Monday, December 3, 2012

Traditional Sniffles

So Owen has a cold.  Not sure where he picked up that little piece of lovely, school probably with all the rest of the germy kids but that's not really something we need around here. He's taken to knuckle bumping instead of hugs and kisses before bed. I hope he gets better soon.  Today he took a can of soup and a bowl to heat it up in for lunch (they have microwaves) I thought it was cute.  He's not sick enough to stay home, just sick enough to be whiny.  I hope Dave doesn't get it. We don't normally get sick a lot around here but when we do it's usually this time of year. Yay.

Dave has been ridiculously tired lately.  He spent a good part of last week napping.  We think it might be the allergy medicine.  He took Allegra for a while and I've always taken Zyrtec because those work better for each of us.  Allergy season was over so he stopped taking it and then started getting migraines.  We don't know for sure that's what caused the migraines because he isn't having allergy symptoms per se and correlation doesn't equal causation and all that but we figured he should start taking it again so we can rule it out.  So... I gave him Zyrtec because I was out of Allegra.  It could be why he's been so tired. Today I'm switching it back for the A and we'll see if that fixes the napping problem.  He kept apologizing but I think it's probably ok if he sleeps.

His last big migraine was the week before Thanksgiving.  He was taking a new antibiotic (Septra) and it was making his stomach hurt with severe nausea (if he can feel it it's severe) which turned into a migraine and throwing up etc etc. I was at a PTO meeting and I got a text message then an immediate panicky phone call from Owen so I came home.  Ugh.    The hospice/dr's office have Septra listed as an "allergy" now even though I don't think it's a true allergy they don't want to risk him getting it again since he doesn't tolerate it.  That was even with the anti-nausea meds! You better believe we'll remember the name of that antibiotic!

This week Owen has a community service project at school for national jr honor society so he'll spend some part of wednesday night doing that.  I'm feeding teachers on wednesday but Dave has Chemo so I'll have to get the food tuesday and leave it in the fridge at school and someone else will have to handle it. (yay for having more than just a couple people active on the PTO this year!) Thursday I have parent/teacher conferences and Owen has a half day then friday he gets the day off.  Lucky dog. I feel like I'm missing a couple of things but I'm sure I'll figure them out really quickly. I write things on my calendar but I'm getting a little more forgetful.

My weight loss has kind of stalled out at 28 lbs lost (in 12 weeks, not bad) but I think this means I need to actually go back to the gym. I went for a while then got too busy (or lazy, whatever)It's a little frustrating that it was just falling off to begin with and now I'm actually having to work at it.  I know for sure I'd feel better and have more energy if I went but actually getting there is a whole other thing entirely. I'm putting the pro in procrastinate. ;) 

Owen and I did get a tree this weekend. I need to put the lights on it today (usually Dave's job) and we'll decorate it tonight. There are things that I didn't think would be such a big deal like getting the tree without D but they ended up being a little more difficult than I expected.  I imagine a lot of things will be like that but I'm trying to take comfort in knowing that we're not doing them WITHOUT him, he's just not physically present for some of it but he's still here to talk to and work through things with.  At some point that may not be the case and I'm hoping that because we've had transition time it will make things a little bit easier.  I let Dave pick the colors for the decorations since we kind of switch it up every year. I'll post pictures when we finish.  There will definitely have to be some White Christmas watching at some point.

We don't have a lot of traditions but that is one of them.

Oh yeah, and I don't know if we'd call it a tradition but we do have a bit of one. No angels on the top of the tree.  Growing up we always had an angel and the first few years David and I were together we had an angel on the tree... until the one year when we had a bunch of baby spiders... and one crawled across the angel's face.  HA! EW! NO! Stars... yeah...  stars are nice on the top of the tree.  I think we'll stick with stars.  LOL

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Amid all the upheaval this year has brought to our lives we're often reminded of all the things we have to be thankful for.  The very tangible things are kind of given. A house over our heads and food on the table, reliable vehicle, health insurance, hospice, etc etc etc. It's not that we're not beyond grateful for those things and we'd be lost without them but there are things we have overlooked in the past that seem so much more important to us. It's less tangible things we have tried to be more mindful of.

We don't know where we'd be this year without the moral support and love from friends and family. For everyone who cares enough to read this and even those who don't, for all the emails, cards, hugs, visits, phone calls, encouragement, shoulders to cry on, hands to hold, laughter and just love in general. I won't sugar coat it, this year has been the worst of our lives in many many ways, so full of loss and stress and impending doom. Heh, that was dramatic, I know.  But it's also been full of countless blessings and an out-pouring of love. We've learned to recognize and be thankful for friendships and communities we didn't realize were so important to us. Hopefully we express our gratitude adequately in the moment but sometimes we get overwhelmed and don't do that as well as we could. It's hard to sit back and accept help but we're always reminded to be humble and we've tried to be gracious about it. Please never doubt how grateful we are.

It's been about a year since David was first having symptoms and there were two days early in the year when they didn't think he would live 24 hours, they certainly didn't think he would make it a year. Now look at us. We've found a new normal, he's doing relatively well and things are a little bit status quo. There is no real sense of urgency about anything which is kind of a relief in some ways although it's the quiet, non-urgent moments that get us out of business mode and give us time to think. Not always good for morale which is a little silly and backwards.

Personally, I'm thankful that we've been touched by the lives of the people we've lost this year. Facing the first holiday season without them is daunting but knowing that our lives are better because they were in them brings a sense of comfort at a time when we could be (and sometimes are) wrapped up in the loss. I'm thankful for David's strength and love and understanding. I can't imagine what he must be going through and he constantly gives everything he can give which he says isn't much but it's more than he knows. For Owen and his ability to roll with the punches, his humor and teenagery nonsense that reminds me that life continues as normal and things do exist outside our bubble. For family who includes us in every way they can even when we can't go anywhere. For my communities, ryinburgh, virakar, Owen's school(teachers, parents, admins, pto), pacificsource and church... you all overwhelm me with your understanding and support. And for friends who, more than I'd like to admit, help keep me sane. As sane as I ever am. (David is also thankful for that because he knows that when he's not here to be a support that I still have a good support system.)  I don't know what I would do without you and I'm glad I don't have to find out.  Thanks!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween: The Cute Story

This year the kids were allowed to dress up in costumes for school. In years past they weren't allowed.  Owen decided to be a shadow and wore all black. We told him he couldn't wear that out trick or treating because it was too dangerous. (all black at night? recipe for disaster!) He said he could wear it with reflective strips and be the teenaged child of helicopter parents... har har. Clever little brat. lol  I told him he could do that if he wanted but just to think about it and let me know after school.  While he was gone I thought maybe he could be Dr Who.  He's a BIG FAN and Dave has a jacket that fits Owen that works perfectly. When he got home and agreed to that choice I made a bow tie and a fez for him really quickly (good thing I'm crafty) and he was ready to go. He was going trick or treating with Josie (who introduced him to Dr Who) and it turns out that she had kind of a rough day as one of her wigs got played with too much at school and fell apart. Serious tragedy in the cosplay (costume play) world she lives in. So Owen got to her house and she took one look at him and freaked out and changed her costume to the female character from Dr Who, Amy Pond. She just happened to have a wig appropriate for that, too! It made her night which in turn made Owen's night. It's always nice to be able to cheer up a friend! Then there they were in themed costumes ready for the candy collecting! They met up with some other friends and had a good night.  I love this picture to pieces.  Their costumes, their body language, all 8 years of their friendship shows through.Owen is lucky to have a friend like her who gets his quirks and plays along and I'm happy that her mom, Laura, and I have become such good friends over the years. We're so thankful to those special ladies and don't know what we'd do without them! <3

David and I stayed home and happily ate halloween candy instead of passing it out to kids because none came to the door. MORE FOR US!  Actually, I'm going to have Owen drop off the rest in the teacher's lounge at school. Less for us! HA! It's been a mostly quiet and uneventful week otherwise and for that we are grateful!

Hope everyone had a safe and happy halloween!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ice Cream!

This was a treatment week.  When Dave got up in the wheelchair he was hurting pretty bad from his shoulder (damaged rotator cuff?) and his neck so I gave him some extra pain meds.  This has become pretty normal for him, his neck and shoulder are always sore but the meds he takes usually manage the pain.  On days he gets in the wheel chair it's worse because he has to stabilize those areas in different ways so the pain is different.  Anyway, the combo of the morphine boost and the lorazapam kind of knocked him out.  In the waiting room I was showing him something and he was telling me he couldn't actually focus. OOPS! It wasn't really more than he's taken in the past but the two drugs together compound each other plus when they were drawing blood he was trying to take deep breaths (because that helps the blood flow easier from the central line) and he almost hyperventilated and we think that contributed to his meds hitting him extra hard.  He gets a little goofy when he's like that so at least he's sillier than normal.  That's saying something because he's normally a little silly. Quietly silly.

You may recall that 6 weeks ago or so his central line was leaking a little and the nurse was concerned about it.  That seemed to clear itself up and then this week a couple drops of blood came out from around the tubing.  They're not doing anything except watching it and so far the actual line is working just peachy so they can still draw blood from it and inject all the things they need to inject so it's alright but we're definitely on edge about it a bit.  If it's not one thing it's another!

