Blogging about life and living it to the fullest. Pretend princess/mermaid. Actual basic southern millennial trophy wife.
Childhood Cancer

Keeping Up with the Mazzolas (I Can’t Even Keep Up)

Hey y’all! Long time no post.

I haven’t been in a writing mood lately– pretty much since we were released from MUSC and came back home to spend a couple of weeks recovering from the first round of high-does chemo/stem cell transplant. Reese, in his usual superstar fashion, bounced back extremely quickly, and he’s been giving me a serious run for my money ever since we got back home. Couple that with bringing a confused three-year-old Cole home and Matt going back to work as an internal medicine resident, you can deduce that things have been pretty busy around here. And the busier life gets, the more pregnant I get, so that doesn’t exactly leave me with enough energy to get everything done. Hence blogging was the first thing to get knocked off of my usual to-do list.


We’ve got a stack of medical bills (between my high-risk pregnancy, James’ premature delivery/stillbirth last year, Reese’s cancer bills, and random leftover bills from Matt’s kidney stone, also last year) about a mile high; so that’s taken awhile to sort through. Aaaand we had to submit all of our receipts from our month-long stay at MUSC, so we can get a little bit of reimbursement back from that. Then there’s the issue of our house loan– yes, we are STILL waiting for that to close. As it turns out, our original loan officer had a midlife crisis and let our application sit around untouched for over a month, causing a three-month delay in the process. Every time I think about that guy, I fantasize about drop-kicking him off a cliff into a cactus field. Thanks to him, not only have we not been able to start the process of building our house (that was supposed to begin in October and take four months); but we also have not been able to purchase the car that we have been waiting to buy. Because we are on credit surveillance until the loan closes. Which was supposed to happen months ago. So we sold the Volvo XC90 a few weeks ago, and we are officially a one-car family of four– squeezing into Matt’s trusty old Jeep Grand Cherokee. The one where the trunk door will not stay open unless you hold it open with one arm (or your head, if you’re trying to change a poop diaper…don’t even get me started). I guess you can say life has been pretty messy for us lately.

Then we all got hit with a nasty viral cold the night before Thanksgiving, and we ended up at the After Hours pediatrician. So that was pretty fun. As if we don’t already spend enough time at the doctor’s office anyway. Good grief. Then you’ve got clinic visits for Reese for line care and labs (changing caps and dressings on his Broviac central line) to make sure he doesn’t need a blood transfusion. Luckily, he has managed to avoid transfusions since we’ve been home, which means he’s doing extremely well recovering from the chemo and transplant. His body and stem cells are doing what they’re supposed to do, so that is a major blessing. We go back to MUSC for round two in a few days. We will unfortunately be there through Christmas. That was one of my fears. To spend Christmas in the hospital with a two-year-old and three-year-old that don’t understand why we can’t get a Christmas tree this year. We have a tree, but it’s too much of a hassle to put it up when we’re not even going to be here for much longer.

Looking on the bright side, it’s been mostly wonderful to be home for the last couple weeks. Even with all the tantrums from the toddlers that are confused about the turmoil that is our life right now. Besides doctor’s appointments (OB for me, clinic for me, and sick visit for Cole), we’ve been having a great time. We got to go to church as a family, for one. That did us so much good, and Cole got to go to Sunday school, which is always a great thing for him. We got to spend the afternoon on the river doing southern things like looking for turkey tracks and playing with rocks on the sandbar. And we got to visit and pray over sweet Baby James. I got a lot of cool blog collabs (photo shoots) knocked out while we were there too. And that accidentally ended up in us getting a great picture for our Christmas card.

Then you’ve got Thanksving. And the night before Thanksgiving. Cole’s got a temp of 101, and is acting lethargic. No other symptoms. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving 2016, we roll up to the After Hours pediatrician around 9pm (because why break tradition, right?), thinking the kid’s got an ear infection, only to find out that it’s a nasty viral cold that’s been going around. Yay us. This cold took all of us out, and I’m sure we’ve spread it to every family member and friend that we’ve come across, so we’re sorry for that! Luckily Reese never spiked a fever, because cancer + any fever = automatic hospital stay for blood cultures. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

But colds, tantrums, and all, we had a great Thanksgiving. Hosted by my fabulous Aunt Ginger at her beautiful home. With all of our favorite foods. And for my local South Carolinian readers, if y’all haven’t tried Caroline’s Cakes, you need to re-evaluate your life. SO GOOD. Don’t hate me for the weight you’ll gain because you will eat it, and you will want more. Tis the season. P.S. They ship it to your door. You’re welcome. You’ll be the Christmas party queen with this cake. Every time.

Then you’ve got the playdates. We’ve gotten to see all of our best friends since we’ve been back, and it’s been amazing. The boys love it, and I love it even more. So good for the soul. We’ve done EdVenture, the park, and the zoo, because YOLO. We’re super excited to go see the Christmas lights at the zoo. And we added Savannah to our zoo membership, so that’s getting real too. We’re going to be having a baby in a few weeks, and we are so excited/nervous/stressed/blessed/happy. Basically, we’re a mess. A beautiful mess.

I’m 30 weeks, and I’ve been freaking out about this baby staying breech for so long. Cole never flipped, and I had a VBAC with Reese. But today at my OB appointment, I got wonderful news. The. Baby. Has. Flipped. She’s head-down (ideal), and that means I get to avoid another C-section. YAY! Recovery time is so much better when you get to push the baby out rather than cut to get her out. I am on cloud nine right now because I was so worried about having another C-section. I don’t like them, and I don’t want one. I also don’t care if people think that’s me being petulant. It’s not. I just don’t want to go through that again right now with everything else we’ve got going on. Also, doc told me I had skinny legs, and my weight gain was perfection. Even though I feel like I’ve gained way too much weight (upwards of 36lbs) whereas I normally only gain 15-20lbs (boy pregnancies vs. girl pregnancies– the struggle is real, y’all). I’m just going to roll with it. Pun intended. Give me all the rolls– this little girl craves carbs. So opposite of the steak cravings with my boys. Savannah just wants cereal and sandwiches and candy. And sweet tea. That little southern belle– bless it.

And did I mention Matt and I are seeing a psychiatrist? Because we are. If you haven’t guessed we’re crazy (mostly me) by now, then I don’t know what I’ve done wrong. Y’all. This phase of life is a circus. I’m just holding on for dear life. God bless you for making it through all of this rambling, if you’ve made it this far! I promise my next post will be a fun one. I’ve got Christmas gift guides for fancy mommies, toddler boys, and southern husbands and daddies. They range from totally outrageous to somewhat practical. Just for fun!



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