Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sweetboys in a park

Took the boys over to my favorite spot behind Eagle Creek park for a little photo session.  

They have such beautiful smiles! 

Enchanting bros! 

I swear Sam's eyes change colors.  

Chris wanted to climb a tree.  

He looks so big in it. 

And he was having so much fun climbing, even though the tree he chose he couldn't go very far.  
Frankly, I was happy for that. 

Tuff stuff. 

Boys by a field. 

Sweetboys in the sun, baby can you dig it?!

I love when they do stuff like that, unprompted.  They are so loving...sometimes. 

Sam at the glowing hour.  

Eggs in our Basket


Saturday was the Ovarian Cancer Run/Walk.  Kathleen and I had been training for this race for the last 9 weeks.  Here's our Team:  Eggs in our Basket.

Kathleen and I have been training.  We were pretty well prepared.  We did a 30 min run on Tuesday night.  That was before I developed this cough.  I didn't run on Thursday, didn't even feel like it.  And this cough, goes so deep it makes me pee. I called my doc, but he wouldn't give me any good drugs.  Suggested I call my ob, since I'm a little bit pregnant.  Called the OBs office, they suggested robitussin and mucinex, which I'm taking but they don't really seem to be doing much.  Knowing that I was coughing like a maniac, and a little pregnant, I wasn't going to push myself very hard.  I knew I could do 2 miles, so I would give that a go, get as far as I could and if I started hurting or coughing, I'd walk.  There was no way I was going to miss this.  It was our goal for Kathleen and I.  I was going for my Grandma and Aunt Debbie.  They were way tougher having to deal with Ovarian Cancer.  I can handle a little cough.  

Plus it was the first time Eric and I have ever run together.  He kept saying he might not be able to keep up with us, he's been starting from scratch too.  But he runs way faster than we do.   

However, when everybody started running.  I felt Great!  It felt good on my hips to move.  There was such an energy of Hope, Triumph over Ovarian Cancer, WAHOO!! I took off.

I didn't make it very far.  We got to the circle, and I started coughing.  You know what?!  It hurts to cough and run at the same time.  Hurts my guts, hurts my head.  By the time we got around the circle I knew I was going to have to stop to cough.  And I probably wasn't going to be starting up again.  I told Eric and Kathleen they could walk with me, or keep running, and meet me at the finish line.  No prob.  They took off.  

Honestly, seeing them take off at such a great pace, while I slowed to hacker pace, still made me very happy.  Eric's pace was way faster than ours, but all our training was paying off, and seeing Kathleen's back, I know she's gonna hate that I posted this pic, I loved it, because it made me proud.  Made me proud to see her go on and kick some more ass! 

I walked.  I did not quit.  There was much coughing.  They gave out full water bottles about 1/2way through, and I took one. I was so glad, it helped wash the gunk down.  Helped a lot.  But I did not quit.  

I enjoyed the sites.  We went past LucasOil Stadium, Union Station, the Circle.  

As I was coming up to the 3 mile marker, this site greeted me.  A sweet husband, who ran all the way through to the finish line, then turned around to walk and find me.  Together we walked to the finish.  

I wanted to run across the finish line, that last .1 mile, maybe the last 200 yards, maybe the last 100.  Nope, That really didn't work so much, as my running muscles were just about kaput, and I ran about 20 feet and started gagging again, so I just ran across the finish line.  But I crossed it.  That's still something. 

Go get your stuff checked!  

  An annual exam, getting your ovaries tapped helps.  Not the pap smear.  And if you're a boy, or know one, tell them to get their business checked too.  A friend of mine was going through that particular battle this weekend too, he was in my thoughts and prayers as I walked too.  I may not have been walking specifically for boy parts, but for girls.  But girl or boy, no one deserves cancer, and we all should do our part to fight, and step one is get checked.  

   I didn't do a ton of fundraising this year, but every bit helps.  If you want to make a difference, Please Donate Here. 

Slumber Party


My cold moved into a cough on Friday.  But thank goodness my illness was not going to stop Christopher's plans.  He had plans for a slumber party with Claudia, his best friend from school.   We scheduled this in August.  And he was beside himself with excitement this week.  It was impeding his sleeping, eating, every single conversation was going to be about having his slumber party at Claudia's house.  Finally, the day had come!

How adorably excited are they?

Thoughtful Thursday


A lovely sunset on my way to Freezer Cooking Club meeting last Thursday.  

