Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy 30 to Me! Feeling Good.

I had a wonderful 30th Birthday.  It started off Saturday night when my sister Ali called me and told me to check my email because she had a surprise for me.  At first I thought she bought a plane ticket to come visit me.  She said that wasn’t it.  Then I opened my email and saw that it was a video from Lisa and so I thought Lisa was pregnant.  Ha, Ha!!  That wasn’t it either.

It was a video of 60 plus family and friends singing happy birthday to me.  I was a little confused at first and thought they might have made the video back in August at a family reunion, but I quickly realized that it had been taken just moments before.  They were at a “Light The Night” event in Utah.  They were all wearing matching T-shirts and buttons with Lincoln's face and holding signs saying “Team Lincoln”.  I was so touched.

The event is held all over the country and raises money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research.  It honors those who are struggling with blood cancer as well as survivors and those who have lost their lives.  The night involves a dinner and ceremony and 1.5 mile walk in which everyone carries illuminated balloons.  I had no idea they were doing it!   There was also a very large donation made from “Team Lincoln”.    Once again I was overcome by love and support.  It’s been over nine months now since Lincoln was diagnosed and I am amazed that people are still thinking of us and showing so much love.  Here’s a video my sister Ali put together of the event.  Lincoln Loves it.  He’s watched it at least 15 times in the past 24 hours.  He loves reading the signs, seeing his family and pictures of himself, and looking at all the “balloons for mommy’s birthday”. :)

My Dad and Ali got some serious face time on the news too!  Their words and thoughts were very sweet.  It was very special to watch.  Click here to see. 

Then about 20 minutes later I got a call from my sister Wendy who told me to check my email again because there was another surprise.  I did and found a video of her and her little family in downtown Washington DC at the “Light The Night”!   It was so sweet of her and Harley too schlep their three little boys all the way downtown late at night to show us support.  Amazing.  Here’s the video she sent me. 

The next day was my actual Birthday and it was great.  We had my cake and opened presents at 8 am because the boys couldn’t wait and I didn’t want to listen to them beg all day.  P1050573 (1280x961)Ryan made a delicious dinner and surprised me with a cool new painting for our wall. The whole family went to church together for the first time in months. The boys made me cards. Ryan cleaned the house. Facebook beamed me lots of love from friends old and new. What more could I ask for? P1050591 (993x1280)P1050575 (895x1280)P1050578 (905x1280)

So here’s what 30 looks like at 15 weeks pregnant.  Thanks everyone for making my day amazing :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Delayed Intensification Almost Over & Spelling Obsession

We’re almost done with Phase 4 of Lincoln’s treatment.  It will end on October 24th, less than 2 weeks from now.  Hallelujah.  Although the first half was hands down so much worse than the second, the back half hasn’t been a walk in the park either.  The second half has involved back to back spinal taps only a week apart, several fevers that have had me wondering if I should take him into the hospital, and two weeks of Ryan and I giving him chemo through his port at home.  In Pittsburgh they had home care nurses who came to the house and gave him his port chemo but we don’t have that luxury here in Greenville. I was giving him his chemo but then got a big lecture from the doc.  Since I’m pregnant I am not to handle any of it. Even wearing gloves. So now we leave it to Ryan which I prefer anyway.
Lincoln really does a surprisingly good job of leaving his tube, port and bandages alone when he’s accessed for days at a time.  Occasionally he’ll pull at his band aids a bit or ask to take his tubes out, but overall he’s awesome at ignoring them.  Lincoln’s spirits are up (except when he’s feverish….which has been about half the time) and his appetite is normal (or if anything down) which makes things so much better than the first half of this phase.  Plus I feel about a hundred times better too now that I’m out of my first trimester. 
Maintenance Phase is scheduled to start on Halloween day, but Ryan and I are expecting about a 3 week delay before his blood counts are high enough for him to start based on his history.  Maintenance phase will last until June 2015.  It will involve monthly chemo through his port, a daily pill that he must take on a stomach that’s been empty for two hours, monthly spinal taps that eventually turn into tri-monthly spinal taps, and steroids every 29 days for 5 days at a time.  That last part kills me.  There are a few other random drugs he’ll get here and there, but that’s the gist of it.  It will be nice to get into a routine and know what our next 2.5 years will be like.

