Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Taylor eating puffed rice

Just thought I'd share a funny little video of Taylor's first time eating puffed rice cereal - must be hard trying to figure out how to chew up a piece of cereal when you don't have any teeth. :)

I have my hubby back!!

The chemo must have worn off - at least for this cycle - because Sean woke up feeling so good this morning! He wasn't groggy and was in a really good mood. We took Taylor to Village Inn for breakfast before he had to go in to the clinic for a shot and then he went to work. He was able to work all day and came home still feeling really good. It's so nice to have Sean back to his old self and it's really reassuring to us that the two weeks he'll have after each cycle of chemo will be better than we expected.

Taylor, on the other hand, has been a little crankster the past couple of days. I can't tell if he's teething, going through a growth spurt, or has an ear infection. He's just been really fussy and is having a really hard time sleeping. I agree with my Aunt Holly - babies should come with a diagnostic tool. So tomorrow I'll have to call the pediatrician and get him in to see if they can figure out what's wrong with him.

Although life is nowhere near perfect right now (not that it really ever has been), I feel so incredibly blessed. We have the most amazing friends, family, and church members that are taking such good care of us and even through these difficult trials I see God's hand in my life every single day.

Things are messy right now, but the future has never looked better.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chemo: Days two, three, and four

These past few days have been very stressful, to say the least. Chemo has really hit Sean hard and he's incredibly fatigued all the time. He's getting really tired of... well... being really tired. Both of our emotions have been very close to the surface and we've both had our fair share of breakdowns. On top of always wanting to sleep, some of the other side effects are really bothering Sean too. For one, he's always got a metallic taste in his mouth, and foods taste differently to him now than they used to. We got pizza a couple of nights ago and he took one bite and almost broke down because it tasted so bad to him. Also, he's been getting really painful hiccups that are very difficult to get rid of. Apparently it's a pretty common side effect of one of the chemo drugs and it's exacerbated by stress, so every time Sean gets worked up about something the hiccups are quick to follow.

On top of everything, I think that Taylor is picking up on all the tension in the house and has been a lot fussier than usual. He's not sleeping well at all and has been really whiny. I feel so bad for him, and we're both trying to be as happy as we can and spend as much time as possible with him so that he knows everything is okay.

We talked to a social worker yesterday at the clinic while Sean was having his treatment and she gave us some good advice and reading material on the emotional effects of cancer, both on the patient and on their family. She told us that we have to just try and be gentle with one another and closely guard our relationship. With tensions so high right now, it's easy to become bitter and angry and lash out at each other. We are trying as hard as we can to cooperate and work together, but it's definitely a very difficult thing to do sometimes.

I think that the only thing that's going to get us through these next few months is our faith. Even though Sean is usually really tired and I'm usually really cranky, we've made it a habit to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon and pray together every night before we go to bed. It seems to mellow us out enough that we can get some sleep and face another day. And really when it comes down to it, we love each other more than anything and if we can get through chemo, we can survive anything.

I know I sound like a broken record, but we are so appreciative of all those who have been helping us. I'm so grateful for my mom, who spent the last two days with us to help me with Taylor so that I could be with Sean at the clinic. I'm also so grateful for the women in Relief Society who have been bringing us dinner every night - it seems like such a little thing, but it means so much at the end of the day when the last thing I want to think about is eating. Also, to whoever left $200 cash in our mailbox a few nights ago, GOD BLESS YOU! You will never know how much that meant to us. With all of our extra medical expenses and Sean taking so much time off work, any extra money we get is truly a blessing.

