Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Library Time

Keith has Tuesdays off school and since he studied all weekend we decided to take the girls to the city Library today for a "fun" family outing. Bekah has been once with Keith so she was really excited to go. We got there around 10:45 and stayed for an hour. Bekah found the same book she got last time (an airplane book) but Keith found some other new ones for her to try and Sadie....well she had a poop (I got to take care of that) and then wanted to be held. Keith was also looking for a book for school (that way he will have one less book to buy...I came up with that idea...yay me :) and it took a while to find. So he had Sadie and I ended up strolling Bekah around in Sadies carseat throughout the Library - trying to keep her quiet. Then when we were ready to go Sadie was ready to eat (of coarse) and Bekah was ready to run around. We all had a good time but we were exhaused by the end of it and ready for lunch and naps!

Right now Bekah is on an evening walk with Grammy and Grandpa and Sadie is relaxing in Keiths arms. I'm waiting for 8:00 to roll around because I like watching Biggest Loser with my little bro. Josh (while eating popcorn and icecream :) I know - I'm terrible but I look forward to it every week and I did get some skinny cow icecream sandwiches for tonight! I've heard that you can lose your appetite during chemo.....this still hasn't happened to me yet....oh well. I'll let you know how chemo. goes tomorrow.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Little Updates

Keith's first day of school picture. :)
(Bekah's doll Sally is in his bag but he didn't actually take her to class)

He is on campus right now enjoying his first week of school - he's taking 17 units this quarter and has a lot of work ahead of him but he's actually looking forward to it. I'm so glad that he is pursuing a career that he will thrive in and enjoy! He's going to make such a great teacher and I'm so proud of him!

Bekah is still not potty trained but we are trying to encourage her by offering m&m treats....and book reading time. She is loving her play dates every week and is learning new words everyday! I love watching her grow into a little girl. We have our special time together in the mornings snuggling while watching cartoons and in the evenings she finds me resting in bed and brings books in to read before she goes to bed. I love those special moments with her.

Sadie is gowing so much. Every time I pick her up I'm shocked at how big she feels. She loves sucking her thumb and is sleeping in her crib really well these days. She's learning to be a little more independent - she likes spending time in her bouncer hitting the toys that hang in front of her and on her floor play mat (especially when Bekah is not around). She is defanetly a daddy's girl and she looks forward to her midnight feeding with him each night :).

Well - it's Thursday afternoon and I never got the chills and fever side effect...thank the Lord! I'm still really tired and my body is achy but I can handle that. My hair is still shedding and I kept waking up last night wondering if it had fallen out yet - I was getting so frustrated with myself I almost just shaved it on the spot so that I wouldn't think about it anymore. Don't worry I didn't but is was a thought :).

Tomorrow is Friday and my sister Katie and her husband Rob are coming into town for the weekend and I'm really looking forward to seeing them!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Day Early

I went in for my weekly Dr. Malone appointment and blood draw today and ended up getting my chemo. treatment also (I was scheduled for tomorrow afternoon but the nurses were trying to save me an extra trip in). I guess it was a good thing since I had already started dreading this weeks dose.....it's the drugs that gave me severe chills and a high 104 degree fever. They gave me some extra drugs to help with the severity of the reaction and some antibiotics since I'm still sick with a cold...so in a few days I should be feeling good.....although I may be bald :/. I was told that around week four is when you start losing your hair and I've already noticed a bit of shedding. Oh well - I have always said that if I was a boy I'd shave my head and now I will probably get to do it as a girl. I also told Keith that he was going to get to shave his head with me - that way if we are walking around town people won't know who the cancer patient is :).

Well - I'm half way done...at least with chemo. YAY!!!

Also I'd just like to share with everyone that I'm ready for some cooler weather! I want to be able to snuggle up under a blanket with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and read a book, or be able to wear jeans and a sweatshirt on the days I feel like hiding my post prego. tummy pudge, or lay in bed and listen to the rain. My mom put out her Autumn decorations today and it reminds me that fall is just around the corner.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Grammy and her girls!

I am so thankful for my mom!!! She is the most amazing grammy to my girls. From sunrise to well past sunset she is busy filling my shoes loving, nurturing and instructing my little ones. She's the most selfless and giving person I know and I'm so very thankful I'm her daughter. I pray that once life is back to "normal" and Keith and I are on our own again I will be able to love my girls as well as my mom has. Thanks mom for all you do!!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Family Affair

After my second dose this week of Chemo I was given 4 shots to take home that are supposed to help boost my white blood cell count. The nurse instructed my mom on how to give an injection but she felt more comfortable having my younger sister (who is a medical assistant) show her how to give it before trying herself....so yesterday evening Kacey came over and gave me my first injection. I decided to take a picture from my viewpoint right before Kacey stuck me in the belly. It was actually pretty funny watching everyone shuffle around not wanting to miss any of the excitement.....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Chemo: Dose 3

