Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bring on the Weekend!

We use the term "weekend" sparingly in our house. We don't have a typical weekend, so the term just doesn't seem to fit most of the time. Hubby works Tuesday through Saturday, so his weekend doesn't really start until Saturday at 6pm. Now that I'm back at school 'full time', and working two days a week I'm not sure I'm actually going to be getting a weekend at all. I've decided that this week, I'm taking a weekend whether I can or not.

It's been a long week, for no particular reason. I started school on Wednesday, and love it already! My college roommate used to tease me that I would be a student forever because I kept adding to my major... I'm starting to think she was right. Wednesday morning was painful though, my brain did not want to shift into school mode. It was lobbying for the season premier of Hawaii 5-0 that was sitting on the DVR. We won't discuss the outcome of that one...

The Munchkin is amazing and a pain in the butt all at the same time. He's learning like you wouldn't believe. His vocabulary astounds me, who knew he'd be a chatter-box? * Yeah, yeah, takes after his mother, I hear all of you laughing at that one.* He decides to tell you something, and repeats that one word over and over and oooover until he has heard the response he was looking for. He will say hi, hi, hi, hi, hi....until you say hi back, unless of course this particular time he was hoping for a 'hello'. Oh my sanity.

As of yesterday he can stand up without using the furniture. He's been a full time walker for a while now, but couldn't figure out how to just stand up without pulling up on something. Looks like I'm going to have to get back in shape, I have a feeling I'm going to be chasing him around quite a bit. Speaking of getting in shape, I have a lot of work to do. Our amazing gym has been hips are protesting again.

Maybe next post we'll make a plan. Any ideas for a gym plan for me? Something that won't kill my weak joints?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

So Much Has Happened.

I haven't forgotten about the two or three of you that read what I write. It's just that life got busy, and hard. So many great thing have happened, so I'm going to focus on that.

My father in law had a 10 pound, size-of-a-basketball (!) tumor removed from his abdomen. It used to be a kidney, but no longer functioned as one. He had all sorts of radiation on his brain and other various parts of his body as tumors sprouted. He started Chemo, and has gone through two rounds. He's still here. Chemo was a bust, so now he's moving onto more 'natural' therapies. While I am a believer in all things medicine, I am going to choose to believe in this too. If it helps, even just a little, then I am on board.

The Munchkin is great.He's 14 months old! He walks, he talks, he keeps me on my toes. He started talking at about 10 months. His first word? Pretty. We call the dog "Pretty Girl" when she's good, and he picked up on it. Since then he's been adding to his vocabulary daily. He says peese (please) and tant you (thank you), impressing everyone with how polite he is. He's sleeping like a champ and eats like a monster.

I'm good too. I've been back to work since May, and am so glad to have adults to talk to. I'm going back to school starting on Monday. That's a little scary. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Counseling, which amounts to a pile of peanuts. I'm taking a year out to get my license so I can practice while The Munchkin and his future (NOT PREGNANT) brother or sister are little. When they are in school I will eventually go back and get my Master's Degree. For now a little practice of my own will be just perfect.

Hubby is doing great too. Working his butt of the keep our cupboards full of chips and chocolate.

So I guess starting on Monday I will have a normal schedule again for the first time since... 2009? The Munchkin will be in daycare 4 days a week, so I'll try to post at least once a promises though :P

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What now?

I got a call that he was ready to come home! My mother in law and I headed to the hospital to get him all packed up. The Dr. was coming by at some point to discuss the results with us, so we sat around for what seemed like hours with packed bags in our laps.

When he finally arrived he was surprised to learn that my father in law knew nothing about the surgery. He told him what the rest of us had known for a week, and then proceeded to share the rest of the results.

There was a 'sizable' tumor on his kidney that they believe is the source of the cancer. There are also a number of other smaller tumors spread throughout his body. The have contacted the Canadian Cancer Society, who will in turn contact him within the month to make an appointment with an oncologist. More waiting.

It was nice to finally go home. I dropped them off and took the Munchkin home for the first time in weeks. Hubby came home from work, we had dinner as a family, and for an evening everything felt normal.

The next day, in the early hours of the morning my cell phone rang and woke us all up. It was my mother in law. He had another seizure, this one lasting a very long time. The ambulance was on it's way, she needed someone to meet her at the hospital.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Results

The surgery wasn't long, so we didn't have too long to wait for the results. The Munchkin was at my parents house with Grandma so he didn't have to spend another day in the hospital. I left every few hours to feed him and give him a little snuggle. As soon as I left the hospital the surgeon came out with the results.

It is a tumor.

It is cancer.

And we thought that was the bad news.

The surgery was a success! The entire tumor was removed, and there were no complications. That was the only good news. The surgeon explained that the tumor didn't originate in the brain. It had developed in some other part of the body and traveled to the brain. There is a good possibility that there are other tumors throughout the body and brain. Before heading back into the OR he promised that we'd be able to see him in about 20 minutes or so.

By the time I got back 20 minutes had passed and everyone was anxious to see him. We waited for an hour, and then another, and another. Finally my Mother in Law was losing her mind and charged up to his room to demand answers from the nursing staff. I followed her up there and tried to keep things from escalating. The nurses knew nothing, as he wasn't in their care at the moment. One nurse saw the anxiety pouring from my MIL and decided to call down to recovery to see what was happening. Another patient was having complications so no one was being allowed in or out at the moment. That was a relief. We were told that someone would be out to get us as soon as he was allowed to have visitors.

