Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

No pictures for this post, sorry.

No bad tales of horrible traffic either!

My mom picked up the boys after work on Friday to take them for a sleepover so I could see Richard for our anniversary (and stay over at the hospital since he wasn't being released from hospital due to his fever).

The whole day was running pretty late after the boys and I all accidentally slept in until 8am throwing off the whole day.

By the time I left the house, it was around 5:30pm or something like that. I seriously don't even remember. It was late enough that I skipped getting my VERY much needed, LONG OVERDUE haircut. ARG. But, I needed to get going.

Since I've decided that I loath hwy #1 and since I needed to drive to Dad's anyhow, I took Fraser Hwy all the way to Hwy #10 and took the #99 to Richmond. It was AMAZING! I swear I was like the only car of Fraser Hwy until I hit right into the heart of Langley. It was a BEAUTIFUL drive. It was fast. It was just spectacular. Honestly. No sarcasm at all.

I left my car at Dad's. Dad took me for dinner where we got to meet up with more of my from-out-of-town relatives (Auntie Karen and Joel). We all drove together in Dad's van to pick up a burger for Richard at Wendy's and to drop me off at the hospital.

I finally got there around 9pm ish. I set up the cot that I brought from home because we were pretty sure that Richard's roomate's wife was using the pull-out that night (but she didn't) and had a sub-par sleep, but I got to sleep in until 9:45am! Before heading to the cot, I got to sleep for about an hour with Richard in his hospital bed before he kindly and understandingly kicked me out.

Richard's sleep was not great. His fever has gradually gotten worse, to the tune of 39.9 C today (103.82 F for my American friends or friends and family who still think of body temperature in F like I do). He alternated between sweating profusely and having those uncontrollable shivers that feel like your muscles are getting a crazy workout. Then he'd be okay for a while, then sweats, then chills again.

It was a pretty rough night for him and the day was pretty uncomfortable for him too. We fit in lots of kisses and hugs, but mostly, it seemed he was just happy to have me there reading my book (thanks Jen!) while he rested.

I'm not sure when he'll be going to the lodge now since he still had a fever when I left. I'll bet it will be during my two days of work this week, therefore, it'll be my dad that moves him from the hospital to the lodge. We'll see. Unless I head out with the boys again Monday, I can't imagine I'll see him again until Wednesday night, after work, which is tempting, or Thursday some time.

Many Thanks to give....

Mommy - For taking the boys over night and to the waterslides, and for the anniversary card and $ if I didn't already thank you for that.

Jen - For the book "Good in Bed" that had me laughing out loud in the hospital and reading parts to Richard.

Kim - For being willing to stay over here Monday night and Tuesday night to watch the boys on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I can go to my professional-days.

Auntie Karen and Joel - For visiting in the van on the way to the hospital. I love talking with you, Auntie Karen. It can be a whole year without seeing you and when we visit, it's like I just saw you the week before.

Dad - For driving me to the hospital and coming to pick me up. For dinner last night and for lunchish-dinner today.

Elva and Norma - For my Reitmans teaching-clothes. I got to do a little shopping! My idea was to take pictures of myself in the clothes to show you (who knows when I'd get around to that) or to get pictures of the clothes off the Reitman's site, but I actually couldn't find them. So, I'll just thank you now, so it doesn't get forgotten! Thank you!

Richard - For understanding why I got there so late on Friday night, and for letting me share your little bed for that hour or two before you kicked me out. Love you. I missed you the second I left. I can't wait until you are home.

Okay, it's 11:40pm. I got home 30 minutes ago from my mom's house. YIKES! Three crazy late nights for the boys. Phew. Hope they're okay tomorrow! I'm going to curl up in front of the tv now and see if it's an episode of SNL that I possibly haven't seen.

******totally forgot to say.... the drive home was spectacular as well. I came home practically the same way I drove to Richmond (Hwy #10 and Fraser Hwy). It was golden. I couldn't have asked for a better commute!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Long Long Day

Ahhhh, home at last.


The plan was to move Richard to the Cancer Lodge today and to have Richard and the boys get to visit. However, last night, Richard told me that the plans were already changing and that they might not release. Jinkies. For people who were so keen to kick him out and free up a bed, they sure are having trouble getting rid of him.