It's funny how well my friends know me.  I showed up to Freezer Cooking a bit late, everyone had already polished off their first glass of wine.  I hadn't announced that I was pregnant, because we really weren't 100% sure.  As soon as I walked in, E* started to pour me a drink. I looked and simply told her I can't.  I'm not drinking.   Now, one could construe that as a I sign I drink too much.  But no, our group drinks sweet wines.  Our favorite is Sparkling Pink Moscato. My favorite really.  I suppose it's standard for me to have one or two anytime there is a bottle in my presence. So E* knew how strange it was for me to say no.  I'm guessing that to her knowledge there has only been one other time in history that she's known me when I wasn't drinking....yup.  When I was pregnant.  I watched as that thought occurred to her.  We didn't exchange a word.  She looked at me questioning, surely not.  Oh yes! Next thing you know, we're shrieking, giggling, crying.  No words were spoken.  The other gals are like what, and when I said, I'm not drinking because I'm pregnant, there were hugs, and crying, and it was the best reaction I could have hoped for.  They get me.  Somehow saying we're expecting #3 out loud doesn't sound real.  It certainly doesn't sound like we've been battling Infertility.  It sounds like we be crazy.  And maybe so.  But we've been trying and praying and this is an answer to our prayers.  

What the He*% does that mean?

Everyone has a wonderful story to tell, of when they discovered they were pregnant.  Usually, there's love, and smiles, and tears.  In my home, always tears of Joy.  Christopher's story was a wonderful one, full of surprise for both of us.  Sam's story was equally wonderful, I had suspected, I was feeling tremendously hormonal, but was so happy to surprise Eric by taping the test to the mirror at 5 in the morning, and just waiting for him to wake up, and run across the house.  It's funny, when I think about it,

On Wednesday, we did not know what to think.  Tuesday night, I'd been running with Kathleen, feeling gross and bloaty, and thinking it's time for the good drugs to make me start my cycle.  I have weirdo cycles.  Thus the dealing with Infertility for a decade. But every time I call the doctor, for the drugs or to get in for the weirdness, the first thing she always asks, and I told Kathleen this, "Have you taken a pregnancy test?"  So as we were running, I made a note to get to the store the next day to pick one up.  However, I started feeling really crappy, my sore throat had become sniffles too.  I did not feel like going to the store.  At the end of the day, after the kids were down, Eric felt bad for me.  I had such intentions  of Productivity.

So he ran to the store for me and bought some tests.  Kroger - the pregnancy test.  For the record.
In an effort to just get it out of the way.  I took the test.  Imagine my surprise when this was the result I received.

Isn't it kind that they print the key right there on the pregnancy test?  So nice that they tell you what it should look like.  Than what the hell have I got?!

It's not a plus sign.  It's not a negative line.  Looks to me like I have two parallel lines and a false baseline.  What the hell does that mean?  I had no idea.  I stared at it for 3 minutes.  Because you're  supposed to give it a few, this was what flared up right away.  I didn't get it.  

And instead of the romantic reveal that every wife wants to give her husband, I called mine into the bathroom pointed at the pee stick and asked, "What the hell does this mean?"  

He didn't know either.  So I did the next logical thing.  I took a picture, and emailed to my sister, who is familiar with all manner of quirky things uterine.  She didn't know what to make of it either.  She wanted me to take another test...from a different box.  (Eric got 2 boxes.  We don't mess around, we bulk up when buying pgc tests.  We go through them. Sad but true  Used to get the Sam's club cases of them, but they stopped selling them.  Meh, we switched to Costco.)  Anyway, she and I yapped a while until I had to pee again.  Meanwhile Eric looked up on the internet, and he found somewhere that said if you're 'so pregnant, the dye gets all sucked up by the hcg line' leaving no dye for the baseline.  What the heck does that mean, "So Pregnant?"?!?!?

An hour or so later, I took another test, it had a bit more of a baseline.  So, we called it a Positive....kind of.



Eric stayed home on Tuesday to make phone calls and whatnot.  First, we called our insurance company.  They said we have a $1000 deductible.  Oy.  So then we called some reconstruction guys, who specialize in this sort of thing.  They came out 2 hours later.  The guy that came out had a moisture meter, and he walked, climbed, went all over the house beeping and cheeping all over the walls, floor, everything.  Then he chopped some more holes in the ceiling so he could get a look at our subfloor.  

He liked it.  He it was wet, but not ruined.  Same (Miraculously!) with our drywall.  So he put in a couple industrial air dryers, and said they'd need to blow for a couple days.  Upstairs, he said we had nothing to worry about.  Our waterproof layer on the floor protected it.  So the water only went through where there was no floor, under the shower pan, and directly under the tub, and found a hole in the fire alarm, so it mostly rained through there, so it didn't have to work hard to find any other places.  We had about 1/2 inch of water in the mudroom, and some leaked through the air vent, and that's what dripped downstairs.  Luckily (?) it seemed to have hit the plug strip first. That shorted out when wet, and shut down everything else, before it could get ruined.  Once dried, Eric replaced the plug strip, and bada bing bada boom, the internet came right back on!  Hot dog!  Once dried out, we could turn on the lights again too!  

We now have light, and laundry functioning in the bathroom, good for washing every towel in the house, which we had soaked to get all this done.  I was only without internet for about 18 hours, but without my computer and my facebook, I was twitching.  However, I did get a lot of the laundry done. ;) 

It's loud in here, but it's Drying!  We'll take it.  And all Eric will have to do is fix the small holes in the ceiling with drywall patches.  WHICH he already knows how to do, and is good at.  Happy Day.  Thank the Lord! 