We finally got the results of the genetic testing back. He does indeed have the cancer gene which means Owen has a 50/50 chance of having it. We took it in stride and come to think of it we haven't even actually told Owen yet.  Not that we're hiding it from him but we have made a conscious decision to not make a big deal about it.  He already knows that there was a possibility Dad could have it and we discussed what that would mean for him but we never actually confirmed it to him. I guess we should do that soon... The doctor told us what the protocol is for testing and for cancer screenings. It's pretty aggressive if you have the gene although thankfully David won't have to go through all of that since he's already got the least common cancer you can get from the gene.  I told him he should have played the lotto instead. Anyway, they don't recommend kids get tested before 18 and the recommended screenings start between 20 and 25.  Then you have to be tested every 1-2 years.  It's known to most commonly cause colon cancer but can also cause stomach, neurological, uterine and ovarian cancers.  The screenings for everything except colon aren't very easy.  I hope by the time he gets to that age they revolutionize the way they can screen for those things.  Not that he has to worry about two of those... but we have nieces who do. I swear Auntie Marla's gonna start nagging all the nieces and nephews over 18 soon! This is their official warning (that they probably don't read). *snicker* 

Owen and I are doing pretty well. He's busy with school, national jr honor society, video games, he's walking to and from school now although we'll see what he thinks about that when it gets colder and rainier. It's about a mile each way.  I went back to my middle school to see how far my walk was and much to my chagrin it was only half a mile.  It felt like so much further when I was 12-14! He told me he is going to do the 100 pushups and 200 situps programs over the summer.  If he does those and he'll get his braces off probably by the end of 8th grade... He'll be a new man next year when he starts high school!  He is clearly motivated if he's asking if he can walk to and from school! Ugh, I just said he starts high school next year.  Our baby isn't so much a baby anymore.

Oh yeah! And speaking of braces... I'm getting them... again. actually again again.  I had them in middle school then again in high school and now as an adult.  Spendy mouth!  My ortho I had as a kid just didn't do a lot of things right, my retainers never fit right and my back teeth never fit together correctly when he was done and I ended up with all kinds of TMJ problems.  I'm really eager to see what this new dentist can do.  Nov 8th is the day.  It's funny how excited people are to get them on... then they get really excited to get them off.  The grass is always greener?  This ortho said he would put a permanent retainer on my bottom teeth.  I should have had that 20 years ago the first time I got them off! Owen said we get to be braces nerds together.  I'm going to get a box of milk duds and savor them right in front of him before I get mine on.  I'm mean like that... plus I know he'll do the same to me as soon as he gets his off.  hahaha

Nothing too exciting going on. Having an ongoing battle with Owen about getting to bed on time and we had this playful exchange the other night. (this is a repeat if we're friended on facebook)

Me:Why are you still on the computer after your bedtime?
Owen: I'm irresponsible?
Me: What do irresponsible kids get?
Owen: Ice cream!

Yup, that's our boy! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

October is Spelled R-A-I-N

We decided to go with the third party transport place and it worked out fine, it looks like we might have to do the same thing next time. I'm super frustrated but there isn't really anything we can do about it so I kind of have to roll with it.  We're still waiting to find out for sure, should know tomorrow. I have better things to worry about.

Still no word about the genetics test.  I think he gave the blood for it over a month ago and it was supposed to take 2 weeks to get back.  Last wednesday they said 4 more days and then they have to be fed-ex'd back to the dr's office and then we'll hear. So hopefully by this wednesday? It really doesn't matter one way or the other but since that is kind of looming over us we'd like a little closure.  David had treatment again and everything went mostly ok. The blood clotted in their vials again before they had a chance to process them so they had to do a second blood draw... again.  This happened a month ago or so.  His coumadin levels are right on this time.  Last time it was very high if you recall. Now it's right at 2.5 which is perfect.  Let's keep it that way. When we got home Dave took a nap and I went to watch Tim and Rose's son play in his JV football game.  They won by a landslide.  I haven't been to a high school game since my brother played many many moons ago.  It was a lot of fun, thanks for inviting me!

Owen is having a hard time keeping up with all of his homework. It's not that he gets a ton, it's that he doesn't always do all of it or he can't find it in his notebook to turn it in (messy!) or he gets a take home quiz and gets a 60%.  Seriously there's just no excuse for that. I'm kind of at my wits end. I know in the grand scheme of things it's not the most important thing in his life but we all have things we have to do and school is his only HAVE TO thing. Plus, to be morbid, if/when Dave passes he's going to want a buffer when his school work does take a backseat to whatever else is going on. I'm not incredibly concerned about that but the thought crosses my mind. When he's barely getting A's in half his classes it's a very different kid from the nearly straight A+'s he was getting before.  Well... plus he's 13 now and there are GIRLS at school. *snicker*  He even wants to start working out and asked me to get him some weights. Maybe when I go back to boot camp I'll take him with me! HA!

Speaking of... I've been slacking on the gym. On the bright side I just hit my first weight loss goal and lost all the weight I gained since David's diagnosis. About 15 lbs. (in 6ish weeks, not bad) Gaining and losing 15 lbs in a year is probably not so good for my heart I can imagine.  It's actually been really easy and I'm encouraged that it's been 95% changes in what we're eating rather than working out like a fiend.  Some day the fiend behavior will return but for now it's baby steps. I still have quite a way to go but these are sustainable changes and I think Dave and Owen benefit from the changes as well. That also makes it easier.

I've been so tired and stressed.(ironically I'd probably have more energy if I were working out and eating more but whatever..) Nothing major just a lot of little things.  Some of them not even bad things but just things that occupy space in my brain and my heart.  I think I've mentioned this before but Dave and I call it thrashing. It's a computer term that basically means there's so much going on the processor can't focus on one thing because it's swapping so much information around.  It can make the whole system freeze up and nothing really gets accomplished. We kind of froze up a little in the last week. I think things are calming down on many fronts, the stack is popping and features are functioning "as intended" and blah blah other nerdy references I could make but will spare you...  We should have rebooted... twice... ;)

I'll share something that touched my life pretty deeply this week.  How to explain... heh. When I was 16-19 I dated a guy who I ended up getting engaged to. I know, we were kids, it was ill-advised and things worked out well for us both in other directions so no hard feelings.  ANYWAY... his dad passed away just over a week ago. I was just a kid and his family really took me in. I looked to his parents as role models and truly as parents. They never treated me as less than one of their own, praising and scolding alike as any good parent does. hehe It made an impression on me then and helped me stay on a good path at a time in my life when things could have been very different. It's been a very very long time since his family has been a part of my life in any tangible way, or I theirs, but the appreciation and respect I feel for them will never change. I'll always remember Ron as a very warm, welcoming, soft-spoken, quietly hilarious man who gave good, timely advice and support whenever you needed it, especially if you didn't know you needed it. I'm glad I had the opportunity to be touched by his life and my heart hurts with their family as they grieve this loss.  I know he is missed.

So... I'm kind of done with death this year. Dear Grim Reaper, PLEASE STOP!  Love, Everyone! It would be so easy to be angry about the pile up of events but for some reason I feel the opposite. Anger really hasn't touched my mind much at all. It's more resignation. Yup, life kind of sucks, just keep swimming. It's made me more sensitive (is that possible?) and affectionate and willing to tell my friends and family how I feel about them, even if they're like please, not another mushy message! (no one actually says that) It turned off my brain to mouth filter in as far as holding things back, not in a negative way.  It encourages me to be more willing to be patient and forgiving because what if I'm not and something happens? It makes me try to be the best person I can be in whatever way I know how. I have to tell you though it's not easy. Ironically I'm the one I'm not patient and forgiving to. Anxiety sneaks in and weakness sneaks in and I've spent a couple of days in bed snuggling my boys and napping off and on and that's ok too.  It helps me be better when I'm actually awake. haha  Sometimes everyone needs to recharge in whatever way they know how.

This week it's raining. David was telling everyone that the forecast says "Rain starts friday and never ends!" He was right so far.  I guess that's what we get for having 3 or so months of NO rain.  We even had a fire warning in October. That's ridiculous. It figures it starts raining now because David's parents are going to make their way through town to visit for a bit. It will be a busy week. Owen has an ortho appointment where they are moving a couple of brackets AGAIN (does this mean they're fine tuning and he's almost done? Pretty please?), I have a PTO meeting I need to write the agenda for oh and shoot, I forgot about 2 more meetings I need to set up that I forgot about, oops. Thank goodness Dave doesn't have to go in for treatment this week!

I guess it's time to bust out the halloween movies and Dave and I's annual mandatory discussion about whether Nightmare before Christmas is a Halloween movie or a Christmas movie (the answer is probably yes). I still have Monster Squad that I still haven't made Owen watch, what a classic. (not that good but I watched the heck out of it growing up) Why can't I think of any others? I'll pass on the actual "Halloween" movies. Ew, no thank you. Anyone have any halloween movie suggestions that are appropriate for a 13 year old and his parents who aren't big on gorey grossness?

Monday, October 1, 2012

No Decisions Today!

I feel like I've had no time at all to write lately. I have emails upon emails to catch up on and people I want to stay in contact with that I just haven't had time or energy to do. This is why I love texting. Part of my email issue (and my blogging issue to be honest) is that I have to do that at the computer. If I'm at the computer that means I'm not in the bedroom with David. We have an ipad and a laptop but the lappy is tiny, it's great for travel but it's not great to type on, and the ipad is just not fantastic for making long posts because you can't touch type. That sounds like I'm making excuses, mostly I'm just venting.

