Tuesday, September 22, 2009

As Norma Stands Over Me With "The Whip"....

My Boys.

So, Norma says I need to update the blog. She stands over me watching me type here, holding a whip to make sure I don't get lazy.

Of course, I'm kidding.

I brought up the fact that I hadn't updated in about a week, and from our conversation, I could tell that there were many people waiting with baited breath for the next update.

Sorry. School has started, and with it, comes lots of planning (new Science curriculum, and a split grade), gymnastics lessons, preschool, and watching Erica's kids once a week (she watches mine once a week too!).

Not to mention, despite Richard's hardships Richard's been looking so good, helping out lots, and only having to go into the hospital every couple days at the moment, so his 'condition' isn't pressing on my mind if that makes sense, and therefore, I didn't think to update the blog for his sake.

(I wrote that last part a few days ago, and today is Saturday, Sept. 26th. Richard's low grade fever just went up to 38.5 with Tylenol, so he and Norma headed off to the hospital to no doubt start a 6-day-in-a-row bout of antibiotics.....bummer).

So, firstly, Richard.

He updated his blog a few days ago to let family and friends know that he isn't feeling flu-ish anymore. However, there's a whole host of other unprettiness that comes along with having gone through Chemo for the third time, like hemmorrhoids, bad tasting food, aches and pains, diarrhea, and more. Norma's been taking Richard to his appointments still, except for this past Saturday. My mom took the boys overnight from Friday-Saturday, so on Saturday, I took Richard to the hospital and got lots of work done for school. Richard's mom had the day to relax and do things that she wanted to do or needed to get done. Richard didn't get a transfusion like we were expecting, so we left a lot earlier than we thought we would. Richard and I spent some ever-so-romantic time cleaning up our office downstairs. That evening, when my mom brought the kids back, her and Ken stayed for a nice visit.

Update to this - The hemmoroids are getting unbearable for Richard. He's uncomfortable just walking around. With the affects of chemo being cumulative, I can only imagine how hard the last round will be on him. He even had chemical burns on his hands this time. Geesh! (don't worry - he gave me the 'okay' to talk about this stuff).

And, he looks almost the same as the above pics, but now there's no goatee and mustache, and no eyebrows. Bye bye eyebrows! And he will not let me draw more eyebrows on! I thought, big fun, jack-o-lantern style, but he wasn't having it!


Norma is heading back home to Nova Scotia on Wednesday. I think the idea of her staying for an extra week has been floating around. I've left that as something for Richard and his mom to decide together. There's many reasons to stay here with us, obviously, but there are many reasons to head home to Nova Scotia as well, including seeing her mom who is not well, and packing up her house, as she'll be heading home to the Island soon, oh yes, and of course, her husband, Bud who I'm sure is missing her dearly.
As I said, I'm leaving that as a decision for Richard and his mom to make together, as I don't want to sway the decision one way or the other, but I'll use the blog as my sneaky way to say "Norma, you are MORE than welcome to stay with us longer (it's a giant help to have you here, and you are a wonderful house guest to have), but do what YOU want to or need to do."

What Will We Do

Some of you have already wondered "What will you do" once Norma's headed home? Well, once Richard finishes what I'm guessing will be a week of antibiotics, he should be well on his way to feeling better, mostly going in once a week to get 'checked' and can drive himself those couple times, or if it works, I can drive him.

Now, I'm only guessing here, but his next round of chemo could start as early as October 6th, and as late as October 14th. This is where is will get tough, but do-able. We always keep in mind that there are others who are in way worse situations than us. We've been VERY fortunate to have Norma with us, meaning that Richard has always had someone to take him to daily appointments, and we haven't had to worry about extra child care or anything.

We're thinking that Richard will in all likelihood, stay at the Cancer Lodge. Yes...lol... there is such a place! Richard knows and will hopefully provide more detail, but basically, for $30 a day, you get three meals, and shuttle back and forth to the hospital, plus you're surrounded by a but of people that totally know what you're going through. He will not have the added comfort of coming home to my cuddly arms, nor his playful boys, but what he misses in family contact, he wins back in undisturbed sleep!

Otherwise, when staying at our house during this next round, if I can't drive him to the hospital, he can take the volunteer driver service, or if you're looking to help, which some of you have already asked about, I may be finally calling on some of you to drive Richard to an appointment or two.

Then, it should be all done! Hopefully, forever. I'm sure there will still be check ups, but keep your fingers crossed, or pray, or send positive vibes for Leukemia NEVER returning.

Some Thank You's

While my mom is on my mind, I would like to thank her and Ken for taking the kids again. It's nice to spend some time getting caught up on stuff around the house without little feet trampling over your accomplishments...lol.

Also a thank you to my Auntie Brenda and Uncle Al who sent Richard a really nice card just a couple day ago, that came at a perfect time. Richard enjoyed that little hug-in-a-card.

Another thank you to Kay (of Bill and Kay - Norma and Bud's friends from the Island) who called the other day to check in on how we're all doing. What a really nice chat. She called at nap time, so it was perfect!

