Friday, February 24, 2012

day by day play

So far this week proved to be a good one!  Tenley has been doing great.  She is playing, eating a ton, and running all around just living life best she knows how in her hospital room.  I am always in awe with how happy she can be stuck there.  
Here are some pictures to prove it... (my camera is somewhere hiding, so I've had to resort to using my phone.)

This is how we stay busy day after day...

coloring and playing with play dough

meeting and playing with the pet therapy doggies!

She loved this one.  Her name was Mary and she was so sweet.
Tenley wanted to do everything she was doing.

We watch people walk back and forth from the parking garage... 
and watch for our own friends and family!

Then we color some more.  Even if it's on the couch.  I don't even care!! (plus it comes right off) 

This is what she looooves to do.  Especially when she is free from the IV tower.  

Oh, and this smart preschooler of mine had her very first report!  They are learning all about famous American's who have changed our country.  She did hers on Clara Barton.  I thought it was fitting since we are now so familiar with the medical world.  She loved getting dressed up and made sure everyone knew who she was.

She also has been telling me all about the man with the white fluffy hair.  That he cut down a cherry tree and couldn't tell a lie.
Then there's the man with the black beard who is on all of our penny's and was a really good man.

You should hear her recite the pledge of allegiance.  Cutest thing ever.

Tenley's counts still haven't dropped all the way down.  They have to hit zero and then make their way back up slowly before we get to say peace out f.o.r.e.v.e.r!  I was so shocked to learn her ANC was at 7700 when we started this round!  That is like a totally normal happy ANC!  I will take that and run with it any day!

Last night was one of those nights when I had to repeat over and over... we can do this, we are almost out of here, I can handle this for a couple more weeks.
The nurse has to check Tenley's vitals every 4 hours.  Even during the night.  Tenley is usually pretty good about sleeping through them, but at 4 am it seems like she thinks it's a wake up call.

This morning was no different.
I tried to ignore her and pretend to be asleep hoping she would lay back down, but finally around 5:30 I got her out of the crib and we rocked for awhile.  She kept pointing to the TV and I'd say softly, "no."  Which then led to a major cry fest.  At 7 am she was snoring and after I tried transitioning her to the crib with no luck, we turned on the TV.


By the time 9:00 came and a wonderful friend of ours (Sandi Rice) came to take over... I was feeling so frustrated by this whiny child of mine.  She was so overly tired and crying about anything and everything.  That's what ya get when you wake up at 4!  Thankfully she didn't cry for long after I left, and Sandi was happy to rock and love her.

Then there is my 4 year old.  She had a rough night of her own.  Let's just say there was a major tantrum going on in the middle of the night.  It involved kicking and scratching my poor sister Amy.

So, again I will repeat... We can do this!  We are almost done!  We can handle it for a few more weeks!

Then it will be on to a getaway here.
and here.
I can't wait to go HERE!

Watching the videos makes me cry just knowing we will have made it through!  I think I'll cry with every magical moment.

Then it will be Spring and Summer and Babies!  Oh my!!!  

Friday, February 17, 2012

when love is real

After spending the week reading the daily love entries on one of my favorite blogs, I felt inspired.

Inspired to describe what I know as true love.

I met Robbie one week after my 18th birthday.  It wasn't long until I found my thoughts swirling and whirling as I could only think of him.  We spent every day together.  We talked on the phone constantly, we sang cheesy love songs to one another, and every night as we said our goodbyes... it took over an hour to really leave each others side.

I knew I wanted to spend my forever with him, no questions asked.

But I never knew how much life we would really experience before ever hitting our ten year mark.

Love is not easy.  It is always a work in progress.... but when it is real, it is always worth working for.

I was married young.  Very very young, and I would not ever change that.  Sometimes I wonder what experiences I may have had, had I not been married right away.  Then I realize how blessed I am to have such a real relationship that has grown and aged over the years.  I could not have made it through a lot of things without Robbie there beside me.  He has a way with putting things into perspective.  He has learned how to listen to me, letting me say all that I need to.
That is a skill that takes a lot of work....

Cancer brings on more stress than you can ever imagine.  Try dealing with that stress with your spouse 500 miles away.  It was beginning to tear us down.  I wanted things, and he wanted things.  We were not on the same page.  It was creating this horrible barrier and everyone around us felt it.

Thankfully we have grown... a lot... and those listening skills needed to be used in full force.  We spent a day collaborating, communicating, and compromising.  Everything was put out on the table, and ever since then, we have a new understanding for one another.  I have grown to love this man more than I thought I could.

Even tough our life isn't glitzy or glamorous, or even what we had hoped for and imagined... we have each other forever.  I have learned that that is what is most important.  We are a team.  I know he loves our children more than himself.  I worried about telling him the news of me being pregnant.  Oh how I was wrong with what I had imagined his reaction to be.  All I could think of was how much more stress this would put on our lives, and he... he couldn't stop smiling.

No matter the obstacles we face -and believe me, there have been many- I am confident we will see them through.  Continuing to grow together as one.  Know one knows me better.  I hope he knows how much I truly love him...
for always and forever.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Beginning of the END!

So here we are beginning our very last round of chemotherapy!  It hasn't really hit me yet that we are so close to being done.  I don't really know how I'll feel once that day is actually here.  Of course it will be a huge sense of relief... but I also am so used to doing this now, that I am somewhat scared to be done and expect life to go back to normal.

Not sure what normal is anymore!  But I am ready to have it back!

