Sunday, March 27, 2011

Having Fun With My Grandson!

Some more pictures!  The top 2 are Charlie, and the bottom is Brennan (he LOVES playing in the laundry basket!)
Brennan is still with us.  He went to his other grandparents' house again this weekend, and we got him back after church.  He didn't look too excited to see me at first (but he wasn't sad either), but after church he walked up to me and hugged my legs and when I picked him up I got more hugs!  I'm convinced there isn't a sweeter boy on this planet!  He's also very blessed to have 2 sets of grandparents that love him to pieces and spoil him!  In the carseat on the way home he was "talking" to himself and giggling.  We ate lunch and then it was nap time. He has been going down for his naps and bedtime really well.  He used to fuss a bit at first, but now he just lays right down and smiles at me.  I'm getting strong "mom" arms again from carrying him.  The other day my arms were sore because I was holding him upside down (he loves that!) and he wanted to do it over and over!   Grandpa is having fun playing with him after work, and he gets hugs too!
Rachel and Ken will be home late Wed. night.  They will come over Thurs. morning to get Brennan.  It'll be interesting to see his reaction.  I think they will get lots of hugs!  He might be a little mad at them later though, you just never know how kids react--I've heard lots of different stories from people.  We have been skyping every day with Rachel and Ken, and I think that has been a good thing for Brennan.
Next Friday (April 1st) will be 1 year since I found out that I did have breast cancer.  I will have some tests done April 14th and then I should be declared cancer free, or NED (No Evidence of Disease).  I don't think I will be able to say "cured" though. I'm actually not sure of all the details on that--at what point I can say cured.  I thought my onc said at the beginning of the breast cancer that we can cure it at this stage (2b), but that might have been before we knew it was 2b.  I'll have to ask him, but I don't see him for a long time.  Maybe my nurses will know.  I'll ask when I get my next Herceptin infusion (April 6th).
I believe I am cured though. God has given me such peace about all of this. I haven't been nervous AT ALL for any of my tests, or anytime I have to go to the cancer center.  That is something only God could do, because I used to get nauseated every time I went, and tests would make me nervous about what they might find.  I'm always amazed at how freeing being a believer is.  With Jesus, I have the Truth, and it has set me free! (John 8:32)  I don't need to fear anything, because God is with me always!  I am still human, though, and imperfect, so there may be times when fear creeps up on me.  If that happens I will get out my Bible and read God's promises to me!
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  Isaiah 41:10
Have a great week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Daughter Meets Her Son

The top picture is of Rachel earlier today when she went to the orphanage and got to hold her son for the first time.  It is such a beautiful picture, I just had to share it.  The other 2 pictures are of Brennan this past week--wearing Grandpa's sunglasses, and sitting in his little chair after his bath this morning.
We have been able to skype with Rachel almost everyday.  The first 2 times were a little confusing for Brennan and made him sad, but now he smiles, waves "hi" and goes off and plays.  Brennan is at his other grandparents' house now for the weekend.  He loves them too, and loves to be over there.  At first he was a little shy around his other grandpa, and clung to me, but then he got a better look at him (he was busy putting in the carseat) and was happy to go with him.  I was so relieved!  I worry about Brennan so much, being away from his mommy and daddy, so I was very glad to see him laughing in the carseat, ready to go!  He has been keeping me busy this week!  I will miss him, but enjoy a little R & R.
Rachel and Ken got to sight-see in the capitol city for a few days, and then they took an overnight train to the town where the orphanage is.  They spent some time with Charlie (they have pretty much settled on that name), holding him and playing with him.  He is 3.5 years old, but only about as tall as Brennan, and much thinner.  Rachel said he and Ken started playing a little game that Charlie picked up on very quickly.  I think in the right environment he will learn very quickly. They will be over there another week or so, then come home for about 10 days and go back.  When they go back they will finally be able to bring Charlie home!
Tonight Rich and I are going out to dinner and we have a little shopping to do this weekend.  Like I said, I'll be resting a lot and taking it easy too.  I had my Herceptin infusion on Wed., and that always makes me a little more tired.  I really just want to sleep in--I've been setting my alarm to get up before Brennan--no alarm tomorrow!
I've been sort of frustrated with how tired I've been lately, even before Brennan got here.  I want to get into a routine of exercising and see if that helps, but with Brennan here I don't have the time.  I'm not getting up any earlier, and by the time he goes to sleep I am way too tired!  If it ever really warms up (and stays warm for more than a day!), I can take Brennan out in the stroller.  Alyssa and Jaren took him out a few days ago; he likes getting outside. 
Well, I really don't have much else to say! 
Please pray for Rachel and Ken's safety, and keep Charlie in your prayers too.  I'm praying this whole adoption process goes really smoothly and quickly! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Darling Baby B

