Monday, August 31, 2009

Potty Training Day 6

I am pleased to report more success today. Captain Adorable had zero accidents today. He went to the potty to poop by himself this morning! And of course throughout the day (several hours spent at Cheerful's house and outside at a playground) he initiated peeing several times and cooperated willingly whenever I suggested that perhaps he needed to do a pee. He has no compunction about going outside (which is good for right now but might be bad...), and has gotten better about holding it so that no urine gets on his clothes. He even washes his hands after he goes!

We've been watching a lot of Little Bear. Starting on Wednesday I am no longer going to track the pees done outside the house, so his reward tv will decrease.

Captain Adorable was angry to find himself in his own room when he woke up from his nap. You see, he fell asleep in the car on the way home from Cheerful's place, so I carried him to his room for the rest of the nap. This upset him very much and he cried with anger about it and was not himself for the rest of the day. However, despite being upset, he went to sleep in his own room tonight. We will see if he stays there till daylight.

Got a chance to catch up with an old friend today. I heard from him about his impending divorce and thought a lot about other friends of mine/ours who have been through that. I am oh so lucky to be married to my darling Captain Obvious. I think we are lucky to have each other.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Potty Training Day 5

Captain Adorable did every pee (several by himself) in the potty and did his poop in the potty as well. I am confident enough that I've put away all the diapers (pull-ups) and am contemplating giving them away. Although I am overjoyed that Captain Adorable is using the potty consistently and happily wearing his super-cute undies, but a part of me thinks is rather a shame to give away the diapers, seeing as I paid about $40 for them! Seeing as he is only wearing diapers at night, the changing table seemed a bit superfluous and, well, as long as we're cleaning things went to the storage unit also.

Capt. Adorable slept all night in his bed in his room and took his nap there too (he kicked me out of the room before he went to sleep again). I missed him a lot last night and wondered whether he was warm enough...I woke up this morning to the sound of him moaning. I sat up in bed but could not see him. I decided to lie back down because it was 6:30 and I was tired and I wanted to see how it would play out. I soon heard a little crackling noise and decided to investigate. There was a plastic trash bag full of blankets and pillows partially blocking the door to the room next to his and the crackling noise was a result of Capt. Adorable climbing over it to get various stuffed animals which were on the floor in there. :)

We worked hard again all day (mostly Capt. Obvious) on getting the house into shape to sell. It is going on the market tomorrow. I am not terribly happy about the price we've decided on since I think it is rather low, but then again if it means the house sells and sells fast, I will be happy. I think the place looks great and it sure feels good to get rid of bags of trash and take lots of stuff to charity. I have a bunch of maternity clothes to give away, but no one seems interested, so I guess I will take those over to the local charity shop tomorrow or the next day.

We had Ms. Breadwinner and her family over for dinner tonight. At one point her elder son and Capt. Adorable were upstairs jumping off the new bed and they were landing so hard that I was afraid they'd come through the ceiling! (I was downstairs in the kitchen, making cornbread and peach cobbler at the time.)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Late Breaking Development

Well, as part of staging the house (making it look like normal people live here), we moved he queen-sized bed out of the room we've been using as a guest room and bought a new twin-sized bed to put in there. We told Captain Adorable it is his bed, because we also took apart his toddler bed, which has been in our bedroom (up against the foot of our bed) and we wanted to give him something cool to replace that. (We wanted to put in a twin-sized bed so that when my mom comes to visit, she will still have a comfortable, adult-sized bed to sleep in.) He was rather upset about the idea of his little bed being gone, poor guy. So, now we have all sorts of choices for our little Captain. He can sleep on his crib mattress n the floor in our room. He can sleep in our bed. Or, he can sleep in the new twin sized bed. He knows these choices are available.

Much to my surprise, tonight he demanded that he sleep in the new twin bed. When I reminded him that Amma would sleep in this room when she comes to visit, he said, "No. Amma sleep in Mama's room." I thought that was hilarious. I read him the nightly two books of his choice, and then he kicked me out! "Mama leave. Go 'way." I asked, incredulous, you want me to leave?" He replied, "Yes, Mama get out." And pushed me! And then added, "I call you." I said, oh you'll call me if you need me?" He answered, "yes." I left the room and sat at the top of the stairs where he could not see me. In about 10 minutes I went in to check and sure enough, he was fast asleep!

