Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fears, Fences, and Frogs

Well we have power, but the house is a mess. Our roof has been fixed (thanks to the kindness of a member of our church) but we have no fence. We are dealing with a plague of misquitos and frogs. Ok, let me go slower. First, the important stuff: Josh went to the doctor Friday and his counts were low. His weight was up but so was his nausea. We went back today and his counts are going back up but his weight was down and we are working on the nausea. All in all he is rebounding but slowly. We do not have to go back till the 8th of October and then he is inpatient on the 10th for more chemo.
Onto the house. The inside is a mess and there is no easy fix. We are waiting for the insurance to give us a number to see what we can do and even then it may be a while till we can fix anything. Building materials are in scarce supply and contractors harder to find. However our most pressing matter is our fence. A stray came into the yard to drink the dogs water and eventually bit Miriam. She is ok, it was just an overgrown pup and didn't break the skin but it drove home the point to us that having our yard exposed to the road behind us was not a good thing. Also the poor beagles are devastated to be on leash lines all the time. Unfortunately our association apparently owns the parimeter fence in our neighborhood which includes our back fence and they don't seem concerned about fixing it anytime soon. I am working the angles trying to find a compromise but it is a mess.
Now, for some fun....we now have mosquitos (no exageration) the size of flies and a prolifiation of frogs. (yes this does remind me of the plagues of the old testament) Well tonight I heard the dogs barking and they were tangled in the leashes. I fixed them and they ran after something. Megan grabbed it in her mouth and I was scared that it might be a snake or something. I yelled and shook her till she dropped it and it was a frog. It hopped in circles (apparently being a dogs mouth will leave you in a daze) but eventually hopped into the grass. However they chased it and I had to capture it and run through the house. It jumped out of my cup by the front door but I managed to free it into the front garden and I hope it hopped away. I would like to expose my son's apparent lack of bravery- Josh hid on the sofa during the whole event. I do not know what he was more afraid of, the frog or my screaming every time it moved. ( stop and get a visual of this) Anyway, we are trying to get back to normal but I just don't know what that is anymore. School still is not back in and today they said not tomorrow or Thursday either. Groceries are hard to come by and I no longer believe we will ever get rid of the boxes. I guess that doesn't matter too much, everyone is doing ok, and we get by......Keep praying - we pray for you too.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane Ike

The wind howled, it started at 10pm and every hour grew stronger. By 1am the house shook. By 3am a loud screeming like a kazoo started. It would stop for a second like the storm took a breath and start again. We huddled in the pantry and waited. Finally at 5am the sind slowed down. It stop until almost 10am. When it was over we were left with no fence in the backyard, some roof damage water in the attic, and the master bedroom and playroom soaked from the windows, the downstairs office is the same. The garage has water coming out the light fixtures. And we have no power. BUT, we are okay. We are lucky, we found shelter in a condo in the city. We have power, but no water. Joshua was getting ill from the heat but now is okay. It is very hot and muggy and this morning it is raining again.
Im so tired. We are very blessed and I know that, but Im just tired. It will be at least a week before we have power and can go home. I don't know how long before we will be able to get the house fixed. I am worried about mold. Again we are lucky, the house three doors down was destroyed. The owners wern't home so they wern't hurt. I dont know what to say but we are okay. And we are lucky and we will get by. I still have 5 children, 2 dogs and 1 incredible husband. We pray for those who lost more than us, and ask that you do the same. As always, thank you.
And thanks to Lanae for typing this as I dictated it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Weather, Watching, Worries

Well I see a lot of people logging in to see if there is an update. It is about 3pm and we are waiting for Ike. The sky is getting dark and the wind is picking up but there isn't anything yet. We are expecting the storm to really hit about midnight. People keep calling and asking were we actually live and we are south of Houston in a town called Pearland in Brazoria county. It is the only town in the county that was not manditorally evacuated. They asked us to stay put so the people in danger of drowning in the flood waters had a chance to get out and the roads would not back up and leave them stranded. Our current danger is the wind and we have made a closet under the stairs and the laundry room into bedrooms for the children for the night so they will be safe. We could not board up the house because we have brick on the house and you have to get special clips and they have been out of them for days. Only one house on our street is boarded so hopefully we will be ok.

Joshua and the other kids are doing well. Josh is feeling better this week he is eating a little more and up to 67 pds, Dorothy got her stitch out, Miriam and Ted are doing well in school and Rachel is still spoiled! We have just begun our 3 week break in treatment but one of the differences here is that they still want him to come in every week to be checked. It is hard but I like it because I know they are really watching him and I feel much more secure. Of course we were supposed to come in today but that was cancelled due to Ike so we will go in next week. We were in on Tuesday and his counts were good so that is good news.

