Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm Really Falling Behind, Aren't I?

If you wonder how Richard's looking as of late, that's us, on the Labour Day long weekend at my cousin, Lisa's, wedding.  I think he's still looking pretty darned cute, myself.

Sometimes, I forget that I'm using the blog to keep people up to date on Richard.  I'm being thrown many questions about how he's doing.  So, meanwhile, while I've been thinking I have nothing pressing to add to the 'baby book' for the boys, all along, I've had things to say about Richard.

So, let's start with him, shall we?

We've had this long standing joke almost through our entire relationship:

Me - "Richard, I think I've mentioned this before, but you should really stop coughing."

Richard - "Huh?  I don't remember you ever mentioning that before."

Yup, he's had an off and on atrocious cough that follows him for an unbelievable amount of time after every cold.  Of course, the longest being right before he found out he had Leukemia.

The Cough

His cough is horrible.  It sounds like when you have that really annoying tickle and you'll do just about anything to get whatever it is (I liken it to what it must feel like to have pencil shavings in your throat) including attempting to hack up your lung if necessary.  This is what Richard sounds like.  Except he says the cough feels like it's tickling his lung.  He's living on cough candies, so he's back to smelling like the very familiar menthol-Ricky that I know and love.

When is Chemo?

Who knows.  We had hopefully assumed it would start around mid October.  But, he still has the fungal infection in his lungs (which I assume to be Fungal Pneumonia, but have never actually been told that, and I am NOT a doctor), still has this horrid cough, AND to top it all off, something weird is going on...  his haemoglobin levels have gone down, not up, even though his other numbers are going up and/or are normal.  They don't know what the heck is going on.  They don't know why his haemoglobin went down.  No, it's not normal, but they don't seem alarmed either.  Richard describes it as them just wanting to 'wait it out a bit' to see if it works itself out.  Hopefully it does.  I'm hoping when he goes in on Tuesday, that his haemoglobin will be higher.  If not, I'll be a little worried.  So far, I really haven't worried (I'm not counting the first 1-3 weeks of June).  As long as everything was 'normal for a Leukemia patient', I've felt pretty confident about Richard's health and progress.  But when things happen that aren't 'normal', like the Thrombosis a while back (that he still takes meds for) and now blood levels going down, I get a little worried.

But Sonja, How is Richard 'Feeling'?

He feels like crap.  He's not sick and his taste buds have been normal for quite a while now, but this cough is really wearing him down.  He looks wiped.  He looks sick.  He plugs on.  He deals with it.  Sometimes he feels better than other times, but on the whole, he just looks like he'd really like to just take a nap.  I can only imagine how tired and out of breath he must feel being near needing another tranfusion.  Going on what I remember about haemoglobin from high school (because I'm too lazy to look it up right now), it is the molecule that carries oxygen through your blood to all the parts of your body.  Low haemoglobin = low oxygen.  Sounds pretty yucky to me.

What About the Cancer Lodge?

Well I suppose it's good that the chemo isn't starting yet, as they didn't have "room for him at the inn" until the 28th of October.  So, we'll see how that all works out.  On Thursday, Richard had his first appointment in a whole week.  That's when he had his CT Scan and found out his haemoglobin was low.  They had him come again on Sunday (today).  His haemoglobin was a bit lower.  So, he'll go in on Tuesday again and hopefully they'll be up. Wish him luck!

Richard's Blog

He did update some more.  Feel free to check it out!

What Else is New?

Friday, my mom took the boys overnight.  We thought about a movie or dinner.  In the end, we went to White Spot (Mom and Ken's treat - Thanks guys!) with Erica and Kevin (and Jack and Rya), and then headed back to Erica and Kevin's theatre room to watch "The Proposal" and "The Black Knight".  Both awesome.  Thanks to Erica and Kevin for a nice night!  And to my parents for treating us to dinner!  Richard really enjoyed his beef dip and a relaxing movie night on a comfy couch.


