Dec 4, 2010

I have five clocks in my life and only one has the time right.

Alright, so I'm just gonna go ahead and nominate myself as the World's Worst Blogger, because I haven't even logged on once in the last several weeks to update. I'm so sorry I've been such a slacker, but I doooo have legit obligations that I knowww everyone else also has goin on this time of year: end-of-semester school load, church activities, long working hours, doctors appointments, holiday extravaganzas galore. Once my finals are over (next week whoop whoop!) I'll be more on top of keeping this guy posted because my schedule will ease up a lot. Once again, this post will have to be short and sweet because I have a 12 page paper to begin today and I've already been way too distracted by college basketball all afternoon (so bummed about the Butler/Duke game! I've been wanting to see those malicious Blue Devils lose and burn to a crisp right there on the court all season, and Butler so deserved that revenge. ughh.).

Mom finished radiation two weeks ago, and has spent most of her time since tucked away in bed.  After her most recent surgery, where Dr.McEachren installed that little drainage catheter in the pleural cavity behind her lung, I began draining the fluid as it built up every three days. The accumulation of fluid in that area prevents her lung from begin able to expand as she inhale and exhales, which makes it more and more difficult for her to breathe.  It's pretty awesome we're able to make it to regulate and control the amount of that fluid from home, but the drainage process has caused her a lot of pain.  Not only is the incision site around her catheter still sore, but when you have fluid building up like that and then whoosh it's all gone, the sudden release of that tension causes some intense pain.  So she was given a prescription to morphine, which has helped immensely. I knew she'd start getting pretty loopy, but I really wasn't prepared for how much entertainment I'd receive on an hourly basis. It's been a real trip to say the least. She's adapted to the morphine enough so she's no longer hallucinating as much as the first couple days she was taking it, but she still says some pretty funny stuff.  She spends a lot of time sleeping, and I know she feels like she's in a major time warp. Whenever she asks me what time it is (especially like now, since it's 5:30 and dark outside) her eyeballs always nearly pop out of her head, and then she'll ask, "what day is it??" and when I tell her, she just closes her eyes, shakes her head, and says "you're insane." bahahaha. When we initially began the whole drain-at-home procedure, the nurse suggested we do it every three days and see how she felt, and based on the amount we drained, we could do it more or less often.  We're now draining every other day, about one liter, and will probably have to start doing it every morning because it's just building up faster and faster (the tumor causing this fluid build-up is growing pretty quickly) and we've got to make sure to stay ahead of it, in order to keep her as comfortable as possible. 

I was going to post pictures I took of her catheter, the drainage procedure, and the fluid we pull out, but a guy friend I work with (who has been watching over my shoulder as I upload photos) told me I was sick and twisted and nobody wanted to see anything like that. Obviously mom and I spend too much time watching Discovery Health because we live for stuff like this. The whole time she's being drained (which, remember, really hurts her) she's always shouting "wooahhhh!! that's awesome! that's AWESOME!" as she watches it build up in the collecting bottle.  Seriously, if you want to see some fascinating junk, shoot me a text and I'll send you a picture.

We were really dreading Thanksgiving because, well, the boys are gone, and everything's so different and weird and depressing and just the thought of trying to celebrate without them seemed so impossible.  Every year on Thanksgiving day, we'd always wake up early to watch the parade while mom worked on her yams and greenbean cassarole, I'd slave away over a cheeseball or three, Seth would meticulously concentrate on whatever dessert he'd decided to compete with Melia in that year, and Eli would do absolutely nothing in the kitchen (besides snack on the food we were making) but has always made a great DJ. We've always listened to Radiohead on Thanksgiving morning. Kind of weird, I know, but it's our family's favorite band (including mama's. She's pretty cool, you know). Last year I remember she asked for something gangsta and the four of us were rapping along with Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube. We'd pile into the car and head to Grandma Kay's, where Wendy, Ryan and the kids would already be sitting at the table with with silverware in their hands, ready to chow down. This year ended up being really great.  My mom's brother David and his family traveled from Arkansas and Dallas, and her other brother Matt drove down from Iowa with his wife and four little boys.  Just having extra people than the norm made it different enough so it wasn't as noticable that we were missing our boys. As I was driving us up to Grandma's, I looked over at my mom and just burst into tears (I rarely, rarely cry) and she smiled and said, "sweetie, we're going to be happy today."  It was such a fun dinner, probably the best Thanksgiving feast I've ever had. Seeing my aunts, uncles and cousins is always a blast, and mom had a great time talking with her brothers, in-laws, nieces and nephews.

cute hat, huh?

