Monday, March 31, 2008

Happy Cards Day!

For those of you not in St. Louis, today is a civic holiday. Opening day. Many take off work to go downtown even if they don't have tickets. I couldn't because I had a major rollout of a project for work. And because I don't have enough time off.

So far the rain is staying away.

Pujols already has his first homer of the season. All is well with the world.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Andy's Dr. Appt

First, sorry for the long pause. I've been down with a chest cold. OUCH!

Andy had an appointment today with his oncologist. His CT looked great, as did his AFP numbers. She wanted to observe Andy. She watched him at play, communicated with him, etc. She was happy with his progress.

He will have another appointment on 4/14 to do pretty much the same. He'll have a CT scan in about 3 months. After that CT scan, he can probably have his port removed. Hopefully he'll be coming off the Bactrim at that time as well. You'll recall that he's still on Bactrim but that it's his last remaining drug.

So that's pretty much it for now. Again, so far so good. No signs of cancer coming back.

We saw quite a few familar faces. Some of those kids with leukemia are in treatment for years. I feel very comfortable and safe around the other parents and the staff at the hospital. Once we walked in the door, all of the pain I've been feeling lately just went away.

I don't know. It's weird. I'll get over it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Excellent Easter Weekend!

First of all, thank you all for the kind words, whether via e-mail, phone, or on the website. I'm having a rough time dealing with things and am generally not talking about it too much, but when I have my moments, you're there for me. Thank you.

Now on to more positive notes. Easter Weekend! It roxed! Friday night Joey went bowling with meemaw and pawpaw. Andy, Emma, Mommy, and I all went out to dinner then hung around the house and passed out early that night. It was a good thing.

Saturday we had Julie's family's get-together. Although we were one short (she was helping with the flood animals), we had a great time. The food was good, the easter egg hunting was great for all 3 kids, and it was generally fun. It was the first family function at Julie's sister's house. And the best part was when everyone left, we had quite a jam session. :)

Sunday was fun too. It was our first Key family function since Andy's stuff. It was nice to be able to bring my whole family for once. Again, they all had a great time with the easter egg hunts. I got the rare opportunity to hang out with my family. Well, it was a rare opportunity for the last few months, but I think we're pretty much good to go now, so hopefully it won't be rare anymore.

The best part? All 3 kids were extremely well-behaved this weekend! I couldn't believe how well they all acted.

Ok, breaktime over. Back to work. I hope everyone had a great Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Emma has an Ear Infection


Today is the Greatest...

It's 2008 and I'm still stuck on Siamese Dream. Maybe my co-worker's right. Maybe I'm "stuck in the 90's"

Whomever offered up the advice on the last post. I appreciate it. I just... I don't know. I tried getting the hell outta dodge for a few. I wound up with an IBS flareup the likes of which I've never seen. I thought returning to work would make things better, but all I want to do is leave work and go pick up my kids. I've tried leaving the kids with a grandparent on a Saturday to go have fun and I just wind up missing my kids.

Andy is now involved in a University of Minnesota study called HOPE that is trying to find out what causes hepatoblastomas. The idea that we're doing our part to keep this from happening to other parents does seem to help.

But not much.

I'll get over this in time. Julie seems like she's doing okay. Hopefully I'm soon to follow. Andy's doing great. Like nothing ever happened. This is a good thing.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Parenting and Cancer - After Treatment

Do some Googling. You'll see that parents who have put a child through cancer treatment often experience PTSD symptoms. Fortunately I am not experiencing these symptoms.

BUT... Things aren't the same. It's difficult.

During treatment I was Superdad. Once I got past the first few days I was able to roll with the punches. Sometimes things were going well, other times they really sucked. But I was able to keep myself pretty emotionally stable. This is probably due to a multitude of reasons.

First and foremost, I was put in a fight-or-flight situation, one of the most primal situations. I fought. And I was damn good at it. Some thought I was just holding it in. I wasn't. I was put in a situation beyond my control and coped with it very well.

Second was the support. Not just from friends and family. Not just from nurses and doctors. But other parents. I was continuously surrounded by other people in my situation. It helped. A lot.

Now I'm in a different situation. Andy's cured. But it still happened. My son could have lost his life. He didn't. But he could have. He was continuously poked and prodded, bled, stuck with needles, injected with poison, knocked out, sedated, cut open, torn apart, medicated beyond recognition, etc. You get the idea. It didn't bother me at the time but it does now.

I wish I had answers. I wish I knew how to cope with this. But I do not. I find myself being pretty unstable now. Sure some good came out of it. I have a whole new (better) perspective on life.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. Venting I guess. It hurts. Thinking about what we went through with Andy is flat-out painful.

Oh well. I'll end this post now.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Cancer Sucks Party Will NOT be on 3/29

We'll keep you updated.

Excuse me while I return to IBS hell.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

CT Scan

First of all, sorry for the lack of activity. IBS flareups lately have really sucked. Combine that with 3 sick kids off and on.... been rough.

Andy had a CT scan today. We should get the results soon. We expect everything to be fine of course. I want to know how much of his liver has regenerated.

I'll keep you informed. In the meantime I'll be nursing my hurting belly.

...and if you're wondering, I thought it was a stupid episode of South Park. Of course it's going to take more than that to piss me off. I just didn't think it was a good episode.

Then again, the season openers have really sucked the last few seasons. I no longer use the season opener of South Park as a measuring stick, I consider it a loss. Just like the first hand of a new blackjack shoe.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What a Blast!

St. Baldrick's was awesome. Don't know what else can be said. Last I heard they raised more than 220,000! And the numbers aren't completely in yet!

To those who we could never find, sorry we missed you, or kept missing you as the case may be. We were pretty much all over the place. No biggie, we'll all find another event soon, I'm sure. But thank you for your support!

Thanks to everyone who showed up. We had quite the motley crew there (not to be confused with the Crue of course). The "after-party" at our place was fun as well.

I'm so glad everyone had so much fun. Whoda thunk I'd be at Helen Fitzgerald's with my children! What a weird concept that I never would have dreamed 9 years ago. :)

Pics are coming soon!

Friday, March 7, 2008

St. Baldrick's is Tomorrow!

Remember, I'm getting shaved at 1:00pm. We'll arrive sometime around noon. We'll be staying as long as our kids let us.

Go here if you want to donate now. Or just come by tomorrow and have some fun!

Can't wait!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

2008 Children's Miracle Network Radiothon

I'll be interviewed for the 2008 CMN Radiothon at 3:00pm on KEZK. I'll be talking about Andy's treatment. I'll see if I can get a recording to link to. (of on in beside)

Sorry for the short notice.

P.S. Props to the DnD guy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Blocking it Out

I'm having a really hard time trying to remember many specific events between 8/9/2007 and 12/24/2007. I think my brain is blocking it out.

We'll see how things progress. Once his port is out I think it may help things. Going back to the babysitter was quite a significant event. Getting the port out will be another one.

Now I'm tired. I'm really, really, really, really, tired. I feel like the energy has just been sucked out of me. Emotionally, that is. I'm emotionally tired.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Big Step

Today the kids went back to the babysitter. All of them. No restrictions. No nothing.

They did real well. They were well-behaved. They did a great job of socializing. And Emma only had an accident once! She went potty all day!

We're really starting to get back to normal around here and that is a huge step toward getting back to normal.