Friday, December 19, 2008

Lincoln- 4 Weeks

We are all doing very well. Lincoln is the best baby. He is the definition of a laid back, relaxed, lazy baby! It has been great. he is only getting up once in the middle of the night- can't tell you how grateful I am! He is doing great and we're are loving him to pieces! David is a fantastic dad, he loves all over him and is very helpful to me. I am feeling good. I have recovered well and we're are getting out and about every few days at the least.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lincoln is Here!

The love of our lives has arrived!

Lincoln Oliver was born on Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 at 9:40 pm He weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces and was 20-1/4 inches long.

Labor began naturally when my water broke at home. We labored for 24 hours, but had a c-section as we realized Lincoln was not tolerating the medicines to keep labor going.

We got home at about 4 pm Friday afternoon and survived our first night really well! Lincoln is beautiful, as you can see from the pictures, and we are completely enchanted by him. David has quickly taken to the role of doting father and is great at it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Myspace: 36 Weeks

I am 36 1/2 weeks pregnant now. Our due date is Dec. 1. Nothing to report this week. I have an appointment on Tuesday- so we'll hopefully get an idea of progress at that time. I am hoping that Lincoln Oliver will stay put for another couple weeks. David and I would like him to he as healthy and ready for the world as he can be. We're setting little goals as we go along, knowing that our goals don't really matter and when Lincoln and my body have had enough of each other, Lincoln will make his entrance into the world. I am really hoping he'll wait until at least Nov. 20 or beyond; we'll see what Lincoln thinks of that.

I will have 6 weeks un-paid maternity leave from work, with the option of adding 2 weeks if Lincoln or I need them. I will be working some from home during that time as there are things I can do from there. I am looking forward to my time with Lincoln before I have to work and he begins daycare.

So that is the plan that could change at any minute. I will post some pictures of Lincoln's room this weekend. I think we've got everything as ready as it can be. It's very surreal for David and I to be at this point- but we're loving Lincoln and can't wait for him to hang out with us!

Take care and thanks for all your love and support!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Myspace: 28 Week Appointment

I had an appointment this morning. Everything looks, sounds and measures right on track! I have only gained one pound, so they've scheduled an ultrasound for 9/26 just to check his growth- but it is fine, they are just doing it becuase it's standard procedure when the mother doesn't gain the "average" weight. I am actually really excited about the ultrasound- cause we'll get to see him again! YAY! Oh, and I passed the diabetes test and blood pressure and everything still look great.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Myspace: It's a Boy

Hey everyone. We are thrilled to be having a boy! He was not at all shy last week, when he showed off! He is measuring great, right on for length and he's big for weight but those measurments can be off sometimes. We have lot and lot of pics that I will try to remember to upload tonight... if I forget feel free to remind me! His name is Lincoln Oliver. We'll call him Linc and his initials will be LOL- I love that!

David is doing very well. He's on his second week of radiation treatments, and those are like xrays, he's moving along quickly! I feel great, not too tired or anything. Thanks for all your love and support!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Myspace: Cancer Free!

David is cancer free! Scan looked good, so the next step is radiation- everyday for 4 weeks, but nothing in comparison to chemo. Thanks for your love and prayers!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Myspace: What a Year 2008 Has Been!

So for everyone who reads the following and didn't know, I'm really sorry I didn't share sooner. I have never felt like anything was as personal as the following and needed time to deal before I was ready to share...

On Feb. 26 of this year, my husband David, 25, was diagnosed w/ Hodgkin's Lymphoma... Cancer. The diagnosis followed a couple months of doctors visits for a swollen right side of his neck. All along we were told it was benign, a cyst, benign, blah, blah, blah. He was prescribed steroids and anti-biotics repeatly, they did a biopsie that was inconclusive and finally removed the nodes. Two golf ball sized nodes- his neck was huge (cup you hand and put it up to your neck), but never did we imagine cancer would come up. Um, the following weeks went quickly, staging, tests to check his heart and lungs (because chemo can damage both), and a mediport inserted below his right collar bone so he no longer has to be stuck w/ needles, they stick his port.