Since the migraine I posted about last time Dave has been doing fairly well. It took a full week to recover from the dehydration and we think his stomach shrunk because he's not eating as much.  That means his coumadin level was too high.  WAY too high.  His INR (blood thinness) is supposed to be around 2.2 ish and it was 4.4  YIKES! I even knew that was going to happen so I was giving him 1/3 of his dose for a couple of days while he wasn't eating much but it was still too much when I went back to his normal dose.  I'm glad I didn't give him the full dose the whole time. I told his nurse I did that and she didn't say I should do it any differently so I guess it wasn't a big deal that I changed his med schedule.  I think once you're on hospice they give you a lot of leeway as far as meds go.  What's the worst thing that could happen? heh, that's kind of morbid but I get the impression that's the mentality. As long as people are comfortable they're not too worried about anything else.

Treatment went pretty well last time but we were supposed to get the results back from a genetics test and when we got there, all geared up for the answer, we found out they hadn't run the test yet because of a mix up with insurance. That was a little deflating. It hadn't been pre-authorized or something.  I have confirmation now that it has and it's being run so by next appointment (next week) we should have an answer. It really doesn't matter if Dave has this bad gene but if he does it gives Owen a 50/50 chance of having it but if the Glioma is a random occurrence Owen doesn't have to ever be tested for it. We wanted to be sure before we subjected him to that someday. He'll have the chance to decide for himself if he wants to be tested after he's 18. One kind of comforting thing about it is that since David's sister has it (I don't remember if the others were tested) it means that one of their parents HAS to have it, it's not recessive. While that's scary too at least we know that you can live a good long life without ever getting cancer from it so it's not a death sentence. That's good for all the kids in the family to know when they make the decision to get tested.

One little oddity at the end of David's treatment last week was that when the nurse changed the dressing on his central line she noticed it was leaking a little. There is kind of a scab around where it goes into his chest and was just leaking fluid just a little bit.  It could just be from the scab getting bonked around when the dressing was being changed but it's something they're keeping an eye on.  Because he needs more to worry about.  It's a few months old now and they said that's not really uncommon but if it starts to fail they'll have to remove it and I'm not sure what that would mean.  Since it's torture to get an IV it might mean he's done with treatments. We'll cross that bridge if we come to it.

Last night he got another migraine and got a little nauseated. I dosed him up before it had a chance to progress into what it was last time. Crisis averted although he's basically been asleep for the last 12 hours.  I'm so jealous. I'm getting about 1/3 as much sleep as he is! Friday Owen had the day off of school and I pretty much stayed in bed all day so maybe I caught up on a little. I was worried that maybe it was depression, you know where you don't even want to get out of bed? But mostly I think it's just exhaustion because normally I'm not quite that glued to the pillow.

Yesterday was a scary day. David's brother, Chris, has been having a lot of pain and was having trouble walking.  His doctor was worried about a tumor pressing on his spine and they scheduled scans for tuesday (tomorrow). Over the course of a couple of days it got so bad he ended up in the ER. After a very long day of waiting it ended up being some bulging/ruptured discs and he's having surgery this morning to fix it.  Thank goodness it's not what David has. They've been through so much they shouldn't have to go through this too. It brought it all back, everything we went through early in Dave's diagnosis, the not knowing and the fear and frustration of waiting for answers. Watching him be in excruciating pain and not being able to do anything about it no matter how many times you push the nurse call button. We obviously feel for what Chris is going through but I relate more to what Ricki is enduring. It's hard to put into words. I was so scared for them and it's such a relief that it's just his back acting up and it's something they can fix! We're praying for his quick recovery and I hope Ricki takes advantage of someone else taking care of him for a little while! Girl! Enjoy the help! 

It's been a pretty good couple of weeks besides that stuff. My Dad and Holly came over to watch the Avengers as Dave and I hadn't seen it yet. It was good to see them and spend a little time together, plus it was an awesome movie even though I almost fell asleep.  Not because it was boring, just because that's what I do during movies heh. Dave sometimes asks me, "Want to watch a movie so you can sleep?"  Owen had a science project to build a model of an atom... which I helped him with... a lot.  LOL (I hope his science teacher doesn't read this!)  He probably didn't need me to help as much as I did but we made it out of beads and wire and he didn't know how to use my beading tools. I taught him some and he directed me some. Whatever... what parent doesn't help their kids with science projects? It was fun to work on it together.  My mom came over yesterday and I painted her toe nails and she did my nails. Poor mom, I micromanaged because I'm used to doing my own nails but I just shut up and let her do it her way after a while. Someday I'll learn to give up a little control... maybe. It's been a crafty week I guess. I really want to get back into sewing, I have a few projects I need to finish including a baby quilt for my niece who is 9 months old!  It may turn into a first birthday present.  HA!

I really should write more often so I don't end up with a wall of text for every post. One last thought. I'm super frustrated this morning because hospice called to tell me that the (free) wheelchair transport we use isn't going to be able to take us next week because they have the van scheduled for something else. That means we'll have to pay for transport. The reason it's frustrating isn't because we have to pay it's because it's out of our comfort zone and consistency is kind of comforting right now at a time when most everything else changes so rapidly. It's the hospice company's own transport service but they only have one wheelchair van for people who can't transfer to a regular seat. They didn't have enough business so they just got a contract with a medicare/medicaid provider and now they're so busy and they do senior outings and such with the same van.  I don't begrudge them needing to keep their business afloat but I DO have a right to get frustrated when things don't work out conveniently. So now I have to decide if we want to use an unknown quantity for transport or try to reschedule his appointment. The hospice social worker asked if she should call back this afternoon to find out what we want to do. I told her there's no way I'm making a decision about this today and to try me back in the morning.  Yay for no decisions today! RAWR!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Migraine hangover

I think I jinxed Dave by saying his migraine was the third he's had this year and that was abnormally low because since then he's had two more! Once he gets one he tends to get a few, I think they call them cluster migraines. So he's had 3 in the last couple of weeks and this last one on monday was the worst so far.  He was sick to his stomach which just bumps up the concern a million times over because if something gets stuck in his throat he runs the risk of choking and there's no real good way for me to help him if that happens. I'm glad he only ate soft things that day! Now he's suffering from the migraine hangover. Dehydration and weakness and  being overly tired with a sensitive stomach.  Poor guy. I guess I'll baby him a bit longer. ;) (he soaks the attention right up!)

On top of that he didn't take his advil for his neck and shoulder aches and pains because his stomach has been bothering him.  Small meals, sips of water and ginger ale (and a little dr pepper) but he can't take much else so far. The lack of advil is easier on his stomach but not so great on the rest of him.  The massage nurse came today and helped him relax a bit.  I love when she comes, she does such a good job working out some of his kinks.

Owen is plugging away at school, doing great so far. He had an orthodontist appointment last week and his teeth are looking stellar although he needs to brush a little better. *mom glare* I'm trying to help him be more organized for school and he's coming up with ways to keep himself organized. It always works better when he participates in the solution.

I've been... tired.  Really tired and not sleeping well.  Melatonin has helped a little but it makes it hard for me to wake up in the middle of the night to turn Dave so if I don't take it by 10 or 11 I can't take it or it screws me all up.  We take a lot of naps these days. Maybe it's because I started on a more healthy diet.  We've only had non-homemade food once in the last 2 weeks! That's some kind of record around here. It's good food but it's severely less calories than before which is good for all of us, it just provides for a little less energy. I'm sure my body will get used to it soon but for now the gym is on hold so I don't completely fry myself.  I realize this isn't the best time to start a program like this but I have to take care of myself and the dr I talked to suggested that at least food is something I can control in an otherwise uncontrollable situation.  TRUE! I'm supposed to keep a food journal but that is hard, using the myfitnesspal app makes it a lot easier so I'm doing that instead! Easier is good. Oh and to make things more fun I think I pulled a muscle in my side/back.  Actually it kind of feels like I got kidney punched on my right side but I'm pretty sure it's muscular. Unpleasant at best. Maybe I should be taking the advil!

I got some books from the library and one that I happened upon was "How to Feed Your Teenaged Son" or something like that.  Owen claimed that if it didn't say "With a shovel" it probably wasn't accurate.  Seriously, he's such a goat these days. I started getting milk from Costco (2 gallons at a time) because if I get one at a time I end up at the store every couple of days. I got some other books about healthy eating and terminal illness/caregiving and yoga.  Actually the yoga book is called "Yoga for Anxiety" and I thought it was funny to be walking around with caregiving books and a yoga for anxiety book.  If the library was amazon the books would probably be listed under the "people who bought this book also bought... " section.

We've noticed that it's getting harder to stay upbeat. I don't mean for this to sound all depressed because it's not so much that but I've noticed I cry a lot more easily these days. (For anyone who has known me since I was young this is no surprise) I think it's just wearing on us and we've noticed it a bit in Owen as well. Not the crying because he's a big tough man-child now but the obvious stress that bursts out of him on occasion. I'm not sure how much of that is the thirteenness and how much is the stress of David being sick and me not being as ever-present in his activities.  We're present, just not quite as much as we were before and we still spend time together as a family and talk a lot... I mean A LOT.  I'm so proud of the young man he's becoming and his ability to express his emotions even if he doesn't do it until I corner him.  HA! He was doomed to be fraught with emotion having me as a mother. At least he still talks when needed and I'm appreciative of that.  I hope that trend continues. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Your Platelets are low... JUST KIDDING!

