Monday, January 18, 2016

So many lessons learned...

On Sunday, some friends (The Castle family) from church brought over some goodies to Levi and then the Stevenson family invited us over for dinner with some Pie Face game time.
 Once again, we were blessed with distractions while waiting on the phone call for the consultation. 
Peggy sent us home with a movie called, "Once I was a Beehive."  We decided we would watch it tonight for Family Home Evening.
I had Daddy and the boys start the movie while I made the frosting for the cake we were going to eat afterwards.  Just as I was finishing up, I hear David come up the stairs.  He said, "Did Peggy tell you that the Dad dies just a few months after discovering he has a tumor?"  Both him and I were just floored.  I didn't even know what to say.  The damage was done.  Levi was downstairs watching the movie.  This was doing anything but distracting Levi now. 
It is so interesting to me how things in life don't turn out the way you expect it though.  David had the instant reaction of protection.  Even as far as being upset with Peggy sending us home with this movie.  At first I was just shocked.  Crap, now what do we do?  Then I was surprised that she hadn't caught that.  Because I know Peggy.  She would NEVER want to hurt Levi.  Never!
So David went back downstairs with the boys and I quickly called Levi up.  First I apologized.  Made sure that he knew that I didn't know that the Dad died that way in the movie.  But he smiled.  The same boy that was in tears, on our living room couch, when we told him that the radiologist thought it was a tumor.  The same boy who immediately started asking about cancer and wanted to know facts, percentages, and all outcomes possible.  But then made it clear to us that he didn't want to be reminded of it anymore. 
That same boy of ours, about 2 days later, then brought me to tears!  He told me it was ok because when the movie said that the Dad knew that his cancer was all a part of a bigger plan he decided right then that that was how he was going to look at it now.  He then told me that he would see it that way even if his tumor was cancer and spread throughout his body.  My 13 year old said that!  With all the wisdom of a spiritual giant he put me in my fearful place.
After the movie was over I told David.  Through his teary eyes he told me that it took him half of the movie to get past the fact that our son had just been exposed to a movie that started with a man dying of a cancerous tumor. Then David trying to remind himself that it could very well have been him that did that to someone else; not even realizing it. 

We all make mistakes.
That's when I shared with him something I had forgotten about.  When Shane died we drove to Oklahoma for his funeral.  Mom was not handling it very well.  Well, no one was but we wanted to try to get her mind off of it.  So we decided to have a girls night at April's house.  We decided to watch "Raise Your Voice."  I had already seen the movie.  But had totally forgotten that the brother dies in a car accident.  It even showed the car accident in the movie.  I was so mad at myself when we watched that movie.  I couldn't believe I had just helped choose a movie, a movie that was suppose to take our mom's mind off of Shane's death, that showed a son getting killed the same way that Shane had died.
I feel like I have learned a lot of lessons today.  My son, the movie itself, and also being reminded of what a dear friend of mine did for our family earlier in the day.  Oh yeah, and my Dad's response to it.
I have a friend, Brandy, from high school that gave us an amazing gift.  She has offered to fly my Dad here for Levi's surgery.  She is a Godly woman and it shouldn't have surprised me at all when she offered.  But really, who wants to fully accept such a great gift?  Writing that last sentence sounds foolish because really, who wouldn't want to accept such a great gift, right?  But this is my friend and flying is not cheap.  It felt like taking money right out of her hand. 
But Brandy made it clear to me that it was God's money.  And my Dad's response? "I'm not going to turn down the chance to be with my family."  Am I really that proud of a person?  Can I not accept the huge blessing of seeing my father?  Of my children getting to spend one on one time with their playful grandfather? 
Again, I feel like I have learned so many lessons today.  I am truly blessed.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