Then today, he had a fever, so that pretty much sealed the deal that he'll be staying in the hospital, at least for another day. No problem though. I still brought out his giant suitcase of stuff and I'll be seeing him again tomorrow for our anniversary.

Richard looked good, but sick. You know, like someone who hasn't been outside for two weeks and doesn't feel well. He was definitely spent and had enough of 'sitting up' about 45 minutes into the visit. He was really happy to see the boys, and luckily, the boys held it together long enough for a good visit despite being in 'grown up situations' most of the day.

I will see Richard again tomorrow and I'll sleep over at the hospital for our anniversary. I don't think he'll get moved to the lodge tomorrow, but I won't discount that possibility either.

If you just wanted to know how Richard's doing, you can stop reading now. If you want to hear about the long day, then read on.

Why the long long day?

Wanting to avoid hwy #1 at all costs (Seriously, don't get me started. Don't even get me started), and having relatives from out of town at my dad's house, had me drive to Richmond first, before heading to Richard.

Long story, but I'll do point form.
*10:30 -left an hour later than planned for my roughly 1.25 hour drive
*road work on the highway, had to detour, stupidly, I'll add
*had to stop for a pee break
*had to stop again to unexpectedly get gas because I just watched in horror as my gas needle moved way too quickly
*Dexter only slept for the last 15 minutes before getting to my dad's
*12:30 ish - unpacked the boys' lunches (it was about a half hour past their normal lunch time)
*'everyone' (my dad, his cousin Peter from Switzerland and his partner Valerie, my cousin Robert, and my cousin Janice) all wanted to head out for lunch
*hoped for the best, packed up the boys' lunches and we headed to Cactus Club
*the boys were wonderfully behaved and devoured their lunch AND a giant plate of fries.
*back to my dad's - the boys were getting antsy and for good reason - no naps
*4:45pm - headed to the hospital, in the slow lane behind a bus so that both boys had a chance to nap
*5:15pm - parking

YAY! Daddy! We've missed you sooooo much!

AJ took some pictures of us.

Keeping Dexter busy with Rescue Heroes after lots of Daddy-hugs.

AJ keeping busy with Daddy.

This picture's actually just for me so that I can look at it on my phone whenever I want. Or maybe even while I'm smelling his shirt with which I sleep at night. Was that TMI?

The boys did well at my dad's and the hospital considering their long day. But now, I had two boys who had napped until 5:15pm, leaving the hospital close to 7:30pm. I needed to tucker these boys out.

I drove across the road to find parking beside a close playground and there were just no spots. Remind me never to move to the city. I guess you can't have parties because no one would be able to park near your house.

Went to the next playground, no parking.

Went to an elementary school that I pass on the way home - Florence Nightingale Elementary.

Parking. I guess because parents need to drop off their kids.

Go Dexter go!

me - "AJ, if you do bark-mulch-angels, you'll have bark-mulch all over you and maybe get slivers."
AJ - "I don't have bark-mulch on me."
me - "Yes, you do."
AJ - "No, I don't. I got it all off."
me - "Here, I'll take a picture of your hoodie and show it to you."
AJ - "Oh."
Which brings up a funny story from yesterday. AJ wanted to play with his Disney-Pixar Cars that we keep in Dexter's room (because they fit on Dexter's plastic train track). I reminded him (knowing that he was using his train table) that those cars don't work on his wooden track. They don't fit. The same sort of back and forth, occurred like the hoodie-bark-mulch-discussion. He runs off to his room and then comes back to me in the kitchen.
AJ - "Mom they do fit. You need to come into my room. YOU were wrong. This is going to be great."

What a little bum.

(btw- for the record, he wasn't right - yes, the car can ride on top of it, but it doesn't 'fit')

I'm really not sure why these pictures all turned out so crappily.



LONG drive home including a lane closure on the highway, and the boys not falling asleep (partially my fault for letting them watch a dvd on the way home). Peter Pan on the way there and Little Mermaid on the way back.