So, you know, how frazzled I've been.  I know you all understand.  It's been crazy, horrible, overwhelming, faith fortifying, and wonderful all at the same time.  I've been like a fibrillating heart, so much to do, and I can't do anything. I needed a shock to jumpstart me.  I guess I just didn't expect to do it to myself.    You ever do something so awful that you're completely amazed that your spouse can forgive you?  Amazed they stay with you?  Yeah.  I'm Blessed like that. 

You know my wonderful bathtub?  The one Eric got for me, and built an entire bathroom for my tub to fit into?  Yes well.  It takes forever to fill.  And Monday night, I was feeling so Done, that I started it up to take a hot bath.  Then I sat down at the computer "real quick" to check my emails, find out how Kaylee was doing etc. Next thing I know the fire alarms are going off, mass hysteria.  I run downstairs, yelling, what's the matter, turn on the fan!  Eric was cooking, and as much as I love him and his cooking, he tends to set the alarms off. Often.  So naturally I thought it was him, so I opened the back door. I heard rain.  Only when I looked outside, it wasn't raining.  I listened, and realized it was raining INSIDE the house.  I followed the noise, into the mudroom.  Eric followed me.  We were struck dumb as we looked and saw water pouring out of the mudroom fire alarm.  Raining.  
Eric yells (now keep in mind fire alarms are still going off here) "where is the running water coming from?"
Oh, I gasped, The Tub.  

I ran upstairs to find about 1/2 inch of water on the southern half of the bathroom floor, and the tub absolutely overflowing.  Like one of those fancy swimming pools that have no edges, the water just rolls off the sides in sheets.  Yes.  That was my bathroom. 

There was yelling.  I was crying.  I was so sorry.  I broke the house.  Eric was only angry for a few minutes. We went to work on sopping it up downstairs, while I did upstairs.  I was amazed he didn't want to just kill me. I'd broken our house.  The house that he had worked so hard on.  I killed it.  Because not only did I flood the bathroom, down into the mudroom, but there was water in the basement, that dripped right on all our Uverse (internet) stuff.  It looked very bad.  

Eric shut down the power to those area of the house, but even with the power off, the fire alarms wouldn't stop ringing.  Eric turned off the circuit, but they kept going off because of course, they have battery backups.   My ears were starting to ring.  I snagged earplugs for he and I. Chris was asleep (bad ear up) so he didn't hear a thing.  Sam was semi-conscious and confused.  So I put their headsets on them and they quickly went back to sleep (amazing right with the alarms still going?!).  Prinny went outside, she was beside herself.  While outside with her, I called 911.  When they asked if it was an emergency, I said, yeah, I think so, I'm not sure.  And I burst into tears again.  

They took pity on me, and sent a fire truck. 

The amazing firefighters came tromping in, probably half a dozen of them.  And they looked at the mudroom.    They said it was wise we turned the power off, so to avoid any shorts.  And since we'd killed the ciruit of the raining fire alarm, he was ok to reach up and grab it.  So he reached up and disconnected it.  Immediately, the noise in the house stopped.  It had been over half an hour total.  The firefighters suggested poking some holes in the ceiling, so that the water that was bowing through the drywall there, could have a spot to come down, and it wouldn't come collapsing down on our heads.  May even save the drywall.  So we did.  Eric got up and poked a few strategic holes in the ceiling, and we had buckets underneath to catch the water.  We plugged the dehumidifier in the hallway and put it in the mudroom, just to suck water out of the air at their recommendation too.  

And Eric forgave me.  When we could sit and talk, he was amazingly understanding about my making a mistake.  He was understanding about me being so distracted. He even joked, well you'll never leave the tub unattended again.  No, no I won't.  And he immediately called into work for the next day, so he could stay home, call guys, and get it all worked out.  God Bless Him.  And God Bless those Firefighters. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sending Representatives


On Sunday, I woke up with a tickle in my throat.  The kind that usually preceeds a sore throat.  I was not going to be able to go to the hospital to visit Kaylee.  And Eric was having technical issues with work, so we ended up staying in all morning, instead of going to church, as he worked, and the rest of us kind of just chilled out.  Christopher was very anxious to go see Kaylee.  Since he's had both of his chicken pox vaccines, he was allowed on the oncology unit, but Sam is not.  We had promised he and I would go.  But with a sore throat, I didn't want to go anywhere near Kaylee.  I'm not messing around with the health of any of those kids.  Just in case.  And Chris started to get upset, but then Daddy decided to take him.  Daddy saves the day!  Chris had a good understanding of what was going on with Kaylee.  We told him, that she was sick, and needed special blood medicine, so they had to do some surgery, and they were going to give her a "surgery spot" just like his (Mace).  Hers is a port-a-cath.  I think he wanted to compare surgery spots.

So Sam and I made Monster Mix for Kaylee.  Back in the day, when Chris and Kaylee (and Lexi) were all at St. Andrews for preschool, each fall we parent would sign our kid up to bring one ingredient for Monster Mix.  I always brought cracklin' oat bran, my personal favorite ingredient, with a cinnamon oaty flavor, perfect for a fall snack mix.  Anyway, this year, we made some for ourselves.  And Sam got to help me make it.

