Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Flashback #9 - So many ups and downs!

I left off at the end of April, where not much happened. Easter was fun as always. I got the cutest jacket for Buddy!

I just love this pic, so I had to put it in ;)

But May started with a bang...literally!

Haha...that man! He can't just get something good, he has to get the best of whatever it is that he can afford. We are so different! I have to have a good deal, and especially when it comes to clothes, I'll take quantity/variety over quality. Anyways, he had some fun shooting his new rifle that month!

My love had become the biggest germophobe...I believe I've mentioned this before. Anyways, a couple of things that he had to have after this change, was a UV light (to kill bacteria) that had to be installed in the A/C duct...and who had to do the installing, you ask? Moi! I'm down in the basement drilling through metal with a hole saw, because David couldn't have metal shavings getting in him...he has to have MRIs and can't have any metal in the body! lol...and you can't look at the UV lights when they're on, they can blind it's hard to tell if it's working. You just hope you see the glow...Also, he wanted a whole house water filter. Which granted, makes the water all taste great! But boy, was that a pain to install!!! David is great with technical stuff...but not so great with patience and fine what happens? I don't remember all the details, but there were several 4 letter words, a disconnected water main, a late night plumber call (that there was no way I was gonna pay him $400 to fix it...but had to pay for him coming out :/) no water all night and in the morning...David goes to work, I go to Lowes, find the (hopefully correct) missing parts, come home, cut the pipe, wrangle it into place, and BAM, fix it myself!!! booyah! that's how you do it! lol...although, there was still a minor leak (so NOT my fault!) from David blowtorching too close to the plastic filter connection. I think it took about a year, but we finally fixed that a few months

Remember how I told y'all that one of my friends had entered us into a portrait contest. Well, after the winter was finally over and the trees in bloom, we had our shoot.
  • Just had our first family portrait in years (and the first ever for Caden)...can't wait to see how they turn out! Thanks to Catherine Cella for her generosity!
We actually went to the church that is across the street from us to take the pictures...they have a lovely garden that was full of blossoms and color. It worked out perfectly! Catherine did a beautiful job and the pictures came out awesome!

Joyful Reflections Photography - Meet the Woolley Family

However, the day was tempered with some heartbreaking news. My dear friend Sarah (she, Kim and I make up a trio of besties that I am completely blessed with...they are frequently featured on my page) let us know that her husband Dave (yes, it gets confusing sometimes ;) had been diagnosed with colon cancer. It was completely unbelievable and horrifying.

This is her Facebook status letting everyone know - Please pray for David, he has recently been diagnosed with Colon Cancer ... we are meeting with his Oncologist on Monday to discuss his treatment plan and review his catscan. Thank you to our friends and family who have already overwhelmed us with love, prayers and support ... ♥ you all

I was honestly in a state of shock, unbelief, and great sorrow. For my best friend to have to go through all this seemed like a sick joke...especially as she had already suffered the loss of her mother several years earlier to cancer. I just prayed and prayed, and hugged and cried with her. We always say God meant for us to be friends, He knew we would need each other's support. While of course I never wish it had happened, there is something about someone else going through a similar journey to make for an understanding and close bond. We get it...and we support each other totally! Love you Sarah!

The next day was Red Two's 1st Communion.
  • Caelyn's 1st Communion today! My little girl is growing up!

So beautiful!

In the meantime, David figured he shouldn't be the one having all the fun...he decided to get the girls a pink .22 rifle...hahaha
  • I just started the waiting period for a little ole pink 22 rifle  The girls should love it. Its kinda funny that there is a waiting period for a for a pink 22.

We also got to celebrate Kim's 30th birthday!

Remember last post I touched on Red Three's bowel issues. Well, it was time for her endoscopy/colonoscopy at the Childen's hospital
  • starting Ranae's cleanse for her colonoscopy/endoscopy tomorrow...wish me luck!

Not only did she have to fast the day before, but I had to do a cleanse and then an enema! oh my...was that not fun! Poor little thing...she was so miserable!
  • fixin to head to the hospital for Ranae's colonoscopy/endoscopy... thanks for all your prayers!

She was totally fine, she was only 4, so she didn't know exactly what was going on...just that she was having a procedure to see why she kept having blood. She certainly didn't know all the gory details. It was so sad having to watch her get wheeled away...a couple hours later and she was back. She even got to take home a stuffed animal.

  • home for the hospital safe and sound...thanks for all your prayers. The doctor found the cause of the bleeding, 2 polyps, and removed them. The doctor is fairly certain they are just juvenile polyps, but the biopsy results will come back on Monday.

The odd thing was the doctor said the polyps were unusually large. She wasn't too concerned, but we did have to wait for the biopsy. Thankfully all the prayers from everyone helped.
  • Praise the Lord, just got Ranae's biopsy results and they were just juvenile polyps, which are common and benign and nothing to worry about now that they are removed. What a relief!
And, no more blood! Hooray! Although, she still checks to this day and calls me anytime she sees anything suspicious...good girl! ;)

That week we were due to go to NYC for an MRI to check on David's progress. He was on the verge of completing 6 cycles of Temodar.
  • A redoubling of prayers would be really appreciated this week. David goes in for an MRI on Wed to check out the results from his 6 months of chemo, and to determine his eligibility for the trial portion of his treatment. I know all you prayer warriors will make a huge difference!

