Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Just for Fun

What a difference a year makes...

Last year, Ami & Sarah came to visit the Pearsons in ABQ.
3 cute girls, one tiny baby

This year, the Pearsons visit Tucson

3 (still) cute girls, 3 tiny babies, 1 big toddler!

I can't wait to see how many more kids will be added to picture next year!

Father's Day

We spent a great Father's Day this year... on the road! We had to leave Tucson a day early because Brian had to work on Monday. Our drive was SO much better this time. We left my parent's house right before Jaxon's morning nap, so he fell asleep almost immediately after getting in the car. That was nice. We also were smart and bought a portable DVD player. We weren't sure if this would work since Jaxon isn't really a TV watching kid, but when you have to have a 1 year old strapped in the car seat, you'll try anything. Boy was this the best money we had ever spent! He was quiet for almost an hour and half! I did have to sit next to him and hand him toys every few minutes (he's like his mama, a multi-tasker).
Love the crossed legs!

Once we get home I give Brian his Father's Day present. Before I went radioactive, I had Jaxon finger paint some pictures for Brian (you can take the girl out of kindergarten, but you can't take kindergarten out of the girl). Once I got back to ABQ I put them into a frame. Much to my dismay Jaxon was not a fan of the fingerpainting! I think his Auntie Sarah has rubbed off on him with the not liking crafts!

Getting ready for finger painting! Lucy is clearly excited.

"Look, it's fun!", says Mama. "I'm not so sure." thinks Jaxon

All right, I'll try.

"I don't like it!", screams Jax. "OOO it's ok."

Get me outta here!

The finished product

Opening presents. Jaxon likes this!

Happy Father's Day Dada!

PS Keeping up with our tradition, Jax did have a Father's Day shirt on! I can't believe I didn't take a picture of it :(

Monday, June 22, 2009

Look Mama... No Hands!

Jaxon woke up today and decided it was the day to start walking!!
Brian went outside to grill a hot dog for lunch. Jaxon and I were inside, but he wanted to be outside with Daddy. He was at our back door banging on the blinds. I tell him NO and give him my best "teacher look". He immediately gives me his "look" and starts to cry. He lets go of the blinds and just walks over to our coffee table, a good 5 feet away! Unbelievable. I was holding my breath the entire time, just waiting for him to fall over. Nope, he made it safely to the coffee table and gave me this look of pure achievement. It was wonderful!
A bit later, we decided to practice walking, this time with the video camera handy. Neither Brian nor I were expecting anything to come of it, but boy were we wrong! Here is our video. It is about 5 minutes. I just couldn't put the camera down. We are so excited!! More so that he waited until Brian and I were both together to start walking. Now let the fun begin!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jaxon Makes Amends

Last time Jaxon saw his Auntie Ami (or future mother-in-law, however we want to refer to her as) he was not exactly a fan. We went on a play date to Peter Piper Pizza and while I went to the rest room she stayed with him and he screamed and screamed and screamed! Another time we were at Target and he was smiles and giggles with Auntie Mary, as soon as he saw Ami, SCREAMING! Ok, so this could be a problem.
Well, we went to visit our favorite triplets yesterday and Auntie Ami is back in the Circle of Trust! Whew!
Here we have video to prove that he does love his Auntie Ami again. Plus this video is hysterical! Ami is holding Jaxon and giving Piper treats. Jaxon is just laughing watching Piper jump up to catch the treats! I bet Piper wishes Jaxon lived at their house.

Here It Is...

My much awaited bracelet!

I also ordered a charm. I mean, why not?

Not only did I get lucky enough to have the "best cancer to have", but I also "chose" a cancer with pretty colors!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mama & Jaxon's Reunion

Today Jaxon & I were reunited after 10 looong days of being apart. I, of course, was envisioning a party from my only son! You know, smiles, squeals, tears of joy, maybe some confetti. Well, I got none of it (from Lucy & Izzy I did). At least not at first. After a while, he did warm up and just kept giving me hugs and kisses. Which has made the time apart from him competely worth it. I don't think I will take my time with him for granted again! I had to capture this moment on camera, just in case it was a grand one! Here is the video of my little one, acting not-so-sure about who I am at first.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

One of the Happiest Days!

