Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm home...

Well after going back and forth with the home health care and my doctors, (the home health care guy said that they could not get me set up with home health care on Christmas day, maybe not even Christmas weekend) and then my doctor came in Christmas morning and said that I did not have to have I.V. antibiotics that he would just prescribe oral antibiotics. So all of Christmas Eve I was so depressed. I just really wanted to go home. But in the end it all worked out. Rick took the kids to my mothers house, and snuck out to come pick me up. When we got to my mothers house Ricky seen me first and he said, "MOMMY, MOMMY'S here, hey guys mommy's here!" I just wanted to cry…

Being home is great, sometimes I've overdone it a little bit, but Rick is all over that constantly telling me to sit down and rest. He's been really great to me.

I received a packet in the mail from the Bone Marrow Transplant, what to expect etc… I have to say I'm really scared. There are so many risks, and such a huge cost it is so overwhelming, and so many terrible things could happen. I guess that I'm just worried. I'm sure that's normal.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hospital day 24

Guess what I’ll be getting for Christmas??? A ticket home… my counts finally shot up, and the doctor’s just came in and told me and Rick that I’ll get to come home tomorrow. I can honestly say it is so about time.

In general I try to be a pleasant person, but here lately I’ve just been plain old grouchy… I page the nurses station for my meds and no one ever comes to my room. Actually on my way back to my room, I’m going to ask in person and let them know that I can wait!! Like this morning I paged them to let my nurse know that my food was there and I needed my sugar taken, I waited 15 minutes she never came so I just went ahead and ate. (She has still yet to take my sugar.)

I’ll have to go to the bone marrow clinic on Saturday to have my blood counts checked to see if I need a transfusion, and then Monday’s and Thursday’s will be my normal days to come up for transfusions. But I’ll take it.

I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed!!! My back hurts so bad. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I have to spend two months in here????

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hospital day 23

Well I was down here this morning and had just started a post when my nurse tracked me down to give me my pre-meds and to tell me to head back to my room for more platelets, which in the end was a good thing, because at 6am I had a really, really bad bloody nose, and by the time I got back to my room the nose bleed started again, and didn’t stop until 11am.

Two days ago they had started me on a clear liquid diet, and I was able to tolerate that well, so today I was put on a liquid diet, the first meal I had some discomfort, but after some rest and then dinner I’ve been able to get it down without pain, and keep it down.

They did a blood gas on my wrist the other day, and now on top of my arm there is swelling and a lot of pain. So they are getting ready to do an ultra-sound to see what the problem is, I can’t even pick up a glass of water with that hand.

After my platelet transfusion this morning I was on the phone with Rick, and three nurses (who have never taken care of me) came right into my room and started looking around, I hung up to phone to see what they wanted, and they said that they have had a lot of patients check out recently and they were the moving crew, there to move me to block A (where they were moving all of the patients). Then they started opening up the closet (where all of my personal effects, and papers are at) they pissed me off. They said oh you don’t have to do anything we’ll move you, “I said oh no you won’t, you can go get me some bags and I will pack my own stuff up.” They were like, are you sure? I said, Yes. So I kicked them all out until I was ready to go. The reason they gave was 1. I was all the way at the end of C block all by myself, and they were going to move everyone close together so that they could help each other out. Yeah right. I’ve had to call over and over for the same things all day, and way more than once my nurse would leave my room to go get something and (NO LIE) would not be back for 2 hours. I’ll be complaining to night shift, and the doctors tomorrow morning. More than once today a whole group of nurses were standing outside my door gossiping in the hallway for half an hour at a time.

Ange and her family made it here ok, she has already been up to see me three times. She took Ricky, Breanna, and her little girl to Chuck E Cheese today for their Christmas gift. They had a blast, they were all asleep before they even hit the interstate. The weather this week has been horrible, icy roads, freezing cold you name it.

My cousins baby Marco had another bone marrow biopsy done to make sure that he is still Leukemia free, and he had some blasts so he has to go through the induction phase again. Although they are going to show Ashley how to administer the chemo and have her give it to him at home??? I’ve never heard of that. She is pretty nervous, but she went to the hospital today and they showed her how to do it, and tomorrow a home health care worker is going to walk her through it again. So she should be alright.

I’ll be here for Christmas, and maybe even New Years, my counts just started coming up yesterday, but that antibiotic regimen that they started me on for the bowel obstruction is a 10 day regimen.

I finally got word from our insurance companies, they agreed to pay for my treatment, and have already pre-approved me for my bone marrow transplant. So a weight has been lifted there.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hospital Day 20

The doctors came in to see me yesterday morning, and I was doing a little better (because I had not eaten anything the day before). So I asked them if I could have something to eat, he said that I could have a clear diet, so the nurse went and got me an orange Jell-O, it took me an hour to get it down, but not two minutes after I had finished eating it I was doubled over in pain, crying the works. So they gave me some extra pain meds, and sent me down for two more x-rays, and another CAT scan.

They had surgery come down to do a consult, I had an obstruction in my bowel, and they were afraid that it would swell, and perforate which in turn would fill my stomach with my bowel contents. So they said that they may need to do surgery… My blood counts were so low that I was afraid to even think about having surgery… Then another surgeon came in and told me that part of my bowels was dying!!! (All of this of course before the final CAT scan was even read).

I looked like total hell… Black circles under my eyes, my face was sunken in. So I finally called Rick and told him all of the things that had been going on so he could be prepared when he came up for a visit later, or in case the decided to go ahead with surgery.

The surgeons kept coming in and saying that they needed to put a tube down my nose to try to open up the blockage, but my oncologist kept telling them that I was Neutropenic and that if I did not have a solid blockage that they were not doing it.

They took me off of food and liquids… the only thing that I could use were a little sponge to wet down my lips, that was it. When they brought those in I thought oh great, Rick and the kids are coming up tonight, and those were the same kind of sponges that they used on Rick mom and grandmother when they were under hospice care. So I hid the package in the drawer, to keep them out of sight.

They have me on 7 cycles of antibiotics a day to try to help clear this up. Anyways Rick and the kids finally came up (I was starting to feel a little bit better in the evening), but when they walked in they all took a step back, Ricky looked scared, Rick started to tear up immediately, Breanna looked scared, and Courtney just had a blank look.

So we went over to sit down and I was dying of thirst, so of course the first thing that I did was ask Courtney to hand me my glass of water, without even thinking about it I pulled the sponge out and wet my lips down, and Rick just started bawling…. He finally pulled himself together when another surgeon (that I had not yet seen) came in and started spouting off all of this stuff about surgery, and me needing a tube put down my nose. In front of my Husband, and KIDS… I looked at her and said, “Could you hang on for a moment, so my Husband can take the kids out into the hallway?” She seemed aggravated, but I wouldn’t let her say another word until they were out of the room. We weren’t going to tell them anything unless it was for certain. Again Rick walks past me crying his eyes out. So she tells me what they want to do, and I told her fine but they would have to come back when my family leaves.

At this point my pain pump had run out of medicine, the nurse was getting ready to change it out when the surgeon cancelled out all of my pain meds. I told him no, if they cancel my pain meds then I quit. (My husband, and kids, and even the nurse got a kick out of that one, but I was serious.) So the nurse called the oncologist back down, and told her what the surgeon had said and done. And she said NO, they are not putting a tube down your nose for a partial blockage when you are Neutropenic, and I’ll re-write your pain meds.

So when Rick and the kids were getting ready to leave, Ricky clung to me a little longer, and he whimpered a little bit, then he said mommy when I come to see you this weekend you’ll wear some make-up right? (He’s six). Breanna, and Courtney gave me hugs and kisses goodbye. Then Rick gave me a kiss, and started to cry, I whispered to him to try to keep it together for the kids. So they were out the door, and he came back into the room and kissed me again and started sobbing… I know this is really hard on him, and yesterday I looked like death warmed over… I told him that I would be ok, and that he can do this.

Around midnight my pain and discomfort started going way down, the surgeons came in this morning and said that 80% of these cases clears up on their own… (Gee do you think they could have thrown that little bit of information in yesterday?) They still have me on no foods, and just tiny sips of water, they are going to try to start me on a clear diet tomorrow. My best friend and her family are coming up for a visit from Florida today, until next week, I was hoping to be home for her visit, but I’ll take what I can get…

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hospital day 19...

I’ve had a rough couple of days… On Tuesday afternoon my stomach started to hurt (really bad) so they sent me down for some x-rays, and ran some blood cultures, they thought it may have been my pancreas but those results came back ok. After Breakfast on Wednesday morning I was in excruciating pain, I couldn’t lie down, I couldn’t sit up, they were still running some test but everything was coming back negative. By Wednesday night they came in to give me two units of morphine, and some oxycodone. Then 20 minutes later they gave me 2 more units of morphine. It would cover the pain for about two hours and they were giving me more morphine and oxycodone. It got to the point where they were monitoring me, because they were afraid that I would stop breathing.

