Friday, June 13, 2008

Vancouver, Day Nine

I don't have much to say about day nine yet, as it has only just begun. But it's off to a good start seein's how I slept all night in the same bed without kids laying all over me. YAY THAT.

So far plans for today include picking Jill up from the airport at 9:30am, perhaps driving her down to Multnomah Falls, then coming back home to eat lunch, put kids down for naps, and then take Mama to her second radiology appointment. Mama had her first radiology consult yesterday, for which she got up and dressed and accessorized (she looked awesome). Sara went with her and they did a little shopping afterward and brought home some Baja Fresh for lunch. Mom has to go back today and get her radiology tatoos so they can shoot her in the right spots. She is doing really well. I can tell her daily meds are still wiping her out, but she is feeling much better, more like her regular self everyday. I am still trying to feed her good whole foods so she will be ready for her next round, but now we know the whole process will knock her out for about a week. I hope the two in-between weeks are good and she gets to enjoy time with all the loved ones that will be here with her.

Going to the cancer center was a cool experience. It is such a nice, comfy place with all the amenities for the patients AND their guests, but I kept looking around and feeling totally mixed emotions. I eavesdropped on conversations ( a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary after meeting in the Navy, etc) and realized that ALL thos people in there are special to their loved ones, and each patient represented a family that was getting rocked as much as our family is. It made me momentarily sad--I told mom, "I feel like crying--I can't believe we're here." But then I watched her be brave and watched her cool nurse take such good care of her, I just felt grateful that the treatment exists and there are professionals who are so gentle and who know how to guide her down the path to recovery. I am excited that teh grandparents and Lisa and Sam and Kris will get to go there, too.

Anyhooo--kids to dress, breakfast to make, etc. Maybe tonight we can post some pix of our adventures. Check out the six cousins in the tub pix at Sara's blog! :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

An Update, finally.

We have been INSANELY bust around here since Sunday, with Nana's Rituxan treatment on Monday, followed by Abby's game, and then lots of errands and getting ready for Sara to come on Tuesday (she came! no pix uploaded yet, but she's here and it's fun!). But mom has been pretty sick since the rituxan with a lot of body aches and fatigue. We're trying to keep her nourished and allow her to rest (so we are taking the kids to Smal-Land at IKEA again today).

So here are some pix of our activities:
LOTS of sleeping (James and Nana last Saturday)
Lots of mischief with Crazy Nana
Silly James!
Now he sticks everything up his nose!
Funny Nana!
Lots of SNUGGLING
Monday we headed back to the Cancer Center...

For more of this...look at my cutie mom!
We hung out for 4 hours waiting fro the Rituxan to drip in (what has the humidity done to my hair?!?! THAT is why I got it cut, right after I put mom to bed on Monday)
There's the yucky stuff that's made my mama so sick.
But we love it because it's KICKING CANCER'S BUM!
(she also got a $6,000 shot of Neulasta at them end of Monday's treatment...
Holy cow, cancer is expensive in so many ways!)
***
...So all is well, relatively. Thanks for caring. I will write some more details when another quiet moment comes up. For now, naps are over and it's IKEA time.
XO



Sunday, June 08, 2008

Bet Your Bottom Dollar

It's Sunday, so of course the sun came out today. On the Sabbath, the day we don't "play." The kids were NOT happy about that. But now that it's evening and relief has arrived in the form of Uncle Michael (HOORAY! He's gaining on you, Brent, for the Charles In Charge title! ;)). I am letting them enjoy God's creations in the back yard with Michael and the dog.

We attended mom's ward today, all three hours, and the loving care of everyone really touched me. In the sacrament closing prayer, her friend Pam said something like, "Father, there are sick among our ward family and we ask a special blessing on them. Give them the courage and faith they need to face their treatments...comfort and strengthen their families and guide their doctors..." It was really sweet. She is doing pretty well--nauseated, but adorable in her housecoat and snazzy hair. She got up for a while today. Two priesthood holders brought the sacrament to her, and the Relief Society is bringing another meal tomorrow after her "R" treatment and chemo class. Michale and Tegan are taking all the kids to the zoo tomorrow while Mark works and I go with Mom to the cancer center. My heart is happy for the way we are all working together--it's such a kindness and such a relief that Michael came today!

