Showing posts from April, 2011

Hair Update

As I headed out the door this morning, it dawned on me that my hair might never be this long again so I set up the self-timer and snapped a few pictures of Rory and I.
And then the "after" picture. Camden has told me about 30 times since he got home that he really likes it the other way better. Such a lovely child. (picture courtesy of Camden)

Friday's Plans

I feel as if someone should have warned me that having two ports implanted in your body is more than a little painful. I guess my first clue should have been the fact that I had the full-fledged anesthesia treatment plus an overnight stay in the hospital, not to mention the fact that they sent me home with double the amount of pain medicine than last time, but I have been quite surprised at how much these things hurt! And now that I'm on the downhill side of it I can laugh at the fact that my first morning home, I woke up after sleeping straight through the night flat on my back to realize (a) my pain medicine had definitely worn off (b) I was seriously stiff from being in that one position all night, and that (c) I.could.not.move. So not kidding. I had to call Brian to help me get out of bed. Go ahead and laugh, but you try having two abdominal surgeries in less than a month plus a little work done on your shoulder and see if you can get out of bed by yourself. :)
Fortunately, I f…


The weather is just beautiful today (after DAYS of thunderstorms and tornado warnings) so Rory and I headed outside to sit while she ate her snack and we waited for Camden to get home from school.

Okay, seriously. Done with the pictures now.

A List

I think I could write a book on all my experiences in the hospital from the last month, but I'm fairly certain it would bore everyone to tears. However, I have put together a little list I'd like to call "Why I'm Convinced my Doctor Hates Me." (And I should totally note that is not Dr. W, who we love. This is Dr. F who is only responsible for my port surgery, thank heavens.)
Reason #1. She made me do a 48 hour fast before my surgery despite the fact that all the anesthesiologists and nurses said that a 12 hour fast is typical.
Reason #2. She wrote on both sides of my neck (totally visible in a t-shirt) as well as all over my abdomen in permanent marker. I have scrubbed several times, and it's not going anywhere.
Reason #3. She put me on a liquid-only diet after the surgery (I seriously shed a few tears when I heard this while I was waiting in recovery). My night nurse put a call in to the doctor on call and they couldn't figure out why she would have done th…

Tuesday's Tidbits

Today I'm having my port-a-catheter and IP port put in so I'll be spending the day and night at the hospital, but here are a few tidbits I wrote down so I can keep my regular blog schedule. :)
I finally downloaded a book and started reading on my iPad. While there is something to be said about having an actual book in my hand, there is also something to be said about having multiple books at my fingertips in one little toy.
Over the weekend Rory got in trouble right before lunch and we decided an appropriate punishment was to take away her Easter cookie that I'd already laid out for her. She was sobbing, of course, and Camden turned to us and asked if he could take her punishment for her so that she could still have a cookie. Yes, I cried. And, no, we didn't let him do it. We told him how sweet it was and kind of him to offer, but that we thought Rory probably wouldn't learn anything if we let him take her punishment.
My staples are gone, the industrial strength tape…

Early Morning Egg Hunts

So I mentioned that we did not get to have an egg hunt yesterday because of all the rain. We had told the kids that if they wanted to put their eggs away then we'd hide them for them today. Unfortunately, rain was in the forecast again so at 7:30 this morning Brian decided we better wake Camden up (Rory was already up, of course) and let them hunt eggs.
So at 7:30 with a very gray sky and a few raindrops already falling, the kids (and adults) still in their p.j.'s, we had an egg hunt. It was all over in a matter of 60 seconds or so which is why there are very few pictures. Anyone who can keep up with a 4 and 7 year old as they race around the yard picking up eggs is a photographic genius. And, clearly, I am not.

And the thunderstorm hit literally as we came inside the door.
Today is day #2 of fasting before my surgery to have my ports put in. And let me just say, that I am feeling cranky right about now. I think poor Brian and the kiddos should probably just stay out of my way be…

Happy Easter

Due to the lame mother who did not dye eggs with her children, there are no cute egg pictures. Due to a kill-joy mother who decided they already had a ton of candy and didn't need an Easter basket just for more candy, there are no Easter basket pictures. Due to the booming thunderstorms and flash floods surrounding us, there was no Easter egg hunt after church so no egg hunt pictures either. There are, however, these two quick pictures I snapped during a brief moment of sun this afternoon.
I feel as if I need to clarify I did not plan on matching outfits for Brian and I. :) My dress came first and then I liked this specific shirt and tie best. It just happened to perfectly coordinate with my dress.
The kid's outfits, however, match on purpose.
Despite the thunderstorms, we had a lovely service at church this morning, brunch with his parents and another couple, and then a not-so-quiet evening of a prednisone-charged Rory and Camden. :)

Children of God

I already love this band, but after watching this video, I love them even more. My smile got bigger as it went on. Make sure to watch it all the way through. :)

2011 Project 365, Week 15 & 16


When Brian gets ahold of the camera

(And, yes, this would be the child who was sick enough to be in the hospital yesterday. Clearly, those steroids are working!)

Playing Frisbee

It is entirely possible that the photographer got beaned with the frisbee while taking these pictures. :)

I managed (yet again) to not take pictures of the adults involved in this game of frisbee. I have got to do better at capturing the parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles in our life.

To Make You (and me) Smile

How about some happy photos?


