Reincarnated As A Mother

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tender Mercies

I have to admit, in a way it was a good thing that Kean had his heavy Chemo today.
It forced me to get back into the swing of things and snap back into reality.
Christine Langford was our Chemo date for the day-- she's darling
and was the perfect company to be with after such an insane weekend.
 Everything went well.
Kean was in great spirits and we didn't have much down time (waiting around time).
 Kean had a tiny bit of difficulty with his breathing during the sedation
but once he was awake, he was fine.
 We had two tender mercies tonight... first, other than some diarrhea,
Kean has felt great and has been happy all night.
Trust me, the effects of the heavy Chemo usually kick in by this time.
And second, BYRON CAME HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL EARLY.
Sorry to scream it-- but what a relief on so many levels.
He dazzled the doctor with how well he is doing so got cut lose a day early.
We've moved Holland out of her downstairs room and Byron in--
the trick will be keeping all the kids out of the bed. 
They were so thrilled to have him home.
By the way, he's been given the new nickname:  Iron Man
thanks to all the metal in his leg.
Byron is one tough cookie.  He's already weaned himself off the heavy pain meds--
but I have a feeling he is going to be an awful patient.  He is not one to sit still
or laze around.  This is going to be a huge test of his will power and probably my patience.
But we'll get through it.
We've had non-stop visitors coming to hear first hand his "harrowing"
story of how Mister Daredevil broke his leg so badly.
Ha, ha....
By the way, wanna find out how much you are loved?
Go through a series of traumas and trials like us--
we've been deluged with kind words, sympathetic ears
and countless offers to help.
(On second thought, don't go through it, just ask me and I'll tell you how loved you are)!
So here's the thing-- our church congregation is bringing in meals this week
and we really don't have any idea how anyone can help at this point.
We need a few days to get our feet under us and things figured out
(did you catch that cheesy play on words?).

Sunday, March 30, 2014

THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING!!!

I swear I don't make this stuff up.
I mean, who could?
We are back in the hospital and my man is in surgery.
This time, it's not Kean, it is Byron.
We thought our girls needed a nice night out... so let them plan what they wanted to do.
They opted for dinner and ice skating.
 We were having the absolute best time... 
Byron and Greer were skating and got a little off kilter.
She let go and he just fell all wrong.
 He pretty much felt his leg snap...
the fact it was all floppy didn't make us feel very hopeful.
And sure enough, a trip to the Urgent Care showed 
a spiral fracture of his Tibia  where the boot hit and a second fracture up high on his Fibula.
The doctor there splint cast it and sent us down the road to the E.R.
at the other big hospital in town.... not the one where we are considered frequent flyers
because of Kean.
We decided we might as well make ourselves known at every hospital!
 The Borup's came over and picked up the girls quite late at St. Al's E.R.
They were exhausted, emotional and tired.
Greer felt guilty for letting her dad's hand go while skating,
Holland kept wondering why Byron wasn't crying since he was in so much pain
and Reese worried about who would now take Kean for rides on the motorcycle!!!
So much for trying to take the girls out on a night to get away from all the stress and craziness.
I worry they are even more traumatized.
 Byron got to spend the night in the E.R. before heading off to surgery at eleven this morning.
I thought it was a good sign when the surgeon showed up in a Harley Davidson biker shirt.
The doc just met with me and told me he was done putting Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Wanna sneak peak of his new bionic leg?
We expect Byron to be out of here in two days.
My money is of course on one day.
But get this, the doc said he can't put ANY weight on his hurt leg for SIX WEEKS.
Trying not to freak out.
Trying to figure out what we are supposed to learn from this latest
"opportunity to learn and grow"
and trying to breathe.
Tomorrow Kean has Chemo into his brain and spine at the OTHER hospital.
Please, I'm begging any of you... wanna switch lives?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Paging Sherlock Holmes

For some reason Kean has decided he doesn't want to walk on his own.
Remember a few weeks ago we felt we were so close?
Well, he's been absolutely uncooperative since the surgery he
had on his manly parts.
I don't think he's in any pain-- I just think he wants to be stubborn.
Maybe?
video
If you have any theories or solutions to get him up and going... I'm open.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Broken

