Friday, December 1, 2017

Christmas is Here...

Well. Shit. The second I said November was flying by, it stopped and moved at a snail's pace. I guess that is what I get for being all vocal about such a thing! Anywho. We made it. December is here. My kids are beaming because of Elf on the Shelf and we officially get the show on the road around here. I usually don't decorate until then, but our new neighborhood is blowing up with some lights and inflatable Christmas characters. I mean, the day after Thanksgiving followed with decorated stop signs all done by volunteers in the neighborhood. I LOVE IT! Anyways, my kid looked at me like I had a third eye with my delayed decorating rule. The inflatable turkey came down and the inflatable Santa came up (Shout out to Sarah and Amy for gifting these things to us). I am not a spirited decorator by any means for holidays. Don't get me wrong. I like a really pretty set up, but the whole house does not turn into a winter wonderland. Fast forward to my children. They are made with elves blood. They want to sit on candy cane chairs and insert a jolly bit of cheer to every square inch of this house. Some of my teacher friends share this spirit and understand my predicament. So, they always add to my collection to hold my children over with glee and spirit. I am trying to please their needs, but I guess their spirit counterparts can see I need help. Ahhh.....what friends are for!

EG has absolutely nailed this last phase of meds. And I don't like to use the word chemo. I don't know why. I almost don't want to give them my attention and it is such a packed word, with so much story behind it. So, around here we say meds. Whatever helps, right?! She is starting her next phase on Monday and I have come to a good place to get it on the road. No more panicking..no more assuming the worst. The nurses just hold my hand and say take it one day at a time. I have a doctor on call 24/7 and I will just monitor a fever, which is what we have to look out for. Then we go from there. We can handle this. She has not had any issues this far (big ones by any means), so I will hold tight to that bit of glorious news and march into this with a spirit of confidence. My friends and family are in this with us and I feel like we can make the home stretch of this treatment, get to maintenance and then get into a settled routine that starts to look like a little normalcy!

I suppose that is it around here. I am feeling pretty stretched thin with EVERYONE (except me of course!) having a cold, including Jeff who had it the worst. I am drained down. So, he scheduled me a message for the morning to get my kink out of my neck. Rub hard sister friend. Rub hard!

I am finding the sunshine these days in spurts and my Lordy, it is good to see her again.

Until Next Time

-Jenn


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Keep a Truckin' November...

November, November, November...you are flying by and I LOVE it. I normally am a "enjoy the ride" kind of gal, but damn...go, go, go days. With every day, we get a little closer to finishing these phases of treatment. We are almost done with our 3rd phase and then we have 2 more before we start maintenance, which is where things s.l.o.w down and we get EG back in school. Then we do that until October 11, 2019. That is when we finish up and put this journey behind us. Well. Not that easily and simply, but you know what I mean. The treatments and chemo, etc.

On November 30th (if her numbers keep up) we started delayed Intensification, which is going to be where we hit up the steroids again for 7 day pulses. Nobody is excited about that raising its ugly head again. However, opposed to 30 days straight, we do 7 day pulses, two times over 4 weeks. So, hopefully, all the nasty side effects won't join us. I have heard it is short enough to hold them off and I praying that is the case for EG. Plus, just a hodge podge of other meds. So, I have decided to take it as we come and she has proven my medicine fear wrong all this time, so we will keep that going. :) Smile...blink...breath.....repeat:)

Jessica. Girl. That boy Ryder is exploding with his language. His teachers are even saying that is literally talking for all his friends at school. Just hooking everyone up. Ha. He is the old man of the group, so he is just showing his muscles, I guess. My happy heart loves it so much because I would never thought I could trust another person to watch him, but I have. I LOVE that he has found a loving spot and I see him feel safe, loved, and having SO much fun. He needs this and I need to be able to focus on my gal pal, so I will forever be thankful for this little spot! On that note, we will have some closure to his case in January. Let's all hope justice prevails. And I will leave it at that;)

You guys and gals have a good day and don't work too hard! Enjoy the sunshine and do it early because if you too long, that sky will be dark and cold. Not ok.

Until Next Time

- Jenn

Monday, November 6, 2017

I Promised to Come Back...

Hi all. Well. I just reread that last entry and I poured my heart out on the screen, which is almost nice. I got to see such a vulnerable state I was in. Just a bad day. A sad day. However, as I went to bed I told Jeff that there is only one way to go and that is up. And sure enough, my swollen eyeballs came back down, my makeup was put back on the next morning, and this girl has come back to the bright side of things. I silenced all my mom groups that I had been added to and I peek in when I feel like it, on my own terms. That control is nice.

My conclusion in all this is that I literally thrive with a day by day philosophy and I have a hard time feeling too down when my girl is walking me to a local joint to eat lunch, shopping for winter clothes for her brothers, playing connect 4 on the couch and low and behold watching her play soccer with her brother and daddy. I mean. What else can I ask of her while on some added chemo every ten days? Her numbers are "As beautiful as Ellie", which is what her doctor said last week. So, today I choose to celebrate the good parts. I know there are days to be sad, which is part of being human, but I realized after every one of "those days", I am a wee bit stronger. A tiny, little bit.

