Reincarnated As A Mother

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Last Hurrah

It is a good thing Kean is totally unaware of his schedule.
He's got a big day of Chemo set for tomorow at the hospital.
So tonight... we feasted.
My mom and Greer are still out of town, so we had my dad over
and some of our dearest friends, Ron and Elly Moomey.
 I think Kean was totally salivating at the desserts Elly brought...
 Actually, we all were.  He just showed it more than the rest of us.
And yes, I did say desserts- plural.
Elly is a total over achiever when it comes to the kitchen.
We were quite spoiled tonight.
Pray for good counts, a boy who doesn't complain that he's being starved for the morning,
a mom who is calm, doctors to be brilliant and all to go well as
they put Chemo in his spine and brain.
I keep reminding myself for every one of these we have, we are that
much closer to being done- done- done!

Saturday, June 29, 2013


If you're not living it... you've certainly heard it.
Those of us in the West are in the middle of a sweltering heat wave.
And trust me, we're doing what we can to keep cool.
On top of lots of ice cream and cool pops for the kiddos,
our neighbor brought this over and set it up.
Nirvana for the girls.
We thought it would be fun to have Holland take Kean on a little spin...
 He went down twice and then was done.
But he had a grand time watching and cheering the girls on.
 We're also swimming at our neighbors, the Bodily's.
As cute as Boy Wonder was in the pool,
nothing beats watching him and Grandpa Bodily mimic each other.
These two have quite the "bromance" going.

Friday, June 28, 2013


If you are wondering how Keanut is feeling...
oh, let me tell you.
He's feeling well enough to get into all kinds of mischief.
Just look how we found him in the morning.
If you can't tell,
He's naked as a jailbird from the bottom down.
I went to get him... and he was sans pants, sans diaper
and as proud as could be!
Then this evening, after he was all cleaned up and ready for bed,
I made the mistake of letting him loose while I got his Chemo drugs ready.
He pushed the door open to the bathroom where Reese was taking a bath
and climbed right on in! 
Diaper, pajamas and all.
p.s.  could you hear Reese screaming for help where you live?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ride 'Em Cowboy

We had round two of Kean and his horse therapy today.
This one was much better-- even though the picture doesn't look like it.
He rode the horse for a few minutes before letting me know he was done.
We then put Reesey on to hold him, nice and snug-- and he was actually loving it.
He even was bobbing his body up and down trying to get the horse to giddyup.
All in all, I was excited that he was on the horse as long as he was
(probably 15 minutes vs. 4 minutes last week).
I think part of it is they have found the perfect horse for us:  Reba.
I hear when she's with teens or adults, she's quite spirited
but with us, she was the sweetest, snuggliest horse.
In fact, when she was just two (she's five now), she was at the fairgrounds
surrounded by a group of adoring kids.  A short distance away, was
a girl in a large wheelchair-- afraid to come over.
According to her trainer, Reba gently pushed her way
through the children, went over to the girl in the wheelchair and
put her nuzzle on the girl's lap.
I think Reba and Keanut (and Reese) are destined to be good friends.
She seems like the perfect partner.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Walk In the Park

We mixed things up a bit today, with an early morning
therapy session-- at a little park, instead of our house.
That's a very pregnant, Andrea, his Occupational Therapist making him work.
 Keanut seemed to have fun riding the little toys...
 and exploring the tunnel...
Our biggest challenge was avoiding the sprinklers that were rotating
through the park.
We had the whole place to ourselves up until the very end.
It was fabulous.
I think we'll try it again.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bloody Blood