Oh ya, and after being detoured off the highway, a car accident happened just 3 cars ahead.

Wow. The rain is crazy right now. I'm just listening to the torrential downpour outside.

Came home, let them finish watching their movie and have a snack and a water. AJ looked after 'brushing teeth time' for both of the boys.

And I topped off my long day by letting them have a sleepover at 10:30pm in Dexter's room because I'm THAT CRAZY.

Thanks ahead of time to Mom and Ken who will take the boys overnight tomorrow so that I can sleep over with Richard at the hospital for our anniversary.

Thank you so much to Peter and Valerie for a delicious lunch and great visit, and to my cousins Robert and Janice for a great visit and for indulging AJ while he wrote you all those notes.

Thanks to Dad for driving to Cactus Club. I was all driven out.

Thanks to Richard's Auntie Elaine and Uncle Bill for the lovely anti-Happy Anniversary card and gift. Thank you for your well wishes.

Thanks to Richard's parents, Norma and Bud, for the wonderful Anniversary card and gift.

Thanks ahead to my sister who will be staying over night for two nights to watch the boys on my two work days this coming week. I can't believe school's starting already.

Thank you to Richard for staying awake to visit with us today!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some Photos of the Boys: AJ - 4.5 Dex - 2.5

Alton - 4.5 years old (almost) Dexter - 2.5 years old

Thank you so much for the photo session today, Gillian.

The plan each year is to take individual photos of the boys at the time of their birthdays (Alton is March and Dex in January), and then do what I call "brother photos" roughly at the time of their half-birthdays. So, in August when AJ isn't quite 4.5 years and Dex is just a little over 2.5, it's the 3rd annual brother photos. I never did mail off or even develop last year's!!! Oh dear!

Here's the first session (taken by Richard) when the Dexter was 6 months and Alton was 2.5 years.

Session #1

Here's the second session (taken by Richard) when Dexter was 1.5 years and Alton was 3.5 years.

Session #2

And here's a sneak peak at the third session (taken by my friend, Gillian). Gillian takes amazing photos and was looking for models so she could practice, and I'm guessing, build her portfolio. YAY! Thanks again, Gillian!

Here's AJ. This is a classic AJ look. I said to Gillian, "I bet he's looking at me in that photo," and she said, "He is. I can tell because I can see your reflection in his eyes."

My Alton. So serious.

My Dexter. Always laughing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Tale of the Crazy "On-Call-ogist"

That's right, I said "On-Call-ogist", not Oncologist.

To be sung to the tune of Gilligan's Island

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a crazy clone.
Who pretended to be the oncologist
And tried to send Richard home.

The man is surely an oncologist,
But he's the weekend one on call.
He came in to Richard's room today.
And acted like a know-it-all. And acted like a know-it-all.

"So today's you're last day of chemo" he said,
"And how do you feel?",
Richard replied, "I feel good today".
And so began the spiel. And so began the spiel.

The "On-Call-ogist" said Richard could go home tomorrow or the next day.
Only 6 days in?
Instead of 20?
Do you live nearby? No we don't.
That's okay, you can drive in everyday,
Here all the way to VGH.

So this is the tale of the "On-Call-ogist",
Who met Richard for the very first time,
Tomorrow the 'real guy' should be in,
And he can clarify.

The nurse came in and we both said,
"Could that really be the truth?",
He said, "Well they're pretty desperate for beds",
That nurse is quite a sleuth.

With barely an immune system.
Barely any cells at all.
He can barely walk a lap around,
The LBMT ward halls.

So join me here tomorrow my friends,
When we hear from the 'real guy',
Whether Richard gets to keep his bed,
Or he is told, "Good-bye".

That's pretty much the jist of it. This was followed by me making sure to say to Richard exactly what my mom had said the day before that "You are your own advocate. If you don't like the way something is being done, you need to speak up."

As I stated in the last post, my mom kept the boys overnight so I could stay at the hospital overnight with Richard again.

