Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm still alive

Just a quick post to say that I'm still alive and kickin'. I have been feeling a lot like Michael Keaton from Multiplicity. You know, the movie where he clones himself to get more done. Wouldn't that be nice.  So I survived my Friday Girls' Night Out craft night. I think it was a success. At least everyone said they had fun. I was a crazy woman running around all night. Thank goodness for my helpers. I got a little obsessed about the advent calendar kits. I spent insane hours preparing ahead of time. Actually, I'm still recovering from sleep deprivation. I was an idiot and would stay up until 2-3 am working on those kits. That was a once in a lifetime project to mass produce. I've learned my lesson.  I hope......

So Travis is only 7 days away from the end of radiation. Yeah! Unfortunately, the radiation accumulates and he has been sicker the past several days. Incredibly, he's still managing to work and make it to bankruptcy appointments and hearings. His worst symptom lately is nausea. He actually got sick while driving into Phoenix for a bankruptcy hearing today. He was on the freeway talking on the phone to me when he said, "I think I'm going to be sick." Then I hear some horrible noises that went on for a while. I kept asking him if he was safe and okay. He just kept throwing up. Then I heard a guy ask Travis if he was okay. We got disconnected and I immediately called back. He had thrown off his blue tooth when he got sick and pulled off on the shoulder of the freeway. Thankfully, he had a barf bag handy. It was a highway patrol car that stopped to see if Travis needed help. When I called him back he said he felt much better and went on to his hearing. Oh yea, he carried the barf bag (full) all the way to Phoenix and found a garbage when he got there! Is that a story or what? 

He announced to me today, "I'm sick of being sick." Amen. So am I.  I'm ready to move on. 

Honestly, I am floored by the faith and optimism of everyone I talk to. Everyone seems to know just the thing I need to hear at the moment. It keeps me going and helps my faith remain intact. I thank God for sending angels to help me through this. Travis and I are not going through this alone. We have literally hundreds of dear friends and family carrying us through this challenge.
I've said it before but have to say again how blessed I am. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Half Way There

Travis completed the first 3 weeks of radiation on Friday. He is half way done! It's been hard on him but he is amazingly strong. From the symptoms he describes, it sounds a lot how the early stages of morning sickness feel. He is nauseous, tired and just feels bad overall. He is still managing to work at least 1/2 days or longer. Travis continues to do some bankruptcy work for Clint Smith part-time. He is also receiving a lot of referral work and is keeping pretty darn busy. The next few months will be a transitionary time and a lot will be happening. I have complete confidence that everything will work out very well for us.

The chaos in my life is definitely subsiding a bit. My dad is recovering well from his heart surgery. He is home from the hospital and getting stronger each day. My mom is still scootering around because of her foot surgery, but also doing well. I have my huge Enrichment Night coming up this Friday. When that is over, I will do a very happy, celebratory dance. It's been an enormous amount of work. Isn't it always more work than you every think? That's what I get for optimistically thinking I could pace myself by starting early. Big thanks to Jamie for her countless hours of help. I couldn't do it without my sister. I can't wait for Friday and know it's going to be lots of fun!

Last weekend I took Olivia and Ella to see "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" at East Valley Theatre in Mesa. My friend, Becki's daughter, Elli played the lead role of Lucy. She was so darling and did an incredible job. We had a great time together.
Ryan fell in love with our little Paisley and couldn't get enough holding time. He sure looked sweet with that baby in his arms.
I enjoyed taking a few pictures of her this week. She slept through the whole thing! This is her at 12 days old.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Travis update

So many are asking about how Travis is doing these days. He has completed almost 2 weeks of the 6 weeks of radiation. He goes in 5 days a week to St. Joseph Hospital and the appointments last less than 30 minutes. The drive to and from is what makes it so time consuming. I go with Travis to keep him company a couple of times a week. Travis goes with his dad a couple days a week and then Travis goes with a great friend, Shaun Jeffs, once a week. He was doing morning appointments, but we found that he felt pretty cruddy the rest of the day. So now he goes in the afternoon so at least he can work the first 1/2 of the day. His main symptoms are nausea, fatigue and basically just the yuckies. (Is that a word?) He is managing the nausea with Zofran and it seems to be helping. He is very sensitive to the radiation and has come to actually feel it enter his body. He feels kind of weird for a while after it is done. He wears a custom mesh face mask that is bolted to the table and he must hold perfectly still for 15 minutes. He has gotten very good at meditating and finding his "happy place" so as to make it bearable. His sense of smell is very heightened. He cannot even tolerate sitting in the waiting room so he checks in and waits outside the building. It doesn't smell bad to me but has a very distinct smell that Travis is adverse to. Very interesting. All in all, he is doing very well with it. We are making a graduation trip (from radiation) to Utah as soon as the 6 weeks are up. That gives us something fun to look forward to. Go Cougars!!!

On top of that, there has been a tremendous amount of drama in my family. Besides my sister having her first baby, my mom had foot surgery 12 days ago and cannot walk on it for 6 weeks. At this very moment my dad is having open heart surgery to correct a regurgitating valve in his heart.  He had a horrible experience on a hunt in Colorado a few weeks ago and nearly died of pulmonary edema. (fluid in the lungs from high altitude) The doctors recommended a cardiology consult. That's when they found the problem with his heart. He has been having difficulty recovering from the pulmonary edema, but on top of that a regurgitating valve causes difficulty breathing. Double whammy. 

I am beginning to feel like a rubber band being stretched as far as it can go. I am trying to hold it together so I don't snap. Thank goodness for support of friends, family and church. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Introducing Paisley

My sister Emily and her husband Christian became parents on Thursday night. My sweet little niece had a hard time getting here and after 36 hours of labor then an emergency cesarean she finally arrived. She was having a difficult time at first so she was taken to NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). But soon she was breathing easy and eating well on her own. She weighed in at 6 pounds 14 ounces, not bad for 3 weeks early. They named her Paisley. I love the name. I really love this little baby. She has such a calm and content disposition and has been such a joy to get to know this past few days. It almost makes me want another one. (almost) 

Paisley and me on Sunday in the NICU.

The night they brought Paisley home I took Ella and Olivia over to meet her and brought them dinner. The girls were smitten with Paisley and couldn't get enough of her.

Olivia was especially taken with this new little member of the family. She made Paisley a quilt, she even sewed it by hand. She is trying to convince me to have another baby. Those instincts to take care of a baby are so strong with girls. Olivia even said that she can't wait until she can be a mom. (maybe in about 15 years, or so!)

I love to see my girls so in love with our new little baby. I'm sure we will have an open door to Emily and the baby so we can see as much of her as possible. She is absolutely adorable!