Today was supposed to be one of those easy days---
just skip on down to the hospital, get Kean's blood drawn, meet with the doc---
bing, bang, outta there.
I even coaxed the girls into coming with us (promising we wouldn't be there all day).
They brought a slew of new Beanie Babies that our neighbor Johanna gave then
to give out to the Cancer kids (and oh, did they have fun doing that).
 I guess I have to keep re-learning my lesson to not get overly confident.
The nurse went to access his port to draw his blood samples
and guess what?!?!?  His port wouldn't work.
We tried everything and I mean everything to get blood out of that poor boy.
Take a look at just a snap shot of one of many songs and dances we tried!
Finally, everyone realized it wasn't going to happen.
And while we waited for the doctor to order TPA (I think it is an anti-clotting drug),
and while we waited for the pharmacy to get it filled, and then while we waited for the
nurse to give it to our boy and then while we waited for 45 minutes for it to do it's thing...
I tried to stay calm.
As one of the Nurse Practitioners told me-- "oh don't worry until you have a reason to worry...
worst case scenario, he'd just have to get a new port."
Uh... that means a big surgery.
Anyway... I'm thrilled and relieved to report the TPA did the trick.
Just look at the red stuff flowing.
 Talk about relief.  The other good news... his counts are ok.
Not bad, not great.  He's at 800.  But we'll gladly take that.
We also said goodbye to one of our favorites there--
the receptionist who books all of our appointments and is one of the kindest, sweetest
women... Dana is moving. Sniff, sniff.
 We've talked to Greer a few times.
She is having a ball in Texas.
That is her swinging out across the pond.
 And here she is with my darling nieces and nephews.
She tells me the water was really cold.
I hope when it comes to time to come home, she actually wants to come back to us.
She's loving it down there.

Monday, June 24, 2013


It is much, much quieter around our house.
That's because one of the little noise-makers has been taken out of the mix.
Nope, not this one.
Greer went to Texas with my mom the other day.
They are there for ten days to babysit by brother Marc's kiddos
while he works and his wife is out of town.
From this video, I'd say the babysitting is going extremely well....
Actually, they're not babysitting yet... that starts tomorrow.
But listen to this, my brother called me on his way home from work today
to tell me that Greer is quote "delightful".
Yup.  Sure miss that sweet thing.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


You'd think Kean was in the throes of his teenage years.
His face is as broken out as any pimply pre-pubescent.
(How's that for alliteration?)

Gotta love all these fun side effects.
Thankfully, this one's not so bad in the big scheme of things.
We don't know which of the Chemo drugs he is on that
is causing the break-out.
But we are pretty used to it by now.
 He breaks out for a few weeks and by the time it is peaking and getting
to be at it's worst, he goes on Steroids and it all clears up again for a few.
Alas, he goes on Steroids next week.
I guess the face clearing side effect is the silver lining on
that hated drug.  And we will take it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Second Best Day Ever

At bedtime tonight, Reese told me that Kean had his "second
best day ever"!
She pointed out to me that he got to go on a bike ride...
 He got to swing in the hammock (where he perfected his whistling skills)...
 And he even got to hang out with Dad and Reese and
roast marshmallows and eat S'mores.
So it had to be his "second best day ever".
Of course I had to ask what was his first...
"The day he was born!"

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Bit Traumatized

We finally had a hearing test for Kean.
It has been well over a year (since before Kean got sick)
that we last had a test.
And today was a doozie.
It took two doctors-- two and two hours!
They ran several tests-- from blowing air in his ears to check the pressure
and movement of his ear drums to hooking up sensors and putting them in his ears.
They then stuck him in a soundproof booth
and while we held down his hands (to keep him from pulling out the sensors),
one of the doctors outside the booth played sounds on different frequencies.
When he heard one, he was supposed to turn his head to the left-
to a TV screen to see a little cartoon character light up and dance.
He did okay... when he wasn't screaming and crying because we
were holding his hands down.

 He cried pretty much non- stop, poor guy.
And he still needs to wear a hearing aid in his right ear-- but since his
slacker mom hasn't made him wear one since he got sick, he's outgrown his old one
and they had to take molds for a new one.
Needless to say, the boy was spent by the time we got through everything.
He didn't even make it home.
 After a good, long nap for Keanut, we all went over to
Ron and Elly Moomey's house for a belated birthday party for Byron.
We had a meal straight out of a magazine-- picture perfect and yummy too.
 Elly even made Byron's fav-- German chocolate cake.
 The best part was the card they gave him that said something about wondering
why old men wear black socks with their sandals...
It said he is one year closer to finding out!
Looks like he's already there.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Keanut had his first official horse therapy lesson today--
and frankly, I'm not quite sure what to think.
I took it as a good sign when they brought the horse out (Krissy)
and Kean broke into a huge smile.
But then it took a while to get the horse brushed and saddled.
Once Kean got on, he seemed thrilled.
He sat up straight, smiled and giggled.
But that only lasted, oh, about 3 minutes.
Then he was done.
We put Reese on behind him hoping that would help.
 But that only lasted, oh, about a minute.
We are scheduled to try again next week.
Perhaps this will be a work in progress.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