So far we've already dealt with the fever thing.  Remember this?  Well I sure hope we are not repeating our last round.  That was not fun.  Last night was a long night due to the fever, and of course I was a nervous wreck as usual until it finally subsided as the sun began to rise.  Thankfully Tenley did pretty well throughout today.  Just a lot of catching up on sleep and taking it easy.

Our room this round is huge!!  Compared to what we've had, it seems like a suite or something.  We have a full on couch that turns into a bed.  Not a fancy bed whatsoever, but it's 90% better than the lame pull out annoying chairs we've been sleeping on the last few months.  Oh, and the bathroom is ginormous!  It makes this a bit more do-able.  I think I can I think I can I think I can!

I can't skip over Valentines.  Mine came to town this weekend and it was so so so very nice to have our little family all under the same roof.  We did more this past weekend with taking Tenley out than she has since October.  More on that to come later... but my valentine sure spoiled me, and I loved every second of it! (besides all the barfiness in between) Yep, it's been an ongoing daily battle, but what can ya do?

Saturday night we went out on the town and had dinner at P.F. Changs.  Thankfully Robbie was still willing to kiss me after I became too close for comfort with one of their toilets.  We still had a fun time at dinner, and afterwards we caught the big talked about movie... The Vow.  I'd say it was so-so.  Not really what I had expected but it was a decent flick.   Afterwards he surprised me with a beautiful pearl necklace, bracelet, and earrings.  What a charmer...
Unfortunately he had to go back to work in Reno Monday, and we all said our sad goodbyes.  Bills still have to be paid even when your child has cancer.  Lame, right?!

Tuesday came around and we were busy getting Tenley to the hospital for her bone marrow aspirate and lumbar puncture... afterwards we got all settled in our new fancy room in ICS to start chemo.  My mom stayed so I could head home and be with Taryn.  I was surprised yet again with some lovely flowers, chocolates, and a sweet love note from you know who.

I miss him like crazy already.

My other little valentines were pretty darn cute.  Taryn had two party's (she is in two different preschool classes) and she was overly spent from writing her name on 36 valentines. -I may or may not have ended up doing most of them-  Then we delivered more to the neighbor kids the old fashioned way.  She loved every second of it.  I love making holidays special for my kids.  Even with our chaotic life, those kind of moments add up and I hope they are the ones Taryn will remember most.

So the adventure continues... I am hoping one day soon my nauseousness will disappear, but more importantly that this last and FINAL round will be super quick and hassle free!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's a winding road

Trials never go away.
They change as we age and enter new season's of life... but they never stop challenging us.

Today I sit and wonder why.
I wonder why Tenley got leukemia.  Is it something she would have been given no matter what?  Just one of the cards she picked in heaven?
I wonder why a strong little 6 year old girl would find the finish line of cancer, only to learn that not even one week later she'd be starting a brand new race through it?
I wonder why my sister who has a wonderful husband, a beautiful house, a room just waiting to be her babies.... why oh why can't her baby just be?

Life does not make sense sometimes.  

I do know this....

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." - Proverbs 3:5&6

A couple of months ago I went to a missionary homecoming.  He read this scripture and it clicked with me in a way I had never thought through before.
We cannot try to understand.  We cannot make sense of why things are the way they are.  As long as we acknowledge our father in heaven, our hearts will be softened and the confusion this earthly life brings will melt into faith that He knows our path.

I was utterly shocked to find out I was pregnant.  You can only imagine the greater shock that came with learning it was twins.  Immediately I went into anxiety mode.  Worrying about how in the world we will function with two babies.  Two car seats.  Two newborn mouths to feed.  Two sets of diapers.  Two wee ones to constantly worry about.  When will I ever sleep through the night again?  How will I ever find the time to give everyone the attention they need?  What in the world will we do to pay for all of this?

Only Heavenly Father knows our path and as long as we follow His word, the rest will fall into place.

If things in your life right now seem simple, kind of routine, and almost boring...
count your lucky stars and be grateful for those boring breaths.
I had them once not too long ago.

So as trials come and go, and we get to take a breath of fresh air every now and again.... never ever forget to give thanks to the one directing all of our paths.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

missing life before

Today I really miss this....

Yes, it is true I mourn this little girl.

I know my Tenley will get her hair back, but some days it really hits me what we are going through.  Whether I see a 2 year old blonde little girl at the store, or think of what a normal day at home with two healthy kids would feel like again... I realize just how not normal this all is.  

After spending hours with Tenley at the hospital, I'll go home and listen to Taryn fill me in on her day, watching her eyes and thinking to myself, "wow she has sooo many eyelashes and such thick eyebrows!"  
I will never forget seeing the first cancer patient out in the hall in ICS.  I couldn't imagine my own child becoming that... and now I've become so used to it.

Until I realize I don't ever want to become used to it.

Tenley is home, and I am ever so grateful for our break from the hospital.  It always takes a few days to re-adjust.  The doctors never give us a heads up about going home.  It's just a... "hey, you want to go home today?... cause we will let ya!"  So there is never much time to prepare physically or mentally.  I'm now in charge of calling the shots.  I am in charge of giving her meds, making sure they are on time.  I'm in charge of watching her temperature.  I'm in charge of keeping her fragile body safe.  

It is a lot to handle, and I know as soon as some time goes by we will get back into the swing of things here at my mom's, but watching my little bald pale baby girl is not normal.  Nor will it ever be.

So... for the next mom who is hit with this heartache.  Know that you are not alone when you cry over the old life you once had.  You are not alone in mourning the carefree child you had before cancer hit.  You too can make it through this difficult time, and it is ok to not always be strong.  
Because one day you will have more strength than you ever could have imagined.  You too will push forward and be a strength to the next mom who is looking for comfort.

But for today... you can miss it all.