Mom, Ken, the boys, and I, headed to VGH to visit Richard Saturday afternoon. He was feeling quite great. He had been sick first thing in the morning, but was feeling well after that. Richard enjoyed some big hugs from the boys, a visit, and then Mom and Ken headed back with the boys and left me at that hospital with Richard. It was a great visit. We played some cards, we hung out, we talked, we cuddled. It was wonderful (thanks Mom!). The next day, all was good. Richard was still having a good day, but was tired (in need of a transfusion) and exhausted. He was about to take a nap, so I called my dad to come get me. My dad picked me up, we went for lunch, and he drove me back to my house so Ken could get Mom and take her back home. (Thanks Dad, and thanks Ken).

But... while I was at the hospital with Richard this morning, the on-call, oncologist came in and said that Richard could probably go home tomorrow or the next day. That's crazy. Not to mention that if it was true, I'm sure Richard's real oncologist would have said something to him just the day before, when he was there on Saturday. When the nurse mentioned the 'desperate for beds' thing, that just ARG, made me sooo mad. I mean, granted, I feel badly that someone is therefore, waiting for a bed, but geesh! I don't know what to think! I'll stay calm until Richard's oncologist comes, I'm assuming, tomorrow. I mean, Richard was told he'd be in there for 3-4 weeks, just like last time. He's only been in there for 9 days, and the chemo didn't start until his 3rd day in. I don't who he thinks he is.

A BIG thanks to Erica for another one of her wicked Mystery Gifts, full of a cool t-shirt of which hopefully Richard will take a picture, many little gifts for all of us, stuff to keep the boys busy, and many chocolate bars for Richard! oh ya, and a Wendy's gift card!

A thank you to Auntie Brenda and Uncle Al for your cards and $. The boys loved their t-shirts from Las Vegas and are, in fact, sleeping in them right now.

A thank you to Michele and Robert for the gift cards they sent.

And do you think I remembered to take a picture of Richard and the boys? No. How about a picture of the boys with Gram and Papa? No. The boys and Grand-Dan. No. How about Auntie Kim during her last visit? No.

I can't remember all the things I was going to say, but I can sum it up with being happy that I got to see Richard.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Another Sleepover With Richard

Mom and Ken are coming out tomorrow so we can all (including the boys) go visit with Richard. We will be toting along a special gift bag from Erica (Last year, she made a mystery box. This year, it's a mystery bag. Rumor has it, she's made another t-shirt). We're excited to see what's inside!
I wanted to put a link to the box she made up for Richard last year, but it's the weirdest thing. I really thought that Richard posted it on his blog last year, but the post I'm thinking of is on my blog on June 17th, 2009 or so. But I can't bring up just that post to be able to link that particular entry. I thought that maybe it was because he wrote it, not me, but it says it was written by me! ARG. I don't know.

Anyhow, while perusing the first days of chemo entries from last summer, I realized that Richard had the chest pain and arm pain on day 2 last year too. In fact, I slept over at the same time last year and it appears that my visit was identical. However, Richard claims this chest pain was different from last year's. Hmmmm.

After we visit with Richard, Mom and Ken will drive back to my place, leaving me overnight with Richard. Then Ken will leave Mom overnight at our place with the boys. On Sunday, my dad will come pick me up at the hospital and drive me back to my place so Mom can get home, and I assume my dad will be staying for a visit!

The puzzle pieces are fitting nicely together for this weekend, but I shouldn't jinx myself just yet.

Here's that picture I was trying to explain that AJ made for Richard. Daddy is in the bed getting a blood tranfusion (that's all the reddy-pink) from the machine that gives him medicine.

Not exactly his best use of a variety of colours, but it's deep, you know? In the finished pic, you can see the machines on the left are full of blood and if you look closely at Richard's hospital bed, that line from the machines breaks into three that are attached to him. Standing beside the bed are: me at the top, AJ just below, and Dexter off to the bottom left corner.

When I got the boys back from Auntie Kim's, AJ wanted to help with 'cleaning up' and putting things away. In an effort to help keep his train track pieces orderly (and truly in an effort to avoid MUCH more important housework), I was making some labels for his train baskets.

