Mmmkk so, I’ve been meaning and wanting to write very frequently over the past few months. I know I said I was going to be more consistent with writing, but man, is life busy 😭
The kids are doing really well. Alvin and Zo just had their last day of school, so here’s to still not sleeping late because I have a baby who wakes up at 7 am 🥂 Lol But glad to not have to drop them off and pick them up for a few months. I really like being at home.
Anyway, Zoe’s African/Jazz dance class ended a few weeks ago. She did such a great job at the showcase and she had so much fun. She’s going to do it again next year. Alvin had his last football game this past Sunday. His team won 6-0. He really liked it and wants to play again in the fall. Al is going to practice with him over the summer. The last game was nuts. The parents of the losing team were talking bad about our boys the whole game. And after we won, parents on opposite teams were yelling at each other, some guy ripped his shirt off, people were trying to fight. It was a lot. And it’s like… y’all. These kids are 8 and 9. Let them have fun and enjoy our first place and y’all’s second place win *shrug*
Maven is doing well. We went to a party a couple of weeks ago at our friend’s house and Maven walked right to the middle of the room and started dancing. lol. He also took someone’s karaoke mic and for hours he walked around singing and dancing. It was so cute. He is definitely a life-of-the-party type of guy.
We took the kids to Disney World for spring break and they had so much fun. We went to all four parks and to Typhoon Lagoon. Typhoon Lagoon is trash, but the rest of the parks were amazing. There is so much to do at Magic Kingdom, there is literally not enough time in a day. We’ll take them back again, probably only to Magic Kingdom. That was, obviously, their favorite park. That was my first time at Disney, and there really couldnt have been a better way to go than with Richburgs. Even still, Disney ain’t got nothin on Universal Studios Orlando. I’m quite sure my kids will like that park more, but we’re not taking them until Nintendo World is finished.
Me and My Lover
We been married ten years now! It has been a good ten years ♡ We had a really fun party. I was really back and forth about my outfit because there are so many good styles from the 80s and 90s. I eventually settled on a Madonna outfit. I was obsessed with her when I was a kid. I would just sit in front of the TV watching This Used to be my Playground on free channels. Lol. I’m not a fan like I was in my childhood, but you know, nostalgia.
A bunch of people flew in to celebrate with us. It was so nice having people here who have been with us from the beginning. I rarely get to be around people who know me well so it was nice having that for a little while. I wish I had gotten more pictures.
We went on a 7-day cruise to Bermuda the day after our party on Norwegian Cruise Line. My best friend and her husband came with us, and some friends from DC too. We docked in Bermuda for three days. It was really beautiful, and we learned a lot about their country on boat rides and talking to locals in the Capitol.
Their story made me sad and part of me wishes we went somewhere else for our anniversary cuz I was just tryna be happy and have fun, but still glad we went. Bermuda was an uninhabited island, but was colonized by the UK and they brought ships of slaves to build the island. It’s a predominantly Black country and it’s incredibly expensive to live there. The cheapest house was $1.2 million, an 18-piece bucket of chicken at KFC was $75.99, a 12-pack of soda was 19.99 ON SALE, but their minimum wage was $16.34 an hour. Like… make it make sense.
They also had a 5-star hotel that greatly contributed to their gross national income, but when the Queen would come for five months she would shut the whole hotel down for 6 months. And it’s like… but they need that 😫. But you know, colonizers gon’ colonize. Smh.
Anyway, the ship was dope. There was so much to do. The first night, we went to Deal or No Deal. I don’t know why I bought a ticket to be selected because immediately after, I told Al, ‘I don’t wanna go up there. If they pull my raffle number, you can go for me.’ But then they didn’t pull numbers. They were like, ‘Quiana Richburg!’ Smh. So I had to be in front of all those people 😫 But I won $100 so whatever lol I also got called up for a few other things, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was really fun.
There were also Go-Karts, The Price is Right, a Donna Summers show (which was terrible and basically just about how her life got better after she started dating white men), lots of trivia and random games, and there was an art auction. There was this artist that we both really, really loved- David Le Betard. Al has met him and we also really love his brother, Dan Le Betard. Dan is actually how we started listening to podcasts and we listen to his and watch his show together all the time. So it was pretty dope. We bought a few pieces. Made me feel fancy. lol. The art should be delivered in a month or two.
We went on a cruise for our honeymoon, but haven’t been on one since. That was with Carnival. NCL is dope- beautiful, fun, lots of activities, and just has the best fried okra. But I think it’s too fancy for me. Like, I got on the ship and just thought, oh, this look bougie. Lol. And I also don’t think our kids would enjoy it as much as Carnival. The rooms were way better on NCL. Entertainment- the same. Carnival had better drinks and food, and felt more exciting, less bougie. I’d go on NCL again, but I prefer Carnival. I also kind of want to try Virgin Voyages. I’ve heard good things about them, but I looked at some of their cruises and they dock every single day. I want some time on the ship to play the games and go to the shows. Anyway, I think we’ll try to go on at least one cruise a year. Maybe two- one with the family, one with just me and Al. We be needin’ a break. lol.
So the party and the cruise were also to celebrate me going ten years with no evidence of a brain tumor. It’s crazy to me looking back at how things were ten years ago. At this time ten years ago, I didn’t even know if the cancer was gone. I had to wait for my brain to get to a point where the radiation didn’t make the MRI foggy. The last brain surgery removed 90% of my tumor, and the radiation removed the rest. My radiation ended in March, and my follow-up appointment was in July. But technically, my cancerversary is in March.