50 Is Nifty

Holy Cow!  Byron has hit the half century mark.
I'd like to believe we are both in denial-- but hard to do that when Ron and Elly
Moomey put this on the street in front of our home first thing.
Our cousin just called to ask if Byron has been sufficiently humiliated
and I'd have to say yes.
Mark and Calene Borup came over bearing many, many gifts-- from
a big bag of Depends, to arthritis pills, laxatives to Fixodent.         
 Just look at them... looking all innocent.
My dad and the Bodily's also came over to give Mister Barker a hard time.
 We especially loved how the Bodily's wrapped their present
in the Obituary section of the paper.
Gotta remember that little trick.
 The Klinglers (Byron's cousins in Arizona-- but more like siblings)
sent him all kinds of goodies... including this Dr. Seuss book and a package of
rubber ducks -just like Kean gets each time he has blood draws at the hospital-
but these ones are on walkers and have grey hair and spectacles.
Instead of traditional cake, we opted for a tropical approach-- well maybe.
A blackberry and sour cream pie and fish tacos for dinner.
 The girls and I tried to create a little island feel... because
the big present is - we are planning to go to Fiji in the fall.
The Klinglers (Byron's cousins and our adopted parents) are serving as the president
of the Fiji Mission for our church.
One of my cousins, Spencer, has offered us free plane tickets
so we are CRAZY not to go.
We just have to work it around girls being back in school and
Kean's treatment.
By the way, during therapy today, Kean opened up a small photo album
and looked at a picture of us and said Dadda, Momma
and then Poppa when he saw his Grandpa.
This was a HUGE moment.
All of that was unprompted.
I say, what a great birthday present.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Good Life

Can I just tell you how good life is?
Kean seems healthy and happy-- he looks so good, I doubt if you didn't already know,
you'd never guess he had Cancer.
Chelsea Borup came over for three hours this morning.  We have a small budget
for additional therapy for Kean and we are hiring Chelsea and another gal home
from college- Lindsay Pennington to come over and do some extra work with the boy.
She took him to the park this morning (before it got busy) and got him to climb
stairs and go down slides.  He loved it, loved being healthy enough to get out a bit
 and about had the word slide mastered by the time he got home.
Added bonus for me-- Reese and I got some much needed grocery shopping done!
 My parents got home from their trip to Vegas and dropped the girls off.
They sure sound like they had the 'best of times'.
We celebrated a late Father's Day since Holland and Greer weren't with us on Sunday.
Our two cute eldest rode their bikes down to a little shop in Eagle,
signed up and paid to take a mini glass fusion class.
They made the coolest glass plaque that says DAD for Byron.
These are the gifts that mean more than any tie or shirt or....
So glad to have them home.

Monday, June 17, 2013

How 'bout a Shirley Temple

There's nothing like being home and getting back into the old routines.
Kean has speech this morning
and surprised his therapist Claire by saying "motorcycle"  at least three times.
 While Kean got back to work, Holland and Greer (who are in Vegas with my parents)
got back to playing-- at warp speed.
My dad had a doctor's appointment, so my childhood best friend, April,
took the girls to Wet n' Wild (no, it's not a strip bar-- it's a water park)!
 As if that wasn't enough, April and her hubby, Chris
took the girls out for a fancy dinner at one of the restaurants
in the Paris Hotel.
 Forget the girls, I want Chris and April to be my parents!
Holland and Greer come home tomorrow.
I'm certain they will be tired but bubbling over with details of their adventures.
If you are wondering what Byron and I will do to "compete"
with the excitement they've had... hmmm, we were thinking a
night of weed pulling might bring them back to planet earth.