He was staged 1A, which is the best news, very treatable and cureable. He has had 8 chemos, everyother Tuesday since March, he finished at the end of June. He did very well considering, only missing 1 day a week on average from work, dealt with fatigue and nausea, but no puking. In the last 2 sessions the fatigue was impossible to fight.

Also, during this time his mother was fighting leukemia (now cancer free), my gram was diagnosed w/ dementia and my papa passed away. You all also know we are expecting our beloved first child- this is a great blessing that the timing worked for us to become pregnant before the chemo began. We do not know if David's fertility will be an issue in the future, but we are very blessed to have this little baby in our lives already!

These last 5 months have been an amazing testament to why I love my husband. He has faced every week with courage, knowing that the chemo would exhaust him and knowing he would kick cancer's ass!

Please keep David in your thoughts and prayers this week. He had a scan this afternoon that will tell the doctor if the cancer is gone. He has done very well with all this, we are praying he has kicked it and he can move on! We'll have scan results late Friday or Monday. I will let you know as soon as we do.

And again, I am sorry I didn't share sooner, but this was a big thing and alot to figure out. I can't properly describe how this was and is- I can tell you David is a stong man and an amazing husband, even taking care of me during morning sickness on weeks when he had chemo. I love him and I am lucky and blessed to have met him, married him, and have him be the father of my child!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Myspace: I'm losing it.

So this morning I went through all the usual motions, but as I was drying my hair, became unsure of whether or not I washed it. No, I don't think I did. And for those who can go a day or so without washing their hair... more power to you, but mine looks crapy when I don't. Hmmm, so for today we'll blame it on being preoccupied and having baby brain. But if this is how it starts... I am a little scared of what lies ahead, but maybe I'll forget that I forgot.

I am already having a little trouble sleeping and my bladder doesn't last the night anymore. Only getting up once or twice, but this is also bound to get worse. Baby is doing good though, and I am puking much less!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Hero!

His shirt says "If you see Mr. Hodgkin tell him he can have his *@$#! disease back!"

Post hair cut

His Popeye shirt says "Strong to the finish"

Less than a month...

So here we are with less than a month to go of this chemo mess! David had chemo yesterday, May 27; his next will be June 10 and the last June 24... so really he'll be done in less than a month! That's what I keep telling him at least! He did really well between treatments this last time, only three days of feeling crappy and them last Thursday he even said he felt "NORMAL"! I was (and still am) thrilled to hear him say that, since its the first time I have heard it since before surgery in Feb.! He had a really good weekend, helping friends with some lighting outside their home, seeing Indiana Jones and going to a local minor league baseball game this weekend... that all sounds pretty normal to us.

Yesterday and today so far have been about the usual... sleeping, taking his nausea meds, and sleeping some more. I expect he'll lay low today and maybe work tomorrow, we'll see. I attached some pictures for everyone. The first is the ultrasound pic of our little person from about 4 weeks ago. The second is David pre-haircut, and the last two are after the haircut. He made me cut his hair... I didn't want to be the person to do it, and had I known that's what he wanted I might've run out the front door. But it looks great and now he's not shedding everywhere.

I am still dealing with being sick. I tried to convince myself I was done w/ all that, but I was wrong. So my doctor is getting me a prescription that should help that out alot. I have an appointment on Friday, so I'll let you all know how that goes. I am officially in the 2nd trimester today (13 weeks) so hopefully all this sickness will calm down soon! I am still not showing much, I'll send pics when that happens.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

David 5-14

So I am a day behind with this one. The score now stands David: 5, Chemo: 0, with 3 to go. I have to tell you how proud I am of David and how he handles most of this. It sucks, don't get me wrong, but he wants to beat this and get it over with! Yesterday was pretty much what we expected; the chemo introduced his fatigue to the nausea and together they seem to wipe him out. He slept through chemo, only waking up when I brought him lunch and then going home. He slept on and off on the couch all evening, ate a big dinner (thank goodness for leftovers!) and was in bed by 9. He has meds for nausea that also cause the sleepiness, but his doctor would rather he be sleepy than nauseous.