We love you all and I'll continue keeping everyone updated on Sean's treatments.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Chemo: Day One

Sean started chemotherapy treatment yesterday morning. We went to the medical oncologist's office together while my grandma and Aunt Marcie watched Taylor at our house. The chemo lab is basically a large room full of leather recliners and tvs. Sean was happy that they had internet access and he was on his computer pretty much the whole time we were there. All the nurses were really nice (and all of them were pregnant.. odd....) and one of the RNs came over and talked to us for a while about what to expect these first couple of days. She said that we'd both be really surprised how fast fatigue would kick in, and she was absolutely right. About 2 hours into treatment Sean started getting tired, and by the time we got him he was wiped OUT. He watched about 30 minutes of a movie before he couldn't keep his eyes open anymore and went in our room to take a nap. He woke up 2 hours later feeling even more drained, weak, and sick. Luckily the anti-nausea medications the doctor prescribed are working really well and Sean hasn't gotten sick at all (yet). My Relief Society president brought us dinner right after Sean woke up - salad, enchiladas, and sugar cookies. I'm so thankful for that meal because the last thing I wanted to think about last night was making dinner. Last night was pretty rough on Sean emotionally. The reality of what is happening finally kicked in and he broke down. He's frustrated that he is already so weak and needs to much help; and he's upset and he can't help me with Taylor very much anymore. He doesn't want to be sick (who would?) and knowing that there's months and months of this ahead is just killing him. I completely understand how he feels, and it's hard not being able to help him or take this pain away. I love him so much and I hate watching him go through this. I know we'll both get past it though, and we both look forward to being able to put all this mess behind us and move on with our lives.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us with babysitters, meals, finances, and shoulders to cry on. We appreciate all the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf and we love you all.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

An update on Sean

We want to update everyone on Sean's health situation.

We went into the medical oncologist today to get the results of Sean's CT scan and they weren't good. The cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in his lower abdomen, which means he'll need much more treatment than we were anticipating. He will have 3 cycles of chemotherapy, each 3 weeks long, starting this Monday. The first week of the cycle he will have a 5-hour long treatment each day for 5 days; the second and third weeks he will only go in one day for a quick shot. The cycle will then repeat two more times for a total of 9 weeks of treatment. After that time, they will do another CT scan to make sure that the cancer is gone and if it isn't, he'll have to have surgery.

As far as side effects go, they will treat his nausea with a battery of anti-nausea medications. At around day 17 he will lose all the hair from heat to foot, which he's really not looking forward to. And the biggest side effect (and unfortunately the only one they can't treat with medicine) is extreme fatigue. He will basically be absolutely exhausted all the time, no matter how much sleep he gets.

We've pretty much experienced every emotion imaginable today and I feel completely drained. I'm so sad that Sean has to go through this, and even though I know he'll be okay it's still really hard for both of us to accept and deal with. As hard as it is I know we just need to keep praying and rely on Heavenly Father to get us through these next few months. I have faith that we will be taken care of, and we both really appreciate everyone's love, support, and prayers on our behalf. We just absolutely couldn't get through this without our family and friends that surround us and buoy us up when we are feeling our lowest.

We love you all and appreciate everything you do for us. I'll keep everyone updated on what's going on as Sean goes through treatments.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Pears are gross, Mom!

I gave Taylor some pears yesterday and he absolutely loved them, but apparently the ones I gave him today tasted different because he kept making the yuckiest faces while I fed him. Here's a video Sean shot of his "icky" face. Oh, and please excuse me and my mom's goofy laughs in the background.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Taylor's First Haircut

Taylor's hair was getting pretty long and shaggy, so I gave him his first haircut this morning! I sat him in his Bumbo on the kitchen floor in just his diaper. He wasn't scared of the clippers at all and was very interested in the hair falling from his head to the floor. Afterward he had a bath so I could wash all the little tiny hairs off his shoulders and back. I saved a lock of hair and put it in his baby memory box.

Here are some before and after pictures -





He looks so handsome!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy 2008!!!!!

We hope that everyone had a happy new year!

On new years' eve we went to my Uncle Buba and Aunt Holly's house for dinner (which was VERY yummy) and played a game of Uno Attack before Taylor got really tired and we headed for home. When we got home Taylor perked up and was SO funny for the rest of the night. He rolled around and babbled to us until 11:30 when he was finally pooped out. I got him in bed about 15 minutes before midnight and Sean and I took some silly pictures to stay awake. At 12 we took a picture of our first kiss of 2008 and then went to bed. Not the most eventful night, but it was great for us.




And for all of you who only come on here for pictures and videos of Taylor (you know who you are), here's a cute video of Taylor babbling away before bed last night. Sorry the video is so dark - our camera doesn't do very well at night.