If you read the last few blog updates you know that today was my body scan. This was essentially the last step of my "battle" with thyroid cancer. I was very much looking forward to it, because it also meant no more isolation! Let's very quickly get into the scan itself.
Unlike the day I became radioactive, I knew what I was getting into (I wasn't expecting a dramatic day).
The body scan machine is similar to an MRI machine, but it is open (whew). I lie down on the table with my iPod and the tech tells me that the camera is going to be very close to my face for about 5 minutes and then will move down the rest of my body. Ok, no problem. The camera is about a 12"x 12" piece of gray metal with a "t" in the middle. It moves over my face and I think, "Oh this is fine."
Then the tech says,
"Ok, Anabelle, we are going to start now."
"We haven't started yet?" I think to myself.
The camera starts moving down, closer to my face, closer and closer and closer. I start to feel as if a coffin is being closed down on me! I am not even claustrophopic! I swear, if my nose were any longer it would have smashed it! At this point I am thinking Thank goodness for my iPod and visions of Jaxon. One problem with my iPod... the music is a bit too upbeat! I am supposed to be lying still so bobbing my head and tapping my feet is completely inappropriate! This is when I am wishing for Brian's boring iPod (he calls it "Mellow Music"). After what feels like I am being buried alive, the scan slowly starts to move down the rest of my body. Another thing to be thankful for... being short! The camera didn't have too far to go. :)
But oh, lucky me, the scan isn't over! And since my cancer was in my thyroid (which is located in my neck) back up to my face it comes. Yippee! The tech did several more tests and the entire thing lasted almost exactly an hour. After the hour was done, and I was getting ready to go.
The tech tells me,
"My mom had thyroid cancer, but she had to have 3 doses of RAI. 200 millicuries each time.
I had 150 millicuries. I asked why so many. I wasn't feeling very optimistic at this point.
He said, "Her cancer was caught later in life and was pretty bad. All of us kids were adults and out of the house. The hardest part was not being able to see her grand kids."
Which made me VERY grateful to the mid-wife who caught this tumor! Remember what Dr. McDreamy said, "Had it not been taken care of now, this could have gotten much worse." That is all I could think about. I was feeling very blessed and lucky at this point.

So now onto the appointment with Dr. Edwards
He walks into the room and says, "Wow. You look pretty good for someone who has had their thyroid on the floor for the past 3 weeks."
Apparently, I was supposed to look worse. I am still fairly puffy and swollen, but not nearly as I was over the weekend. So then he says,
Ok, let's take a look. I haven't seen these yet so we are going to see them together for the first time."
Next thing I see is a gray little Anabelle with a teeny slightly darker gray spot where my thyroid is and a black curvy line in my stomach. Dr Edwards is clearly looking impressed.
He says, Wow! This is where your thyroid was (points to slightly darker gray) and these are your intestines (points to curvy black line). You had a complete thyroidectomy, but judging by these scans he (meaning Dr. McDreamy) was able to take out almost every last tissue of thyroid. This is very difficult to do safely. I mean your vocal cords could have been harmed. He did an excellent job. This is amazing!"
YAY! You have no idea what a relief this was to hear. I wish you all could have seen and heard how impressed Dr. Edwards seemed with what he was looking at on that computer screen. What this means is that the cancer DID NOT spread and I barely have any thyroid tissues left. Which is WAY BETTER than anyone ever expected.

I am not going to lie, I went in there prepared and expecting to see spots throughout my body where the cancer had spread. I hadn't told anyone, not even Brian, this because I am a "glass half full" kinda girl, and didn't want to disappoint. But I needed to prepare myself for the worst. So seeing that image of my body with barely any visible spots was such a relief.
At that moment I realized how much stress having cancer was giving me, but for whatever reason I was even hiding it from myself. Does that even make sense? I don't know why I always felt the need to sugar coat the fact that having cancer was ok and that I was feeling fine and things were going to be ok. (I guess because I felt lucky that it was the cancer that it was and it could have been worse.) But I did and it apparently had been weighing on me more than I thought. I just wanted to cry I was so overwhelmed with happiness. It was similar to the rush of emotion you feel when you see your baby for the very first time. It just takes over. Luckily I was able to contain myself (again, putting on a brave face).
I just want to thank every single one of you that has prayed for me and my family, sent cards, well wishes, made phone calls, sent me treats, offered to watch Jaxon or just asked how I was doing. It has meant more to me and Brian than you will ever know. I can't even begin to express the gratitude I feel. It is nice to be surrounded (even if you are far) by so many wonderful friends and family. I love all of you!