He is taking today off and was sleeping when I left. In between the last chemo and this one the nausea came and went daily, he was never rid of it, but it wasn't constant and he never did get sick. He is still losing hair. Every morning it usually looks like a brown cat slept on his pillow, shedding all the time. It is still not noticeable to people who do not see him on a regular basis, no bald patches or anything like that. So hopefully by this evening he'll be feeling a bit better. I will let you all know how he does the next few days.

I am doing fine. Morning sickness seems to be on the way out, I will be sure to throw it a bon voyage party!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Myspace: Baby's First TV Appearance

We saw our little baby for the first time this morning! Everything was great! Hoping to get the pictures scanned in tonight. He/She looks like and is about the size of a gummi bear. We even saw him/her move like he/she was boxing...very cute! Good heartbeat and measuring 10 weeks which is right where we are!


It was awesome to see David's reaction to all this- he thought it was pretty cool to see him/her moving!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Today is halfway! David is doing well overall. His doctor was pleased today with how well he has done so far. His lymph nodes weren't palpable again today! His blood counts are good and side effects are still minimal. His hair is thinning, but it is not noticeable. Some will be on his pillowcase in the morning, but that's about it. Looking at him, you wouldn't know. He has had some mild nausea in the last week and today at treatments he is experiencing more than he has in past chemo treatments. Other than that he is tolerating most of it very well. It takes him a few more days each time to get to feeling more like himself. This and that fact that he never really felt sick before are the most frustrating things for him to deal with.

After today he will have 4 treatments left; two in May and two in June and then be done with chemo. From there he'll have radiation. We don't have any firm details on that. From what I have read I expect he with have somewhere between 10-20 radiation treatments. They only take 10minutes and are everyday so it will take a lot less time to complete that part. So we are hoping to be done with all this in August!

Also, for those who haven't heard, we are pregnant, expecting a baby on Dec. 1, 2008. David and I are both thrilled, very excited and looking forward to meeting him/her. I feel OK for the most part. I have much more nausea than David (which we laugh about all the time) but it should be getting better in the next few weeks. We are 9 weeks this week and have an ultrasound on Friday morning. We are hoping to scan the pictures in so we can share them!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Moving, steadily...

Yes this year seems to be a crash course of sorts! Craziness for sure! We've got the idea that if there were a contest for most "eventful" first year of marriage we could win that award!

David is doing very well with chemo. No hair loss or terrible side-effects to speak of. He will have his 4th of 8 treatments next Tuesday and then be half way. He says he no longer feels like himself. This is something we expected. it's called "chemo-brain", like there is a fog there. In between treatments it's not getting better as it did the first and second times. So we know it'll take a while to wear off even when all this is over. I think this is one of the most frustrating side effects for David.

He has been working all week and getting gaming in too. He finished school a week or so ago with an A of course. We just try to keep laughing and sometimes forget there's more chemo to come.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This week...

So, chemo is really starting to get to David. He hasn't felt like himself this week. I think this is the most annoying side-effect he could have. His stomach has bothered him some but not nausea related.

I feel so bad for him. I wish I could make him feel better or make this go away but the reality is that this may be his reality until chemo is over and even then it may take a while to really feel David-Normal again. This sucks. Imagine not being comfortable in your own skin.

I will say all that, but then I will say I came home last night, exhausted and he was watching one of the Lethal Weapon movies and as soon as I get settled I hear him laughing. Thank goodness for funny movies that remind you that laughter is GREAT medicine.

I want him to beat this and come out the other side stronger and still David. Anyone who knows David, loves David. When we first started dating my family liked him, my papa who said he'd never like any guy I might want to marry, loved David. My friends love David. It's really fun to talk to them and they always remember "Tell Dave I said what's up!" He is loved. He has a huge family telling everyone they know to pray for him. Keep praying!

Last weekend.

I have been meaning to write this all week long. Yep, it's been one of those weeks!

We had a great weekend. My uncle Mark and his three kids came into town last Thursday and were here until Sunday afternoon. Also, my brother, his girlfriend and their two boys came into town over night on Friday.

