Friday, March 23, 2012

Welcome to Spring!

It's been a week since I've written?  This week has been so strange.  March 20th was the first day of spring but the 21st and 22nd were SNOW DAYS!  We got about 7 inches of snow on the valley floor, a record for this late in the year.  Owen started spring break 2 days early and he already didn't have school on friday due to budget cuts so it looks like he gets an almost 2 week spring break!  Lucky guy!  Boy are we glad the non-slip stuff is on the ramp now with all this icey/snowy yuck.

Last Saturday I snuck out for a bit to go to a baby shower for little Gabriella.  I'm so ridiculously in love with her.  I have some pretty amazing nieces on Dave's side but this one is the first on my side and I'm so happy we've had time to bond with her a bit as she grows.  She's 12 weeks old and already turning over and is learning to balance herself and sit on her own.  When I got home I had a little fender bender in the cul de sac with someone visiting our neighbor.  OOPS!  I'm not entirely sure who was at fault but the insurance companies are figuring it out.  The damage wasn't bad and I got a quick estimate and it sounds like it will be less than our deductible to fix.  Honestly if it weren't a newish car I don't think I'd even bother but since it's a 2011 I would like the bumper repainted.  Otherwise they could buff off the paint the other car left on the bumper and we'd have a couple black scratches and it wouldn't cost us anything.  I'm being a little persnickety but if it's something fixable I'd just rather fix it. 

Sunday my mom's family celebrated Nana's (85th) birthday with a traditional german dinner at Nana's house.  Sauerbraten, kartoffelkloesse, cucumbers in sour cream...  and brussel sprouts?  I suppose brussel sprouts are german but I never thought of them that way before now. (I need that recipe, Aunt Kathy.  It was so good!)  The whole gang came over for dessert and brought us left overs.  We ate dessert first because as we all know, life's too short! Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (black forest cake)  It was good to see everyone and to meet my cousin's new b/f.  After everyone else left, my brother and his family stayed a little bit longer and David got to hold Gabriella.  He doesn't like to do that much because his hands are still weak but she sat on his lap looking out, leaning against his body so all he had to do was stabilize her.  It lifts his spirits.  I was bopping her around the room and she got fussy so I handed her to Owen who was sitting on the couch. He said, "She doesn't want me to hold her!" and she immediately stopped fussing and smiled at him.  HAHAHA!  He's got the magic touch whether he likes it or not.

David is doing really well.  We've reduced his meds as directed by the dr and so far no side effects to speak of so that's really good.  He's still got the rash on his face, presumably from the chemo but we're not really sure.  It's not too bad but it's noticeable. He's been working more with the computer but says that sometimes his right arm just doesn't do what he wants it to do. His motor skills are lacking and his strength in that hand is really weak.  He's still moving it pretty well and almost "normal" seeming but he's frustrated by the lack of control. Even though it's progress it's still a step back in his mind.  The occupational therapist didn't come out this week due to snow but will be back before he goes to chemo next thursday.

I talked to the Neurologist's nurse today.  For now we're looking at scheduling an appointment with him in a month and for there to be an MRI around that same time to determine what the tumor is doing.  Unless something changes in the next month in which case they'll re-evaluate when/if to scan.  That's just a what-if though and not the path we're all hoping to follow. 

Today David got out of bed and helped me make lunch as best he could.  We've always cooked together but he has always had an uncanny ability to be right where I want to go in the kitchen so him helping while in the wheelchair has some advantages... he's never in the way and if he's in my way it's my own fault because I put him there!  Although I would be happy to have him in my way if that meant he could maneuver himself around.  He's tried propelling himself in the chair and can really only go backwards since it's a pulling motion instead of pushing.  I imagine that would be hard to navigate while going backwards.

After lunch the nurse came to visit, it's the first time our regular nurse has seen him out of bed and she was excited!  After she left we sat down with Owen and watched The Matrix.  First time!  It's fun watching those movies with him that are just kind of pop culture so that he actually gets the references.  I REALLY want to show him Forrest Gump but I'm thinking he won't sit through it.  We're always trying to think of older movies to show him.

This week has been a lot of paperwork and trying to get organized and playing phone tag with social security and long term disability and car insurance and and and... it's probably not really that much stuff over the course of a week but on top of the already even work load it just feels like a lot.  It's a little overwhelming sometimes but thankfully right as I'm about to lose it someone always steps in to help.  Blessings.

I talked with the dad of one of Owen's friends (at the grocery store, the cereal aisle is best place to have intimate conversations about cancer) who just got done with sarcoma treatments.  He said it was mostly just him and his wife dealing with things and all their friends kind of split because they didn't know what to say or what to do or how to act around them.  It makes us grateful beyond words for the friends and family who check in on us and just let us know they are thinking about us and offering to help and praying for us.  Thank you everyone for all the love and good thoughts, the blessings, adding David to the temple prayer rolls and other various prayer lists, the novenas, the weebles, and wrens.  Even his oncologist said a nice prayer before the last chemo session.  We don't believe that all the positive energy hasn't made a difference.  The dr's and nurses have told us over and over that it's miraculous how well he's doing.  A full fledged miracle is too much for us to get our hopes up about, but it doesn't mean we're not open to the possibility.

September 1978:
"In September David started Kindergarten... I was called to be a teacher in Primary class.  Part of Primary is Sharing Time, when the kids are still together, before being dismissed into their classes.  Barbara Cromar presented a Sharing Time lesson on the creation -- how Jesus Christ under the direction of Heavenly Father had created the world, planets, sun, stars, etc. She said that the earth had trees and flowers, but the moon did not.  She then asked, "How is the moon different from the earth?" --I could see a couple of pictures of trees and plants she was holding.  David responded, "The moon has no atmosphere and no gravity."  Barb's jaw dropped with surprise.  Who would expect such an answer from a five-year-old?"

This story really cracks me up.  His mother always says that David has told me all his stories but she shared this one with me a couple years ago and she was tickled that she finally remembered something that he hadn't already told me!  I'm sure Dave is thrilled that I'm sharing these. Oh he knows.  He's actually kind of amused by how amused I am.... actually that sums up a lot about our relationship.  He's is often entertained by how easily amused I am.

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