Wednesday, April 30, 2014
He started off strong today... we had Physical Therapy outside
since it was such a picture perfect day.
We made him walk to and from the four wheeler-- and oh was he happy
and wanting nothing more than a ride or two, or three.
But the kiddo slowly went down hill as the day wore on.
After he woke up from his nap, it was whimper city.
Of course, those whimpers went to the wayside
when "Motorcycle Bill" showed up to make things all better.
At least for a little while.
(Dave-- this reflection shot is for you)!
Unfortunately, motorcycle rides can't last forever.
"Motorcycle Bill" does have a family at home and a life
beyond giving Kean rides.
Fortunately, for us, Greer is a sweetheart and was willing
to finish giving her little sis her spa treatment...
and take Kean for a four wheeler ride around the yard.
Seriously, the only time he wasn't crying and unhappy tonight
was when he was outside on a bike-
or snuggling with dad.
I can't blame him.
He has quite the cocktail of gunk in his system.
He got Chemo through his port yesterday,
takes oral Chemo every night, got an extra dose of Chemo
today-- that nasty Methotrexate and on top of that,
he is back on the Steroid juice.
Buckle up... it will likely be a rough road for a few days.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Somehow we survived another Chemo day.
As usual, it was a roller coaster.
When they accessed Kean's port in his chest, I should have known
something was up when the return blood was old and brown looking.
And sure enough, his port was clogged and wouldn't give any blood.
Finally, after a good extra hour of waiting for the TPA to be ordered
and this anti-blood clotting med to do it's magic...
they got blood!!!
Between the blood issue and Kean's chemo, we had a lot of
Today's lovely and talented "Chemo date" was Cheri Givens
(in the pink shirt on the back right).
Oh, did she save our bacon-- from singing songs for Kean
to taking him on speed racer rides in his stroller down the hall of
the hospital while we waited for his weekly meds to be made--
she was brilliant.
Everyone always asks me if Kean freaks out when he has to go
to the hospital for Chemo.
The only time he loses it is in the morning at home when I numb
up his port. He knows what it means.
But geez, the nurses and Child Life Specialists treat him like a rock star
and for the most part, he forgets about why he is there.
The rest of us, of course, see constant reminders of
what a hard place MSTI actually is.
Today our time at the hospital clinic brought us together
with one of our favorite families from this crazy cancer journey.
We saw Anthony M. and his parents.
Heartbreakingly, Anthony's brain tumors have spread
and his name is on the lips of every person in our family
every single day as they give a prayer in our home.
The girls have been so worried about him, they asked if they could
make him a "Candy Letter".
With all the radiation he's getting, I don't think candy sounded
too appetizing-- but we are hoping it will at least remind him
how many of us love him and are praying for a miracle.
Monday, April 28, 2014
AND all through the house...
Keanut felt good...
Our spirits could not be doused.
At therapy school this morn,
he charmed, he dazzled.
We must toot his horn.
Since this good space will be short lived...
every hope, every wish
of course we will give.
"Motorcycle Bill" came to make the day.
For a greater guy... we couldn't pray.
This poem shall torture you no more-
tomorrow I will go back
to the writing I did before!
Sunday, April 27, 2014
So we are late bloomers around here.
Actually, the cousins couldn't get together for Easter last Sunday
and because of that, all the kids opted to wait until today to have the
traditional family Easter Egg Hunt.
We had the three youngest get their hunt downstairs (with an area designated for Kean alone).
The teens (including our newly minted teenager: Holland were upstairs).
I'm not quite sure Kean got the concept of hunting for eggs.
He's not much of a candy man either.
I'm thinking his dad will have to help him plow through those spoils.
Reese and all the others, though were totally into the candy grab.
My parents always hide a golden egg with each grandchild's name on it.
Holland found hers in the belly of this stuffed tiger.
This year, instead of the traditional five dollar bill in the golden egg,
they turned their eggs in for little gifts for each of them-- Kean
got an animal puzzle that makes sounds, while the girls got jewelry, headbands
and Greer and Morgan got these fetching sunglasses.
Happy Easter again!
Saturday, April 26, 2014
The "House of Invalids" looked more like a beehive this morning
as several families from our church showed up to do a service project--
and help with our property.
It was amazing...
one crew fixed part of the fence those darn cows had messed up...
Others dug some wells around some of our outlying trees....
while another crew weeded...
and others helped us rip out some diseased climbing roses
and plant new ones.
While still another spent hours on our old tractor
cleaning up our field.
This was a double challenge for Byron--
letting others do the work
and keeping him off his leg.
Most of the morning he rode around on the four wheeler
(notice the handy holder for his crutches in front)...
and this worked out quite well-- he could answer questions,
supervise and feel like he was helping.
For those of you who don't know him well-- he is a working
machine. Well, he was.
Even though it was rather chilly today... Kean logged some quality time on
the four wheeler with dad...
and surprise, surprise, got in a ride with "Motorcycle Bill"
and his bike this evening.
We have succeeded in getting Kean to say "Harley" one time.
We are still working on "Motorcycle Bill".
We are pretty blessed, aren't we?
Friday, April 25, 2014
We let Holland invite a few friends over for a casual birthday celebration tonight.
Holland planned the whole shebang-- pizza...
cake, ice cream.
and lots of laughter and boy talk.
Actually, all the girls are out in the barn doing nails, make-up,
hair and watching movies.
Kean is asleep and Byron and I are enjoying the quiet and watching our own movie.
Crazy like a fox.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Today was one of those gloomy days...
it rained this morning, cleared up a bit, rained again, cleared up a bit....
