Monday, November 29, 2010

I hate cancer. I really do. That is one thing I can safely say that I truly hate. I hate knowing that it's in my son's body. I hate being helpless to defeat it. I feel crippled and weak. I can't do anything except watch, wait, and pray. Samuel throws up so much.... all the time. It hurts to watch. It sickens one to hear it. How do you function normally around it? It becomes a part of the new normal. I'm sure it would overwhelm people the first time... and maybe subsequent times but when it's your day in/day out reality.... well, you just learn to live with it.

I hate that he has to get shots every night. They burn him. The shot isn't so bad... it's the injection itself... it burns going in.

His eyelashes are almost completely gone. It looks semi-comical to see a random grouping of long eyelashes. Samuel had eyelashes women would weep over. Gorgeous, long black thick eyelashes. They are now almost non-existent. His eyebrows are fading out as well.

My Dad recently shaved his head which looks really good. His head looks much better.

My dear sweet boy suffers so much. I watch him cry. It sucks. It really does.

Here we are allowing his body to be injected with poison (chemo)... and we're just praying it will kill his cancer so that his cancer won't kill him. And then we're praying that the chemo won't kill him. And we're praying that it won't come back.... or won't transform into leukemia or some other cancer. What other recourse do we have?

I had always thought that if I got cancer I would go "raw" and do the hallelujah diet and live as healthfully as possible.

We can't even get our child to eat... period.

We can't do surgery. We'd have to remove almost all pelvic organs, etc. And this cancer is aggressive and would come back anyway. We have to kill it. And what does chemo do? It kills fast growing cells. And what is fast growing currently? The cancer. That's why though you lose your hair... fast growing cells.

Samuel goes to clinic again tomorrow. It's funny. I have yet to take Samuel to clinic myself. I've been with him in the hospital but only during inpatient stays. The clinic is outpatient. Mike has taken him time and again.

Michael has been coughing horribly lately. his breathing treatments aren't cutting it. So I'm taking him to the doctors. He's started tugging on his ear... my guess? Ear infection. He's very congested. Poor guy. They'll probably put him on an oral steroid or want to do a chest x-ray, etc. Fun, fun.

Well, Peter was up a lot last night. I'm exhausted. I'd better go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Slideshow of Peter

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Samuel's home. He went to the clinic today and all looks well. We'll all be together for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Mike finished taking Samuel to CHKD... dropped Samuel off at our friends and picked up Michael. Michael has an appt. with the neurologist today.

Peter's been doing great. Growing well. Eating and sleeping well for the most part. Looking forward to enjoying holiday time. It's so fun with small children. I love it!

Hoping to get our Christmas tree this week-end. I've decided to put special ornaments on the tree on my sister's birthday (Dec. 7th). I usually get our tree on her birthday but this way we can enjoy our tree longer.... and it takes the stress off on the 7th.... it allows me to be or do whatever I want that day.

It almost feels like a comedy routine the way the house gets clean and then becomes so dirty so fast. I've organized and cleaned my room multiple times but it always is a process. I know all you moms out there know what I'm talking about. Clean. Reclean. Repeat. Organize. Re-organize. Repeat. Clean diaper. Dirty Diaper. Change Diaper. Repeat.

Sometimes it's hard to feel like what i'm doing has value when I do the same things over and over again and nothing seems to be finished or done.

I went to a Mom's support group last night. It's for those who have children with cancer. It was an interesting experience. I wish I had been braver to speak up and ask questions. I just wasn't sure how the meeting was "run" so to speak. I finally asked a question 5 minutes before I had to leave and I got some great feedback. So maybe I'll go again but ask questions right away instead of waiting.

I'm tired. Been struggling with panic attacks again and trying to get a hold of myself. Life is overwhelming and sometimes I forget to breathe :) Time to rest....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This is a very special blanket. It was my dad's baby blanket. I love that all my children have been wrapped in their grandpa's blanket.


This was Libby's special Oxford Onesie from a dear friend's mom who was living in England at the time. It's a favorite.
Mommy's Little Pumpkin.
One little, two little, three little turtles.
Ian loves Peter so much.

Sweet Boy.
Libby is in love with her baby brother....she even said that she's glad he's not a girl!
Samuel was supposed to come home today... and of course, he's not. He will (supposedly) come home tomorrow. This might not seem like a big deal but it can be so hard and disappointing when you're counting on something and it doesn't happen... and you repeat that process OVER and OVER again.

Mike was really discouraged. So I packed up the kids and we all went to them. I think it was good for everybody's hearts.

I've had a really hard time watching Samuel deteriorate. I feel like I'm looking at a cancer patient and not my son. His face is bloated. His head is bald. He's losing his eyebrows and eyelashes. It literally sickens me. But then we'll have a moment where he will lean towards me and say, "I love you Mama." And I remember that it is Samuel. A changed Samuel. But still my boy.

