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Thursday, November 26, 2009


Ah, I said over 2 months ago I would start posting more... yet I have failed to do so. And what a whirlwind our "abnormal" family has been through! And so I shall sum it up in this blog and *hopefully* keep writing blogs from here. This way they will hopefully make sense. I've decided to no longer use my children's real names since it is a public blog. I realize how many people could actually read it! So if you know them, you'll know, otherwise, enjoy the read with the aliases of my children! :)

Let's start with the head of the family and work down. My awesome, wonderful husband was diagnosed with testicular cancer a couple of weeks ago. I admit we were in absolute shock. I really had no idea he was the "prime" age for testicular cancer. It just shows how much even a nerd like myself DOESN'T know. I admit, my initial reaction was that there is no way our family can keep it together. I mean, if you know how much he does for us, I feel overwhelmed at the idea of picking up the slack. But we have managed thus far. He had surgery immediately to remove the cancerous testicle. It was one of the hardest days of my life as I sat at home without a sitter and just waited for a phone call. I got a little snippy with his 1st Sgt when he had our friend tell me to call him so I could update him. My response was "you know just as much as I do because I'm stuck at home without a sitter because people have failed to help like they said they would AGAIN." (I said this in reference to them saying THEY would provide a way to get someone over here to watch the kids so I could go be with my husband). He said he thought it was taken care of, yet he heard my screaming children in the background at which point he knew somebody messed up. But regardless, I did have a nice friend come over here after she got off work to run the kids through their night time routine so I could go be with him. His surgery was on Veteran's Day of all days, and he seems to be recovering nicely. It's not over yet, though, as the biopsy revealed the severity of the cancerous tumors (there were 3) were pretty intense. The CT scan came back clear for it being in his lymph nodes, but the doctors find it imperative to proceed with the surgery to remove the lymph nodes in his lower abdomen. He has multiple types of cancer, and the severe one doesn't always show up in the CT scans, but we are hopeful it hasn't spread because the tumor markers in his bloodwork have declined. He will be in the hospital for at least a week as it is a pretty intense surgery. I have had open heart surgery, and I admit, the thought of the incision he will be getting makes me cringe! He will be having surgery shortly after Christmas - on Dec 29th. I am praying everyone comes through as promised this time because I cannot fathom him going through this without me by his side! *I* can't imagine not being there! As of now, he is on convalescent leave until Dec 11th, at which time he may use some leave so he can remain home until the next surgery. Or he may go in and sit at the desk for those couple of weeks. Whatever works out I guess. If they don't find anymore cancer during the surgery, his treatment is considered successful - at which point his Med Board will begin. It is initially for his knee injury, of course, but they wanted to wait until the cancer treatment is at a stopping point (besides follow-ups), so it will be on his medical record. At that time, they want to have it all said and done within 75 days. We could be out of here as soon as March! Makes me a little nervous switching OB's that late in the pregnancy, but I guess we just have to go with the flow and trust God. And no, we have NO idea where we'll go yet! Woo hoo! Yay for adventure!