If I know my boy, he'll come to our bed at some point during the night...if not I will miss waking up to the sight of his sweet smiling face.

Day 4 of Potty Training

Well, Captain Adorable had one pee accident today, but it was late afternoon/early evening and he did not have a nap today, so I am going to chalk it up to him being very tired. Once again, all other pees were in the potty, even though we spent about 3 or 4 hours at IKEA. He also did a big ol'poop right in the potty! We're watching Little Bear right now to celebrate.

One other cool thing--there was free face painting at IKEA today, so Capt. Adorable got himself a cute little blue cat face painted on his face. Totally cute!

Captain Obvious has been working extremely hard on getting the house in order to sell. He wants to put it on the market on MONDAY! I think it is going to be ready, though, so let the fun begin.

Chemo is making me tired, but that's about it. Tired I can handle, so far. I am amazed how easy this is so far.

Day 3 of Potty Training

Yesterday was day 3 of no more pussy-footing around with the potty training. He did every single pee in the potty, and we spent several hours away from home. However, the first chance he got to be alone he used to poop in his undies. I think he just honestly prefers to poop standing up. Sigh. Maybe we will have to try those poop cars Ms. Breadwinner wrote in to suggest. Let's see how today goes.

So far today he's done all pees in the potty, including one he did by himself, with no prompting from either parent. I still have hope for the poop.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Seems To Be Working! Poop!

OK, so today was day 2 of no more pussy-footing around with the potty training and things are going very, very well. Again we had no pee accidents and today we actually got a poop in the potty as well! We even left the house today--we went to music class and the library. :)

Music Class: Captain Adorable loves music class, (Music Together) but the last one was over a few weeks ago, so he was not terribly motivated to go to this one. Once we got there, however, we had a wonderful time! Capt. Adorable ran around and danced and clapped and just had a great time. Afterward the teacher came up and said, "this is a very physical person, isn't he?" I agreed and she said that he really could not be more engaged in class. (Something the other teacher we really liked said also!) I agreed and then she complimented me by saying that I channeled his energy very well. I am so glad we are doing music class again. He's been singing songs (and not just ones he makes up, though he sings a lot of those too) for a couple of months now, and this just keeps his interest high. Tonight when I was putting him to bed, he sang me Amazing Grace (yes, I sing it to him a lot at bedtime--a beautiful song). All the words. So beautiful to hear it sung in his sweet voice!

Then, at the library, Capt. Adorable was trying to get away from me in the sci-fi section. I kept up with him, and he motioned me away, saying, "Mama leave me alone. Trying to do a poop." I was like, oh no you don't! You cannot poop in your undies! Let's go to the bathroom. Let me put a diaper on you right now (then discovered that I'd left the diaper bag in the car...). But he was not interested in going to the toilet and I was eager to get home and get him on the potty, so I picked him up, checked out our books and boogied to the car. When we got home he was very cooperative, and I read him books while he sat on the potty till his little butt got sore, but there was no poop. It wasn't till after his nap, after Captain Obvious got home, that he pooped on the potty and then it was a total surprise to me. I was looking for the folding potty seat that I used to carry everywhere (and will start again) and when I found it, I put it on the toilet to show it to him, then put him on it, and bang! he pooped with a big smile on his face.

As far as chemo goes, I am doing very, very well. I am feeling like keeping it a bit on the low-key side. We've stayed home or very close to home for 3 of the last 4 days. It is supposed to be cool and rainy tomorrow. I think we might have some more puddle-jumping in our future!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tired and Potty Training

So, here we are on the third day of chemo and so far I am very happy and pleased. The chemo is affecting me--I am a bit tired. Also, the wonderful anti-nausea patch I was wearing gave me a GIGANTIC headache this afternoon. However, these side effects are an absolute breeze compared to what chemo has been in the past. If I need to hire/ask for hel, I will do so, but for right now I am ok with being on my own.