I am proud to say that I am A CANCER SURVIVOR!

Now, where's my bracelet? :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Jax Needs HUMAN Friends

I have come to the conclusion that my son needs friends of the human variety! He loves his Lucy sooo much that he is trying to become her!
Let's start with Jaxon's favorite "toy"... the water bowl! Yes, I am aware that a child can drown in 2 inches of water. I don't really let me play in it! Except to take a blog-or-blackmail-worthy picture.

Up next we have Jaxon on Lucy's pillow! He absolutely loves to curl up and bury his head in her bed. It is actually quite funny to hear him squeal with laughter!

At least he is chewing on one of his toys... this time!

And last but not least is Lucy's Toy Box...

"Hmm, which one do I choose today?"... yes he took all of those toys out himself until he found the one that suited him on this day.

"How about a Denta-Bone?"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Feel Jipped!

Before we get into why I feel jipped, let's talk about the night before I was to become RADIOACTIVE.
(Sorry to those I have already told this story to, you are free to just look at the pictures)

Brian & I sat down to watch The Bachelorette (he will never admit it, but he is an avid watcher!).
Normally, he sits on one end of the couch and I sit on the other (we like to have our space) tonight was different though. I had to sit right next to him with our legs touching. He's like, What are you doing? Why are you sitting so close? I felt as if this was the last time I would ever have any human contact and wanted to soak it all in. To this Brian responded, You're crazy. Oh the love my husband has for me! That night, I slept fitfully. I had crazy dreams about people in lead outfits, being stuck in an elevator while radioactive, Lucy eating other dogs (this has nothing to do with radioactivity, but weird nonetheless). Needless to say, a good nights sleep was not on my agenda.

That morning I had to call Dr. Edward's office to get the results of my blood test to make sure that my levels were conducive to the RAI. Now, let's do a timeline. I had to call at 8:00 am, get in the shower at 8:20. leave the house at 9:20, be at the hospital by 10:00 am, swallow the gigantic pill by 10:15 am and be on my merrily, glowing little way. I was on the money for it all! Yay me. The nurse calls me back at 8:15 am to tell me my levels are good, but I didn't have a pregnancy test and I cannot have the treatment without a negative pregnancy test. Apparently, no one wants to be responsible for a mutant child. She asks me, "Can you be at the hospital by 9:00?" Ugh no! I live 45 minutes away and haven't even showered! Plus Brian wasn't even taking me, our friend was and Brian would meet us there. So back to leaving the house at 9:20 am with a stop at the lab along the way then wait an hour for the results. Which puts the pill taking at 11:00 am now, no big deal.

One of the rooms in the Nuclear Med Dept.

Um, yeah, not so much! at 11:15 there was still no test, but the nuclear med tech called me back to go over the "rules" and side effects of being radioactive because she was sure she would get a call back by the time she went over everything. Now it's 11:45 and another tech comes in to say that since the blood was drawn at the lab and not the hospital, the blood had to be curried over to the main lab and at this point it hadn't even reached the lab! "Why don't you guys go get a bite to eat and be back by 12:45 pm. You'll take the pill and will be good to go." One little problem... I CAN'T EAT OUT!! STILL ON THE CRAZY DIET! Thankfully, my voice of reason came to me very quickly and said, "You can go to Souper Salad" and that's what we did.

Here is where I felt completely jipped... This entire time I had been expecting someone to come in wearing lead from head to toe holding "The Pill" with very long tongs then getting the heck out of the room as I swallowed the "decent sized" pill.

this is what I was prepared for

Not exactly. This is the most I got...

