Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Anniversary that Almost Was.

Once upon a time I was single, so was Richard. We have been together awhile now, so sometimes I have to remind myself that once upon a time there was no "we", just a "me". Once we finally decided we liked each other, we had our first date around the beginning of April. On May 5th, I went to LA to meet his family. By June 2nd we were engaged. Then we got off the fast track, and stayed engaged for seven months. Seven months in normal life is really not that long. However, for two Mormon kids trying to get themselves married in the temple, it might as well have been seven years. December 21st, a Thursday, my favorite day of the week. My sister and I had plans to get married on the same day. Somewhere along the way she dumped her fiancee, I kept mine. The winter wedding was beautiful. Now four years, 2 kids, one house, two apartments, several credit cards, three cars and a couple of dogs later we decide to celebrate the day of our blessed union...the anniversary.

Now let me start by saying, I hate winter. Right down to my very core. I struggle to find any redeeming value in the months of December through February. Thank heavens for Christmas or I would put myself into an induced three month coma every year. It is interesting to note, that in the months of the calendar that I hate the most, I celebrate Christmas, my anniversary and my birthday. Boo. I promise to never bring a baby into the world during the cold, gray of winter. Babies should be greeted by springtime and sunshine. Anyway, I digress. Knowing what I know now, I would have made Richard wait another 7 months and gotten married in July. We didn't wait. So each year, on the shortest day of the year, or as Richard likes to remind me, the longest night of the year, we celebrate the day we married.

Trying to be a good sport, I planned a wonderful, snow filled getaway to Sun Valley for just the two of us. Our plans included a day of tubing down a snowy hill, followed by a horse drawn sleigh ride to a cabin in the woods where we would have dinner. It was the perfectly planned winter wonderland anniversary, and the forecast predicted a ton of snow that day. My parents took my kids, and Richard and I made our way to Sun Valley. The following morning, We bundled up in all our snow gear and headed over to the mountain to rent our tubes and towing tickets. Upon arrival, we were told that they hadn't received enough snow yet. Only the ski hills, where they were pumping out homemade snow, were open. Richard looked at me with pleading eyes. But I held firm. There is no way I will ever go skiing. I have been before, and I would rather wax off my eyebrows then go again. With our plans for the afternoon foiled, I told Richard that we could still look forward to our evening plans. We wandered in and out of the shops all afternoon wearing our snow pants and mittens as we browsed the overpriced merchandise that makes Sun Valley the place that it is. At three thirty that afternoon, I received the phone call. Our sleigh ride had been canceled, due to lack of snow. We immediately went back to the hotel and checked out before being charged for another night.

That night, as we ate dinner in Pocatello with my parents and kids, we kissed over a piece of pizza and wished each other a happy anniversary. The next day it took Richard over 6 and 1/2 hours to make the normally three hour drive form Pocatello to Boise. The reason for all the delay. The weather forecast from two days earlier. That night there was so much snowfall that most of the highways were shut down. I hate winter. Happy Anniversary Richard. I love you.

Its Official

It's official, I am the world's worst blogger. I just read my last post where I vowed to write something completely uncancer related within 24 hours. At last count, that was over two weeks ago. It is the same reason I have never been a good journal keeper. When the going gets good, and somewhat interesting...I find myself to busy to want to stop and write it all down. Here are my feeble attempts to catch up, and give myself some peace of mind.

Peace of mind. It is at the top of my current list. It is written in black ink and is immediately followed by the word blog. I always have a list. I love everything about them. I make new ones everyday, and can often be found carrying around up to three or four lists at a time. Grocery lists, things to tell my mom lists, Christmas lists, books to read lists, and of course, the beloved To Do lists. They are my favorite. I love the satisfaction of being able to cross tasks off one by one as I complete them. I have even been known to go back to my list and write in a job I have just finished. One that wasn't even on the list, just so I can cross it off.

So currently, it is 4:15 am and I can't sleep. the ugly side to lists, is that they can haunt you. Things left uncrossed off the list loom large in the middle of the night as you think about the stuff you still need to do. 'Write on my Blog' has now been moved to its seventh, and for now final list. I am going to cross off peace of mind as well, and hopefully I can get to sleep. In the meantime, I have a new list: Christmas, my anniversary, Amy Barlow, Brandon, the ice skating rink, surprise gift baskets. Yes, it's the things I plan to blog about list. And the lists go on.