Everyone came in to see our grandmother for her 71st birthday. My cousins had not see Gram for almost 3 years, so it was a very good thing for her to see them all. She seems to be adjusting very well to the nursing home. I think the consistency of seeing people, having a roommate and social activities are exactly what they need to be doing for her. She knew everyone, but mixed up names some, but that's no biggie. We all (minus my bother and his family) met at Cracker Barrel on Thursday night and my gram sat next to David and acted as though he was her date. It is really cute; I think his sense of humor and general demeanor remind her of my grandfather who passed away in 1999. It must be very comforting to see the reflection of someone you lost, but were married to for more than 45 years, in someone you know even now. David never met my grandpa, but he has some characteristics that remind us all of how sweet grandpa was.

On Friday we all went to the local part and the kids played for almost two hours. Saturday we took Gram lots of balloons and some flowers and spent about an hour talking with her on her birthday. She seemed to enjoy this time, but I think it may have been overwhelming to have all that attention. That afternoon we went to the zoo. All the kids had a great time. The elephants and giraffes were awesome. Afterwards, we went to Jillian's, a huge arcade-- that was a great idea! That evening my brother left. Sunday, David and I met my uncle and his kids out at the beach boardwalk and rode a 4 person bike/cart thing. It was super fun.

We really enjoyed spending so much time with my uncle and cousins (ages 16, 12, 6). They are all very outgoing and game for just about anything. We are looking forward to seeing them again.


David had chemo 3 of 8 yesterday. It went as expected. Just like the last ones. He has a good banter with the doc and nurses and I think that helps him get through the day.

He still has ALL his hair and isn't really facing any other side effects! He is really looking forward to getting this all over with and that's what we talk about most right now.

He is working today, and this is a first to work the day after chemo.

His doctor said yesterday that his blood counts looked good. And my favorite part.... She didn't feel any lymph nodes in his neck!!!!! One over visits she has been able to feel some swollen lymph nodes on the right side of the neck, but not yesterday! This is HUGE! It is awesome to know his body is kicking this cancer out and he's only 3 treatments in! That's about it. If I missed something let me know.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Our Weekend Recap

So David did awesome this time. No drugged feeling. Stayed very connected. He said that he'd like to drive himself the next time so that I don't have to go back and forth from work. I will still go in the morning while the set him up and he talks to the doctor. i love David, but if I don't go with him and hear what they have to say... no one will know. And he'd love to blame this on something they refer to as "chemo brain"... but its not. It is simply David brain.

He was able to play his computer game, which speaks a lot to his ability to focus. After the first treatment, he didn't play for a week. We watched a movie Saturday night called "Lucky You" with Drew Barrymore.. we both liked it. Other than that it was a very chill weekend. We were both awake early for some reason Saturday, but slept in until almost 11 a.m. Sunday!

I think David is having some trouble sleeping, but this happened after the first treatment as well. there are also some mild stomach issues that we knew to expect. He is tired of it already, poor guy. I just keep trying to remember that we're moving forward everyday. His body is fighting everyday. I am sure it is exhausting to know all of that is going on in you all the time.

No plans for the week. David has his final exam for school tomorrow night. for those of you who don't know, David is a third year electrical apprentice. He has had an A all year long and all previous years. He has one more year. I think he'll be trilled to be done with night classes, although he has mentioned maybe taking a gaming or graphic design course in a year or two. We'll see.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Had lunch with David...

at the Oncologist office. It's funny, if you know David you know he always has pink cheeks. The only time I have seen them go away have been when he's had IVs. So when he had surgery to remove the lymph nodes, installation of the mediport and these two chemo treatments she looses the pink in his cheeks.

David is feeling good. No relaxing or nausea meds this time. I guess the nausea meds really contribute to the sleepiness. Hopefully he'll continue to feel good today!

2 Down, 6 To Go!

As I type this, David is at this weeks chemo treatment. He was scheduled for chemo Tuesday, but after checking his blood counts they said that the white count was too low to do chemo. David was very frustrated with this news, he wants to keep on the schedule and be done with this. So we went this morning to try again to have chemo, knowing that they had told us that if the white count was still low that David was not going to have chemo again today.