And an ongoing thank you, as well as a 'today' thank you to Norma.
-Norma's continued to do all the driving back and forth (as I mentioned above), helped entertain the boys, do grocery shopping, pick up prescriptions, and have I ever mentioned that she cleans up under Dexter's highchair which I often neglect? Yah, she continues to be an awesome houseguest.
-Today, Norma had really wanted to take the boys out with me to buy them a special toy of their choice. They each got TWO new toys and have been playing with them all afternoon. AND another big thank you to Norma who treated me to two new hoodies for the boys! She 'gets' my addiction.


Well, not much to report, really. I totally haven't been keeping up to date on my calendar of words and such. Dexter's been great, happy as a clam, and having lots of fun climbing, riding, laughing, sandboxing, playing hockey, baseball, soccer, wrestling, and such. His favourite toys right now are his car ramp and cars and AJ's figurines (like his Rescue Heroes).
Jen and I braved Starbucks again the other morning after dropping the kids off at preschool. The four babies (Emerson, Jaxon, Dexter, and Rya) were angels for about 1.5 hours, then it was getting loud, and we took that as our cue to pack up, head out, and take them all to play in my backyard (my new favourite 'relaxing' spot). We repeated this the next week too.

Dexter's been using more words lately. Some are not so great. I'd say his favourite words are 'bad' (which comes with a table slap and a pointed finger at whoever's ticking him off) and 'mine'. Other words that have shown up newly or more often are 'gun' (isn't that great), 'crazy' (which at our house means wildly awesome or silly), 'snacks', 'cow' (more pronounced than before), 'car' and 'truck' (more pronounced than before), and others that I can't think of because I haven't been keeping track. Oh yes and 'brush teeth'. He's saying some sentences to me too, but I can't figure them out.

That's my baby boy, Dexter, shooting my camera with a ray-gun. Great. He even makes a little shooting sound that sounds like 'pshht'.

He's still a climbing maniac and is almost to the top of AJ's loft bed (which will not be a good day), and he's starting to jump off of surfaces more, like stools and ledges of assorted heights.

Underwear hat anyone?


AJ's been loving his scooter rides and bike rides. He's gotten to go on a few with me without Dexter. He really wants a 'two wheeler' (bike and scooter). I've had to break it to him a couple times that he won't be getting those until he consistently keeps looking in front of him when he rides instead of watching scenery...lol. I'm glad I slipped on my socks and sneakers before we headed out last night, as I had to full on sprint to keep up with AJ on his bike going down the hill. He can almost make it up all three hills to our bike path without any 'assistance'. I usually have to give him a little push on the seat nearing the end of the last hill because it gets really steep. However, on the way home, no help needed, he goes full tilt, down hill, even pedalling to go faster! YIKES! Just what we need; a speeding toddler on a bike who doesn't look where he's going.

AJ's reading is really wowing me. I can't even keep track of how many words he can sound out! It's basically any one syllable word that 'makes sense' phonetically (sounds the way it should), including some 'extras' like words with 'ck' and words with double consonants like 'tt' or 'dd' (he gets that concept that he only needs to say the sound once). As for sight words, he probably knows around 30 or 40, I'm not sure. I haven't counted them. He's enjoying the fact that he can read some books himself. I 'caught' him reading Ten Apples Up on Top to Dexter the other day. Too cute.

Those pics are not of AJ reading, but getting to use Daddy's ds.


I took the boys to the zoo yesterday (Friday). It's funny that I can talk to the boys about all the exotic animals there and yet, they spend the most time watching the ducks in the pond.

We go to a playground pretty much every morning that I'm not working.

The backyard has been a favourite play area as of late. I just wish I could access the backyard without having to go out my front door. Aaaahhh. Maybe someday.

Playing downstairs has been an option lately too, including Dexter. AJ is always allowed to play in the play room downstairs. A week or so ago, I finally got my hands on (used of course) a long extendable gate that could block off the laundry room/cat litter box area, yet still allow the cats to get through. This means that Dexter can have opportunities during the day to be allowed to freely travel from upstairs to downstairs. I have to check on him way more often than I would with AJ or Jack, but still, it's nice for him to get to go somewhere else.

AJ and Dexter's other favourite pastime recently is 'camping out'. They bring pillows and blankets to the living room and sprawl out. I've been a really bad mommy and have never taught them how to 'make a fort' before. I may have to do that tonight.

I've really regretted not breaking out the camera more often. The brother fights are equally matched with brothers playing and bonding. AJ truly sees Dexter as a playmate now, as does Dexter, of AJ.

Here are some pics, from the Tuesday before last, when I had Erica's kids, Jack and Rya for the day.

Some couch-jumping fun for the boys.

Rya was under-the-weather, so she had a good rest on the very same couch.


Not much to report really. I'm really liking my new school, my job-share partner, my principal, my co-workers, having non-mom topics to discuss, and my students. There's some real personality in there.

I'll leave you with some bathtime fun. All our bath toys, and boy oh boy, these big cups are definitely the favourites.

1 comment:

Steph said...

Aw, so much to be proud of with those boys! Love them. Continuing to hold Richard in our thoughts and prayers and you too as you manage them all

much love,