He said that he wanted to make signs too. I came back down the hall to see a picture below each of my labels. According to AJ they each are a picture of a big kid and a little kid, so that people know that the trains are for big kids AND little kids (like Dexter) to play with.
The second basket down on the left has 'special connectors' and stuff like that. You know, the pieces with two female ends or whacky track, etc. AJ tells me that in that picture, the little kid is looking up at the big kid to ask him how to use those ones because they are tricky. Sure enough, if you look at the little kid, his eyes are looking up to the big kid. It's pretty cute.

On the walk from the car to my gym, AJ and Dex like to balance-walk along the wall. This is Dexter.

AJ has now seen my phone and is asking for 'brother pictures'.
Come on Dex, hurry up!

And the finaly...

There's no way you are ready for this.


Now, I know with all the estrogen in soy, and not to mention all those hormones pumped into the milk or is it meat? ...... anyhow... they say that girls are 'developing' faster and earlier than before, but this is ridiculous!

Here's the picture that AJ drew a few weeks ago at Starbucks of him and Makenna swimming, doing backfloats in Auntie Jen's pool.

Yah. lol.
Rest assured, Makenna looks NOTHING like this.

me - "ummmm, AJ tell me about this picture"
AJ - "It's me and Makenna doing backfloats in her pool"
me - (pointing to the boobies) - "What are these?"
AJ - "That's Makenna."
me - "Yes, I figured that out, thank you. But what are these."
AJ - "Oh" (imagine a grin and him turning his face away a little, looking mischievous)

Sending 'shout outs' to Michele for her card and gift cards, Erica for her mystery bag, and to the anonymous person I thanked a couple days ago for paying for my overnight parking and gas for my last visit with Richard!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Visiting With Richard During My Emotional Time-of-the-Month

***If you just want to know how Richard is doing, skip down to the part that says "Tears Part 4" :)

Remember last year, when Richard was on the 15th floor on side B he wondered where all the hot nurses were? Well, evidently, they are over here on side A! Woot woot! There's no shortage of eye-candy over here on T15A for Richard. There has been nothing but cute young things coming through here to take care of Richard for past 24 hours. One after the other. He originally had said there was a really cute nurse on the night before. After each cute nurse has been in, I've said, "Is that the one you were talking about?" "Nope." "This one. This has got to be the one." "Nope." I can't imagine what this nurse must look like!

I meant to accompany this post with a picture of drawing that AJ made for Daddy, but I'm at the hospital and I don't have the thingy I need to upload photos from my phone. It's a picture of Richard laying in the hospital bed, hooked up (very accurately) to three lines connecting him to the "machines that give him medicine". He has coloured the whole thing pinky-red. He told me that's the good blood that Daddy is getting from other people. A little disturbing, that rather than just colouring the tubes the blood colour, he coloured all of Richard and the bed. I'll try not to think of what that represents.

Hmmmmm. Maybe I'll post that picture tonight or tomorrow along with the picture that AJ drew of Makenna and himself swimming in Makenna's pool many weeks ago. Did I tell you about that funny picture?

AJ also sent me to visit Daddy along with some pictures of dinosaurs that he drew. His new favourite movie is the Land Before Time. He drew really great pictures of a t-rex (Sharp Tooth), a triceratops (Cera), a Brontosaurus? 'long neck' with a baby in it's tummy (Little Foot), and the character in the movie named "Spike" (I can't remember what kind of dinosaur that is).

A couple nights ago, after bedtime stories, we were talking about Daddy in the hospital. It was right after we had finished reading a lift-the-flap Science book about the human body. There was a page on the circulatory system that had red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, so it was a perfect teachable moment to talk about Richard's transfusions and such, which I'm guessing, coupled with seeing Richard hooked up to all the machines on the weekend, was where he got his inspiration for his drawing. We talked about how much we missed Daddy while he's in the hospital and how he's going to get really sick before he gets feeling better, and how I'll take him to see Daddy on the weekend again.


So, my emotional-time-of-month. ... Stay away because anything you might say might make me cry.

