Friday, March 29, 2013

Some bad news . . .

We just got some bad news. It appears that my cancer has returned. We had a CT-scan a few weeks ago that showed some small changes, and then a PET-scan last week showed that there are some small areas of activity in locations consistent with lymphoma. We will do a biopsy to make sure that is what it is, but the doctors are fairly sure. On the positive side of things, (reading between the doctors statements) I don't know that we could have caught it much sooner.

We just met with the doctor yesterday and heard the proposed treatment (the goal is still a complete cure) plan. Assuming it is lymphoma, the plan is to have 2 or 3 months of chemotherapy. The chemo will be different than last time, stronger maybe, and with potentially different side-effects. The goal of this chemo is to shrink the cancer back as much as possible. After the chemo, the plan is to do a stem-cell transplant. We will find out more detailed information about that, but the basic idea is that they extract some of my stem cells from my blood (after injecting something that makes my bone marrow release them into the blood stream) and then freeze them. Then I get 3-days of super intense chemo in the hospital, basically killing all of the cancer and also bone marrow and other good things in my body. Then they thaw my stem cells and inject them back into my body, where they slowly start replenishing the good things that my body needs. It sounds like the whole process can take around 4 weeks, from intense chemo until I am well enough to leave the hospital. The Cancer center here is where this all will take place, so I won't have to worry as much about being in a normal hospital with other diseases and infections to avoid during the recovery.

That is basically where we are at now. It is all very overwhelming, daunting and soul-crushing if we think about it all at the same time, so I think we are going to try and take it one day at a time. We have great support from the ward and family, the main worry is getting this all done before moving to Mississippi, or figuring out some way to delay my start date if necessary. Not to mention all of the normal complications of moving and switching jobs.  It will be a tough road, tougher in part because some of it we already traveled (chemo) and it was no fun at all.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Celebrate Life

Today I am happy for the simple fact of living.  Its actually not all that simple to live, especially to live well. But today I'm glad to be alive. I'm glad my Chris is alive. I'm glad to have three examples surrounding me daily of exuberant living: Alec, Charlie and Gwen.

Friday, March 22, 2013

So much snow!

Just when I thought we'd finally get our 3inch deep iced over sidewalk chipped clear, we got dumped with another 2+ feet of snow. Snow drifts from shoveled sidewalks taller than Alec. 100 car pile up on the highway yesterday. Our Relief Society Party cancelled because of dangerous driving conditions.

Happy Spring Break to us!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This kid cracks me up.

This picture is from a few days ago. This morning I found him wearing jeans "cowboy boots" (really just high tan church shoes) and a "cow boy hat" (really just my old floppy pink sun hat).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Outdoor Fun

When the weather warms up enough to go outside for very long it feels....sooooo good.  We hovered just over freezing for a couple of days and it was SO FUN to be outside and get hot enough to take off your jacket.  Even luckier, it happened on a day when Alec had school off. We hung out at my friend's parents' house where her brothers make this awesome ice slide coming off of their swing-set.  I have some fun videos of the kids and even myself going down but they are all sideways since I took them with my phone. I'll try to figure that out to post on here.
 We also went sledding and ice skating during that warm spell.


Charlie and Gwen have double blade strap on skates and can easily have fun on the ice. Alec has single blade ones and without the toe pick, its harder for him to learn but the sled helps and being distracted with a hockey stick and puck help as well.


I can tell winter is slowly fading because we're having more days closer to freezing than not. We went out to the local ski hill for a day since the boys have been begging to go skiing ever since Family Day (I just back-posted a little blip about it towards the end of February). They did AMAZING. We took some awesome videos with our video camera and I'll figure out how to get them on here soon. Here are the pictures we took with our camera.

Getting on the magic carpet for the first problems! Both Alec and Charlie were so brave!
 Alec looked like he had been doing this for years, instead of his second time. He snow plowed like a pro and never fell once on the bunny hills.

Charlie was fearless. He even did an entire run backwards! Haha. So funny. He hardly used his snow plow V to slow down and instead just pulled his skis around to a side stop.


Gwen and I watched it all from the sidelines. Ready to help hold or go after one boy while Chris followed the other. Chris even managed to go down the big runs by himself a couple of times while the boys did the bunny hills all by themselves. Amazing.  Gwen was mostly happy to watch with me, as long as I kept the gummy bears coming. :) 

Such a fun day.

Also fun was the bath when we got home. These kids love to bathe.

Indoor Fun

Indoor play has to get pretty creative when outings outside happen on a weekly - if that - basis. Indoor fun around here consists largely of coloring; reading; hockey sticks, soft balls and a net; dress up swords and capes; play kitchen food stuffed in bags, purses and backpacks and carried around the house; play dough; baths and of course legos.  I love these pictures mostly because Gwen has her crown just the way she likes to wear a sweat band, she's sporting her monkey that she often wears around her neck and her shirt is just short enough to expose her cute, soft tummy. Ooooo I could eat her.


Alec made up a 'school' for Gwen and Charlie the other day. It was so cute. He used phrases that his teacher must use like, "After today, you get 3 stay home days!" or "Now its home time." All of this he came up by himself...although I did help him expand the play (so it would last longer) by suggesting music time and bringing in treats for Gwen, then, Charlie's birthdays).

The day started with Charlie and Gwen up in the kitchen with me waiting for the bell to ring while Alec prepped the classroom.


Then he would tell them the schedule for the day. He drew pictures to represent all that they would do, Carpet Time, Work Time, Center Time, Read Books, Home Time.

I think the above picture is supposed to be the building center....I'm not sure exactly.

After a day or two like this, he added some new activities like "putting on a zombie play," - his idea, and "music time" - my idea.

 At the end of each 'day' Charlie and Gwen would come back to their 'home' while Alec wrote the new schedule for the next day. 

Charlie and Gwen have been caring around the Diego backpack for days going to "Grandma's House" and "Brady's house."

Friday, March 8, 2013

Crazy ....

....Hair Day.

....cold this morning.