Dave and I started hanging out with Tim and Rose a little over 15 years ago.  That would make their three oldest kids about 6, 5 and 3.  They were on this kick where they were always "Kidding" about things. Even things that weren't actually jokes which are our favorite ones, like, "Have you seen the skating movie? JUST KIDDING" (the skating movie = The Cutting Edge.  Random, yes.) That is definitely how we felt this week after the visit with the doctor.  Oh, Have you seen how low your platelets are? JUST KIDDING! It's all the lab's fault.  Here we were wondering what combo of meds he's on that are making his platelets drop. We even talked to my uncle who is a pharmacist and he cleared up some things that the evil internet was wrong about, go figure.  We were a little baffled and then the dr said it has basically been a series of lab errors that make it look like his platelets are low.  After having them retested at a different lab and then recalibrating their test they decided that it's a lab problem not a david's blood problem. That would have been good to know since I was kind of on high alert and half expecting him to bleed out at any moment.  Me? Dramatic? I have no idea what you're talking about... *whistles*  We did increase his pain meds this week so he's now on 60 mg of MS Contin instead of 30 but really it's not a huge increase because he was taking enough liquid morphine doses to make up the difference.  This way he's getting an even dose instead of fluctuating doses.

So tomorrow/today is labor day.  School starts for Owen the day after, 8th grade. It's the first year I'm not at all excited for him to go to school. Not even a little. It's been so nice having him home this summer and he's been a tremendous help. I'm glad for him though, kids don't need that burden on their shoulders but it's awfully nice that he's old/mature/capable enough to lend a hand when needed.
On top of the just not having him here during the day there's the little added bonus of the district not running bus service.  We live about 3/4 of a mile from the school which isn't really bad for walking
except that we live on the opposite side of a 5 lane busy street from the school.  There are LOTS of other kids who fall in that same category who also took the bus, a couple of whom have talked about carpooling. I walked to and from middle school probably 90% of the time and I lived further than 3/4 of a mile but it was backstreets and no big deal. Ok... now I'm going to have to drive by there and clock it next time I'm down in that part of town, it might have been only about a mile or so but in my memory it was much further! uphill... in the snow and all that. Right now it's not a huge deal to drive him but as time goes on there will be days I can't/don't want to leave the house.  Oh and to top it off I forgot school started tuesday so I made an appointment for me for 2:00 and he gets out of school at 2:30.  Oops. So much for my summer scheduling where I think "oh yeah, I can't do that during the day, owen will be home"  Doh. Time to retrain my brain!

Dave is doing mostly ok except for a migraine yesterday. We figured it's probably the third one he's had in the last 8 months.  That's some kind of record for him, normally he got a lot more than that.
I'm always afraid to give him his imitrex because the first time I did that he had seizures the next day.  Totally unrelated but it still gives me a mental block.  He took his meds and napped for a bit and today he was much better so no worries. He had treatment on wednesday, where we found out about the platelet non-issue.

I only made it to the gym once last week. Not exactly my plan but with dr's appointments and errands that needed to be run and migraines and laundry and Owen had a party to go to and well... after doing those things I felt bad about being away from the house as much as I was taking care of business that I didn't want to leave again to go to the gym. Excuses, excuses. I'll do better this week!

The party Owen went to was such a cute idea! My friend Rachel has 4 kids, the two oldest girls are Owen's age and a sophomore in HS.  They had a Hunger Games party in their backyard where they projected the movie on the back of the house and all the kids brought chairs and blankets etc etc and laid out back and watched the movie.  They're brave, when I dropped owen off there were kids EVERYWHERE! My best guess is around 50 and I know some got there after I left. The kids were asked to bring snacks or drinks to share so Owen brought Pita Chips and Sun Dried Tomato Hummus. Only fans of the story would appreciate this but he put tape over the labels and wrote "Peeta Chips" and "Sun Dried Tomato Haymitch" (two of the characters names from the book/movie)
When he showed me he was beside himself giggling.  We both laughed about it all the way over to their house. I'm glad he's as easily amused as I am!  He had to call me before the movie was over because he had a stomach ache.  Too much junk food for Owen! HA! That's what being a kid is all about, right?

That reminds me of the time..... We have a tradition that we go to parent/teacher conferences and if all is well (which it always is) we go out for Dairy Queen. Every time he would beg and beg to get a banana split and we always told him it was too big and to pick something smaller so finally we caved and let him get one. I think it was 4th grade maybe. So he ate it, the whole thing, all three mounds and the toppings and the bananas and ALL the whipped cream and the cherries.  All of it.  His stomach was puffed out and when we rubbed it we could feel the cold on the OUTSIDE of his stomach.  Yes, the outside of his stomach was cold.  And then he said he didn't feel well, go figure... then he ran to the bathroom and proceed to throw up most, if not all, of the banana split. I'm glad he chewed the bananas.  Dave and I silently laughed heartily but gave him the appropriate amount of mock sympathy when necessary. It's one of those things that sometimes you have to learn the hard way, he's never asked for a banana split again although I'm sure his big teen stomach could probably handle it these days. Don't give him any ideas. At least Farrells isn't in town anymore, I'm having high school flashbacks to the two guys who ate the zoo all by themselves and threw the whole thing up. 19 scoops of ice cream is not intended for two people!

Speaking of big teen things, I just bought him new shoes.  He wears WIDE 11 1/2, yes, in mens! Dave only wears a 10 1/2.  He's got the wide Hernandez feet and the big Wach feet, poor guy.  The cashier said she felt sorry for him because its' going to get hard for him to find shoes.  Shhh, lady!  He's going to be a monster.  He did tell me when he was two that he was going to have very big feet.  He says it's a fulfilled prophecy.

Thursday is Dave and my 15 year anniversary. YAY! We honestly didn't think he was going to make it this far but here we are a few days away. We're ordering a cake from Sweet Life, the bakery we got our wedding cake from 15 years ago. They were just two sisters working out of a garage back then and now they are a very very busy store front. For our 9th anniversary we forgot to order a custom cake so I went during the day to pick up a cake to surprise Dave, just whatever looked good in their bakery case.  Then Dave came home from work and yelled for me to come to the kitchen.  In the kitchen I found him laughing with two cake boxes on the counter, he got one to surprise me too! Then I realized that he DIDN'T take my cake out of the fridge and he actually got two small cakes because he couldn't decide between them so in reality we had gotten THREE small cakes from the same bakery, luckily none of them were the same flavors. To us, the 9th anniversary will always be known as the three cakes anniversary.

We don't have any big plans to do anything but be thankful. Sometimes we need moments like that, especially with how rushed people are to get things done.  We find ourselves caught up in the day to day stuff and sometimes we have to stop for a minute to just hold hands and talk and be present. Being present is such a present. (HA! that was super cheesy)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Can't Post... Watching Olympics...

August is more than halfway over and I haven't even posted yet!  I'm slacking apparently.  It's not like I have anything else to do. ;)  Actually I've been wanting to write but I haven't been able to find time to sit down and put down my thoughts.  I'm a little (more) scatterbrained (than usual) lately.  Oh and also we watched pretty much every minute of the Olympics that NBC had to offer... even if a lot of it was fast-forwarded through.  We determined that Volleyball and Waterpolo are way more amusing when you speed through them.  We'd also like to note that trampoline and rhythmic gymnastics are Olympic sports?  Hruhwhat? Why isn't Golf? or Cheerleading?  Although trampoline was super super fun in fast-motion. Also not that we want to watch golf, just sayin.

We're doing ok, status quo I suppose. Owen is off on a whirlwind trip to the coast with my mom's side of the family.  I left Uncle Jaeger strict instructions to be his go-to guy although I know everyone will keep an eye on him.  He's tall(er than me) now and is wearing a touristy grey plaid hat, he's hard to miss.  It's the first time he's been away from us for a whole long weekend all summer, I miss him already and I think he's probably still at Nana's house waiting for the wagon train to hit the trail. I hope he has fun, I'm glad he gets this chance to get out of the house a little before school starts on the 4th.  8th grade.  Yikes.

Dave is doing as well as can be expected.  The last time (2 weeks ago) he went in for chemo we followed up with Dr Sharman about when to stop treatment.  He mentioned a couple of things the other dr didn't bring up.  He said once he stops the Avastin they tend to see quick growth of the tumor, quicker than if he hadn't taken it.  He called it a rebound of the tumor but it sounds kind of like a flood gate has been holding the tumor back and once the avastin is out of his system the flood gates open and the tumor grows quickly.  That might sound scary but to David it's a blessing since he's going to take that medicine until he isn't allowed to take it anymore because his body is too weak.  At that point he wants everything to go quickly.  The dr also said at that point he likely won't be able to use his arms anymore and if he doesn't actually WANT to eat he doesn't have to.  Not that it will be starving himself because his body won't need as much nutrition, that also relieved Dave because we're concerned about him choking and he doesn't want to have to be fed and those kinds of things.  It sounds like those are all negatives but he left the office somewhat giddy.  As cheerful as I've seen him all year really.

This last appointment (this week) his platelets are a little lower than they'd like them to be.  That can be caused by a few of the medications he's taking but they aren't really things we think he can go off of, including the Avastin.  So far they're letting him stay on Avastin, we'll see how long that lasts.  The platelet range they list as "normal" for this lab is 130-400.  In the last few visits his have been 82, 134, 77, 59 (hut, hut, hike!) we're not sure how low they are comfortable with that being as long as he doesn't really have other symptoms like random bleeding, which is a concern.  There isn't much we can do to raise that level.  His white blood count is still pretty good and in the normal range so they aren't worried too much. 

Next time he goes in he's also going to talk to the geneticist to start the process to find out if he actually has the Lynch gene that his family carries.  We started thinking this might be something totally random since Lynch normally causes colon cancer.  It's entirely possible that he has it but we figured the responsible thing to do for Owen would be to find out for sure.  It's odd how tests like that can cause a little anxiety even though we already know whether or not he has cancer.

