Thursday, July 02, 2009

Richard's Coming Home

Sorry to all of you far away relatives who truly look forward to reading my rants. I've been having trouble falling asleep and have not been in a mood to write when 'my time' hits. I had full intentions the night before last to update properly and with all of my stuff about the boys and such and pictures and all that jazz and instead, I found myself reading 'the best of craigslist' ads. OMGsh. Sooooo funny. But not for the faint of heart. My sleeps have been averaging about 2:30am-5:00am or so. Uggg. But I can't complain. At least I'm in the comfort of my own bed. I look forward to having Richard back in bed. I sleep so well when he's beside me. Heck, I usually fall asleep beside him on the couch at 10pm.

Sonja Getting Used to Having a House Guest:

Well, I've been a little emotional this week (well overdue). I'm adjusting to life with 'another woman' in the house. Richard's mom, Norma arrived at our house on Friday. As I've mentioned many times, she's a wonderful lady. I think I can explain my emotions best in a recap from a portion of my conversation with Richard's Aunt Elaine.

(not exact words, but my best from memory)

Elaine : "So, Norma has arrived?"
Sonja: "You bet."
Elaine: "She's a wonderful person to live with."
Sonja: "Yes, she is. Unfortunately, I'm not."

Oh dear. I have some major 'my way or the highway' issues, amongst many others. Luckily, Norma is VERY understanding and claims to be 'just like me' and provided me with several examples to prove this. I didn't believe it at first, because, as you know, she's just a great person. But, when I wonder out loud to myself, "Man, how does Richard put up with me and all of my anxiety and control issues? It's almost 7 years together, and somehow, he's still with me.", Norma replies, "He lived with me for 20 years, so he's had LOTS of practice."

Thank goodness I don't have one-of-THOSE-mother-in-laws. Things could get ugly. For now, Norma is magically 'tolerating' me. Thanks so much Norma. So understanding.

Norma has been a big help and is full of love. So glad she's here. And she seems to be just loving her 'bedroom' downstairs which is Dexter's side of the playroom. She's all set up down there. Comfy bed, shelves to put her bags on, and I just happened to already have a hanging rack complete with hangers already strung up. She's has her radio set up and everything.

Love you Norma, despite my mood swings. I don't know if Norma's reading the blog right now since she's 'living the blog' right now. So, if anyone of you are reading this and then talking to her on the phone, please let her vent about what a moody-B I am and then tell her I'm so happy she's at the house with us. I'm guilt ridden. Seriously.

Richard Coming Home, Right? No? Yes? What?

So, it still looks like Richard is coming home today. They're going to give him a couple of bags of blood, so we should still be here for another 3 hours at least. It's 11:00am now, and I've taken one load out to the car already. It looks like the day after Canada Day still has 'holiday staff', so although he was going to be sent home yesterday, now there's 'a question' of whether or not he's coming home 'for sure'. I'm hesitant to jinx myself by taking out the rest of his stuff. I've already cleared off his bulletin board and I'm almost regretting that.

Richard, I'm sure will give details on his blog. Lots of people are starting to ask me 'so what next?'. The truth is, I don't know. Richard's one who likes to know everything and research it. I just talk out my, well, you know. My understanding from what they explained in the beginning before he was admitted was that :
*21-30 days in the hospital including his chemo. This has already changed, as he is getting out after 18 days, and they were going to send him home yesterday.
*If the bone marrow biopsy results came back good and clear, they would still do another 5 days later. Richard told me that after it, no one mentioned another one this time. But then, the next day, he changed that story to 'yes another one in a couple days'. Then he becomes an outpatient and gets some kind of medication (chemo?), but drives in every day or two.
*If the results were not good (this isn't the case), then he would've been doing another 'round' of chemo.

This is where I get confused. Either way, he's getting more chemo. I guess, maybe it's different chemo? I really don't know. Like I said, hopefully Richard will read this, and then fix what I've written. Feel free if you're one of my many 'educated about Leukemia' type friends, to reply on here with the info I'm missing.

In the Hospital. Another Sleepover. Canada Day.

Yesterday was Canada Day. Norma wanted to go to the pancake breakfast in Abbotsford (no doubt to socialize with the locals - more about that later), and to watch the parade. I originally wanted to take the boys to the parade, which is a yearly tradition, but the idea was daunting to me the night before. Going to the parade means Dexter sitting in the stroller, confined, for a long period of time. Then, if I decided to go the 'festivities' too, he would again be stuck in his stroller because of the crowds and the fact that he would just take off. Man he likes to be chased.

So, I let Norma know that I instead wanted to do something that was truly fun for the boys and take them to the new water park and playground in Langley. I let her know she could choose. She was really into seeing the parade, so she was still going to do that. And I would be taking the boys for a day of fun and sun.

When Canada Day arrived, and there was the possiblity of Richard maybe going home, Richard's mom was going to be 'on call' and probably head in for a visit, maybe even stay over night. My sister would be coming the next day so we'd have the boys looked after if I needed to head in too or whatever.