I have found a Montessori school I am interested in for Captain Adorable, so we will see if perhaps we can get him enrolled there if this gets harder.

I have also decided that I am done with this pussy-footing around as far as potty training goes. I know that he is perfectly capable of going in the potty every time, so I have decided to resort to bribery. He loves watching Little Bear. Each episode is about 7-8 minutes long. I have told him that he may watch one episode for each pee in the potty and three episodes for each poop in the potty. He's not peed in his pants at all today! In fact, he went to the potty by himself twice! However, he has not pooped yet. He didn't poop yesterday either...I'm getting a bit worried about it... It has been really nice to be able to praise him so much today!

I also put into action a plan I hatched a while ago. This afternoon we sat down with a pair of plain white undies and some fabric markers. Together we (but mostly him) drew on/colored on the undies. He will wear them tomorrow. They are really cute, in my opinion. Capt. Obvious got to color on them a bit as well! I am looking forward to him wearing them tomorrow.

Capt. Adorable has been asking when his Oma is coming to visit him, so we're looking forward to having her here in a couple of weeks.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Started Chemo Today

Well, I started chemo today. So far it is great! All I did was take ONE PILL (instead of the previous requirement of 4) after breakfast. I am also wearing a patch which is the new anti-nausea medicine (been wearing that for 2 days already, to prepare for chemo start today).

Then Captain Adorable and I went to meet NonFiction and her daughters and Ms. Resourceful and her children at a playground. It was a nice morning (we didn't leave till 1:00 or was it 1:30?!). The weather was cool today (well, only got up to 85) so it was wonderful.

Before we went to the playground, we had to stop at the library because I simply had to pick up the next book in a series NonFiction recommended to me. I could barely put down the first one. I was standing in line to check out the book, holding Capt. Adorable to keep him from running off to the children's section and he began to pick his nose. Now, he's been doing this a lot lately (maybe because he was sick recently and he's finally figured out that there are boogers in there?) and I've been telling him that while he shouldn't really pick his nose at all, it is acceptable to do so when no one can see you. So, I asked him not to pipck since we were in the library. He replied that no one was looking at him. I said, "Well, I can see you." His response was to firmly but gently reach up and push my face to the side (so that I could no longer see him) and went back to picking his nose! I manged not to laugh until I got to the playground and got to tell the story to my friends. :)

Recently Capt. Adorable has been driving me crazy with tons of questions, mostly the question "Why?" I do my best to answer intelligently and patiently, and sometimes my temper does get the better of me, but after answerring the same question 2-3 times I will ask him if he remembers what I just told him instead of repeating myself yet again. So, this morning at 7:00 he woke me up and said, "Mama, wake up." I (sleepily) asked, "Why?" He said, "Its daytime. Mama, wake up." I again asked, "Why?" To my immense amusement, he answered, "I told you!" You get back what you give, don't you?!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Best News In Two Years

I went to JHH yesterday for another talk with the onc(ologist) and to have an MRI of my brain.

The news I got from the onc is this: as it turns out, when she told me that the CT last week showed that the cancer had grown again, she was giving me the only information she had, which was simply some preliminary numbers. Yesterday she had the full, final report. The report said that the cancer is "stable to minimal growth," which, due to the limitations of the technology, means that the cancer is stable. Yes, indeed, it looks like Xeloda (5FU) works against my cancer! There was no growth in the current lesions (2 in the lower portion of my right lung and one in the upper portion), and no new lesions. The MRI did not show any cancer either.

This is the best and most hopeful news I've had since being diagnosed.

I am going to start 4 rounds of Xeloda on Monday, but I have high hopes for a much easier than normal experience, especially because the onc has come up with some new ideas to help with nausea as well. This fall might not be so bad!

In light of all the above, we've decided to put our house on the market. :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Growing Again And New Plan

Long day hopped up on steroids and intravenous iodine. Blah.

