Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today is my mothers birthday. She should be at home partying and having a great time but things don't always end up the way you plan. Instead today, my mother will hopefully get her breathing tube out and be able to talk to us. For us, that is a better birthday present than anything we bought her. Also instead of harassing her about getting older today, we are trying to talk to her and tell her she has to calm down and listen to the nurses. All her numbers are getting better and is all moving in a positive direction. Her kidneys are working and she got off dialysis yesterday. The last big hurdle for now is just the breathing tube. So, happy birthday, Mom. I hope that even though it isnt the way you had hoped to celebrate that you will revel in the small victories.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Update with no update

On Sunday I decided that I would come down to Utah to support my mom and help support my family. I wasn't sure if I would be coming down by driving or flying. My sister A offered to have her husband and family help out with Thing One and Two so I would be able to fly down. It was crazy to call the airlines and get a flight the same day. Now I know why in all the movies when they have to make a quick getaway they don't have kids because it was a frantic packing session to get everything ready in four hours. But before you knew it we were on the airplane eating our complimentary cookies and drinking our cranberry juice.
Today was the first day I got to see my mom. It is hard to see her all connected to all the machines, but I am glad that they are able to help her so much. She is still sedated pretty heavily but she did stir her feet when she heard my sisters and me (shhhh, don't tell them all three of us went back at once.) She is still on dialysis to help her kidneys and on a ventilator (but she is breathing on the lowest setting of the ventilator so it isn't really breathing for her). Her condition is still the same, which I will take if it means she isn't getting worse.
It is slow going here because of all the restrictions on the Icu, and I can see how you can lose track of time in the hospital.
I will keep everyone posted and thanks for all the love and support everyone has shown my family.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

UPDATE about my Mother

As I have said, her surgery to for her hysterectomy was on Friday morning. While they hoped the cancer was only on her ovaries, it ended up being a bit more extreme (It is stage 3c). They ended up scraping off some tumors on her bowel, bladder and intestines. It was a very intense surgery that lasted almost 5 hours. The doctor was still very positive about her condition, but warned that she was going to be in a lot of pain because of how raw the organs had become.

On Saturday morning, we were informed that she had been moved to intensive care unit over night because her blood pressure was really low. After a few more tests and some more waiting, they determined that her organs had become very swollen from all the trauma from the previous surgery. They were so swollen that they had started to restrict the blood flow to her kidneys, which in turn had reduced the kidney function. They decided that they would sedate my mom (and put a breathing tube in) and hope it would promote her body to start healing and reduce the swelling. Also tonight they decided to put her on dialysis to help her kidney a bit. Tomorrow, everyone is hoping that her condition heads into a positive direction. I know she is a strong woman and will be making a comeback soon. Then we can focus on fighting the cancer instead of all these other problems. (chemo will start in 3 weeks)

Please feel free to leave a comment for my MOM because I know that she would love to hear them in a few days when she is doing better. And since I am not there to hold her hand, it is the least I can do for her! Thanks!

*All this information is from what I have heard from my father and 2 sisters, since I am 800 miles away from the situation. I have tried to get the facts correct as best as I can, but I am sure some of it might be incorrect. (trust me when I say that the BIG stuff is correct.)Also as a separate note, some of my family members don't really talk about these things on the internet (or facebook), but I know that my mom understands that I use my blogging as a therapy and would be fine with me putting this information on such a public forum. So I am trusting my instincts and publishing this post.

One more reason to love my mother

Even though last week she was in pain and suffering before her surgery, she still took time to swing by the book store to buy Baby some new books. We received them on Friday, while she was actually in surgery for her cancer. I loved how she wrote in them for Baby. It was a bittersweet package because normally I would call her immediately to thank her and let her listen to baby play with them, but this time I couldn't. Thanks again, Mom! (and Dad). You are the best!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mother time

Pringle Face

Since all this crap, I mean stuff with my mother started, I have started to think about all the 'lol' moments. I am sure I have said this before, but she is my best friend. We talk at least 3 times a day. (some days more.) My husband like to call us Lucy and Ethel because whenever we hang out we get into trouble. There have been many times I have laughed so hard I have cried around her. And while we have had our share of arguments and annoying moments, the funny times easily outnumber the bad times.