My favorite thought from Sacrament Meeting: "It's not foolish to give up that which you cannot keep for that which you can never lose." Good stuff. Much like, "Sacrifice is giving up something good for something better" or "Do not sacrifice what you want MOST for what you want NOW." Chew on that while I go serve up some dinner and tame the wild ones...mucho amor!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Vancouver, Days Two & Three

Greetings from the seventh circle of Heck! Just kidding, but it is pretty much my nighmare to be caring for 5 kids, rainy day after rainy day, trying to keep them quiet and keep them from torturing the poor dog. It's awesome. I just keep telling myself, now mom knows how much I love her!!!! ;)

As you probably read on Mom's blog (Mark is guest blogging), Mom successfully completed her first round of chemotherapy yesterday. She has been remarkably well--I am sooo proud of her! I don't know what I was expecting--I guess my expectations have been tainted by shows like "Dying Young" and "Crazy, Sexy Cancer." It's different for everyone, but I expected it to be worse for her. Of course, after giving birth to eight children and knowing all too well how to deal with nausea and discomfort, she is a total pro!

I am so glad Mark was with her yesterday. He is long gone now, and I hope she isn't feeling too bad. My kids got up at 6am--I have no clock in my room, so I got them dressed, got in the shower myself, and made up a bunch of french toast when I looked up at the clock and it said 7:11am. I was NOT happy about that, especially since we woke up mom in the process. I think I am going to make them do some chores and then we are going to IKEA--I will check them in to the play place and pick up some stuff for mom (a clip line from which to hang all her well-wishes in her room--I thought that would lift her spirits) and some lingon berries and meatballs for dinner. Then we will all get a needed break--me from KidChaos, mom from noise and interruptions, and the kids from boredom and distracted adults. Sounds like a win-win.

Yesterday was cold and rainy, and today looks like more of the same. We did a little shopping yesterday while mom was at the cancer center--we will be celebrating Rich's bday and Father's Day a little late when we get home, so I want my van to be like Santa's sleigh for Rich!;) He is so supportive and awesome--taking care of an open house at our house tonight, helping me get here to be with mom (he said as I left, "You take good care of my mother-in-law!"--so sweet), and being cool with having extra kids at our house all summer. He rocks in so many ways! Anyway, we did get a nice nap yesterday, and the RS brought pizza for dinner. The kids had a movie night, watching "Night at the Museum" while Nana rested, Papa worked, and I snuck in a little reading (I bought David Sedaris' "Naked" and it's just as funny as "Denim and Corduroy"--I am thinking about splurging on his new book--it will be good, light reading for the chemo room on Monday). Life is so good, and we are all being blessed in so many little ways, moment to moment. I just pray for mom's comfort--I have accepted the trial, the challenge, I just don't want it to be any hareder on HER than it has to be, ya know??? I feel bad for her because without her meds, her arthritis is probably worse than the cancer or chemo. I wish I could give her my tub!!!

On that note, I think I am going to take these kids away for a while! Leave me some comments--I'll need them by day's end! ;)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Vancouver, Day One

Okay, so I totally drove through a blizzard near Butte yesterday morning (and in rain for most of the way), stopped for potty breaks a million times, and drove 820 miles in 14 hours and 14 minutes (I got lost and used up about 40 miles going the wrong way in Kennewick--seriously, is that not the most confusing place?). But we got here safe and sound around 9pm and it has been so fun to be with Nana!

She had her "PowerPort" put in at the surgical center today--we just got home and she's going to rest and take a pain pill. All is well, she is great spirits, her sunny self--it's great to be with her, I am sure everyone is going to enjoy their visits--what a great opportunity to be with mom and show her love and support!

Thanks, Richie, for letting me come! More soon, I have to go pick up the kids from the RS President's house.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

And we're off...


...on an impromptu trip to Vancouver, just me, three chillins and a mini-van. I love this drive. And I love me mum.


I will miss my hunny-punkin-lover, and I am so sad to miss Sean's farewell (and his party a mi casa which Rich is now hosting), but Operation MamaCare is first priority! So good luck, dear Sean, and farewell Richard-Darling...I love you and miss you already! :)


I'll check in when we arrive.


Love, Queen of the Road.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Stage One!

So Mama's oncologist got her treatment shedule lined out today and let her know that her cancer is "only" stage one--totally beatable! So she'll have six rounds of chemo (every 21 days) followed by four radiation treatments.

Here's the chemo schedule: 6/6, 6/27, 7/18/, 8/8, 8/29, and 9/19.


I'll be with her for her first round, Lisa and the Grandparents will be with her for the second, Sam, Kristen will take care of her 7/18, and August and Septmber are still open--Marti, are you still going the end of August? I can probably take August 8th if Matty Post can't do it. And Marti, do you want to come back on September 19th and celebrate our birthday with Abby and take care of Mom? We can celebrate it being her last round of chemo, too! Come on, it'll be fun! ;)

update: Michael is close by and can help mom, too, so maybe you can plan on August 8th, Mike.
Also, Jill and Sara will be with mom next week.