SOOOOO, there is my better day post. I knew I had to because I feel more centered with a little of every emotion! Let's change the subject...please!!?! My middle son is busy at being five. He just wrapped up soccer and has picked karate. He is always punching pillows and flying through the air to roll, so I decided to channel his actions. My baby boy loves chapel and they all ride on the little buggy that holds six kids at a time. Oh my Lordy, it is precious. But, he is loving school and asks to go, go, go every morning. My sweety is settling into his new job and even made his bonus on this first round, which he was SURE he would not. I think that helped him feel like his hard work may seem trudging along as he learns the biz, but he will come out on the other side with a smile on his face and a love for what he does. The art of a challenge as a career is suiting him well:) I, on the other hand, have something up my sleeve for next year, but I am not going there just yet. We have a few mountains to climb with treatment and I want to focus on that first, but options are there!

OK guys. How are you? Are you still there? Give me a shout out so I can see life on this blog. I love to see you guys on the other side! Find the sunshine today and take a deep breath, and focus on the now. It is working for me and hopefully it will for you too!

Until Next Time-

Jenn

Friday, November 3, 2017

Spiraling...

Hey guys. I am not going to lie. I am down today, completely overwhelmed and really just trying to keep it together. I feel like my cancer mom world in crashing down on me. I have people from all over the realm of this process reaching out and being SO kind to offer programs and support groups and, and, and. I woke up today to a full inbox of moms from all walks of cancer life welcoming me to a group and it is SO nice. I really appreciate the willingness of these strangers to connect and offer any advice and comfort in a heartbeat. But, I am thinking that I don't move this fast. I am an observer by nature. I watch and listen to new worlds that I am thrown into. Well. Apparently going head first is a trigger for me to freak the @beep@ out. I am spiraling, worrying about relapse, not getting a healthy enough diet in her, long term effects. I mean, I can't even get a focal point on my freak out.

I have got to put my phone down and step away from the support. I hate this more that anything on this Earth. I HATE it. Not the support, but the fact that we are here. Sometimes I get a sudden shock in my stomach that my first born, who has been my healthiest of all my kids, was hit. I almost feel in denial, and this is like the flu that will eventually go away. And, I am in full belief that it will, but do I wake up every day wondering if it will hit again?

And this is where I tell myself, in a very stern voice, that I can't live this way. what a waste of time and energy. I could also think this about a car wreck, really. I don't do that. I mean, the PTSD kicks my ass in a big way. So, for now I know those brave and strong cancer moms are out there with open arms, but I can't right now. Maybe never dive in to be a discussion with so much going on. I need to regain my focus on my situation, my baby girl, my family and figure out how to do that. I have caught myself have more better days than bad (which is a good step for me!), so this is just the process. But, I know a trigger is to get ahead of myself. I know this and have to know where my boundaries lie. God help me.

On a totally different note, Ryder had his yearly MRI and check up with Dr. Weprin. He is doing great. He has an arachnoid cyst, which he says in small and is like a birthmark. I know they lie in bigger heads and most people only find them with  an MRI for something else. Anyways, he is doing AWESOME. SO, that is wonderful news and much needed. Ha. My life makes me roll my eyes and wonder who I pissed off. If you are reading this, "I am sorry. Very, very sorry."

Well, for those of you that are checking in, thank you. I am making it a goal to write on a better day to brag about who well Ellie is doing and what a brave and strong girl I have on my hands. But, for today, I will cry and feel sad. Let it get out of my soul. It is the process, from which I know and it too shall pass. I will find some sunshine today because...I need to.:)

Until Next Time

-Jenn

Friday, September 15, 2017

Blink...Just Blink...

I am spying on Ellie and her homebound teacher, so I figured I would sit at the bar and be busy on the computer. I have paid some bills, contacted the hospital for some questions to be answered, answered emails and now...I blog. I told myself I wasn't going to write on this thing again until I had the good news that I could scream from the mountain top. I realize I backed myself into a corner here, leaving my blog on the edge of demise. HOWEVER, I have a gambling heart and rolled the dice and now I get to announce that my baby is in REMISSION! 

I know...so fast. They came in hard and fast and wiped it gone. Out of there. Took it down. I was SO nervous to answer the phone, but the doctor had a light voice and quickly told me he had good news. WHew. As mad I am at God for presenting this challenge to us, I am equally thankful for the quick works on her body. I don't know. My religion and faith is challenged right now, so I tell my friends to pray doubly hard to cover me until I can unfold my thoughts on it all. Anyways, back on topic. SO, many people have asked if she is a go and ready to resume normal life. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy. We have to continue to surge on and follow the "recipe" that has been proven to prevent this coming back 94% in her lifetime. So, of course we continue to tackle this beast. She is now in 4 or 8 week cycles on different rounds of meds. There is one 8 week cycle that I am worried about because it sounds rough, but it isn't until a few months, so I will deal with that on another day. But, we are hoping by March that she will be back at school and we can see her being a kid again. It's the little things isn't it?

