Days 2017

Days 2017

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Halfway There...

I'm taking advantage of this quiet Saturday afternoon, with everyone gone to Lowe's Air Sports trampoline place for Macy's birthday, to give an update on our family.

I'm propped up in bed, somewhat limp and weak-feeling and a bit achy and toxic pimply, but two days off of the nausea meds and starting to pep up.  Mouth not as sawdusty.  Appetite okay, not huge. Oh, and I'm bald, which is still very surreal.  Also the eyelashes are starting to go.  Slept hard last night, however, it was with the aid of a little Benadryl because my brain kept composing an email to Boston's teacher and wouldn't shut off.  Wrote said email as soon as I woke up and then spent the morning erasing about a million incomplete/wrong answers in his daily math workbook where he has supposedly been doing prime factorization and simplified fractions for the every day of the entire year.  (Teacher has only checked for completeness, not correctness).  Plan to spend the bulk of afternoon encouraging child to get them corrected and ready to turn in to now-aware teacher by Tuesday.  In other words, I'm adulting from bed.

And it's good that my meds have worn off so that chemo-brain isn't messing things up worse.  Macy brought home a little math race to do with me a few weeks ago.  There were like, 20 multiplication and division facts on a strip of paper.  We each had one test and were supposed to see who could finish first.  I tried really hard, beat her by two problems, but MISSED some really easy ones!  I was shocked!  This is my brain on poison and drugs.

I'm now halfway done with chemo, and to the point where they change my cocktail, so, no more "red-devil" medicine that makes you extra nauseous a gives the horrible mouth sores (that I never developed once, hooray!), and on to the Taxol, that supposedly makes you more sleepy and messes with the nerves in your fingers and toes.  Four more rounds to go, then surgery and hormone suppressants for ten years, since my kind of cancer likes to eat estrogen.
First round

I am extremely grateful to have the type of cancer that I can actually be free from.  In my treatment center there is a poster by an organization for cancer patients under 40, titled "Stupid Cancer".  One of the rallying cries of this organization is that "remission is NOT a cure".  I feel so much for these poor cancer patients who have it in their lymph system, their bones, their lungs, their brains, who can't just remove it and be done, like I can.  Always wondering when that little friend is going to come for them.  So scary.  They are the brave and inspiring ones, having/getting to live with it.  I just feel like an ordinary person who has to take some yucky medicine for awhile.  It has basically felt like a bad first trimester with every other week off.

The other inspiring ones are absolutely the caregivers.  Here is mine!!
My Mom quit her job to come take care of our family.  Here she is with her "valium", as Dad would always tease her about.  She is such a workhorse.  One day when Boston or someone had been particularly trying, I found her in the laundry room with the dryer pulled out, scrubbing and dusting the floor behind it.  My face must have registered surprise because she admitted that she was "having some space".  I honestly don't think it occurred to her that she could have just gone in her bedroom and shut the door.
We are all extremely grateful for her sacrifice and also for the special bond she and Rosie will always have.  She even gets up with Rosie in the night when needed--luckily Rosie is a pretty good sleeper.

Rosie has been a delight, and since I don't get out much at all, pretty much my daily news--how did she sleep, what new food is she eating, is she rolling over yet, look how much she is growing, etc.  The world has definitely shrunk, and it's so nice to be able to slow down and enjoy her babyhood (while Mom does the heavy lifting).  So, most of our updates from the last couple months are baby pictures.

I finally shaved my head not long after this.  It was all grizzled and even had finger tracks from where hair had rubbed off in the shower.
Rosie at 5 months.
Rosie loves playing with this pink ribbon.  Boston decided to tie it to his head and play peekaboo.

 Rosie loves bathtime.

This picture made us laugh so hard.  I was trying to take the baby pictures at home and everything was wrong for this shot.  It was definitely a Pinterest, "Nailed It" moment.  Might do some more later, but this made for a fun afternoon.

What else?  The three middles have finished up their basketball season.  I was able to go to several games, trying hard not to pick up any germs.  I wore my Princess Leia costume to the games so as not to draw attention.  (Plus it was fun to get smiles.)

Leslie had a birthday, attended the Sweetheart's ball, went to San Francisco on choir tour, and has been working twice a week at a local retirement home as a CNA.

Leslie is the light umbrella against the tree.

So, someone gets out of the house occasionally.  She had a blast. 
This is what happened when we tried to get out of the house the day after my lymph node surgery/port placement and go to the temple.  We spun three times on the ice.  It was a miracle that no one else seemed to be on the freeway and we had all three lanes to turn donuts freely at 50 mph or so.  We just kind of peeled the front and back end off of Mark's poor Honda (that we had just paid off) without an actual front impact, so the airbags never inflated and we were unaffected in the cab.  Mark was pretty freaked out (first my wife has cancer, then I try to kill her in an accident...!!) but I felt like it was a sign that the Lord is just keeping us safe in this little bubble during this strange time in our lives.