New oncologist fellow seems pretty cool. :) She's even a bit more touchy-feely than the last one, whom I liked a lot, so that is good.

The scan results show that the cancer has grown again, a little, so I need to get back on chemo to stabilize it. The good news is there are no new lesions.

The new plan is to try a different chemo regimen which will hopefully be easier for me to take (and much less nausea). This new chemo plan would be only one drug (Xeloda), which is taken in pill form, and to take a much lower dose (1000 mg instead of the 2000 mg I was taking). I will do 4 rounds of that, then have another CT scan to see what's going on. If there is more growth then we will change the chemo regimen. If there is no growth, we will continue with that until it stops working.

I have an MRI scheduled for next Wednesday. Its been about 2 years since the last one I had and I've been having dizzy spells (which could be due to dehydration--drinking enough is definitely a problem which I've been working on). It is also a good idea to get a new baseline since we are starting a new approach to treatment.

I have high hopes for this new regimen. I look forward to not having to go to the chemo ward every 3 weeks, to not being knocked out and sick from that for the next 3-4 days. I look forward to having more energy and less nausea. I hope that this will be a regimen I can live with, not suffer under.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

CT Scan Tomorrow

I will post results (and plan going forward) when I am ready.

I've had a wonderful, wonderful summer with my son, my family, and my friends. This wonderful summer makes me more accepting of chemo because I've seen what it can buy me. And speaking as a healthy, happy person, I am willing to go back to the poison for a bit to gain 2 months like those I've just had.

In other news, I just discovered one more thing about cancer that sucks. Now that my son's understanding is greater, his worry is greater as well. Tonight it took an hour to put him to sleep because I talked to him about tomorrow (will not talk about cancer/doctors at bedtime or close to bedtime ever again if I can avoid it, with the caveat that if he asks, I always answer him honestly). He was very sweet and told me that the "cancer not growing" and that he would have a duck scan and Daddy would have a hen scan. Later on in our conversation he amended that to say that I should not have a CT scan but a duck scan also. I did get wet eyes but did not cry in front of him.

He thought he was going to see his Oma (Ama, as he pronounces it) tomorrow, which he was happy about, so was surprised when I told him he was going to see Grandma (my sweet MIL) instead.

I wanted to give him a happy childhood and now I realise that my cancer will affect his childhood more deeply than I can control. I am so sorry my darling boy, light of my life, apple of my eye. I am so sorry.

Fun Indoors and Out

This morning Capt. Adorable and I went to the mall for some fun. We were sad that our friends could not join us, but had a lovely time riding the carousel, playing in the indoor play area, riding in elevators, looking at stuff in stores, and generally walking/running/riding around in the air conditioning. We had lunch at Panera, where my little Captain engaged in some flirting with a lady at the next table (which was really sweet). Capt. Adorable demanded his favorite ice cream (Cotton Candy from Maggie Moo's, which is bright turquoise blue) with rainbow sprinkles in lieu of going to Cheerful's house (where we had been invited). He ate only the top layer, the part with the sprinkles. I called Cheerful's mom to let her know we would not be coming over. Capt. Adorable fell asleep in the car about 7 minutes into our drive home.

Once he woke up from his nap, he talked of nothing but Cheerful and going to Cheerful's house. I decided to call again and ask if we could come over for the afternoon. Happily they had no plans for the afternoon and we could join them at a brand new local playground. We had a great time. The boys played together and separately on the playground and the two mamas sat on a bench and talked. The type of conversation you only have with people once you like them enough to be a bit vulnerable without fear of anything bad happening. If you are lucky (and I was) the slight vulnerability leads to deeper understanding and agreement--and the friendship becomes even more valuable to both of you.