Yesterday Brian and I spent a very long day meeting with the port doctor for a consult, the chemo nurse, and then pre-op stuff for next week when I have the port procedure. I should have known the day wasn't going to go especially well when we spent over 2 hours in the first doctor's office only to be told that I was going to have to stay in the hospital overnight and could not eat for TWO days prior to the surgery. Not expecting either of those things, and it deflated me pretty quickly.
We both perked up for lunch and had a blast with my friends. Okay, they're Brian's friends too because he's married to me, but they were my friends first. :)
(I won't mention any names, but some of these people were very excited at the prospect of appearing on the blog.)
We moved on from lunch to a meeting with the chemo nurse, and it's just too depressing to share. I honestly planned to give you all the gory details, but I'm sure I'll complain enough about them as I e…

Tuesday's Tidbits

Thursday before my doctor's appointment, all I could think about was what should I wear to see an oncologist. How stupid is that!

When Rory can't hear the TV, she asks me if I can "turn it up just a tap." 
Rory spent most of the morning yesterday playing outside by herself. She was hilarious to watch as she played school, gymnastics, baseball, etc. It was really funny when she went inside and put her Supergirl costume on over her clothes and then headed back outside to continue playing (see pictures below).
My mom headed home first thing this morning so this is my first day alone. We loved having her here and she was an enormous help, but I'm also glad for a couple of weeks of normal schedule before chemo starts.
While I was still in the hospital, Brian told the kids that I had cancer. Rory paused and said, "Well. This is serious. This is an emergency." Camden responded in a very sweet way and immediately referenced a Bible story that gave an example of …

Retail Therapy

Thanks to a couple of timely (and larger than usual) consignment checks, my mom, Becky, Elizabeth, and I had a girls day out Saturday. It was fabulous! We went to a shopping area about an hour away and shopped to our heart's content. Okay, actually we would have kept going except my pesky stamina kept getting in the way. I took several breaks throughout the day; we had a long lunch at Chuy's (which just might be my favorite new restaurant even if I couldn't eat some of the more tasty salsa and dips); and finished the day at Ivey Cakes (this shop catered Carrie Underwood's wedding and has been featured on Cupcake Wars if you care about that sort of thing). We bought cupcakes for the kids and ice cream for ourselves at Coldstone Creamery. Ice cream is my absolute favorite dessert, but because of all my stomach problems (a.k.a. cancer that we didn't know about), I haven't eaten it since my birthday in November. It was wonderful. :)
We've been getting so many lo…

Thank You Isn't Enough

People have been extraordinarily kind to our family in the last few weeks since my surgery. There hasn't been a day that I haven't received cards in the mail, phone calls, and emails with encouraging words. Many have sent money, gift cards, or gifts for Camden and Rory.
But yesterday topped it all. We received an enormous box from a group of my fellow adoptive parents who read my blog and have been friends through our journeys to adopt Camden and Rory. We have shared tears and triumphs through our adoption forum as well as our own personal blogs. Out of the 58 families who participated in this gift, I've only met two of them in person, but every single one of them has felt like a friend over the years. We are just overwhelmed with their generosity. There were gift cards for me, Willow Tree Angels, hair bows for Rory, bath stuff, books, a prayer shawl, and many, many other goodies, as well as a large check. The kids are just over the moon with excitement over their stickers…

Treatment Plan

I posted this status on Facebook, "Things went well this morning at the oncologists." Brian says I may have overstated it a bit, but the truth is things did go well. As has happened on all of my other major medical days, I have felt an unnatural calm that can only be explained by prayer. Dr. W is very pleased with my recovery, and has a plan for me. I will be having two ports installed (is that the right way to state it?): one in my abdomen and one in my clavicle in preparation for chemo treatments. I will have 5 months worth of treatment in 3 week cycles. Day 1 will be chemo in my clavicle, Day 2 and Day 8 will be chemo directly into my abdomen. The good news is that this kind of treatment plan has a higher cure rate. The bad news is that it's pretty brutal on the body. (This is where being young and healthy comes into play.) My first two treatments are tentatively scheduled for May 4 and 5.
Dr. W gave me an 80% chance of success with this treatment plan, which is a very…

First Outing

So today I had my first outing since surgery (March 30!). My mom, Rory, and I went to Kohl's and Sam's. We were gone for less than 3 hours, but it pretty much wiped me out. It was so good to put on real clothes (a.k.a. no workout pants) and see green leaves, flowers, and blue skies, not to mention retail stores. I realize that a hospital stay and cancer might not be a preferred weight loss plan, but it's pretty successful. I've lost 20 pounds since my doctor's visit 2 weeks ago, and it made my time the dressing room in Kohl's alot more fun today. I came away with shirts two sizes smaller than usual. :)
Tomorrow morning is my appointment with the oncologist to possibly remove my staples (which reminds me I really want to count these things before they're gone) and to talk about my treatment plan. I'd be lying if I said that there is not some fear in me about tomorrow. I've watched my sister go through cancer treatment, and it is obviously not fun. I&#…


On my first day home from the hospital, we took a little walk. Rory saw the dandelions and asked to stop and blow them. I had my camera, so I said yes. Okay, I would have said yes anyway, but definitely because I had the camera. :) It was really good to take pictures outside of the hospital!
And despite what it looks like, she was not posing - just somehow doing this scrunching up of her shoulders to blow.

2011 Project 365, Week 13 & 14

Thanks to Becky (and a few days where I just might have fudged on the date), I was able to stay on top of Project 365 over the last couple of weeks.

And a few pictures that didn't quite make it to the official P365 page.
Home sweet home for 8 days
With Becky
With Rory
With Camden
Our April family picture (why is hospital girl the only one standing?)
Family visit the night before I was released
And one last family picture (finally in "real" clothes), and I'm clearly feeling the effects of a full day as well as the effects of not being able to wash my hair for 8 days. Oh, I wish I were kidding.
And a quick self-portrait right before I checked out.
And I most definitely did not scrap this since I've been home, but never shared it from several weeks ago.