Sunday, December 30, 2007

Surrounded By Family Love

My parents are both still here, though my Dad has to leave today, boohoo. It is so nice to have them here. I feel so supported and surrounded by love when they are both here. Of course my Mom is wonderful just by herself, but I know it is nicer for her to have my Dad with her, so his presence is even more appreciated. And it is wonderful for Capt. Adorable to get to interact with his grandpa as well.

Speaking of Captain Adorable, last night it became obvious that he was teething and indeed, this morning we discovered that he has two more teeth bursting through his top gums. He now has 12 teeth! Of course, just like on the bottom, he has skipped the canines and has gone straight to pre-molars. We are going to have to buy some more Hylands...

My Dad has to leave today because he has to get home to take care of their house and their animals. They have 2 dogs and 2 cats and some kind friends have been taking good care of everything, but it is time for things to go back to normal. I do not know if I have mentioned that my parents live about 500 miles from my house. My mom is staying a few more days because I am still not quite up to being strong enough to be alone with the baby while Captain Obvious is at work all day. She will be back in time for the next treatment, of course...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Difficult Evening and Day

Last night I felt very sad and I cried some. I cried because we had some frozen pesto and I remembered harvesting the basil and making the pesto (sans cheese) for freezing. I had the baby in the mei tai and we went on the deck together while I picked and picked and picked those basil plants till I got all the leaves I could reasonably get off of them.

...

I am having a hard time writing this because I am so sick. I just threw up my entire dinner, which was bad because I had not eaten much and was really hungry for dinner. I had to eat a bit more just because I do not want to get the weak hunger that I sometimes get lately and also means I will throw up easily. I canceled my acupuncture appointment today because I threw up this afternoon.

...

Anyway, I was remembering how strong and happy I felt this summer, out on the deck, harvesting basil for cold winter evenings and I felt sad to be here in the cold winter, so depleted and vulnerable and feeling so unsure about everything. When Capt. Adorable was asleep, Capt. Obvious and I went and lay down in the little bed where I sleep and wept together. We cried because we don't know the future, because we have hope, because we have good memories, because we are very lucky but it sucks to be us right now, and because we both feel bad. I don't want to die and leave my baby. Capt. Obvious does not want me to die and be without his wife and Capt. Adorable's mother. I am not ready to die. But who knows how much choice I have? Perhaps the cancer is already taking hold somewhere inside my body? Or perhaps we are killing it all and I just have a scan every 3 months for the next two years to get through (and then every 4 months for the next year after that). This cancer and cancer treatment is not going to be out of my life for a good long while. I will not be able to forget about this for a long time to come.

And if I do have cancer, how much more of me can be whittled down? I am pretty young and healthy--I can probably stand a bunch more surgeries and a bunch more chemotherapy. How long can I go without having treatment? When do I get to start having fun again? Even though going to Ocean City was fun, the BIG CLOUD of chemo is never far away and never out of my thoughts.

Ah well, all this sorrow and worry is not very productive. Does not help to settle my stomach or help my mind not to go into panic when I think about the hospital. I can't even write thank-you notes recently because they are in the bag I always take to chemo and I can't stand that bag anymore. My Mom suggested maybe I should burn it when I am done with chemo. I am going to have to burn my purse, too, because the sight of each of them makes me queasy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Just Tired

Have not posted because there is nothing to really say. I am tired. Very tired. I think it is true for me that each round of chemo has gotten tougher to deal with and this one is the toughest so far for sure. I am tired of feeling sick. I am really looking forward to this being over.

Both Captain Obvious and my Mom wanted me to get out of the house (and probably out of my pajamas) and so I went to see a movie with my husband this afternoon. Of course I thought about Captain Adorable the whole time. Once we were home, I ate dinner, played with the babe, and then got into clean pajamas and once he was done with his bath, put him to bed (sang him to sleep). I love feeling his little warm body relax and hearing his breath slow down and relax into that sleeping breathing pattern. So peaceful; so beautiful.

I am still too sick and too worried about getting up a lot to sleep in the family bed tonight. I probably could, but I do not want to risk waking the babe, who has been sleeping so well lately. So tonight I will sleep once more on the futon in the sewing room. A good bed for when I need it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Third Round of Chemo Yesterday

My Dad took me to chemo on Friday and he was pretty good company. Chemo itself was horrible as always, but the aftermath at home was even worse. I threw up like 6-7 times and I had diarrhea. I finally had to take a suppository to stop the continual vomiting. Well, at least then the vomiting stopped and I did sleep like a rock all night. I still feel a bit nauseated today, but so far no vomiting. I have slept a bunch.

Captain Adorable did not sleep well yesterday (while I was at the hospital). He had less than 45 minutes for each nap (usually they are 1+ hour and 2 hours, in morning and afternoon, respectively). Fortunately, his night's sleep was good, and this morning, after quite a big deal of fussing, he got a 2 hour nap in the Ergo with Oma. I am so thankful that she gave that to him! When he is in the Ergo, she walks with him while he sleeps, so she read and took a 2 hour walk in the living room while he slept.

Sorry for not updating sooner, but we were busy vacationing (read: hanging out with my parents and relaxing) for me to spare a few minutes to write all about how fun I was having.

Captain Obvious's youngest brother is here for a visit during his winter break from school. He is a nice kid and I enjoy having him around. I just wish I did not feel so dang bad so I could interact with him and enjoy his visit more.

I just read that Jessica Quinn, the woman whom I talked about a few entries ago, has died. http://www.caringbridge.org/cb/viewJournal.do?method=executeInit I send my love to her family.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Body Is Holding Up Well

I went to the oncologist on Monday and according to my blood tests, my body is holding up very very well under the stress of chemotherapy. The only number that is off is a number indicating that my liver is taking longer than normal to filter things out of my blood. The doctor says this is nothing to worry about, but is one of the reasons that I never drink alcohol these days. Of course, because we are now on vacation, I did ask permission to drink a (small) glass of champagne and she said that as long as it was small, that was ok. :)

So here we are in this fabulous hotel room with a lovely jacuzzi tub and I am planning to sit in it with my husband and have a glass of champagne! How much better can you get?

I had a nice day with Captain Adorable today. Captain Obvious forgot Something Very Important at home and actually had to drive back and get it (5 hours of driving), so I was alone with the babe for most of the day. I had a great time watching him walk around everywhere. It is so cool to watch him explore the hotel room and point out all the cords (sigh) that I would never notice. We did bring a child-safety device to keep the cabinet doors in the kitchenette closed, and we put the trash cans under there, so that is helpful. He was almost completely uninterested in his toys today--all he wanted was to check everything out! And, like I said, for me it was endlessly wonderful to watch his exploration and discovery. I also sat out in the hallway with him (the hotel is rather empty) because out there he can walk and walk forever and not get distracted by toys or cords or other things Mama won't allow him to touch. We had a few rounds of the "Do I have to come and get you?" game, which was great fun for us both.

He is so good at walking now, the only times he ends up on all fours are when 1) he does it on purpose or 2) he walks too fast and falls over. I assume this phase will pass all too soon and before I know it, he will be running.

My parents are here in the hotel, too. They have the room next to ours. It is so nice to have both of them here with us--makes the holiday even more fun. They arrived at about 1:45 and by 2:15 they and Captain Adorable and I were in the indoor pool. Captain Adorable liked it at first but then seemed to change his mind and got upset (to the point of tears) and I had to get out with him. We sat on a chaise on the side for a while and then we got back in. He seemed to like it more the second time. However, it was close to nap time, so we soon got out and went upstairs. He slept well (for both the morning and the afternoon nap) and had a nice afternoon/early evening hanging out with his grandparents while his parents went out to dinner together. He's asleep now. Another beautiful day with my beautiful boy!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Making Truffles

Tonight Captain Obvious and I are making truffles. If you've never made them before, you melt chocolate and mix it with cream and some sort of flavoring. Then you chill and shape into balls, then cover with chocolate and various toppings, like cocoa powder, or pistachios or almonds. Right now we are at the part where the truffles are in the refrigerator chilling, but soon we will be ready to gently heat the chocolate for the outer coating. Captain Obvious made peanut butter ones and I made chocolate ones with a little brandy. This is the first time we've tried making chocolate candies (or candies of any kind) so we will see how they come out.

Tomorrow I am going to meet a friend of mine for coffee in the morning. The time we've agreed to meet is kind of close to Captain Adorable's nap time but hopefully it will work out. I am also going to try to buy a bathing suit. Why, you might ask...well, we are going to Ocean City for a few days starting on Monday and the hotel where we are staying has an indoor pool. I think I am going to want to get in it with Captain Adorable, so I need to have a bathing suit. I am really looking forward to our trip. We are going to stay in the same hotel where we stayed when we went up there for Punkin Chunkin, so I know I like the place. This time will be even nicer because my parents are coming too. (They are getting their own room.) I think they will love being able to hear and see the ocean from their bed, plus I think it will be nice to hang out with them and do a little winter holiday gift exchange. :) No big gifts, just the candles and the happiness of being together.

Monday is also the day I am going to see my oncologist again. I am going to ask her about some of the non-traditional remedies I've heard so much about. I really hope she will let me take some other stuff because I need something to help me with the exhaustion and sickness, especially if my reaction is just going to get worse as the treatments continue.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Independant Play

Captain Adorable is very good at playing independently. He kind of amazes me with how focussed on a toy/object he can be. Right now he is playing with his jumper/exersaucer thing (not really either of those but I do not know what else to call it). We almost never put him inside but he plays with it a lot from around the outside. He pushes the buttons to make it play music, he chews on the gum-able sun, and he manipulates the little movable toys. The thing is big and plasticy but I really like it since he likes it so much. I just wish the toys faced out instead of in so he could see the face on the sun instead of the blank side.

I had an accupuncture session yesterday. I was feeling really good today, except now all of a sudden I feel totally nauseated. I will take an anti-nausea pill and hope to prevent anything unpleasant. I am going to have 2 more sessions, each the day before chemo. Nice how it worked out that way and I can go into chemo feeling a little stronger rather than weak and vulnerable. The accupuncturist worked on my back mostly and my left hand a little. She did needles in my back and then burned some moxa on four points on my back. She burned moxa on my hand and then put needles in those points. The needle in the back of my hand hurt--I guess she hit a nerve? Anyhow, I told her and she removed it right away. She tried to put it in a second time and it hurt even more, so that was the end of that attempt.