We made a special peanut-free batch for Kaylee, a bit of Red 40-free batch for Sam, and some regular for the rest of us, who, let's be honest, has been eaten 99% by me.

Sam had a wonderful time making this mix for Kaylee.  And Sampling all the red 40 less m&ms. :)  
Christopher made a special card for Kaylee.  He wrote, You are a Superhero!  Because it's very true, and especially sweet because they loved to play superheroes all the time whenever they'd get together, which is Chris's all time favorite pretend game. Then he drew a picture of Kaylee, in glowing yellow, holding Chris's hand, he had on a cape, and Kaylee was outlined in this boxy black thing.  When I asked him what it was, he said, it was her Wheelchair, because until she gets all better, she could be a superhero from her chair.  I nearly cried.  So I sent Chris off with Sam's gift Monster Mix for Kaylee and his card for her with Daddy to go visit her at the hospital, while I stayed at home drinking boatloads of tea.  

Mom posted these pictures that she took with her phone.  First Kaylee playing foosball one handed (and kicking Mom W.'s butt), then the two of them, Chris and Kaylee playing at the train table together.  Turns out Chris was wonderful therapy for Kaylee.  She was a little tired, and ready to go back to her room, but when he arrived, he managed to talk her into playing more fooseball and trains for like another half an hour.   Her goals for the day were to get up and moving, and go to the bathroom, within 45 minutes of him arriving, she'd crossed both off her list, and done so with gusto! 

 As you can imagine, he wore her out.  They went back to her room, and snuggled up together on her bed.  Kaylee asked Grandma to pop in a cartoon, Adventure Time, for them too watch.  She wanted Chris to see it, and she was right, he really liked it.  He didn't even notice when 10 minutes into the show, she fell asleep.  She woke up in some pain, but she's been amazingly resilient.  And Chris felt so much better visiting her.    Me too.  I'm so glad to hear she's doing so well.

Last Saturday


Last Saturday, my friend Amy had a House Party for Fisher Price.  Her living room threw up Imaginext toys.    And the boys went buck wild!  I had anticipated my boys being super crazy, fighting over the toys with the other kids, and having to pry toys from their hands, kicking and screaming.  In fact, in as much of a tizzy as I had been with the news and not knowing news from Kaylee, I really greatly considered not going.  But this is one of my freezer cooking club friends, and these gals know me so well, and I thought maybe just maybe I might Need to go.  
My heart wasn't in it though.  My heart was at the hospital.  Kaylee was to undergo surgery, to create portocath and have a spinal tap, and they were going to start her chemo.  I wanted to be with her.  I needed to hug her.  
But we went.  We were late, because I was on the computer and the phone all morning trying to get the scoop.  But once we arrived, the kids went to play.  And they played pretty well together.  Only once did I have to break up a fight.  And my friends were so kind and supportive, I don't know why I had even considered not going.  I felt their Prayers.  They were as worried about Kaylee as I was, and the combination of group worry made my burden lessen.  
I don't know if that makes sense at all. I have been trying all week to figure out the words that I had been feeling into words.  The words just don't come.  I want to scream and cry.  I want to cuddle up with God, and just bask in his Comfort, and at the same time, I want to convey my hurt and anger to him.  It's a whole hot messy mix of emotions, all flowing at the same time.  
I am not angry at Him.  I know God, and I know he doesn't strike kids with cancer, that's not His way.  I know the evil one is the only one cruel enough to give a kid cancer.  I know God doesn't hand out cancer.  His way of taking enemies out is a bit more direct, he's not a fan of suffering, and He doesn't want to cause children to suffer.  So I want to be by Him.  I want all of us to be With Him.  And Blessedly, my friends and family are with Him.  

They get me.  And their support was so wonderful that morning.  I was able to sit, chat, watch the kids play, watch and enjoy other people's children in their own mix of crazy and cuteness and appreciate them.  Almost normal.  When it was time to go, I got the kids and the car and headed home.  The kids were so excited, they "won" one of the Imaginext toys, they were thrilled to get the racetrack, and couldn't wait to play with it once they got home.  

