Wednesday, December 31, 2008

23 years ago

23 years ago this morning I got a phone call from mom that after only 28 days my beloved father had gone home to be with The Lord. Pancreatic cancer took him pretty quickly after we got the diagnosis but I'm quite sure that he had it for a long time before he showed symptoms and went to the doctor. Dad left us all with so many wonderful and happy memories because he certainly was not someone to sit around and do nothing, he was always on the go and our family did everything together and I'll always cherish all of those times.

So for today I'll share this picture of one of the many ski trips that were taken and I'm sure some will get a kick out of the goggles....errr....I mean glasses....and no that's not me.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Some Christmas Cheer

Wow, it's hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone and my houseful of guests are all back to their lives and their respective homes. It was pretty crazy here for a few days but we all had a great time together and I will be cleaning for days but who cares!! I'll be finding pine needles for weeks, I'm sure....hmmm, wasn't my idea to have a real tree this year but that's okay, I don't really mind it much. Just some random pictures from Christmas Day...Alex playing his new Nerf game for the Wii which has mysteriously disappeared since sunday night...we haven't seen it since it was last spotted on the coffee table, who knows that happened to it with all of the boxes and wrapping paper that was flying around here over the weekend! I hope it turns up at some point in time.



Mom and Nancy opening a gift that mom received from Paul's dad and his wife, a lovely angel with the most beautiful wings that move and light up and she plays music, too.




Robert happy to see that he has gotten a full box of his favorite candy from Canada, marshmallow strawberries, THANK YOU MADELEINE for sending them to me for Robert, he was really surprised!



After opening all of our gifts here we went to spend time with Jim's family and had a wonderful dinner with everyone. It was hard because we all miss Jason so much, especially Alex...but we got through it and the meal was delicious and when I was helping to set up dessert I couldn't help but spy this little creation and I can't even begin to describe the laugh I got out of this thing...Jim said it looks like a 2 flusher, Alex said it looks like a poop so we called it a poop cake after a while. I have to say I had a slice and it was delicious!! I think it's just the extra 'bump' on the top that made it look weird!



Saturday I took a day for myself and had the opportunity to see Spamalot one more time and boy was I glad that I did, it was even funnier this time! I had a great time with my dear friend, Mary and I'm thrilled that I had the chance to see her for the holidays.


Afterwards I met my friend Paula and we had a quick dinner at John's pizzeria and made our way to the Blue Note Jazz Club where we enjoyed an evening of music by our favorite trumpet player! I'd never been to the Blue Note and it was awesome to see Chris Botti play in a small place like that, I hope to go again next year since he plays there every holiday season!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I will post more when I have time to sit down for a few moments but wanted to share a couple of pictures really quickly. Jim played Santa for one of Robert's friends who has 3 little cousins and it was hilarious seeing him in the suit, Robert was cracking up and it was so much fun!



Mom, Nancy and I got matching flannel pajamas and we had to take a group photo, aren't we adorable? HAHAHA!

Merry Christmas everyone, I hope you all had time to spend with loved ones as I did today.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Today is the day, let the holidays begin!!

Robert is finally home for good after serving 4 years and completing 2 tours of duty over in 'the sandbox' AKA Iraq!! After 2 flights with some delays and a couple of nights of partying with his buddies this is what I picked up at the airport this afternoon and I was so happy to see him!! I sure am glad I won't have to be saying any goodbyes to this child again!! Thank you, God, for bringing him home safely!




On the way home we decided to make a quick stop at Exit 49 just off the LIE to see Jim but as you can see he was a bit 'tied up' when we got there so we had to wait for him to come down. I cannot believe what my husband has to endure sometimes in his job on a daily basis but today I got to see it first hand...with the wind up there I'm quite sure it felt like it was below zero degrees up on that rig!

Finally on the ground and getting a hug from his son!



Sure is a good thing the beard keeps the face warm! If you work in a big office building with lots of glass you can thank someone like my husband for braving the elements to put it all up there.




We had a feast for dinner tonight prepared by yours truly and Alex is looking forward to bunking with his big brother tonight since he had to give up his room to our other guests...Uncle Robert and Aunt Michelle. :) Wednesday evening Nancy and Paul arrive and we will get to spend some really special and quality family time together....I hear Robert has put up a challenge...something about a Monopoly game...hmmmmm, should be interesting!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First snow!!


