Saturday, May 31, 2014

A little pity party

Dave had a pretty decent night last night.  No high temps.  But still fatigued and no appetite.  I went to work this morning and came up and had lunch beside him, not with him since he won’t eat!  After I got off of work I visited and spoke with his nurse.  Oncology is not my thing.  I do moms and babies!  His nurse said what he was going through is super common and him being weak and tired is just, unfortunately, part of the process.  She said “If I’m not worried, you don’t need to worry.”  Well, ok then.  Again, they obviously don’t know who they are talking to! She told us that typically day 7-10 after the LAST dose of chemo is when people are in the valley and feeling the worst.  That makes since, because he is on day 7.  Plus, fighting an infection on top of that!  So we are hopeful that in a couple more days, he will be on the uphill swing of things.
When I left to come home to spend the night with the girls, I had a major pity party/melt down.  My poor husband was alone, sick, at the hospital and I wasn’t there.  It’s in times like that, that I realize, I don’t even know how to live my life without him.  I didn’t even want to be home with the girls.  I know that sounds awful, and everyone knows how much I love and cherish my girls, but I couldn’t help but just want to be there with my best friend.  It’s so not fair!!!  Everyone else’s life goes on. I can barely look at Facebook anymore because of all the pictures of everyone and their husbands and families out having fun, being care free.  That is what we should be doing!! We are in the prime of our life, and I feel robbed!  Cue ugly tears now.
Once I had my ugly cry, I looked at my babies and realized they needed more of me.  They need me to be present, and happy.  Y'all?  I’m trying my hardest.  I realized that with as much as they are going from house to house and not seeing us as much, I needed to make the most quality out of our time together.  So I pulled myself together and loaded us all up (even Sam!) and we went to the park.  Although I couldn’t have as much fun because it feels like something is missing. DUH, a HUGE part is missing.  The girls enjoyed their time and I loved seeing them happy.



I tried to show Mia how to pick Honey suckles, but I forgot!!

They smelled delicious though!

We had the park all to ourselves!

We brought Sam home, went back to Kroger, bought some new polish for Mia’s nails and came home and ALL 3 of us, took a princess bubble bath together in mommy’s tub!!


Mia kept saying “This is the BEST.DAY.EVER!!”  I’m so glad baby girl.

Finley then went to bed and Mia and I sat on the front porch and talked and I tried to catch some lightening bugs for her (I’m not as good as I once was! HA) and then Meme and Poppy came by to visit.  It was a decent night, but I definitely missed my love.

Friday, May 30, 2014

About the same

Maybe a tad bit better.  Dave still feels pretty crummy.  He gets out of breath just getting up to go to the bathroom.  My heart is breaking all over again.  As if I didn’t think I could possibly take anymore, life says Challenge Accepted.  Seeing him feel so terrible, not eating and not getting out of bed is so upsetting because I want SO BAD to help him.  Heal him.  Take away all of this for him.  But it is so out of my control (which we all know has been a struggle of mine for like, EVER.).  I am learning to let it go. SLOWLY.  This is a learning process.  I’ve been this way all of my life.  It’s what I know.  I’m a fixer.  And I can’t FIX him.
He didn’t run a high fever through the night, but was on constant Tylenol.  He did sleep pretty well, which is good.  His labs came back with a WBC count of 0.09 and Platelets of 20.  To those of you unfamiliar with those things, the WBC count in a normal person is a range of 4.5-10.  The WBC are what fights infection for us.  We all have bacteria in our gut and on our skin, but our immune system takes care of them without us even knowing.  Now, take away all of our “defense” and those bacteria go crazy and cause infection.  There is nothing that we did to cause this, just his own system couldn’t control the bacteria.  Unfortunately, killing all of the good stuff is part of chemotherapy.  It seems to me like there would be something out there to kill just the bad and leave our own immunity alone.  But, that is not the case right now, so we have to do whatever the doctors tell us to do.  Now, platelets in a normal healthy person is a range anywhere from 150-300.  Our platelets are what clots our blood when we get a scrape or a cut.  Dave’s platelets are 20, so basically, he can bleed very easily.  This is dangerous if we were to fall or get hurt, etc.  Again, part of the chemo.
It just really sucks because before this chemo, although he had cancer (before we knew), he was super healthy.  Going to work every day.  Plenty of energy.  Great appetite.  Played with the kids. No signs of sickness, whatsoever.  Now, seeing my perfectly healthy husband feel so miserable because of what we are putting into his body, makes me question everything.  Trust me when I say this, I have very seriously considered driving to Colorado to get some hemp oil.  It’s actually still a strong possibility.  If you are curious about my thinking and think I’m nuts, please, do yourself a favor and look at
I am a very firm believer that God put everything on this earth for us to eat, use, etc.  Hemp (oil to use, not for us to smoke) is a naturally occurring plant on this earth.  Chemo?  Man made poison.  Yes, I am one of those people who do not trust the government and think that Cancer is a big business and quite frankly we will never find a cure because of the amount of money that would be lost.  I do NOT think the FDA is our friend.  Hell, they have approved drugs that KILL people, but won’t approve herbs that are naturally occurring on the earth.  I don’t trust them.
I’ll step off of my soapbox now.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