Ah, Spring Break hasn't gone precisely as planned
(but does anything?).
Byron had planned to take the girls camping
but the trip has been side lined by the rainy weather
and he has been knocked down by a sore throat
and a hacking cough.
I spent the day helping Holland and Greer deep clean their rooms
and I'm happy to say we all survived and are still on
speaking terms.
Lucky Reese is tomorrow.
She put on an after dinner puppet show for the family this evening.
  She put tons of time and preparation into her puppets, her set
and her props.
The story line?
Not so much.
 Luckily, she had a captive audience.
And we consider ourselves lucky we have such creative kids.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Converts

Well, we'll see how long this lasts.
The girls have decided (after having our cows butchered yesterday)
that they are now all officially Vegetarians.
At dinner tonight, they picked all the chicken out of their pasta
and solemnly swore they'll forever avoid meat.
 Even Kean seemed to get in on the act.
He spit out all of his pasta
and would only eat bread and salad (drenched in Italian dressing)!
He's been hardly eating for a week.
In fact, he was down two pounds when weighed at the hospital yesterday.
Personally, I think it's a combination of the Chemo he gets that makes 
everything taste metallic and that
he probably has a bit of a sore throat.
Greer, Byron and Holland are all being bugged by a sore throat at night.
It will be interesting to see if this Vegetarian thing sticks.
Greer, from day one, has hated meat with the glaring exception
of bacon, ham and ribs.
She's tried repeatedly to convince us that those three items
aren't really meat.
Go figure.
Maybe I'll be mean and really put their resolve to the test
in a week or so... by serving all the girls their all time favorite:
Ribs.
Cackle, cackle.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Human Pin Cushion

What a doozy of a day.
Luckily, we had Sheryl Alderman as our early morning Chemo date.
I couldn't have done this without her help.
 She even brought Kean a new pair of "Lightning McKean" socks
to get him through his procedures.
When they took Kean away for sedation and the MRI--
he was very brave and didn't even freak out.
 I always do (inside) a little bit... but that's probably pretty normal.
 So a few crazy things happened while he was away from his momma.
First, the Anesthesiologist  decided to start an IV on him after he was sedated via gas.
He opted to do this to avoid running the risk of introducing infection by using his port.
 I guess they got the IV going and then it failed-- so get this, they tried another four times!!
He looked like a little voodoo doll with all these pricks and dried blood!  Poor guy.
They finally ended up using his port.
Second, there was a mix up and the Chemo Kean was supposed to get in his 
spine and brain wasn't ready-- so we will go back for another procedure on Monday.
So much for me winning the battle to get both procedures done with one sedation.
Third, he shocked everyone and came out of his sedation rather quickly-- before
they had even gotten me back to the recovery room.
And our little pill was so agitated, he pulled the IV out of his hand and the port access needle
out of his chest!!!
The kid can't stand having anything, anything on him--
it is amazing we kept the oxygen monitor on his finger. 
It was quite the roller coaster day--
but geez, you'd think by now we'd be so used to those.
Here's the good news,
he's totally happy and fine tonight
and the doc called with the results of his MRI-- and it came back NORMAL!!!!
Perhaps now his primary Oncologist will put a little more weight in my theory about Kean's seizures.
P.S.  We weren't the only ones to have a traumatic day.
Poor Holland.
The mobile butcher showed up to the house early and Holland
(our tender hearted animal lover) saw the two cows just after they'd been taken down.
Let's just say there's been a lot of crying at the house tonight and a
very serious discussion about her wanting to become a Vegetarian.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Showdown at the OK Corral

Guess what tomorrow is?
The day our two boy cows go to that great freezer in the sky.
Poor guys, have no idea what's a comin'!
 They just are so darn happy chewing up the grass and eating their hay.
Personally, I'll be relieved to say goodbye to "Guido" and "Luigi".
They are both escape artists and have wreaked havoc on our fences.
Plus, there's nothing better than having beef in the freezer that you know
exactly what went into it.
 Tomorrow's also a big day for the Keanut man.
We leave the house at 6 a.m. - he has his sedated MRI
and then Chemo into his brain and spine.
He too, has no idea what is about to hit him.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Slip Sliding Away

Kean got a sweet little surprise today.
Our neighbor's, the Marczak's, brought over the slide
structure their boys have outgrown.
The girls got it all cleaned up and ready for Kean
to see after his nap.
 Once he got in it, he knew what to do.... and happily slid down.
 I have a feeling he's gonna love this
(and so will his therapists).

