Friday, July 19, 2013

It's Been Awhile

There is so many things I could talk about, how I started back to work and it is going awesome, how my little girl is getting so darn big, how awesome my son is, but today was a tough day and I need to vent.

I took my mom to get her CT scan results today.  We both had a bad feeling going into the appointment.  I was worried with the horrible upper back pain she has been having that the cancer was now in her bones.  But, the doctor never mentioned anything about the cancer spreading so that was good.  However, the tumor in her lung has doubled in size since her last CT scan in April.  So it has grown from 3cm to 6cm's in less then three months.  This means the cancer is no longer in remission.

The doc gave her two options.  He said he was in a hard place because he could not recommend a high dose chemo due to my mom having such a bad reaction to it.  So option one is to provide a low dosage chemo.  This will not shrink the tumor but hopefully slow it down.  Option two was palliative care which means letting the cancer take it's course and they will provide her with drugs to keep her comfortable as well as emotional support.  I was not looking forward to this day because my mom has been firm in not doing any more chemo.  I can't blame her, she had such a horrible previous experience.  But, to my surprise this old lady still has some fight left in her and has decided to go ahead with the treatments.  Her exact words were "Well, I really don't have anything else going on in my day".  Lol. 

I am so proud of my mom that she wants to continue to fight.  The doctor did say if it gets to be so much she can stop at any time, so I think there is comfort in that.

I tried to stay strong and not cry.  I had to wheel her to go get an x-ray, so while she was getting that done I had a quick cry.  Of course, at that moment one of Mark's friends girlfriends came around the corner.  I felt so stupid, I was a sobbing mess, but whatever she understood. 

While we were waiting to see the doctor, there was a little girl around eight with a pic line in.  My mom said that it really bothers her to see kids with cancer.  At least she has lived her life.  My mom said she has even seen a two month old with cancer in the clinic. Anyway, the little girl went in to get treatment.  When she came out she was so proud to show off the stickers she got to her brother.  Then she said, "I didn't forget about you brother, I got you a chocolate bar".  It just touched my heart that this little girl is going through cancer and she still thought about her brother.

This afternoon I talked to my dad who earlier this week had 2 liters of fluid drained from in between his lung and ribs.  He got a CT scan done as well.  The doctor called him in today and they drained almost another two liters!  His CT scan showed some abnormalities in some lymph nodes.  They are going to wait for the results from the fluid but the doctor said it could be a virus or lymphoma and that he was leaning towards lymphoma.  He will have to get a biopsy done to confirm this though.  At least if it is cancer this type is quite treatable, so I am not freaking out. 

So yes, this was a crappy day.  As I sit her writing this, I am sipping on a big f*cking alcoholic beverage.  And surprisingly, or not, I am starting to feel a bit better ;)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Sorry Candace - I Had To

We were that cool back in the day.  Enough said.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ups and Downs

I have been meaning to blog a lot more about our journey of my mom and her cancer.  I am not sure why I haven't - lack of time - depressing - but I feel it is time I need to give an update/vent. 

First - my mom has been nothing but courageous with her battle.  She underwent chemo and radiation.  I will never forget when she started losing her hair.  It was coming out in chunks and I remember her calling me crying, saying she looked hidious.  So we decided it was time to shave her head.  It was a sad day, one I will never forget - May long weekend.  As hard as that moment was for her and for me, I was so honored to be there and proud of my mom.  I couldn't shave it, so Marks mom came over.  We all cried but it was empowering.  I made sure to tell my mom how beautiful she looked with a shaved head.  And - I meant it!

She felt like a rockstar for the most of the treatments.  She was given the max doses for chemo and radiation.  At the end of her radiation treatments she really went down hill.  So much so that at one of her cancer appointments at the beginning of August her levels were all messed up that she was admitted into the hospital where she stayed for three weeks.  I was surprised and taken back by this.  I had no idea my mom was so sick from the treatments.  I felt like a bad daughter for not noticing.  I know I was preoccupied with a two month old, but I still felt like an idiot.  My mom later told me that on the second night in the hospital she woke up and "saw the light", but said "no way, it is not my time yet".  It was hard juggling a baby and getting in daily hospital visits.  I couldn't stay for long, I felt like I wasn't doing enough.  I tried to accomodate by buying the hospital cable tv for her and bringing the paper/magazines.  It is hard being stuck - I want to be with my mom - but I have this young family that is relying on me.  I know my mom appreciated all I could do for her at the time.  At this point the tumor had shrunk dramatically and there was no sign of the cancer anywhere else.