And so it begins…

Tuesday and Wednesday we just relaxed at home and enjoyed our time.  This morning?  Dave woke up and said he was cold.  This man is NEVER cold.  He also complained about being a little achy. So we took his temperature and it was 100.0.  I texted his oncologist and they called me back and said that he needed to come in for blood work and some antibiotics.  Of course, today was the day for the home inspection (have I mentioned that we sold our house in the midst of all this?) so we had to have my parents adjust their schedules a little bit so that we could go to the dr.  Dad stayed with the inspectors at the house, and mom took the girls.  Have I mentioned how thankful I am for them??
I had given Dave some Motrin earlier this morning (after the temp) and he started feeling better.  He actually didn’t even want to go the dr because he was feeling much better.  However, my proactive, nurse self, wasn’t gonna let that happen.  I thought for sure he either had a reaction to the Neulasta (a vaccine to boost his WBC count) vaccine or we were just going to get a couple of rounds of antibiotics and come home. 
We got to the doctor and the Dave’s temperature was 98.2.  We went back to the room, the nurse flushed his port, drew some labs and blood cultures.  Dave got up to go to the bathroom and he came back and was shaking.  It started like a freezing cold shiver but within minutes he was in full body rigors (extreme shakes, all over.).  His muscles were cramping up and it looked like a conscious seizure, to me, because of how bad he was shaking.  He couldn’t even breathe.  His lips and tongue were turning white, almost a bluish.  He couldn’t calm himself down enough to breathe.
I yell for the nurse and within minutes he was on oxygen (via nasal cannula. 3 liters.), had been given Ativan, Demerol and Phenergan.  Shortly after all of that, the rigors stopped and he was passed out.  He is a total light weight with drugs. HA!  I was just thankful he was able to relax and breathe.  I’ve never been so scared in my life.  I felt so helpless because I couldn’t help him.  It broke my heart.
With all of that being said, he earned himself a hospital stay. His blood work came back and his WBC count was ZERO!  No wonder he is sick!  His poor body can’t fight anything.
We had a pretty terrible night, battling a fever and his full body aches and chills.  Finally, after hours of meds and ice packs, his fever came down and he was able to sleep.
His cultures came back positive for gram negative rods (they are suspecting E.Coli) and he is septic.  Dr. Williams told us it was a good thing we didn’t wait even 8 more hours, because he could have died.
This is some scary stuff, people.  Finally, for once, my paranoia has paid off.
He is on 2 different IV antibiotics now and we will hopefully be on the up hill swing of things.  The plan is to go home Monday.
Please pray for his body, recovery and for the antibiotics to kick this infection.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day!