P.S. as an interesting side note. I took typing in the seventh grade, at Franklin Jr. High on a manual typewriter. Sitting nest to me the whole semester was one of the largest crushes of my lifetime, Mario Cunningham. As a result, my typing suffered greatly. I am the world's worst typer. Before spell check, this blog entry had 25 misspelled words. That is pathetic, especially because I was looking at my hands the whole time. Dear Mrs. Lusk, my typing teacher, if you are out there, I am sorry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dog Years

Well, we did it. All of us survived our first round of overnight chemo. It wasn't pretty. For 32 hours, my job was to make sure Olive didn't pull out her IV cords. Now, this has never been an easy job. It, however, has been made all the more difficult by my little girl who now is up and walking everywhere. At the clinic, they have a little toy grocery cart that has become Olive's favorite item. For four and a half hours we roamed the hospital hallways. Olive pushing her grocery cart, and me, not far behind pushing her IV pole. I have decide that time spent in a hospital is like dog years. According to my calculations every hour spent at St. Luke's is equivalent to 7 years. I went in 31 years old and came out 52.

Due to the fact that Olive has been getting so violently sick after each round of chemo, her doctors decided to try some new medications and keep her over night. She is now taking a concoction of chemo drugs, fluids, steroids, anti-nausea medicines and allergy medication. The allergy medication is a new attempt at controlling nausea. Some doctors believe that patients can actually have an allergic reaction to their chemo drugs. Like every situation we have faced with Olive, however, there is a debate among the doctors on how we should treat her. One doctor prescribed Decadron as an anti-nausea med. Decadron is great at preventing vomiting, however it is a powerful steroid that can have terrible side effects including bone damage. Another doctor advised us to stay clear of decadron unless absolutely necessary. Once again, the choice of how to take care of Olive ultimately became my decision. We haven't taken any decadron since. This has lead to some vomiting.

Last night I was awakened by the sound of my baby gagging. She has quite the barfing reflex. When she throws up she does it in grand fashion. Richard was in charge of bathing, and showering Olive who was covered head to toe in barf, while I began to clean up her puke covered room. If throwing up was an Olympic event, we would have a gold medalist on our hands. Once cleaned up, Olive fell asleep while I was putting on her diaper. Yaking like that can really wear a girl out. I gave her another dosage of Zofran (another type of anti-nausea med) and haven't heard from her since.

I vow to write another entry in the next 24 hours that will have nothing to do with cancer. Believe it or not, we do have other things going on in our life, and I would like to remember those things as well. As for now, though, I need a shower.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Coal for Christmas

If it looks like my kids are crying in these pictures, it is because they are. If you look behind them you will see why. In the five minutes it took for me to post the pictures in the previous post, Hurricane Olivex (Rex and Olive) hit Olive's room with a vengeance. The only thing twice as ugly, was me when I walked in to find the destruction. They are trouble times two. They used to be able to rely on how cute they were to help me forgive and forget their crazy antics, but lately they just aren't cute enough. To think just moments ago I was writing fondly about my sweet boy. Now he is screaming in time out. If what they say is true, he is going to have a lot of explaining to do, to both Santa and Jesus tonight if he hopes for more than coal this Christmas. Little Olive is no angel either...don't be fooled.

Christmas Confusion

The Christmas decorations are up, and we are in the full swing of the holiday season. Our decorations include two trees, my fake one and Richard's real one. We have lights up outside, and I have made and hung my handmade evergreen wreath. Norman, the Santa's helper elf, is watching the kids from his spot on the shelf. Our Santa figurines decorate the living room. And last, but surely not least, the nativities have been placed out on the hutch. This is where the confusion begins.

For awhile now, we have been teaching Rex about Jesus. He has a picture of him in his room, and several books about him that we read regularly. Rex even knows that Christmas is all about Jesus' birthday. Then along comes Santa. Another nice, happy, bearded man we all love. Yesterday, I found Rex in his room playing with one of our Santa dolls. When I asked him what he was doing he informed me that he was playing with Jesus. According to Rex, baby Santa was born in a stable near cows that say "moo". I have no desire to try and correct his confusion. I love how easy Rex has made it to incorporate Jesus into all of our holiday activities. At Target yesterday, we bought a plate that is especially for cookies for Santa. When Rex got home, he went to his plate drawer and brought me his favorite green plate. "This is the plate for Jesus' cookies." Of course it is sweet boy. On Christmas eve at our house, we will be setting out two plates of cookies for each of the nice, happy bearded men of Christmas.