 I was re-reading what I had wrote in my last entry and forgotten to write about some of the illnesses.  I had forgotten that our illnesses actually started with Ruger getting Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. I wanted to write about it because it was weird.  It started in the diaper area and then slowly moved down his legs and ended with a few bumps on is hands.  It was weird because usually it is located on the areas of the name of the "disease."
The other thing I wanted to document isn't that big of a deal (Pink Eye) but the story behind it was a little amusing.  So, the day before Ruger's adoption, Hyrum wakes up with Pink Eye and I get a call from one of our adoption workers that certain paper work hadn't been filed.  As you can imagine, I was stressed.  But the paper work ended up working out and we got the medicine needed for Hyrum's Pink Eye.  However, I thought it was humorous that when I was getting the medication from the pharmacy, the pharmacist suggested that I have a grandparent or someone watch Hyrum during the adoption so that he didn't expose his illness to anyone else.  Oh yeah right!  Like I'm going to make Hyrum stay home and miss his brother's adoption!  I don't think so.  And yes, I had told her about the adoption and she still thought it was a good idea to keep him home.  Sorry, but not sorry.  Not keeping Hyrum away from this amazingly, important day of ours.
But on to the real reason I got on to journal :)
 We have been blessed with many wonderful friends among our many moves.  But before those moves, David and I were starting our family in Rexburg Idaho.  One of our dearest friends there was Christine.  I used to joke with her that she was Levi's second Mommy.  My parents lived in Oklahoma and David's in Utah and Nevada.  When you are doing the parenting thing by yourselves you rely heavily upon the phone with your family and even more heavily upon those physically around you that become your family.  Christine was that family.
She loved Levi so very much.  She was so good to us.  So good to Levi.  Physically there to help us while he was a baby.  So when she found out about Levi and what he has been dealing with lately she wanted to distract us.  So she and Michael took us all to Toads Fun Zone on Saturday night.  The boys had such a wonderful time. 
 I know this activity was about Levi but there were so many photo opportunities with Ruger and all these "firsts" as well as all the bright lights!

We got the results back from the MRI.  The radiologist feels it is a tumor bound to the bottom of the tongue muscles.  The ENT has never seen a tumor attached like that so he is skeptical.  He was originally hoping it was a cyst or even lymph nodes coming together.  He is really at a loss as to what it is now. He knows it needs to be removed though which is one of the reasons he is sending us to Primary Children's Hospital. He wants another opinion before they go in to remove it so they have an idea as to what it actually is before they take it out and put it under the microscope. He also wants Levi there because of where the surgery will be taking place on his body. There is a possibility that it will push back the tongue when swelling and cause him to choke.
So now we wait some more.  Waiting for the consultation appointment.  But I wouldn't want him anywhere else to have the surgery.  A place where I know he will have constant pediatric care.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Our Health

Our family's health has been complicated these past few months.  Frustrating would be the more correct word to use, actually.

Just before Ruger's adoption (that was in November, mind you...yeah, that is how long this has been going on!) little illnesses started.  It was going through everyone in our house.  We joked that something was "growing" in our house because it just kept cycling through us all over and over.  And a part of me kind of believed that.  I got so tired of us being sick that I ended up washing/sanitizing everything I thought of.  I even put our couch pillows in the washer!

Luckily, the sicknesses never turned into an asthma problem with Brigham.  I know I'm whining in this post here but I truly am grateful that all these sicknesses did not effect Brigham's lungs.  But lets get back to me complaining, shall we?

Eventually, the sicknesses left Ruger, Hryum, Brigham, and Daddy and just focussed in on Levi and I.  Since mine is a little easier to explain, I'll start with it.  A few months ago the last tooth on my upper left side broke.  A few days later, my cap fell off.  I knew I should go to the dentist but we had a new insurance that hadn't kicked in yet so I wanted to wait.  But then the adoption, sicknesses, and holidays came and it was forgotten about.  But a few Sunday's ago, one of my front teeth chipped.  It was cutting my tongue and there was no way I was messing with that.  I am very prone to mouth sores when my tongue gets cut.  That's why I don't suck on suckers.  Plus, I really like my front teeth so yeah...