We hung out at the house all day today, and it was PERFECT!  The weather was awesome and all of us were together, at home.  Mom bought the girls a little pool, so we played by the pool and daddy grilled out.  Dad came over and had dinner with us (mom was working, again)!


The girls LOVED it!

I took a little nap, and when I got up, daddy had went to the store and bought us steaks for dinner and was grilling out.  I swear I married an awesome man.  Does this look like a man on chemo???…

I think not.


Daddy also bought us a fresh watermelon to enjoy…


We had a great Memorial day!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lets go home!

Dave finished chemo last night and then started IV Mesna (an IV drug to help protect the kidneys from the chemo) for 24 hours.  After the Mesna is, he gets to go home!  His WBC this morning was 4.3 (almost a normal range for healthy people).  I was super happy about that!  Mia got to go hang out with Nadia for the day, and Finley, dad and I hung out at the hospital with Dave.

Apparently, she had fun…
Love these little BFF’s!

We are so glad to be home and sleep in our own bed together!  It’s the little things in life that you take for granted…

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Day 6 hospital stay

Today is the last full day/night of hospital stay, and last day of chemo (for this round) PRAISE THE LORD.  We have to stay a little bit longer than originally planned because they didn’t get the chemo started until late Monday night.  So today, my dad, the girls and I hung out most of the day at the hospital.

Mommy and Mia selfies. Trying to pass the time…


Dad, Mia and I walked over to Penn Station to get some food, because Dave actually had an appetite!!


Finley stayed in the room with daddy…

My girls are being absolute troopers.  From being passed from house to house, mommy and daddy in and out and not understanding why daddy is in the hospital, they are being amazing and just going with the flow. I hate how this may be affecting them, but I am so thankful for family that loves us and them so much, that they sacrifice and adjust their schedules in order to allow me to be with Dave as much as possible and to work when I need to.  I don’t know what I would do without them.  My heart breaks no matter where I am.  If I am at home with the girls, I miss Dave so much, and vice versa.  But knowing that the girls are being so well taken care of helps so much.

After we ate, Finley and I went for a walk to burn off some of her energy.  When I came back, this is what I saw…

Everyone passed out after getting their bellies full!  HA

We are so ready to go home!

Day 5 Hospital stay (round 1)

Not much difference going on right now.  My ladies got to come up and visit their daddy, and I think it made everyone happy :)

There is something about daddy’s arms that put both babies in a trance…

Today, Dave feels about the same.  The biggest issues he is having at the moment is fatigue and loss of appetite.  He is getting a medical marijuana (Marinol, pill form) to help with nausea and appetite.  The nurse in me is feeling so helpless because I so badly want to fix him.  I know he needs to eat, but telling that to someone who has no appetite and is a little nausea, is difficult! 

Please keep praying for my love. Pray that the tumor responds well to the chemo, he has minimal side effects from it, for his appetite and our overall spirits.  Thank you for all the love and prayers :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

How do I breathe?

I don’t even know how I’m supposed to do this.  I’m not even sure I’m breathing.  I am either in the hospital with my poor husband, who is stuck inside the hospital, hooked up to chemo 24/7, or home with my girls.  Either way I lose.  Half of my heart, or actually my whole heart, is always elsewhere.  I just want my family back together, under the same roof and all of this go away. I still haven’t woke up from this nightmare.  I still can’t even process that this is our life.  My healthy, young, strong husband, in the hospital, fighting.  My kids going back and forth between houses. 

I am completely broken.

I can’t think straight.  I am always one look, hug, touch, kind word, away from a curl up in fetal position and scream and cry and beg meltdown.  I’ve cried more tears than I even knew my body could produce.  Right now, as I type this, I am sitting at Dave’s bedside, listening to the pumps pour toxins into his body.  He is so tired and worn down.  He’s nauseous. His appetite is taking a nose dive.  This is not my husband!!! 

I am helpless.