I suppose I shouldn't call him "Baby B" anymore--he is a toddler now!  But I think he'll always be Baby B to me :)
Brennan came to stay with us yesterday (Sunday, March 13th).  Rich drove Rachel and Ken to the airport about 11:30 am.  Rachel left pretty quickly, to avoid crying--although I don't think that worked too well!  She said that she said goodbye to Brennan earlier that morning.  I know I was having a hard time not crying when she left!  Partly sympathy, partly the fact that I will miss her too!
She and Ken made it to Munich yesterday (or early this morning?), then they have a 10 hour (!) layover before flying to UKnown country ( ;) ).  They will arrive sometime tonight. Wed. is their court date, and, if all goes as planned, they can take the overnight train to the town where the orphanage is on Thurs., and meet their little boy on Friday.  They hope to be back home in 2 weeks.
Brennan was all smiles and silliness this morning at breakfast.  After playing for awhile, he started getting a little tired and went to the gate (at the top of the stairs) and whined a little.  He was wanting his mommy to come get him and take him home :( .  To distract him, we (my mom and I) got him ready and took him to the store!  I needed to go to the post office, and mom wanted some yarn from Michael's.  He was pretty happy in the car seat, chattering and laughing, and he behaved very well in the store.  He is an experienced shopper!  Rachel rarely stays home a full day with him.  She is always running somewhere!  When we came back it was time for lunch and nap.  He is such a good boy!  Please pray that everything will go quickly for Rachel and Ken--no delays!  God can make this work for them!
I think we'll do some coloring this afternoon, and maybe play-dough.  Tomorrow I might take him to the library for family storytime.  The only problem is it starts near his lunchtime.  I can give him a snack before we go though.  It all depends on what time he wakes up in the morning, and how well he sleeps.  It won't be much fun if he's tired, hungry, and crabby!
I have another Herceptin infusion on Wed.  Ken's sister is going to take him that morning for me.  She is a teacher and is on Spring break this week--perfect timing!  Then on Friday Ken's dad will pick Brennan up after work and they will keep him for the weekend.  It'll be a nice break, but I'm sure I'll miss him!
I am doing well!  Still tired a lot, which is frustrating for me.  I'm sleeping ok, so I feel like I shouldn't be so tired.  I might try to do the treadmill in a bit, while B is napping.  Maybe some exercise will wake me up!
Love and blessings!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Scans and Babies

Well, I said I'd write more after I saw my onc., and I didn't!  Hmmm.  We discussed my clear CT, and some odd little things that showed up on there--my ureters (the tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the bladder) look dilated (bigger).  There doesn't appear to be any blockage, so we'll keep an eye on it.  I have had some bladder issues since my colon surgery, but nothing too major.  I remember the surgeon telling me after the surgery that he had a kidney specialist come in and look at things and everything seemed to be working ok.  I'm not real clear on why he needed the kidney doc to come in though.
Anyways...the MUGA showed more improvement on the heart function.  It's up to 61% now (59 last time and 51 at the lowest point).  The blood pressure med I'm on seems to be working!  My potassium is good--not too high like it was before.  I still have to be careful about getting too much, so I still am not drinking orange juice.  I have an occasional clementine or tangerine though. 
Not much else to say about that.  I don't need to see the onc for 3 months, and I'll have another MUGA at that time.  I will continue to get the Herceptin infusions every 3 weeks.  My neuropathy has improved quite a bit, but is still there and holding steady right now.  My left shoulder ( surgery side) still hurts, but I try to move it and stretch it daily.  I might eventually have to have physical therapy for it.
I'm still working on some "female" issues from radiation, and a cyst in my ovary that is causing some discomfort (not pain though).  I have another ultrasound in a few weeks for that.  Might eventually have an oophorectomy (ovaries removed), but I'm not to keen on another surgery, so we'll see!
I have been tired again the past week.  Hoping I'll get over this soon!  I haven't been exercising because I've been pretty busy.  Seems I'm always running somewhere, or babysitting Brennan (which I love!).
Well, speaking of Brennan--starting Sunday, he'll be here for about 2 and a half weeks!  Rachel and Ken got the date to go over to the country they are adopting from (don't know if I'm allowed to say the country's name on here yet--the country doesn't want people thinking they don't take care of their orphans!).  They have a meeting there on Wed., 3/16, and will hopefully get to meet their little boy (she thinks she's going to name him Charlie) on Friday.  Then they'll have another court-type meeting about 2 weeks after the first one, and then they can come home for about 10 days before going back over to get Charlie.  Ken will be staying home and working, and Rachel will be going back hopefully with Shonna to help her.  Then, I think it'll be about 2 weeks more before they can actually leave with Charlie.  I guess to get better details you should just read Rachel's blog--the link to her blog "Love is Sugar Free" is on the side of my page---->
We are very excited, and a little nervous to have Brennan here for so long.  He's going to miss his parents (he already clings to Rachel when she tries to leave him at the nursery at church!), but he's so young, I think it won't affect him too much.  He had his first sleepover here the weekend before last, and he did great.  Ken's parents are going to take him on the weekends, and there are others that will help during the week too, to give me a little break. My mom is here to help too--thank God!  She can watch him while I take my shower in the morning!
There is so much swirling through my head right now!  Shonna is home on break until Friday, and that is keeping me busy!  All of us girls are going to lunch today--Rachel (and Brennan--our only boy!), Alyssa, Shonna, Mom, Dee, and I. 
I'm still doing the Beth Moore Breaking Free Bible study on Thursday mornings and I love it!  The study is SUPER good, and I am learning and growing in God.  I also love the fellowship of the women.  I need to find a way to make that continue after the study is over.
This study has helped me realize what things I need to just give over to God.  You know you hear from a lot of cancer patients that they learn who is there for them and who is not when going through something like this.  That is true for me as well.  I know who my friends are, and what family members I can count on.  There are those I haven't heard from since my diagnoses.  That bothered Rich and I for awhile, and especially the ones who don't even acknowledge my kids--heard nothing for graduation or a wedding!  I've come to realize that I just need to give it over to God--not hold a grudge, not want to treat them like they've treated me.  I choose to ignore their behavior.  I will treat them with kindness, and continue to pray for them.  I have God--what can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6).
Well, going to lunch in an hour--better go get ready!  I actually have enough hair that I have to put a little shaping cream in it to help control it a bit!  Maybe I'll post a pic soon!
Love and blessings!!