We had our first snow today and I have been waiting for this so that I could see Pookie's reaction to it all and boy was it worth the wait!!



First the precipitation was more like a frozen ice/hail type stuff so the deck was frozen and she was slipping and sliding all over the place and it was so funny to watch!



Daisy of course has been through a couple of winters already and loves to eat snow and she was busy trying to catch snowflakes in her mouth which I love to watch! She's so much fun in the fall and winter, this is her time of year being part Husky, of course!




Today mom did very well with her physical therapy and the therapist will come back 1 or 2 times this week which is great! We are starting the coumadin again but at a much lower dose and the levels are going to be checked twice a week at first to see how she does with the lower dosage. Hopefully we can get her levels at a therapeutic level so that we can prevent any more clotting from happening while we work to relieve the swelling in the leg from the existing clot that she has now. For now we are anticipating our visitors that will begin arriving on sunday!! Bring on Christmas and New Year's and then after that....well let's bring on SPRING!! HAHAHA!!

The cold months of winter are horrible and I have to say that January and February are my least favorite months of the year but at least there is some good television and I am looking forward (along with mom) to the new season of American Idol and also a new show starting next month called Superstars of Dance!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's thursday and the week is almost done!


It's almost Christmas and the decorations are up and it's pretty with all of the lights here, mom enjoys looking at the tree in the living room but this one is in her bedroom and it gives her the festive feeling right there nearby thanks to Nancy. :)

Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of my stepdad's death and while mom doesn't always know the date or even the day of the week I think somehow she knew because she was very emotional yesterday, more than normal. Tomorrow is December 12th and it would have been their 16th wedding anniversary.

I've been doing a little crafting when I get a chance, I made a few holiday cards and used my new Martha Stewart branch punch which I love!!




This 2 page layout turned out cute, I love doing gingerbread with Alex every year but he didn't seem too interested in taking photos as usual...I had to manage with what I could get. Check out mom's little picture in the apron as she was enjoying the cookies as well. :)


11 days until Robert comes home!!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Monday update

Mom was in the hospital until saturday, I couldn't get her out of there fast enough...I caught medication errors 3 times and if someone hadn't been there she would have been given meds at the wrong time or not received the ones she was meant to have. **Insert rolling eyes** You gotta love some hospitals, right? This is why if you have a family member who cannot speak for themselves whether they are not conscious or they are memory impaired like mom is you HAVE to be so careful and monitor everything.

The coumadin levels are back down and we will restart it again soon but at a much lower dose and get twice weekly lab work done, hopefully that will prevent anymore issues like this from coming up again.

I managed to attend Rock of Ages again yesterday and boy did I have a good time, it was better the second time around! I would see that show every week if I didn't have to trek all the way into Manhattan for it because sometimes you're at the mercy of the public transportation system like I was last night. What should have been a simple 1 hour and 20 minute ride home turned into a nightmare when there was a fatality on the tracks ahead of us at the next station! All service was suspended and they sent buses to take everyone to their stops, I was only 30 minutes from home and yet it took me until 10:20 to make it through the front door 3 hours later! Our bus driver even managed to get lost when she was seperated from the other buses, oh joy! But...having said all of that I made it home and I am glad that I went to the show and got to see my friends, Sandi, Sean and Jillian.

Thank God for my wonderful husband who yet again stepped up and took care of mom and got her bedtime medication for her and made sure she was ok until I got in. I don't know what I would do without him?

2 weeks until Robert gets home, holy cow!!! WooT!!!!!

And just because I thought it was really fun to post an old picture the other day....here's another one...circa 1974, man aren't those the coolest mittens I'm wearing? My mom knitted those for me. :-) I hope I burned that coat at some point, LOL!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Another setback

Mom is in the hospital right now because her coumadin levels were way too high so we need to get that adjusted. Please keep her in your prayers.

I was challenged by my friend Danni to post the 4th picture in the 4th album on my computer...boy is this old.