I want so bad, SO BAD, to take this away from him.  I can’t even stand the amount of hurt and ache inside my body right now.  I want to leave this shell of a body and run to the comforting arms of Jesus.  But I can’t do that either.  Nothing is easing this pain.  On a scale of 0-10 (with 10 being the highest), my hurt can’t even be measured.  It is so immense.  And yet, I have to carry on and put a smile on my face for him.  I have to be strong and positive for him.  But he is my safe place.  The one I run to when I need a breakdown.  Now that resource has been yanked out from underneath me.  I am drowning and don’t know how to stay afloat.  Hot tears are streaming down my cheeks. 

I am miserable.

Right before we were trying to go to sleep for the night, Dave wrapped his arms around me and held me tight.  I could feel the heaviness of his body and could hear the silent sobs.  He was trying to hold it back.  When I asked him if he was crying, he quickly said “NO!”  I asked him what was going on and he said “I just love you so much.  I don’t know how I got so lucky to have you in my life.  This sucks.  I try to plan my future but don’t know what it holds.  I don’t want this to come back.  I miss my girls.”  He wipes the tears from under his glasses and I just hug him tight and say “I know babe.”  I am right there with you.  He goes on to say “You deserve better.  I’m sorry I put you through this.  I don’t want you to have to stay married to be if I only have one arm.”  I don’t know how to even respond.  I will love him no matter what.  We are in this together and I wouldn’t think about going anywhere, besides right next to him.  His proud and lucky wife.

I am so lonely.

Sure, everyone is loving and supportive and we get calls, texts, cards, visitors, etc. but everyone also gets to go home to their husbands.  Everyone else’s life continues about while ours is completely shattered and I have no idea how to pick up the pieces and move forward.  I either have to leave mine in the hospital to go see my girls, or stay with him and miss my babies.  This is so damn unfair.  I just wish I could take this all away from him.  I want to go back to a month ago, when everything was running smoothly.  I want to be 30 and enjoy watching my children grow with my husband.

Just the other day, during one of my meltdowns, I said to my mom that I wish I could get in a car by myself and get in a wreck and die.  Yes, that is selfish to do to my kids, but in that moment, in this moment, the hurt is so hard to bear, that it’s true.  I don’t want to stay here and hurt like this anymore.  How God, can I take anymore?  How is this a good plan??

I am struggling.

My faith is struggling, although I try to cling to Him for comfort.  I am struggling to stay strong and positive when my mind has a million different things going through it.  Everyone I look at, I wonder “why not them?” “Look at that drug addict!  They don’t even care to live!  Look at that child molester, criminal, robber, drunk driver who just killed an innocent family.”  Why NOT THEM??!  I know it’s not my say, and it’s His plan, yada yada yada, but DAMNIT it’s hard.  Hard doesn’t even begin to describe it.  You can not even try to understand it.  I am trying to keep my family from falling apart all while trying to get some hours in at work so we can pay our bills.  We are trying to sell the house to lighten my load through all of this, but I couldn’t care less about the bills.  Freaking wreck my credit!  I don’t care about all of that! I WANT MY LIFE BACK TO NORMAL!!



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 4 hospital stay (round 1)

I didn’t take any pictures today.  I forgot to mention that 13 days ago we put our house up for sale by owner (no sign, just on a website), yesterday we had a showing (thanks to my dad for being there to show it for us!) and last night we had an offer.  So this afternoon, I met with the realtor and they offered full price PLUS offered to pay all closing costs.  They are already pre approved and are putting $10,000 down.
We weren’t in extreme hurry, but knew our income was going to be decreased significantly, so we were being proactive.  However, we had no idea it would sell so soon!  Although it is very bittersweet so sell this house, I know it’s the right thing to do.  We will be moving in with Dave’s Aunt and Uncle for a little bit to help save some money and allow me to be very flexible with my schedule, so that I can be there for Dave and the girls.  Although this is a major ding to our pride, we are going to humble ourselves and be thankful in this storm.
We are very thankful to have so many people willing to help us and love on us during this difficult time.
Please continue to pray for Dave and his healing.  Pray that the tumor responds well to the chemo and it shrinks significantly and that he will continue to have minimal side effects to the chemo.  And if I could be a little bit selfish for a minute, please pray for my mental and emotional state right now.  I am trying to be there with my husband, take care of my girls, work, sell the house, move, etc. all while feeling every emotion all at the same time.  I go from being happy and hopeful, to angry and sad within minutes. 
Please keep our entire family in your prayers, as this is a family disease.  Everyone is affected.
Love you all!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 3 hospital stay (round 1)

This morning, the girls and I got up and got ready to go to their dentist appointment!  This was Finley’s first time!