But believe it or not, they still hadn't taken Kaylee back to surgery.  There had been an emergency and her surgery got pushed back, from 9 a.m. until further notice.  I Could Not sit still.  I called Kathleen.  She had offered the day before to borrow some sweetboys, if I wanted to go to the hospital.  So I cashed in that offer, and ran some boys over to her.  I called Ryan and Amy asking if they wanted some lunch, so I stopped and grabbed Chipotle for them too.  I didn't feel like eating much (weird eh?) but dashed down there, and got there in time to still see Kaylee.  As it turned out I had plenty of time, they didn't take her back until 2:30.  She was still in her room, hungry, but nervous too.  She was such a champ.  Even though people around her wanted and needed to eat, she didn't hardly complain at all about not being able to get more than a sip of water.  MAN!  I would have had a lot more to say.  But Amy, Ryan, and Kaylee are Superchamps of Peace and understanding.    
When they finally took Kaylee back, the great staff kept apologizing profusely for the delay.  They got to Kaylee, and they did such a wonderful job with her.   Her floor nurse was Simply Wonderful.   Amy had said she had such Good Vibes from the oncology staff, and I could see why.  And though Kaylee Needed the procedures she was going to be having, I couldn't help but be particularly thankful I wasn't that Emergency's parent.  So Blessed that it wasn't our girl, or my boys that needed a 5 hour emergency surgery that was "touch and go for a while".  I can be a lot more patient with that kind of perspective.  Let the folks save the lives as they need to be saved.  
I will say I wanted to give her versed, a relaxy drug, since she was nervous and crying a bit.  I hated seeing her nervous.  The take back is hard on parents, but the hardest on the kids.  Amy said she did better than take back the day before.  So sad they have to get used to it.  But it's Especially hard when they are old enough to understand and be scared. Take Back was much easier when Chris was tiny, and the only maniac crying was me.  But the nurse said it wasn't a good idea because they are more loopy coming out of anesthesia.  Bah Humbug.  Anything that helps you relax when you're scared isn't a bad idea.  Anesthesia and morphine make you loopy coming out of anesthesia.  There's no avoiding that.  Aunt Teri agreed with me, but we did not make a scene, and didn't discuss until we were all in surgery waiting.  
But Bah Humbug. 

I got to stay with them for a while, just talking, getting a bit more information about the kind of cancer Kaylee  has and the fight that she's in for.  It's going to be a long one, up to 2 1/2 years.  But the kind she has, ALL, has a really good cure rate.  I know people hate thinking numbers, but when Eric told me the world cure rate is 85%.  I couldn't help but be comforted that Kaylee has so many good factors going for her.  She's young, tough, a girl, we seem to have caught it pretty early, so that she's not in the high risk group.  If there can be an up side in this situation, I think we were finding them.  

It was good for me to go, to just be there.  I had to leave to get the yahoos, but Kaylee came out of surgery ok.  Pale and gorky, little floopsy for a bit, but ready for some chicken noodle soup.  Amy sent this one around later in the evening, and it was so nice to see her doing normal-ish things.  

Atta Girl!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Diagnosis


No one when can sleep when their child is sick.  Amy slept crappy at the hospital, and I slept crappy at home, just contemplating the most terrifying unknowns.

Sam and I had nothing on the docket last Friday.  And sitting around the house was not working for us.  I was playing Songpop on fb like a maniac, checking the entire family's facebook statuses for any and all words on how K was doing, and twitching with the desire to be at the hospital.  Sam was making me nutsy, probably wanting any kind of attention at all, because I was so clearly distracted.

My friend Melissa hopped online asking if I'd heard any news, and I told her how antsy I was.  She offered to borrow Sam so I could get down to the hospital.  Wahoo!  So we met at Target, so I could pick up a couple snuggly odds and ends for Kaylee.  Christopher had been very worried if Kaylee had "what she needed".  He remembered to me how Emily had brought him a bag full of things he needed like Superhero books.  I assured him that we would make sure Kaylee had everything she needed.

I may have gone a little overboard.  

I remember nothing. 

But there was a girl who was pretty happy to receive our Care Package.  

It was almost lunchtime by the time I finished shopping, and gave Sam away, so I grabbed Eric from work on the way.  We both had so wanted to be there, so he got to visit on his "lunch break". She was doing so well after her procedure.  They had given her conscious sedation, for her bone marrow biopsy, and she was pretty floopsy, and a little sore, but overall doing very well.  And smiling!  That was the best part to me, was that she was smiling and laughing at all the normal silly things, just like normal Kaylee.  And she was snuggled up with the blanket I made for her when she was little.  For some reason just seeing her like that, I got this feeling of peace, like everything was going to be ok.  We knew at that time it was cancer, and the had gotten some initial bloodwork back, and they were pretty sure it was leukemia.  We just didn't know what kind.  Apparently there are lots of kinds.  We had to wait a while to find out what kind.  
We were asking her if she'd gotten around the hospital, you know Eric and I, we KNOW the hospital, so we offered to take her around to all the 'hot spots' like the Raggedy Man gift shop, the library, the Ronald Mcdonald house, the cafeteria.   She popped on her new snuggly slippers, and we threw her in a wheelchair and took her for a tour.  

Her favorite place?  The great glass elevators in the lobby.  She was so sweet, sitting there watching them go up and down.  We noticed we could see our reflections in the bottoms of them, and we were laughing and making silly faces.  It felt good.   

This was my favorite picture, her laughing and pointing up.  I know she's pointing at the ceiling where the elevators are headed, we were playing around guessing where they'd go, but at the same time, it's like she Knows who has her.  God has her in his hands, and He's going to take good Good care of her.  