Luke and Macy played Mummy one day.  We do what we can.
Mark has been pretty good about planning creative activities for our date nights.  This was a good one--we hosted a dinner party and then Mark had our BYU nephew Spencer come with some buddies to do some sort of musical performance.  I was expecting barber shop but they brought a whole band and yes, we were jammin'.  I also enjoyed playing the poor-me-cancer-card and pressuring him to sing his SmashMouth song that he performed on buses in Paraguay for cashola while he and his wife Stephanie were there for an internship this year.  (Stephanie even told me she has never seen him do it because he flat out refuses.)  Ha!  Way fun!  Thanks guys!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Our Cheeks are Nice and Rosie

 Christmas with a baby is always sweet, simple, and kind of messy and loud.  Luckily Rosie is a pretty good sleeper so we have mostly silent nights.  The days, however...
Rosie at about two months, showing off her tutu made by my dear neighbor Jill.

A rare early smile.
Posie and Rosie

 Leslie had fun (a little too much fun) decorating our entire main floor with my card collection.  I'm getting so many that I told her I was bequeathing her all her favorites upon graduation.
 Rosie under the Christmas tree.  Hohoho, heeheehee, oh lucky, lucky me!
 Grandpa Day and Grandma Frances at Rosie's baby blessing.

 This is the blessing dress my mom made for me out of her wedding dress fabric.  All three girls have worn it now.
Yours truly at about a month younger than Rosie in her pictures.
The kids had their annual Sing Around the Tree.  Boston is here in the back in blue.

My friend in the front row sent me these pictures of Macy and Cooper. 
Macy also had a class skit that included representatives from all the holidays.  What a cute witch!

Boston entertains the baby at the dentists'.

And then Santa came.  Santa thought this was a nerf gun, but it's actually a battery-powered machine gun.  Very loud and my loudy boy loved it.
Cooper asked for a Magic Tricks kit.

Boston wanted a large remote control thing.  I got it for him, with some relief that he still wanted toys.

The boys both got MP3 players so they don't ask to borrow my phone for tunes when they are mowing the lawn, etc.  This also takes some of the pressure off of the requests for a phone.  They were both thrilled and spent most of the morning choosing songs and passing off the lyrics through their mother before they downloaded them.
Leslie (who I forgot to snap a picture of), Cooper and Luke all got blankets of some sort.  Cooper asked for a warm fuzzy one, Leslie got a homemade jean quilt/picnic blanket and Luke got a comforter and sheets for his twin bed.  Grandpa Day always likes to try out the blankets.

Rosie at about three months.  I love the chubby arms in her Rosie the Riveter pose.  We can do it!

Leslie did a drawing for us from one of our engagement pictures.  A nice surprise.

2017, you were good to us.  2018 might be a little bit intense as I receive chemo for my stage 2 breast cancer.  Or maybe a little boring even, as I try to stay home more and avoid the germs during treatment.  (I'm hopeful that it will be on the milder side if there is such a thing as we have talked to another women who has taken the same cocktail.)  Should be done with that portion of things around the first part of May, but for now I'm enjoying my prep-the-kids for chemo short hair cut.  Luke was a little teary to see it but then he got a quizzical look on his face and asked, "Mom, why do you look like Grandma?"  He can compare us in person when she comes to take care of me, baby, and the rest of my crazies, heaven help her.
I am doing really well emotionally now that we know the stage and treatment plan, and feel like I learn something big and new every day.  Example, Sunday's insight was, "Love your actual life."  I was trying to explain that idea to Mark after church and Luke came running into our room in his underwear, swinging his church shirt over his head and yelling "Waffles, Waffles, Waffles!"  (We were not having waffles, nor was he asking for them.)  My actual life is pretty fun/funny and things could definitely be worse.  (First thing that comes to mind is that if this was for one of the kids and not me.)  The other thing that I feel really strongly about is that God prepares you for your trials or changes in your life.  My kids have been really chill about this whole thing, in large measure because of the crazy knee infection that tried to do me in a couple years ago, where I was in the ER twice a day, gone for hours, and couldn't even walk or drive, and the medicine wasn't working.  About this same time of year even.  Compared to that, this seems like no big deal to them, and will possibly be even less painful off and on for me, although it will last longer.

I think (for sure) the other reason I've been feeling so calm and hopeful is because of all the people who have been praying and fasting for me and my family.  I'm feeling the love.  Thanks so much, and I will try to keep posting updates.