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tree Fort vs. Cougar Fort

I pulled a "I must think I'm younger than I am" stunt Friday night.
My good friend, Mary K and I got VIP passes to the Tree Fort music festival.
Over 360 bands are playing downtown Boise and we tried to hit
as many as we could Friday night.
We started out with this hard core rap band out of the Oakland area--
they had the base so loud-- it wasn't only my feet that were vibrating-- 
but my teeth.
Plus, I have to admit, it's probably since I worked in a newsroom
that I've heard that many expletives in that short of a time!
 Byron teased us that we were going out to "Cougar Fort".
What a meanie!
I'd have to say probably 80 percent of the people there were younger than us...
but we had a grand time:  listening to all kinds of music and people watching 
(I've decided that fur vests are all
the rage for men-- check out the guy below with the red sleeves-- at least he had a shirt on under his vest).
 Since we had passes that got us to the front of the lines
at every venue... we made sure to visit as many venues as we could possibly fit in-
from greasy haired grunge artists where we had a hard time deciding if the drummer
was a man or a woman, to hard core rockers... folk musicians to
Indy rock performers.  
We had a blast
but geez, my body reminded me I'm not in college anymore
and staying up half the night-- then having to get up with Kean
this morning about killed me.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Skating With the Stars

What girls we have.
Reese and Greer have been practicing their Dorothy Hamill
moves on roller skates...
 putting on shows for anyone they can lure out to the barn!
You might want to think twice before coming to visit.
p.s.  Kean had a pretty good day.  The pill wouldn't eat
hardly anything until I made him tacos (for lunch and dinner).
We'll see how long this phase lasts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Make Up

Kean must have been feeling guilty for totally torpedoing
therapy last week.
Because today he was all over it, working pretty hard for Andrea
in P.T. and then killing it in O.T for Maureen, who he now calls "Mo Mo".
His giggling in this video just gets me.
Sure love it when he's feeling good.
video
I did, by the way, hear back from the Neurologist's office.
His EEG came back negative for any seizure disorders.
He did have some "abnormalities" but those can be explained
away by the Down's.
So another piece of the puzzle that back's up my theory.
That's the good news.
The "iffy" news is that Kean's Oncologist doesn't buy
into my theory about the Hypoglycemic seizures-- and has
ordered a sedated MRI.
So back we go on Tuesday for more fasting and more testing.
(It's also the same day Kean gets Chemo into his brain and spine-- 
so it will be a doozy of a day).
I'm trying to take the high road and not get too bugged that
the Oncologist isn't taking me as seriously as I'd like.
Instead, I'm trying to convince myself he's just being overly careful, covering all the bases
by ordering the MRI.
At least, they listened and worked it out to only sedate him once for both procedures.
That's a win.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'll Probably Regret This...

If you had happened to drive by my house at lunchtime today, 
you'd likely swear you were watching the filming of a sitcom.
My cousin offered to take Sadie, our female cow to
his ranch where he has 6 or 7 bulls.
We are hoping this third time will be the charm
and her little romantic vacation will result in a baby calf down the road.
If you remember, we sent her to the neighbors for a long weekend
but it was a big fail.
Sadie is a woman of girth-- and I really think the neighbor's bulls
weren't quite big enough to do the deed.
Anyway, I digress.
Byron was stuck on a job and coached me on how to help
Laren, my cousin load Sadie into his trailer.
The only hitch is, when we went to get her, she had bolted over the fence and
wasn't where she was supposed to be.
Naughty girl.
You should have seen Laren pulling all approximately 1500 pounds by rope...
while I tried to entice her with a bucket of grain.
We finally got her in... not too gracefully-- but in.
And oh, my, did she kick and rebel once locked inside that trailer.
Tonight I made a royal fool of myself at a church function-- on purpose.
They did a spin off on the Hollywood Squares.
I was asked to be one of the celebrities:  "Christina Angelera"
 - notice the big, black feathery wings.
Actually, it was quite a kick.  I was in some pretty darn good company:
Mariah Caring, Beyon-say-your-prayers, Molly Parton,
Cher-Your-Testimony, Marie Osmond (as the center square), Brittany Spiritual,
Shirley-Go-To-The-Temple and Martha Stalwart.
Ellen Be Generous was the emcee.
 It was good to laugh.
Can't do that too often, can we?