So, Dexter is pretty good about eating his vegetables.  Raw carrots though, he'll usually only eat one (baby carrot) at a meal.  On the day I took this picture, he was really wanting a snack.  But it was getting too close to dinner, so I was only willing to give him veggies.  He saw me move this ziploc of 7 carrots out of the way while searching for something for him.  The excitement of seeing a snack-bag got the best of him and he was literally begging for this bag of carrots.  He proceeded to take it excitedly as though it were a bag of candy and sat on the floor 'hogging' it all to himself.  He ate 7 carrots!  Just because they were in a snack-bag.  Silly guy.  

I would say this week has seen a bit of a revelation in the area of 'signing' and talking.  Dexter is making more and more attempts with words, and is truly seeing the value in signing more than ever.  He's finally starting to clue in that I'm not giving into his screaming.  I'll only give him what he wants if he's calm and uses a word or a sign.  

I took the boys to the park today to 'ride bikes'.  AJ brought his bike and I brought the scooter for Dexter.  I should've brought the trike for Dexter because he just wanted to ride AJ's bike the whole time.  He was so angry that he couldn't reach the pedals too well and use them very well.  I took him off the bike to give him a chance to 'cool off'. He was screaming and crying and I just kept telling him to come 'tell me what you want'.  He signed 'bike more'.  YAY!  It was sassy, with a furrowed brow, but still, progress.


These next pictures are of AJ enjoying movie-picnic-lunch.  I'm assuming by their blurriness, that Auntie Kim (who is the boys' nanny once a week), took these pictures, as I still haven't shown her how to use this camera.

AJ's still coming along amazingly with his reading.  He will not go up into his loft bed without a book to read.  I just love to hang out outside his door and listen to him sound out words and discover what the sentence says. He's been a really great little guy, lately.  Just love him.  

For My Birthclub Buddies

We've been talking a bit about 'fun lunches' and 'bento lunches', and I told them I'd post a pic of one of AJ's preschool snack packs.  This is not one of the more 'beautiful' lunches, but it does showcase the fun skewer for his fruit and the super cool monkey dip container for his carrots.  I used my Michael's coupon this week to finally purchase Food markers, so soon my animal shaped cheese and maybe even some crackers will have faces or little messages!  I can't wait.  He quite likes the little lunches, and always gobbles it up.  Put it on a skewer and AJ will eat it!  Put it in a bag and Dexter will eat it!

Speaking of my boys eating, I weighed them today.  Well, actually, Dexter hauled out the scale, so it seemed like the logical next step.

AJ has broken 30 pounds!  He's 31.2 lbs !!

Dexter is 29.6 lbs !!  I really thought he was 30 now.  He sure feels like 30.

Special Thanks Section

Mom and Ken - Dinner at Whitespot!  AND taking the boys overnight, AGAIN!

Kevin and Erica - For a really nice night.

Erica and Kim - For switching the days that you watch the boys last week to make pick up and drop off easier for me.  Thanks to you two for making life easier right now.

Jen and Kim - A constant thank you to you two for 'totally getting me' and finishing my sentences so Richard knows that I'm not the only one who thinks the way I do!!  You two keep me sane!

My Brother Paul - You don't know it yet, but soon, you'll be forced to wear a shirt that matches with AJ and Dexter.  I'm thinking for Christmas morning.  I hope you weren't hoping for anything 'cool' from me!


Lee Ann said...

Go Dexter for the signing! And you must be so proud of AJ too for his reading!

Thanks for the pic of the Bento style snack. What did you have in the wee monkey box? I now need to put K in to Playgroup for lunch so I have an excuse to make her a cute lunch!

Hope it all goes well at the Hospital on Tuesday x

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

There is salad dressing (ranch) in the monkey container. For dipping the carrots.

ErIca said...

AJ - congrats on hitting the big 3-0. The Dirty Thirties. You are almost over the hill.

Dexter- Congrats on scarfing carrots. What's up doc?

Sonja- congrats on updating the blog to keep us all up to date. And PS-
So can I assume that since I'm not one of the people who keep you sane, that I'm one of the people that make you insane? Yessss (double fist pump).

Richard- Congrats on making it this far- only a little bit more to go. Hope your levels go up today.

AJ and Dexter's Mom said...

Well now...
I didn't say that. You 'make my life easier', not 'insaner'.