There was the time that we shoved a queen size quilt (that was at least an inch thick), into the washing machine. It was a tight squeeze, but we MADE it fit! Well, what a surprise when the washing machine started smoking (no fire, thank God.) and making a horrible noise. By this time, my dad, who is the fix-it man was home and was the first one to the washer. Once he yanked the quilt out of the machine, he proceeded to start repairing it (burned out belt). To say he was not happy about the situation would be a little bit of an understatement. For the rest of the night, he proceeded to walk around the house calling my mother "Stupid Woman" and me "Stupid Girl". But he would only call us those names when he would catch a glimpse of us. And he would only say it under his breathe. Even though we knew we were in trouble, we were laughing hysterically when we were driving to the laundromat to finish washing the blanket. And still to this day, if we do anything bad my dad will still call us those names, but they definitely don't hold as much power because it always makes me giggle and think of the over-sized quilt we SHOVED into my parents tiny washing machine.
Another time we were driving on one of our many trips to Montana, when my dad decided to take a nap and let my mom pilot the motor home. She was usually a good driver, but only drove the straight parts that had no real challenges in them. On our family road trips, we would stock up on our favorite foods (candy, nilla wafers, twizzlers) and then drive, play music and have some great laughs along the way. My mom hopped in the drivers seat, I jumped in the passenger seat and we were off. We were singing (I remember singing to the Camelot soundtrack, but I could be wrong) and eating our candy. I accidentally dropped a bag of candy and so my mom, being the helpful lady she is, reached down with me to grab it. When we both looked up, the motor home was headed to the side of the road and was riding on those lovely rumble strips. She got us headed in the right direction again with a quick wheel jerk and we started laughing. The laughter was quickly interrupted by my dad who was jostled off the bed in the back during our antics. You would think he would learn by now that he can not yell at us because all we do is laugh at him and his lecture is lost on us. After that my dad was surprisingly awake and decided to drive the rest of the way himself.
I love to think back on all the times we have laughed at one another. (And there are quite a few. The pictures have nothing to do with the post but they are funny ones of her that made me laugh when I was picking them.) So to my dear Mother, when you are having a 'bad' day please bookmark this page and look at it because I know I will be. (And yes, you can call me, so I can walk you through how to bookmark a page on your ipad!) :) Hahahahahaha!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Times they are a changing

On a totally separate happy note,

Talk of the day

I don't think I have said (or typed) the word hysterectomy as much as I have today. Today was the big day for the dr. visit and it sounded very promising. My mother goes in for a complete hysterectomy (see, there I go again) on Friday and will recoup for the next three weeks. In April, she will start chemo (one time every 3 weeks for the next 5-6 months). I feel better knowing what is going on, but it still is sucky that I am not going to be there while she undergoes her surgery. I am still waiting for some millionaire to discover my blog and offer to fly my baby, two dogs and myself down to Utah in his private jet. They will be knocking on my door any moment now....

While I wait for the knock, let me just say to all my friends thanks for all the support. All the well wishes have meant the world to me and my mother. (she is my loyal reader after all.) Thanks to you all!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tomorrow knows

On 3/11 we found out about the cancer.
The 12 days between the diagnosis and the first oncology visit have been excruciatingly long and emotional for everyone in our family (with the exception of Thing one and Thing two and Baby... I don't this it will really sink in that something is going on until we are all trapped in a Malibu driving the 798.7 mile back to Utah to see my mom)
On 3/23 in the morning, my mom will find out how we can kick cancer's butt!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Zoo

Soder and Baby checking out the penguins

This weekend we went to the zoo. (I have the feeling a few posts will start with this statement for the next year since we bought a membership pass) It was a beautiful blue sky day in the Northwest and we were itching to get out into the sunshine. Baby is really starting to pay attention to his surroundings and now will look where we point to when we see different animals. And after a nice walk around the animals, we decided we were all zoo-ed out. (Well zoo-ed out and Baby was tuckered out and fell asleep almost immediately when we loaded into the car.)After the zoo, we used a groupon for some frozen custard. It was a great adventure to find the location and then find parking. In the 'tah, we don't have to worry about parking because space is a non-issue, so maneuvering around the city is a bit of a challenge. Once we finally got to the place, Peaks Frozen Custard, our adventure took an exciting turn. One of the flavors of the day was Maple Bacon. Why yes those are bacon bits as a garnish on his maple bacon custard!

Anyone who knows Soder, knows that he LOVES his bacon so that was one of the flavors he tried. It was surprisingly very delicious. (delicious enough that I would drive back there to have their frozen custard again)
It was a pleasant afternoon to have just a sweet treat with my little family and to enjoy the sunshine. It had been far too long since I had had my full dose of vitamin d.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Something happy to watch

Instead of lingering on the sad/frustrating lets focus on something happier, mainly Baby. He has started to dance and it is funny because he actually has songs that he enjoys and others that he doesn't. I know it is long, but who doesn't love a:Justin Bieber and b: a baby entertaining himself.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mommy and me swim classes

This morning was our third Mommy and Me swim classes. While the classes aren't promising to teach my 10 month old how to swim, it is meant to introduce them to the water at an early age and teach some safety techniques. (teaching them to wait to enter a pool and how to float on their back until you tell them to sit up are just a few things they have taught us.)

Today, we got to teach them to go under water. Well, maybe 'teach' is too strong of a word, more like dunk our children at the count of three. Baby did a great job and no tears were shed. He didn't even pull any odd faces or anything. I was very impressed. It is an odd feeling to know that you are doing the right thing, but it feels so wrong because they don't understand what the heck is happening. (similar feeling when your baby gets their immunizations.)

While the guilt has subsided, the best reward for all involved is a nice nap when we get home. And while my guilt won't let me lay down, my little tadpole is sound asleep in a fleecy warm outfit covered with his favorite blanket. In my book that is a well spent $50 for classes.

Friday, March 11, 2011

And the news...

Is not the best news. It is ovarian cancer. And apparently, the next step is to send her to a Gynecological Oncologist. (her appointment is in a week and a half. An ENTIRE week and a half. I get that doctors have to go to conferences to learn stuff, but don't they realize that this patient is not some nobody, but MY mother?!)

And it is funny but I don't really WANT to talk about it, but I NEED to put it out there SOMEPLACE
(thank God for Blogs). It is kinda like how you have to write something down so you can move on. So let put a pin in it for now and try to move on to a happier place for a while. At least until I can wrap my brain around it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ups and Downs

A happier time in Edinburgh

This week was suppose to be a super happy one. But things change. It was suppose to be the one where my mom and dad were to come up to visit and help my sister out by watching her two children. (My sister is headed to watch a tennis tournament in sunny Palms Springs, CA where it is 85 and hot.) My mother hasn't been feeling the best for the past little while and about a month ago decided to go to the doctor to find out what is wrong. At first they thought maybe a gallbladder attack. After an ultrasound, they ruled that out, but saw something on her liver. After a cat scan, they ruled out any problems with her liver, but they saw that her abdomin is filled with a liquid. So now she has to go today and get the liquid tested and have an ultrasound again because this time they think it could be something wrong with her kidneys (scary) or ovarian cancer (scarier). I am under the firm belief that it isn't freak out time until we know what we are dealing with (other family members choose to freak out at everything, and that is their choice) So on Friday, after they make you wait for the results a few days to get your paranoia level to just about crazy level, she will find out. All this changed all plans on the calendar. Since they wanted to find out what was going on and do more tests, they won't be visiting the Northwest for the near future which is sad for me because I hate to think of anything wrong with one of my favorite people in the whole wide world. So now we wait until they either find out and treat whatever is her ailment or I buck up the courage to drive the 800+ trek with a 10 month old Baby and two dogs all by myself. And so until Friday we just wait or I can scare myself even more by picturing myself in a rest stop somewhere in Oregon in our Malibu stuffed to the brim with dogs and baby. I don't know which is worse.... seriously, Mom, please don't have anything bad wrong. I don't want to even imagine it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

You can take the girl out of the ghetto....

Ok, so I am not really from a ghetto, at least not the typical kind. I was raised in a small town in Utah that has 2 stop lights and one grocery store. It was on the wrong side of the freeway when it came to high school, so I like to think I came from a Utah- ghetto. I am actually proud that my family was resourceful (I think that is ghetto talk for economically challenged.) We weren't poor, but we weren't rolling in money. When things broke we fixed them, or let me rephrase, my dad fixed them or jerry-rigged them to work again. My dad was so good at repairing things that during my life at home (roughly 22 years) we had ONE vacuum and only two lawn mowers.(when we bought the second lawnmower we actually all stood around it and got a picture with it, like it was a new car.) That is what I have inherited. I love to jerry-rig things to work, especially if it saves me money or I can get a SCREAMING deal on it. (I hate to pay for things to be fixed, seriously it is one of my biggest pet peeves.)

When I found that I loved to take walks with the baby and the dogs, I also realized that there was a certain weather phenomenon that happens up here all the time, rain. I went online and looked for a rain cover for the stroller and to my shock, they wanted almost $50 bucks for it. I found the stroller/car seat on sale for around $100 buck so I was NOT going to spend half the original cost for a piece of plastic to keep it dry. I would sooner use a garbage sack to keep the baby dry. Since I didn't really want to look like a hillbilly with a hefty sack as a rain tarp, I decided to go look at a local gently-used kid store to see what they had. They didn't have many choices, but one of them that I figured would work was a mere $3. I figured for that price I could either make it work or it wouldn't be that big of a financial risk if it didn't.

Today, I got it out and hooked it up to the stroller. Why yes, those are pipe cleaners holding it on. And yes it did it's job and only looked a little hokey. And yes, my dad would be proud!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bloggers block

I have a serious case of writer's block. I have been wanting to write so badly, but have nothing to write about. I find that most of the stuff I do everyday is a little, um, dull... I don't think you all want to hear what baby food I feed baby or if I get to go on a walk or how many loads of laundry I did today. My creative brain has shrunk so much that I am contemplating asking Soder for idea advice. (It is getting serious people!)

Blogging is my therapy and I am failing at it because I have nothing noteworthy to comment on.... so bear with me for the next little bit. That is your warning, my next few blogs are going to be very random, because I am going to power through this and find my funk again!