Sunday, March 27, 2016

A fun surprise

Callum woke up to a lovely Easter basket surprise this morning (thanks to a local Bank of America for donating, and LPCH for delivering these in the middle of the night!). He was so delighted and has been playing with his new toys all morning.

Happy Easter to all! 🎀💐🌷🐰💕💕

Friday, March 25, 2016

H1N1 Virus

It's been a long day so I'm hoping to turn in soon and get a bit more sleep tonight. Callum had a rough morning but had some energy mid-day to work on a little art before feeling crummy again. He took a nice nap in the afternoon and finally seemed to be looking better. Tired, but so much better.

His nasal swab tested positive for the H1N1 virus - which isn't a huge surprise since I was pretty certain Jon and I came down with the flu - but still a bummer to hear. The good news is that there's an antiviral med for this one, which can help lessen the severity and length of illness, so we've started him on that (Tamiflu) today. Hopefully between that, the barrage of fluids and around the clock Tylenol he's been getting, he'll feel much better very soon. Since I just took care of Jon and then was out of commission with it myself, I know this flu is no joke. Poor guy. :(

My small brave boy in the spotlight

Callum spiked a high fever last night, earning us a long night in the ER and, sadly, a hospital admission early this morning (his counts dropped a lot and he's now neutropenic). 😥 It's not a huge surprise given what seems like the plague, that Jon and I have been fighting, but still such a bummer. And I hate that he's having to go through the same hell that we've both just endured (and are only barely coming out of!).

This set of fevers is nasty and won't let go - even with 24/7 fluids and Tylenol - so he's feeling pretty crappy and looks quite miserable. Hopefully it breaks soon so he can return to his usual smiley chatty self....

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Breaks my heart

I'll try to post some gorgeous pics from our trip to make up for these crappy two, later, when I'm feeling better. Jon came down with the flu while we were in Mexico and unfortunately, I got hit with it the night we got home. So we have been a sad pair! I'm sad he didn't get to enjoy the trip as much as everyone else - I guess we'll have to return again soon. :) I took this first pic to send to Callum, on our flight home, so he could see he's not the only one having to wear a mask!

I've been pretty incapacitated these last couple of days, fighting some high fevers, aches and chills. Jon took Callum to the hospital today for his "Day 8" Vincristine infusion and said everything went swimmingly.

But, then he got home and has been begging me for food (he had his last dose of steroids this morning but the munchies are definitely in full swing right now). He was crying from the hallway (because I've told him he can't enter my bedroom) that it isn't fair why he has to wait so long until he can eat again (it's been about an hour - he had a hot dog and a lunchable pack! So he's definitely not starving).

He finally just lost it and broke down sobbing. Couldn't move poor guy. I want to just pick him up and cuddle and hold him and tell him it'll be ok but I can't. :(

I was able to move him to his bed to lay down and relax a bit. Slowly patting his back and keeping my distance (mask on, slathered in hand sanitizer!). This is probably the worst, not being able to comfort your baby when he's so out of sorts. :(

Monday, March 21, 2016

Adios Cabo!

We had a blast with several of our closest friends (even though Jon was sick with fevers most of the trip poor guy). Now it's time to get back home and see our boys whom we dearly miss!

Until next time Cabo! :)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Having fun like we're 20

Hashtags are everywhere! ;-)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Here we go!

This is what 40 now looks like (on me, Kim is still a wee young one). 😜

Headed to Cabo for a long weekend with several of our close friends (the boys really laid the guilt on thick last night - wanting to know why we were taking a trip without them. *sigh*). But, they are in great hands with my parents and we'll be back soon.

Let the celebrations begin!! 🎉🎊☀️🌴👊🏼

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Kinder Field Trip Day!

No better way to spend my birthday than on a sunny farm with this adorable kiddo! 🍀❤️

Happy St. Paddy's Day to all!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Day 1, Cycle 6

This is the first day of our last full cycle! (We will have a 7th cycle but won't complete the full cycle based on the number of days Callum has left)

We had a good visit today. His port access went really well. He had a harder time with the pentamidine (antibiotic that he breathes in from a mask) today, but still did fine. We also had a longer then usual appointment for his chemo infusion, since we have a(nother) new nurse assigned to us. So I spent a lot of time going over Callum's history and stuff I think she should know about or keep an eye on moving forward.