Finally they put me on something stronger than morphine, (I can barely pronounce it little lone spell it.) But it finally got the pain down far enough to where I could sleep for a couple of hours. The doctor’s came in to see me yesterday morning, and decided that they were going to send me down for a cat scan. (I ate nothing yesterday, it was just too painful) The results from the CAT scan showed an obstruction in my small intestine. But of course it had just started to show the obstruction and that was where the CAT scan cut off at?? So I had to drink that nasty stuff again, and have another CAT scan. As of yet the results had not come back in yet. They told me if I do have an obstruction that I will not be allowed to eat or drink anything until they get it fixed… I made it 17 days without any real problems; I guess it was time to throw something exciting in the mix. I woke up this morning and my stomach was so swelled that I looked six months pregnant.

Rick and the kids were supposed to come up for a visit last night, but I told him to wait until tonight because 1. I just wasn’t up to it. And 2. I didn’t want the kids to see me in that shape.

A lady from the American Cancer Society came by yesterday and reshaved my head, I was shedding all over the place; she also gave me a wig and styled it for me. I’m not too sure about the wig. But I have it in case I want to use it.

Well I’m going to close up for now; I’m really tired it took everything that I had to walk down here in the first place.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hospital Day 16 (Good News)

Good News; yesterday I finally got another bone marrow biopsy (although they couldn’t get any bone chipped off and they had to do it FIVE times) to get it done, NO LIE… One of the doctor’s came in about midnight to let me know that as of right now I am Leukemia free in my marrow. Which means I will not have to take a second round of Chemo before leaving the hospital; once all of my blood counts are back up, and the fever stays away I should be allowed to go home for a few weeks. To top that off, I in no way feel as sick as I did when I had cancer and treatment before.

I just wanted to say to everyone who reads, and comments to my blog… I really really appreciate each and everyone of you. Just a few comments sometimes, even from perfect strangers it just gives you that little push that you are so desperately looking for. So I sincerely wanted to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

My mother and step-father are still helping out with the kids while Rick works, so that has been a huge help. People from work have sent some nice cards up, even co-workers that I only speak to on the phone from Memphis has sent the most heart felt cards. When you are in the hospital for over two weeks every little bit helps.

My cousin brought me some yarn up and I finished a baby blanket in two days… Need I say more?? Actually I’ve started a second one as well. I’ve read six books, and I’m currently reading the New Testament. So I’m trying to keep myself busy while I’m up here.

I have a touch of insomnia currently, hence the post at 2:30 am. But all in all I’m just really looking forward to going back home to be with my family. I have my Social Security interview at 9am this morning, so please keep us in your prayers for that. I’ll be off of work for over a year for this treatment, and I only have short term disability.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hospital Day 14

I’m just going to post a quick update. Not a whole lot has been going on here… Rick was able to spend the night with me last night, but I felt so poorly that I was out by 9:30pm. Although we were both able to get up around 5am, and spend a few hours together.

Reminder to self: Do not ever eat breakfast during a shift change… it takes two hours to get your insulin injection… which leads to a major headache!!

The doctors are going to try to start taking me off of the steroids, so I can in turn be taken off of the insulin. We will see, but I don’t think that I’m having issues with nausea right now. But again we will see.

I’m due for my Bone Marrow Biopsy tomorrow morning, and I still have to get all of my medical records together so that my mother can drop everything off at the Social Security office by tomorrow afternoon. So I still have a lot of things to get together for my interview on Tuesday morning. I should only have to be on Social Security for 1-2 years hopefully if all goes well.

The doctors think that I may be able to be home in time for Christmas, but there is still no word on if a Bone Marrow Donor has yet to be found for me. S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L!!

Well my sister Holly is due to visit today, as well as my cousin Jennifer, and my husband and kids. My mother is due to be up here tomorrow. So I’ve got a full docket for a change…

Please continue to keep us in your prayers… We really need them.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hospital day 13

Well good news and bad news, they did not do the bone marrow biopsy yesterday, but I have it too look forward to on Monday… Which is fine by me, because I was really dreading it...

Rick’s cousin took our two youngest for the weekend, so Rick will be staying up here with me tonight. So I’ll finally have some company….

They put me on a steroid combination which has made my blood sugar spike, so now I’m taking insulin injections. My Red Blood Cell count is 7 so I’m set to receive two units of blood this morning. I’ve also got blisters going down my throat, they are currently giving me some medications for this, but it is still hard to swallow even water… But all in all I still feel pretty good even with the few complications that have come up.

My cousin Jennifer brought me some yarn up the other day, and I’ve already finished what she brought me, so Rick is bringing me some more up tonight so I can finish this blanket that I just started yesterday (and am halfway done!!) Can you tell I have absolutely nothing to do up here?

My best friend and her family are due to visit the week of Christmas; hopefully I’ll be out of the hospital for that week.

Well I’d better head back to my room, I’m sure my blood is ready for me…

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bone Marrow Biopsy Day!!


Its six o’clock in the morning, I’m down at the family center I thought that I got up here early enough to hit the washer/dryer first but someone beat me down here. (I’ve been here since 5:30, and I hate to move other people’s laundry but their load is finished washing!!) Oh well I guess I can wait until later. Rick and the kids came up for a visit last night it was short but sweet. The kids spent the night at my mom’s house for a change. Grandpa wanted to spend the night in his own bed for a change.

We finally got in touch with some of Rick’s friends that have been stationed in Germany for several years, now they just live a few states over so hopefully after my treatment we will be up for a quick visit. Rick was really excited to hear from them.

I am set for a bone marrow biopsy this morning, so please keep me in your thoughts and prayers. For one it hurts like mad, and two, it will determine if the chemo has put me into remission, or if I’m up for another round of chemo prior to the bone marrow transplant. I still haven’t heard from the bone marrow transplant team to see if they have worked out my insurance issues as of yet, it is so stressful waiting and worrying about this. But I know everything will work out. I’m currently getting everything together for my Social Security interview, it’s hard to get all of the paperwork that I need from home by trying to direct Rick as to where everything is at.

Well I guess that’s it for now, I’ll update later this afternoon after the results are in.

By the way thank you all for your wonderful support.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day 11 in the hospital

My blood counts yesterday were:
WB: 0.5
RB: 7.1
Platelets: 10

So that earned me one bag of platelets, and two units of blood. So I feel much better today than I have in awhile. I still run out of breath quite easily, but all in all I’m doing fine.

Rick is bringing the kids up to see me tonight; I’m pretty excited about that. It gets real lonely up here.

They have me scheduled for a bone marrow biopsy tomorrow morning, I just got over the pain and discomfort from the one in November. So I’m not looking forward to this one.

My nurse (Katie) came to see me yesterday and notified me that my sister was not a match. So they are going to put me on the bone marrow registry list to look for a possible match. The longer this goes on the more nervous I get. I’m really not looking forward to this at all.

Just a side note two people that I have been following recently have both passed this week, please stop by their blogs to offer support to their friends and families. The first one is Derrick Dull his blog address: http://djdully.blogspot.com/ , and the next one is Erica Murray her blog address: http://ericamurray.blogspot.com/ . I’m sure their families would really appreciate your words of support.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another update

The swelling finally went away, but now the treatment is finally catching up to me. Loss of appetite, and not being able to keep down what I do eat. I guess after 7 days of chemo 24 hours a day, it’s bound to knock anyone off their feet. The doctors are currently working on getting the nausea under control.

I’ve had a few more visitors the past few days, so that’s been nice (although last night it took me a good half hour to wake up when my cousin and her husband came up to visit). The kids are handling things really well; Rick is going to bring them up to see me Thursday night.

My blood counts are falling nicely; I’m probably looking at a Platelet transfusion tomorrow and a blood transfusion by Friday. It makes me so tired, and my head hurts a lot. They give me oxycodone for my headaches, I’d much rather take Tylenol than a narcotic. But what can you say??

Sorry I don’t have more to talk about, but it’s pretty boring here. So there is not much to report.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Quick update...


I’m still doing well; I’m currently a little swollen from all of the I.V. fluids, but I just spoke with my doctor and they are getting ready to cut the fluids way down.

My sister Rachel came down yesterday and had her blood drawn to see if she will be a possible match for my bone marrow transplant. I still have to contact my insurance company on Monday morning (Rick finally found the paperwork showing that we have been covered) so hopefully that will all work out.

I spoke with someone from my benefits department at work yesterday, and they have approved my leave for eight weeks, anything after that they will need updated medical records. It’s a good thing that I have nothing better to do than to remember when my benefits will expire, and to keep them updated!!!