Thank you for the supportive comments, especially on posts where I am not all positive and chipper. It makes me feel so good to read kind words in response to my ramblings.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thinking About Mortality

So, the day alone with Captain Adorable was lovely. I have no idea what I was nervous about. We were fine, hanging out together as per normal again. He was a little clingy, especially in the evening, which makes me think he missed his Oma (what we call my Mom). He had a great time in the bath and went to sleep easily and quickly.

Anyhow, the reason I wanted to post is because I have been thinking about mortality again lately. I visit an online community called motheringdotcommune a lot. I go there for advice on everything from toys for a one-year-old to teething pain solutions to breast feeding tips to the latest crazy thing someone's relative said. When I was diagnosed with cancer and found out I would have to have chemotherapy, I went there to ask about nursing and chemotherapy. A sweet, friendly woman responded to me and told me that one cannot nurse with chemotherapy and told me how she had to wean her first-born son when she discovered she had breast cancer. I got other advice from other sources, but her advice suck with me and I still remember some of the things she wrote. It is because of her advice that I started offering Captain Adorable a pacifier to help him nap without nursing. (He still uses the pacifier for naps...) So the point is, her cancer came back in a big way. And it looks like she's going to die. Really soon. Here's her story. Makes me think about my own chances for reoccurance and my own mortality.

I know, I know, be hopeful. Well, I am. But I also have sad thoughts (sometimes I am angry, too) and I think it is important to confront that kind of thought as well as embracing hopeful thoughts. I talked to a friend today who wanted to know how chemo was going, as in was it improving anything. Well, the answer there is difficult because of course in my case I have no lesions or nodules that are visible on the PET/CT scan or the MRI that I did in October. Its just supposed to be killing cancer cells which may (or may not) be in my blood. So we will not know if this chemo is helpful for about 2 years (if then). The oncologist at M.D. Anderson told me that the cancer has the best chance to reoccur in the first 2 years. So if it does not reoccur then I guess chemo was successful but if it does reoccur then it was not necessarily not successful since my cancer has such a high incidence of reoccurance. I think that I will be having scans every 3 months for the first 2 years after chemo but I am not sure. My oncologist has not told me that, but then she has not really discussed anything about what will happen after chemo with me.

And now that I heard the news about the sweet woman who gave me weaning advice, I've started to think about my own chances of death. I don't have anything philosophical or beautiful or even pathetic to say, about death, just that I've been thinking about it.

A Day Alone

My Mom is going home this morning and Captain Obvious does not come home till 11:30 tonight. I will have the whole day alone with Captain Adorable. Of course it will he fun to spend time with him (as it always is) but I know it will also be a little hard since this is my first day alone with him in a couple of weeks now and I still get tired, especially in the afternoon. I guess I can always drink a caffeinated beverage if I get tired (or eat some chocolate). Because I do not often have caffeine, it does affect me quite a bit, so I can rely on that for a pick me up.

I am trying to think of all the things we can do today. Perhaps I will even get ambitious and take the baby for a walk in the Ergo. Or maybe we will just hang out in the living room as usual. Right now he is playing with his baby gym. He has turned the whole thing upside down and is having a marvelous time exploring it from this different angle.

I hope we have enough pre-made stuff for lunch and dinner. It is hard to cook with him because he is so fascinated with what you are doing that you end up picking him up to show him what you are doing, which of course makes it difficult to continue doing it. :) I baked some tofu for dinner last night and he liked it, so maybe he will eat that for lunch today...or for dinner tonight, depending, I guess.

He slept well last night, though he did wake up and need to be sung back to sleep this morning at 6:00 (so of course I have been awake since 6:00 as I could not go back to sleep). I hope he is able to sleep well for his naps today. Even if I do not get to sleep during his naps, as I have said on this blog before, I love to have him sleep on me, and his nap gives me a little break from figuring out what to do next.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Starting to Feel Better

Today I only napped while the baby napped. I was not sick in any way today (except tiredness). We went to the post office (which took way way way longer than I thought because they only had one person there to wait on the entire post office) and dropped off the holiday cards. So, about 42 of you out there should receive a card with a beautiful photo of Captain Adorable very soon! I know, big surprise that Captain Obvious and I should choose to send a photo of our son...(smile) well, can you blame us?

I called an accupuncturist today; the same woman I went to about a year ago to help with making my body ready to give birth (and that seemed to go very well). She asked me what the prognosis was on the phone and it was weird to say "I don't know." I told her that I hope to live long enough to be a grandmother and she said she wanted to be part of that team. I just haven't thought about life expectancy for a while. I've been thinking about the chemotherapy experience so much I haven't picked up my head to look at the bigger picture for quite a while.

Hopefully I will live a long time. I feel hopeful. Why? I don't know. I don't have a lot of reason to be hopeful. I don't have a lot of reason not to be hopeful. I just have to wait and see if the cancer reoccurs in the next two years. If it doesn't, there is less chance that it will reoccur. But it probably will reoccur and it will probably kill me. I will probably die of cancer. Who knows how much more surgery and how many more IVs and pain and medical interventions are in my future? Ugh. My personal hell. Its not like I can even refuse and just let the disease take its course because I have Captain Adorable. I have to fight for every last second of life that I can give him.

And what about my hope to have another child? And to have a natural birth at home? Maybe I will get that wish... maybe I won't. Maybe I will get to nurse another baby (this time as long as we are both want). Maybe not. It is ok, Captain Adorable is enough, but I do want to be a mother again. I just don't want to leave a motherless boy and a wifeless husband.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

More Throwing Up

I woke up at 5:30 or so this morning and tried to head off some vomiting by getting up and making myself some cream of wheat but I ended up throwing up at about 7:00 anyhow. I thought I was going to be fine but wow I really was not. I also had the runs again. I took the anti-nausea pills and slept all day...

Captain Obvious went to California (for work) so that left my Mom taking care of Captain Adorable all day by herself. I know she enjoys being with her grandson and she is here to help us out, but I feel bad putting so much on her all the time. Last round of chemo I was much stronger by this time and able to care more for myself and for my baby. This time I am just a big old lump of napping.

I'd really like to be strong enough to take my golly dern holiday cards to the post office. Would be nice to send them after doing all that work getting the pics, addresses, putting them all together, and signing them all. I guess many other people know exactly what I am talking about.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Sick From Chemo

I had chemotherapy again on Friday (Gemcitibine) and I've been feeling bad ever since. I guess that seems pretty normal, but I feel much worse than last time I had just this drug. I had my arm looked at but it did not hurt at the time, and although it does hurt a bit now and then, it is nothing like it was those first couple days.

I did not have a good day at all. I got really upset, despite having taken the anti-anxiety drug and I cried while waiting for the IV. So good to have my husband there to hug and console me. Then I threw up while getting the chemo, so that was horrible. Fortunately I was in the bathroom when it happened. Then I had to wait forever for lunch--my sweet MIL brought lunch from Whole Foods for us and there was some traffic, so we did not eat till 12:30 (which was late for me, especially since my stomach was empty from vomiting before). Fortunately when she did get there it was almost time for me to leave, so we could eat and run. Nice to be able to have the ride home with a full stomach.

Once home I felt good enough not to nap during the afternoon while my baby was napping, but in the evening I felt like crap and deeply regretted not having napped earlier. I snapped at my Mom a few times and generally was not in a good mood. Thank goodness she had the grace to put up with me without a complaint. Captain Obvious had to go to work after he brought me home from the hospital, and he did not get home till after 8:00, so I put Captain Adorable to bed. I was very happy that it went well and easily. I really think that the bath time/bed time routine is a good one and I am glad we made the transition from showers in the morning to bath time at night. Anyhow, he went to sleep in like 20 minutes or something after his bath, so I am confident that I will be able to put him to bed while Captain Obvious is in California (he leaves tomorrow and returns in 3 days, on Wednesday).

I slept on the futon to make sure I got a whole night's sleep, but as it turned out, it was good I slept there since I would have disturbed the sleep of the captains if I had been in the family bed. I woke up at 4:00am and despite taking an anti-nausea pill, threw up at about 4:30. I tried to recover and go back to sleep, and even tried to take another pill later, but I ended up throwing up again at 5:30. After that I went downstairs and extremely quietly prepared myself some breakfast (cream of wheat) so that I'd have something in my belly and hopefully not throw up again. I also had some rose hip and hibiscus tea. I stayed up till the rest of the family got up, at about 6:45 or so. Both my husband and my Mom claimed to have been awake the whole time too (not sure I believe this, but whatever).

Anyhow, after that I decided that since I felt like crap and still a but pukey, I would go back to bed with an anti-nausea suppository. That helped a lot (no more vomit) but also knocked me out for the day, essentially. I come downstairs for an hour or so at a time, but I always end up back in bed napping. I had a bloody nose when I blew it earlier this evening. I just feel so tired and sick.

Captain Adorable is walking on his own so much that we all agree that we can officially say he is walking now, so this is the big announcement on the blog! He is so deliciously cute when he takes those little steps from one place to another. I tried to get it on video this evening, but my guess is that it is not as good on video as it is in real life. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Nice Visit

My sweet MIL came to see us today and she brought a new toy for Captain Adorable (big plastic beads). He loved the toy and obliged her by showing off his walking and standing skills.

I slept a lot again today. I feel weak and tired. I like the fact that the half dose of steroids makes me more able to be around most days, but the other effect is that here we are, on Day 7 and I am still extra tired. Then again, maybe it is because this is my second round and it is more difficult for my body to recover this time...I do not know.

The vein in my left arm where I got the chemo last time hurts and has actually been swollen today. Hurting all day. Unpleasant and weird, huh?

Tomorrow is chemo day again. Not looking forward to it. Ugh.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Snow All Day

It was snowing when I woke up this morning. It is still snowing now. Mom and Captain Adorable and I took a little walk in the snow this afternoon and he loved it! Smiled the whole time! I hope the weather is ok tomorrow because my sweet MIL is supposed to come over and I don't want her to run into bad driving conditions.