Trying to manage the chaos. But I am blessed. I have had a lot of support and help even when Mike has been gone. I feel a lot better than I have been. I'm tired...of course :) BUT I am not in pain and feel more myself.

Peter has caught up with his weight! He gained 7 oz. in 7 days. The doctor is thrilled and I don't need to bring Peter back until his 2 months appointment.

I had all these deep and profound things to write and post about... but when it comes time to actually have a moment... it all slips away. So, there's a little update for now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mini post. Sbux closes in 5 min. No internet at home. Long story short. Doing well. Peter's doing great. Easy baby all in all. Very sweet. Great eater.

Samuels' been sick. His coloring is awful. Throwing up all the time. Supposed to have 5 day stay starting tomorrow at CHKD. Heart is breaking. Hate seeing him this way.

Please be praying for all of us. It is kind of crazy around here :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Going Home!

Hey, we're going home today. All of us. Magically we've been able to wean him off his IV,his blood sugars have stabilized. He's had his pictures today. He will get circumcised and then we'll go home. They've already written the discharge orders. I'm so excited. I can't wait to be home and for us to be all together! Happy Day! Thank you Jesus for answering my prayers!

Monday, November 08, 2010


Today was a day of ups and downs. I'm very tired. My pain has significantly increased. I feel irritable, moody, and emotional. I think my hormones are out of whack coupled with having surgery and the effects of anesthesia. Peter is still having blood sugar issues.

The hospital blessed us with a celebration meal at lunch. A delicious cheeseburger and fries and a piece of coconut cake- it was quite good. I was definitely happy that I got to see and hold Peter today. I actually was able to nurse him twice. Once at 5 and then again at 8. I am going to see him in an hour for his next feed. I'm so happy he's learning how to nurse. In addition, his heart murmur has disappeared. Yay!

I just wish Peter was in the room with me. It's really painful and uncomfortable walking all the way to the special care nursery. It's also a reminder of all my past experiences there with Samuel and then with the twins. I want to be thankful and rejoice knowing that this too will pass. This isn't a major issue (blood sugar). As much though as I try to reason with myself my heart still feels sad. I guess I thought with him being full term that things would be "normal" for us in some way. I'm disappointed because I don't think he will get to go home with us. I'm sure he won't be here for "very long" but it just adds another element to the mix. Who will care for the kids if Mike takes me to the hospital to see Peter? I can't drive for a while. I can't do any heavy lifting. I have a longer recovery time because of the c-section. And who will take care of Samuel and the other kids? Lots of questions. Life so often isn't convenient. And that's good for us because I think we're so used to the many conveniences of life. I think it helps us to turn to God.

So I'm turning to Him and leaving it in His hands. It's beyond my ability to take care of and definitely not in my power or control. I know He's not anxious about it... so I will cling to that.... He's got the whole world in His hands.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Dear Friends and Family,

Well last night they said they would send me home in the morning but after talking a while with the doctor in the a.m. she felt it would be best to go ahead and do a c-section. It was a wait to make sure all the morphine had worn off. They then put the monitors back on. I was contracting every 3 minutes and intensely... yet still no change in my cervix.

So... we went ahead with the section. It was a total success and I felt fine! Praise God!

Peter Joel arrived at 2:41 p.m. today on November 7th. He is 19.8 inches long and 9 lbs, 4 oz. He's absolutely beautiful.

I have yet to hold him because he needed to go to the special care nursery. His blood sugar level is low and he has a heart murmur. I'm not concerned but am excited to be able to hold him soon (I hope).

He has gorgeous dark hair, chubby cheeks, and a beautiful round face. he looks like a doll!

Resting now. Only got 3 hours of sleep last night. Hoping to catch up before I start caring for our new little man.

Thanks for your prayers!

Once again I find myself trying to sleep in a hospital. Surprise, surprise.

Having intense contractions again starting at 6 last night. I also felt like I was starting to leak fluid.

Went to the hospital to get checked out. Of course they saw my intense contractions but I am only 2-3 cm dilated and 60% effaced. Thankfully they offered me the option of pain management. So now I’m in bed writing. And I’m on morphine. What relief. The pain of these contractions is so real despite their lack of productivity.

I was again in the hospital last week from Monday to Tuesday. I had a good nurse and doctor and they validated the reality of my contractions. They even tried to let me “progress” on my own. I walked, squatted, did knee lifts, etc. to try to stimulate the contractions to become productive for two hours. Nothing.

Here’s the thing they can’t “help me along” by giving me potossin etc. It needs to happen naturally… and they won’t offer me a c-section until I’m 39 weeks. So for now I’m scheduled to have a c-section on the 15th. Still hoping to go before hand… but we’ll see.

Samuel and I both have doctor appointments on Monday. I see my OB on Tuesday.

I’ve been struggling with myself lately. I keep coming to grips with the fact that I’m a created being and NOT the creator. On top of that coming to terms with my humanness and sinfulness. I am weak. I need sleep. I am not self-sufficient or independent. I need help. My body hurts. My heart aches even worse than my body. I’ve been anxious to meet this new little person. I’ve been struggling with the thoughts of “when will this ever happen?”