I was in an office and this is the closet in the room where the pill was kept

So, I am sitting in a chair and Lisa (only wearing scrubs, which I am not impressed by since Brian wears them everyday to work), the tech, opens this closet door and comes out with a little plastic container. She opens the container (with bare hands) and slides the pill unto my hand.

This was the size of the pill. THAT'S IT!

Out the door I went. I was freaking out about that?!?! I was expecting much more drama! Oh well.

I know another burning question is HOW DO YOU FEEL? I feel fine. I felt a bit nauseous last night, but I took some Pepto and felt better. This morning I slept until 10:00 am! A lot of moms are jealous out there I know! I just could not open my eyes. I have felt sleepy all day, probably from lack of activity. I also woke up and felt as if someone had punched me on both sides of my jaw. Not sure what that is about... Istill have felt nauseous today, but the thought of taking Pepto again makes me even more sick so I am just sucking it up! I think I have peed more in the last 28 hours than I did during my entire pregnancy. Which has been an inconvenience because Brian banned me to our bathroom upstairs, plus I have to flush twice. So my routine is: do my business, flush, wash my hands, rinse the sink, dry my hands, and flush again. Now, this too has been disappointing. At least my pee could glow a little. But, alas, it is as clear as the water. Bummer!

I do have a funny taste in my mouth. Not sure if it's because of the candy I have to suck on, or all the water I have to drink or the fact that Lisa, the non-lead-wearing tech, told me that the radioactivity sits in my mouth and could possibly burn my taste buds if I don't promote saliva! I'm thinking it's the latter.
I have been fairly productive today, I cleaned the pantry & freezer, I put months worth of pictures in albums, I organized my craft box (are you proud of me Ami? I have a craft box!), I put a few pictures in frames, I have watched many episodes of mind numbing reality TV shows, I worked on a Father's Day present for Brian, I downloaded a ton of music to my iPod, I have talked to a few friends and I have blogged! Busy busy busy! It's crazy what you can get done when you are confined to the house with no dog, kid or husband to distract you.

I go back to the hospital on Tuesday for a full body scan. Following that I see Dr. Edwards and he goes over the results. The scan is just to see where the RAI went, which would be where there were left over thyroid tissue. I guess it doesn't mean that the cancer had necessarily spread. This treatment is supposed to kill any cancer Dr. McDreamy didn't take out, so even if it did spread Iwas told not to worry. So we'll see.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tomorrow is RAI Day!

Tomorrow is it... the day I become RADIOACTIVE! I am not going to lie, I am scarred, worried, sad, anxious and a little bit excited. You may ask yourself, Excited? Why is she excited? Well, this is the end, the last "step" of kicking cancer's butt. So I am excited to be done and not have to worry about being a cancer patient for another year. But, on the other hand, the not knowing what is going to happen or how if I am going to be sick is more than taking over the excited part. I will let you know how tomorrow goes...

I am 2 weeks into my low iodine diet and I must admit it wasn't as bad as I had envisioned. I must give all of the credit to my mom! She was amazing. I know that had I stayed in ABQ I would have most likely starved, not because I can't cook, but because I would not have been anywhere near as proactive as she was. She cooked EVERY meal especially for me. I mean from homemade bread, to homemade peanut butter. She went out of her way to change her way of cooking for me. I feel very blessed to have such supportive parents.

Luckily, I felt pretty well those 2 weeks I was home. The last week I did start to get tired and I would just hit a wall and have to take a nap, not just a little cat nap, but a 2 hour-dead-to-the-world nap. Then I would be fine. That was the worst of it! Not too shabby huh?

Brian and I are back in ABQ gearing up for the big day tomorrow. Jaxon and Lucy are in Tucson, it's been less than 24 hours and I miss them more than I ever thought possible! The house is so quiet and lonely without my little Bubba and Pooperhead. It's funny how when everyone is here all you want is the house to yourself then when you have it, it's not-so-fun! The grass isn't always greener.

That's it for my update, tune in tomorrow or the next day for the official RADIOACTIVE ANABELLE! I will be sure to take a picture of me in a dark closet just in case I do glow in the dark!