The babe did not have a good night last night, poor thing (and poor Captain Obvious!). I got up to use the bathroom at about midnight and when I got back to bed, the babe was sitting up. I tried to put him back to sleep, but he got his hand in my shirt and started to cry and feel around. I think he was missing nursing back to sleep. Then we began a long running trade off between Captain Obvious and I, each trying to put the babe back to sleep, but he kept picking up his little head. Finally I left the bed and went to my futon in the sewing room. Captain Obvious said that the babe woke up several other times during the night...he did sleep until 7:00 this morning. I hope he sleeps better tonight so that they both get a good night's sleep.

We had a good dinner: Mom made this delicious butternut squash soup that everyone loved. Yum yum yum! How wonderful hot creamy soup is on a cold snowy evening.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day Five and Still Tired

I am getting better, but still pretty tired. I did have a 3 hour nap this morning, but have not slept since then. I am ready to go to bed but I have to wait until the babe goes to bed if I want to sleep in the family bed.

I got to have Captain Adorable sleep on my in the chair this afternoon, so that was lovely. I really love to have close physical contact with my baby, even though we no longer nurse, it feels good to snuggle together.

Captain Obvious seems kind of pissed off lately and I don't really know why. He says he is very tired and I believe him. Unfortunately, I am very tired, too. Difficult to deal with his needs when I am so weak and vulnerable right now. I can really only deal with my own needs and most of the time I have to let my mother take care of my baby and me...I don't have much to take care of my husband, too.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Still Tired

Day Four (Day One is the day I get Cisplatin and Gemcitibine) is the worst one for me--last time and this time. I have had 2 three hour naps and I am still tired. I think I am going to have to go to bed before the baby tonight...

Last night I felt extra terrible. Filled with too much water and very uncomfortable--pain in my legs and uncomfortable ear and a belly full of burps. Couldn't get comfortable in bed with the captains, so I had to sleep in the sewing room. I got up about 800 times to pee. (I drank 80+ ounces of water yesterday!) Still, I am stopped up in the bowel movement department, just like last time, despite my taking stool softeners this time...I really hope I do not have to go through the same pain as I did last time...

Ugh. I feel bad.

Updated to add: seems that the stool softeners worked just fine and everything is moving along well. Thank goodness.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sleeping Sleeping and More Sleeping

Well, the reduction in the steroids has made me more awake, but I am still sleeping a whole lot. I think I've had three naps today so far and I went to bed at 8:30 last night. I am also still a bit weak and not really interested in food. Captain Obvious is out right now getting some brie. (He just got back with brie and havarti.) I guess it is to tempt me to eat but for his own taste pleasure as well.

My Mom is wearing Captain Adorable in the Ergo on her back while she walking up and down reading Ender's Game (she'd never read it before). He's happy as a clam, but a bit of a loud clam since he keeps dropping the toys she hands him, so she's taking him downstairs so he can look at stuff he has not seen for a while. Now he's back to being a happy and quiet clam.

The night that Captain Obvious was away at his grandmother's funeral was the same night that of the day I got (the first administration of) my second round of chemo. It would not be good for me to sleep with the babe all drugged up and heavily sleeping like that, so of course my Mom slept with him, as we had planned. It went very well, for Captain Adorable at least, who did not wake up once during the night and slept till 6:30. She did not get much sleep because I guess he moves around a lot (I don't really notice anymore) and of course our bed is too soft for her...oh well, she still said it was an honor for her to sleep with him even though she wouldn't want to do it every night. However, without someone in the bed with him, I do not think he would sleep, so I am really thankful that she was willing to give it a shot and that it went so well. The next night I was back in bed and so was Captain Obvious, so back to normal. Captain Adorable slept with me for a nap today, too. When I woke up, he was lying next to me with his eyes open and a smile on his face. I love having my cuddle little one in bed with me!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Chemo Today

I feel terrible:weak, shaky, tired. I feel like I might throw up. I am going to try to go to bed. My Mom is putting Captain Adorable to sleep, so soon I can sleep (in a separate bed).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chemo Tomorrow

Captain Obvious left today at about 10:30. He is driving to Massachusetts with one of his younger brothers for their grandmother's funeral. I had to cancel my walk with my friend because he wanted to leave early and was supposed to have a walk with me to make up for the walk I missed with my friend, but with one thing and another he did not take a walk with me and did not leave till 10:30 anyhow. I was disappointed.

Captain Adorable and I had a good day. I was pleasantly surprised tonight when he went to sleep for me in 21 minutes. Maybe it was because his afternoon nap was not as long as normal or maybe it was because I gave him a bath in in lavender-scented water. Or maybe he was just ready to go to sleep. This is the first time I have put him to bed without nursing him to sleep, so there was a worry in the back of my mind that it would not go well.

Tomorrow is chemo. I made sure to identify the anti-anxiety pills this evening so I can take one when I wake up tomorrow. I've warned my friend that I do not do well with IVs and hopefully she will be able to follow my request and tell me a story while it is inserted even if I do not look like I am listening. Maybe they won't put it in my hand tomorrow. Maybe they will. My hand already has tiny scars from IVs and after this they will definitely be noticeable because there will be more of them. I am expecting to be totally flattened by the chemo tomorrow. We will see how it goes.

My Mom and I have discussed in detail exactly how to put Capt. Adorable to bed because she (most likely) will have to do it tomorrow. I hope it goes easily for them. She is going to sleep with him because I will be so drugged I am not sure it will be safe for me to sleep with him. I do not know if she will sleep much! I am used to the ways he moves around during the night and the way he snuggles his little body into yours...I hope he does not exhaust her too much.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Baby's Menu

Just because I really do not have a whole lot different to say than what I said yesterday, I thought that tonight I would record everything Captain Adorable ate today.

For breakfast I tried to give him his usual oatmeal, but he only ate a little before he started to cry and yell and throw himself backwards in his chair, so I fed him a yogurt instead (4 ounces). Once he was done with the yogurt, I gave him some of the oatmeal again but he was not too interested, so he only ate about half of that.

A bit later I fed him some baby food (corn and butternut squash) that was leftover from yesterday. He only took a few bites. He had a 2 hour nap which started at about 9:10. For lunch (after the chair guy left) I gave him the rest of the corn and butternut squash, a yogurt-and-cereal, teeny pieces of home made wheat bread with organic almond butter (so teeny that I put each piece in his mouth right after I put the almond butter on it), and organic milk. I was really happy that he drank for me since usually he won't take liquids from me. Maybe it was because the almond butter was sticking his mouth together?

A little while later I gave him some organic freeze-dried peach pieces (Just Peaches). He really liked that, and because I was eating some (organic) yogurt, I gave him some bites of that, too. He usually does not like plain yogurt, but I guess it has a special magic when it comes from Mama's bowl... :)

He napped for about an hour and 15 minutes in the afternoon, starting at about 2:45. After the nap we played a bit and then I gave him his snack/first dinner: another yogurt. Then he had some Veggie Booty while on my back in the carrier while I prepared dinner. (I hand him one piece at a time: it improves the mobility of my right arm, which is still recovering from the lung surgery, and makes Capt. Adorable work on his pincher grasp. When he just squeezes the piece in his hand and does not eat I stop handing them to him.) He was tired of the carrier before Daddy got home but fortunately the dinner was mostly baked tonight, so it was no problem for me to take him out of the carrier and let him ride on my hip for a while.

Once dinner was finished cooking, he was hungry again and it was a little difficult to wait for things to cool down enough for him to eat them, so Captain Obvious blew on individual peas for Captain Adorable to eat one by one for a while. :) For dinner, the baby ate (baked) tofu, acorn squash (though he mostly threw it on the floor after the first couple bites), peas galore, and some risotto. I was kinda surprised by how much tofu he ate. I mean, it was really good, but dang between he and I we ate almost all of it! (Captain Obvious grilled himself a steak.) I will feed him what is left for his lunch tomorrow (along with the leftover peas and risotto and probably something else). Once he was no longer putting food into his mouth, just smushing it into the table, Captain Obivous gave him one more yogurt. We met that quota today, for once. He did drink a couple of ounces of milk with dinner as well, so I can hope for another good wet diaper tomorrow morning.

He really does not drink enough...

One funny story: Captain Adorable really likes to pull the cats' tails. One cat is very big and fluffy and allows/tolerates the tail pulling (is perfectly capable of escaping if he wants, though--no one is torturing the cat!). Captain Adorable is very lucky to have such a tolerant cat and often pulls his tail/whacks the cat on the head. This evening, however, the cat had the last laugh (or at least the parents did). Captain Adorable was standing up, supporting himself with one hand on the coffee table. He let go of the table and grabbed the cat's tail. The cat moved and Capt. Adorable was holding the tail so tight that when the cat moved it pulled the baby over and he landed on his butt! hehehe (Maybe you just had to be there...)

He also took a few more steps without holding on to anything tonight...I know I said this yesterday, but I think this is indeed the beginning of walking!

Tomorrow we are going to meet a friend at the mall for an hour's walk. Then back home in time for Captain Obvious to take the car to the funeral, then wait for my Mom to arrive, yipeeee!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cruising All Day Long

Captain Adorable is cruising cruising cruising (for those who don't know, cruising means walking around while holding on to something--the couch, the wall, et cetera). Every now and then he takes a couple of steps without holding on and often he drops down to crawl, but mostly he cruises. It is fun to watch him move around he room, especially now that he has so much open space to navigate. After dinner the captains were hanging out in the kitchen while I was reading some emails and he took several steps without holding on to anything. I guess this might be the beginning of walking...

I went to the organic market with the babe this afternoon and I was going to stop at the regular grocery store too, but he was unhappy in the car seat and all I wanted to do was go home and take him out. It is too bad he hates the car seat so much, but I can understand why. The car seat is the only place where he is strapped in and cannot move around. Even in the high chair he is not strapped in. Still, I can't take him to cool places if he won't sit in the car seat, or if he is totally unhappy in the car seat.