I have my photos set up by year on my computer...this is 1977...a picture of my sister Nancy at Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts....so she's like 7 here...and now she's 38. :) Thanks for the challenge, Danni...that was fun!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks

What did you give thanks for at your table this past Thanksgiving? First and foremost, we give thanks to Nancy's friends who sent mom this beautiful flower arrangement for Thanksgiving...it is something that she is enjoying a great deal, she has told me several times..."Such pretty flowers..." because I have them on the living room table and she can see them from her bedroom doorway. Thanks Bev and Kenny!
I give thanks for being able to get a little bit of scrapbooking time in for myself this past weekend.
I give thanks for my son, Jesse...for helping me so much with mom...he spent Thanksgiving with her and I was able to spend time with Jim's family and have dinner with them. It was really sweet to see Alex playing with his little cousins...it's pretty funny to me that he is the youngest kid now. When Jesse got home from work yesterday morning he took care of mom so that I could sleep for a bit, I'm grateful for that.

I give thanks for my husband who got up this morning and took care of mom so that I could sleep until 9:30, he made her breakfast and helped her get up and walk to the bathroom.

I guess you're probably wondering why I'm sleeping so much....well mom has been getting up at 5:00 and 5:30am the past few days and it's been really hard for me since I'm not used to getting so little sleep but I hope it will be better soon.

I give thanks for my son Robert who will be home in 3 weeks, I can't wait!! I think I have mentioned that a few times recently.

I give thanks that I have a warm house, food on the table and family and friends who love and support me.

Last and certainly not least I give thanks that mom is still with us 10 months after being diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. We are blessed. Mom is managing fairly well given the fact that her right leg is pretty swollen from the blood clot that formed on tuesday. She is on coumadin now and while it is nerve wracking the risk of not treating her is far worse, we certainly don't want any more blood clots, her mobility is really hard when she has the edema from the clot. I had to bring the walker back out but we are hoping that she will graduate back down to the cane at some point in the near future.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spent the night in the ER

Mom wasn't having a good day today and I knew that something was wrong but I wasn't quite sure just what was going on. She didn't have lunch and wanted to nap in her bed which is not like her at all (she doesn't like to mess up her bed). When she woke up 3 hours later I noticed that her right leg was pretty swollen...a sign of a blood clot so I called the doctor and we headed off to the ER. Almost 7 hours later we were told she had a clot and to follow up with her doctor because they couldn't give her anticoagulants in the ER since she is a brain cancer patient. I will call her oncologist later on today.

A sort of a funny story about our night in the hospital....when we were being triaged there was a little boy brought in with peas in his nose, HAHAHAHA!! Fast forward to 3 hours later the ER doctor comes in to examine mom and wants to know about the 'foreign matter' in her nose? Sylvie and I look at each other and crack up because it's the little boy who was being triaged at the same time with the peas up his nose! You gotta love hospitals! That's why you have to make sure that you're there for a family member if they are in the hospital...mistakes can and WILL be made!

Oh and did I mention I almost went into a men's room? I didn't feel so bad when a woman who was waiting with her husband went into it!! HAHAHA! It was a long night...but mom is here with us, safe and sound with her legs elevated and hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, November 24, 2008

No pictures...no videos...just a simple blog post...

...to mark this day...and to remember that in just 4 weeks...just 28 days...our family will be whole and complete again with Robert coming back home after serving our country for 4 years! I could go on and on about my pride and all that stuff but all I really want to say is that I am just happy to have him home with us and it is going to be the best Christmas ever. Oh and I already have a scrapbook page all done and ready...it just needs photos!! I can't wait!!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

THANK YOU



What a beautiful and thoughtful gift mom received today from Joan, my sister Nancy's boss.

When I walked in the house with the box she was overwhelmed and when I opened it and read her the card she was just crying and crying...it was hard to get her to smile for a photo so I just decided to take a video of the moment to remember it by and share...so Joan...this is for you and thank you so much from the bottom of my heart and mom thanks you. video

I hope that you have a wonderful and blessed holiday with your family.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Music Tuesday

It's tuesday and every once in a while some new music comes out that I need to get my hands on pretty quick...so thanks to Jesse being home this morning to stay with grandma I managed to get out to the store and pick up my new CD!! It's a great rock album and I have listened to it 3 times through already while cleaning the kitchen/dining room. Pick it up, you won't be sorry!! American Idol got themselves a real star in David last season!!