The water park was big fun, but the boys really needed to be taught how to have fun in the water park. I don't have fish kids, unfortunately. I couldn't just sit back and tan and watch them frolick. They wouldn't leave the blanket unless I lead them away from it. They followed me like ducklings following their mother duck. After pulling teeth to get them to love the water park, we got dressed in dry clothes and headed over to the AWESOME playground. I almost don't even want to talk about how great it is for fear that too many people will find out about it. The only two bad parts are the artificial turf that burns your skin if you have bare feet and the slanted ladder that AJ and two other kids fell through. However, the two other kids fell right through onto the ground, but my son, held onto the top rung for dear life (I like to think from his gymnastics knowledge). Another mother saved him because I was in the middle of a phone convo with Richard at the hospital bearing my heart and soul about wanting to watch the fireworks with him from his room and bring him home the next day and that I didn't realize how much it meant to me until my emotions got all stirred up today. So,..... I was 'that mom'. The one who has to say 'thank you' to the other life saving mom while a phone is still hanging from my ear. OMGsh. I felt horrible. AJ got big hugs for that one. We had lunch there at the playground. I was very much messing with naps that day to enable the day to happen. This did not work so well for Dexter in the end because he only slept in the car on the way back. One of my old boyfriend from junior high's sister was at the water park that day and at the other one I was at the day before. For the sake of simplicity, I will from now on refer to her as 'my friend Shannon'. Anyhow, she was a great person to talk to the past couple days. Thanks for that Shannon!!!

While I'm on the topic of water parks... the 30th of June was supposed to be AJ and I's special long visit with daddy. He was getting a fever, bad. I didn't want to bum either of them out, so I worriedly, brought him in just to say 'hi' to Richard that day, and then turn around. But AJ felt so crappy, he just sat in the stroller for the whole half hour. He was so sad. On the drive home, he still wanted to go to the water park and playground to have fun. But he felt so badly, that again, he just wanted to sit in the stroller and watch all the kids play. It was depressing, but nice. He sat watching kids for upwards of 2 to 2.5 hours.

Back to Canada Day. Norma brought home the book I had ordered from her trip to the mall. She took the boys out in the front to play while I made dinner. And after I put Dexter to bed (actually, she put Dexter to bed come to think of it), then I finished packing and writing notes. I left the house around 8pm. Norma was going to sleep on the couch that night so she could hear the boys if they woke up.

I headed to the hospital, picked up Richard some 'better dinner', and we watched both simultaneous sets of fireworks from his great view.

Richard didn't have a great sleep. I am very uncomfortable on the pullout here, but I get to sleep tossing and turning from 11pm to 8am, so it's totally worth it.

Dexter's short afternoon nap yesterday must've helped his night sleep because he slept almost 12 hours instesad of 11 hours (or 10 as of late). That would've been nice for Norma. As I suspected, AJ came out of his room around 3am, which he's been doing this past week. I had pre-told him that I wouldn't be in my room and Grannie would be on the couch, so he headed out to the living room and slept on the couch with Grannie.

My sister arrived this morning around 8:30am as planned. She went along with AJ to swimming lessons. His swimming lessons are every day for these two weeks. My friend Jen said she could take AJ on the days that I couldn't. This was going to be her first attempt at taking AJ, her daughter Makenna, AND her 15 month old twins, so I suggested Kim come for the ride to be extra hands. Also, this would be Norma's first time watching both boys (and as she says, the first time babysitting in 38 years), so extra hands and someone so familiar with watching the boys could only be helpful. Norma would also be able to dash out to get her "Timmy's".

All went well that I know of, and AJ's going to go to Jen's house for a playdate. Kim knows how to install the car seats, so she'll go pick him up later.

I still have lots to write about the boys. Dexter's so cute when says 'thanks' at the appropriate times and the way he talks to Daddy on the phone is hilarious. AJ's a bit emotional and weird these days with all that's going on, but I'm seeing a big improvement in his attitude already just having Norma at the house.

I'll have to still finish that update which will hopefully have pictures too. If you'd like to see the new pics before they make it on here, just go to richardandsonja dot com (Richard doesn't like me to link that one), go to 'gallery', and go to 'recently added unsorted pics'. It gives you an option to go to the next page and the next and so on.

Thank yous
Norma - For everything. And mostly, for putting up with me and not running from the house screaming, "Richard, I don't know how you deal with this every day!"
Aili's friend, Erica who I've never met - Thank you sooo much for your 'story' and the Starbucks card! So thoughtful. I'll be checking out your blog soon.
Jen - for taking AJ to swimming and for the playdate
Kim - for coming out today to help with the boys
mom - for the good phone convo yesterday
Gillian's husband, Tim - Who may be coming by to mow our lwn
Steve - who as I type is possibly dropping off a little something for me at the house
Dad - for continued drives back and forth to the hospital from your house to save on parking, and helping me clean my car
anyone who I'm forgetting - falling behind on the blog means forgetting to thank some of you

Don't feel like editting. Hope no mistakes interfere with meaning. Happy reading.

Whoa! I almost forgot to add the part about Norma-the socialite!!

I will title this:

Norma: Making Abbotsford A Small-Town

Norma is no stranger to conversation, like myself. She's entertaining and interesting to talk to and a good listener too. Evidently, I'm not the only person who thinks so. Richard has informed me that Norma has quite the good conversations with the nurses. She already knows more neighbours of mine than I do. She's met a guy from Nova Scotia on one of her outings already. I pictured her at the pancake breakfast talking to the person next to her saying, "Do you know Richard and Sonja?" lol. But this was my favourite Norma-the-social-butterfly story. A lady at the mall yesterday asked her where she gets her hair done (she does have quite a cool haircut) and the next thing you know, they went to coffee together.

I love it.


BK said...

Hi Sonja! a wonderful blog here. you might consider compiling this later for a series of short stories or even a book. I wish had kept logs of Aili's posts to (our version of a blog). But your entries have such humanity in them that i think many would benefit from your story. wishing you an extra bit of karma for July- Bryan

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

Thank you, Bryan.