Tears Part One

On Tuesday, my car was ready to picked up (thanks again, Ken for helping me deal with that). I had the boys with me. Loaded the car seats back into my car, accidentally forgot my cell phone charger in the courtesy car, loaded Dexter into his seat while AJ loaded himself into his, sat in driver's seat, and began to cry. I was just that happy to get my car back. I was very happy to have been given a courtesy car, as it saved a lot of grief, but you know... you never know how much you love something until it's gone. I LOVE my car so much. I love the room it has in the back. I love how easy it is to load the car seats. I love my radio and CD player. I love my seats. I love the way the gas pedal, break, seat, and steering wheel adjust to my height. I just love it. Evidently, I love enough to cry when I am given it back.

Tears Part Two

Wednesday morning started with the gym. I cannot go to the gym as often as I was now that Richard isn't home to watch the boys for my night visits twice a week, but I can still go during the daycare hours at the gym. The trouble is, the more often I take the boys, the more they treat the daycare like home and get into brotherly fights, especially when they're the only kids in there sometimes. So, I didn't want to take them five days a week, and am instead taking them 3 days a week. Onto my tears now. When I was getting the boys from the daycare, helping put some toys away, and putting on Dexy's hoodie, AJ starts talking to the Wednesday daycare lady, Joan. He starts telling her that Auntie Kim is going to come get him and Dexter and take them overnight so that Mom can go visit Dad in the hospital because he has Leukeeeenia (better than zuchinnia that he liked to call it last year). He starts telling her all about medicine that Daddy gets that makes him really sick, and how he gets blood from other people because his blood is bad, and the word bone marrow even made it's way into the discussion! Poor Joan. She had no idea, and her face! OMGsh. She just looked so stunned that I had to tear up because I felt so badly for her listening to a 4 year old talk about his daddy having Leukemia. We came home, I packed the boys up for Kim, and I packed my own bag to go visit Richard, and fed the boys their lunch while they watch Ice Age 2. Out of the blue, while I'm packing the last of my bag, Dexter looks really distraught and says, "Noooo. Mommy go! Oh no... mommy go!". He looked like he was going to cry. Kim and I look at each with an expression of "awwww", and I tear up a bit. But then, I realized he wasn't talking about me. He was talking about the sad scene in the movie where the mammoth can't find her mom. He points up there at the tv to show me, "Oh.... mommy go. Sad." Those tears were needless. lol. Then Kim headed off with the kids to take them overnight at my parent's place (they're away camping). Thank you SO much Kim. And thank you SO much Paul for helping Kim out. Thank you so much Brock and Jared (who I'm sure, along with Paul, had to play Transformers and assorted other games).

Tears Part Three

As I left the house, I checked the mailbox to see if there was anything inside. There was an anonymous card with a nice little message and some $ to help with gas and parking! Thank you, whoever you are! I'm sure you've paid for my overnight parking with Richard for this visit! Of course, that brought some tears to my eyes.

