Thursday, May 23, 2013


I uploaded pictures from my phone and the camera to the computer. I'll post some of my recent favorites here.
 The kids figured out how to connect duplo pieces together in such a way as to hang from hair. Daddy was patient enough to sit through this hair doo.

 I paid the kids money to collect pine cones from the front yard once the snow all melted.  Charlie and Gwen are eating some popcycles that are super nice neighbor gave them. He occasionally drops by a box of popcycles or some other treat he just bought at the store for the kids.  In fact, Alec has asked a few times, "do you think we should go visit, Shel?" and when I asked him why, he would say, "because he gives us candy."
 Here Gwen and Charlie are 'helping' me pack the first couple of boxes.

I love these pictures of Alec and Charlie, not because they are particularly beautiful pictures but because of when I took them. I came home from a run early one morning and found Alec and Charlie not only awake, but out in the backyard hitting balls. They are SO excited for the spring/summer because it means they can play golf. Alec built a 'hole' out of lego's and used the different colored grass where the trampoline had been all winter to act as a green.

The first HOT day where we let the kids play in the sprinklers with some friends.

And here are some other cute pictures from my camera:
The Tigger costume is a 12 mo costume.  Gwen is almost 3. Silly girl.
Chris did another round of taking the kids, one at a time, to work for a morning. This was Gwen's first time going.   She packed her own backpack with snacks and coloring supplies.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mothers Day

Chris and the kids gave me the best Mothers Day ever this year. It sort of started the day before.  Chris took the kids out shopping and I cleaned the house really well. I. LOVE. A. CLEAN. HOUSE. Especially when the WHOLE house is clean all at once. It just doesn't get better than that. ....But then it did! Because the next morning, the boys snuck into our room as quiet as they could (although I still woke up before they even made it to our door) and begged Chris to get up so they could all start working on breakfast in bed for me. Chris tried to get a few more minutes of sleep in since it was sooo early, but still ended up being in the kitchen at 6:02AM. Hahahah.... Alec and Charlie were SO excited to do their little plan they had worked up with Chris the day before.

At 6:30, everyone comes in to 'wake me up' and bring me their gifts: flowers, two awesome shirts, some jewelry and some dark chocolates.  They drew me the cutest card and Alec handed me the present he made in Kindergarten. It was a little plant he had planted and a paper with questions he answered about that I'm 14 or 16 years old, and my favorite thing to do is scripture study, and the thing I'm best at is cooking, and my favorite food is lasagna, and that we like to play games together...etc.  I just loved it.

Breakfast was amazing because I got to choose exactly what I wanted.  I was given a very professional looking menu to the restaurant, Chez Archibald, and really enjoyed reading the selections and descriptions.  Charlie and Alec wore their white button up Sunday shirts with grey pants, a bow tie and a white apron folded down and tied around their waist. So adorable.  Then to get my order the boys took turns coming in with a little white notepad with a copy of the menu taped to it and a crayon to circle my choices.  Chef Chris and mini-chef-but-mostly-crying-because-she-was-so-hungry-and-tired Gwen did the cooking. I chose Grapefruit, raisin Toast, Bacon, and Belgian Waffles 'piled high with strawberries and whipped cream.' oooooooo Bacon. I've been craving that for a while.  I don't think I've ever before been so stuffed, at 8:00AM.


Then we had a lovely time at church, on time and everything! I took the extra time from waking up so early to blow dry my hair...only it was taking FOREVER and never actually felt dry.  Turns out I forgot to wash the conditioner out of my hair.  Yuck.

We were invited over to a friend's lake cabin for dinner and so Chris was off the hook for another meal and clean up. (Which he totally deserved after that morning). We ate burgers and played washer toss. It was such a peaceful day and I felt loved and supported and pampered (even though I kinda don't like that word, I sure do love that feeling).

Chris actually had a few more days ahead of him for taking care of me so well since I tweaked my back bad lifting a heavy bag of dirt at Costco on Tuesday. That combined with feeling generally gross has made for one inept mama. But Chris knows first hand about back injuries and is so patient and kind about it all. He's been instructing me on just the right way to lay down, get up, or turn over. I'm really so in love with him.

While I'm posting something, I'll add an update on the cancer diagnosing. We had an appointment with the Chest specialist/surgeon guy, who our oncologist set us up with, to see about doing a biopsy on the nodes in his chest, but I guess they're in a tricky spot and while he said he COULD biopsy them it would be more invasive and risky than our oncologist thought and so the chest specialist recommended we see this other surgeon who is good at gastro-whatever areas since there is a node by his stomach (news to us?!) that would be simpler to biopsy.....if the gastro-whatever specialist agreed.  We got a call on Friday with an appointment for May 31st for an endoscopic ultrasound with this gastro-whatever specialist to biopsy the node near his stomach. So... there. An update.  And I was meaning to put up pictures from mothers day but my back is hurting from sitting here so long, so I'll do that later. I promise.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A doctor's appointment

As you probably gathered from Brittney's last post, it recently appeared that my cancer had returned.  (More details about that experience in an old post).  We have had some recent developments here in Edmonton.  So here is an update on that. 

About two weeks ago, I had a biopsy performed on my neck/shoulder. Then last wednesday we had a CT scan done which was scheduled to let us know the state of things prior to chemo, so that they can be able to tell exactly how much chemo reduces the size of things.

Yesterday we met with our doctor. We went into the appointment thinking that we would probably start chemo on Monday, and actually excited about that, since it means that we still can get everything done before going to Mississippi. The doctor had some interesting and confusing news for us. It seems that the pathologists were unable to locate any cancer cells from the biopsy and so are unable to confirm that the cancer has returned. Apparently many/all of the pathologists looked it over and agreed.

The results of the CT scan were equally uninformative. It showed minimal to no growth of from the last scan in February. It confirmed that the biopsy had removed all of the node that had shown up on the PET scan. This is good news, we know things aren't growing dangerously, but things are also still larger than normal. So basically, they aren't sure what is going on. It could be cancer that just is proving hard to diagnose definitively, or it could be something else (infection or inflammation from something) that shows up on a PET scan.

So, our doctor talked things through with us and basically ended up with two future plans. She doesn't have enough evidence of cancer to start chemo, where either a diagnosis from the biopsy, or significant growth on the CT-scan would have been enough to show that something was going on and start chemo. She is going to refer us to some surgeons who might be able to do a biopsy on the spots in my chest. Other than that, which we hope to hear about in the next little bit, the plan is to do another CT scan in two more months to see if anything has changed.

So, we are kind of unsure exactly how to feel. On the one hand, I don't have to do chemo in the immediate future, which will be nice. And it could be that the cancer hasn't returned, which would be wonderful. On the other hand, if it is cancer, now it is looking less and less like we will be able to treat it before we move. But on the other other hand, we know that even if it is, it isn't currently growing dangerously enough to reveal itself. So, we wait and see. And we get to live normally for the next little while, at least. I am feeling good (besides the healing biopsy site), and we will appreciate more normality this summer while it lasts.