I’ve had just a few visitors so far, but hopefully I’ll have a few extras on the weekend. It gets really boring up here. I’ve been here since Monday night, and I really don’t leave my room too often. So you kind of go stir crazy.

I’ll be honest I’m having a hard time dealing with this reoccurrence. I’m encouraged so far because treatment is going well with very little side effects. But on the other hand I’ve looked up Bone Marrow Transplants and I know the risks, I’ve not shared them with my family, but it’s really scary. I know that I’m still young and relatively healthy, but anything could happen. I guess until that time comes I really shouldn’t worry about it, but that is easier said than done.

Rick brought the kids up the night before last, it was really good to be able too see them and give them kisses. I really miss them a lot.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Post from the Hospital

I was admitted on Monday but due to lack of beds it was at 6:30 pm instead of my scheduled 11am check in. At least I had that much more time to spend with my family. We decided to let the kids open their Christmas presents on Sunday night since I'm scheduled to be in the hospital until after the New Year. So they were pretty excited about that.

Yesterday morning around 7 am they took me down to have a triple lumen placed in my neck. Problem was all of the doctors were in a staff meeting, and I ended up lying on a surgery table for over two hours until the nurses could locate a doctor. When he tried to get the catheter into my neck the vein was too small. So he had to shove a spacer down the vein first to stretch it out wide enough to get the catheter into the vein. I finally got back to my room around 10:30 and I went to tie the back of my gown when I realized that it was soaked in blood. Do you think they might have noticed?? Of course my nurse walked in at the right time and I asked her for a new gown.

Then once I got settled and she came in to introduce herself; without trying to be mean, I let her know what I was, and was not going to do. She was trying to give me 5-8 pills and I made her name off everything, and what it was for. Then I let her know that I did not want any anti-psychotic medication (last time I was treated, I lost 3 weeks because they had me zonked out on meds). She probably thought I was a you-know-what, but I was irritated and I really didn’t care. Dr. Cripe’s nurse came in to see me later and I also let her know about the meds and she said that she would update my file.

They started my chemo at noon yesterday, so far so good. I was a little nauseous last night but they gave me some meds for that, and I never even got sick yesterday. Which is a big change from last time; I’m still able to function, I’m reading, filling out Christmas cards, watching T.V. and fielding phone calls from Courtney’s school letting me know that she was just suspended from school for fighting… The dean told me that if school security was on campus today she and the other girl would be on their way to girls school right now. But as it stands for now, she has a five day suspension, and if she has any other altercations this year it will lead to a more lengthy suspension or even expulsion. So I can’t even imagine how this conversation will go over with Rick later, but I’m sure it won’t be good.

Marco is scheduled to go home from the hospital next week, from what my mother tells me he is doing better.

They came in to talk to me about a bone marrow transplant, and then right after that admitting came in to tell me that my insurance was refusing because this was a pre-existing condition. So I had to call Rick and he is going through our paperwork at home to show that our insurance never lapsed. His last day was a Saturday, and that next Monday I picked up my insurance, and after 30 days with his new company he also picked up insurance. So I’m sure that I’ll be covered, but we just have to locate that paperwork. If I was at home I could have it found in five minutes, but it’s hard to relay where you think it might be to someone else… Insurance is very frustrating…

I went and had my head shaved on Friday, and later Saturday evening Ricky asked me why I was wearing a girls pirate hat?? Kid’s are cute. (He also told me that I looked like a boy)

On Sunday I was making breakfast and Breanna told me that when she grows up and has her own family, that she wants me to come over every Sunday morning to make breakfast for them, because I make the best breakfast in the world… That is if I’m still alive when she is older. (ouch!! A knife in the heart) I know that they don’t understand, but then again they kind of do.

Well I’ll update more, when I’m able too. Keep me, and my family in your prayers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Confirmed; The Cancer is Back

I went to the doctor’s yesterday, they drew blood and my counts were even lower than the last time. So Dr. Cripe wanted to do a bone marrow biopsy to confirm that the Leukemia had returned (note to self; Bone Marrow Biopsy’s hurt like a you know what!!)
They told us to go home and they would call us back later in the day or tomorrow. We took some books back to the library and ran next door to Subway, we no more than sat down to eat and Katie (the nurse) called with the news. They are going to let me have Thanksgiving with my family, and I’ll be admitted to the hospital on Monday, I’ll be there for four weeks. I’m not sure if I’ll have access to a computer in the hospital, but if so I’ll update when I feel up to it.

The joke is… I feel fine. If I did not have routine blood draws, you wouldn’t even be able to tell that I’m sick. Although now I walk like an old woman, because my hip still REALLY hurts.

Rick and I went out this morning to get some Christmas shopping done, and I’ll buy a few more things this weekend. Just to make sure that the kids have something to open on Christmas. If everything goes well I might get out of the hospital in time for Christmas, to spend that time with them, but I won’t be able to go out in those crowds (to get any extra shopping done) due to my immune system being too weak. Tomorrow I’m going back to work (for one day) I only had three vacation days left, and my official medical leave will start on Monday. I probably won’t be able to sit for 8 hours, but I’ll do my best.

My cousins baby Marco was due to come home from the hospital on Monday, but he is running a fever, and needed oxygen so unfortunately he has to stay in the hospital for a little longer. They diagnosed him with ALL (Leukemia). He will have to take chemo for three years, but he should be fine. Over 90% of children with this type of cancer are able to be cured. But please keep his family in your prayers, they are already having a tough time financially, and then add a sick child to that. That’s enough to discourage anybody, but their family is behind them and will see them through this.

Keep my husband and children in your prayers also. My husband is already having a hard time with the diagnosis, and my son Ricky is already starting to cling to me I probably got 50 kisses before he walked out the door for school this morning, and he hugged me forever.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Waiting...Waiting...Waiting...

Marco


Other than being diagnosed with cancer… the waiting is excruciating. I’ve still got four days left until I go back to the doctor’s for more blood work/bone marrow biopsy. Last week was very, very rough… I couldn’t sleep for days; I’d fall asleep and be wide awake 20 minutes later. I finally got past the extreme anxiety and then I slept for days. So this week has been a lot better, although I still here Dr. Cripe saying, “This doesn’t look good, make sure you bring your husband to your next appointment.”

In the meantime, I’ve been packing up my desk at work just in case. I’ve went home early several days this week. Actually I called my region manager on Monday and asked him to send one of the girls from the other office over to help me out this week. I’ve felt light headed and was nervous that I would pass out, and being here by myself that wasn’t a very comforting thought. So he sent someone over to help me out this week, which has been a Godsend. Then he called me right back and asked me how I was feeling, and that if I needed to that I could just go home, as a matter of fact he told me that I could go home for this entire week, and he would make sure that I still got paid. Tempting as that was, I don’t think that I’d feel right doing that, what if my blood work and bone marrow biopsy comes back just fine next week, then how would that make me look??

My mother called me yesterday afternoon, and said that my cousin had called her and asked if she could take her and her son out to the emergency room. So my mom went over to pick them up, the second she saw Marco she told Ashley you make sure that you tell that doctor that there is Leukemia in the family. (My mother has a cousin that has Leukemia, and of course there’s me). She said that his skin tone was yellow, and his mouth and nose were white. She said that one look at him and it was like looking at me three years ago. So they took him out to the hospital, when they drew his blood, my mom said that he never moved, never cried or anything. They came back and said that he had a low red blood count. So they drew his blood again for further testing, and they told my cousin that it was one of three things:

1. He was anemic, in which case they would give him iron pills to correct.
2. He has Leukemia or
3. He has Lymphoma, in which case she would have to bring him right back out to the hospital.

So they sent them home while they waited for the results, and told her that they would call her within two hours to let her know what was going on. Two hours later Ashley called the hospital, because she still hadn’t heard anything. They told her that they were waiting on another test which would take an additional two hours. FINALLY, they called her back; she called my mom in hysterics, crying… He was diagnosed with Leukemia. They had to take him out to Riley’s Children’s Hospital last night at 10:30 pm they gave him a blood transfusion last night, and another one this morning, and they did a bone marrow biopsy this morning to determine what type of Leukemia he has. So please keep little four year old Marco in your prayers. His family definitely needs it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tough Weekend...

Yesterday I was a complete and total mess. We’ve told close friends and family just in case I have to go back into the hospital, so we can set up a support system. We decided not to tell Ricky & Breanna at first. But with this being all everybody can talk about we decided at 5:30 yesterday morning as we were walking around Wal-Mart that Rick & I should probably just tell them before they hear it from someone else.