So I went into the dentist.  The doctor wasn't as worried about my front tooth as I was because when he took an x-ray he saw that I had a serious infection in that back tooth area.  He asked me if I had been sick lately.  Sick lately?  Are you serious?!  I've had the frickin' plague!!!!!  By the time that I finally made it to the dentist I had been diagnosed by my doctors as having an upper respitory infection, walking pneumonia, and 2 cases of sinus infections.  And that was just what I went into the doctor for.  Who knows how many colds and such that I had.  Yeah, he wasn't surprised at all when I told him because he said the infection that he saw was going straight into my blood stream.  As irritated as I should have been, you know, I was actually relieved.  I really was.  I would have never have guessed that my sicknesses would have been due to a tooth but it was so nice to have a real answer.  Something that was fixable.  So here I am today blogging without a sickness in my body and it. feels. WONDERFUL!

Levi, on the other hand, is more difficult to explain.  A few years ago he got sick and it showed up under the mouth area between the jaw bones.  The doctor treated it with antibiotics and it went away.  But the doctor warned me that if it happened again that I should go to a specialist.  That it may be something more.  So when it happened again, just after the adoption, for the life of me I couldn't remember what that doctor had said.  I remember him saying that it could be a problem but what was it again?  His current doctor gave him some antibiotics and told us to watch it.  Again, it went away before the antibiotics were even gone. 
 But just a few days before Christmas, Levi came to David and I and told us that he had another bump under his chin.  This time it was different though.  The 2 other times it had happened, it had came with a sickness (the usual head cold stuff).  It was also different because from the top of his neck to the tip of his chin was completely swollen.  So much so that he talked funny.  This time it was a localized bump and he was not sick.  And when the doctor gave him an antibiotic again, it did absolutely nothing.
This doctor knew it was something more for sure at this point.  He sent us to an Ears, Nose, and Throat doctor on Thursday of last week.  The ENT doctor felt the lump, thought he felt more than one behind the actual lump that you can see and sent us for an ultrasound.  He thought it would be a cyst in the submandibular gland and that it would be as simple as removing it.  Unfortunately, when the ultrasound came back it didn't look like there was any fluid to it.  It was in a hard area to ultrasound but he is pretty sure it isn't a cyst.  So today Levi had an MRI done.  

We don't have a lot of answers right now but I can say with all sincerity that I feel so much better now than I did earlier.  I am so grateful we live in a day where technology is so great.  We have all these options as to finding out what this is.  Whatever it is, the doctors fear is it getting bigger and it may cut off his airway in time.  The ENT doctor said it could be many different things but didn't want to scare us because they weren't good.  And I appreciate that.  I had looked up enough things on the internet to scare myself.  I don't need to add to that list!

So we are waiting for results and praying for answers.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A New Year

The Bowler family invited us over for New Years Eve but we asked to have it over at our house because of Ruger.  We knew that there was no way that we could be able to enjoy late night celebrations with a baby who needed to go to bed early.
 We just played games and had yummy food.  It wasn't anything big or special but was nice to be able to do it with good friends.
 New Years Day was filled with me de-cluttering the boy's bedrooms while the boys chilled.  To some that would seem mean.  That I work while they relax but it actually was relaxing.  I could finally clean in peace without little ones asking for my attention (and trust me, David does a lot of cleaning anyways).  At one point I went upstairs and saw this.  I love how simple boys can be sometimes.
 And then I heard a bunch of commotion and found them all attacking Daddy!
But Daddy and the boys had to go back to reality this morning as work and school started up again.  Here is a picture of the boys before school in Poppy and MeMaw's outfits that they sent the boys for Christmas.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

So Much Snow!

 We got so much snow in the month of December.
 And it made for awesome play time outside!
 Even our neighborhood kids/friends were climbing the fence to get over and play!
 In our front yard there is a huge pile of snow from where Daddy, Levi, and Brigham have been putting the snow that was in our driveway.  Many a mornings we woke up to snow so that pile just got bigger and bigger as they cleaned out the driveway.
 One day Hyrum asked if he could go outside to play.  I was watching him from the living room and all by himself he starting to climb it and slide down with our sleds.  Brigham soon joined him.
It has been very cold so this snow isn't melting.  And the forecast doesn't show it heating up anytime soon so we should be enjoying this white stuff for quite some time.