I'm doing alright. I feel really busy.  I started back at the gym this month, I've been going at least twice a week.  Not bootcamp yet but cardio and some light weights so far.  It's like starting over and I'm sore so I know I'm doing a fair amount of stuff.  My trainer had a picture on his website saying, "Someone busier than you is working out right now"  I know it wasn't aimed directly at me but it got me thinking "I could be at the gym instead of watching tv right now" although sometimes I CAN'T be at the gym but you know... it just made me think so I finally did something about it.  I'm not sleeping well and that doesn't help with having energy to workout either.  That's not really new for me, insomnia, I think I sleep better during naps than I do at night because at night little noises wake me up.  During the day I guess I'm confident things are ok and I zonk out. hehe  probably the naps are part of why I don't sleep well at night but I'm not going to complain about quality naps.  Yesterday I treated myself to a long massage.  I'm a little sore today actually but that means she did a good job, right?

I'm going to skip the journal entry for right now because I'm eager to go pester my husband again.  He can't catch a break! I will share a convo Owen and I had the other day.  His best girl-pal's mom and I have been brainstorming their 8th grade dance theme.  We know we'll be two of the more involved parents so we're coming up with ideas. It prompted this convo with Owen.

Me: (totally joking) *gasp* you could have a Twilight dance!
Owen: We could have a jump-off-a-cliff dance, it would be equally as popular. We could do what all the girls are derping about and have a Hunger Games dance.
Me: We wouldn't want you to kill each other.
Owen: We would kill each other if we had a Twilight dance.

He's so quick witted.  He's going to keep everyone on their toes this weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

C3P0's Fruit Loops?

I FINALLY PAINTED!  Peacock Blue, we love it!  I know you're all really interested...  I actually only painted one wall which is all I was going to do, but I also moved a couple things in our room around which gives us a tiny bit more room and less places to put clutter (I moved a bookshelf out).  We also got an air purifier and a new vacuum to try to help cut down on allergens/irritants. They are grade 2 medical devices so I'm hoping *fingers crossed* that we can write them off as medical expenses but I suppose I'll have to talk to a tax accountant about that.  So far so good.  I've noticed that Dave's sleep apnea isn't as bad and my allergy induced asthma symptoms haven't been as bad.  All pluses!  I hated spending the money on it but I think it was a good long term investment.

David is doing fairly well.  He's taking a lot more advil to try to get rid of the neck pain.  If it's muscular aches that should help if it's not muscular then the morphine would be better.  It's kind of a guessing game so we're just guess and checking until we figure it out.  The massage nurse suggested heat but um... it's been 80+ and the last thing he wants is MORE heat. 

Mostly it's been a low key week.  Except for my whirlwind project of painting and now there are boxes of books everywhere (fantastic!) because I haven't put them back on the shelf yet, dust, yay. OH and the toilet tank in Owen's bathroom has started leaking like the one in our bathroom did when Dave was in the hospital.  My dad is helping us replace this one too but it's just another pain in the neck thing I wish we didn't have to deal with.  This year has been full of them but I guess on the bright side... new toilet.  yay?  I'm not sure why that feels low key to me even though things are a little hectic.  Maybe because Dave is doing well.

Not a lot to report this week on the medical front which I'm actually really thankful for.  No noticeable progression of Dave's paralysis.  Owen has been great, I'm hanging in here and getting a few things done.... oh, yesterday I realized that I haven't taken my thyroid medicine (I have an underactive thyroid) for... well... so long that I don't remember. Months.  Not that I just don't bother taking it but I honestly just FORGOT that I was supposed to.  I guess my priorities have been somewhere else.  No wonder I've been feeling kind of run down and have been gaining weight and such.  Here I thought I was just eating poorly (ok, that too) I keep talking about going back to boot camp and the more I talk about it the more serious I get about it.  I sent my trainer a message, that's the first step, right?  But might have to just go in and talk to him.  I figure if I tell more people about it I will have to stop making excuses. ;)  It's hard to think about doing that kind of thing when you have no energy... even though I know I'd have more energy if I were exercising.  Funny how that works, right?  I'd probably sleep better too.  I fell asleep at 4 am, woke up at 6:30 to turn Dave and had a hard time getting back to sleep them up again at 10.  This is getting pretty typical. 

Now for your weekly installment of David's Journal


My favorite cereals are C3P0's Fruit Loops and Sugar Smacks.  I don't like all cereals because they don't taste good like cheerios and kicks and all sorts of yucky things like that because they taste like dry cat food and saw dust and when you put milk on them they go soggy and limp like a wet noodle and yuck. They really taste sicko! That's why I never eat them! 

Who doesn't have an aversion to soggy cereals.  I'm unclear what cat food and saw dust taste like but apparently it's like bland cereal.  hehe It's funny that those are the ones he lists as his favorites but he has never let Owen have those sugary cereals.  It was a different time I suppose!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Week of a Different Color

This week is much better than last week!  I'm glad these episodes of more than normal stress are short lived. 

Owen went to stay last night at the Wolfe Compound (lucky them!) so Dave and I had a quiet evening of Storage Wars and Deadliest Catch watching *snicker*  Today Dave had chemo.  Our hospice bath aid is AWESOME and plans her schedule around his appointments so she can come bathe him and help me get him dressed before we go.  Today was an early appointment so she came over at 8:30.  I set my alarm for 8 but yeah... the snooze button is awesome so she woke me up.  OOPS!  I'm not complaining, I just felt bad that I answered the door in my pajamas.  We're thankful that she is so easy going and so willing to accommodate us. We really like her.

So Dave went in for his appointment and they drew blood to run labs then we saw the doctor. We brought up our concerns about chemo that I touched on last week and this doctor (not our normal doctor) gave us a few options.  He suggested that Dave could try another kind of chemo since he's not doing Temodar anymore.  Yeah... I don't think that's on the agenda.  We suspect he's just making sure he talks about ALL options.  So we told him our primary concern, that we don't want to prolong things after he loses use of his arms.  We barely got out the sentence when the dr said, "It won't"  As he explained it the Avastin is only really in your system for a week or two (google says 11-50 days, nice range!) so once the decline has hit that critical of a point the Avastin isn't going to play a role in the last stage and we can expect things to move quickly.  Is that wrong that hearing that the end stage will be quick is a giant relief to us?  I mean yes, it's scary, but knowing what to expect makes us much more equipped to cope.  We both agree that David will continue to do chemo until he declines so much that it's not worth it, he can't tolerate the trip anymore or he has some other side effect from it besides being tired.  Sheesh, with how much his body is going through it's no wonder he's tired.  I sometimes think about how flippantly some people say, "I'll sleep when I'm dead".  I admit the thought has crossed my mind when I want to wake him up to tell him something but really I want to let him sleep now as much as he wants so that when he's awake he's actually alert.  Although when I get excited about stupid things him being asleep has never stopped me before.  LOL  I should take advantage of it now while he's still here to tell my stupid things to! Poor guy would never sleep!  

OH! I forgot to mention that when he got blood drawn it was hard for the lab guy to draw it and by the time he got enough and then got it in the vials it had started clotting (even with his blood thinners? odd) so when he got out of his dr visit someone chased us down on the way to the the chemo room to tell us they had to draw new labs!  ACK!  The second time worked great but it definitely stressed him out a little more than normal. 

The weather was nice (for him) not sunny, low 70s, just rained so it smelled awesome.  It's the first time he's gotten to sit outside when the weather was comfortable for him.  We just sat and enjoyed being outside while we waited for our ride. I got him home and he stayed up long enough to help me mix up a batch of carne asada seasoning that we've been making for years and have yet to write down the recipe for, we just save a little from the last batch and taste test until it's close, or as Dave says, "Close enough for government work" then he went back to bed and napped for a while.  I noticed that a couple of his toes have little sores like ingrown nails or something.  This happened once before because of the edema.  Nurse Marla to the rescue!  I'll keep an eye on them to make sure they don't get infected.  If it's not one thing it's another!

I feel very spoiled this week. Last friday I got to visit Betsy, my bff of 25 years (holy cow, that shows my age because we were in middle school... wait, don't do the math!) Sunday my mom and nana came over for a "picnic", monday Owen cleaned his room with no complaints (because I bribed him with going to a friend's house) because on tuesday the housekeepers came for I think the last time for reals (thanks to some very amazing friends, I love you guys! Really, words aren't enough, I'm gonna hug every one of you some day!) Also yesterday Ariana was in town for a little while so she stopped by to say hi.  We miss her face plus she helps me more than she knows.  I appreciate her and her timing was perfect.  Maybe something prompted her to visit us. ;) Today our bath aide started her work early to come help us out, we got comforting news from the doctor and tonight Tim brought dinner when he brought Owen back.  He also brought their kids so we got a visit and dinner and entertained by goofy teens and Rose got some time with a mostly quiet house, so really that was a gift for all of us. Hahaha  It was good to see Tim. Tomorrow my dad and holly are coming over for a visit and dinner.  It's a full week for sure but we welcome that, especially after how emotional and in our cave last week was.

Journal time!

"Strange Things Happen When

Strange things happen when we get a big package in the mail and it says do not open until christmas.  Everyone starts guessing what it is.  People sneek up and shake it or they go and feel it.

Strange things happen when I start typing in a program I know nothing about on the computer. Everyone wants to know what I'm typing in I just say, "I don't know" and we run it and it erases a disk. WHOOPS!"

