It's my 'emotional time' so be prepared for "Sonja's feelings" near the end of this.
1. Took the boys to JJ's Playzone and they got to enjoy a little over 2 hours of the best fun they'd ever had. It's a great little playplace for kids newborn-6 years old. And it's close to home! I finally found the perfect place for the perfect balance between 'mom time' and 'loving to watch my boys play'.
2. Richard started his day with blood tests and a line flush. He's all good to start Chemo on Monday.
3. Richard had his dental appointment too. They were able to temporarily fix him with a filling that hopefully will not have to be a root canal!!!
4. Took my car to Jen's neighbor Reagan to take a look at. He drove it, jacked it up, took off the wheel, fixed/tightened the rotor, and fixed/tightened the brake caliper. It's already sounding way better. But it seems there's probably a problem with the steering rack and/or the alignment. Yessiree, I did a number on Little Blue. So, I'm going to keep on drivin' Big Blue. And, as Reagan suggested, will take it to OK Tire and have them assess the damage.
5. BIG BIG thank you to Reagan!!! Kandis and Jen, I know you'll pass that thank you onto him!!
6. My dad came for a visit on his way back from Kelowna today. Thanks Dad for playing cars with the boys!
7. Back on the 19th, Dexter started to know what a tongue is and sticks it out when you say, "Tongue". That was cute.
8. On the 22nd, Dexter started using (many times during the day), the phrase "take this". Like, when he finishes his morning bottle, he turns to me and kind of shoves it at me like I'm some disrespected maid, and says, "tay shish". This same day, he added the word "bell" to his word list, as in Babybell. He begs you to open the fridge and then yells, "Bell bell!" That continued today.
9. At swimming yesterday or the day before, AJ held onto the towel hooks and did a back flip/skin the cat. What a goof.
10. I'm going to put in some detail about how the next few months should go if there are no added problems and/or Richard's counts don't come up superhumanly quickly after each round of Chemo, thusly starting the next round even earlier. I'm giving you this detail right now, as I've realized it's the most common question people have right now or really want to understand. Here's how I see it:
Each of the next three rounds of Chemo (consolidation Chemo) should be approximately 30 days in duration.
Consolidation Round One - In a perfect world - July 27th - August 27th
*The first 6 days are Richard going to back and forth to VGH to get 4 hours of concentrated Cytarabine. The appointments will alternate being 9am and 1pm to mimic him getting a 24 hour continuous supply like when he was admitted. There should be some vomitting and a general feeling of being run over by a semi. No appetite. Like having a REALLY bad flu.
*The next 2 weeks Richard will be neutropenic (no immune system - no malls, no movie theatres, no PNE, etc), trying to recover from being hit by a semi, trying to get his counts back up, probably still throwing up for a few days, feeling weak, going back and forth to VGH every day or two to have blood tested and get tranfusions of blood and platelets. Everything should be tasting pretty horrible.
*The last week should be Richard feeling pretty darned good like he does right now, numbers should be getting to be those of a normal person, but food still continuing to taste horrible and bitter.
*Now, his next round should start.
Consolidation Round Two - In a perfect world - August 28th - September 28th
Consolidation Round Three - In a perfect world - September 29th - October 29th.
Then, enjoying Hallowe'en candy a couple days later!
Now, I do not try to think this far in advance when it comes to Richard and our lives right now. I really try to just go day by day. But, a lot of people are asking me about this. I used this chance to verify these details with Richard and make sure I wasn't talking out my butt.
11. I also need to use the blog today to 'get something out'. I feel the need every so often to let Richard know that I wish I was with him every step of the way during this journey (for example - taking him to the hospital). But, we are taking advantage of and appreciating Norma's stay with us by having her help us the way she would like to most which is by driving Richard back and forth to /VGH. This not only allows Richard to have a loved one with him all the time, while we can do this before I'm back to work, but also, allows me to stay at home with the boys and try to keep their lives as 'normal' as possible right now.
So why am I telling you this? I guess, the same way that I want to make sure every few days (that I'm not with Richard sharing every part of this emotional experience and wouldn't want him thinking that I didn't WANT to be with him) I tell Richard "You know how much I want to be with you through all this", I guess I feel like I need to tell the world that I love him very much and do want to be there for him every part of every day, but instead, am "being there" for him by "being there" for Alton and Dexter. We are so lucky that Norma is here right now and she is getting to "be there" for her little boy, Richard. As I reason it to myself when I'm feeling guilty, "I'm going to be the wife and his mom can be his mom." I would never want anyone thinking that I'm just laying the day away in the sun and fun with my boys letting 'my man' get taken care of by someone else. I know you don't think that, but I need to say it. And likewise, I don't want anyone thinking that I make poor Norma drive back and forth in that hot hot car in horrible Port Mann Bridge traffic every day. She wants to be with Richard. I would want to be with my son too.
Now, that being said...
My tan IS coming along nicely. AND, I have visited more playgrounds this week than I think ever before in my life. The lake was nice a week or so ago, and I'm looking forward to zoo again maybe next week. The drive-in has even crossed my mind. The darkly-humorous conversation Richard and I had today was ....
me - So, "Up" is starting at the drive in next week.
Richard - Uh, next week's not really that good.
me - Not for you, maybe....
Man oh man, I sound mean. But really, this is just the way we are. There's love in there.
Always have to end with thank yous.
I know I've said many times how overwhelmed I get by all the love and support, but it must be said again.
Richard and I are very lucky to have such good family and friends. I'm lucky to have my parents nearby and my sister and brother. We're lucky that Norma was able to come here and stay with us to help out.
Everyone's been so wonderful. Everyone is helping in a different way and a way that they can. It's just really beautiful. Everyone... friends, cousins, colleagues, just everyone.
And again thanks to Richard. While he sits here each day having Leukemia, he still listens to me vent my feelings and talk about when I'm sad or when I've had a non-perfect day. And, somehow, he manages to not smack me upside the head and say "Hello?! I have Leukemia!", and instead just loves me and hugs me and keeps on being funny.