When she got out of the hospital she had some of her energy back.  She was still weaker and naseated but could still make us home made buns/cinnamon buns/rice crispy cake, so I knew she was ok.  Ha ha. 

The following months were ok.  Her scans were good.  I was nervous for the one in December because I wanted Christmas to be a positive experience for us all.  And it was.  The tumor was pretty much gone! 

But the nasea never did go away and the energy never came back full throttle.  My mom was discouraged with not feeling great and expressed this to her doctor.  He made the point that she did almost die and it takes a long time to recover from that.  So I think she felt not the best, but was hopeful that she would recover. 

Then came January.  My mom called me and said she thought she had a stroke.  Her left side was numb and her leg was not functioning good.  It was like it was asleep.  My brother and I took her to the walk in clinic and after the doctor heard her story he thought it had spread to her brain.  Very crappy news.  Another weird symptom was that it was taking her a long time to urinate.  She was pretty much wheelchair bound for the next couple weeks.  When we got in to see the cancer doctor he was upset that tests had not been done sooner.  That day they did an ultrasound on her kidneys - they were concerned they were failing.  Luckily, that came out good.  They did a ct scan and that looked good also.  So the last step was an MRI of her spine.  A couple days later she went in to get her results.  I honestly thought they were going to be positive results, so I felt that I did not need to go with her and she got a ride from the cancer center volunteers.  But, our luck had run out and there are multiple spots on her upper spine close to her neck.  What a regret not being there with her.  I would hate to hear that news by myself. 

So the next step is my mom gets monthly injections to strengthen her bones.  I think she gets a ct scan in about a months time and then chemo and possibly radiation.  My mom is pretty upset about this and as of now told me she is refusing treatment.  God - what do you say.  I want to scream at her fight, fight.  You have to, for me, for Greg, for Karter, and Bentley.  But then I see how much she has struggled since treatment.  I understand quality of life,  being sick isn't much quality.  But she is still alive!  I just don't know what to do.  I have talked to her trying to be encouraging, saying that they would not be giving you as much chemo/radiation this time.  I think she is waiting to see what the cancer doctors say.  As in, time span for if she does treatment vs refuses treatment. 

I wanted to end on a positive note.  The support I have received from friends and family has really touched my heart.  I know with my friends I have not talked a lot about my feelings - but that said I know I could call anyone of them up and they would lift me up.  Mark, of course, is wonderful.  He is very encouraging and there to give me a hug and smile whenever I need it.  Marks parents are truly a blessing in my life.  Wendy is one of the most caring and thoughtful people I know.  Whether it is shaving my moms head, taking care of the kids so I can take my mom to appointments, giving my mom magazines, or just listening to me, she is there.  She even makes meals for my mom and freezes them so she does not have to cook. She has enough on her plate with her very close sister who is very sick with cancer - but still thinks about my mom.  What a lady.  When I say that I hit the jackpot marrying into Marks family I mean it.  Anyway, love you all and goodnight!

 Mom, Karter and Bentley

My mom and godmother.  I love old pictures

 Oh she was smokin' back in the day!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Sean: "Bentley, will you accept this rose?"

Bentley:  "Why yes Sean, I will!".

I can only dream that my little girl will end up with a great guy like Bachelor Sean.

Oh, and with a guy as wonderful as her daddy too!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Karter's 4th Birthday Party

We celebrated Karter's 4th birthday last weekend.  It was a pool party and we rented a room at the Lakewood Civic Center before we went swimming.  Karter requested a dinosaur themed party this year. I turned to pinterest to get some crafty ideas and of course I was overwhelmed with the options.  I chose to keep it simple, for the most part, and cost friendly as I am on a pretty tight budget these days.  What I loved is that Karter appreciated all our efforts and he did not stop smiling the entire party.  We made a dinosaur dig out of an inflatable pool and filled it with shredded paper.  We used Easter eggs and put mini dinosaurs inside.  My other favorite pinterest steal was paper mache dinosaur eggs for treat bags.  We filled them with dinosaur related items.  It took a long time, but was so worth it.

