Sunday, July 6, 2008

Whew, what a whirlwind weekend

Mrs Baird, my high school Honors English teacher would be so proud of my use of alliteration in the title. Nice to know I didn't sleep through the WHOLE class.

This weekend was indeed a whirlwind. Friday we got to be in the Brandon July 4th parade, courtesy of our friend Rob of Dynamic Painting. When he asked if Mandy and Zachary would like to ride in the back of his Dynamic truck and chuck beads at parade goers, they didn't have to ponder their answer too long! We had to work through a few in Mandy was just all about throwing beads. If people were there, great. If people weren't....whatever.Their loss. Her job was to throw bead and by cracky, she was throwing the darn beads. It was all about the delivery, baby.

Zachary had a great time and got to wave to lots of his buddies from the truck. Thanks, Rob for giving them such a great 4th!!

We came home and Mandy rested for a little bit. She was pretty incredibly wiped out after the parade. Zachary is all about being a man these days. Ronnie needed to mow the yard....needed as in I had an ulterior motive to be revealed in a second AND needed as in we were about to become a federally protected wildlife refuge if he didn't. Given that the only wildlife I really want in my backyard is my kids and dog, we opted for mowing. And there is that whole ulterior motive thing too. So, Ronnie has decided now that Mandy can get his remote, Alannah can cook dinner and Zachary can do this:

his life is complete.

After that we headed out to pick Alannah up from camp for her birthday dinner. Thanks to the Children's Cancer Center, we were able to give Alannah a birthday gift that made her make this face in shock and joy and disbelief.

That, my friends, is the face you get when you give a 14 year old girl a laptop to call her own!! The Center gets refurbished, used laptops that they give to the families. Mary Ann, the director, was kind enough to give us one to give to Alannah and as you can see, the reaction was shock and awe! LOVE IT! Thanks so much to the Center for bringing that kind of smile to her face!

We took her and two of her best friends, Tara and Jordan out to dinner at Chili's for her birthday. She is having a great time at camp and it was great to see her. I just love the kids she choses to surround herself with. Tara and Jordan are great kids and it was fun to watch the three of them chat during dinner. We took them all back to camp and headed home. We watched the fireworks for a little while from the backyard and then shuffled the kids off to bed.

The next day brought Saturday and Ronnie's 40th birthday. Which, for anyone keeping track, is SIGNIFICANTLY older than me! This is where my ulterior motive for the lawn mowing thing come into play. I had every intention of throwing a little surprise gathering for him to celebrate. However, the surprise kind of went by the wayside, when I couldn't figure out how to kick him out of the house for the whole day. I figure he might have gotten a tad bit suspicious if I returned from the store with a case of beer when he was leaving the next day for a week in Canada. So, I rolled on the surprise and did a great reveal a little bit early and coupled the "Surprise!" with a "Time for a cleaning frenzy!" Poor guy. Nothing says happy birthday like having me bark cleaning orders at you.

We had a great small group of close friends come for Mexican food, drinks and some fun. The "fun" came in the form a big box labeled ROCKBAND. Trust me, you don't know fun until you have seen grown men and women sing, play the drums and play guitar to a bunch of rock songs. It was a HOOT!!

Notice the concentration in the faces of the "band!" Also, just as an fyi, girl bands ROCK! We knocked Bon Jovi, "Wanted Dead or Alive" out of the park! Though, no one could even come close to comparing with Ted's drum skills. He's got mad skills, baby, mad skills. Ronnie rocked on the guitar. Lessons learned from the evening. We have GREAT friends and love each and everyone of them! Also, just because you have a few glasses of Sangria, it doesn't mean you are now suddenly the best singer that American Idol has yet to find. I know, I know, sad but true. Thanks so much everybody for making Ronnie feel the love from you all on his milestone birthday! Honey, I love you and hope even though the surprise wasn't so, um, surprising, that you had a great time anyway! Happy birthday!!!

Mandy did okay with all the hustle and bustle this weekend. She was feeling pretty crummy on Thursday, post chemo. It was hard to get a big enough window of time to get some Ativan in her to stop the vomiting. I finally did and it was a huge help. It is so tough to see her feel that way on days like that. It just breaks my heart. She literally can not even hold her head up out of the basin she is getting sick into. I have to hold her head up for her. She is back to sleeping a lot, about 14 hours a day. The first week back on chemo is always tough. Her counts were lower this week so that is contributing to the fatigue. She is complaining that her eye hurts lately. So that is something we will definitely talk to the Docs about this week. Mandy has a marathon chemo day on Wednesday(about 6-8 hours) as well as our first meeting with the neuro-oncologist and then an appointment with her neurologist on Thursday. So, lots and lots of hospital/doctors office time this week.

A sad and interesting conversation with Mandy and Zachary today after as we were leaving Alannah's camp. She is at a college campus that was designed primarily by Frank Lloyd Wright back in the 1920's. Apparently, there is a maze of underground tunnels that go all over the campus. They have been sealed off due to asbestos insulation. Alannah was telling Zachary about these tunnels, he was of course fascinated and wanted a tour, right NOW! Alannah was explaining the carcinogen concerns of asbestos and how they don't let you down there because asbestos can cause cancer. Mandy was listening quietly to this conversation. She sighs sadly and says, "Well, I guess it doesn't matter if I go down there because I already have cancer." It broke my heart. She was just so sad and resigned when she said it.

So, that was our wild weekend. Thanks to all of you who helped make it a wild, whirlwind weekend! See, there it is again, Mrs Baird. I may have slept through the lecture on how "Lord of the Flies" was actually a political commentary, but by golly, I learned the literary terms.

Hope everyone had a great 4th!
Love to all~

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Oh my heart is just breaking for Mandy. No child should ever, ever, EVER be resigned to the fact that they "already have cancer...". Something has to change. I will keep praying for her and wishing there was more that I could do for her and for you. I'm glad you found your way (through Anissa) to my blog.