Napping is going very, very well lately. I sit in the glider (even though it is broken--it is far back enough that it works for us) and Capt. Adorable lies on my chest/stomach. He puts his little head on my chest and I cover us with a little blanket and rock and sing until he falls asleep. Lately he takes only minutes to fall asleep. This morning he slept for an hour and a half and this afternoon he slept for 2 hours. I hope I can teach my Mom to use this method to get Captain Adorable to sleep because goodness knows it is not sustainable for her to have to walk for 3 and a half to four hours per day! The tech is supposed to come evaluate what is wrong with the chair on Wednesday (oh, that's tomorrow), so I hope it can be fixed and that it can be fixed here (not sent away and have to be gone for a few weeks or something). We depend on that chair! Of course, when we were in Florida we did not have the chair and both Captain Obvious and I were able to get Captain Adorable to sleep, so I guess it can be done without the chair. The chair is just so convenient and so soothing...

At Captain Obvious' request, I baked chocolate chip cookies tonight after dinner. I do not find them all that tasty. Perhaps it is the chemo taste thing again. It seems like nothing tastes the same--everything tastes less than it used to, except water, which tastes chemically--even after it has gone through the filter...maybe I will have to start buying bottled water...we will see...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hanging Out With My Baby Boy

I love spending time with my baby boy. He is so beautiful and so intelligent. He's wonderful and funny and affectionate. I got lots of kisses today. :) Goodness knows baby kisses are unbelievably cute but rather slobbery. I don't care, of course. The new furniture arrangement works nicely. Captain Adorable did fall and bump his forehead twice today. I whipped out the arnica cream and I know that will help the bruises be less noticeable and heal faster, however there are a couple of bruises on his forehead and I hate seeing them there! I did discover this morning that he has two teeth coming in on the bottom, so he now has 10 teeth total.

I am really tired, however. Looking forward to sleep.

Captain Obvious is going to his grandmother's funeral on Friday. That is also the date that the next round of chemo starts. He leaves on Thursday afternoon. Fortunately my Mom arrives on Thursday afternoon and a friend of mine, Mrs. Breadwinner, will take me to chemo on Friday. It would be nice to have Captain Obvious with me, but I will be ok with my friend, too.

I am beginning to dread Friday. However, I am looking forward to having my Mom here again.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Uneventful Day

Today has been pretty uneventful. I stayed home with Captain Adorable today while Captain Obvious did a little grocery shopping and a little baby-proofing shopping. We didn't have a whole lot of food in the house because we cleaned out the fridge before our trip to Florida, but now we are stocked up once again. We've also rearranged the living room and it looks good and it is totally baby proof. The cats are going to have to get used to the baby gate between the living room and the kitchen, though. (hehehe)

I think Captain Adorable had a good day. He ate well. For breakfast I tried to feed him plain yogurt since we were out of the Yo Baby yogurt I normally give him but after only half the usual amount he wouldn't eat any more. I mixed in a little prune juice and then he was happy to finish it up. He also ate 1/2 cup of (my) cream of wheat (I love that stuff). For lunch he had a puree of onions, black garbanzos, and brown rice with EBM and some spelt angel hair, which was really more for him to play with than to eat. For dinner he had a yogurt at 5:00, a jar of sweet potatoes at about 6:00, and at 7:30, he ate what I was eating. I was having tofu with organic penne and a beautiful roasted garlic and caper sauce with steamed broccoli. The sauce was made from the cloves of a whole garlic head which Captain Obvious roasted on the grill. I got all the cloves out and mashed them up in a saute pan over medium heat with some butter, some olive oil, some capers, and some caper juice. I probably should have put some flour in there as well to hold the sauce together since the butter separated out a bit once I added the caper juice, but I was worried to ruin the sauce by adding flour at the end when really it should go in with the fat (butter and oil) so I did not put it in. It tasted good!

Anyhow, Captain Adorable loved it too. He even stuck his hand in my plate a few times in an effort to take what he wanted to eat. Captain Obvious gave him a few bites of organic chicken, too, but it was a bit too spicy for his little mouth, so I was glad he had eaten all those pieces of tofu because I know he got enough protein for today. He also drank a bunch of milk. He still does not drink enough, but he is getting better. I still try to give him liquidy food to help with his fluid intake. (One of the reasons why I added EBM to the rice/garbanzo puree.)

I have not pumped my breasts for several days now. I feel sad about giving up the lactation, but like I said in a previous post, I am worried about clogged ducts and the risk of mastitis that would come with continued pumping. While we were on our trip Captain Adorable did several things that let me know he still thinks about nursing. He played with/pinched Capt Obivous' nipples and even put his mouth on them (not latching) when being put to bed--both for the night and for naps. He bit me on the booby once when I was trying to put him to sleep for a nap and he was having a hard time falling asleep. Today I noticed that when he was drinking (cow's) milk from the sippy cup, he still uses his tongue as though he was nursing. That one got to me and I've been thinking about nursing and wondering if he will remember how to do it when it is safe for us to try nursing again...will it even be possible to relactate? I miss nursing him so much and I feel so sad about having to stop before either of us was ready...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Baggage Is Kind Of Important

Captain Obvious' aunt drove us to the airport in Miami today to catch our plane. The drive was a little stressful for me because the baby did do some crying. Captain Obvious was trying to keep him happy (or at least prevent him from being too unhappy) but Captain Adorable just hates the car seat so much it is a difficult thing to keep him from crying when he is in it for an hour's drive. It was sad to leave Florida, where Captain Adorable was having so much fun and it was made even sadder by the news that Captain Obvious' grandmother died. She was very ill and this was not unexpected, but it was a very sad note on which to take leave of such a pleasant Thanksgiving.

Captain Adorable did ok on the plane. We fed him Veggie Booty and held the sippy cup for him to drink milk during take off and he was very tired, so there was no crying and he fell asleep as soon as we reached cruising altitude. The descent was a different story--he did not drink milk as much and was not yawning as he was during take off and I think his ears did hurt, poor darling. Once on the ground, however, things got better. I changed his diaper and put on some warmer clothes so he would not freeze once we got into the lovely 30-something degree weather outside. Then we went to baggage claim where we waited for an HOUR for our luggage. By the time we left, I think there were 3 plane loads of people waiting for luggage. This might be the only time we ever fly AirTran because while the flights were fine, the service on either end SUCKED. We expected to be home before 7:00 tonight and we didn't actually get here till after 8:30. Not a great thing when you are travelling with a baby!

Anyhow, Capt. Adorable was really happy and excited to be home. He crawled and cruised around the living room (all baby proofed hoo yeah) for over an hour, talking and smiling. I managed to feed him a yogurt and then a little later a jar of winter squash, so I know he had enough to eat (on top of all that Veggie Booty on the plane). He also did a poop, so I feel good sending him to bed with a full tummy and an empty colon. :)

Captain Obvious and I fought a little (maybe just because we are both really tired) and then I think both of us kind of decided to quit it because it stopped. Thank goodness. He is upstairs putting the baby to bed right now. Maybe Capt. Adorable will sleep later than 6:00 since he is going to bed so late...we will see. I sure would like it if he did!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Went to the Beach

Today we went to the beach. My (step-)MIL, my husband, his two brothers, and I took Captain Adorable to the beach this morning at about 10:00 or so. It was so much fun! I was very nervous about being in a bathing suit (borrowed from the aunt who is hosting the whole family for Thanksgiving) in front of so many people, but I really wanted to enjoy my son enjoying the beach, so I put aside my fear and self-consciousness (I am more than a little overweight) and jumped into the experience. Aside: I was joking to the oncology nurse on the day before I left that I was hoping to see some weight loss as a result of the "chemo diet" haha. She was not amused and told me that it was good I had some reserves on my body and that now was not the time for me to be losing weight. I think maybe her stern response also helped me to be less concerned about my body and to put aside my apprehensions and just give myself permission to have the experience. It has been 7 years since I went to the beach like I did today.

It was wonderful to see the baby crawling around on the sand, and it was even more fun to watch his reaction to the water. Captain Obvious held him and jumped/rocked with waves for quite a while. He kicked and giggled and made the most pleased noises and had the biggest smiles when he was in his Daddy's arms, floating (Captain Obvious was standing) in the water. The water was a little cool, but not too bad and Captain Adorable did not seem to mind one bit. It was also fun to watch him experience the sand on the beach. He digs at it, tastes it (I saw him put more than one handful in his mouth!) and scoots across it in a fashion that shows anyone watching that he is having a ton of fun. Captain Obvious and I took Captain Adorable in the jacuzzi when we got back to the house, just to make sure he was completely warm and all the sand was off of him. He loved that too. (He went in the jacuzzi yesterday and he pooped in it but this time there was only fun and no poop. hehe)

The Thanksgiving meal yesterday made me miss my own family very much. I became pretty homesick, actually. Fortunately, my (step)MIL noticed that I was feeling sad and helped to cheer me up and I was able to join the people who were still awake after dinner and happily chat about my baby and also to share a bit about my cancer treatments.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Travelling As A Chemo Patient

I had to go to the hospital on Tuesday (the same day we were supposed to fly to Florida) to check my blood levels and talk to my oncology nurse. I woke up very early that morning (I could not stay in bed anymore after 6:30 but Captain Adorable slept till 7:30 I think) and got as much stuff together to be packed once the baby was awake as I could. I drove myself to the hospital, at about 9:15 or so, thinking that I would have blood taken, discuss the levels and be home in an hour or so. I did not get out of there till 12:45 or so! It was quite the rush to the airport after that, with me feeling stressed and unhappy.

I guess I should come clean and admit that during the time after my mom left I've been feeling under the weather, sad, and stressed. Captain Obvious and I have been fighting some, and even though I do not think it has been totally my fault, I think that my emotional reactions to him have been exaggerated by my physical stress. Essentially, since Mom left I've been unhappy and more and more tired. I started seeing blood in the tissue when I blew my nose, my face still hurt, and I was starting to have some skin itching.

Good News: my blood work at the hospital showed that I am still in good health. I still have good levels on all fronts, and in some areas I am even super-healthy (like my ability to clot is really good). The numbers also showed that I was well hydrated (well duh I drink 2 liters of water plus additional drinks per day!). It did show that my liver function has begun to slow a bit, but I was in good enough shape to receive special permission to have one glass of wine with Thanksgiving dinner!