A couple weeks before the party, Karter met my friend Danika's neice Roxy and pretty much fell in love with her right then and there.  He kept asking me to invite her to his birthday party so of course I did.  The funny thing though is that he also wanted to invite his girlfriend Melanie from daycare.  When Mark was driving Karter to daycare he told him that he had an invitation for Melanie.  I guess Karter got all concerned and said "but Dad, I am only suppose to have one girlfriend at my birthday party".  Oh what a ladies man.  Unfortunately Melanie was unable to make it but it may have been for the best as Karter was all about Roxy.  Showing her around the party and sitting by her.  They did not leave each others side while swimming.  It was pretty cute. 

I was showing Karter pictures of his party and there is a pic of Roxy with an apple juice in front of her.  Karter pipes up "Oh My Goodness, I did not know Roxy likes apple juice".  His expression was like he discovered the moon.  This week Karter and Mark dug some snow tunnels in the front yard.  Karter said he would like to take Roxy on a date in his tunnels.  Like I really don't know where this kid picks this stuff up!

Thanks to everyone who was able to attend Karter's party.  It is so nice to have so much love and support for our little man.

I also have to throw out there that this was the first time I sported a bikini since Bentley was born.  And I looked dino-myte.  Lol.

Here are some pictures from the party.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Would You?

My son tends to be on the shy side when it comes to other kids.  It can even get to be a bit awkward.  Lol.  Well depends on the day.  Anyway, he takes after his mother in the way that I am completely timid in a new environment until I feel comfortable.  This was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to put him into preschool starting this fall.  We figured this would be an easier transition than sending him straight to kindergarten.  He will get into the school routine, there is no recess, and he will not be friendless on the first day of kindergarten.  Easy breezy decision.  However, the registration process - not so much!

Multiple co-workers of mine that live in the same area as us have shared their preschool registration experience.  This included on the day of registration lining up at 3am OUTSIDE to ensure their child got a spot.  Now remember, registration is at the end of February for this particular school!  If you showed up after 5 or 6 am you did not get a spot - I guess registration starts at 10am.  This registration process is in the public school and aparently the teacher is amazing.  The reason for such few spots is that if your child has attended before the younger siblings are grandfathered in.  Anyway, Karter will be going to the Catholic school next door.  This is the second year they were offering preschool.  So I had no idea what to do the day of registration which was at 9:30am.  3am, 5am, 6am???  I knew that it was so important to Mark and I to get a spot for Karter.  We truly believe he will benefit tremendously ... so we decided to suck it up - it is for our son.  Of course - Mark would be the one standing in line so it made my decision easier.  Registration was February 1st. 

I felt bad for Mark looking at the weather forecast, as last week was freezing!  I poked fun at it, but then it ended up biting me in the butt.  Mark ended up having a Kinsmen function Thursday night, two home inspections booked for Friday and another Kinsmen function Friday night, so guess who ended up having to go stand in line.  F&ck.  I decided 6am would be a good time to go.  I had packed my winter boots, skipants, hat, mitts, and a blanket the night before.  In the am I anxiously pulled up to the school and .... no one was there!  I was pumped, well kind of.  I went to Tim Hortons and got a coffee, came home for a bit, did a couple school drivebys, then headed back to the school to stay put at 7:45. 

I was first in line, and a girl followed me in and the line grew from there - oh - and we got to wait INSIDE the school.  Catholics are so thoughtful ;)  It was posted on the door that there were only 13 spots!  I ended up chatting with the girl behind me and I think her son and Karter are going to be best friends.  They sound so similar and ended up in the same class.  I was so frickn' pumped when I registered him!  I had to bring back his health card for them to photocopy and I asked Karter if he wanted to go meet his teachers.  Once it registered he was so excited.  He quickly drew a couple pics for them and off to the school we went.  He was mesmerized by his classroom.  It was pretty cute and he chatted up his teachers.  It was kind of awkward though as the parents registering by this point were being put on a wait list as the classrooms were full. 

So for now I am on cloud nine that he will be attending school next year. I am sure in August it was be a whold other story as I will have to watch my sweet little boy go off into the real world.