When we got back from the store, we gave them their new gloves/hats/scarves and we were just sitting around talking. I asked Rick if he wanted to talk to them about it now. He kind of shrugged and walked away. Then I said do you want to tell them or do you want me to do it. He said that he would just do it. (We had already told the two older kids). So anyways we told Breanna to pause their movie, and told them that we wanted to talk to them. Breanna said, “HUMPH” and flung herself back onto the air mattress. Rick teared up and had to walk away. So the ball was in my court at that point. I told them that mommy had a Doctor’s appointment on Thursday with my cancer doctor and my blood came back bad (they are only 6 & 8), so I’m going back in two weeks to have my blood drawn again, and if it’s still bad they are going to do a bone marrow biopsy to see if mommies Leukemia is back. If it is then I’ll have to go to the hospital for a month and Grandma & Grandpa are going to move in to Khrystyne’s room to stay here and help take care of you.

Well Ricky was seven shades of excited when I said that Grandpa would be moving in. Breanna on the other hand said, “I knew it was going to be bad news.” I told her that we’ve been through this before and we can do it again. Then we made breakfast, ate, and went for a walk. I kept running out of breath, and was completely light headed (I had a headache all weekend), and this morning I found some new pinhead bleeds. So unless a miracle happens, in the words of my Doctor this isn’t looking good.

After our walk yesterday Rick & I decided to take a nap, so we left the younger two downstairs with Khrystyne, and at 9:30 in the morning we went upstairs to take a nap. We had been awake since 3am so needless to say neither one of us can sleep for shit.

We were talking; because of course we couldn’t fall asleep. He would tear over, and then I would tear over. Then he kept looking at me like he was trying to take me in, and I just started crying. I couldn’t help it. I don’t like to cry in front of him, because he’s so sensitive, and after losing his mother to cancer, I know that he’s scared. But he handled the situation really well. He comforted me, and he let me know that I could cry in front of him any time that I needed to. We finally fell asleep, but no less than 30 minutes later I was once again wide awake. So I jumped into the shower, and stayed there for the better part of an hour. I just couldn’t turn off the water, it was so surreal. My fingers were all wrinkled like I had sat in the tub forever.

I guess more than anything, I’m just really scared. Of course I don’t want to die. I want to be here with my husband and my children. I don’t want some other woman raising my babies. Khrystyne is 18 now, and Courtney is 15 ½ so those two I’m not too worried about. Although I know losing me would be rough on them, but they are a couple of real tough cookies. I know that they will look after Ricky & Breanna for me. But you know as well as I do that it’s not the same. I want to see my children get married; I want to be around to hold my first grandbabies someday. These are the things that keep me going.

Rick said well at least this time going into it we already know the good news, and the bad news. The good news is at least we know what to expect. The bad news is we know what to expect. I couldn’t have said it better.

Then to top the weekend off, Courtney came home last night (she stayed at a friends all weekend) she sat on the couch next to me and said, I don’t like lying to you, so I’m just going to tell you. I said, “What?” She said me and Allison pierced our noses today. I sat up to take a look at her, and it looked like a pimple on the side of her nose, I said, “No you didn’t, that’s a pimple.” She said. “No really; we did.” So upon closer inspection, I realized that she most certainly did pierce her nose. They bought ear piercing studs and pushed it through their nostrils. She says to me, “Don’t worry, I looked it up online, and I sterilized everything.” Yeah right, how do you sterilize the inside of your nose?? I had her put the stud back in, until I could call our family doctor today. I told her if you have to get a tetanus shot, I don’t want no screaming and crying, no four people holding you down. You had better just sit there and take it. I swear one of these days POW right to the moon!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Bad News:(

Yesterday I had an appointment with my oncologist/hematologist, after my blood work they put me in a room to wait for Dr. Cripe, and his nurse Katie. (I saw Katie in the waiting room before my appointment, and she came over to give me a hug). When Dr. Cripe came into the room he commented on how good I looked, and Katie also said that I looked really good (they tricked me with these comments) Then Dr. Cripe asked me how I was feeling? I told him that I felt real good, just keeping general conversation up. He and Katie both sat down (RED FLAG) and he said to me, “I want to show you these blood counts.” (RED FLAG) I looked down at the chart (it’s a chart of all of my blood work in chronological order) all of my counts were up UNTIL 11/6/08; currently my WBC is 3.1, my RBC is 3.8, and my platelet count is 83. I just nodded like I already knew this was coming.

He looked me straight in the eye and told me that he didn’t like what he was seeing. “This is very worrisome.” Was one of the quotes, and “We’re very, very, very concerned” was the other. He wants me to come back in two weeks to see if my counts come back up, if not then I will have to have another Bone Marrow Biopsy to see if the Leukemia is back. (Unfortunately I already know the answer to that question.) I went on to tell Dr. Cripe about finding the pinhead bleeds on my stomach, and gums last month, and that I almost passed out walking around the block the night before (several times). So I’ll go back on November 24th for my follow up blood work, and most likely a bone marrow biopsy, and then I’ll have to start back over from square one… By the way this was the appointment that he was supposed to tell me that I could start coming to see him every 4 months.

Of all days to leave out of the house without my cell phone… My husband was sleeping; my kids were at school, so I stopped by my mother’s house on my way home to kind of get that conversation out of the way. She wanted to know why I was there at 2:30 in the afternoon; I told her that I had a half a day because I had a Doctors appointment. Then she asked, “What’s wrong, what did they say.” I said, “Well, it wasn’t good.” And then went into the whole conversation with her. An hour or so later I left and went home to tell my husband. That did not go over well at all. He instantly started crying, his mother just passed two years ago from cancer. So I know that’s what he thinks of when he hears the words recurrence.

I’ve made my peace with it.

If it is, it is, and I will deal with it. I will try to make this experience (not a pleasant one) but not a horrible one for my family’s sake. At least going into this I kind of know what to expect. If you take the unknown out of the equation it’s not as scary. I’m not saying that I know exactly what’s going to happen, but I’ve been through this once before, so I know what to expect for the most part.

One things for sure, once I start treatment again. I will not be going back to work anytime soon. I will file for disability this time, and give my body time to heal. That way if I do get better I would have done something good for myself, but if I don’t get better I’ll have that much more time to spend with my children.

So that’s where I’m at today… I’ll know more in two weeks, and I’ll let you know when I know.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Have you voted today??

I did... You can't complain if you don't do your part and vote!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween 2008

Breanna & her Book Buddy from school

Breanna, & her best friend, & Book Buddy

Ricky & Breanna


I really want to do more than a weekly update, but it’s just not happening. (Sorry)

Not a whole lot has gone on this week, we’ve just been taking it easy (up until yesterday it’s been really cold here) so we’ve not done much more than come home, eat, and watch T.V. I know it’s a bad habit to get back into (we really cut down on watching T.V. over the summer). But then again I AM NOT A FAN OF THE COLD!!

Rick and I are going to a Halloween party (for Adults only) tonight, so I’m sure I’ll have something really funny to post next week. He got completely smashed last year (within an hour), and tried taking pictures of my cousins BOOBS (she was dressed like Beth from Dog the Bounty Hunter). He completely made an ass out of himself (along with her husband) to the extent we have not been back over to their house for this whole year because he is completely humiliated.

We took the youngest two Trick-or-Treating last night, they had a blast. I got some really cute pictures of them with some of their friends. Khrystyne’s plans fell through so she dressed up (18 yrs old) and handed out candy for us, had she got in touch with her girlfriends however she would have been trick-or-treating as well. Courtney stayed the night with one of her friends, and they went trick-or-treating, this is the first time Courtney has been in 3 or 4 years. We have two huge bowls full of candy, I’m giving them a couple of days with a few pieces here and there, and then we are going to give the rest away. (Ricky & Breanna both had cavities at the last dentist appointment.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We are so proud!!


Last night I was taking Khrystyne to Game Stop to pick up a new game. On the way there she was complaining about her incision site (where she had her tumor removed), stating that it still bothered her sometimes. Then she started telling me about when she first woke up after her surgery how she was real groggy, and VERY hungry (it’s Khrys go figure). Then she started to tell me about a woman in the bed next to her and how she was having a Granny seizure; a real bad one.

Me: A what?

Khrys: A Granny seizure…

Me: (Confused look) Oh, you mean a Grand Mal seizure.

Khrys: Whatever

Me: (Laughing)

Khrys: (Blushing) they’re both the same thing! Granny, Grandma…

Me: (Laughing hysterically) Khrystyne, Grand Mal, not Grandma.

Khrys: That’s what I said Grandma.

Me: No, Khrystyne, listen, Grand Mal

Khrys: Blank look…

Me: Not G-R-A-N-D-M-A, its capital G-r-a-n-d space capital M-a-l, (still laughing) wait until I tell your dad about this…

Khrys: (Blushing an even deeper shade of red) Oh!! (Then she jumps out of the car and takes of running for the store)


By the way she is 18 years old!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Artwork...