Anyhow, the travel itself was not too bad. We ended up having an empty seat between us on the plane. Captain Obvious is quite tall (6 feet 2 inches) so it was nice for him because he could have more leg room. It was also nice that Captain Adorable was sleepy and napped for most of the flight. I had brought along a crunchy snack (Veggie Booty) that he likes a lot for him to eat during take off and landing. This was the first flight without nursing, so I was worried that his ears would bother him without being able to nurse during those times. However, I think the Veggie Booty did the trick because it seemed that he experienced no discomfort.

Once in baggage claim, I was disappointed to learn that we had an hour's car ride ahead of us! I was feeling bad already (I have problems with motion sickness even without the extra queasiness of chemo) and the idea of jumping into a car for that length of time just did not do it for me! Captain Obvious' uncle picked us up and he was very happy to see us. Unfortunately, this meant he talked and talked and talked and talked and ... well you get the idea. I wanted him to just be peaceful for a minute and let my head settle down and my stomach settle down but no such luck. We stopped at a fast food place to get me a milkshake (the best thing I could come up with at the moment) to settle my stomach. Of course we had no time to stop and feed Captain Adorable (even though he needed to eat, and it was his dinner time) because we had to get to another airport to pick up the uncle's daughter. I tried to feed Captain Adorable yogurt in the car seat, and he did eat about 2/3 of it, but he was just unhappy in the chair. He began to cry and scream, and I did not have the energy to make it ok for him, nor to quell my own rising panic and unhappiness (all the while the uncle is telling me, over my baby's cries, that, "I don't mind if he cries, seriously." I responded, "well, I do mind, seriously."). Anyhow, I took him out of the seat. He stopped crying. I realize this is illegal and unsafe but for me and for my baby it was the best option I had at that moment.

Really what we should have done was drive a short way from the airport to a restaurant, give the baby some food, allow me to settle down, and then once everybody was happy, start the long ride to the house, without anyone else to pick up at another airport. Next time we are going to have to be more aware of the baby's needs and of my needs.

What did happen eventually was there was bad traffic, which delayed us and the girl's mother picked her up at the other airport. On the other hand, I was exhausted and the babe was requiring a lot of my energy to be held in my lap (yes, I did try putting him back in the chair--both buckled and unbuckled--but he was NOT having it). I had to ask the uncle to pull over because I was about to puke. He stopped and I got out and threw up the milk shake. Then suddenly I got a lot of help from Captain Obvious, who now sat in the back with the babe while I was given the front seat to relax and recover. The hotel was very very close and the uncle dropped us off there. I was pleased to find a big tub in our room and I got in to relax further. However, I took the baby in with me, so it was not as relaxing as I had planned....ah well. Captain Obvious went out and got me some satisfying food and held the baby while I ate.

Today was better. Captain Adorable slept till 6:20 this morning. We got my antibiotics prescription filled (I have to be on antibiotics for 10 more days because of my ear infection/sore face and when I get back to Maryland they are going to have a head, neck, and throat specialist look at me). We ate breakfast, and we went to an organic grocery store to get good stuff for Captain Adorable to eat and some Tofukury for me (always important but now more than ever that I get adequate protein). Then we spent the day at the relatives' house. It was nice and laid back there and I had a nice day. We did make the mistake of once again not sticking to Captain Adorable's nap routine and he did not get his first nap until 12:30. He slept only an hour because Captain Obvious accidentally set off the car alarm...oh well. However, in the afternoon he would not go to sleep until Captain Obvious finally put him into a cheap umbrella stroller he bought and took him for a walk. (We don't travel with our stroller because the carrier is so much more convenient than taking the big bulky stroller!) He only slept for maybe 20-30 minutes, but hey it was better than the crying in my arms he was doing while I was trying to put him to sleep.

I hope this post is not too complain-y but if it is, well, it is a representation of how I feel and I am not feeling 100%. I feel tired and under-the-weather and in addition I am not in my own house. I should also mention that after the uncle dropped us off, he called Captain Obvious and told him to charge a dinner for me to our room, which he is paying for. I do not want anyone to think that my wish that he would be quiet translated as any kind of animosity--he is a sweet man.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Captain Obvious Assembles Furniture

Oh, it is so nice to have my darling husband at home with Captain Adorable and me! We're leaving tomorrow for Thanksgiving in Florida. So, he took today off to put together some furniture we bought yesterday and exchanged for the correct color stuff today...he also bought some other storage pieces when he was there today...all in our continuing efforts to make the house more baby-friendly. It will be awfully nice to come home to new furniture in a clean house. :)

Captain Adorable is having a great time watching his Daddy assemble furniture. In fact, he's so interested in what Captain Obvious is doing that for once I am able to have the laptop on my lap while I sit on the floor in the living room and type this post. He's on Daddy like white on rice.

We will be back on Saturday night. I do not know if I will get a chance to post between now and then. Tomorrow we have to go to the hospital to check my blood levels before we get on the plane. I will have to wear a mask on the plane to help avoid infection. Blah. I get to be the freak. Oh well. I am sure the baby is not going to be interested in pulling the mask off my face at all, aren't you? We will see how long I wear it, I guess.

I got 42 copies of the photo we are going to use for our holiday cards this year today. Now I just have to put them all in the cards and address them all and sign them all and haul them to the post office. I enjoy doing this stuff, so don't let my little whine fool you! I love the pic we chose for the cards--it is one I took of the babe crawling towards me when we were in Texas. He's got such a beautiful smile on his beautiful little face. I hope the people who receive it will smile too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Mom Went Home...

...and I missed her as soon as she walked out of the door.

I cried, actually, once I was sure she had driven off (how I missed seeing her car drive by the window, I do not know). I know she has her own life to lead and I want her to go to her own house and her own life but I feel a little more vulnerable without her here to help me all the time. She will be back in 10 days, so it is not like she's going to be away for long. I am kind of surprised how sad I am to be without her.

Captain Adorable is (we think) sprouting another tooth, so he's been a bit grumpy/cranky today. I actually gave him ibuprophen twice (which is not something I would normally do) he was just crying so and I hate hearing him cry and what if he's crying because he's in pain from the tooth and I have the medicine to make him stop hurting...as a rule I avoid all drugs, and especially would not give my baby drugs, but the Hylands (homeopathic teething analgesic) wasn't working and he seemed to calm a bit with the ibuprophen, so I hope I did the right thing by him. Sigh.

The captains and I went to IKEA today to buy a cabinet for the kitchen to replace the wine glass and wine bottle rack I've been using for years because it makes wine glasses into a perfectly reachable and tempting toy for Captain Adorable, so until the win glasses are stored elsewhere, the kitchen is not baby-safe. It was crowded there (and what is up with evil parking-spot theives in parking lots???) and when we got home Captain Obvious discovered that the cabinet pieces are not all the same color. So, we've got to go back again. :(

My right cheek bone area of my face hurts. Probably from the ear infection, according to the doctor on call whom I spoke with today. I feel kind of blah. My breasts were very sore till I pumped them out.

On the bright side, I did speak to a very sweet couple who still live in the town where I went to college and it was nice to hear their voices and catch up with their news and share mine. It is sometimes extra sweet to hear a familiar voice with that subtle Southern twang.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Naps Are Nice


I have napped twice already today and it is only 4:00 in the afternoon. I'll probably have to go to bed early tonight (meaning well before 9:00). Still, I had a bit of fun today as I went out to a wonderful yummy Indian buffet lunch with the captains and my Mom. It is such delicious food--too bad that my taste perception is compromised...oh well it was still fabulous! We fed Captain Adorable some from our plates, and I think it must have been a bit more spicy for him than it is for us because he started yelling after a bit and only the yogurt we brought just-in-case helped. (Thank goodness we had that!)

I was rather tired when we got home and napped on the couch while Captain Obvious watched a football game (insert eye roll here) and Captain Adorable played and my Mom got a well-deserved nap herself. I slept for about an hour and a half and when I woke up I was shocked to see that Captain Obvious still had not done anything about getting the baby to nap. Fortunately his team was losing and the game was in the fourth quarter, because he soon took off for a walk. The store where we bought the glider is supposed to send a tech out on the 28th to evaluate what is wrong with the chair. Maybe they will fix it on that day and I will finally have the ability to get Captain Adorable to nap in the house back.

Apart from the tiredness, I did feel like I was going to vomit this morning and had to take an anti-nausea pill, but that has not reoccurred so far. My face hurts, up under my cheekbone on the right side...I hope this is not a sinus infection or something...I am still taking antibiotics for the ear infection! Apart from those little complaints, I do not feel as bad as after the first chemo for sure and I think I will bounce back more quickly, too. This is good because my Mom is leaving tomorrow (boohoo). She will be back for the next round, of course, and I know she has her own life to attend to, but oh wow I will miss her. I know Captain Adorable will miss her too.

Good News: As of yesterday, Captain Adorable picked up and held his own sippy cup while he drank from it! He did it again today, too. He still needs some help, especially when the liquid level gets low, but he understands it now. This is excellent because hopefully this means he will drink more during the day. I would like to stop depending on soups for getting liquid into the boy. Plus I should mention that this morning I was awake as Capt. Adorable started to wake, and so the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was me. I was smiling at him and he smiled back at me! So, he went to sleep with no crying, slept through the night, and woke with a smile. I think his sleep troubles are solved for now and I am back in the family bed for at least until the next time I get chemotherapy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Chemo Again Today

The chemotherapy administration today was not as bad as last time. I was feeling quite anxious this morning before I went, and I cried in the car, despite taking the anti-anxiety medicine. I was happy that I was offered a lidocaine shot in my hand before the IV (and a nurse put it in instead of a tech), so that helped a little as well. I did not get to my holiday card addressing because I fell asleep before I was ready to do them all. It was good that I slept, because last night was not so restful, mostly because I was nervous about today, I think. However, it was kinda weird that I slept since the drug did hurt going in to the vein. Burning. Yuck. The nurse was as sweet as she could be, of course, and gave me heated blankets and a heat pad for my arm with the IV to make it as comfortable as possible. When one is in pain, it really really helps when people are kind, even if the kindness is only a little thing.