Please don't worry to much, we will be ok. We have been watched over through so much already I find it hard to be scared of a hurricane! We are being safe and trying to be prepared and that is all we can do. As soon as the storm passed and we have power I will make another post so watch for that. And thank you for your continued prayers.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Stitches, Super Powers, and Sweet Memories

This post is about my sweet and brave girl Dorothy. I promise an update about Josh at the end.

Last night Dorothy cut the back of her ankle. Because of the location she needed stitches. We went to the emergency room and the doctor told me she only needed one stitch. He said that the numbing medicine would require 3 needle pokes but the stitch was only 2. I told him to just stitch it, she would be fine. He left the room for a while to get ready and while he was gone I talked to Dorothy. I reminded her of a story that she has heard about before. In the early days of our church the prophet was Joseph Smith. There is a story about when he was little that he needed an operation. They wanted to give him whiskey to dull the pain and then bind him down. His father said that they didn't believe in drinking and that he would not have to be bound. He held him and Joseph was still for the operation. I told Dorothy that I would hold her. I told her it would hurt but be over quickly and she would be ok if she held still.
When the doctor came in he brought a bunch of nurses to hold her down. I told him they didn't need to be there, she would be still. As I held her she asked if she could cry and I said of course, a nurse told her she could scream if she wanted. Dorothy was very offended and told her that babies scream and she would not. Well she cried a little but never moved and was very brave. They were all amazed at my brave girl! Afterwards, while we were waiting to be discharged, she told me that she was going to thank the doctor when we left. She fell asleep and when I carried her to the car I said goodbye to the doctor and as he said the same we heard a little Thank You from my arms.
As I write this I am crying. I miss so much of my other children because of this terrible disease and hope that they know how much I love them. All of my children are very special and I love them so much. Also, this is my first stitches! I always knew it would be Dorothy!!

Now an update on Joshua. He is stable now but had a rough weekend. After not keeping anything down for 3 days his weight is down to 63 pds. They are considering putting in a G-tube to suppliment his feeding but we do not know yet about that. We did get him on anti-nausea meds and he is eating now but he just can't eat enough and we will be going to the doctor tomorrow and Tuesday to check his counts and weight as we watch it. Also the toxicity from the vincristine is getting worse and his speech is going down hill so they did not give him his dose on Tuesday and are discussing cutting it out all together. I was very frightened when we got to the doctor and saw how much his weight had dropped. I asked them how bad it was and they said "well he is not tachacardic yet" That means that his heart is ok but he is little enough to start affecting his heart. Needless to say, I am very worried and we are working hard to get him to eat. We had him meet with a nutritionist and he is now trying to eat something every 2 hours. I am proud of the fact that he works so hard to do what they tell him to do. Nothing tastes good and yet he tries.

Thanks for the prayers and your love, we continue to live day by day and prayer to prayer.

Monday, September 1, 2008

In Memorandum

We have a heavy heart today as we share the loss of our dear dog Misty Jo. She has been staying on the farm with Gordon's cousin Wendall and Kathy while we got settled here. She was old and suffering from dementia that was causing aggression and confusion. While we are very sad she is gone, and I personally feel terrible that I was not with her, we are greatful to Wendall and Kathy for their care and love to her at the end of her life. At first we were not going to tell Josh, she was his special dog (she slept under his crib when he was first born) but this morning he asked when we were going to go get the dogs and we knew we had to tell him. We have promised him to always tell him the truth so we did. He cried and was very sad but we talked about how happy she was now and that she wasn't confused anymore. I was very proud of him because he wanted to tell the other kids and he did a great job.
Josh is having a hard time of it right now. He can not stop throwing up and is very weak. I am beginning to see a pattern, I don't think we are dealing with nausea as much as dizziness that is causing nausea. I am not sure if that is good or bad but we see the doctor tomorrow and hopefully they can help. It was the prime reason we didn't know if we should tell him about Misty but I am glad we did. He really is remarkable, with all the terrible things that keep getting thrown at him he just keeps getting back up and handling it all. Also it is what makes me greatful everyday for our faith. Being able to tell him she was with Heavenly Father and happy matters. Joshua (and the rest of us) has such a great faith in Heavenly Father's plan and belief that we will live after this life and be together again as family. It gives us peace and security that we need now. I laugh when I think of Misty laying at the Masters feet and snoring! HAHAHA Please keep us in your prayers, I do know that Josh is sad and Teddy took it hard as well.

Before I forget again: Our new address is

1903 Plum Falls Lane
Pearland, TX 77581