Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Sweet Lincoln

My sweet Lincoln turned 3 on the 14th of July.  The 17th marked six months since he was diagnosed with Leukemia.  I like to imagine what his Birthday will be like next year.  I’m expecting things to be so much better.  We’ll be able to go to the park or go swimming and be out in public without having to worry so much about germs.  We won’t be in the hospital.  Thoughts of an easier future are what I hang onto.

The boys, myself and my dad arrived arrived in North Carolina late at night on Sunday the 8th.  We unpacked for two days and then Lincoln was admitted to his new Hospital on the 11th.  We were there over his Birthday and all things considered it turned out pretty well.  The childlife staff was great and when they found out he’d be there on his Birthday they helped us throw him a party complete with balloons, Elmo cake, decorations and presents.  He really had a good time, and it was a nice distraction from the long, boring hospital days.   P1040707 (1280x961)P1040700 (1280x961)

Sawyer has learned how to ride the IV pole too and thinks it’s pretty sweet.

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Look at my Dad in these pictures.  It makes me laugh so hard.  He was pretty awesome that week.  He helped me drive to North Carolina and then extended his plane ticket to watch Sawyer while I was in the hospital with Lincoln.  Thanks Dad.  You really did rise to the occasion.  We were really impressed.P1040729 (1280x1087)P1040732 (1280x1064)P1040737 (1280x961)P1040751 (1280x961)P1040750 (1280x961)P1040754 (961x1280)P1040758 (961x1280)P1040761 (961x1280)P1040766 (961x1280)P1040772 (1280x961)P1040770 (961x1280)P1040777 (1280x961)

Tanner is the other dermatology resident who started with Ryan this year.  He and his wife Meghan came to Lincoln’s party.  We plan on becoming good friends with these two.P1040778 (1280x961)

Other Random Thoughts

New house.  Love it!  It’s so big and spacious and new compared to anything else we’ve ever lived in.  I’m itching to decorate and will surely blog it once I do.

New neighborhood.  Fabulous.  I feel like I’m living in the Truman Show neighborhood.  All the yards and lots are big, green and well kept.  There is a neighborhood pool a block away.  The side walks don’t have huge, gaping cracks like in Pittsburgh.  Everything is new and fresh and I love how it makes me feel. 

Jogging.  Greenville is very flat…and ironically I miss the hills of Pittsburgh when I jog.  They gave variety and challenge to my run.  But more than the hills I miss my jogging partner Jessica.

New Hospital.  The staff is really nice, but the facility doesn’t hold a candle to UPMC.  The hospital rooms are probably a third the size, and the playrooms even close to as nice.  But the most frustrating thing if the playrooms are only open 4 hours a day.  In Pittsburgh they were open 24/7.  With small rooms and limited playroom hours they days can get really long. 

People in Greenville.  They are so friendly.  They wave and smile and hold the door open for eachother.  They have the most charming southern accents and part of me really hopes to adopt one by the time I leave. 

Overall I feel really good about Greenville, North Carolina and think we’ll be just fine here.

Goodbye UMPC Childrens

When I first moved to Pittsburgh and drove past UPMC children’s hospital for the first time and I thought it was the coolest looking hospital I’d ever seen.  It stands majestically at the top of Penn Ave clothed with bright, happy colors and  impressive architecture.
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One year later I went inside with Lincoln first time to have his hydrocele removed.  Never did I dream that six months later we would begin a journey that would have us inside it’s walls so often.  You all know how I feel about the quality of of the people that work there and the of the facility itself.  In a word, outstanding.  So you can imagine how hard it was to say goodbye.   When your baby – the person in the world you cherish more than anything -  faces a life threatening illness, you feel totally powerless.  And so you turn his precious little body and life over to a medical team and have nothing but the faith and hope of your whole heart that they and God will heal him.   Lincoln’s doctors, nurses, and volunteers have been nothing short of ministering angels in that effort.  And they did a darn good job.  And I’m so sad to leave them.  Here are just a two of our many incredible nurses and his wonderful Doctor, Meredith Chuck.  Too all the RN’s, PCT’s, housekeeping staff, doctors, volunteers, and Child life specialists of UPMC – Thank you.  You will forever be remembered and appreciated as long as I live.IMG_8078 (1027x1280)IMG_8079 (956x1280)IMG_8097 (853x1280)

Independence Day

This year on the fourth of July Sawyer was in Detroit with his cousins, Ryan was in NC moving us into our new house, and I thought Lincoln and I were going to be in the hospital watching fireworks from our 9th floor window.  Lincoln’s counts ended up being too low to receive treatment, so we stayed with some awesome friends and enjoyed the fourth with our family away from family.  So many of our friends gathered and Barbequed and then did fireworks at the baseball park in our neighborhood.  I ended up leaving Pittsburgh the following day because Lincoln’s counts were still to low to be admitted and I’m glad I got to hang out with all my amazing friends one last time before I left.  I can’t express how much they mean to me and how grateful I will forever be for all there support and help the past six months.  This blog and this blog did a better job documenting the 4th festivities.  I had my bad camera and only room on my memory card for a couple pics.  God bless America.  Yay for sparklers and street fireworks.  IMG_8086 (960x1280)IMG_8088 (853x1280)IMG_8092 (1280x853)IMG_8094 (1280x853)IMG_8096 (1280x851)

Sawyer’s Vacation without Me

In-between the two family weddings I flew home to be in the hospital with Lincoln and my amazing family watched Sawyer.  He got a lot of quality time with his aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins and from the looks of it I think he enjoyed himself.  Thanks so much for watching him family, and thanks for taking pictures!IMG_8401 (1280x853)IMG_8407 (853x1280)IMG_8420 (853x1280)IMG_8441 (1280x853)DSC_0335 (1280x851)DSC_0336 (1280x851)DSC_0340 (1280x851)DSC_0341 (1280x851)DSC_0349 (1280x851)DSC_0473 (851x1280)DSC_0481 (851x1280)DSC_0488 (1280x851)DSC_0495 (1280x851)DSC_0493 (1280x851)DSC_0499 (851x1280)
IMG_8456 (1280x853)IMG_8463 (1280x853)IMG_8458 (1280x853)I sure did miss you little man.  Glad you’re back!

June Happenings

June 2012 could not have been busier – 90 percent was occupied with flying back and forth to Utah for weddings, spending weeks at the hospital, and packing my house.  The other 10 percent consisted of a few noteworthy events.   We went to a Pirates game with Ryan’s parents.  Or at least tried to go.  Lincoln hated it and so we ended up leaving within an hour of arriving because he was so mad.  Somehow me and the boys were the only ones who got photographed.P1040676 (1280x961)P1040678 (1280x915)P1040681 (961x1280)P1040685 (1280x961)P1040694 (1280x961)

Ryan concluded his fellowship and was recognized at a graduation dinner. His boss Dr. Ferris was so awesome to work for. She was incredibly flexible with his schedule and understanding when he had to take time off to be with Lincoln. We will miss her and I am so grateful to have had her as Ryan’s employer.   He really enjoyed working with her and learned a lot over the past year that will make transitioning to residency that much easier.P1040605 (1280x961)P1040600 (1280x961)P1040607 (1280x961)P1040621 (1280x961)P1040625 (961x1280)

It was Grandpa Martin’s first time to Pittsburgh, so we of course had to take him up the Pittsburgh Incline.  It was so great having Ryan’s parents here helping.  I wish I’d taken more pictures of the boys with them.  I have awesome in-laws.P1040653 (1280x961)P1040650 (1280x961)P1040655 (1280x961)P1040664 (961x1280)P1040670 (1280x961)P1040672 (1280x961)