Despite the heat (it was 92 or 93 out!) it was a lovely afternoon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

More Adventures

I had a lovely weekend with the Captains. We had thought about going to Ocean City for the weekend, then perhaps about going camping, but when it came down to it, I preferred to just stay home (and not miss our last music class). We had a good, relaxing weekend. On Sunday, after music class, we all went to Pretty Boy Dam on the Gunpowder River. We had a lovely time hiking in, navigating tree roots and rocks and fallen trees. I admired my son's agility and sure-footedness (which must be due to wearing soft-soled shoes, of course, haha). I was shocked by how cold the water was; we crossed the river to get to a nice rock in the sun where we could all sit and have our snack, and walking through it was incredibly painful. Of course, I should have known the Captains, especially Captain Adorable would end up in the water, no matter how freaking freezing it was! I did bring a change of clothes, but not a bathing suit. The thrill of jumping off the rock into the water (about knee deep on me) was irresistible to my little one and of course he ended up entirely soaked.

That evening I made 2 cobblers: a peach and a raspberry and peach for dessert. The Captains yummed them up. Captain Obvious asked that I make another one for him to take to work, but when I tried to make it tonight I discovered that I did not have enough sugar. Perhaps later this week I can do it. I froze about a dozen peaches this evening. Hopefully they will go into delicious smoothies in the months to come.

Today we went to IKEA to hang out with my friend Non-Fiction and her daughters, have lunch, and buy a couple things. Tomorrow we are going to the mall to meet Cheerful, ride the carousel, and return some gigantic granny panties I bought by mistake (scary stuff!).

Wednesday is the CT scan. I have to start the prednisone (steriods) tomorrow at noon. Of course the fellow I've been assigned, as I've mentioned before, has made no attempt to contact me. Tomorrow will be the first time I meet him. I was rather irritated to discover that I do not have enough prednisone in the house, nor do I have a refill (as Capt. Obvious discovered). So, I had to call and have the JHH medical oncologist on call paged and ask for a prescription to be called in so I can go pick it up tomorrow and do the medication. I am not surprised that once again (albeit in a small way) the person who is supposed to be taking care of me has failed me. If he'd taken 10-15 minutes to call me when I was assigned to him months ago, if he'd reviewed my chart, if he'd cared enough about his job to take an interest in his patient...perhaps I am blowing this out of proportion, but it is another reminder that my best advocates are me and my Captain Obvious. Perhaps my only advocates. We've got to remain vigilant. And hey, who knows...maybe we won't like this fellow and maybe we will decide to seek treatment else where. Maybe not. Sigh. I imagine it is all the same, no matter where you go (except perhaps at NIH).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Out and About

Today we went to music class, then went to an organic grocery store we don't usually get to, then ate lunch at a picnic table outside, then bought some wooden play fruit at another natural store nearby. Then we went to the mall and rode the carousel, looked at the animals on display in the pet store windows, played in the play area (and golly dern my son likes to jump off of stuff!), had a look at boy clothes, ate some ice cream, and rode the carousel once more before heading to the car. I buckled Captain Adorable in his seat, then got into my seat and started the engine. I glanced back at him and he was asleep!

We stopped at home for about a minute--to grab the keys of Ms. Resourceful's place (I left the car windows open and ran up and down my front steps to retrieve the keys from right inside the door, and I only left him in the car because he was asleep.) Once at her place, I carried him inside with me and let him sleep on her couch while I watered and watered and watered her parched plants. When I picked him up to carry him back to the car to go home, he woke up, so he only slept for about 40 minutes. I hope this late nap will not affect his ability to go to sleep at bedtime.

He scarfed down dinner, so at least I know the ice cream did not ruin his appetite. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Today we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore with my friend and Captain Adorable's ladies (otherwise known as her daughters, haha). There were far more people there than I expected and it was effing hot in there. I did not bring the stroller (strollers are not allowed in, which is a great idea) and I allowed Captain Adorable to just walk. No carrier, no backpack (which the Aquarium will loan you--at least, if you leave your stroller they will loan you one, did not ask for one today...), just walking. He has never had that experience in a big strange place which was full of people and goodness gracious it was a lot of work! I was sweated my shirt wet with effort.

However, we did have good company, and we got to see the dolphin show and the new jellyfish exhibit and the rainforest exhibit, and lots of other cool stuff.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Today we went to the B & O Railroad Museum with Cheerful and his family. Capt. Adorable was overjoyed to see his friend again and a good time was had by all. :D