On a different note, N loves school. Like LOVES school. He thrives on treasure chests and candies for being good. He comes home every day talking of Hersey Kisses and we joke if there is an insulin kit in the treasure chest. R is making my heart sing with his success by loving his Mother's Day Out. That has been a mountain I have prepped myself on for many months and by golly, the boy likes it. He goes to chapel every day and they said he told the teacher what a Bible was. Yes, my heart is a puddle. 

So, life moves on as we know it. I have some sort of view on where we are going, which is good for me. I look forward to the weather cooling down. Someone find the sunshine...anyone and tell it hello for me:)

- Jenn

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Here we go Again...

So that scare. That one that had me weak in the knees. It unfolded fast and we were not out of the woods. My baby girl was diagnosed the very next day with Luekemia. What the hell? She was light headed. I thought she looked a little pale and she had had a virus within 3 weeks of each other. So, she was showing signs of not feeling well. But, I had iron in my mind. Maybe a weird piece of mono. But, never in my mind did I expect her to be the .0065% of the nation to be in the cancer club. Man. I really can't even go into the details for my days like I did for Ryder yet. But, what I can say is that it has been a constant rollercoaster of hope and a then the valleys hit. The crying and feeling dead inside. I have turned a corner of being more at peace about things as we get a grip on things and see the tests and blood work respond beautifully to the meds. I don't want that to sound easy. The bloating, weak muscles, sadness, confusion, yucky feeling, and overall anger of this hitting my eight year old is almost too much for me. The fact that I have sworn to walk side by side with this angel is my leading force to get out of bed each morning. If she can, I can. Plus, sweet Nolan is again the child shuffled around and now Ryder. Man. Was I a bad person in another life? Did I hurt someone big? So yeah. I still am in the confusion phase and that is ok. Because I am eating again, showering on the reg, putting on make-up with some sort of routine. I hug and encourage my kids, I try to make time to talk to Jeff when I don't feel like sharing. But, since this isn't my first rodeo of a life event of terror. I know my tendencies of closing people off...and I am trying hard to not do it with such depth. My friends are chomping at the bit to help and it overwhelms me and I don't know what help means right now. But, what a lucky person to have a squad, tribe, and cheering section  waiting patiently at my side.

For now, Ellie and I am going to chop off this hair. Mine is wild and hers is falling out and we are all just annoyed with the strands tickling us as they catch on us. We are all at peace about it and so we will  get a cute trim to help take some weight off her blonde baby head.

We are waiting on a call from the office to determine remission, and Labor Day weekend has labs running s.l.o.w....ugh. Stay tuned. Forget you sun...I am in no mood for you right now.😐

Until next time.
-Jenn

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Holy Mother of ....

Ok...let's play a game. Imagine a brick wall. Maybe even a double lined, red brick wall. With a lot of cement slathered on between each brick. Man. A very fit girl ( girl can dream, right?) is trying her best to get the grip at the top of this wall and not slip slowly back down. As I imagine we all are. Just grab the damn brick on top...do it. Stupid wind comes and takes her down a notch. Ok. Do you have the visual in your head? Well. That wall is life and the person is me (so deep huh?) and the wind is life's surprises that show up every now and again and make your head spin. I had started another blog entry this morning but had a big gust of wind sweep through today and so, here I am with that side of things. My oldest had a health scare today. We are not out of the woods, but things are looking up. I don't know if it is my PTSD kicking in, but I do NOT handle those winds very well. I called Jeff to come home and he is like on his second day of kick starting his sales job. Ugh. But, I literally go weak and sling shot my brain ten steps down the road of the worst case scenerario. Ok, I need real talk here. Do you guys do this? Am I screwed up for life because I had a really awful, freak situation happen in my life and now I have to go back to that space when something happens unexpected? I HATE it about myself. And I try to be kind to my myself on these types of issues, but word to your mamma...it ain't good. Sweating, pacing, trying desperately to not speed up my breathing because then kicks in the anxiety attack. I mean bad, y'all. Where are you at here? Just me or you with me on some level. I need a gauge because I may need to seek out my "calm down Dr. friend" to work on my copping skills. So, moral of the story. I am whipped emotionally and I want to improve this about myself. Thanks for hearing me out and chiming in on how you cope with fast and sometimes scary news. Hint, hint:)

So, can we change the subject, please? My cute teacher friend, Ginger, texted me today and she stumbled across this blog! Say what?!I love it and even though my summer writing has dwindled, I couldn't love that more. Hey girl. Those precious babies keeping you busy over there?! I appreciate you reading this silly thing:)

Also, I need to catch you guys up on my surprise girls trip and my cute house that we FINALLY got moved in to. We have really put some time into creating a happy and simple space and I must say, I am feeling it. My friend Schubert keeps telling me that it is so me and I take that as such a compliment because my vision is coming to life. Jeff is throwing in his vision too, but somehow I keep winning that battle! Ha, poor man is stuck with me. Love you, honey.

But Soon, these happy little things will come out on here and hopefully with pictures.

Alright folks. Man, I need the sunshine to calm myself after a trying day, however this outlet has helped. You people are a bright spot and I love you for being here, even when I take time off to tend to children and move. Whew. Blog besties unite! Love.

Until next time.
-Jenn