We left about 2:30, somehow Eric had snuck off for a 3 hour lunchbreak.  It really is a black hole in the hospital.  Not much different from the "black hole of cuteness" days when Chris was tiny and in the hospital.  Kaylee is a black hole of cuteness of her own, and it's very easy to spend the whole day with her, I didn't want to leave.  

On the other hand, there was a large part of me that just wanted to snuggle up with Sam and take a big fat nap.  So we went home, and did.  Well, he took a nap, I couldn't sleep, because brother came home, and Sam didn't sleep long either.  Too many ants in our pants.  Just as we were trying to figure out what to do with our evening, news came through.  It was ALL - Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.   

Thank God, Riley doesn't mess around. They already had a tentative plan before they even got the diagnosis.  Since they knew it was cancer, they were planning a most likely to have surgery the next morning to put in a portocath, under her skin by her clavicle, so she can have her chemo directly connected.  And while they were at it, and she was out, they wanted to do a spinal tap, get some spinal fluid to see if the leukemia was in there, and start the chemo right there for the first round.  She is looking at weekly chemo for like a year.  

They don't mess around.  There's no time for freaking out, What are we gonna do?  No, there was a Plan.  Frankly, I got good vibes from every staff member on that ward.  They were kind, funny, and yet, they had a plan.  No one was taking this lying down, there was a plan of attack lined up and they were going to kick this cancer's ass.  Oddly enough, that was kind of comforting.  
We didn't talk much in depth, just had a really nice visit, talked about the present.  And that was all that we needed.  
Mom and Aunt Teri were visiting so Ryan and Amy could get some dinner, then they came out our way, we decided since Aunt Teri was visiting, that it just be right to all get together for dinner.  I think we just wanted to spend time with our family.  We met at Boulder Creek, and we had just gotten seated when it started to rain.  Then it went beyond rain, and started to hail.  So much hail it looked like snow.  

I was glad.  At least if the world was falling apart within our family, it only seemed fitting that it look like it was falling apart outside.  I couldn't stomach a pretty weather day, notwhile Kaylee is in the hospital.  I want God to be as sad as we are.  I wanted the weather to reflect that.  Oh yeah.  It did. 

But as frustrated and helpless as we'd been feeling, there were Blessings too.  The kind she has, ALL has one of the highest worldwide cure rates.  And Kaylee is at Riley, one of THE Best Hospitals in the world.  And they weren't messing around waiting on diagnoses, or tests.  They were like, Bam Bam Bam.  Get her fixed!  And they have a plan!  Saturday she was to start 5 different meds, a mix of things, chemo, steroids, anti-nausea, a whole cancer killing cocktail.  She may be doing this for a year or two, but she is going to kick cancer's ass!  Her other grandma even reported that she was saying how much her teacher at school was going to miss her because "I'm her star pupil!"   And she was already considering the many different kinds of crazy hats and wigs she can wear.  She sounded so upbeat and positive about this fight, you could just tell that God was right there with her.  You could feel it in all the prayer requests circling over the internet.    God and Kaylee are fixing to do some amazing things.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Ever have one of those moments, you can pin it down, to where your world changed?  Up until that point, they usually include someone with a ring, or a little bitty + sign on a stick.  But did you ever think it would include Facebook?  Me neither, but mine did.

Most of you already know what happened on Thursday, about my niece Kaylee.  One of those moments:  what were you doing when---?

I  had dropped off Sam at preschool, and gone to the chiropractor.  I wasn't sure if I was having a massage or not, turned out not.  So after my adjustment, I went home and was playing Songpop with my sister on the computer.  As I'd been driving home, I was struck, at how simply Blessed I am.  My issues earlier in the week had gone from unable to breathe, to being able to run the night before.   And the boys have both been healthy lately.  My biggest worry up to that point was what snack should Sam bring for his school class.  I came home and wrote as such.  Then saw that my sister in law, Amy, was requesting prayers on fb, because she was taking Kaylee in to the doctor because she was pale.  She said there were some pretty scary possibilities.  I prayed that Kaylee be ok, and moved on.  I picked up Sam, and came back home, sat back down at the computer, the first thing to pop up was from Amy's Mom, all it said was "It's Leukemia."  WHAT?!?!?!
I looked back at her page, and there was a prayer request from a bit earlier saying they were headed to Riley for testing for marrow issues.  I called Amy,  no answer, phones don't work for crap in Riley.  I called Mom W. She hadn't seen it, next thing I know we were both crying way too much for phone conversation.  Finally I fb'd Amy's Mom, and she gave me the scoop.  The initial bloodwork at the doctor had been disturbing enough to send them straight to the Riley ER.  Further tests were ordered and they were being admitted for a blood transfusion. They were looking at cancer.  But they wanted to do a blood marrow biopsy Friday morning.  Nothing had been confirmed for sure...yet.