As promised here are some photos of Breanna and her art work that is on display…






Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dillon Dipped in my Bucket

Dillon Dipped in my Bucket

That is the phrase that I heard while driving to work this lovely Saturday morning. (I brought the two youngest along.) So I turned the radio down so that I could listen in on the conversation that Ricky and Breanna were having. Apparently they are being taught in school that everyone has a full bucket, and if some one is mean to you or hurts your feelings they take a scoop out of your bucket. If someone is nice to you or makes you laugh they put a scoop into your bucket. So Dillon pushed Ricky down and was mean to him on the playground so he dipped in Ricky’s bucket. This conversation lasted every bit of 15 minutes, it was so cute.

I finally went to the Doctors on Thursday, and I have bronchitis. I came to work yesterday but our region manager was in and after an hour he sent me packing. Not because I was sick, but because he felt I may be contagious and he didn’t want any part of what I had. So I got a day and a half off this week… Yea!!

I believe I’m going to have to do some soul searching this coming year, I think professionally it is about time to make a change. I’ve worked here going on ten years, and I have to fight every year to get a pay increase, if I even get one. I’ve been gypped out of my quarterly bonuses about six times over the past two years. So more and more I feel it’s about time to move on.

My oldest daughter turned 18 on October 5th, today she is officially opening her first checking account. This is going to be interesting… hopefully she will pay attention to what I tell her, and never overdraw on her account. Money burns a hole right through her pocket; I’m trying to teach her to save some of her money for a rainy day, but so far it hasn’t stuck.

Breanna won 1st place at her school in an Art contest for the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Her art work is currently being displayed at The Great Frame Up. So after work this afternoon I’ll be taking Breanna & Ricky to The Great Frame Up to take pictures of her artwork. I’m sure Breanna will feel very important and I want to show her that we are really proud of her. I’ll post the pictures from our trip next week.

Well that’s about it for now; have a great weekend.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I see sick people... everywhere

Calling the shots; my little guy is in the green.


We have a bunch of sick people at my house, first Courtney was sick, which turned into bronchitis, and then Khrystyne and Ricky got sick. I took them to the doctors Khrys had bronchitis, and I was told that Ricky had a viral infection until today he went back for his yearly physical and he has an ear infection plus cough, so he gets to revisit the doctor in 2 weeks to give his antibiotics time to kick in. Which leads us to Rick, Breanna and myself, Breanna is starting to cough (which luckily she has an appointment this Thursday with the pulmonary specialist for her asthma) I’ve got the worst cough, and now Rick is starting to come down with something. I think I may have picked the worst year to pass on the flu shot… I had such a bad reaction last year, and my doctor’s office does not offer the nasal mist so it’s a shot or nothing.

Ricky played his last soccer game this past Saturday; they won their final game so that put them as undefeated this whole season. Which that was pretty exciting. He got to call heads or tails for the beginning of the game (his first time ever) and he won, so he got to pick which side he wanted to play on. It was so cute. After the game, we went over to the bouncy house and waited for their turn. Rick and I watched them jump, actually their time was almost up, when we saw a commotion and saw someone getting out of the bouncy, here comes Ricky. He fell and some girl jumped on his EYE!!! It’s been two days now and his eye is still swollen. Breanna keeps telling his friends that a girl beat him up, and of course Ricky gets made at her, so he punched her in the arm where she just got her flu shot at. Kids… it never ends.

Courtney got suspended from school on Friday, she was caught with her cell phone Thursday morning and the teacher tried to take her phone and of course she didn’t give it up. (She saved her babysitting money for two months for that phone, and she had just got it the weekend before) So the Teacher sent her to the office, and when she went to get her things together she apparently dropped the F-Bomb in front of the whole class. So I got my fall cleaning done on Friday without even having to be at home!! Like I said Kids…

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quick Update



I've been pretty busy here at work. It's just me in the office now, so I don't have a lot of time to update. (Sorry)


I'm posting some school pics of the younger two; for my family that reads this blog.


We have one final soccer game tomorrow morning; Ricky's team so far has been undefeated this year which was so cool... Have a great weekend.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Three year Cancer - Anniversary




Well it’s official; I’ve made it three years since being diagnosed with cancer. It hasn’t been the easiest road by any means but all in all any price that I’ve had to pay was well worth it for the opportunity to be given the gift of another day. So instead of going into all the in’s and out’s of being diagnosed with the big “C”, I thought I’d share some personal thoughts.

More than anything I’ve been blessed with the insight of what a day can bring.

A day can bring a phone call from your very panicked doctor warning you, “That whatever you do, do not go to work this morning, we need you to go to the hospital for more blood work, we think you have Leukemia.”

A day can bring 40 people (whom you’ve never met) into your house carrying armloads of groceries and Christmas presents for your children, while you are sick.

A day can bring a family back together, or tear it apart.

A day can bring a new baby into your life, or take your Grandmother away.

A day can bring you a walk in the park, with your husband and children. When your six year old son notices that his mommy is have problems with the hills and stays behind to let mommy hold his hand so she doesn’t fall…

So I’ve decided to take this next year One Day at a Time. (Not that there is any other way that you can take it.) But I’m not going to let things worry me or stress me out. I’m going to really focus on enjoying the moment. Taking a few minutes for myself everyday and not feel guilty about it, and I’m going to make an effort to spend more time with extended family members, because all too often we get tied up with our lives and our own kids and don’t make time for others.

Those words One Day at a Time remind me of an elderly lady from church when I was a kid, she was almost blind, and her favorite song was One Day at a Time. She rarely spoke to anyone, I think that she was very shy, but on the way home from church if you asked, she would always sing that song for us. The chorus of that song goes like this:

One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m asking from you
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do
Yesterdays gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.

So this is how I’m going to live the rest of my life, be it a day, or fifty more years. Not wasting my time worrying about things that happened in my past, and not taking for granted that I’ll ever see tomorrow. But by doing the best I can, for the people that I love while I’m still here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's finally over...

Ok let me start off by saying the spots that I found went away on their own, and there have been no new sightings… If my Leukemia had returned those spots would not have went away, and more would have appeared. So a little stress has been lifted.

Next I don’t know if you remember my post from Smack down at a Funeral, but Rick’s Aunt Barb took him to court yesterday for an order of protection!! One, he only shut the door on her and Lindsey, and Two; he never touched her or threatened her. But none the less she felt a need for one (probably because she is psycho)… We put the kids on the bus and took off for the courthouse, once we got on the interstate Rick heard something about traffic on the radio, but it was turned down too low for us to hear. So ten minutes later they started with traffic news again, and the interstate that we were ALREADY on was closed at you guessed it our exit. About two seconds later we were at a dead stop. Up just a little further we saw some gravel in between the interstate and people were already turning around. So we waited our turn, in the meantime I called the court house and told them that there was a fatal accident on the interstate and that we were turning around, but that most likely we would be late. She stated that she would note our file, and gave me directions (forgetting one very important turn) so we went another 20 minutes out of our way, had to stop for gas, and ask for directions.

One the way back I called the courthouse again and she gave me some more directions (hey what can I say, we are not from that side of town) we finally found it, but wouldn’t you guess??? No parking available… So we drove all around the courthouse until we finally found a spot. We went up to the third floor, and I went to check in with the clerk. The one that I’m sure that I spoke with on the phone was on another call and the other lady in the office acted like it was a chore to see what we wanted. We told her that we were there for a notice of protection, and she replied (really bitchy I might add), “Those hearings started at 9am!” granted we were FIFTY minutes late, but I replied right back, “We called, several times, and she told us that it would be fine.” So she finally directed us to the court room.

When we first walked inside the judge was hearing another case, and we saw Tina and Lindsey so Rick sat next to them (Barb was also seeking a restraining order against Lindsey, you know because an eighteen year old girl is someone you need to worry about…)
Any ways about 10 minutes later the judge called all of their names, and they went up before him. He told them that this was how it was going to work. Barb wanted an order of protection from Rick & Lindsey; he didn’t want to get into the specifics of what happened a month ago, he asked them if they all agreed that the ties that held them together in the past no longer existed i.e. Granny had passed. They all agreed, he stated that he saw no reason for them to come together in the future, and they all agreed. Then he said that he would issue the order of protection for six months, if anything else came up over the next six months that he would extend it for longer. (I told Rick prior to going to court, just keep your answers simple, yes sir, no sir, and answer any direct questions only) So that is what he did, do you think Barb did the same??? Of course not!! She didn’t have anything additional to say about Rick, but she wanted it to be known that Lindsey and her mother both have been to anger management courses, and she wanted to play a tape demonstrating how Lindsey was brought up. The judge shot her right down, he said, “Didn’t you hear what I just said, I don’t want to go into the he said she said of what happened a month ago, I’m giving you what you want, that’s it.” She tried again, and he shot her down again. That was it. We were free to go, and we would receive our paperwork in the mail. So the minute he let them all go, me and Tina were already walking towards the door, and we flew down the steps (which isn’t easy in heels).