So onto the question people seem to be afraid to ask: How am I? If I had to sum it up, I'd say I'm hormonal, emotional, overwhelmed, burnt out, and slightly bitter. It's a really long story, but the raw truth of it is I feel somewhat forgotten and abandoned. It's like if nobody knows what to say, they say nothing. Or they just ignore everything altogether simply because yes, I DO have an "attitude," if you will, about things. Sure! Stuff is getting to me! Can you fathom what it is like when the person you love and rely on to help you with every day tasks gets diagnosed with cancer and has to have surgery... and an upcoming MAJOR surgery? It's OVERWHELMING! I have physical problems. That is the TRUTH of it. My heart is acting up, and for about 2 weeks now I've been fighting intense heart palpitations, extreme dizziness and vertigo, intense headaches, and seeing spots and flashes of light randomly. I'm somewhat disoriented due to this and feel totally out of control. I finally had a moment to call my Dr at which point they asked me to go to the ER. So I did, and everything was normal. Aside from my heart, but it's never normal due to the defect I had to have fixed. They said they think this is just how it's going to be right now. They advised me not to drive and to get help and support from family and friends. But what if you don't have that? I mean, people have their own lives to tend to, and some people have situations just as intense, you know? Or then you have people that do help that make you feel worse about yourself for having the medical issues that you have. I know there are a lot of people that have Fibromyalgia. It seems to be so common that at least everybody knows SOMEBODY that has it. But people need to educate themselves! Fibromyalgia is different for everyone! And just because other people live basically normal lives doesn't mean *I* do. Not to mention I cannot take the major medication for the pain right now - and add the pregnancy and my heart condition on top of it, and you'll realize, I'm absolutely different. I do my absolute best. I REALLY do. But I have to accept my limitations or our entire family will suffer. What good will it be if I push myself to the point of absolute, physical burnout? We'll have a man recovering from surgery, a woman who can do no more, and two toddlers trying to cope! I just want people to stop telling me what's best for OUR family. We're all different, and I have no doubt that despite our craziness, our family is just as God intended it to be. I have no doubt He WILL give me the strength to perservere through this. I can honestly say there are very few things I want as far as help goes: someone to stay with the kids so I can be there for the surgery (which as of now it seems we will have), someone to perhaps think of our family if they cooked a big meal and have extras, someone to maybe play with or take the kids for a couple hours so I can catch a nap here and there, maybe someone to walk the dog, and if people feel God calling them to provide any type of financial help due to our poor vehicle situation, I wouldn't ask for it, but I would accept it. It is quite a bit of gas to drive to and from the hospital where the surgery will take place, plus the car is still broken down, and now the van is acting up again. Talk about putting some stress on the finances during an already stressful time. The little princess's birthday on Dec 21st, then Christmas of course, and then the surgery on the 29th (with multiple trips back and forth possible), plus my big ultrasound somewhere in there, which is a little over an hour drive away as well. Overall, I'm trying to stay positive, but I admit, I've been letting my emotions get the best of me.

As for Bubs. Well, I'm not sure that I updated that he did get a diagnosis of PDD-NOS on top of the ADHD. He's been attenting a special preschool and seems to be doing well. We did just meet to rewrite his IEP because it was so amazingly vague, which was my frustration from the start. Now since his teacher has been observing him in the classroom, she had a better idea of what we should include. He will be getting additional speech therapy in the classroom. He has a lot of words, which is great, but it's still REALLY hard to understand most of them. They did also make special notes on his behavior and things we need to work on in that area - especially the unexpected transitions. If he expects something to be a certain way, and it's not - it's ALL OVER. And when he goes into one of his tantrums it's like you just cannot bring him out of it. No threatening time-outs, no offering a positive reward for calming down, NOTHING. I had mentioned this a long time ago, of course, and now that they've seen it, it was like it totally clicked. I guess they had an incidence at the Library because they generally use a specific lane to check out, and since the line was longer in that lane, they used the other one. Because this wasn't his definition of "normal," he had a HUGE meltdown. They said he screamed and cried all the way back to the classroom at which point he still didn't calm down. It's just little things we don't even think of that trigger his breakdowns. It's trying to figure out what he sees in his head as being the "right" thing. Sometimes we know, sometimes we don't. Sometimes it's absolutely impossible to conform to his standards of "right." For example, it was also mentioned that he doesn't play with the other kids. It's not that he doesn't LIKE other kids, and he'll interact with them most of the time - until play time. Because at play time, he already knows what he wants to play with and HOW he wants to play with those toys. Because other children have their own free will, we can't expect them to conform to his ways. And since most don't, he doesn't want to play with them. I obviously deal with this all the time at home. He tends to get bossy with his sister, though, and she generally listens because she loves her big brother and wants to make him happy. I can see, though, how other boys his age wouldn't oblige so easily and how it could turn into a game of "he can't play with this because he doesn't do it my way." So that is now a goal they are working on. Shoot, they'd be happy to even see him do parallel play with him playing on the same toy as another kid because he won't even do that. He doesn't even like to see someone else play with a toy he stopped playing with 10 minutes ago, so basically anything he touches is off limits to everybody else until the next day. So we definitely have some things to work through! And potty training is just plain frustrating. I can tell he just plain doesn't get it. He has NO idea when he's even gone (and yes, I've tried "big boy" underwear to help him catch on, and it ended in a big mess because he didn't know he pooped and ended up getting it EVERYWHERE. UGH.). And he absolutely has no idea WHEN he has to go. I basically ask him every 2-3 hours if he needs to use the potty, and he WILL pee on the potty, but he still wets his diaper as well in between those times, and pooping is just totally unsuccessful at this point. And so, we just keep trying.