It took a really long time for me to even accept that my tumor was gone after I found out. I couldn’t stay off of Google 😫 The tumor that I had comes back 85-90% of the time within five years and kills people. The cells are infiltrating and they are so small, you can’t know if they are still present by MRI. You can only see the tumor. So usually, they are still present and end up growing another tumor. My doctors told me I need to have a healthy diet and exercise regularly to prevent it from growing back. Anyway, this is why the phrase “with no evidence of a brain tumor” exists, because there is no real way to know if you are actually in remission. I am technically tumor-free, not cancer-free.
The first year, I had to have an MRI every three months to make sure the tumor wasn’t back. The second year, every four months. And now, every six months for the rest of my life. When I got to eight years with no evidence of a brain tumor, my attending neuro-oncologist was like, usually when a patient reaches eight years, the tumor doesn’t grow back. So if you want, you can start coming once a year. And my fellow neuro-oncologist was like… nah. Lol. I wasn’t gonna do that anyway. If the tumor grows back, I don’t want there to be an extra six months of me not knowing. Get in there and take that thing out. lol.
Sometimes I still feel anxious and guilty for getting married and having kids, but I try not to focus on that. I also hate having that conversation. I’ve had a bunch of people try to, I guess, make me feel better? Comfort me? But it just be in the worst way 😫 ‘Well, you know we’re all gonna die one day.’ Bruh, that is not helpful. At all. I know that we’re all gonna die, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have the bearing weight of a tumor growing back and my family watching me die a painful death. I am also aware that these people have good intentions and they don’t have cancer, so they don’t get it. I don’t think in the past I would have addressed that graciously so I would just look at people and be thinking God knows what lol But I’m older now, and I pray that I can be kind and gracious if/when those conversations happen.
Anyway, I thought I would be dead before 30. Didn’t think I would get married or have kids or have a career or get to live life fully. But God knows better than I do. And I am still here. And I thank God for that. I have my bi-annual appointment next month. Praying for clean scans.
Other Random Things
Rocket (our dog) had been acting crazy and doing unacceptable things. I came downstairs one day, and he was on our dining table eating food. And I was like… I know you’re a puppy, but we don’t do that in this house. So he went to board and train for five weeks. We picked him up like two weeks ago, and he has been so much better. It was expensive, but if he didn’t get trained I don’t think I could have kept him. And he cost too much to get rid of. So. Lol.
Earlier this year, I got diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II. Last year was a lot. I mean, there was the postpartum depression and more stuff that I’m not going to get into, but after Maven turned one and things didn’t change with me, I was like… well, I guess I’ll talk to my doctor. Lol. So this is not new, it’s just that in the past my depression presented worse than my hypomania so it was misdiagnosed as Major Depressive Disorder. But it became obvious to me that it was something else, and when I look back to my 20s and early 30s, I’m like… oh, that makes sense now.
In the past, I would be on antidepressants and I wouldn’t be depressed but I would be incredibly irritated with people even though I knew they weren’t really doing anything to be as annoying as they were. So I would ask my doctor to increase the dosage of my antidepressant, but nothing would change. But now I realize that was just me cycling and being on a hypomanic high. Some people get lots of energy, can’t sleep or whatever. But for me, I’m just very irritable. Last year after Maven, I wasn’t sleeping but that had never happened before. I think it was worse last year because of all of the hormones and stuff.
Anyway, I’m glad to know so I can manage my emotions better. I mean, people do be annoying and stuff lol But now I am also aware that I have to consider my own mental health when I feel that way and make sure I am being rational.
I finished my sleeve in April. I’ma fill the empty space w/petals & stuff eventually, but I love this tattoo so much. It’s a reminder of God’s grace, mercy & faithfulness, and meant to represent His presence in my life.
It’s based on Lamentations 3 and Psalm 42. That when I look at the beauty of God’s creation, you know… on a drive or when I’m hiking, or just on a walk looking at the leaves fall, I feel the most peace and I’m comforted by His love. And that when I feel frustrated or when things are hard, the Lord gives new mercies every morning. When I feel alone or hopeless, God is my only salvation & hope.
The semi-colon tattoo is meant to highlight overcoming struggles w/depression, anxiety and/or addiction; the story keeps going. My semi-colon is in the Cross at the end of the lyric. I have struggled with depression for a long time and back in my early twenties experienced suicidal ideation, but I’m grateful that God is the author of my life and that He chose to continue writing my story when I wanted it to end. Everyday I live is a blessing 🙌🏽
Some other health stuff has been happening, but I’ve got appointments lined up #womp Getting older is a blessing, but then… Also, can I keep that same energy and body and resilience of my 25-30 year old self? Lol.
We usually take the kids on vacation every summer, but they just went to Disney World and we just went on a cruise so… there’s that. Lol. Al and I subscribed to AMC Stubs Premiere, which allows us to see 3 movies a week. So our thing this summer is going to be going to the movies. We’ll have to pay for Alvin and Zoe, but still saves us a bunch of money. They won’t be getting that Kid Popcorn pack 3x a week lol But they can watch all the kid movies this summer. And we’re big movie people in our house, so I think they’ll enjoy it. And hopefully AMC comes out with a family plan some time soon. Lol.
Maven is scared in loud, dark places so he’s great in a movie theater. He just clings to me and watches the movie. I don’t think it will last long, because he’s gonna get comfortable and then want to run around, but I’ma enjoy it while I can. Lol.
Anyway, there are some other really great things happening and other not so great things, but those ain’t quite Internet-ready. Lol. So yeah, praise God, life has been good.
Maven is acting nuts and needs a nap and I need to eat, so I’ma go do that. Biyeeeee!