    • soooooooooo, David's MRI isn't actually until Tuesday...not real sure what happened, cuz someone called him to tell him the 18th, but when he called today to check the time, he wasn't even scheduled for anything! lol So, that gives y'all another week to get your prayer on 
Oops, make that the next week ;) In the meantime, we were able to go to a little coffehouse type concert with Dave and Sarah and her brother and wife. Dave is a huge fan of Ellis Paul, and they invited us along. It was so nice to spend some time before both Davids started treatment. Remember, my David was supposed to start the trial portion of treatment in the summer, and Dave was starting his chemo and radiation.

For some reason, David decided we really needed a chainsaw...remember what I said, once he's got a bee in his bonnet, it's hard to stop him!
  • I bought my first chainsaw. I highly recommend one. If you don't have a tree to cut down, pick a neighbors.
  • busy day tomorrow! MOPS in the am, then NYC for David's MRI...pray, pray, pray!
This was one of the few times that David's MRI was on a different day from his doctor's appointment. We would have to wait till that Friday to meet with the oncologist to find out the results and see if he was eligible for the trial. In the meantime, life goes on...
  • busy day...heading out to register Ranae for school, get a haircut, and buy lots of meat for the cookout!
  • Does it make you a redneck if you have considered using a leaf blower inside?
Finally, we were off...
  • Another busy busy day! On the road to NYC for David's appt at 830, then back home to cook and bake for David's bday party tonight! Fun times :)
David's birthday is on the 29th, but we were having a big cookout that night. I was hoping the appointment wouldn't be too

Oddly enough, I have no status updates about the appointment...but the results of the MRI were the same as they had been, which was, no changes. While this was certainly good news, it did mean that because the Temodar did not seem to be having a big effect on the tumor, they no longer felt that he would be a good candidate for the trial. Can I just tell you, I was ecstatic. I mean, I was bummed that the chemo didn't seem to be doing anything, but that trial scared the crap out of me! It was so extreme and the side effects and recovery was crazy. While reading up on what to expect, it seemed like a nightmare. First, David would be in the hospital for about 3 weeks, in New York City...the kids would be at home, still in school. My mom was planning on coming out to stay with the kids and help with David. After being discharged from the hospital, he still wouldn't be able to go home, he would need to be right by the hospital, so we would have to stay at Hope Lodge (if they had the room) while recuperating for at least another 3-5 weeks. He wouldn't be able to eat any food from a restaurant, and a lot of other restrictions...because his immune system would still be regrowing. He wouldn't be able to work for 3 was going to be a big, big deal! When Dr Lassman said that it didn't seem like the trial would be beneficial, I was relieved, but obviously, still a bit worried. He said that he wanted David to continue the Temodar for the standard 12 cycles and then we would reevaluate our options at that point.

Driving home to get ready for David's party, I was mostly happy! Of course, David's work had already laid him off for the summer because of his upcoming procedure. Go figure, they didn't hire him back till September, so we did have to deal with the 3 months of unemployment. We had been planning for it...but still, it was tight! But, the party was fun!

  • Thank yall for all the happy birthdays. Had a nice bbq party at the house and had a good time. Of course I won at poker again, it is my birthday.
Apparently, I was starting to go a little crazy by this point...haha
  • Oh my word...I just told the shopping cart to sit still in the same singsongy voice I use for, help?!?!?! Think I need some input on this one!
Buddy was able to graduate to a foward facing seat...he loved it!

Oh yeah, I almost forgot! David decided to use some of our savings to buy a Cobra Mustang! What the heck?!?!?!? I mean, really??? Of course, this was before we knew his work didn't have anything for him until my...that thing is the bane of my existence! David's done so much fixing/upgrading to it (which translates to $$$)'s taking up my space in the garage! (two years of having to park in the snow!)...not to mention, it's spent 90% of its time undriveable on jack stands. I mean seriously, it's on them now!!! GRRRRRRRRR lol

Around this point, Buddy got his first haircut. I loved his baby curls, but it was time to move on ;)

4th of July was fun as always...with lots of yummy food!

 I just thought these corn on the cob cupcakes were the cutest thing ever! and you can't beat Tres Leches cake! 

Apparently David's hot rod instincts don't confine themselves to his car...

  • Putting a riding lawnmower in the shed I winded up flipping it over on me. If only I was on video, I would be famous. Its a standard and going up the ramp, in a hurry to beat the closing door, popping the clutch with the angle of the ramp was enough to bring it all the way over. I was able to keep it far enough away so the weight never came down on me. But sure was a rush.
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Red Three turned 5!

Red Three wanted a rose came out pretty well!