We got in and they "access" David's medi-port and take blood and again they said it was too low, better but low. They de-access him and call the doctor to find out when to reschedule him. Well, I guess this week she read some new research and with the course of chemo he is on the changes in white blood counts are ok and are more common than she thought. We were also told it is a good sign because the chemo is killing the bad cancer cells, and the white cells are just in the way and end up getting killed too. So in the future David will not be delaying chemo due to white blood cell count. David was very happy with this news. I was also pleased to hear him giving the nurses a hard time today. He is getting comfortable and familiar, and while its too bad he has to make himself at home at the doctors office, i am glad he is comfortable there. The staff there continues to be outstanding and they like David a lot. It is nice for me to know they all are looking out for him and taking care of him while he is there.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Minor Setback, if that.

David was scheduled for his second chemo treatment yesterday. When we get there, we usually wait 10 minutes in the waiting room and then a few in the exam room. He gets hooked up to about 8 inches of IV tubing to his mediport, they take blood, he sees the doctor and then he's hooked up to the chemo and chillin' for six hours. Well, his white blood count was low yesterday--- too low to do chemo. They don't know why it was low. They said if it did get low, they would expect that 10 days after treatment, but he had it checked last Friday and the counts were good. The doctor asked David not to be so difficult, this is not something that they see often with the chemo treatment David is on. It was hard to believe for us, the nurse and the doctor.

David did not take that news well. He feels fine and of course there's no "feeling" like they are low. They have scheduled him to get blood work at 9am on Friday, and if his counts are back up (and we expect then to be back up) then he will have chemo Friday. Everything felt out of control for David and he felt in his words "helpless because he can't get better any faster." There is not really anything he can do to contribute to getting better sooner other than taking care of himself and getting treatment. We are not patient patients.

We'll update again on Friday. We don't know what this will do in regards to the overall schedule. I don't think they would keep it up and have another treatment 10 days after Friday, so i think they'll hold him up a week.

Old---- David Part 3 (3.19.2008)

David is doing very well. His first chemo was yesterday. He is at the oncologists office for 6 hours on chemo days. He took a book, our Ipod and a personal DVD player friends lent us to keep him busy. He was there for 9 until 3 and saw the doctor before it began. I dropped him off, brought him lunch, picked him up and worked some in the middle of it all.

He did awesome.

They gave him some meds to relax him and prevent nausea and they totally worked. He was so relaxed he didnt care about much last night. He slept through the afternoon portion of chemo and slept for another hour and a half when we got home. He is off work today, just trying to let the relaxing meds get out of his system. He has an appointment Friday to make sure his port is healing well and a blood work appointment next Thursday or Friday. He should do very well through this, I think he would like them to reduce the relaxing medicine next time. His next Chemo will be on Tuesday, April 1.

Please keep praying!

Old---- David Part 2 (3.14.2008)

Hey all, Sorry for so many updates. Plans seems to shift quite often lately. David had the port put in yesterday. It was an out-patient procedure and he is even working today. However, this seems to be very painful. He says it hurts more than the neck sugery (to remove the lymphnodes) was. They have also put some limitations, such as lifting and pulling with his right arm, on him for two weeks. He is still tentatively starting chemo on Tuesday, but if not then definately the next week. We're hoping time flies!

Old--- David Part 1 (3.12.2008)

Dear Family and Friends,
Well the news is good. David has stage 1A Hodgkin’s Disease/Lymphoma. The 1 refers to that the cancer is only located in the right side of his neck. The A refers to symptoms associated with Hodgkin’s that David does not have. (If he was having night sweats, fevers, chills, etc then he would have B.) So now we're going forward. David has an appointment this afternoon to get some specifics about the chemo he will be getting, what to expect, foods he may prefer, etc. Tomorrow he is having an out-patient procedure to put a mediport in. The mediport will be used for the chemo treatments as well as taking blood. This will make it so they are not sticking him with needles in the arms and hands all the time.
If our insurance company is prompt with their approval for the chemo treatments to begin, David will have his first treatment on Tuesday, March 18. He will have treatments every other week for 4 months. At the end of this they will do some radiation on his neck. Regarding side effects of the chemo, nausea should be less with the course they are doing for him but they all but guarentee he will lose his hair. As for long-term, they say that this course of chemo should not effect his future fertility, so we're good.
David is taking everything very well. He is ready to get it over with and get on with his/our life. I think the procedure tomorrow for the port will go a long way for making it real that this is all happening. David will be able to work as much as he feels up to it throughout this. Our employer, since we both work for White Electric, and all our co-workers have been very understanding and supportive.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers! We really appreciate them and with good news like this they certainly are working. Feel free to call or email anytime if you’d like to know more. We’re just going to beat this. It’s that simple

Monday, March 24, 2008

A Photo Tribute

My Mother-in-Law at our wedding

My Papa

My Gram on the right. (Also in the pic, my mom & her husband, us, and my uncle.)