A couple more hours pass, and it's time for me to go home to put the Munchkin to bed. I ask Hubby to pass on my love, and give me a call when it's time to pick them up. Moments after I arrive at my parents house I get a text from Hubby, they are getting in to see him now. The nurse came out to find them and wonders why they hadn't come in yet. "You could have seen him a looong time ago!" she says. I'm pretty sure someone had to restrain my MIL at that point. We joked a few days later that I should have just kept leaving, things would have happened sooner.

He was doing really well by the time everyone got to see him. Alert, joking around, and happy to see everyone. The Dr. had told him the results of the surgery, but he didn't even remember the conversation. MIL decided that no one was allowed to tell him, she wanted him to hear it from the Dr. That would have been great had the Dr. not gone home for the night. His next day in the hospital wasn't until later that week. Instead we spent the rest of the week pretending not to know anything either.

The rest of the week was filled with various scans and tests to search for the origin of the cancer. He assumed the tests were routine and didn't question their purpose. Everyone but my mother in law and I had to go back home to work, so the Munchkin and I stayed with her. There was nothing to do but wait again, so we waited and visited until the surgeon returned at the end of the week with the results from the barrage of tests.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Event Continued

The next day we waited around the hospital more or less all day waiting for the transfer to happen. We were told it would be happening within the hour, so we all piled into the room next to my father in law's bed to wait with him. 5 hours, a closed highway and a flat tire later the transfer ambulance arrived to take him away.

My family lives about 45 away from us, which happened to be 2 minutes away from the hospital the surgery was being performed at. My parents are amazing and let 5 of us (plus the Munchkin) stay there while Grandad was in the hospital. We had no idea how long we were going to have to stay, as there was still no surgery date. In the mean time he was stuck in another over-crowded emergency room until a bed opened up somewhere else in the hospital. The surgeon came and met with the group of us and explained the surgery and all possible outcomes. He was hoping to fit him in one evening over the weekend, but it was likely he wouldn't get in until mid-week. At this point we still had no idea what was actually in his brain causing the seizures. The surgeon suggested an abscess, a cyst, or a tumor either benine or malignant. He wouldn't know anything until they we in the OR. We spent the weekend focusing on the best possible outcome, cancer was not an option.

Finally on Monday the surgery was scheduled. When we got to the hospital that morning there was a little X drawn just above his temple where the surgeon planned to start.

Now, I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but our family is a little bit nutty most of the time, and these series of events proved to be no exception. When it was time for him to go into surgery we were all over the hospital. My mother in law had gone down to his old room to get something or ask one of the many questions she would ask that day. The rest of us were waiting outside of the room where he was being prepped, waiting for her and for him to be wheeled past so we could give him a little love before the surgery. It was time for him to go in, and she still wasn't back yet. This is where we get our crazy on. He had to be taken to the OR, and there was another waiting area we were supposed to be in, but MIL would have no idea where to go, and tends to panic easily. As he was wheeled through different doorways and turned down various hallways one of us would break off from the group to act as a marker for MIL. By the time we got to the waiting area there were just two of us left. The remainder of our little entourage was spread throughout one entire wing of the hospital. The three of us left gave him hugs and waved as he was taken into surgery.

Shortly after the rest of the family caught up and we sat to wait. Thus began the great iPhone Scrabble marathon of 2001.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Event

It's hard to write about something that is so personal, yet not fully your story to tell.

It's been more than three months since it all began. On the evening of January 11th, 2011 my Father in Law drove home from work feeling tired and more drained that usual. He arrived at home, stepped out of the car closing the door behind him, and had a seizure. He remained standing throughout the seizure, which I can only imagine felt like forever. The ambulance was called and he was rushed to the hospital. Hubby and I were called and made our way to the hospital as soon as we could. He was taken for an MRI to look at his brain where he had the second seizure. They weren't able to get a very good look, but we were told that there was
'something' there. The Munchkin and I headed home so he could go to bed, while Hubby stayed with his mother and Sister. The third seizure happened in the early hours of the morning before they were finally able to get them under control with medication.

It took another MRI and a number of doctors before they were able to come to the conclusion that there was definitely 'something' there, but that they wouldn't know what it was until he could get into surgery. He was placed on a list to be transferred to another hospital more equipped to deal with brain surgery, and we waited.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

So much has happened...

I don't even know where to begin.

Things are going great in our house. I'm headed back to work next month for 2 days a week. The Munchkin will be in daycare, but I'm not anxious about it at all. Hubby's aunt has a daycare in her house and will be taking extra special care of my little monster.

He's nine months old now, almost nine and a half! I don't even know where all that time went. As a mom you hear those comments from other moms all the time and think, "Ha! some days feel like an eternity, there's no way time is going to fly by", but it does.

I have so many stories to tell! A dozen or so posts that I've been writing in my head for the past couple of months. The most important one being the hardest of course. It's a long story, so I'll try to get it up in a few shorter posts over the next few days. Then hopefully we can all get back to our normal ranting and boasting about our lives :P