We talked to the nurse about my reactions to the post-chemo drugs and we decided that I will not be taking anything (except the one anti-nausea, as needed) post-chemo this time, so hopefully that will help my energy levels too. I have been napping since I got home (in the big, comfy bed mmmmm) and either the family was quiet or I was pretty knocked out because nothing they did bothered my sleep. When I woke up I had a difficult struggle (sorry if this is too graphic, but it is a part of my cancer experience) with a bowel movement. I won, just for clarification. ;) Apparently the anti-nausea medicines tend to stop up the patient. That was definintely the case for me and from now on I am going to have to take care to be pro-active in consuming fiber pills and I will add some prune juice daily to help keep things moving along. I don't want to vomit but I do want to be able to poop!

Captain Obvious is still putting Captain Adorable to bed (almost an hour later but there is no crying). I am looking forward to going to bed soon, another night in bed with my cuddly captains.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Good, Good Day

Today has been a good, good day. I feel almost normal, and after feeling so flattened, feeling almost normal feels really really good. My Mom has been saying that I look beautiful and my skin looks nice today too, and goodness knows a few compliments help a person's mood for sure.

Captain Adorable went to bed without any crying again last night and slept all night without waking (until about 6:00). This certainly helps Captain Obvious, who still goes to work as soon as he showers the babe and is ready to leave the house. Still, nicer to go to work at like 7:00 than 6:00, as he did for a few days! Tonight I am going to rejoin the family bed and I am really looking forward to sleeping in my big comfy soft bed with my little cuddly baby and my big cuddly husband! Tomorrow night when I do not feel so well I might have to go back to the futon in the sewing room, so I am going to revel in my luxurious sleep tonight.

It is true that there was some crying upon awakening this morning, but I was up and in the bedroom as soon as I heard Capt. Adorable, so there was more snuggling than crying. Captain Obvious sang a song to calm the babe which calls for him to dip down into his lower register and I love to hear his rich tones caressing those notes. I can tell Capt. Adorable likes it, too, because he does not cry while Capt. Obvious sings like that. I took a shower while the captains showered (which makes for little water pressure but gets everyone clean at once). Capt. Adorable had a good breakfast of baby oatmeal and yogurt.

And THEN...magic of magics...I felt good enough to put on a rain coat and GO FOR A WALK with my Mom. Captain Adorable slept the whole time, of course, but oh gosh how overjoyed I was to be taking a walk on a cool fall rainy morning, pushing my baby in his stroller (all wrapped up in a blanket and under a rain cover of course, so he was dry and warm). We walked slowly so as to string out the time I could walk and the babe could nap, but after an hour and a half we stopped by the house and I went in to get warm and to prepare for a nice visit from a sweet and generous friend.

My friend (whom I hope does not mind that I mention her precious gift of EBM for Captain Adorable) came by to drop off some more EBM and have some tea and hang out for a bit. She also gave me a demonstration of how, in order to wear the baby on the bck, to transfer a baby from hip to back (which I was not able to duplicate because of my weird muscle blind spot from lung surgery, but I was able to take inspiration and come up with my own technique). It was so nice to sit in just a relaxed way with her in the living room, having some nice tea from my favorite teacups. It was also lovely to see Captain Adorable's reaction to her children (she brought over her 2 and a half year old and her little one, who is 8 and a half months or thereabouts). In fact, when they had to leave, Captain Adorable smushed his face into the window when he was watching them get into their van and drive off. I had no idea he would react so much to having other children around. I wish my immune system would allow for more interaction with other children, but I am afraid, especially after this ear infection, of getting other infections. Goodness knows I do not need anymore on my plate.

Speaking of more on my plate...I am speaking as someone who loved nursing my baby and had to stop doing so against her will far too completely and far too early for my instinct and desire. I want very much to try to nurse Captain Adorable again after chemotherapy is over. I mean, maybe it will just be comfort nursing with no nutritive value, but I would like to relactate. I have done some research on this (talked to LLL, read articles in all the right places, et cetera) and everything I've read says that if you can keep some supply, it is easier to get supply back and build it back up. I sure would like my son to have the benefits of an extended nursing relationship and the benefits to his brain and immune system that will come from extended exposure to human breast milk. So, I am now clog-free but I am still pumping about an ounce and a half (combined) at around 5:00 am. I probably could stop doing this without the clogging reoccurring, but then I will loose my supply...or will I? I've heard that women lactate for quite a while even after they stop nursing. Then again if I pump will I risk additional clogs and the secondary infection and discomfort that can come with that? But I want so much to have the hope of nursing again...who knows if he will even be interested so long from now...in a baby's life 12 weeks is a long time. In my life it is a way-too-long break but still not too long to forget the sweetness of the nursing relationship.

Anyhow, all that aside, I am starting to get worried about tomorrow. I hate IVs so much and I will have to have one tomorrow. Then again it will not be too bad because I will have the anti-anxiety medicine to take before hand. And it will only be the Gemcitibine, so it will only be 4 hours or so...let's hope it does not flatten me as badly as the first administration.

Tomorrow I have to remember how good I feel today because today I have felt good and happy and (almost) whole.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Update to Earlier

So, while my energy has been much much much improved today, and I even managed to (mostly) cook dinner (my Mom cooked the veggies but I made rice and yummy lentils--and also for Captain Adorable in the food processor), I am still tired. I do feel like a big blanket or something has been lifted off of me, and I am able to stay awake for 3-4 hours at a time! Let's see how this keeps up tomorrow and beyond. I go back for more chemo on Friday, so we will see how that hits me.

Captain Obvious was very happy to see me up and about when he came home, and Captain Adorable has been having a relatively good day--any day with more Mommy is a good day for him.

I have sent the correct information to the chair people, so maybe I can get that fixed and once again have a means to rock my little one to sleep. I miss that sweet relaxed time with him in my arms. Plus, I think my Mom is wearing her legs down to nubs with walking Capt. Adorable to nap so much!

Thank you as usual for all your kind words. It helps so much to get the encouragement from having people out there who care.

Ear Infection

Good thing I went in yesterday because it turns out I have an ear infection. 34 and an ear infection! I hope I do not give it to Capt. Adorable! So far it has responded well to the one dose of antibiotics I've taken.

Captain Adorable slept well last night--we think he did not wake till this morning, at about 5:45 when Captain Obvious had to get up to empty his bladder. He also went to sleep without crying!! He did cry on awakening, and once again had the sad little face wet with tears, but he did calm down in my arms a bit. Despite my ear infection, this morning I could not stay in bed and listen to the crying for one second more, so I got up and scrambled in to the other room. If the baby continues to sleep through the night, I can rejoin the family bed soon, yipeee!

I feel different in a good way so far this morning. I will see if that continues throughout the day. My energy is much better so far, anyhow.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Clogs, Tears, Exhaustion

I am soooo tired that I think it qualifies as exhaustion now. I slept most of yesterday. The nurse practitioner at the hospital said this was normal as my body tries to repair the good cells, it uses lots of energy to accomplish this task.

My breasts, yes both, are clogged. I am using cabbage leaves and they seem to help. I have also pumped from both breasts this morning and that also helped a bit. Fortunately they are not very painful.

Yesterday afternoon I developed a clogged salivary gland (between my ear and my jaw). It is still swollen and hard and painful and makes it even less pleasant for me to eat than normal, and food is not something I am terribly interested in lately. I am concentrating on getting as much fluid into myself as I can because of course I do not want to go to the hospital for fluids. Now it looks like I will be going for them to have a look at this salivary gland. Ah well, maybe they can help.

Captain Adorable had a bad day yesterday--maybe because his Mama was nowhere to be seen (since I slept they day away). Also he cried so much the night before that he sweet little voice was hoarse, so that can't have added to his mood. :( Last night was a bit better, though of course I cry every night along with him. Captain Obvious does such an excellent job of taking care of our son--as good a job as he can, but it is still painful to all of us to have the tears. Especially in the morning, when I hold Captain Adorable to try to comfort him when he wakes up (about 4:45 or 5:00 and his face is wet from tears it just hurts me all the way through and through.

So far, though, today looks better. He ate well this morning and he is now in the Ergo with my Mom trying to go to sleep. There is an escaped convict in the neighborhood (escaped from a nearby hospital) so there are helicopters and police (with big guns and wearing fatigues, so maybe they were even the National Guard, I do not know) everywhere--no walks today!

Bad news: my wonderful glider broke last night! I am now going to have to embark on the task of getting the thing fixed--and hopefully for free since I think it is less than a year since we purchased it...at least I hope so, since we spent quite a pretty penny on it and it is very very useful.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tired

I am very tired today. I've had two 2-hour naps! Both were essentially at the same time that Captain Adorable was having a nap, so it worked out well for both of us. Of course, he naps in the stroller while my Mom pushes him around the lake and I napped in the glider and then the bed I've been sleeping while he gets use to not nursing at night.

In addition to being tired, I am also flushed in the face and neck/d├ęcolletage area. I guess that is from the steroids? I don't really know. I also have had some heartburn, which is no fun, of course, so Captain Obvious looked it up to see if it was a symptom that had to be reported and it was not. We did see, however, that cleaning the mouth after each meal, at bedtime, and upon rising is recommended. I have not been doing this, and it seems to be important to avoid mouth sores. So, after dinner tonight I brushed and rinsed with my alcohol-free mouth wash (as recommended). Hopefully I can avoid those mouth sores because they do not sound pleasant.

I am once again in the position of being too tired/weak to hang out with my baby very much. Of course he is well cared for by my Mom and by Captain Obvious, but it is yet another bit of pain to have this interaction taken from me as well. Of course, I do interact with him, even feed him and hold him and so forth, but just no as much as I would do if I were not exhausted.

When we left the hospital on Saturday the (very kind) oncology nurse told me she had put me down as a maybe for Monday to come in for more fluids. I do not want to go in! So I've been trying to make sure to get enough water/liquid in today. When I woke up, water tasted salty, so that was unpleasant. I drank mint tea (also supposed to reduce milk output) instead.