Amy sent around this picture.  They had that sweet girl in the ER until 7:30 that night before they could get her into a room.  And look at her face, she still kept smiling.  Even in the face of great unknown, she still retained her beautiful smile and strength. She amazes me.  I just wanted to take her in my arms and tell her how terribly sorry I was.  Why it couldn't be me?  I would gladly trade her.  Why does cancer have to strike such wonderful children?  To make already amazing strong children even more amazing.  Horse Hockey.   And yet, our Kaylee was gearing up for the fight of her life.
And Ryan and Amy, how were they doing?  I can't imagine, and I didn't have any words except to say if they needed anything I was there.  But what would they need, I don't even know if they knew yet.  I wouldn't.  Just maybe immediate needs, food and coverage for home stuff.  And  Alexis, I was very worried about her, but blessedly Grandma T. came to the rescue and met her off the bus, stayed overnight, took her downtown so that they could talk to her and spend some time with her family.  She's a first born like me, a born worrier, like me, and an emotional sponge, like me.  I wanted to help, but had no idea what to do.  The words won't come. Amazing things happened though.  I remembered, I can always Pray.  So I did.  Prayed the day and evening through, for little things, that they would get dinner, for big picture things, Lord let it not be cancer.  Talk about Praying Unceasingly!

It is Surreal.  The rest of the day. I kept praying for it to be a mistake.  And the family came together, talking, texting, posting on the internet, communicating like we never have before.  I wanted to just lose it, but I kept praying we were wrong.  We weren't.  By bedtime, the initial bloodwork confirmed and they knew it was either leukemia or lymphoma.

How do we go about the rest of our day, or the rest of our lives?  Why does the world keep spinning?   Why is the sun shining?  And I remember that feeling, like why is the world continuing, doesn't it know that there is something wrong with my baby?
I remember how the bottom dropped out when Chris was born, and I remember the terrible feelings, that I didn't even know what to do or say.  I feel like I don't know any better now.  I was emotionally exhausted, then, and am now.  I can't rest.  Slept like crap all night, because every time I'd roll over in my beautiful house with my healthy kids I wanted to cry.  I just want to be there, and hold them all, and never let go.


But I continued the motions, doing what we do.  And I'm glad I did.  Chris went to gymnastics after school.  I was so Proud of  him. In spite of Great Fear, he finally did a forward roll in his gymnastics class. So simple, and yet he was so scared.  I blubbered like a baby, thinking how much kids have to face fears, it's so unfair.  But I shouted the loudest for him!  

Then I came home and just held them.  Actually they got annoyed. He had his flush afterwards, and Eric explained that Kaylee was at Riley, that she was sick, so we all prayed for her to get better.   But I couldn't shake the fear, and the only thing I wanted was to sit and snuggle my sweetboys.  So Sam curled up with me and we watched Octonauts.  And I held him until he asked me, if I was all done with my snuggles. 

Never baby, Never. 

Go hug your babies, you never know when life will change.  

Put to good use


On Wednesday, I got to get a little baby fix in my Mom2Mom group.  Little Liam from down the street, I got to hold him, snuggled all sweetly with the blanket I made him.  

Yeah, that's a good note to end on. 



As I said, by Tuesday I was feeling much much better.  My friend Elizabeth and I took a fabulous trip up to Costco.  She'd never been, and I felt it was my duty to show her around.   Her little Gabrielle thought it was pretty fun when she went running through the very cold refrigerated fruits and veggies section.  It's a little hard to see, but he was giving me the biggest cheesy grin.  And he wasn't fussy. 

 I'm really enjoying going to the store on days when Sam is in school, I hear a fussy child, and it's Not Mine!

Another perk of the day, I entered a facebook contest and won a free pizza from Rock Star, my fav pizza place in town.  I never win anything!  But that was pretty sweet.  Chris said, on our way to pick it up, Mommy I want to take my wallet in, so I can buy you a pizza.  Aww....   
It's still adorable, even if he wants to buy me a Free pizza.  I let him buy his own breadsticks with 'yellow dip'.  His fav.  



Dear Lord, I am thankful for my chiropractor.  I didn't get a chance to take any pictures on Monday.  I thought I had the whole day before me.  I got up, felt good, got showered, dressed, doing well, got Sam all set and we were loading up to go Kindermusik class, when PING!  I backed out of my driveway and suddenly noticed some extreme back pain.  I was having trouble breathing.  The pain required to take a full breath sent blue fuzzies into my vision.  That's Bad.  I couldn't take a deep breath.  And you know, that's when you want one the most, so I started to cry.  Crying doesn't help, fyi.  It started to go inter hyperventilating, so I pulled over a second, while Sam talked about the geese, and calmed down.  I commenced calling my friend, because I suspected I was going to have trouble getting Sam out of the car.  I called Eric and told him to come home, and my chiropractor.  I ended up getting Sam out of the car, by squatting a bit, reaching in and unbuckling him, and letting him do the rest, God Bless him. Then I walked him in to the library, very slow, careful, so as to not aggrevate it.  That worked.  I got straight into the car and called Dr. J.  I hadn't been able to get him, because he wasn't in yet.  His secretary said she'd call him and see if he would pop over to see me.  Bless him, he did.  But apparently I scared the snot of the poor gal, when I told her I couldn't breathe, that I was just going to go home, take drugs and go to bed.  Apparently, that's not the wise thing to do when you can't breathe.  Well, neither is going to spend half the day in the E.R. 400$ later pay for a shot, that would induce the same nap that I could get a heck of a lot easier by going home.  
Well, my doc came in, adjusted me, and tortured me to tears digging into my spasming muscle.  I'm sure it would have been much worse, if he hadn't iced me down first.  But he sent me home with some exercises that have helped.  And since I was too gorked out the rest of the day to remember to take pictures, my "picture" of the day is their icon, so if you have back pain, you can get info to a great chiropractor.  I say great because I was back to functioning on my own 24 hours later, enough to go to the store (heavy labor like shopping), and running by Wednesday!  