David with the neck mass. Huge, right?

Chemo, Day 1. Gauze is where medi-port is.

Side order of Life, Scrambled with Cheese

Ok, so 2007 was an awesome frickin' year overall. Got married, saw family a lot, got a new car (albeit because the insurance co. totalled the old one), went to Seattle... enough said, you get it right? Great year for us!

So far, 2008 sucks and is not a great year. We'll get through it, but it has to be said that we're getting a good kick in the pants this year. First we'll say that David's mother was diagnosed with cancer in December, days before Christmas. She is truly kicking cancer's sorry little butt and we're super proud. As we understand it she is finishing up chemo and should be able to get back to her "regularly scheduled program" very soon. My grandmother moved to Virginia Beach from Missouri last May. After a two month stay with David and I waiting for an apartment to come available, she moved in to an independent senior living facility. She hasn't done as well as we expected and last week was diagnosed with dementia. We are very sad to have this diagnosis, but grateful to know whats going on and be able to move forward. She will be moving into a nursing home this week, where they will better know how to encourage her to have more interaction with others. I do want to say that both David and I are blessed that she lived with us for a time and we really enjoyed her. Hopefully time and some adjustments will give some of her back to us. In mid-February I got a call from my uncle. My papa, who lives in Colorado, was very sick. My father was out of the country, and could not be informed of this. I have been unable to travel to see him, but he had a very hard fight and passed away today. He had been fighting pneumonia and sepsis; his organs had been shutting down. Today he peacefully stopped breathing and went home to heaven to see his wife, my Nana, for the first time in five years. I felt the loss of him coming. I love him more than words, I think he loves me more than I even know. I was his "bip-bip". Rest in peace Papa.

Finally, if you can believe there is more, my beloved husband, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease/Lymphoma on February 26, 2008. We found out after a surgery was performed to remove two swollen lymph nodes from his neck on Feb. 20. We had been dealing with these nodes since November '07, but were never led to believe that they were cancerous. Before the surgery he had a CT scan, a fine-needle biopsy, endured 3 sets of steriod pills and at least that many anti-biotics. Since the diagnosis our life has felt surreal and as if we're on fast forward mode. He has had a PET scan, to find out if there was more cancer. This provided us with staging so we knew how long a battle he had ahead. He also had an echo to make sure his heart is good, and a pulmonary test, checking his lung function. He had a medi port installed on March 13 so they can give him his medicine through that rather than through IVs every time. David's news is good. Hodgkin's is very treatable and curable. Better than that, he is stage one! He began chemo last Tuesday and is tolerating it very well. He will have chemo every other Tuesday a total of eight times. He will most likely lose his hair, but other than that the side effects are minimal. He has medicine for nausea. Last week he felt very drugged on Tuesday, Wednesday and some of Thursday. He is going to ask about reducing some of the meds that relax him. But, if its a choice between relaxed and sick, we're taking relaxed.

So that's our life right now. We are trying to take it all in good humor. David has accumulated a series of nicknames lately, cancerboy, chemoboy and my new favorite bionic man (b/c of the medi port). He is working as much as he is able and relaxing alot too. I love my husband, he is a really tough guy to handle all this crapola!

So It Began...

David and I met in Febuary 2004. We met, conspicuously, in a bar that neither of us have returned to since. At the time, I was working for Olive Garden and David was in the Navy. Since then David and I both now work for the same company, an electrical contractor in Virginia Beach. We were married on July 7, 2007 in Massachusetts. It was a beautiful; we enjoyed a perfect day with both family and friends. We want children in the future, but not quite yet. We're happy! and... we like each other ALOT!