Friday, September 12, 2014

Hodgkins Lymphoma...

So.. there it is.. most of you already know but I thought I'd update my blog as well; since it's been about a month..

A lot of fun has happened since, and a lot of craziness has happened as well.

Libby started preschool! She absolutely loves her teacher and she loves school as well. Today when I picked her up she said she "cant wait to see her friends again." I told her she would see them Tuesday and she told me, "oh.. I miss them!" She loves to tell me about the things she did in class each day and it is really fun to see her work. I love that she loves school. :)

Braxton is getting to be a real talker and he walks really well; he's running all over the place now! He can still be really fussy; especially when he's getting more teeth! He is still a sweetheart and is learning to play more on his own. :)

(For some reason the photos wouldn't turn. I even edited them and re-saved them.. Oh well, sideways Braxton it is!)

Devin is still working as a mechanic at Advanced Powersports. He has a ton of work and not a lot of time but he is doing well there. :) He is stressed with our current situation; rightfully so, and is trying his best to make it a good situation.

We also had a great time visiting Utah and staying at Quinn and Randy's for the Clark's family reunion! Quinn's new house is lovely and it was the perfect place to spend the weekend. We were able to spend a lot of time just hanging out and playing together. Devin got to spend time with his dad and Randy playing golf. He also had a lot of time to spend with the kiddos; which he doesn't get to do a lot of. I started to teach Claire how to crochet. She was really interested and did a good job making a chain. After it got a bit harder she wanted to play with the kids but would come back every so often to try again. Quinn and Randy also took us all to the new Children's Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving point; which was AMAZING! They also took everyone swimming at the Lehi Legacy Center Pool. It's a super fun pool that is great for families! Thanks so much for the awesome weekend!

In the midst of all the fun I was doing a bunch of stuff to figure out what was going on with me. I found out from an ultrasound the lymph nodes were swollen way too much to be an infection and it would most likely be lymphoma. I then had a lymph node biopsy to determine if it would be Hodgkin's, Non-Hodgkin's, or something else. The biopsy came back as Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Considering all the cancers I could have it is actually one of the better ones to have. It is one of the least common cancers but it is one of the most curable ones.

From last Friday until yesterday I did different tests every day in Twin Falls so we could determine the stage the cancer was at. I had to do a Pulminary Function Test to determine a baseline for my lungs in case I start having problems with my lungs. A MUGA-heart scan- to determine a baseline for my heart. A CT Scan and a PET Scan; and lastly a Bone Marrow Biopsy to determine if the cancer has moved to my marrow. I was really worried it would hurt so bad.. It hurt a bit but was mainly a really uncomfortable pressure with a few spikes of a small, sharp pain.

Today we went in for my results. The scans all pointed to stage 2; which is great because I thought I had another lump which indicated stage 3 but it wasn't anything. If the bone marrow is effected it will automatically be determined stage 4 but we are hoping for good results. (Should know within 10 days) The protocol for stage 2 is 4 cycles of chemo and then a PET scan to check progress, and if needed then 2 more cycles of chemo. She said I would most likely need all 6 because my tumors are so big. If it is stage 4 I will definitely need all 6 and possibly 2 more. My oncologist thinks we will have good news though because most people with lymph nodes which are only swollen in the upper half of the body don't have stage 4. So, we'll see!

I get a port put in on Monday; which is minor surgery. It will allow them to hook the chemo up to the port directly and not needing to start an IV each time. Then, on Tuesday I'll be starting chemo.. I'm nervous of course, and definitely not excited.. but I know it will cure me and I'll be fine. It will be about 6 months of being sick, and about a year of recovery after, but then it will be over!

My mom is going to come up and be here with me to help with the house and kiddos. Melanie and Matthew are going to be able to come up and help out as well. We started a calendar for people who would like to help out so we can schedule the help. If you would like to be added to the calendar let me know and I'll add you. :)

Lastly.. we do not currently have insurance and will not be able to get any until next year. We are currently in the process of applying for financial aid but we are uncertain right now if we'll qualify. So we are trying to figure out a way to pay for it all. :)

I have started up with Younique again and am doing a "Re-launch Party". It still has about 6 days left. It is all online, you just read the posts and if you are interested in buying then you click on the link and buy. If you would like to be invited to this party, let me know. :)

Also, I started a "fund me" account which is a way you can donate to help pay for things if you are able to. I'll have the link on the sidebar of the blog if you are interested.

Well, anyways.. that's what's going on. I'm not thrilled to have cancer and to go through this while I'm still in my twenties but I have already had many blessings come from it.

Devin and I have a much better relationship.
I am getting closer to God.
I am learning to accept help from others.
I am learning to take time to get what I need so I can be useful to others.
I have learned how much support I really do have and how many awesome friends and family I have!

I am going to be fine, we will all make it through this. :)

Friday, July 25, 2014

An update.. what?!