The christmas gift part of that story reminds me that David has serious present issues.  No shaking or guessing or touching whatever is wrapped up, strictly hands off.  He says his dad could pick up any gift and shake it and know what was inside and it drove him crazy.  I guess when you're a grown up you get to make your own rules and his rule is NO GUESSING! 
As for the computer comments, he wrote so much about computers even in the mid-80s, it's no wonder he ended up in the IT field. I think eventually he learned what the programs do before he typed in them. ;) 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Favorite Stories

Well we made it through the 4th with all our fingers intact!  Dave got up in the chair to watch the kids (neighbor kids in the cul-de-sac had their own spoils) light things off and even though we didn't go to see any big displays we had plenty of neighbors with the big booming overhead less than legal stuff going on. It was a short and sweet display.  We went back inside, I gave Dave a haircut and got him back to bed.

The next day he had chemo and everything went pretty well.  Owen came with us because we thought it might be fun to go to the hospital cafeteria and eat at a "restaurant" (it's actually pretty nice) together but really the whole thing just bored him and he probably won't want to go with us again.  Hahaha.  Poor kid.  That's part of what being a kid is all about, right?  Getting dragged around by your parents to things that don't interest you? 

We've noticed that Dave's feet haven't been as swollen the last couple of days.  I can actually see his ankles again!  *snicker* His nurse was on vacation and just saw him after a week and a half away and noticed it right away.  We suspect that not doing the Temodar anymore (it's been about 6 weeks since his last treatment) is helping the swelling.  We knew it was one of the possible side effects but it's nice to actually see a result.

We're having a bit of an emotional week.  We've started talking about how long he'll be on the Avastin.  Not that we're chomping at the bit to make a decision but we're well aware that his arms are gradually getting worse and we're trying to make an educated decision about how much longer the chemo will benefit him.  As morbid as it may seem to think about this stuff we want to find that balance between giving him comfort and prolonging his agony.  We'd rather have a plan of action than let it sneak up on him and have to make a snap decision.  We're planners.

We seem to do pretty well as long as we have a plan and something to work towards.  Dave says that he has a finish line, not that he's racing for it or anything but he knows that there's an end point to this suffering for him.  For us, his passing isn't our end because we will continue on but it's definitely the start of something new for us.  It is a strange sort of limbo because we make plans but nothing firm necessarily because we don't have a time limit and that's ok.  We have to be adaptable but knowing what direction we're headed and being on the same page has been helpful.

In my plight to make sure Owen doesn't spend the entire summer playing on the computer (ya right, good luck!) I asked him to pick some books he'd like to read for pleasure.  He does enjoy reading but has had to do an awful lot for school that he wouldn't have necessarily chosen himself.  He picked up the The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.  We call it the Black Cauldron series because it's the books the Disney movie of the same name was based on.  I think he's only read the first of five but he just started a couple days ago.  I'm glad to see him back in the world of books and away from the computer.  Now if only I could get him to read outside... ;)

This month we have a free preview of the Encore channel and they're showing just about every old James Bond movie without commercials.  David watched a lot of them growing up but there are a few he hasn't ever seen and I haven't actually seen any of them except a couple of the newer ones.  Normally I come in somewhere in the middle and he tells me what's going on and all the trivia about the song and the bond girl and all that because he has to read about the movie while it's on.   I'm trying to clean off the bookshelf so I can finally get around to painting but so far I get about a shelf done and have to stop because the dust gets to my allergies and I don't want to stir up too much and aggravate Dave's allergies.  We're all staying busy.

A journal entry from 1984

"Favorite Stories
My favorite stories are the choose your own adventure stories or horror stories or fantasy stories. My favorite story was a big book that was a fantasy story with about 300 pages.  It was about a little girl that was a sorcerist and got lost in the jungles of Xanth.  Her mother goes after her with all her friends.  But the girl gets caught by an evil witch.  They finally rescue her but find out their country is in danger of being destroyed by little creatures that eat their way through everything. They gather together and save their country."

David adds that he was talking about the Xanth series by Piers Anthony but since he wrote so many books he doesn't remember which one he was specifically talking about.  When I asked him about the horror stories he has no idea what he was talking about.  He figures he either read something he thought was scary and called it horror or maybe he wanted to be scared so he said that but didn't really know what horror meant.  I swear it's like Owen could have written these, chip off the old block.  He's so into "horror" right now even though he's never actually read or seen anything we'd consider horror necessarily.  Boys! 

HA! That reminds me.  When Owen was little we used to sarcastically say, "Oh the horror" when he'd freak out about something that wasn't all that big of a deal.  When he finally picked up on it he started saying it too, sarcastically, but with his pronunciation it came out more like, "Oh the whore!"   (which of course he had no idea what it meant) HAHAHAHA not exactly the same thing but it became a family meme and Dave and I still say it occasionally.   He also called my hope chest a "wish crate" and when the Woody doll (from toy story) would say "somebody poisoned the water hole!" he'd announce "SOMEBODY'S TOYS IN THE WATER HOLE!"  That one still makes me laugh.  To a kid your toys in the water hole is probably just about as upsetting as poison.  Ah innocence.  I'm sure there are more but those are my favorites that come to mind.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

 Tomorrow (well, today because it's technically after midnight) is the 4th of July.  We don't normally do much on the 4th, sometimes a BBQ at my Dad's house but we haven't gone to see fireworks in years.  We're kind of thankful for that because it's not like we're missing some huge tradition we had.  Owen and I are going to pick up some fireworks and light them off in the cul-de-sac.  Owen is thrilled because Dave officially passed the torch to him this year to be the one to light them off.  Last year he got a taste of it (with supervision of course) but now he's 13 and can handle it... still with supervision but we trust him a lot more to be responsible.  David said he thought he could get up in the chair and go outside to watch the fireworks.  He doesn't want to stay up too long because he has chemo the next day which means he'll be in the chair two days in a row... again.  He only gets in the chair once every couple of weeks but once a month it seems like he's in it two days in a row for some reason.  

Since it's the 3rd (4th) this would be right in the middle of when he'd be taking the Temodar.  He's glad to not be sick like he was a month ago. That was awful, I'm thankful for that too! As for his other meds the addition of the continuous morphine has really been helpful.  He is still uncomfortable a little bit in the neck and shoulder area but not nearly as bad as it was and he's sleeping a lot better at night with not having to wake him up to take meds at 5 am.  He still has to be moved in the middle of the night but if I'm just turning him he has to be less awake than he does if he has to swallow something that tastes nasty and then drink water with it.  It's less maintenance and he likes that. (So do I)  Of course tonight he's getting a migraine and I can't find the migraine meds.  He hasn't had to take them for months and I have moved things around so many times since then I have no idea where they could have gone.  Hopefully he can sleep it off and be alright.

Owen has been SOOOO super awesome lately. So helpful and fun.  I hope this trend continues! I took him to get his braces adjusted today.  They repositioned 5 of the brackets on the bottom teeth and put in a lighter wire.  I have no idea what that does but I guess it's supposed to not have as much pull or something.  He also gets to go without rubber bands for the next 5 weeks.  Lucky dog. His teeth have moved so fast and his teeth were only sore when he first got them on.  He must have a high pain tolerance. 

I got my hair did yesterday! I've always been such a wuss about color but I splurged and just went for it.  My girl did a weave (the color technique not the extensions) and used a crimson red, it's so dark red that it's almost fuschia-y/purple.  I LOVE IT!  Too bad reds fade so quickly. I washed it today then noticed the bottom of the tub is pink and then when I was drying it my hands turned all pink.  DUDE!  I don't even have to do my nails because they're pink now! (I kid... kind of) I haven't taken a picture of my hair yet.  It's hard to see the color inside and the sun has yet to come out since I had it done.  Boo... Ah, summer in oregon... 60s and overcast.  LOL

David wrote this entry into his journal just before Thanksgiving in 1985.  It's about thanksgiving but given the content we thought it was mighty patriotic and fit with the Independence Day theme.

"I'm Grateful For
I'm grateful for turkeys and gravy with cranberry sauce and dressing and nice, thin, melt in your mouth slices of tender, juicy,  turkey, rolls with jam, honey and butter.  I'm grateful for clothes, clean air (which I don't have) cool summers, nice hiking up canyons, good ski resorts.  I'm grateful for a warm house. I'm grateful for the right to vote. I'm grateful for being able to go to school. I'm grateful for being able to choose which religion to join. I'm grateful for long strait freeways. I'm grateful for cars. I'm grateful for ways of fast transportation and I'm grateful for living in a free country."

(I'd like to note that he doesn't even really like cranberry sauce, but it's cute that he was thankful for it.  Also a lot of his entries have to do with food.  Those food details are the ones that remind me most of Owen.  )

In light (get it? light?) of the holiday I wanted to share this happy family memory. This is a video of Jesse from 2010 at a 4th of July BBQ.  He wasn't pleased that we were starting to light off fireworks before it actually got dark and he told me his solution.  It cracked me up so I grabbed the camera and asked him to explain it again.  I smile every time I see it. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Decisions, Decisions...

June is almost over?  I can't even wrap my brain around that.