Tears Part Four

Oh jeepers! So, I got to the hospital to visit Richard. Thank you, Ryan, who had come early in the afternoon to visit and chat with Richard and brought a get well gift! Richard had a really rough day. I think Ryan's visit was the only time that he was feeling pretty good. You know when you are woken suddenly by a 3 am phone call, and your heart just about jumps out of your chest and the adrenalin takes a really long time to calm back down? Richard had woken like that in the morning and had vomitted. He seemed okay for his visit with Ryan. When I arrived, he was doing okay for a little while, was feeling a little nauseated, and then after being startled awake by the phone, he started feeling really sick (don't let that stop you from calling him though, as it won't be stopping me from calling him) . He was feeling cold and wanted his hoodie. He was feeling pain in his chest (not heart) that radiated through to his back and his arms were sore. The nurse that was on was not a favourite of his, nor mine. She seemed a little absent minded, so I was left feeling insecure. He was trying to describe what he was feeling and she would try to repeat back to him to verify what he was saying, but she just didn't 'get it'. I did, but she didn't. Anyhow, he felt that he needed to throw up, so she was just getting the cytotoxic special bucket for him. He was sitting on the side of the bed, and she was checking his drips and stuff. I got kind of close to him, feeling badly, but not sure if I should rub his back or anything (I hate that when I'm nauseated). Anyhow... he suddenly kind of slumps to the side, I thought, from just feeling exhausted, but then.... he just fell back. I was there. I caught him. Otherwise, his head would've gone off the other side of the bed, and his shoulders, I guess. But the bad part was that his eyes were open. I didn't realize that he had passed out. I thought he was choking or had died, right there, while I was holding him. Obviously, I was crying. The nurse hadn't noticed him fall back and I was sitting there calling Richard a little frantically and calling the nurse over to help. That was scary. All I could think of was what if I hadn't been there to catch him? I mean, people pass out, sure. I've passed out a couple times, and one of those was with my eyes open, but still. It was freaky. The nurse that came on later made me feel much more secure about Richard's care and it wasn't just because of her intelligent sounding British accent, but I'm sure that helped! lol. Richard had an ECG and everything was still normal, as were all of his other vitals all still within normal. The nurse gavee him some meds for indigestion. Sounds so trivial, but based on the symptoms with the chest pain, that's what they figured it was and the meds seemed to help a bit. He slept a lot and felt pretty crappy most of the evening. During the night, there was something wrong with one of his drips. The alerting noises for it must've gone off about 7 or 8 times. Meaning 7 or 8 times during the night, nurses came in. In the morning, Richard was sick again. He hadn't touched his dinner the night before, and was able to only have a little bit of muffin this morning. He's getting platelets today, so right now he's in his Benadryl slumber. He's apologized over and over for being such a bummer. lol. What a guy. Like I was expecting some sort of party or make-out session when I got here. I thought I'd take the time right now to update the blog. Oh ya, he had an x-ray today too, and he's getting some dental work done today. I can't imagine he'll be feeling well enough to have to keep his mouth open for that long, but we'll see I guess.
***later in the day Dr. Neville arrived. Man oh man, I like him a lot. He seems to not only love his research and trying to cure Leukemia, but he genuinely seems to care about Richard.

Tears Part Five

Well, I haven't been frequenting Starbucks through the last 3 or 4 weeks. My students (thanks kiddos) had outfitted me with enough Starbucks gift cards to get me through July (I will admit, almost daily). Richard would say, "Why not space them out so you have it all the way through the summer?" He knew that once it ran out, there was no way I could justify topping up my card while having the summer off. But I said, "I'd rather enjoy it every day until it runs out, and then just make the change and start making my coffees at home." That's just what I've done. I have to say I've mastered quite a delicious mocha since my discovery of cocoa powder. It's like sugar-free magic! One of the ladies who works at the gym, Terri, HATES Starbucks (I can't believe such a person exists aside from Richard), and she had passed on a $10 gift card to me a couple weeks ago. So, aside from those 3 drinks and a frappe that Jen picked up for me (thanks Jen), I've been living on homemade coffee! YAY me. I'm quite proud, I have to say. The only bad thing about my stainless steel coffee maker and it's carafe is that it's so aroma proof. I love to set the timer on a coffee maker and have the delicious smell of coffee wake me in the morning, but with this coffee maker, you cannot smell anything! Hrmpf.
What the heck was my point to this drivel? What the heck! Oh ya... the tears. That was just the background info that the story required so you could understand my feelings. This morning, around 10am, I couldn't take it anymore. I hadn't had a coffee yet and the Starbucks is just across the street. So I did it! I went and got a coffee. You guessed, it... the smell, the taste, the music in Starbucks, I welled up with tears as I walked away taking those first sips.

Whew. Hopefully, I can get control of my emotions over the next two days.

Just watching Richard sleep now. mmmmmm.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Three Words - Kids' Sized Frosty!

I took the boys to visit Daddy today at the hospital. It's a little sad when every single time we get in the door, whether from the park or our backyard, Dexter says, "Hi Daddy!" when I open the door. At bedtime, he asks for a hug from Daddy. At naptime, he asks for a hug from Daddy. I have to remind him that Daddy's at the hospital.

It was a pretty normal morning of sun (which I have missed very much, but not as much as I miss Richard) in the backyard, the boys in the pool, and me reading a book.

Lunch, pack up all the stuff Richard wanted me to bring to the hospital, and although running late, we finally got into the car by a little after 2pm. By the time we got down the road, both boys were asleep as planned.