This week Cara got one bonus day of chemo. She got her normal dose on Thursday, three different drugs that actually didn't hit her too badly. Then on Friday she went in again for an additional dose, and this one has left her extremely exhausted with bouts of nausea. She's been laying around pretty much all day sleeping and watching Grey's Anatomy season 4. Over the next few days, her immune system will take a hit, so we have to give her a shot every day to boost her white blood cell counts. So far though, her white and red blood cell counts have been phenomenal--she even managed to kick that cold she had early this week! So, at the beginning of the third week we have so much to praise God for and much to pray for. We definitely wanted to thank all those who watched Bekah and brought meals this last week!

The other big news is that Sadie has slept through the night 3 times this past week! I was shocked in such a good way when I woke up wednesday morning and realized that I hadn't fed Sadie the previous night. God knew that we needed a sound sleeper the second time around. On the Bekah news front, she has decided that it is far better to go pee-pee in her diaper rather than in her toilet. We keep on attempting to bribe and coax her to use her big girl potty--but she's not interested in such foolery.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Growing up

Yesterday Bekah went pee-pee on the potty for the first time! She's been interested in it for a while now but had never been successful in past attempts. Lately she's been taking her diaper off when we put her in her crib for nap time and she's always quick to tell us when she has a dirty diaper so we knew she was getting close to that special time of needing to be potty trained.

Keith went out and picked up some "pee-pee" treats (m&m's) so that we would be ready for the next time she wanted to try and as luck would have it she's not interested anymore. Oh well....I guess I'll just use the treats for me :).

As far as updates go: I'm still sick (I guess I over did it cleaning on Sunday because Monday I started getting a head cold and it's now traveling down into my chest). I have my next chemo treatment tomorrow and one on Friday also because one of the drugs has to be split up into two days. Keith and my mom took Sadie to Sears yesterday to get some pictures taken (I've been wanting a picture of my sweet little Sadie to hang next to Bekah's pictues in my room...seeing their faces on my bedroom wall helps me get through the hard moments in life right now). I think Sadie liked the photo shoot because she slept through the night last night...I guess she wants to make sure she's getting plenty of beauty rest. Bekah is off to another play date this morning and is excited to see her friend Caedra again (she played at Caedra's house yesterday and had a great time!) And Keith....well he's still his wonderful self. I'm so glad God blessed me with such a loving husband and daddy for the girls. He starts back at Cal Poly next week to get his teaching credential (he already has his BA in communication studies and he wants to be a high school English teacher). I hope we can survive without him while he's at school.

Well I think that's what's new with us. Hope you have a great Wednesday....the week is half way over!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Little Vices

First of all, Cara is doing much better. Actually, she's really hyper right now, one of the strange side-effects of Prednisone. Cleaning, dishes, organizing...she's running around doing all of it right now. I'm sitting here enjoying a rare restful moment, in disbelief at how horribly my 49ers are playing, and Cara is making me dizzy. So, I suppose that is fantastic news. She's definitely doing much better than she was at this point last week. She even felt good enough this morning to have a blast at breakfast with Jen Peet and Olivia Fugler, two close friends who now live away from SLO.

Bekah, like all of us, has a couple vices. Not the serious kind but just a few small obsessions. First on the list: chapstick. Cara used to keep her chapstick on her night stand, but every so often Bekah would sneak off and we'd find her digging her little fingers into the little cylinder, eating chapstick greedily. We've since moved the object of desire but still let her put a little on from time to time.

And my vice is ice cream, or really anything sweet. I love making a good sundae and became way too excited the other night about Marichino cherries and whipped cream. So bad yet so good.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chemo: Dose 2

Yesterday afternoon Cara got dosage #2, two different drugs that were supposedly easier to handle than the first dosage. That didn't prove to be the case. Just after dinner time, Cara started having severe chills, shaking and teeth-chattering uncontrollably despite having blanket after blanket put on her. All the shaking eventually gave her a pounding headache. Around 8p she registered a temperature of 104.5, so I quickly called the Oncologist. He said the fever and chills were totally normal after the chemo dosage she had earlier--talk about nasty--and he assured us that the side-effects should go away within 6-8 hours, which wasn't really comforting.