We walked the girls to their car; while Tina smoked we just caught up a little, because we were parked over by Barb. But of course they had to come out on the same side of the courthouse that we did. The minute she walked out she started running her mouth trying to antagonize them. Lindsey almost said something, but we told her to be quiet and let her go on. Then Barb started walking away she grabbed her daughters arm and started shaking her butt like Na, Na A Boo Boo. If I’m not mistaken I think I actually heard those words come out of her mouth?? It just goes to show, I’ve been right about her all along… NO CLASS!!

At least this chapter of our lives is finally over!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What do you worry about??

Do you worry if your kids are going to turn out alright, or if you have just royally screwed them up?

Do you worry about bills?

Do you worry that your life is going to pass you by, without having done everything that you always wanted to do?

Do you ever worry that your cancer is going to come back?

Well that has been my worry for the past few days, not that it already wasn’t in the back of my mind constantly or anything like that… on Sunday I found a petechiae and just about lost my mind. (I had these when I was diagnosed with Leukemia almost three years ago) I had decided not to tell my husband about it unless more of them appeared, but of all days for him to come in when I was still getting ready (and I had not completely pulled myself together.) So of course the questions started to fly, “What’s wrong?” Nothing. “I know you’re lying, what’s going on? Then I had to tell him, of course he broke down crying. I told him other that finding that spot, I still felt fine. It just really freaked me out for a minute. For the rest of the weekend he acted completely weird on me.

Then yesterday I came home from work early, I only had a headache, but he completely wigged out on me. “What’s wrong, what are you keeping from me?” But really, my head was just hurting and I needed to lie down, that was it.

Today I found another spot on my gums, so if I find anything else I’m going to call my doctors office and have some blood work done, if for nothing else than just a piece of mind. But if I’m being honest it really is starting to freak me out. I’m almost at my three year mark. I can’t even imagine starting over from square one again!! Although I’ve always known that only 20-30% of AML patients remain disease-free, still that would be a very tough pill to swallow.

I’m still trying to remain positive; even though I’m scared out of my mind.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's official... I've lost my mind





Pictures of daughters room.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Quick Update

Our manger at work got fired a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve been loaded up with extra work, plus with my husband’s grandmother passing away, I’ve been really busy lately. I know excuses, excuses, but I’m going to try and post more often.

Today I hit a milestone; I have officially lost 30 lbs this year, so far!! I’m pretty excited about that. Now I only have 83 more to lose… It’s my own fault for letting it go that far. This is the lowest that I have weighed in over 10 years. I’m just trying to ensure that I’m doing what I need to do, to try and keep cancer recurrence at bay for as long as possible.

Khrystyne went out on her first date this past Saturday; she’ll be 18 in October. She likes Nicholas, but they are both really shy, and actually this was the first time that they had even met. Nicholas is the son of a co-worker of mine, and he put Nicholas information on the bulletin board at work for people to write to him. He is in the Army, and serving in Iraq. So anyway they went on their date on Saturday, and he went back to Iraq on Monday. So the next possible time for them to meet will be at least December…

Ricky started soccer back up a couple of weeks ago; they don’t have practice this weekend thank goodness, because we are painting Courtney and Breanna’s bedroom this weekend.

Well that’s it for now, I’m going to try to enjoy my long weekend, you do the same.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Smack Down at a Funeral

I had thought that I had seen it all, with regards to my husbands family; that is until yesterday. Rick had a feeling that his aunt would try to cause problems and he did not want to bring the kids to the funeral because of that. But I did not want them to miss out on being at their Great-Grandmother’s funeral.

Granny’s showing started at 11am for immediate family members, my family was there at 10:50. His aunts and uncles were not there until 11:20, and they had requested that no one be allowed in until they had all arrived. So we had to wait for all of them, so basically they were late for their own mother’s funeral.

Finally they allowed the rest of us to come in, and everything was going well… Until… Tina and her kids & grand-kids showed up. (Tina’s husband was Charlie, Granny’s youngest child that committed suicide a few months back) Tina & (Rick’s) aunt Barb had been into it since before Charlie died, after Charlie’s funeral Barb took out a restraining order out against Tina. So as soon as she saw Tina walk in to pay her respects (with Granny’s grandkids & great-grandkids) she started yelling, “No, no, no get that Bitch out of here now. Get out, Get out, Get out now!”

Tina was crying (because of Granny, not Barb) and she took her grandchildren up to pay their respects. Barb had already walked to the back of the room to get the funeral director to have her removed; she was being very loud and obnoxious. Everyone was trying to talk her into just letting them pay their respects and leaving, but she wasn’t hearing that. She was cussing and screaming, and the next thing I knew my husband was rushing past me towards the back of the room (I tried to grab him but I missed), once he got back there he slammed the double doors in Barb’s face. She busted through the doors and screamed at him not to shut the doors on her, he said something about the kids not needing to hear all of that, and she shoved him, then she shoved him again (trying to get him to hit her I’m sure) but Rick just threw both of his arms in the air so that EVERYONE could see that he never touched her. Then she called him a big headed Bitch. (I think he started laughing at her) but she was still yelling at Tina, then Barb and (Tina & Charlie’s) daughter Lindsey started arguing (Lindsey is 18) all of the sudden Lindsey grabbed Barb by the neck and almost flung her to the ground, Barb’s eyes were about to bug out of her head. (It was so funny) By then the funeral director and some of the men in the family took everyone outside.

I stayed put with the kids for awhile, but finally I told Khrys & Court to watch the two younger ones so that I could go find their father. When I finally found everyone, I walked outside to see two Sherriff’s cars pulling up. So they split everyone up to try and find out what had happened, by then Tina and the kids had already left. The Sherriff questioned Rick 3-4 times, and he stated that he was not going to arrest him for shutting the door in his aunts face (although she was trying to get him arrested) and he couldn’t make him leave, but if the funeral director wanted him to leave they would ask him to politely do so. The funeral director was standing nearby shaking his head no; he didn’t want Rick to leave.

So after we all wrote our statements out for the police, the funeral director approached us again and stated that Barb was now demanding that Rick be ejected from the funeral. Rick told him that if she would agree that he would stay on one side of the room and not say anything to her if she agreed to stay on the opposite side of the room and not say anything to him. They approached her with that request and she told them no she wanted him to leave. So Phil and Paul (Rick’s cousin & Uncle) went and got Pastor Mike and he spoke with Barb and her husband Larry, and finally got them to agree with it.

The funeral director came and asked me & Rick to have a word with him privately. He told us that he really appreciated the way that we handled the whole situation, and that he could tell that we had really good character; he just wanted to let us know that.

We went back into the chapel and waited for the services to start, (with people coming up to us to tell us the obvious, THAT BARB IS CRAZY). Then Barb finally came back into the chapel and sat in the front pew on the right hand side (we were in the third row on the left had side) When all of Rick’s other aunts and uncle came in they all sat in the front pew right in front of us, Barb and her husband sat in their pew all alone. I thought that single gesture spoke louder that any words could. (Which if nothing else that whole episode kept Barb outside for almost two whole hours!)

Because of everything that went on that day, once everyone was seated Pastor Mike started the services (25 minutes early). Granny looked beautiful, much better than we had seen her in the past two weeks. She had a pastel pink dress on with a matching beaded jacket. I don’t think everyone had a chance to grieve properly because we just all wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. Which, really, was too bad.

Pastor Mike said that God had recently laid something on his heart to do with two extra acres behind the church, next year he was going to plant a huge garden and when he harvested and canned all of the food he was going to take it to the food banks around town. He told us all yesterday that he was going to name the garden after Granny; it’s going to be called the Tina Stamper Victory Garden. I thought that was sweet of him. In the past few years he has officiated over all of the funerals in my husband’s family, Tabitha, Ryan, Greg, Judy, Charlie, and now Granny, so in part he is like one of the family.

He also went into how many children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren Granny had, in all she has one hundred thirty four decedents with two more on the way! What an amazing and full life she had.

I just wish that everyone could have been a little bit more respectful at her service yesterday. She deserved at least that much. Rest in peace Granny, we love you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Granny

Well I haven’t posted for awhile, my husbands grandmother (granny) was sent home under home hospice care two weeks ago, she passed on Sunday I’ll have a post coming up on her once I have a few minutes to sit down and write it. Her funeral services are going to be tomorrow from 11-2 she made the arrangements herself she wanted one hour for the family, one hour for everyone, and one hour for the service. Short, sweet, and to the point that is how she lived her whole life, why not make your final arrangements the same way. Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Ding Dong Ditch


Last Friday night Ricky went to a slumber party (with 7 other boys!!!) About 9pm there was a ring at the door, we thought oh great he didn’t want to stay so they’re bringing him home. But when we got to the door no one was there.