Traffic. Not nice. I'm not going to go into detail, but between the airshow, the construction on hwy #1 keeping most of the speed limit to 80km/hr, and everyone coming home from camping (sniff sniff), it was a gong show. The boys and I didn't arrive at the hospital until 3:39. Yikes!!!

We have a courtesy car until Tuesday or so. Something about the a/c compressor and bearings. I don't know, but I was happy they gave me a car to use! Thanks so much Ken for using your one day off back at home to help me sort that out. Thanks so much Mom, Kim, and Paul for watching the boys while I was out with Ken.

Anyhow... back to Richard. The boys were WONDERFUL! They brought their matchbox pop-up car thingies from home and I packed the dvd player too. We brought cards that we made for Daddy. Daddy was mighty happy to see his boys (and me too). I was worried about Dexter and how he'd be, especially since Richard is in a shared room, but he was great!

Richard's platelets were back down to 28. His hemoglobin is dropping. I think he said it was down to 115 (they transfuse at 80). His blasts were .3 or something originally and they are up to 1.something now. YIKES. The Leukemia is trying to work hard. Good thing the chemo starts tomorrow. Richard looked good, but looked like he missed us really badly. We miss you too, Richard. He wasn't in as much pain, and I think he said he hadn't had any morphine that day and this was to be his first night sleep without pain meds.

I packed his chocolate chip banana bread and pizza pockets into the freezer (which is now under lock and key... more on that later).

We visited until about 5:15pm when it was time for Richard to take a shower. I took the boys downstairs for some dinner that we packed.

It was a great visit. Richard and I fit in some cuddle time too. I, of course, forgot to take a picture of Richard with the boys. :(

After leaving the parkade, I drove the boys to the playground across the street. They got out some energy.

Top that all off with another $19.50 for parking, and maybe $10-$15 for gas, and of course, since the boys were so wonderful..... kids' sized frosties for 79 cents that I just couldn't pass up (once we were in Abby), and, well, you may as well just punch me in the face.

Okay, now let me vent...

Who are the greedy buggers charging $19.50 for parking for 3 hours? Here's what we know... almost everyone parking in these parkades is either sick or visiting a loved one who is sick. Now who is this sick being that owns the parkades? Is it a 'big business' or just one person that I can find and slap?

Here's the other thing, the fridge.
So, I go to the patient fridge to label Richard's stuff and put it in there. There are padlocks on the fridge and freezer!!!!!!! What????
I have to go get a key!
Who are these sick sick people? The only people on this floor are LEUKEMIA patients, their loved ones, and the nurses who care for them. Who would steal food from someone who is ill and has messed up taste buds?
What is wrong with this world?

Wooooo, whew.... phew...... whoa.... breathe Sonja.... just breathe.


Okay. I'm fine now. Thanks for letting me get that out. I'll end with pictures from my phone.

Marpole Community Centre back on Wednesday

Dexter climbing.

The waterpark before it got turned on.

Look Mom - No Hands!

They had lots of fun in the sand.

Dexter didn't mind spinning on the tire swing. AJ LOVES to spin. Dexter, not so much.

me - "Dexter. AJ's going to play in the waterpark. Do you want to play in the waterpark? Bathing suit on?"
*****no answer*****
me -"Dexter! Swim trunks?"
*****no answer*****
me - "Dexter. AJ's getting wet. Do you want to get wet?"
*****no answer*****
Dex - "I play in the sand!"

Of course, once I called AJ over to get dried off so we could pick up Richard, Dexter starts asking to go in the waterpark.
Sorry buddy, you missed your chance.

Just another morning at Thomas Swift.

AJ - "Mom, can you take a picture of me with my Transformer?"
AJ - "Mom, can you take a picture of me doing this?"

I think that's AJ up there, but I can't remember. Both of them were up there and then one poked their head down. I'm pretty sure that's AJ.

That thing spins.

Saturday at Gram's. Ken helped me take my car in to get fixed. Mom, Kim, and Paul stayed and watched the kids.

Dexter not falling asleep on the way home even though it was past his bedtime. Probably because he had two naps that day instead of one.

AJ sound asleep within minutes of leaving my mom's.