So, I finally got around to updating my blog again; about time, right! Since I missed so much time I'm not going to do a lot of writing, but more in photos with captions. I feel like it's best to "get caught up" so I can continue on next week. :)

Keeping the kiddos entertained while I make dinner!
Happy Fourth Of July! 
Libby's hair was finally long enough for me to do the star. I've been wanting to do this for 3 years! lol Their face paint is the pigments in the photo above; so fun! We went to the Rupert parade because Devin was driving a machine in it for his work. We sat with Harlo and Becky, and their kiddos, as well as Melissa and Jon and their kids. I brought Elizabeth and Jaxsen with me.

Rachel, Jeremy, Elizabeth, and Jaxsen came over that night to light off home fireworks. We also watched all the awesome fireworks the farmers set off around us. There were about 4 different ones doing their own.

Libby enjoying a sparkler.

Devin helping Braxton with a sparkler.

Devin was doing a side job fixing some sprinklers. He took us along for company and to get us out of the house. The kiddos love "working" with Daddy!
One of the barn cats at the job had kittens, this little girl was super friendly and wouldn't leave the kids alone. I kept "saving" her from Braxton because he was kid of rough with her but she kept coming back for more. Finally I just let him play with her (while keeping an eye on them so he wouldn't actually hurt her.)

Libby still loves her Cinderella dress we got her for her birthday. She wanted to play soccer once she was in it. Silly girl. :)
Making leftovers fun! Kinda scary, I know. This was for Devin, he just rolled his eyes at me. :)

Libby made a friend at the library thing we go to. They like to sit together and share their toys. Sadly, story time is over for the summer now so she probably wont be seeing much of her anymore.

While the kids were playing outside I decided to find the sidewalk between the patio and the walkway leading to where we park our cars. I couldn't believe there was a flagstone patio (halfway finished) underneath all that dirt! It's like they got started and decided they didn't like it and covered it up instead. :)
Hey look! I actually had time to scrapbook one. :)
It says, "Libby and Braxton love to play on the tire swing that Elizabeth, Jaxsen, and I built at Granny and Gramps' house. It is always a good distraction on laundry days!
Libby "called" Daddy on her play phone. It was really cute before this because she was having a "real" conversation with him. When I got the camera out she got shy and wasn't as vocal.

After Libby's bath one night I decided to see what her hair looked like straightened. I wasn't sure how well she'd sit for me so I used my blowdryer and paddle brush. I didn't want to burn her with a flat iron; she did pretty good but she wouldn't look up for me to do the front.. She loved it so much; she laughed and smiled huge in the mirror when she saw it done! She actually asked me to do it for her the other day again. :)
Left side normal Maybeline mascara (2 coats), right side my awesome Younique 3D Fiber Lash Mascara (2 coats). I LOVE this mascara! Don't mind my dark circles; I didn't have any other makeup on that night!
Just because.. I'm not sure if they look more like a pineapple or a mermaid's tail.

I put something away in the other room and when I came back Braxton was sitting on top of Libby! She didn't even notice when he got excited and starting bouncing around. 
We made a trip down to Utah because Matthew and Melanie's deck was falling off the house and they needed help to replace it.

Braxton was sad so Claire picked him to comfort him. It was really sweet because he just laid his head down and cuddled her. I took the photo because it cracked me up how big he is compared to her! He's only 15 mo old. :)
I knew I wouldn't be much help with the deck because I'd have to watch the kiddos so before we got there I arranged for a trip to Wheeler Farm with whoever could come. Jade wasn't feeling good and the boys were with their dad so they didn't make it. Amber, my parents, and Quinn, Randy, and the kids all came. We had a great time, I wish I got more pictures!
Braxton was so tired after the farm that he fell asleep in the car when we were on the way to Amber's new house for lunch. He didn't even wake up when I took him out of his car seat so I just put him straight on Amber's bed! Tired baby!
It was fun to see Amber and Stephen's cute new home. It has a lot of potential and I think it will be a great place for them for a long time. Grandma Burt and Uncle Mike made it out to have lunch with us; it was fun to see them again as well. (Thanks for the art stuff for Libby, Grandma!)

The kiddos played in our playhouse we left when we moved (we brought it home with us after this trip!) They had a great time playing while the guys were working on the deck. It was fun to have Quinn's kiddos there all day (and the sleepover the night before!)
Everybody was working really hard on the deck! Devin was up at 6 on Saturday and worked until about 9 p.m. and then was up again at 7 on Sunday and worked until dinner at 5. They got a lot done! Melanie's feet hurt at the end of Saturday so before bed she and Libby laid on the floor and put Peppermint Essential Oil on the bottoms of their feet. Melanie said it was awesome; I can't wait to try it next time my feet hurt!
The kids love to sit in the side-by-sides when we visit Daddy at work. It is really hard to pry Braxton away!
Oakley has a bunch of stuff going on the week before the 24th of July to celebrate Pioneer Day.