I also plan on bringing Abby and Marshall home with me on 6/18, so if anyone wants to plan some time or activities with them, let me know (Matt? Laura? Jill?).
Jill is taking Marshall to Utah after we swap Cody and Tyler in Idaho on June 20-something.


"Activate Operation MamaCare!"

Everything Will Be Just Fine

So I was in the grocery store for some kind of emergency last week, late at night, and as I walked down the aisle, I heard "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World playing from the Muzak. For some reason, it was like divine revelation to me, like a hug, and I started to cry a little bit.

I know that song doesn't sound like it could speak to your spirit, but I have always loved it. I especially loved it when I was a YW leader and even thought it should be the YW theme song! For me, though, under the weight of all that's going on around me and in me right now, it was just a reminder that "everything, everything" would indeed "be all right."

So here are the lyrics and the video. The vid is definitely PG13 and I debated about posting it, but if you watch all the way to the end, it's a perfect message--JUST BE YOU.

THE MIDDLE
Hey, don't write yourself off yet

It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on
Just try your best, try everything you can
And don't you worry what they tell themselves
When you're away.

CHORUS
It just takes some time, little girl, you're in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be alright, alright.


Hey, you know they're all the same
You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in
Just live right now and just be yourself

It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else
(chorus)
Hey, don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don't you worry what the bitter hearts, are gonna say
(chorus)
--Jimmy Eat World
Good Luck Today, Mom!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Deliriously Sleepy Thursday

An update on my Mom: Today she has her PET Scan, and earlier this week she had a bone scan, and she'll have a bone marrow biopsy soon, too (ouch). She meets with her oncologist again on Monday, June 2, and they will supposedly map out her treatments over the next several months. On a lighter note, she decided to "ease us into the baldness" by chopping off her hair. Frankly, I think she looks awesome, chemo or no chemo! So we're still waiting to know exactly what we'll be doing this summer, but she has constant care from loved ones scheduled thru August and beyond, so we're all ready to go!
Look at my cutie mom!
***
(PS: Hi, Mollie! I have missed you so! You asked where I was in the south---I was in North Carolina and I loved it!)

***

Some pix from yesterday, and then perhaps a rest (will I ever stop being exhausted???):







Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Full-Circle

A conversation I just had with James after he busted down the bathroom door and wanted to chat while I (how dare I?!) pottied.

James: (holding up Addie's monkey key chain) Monkey.
Me: Yep, that's Addie's monkey.
J: Addie.
Me: Addie is downstairs playing with your cousins. Go downstairs and play.
J: Nee-nee (what he calls his friend Lydia).
Me: Danny and Rosalie are downstairs. They want to play. Go play.
J: Shoe.
Me: There are lots of shoes downstairs. Go play with the kids!
J: Outside.
Me: No, it's raining outside, Bubby. You can play downstairs. In your room. With toys. With shoes. With kids!
J: Potty. Mommy.
Me: Yes, Mommy's going potty.
J: Addie.
Me: Yes, Addie, too. You can go play with Addie downstairs.
J: Monkey.

I was done by then, and he is still sitting by me.

It's really a wonder I can still write a complete sentence with these awesome conversational skills.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Now Let Us Rejoice


"On May 13,2008, ABC announced that Scrubs will be a midseason replacement, airing Tuesday nights at 9PM ET. Steve McPherson, ABC's President of Entertainment, also stated that additional seasons of Scrubs beyond the eighth could be produced if it performs well."

How did I miss this news on May 13th? I guess I was still recovering from our roadtrip. Anway, I am really excited about Scrubs coming back (NBC is so lame for letting it go). That gives me two great things to look forward to this fall: (1) for the first time I will be the mother of a two-year-old while not being pregnant, and (2) more quality time with my friends at Sacred Heart! Hallelujah! Let's all watch so it will "perform well" and we will get lots more!

Wanna rejoice some more? Then let's celebrate the 27th anniversary of the birth of my darling brother, Matt, on this date in 1981. Matt, Happy Golden Birthday! Surely this Scrubs news will make your day! ;)

On another note...poor China! I wonder how the Olympics is gonna go down...Hm.

I am working at the hotel AGAIN (I'm just bridging the gap between full-time employees right now, and picking up some cash for Rich's birthday and Father's Day; soon I will be back to working 3 or 4 3-hour shifts per week over the summer), so I may log in with more thoughts later.

FAMILY LETTER 11.19.17

Dear Loved Ones,                                                                                                                          ...