Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'm a horrible blogger!

It's been a week...isn't that like a year in internet years? Anyways, been a crazy, busy week!

Last Thursday, the older girls had their basketball playoff game. I mean, there are only 4 teams in their league, so everyone was in the playoff...but still...lol ;) They wound up winning, which is hilarious, because the only game they had won previously was a forfeit. Haha...we kept telling them they won when it mattered. Unfortunately for me, this meant that they would be playing for the championship on Saturday morning...no sleeping in. 

Friday, the 7th, David had an appointment in NYC again for the next infusion in the treatment cycle. It was raining all day, and let me tell you...Yankees can't drive in the rain! We've made faster trips to New York in the snow. It was awful! David didn't want to drive since he'd just gotten a ticket a couple days before...so I was already cranky. I mean, even a cop wouldn't let me change lanes to make my exit...I was so seriously steamed! We finally get there...barely on time. David meets with the nurse practitioner...you only see the doc in between cycles...not every time we go. His blood counts were fine...a tad low on the white blood cells, but not enough for any type of action. They did decide to start him on preventative antibiotics, mainly because there is a particularly nasty form of pneumonia that can hit PCV patients...and they want to avoid that. David's head has been hurting him lately, and getting worse. Not headaches, although he gets those too, but actual surface pain. It's been a year since his last surgery, so not really sure why he's getting pain, and it's getting worse. The NP said there were no signs of infection, no swelling, redness, or fever...so she didn't seem super concerned. He'd also had one night with super tingling on his head...but no idea about that either. I didn't love that he was already feeling nauseous, and he hadn't even started the chemo that usually causes that...the first (of the three, remember, it's a cocktail chemo he's on now) usually doesn't have many physical side effects. Then we go out to wait for his turn to get into the chemo suite. Thankfully, this particular infusion is relatively quick. Once you get called back, it only takes about 30 min, and that's mostly saline...the actual medicine is about a minute or two. The crazy thing is, if they don't have a clean needle poke, if any of the chemo gets in the arm and not straight in the vein, it can actually cause your arm to fall off...well, it'll start eating it away and it might need cut off. Crazy, right?!?!?! So, they're real careful about the needle sticks. Don't worry, his arm's still there...although, she had to do a second stick. We got out of there pretty quickly, which was good. It was still pouring, and we didn't have an umbrella...so David picked up a couple cheap ones from a sidewalk vendor...lol! We got out of the city as quickly as was possible in the horrible conditions. At least we were able to stop at Nardelli's Grinder Shoppe on the way home. It's this amazing sandwich shop with the most delicious bread ever! And I don't even like sandwiches...normally. I got my usual, the hot pepper, prosciutto chicken sandwich...it's awesome! Unfortunately, because of the chemo, David is on a low tyramine diet, which basically means almost all cheese, canned, pickled and smoked meats (so no deli meat, hot dogs, etc), sauerkraut, soy sauce, and a few other things, are not allowed while he's taking this one drug. This makes meal planning tough, as almost all my meals have some form of cheese in them...lol! Anyways, the garlic chicken sandwich had no cheese, and it's a cutlet, so it wasn't processed deli meat. It was so good! Unfortunately, the closest Nardelli's is about 30 min away, so that's one thing we often get when we go to Sloan...we always pass right by one. 

hmmm, dunno why the pic is all distorted...oh well...anyways, this is right after we got home. I forgot to take one at the Dr's office. Yup, I wore gray!

It was nice my mom was here...she was able to watch the kids while we made the trek there and back.

That night I finally made it to my small group from church. I missed both May meetings...it was nice to see everyone and join in prayer and study. My father-in-law also goes...he always has such great insight! We got back to the house and Rachel was there! She figured she'd spend the night so she could watch the girls' game in the morning. Since they live about 45 minutes away, and she's not a morning person, it was easier to spend the night. Dad wound up staying too, which was nice. He was working not far, so he went in for a little bit and then headed to the game too.

So, Saturday morning...big day! lol...they were so excited! They were playing the mayor's team. He's a good coach, and they had some good players. Fortunately, everyone brought their A-game and played awesome. It was a very tight game...Red One even made a basket! She was so happy. David came too, but wound up having to leave...he really wasn't feeling good at all! I felt so bad for him! It was neck and neck the whole game, but they won! 21-20...I told Red One she had the winning basket...if she hadn't made hers, they wouldn't have won! haha! Afterwards, they had the boys game, then food and fun for the players, so the rest of us went out to eat, then headed back for the awards ceremony. They were so thrilled...had a hard time taking off their medals!








When she got home, Red One made a basketball cake to celebrate!  


We ran out of powdered sugar for the frosting, but she improvised and it came out fine.
I so didn't feel like cooking at this point, but luckily, my friend called me and said they had leftover food from her dad's birthday party and did I want it? Heck yeah!!! hahaha...and it was good!
Then, she also stole me away to hang out that night...it was fun! Thanks Sarah!

