Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oh yeah, cancer

It seems like a long time since I've written about Mike. I guess that's because things have just gotten kind of normal for us. A new normal where we spend hours every week in a chemo room...

Yesterday, we saw Dr. Neel, and Mike started his fourth round of chemo. This is one more round than he had the first time he did this chemo (before the big break, that lasted a couple weeks...) He's able to go this fourth round because his blood pressure is now under control. So he's been feeling pretty good, a few stomach issues here and there and some fatigue, but OK for the most part. He still takes walks with Julia, still comes to work every day, even chemo days.

So, he'll have new scans in three weeks to see where things stand. It's pretty obvious the lump in his neck is smaller. Then the plan is to continue with just one of the drugs, Avastin. I think I've written about this one before. It's the one that's not really a chemo, but it can halt tumor growth by blocking the growth of new blood vessels. I think of it sort of as a maintenance drug. He will have this every two weeks, and the good thing is that it only takes about half an hour. Which is a plus for me, since I want to spend as little time in the chemo room as possible after one of the nurses yesterday saw a picture of Julia and asked if she was my grandbaby!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2-year blogiversary!

I think I made that word up, but whatever. It was two years ago Thursday that I started this little blog so Julia's aunts and our friends back home could see pictures of our sweet girl. Now, it's mostly a way to keep everyone up-to-date on Mike (with lots of pictures of our sweet girl thrown in...).

But check this out. Here is the first picture I posted of Julia back on July 16, 2007. It was taken the month before, when she was 7 months old. Look at those chubby little cheeks and chubby little arms! Her eyes were still blue, for goodness sakes! She had just started crawling and I think the only word she was saying was dada.

And here she is this week, a walking, tallking little person, whose likes to say the word "boobies" and can spell her name and read a host of Dr. Suess books.

Where did my baby go? How did this happen? And can someone tell me how to make it stop?
(A side note about this photo. We took Julia to the fountains in Cocoa Village this week to play with two of her little friends. From the photo, you would never know that she screamed and cried and wouldn't get anywhere near the water...)

And one last picture, this one for the aunties. Julia and her cousins Nick and Madison this weekend at UCF. And no, Julia didn't give Nick the black eye! It was a basketball injury. By the way, Lisa, how can it be that your baby is turning 17 next week? You must be feeling just like I am!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Like a fish

That phrase could be used to describe how Julia swims now that she's graduated from McLarty Swim School or how Mama drinks after suffering through those two weeks...

Actually it wasn't too bad.

Except for when Julia had to go under water. Man, she did not care for that. The best thing was that Julia would whine and fuss after the daily dunking, and then later would act like she had the best time in the world. Once, as soon as she got out of the pool after having thrown a fit, she declared "That was fun!" Aye yi yi...

Clearly, she had a fabulous time in the baby pool. The class would start out there for a few minutes before moving on the big pool...

She was the star kicker in the class!

But this was about as close as she got to floating on her back. She wouldn't get her head anywhere near the water. She probably didn't want to mess up her hair!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Little people everywhere

Julia was in all kinds of heaven this weekend, with lots of new friends to play with. We were in heaven too, having the Spradlings and the Harlans in our neck of the woods. Man, do we miss everyone back in Charleston.

Some funny highlights: Julia told Myssy she loved her and she's pretty stingy with that!! And she told Jim and Jill: You come back, OK? Julia and Claire hung out in Julia's room and tried on shoes and jewelry. That Claire is a hoot. I was hoping she could teach Julia to pee in the potty for me!!

Some Spradlings and some Cherrys. I'm taking the pic and Claire was taking a diva break!

Two cuties and their floaties.

Audrey is so beautiful.

This cutie is Reuben. (Sorry Jim, didn't mean to cut you out of the pic, but I had to zoom in on this sweet little face!)

And this little sweetie is Paul, who I swear is NOT drinking a beer!

As for everything else, Mike and I survived this round of layoffs at our newspaper. Surprisingly, there were only three from the newsroom who got cut. We were expecting much worse.

And we're still trudging along with chemo. Mike started his third round last week. The doctor wants four (which is one more round than he had the first time) and then he'll do some scans to see where things stands. Just judging by our eyes (and the doctor's) the lump in Mike's neck is getting smaller. He's having a few complications from the drugs -- he had to have a blood transfusion on the 4th of July because his red blood cell counts were low and now his white cells are down, so he's had to have a few shots of some kind of medicine. Can't think of the name. But for the most part, he's feeling pretty good.

So that's what's happening here. How's your summer?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Can I go back?

Looking at these pictures from our little vacation makes me wish I was back in Siesta Key right now. It also helps distract me from the impending layoffs at work....