Right about this time, Bekah awoke screaming and all freaked out. Jan and I both took turns rocking her and taking care of Cara as she lay in bed, absolutely miserable. Finally, after midnight, Bekah was calmed down enough to go back to bed, and Cara's fever and headache started to subside enough for her to start thinking about sleep. What a long and stressful night it was!! When morning finally came, Cara was exhausted and weak, but able to rest...and Jan and I were downing cups of coffee. But it appears (we hope) that Cara's worst side effects are over and that she'll just be tired over the next few days.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Keith and I went out to breakfast this morning (we had a wonderful time together) and I was able to enjoy a cup of coffee for the first time since my chemo treatment last Thursday! I was so disappointed last Friday when I woke up and the taste of coffee made me nauseated. After not enjoying my morning cup of cofffee for almost my whole pregnancy with Sadie I wasn't ready to give it up again but I had no choice.....until this morning. It's funny - the little things you look forward to in life - for me it's my morning cup of joe. It's the reason I actually went to my senior year of high school (I got a mocha every morning on the way to school....to this day I don't know how I was able to afford it), it helped me get through those long days at work and it's the reason I would wake up in the morning after Bekah was born (the only reason I was actually able to stay awake those early hours). Needless to say I'm looking forward to my good days during this time in my life not only for a break from all the side effects of chemo. but also for my morning fix. Oh Coffee How I Love Thee!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mighty to Save

So how are things going? Although this has proven a difficult question to answer, since things have been changing constantly, it is safe to say that the past few days have been rough.

Cara did okay after her chemo thursday, but then came the weekend. She spent most of the time either sleeping or trying to sleep. The Prednisone causes her to be wired and unable to sleep despite her bodies complete exhaustion, pretty much the definition of torture. On top of this, she was hit hard by nausea, brutal headaches, and even some fun mood swings. Finally, this afternoon she has had a reprieve, laughing and playing with the girls. We are hoping for two more good days until Cara goes in for treatment #2 on Thursday. We keep telling each other, just 7 more weeks!!

One of the high points for me was going with Bekah and Sadie (with Jan's help) to church Sunday. I just had this weird premonition that the worship team was going to play the song Mighty to Save, and sure enough, they did. I sensed God strengthening me as I croaked out "He can move the mountains, my God is mighty to save"--my eyes welling up. The next song was Blessed Be Your Name, reminding me that God is still God as we stumble down this road marked with suffering. He deserves our everything when life is sunshine and when life feels like it's falling apart. It was amazing worshipping and being with so many people who care and are praying for our family. We definitely weren't meant to go through this alone!

Well, it's getting late and we need to get some rest. Cara wants to go out to our favorite meal-- breakfast--tomorrow morning. Mmmmm.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pink PJs, Pink Dolly, and...Airplanes!!

Now that we live so close to the SLO airport, Bekah has discovered her new favorite word: AIRPLANE! Her absolute favorite activity currently is to go watch the planes land and takeoff, waving hello and goodbye, and going "oooohhhhh" (her eyes lighting up) for the big planes. We borrowed an airplane book from the library and now that's all she want to read, and tonight she enjoyed watching a Blue Angels dvd. I, for one, find this amazing and cool, illustrating the incredible unpredictability that comes with parenting. I'm cruising along, surrounded by pink everything, commenting on how cute dresses are, and WHAM...Bekah actually develops interest in something I never expected, yes something that has always been a love of mine. I swear I didn't plan this. Well, whether a quick phase or a long-term interest, I'll cherish the image of Bekah peering through the fence and waving at all the airplanes.


What can I say about Sadie. She has don't-mess-with-me punk rock hair. She is finally warming up to her overly loving big sis. She loves her bouncer. And each day she captures my heart just a little more. Like yesterday when she looked up at me and flashed a huge and prolonged grin, even thrashing her chubby arms in her exuberance. Or this afternoon when she nuzzled into my shoulder and fell asleep, but still half-opened her eyes every so often to make sure I was still there. She's amazing. When she learns to say "Dadda," I'm in trouble.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Hairdo

Smokin' hot after her new do on Tuesday! I love it!

Chemo: Day 1

And so it begins. Cara got her first chemo treatment this morning, lasting just over an hour and consisting of three drugs administered through her shiny new Picc Line, like a long term IV. The good news is that she only has to endure 8 weeks of treatment instead of 12. The bad news is she had to buy one of those pill organizers since she has so many meds to keep track of, seriously one to counteract every possible side-effect.

Overall, 8 hours in, she's doing spectacular. She hasn't had any nausea, and she just feels a little sickly and tired. She has been up and around, holding Sadie a little and watching a movie, even eating a tuna sandwich a while ago. I'm amazed that she's done so well, but really, I should have expected it considering how strong she is and how many people are praying!

Time for a date!

Monday night, Cara and I actually went on a date! We went to our favorite spot--Uppercrust--and shared our favorite dish--Pasta Milano! It's unbelievable how great conversation is when you don't have 2 kids around. We saw another Grace family, who made our special night even more so by secretly picking up our bill!! And as if that were not enough, Tammy (Uppercrust Manager) then brought us out a scrumptious slice of chocolate cheesecake on the house. I seriously almost cried--what a night! Here are some pictures taken just before the big date.