I did get a big kick out of his explanation of The root of my problem:  Your muscles are weak, and you have excessive weight in the upper front.  AKA, my boobs.  My back can't take my boobs.  Makes sense.  Been having trouble for 20 years with them.  Guess it's a good plan then for me to get them reduced for my 40th.  Why 40, you ask?  Because by then I figure we'll be done attempting to have more kids.  My eggs will be so old, I won't want/need to worry about nursing.  Heck, God may be choosing early for me.  But I figure by 40, I will give up for sure.  In the mean time, I'm gathering lots of evidence for the insurance company so they won't deny paying for my breast reduction.  And if I get another wee one in the mean time, that would be pretty darn Awesome too!  

Training the Treadmill


I got a wild hair, and decided to do my 25 minute run on the basement treadmill.  Well, funny thing, my treadmill is dumb.  I have long suspected that it sits at an angle, even when I'm supposed to be at a 0 incline, I can feel myself working uphill.  That made running on my treadmill difficult last winter, because every time I got on, I could only go 10 minutes.  I figured I was just not properly trained.  I thought I had it figured it. This time, as Kathleen and I would restart our Couch 2 5K, I would include running on the basement treadmill as one of my weekly workouts, so as to include the process, thus training myself to the treadmill, so I could run on it any time.  Then came Texas, and I fell off the wagon, didn't exercise for almost a week, picked up right where I left off, and didn't die.  And the weather turned to lovely, pre-fall, and it's nice to do a 20 minute run outside, considering we've spent the last 5 months in excess of 90 degrees.  I did an 8 3 8  minute on the treadmill run, then I ran 2 weeks outside, or at the gym with Kathleen.   So I decided, I need to do this 25 minute run this week downstairs.  So I did.  
Only it didn't work out quite as I intended.  I had my water, my radio, I was in like flynn.  I walked briskly for 5 minutes, and commenced running.  I was going like 3.2 mph, which I think it exaggerates that too, but anyway, 8 minutes later, my hip started to burn.  Maybe I'm crazy.  I asked Eric to come down, does he think that the treadmill is on an incline, even though I've not selected an incline?  He says yes, and as we talk about it, (we don't usually talk about the problems in our exercising for some reason) he had trouble last winter going more than 10 minutes.  Ha!  What do you know about that?!  So I got off and walked around while he messed with the treadmill to see if he could Make it get lower.  Nope, no luck there.  
So I just got back on and finished my half hour with walking.  I wasn't burning at a slower pace.  But the result was still pretty gross and sweaty, so I consider it a success overall.  I came upstairs and iced my lower spine and hip, and in spite of failing at doing my 25 minute run, I felt like it was still a success since I had  broke a sweat, and got some running in.  Movement is better than no movement.  

Catching Up

You know the theme song from Fresh Prince of Bel Air, the lyrics, "Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped turned upside down." This is Not that story. But because our lives did get a little Flipped, I'm gonna briefly go through the last week in pictures.


We've actually been blessed with a couple quiet weekends.  Last Saturday, Chris was invited to a birthday party for his friend Z* at the Monster Mini Golf in Avon.  Holy Cow.  I didn't think my boy was ready for this, actually, initially he was a bit scared.  But once he got in and saw his friends it was great.  The best part, my son plays putt-putt like it's hockey, he weaves and follows and keeps that stick right with the ball until it goes where it's supposed to go! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Seasonal Sweets


I am declaring unofficially, Fall Is Here.

I found Apple Cider at the store this week, and now that the weather is cooling down, I have been craving all things pumpkin.  Yesterday, Sam helped me carry out this craving, by helping Mommy make some pumpkin bread.  Yum.  He's getting of the age where he's beginning to be helpful, instead of more of a hindrance.  And he enjoys cooking with me, just like big brother did/does.

What baking of breads is complete without sampling a little bit, you know, to make sure it's ok?!

Oh yeah, Sam thinks it's OK. 

Once our bread was in the oven, Sam wanted cocoa to go with it, we compromised and made some carmel apple cider.  We took the cider we picked up at the store, added a few tbsp of caramel dessert topping, and about 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and let it go, in my latte maker. 

You know the seasons have changed at our house when I put the Magic Bullet away and break out the Kitchenaid mixer and the latte maker.  

Aunt Amy came over and joined us for cider and pumpkin bread.  Twice in one week we got to see her, Absolute Madness!