The first thing I’m going to do is apologize for the 100-page novel that you’re about to read. I have a lot to say tonight. But I hope that the fact that 3/4 of the way through this post, I’m sharing a juicy announcement with y’all will entice you to read the whole thing. Sit tight, y’all!
I thought I would catch up on here today since I feel a little bit refreshed from busting out of this hospital for an afternoon with Matt and Cole. My parents came to sit with Reese man while we headed out to our favorite place in the world– the river. It was great to spend some time with Cole– even though he is totally overwhelmed and confused by everything that’s been going on lately. This experience has really been affecting him, and he really acted out for Matt and me today– in the form of a couple of tantrums, replying to every sentence or question with a resounding “NO!”, and refusing to eat lunch. Basically, he was acting like a typical threenager on steroids. Sigh.
He did chill out for a little bit when we got to the sandbar, so he did a little fishing. This kid with a fishing pole– easily the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
Now we’re back at the hospital for the night, and I think we’ve seen the last of the visitors for today. Don’t get me wrong; we love having visitors, and we so appreciate everyone thinking about us enough to stop by or call/text. But this week has been so long. Please don’t let my bitching stop any of you from visiting if you’re planning on it! I’m just ready for this hospital stay to be over. I’m ready to be sleeping in my own bed. I’m ready for Reese and Cole to be sleeping in their own beds. I’m ready for everyone to get the opportunity to sleep through the whole night without nurses checking vitals and administering meds– which only seems to happen about the time that Reese has finally dozed off. Nothing is worse than hearing him scream every time someone comes in to wake him up to poke him.
Now for an update on Reese. Little man is getting his third dose of chemo tonight, and so far, he’s been taking it like a champ! No nausea or vomiting so far…hallelujah! But they are pumping him full of Zofran and Decadron to help combat nausea– so that’s probably why. I’ll take it.
The doctors have also been watching Reese closely for signs of bleeding. Until today, his hemoglobin had been dropping daily (even with the transfusions he’s been getting), so we were concerned that the tumor might be causing him to bleed into his abdomen. Luckily, his levels stabilized today, so he’s safe for now.
He’s also been getting pumped full of albumin and Lasix because all of the fluids he’s been getting have caused a lot of swelling. The point of the albumin is to keep blood vessels from leaking fluid, and the point of the Lasix is to act as a diuretic. So he’s essentially been peeing constantly, and this helps to rid the body of excess fluid. It seems to be working because a good bit of the swelling in his abdomen has dissipated.
All of these meds have really
screwed with Reese’s appetite caused Reese’s appetite to disappear. He’s been getting liquid nutrition through his central line, but we’ve still been trying to encourage him to eat on his own. A couple of days ago, he ate one french fry. But today he ate a whole peanut butter cracker! That is huge for him. I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder. And he’s been asking for his juice, so that’s also huge.
Okay. Now that I’ve caught y’all up on today, I will let you in on a little secret. This is the real reason I am writing.
My life has pretty much become an open book since I started blogging, and in this situation, writing about the shit storm that the past few years has been for my family is the only thing that is keeping my sanity (or let’s be real– what remains of my sanity) in tact. After all, I am 27 years old, and I’ve already lost a child, and now my youngest child is facing an extremely rare form of cancer that has about a 50% survival rate. I mean, what the hell did I do in a past life to get dealt this hand? MY GOODNESS.
So about the time we found out Reese has cancer, we also found out that we are, in fact, pregnant. Excuse my french, but WHAT THE F*CK. I was so sure God was messing with me that I took four tests. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. I feel like I am either living in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, or I’m starring in a Lifetime movie. Because this sh*t can’t be real. This can’t be my life. But it is.
In the past, I wouldn’t have shared this juicy information for another couple of months. But with everything that is going on in our life, I figured I’d go ahead and let everyone know. Because what the hell good would waiting do me? Answer: NONE.
When we lost baby James at 20 weeks last October, we knew we wanted to try for another baby as soon as we got the okay from the OB. We waited a few months just to make sure I was physically and emotionally healthy enough to go through another pregnancy, so in February, we decided to start trying. We had a positive test in March, but that ended up being a really early miscarriage. So April came and went. Nothing. This was kind of depressing because I’m really impatient (#millennialproblems), and usually all Matt has to do is shake my hand or look at me the wrong way, and voila! Pregnant.
Fast forward to the end of May. Reese is diagnosed with Stage 4 High-risk Neuroblastoma. Naturally, like any sane couple would do, we decide not to pursue baby-making any further until we make it through Reese’s treatment. After all, the remainder of this year is going to be filled with chemo treatments, stem cell transplants, and hospital stays– oh, and did I mention Matt is starting his first year of residency next month? And we’re going to be building a house? Because that’s happening.
Just in case, I took a pregnancy test because I was a few days late. I knew there was a chance that the test would be positive, but I figured the only reason I was late was because my one-year-old was just diagnosed with cancer. Of course that was causing the intense stress that was probably making me late. Duh.
Oh how wrong I was. I am totally pregnant, and it’s definitely progressing well so far because I feel like I’m going to vom almost every second of every day. And I can smell everything. That part really sucks because hospitals smell weird anyway, and when you’re talking to a million visitors every day, you smell a lot of different kinds of perfume– that can be overpowering for anyone. But when your sense of smell rivals that of a bloodhound, it can be really gross.
My first appointment isn’t for another couple of weeks, and I am going to be considered high-risk because of the fact that James was stillborn at 20 weeks, and after having two successful full-term pregnancies that resulted in healthy baby boys, they don’t know why. As excited as I am to have the chance to have another child, I’m absolutely terrified, and I know that’s going to last throughout the entire pregnancy– at least until I’m holding a healthy baby boy in my arms. Or girl– I won’t believe that until I see it!
Being a mom is my calling in life. I know this. Once the shock wore off, the excitement and joy set in. Matt and I are thrilled to have another baby. We love being parents and totally want as many babies as is deemed socially acceptable. The timing of this one is just a little strange. But hey. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. God willing, the next eight months will go by really quickly, and I will have three healthy children then. Reese’s treatment will be either wrapping up, or we’ll be approaching the finish line around then, and he should be in remission (God willing). I pray that we can get Reese into remission, and I pray even harder that we can keep him there forever.
P.S. I apologize to everyone that y’all had to find this news out via social media/my blog, but it’s still so new, and with all of the sweet messages I still haven’t gotten the chance to respond to, I just haven’t gotten around to letting everyone know in person. This blanket announcement was just easier for me with everything that’s been going on with us.