Sunday, of course we went to church. But we wound up skipping second church. David really wasn't feeling great...this cycle is definitely the worst one yet. They say it's cumulative, and it certainly seems to be hitting David that way. It's always hard when there's nothing you can do to really help. 

We had already planned on going hiking/picnicking with the in-laws after church...the kids were really looking forward to it! Of course, David gave it a pass...but the rest of us went. We just got a couple of loaves of French bread and some ham and cheese from the grocery store...it was perfectly simple and delicious. Of course, can't have a picnic without dessert...so we got some of that too...oh, and oil packed olives...they're my favorite! There's this place near us, Case Mountain, that is so great! It was a waterfall at the bottom...a nice wide path to the lookout spot...you can actually see Hartford and the river and everything. There are a lot of trails...people even mountain bike out there. We stayed on the main one though. Of course, we barely get going and Buddy trips and cuts his knee open! It was bad...he was crying pretty hard and bleeding. Red One to the rescue! She had packed her backpack with emergency supplies...crackers, water bottles, and...band aids! Red Two had even made fun of her...why did you pack band aids??? Well, she just whipped them out and it was perfect! Way to go! Not much further up, we almost crashed with some dudes who were mountain biking down...they were going way too fast and side by side...they almost couldn't stop in time. Seriously though, this is a busy trail, you can't do that! Definitely should have been in a single file, at the least! It was cool to get to the lookout though...you can see the whole river valley! I think it's about a 3/4 mile hike to the top...so pretty good, but not too long for the kids. Anyways, it's pretty cool! After we headed back down, we went to look over the waterfall. Buddy is so adventurous, I was a bit scared...had to really keep a hold on him. He kept trying to climb the rock wall so he could see. :/










 















It really is just beautiful there!

After that, ice cream was a necessity. We decided to go to a local hot spot, Shady Glen. It's an old 50's style diner/ice cream bar. Other than a snafu with Dad's banana split, it was good!

Monday night, we were celebrating my two best friends' (Sarah and Kim) birthdays. They were both in May, but we weren't able to get together till now. I made a Bourbon Layer Cake with Bourbon Ganache and Milk Chocolate Buttercream! One of my favorite cakes...so delicious and moist! I couldn't wait to give them their presents! I had found recipes on Pinterest for homemade Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream, and grenadine. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try them out. Wow, it was so easy and delicious! Grenadine is actually supposed to be pomegranate flavored, but the majority of commercial products are just corn syrup and red dye. To make it you just get some pomegranate juice and sugar and boil it down till it thickens. Kahlua is just brewed coffee, brown sugar, vanilla and vodka. The Bailey's had the most ingredients, but still relatively simple...sweetened condensed milk, Irish whiskey, chocolate syrup, cream, vanilla, espresso powder, and almond extract. You would not believe how delicious they all turned out! I think Kim and Sarah really liked them. I made Milano Martinis...yum! I couldn't believe it though...I forgot the ice cream! haha, oh well! I made them sing Happy Birthday with me though...I said they really don't want to just hear my voice...lol! Then Sarah and I managed to get Kim to watch a Doctor Who episode...hehe! Kim is not really into the geeky stuff like we are...but she was a good sport about it. :)




Love you guys! Y'all keep me sane!

David wound up taking Tuesday off. His head is really hurting, and as he keeps texting me, chemo sucks! He mainly wanted to get his head checked out, make sure there's no infection. His coworker said he could see a bump on David's forehead, and that's where the pain is also. I made an appointment with his neurosurgeon also, but that's not for a couple weeks. We were thinking it could be hardware that's causing the pain. David has had terrible luck in the past with surgeries. Every time the doctors use dissolvable stitches, they don't dissolve. Usually what happens is years later, his body rejects it and he gets an infection and then the doctor winds up fishing out an undissolved stitch. It's so weird, but never seems to fail. We told the neurosurgeon this several times...but he was like, man, I gotta do what I gotta do to close you up. I'm not saying that's it...but it's definitely a possibility  at least in our heads. I mean, who knows what the doc actually used to close him up. Anyways, his appointment isn't for a couple weeks, so especially since his coworker saw a bump, David decided to go see his general practitioner just to make sure. The Dr said it could be stress/tension causing the pain, could be the chemo...could be a lot of things. He was pretty emphatic that it wasn't an infection though. Unfortunately, David's Sloan doctors didn't want him on pain meds last year while he was going through radiation, so they had called his GP to ask him to not keep giving him them. He still gives David some, but not that much. I think that's a little crazy, I mean, if he's having pain he should be able to take care of it. Whatever...he did give him some sort of caffeine, tylenol and something else combo that might help. He said it certainly wouldn't hurt to try. We'll see, I guess. Just praying that the chemo gets a little more bearable and that he'll be not so sick feeling!

And that is that...we're all caught up! I'll try to be better...at least every other day. Still need to get another Flashback post up...also, I've been requested to do a "How to help" post...so be on the lookout for that as well. 

Those are some big shoes to fill! ;)