His counts were a little lower than usual (ANC = 720), but still good. We start his 7 days of steroids tonight (boy oh boy) and then we'll be back in a week for another infusion of vincristine. Phew!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Let the hatching begin!

My Aunt Pam and Nana stopped by for a visit the other day - and Aunt Pam have the boys an early Easter gift - two (toy) eggs which we promptly placed in a bowl of water. :)

The boys have been excitedly checking in on the egg hatching event every morning when they wake and the minute they walk into the house after school. 😊 Callum got the dinosaur and is very proud that his is hatching faster than Logan's chick (or duck, maybe?)!

Thank you again Aunt Pammie! They love them. 😍

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

2 years

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of Callum's diagnosis.  Can you believe it's been 2 years?  Can you believe we're almost done with his chemotherapy program?  

It has felt like the longest 2 years of my life. And it has also felt like the 2 years passed in a blink. 

As I was preparing this post, I read back to what my thoughts were a year ago. My feelings were still quite raw. At some level, I think I was still recovering from, and digesting, the news that our son had cancer.

But now, 2 years after that dreadful day, you'll find there are times where we are complacent and halfway forget we have a fighter on our hands.  I'm not nearly as diligent as I used to be (or should be) about following people around with hand sanitizer every second of every day. I'll sometimes forget to ask after the health of other kids before a play date or a party. I think because he's doing so amazingly well, we (everyone, really) forget where we've been and what we've been fighting these last two years.  

It's as if we've put those ugly two years behind us, and are racing to the end, with the finish line in sight. Where we can return to being a "normal" family once more.

But - will we ever be normal again?

My Dad and I were having this conversation a few weeks ago, actually. This experience has changed us all. There are aspects of this experience which have robbed my youngest of his most innocent and precious childhood years. There are aspects of this which have robbed my oldest of *his* most innocent and precious childhood years as well.

Every pain of Callum's. Every stumble. Every whimper. Every time something happens, my first fear is that the cancer has come back. It's a constant haunting.

I think it haunts the kids too. They just don't realize it exactly.


Logan recently had a little bump on his shoulder that he got really concerned about one day. He approached me with a very serious - and sorrowful - look in his eyes.

Mom, look at this spot. Do you think it's cancer?

Oh gosh, no sweetie. It's nothing like that at all. You'll be ok.

But if it *is* cancer, will we need to cut off my arm?


The three of us were driving to dinner one afternoon, after a great golfing lesson, so we were all in a good mood. We were listening to some fun music and enjoying ourselves. 

Then, out of nowhere, Callum started to cry. He just burst into tears and couldn't stop sobbing. I knew something was wrong and it broke my heart. Both Logan and I immediately asked what happened - was he hurt? What was wrong?

I slowed the car down to pull over and asked Callum again if he was hurt. 

No (still through tears). 

Whatever is wrong then?

I don't want to die Mommy!!


And yet, even amidst each of our own personal hauntings, I am excited about our future ahead.

The boys are both doing tremendous in school. They have more friends than I can keep up with (or schedule play dates with, which they are constantly demanding me to do). Having completed our major house remodel, we are now tackling "Phase 2", by remodeling the pool and backyard. The boys anxiously await the finished product, which should be done in time for the summer. Jon continues to do well at work, taking on more challenges, and more responsibility, every day. I'm volunteering as much as I can in both boys' classrooms, running them to and from endless after school activities, and befriending a whole new community of families here within our neighborhood.

I'm also looking forward to the next chapter I'm about to begin. I've been asked to join the LPCH Bass Center (Oncology and Hematology) Family Advisory Board and have recently been speaking with several members at the hospital, to make sure I'm the right fit for them, and they're the right fit for me. The timing is perfect - since I've been stewing for awhile now, on how exactly we can give back to the hospital that has done so very much for our family.