As for mom...well let's just say the steroids are working their magic...we joke that she's on the decadron diet...eat and eat...she closed her door just now but I caught her in the act!! HAHAHA!! Man does she love those ice cream cones with the nuts on top.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Happy Sunday!

We have been busy, mom has been getting physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy here at home this past week and she is doing well with everything. She is healing from the surgery and her hair is growing back pretty fast!!

I've been doing some scrapbooking here and there and yesterday even managed to do 5 pages, I couldn't believe it!! Thought I'd post just a few.

Tonight Jim, Alex and I are going out to dinner at Applebee's for their 2 for $20 special! Yay!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

Today we celebrate Veteran's Day and I have my son on my mind, his service to this country is something that makes this mother proud and I can't wait until he is home with us for good.

I haven't had the time or the energy to blog lately but just wanted to stop in and post some photos, mom in the hospital after her surgery when I took Alex to visit her, he had been asking to go and I finally took him and he was so happy to see his grandma and she was thrilled to see him too. Alex is a lucky little boy that he gets to spend so much quality time with his grandma, isn't he? These are precious times that I want to make sure we remember years down the line.

This photo is one of mom with Nancy and Paul this past sunday before they left to go home. Nancy was here for 10 days and was a huge help during mom's surgery and recovery, don't know what I would have done without her being here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Mom is home

It's been almost a week since the surgery and mom came home yesterday and we had her favorite dinner, Boston Market...it was quite funny watching her inhale all the sweet potato casserole and then snatch Nancy's corn muffin off her plate. :-) I have a few pictures that I will post as soon as I get a chance but for now just wanted to let everyone know that she's back home with us. Have a great day on this day after our country elected a new president...amazing night to watch all of the reactions of the people.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Saturday and the 1st of November already!!

It's the 1st of the month and mom is still in the hospital and will be for a few days yet. Nancy spent most of the day here yesterday so this morning Jesse and I pitched in so that Nancy could get some rest and not have to be here so early...she's so tired. Jesse worked 10pm last night to 7am this morning and then texted me that he was coming up to see grandma before going home to sleep. He stayed with her and fed her breakfast and waited for me to get here...I'm very blessed that my boys are so loving and devoted to their grandmother.


When she's not trying to sleep she's knitting and she finished another hat for mom while we were waiting for her to come out of surgery on thursday, it's a very pretty color and I know mom is going to love it!



Took this picture of mom yesterday so that I could send it to Robert over our phones, it's hard to be far away and not know how grandma is doing but thank goodness for modern technology.


Just to update a bit...mom will have her MRI today as well as an EEG. She had a short focal seizure at about 12:45am this morning and they feel that it is caused by the surgery. Mom was aware that something was happening because her hands were trembling so she pushed the call button for the nurse and they documented it and kept a close eye on her through the night. Mom's neurologist, Dr. Spiegel, is being called to come and check on her...no sense in having the house neurologist examine her since she has her own that works right here in the hospital.

Nancy will be here in a little while and then I'm heading out for the afternoon to my friend's house to scrapbook for a little bit. Hopefully I will try to update again tonight or tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Long day...

...that started way too early.

We were up at 4am this morning and Nancy and mom left at 4:30 to be at the hospital on time. I got Alex off to school and went to work. I was keeping in touch with Nancy via text messages and found out that someone made a scheduling error and since she had the placement MRI yesterday she really didn't need to be there so early this morning. Oh well, if that's the worst that happened I'm ok with that.

Surgery began at 11:25 and at approximately 4pm Dr. Rosiello came out and said that mom did really well and they were finishing up and that he got out as much as he could based on the MRI imagery of the 2 tumors that are near each other and on the surface (the 3rd is too deep but it is small and hasn't grown or changed since January when we first discovered mom had cancer). We were all bracing for the possibility that mom's speech could be arrested or really bad after this but when Nancy and I walked into the recovery room mom said, "The two of you guys are here..." Music to my ears!! She is resting comfortably in the surgical ICU and we are hoping and praying for the best and for a speedy recovery from the surgery. The neurosurgeon said he will be doing an MRI in the next day or two to see what things look like after the surgery.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Placement MRI went well!