On Black Friday, the fam came down to Newton to help deep clean our house, paint a couple rooms and hallways, and clear out extra stuff in the garage. I'm still in awe of how much they were able to accomplish in one day of (HARD!) work. It looks sooo much better, and puts us that much closer to getting this baby on the market. The day after I'm done with finals, we are meeting with a realtor and getting the show on the road. We have decided to move my mom up to Wichita into my Aunt Wendy's spare bedroom, which she and Ryan have set up just perfect for a little cancer patient. I'll have to post pictures once we're all settled in, because it's just arranged so adorable. I'll be staying at Wendy's as well, but driving back to Newton several days a week to keep up the house and yardwork, and to work at Sports.  Mom and I are both looking forward to the move because it's so comforting to have someone with her when I can't be there.  My boss has been so understanding when I leave work (I live 2 minutes away from Sports) to check on my mom every couple hours, but it's at the point where she does need someone constantly with her. It's so, so gracious of Wendy and Ryan to offer their home to us. Wendy is my mom's sister, best friend, and has always been like a second mother to my brothers and I. She has already helped so much with my mom's care, and I couldn't be more grateful for the sacrifices she's made for all of us.

Aunt Joni! She stages houses for a living, so I grabbed her shoulders and said "tell me what to do here!" She's awesome.

My cousin Christian slaving away. I didn't get pictures of everyone else who helped that, but THANK YOU Grandma, Papa, Matt, Blenda, Alex, David, Robert, Wendy and Ryan! Especially for the nice fresh paint smell we enjoyed the following three days.  At first I was kind of worried the smell would make mom sick, but she said "the fumes will probably do more than my chemo!" Ha, ha.

Mom's appetitie has diminished quite a bit. The other day she ate one peanut butter cracker and said she felt like she'd had another Thanksgiving feast. We've started to focus on feeding her several mini meals throughout the day, that way she doesn't get sick from being too full but is still getting all the nutrients she needs.

I continue to be amazed by the love and support we've been shown by our friends and family.  I've made some friends in a couple of my classes, who really don't know the story about my mom (let alone my brother) but have been keen enough to tell I'm feeling a little stressed, and a few of them brought dinner to us the other night. Women in our ward continue to drop off meals, the Ribbons of Steel women biker group in Wichita (who organizes fundraisers for different causes every single month) held a birthday party at which the bday girl requested donations for mom's medical costs in lieu of gifts. People. Are. Awesome. There is so much good in this world. We are so lucky to have such a huge support system. You all make more of a difference than you'll ever know. I'll KEEP SAYING IT! Because it's the truth!

The highlight of my week was getting to attend the Kansas/UCLA basketball game in Lawrence, with my mom's longtime friend (and my best friend Kimberly's mom). SUCH an intense game. Thank you Mario Little. Allen Fieldhouse gave me goosebumps from the minute I walked in the door until I went to sleep after the game that night, and I had absolutely no voice the next day. ROCKCHALK.

Now I'm off to write my paper. In five days I'll be done for the semester. I. Can't. Wait. Winter break will bring my girlybabes home to see me, more family visits, holiday baking, and hopefully enough free time for me to catch up on Glee. I promise to become a better poster. Keeses.


  1. Thank you for the update Dani =) Please give your mommy my love ♥

    ....`’•,,•’` SMILES..............`’•,,•’`
    ....AND LOVE.....`’•,,•’`
    ’•,`’•,*,•’`,•’ YOUR WAY
    ,•’``’•,•’``’•,.WISHING YOU
    ’•,`’•,*,•’`,•’ A TERRIFIC DAY
    .....`’•,,•’......FILLED WITH LOTS
    ,•’``’•,•’``’•,. OF
    ’•,`’•,*,•’`,•’ AND HAPPINESS

  2. XOXOXOXOXOXOOOOOOOOO!! To you & your momma!! I hope to be able to see you both sooner than later!!

  3. Thanks for the update. We loved seeing you at Thanksgiving. And just a minor detail, we have 4 boys, not 3! They move so fast it is hard to keep track of them.