Well, you get the idea.
Kean was in a mood that matched the weather: gloomy one minute, partly cloudy the next.
He had Methotrexate yesterday so was no so hot on eating
but really hot on cuddling and snuggling.
About 5 p.m., we got a text from "Motorcycle Bill" that it was a gamble
but the skies would maybe hold for a quick ride.
That was all it took to get the boy feeling better and ready to go:
It sprinkled on them a bit...
but overall, the skies held their downpour until they got back
safe and sound.
I wish you could be here in the house to watch Kean go
from whining and whimpering to smiling and excited
with just six simple words-- "wanna go for a motorcycle ride?".
Ah, that it were only that simple for the rest of us to have
such a quick change in attitude.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Ah life is good for one little boy.
He had kind of an emotional day-- don't know why
(sure wish he could tell me what was wrong).
But when it came time for his motorcycle ride, he was just fine!
Tonight was his maiden voyage with "Motorcycle Bill"--
he's filling in for "Motorcycle Jeff" who had surgery yesterday
(and we hear is doing great).
I was telling a friend tonight that one of the "silver linings" of Byron
breaking his leg is that we have now met two wonderful, big hearted motorcycle men--
men who have taken Kean into their arms and taught us another lesson
It has been a beautiful experience to watch Kean with his new friends.
And it doesn't hurt that they both have some of the coolest
bike helmets we've ever seen.
Don't you just love the 8 ball?
Don't you just love the 8 ball?
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
I wasn't gonna post tonight... but now with such a hilarious picture
I feel like I should.
We had a women's meeting at my church this evening.
It was quite the affair-- the theme?
This Little Piggy- certainly you remember the children's rhyme.
For "This Little Piggy Went To Market", my friend Heather
gave a mini class on the secrets to grocery shopping-
what days are best, where to buy what and which items
to never buy at Costco etc. It was fascinating.
For "This Little Piggy Stayed Home", my friend Amber
spoke on fun activities and ways to find opportunities to teach
our children when we are home together.
For "This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef"... they gave us
some fast, easy and yummy dinner recipes.
And finally, for "This Little Piggy Had None"... they asked
"moi" (sorry, couldn't resist the Miss Piggy reference) to speak
on the spiritual feast we get when we Fast.
It went fine... up until I got to the point where I was telling the story
about how my great grandfather fasted the first Sunday of every month for the nearly
five years he was held as a prisoner of war by the Japanese during WWII.
He was starving and yet felt compelled to fast and give his meager, insect infested
rice gruel to another prisoner who needed it more.
As I was telling the part of how he was captured during the battle of
Wake Island-- I referred to Wake as an "A-hole" instead of an "Atoll".
Yikes. Couldn't have been any more mortified.
At least I was able to provide some comic relief.
p.s. the final part of the rhyme-- "And this little pig cried wee, wee, wee
all the way home"-- was French desserts. Oui, Oui!
Monday, April 21, 2014
Kean wasn't just seeing double tonight, there were actually
two motorcycles that showed up to give him a ride.
Motorcycle Jeff goes in for surgery tomorrow (Greer made him a card)
which means he won't be able to give Kean his rides for a few weeks.
Get this.... he mentioned it at the architectural firm where he works
and one of his coworkers-- who will now forever be known as
Motorcycle Bill offered to fill in for him.
As you can see, Kean made friends with him immediately.
The two have a riding date for Wednesday.
We will be thinking of Motorcycle Jeff all day tomorrow as he goes
into St. Lukes.
At least we know first hand-- he'll be in good hands.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Why is it the mornings mom and dad would most like to sleep in...
the kids are up at the crack of dawn?
Guess I can't blame them with the Easter Bunny having visited downstairs.
Today was extra special-- in that our eldest turned into a teenager.
The kids ran around the house finding a few
choice eggs that ol' sneaky bunny left.
Our favorite part though... is watching
the children try and find their hidden Easter baskets.
Kean's was discovered first.
How do you like this action shot?
He was more into throwing the basket
than eating any of the treats.
He's one funny boy.
Reese was next-- she found her basket
behind a blanket in the dryer.
Greer's was high up in Holland's closet.
And Holland finally found her basket hidden under a boat
load of Kean's toys.
We crammed in a special breakfast for the birthday girl
before heading off to church (the invalids stayed home)!
It is kinda surreal that Holland-- who I swear was a baby
just a few months ago--
is 13 today.
She came into this world with a ton of dark brown wavy hair--
and stole our hearts at first sight.
The crazy thing is, she never lost that dark hair... her blond, blond
hair came in-- leaving the roots blond and the tips dark.
We used to lovingly refer to her as our little Cruella.
I'll have to track down a picture that shows her crazy hair--
this one was just too cute not to include.
Just look at her now--- I can't imagine our lives without her.
She's mature beyond her years, smart, beautiful,
kind-hearted and talented. She is a thinker and a doer.
Tonight at dinner for example, one of our friend's Shannon was
telling us about some of her neighbors who don't have much.
Before we even finished dessert, Holland and Greer had gone through
their Easter candy and taken half of it, put it into a bag
and given it to Shannon to give to these children.
I love her heart and her example.
And I firmly believe she will do great things with her life.
There's an old joke in our family--
supposedly my mom told my little brother when he turned 13--
"I'm not gonna like you for the next seven years but remember I'll
always love you".
I don't think I need to use that line on this one-- just yet.
Finally-- a shout out to our dear friend Ron Moomey
who after dinner this evening took the boy
on a four wheeler ride.
Now our day can be complete!