There is a little boy that lives right behind us, who will from time to time ring our door bell and run. So we look around the corner of the house and we see Ricky and his friends booking it into the back yard.

So Rick looks down the street and sees the little boys parents hiding behind a tree, laughing. Tosha said that Ricky looked real sad, she thought that he might want to go home, so between her and all of the boys they decided to come over and ring the door bell and take off. One of the little boys said yeah, let’s ding dong ditch… So that perked him up a little bit, and they thought it was the funniest thing in the whole world.

Not a whole lot has been on lately, I’m winning our weight loss contest so far here at work. To date this year I have lost 28 pounds, people are starting to notice which is always nice, and I’ve dropped quite a few sizes. Oh yeah, I’ve also lost my reflux issue, if I had known years ago, that a change in my diet would take that away, I would have been there with bells on!!!

Well have a great weekend…

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dreams...

Okay, so I have been going back & forth on wither or not I was going to blog about this, but I thought maybe someone might have and opinion or insight on why I had this dream to begin with.

Over the Fourth of July weekend at Rick’s aunts house I had a dream one night, when I woke up I was completely freaked out, once you read it I’m sure you’ll understand why. Rick’s uncle Charlie committed suicide a few months back, I know that had been on my mind and in my heart lately.

I didn’t want to tell Rick about it, so after we made it home I wrote it down so that he could read it, of course he was just as freaked out about it as I was. But then that same night Breanna found a marker grabbed a piece of paper and drew the picture at the bottom of this post. Again, completely freaking us out, Rick turned to me and asked me if I had told her about the dream, which of course I hadn’t.

So anyways here is what I dreamt, and the picture Breanna drew. You tell me what you get from this???

I dreamt that I was lying on a hill, green grass everywhere, there was a clear blue sky, and the sun was shining bright, and from a distance was a pond down a big hill. From the hill I saw Uncle Charlie walking towards me with two young girls one on each side of him when he got to me the girls fell away (they looked familiar, but I couldn’t make out who they were) he said, “Hey baby.” and then hugged me. When he pulled away it wasn’t him any longer he had changed into Breanna, I said, “Oh baby, you’re an Angel” (almost in tears) and knelt down beside her. She said in a typical childlike tone, “They don’t call us Angels where I’m from, mom.” I was upset at seeing her knowing that she/Uncle Charlie had killed himself. And she looked at me and said, “I met Jesus mom, he took me by the hand and made me whole again. Then Jesus took me for a walk and showed me all of heaven.” I felt her chest and there was no gunshot wound and I just pulled her close to me and cried, and sobbed… Then I woke up crying.

Cancer Update: I went in for my quarterly blood draw today, they weighed me and took me back to a room, took my temperature (which was up), and took my blood pressure (which was also up). Then the doctor came in and sat down, and he asked me how I’ve been feeling. I hate when he does that, because it always makes me feel like he knows something that I don’t. But then he said, “Oh, by the way your blood work was fine.” (Why couldn’t he just say that from the beginning?) He asked, “I bet you got nervous about the second month, didn’t you?” I said, “No, I’ve been coming every three months since last fall. I’m used to it by now.” Why do they have to say stuff to make you nervous? So then he made me get on the table where he looked me over and listened to my breathing, something he really doesn’t do anymore, so again I’m getting nervous!!! He told me a while back that he will feel better about my situation once I get a few more years under my belt. I know that with AML you can fall out of remission shortly after your treatment, and I have found quite a few people who made it up to 2-3 years and then had a relapse. So I’m already nervous enough, without him making little cracks like that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cancer Updates:

Tomorrow I go for my check up with my oncologist. I’ve been feeling very well lately, with no issues to report so hopefully my blood counts will be where they need to be at.

I wanted to write about a couple of people that I have been following for the past 9-10 months, they both lost their battle with cancer last week, and I just wanted people to know about them.




The first one I’m sure many people know about his name was Randy Pauch he was the college professor who gave “The Last Lecture”. I wanted to remember Randy today because of his vision, and his zest for life, and for making each moment count. He was an amazing man, a family man, a teacher, a true inspiration. If any of you have seen his last lecture or parts of it on Oprah, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Here is the link to Randy’s updates http://download.srv.cs.cmu.edu/~pausch/news/index.html. It was a wonderful story, so much worth the read… Here is an article on Randy, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25848017/





The second person that I wanted to talk about was Kristy Dykes, her blog is titled Christian Love Stories. She was diagnosed with the same kind of brain tumor that Senator Ted Kennedy was recently diagnosed with. Her blog is so inspirational to me, the love that she had for her husband and the love that he so obviously had for her is something to aspire to have in your own marriage. The link for her blog is here:
http://christianlovestories.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html

Please also check out this post that her husband posted for all husbands to read: http://christianlovestories.blogspot.com/2007_11_01_archive.html (scroll down to the November 23, 2008 post titled Tough Men and Tender Romance.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dawn Marie Stuard

Dawn Marie Stuard


March 17, 1986, I was 13 years old (almost 14) and in Jr. High School. My cousin went missing, and I remember my aunts & uncles, everyone really looking for her. Her parents went out of town for the weekend, and woke her up to take her to her aunt’s house. She had stayed up late (it was the weekend) and begged her parents to let her sleep a little longer, and that she would walk over to her aunts house when she woke up which was just a few blocks away. So her parents agreed and called his sister to let her know that Dawn would walk over later in the day. She was headed over to her aunt’s house, but made a detour to the local park, witnesses saw her speaking to some men in a car, then later they heard a car peeling out and no one ever saw Dawn alive again. They knew who the men in the car were, but couldn’t be sure that they were the ones peeling out because they only heard it, they didn’t see them leaving. My aunt Sherry went to their house and beat on the door, they had a few words but they would not let her in their house (she blamed herself for this later, she felt if she would have just pushed her way through, that she could have saved Dawn) The police were called, they questioned the Reese family, then the search started for Dawn. My uncle Dale found her body; she had been raped and beaten to death. They found her in some water several days after the fact, I remember this because she had an open casket at her funeral, and she didn’t even look like herself. She was so bloated; it looked like someone else entirely.

The police searched the Reese’s family home, and found blood and hair on a pool stick that was used to beat her to death. The father was arrested and charged with rape, confinement, and murder, his sixteen year old son was also a suspect in her rape and murder.

When the police searched the Reese family home, they did not obtain a search warrant and all of the evidence was eventually thrown out. They were released from jail and charges were never brought against them again. UNTIL THIS WEEK….

Brian Reese (who was the sixteen year old son, 22 yrs ago), was charged in three homicides this past week, and he also shot an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Office in the head (he has not yet been charged with any crimes against the police officer).

On Tuesday night I was getting ready to go to bed and the news was coming on, they were talking about Brian/Paul Reese and how they had a connection to a murder some 20+ years ago. They kept showing a picture of a young girl and I kept thinking to myself man she looks so familiar… so I stayed up to watch the story.

They started talking about the rape/murder of this young girl, and then her father was being interviewed, it’s been quite some time since I have seen him but then it hit me that this story was about Dawn, and then they showed the video clip of the police bringing her out of the wooded area by this time I was on the edge of the couch, tears flowing down my face. It felt like I was taken back to that very moment when she was found all of those years ago. They are going to reopen her case and hopefully with DNA testing that is available now that wasn’t available 20 years ago, they can finally prove what everybody knew back then, that they are the ones who raped and killed Dawn, and that they will have to suffer the punishment for their crimes old and new.

I just really saddens me that three more people (almost four) had to lose their life to bring these monsters to justice. That’s being generous I’m sure people who have been convicted on murder as early as 1960 (the father), that have been suspected on a 1986 homicide, didn’t just start all over again in 2008. I just wonder how many other people have died at these people’s hands??? They have another son in prison for… you guessed it murder. How does a whole family turn out to be so evil? Hopefully they will never see the light of day again. And Dawn will finally be able to rest in peace.


Here’s the latest on the Reese investigation.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Our Family...