I’m concerned about Samuel. When will he get his feeding tube put in? He really needs it. He threw up the night before several times. We had our dear friend Alexis over and she helped him during the night. I felt so bad I didn’t even know about it. I was so exhausted I slept through it all.

A dear man passed away this week. He had been battling brain cancer for the past 16 months. I was able to attend the memorial service and was blessed by the testimony of his life. But I’m still sad. Not for him. He’s in glory with our Savior. With his son. With my sister. He’s seeing the Savior face to face. But it’s for those who are here on this side of death. Those who will live without him. I know they’re glad he’s no longer suffering… but I know it doesn’t mean their hearts don’t break.

And there’s a part of me in the back of my mind that thinks, “Dear God, please don’t let the next funeral be Samuel’s.” It’s not something I dwell on but it is something that comes up in my mind. I recognize that it’s a potential reality. I also know though that I would despair if I when down that train of thought too often.

People often tell me what a wonderful testimony we’re going to have through all of this. But what if the testimony is of Mike and I enduring our son having cancer… and then dying? What if it’s about how we have to live without him? I’m glad people believe that Samuel will be healed. I want to believe that too. Yet, I also know that God’s goodness is not based on healing Samuel. It’s not based on what I want to happen. I know God will be glorified but will it be in Samuel’s life??? Or Samuel’s death???

I’m sure these thoughts seem morbid. At five thirty in the morning, drugged up on morphine and exhausted from contractions I think I’m just being honest.

If I knew that God would heal Samuel and that things were going to be okay there would be no room for me to have to trust God. I’m believing in Him in spite of not knowing the outcome. I know God loves Samuel more than I do. I know God will receive the glory in this. But that’s where the faith part comes in. I have to cling to Jesus and trust Him with all the unknowns. I have to believe that He really knows what is best.

So enough of my tired rambling. My parents are home with the kids. My precious husband is sleeping and because of his exhaustion snoring beside me. My little Peter is moving inside me. And Jesus is encouraging me, sustaining me, and comforting me.

I’m too tired to hold on… so I know He’s holding me.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Waiting Game.

In case you've been wondering what's going on or where I've been I have two words: No Internet. Not having access to internet when you're on "bedrest" really stinks. So, enough said I will try to update you.

Samuel and I are still playing flip-flop hospital visits with Mike. Poor guy.

I'm having a lot of contractions but nothing productive... yet :)

I'm 37 weeks (as of yesterday). It's great to be full-term. Last Monday I had an ultrasound appointment. The technician had a really clear view and "accurate" measurements. It looks like Peter was 8 lbs, 13 oz. So, surprise, surprise... a big baby boy. We'll see how accurate it is when he's born.

I'll be honest... trying to attempt a VBAC doesn't sound like a great option to me if he's over 10 pounds. So, I'm thinking this week or forget it... I'll go c-section. I don't want my uterus to rupture... I don't want a broken pelvic bone. I don't want a baby stuck... he's got a pretty big head...

Libby can't wait to meet Peter. She talks about it all the time.I can't wait too. I'm really actually excited to go into real labor and "do this thing".

Libby's birthday party was a total success last week-end. We also celebrated on Sunday with all our family the next night. Samuel was home!

That night I went into heavy contractions. Again, every 2 minutes. They gave me an IV and pain meds and then sent me home at 4:30 in the morning. We then got up a couple of hours later to go to my doctor's appt. I've caught up on sleep for the most part but Mike really hasn't. He needs a week of sleep to recover from the past 3 months.

I was in the hospital a few nights ago. I felt a tear and thought it might have been my placenta. I stopped feeling Peter move and got nervous. So we went in to get monitored. 5 hours later... back home. Peter was looking great but they didn't like my contractions. Come on? Are we really surprised by these contractions. Okay, at least I'm not.

So, last night we had a low-key party. Burned some wood and trash and enjoyed hotdogs with family and a few friends. It was a great evening full of yummy food, good conversation, and the warmth of fellowship.

Libby was dressed as Ariel. Michael was a lion. Samuel was Luke Skywalker. Ian was a fighter pilot in a flight suit. They were so cute and had a blast and way, way, too much candy.

Samuel was supposed to be admitted Friday for a two day stay at CHKD. His counts were too low to do chemo. Sad, his counts were low but happy to have a full week-end as a family. It was wonderful! Just to be home and then out together. We had a friends birthday party on Saturday. The kids had so much fun. A bounce house. Hot dogs and plenty of cake. They cried when it was time to go. We all went to church yesterday. It was again so great to be together.

So, now we wait. I'll laugh if we can't get this baby to come out :) You try so hard to keep him inside and then when it's "time" to go he doesn't want to budge :)

Well, I have a doctors appointment today. We'll see what's happening...