Monday, March 17, 2014

Mischief

Another good day to report for the Keanut  man.
He went to his little therapy pre-school and they said as 
long as they kept music on... or kept singing to him, he was engaged.
Funny kid.
Those tricky Leprechauns hit our house today...
 green toilets and everything.
Ewwww.
Who thinks up this stuff?
p.s.  I did hear from the Neurologist's office to let me
know they haven't read his tests yet but will do so 
and call me tomorrow.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Hills Are Alive...

After all the drama of the past few weeks, I'm more than thrilled
to announce that today was just a regular old day.
You know, a day like most families have.
Byron took the girls to church
and after Kean's nap, he took the whole gang
on a loooonnnng motorcycle/four wheeler ride
up into the BLM land behind our property.
 You needn't guess who was in heaven.
 All I can say is thank heavens for
beautiful days,
the coming of Spring...
 and a husband who likes to ride with the wind blowing in his face...
almost as much as the little one.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Heart Failure (again)

Talk about timing.
Guess who had another one of those episodes (possible seizures)?
I half expected it-- he was so exhausted yesterday he hardly ate anything.
I went to get him up this morning and once again he was completely
limp and lethargic.
We videotaped him to show the Neurologist.
Honestly, he didn't seem quite as bad this morning as the past four times--
this time he at least responded with his eyes.
video
We pricked his finger to take blood-- and he didn't even react.
The Glucose monitor showed his level at 45.
The Neurologist had told me on Monday that he couldn't say at
what level Kean would have a "seizure" it depends on the kid-
he said it could be at 50 or at 40.
We'll see what he says next week.
We gave Kean some glucose gel and immediately fed him some Pediasure (high calorie milk)
 It took him about 45 minutes to perk up and pull out of it.
 But perk up he did.
By the end of the day, he was back to his crazy self (surrounded by
the girls and a few friends).
To see him now, you'd never in a million years guess
he'd given him momma such a scare this morning.
Crazy kid.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Incredible Hulk (minus the green make-up)

5:30 a.m. came way too early this morning.
And it sure seems sick and wrong to wake a sleeping baby...
but wake we did.
And you can probably guess what we did to pass the early morning hours:
we watched Cars.
 Kim Worthen volunteered to go with us to the hospital today.
She's a brave one, I tell ya.
In case you don't know Kim, she has a son with Down's, Spencer who is six months
older than Kean.  And Spencer, his two brothers and his dad all shaved
their heads in solidarity when Kean lost his hair to Chemo last year.
Pretty cool family.
Thank heavens she came along-- we needed her muscles.
Three of us held Kean down while the nurse/tech put 27 sensors in precise places
all over his head.  I'm certain they could hear his screams on the other side of the hospital.
 In fact, my ear drums were literally vibrating.  The kid has some lungs!
And an incredible amount of energy for a sleep deprived young 'en.
 He's sporting the mummy look to keep the sensors in place.
 We kept telling him 'almost done' (though I doubt he could even hear us).
The nurse was lightning fast.
 The entire procedure was painless, the boy just hates, hates, hates
being held down.
But once she was done, he settled down-- either that or he was plum out of energy.
 He sat on my lap for the mapping of his brain waves and promptly fell asleep
while drinking some milk.
We had to wake him up for the very end -- the part where they
placed a strobe light about six inches from his face.
I'll be surprised if the mapping shows any seizure activity--
I'm still convinced it is all tied to his chemo medicine and his blood sugar levels
but we'll see.
Just trying to gather some of the puzzle pieces, right?
p.s.  so very glad today is over!!
p.p.s.  all next week we get to coast-- there's not a single medical appointment
or test scheduled!!!
p.p.s.s.  Whoopee!