List of Characters for this story:
Joanne – Rick’s aunt
Ron – Joanne’s husband
Shannon – Rick’s sister
Darren – Shannon’s boyfriend
Bub(by) – Rick’s brother
Chrissy – Bub’s soon to be ex-wife

We went to Michigan over the 4th of July it actually turned out to be very interesting this year. We have been going there for several years, and this was the first time that we ever had any problems. Rick’s sister and her boyfriend went with us this year (it’s Rick’s fathers family that we go see)

We stopped to eat before we got to his aunt Joanne’s house, Rick called her to let her know that we were almost there, and she told him that Bub and Chrissy came down the night before. (Rick had talked to bubby a few days before, and as far as we knew they were still getting divorced and she would not let him bring Carly (their daughter) to the get together) Apparently she called Bubby on Wednesday night and told him that she wanted to work on things (basically just so that she could come to the BIG PARTY, and to start trouble). I told Shannon that she was there and she made it clear that if she stepped out of line all hell was going to break loose.

Sooo… The drinks flew fast, and heavily all afternoon and into the night. Chrissy was taking prescription pills on top of drinking (without eating) I was out in the tent and just fell asleep when I heard what sounded like an explosion!!! I looked out the side of the tent and heard people yelling and screaming and heard Chrissy’s jeep start up, then turn off, then start up, then turn off. (Rick jumped in the jeep with her and took her keys away, because the girl could not even stand up) Then she dug in her purse and said, “I have another set of keys!” Rick told her that she was just stupid for telling him, because he took those away too. Then they got out of the jeep and walked around the front of the house, by this time Courtney was in the tent with me watching all of the action. Shannon comes up to the side of the tent, and says “April I told you if she tried to start any s**t I was going to whip her a**. She told me that I didn’t love my brother (Bub).” And some other stuff Shannon was drunk and was stumbling around I couldn’t make out everything that she said. So she started walking towards the house. I said, “Shannon let Rick Calm her down she is drunk, she just needs to sleep.” F that she says and stumbles onto the patio. They are from Detroit so every other word all weekend was the F word. It really got on my nerves.

Anyway I hear Chrissy shouting your sister disrespected me, and you didn’t even say anything. Courtney is telling me what happened in the house before the big “Explosion” Chrissy said all of that stuff to Shannon, and then she slapped Bubby in the face really hard and poked him in both eyes (like the three stooges, double fingered and everything). The slap by the way was already the second slap of the night.

So Shannon reaches them on the porch and started yelling at Chrissy, Aunt Joanne got Shannon into the house, Rick was still trying to calm Chrissy down when he turned around to look at his brother, Chrissy went around the other side of Rick and SLAPPED Bubby in the face (she turned his whole head around, but he never raised his hand to her) Rick picked her up by both arms and put her up against the house, and yelled, “You’re not going to put your hands on my brother again!” So she shoves Rick, then she shoves him again and says hit me mother F*er, hit me. You’re nothing but a drunk like your brother, and then she shoved him again… of course at this time I’m putting my shoes on and running out of the tent, with Courtney hot on my heals, by the time I got down there I shoved her into the house and screamed don’t put your hands on my husband again or I’m going to whip you’re a** myself!! Darren (Shannon’s boyfriend) got in between us and tried to get me into the house. But I shoved him out of the way and shoved her a couple of more times, she just closed her eyes and hung her head down. I was still screaming at her telling her to shut the F up and go to sleep. So Darren finally got me into the house, Joanne got Chrissy out by the fire, and everyone else finally came into the house. (Ron and Joanne kept giving Chrissy alcohol, so she can pass out they said) (Fuel to the fire I said) The group wanted to go back outside to keep parting and I told Rick you keep them in the house, she is not getting any attention so things were finally starting to calm down, so Rick made them all stay in the house. Bed time that night was 7am Saturday morning… I kept saying all night that she was acting like she had bipolar disorder, the next morning I found out that she does have bipolar and was taking anti-psychotic drugs… which you are not supposed to mix with alcohol… You think???

Monday, June 30, 2008

New Memories...


This past weekend was pretty non-eventful, besides the usual grocery shopping, laundry, library, and just plain ole’ hanging out with the family; spotty thundershowers kept us inside for most of the weekend, but we managed to get out a few times.

I overheard Ricky and Breanna in a conversation where Ricky was trying to convince Breanna that we had done something awhile back, and then I heard Breanna say, “No we did not, remember mommy was sick, and we didn’t get to go.” Can I please say, I never wanted my illness to get in the way of my children’s happiness, and I will never again tell them that I am too sick to do anything with them. I do not want that to be their memory of me.

Yesterday afternoon it was raining, and Rick was playing Flat Out on the Play Station. Ricky was sitting in the chair with me, we were goofing off and he was laughing his head off, all of the sudden he grabbed himself and said uh-oh… I pushed him out of the chair and told him to hurry up as he ran to the bathroom. I had made him laugh so hard he almost pee’d his pants. Then he came back and we started playing around again, not ten minutes later the same thing happened.

Our puppy is housebroken, but now she wants to chew everything up. She keeps chewing up Breanna’s little stuffed animals. She has hand sewn noses, and eyes on her puppies/kitties and yesterday we even had to sew an entire head on their bulldog puppy. Anyway Breanna has taken to giving her stuffed animals baths because of the dog slobber, so for awhile yesterday afternoon I sat on the floor with her blow drying her stuffed animals (so their fur would be fluffy once again).

(These are the kind of memories I want my kids to have.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dentist (UGGH)

Not a whole lot has been going on with me lately, just dealing with the stupid dentist/oral surgeon!! My jaw feels like it has a constant cramp in it, and my teeth are so hot/cold sensitive I can barely stand it. That has been my fear about going to see the dentist since my cancer treatment stopped, so much so that this has been the first time I have even seen a dentist in over two years. So now if anything is cold or hot I can barely eat or drink it, my bite feels off to the point if I eat something more solid than pudding I can hardly bite down (without tremendous pain), I had a wisdom tooth pulled last week and I keep pulling the stitches, I wake up every morning between 2-4 am in so much pain that I have to get up and take pain meds just to be able to go back to sleep. I think the dentist will be off of my list for a couple of years… Sorry about the rant but it has really taken over everything in my life recently, when I get home I’m ready to lay down, because I’m not getting any rest at night, and my stupid head hurts EVERY SINGLE NIGHT because of my STUPID TEETH!!! The dentist painted a solution on my teeth last night to “close the porous parts of my teeth” so they won’t be so hot/cold sensitive. Did it work?? Not even!!

We are going to see Rick’s family in Michigan over the 4th of July, just for a couple of days, but the time off is much needed. His sister is going with us this year, for the first time in eight years!! I’m sure a good time will be had by all, especially by all of those who drink (which I do not)!! So I get to watch them all make fools of themselves.

Khrystyne started a job this week; she is enjoying a little more independence. She’s right at that age where any minute she’ll be ready to go out on her own. I guess I’m a little excited and maybe a little scared for her as well. I guess everyone gets to that stage in their life at some point or another.

My sisters son made a comment about drugs in front of her, so she dragged his butt downtown and had him tested for drugs. Of course it came back positive, so starting Monday he will start an outpatient drug treatment program. He is 14 years old!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Poor kid...

Angel, Shelby, Courtney


My best friend’s daughter (Angel) fell off of her push scooter last week and broke both bones in her left forearm. She had surgery this past Monday to have two rods and one metal plate put in. I feel so sorry for her. Imagine being 13 years old and all of the sudden you need help doing even the most basic things, such as washing your hair etc… On Thursday after the swelling goes down from her surgery, she will have a cast put on from her knuckles just up to her armpit, just in time for summer vacation. She will have to deal with this pretty much up until school starts back up. They live 5 minutes from the beach, and they have a pool in their community, and she can’t swim all summer long. For a kid that really has to suck…

I’m having a wisdom tooth removed on Friday; let me tell you it hurts soooo bad. I’ve had issues with it for about two weeks, and tomorrow (the day before the surgery) I can’t take Ibuprofen, Tylenol or anything, I don’t know how I’m going to make it. Rick is taking off of work to take me up there and kind of take care of me all day, which I plan on sleeping it off, if nothing else at least I have great drugs from having cancer (which I hardly ever use, but for this I will make an acceptation) I hate going to the dentist… with a passion!!

Khrystyne has found a job, she will start this week, and it is perfect it’s right down the street (within walking distance) so if we’re not home she can hoof it!! She is pretty excited about starting the next phase of her life, we have decided to let her drop out of school (she would be starting her senior year with 17 credits out of 41), but she will be enrolling in the local GED program this fall instead. It is not what I had in mind for her when she was little, but for her I think this is the right choice. She has dealt with learning disabilities since before she started school, and has struggled all the way. She seems much happier that we have agreed to let her do this, and excited to be getting on with it.

I still haven’t spoken with my sister, every time I think about what she said I still get furious!! I know at some point I will have to deal with it, but not today…

Please stop by Why Mommy and offer some support, she just had bone scans done they think her cancer may have metastasized. I guess that’s why we are all here to share our stories, and to offer support when we can.