I have a clogged breast. I pump off a half an ounce or so every few hours to help with the pain. I also apply warmth and did some massage in a nice warm shower. I am now trying cabbage leaves. I hope the cabbage leaves help...the only thing I know for certain that would help is nursing and of course there is NO WAY I would do that, with all this poison in my milk!

My engagement and wedding ring are still lost. Capt. Obvious tried opening up the drain under my sink to see if it was in there, but no luck. I miss my rings a lot, so I sure hope they re-appear soon. I know they are in the house somewhere...probably in some safe place I put them.

Good news: Captain Adorable is eating much much better than in the past. For the last two days he has eaten 3 to 4 four-ounce baby yogurts per day, so I guess we're getting closer to that pediatrician recommended 16 ounces of milk per day (be it dairy, rice, almond, mama's milk).

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chemo Is Hard

Chemo was no fun yesterday. Thank goodness I had a kind person to accompany me and tell me stories to distract me. Captain Obvious showed up at about 1:00, so it was nice to have both of them for a while. Even met a nice woman who was there with her step-mother, who was getting chemo.

Capt. Adorable had a sad/bad night. Ate almost 8 ounces of yogurt this morning, so that's good. He's staying home with my Mommy while Captain Obvious and I go back to the hospital for more fluids, since I am feeling so bad.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bad Day: Bad Mood

The baby was pretty good at sleeping without me last night, but did cry several times. He was in a bad mood today and wouldn't eat lunch. He was unhappy all afternoon. I finally decided to give him a bath in the hope thst this would distract him from his unhappiness and help him to sleep. I even put a few drops of my precious sandalwood oil in the water because I thought the scent would add to the relaxation experience. He was very happy watching the bathtub fill up and was pleased to get into the water; I got into the water with him (with a tee-shirt on to make sure he did not get tempted to nurse by seeing/feeling boobies). It was nice to be in the warm water together. I thought he was relaxed enough to fall asleep in bed with me (I badly badly need sleep too) but he only cried as soon as his body touched the mattress.

It was clear that I was going to have to try something else, so I took him downstairs to the glider. I was able to rock/sing him to sleep in the chair but he cried to sleep. Once I was sure he was asleep I transferred us both to the couch and was able to nap with him. The poor darling began to cry as soon as he woke up. I tried to sing to him to calm him down while rocking in the chair again, but my own exhaustion made it very difficult for me. Thank goodness my Mom was here to help me get him out of his sorrow. And that's what it is--you can hear it in his cries. He is sad. I am sad. I hate this so much.

Fortunately, he did eat after the nap. He ate a lot! He took an entire cup of soup! Then he ate some crunchy things (Veggie Booty) which I offered him until he would not take anymore. He refused the squash/carrots I offered, so even though I would have liked him to eat something more nutritious, the Veggie Booty is better than nothing. We also gave him more to eat (wilted spinach leaves, cauliflower, and organic chicken) at dinner time a couple of hours later. I even offered more soup to make sure he got his fill since I know that bedtime is going to be hard and maybe it will be easier for him if his belly is full...I can't stand the thought of all the suffering he is going through because of my cancer. This sucks.

In other news, my haircut is awful. In the salon, I looked through some books and pointed out a cut I liked to the hairdresser. She pointed out one she liked. The cut she gave me is neither of those (?!). I am tempted to just cut it off myself. It looks just bad. I'm a mushroom head. I almost hope my hair does fall out just to get rid of this horrible hair cut. I've been in a bad mood all day because of the hair cut and my poor sad baby.

The babe is upstairs with Captain Obvious right now, crying. As soon as I put him into Captain Obvious' arms tonight he began to cry. He wants me and he wants to nurse. If I pick him up, he stops crying. But of course soon he starts to look for a nipple...I even tried to get him to latch on to my husband but of course that was no even close to successful.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cutting the Bedtime Nursing

Today was a pretty good day, all things considered. Captain Adorable slept pretty well last night...I heard him wake and moan a bit from down the hall where I was sleeping. Captain Obvious was able to sing to him and stroke his back/belly until he went back to sleep each time. At 5:40 he woke up crying hard and I sprinted in to the room. He calmed down a bit as soon as he saw me and I wanted to change his diaper before getting in bed and nursing, but I couldn't find any diapers and thus realized that I was going to have to buy diapers since there were very few left in the house! Anyhow, I got in bed with the captains and the baby immediately nursed. I was not able to go back to sleep. Then the alarm in the room where I had been sleeping went off. I couldn't do anything but lie there and listen to it since the babe was latched on and Capt. Obvious was asleep. Finally (after about 20 minutes) Capt. Obvious woke up and it turned out he had set the alarm because he thought he was sleeping in that room. Oh well. It went off an hour early anyhow seeing as neither of us ever turned that clock back.

Captain Adorable ate a good breakfast (4 ounces of yogurt!). He had a 2 hour nap in the stroller while my Mom took him on a walk (yes, she walked him for all that time!). He was in a super mood and had a good lunch (half a cup of organic potato and leek soup and some pieces of cooked veggies and tofu from dinner last night). We played and had a good afternoon. Then at 3:00 Mom took him for another walk because I had to get ready to go to my character interview. (Yes, if you apply to be admitted to the bar, you are interviewed to make sure you're not insane or a liar. Yes, I did not pass the bar, but I will and then I will not have to do the interview again since I did it now.) I left just as they were getting back a bit over an hour later.

When I got back from the interview, Captain Obvious was home and everybody was ready for dinner. Capt. Adorable ate well again. He did not drink half as much as I would like, of course. I guess as the days go on without nursing he will drink more and eat more but right now I do worry about whether he gets enough liquid. I also worry about whether he gets enough protein and fat and nutrients...like I said, I guess as there are more days without any nursing, he will continue to eat more and will begin to drink more, and he will continue to grow well.

After dinner I played with Captain Adorable for a while (sort of reversing roles with Captain Obvous, who would have to go to bed with Captain Adorable later and would have to work hard to help the babe sleep). At first I had the baby on my back in our new (organic, dark brown Ergo). He grabbed my hair, which was in a bun. I took out the bun and put my hair in a pony tail for his amusement. As I turned my head from side to side, he started to giggle and laugh at this! He had a great time playing with the pony tail and I had a great time making him giggle just by turning my head. I have an appointment at 9:30 tomorrow to have my hair cut off since I will probably lose it all with chemo. (I have long hair and have had for almost all my life.) I think it will be easier to deal with the hair that comes out if it is short rather than if it is long.

After I got tired of having Capt. Adorable on my back, I tried to tire him out by letting him crawl up the stairs (with my close supervision of course). He climbed those stairs 5 times! He seemed to get a second wind on the evening from all that climbing and we didn't put him to bed till an hour after his usual bedtime. I put him into bed with Captain Obvious, who had a bottle of EBM (expressed breast milk, in case you just joined this story) and was ready with songs and cuddling. Captain Adorable went to bed without having any of the milk and without crying...

We will see how he sleeps tonight, having gone to bed without any nursing and without any milk. My heart is aching to nurse him. I wish it was morning. And I don't want morning to come since it will be the next-to-last morning I get to nurse him.

So, I found an excellent person to accompany me to chemo class Friday morning and stay with me through chemo Friday afternoon. This person has known me since I was in elementary school and he is meticulous, intelligent, and very accustomed to dealing with the medical establishment. I am so glad he volunteered to help me out. Captain Obvious still wants to come be with me for the administration of chemo in the afternoon and I still want him to get the full benefit of the training he is attending this week. He says he can take the class anytime and he has only one wife. We will see what we decide.

I am going to ask my Mom to take a couple of photos of me before and after the hair cut tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Starting Chemotherapy

I will be starting chemotherapy on Friday. This means I had four night to night-wean Capt. Adorable, including last night. I will nurse him for the last time on Friday morning. Sad sad sad sad sad...

Last night was not so good. Capt. Adorable cried from about 1:00 to 3:00. You can hear that he is alternatively sad and angry. It makes me feel so bad to deny him. It makes me feel I am betraying him, hurting him in some irrevocable way. I nursed him at 5:00 and I do not think he let go till 7:20, when we woke up. I do not know how tonight will go...Capt. Obvious is attending a special training class this week and it is not good for him to get so little sleep. I might change my approach and not nurse the baby to sleep or in the morning but nurse him at night so we can all sleep. Then, when the night nursing is cut forever, it will be when Capt. Obvious does not have to go to a class the next day.

Chemo class is Friday morning and chemo is Friday afternoon. The oncologist told me to bring someone to take notes in chemo class. There are lots of prescriptions against nausea and other symptoms to juggle. Capt. Obvious would come but I do not want him to have to skip his class. My sweet MIL is not a good note-taker. My Mommy can't do it because she will be taking care of Capt. Adorable. I called a friend to ask her to come with me yesterday but I have not heard back yet...

Oh I feel scared and sad. I hate making my baby cry. I hate sitting up in the night willing myself not to cry because my baby needs me to help him not cry when all I want to do is get in bed and both sleep while he nurses...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Home Again, Again

Over the weekend we went to Punkin Chunkin in Delaware. We were lucky enough to have a few friends meeting us there, but we were a little late and so all of the friends were already there when we arrived. Punkin Chunkin was freezing and really windy and as my friend Mrs. Breadwinner pointed out, not very family-friendly; it was a definite drunk fest. Her husband, Mr. SAHD (Stay At Home Dad), commented that either he was getting old or there was a lot of underage drinking going on. We all laughed and observed that while he is getting old, there was also a lot of underage drinking there....

It was so cold as to prevent me from changing Capt. Adorable's diaper because I just didn't want to freeze his little butt off! Plus the wind really was awful. Anyhow, we saw some pumpkins being launched into the air and that was cool. I like the trebuchets better than the compressed air launchers.

The captains and I stayed at a hotel in Ocean City. A couple of weeks ago, my MIL suggested that we could get a good rate on a room with an ocean view and she was right. I loved the room because not only could I see the ocean from bed, there was also a lovely jacuzzi tub which was big enough for the three of us to get in comfortably. We did so and it was wonderful. It was cute to see Capt. Adorable in water up to his shoulders (it was a very deep tub) and it was nice to have Capt. Obvious in there with us.