Without realizing it at the time, of course, Callum's diagnosis two years ago was the birth of a new family, a new community, a new direction and a new path in our lives. 

I'm realizing this is our new normal. And we're settling into it quite nicely.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Loganism of the year, perhaps?

While out running errands today, Callum asked if he and Logan came from the same egg and grew inside me together at the same time. I said no, that they were separate eggs and grew (and were born) at different times.

Logan, starting to put two and two together these days *I GUESS*, said:

"So, you and Dad had sex two times?"

Yes, that's right.

(But seriously folks - where the hell did that come from?!?)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Logan's Spring Assessment

This week is the Spring Parent/Teacher conference week at the boys' school. Logan's teacher sent home a note a couple of weeks ago, letting me know she didn't see the need to meet since he's been doing fine and is ready for the 3rd grade next year.

While that was nice to hear, and I'm all about not having meetings if we don't need them, I was still a little nervous about accepting it. Ha! 

(I can't remember if I have blogged much on this topic before, but last year, at his previous school, his teachers basically told me he was behind in almost every subject, and would really need to step it up in order to keep up with the kids in 2nd grade this year. While alarming to hear, it became par for the course at the school, sadly, since the majority of his teachers just didn't seem motivated or interested in working with him, to help him learn). :/

So, when I got her note, I emailed his teacher and asked if she'd have time to email me her feedback instead of meeting, and most importantly, outline any weaknesses of his that we should focus on over the summer, given his history (I had met with her at the start of the year to relay my worries based on the previous school's assessment, so she was aware). 

I have seen him really come around this last year - the transformation, and difference from his previous school, has been amazing. He reads, on his own, because he wants to. The reading, and his teacher's focus on spelling each week, have really improved his writing and spelling.  And he KILLS IT in math. But this is just my impression when I review his homework each week. I really have no idea if he's "at level" or not....

Logan's teacher just emailed me her assessment today, so I thought I'd share it here.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Logan is doing fantastic.  He has many strengths especially in math.  He has a really good number sense.  He is able to do multi-step problems and figure out the answer.  

In writing he is also doing well.  His reversals that he had in November are almost if not gone at this time.  He has a nice way of organizing his story and its easy for the reader to follow.  His spelling tests continue to be 12/12 and the nice thing is that his spelling within his writing has gotten much better.  

He continues to read a grade level which is fantastic.  He is accurate and reads at a nice speed.  He is able to answer different questions about the story that he read.  I would still like him to work on reading out loud.  He can mumble which makes it difficult for the reader to hear/understand him.  

Overall, he will be ready for 3rd grade.

Crazy Eyes

From the toy box at the dentist. ;-)

Logan's turn!

Logan's turn for a cleaning. Every time I turn around he looks bigger and older!

My goofy date

Jon and Logan had gone to a soccer date on Sunday, so after Callum went swimming for a bit (at the hotel pool, where we are staying while there's a bit more construction happening at our house), he and I walked a couple blocks to nearby downtown Palo Alto for a yummy lunch at the Palo Alto Creamery.

Callum filled up with a hot dog, fries, and a chocolate shake (and then a chocolate chip cookie for dessert!). We had a fantastic time. But who wouldn't?

Monday, March 7, 2016

A million questions

You'd think Callum would be used to the poking and the prodding and the various machines by now. But he still bounced into the dentist today with a million questions for the office, insisting on checking out the X-ray machine before his X-rays (which didn't work out today - his mouth was too small to hold the little pieces of film).

He's quite the character!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

A true swimmer!

Rain or shine, this guy wants to swim! (It was pouring all day yesterday, and pretty chilly today, but he didn't care) :)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Loganism of the week

Earlier this week, with his mouth stuffed to the brim, crumbs falling out as he spoke, Logan asked me:

"Mom. These Girl Scout Cookies are so delicious. Mom! HOWARETHEYSOGOOD?" 🍪😋😂😂


Callum taking a few turns on the neighbor's swing before his bus pickup this morning. :)


The boys saw a few other kids swinging in pairs on the swings today, and had to try it out themselves. They were pretty cute hanging out together. :)