After all this time, Mia STILL cries at the dentist!  HATES it!


Finley did pretty good, actually!  She did not want Dr. Kim's hands in her mouth!  HA

After the dentist, the girls and I and Meme and Ben stopped by Target to surprise daddy with some treats and games!  Today is the first day he has been able to see them since he was admitted.


Today was also the day that I could look in Dave’s eyes and just tell he was exhausted.  The chemo is starting to take it’s toll on him, but my gosh he is such an amazing a strong man!  He takes it like a trooper and I am so proud of him!

The girls were so excited to see their daddy!  I think the feeling was mutual ;)

Trying to make the best of every day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 2 of hospital stay (round 1)

The night went well, other than the constant flow of people in and out.  Dave’s labs are still good and he is tolerating the chemo well so far.  I was supposed to work, but got cancelled, thank God, so that I could spend all day with my baby.

Of course, selfies!! Ignore my super sleepy eyes ;)

I hung out most of the night and then went home to spend the night with the girls.  We are desperately trying to keep their world as normal as possible.  But MAN!!  I am so torn and so full of emotion.  This is so dang HARD!

Mommy/daughter selfies to send to daddy!  Then we Face timed him to tell him goodnight!

At the end of the night, before I left the hospital, I could tell Dave was swelling a bit in his belly and eyes.  All of the fluids he was getting, his kidneys couldn’t keep up!  They ended up giving him Lasix and he felt much better!
Still so far so good…
Counting all of the small victories!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 1 of hospital stay

Today was the day we started chemo.  The plan as of right now will be a 5 day inpatient hospital stay (with 5 straight days of continuously infusing chemo), then off for two weeks, and then back in the hospital for 5 days, etc.  Originally the plan was to do that process for the next year, but now Dr. Williams (the oncologist) is saying it all just depends on how the tumor responds to the treatment.  As of right now, he will do 2 rounds of 5 days, and then we will rescan his arm to see how it is responding to treatment.  If it is responding well, we will continue with chemo until it reaches a certain point (not quite sure what, but whenever the doctor feels it’s right!).  If it is not responding as well as they would like, they will go ahead with surgery, and then follow up with chemo.  As of right now, the doctors are hopeful that we can save his arm, but are very up front with us in saying that amputation is a possibility.  We are trying to prepare for the worst.
Any way, this morning on our way to the hospital, Dr. Williams called to let us know there was not a room quite ready for us and we could go eat breakfast!  So we had a little breakfast date at Wild Eggs!

Yummy breakfast, complete with a mimosa for me ;)

Once we were admitted, they accessed his port and started fluids for prehydration.
And it wouldn’t be typical Dave and Lauren without hospital room selfies :) HA

Love my guy and his ability to make me smile and laugh and be funny, despite the major storm we are in!

We had to sneak outside for a few minutes before they hooked him up to his chemo.  Once the chemo starts, he can’t go outside for 5 straight days.  He can’t even leave his little unit :(  And everyone who knows my outdoors loving ADD husband knows that is a bad set up.

A little Jimmy Johns dinner date in our hospital room.  Any thing, any where, any time with you babe…

They started the chemo around 10 tonight.  So far so good.
I am so thankful for my cousin Tina and her family and my parents and brother.  They are selflessly adjusting their schedules around so that they can keep our girls so that I can stay with my husband.  I hate inconveniencing others and I miss my girls terribly, but right now, I just need to stay with my love.