And yes, the little princess is about to turn 2! Where has the time gone!? She has graduated to the toddler bed with a rather smooth transition. She speaks in 3-4 word sentences and her articulation is even a little better than her big brother. She is so amazing smart and never ceases to do something that amazes me! It's somewhat bittersweet with certain things like the talking because I'm SO happy that she speaks so much and so well and genuinely comprehends SO much not even being 2 yet, and yet I feel somewhat discouraged that Bubs isn't any further ahead. They really seem to be at the exact same learning level right now. It's actually been wonderful for them because they talk back and forth, tell each other jokes, and play games with each other rather well because they totally "get" each other. And I honestly don't think Bubs would even talk as much as he does if the little princess didn't start talking back! She really does amaze me. We're working on potty training as well. She actually DOES know when she has to go, and she definitely knows when she's gone and asks immediately for a new diaper. But as far as actually using the potty, it seems she does best at night. She'll get out of the bath and go right to the potty and go as if she's always done it! And she is the opposite of her brother in that she generally poops in the potty and seems to be more aware of that and is just starting to become aware of peeing. It's just awesome that she's getting it, though. I do believe she'll be fully potty trained first. Overall, she's just a bundle of love. When my husband is feeling well enough to let me sleep in, she spends most of that time hanging out near my bedroom door waiting for me. She's definitely a mommy's girl. And she will randomly just come up and give me a big hug and say "love you, Mommy." It's so awesome. We definitely have that mother/daughter bond. I laugh now thinking I wasn't sure I'd ever want a girl because I wasn't sure I'd know how to bond with her since I was such a tomboy. And here she is - quite the girly girl, and we're a virtually inseperable pair! It's awesome!

And as for our little one on the way, things seem to be progressing just fine. I got a doppler online because 6 weeks in between OB visits is just too long for me especially since I have had 2 losses. I just need some reassurance! It's a great doppler, too. I started using it when I was exactly 12 weeks. Baby's heartrate is usually in the high 150's to low 170's. I'm now 15 weeks, but I look like I should be at least 20 weeks! haha I'm showing SO quickly this time! The funniest thing of all is my belly is so much bigger at this point than it was with the other 2, but I've gained the least amount of weight so far with this one. In fact, last I checked, I've only gained a pound. That's just crazy to me! I'm definitely already able to wear maternity clothes! I found a GREAT pair of jeans at Target, and I LOVE them! They have an adjustable waste like you would find on toddler pants. haha It's great, though, because I can pull them tighter now, and then loosen them up as I get bigger. I think it's great! I have my next OB visit on Monday at which point I will BEG them to schedule the u/s right before hubs has to go into surgery so he can be there for it. Especially since we have decided this will be our last child. His surgery has a chance of causing him to become infertile, and my health doesn't seem to be handling the pregnancy well, so we're just feeling like this is it. Because there won't be enough time to determine whether or not the surgery has rendered him infertile, I will probably just have them perform the tubal at the time of my c-section. I'm definitely going to tell the OB about my ER visit and see if there is anything more we can do at this time to get me back to feeling at least ok. The dizziness I had today lasted ALL day. It's partially why I can't sleep. It actually becomes more intense when I'm laying down. Not fun.

Oh, and the pup... she's been super anxious, but fine I suppose. I really hope she starts to mellow out. Even I can't put her leash on her anymore without the submissive urination. I know all the stress of the household and having 2 different guests within a week has really thrown her off, but I'm ready for her to snap out of it! I don't need a 110lb baby! haha

And though it wasn't exactly a quick update, I think I updated all pertinent information to keep the blogs going smoothly from here on out so I don't feel like there will be important details left out! Now I need to get *some* sleep so I can cook up a yummy Thanksgiving feast tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving!