TIME TO GO HOME? MAYBE NOT YET…

Update…why does it matter when I tell you guys when I THINK I am going to get to go home? It doesn’t matter because its constantly changing. As I have mentioned in previous posts, cancer is a test of your patience. It doesn’t always follow your plan. The good news is that I have been done with my 2nd round of maintenance chemo for over a week. This is the point where my blood count numbers should be at their lowest and I should really feel like crap. And guess what?! I DON’T feel like crap. I’ve actually felt really good the whole time I have been here at Camp Summerlin. (I better not be jinxing myself here.) I have been recieving some platelet transfusions (which would to be expected) but other than that I feel like I am just taking up space here…kind of like my bulldog Gru just takes up space at home. (Bulldogs can’t help that they are lazy and just take up space.)

My Buddy Gru

My Buddy Gru

Sorry its not the best pic he’s taken, but he is quite photogenic and handsome (just like the character he is named after in Despicable Me.)

If you remember, my oncologist prepped me to be in here for 3-4 weeks from the start of chemo. She came in my lovely room yesterday and said maybe only 4 more days! (That would make my stay closer to 2 weeks.)

Kids Surprise Faces

The kids were just as surprised as I was when they heard the news. (I also think they could give Macaulay Culkin a run for his money with the Home Alone face.)

Then…my oncologist came in my room THIS morning and said everything is looking good, maybe I can go home in 4 days. (Notice it was the same as yesterday….she has ADDED a day.) She smirked when she said it too. We all know the game. It changes all of the time and so I really won’t know for sure when I am headed home until it actually happens. I am okay with it though. I’ve learned to not worry about it. It will happen when it is supposed to. Plus, I now have my whole home office all set up in my room here at Camp Summerlin.

Office Setup

Bank statements? Check. Laptop? Check. Printer? Check. External Hard Drive? Check. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? Heck yes check! I have everything all set up here now so I can actually get caught up and get some work done. At home there’s always distractions of kids, laundry, dishes…. Here at the hospital, I don’t worry about those things so its really a blessing in disguise that I can get all of these things done. Plus the nurses and doctors get a kick out of the fact that I’ve set this all up. Hey, I’m just trying to be efficient because when I do get home, I want to be able to enjoy those little kid faces and dog faces that I’ve been missing for the past 2 weeks.

I GOT TO SEE MY KIDS TODAY!!!

Yes, you heard me right, the my kiddos got to come visit me at the hospital this evening. I found out the other day that one of my new walking friends was able to have her 8 year-old daughter come visit. It was the first time she had seen her in a month. It made me start thinking, Ava is 6 (going on 16), she’s not sick, she should be able to come visit.

The charge nurse was in my room today and she was looking at the wall of pictures and proceeded to ask about my kids. We started talking and I casually asked what the age cut off was for visiting and wondered if maybe my daughter could come to visit. She said sure, she had no problem with it. She just wanted me to clear it with my chemo nurse or one of my doctors. Well I after that, I was on a mission!

Dr. Alexi (my infectious disease doctor) was the last to come check on me today so I asked him. He is the nicest, funniest man with a Detroit-Latino accent who has 4 kids of his own. I figured he was my best shot, so I asked him. He said he had no problem with it as long as hands were sanitized and masks were on. (We already know about that protocol.) I also checked with my chemo nurse and she said as long as Ava was coming, Grady (who is 3 1/2) might as well come too as long as he would keep his mask on. If one had been exposed to something, they both would be sharing it anyway because they are home together. (Makes sense.)

I immediately texted Dave and my mom to let them know the great news. We made a plan in case Grady was going to be difficult about the mask. (You can never know what a 3 year-old is going to do.) So, the whole family came: Dave, Ave, Grady and my mom.

It was so fabulous to see them. They weren’t scared. They thought it was cool that they got to wear masks. We even sent the masks home with the kids so they could pretend they were doctors.

