Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Swimming Lessons

As usual, we did swimming lessons this year.

Tea is now in the big pool and actually learning strokes, etc.  She's totally getting the hang of it!

Crackers is still in the little pool and still does not like to put his head under water, but he'll get there.

Birthday Party

Because the kids' birthdays are close together and right now, all of Crackers' friends are Tea's friends, we usually have a joint birthday party for them in the summer.  This year, we borrowed a friend's water slide, set up the bounce house and had ice cream sundaes.  It was lots of fun!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Only the Shadow knows

Yes, we have added a new member to our family.

Her name is Shadow (I know, unique!)  We got her when she was just at 6 weeks old and didn't even weigh 2 pounds.  She is now almost 9 weeks old and goes to the vet for shots on Sunday, August 1st, so we'll see what she weighs then.  Gabe is not too sure about her and they tussle now and again.  The kids adore her and she is a welcome addition to our family.  Finally, the girls and the boys are even again in the house!

Update on Bubba

First off, here is a link to mom and dad's blog, Comings and Goings.  This is their way of keeping everyone up to date in one fell swoop.

There has been a change in the chemo plan, which means no PICC line for Bubba.  It does mean about 2.5 hours once a week getting IV chemo (every Wednesday - starting today) but it appears to work better on the type and stage of cancer that Bubba has.

Yesterday, he had his last radiation simulation before starting radiation therapy today.  The radiation doc doesn't like to do tattoos for the markings on the outside, so they put a big old X in three spots and cover them with a clear "sticker."  Mom and I had the bright idea to let my kids color on Bubba before his appointment on Tuesday.

Here is the end result.

Tea writing "don't hurt Bubba"

Crackers drawing a happy face

The end result.  You can see Tea's happy face under his left side marker.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Plan of Attack

So, here is the plan of attack against the big C for Bubba.

Last Tuesday, he had the gold markers placed outside of the tumor, in order to triangulate the radiation beams.  He starts the radiation therapy on Wednesday next week in the morning and then will go every weekday after that in the afternoon.

On Tuesday, he will get his PICC line put in for the 4 day course of chemotherapy.

Wednesday, after radiation, he will go to the oncologist to do the IV course of chemo, and the 4 day course will start then, too.  That will all get repeated in about 4 weeks.

So, that's the plan - prayers and good thoughts are always appreciated.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our yard in Progress

If you are on Facebook, you know that Rollie has been working his tushie off in our yard.  At the end of May, we had our driveway widened and replaced our brick walkways with stamped and colored concrete.

To do this, Rollie had to dig out the garden that was there and we decided to completely revamp it.  We have since added day lillies next to the fence by the driveway and a beautiful metal sunflower.  I will get a picture tomorrow and add it to this post.  Enjoy!

Between the street and the huge tree

All of the irises went in here

You can see the wider driveway and part of the walk.
The yucca between the tree and the walk.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Remember when I said life was complicated?

Well, it truly is.

My dad (Bubba to most of us) was diagnosed with esophageal cancer mid-June of this year. He had been losing weight, having trouble swallowing, not eating much, and just generally feeling poopy.

The big C explains all of that! The tumor is right where the esophagus and the stomach meet, at the cardia. It is starting to poke all the way through and into the abdominal cavity.

So, Bubba has been having test after test after test and meeting with doctor after doctor after doctor. Today, he had a PET scan to see if the cancer has spread. He met with the radiologist last week to get the plan of attack.

He will have 5 - 6 weeks of radiation therapy, Monday through Friday, with some low dose chemo thrown in there for good measure. The chemo is two different medicines. One goes in IV on the first day of radiation and then again 4 weeks later. The other one gets a PICC line on the first day of radiation and stays for four days, then comes out. Lather, rinse and repeat 4 weeks later.

I didn't write the names of the chemo down, that's mom's area of expertise. I am just here to support them both and do what ever they need me to do. And to cry. You know, I am the emotional one (truly, I am, it is not news to anyone that has known me for more than three days).

The radiologist last week told my parents that they caught it early and that Bubba has an excellent attitude. The way Bubba sees it, if mom can beat cancer twice (breast and bladder, both primaries) he can do it once. And I do believe he will.

So, I have now decided that I no longer enjoy the month of June, even if it is my birthday month. Mom's first diagnosis came in June, Bubba's came in June, my grandfather died in June and we had the service on my birthday, and my grandmother died in June. I think that I shall skip it from now on! That way, I won't get any older!

Anyway, enough of the pity party. The outlook is good, the attitude is good and we shall fight the good fight. We always welcome good thoughts and prayers and I will do my best to keep this blog updated as Bubba goes through his treatment.

Much love to all.