Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bahamas and Stomach Bugs

I have so much catching up to do on the blog! Yikes! And tomorrow morning we head off to Denver!

So let me do a quick recap of our post-Arizona adventure. We had a weekend trip to the Bahamas planned prior to our run to Arizona, so we were so glad the dates worked out to do both. We took the ferry out to Freeport, Bahamas, which is only about a three-hour sail. We had planned a lot of fun excursions, like a night scuba dive, church at the local (and brand new!) branch, and more.

Unfortunately, Levi J and I brought home some kind of stomach bug that we passed on to Levi just in time to hit him the first day of our Bahamas vacay. Levi spent the entire two days there throwing up and feeling like he was going to die. So plans went out the window and we spent the whole trip at the pool instead.

Luckily, it was a pretty fabulous pool. Lazy river, water slide, hammocks poolside, the ocean in sight...we definitely could have done worse. Levi J and I took a water taxi to a sweet little breakfast spot Sunday morning, then spent six hours in the pool. And when I say six hours in the pool, I really do mean six hours in the water. The little guy did NOT want to get out! He practically ate lunch with one toe still in the water. We spent a little time at the beach, too, but mostly swam in the pool the whole day.

We had to check out of our room at 10 am, but our ferry didn't leave until 7 pm. Thankfully, Levi was mostly done throwing up at that point and could lay in a hammock by the pool trying to recover for the day. By the time we got back on the boat, he could keep some food and water down and felt like he might survive after all.

We decided to upgrade our homeward-bound tickets to first class, which was definitely worth the extra $20. We got comfy, reclining seats, free soda and chips, and best of all, we got to exit the boat first in Miami, meaning we were first in the customs line and got to beat the crowds there and out of the parking garage too.

Levi J made some friends on the ride home by sharing his matchbox cars with some older kids. That meant mommy didn't have to find ways to entertain him for three hours straight, woo hoo!

It wasn't the trip we had planned, but I still maintain it could have been much worse. And luckily we live close enough that it is not a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So we'll just have to try again soon!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cancer Sucks

Hello! Sorry for the absence. It's been kind of crazy around here. Mom/Grams was diagnosed with breast cancer about two months ago. It threw us all into a tizzy of worry and planning and sympathy and bravery and a lot of emotions that took some time to process. But there wasn't time to process them because there was major surgery to schedule and travel to plan and chemotherapy to figure out, and nothing could wait because it's CANCER and you don't let that sit.
 
Whew! Things are still crazy. But it's time for an update. After Mom's diagnosis she was scheduled for surgery pretty quickly. I really wanted to be there to help her through the surgery and some recovery, so little Levi and I hopped a plane to Phoenix a few weeks ago.
 
I was so so glad to be there for the surgery, and everything was very successful. She had a double mastectomy, with reconstruction immediately after (as in, the first surgeon finished and the plastic surgeon walked right into the same surgery for his work). Four lymph nodes were biopsied and all were clear of cancer. Recovery has been fine; she is still in some pain and regaining strength but there have been relatively few bumps in the road. She was stage two, which has an excellent survival rate, but still requires quite a lot of treatment.
 
The day after her mastectomy. Doesn't she look fantastic?!
Hours after surgery. Hannah (Ray's daughter), Ray (Mom's boyfriend), little Levi, and my cousin Jennie.
Playing with Spider-man at the hospital; he was a pretty happy dude!
Little Levi took this picture of me at the hospital.

I think we have all been touched at how much love and support people have shown during this ordeal. Hannah, Ray's daughter, decorated the house for Mom's homecoming with pink streamers and balloons everywhere. Mom's visiting teacher arranged for a week of delicious meals to be brought in by people none of us had ever met. My cousin watched little Levi on her own birthday so that I could be at the hospital for the surgery. Countless people sent flowers, came by the visit, sent special thoughts via Facebook and text message; the number of people praying for our family was incredible.
Levi and Melody (Hannah's daughter) loved the balloons.

Levi J. actually had a really fun trip. He swam in the pool almost every day, sometimes twice a day! He spent quality time with his Grams, with Melody (Hannah's daughter), and with  his cousin Piper too. He spent a day with my cousin Jennie, who bought him a Spider-man toy and took him to the McDonald's playplace. He got to sleep in the "big bed" with mom every night, too! The only time he really got upset was when we Skyped with his daddy and he got very homesick. I think up to that point he had in his mind that Daddy was at work. When he saw Daddy at home, he wanted to be home too. We didn't Skype anymore after that!
 
He did this and said to me, "Mommy, look, I'm Frozen! Tick tock tick tock." If you haven't seen the movie Frozen that won't make any sense.
  
Levi and Melody
Levi and Piper
Levi and Piper
Levi and Piper

Chemotherapy starts this upcoming Thursday. Another round of scary, but my mom has been so upbeat and positive through it all. She's even having a head-shaving party on Saturday! Keep praying for us, but we have every confidence things will go as well as possible. We look forward to a year from now when this is all a memory!