Because of some coupons we got when we checked in, we were able to order room service for breakfast and I have to say it is much nicer to have room service and do everything low-stress than to take Capt. Adorable to the restaurant and try to feed him and eat ourselves in a manner least likely to interfere with anyone else's meal. If we ever stay at that hotel and get that deal again, we will definitely take the room service route again. I did think it was immensely tacky that room service charges 20% gratuity automatically but also puts a blank line on your check so that you can add gratuity. Are they trying to fool their guests? Let me be clear--I do not mind the 20% gratuity. I do mind the fact that they charge me that and then try to get me to give another gratuity on top of it. Tacky tacky tacky.

Anyhow, on the cancer front: I have an oncologist appointment this afternoon. I expect we will agree on treatment protocol and then get me scheduled for "chemo class" and to start treatment. I have been thinking I should have my hair cut before starting treatment...

Family news: my mom arrives today! I am so glad she can be here!

Friday, November 2, 2007

We're Home With News

There is a lot of good news as a result of the trip to Houston. We went there for a second opinion and I am glad we made the trip, even though the opinion boils down to the same thing I heard here in Maryland.

1) Good News: I was convinced to do chemotherapy. I guess I was going to do it anyhow, but was so skeptical as to the benefit of it (and perhaps my perception was colored by my sorrow at having to wean Capt. Adorable). Now I can see that there is a benefit. The oncologist at M.D. Anderson told me that I have about a 50% + chance of the cancer coming back and the chemotherapy lowers that chance by about 15%. That seems a much different percentage than I heard before. The deal seems to be that most cancers which reoccur do so within 2 years, so my taking chemotherapy will reduce that chance.

2) Good News: The treatment recommended is not any different than that recommended by the oncologist in Maryland, so there is no benefit to traveling to Texas for treatment. This is much easier on me and on the Captains. Plus, I want to be where my friends are and where my family can be with me. And goodness knows I'd much rather sleep in my own bed than anywhere else!

3) Bad News: I am, more likely than not, going to die of cancer in less than 20 years. Considering I am 34 now, that's a big blow...

Capt. Adorable does not like flying and goodness knows what we will do when nursing is no longer an option!!! He was fine to moany for the flight there, but the flight home was terrible! It was a late flight, so he did sleep for a good while, but landing was bad...

Meanwhile, he ripped the 'a' key off my laptop, so typing is much more difficult now.

There is much more, of course, but Capt. Adorable will not let me type right now (I usually post when he's asleep) and we are leaving this afternoon, so I've got the post what I cAn now so all those of you I promised an update will get one!!!

UPDATE:

According to the "unofficial" results posted on the State Board of Bar Examiners' web site, I failed the Maryland Bar. Oh well. I thought I failed. I'll take it again next July, after chemo is over. Next time I won't have pneumonia, a broken toe, a four-month-old, or discover I have a lung tumor during the study process. So next year at this time I'll be celebrating!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Easier Than I Anticipated

This morning Capt. Adorable went to sleep in my arms in the glider with only a little moaning and about 30 minutes of rocking/singing/stroking. He slept for about an hour and 20 minutes. His afternoon nap was in the stroller on a walk with Capt. Obvious. He did not cry to nurse today. However, when I got back from coffee with a friend at 6:00, it was clear that he was ready to nurse. I am still nursing him to sleep, so when it was bedtime, both of us were happy to have him fall asleep with a belly full of mama's milk.

Tomorrow we leave for Houston. The oncology appointment is on Oct. 30. I think I will get a similar plan of treatment: some chemotherapy followed by close (probably every 3 months) monitoring for several years. I hope I will get better or at least more precise information concerning my life expectancy and my future fertility. I would like to know what my chances of being alive 5 years from now. What about 10 years from now? Will I get to see Capt. Adorable graduate from high school? I would love to see him get married and maybe even have a grandchild...but that means I've got to live a lot longer than 5 more years! And, admittedly, the idea of living brings other joyful ideas to mind, like the idea of having more children. Understand that my darling Captain Adorable is a miracle and a blessing and it is mostly because I love him so dearly that I want to have more children. Of course if I cannot have more ch

Unfinished bc Capt. Adorable is awake and asking for his Mama. More updates when I am back from Houston!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tomorrow Will Be A Bit Better

I had a hard time thinking of a good title for this post because my emotions are so strong. I feel totally vulnerable. I feel almost like I've felt when I had a broken heart: blown apart. I have so much deep sorrow that can spill out so easily...I could wallow in that for a few pages. At the same time, today was not all terrible and tomorrow will be a bit better. I was lucky enough to once again to be together with Capt. Adorable today. I held, cuddled, fed, sang to, kissed, carried, and laughed with him. So not everything is dark. I mean: I have cancer and I have to wean my baby because if it, but I am alive and I love and I am loved. The sun still shines and flowers still smell sweet.

While lying in bed last night, waiting for sleep to come, I realized that yesterday afternoon was our last daytime nursing. I did not know it was the very last one at the time, though I did know it was one of a very few, so I did cherish it. It is good that I was not aware it was the last one because I probably would have cried and been sad instead of feeling happy and cuddly. It was a lovely nursing--we laid on the couch together and the babe nursed from one side for 11 minutes, then from the other for about 10 minutes. (I remember glancing at the clock when he was done, because it said 2:22.) He has been recently starting to do the gymnastics I so often read that other nurslings do on the motheringdotcommune boards. My perception of his efforts to move his whole body around while he nurses is that it is cute and a sign of his maturation and growing control over his body. But yeah, the day time nursings are over. Yesterday was the last one. I have really good memories of nursing him to last me a long time.

As far as napping goes, today was not bad. He took his morning nap (of an hour and 20 minutes!) in my arms in the glider. (Wonderful feeling to have my little love warm and soft against me.) The afternoon nap was another issue. Capt. Obvious took the babe upstairs with a bottle and tried his best to sing Capt. Adorable to sleep. Despite the effort, Capt. Adorable would not sleep or take the bottle. I don't know exactly what happened up there, but after 45 minutes the crying was pretty loud and punctuated with coughing, which means that he is crying so hard he can't swallow the surfeit of saliva and snot produced by crying. I went upstairs to suggest that a change of scenery was in order. While I respect my husband's efforts, I also respect my baby's need to be comforted, so I intervened. Not to say that Capt. Obvious was not comforting Capt. Adorable--I just think that sometimes parenting can be stressful and a supportive suggestion from one's partner can help both the parent and the child. Anyhow, Capt. Obvious did change tactics (and rooms) and tried for another 45 minutes to help the babe take the bottle and go to sleep. No dice. They came downstairs and together we gave the baby a little meal (seeing as he wouldn't take the bottle). Once his belly was full, Capt. Obvious took him for a walk. Sleep did come to the stroller, so the babe got a hour or so worth of good quality nap and Capt. Obvious got a quality walk.

Once they were back from the walk, Capt. Adorable played happily on the living room floor (supervised by his Daddy, of course). While we were waiting for the food to finish cooking, Capt. Obvious and I tried to get Capt. Adorable to drink. Yes, he did drink greedily, but it was fun because he laughed and laughed at the encouraging noises I was making, so I started laughing and soon we were all laughing. It was pretty great! In addition, I made lasagna for dinner and Capt. Obvious said it was the best one I had ever made. :)

Once dinner was done, we went upstairs to complete our normal bedtime routine. Nursing my baby to sleep was wonderful and I am incredibly happy that we can keep doing it for a little while.

Thank goodness for Capt. Obvious today. I am strong and I could have done it without him, but it is unspeakably better to cry on my husband's chest with his arms around me than to swallow my sorrow and be strong alone.

Tomorrow it will all be a little easier as this becomes our new normal.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Triumph...Almost.

This morning I was just so tired and my foot still hurt so much from the long walks this week that I tried to get Capt. Adorable to sleep in my arms again. I thought I'd just see what happened and if he cried I'd put him in the stroller. To my surprise and delight, he fell asleep in my arms after about 40 minutes of rocking and singing and stroking. He did not cry, really. Did moan some, but seemed mostly amenable to relaxation. And when he fell asleep...oh how wonderful I felt! Triumph! I was ready to settle in for an hour or so of sitting in the (nursing) chair with my sleeping baby on my lap.

Then the phone rang. Immediately after wards, my cell phone rang. Capt. Adorable stirred but did not wake for each of those episodes. I was nervous...then immediately after that, the house phone rang again and my Mom left a message. Again, I was thanking my lucky stars that the babe remained asleep. Then a few minutes later, the phone rang again. This time Capt. Adorable's eyes opened wide and he was definitely awake. The caller was someone from M.D. Anderson (in Texas) who was calling to confirm my appointment on the 30th. Sigh. I hated that guy so much.

Capt. Adorable only got 20 minutes of sleep. Still, it was good because he went to sleep in my arms and I learned the importance of TURNING THE RINGER DOWN!!!

For the afternoon nap I took him for a walk. It was pouring rain. My foot was so painful. I guess I am going to have to see a doctor about it (sigh). He was warm and dry in his cute little courderoy overalls and fleece jacket with the hood on his head and the rain cover on the stroller. I was not cold, but I was definitely not dry. By the time I got home I was soaked to the skin! He had a good nap, though--over an hour.

I was getting us all ready to go out again and run a couple of errands when I realized it was 2:00! Nursing time! We were both overjoyed to curl up together on the couch. I no longer nurse in the nursing chair because I want to be able to use that chair for cuddling and napping without the memories of nursing so immediate in Capt. Adorable's mind. Plus, side lying nursing is so sweet. After nursing, he played in his play area by himself for a while. Then we went to the health food store and he slept in the car on the way there, so he got in another 20 or so minutes.

The idea that after this weekend there will be no more nursing during the day is getting me down. Capt. Adorable did not eat a good dinner and was tired and eager to nurse to sleep. I dread cutting that nursing. Will he still love me when I no longer nurse him? Will we still have the same closeness when he is weaned? How will chemo's side-effects affect our relationship? If I am sick and distant and he can't nurse, won't there be distance between us? Will he feel abandoned by me? What will this do to his personality in the long run?