Then it was time for my birthday! I had Dave and Sarah and Kim and Torrey and all the kids over. It was nice!
Here's Sarah's update: is headed over to Mary Catherine Woolley's so she can make us dinner for HER birthday (she insisted)! We do have some reason to celebrate, my husband's radiologist said it looks like the tumor has definitely shrunk, we will know more after scans, we will keep everyone posted! Keep those prayers coming!
This was after being on chemo and radiation for 6 weeks.

I was able to go to Nashville, TN for the MOPS convention at the beginning of August. It was a blast! Coming home from the beautiful Gaylord Opry Hotel was a bit of a

  • soooo, I come home from the awesome MOPS convention to a sweltering house  apparently the a/c stopped working yesterday and we don't have any fans except for one ceiling fan in the kitchen. Not good!!! What's totally weird is that the a/c unit outside is going full steam, but apparently the fan in the basement to distribute it isn't now I need to get someone to come to my nasty house to fix it!

Buddy got super adventurous in August! I'm surprised we never made it to an emergency room.
  • yesterday was almost a really bad day...after making buttermilk syrup (which btw, if you've never had, YUM!) I set it on the counter while getting the rest of the pancakes etc ready...Little did I know that Caden can get a foothold on the cabinet and reach further on the counter than he did before. I hear him screaming and come running to me, I thought he just bumped his head, then I see that he's shiny with liquid...I just about freaked when I figured out what it was!!!
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    • Mary Catherine Woolley Thank God that it had cooled down a bit and David was quick thinking enough to hose him off with the sink sprayer! His face, shoulder, and chest looked like he'd gotten a really bad sunburn, but within minutes it actually faded and he was good as new in about 20 minutes! Praise God for protecting my boy!!!

He also decided to fall down the stairs and walk into counters...oh my!

Random pics from the summer fun...

We were able to go see the second Harry Potter Death Hallows movie with Dave and Sarah!
  • finally saw HP7 part 2 was awesome!!! and of course, the company couldn't be beat 
We snuck it in right before the hurricane hit and our power was out for about 3 days I think...
  • well, I think this was a good experience for the girls to learn to entertain themselves without electronics...but I think Mommy and Daddy are ready for normality to return  24 hours without electricity is starting to get a bit annoying...but I feel for all the electricians working their butts off...Thanks!!! (and get to us soon pls!)
School was actually delayed because power was out all over town! It was Red Three's first year...the kids' usual school was being renovated that year, so they combined with another school. Unfortunately, there were some snafus to be worked out!
  • Most chaotic first day of school ever! Not only was there noone directing kids to their classrooms or any signs...but they managed to separate the me and tell me Ranae is on the wrong bus and don't know which one, and they have Caelyn and Laela at the school all upset...not to mention that this was at 420 and school got out at 325!
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    • Mary Catherine Woolley Apparently Ranae was actually on the correct bus, and the other two were told to get on the wrong bus...and then they told the driver their sister wasn't there, which I'm so proud of them! Definitely about gave me a heart attack! They got the bus to come back to the school with her (and 3 other kids who were apparently on the wrong bus) and we finally made it home about 510. Thankfully she was fine and untraumatized....unlike her mother! 
Not only was it the first day of school, but Dave was scheduled to have surgery to remove his colon. It was a rough day for Sarah...having to deal with the chaos of a new school, but then rush to the hospital to wait for his surgery to be over. I was happy I was able to sit with her (and bring coffee!) That's one of the worst parts...just sitting in the waiting room...waiting...

  • Well, they're only took an hour to get the girls home from school, as opposed to 1 1/2 hours...
Then it was time for Red Two and Mama's birthday!

 It was a big birthday! 60 for Mama and 8 for Red Two ;)
  • Had a wonderful day celebrating my sweet Caelyn Marie's 8th birthday! Can't believe how big she is getting. She had a good day, and we're looking forward to our trip to the Bronx zoo on Sunday!
David was able to help set up Dave's birthday present...a new shed!
Sarah - Dave's wonderful family & my brother gifted him a shed (and all of the extra materials) for his Birthday, thank you!! All day yesterday and this morning there was a good 'ole fashion shed-raising here ... thank you, Keith Dumas (who has probably clocked at least 40 hrs on the project), TorreyDavid Woolley, and Peter for your hard work! I will take some pictures to bring to Dave at Hospital, he was so worried about all of you!

This is what happens when Daddy gets a hold of the clippers!

 A real mohawk...he was only rocking a fauxhawk before ;)

My deep thought for the day...
  • "Each day we are becoming a creature of splendid glory or one of unthinkable horror." C.S.Lewis I think that's the best quotable quote I've seen in a while. Really makes you think and take a look at yourself.
September brought the routine of school well as work! Hallelujah! lol...but seriously!

David continued on his 4 week chemo cycles...having a few days of feeling yucky, but most of the time not too bad. We still went to Sloan every couple of months for MRIs and check ups.

  • Me, "You sure have been less sympathetic lately."
    Mary Catherine, "You've been less pathetic lately."
     love it.
    Mary Catherine Woolley lol, I totally meant to say pitiful, not pathetic...hahaha, as he well knew!