Hottie came to the door and said, “2:04 was your finish time, I thought you’d want to know right away!”  He knows me so well, and loves me so much!  Because I’d given him my phone, I had no idea what my time was until he told me.  It was so fun hearing it from HIM, of all people!

It was the most perfect race… and it truly rained the entire time!  HA!