Grady in his mask

Grady in his mask

Ava gave me 6 individually construction paper wrapped presents adorned with pipe cleaners. What was inside each one? Rocks – oh wait, excuse me- they were crystals from the backyard. (She did take time to find rocks that had sparkly parts to them.)

Ava's Presents

Ava’s Presents

They stayed for about an hour and they were so well behaved. I think it gave them a sense of comfort to see me in person and to see where I was. I can’t explain what a great mood it has put me in that I was given this opportunity. I even got to squeeze them both with big hugs and that just made my day! The next time I see them is probably when I am released to go home for a week – which we still don’t know exactly when that will be.

Once again, take time to let people know how much you care and how special they are to you because you never know what is going to happen.

Kids Visit 9

 

 

THE BEGINNING

This is a story of a girl that was a pom pon, Liliac Princess, straight-A, over-achiever in high school who meets the guy of her dreams in college. She gets married in Las Vegas and the whole world is before her. My husband and I decided the glitz of Vegas was getting a bit mundane, so we began our own personal training business and we built a new home. The next natural progression was to have a baby.

In May 26, 2007, Ava Grace graced with us with our presence and changed our lives.

Baby Ava

Two and a half years later came her hell-raising but darling baby brother, Grady Jeffrey (named after my deceased dad.)

Baby Grady

Life seemed perfect. 

Then the economy started to take a turn and Las Vegas was hit harder than other parts of the country. So business was getting slower, our house was quickly finding itself underwater (along with more than 75% of the rest of the valley). Things simply got stressful and scary. We went through a year long process of short-selling our home and we found a home to rent.

It was a beautiful home with a pool and we could walk to one of the best elementary schools in the Vegas Valley. However, we were still financially strapped and it soon didn’t become worth it. My husband began resenting each other, miscommunicated and we both acted out in our separate ways. He ended up moving out in September of 2012. That is when I really lost myself. I was only a shadow of my former self. My children were taken care of and it feels like that’s about it. Thankfully I’ve learned children are resililant.

A bottle of white wine was my best friend each night. It took the problems away – or so I thought. I know it wasn’t right but that’s what it became and I had no one to tell me that it wasn’t okay. Well I did, but let’s be real, we only listen when we really want to.

Two years went by in this home when I decided I did need something smaller and more managable. My husband had been helping me with the larger home, but it was just still expensive and too much upkeep for an under-functioning adult and 2 little kids and dogs. So this last May I went house hunting on my own with my good friend and it took us awhile to find something to rent in the school we were previously zoned. My kids had been though so much change in the past few years, I didn’t want to add changing schools to the list as well.

Within a week and a half before my lease was up I found a great house. It didn’t have the swimming pool and spa, it wasn’t as large, we couldn’t walk to school, we would have to drive, but it was perfect for us! I was estatic! It has a neighborhood full of girls and boys all my kids ages. They have all become best friends and play non-stop.

I spent a good 2 weeks, with help from friends and got the 3800 sq. ft. packed into a 2000 sq. ft. house. Needless to say I had too much stuff. I have donated so much, given away so much and my garage is still full. Here I come e-Bay, Craig’s List, (maybe a garage sale…if I ever get up for it.) I am sure a lot of it will still get donated.

The last 2 months is when things got very rocky and I didn’t even realize how broken down my body (both physically and mentally) had become. I no longer had help from our nanny, so my husband and I decided that I was just to stay home, unpack and do all of the mundane moving chores. I had 2 kids home for school for the summer and I was all of a sudden I was a stay at home mom. This was a complete change from my former life or self. I started to have no appetitte, I was getting dizzy, weak, almost passing out, throwing up, diarhhea, and headaches. I had just energy to care for the kids, make sure they were fed and that we made it to our activities throughout the day. I felt like a terrible mother but didn’t feel I had a place to turn. I was always the wife, sister, mom that always had it together. It was scary to admit that I didn’t it.