Mom had her 'haircut' and placement MRI today. The PA that works with the neurosurgeon was totally amazing with mom and his bedside manner was absolutely incredible!! I plan to write a letter about him, I couldn't have asked for a nicer person taking care of mom today. Our appointment was for 2:30 and I was fully prepared to wait and was surprised to find that he was waiting for us and said, "I don't like to wait either...." and we were done and out of there and back in the car heading home by 3:40!!

Mom has to be at the hospital at 5:30am tomorrow morning to begin prepping for her surgery. I will update when I can, for now I ask for prayers to guide the surgeon's hands that he may remove this cancer and make mom well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's getting close

As the day is coming to an end here I think about what is to come in the next couple of days. After work tomorrow I will be taking mom to the hospital's radiology center to get a 'placement MRI' which basically will be where they mark off where the surgeon will be going in to attack those tumors that are in her brain. Mom has been doing so well and I just pray that this surgery will be a success and that it will give us the miracle that we have been hoping for. For me reading the blog of another GBM patient has been a really big boost and has given me hope because Krista is now at 34 months past her diagnosis and she is doing well so I pray for the same outcome for mom.

I have been keeping mom working on her strength and she has been doing well on the exercise bike that I recently purchased!!! Just look at all that beautiful hair that is growing back on her head!! Of course some of that will have to be shaved off on thursday but we can handle it, hair grows back!!!


Not to be outdone Miss Pookie has to get into the act no matter what her mommy is doing!!



Alex and I went back to his school on friday to see 2 more teachers, one being his art teacher and then I also wanted to talk to the science teacher who is the advisor for the Robotics Club that he joined, we are looking forward to tons of fun with that and seeing what the team comes up with for the competition in January!! Alex thought it would be cute to show me how he can fit in his locker while we were at the school...he's so funny!!


I think he gets his artistic talent from his dad...I can't draw for anything...this dragon he drew in art class is pretty cool...even if he's got no skin!!

Please keep mom in your prayers on thursday and I will try to update as soon as I know anything, I know there are a lot of family members and friends that read my blog for news on her progress.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It's almost friday

And it's been a busy week around here, as usual. I put in my 2 days at work during the week but also worked on sunday which was good since I get time and a half on sundays, yay!! Today mom went for all her pre-op testing with Sylvie, it was a long process that took 2 hours but it is done and she took a long nap from 3:00 to almost 5:30...when she woke up dinner was just about ready to be served, we had a ton of leftovers and we feasted like there was no tomorrow!! YUMMY!!

Tonight I spent some time at Alex's school attending parent/teacher conferences. In 90 minutes I managed to meet all but one of his teachers (who wasn't there for some reason...his art teacher) and every single teacher was singing my son's praises, he is scoring at mastery level in every class, participating and handing in all of his class work and homework, I couldn't be more proud. His health teacher even had Alex step out of the room to tell me how proud he is of Alex for speaking up when they were learning about the brain and telling the class how he has ADHD and that he explained to Alex that individuals with ADHD concentrate on EVERYTHING as evidenced by the fact that while Alex isn't always looking at you he hears everything that you say!! I'm happy to say that Alex has adjusted to middle school quite well and academics aside he is excited about the robotics club that he joined, as well!!

I know some of my readers are more interested in a dog's life...so for those of you that love the little brown dog...she seemed to be rocking the flip flops today while sunning herself on the deck!


Monday, October 20, 2008

This is a scrapbooking blog right?

I think I forgot about that at some point in the last couple of months so having said that here are some layouts I've done recently and just haven't had the time to post them.
















I haven't had a chance to post about my weekend at the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Connecticut. I had a great time with my friend, Sandi and we shopped and took several great classes and scrapped and scrapped. I am hoping to go again next year, I really enjoyed it very much! If you ever get a chance to attend a scrap weekend, go for it! You get to do something that you love for 2-3 days and spend time with other people who feel the same way that you do. I especially love going around the booths and getting ideas from the vendors!


This was the view from our 19th floor window in our room, overlooking the river and the convention center that is attached, it was great to be able to park the car in the lot and not have to drive anywhere for 3 days!