P1050553 (833x1280)

P1050554 (1117x1280)P1050545 (961x1280)P1050552 (961x1280)
On a different note, I want to document his intellectual progress solely for the purpose of journaling as this blog is my only journal right now.  My intention is not to brag, just to remember. 
Lincoln is obsessed with all things spelling and words.  He loves them.  Here are some of the phrases he can spell right now at 3 years and 3 months.  Most of them are the “super story answers” in his favorite show “SuperWhy”.  It usually goes something like this.
Lincoln:  “Mom, you want to spell (Insert phrase)?”                                                                                   Mom:  “Yes.  Please spell it for me”.
Then Lincoln spells out the whole phrase with no breaks between words.  Some of these phrases include,  Enjoy the Game.  Prove it. Be Yourself. Take Turns. Follow the Directions. Save Water. Trick or Treat. Clean up.
Some of the other bigger words he loves to spell right now.  Spaceship, Halloween, Elephant, machine, alphabet, surprise, good night, pajamas.  Confession. About once a week he asks me how to spell words I can’t spell that I should be able to.  His favorite book to read is Dr. Suess’s ABC’s.  It’s a tongue twisting Book that goes through the alphabet using alliteration and silly sentences for ever letter.  He can read every word.  Although it is partly from memorization. 
His favorite joke is to spell something that starts with a K with a C to be fun.  For example, spelling "Key -Cey"  He thinks it's hilarious  
Love you Lincoln.  Kind of worried about how bored you’ll be in Kindergarten.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Big News–Baby Number 3

That’s right.  In early April Sawyer will be a Best Big Bro too and it’s pretty exciting.  I’m 13 weeks and starting to feel a little bit better, but I will say the past two months I have felt horrible.  I’m glad I’m getting this in writing because I always forget how awful it is.  Ryan tries to remind me but I don’t believe him.  Mommy amnesia at it’s best. 

I don’t know that I’ve felt that much worse than I did with my other pregnancies, I think it was just so awful because of everything else horrible that was the past two months in addition to the pregnancy sickness.  I can honestly say it was in so many ways the hardest, most challenging time of my life.  Having a sick child is miserable.  Especially when he’s on steroids having crazy tantrums and you’re spoon feeding him the same nauseating foods every hour for days, and up all night when you’re exhausted.  It was bad.  Really, really bad.  A big thank you to the amazing friends who helped me through.  Friends who I’d only known for a few weeks in most cases.  I can’t tell you what you mean to me and how grateful I am for your kindness and love.

Ryan tried to warn me and wanted to wait to try to get pregnant until Lincoln was in maintenance phase, but the crazy inside me thought I could do it and it wouldn’t be that bad…..and what if it took us years or 5 miscarriages to have success?  And I hated that Lincoln’s sickness was controlling our family planning.  I didn’t want it to take away from the potential big, close in age family I wanted.  In retrospect would I have waited…?  Ask me in a few years when mommy amnesia sets in :)   All I can say is right now things are so much better because Lincoln and I both feel better – so now we can be happy.  And these two definitely are.P1050443 (1280x1068)P1050449 (971x1280)P1050447 (927x1280)

P1050451 (830x1280)

In other news, Lincoln has had 3 weeks of delays now in his treatment and goes in tomorrow to see if his blood counts are high enough to start the second half of Phase 4.   I hope it is.  I want to get him into maintenance.  It’s right around the corner.  If his counts are up and he’s able to start they’ll slam him with a bunch of chemo and a spinal tap on Wednesday and then lots of pills and chemo for 28 days and then maintenance.  I’m gearing up mentally and physically.  I really hate it.  It’s so hard seeing him feel so good and normal and knowing that it has to end with another round of chemo.  But, I try and remember how much worse it could be.  How he hasn’t relapsed.  How he’s doing well.  How I have incredible support.  How what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.  How Heavenly Father guides and directs all things, and so no matter what happens it will be okay.