We went to the Bump and Rub car races on Tuesday and Wednesday nights with some friends. It is when a bunch of beat up and oddly decorated 4 cyl cars race around a dirt track with small obstacles. They don't ram each other like a demolition derby but they side swipe each other a lot. It was pretty fun, the best part was spending time together. :)

Meow Meow and Mushroom (the daddy cat; Libby named him last week. Who knows how she came up with Mushroom...) came out to eat when we got home from the Bump and Rub. After a little bit the kittens got brave and came out too. The photos are blurry because I was zoomed in; I didn't want to scare them. 
This video is pretty long; almost 10 minutes.. It is cute though because Braxton tries to walk several times in it. He also wouldn't leave the cat food alone and kept trying to eat it so I had to keep telling him to put it down! Libby dances around and plays with the cats. 

A cute hairstyle to tame the mane!

I have learned to let Libby play and explore during art time. I used to have really rigid projects; I would basically do them and then let her paint on it.. Libby has much more fun when I give her the stuff and let her play. She's 3; there's plenty of time to learn about "how" to do art later.  Braxton was snaking and playing with pom poms and pipe cleaners while we were doing art.

While Braxton was napping Libby and I were playing "Row Row Row Your Boat" out on the front step. Don't mind the noise of the wind...

This is my awesome Bountiful Baskets order form last week. I got the main basket and then the asian basket and the juicing basket. All of this for just $40!
On Saturday Oakley had the big celebration for Pioneer Day. Libby loved jumping and sliding on the blow up play houses. The one was really tall; she was brave enough to climb up by herself but ended up having to slide down with another older girl! Braxton wanted to go in the bounce house so badly but he was too little still.

I'm bummed doTerra doesn't have a body wash so I turned the Citrus Bliss bar into body wash. It is super simple! All you do is grate the bar of soap and melt it in water. (2 cups per bar of soap, this is 3 bars) I also added the doTerra unscented spa lotion to it so it would be "moisturizing". I think I'm going to add just a tiny bit more; and also just a couple extra drops of Citrus Bliss Oil because I want it to be a bit stronger of a smell. I ended  up using my immersion blender because the last little bit wouldn't melt.. Then there are a bunch of bubbles and then after about 10 hours, all the bubbles are gone and it looks like this.
Libby loves to pretend towels are dresses. :)

We normally go to the Oakley city park but it isn't that exciting so we decided to try the Elementary school park. The kids liked it sooo much better. There is a lot more for them to play on. Only bummer, there weren't any kids. I don't know if it was just the time of day or if they don't come over to this park..

Braxton is finally walking! Yay! He will pretty much always stand up and see how far he can get before deciding to crawl now. Before bed he walked about 15 feet all by himself! He paused and squatted to catch is balance twice, but kept on walking after! Yay! Next, potty training!

Here is my first ever, beautiful butter ball! Yay! I'm trying to make a lot more of our food so I can cut back on processed garbage... Today I made butter/buttermilk, mayo, refried beans, and tortillas.
Butter/buttermilk is SOOO easy! You just dump heavy whipping cream and some salt in your stand mixer and beat on high for like 20 minutes. It will be all pretty and fluffy; then it will turn curdled looking, and then it will separate into butter and buttermilk!
Libby wanted to try the buttermilk so I let her thinking she'd hate it. She said it was good and asked for more.. She drank all of it except for what I needed for the mayo (she drank about 2 cups!) I tasted it and about threw up; it didn't taste like it was bad or anything, but I'm just not a straight buttermilk fan!

As a side note, so people know what is going on with me.. When we moved up here my neck was really hurting and I thought it was just because of the exercises I was doing. I had a hard lump on the left side and then sore underneath. It never went away. My mom came up and visited right before the 4th and I asked her what she thought because the pain wasn't going away and it should have if it was just from working out. She said my lymph nodes were huge. 
Quinn did an energy reading for me and we decided on a regime for me to follow using the oils and having more plants in my house, and drinking green smoothies and eliminating certain foods from my diet. I was starting to feel better but the swelling wasn't really going down so I went to see a dr. for a medical opinion.
He said; based on what I told him, it looked like a bacterial infection. He wanted me to take an antibacterial for 2 weeks and if the swelling didn't go away he wanted to do blood work and possibly a biopsy if needed. I told him I don't love the idea of taking medicine and asked about the oils. He said he'd give me a week and then he'd like me to take the antibiotic if there weren't any changes.

I kept up with the oil regimen and things were feeling better for the first few days. Then my lymph nodes started to feel like they had before I started using the oils. Then I got a new lump on my right side of my neck.. I decided it was probably time to try the antibiotics. (It was after two weeks...)

I've been on them for 3 days now.. I still don't have much of a change.. I'm hoping for the best, but prayers would be appreciated. :) I'm trying to ignore the possibilites of what it could be and just stay positive and trust the oils, medication, and God will get rid of it for me. :)

I hope everyone has had a great July!