Tomorrow is June 30th, Jesse's 8th birthday.  For his birthday we were going to donate whatever monies we would have normally spent on him to a good cause.  After much deliberation... do we donate to the Jesse Lyle Hernandez Fund at Northwest Community Credit Union... do we donate to the Relief Nursery... do we donate to Toys for Tots... do we donate to CASA of Lane County where Jesse recently participated in the fundraising walk with Holly?  So many choices.  We decided to donate to Project Reindeer.  It's a project Holly's(and Owen's) school does at Christmastime where they take boxes of supplies to families who need it in the community.  Holly is very active with the program and Jesse always wanted to help in any way he could.  We feel like that's the most close to home way we can contribute. It took a long time to decide (it takes us forever to decide anything these days) and we feel really good about this decision.  Thinking about Christmas in July (ok, june, whatever)

David is doing pretty well.  One of the hospice nurses was talking to us this week about his medications and suggested he switch from liquid morphine to pill form morphine that he'll only have to take twice a day.  YES, PLEASE!  It will increase his total dose from 25mg to 30 mg a day but it will be continuous release rather than taking it every 6 hours when it starts to wear off after 4 hours.  The peaks and valleys of the morphine swing should even out a bit and since his neck continuously aches I think this will be a good thing.  He starts taking the pills tonight so we'll see how the weekend goes.  He may be a little sleepy for a couple of days while his body adjusts to the even flow of medication but since he's been on 20-25mg a day (which is a smallish dose) for a while now they think he's building up a tolerance which could be why his neck aches more now, not enough pain management.  We'll see!  We still have the fast acting liquid stuff for breakthru pain.  It would be nice if we could get him in a not-too-doped-up state of ease.  I'm eager to see how it goes.  That also means that he would only have to take meds twice a day which would be awesome!  Not that his meds would be reduced, he still takes somewhere around 15 pills a day.  Yum! No wonder his stomach hurts sometimes.  It just means it's less overall things on the to-do list.  Or more importantly, I won't have to worry about napping through his meds schedule on wonky long nap days.

Speaking of his stomach, I think it's finally settled down since the last Temodar treatments.  Glad he's not starting another round on the first since it took almost a month for his stomach to get over the last round. 

Dave's parents are in town for a couple of days.  When they got here (without hotel reservations) they realized it might be difficult to find an affordable place since the Olympic trials are going on at the University. Sure enough, everything in town was $150 or higher, even the seriously scary crack house rent a room by the hour kind of places.  We busted out the computer and found them a nice little non-chain place up the road in the next town over for a reasonable price and reserved it online.  Thank goodness as they didn't have to rush to check in then soon after they arrived they noticed the place put out the no vacancy sign.  Yay internets!  It's been nice visiting (we're not so exciting these days) but lots of both catching up and reminiscing.  We're glad they could come visit.

They plan to leave tomorrow to head for Utah to see David's brother's family but we were saddened to learn that David's cousin (their nephew) took his life yesterday so if arrangements are made for a service in the next few days that may waylay their travels a bit as they may head back to Portland to see family and pay their respects.  The Wach family has been through an awful lot and tragedy has struck every branch of this family tree.  If there's anything to be thankful for it's that he's not hurting any more, but it's a small consolation to those who love him.

I really don't want to end this on a sad note so I will mention that David's mom brought a box of his assorted papers and such with her. I can't believe they've moved from Oregon to Arizona to Texas with things like this!  (I'm sure she's glad to have passed it on!) In this box we found an old journal of David's from when he was 11.  It looks like something they did at school where the teacher provided the topic and the kids write about it.  We cracked up reading them and wanted to share some now and again.  It actually reminds me a lot of Owen's writing voice.  This one is... strange.  hahaha

April is the time of Easter bunnies and eggs and strange weather. April's holiday is strange, it's called Easter.  A big rabbit comes around and gives everybody candy and strange looking eggs. That's dumb because the easter bunnie or any rabbit can't lay eggs especially ugly eggs that are different colors.  The weather in april is strange.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Solstice + 1

It's already summer? I have no idea when that happened.  It's been gorgeous outside which means we've been firmly INSIDE.  With the beautiful weather comes the horrible allergies and all the fun associated with them.  Ah well.  We put the air conditioners in the windows and hope for the best.  Owen was going to do a summer camp but on the 2nd day he decided he's not up for it.  I wanted him to do it to give him something to distract him but since I signed him up over a month ago when we only had one major life altering thing going on and then it was compounded I don't blame him for wanting to opt out.  He said he can't concentrate and his reading comprehension is kaput and he was really overwhelmed.  I think he needed a break... so now I get him at home to do chores,  win/win!  hahaha

David had chemo yesterday.  It went well but he decided, with the Dr's input, to stop doing the at home chemo so no more Temodar for him.  The dr said it seems like it's doing about 30% of the heavy lifting compared to the Avastin but it's giving him 70% of the side effects so it seems like the best option would be to just do Avastin for now.  We could revisit that later if needed but after this month I don't think that will happen.  He's been off the Temodar for just over 2 weeks and his digestive system still hasn't fully recovered.  He's eating a little more but overall he's still really sensitive.  He's also on a much higher dose of potassium now but the dr said we can play with that a little bit since that can also make his stomach sensitive.  He said they have a tendency to over-correct potassium deficiencies so he doesn't mind if his level drops a bit if it makes him more comfortable but if he starts getting muscle spasms to just bump his potassium back up until we find that happy medium.  We're still waiting to hear back about his other test results to find out if we have to change the coumadin dose again. Never a dull moment!

Oh, we finally watched Jaws with Owen (thanks to the dad video library) and while he didn't make quite so many snarky comments during it he definitely wasn't all that spooked.  The kid is jaded, that's all there is too it.  Although he hasn't been to the ocean yet since then.   Just wait!  OOH I got his report card today.  I was on him so hard to keep his grades up until Jesse passed away and I kind of threw that out the window and just wanted to be sure he was ok and I could care less about grades but wouldn't you know it, he pulled a 3.7!  He got better grades this term than he did last term.  We're so proud of him.  I had so much fun with him tonight.  We made dinner together and laughed the whole time.  I made a noise when I laughed and he asked if I was laughing or going to throw up.  I said that laughing is how I respond to nausea.  He said I must want to throw up the whole time I'm with him, which of course made me laugh harder.  Then when we went back to explain to Dave why we were laughing obnoxiously Owen just stood there staring at me cutely because he's so proud of himself for being taller than me.  It's genetics, pal! 

He really is the light of my day. It's been an especially rough day.  I told Ricki I was overwhelmed and she asked for specifics so I started unloading on her via text while I was at the store.  She called because it was silly to have that long convo via text and I said I'd call her back when I got to the parking lot.  I hung up and sneezed and an older woman standing near me said, "bless you" so I thanked her.  She added, "I feel like we can use all the blessings we can get." Perfect timing.  Amen, Lady! Amen.  It kind of choked me up.  Sometimes people touch your life in ways they don't mean to.  I almost went back to hug her after I thought about it a minute but I didn't.

I also went to the cemetery to paid off half the pre-arrangement fees today and left a couple little dinosaurs for Jesse (he was such a dino guy) since it's all at the same place. I could have mailed in the payment but I wanted to use the disney visa so we get reward points.  Dave said early on if we have to pay for something awful like that we might as well get something out of it.  True enough.  I also had to call and leave a few messages for the long term disability folks to find out about an additional benefit they haven't gotten back to me about yet.  It's.... so frustrating.  She said she would call me back last thursday and I haven't heard a peep.  After the messages I left today if I don't hear back from her tomorrow I'm going to talk to her supervisor.  I'm not in the mood to just let this stuff slide.  She needs to do her job so that we can get on with things and not have unanswered questions.  I also called hospice and talked to the nurse manager (or whatever her position is) about how I don't feel like communication is up to par.  We were expecting our nurse today and when I finally called the office after not hearing anything all morning I found out she's coming tomorrow but no one told us about the schedule change.  There are a couple other things that are on my nerves about it and any one of the things wouldn't be a big deal but when you put them all together and look at the big picture with everything else we're dealing with it all adds up. I feel bad for breaking down on the phone with her but their job is to make things easier and right now it's not really happening.  I feel like such a jerk calling in to talk about the things that aren't working for us but I know it's what will make their services better for us and for other people.

What it boils down to, for me, is that while I'm taking care of everything I'm not taking care of myself as well as I should be.  I'm taking steps to try to remedy that but for right now I'm just overwhelmed.  Getting 4 hours of sleep last night probably didn't help that.  I wear my Stay Plucky bracelet every day and look at it constantly.  We still laugh at a lot of things and keep our chins as up as they can be but everything is starting to sink in a bit.  We're just going to keep laughing and crying and moving forward the best we can.  I'm glad Owen laughs just as much as we do and makes his own jokes about things and is generally as plucky as a guy can be.  He's pretty awesome and I'm a lucky mom.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Last Day of School

Well the school year is winding down.  Owen has one half day left of school and then he's an 8th grader.  I don't know where the time has gone.  They're going to a local mini-golf place for the morning then home after a half day.  A last hurrah if you will. 

Ariana has one more day of class to wrap up and then she gets picked up by her parents late tomorrow night to go home and terrorize her siblings and parents for the summer.  HA! We'll definitely miss her around here but I know she's more than ready to be done with this semester. 

David is doing fairly well.  His edema is ever present and the meds are keeping it moderate instead of severe.  His potassium levels are low because of the diuretic so they increased his dose to 4x the dose.  Holy smokes!  Those pills are horse pill sized and now he has to take 4 per day?  Yuck. Hopefully if he has to keep that up they will give him a pill with a higher concentrate but I don't know if that doubles the size of the pills or what.  The low potassium levels could be causing other side effects like the muscle tweakiness (That's a technical term) or feeling down.  Then again, everything else going on could also cause those things so I guess we'll just wait to see if the increase in meds helps.  He has pretty much decided he doesn't want to do the Temodar chemo treatment anymore.  It made him really miserable and screwed up all his other medications as it could be playing a part with the potassium and definitely played a part with the wonky coumadin levels.  We'll talk to the dr about it in a week when he goes back in, that was the dr's recommendation when he gave us some food for thought.  It might be time to take that next step to make whatever time he has left as good as it can possibly be. 

We're still having a hard time focusing on just one thing. I talk to my sister-in-law almost daily as we commiserate about our husbands' slow decline.  Chris's decline has been 42ish months in the making while David's is going on 6 months.  It's apples and oranges but the end result is the same and it's good to have a sister to laugh and cry with at the not funny but still funny things.  Unfortunately Chris is starting to say things about how he feels that the end is near.  He's not usually one for theatrics so it can't be a good sign.  With Jesse's passing 2 weeks ago and now Chris saying he's feeling bad we're both losing brothers and it's making us have a lot more discussions about how we want things to go and making sure our loose ends are tied.  They mostly are but if he doesn't teach me a little more about our network I'm going to be calling Tim a lot after he's gone and Tim doesn't need yet another network to take care of.  (Although I'll probably end up calling anyway even if Dave tells me how to do anything *snicker*)

So in other news we've been watching a lot of movies this week.  I made Ariana watch The Music Man because I was appalled that she had never seen it. Growing up in a family with so much music I figured she'd have seen every musical ever made! Next time she comes to visit I'm strong arming her into Oklahoma!  (she'll never come back...)  We made Owen watch Young Sherlock Holmes and I also rented We Bought A Zoo.  Somehow through all the previews it escaped our attention that the movie focuses on the family having lost the mom to a terminal illness.  Fantastic!  When it was over I had to apologize and we all kind of laughed at the unfortunate choice in movies.  Cute movie other than the in your face family issues.  Thanks, Matt Damon! The moral of the story is that after Chris and David are gone Ricki and I need to buy a zoo?  LOL Ricki and I together with our kids IS a zoo! I will start vetting movies a little more closely now.  We also watched The Woman in Black because Owen has been wanting to watch scary movies and it was only PG-13.  So like... that movie stinks.  He didn't care at all about it being scary but it kind of freaked me out and it wasn't even all that good.  New rule he can only watch scary movies that I'm not too scared to watch. hahahahaha and I'm kind of a wimp so he's out of luck!

Going through videos I found one that has none of us in it but it makes us giggle every time we see it.  I've talked a lot about Olive our therapy cat.  We got her about 7 years ago so when Owen was about 6.  He dubbed her Olive, The Black Cat of Doom (for no reason other than to be silly) which sometimes David calls her B-COD for short. She is a peculiar kitty and one of our favorite of her quirks is how she'll sneak a drink of your water if you're not looking.  She's so dainty.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fact or Myth

It has come to my attention that there might be some misinformation floating about. I don't know if it's something I said that got misconstrued or what and it doesn't really matter, I want to set the record straight.

At Jesse's service someone was overheard by multiple people saying that David only has a month left.. 2-3 months at the most.  Fact or Myth? Well the fact of the matter is that there's just no way to know. The doctors have never given us an estimate so any time frame is pure speculation.  I take that back, there were 2 days when the drs said he wouldn't make it 24 hours but clearly he's more stubborn than that, thank goodness.  I mean... 1 month is a possibility but it's not projected.  I think we've learned that we're all living day to day.

It has also gotten back to me that we expressed concern that David incurs internal bruising when he's in the wheelchair too long.  That's not exactly true either. What is true is that before his edema was under control there was one occasion when his feet got red, kind of like a bruise but a little different, after a chemo appointment, likely from a combo of the blood thinners and swelling.  That redness went away after a couple of weeks and didn't happen again when he was up in the chair two days in a row last week.

I know people don't want to bother us but I hope everyone knows they can contact us directly if they hear things like that. I will admit that I don't post every personal detail of what's going on but the medical things I do post about. If you don't have my email/cell phone/facebook contact info you can always use the email function here. I would rather head things like this off at the pass.

I also want to thank those family members who brought this information to light and expressed their concern for us. Love you!

For those who haven't heard anything about this you're probably scratching your head wondering what I'm rambling on about and that's ok too.  Sometimes I ramble. :)  Just know that if you hear something dramatic that I haven't posted about it's likely not true and please check with me before it gets too far.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Staying Busy

Tuesday was Jesse's Celebration of Life.  I capitalized it on purpose. It was really nice.  Uplifting, loving, sad and funny and everything it should have been.  At the end of the service everyone gathered outside with balloons decorated with message and we let them go all at once.  This is a picture my aunt and uncle took. 

 There was also a firetruck that came to lead the way from the church to the cemetery.  Holly sat in front with Jesse's American flag decorated urn and they turned on the lights and sirens one last time for him at the cemetery.  It was very cool.  My dad and I also got to ride in the truck and I appreciate being able to share that moment.   It's touching knowing that Jesse had been in that fire truck before because his classmate's dad has the hookup.  A million thank yous to the Andersons for making it happen.  Really.

After laying him to rest a hawk flew low and let out a big screech.  It had been pretty silent up until that moment.  I imagine at times like this people look for symbolism in everything... but seriously... screeching hawk! It was a very cool moment. I feel blessed to have been a part of his life and to see how many other lives he touched.  It's overwhelming in a good way.  Oh that reminds me.  There is a fund set up at Northwest Community Credit Union for Jesse Lyle Hernandez.  Donations can be made there and all the money will be used to fund some type of program in the area for needy kids because in Jesse’s words, “that’s what I do."  I can't wait to see what can be done. 

Owen has been doing pretty well.  He is sad of course but he's back at school and the routine helps him get through the day.  He had a band concert tonight and they did a great job.  Hopefully they will have video up soon.  I'm glad he actually went to the concert since he missed the choir concert.  I don't blame him one bit for missing it since it was the same day as the memorial.  After the concert we got blizzards, as is tradition (doggonit! I just realized mine and Dave's are still in the freezer and we completely forgot about them!.... *facepalm*) and in the car Owen was cracking me up like crazy.  We were having a discussion about his style.  Not his fashion because as he puts it, he's not IN FASHION but he definitely has a style.  This is true.  He gives not one care about what other people think about what he wears and the stranger he can be the better. I love this about him. To his band concert he wore his suit and Dave's Tigger tie and he tried to wear a hat that's a little too small for his head these days, which I nixed... then we got there and there was a kid in a similar hat.  I felt kind of bad about nixing it but seriously, his hair is huge these days and it really didn't fit.  Poor kid, mom ruining all his fun. 

David is doing ok.  Yesterday he had the IV chemo treatment.  We were fully prepared to talk to the dr about how much longer he would be doing chemo and the dr said he didn't think it would be a good idea to make any big decisions right now.  Hmm.... good point.  I guess that's why he gets paid the big bucks.  He suggested that he wanted to "get dave through this treatment" and then talk about it next time.  He gave Dave extra saline and some steroids to help with the nausea and to help his appetite.  His INR level (blood thickness) was at 3.3.  EEK! Last time it was 1.8 and there was no med changes but we think it's because he hasn't been eating.  So they reduced that medication for the time being and we're basically just trying to get him through the week.  He's a lot more comfortable after getting that extra fluid and steroids.  His edema isn't as bad as it was although after being in the chair two days in a row... for the service and the chemo treatment... yeah, he's ready to be in bed for a few days!  Poor guy, he was so wiped out.  I hope things are status quo for him for a bit.  I don't know what I'd do if things go downhill quickly for him.  I mean I know Owen and I would be alright but it would just be a lot harder than it has to be.  Not that any of this is not hard but I think you know what I mean.

I'll be so happy to have a couple of quiet, uneventful days although this last week or so has probably been good that we've been busy.  Keeps us pre-occupied.  Although, the more bad things that happen the more grateful I get for the things that are good.  It's not really because I'm trying to find them, it's more like a survival instinct.  If I don't look for the silver lining I would go crazy with self-pity.  That's a road I can't afford to travel.  It's kind of amazing how easy it is to find peace right now, with just about everything.  Not EVERYTHING! I'm no superwoman, but I've gotten a lot more understanding and forgiving and patient.  I don't expect that to last forever.  HA!  In finding the good things I've had a few friends lately kind of come out of the woodwork.  Some I have talked to for years that I've come to appreciate more lately, some who I haven't talked to in years but have reconnected in unexpected and very welcome ways.  I appreciate all of it and I don't take any of it for granted.

One of the things that struck me about Jesse's service was the videos.  I found some videos I took of him and shared with my family and in the process I found videos that I forgot we had taken over the years. I started thinking how sad it is that we sometimes wait to share the silly moments or favorite pictures until after someone is gone.  It also made me realize that I don't want to wait until Dave passes to go through all the pictures on our computers to choose which ones I want to share at a funeral.  Why wait when we have time now to reminisce and choose the ones we love together.  Especially since Dave isn't exactly keen on new pictures right now, he doesn't want us to remember him like this in such a tangible way. So while we go through this process I thought I'd start occasionally sharing pictures or video so you can giggle with us.

This was from Valentine's Day weekend a few years ago when we went to a cabin in Camp Sherman.  Valentine's Day, Owen's birthday and President's Day long weekend all fall around the same time so we liked to take a trip when we could.  This year in particular the sledding was good but off to the left was a creek..... disaster almost ensued.  David was so proud of himself for that one.  Hahahaha