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 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!

Friday, October 17, 2008


In the world of someone with brain cancer progress is not a good thing, in fact it is bad news overall. At mom's last checkup we were told that one of the tumors got a little bit larger and is now 1 1/2" in size which is not what we wanted to hear. The first course of action was that we could hit it with one high dose of radiation and that is what we were told would happen and in fact we had the appointment for that to happen this past week. One phone call from the oncologist changed all of that. "The tumor board met and discussed your mom's case and the neurosurgeon feels he can remove the tumor." I was a bit stunned at first because back in January when mom had the craniotomy I was told that they didn't get it all at the time so I just assumed that it wasn't operable. I think on some levels it is the expertise of the doctor that you have and perhaps had mom been living up here in New York back at the time she was diagnosed we might have gotten a complete resection at that time.

We met with Dr. Rosiello yesterday and mom and I liked him very much and I feel that he has the skills necessary to complete this resection with minimal neurological effects. He said that once he gets in there he will assess what he feels he can safely remove but he did state that the tumor is very close to the surface and he sees no reason why he can't remove it. He also went on to say that one of the other smaller tumors is very close to the larger one and he wants to go ahead and remove that one also even though is is small and hasn't grown in size since diagnosis.

While mom and I were having lunch at her favorite place today ( Quiznos ) we got the phone call from the doctor's secretary that the surgery is scheduled for 10/30 so things are moving along. I would ask everyone that reads my blog to please keep mom in your prayers on that day and also pray for the doctor that his hands be guided to remove the cancer from her body.

Aside from all of the medical stuff going on here life continues to move at a fast pace here. Robert will be home in just over 2 months and we are all really excited and so ready to have him back after his service is completed.

Alex and Jim have been working on the new treehouse almost every day when Jim gets home from work and it is slow going but it's going. We have been pretty lucky that Jim has been getting home early these past few days even though he's working in Jersey City right now.

We will have a pretty nice tree house when all the work is done but more than that I think the time that Jim and Alex are spending together is more important than anything. Alex wanted me to take this video of him on his trampoline but little did I know that he was going to jump out of the tree onto the trampoline!! I don't know how he comes up with this stuff but he wanted me to take a video and send it to his brother, Bobby...I hope you appreciate this because I almost had a heart attack at first when I saw him jump out of the tree! But Alex wanted you to see him jump and he couldn't hear any of my warnings. Dad just said he's crazy and he gave up doing anything about it!

Tomorrow is Alex's Bike A Thon and he is raising money for his school and he is very proud of his effort in doing that. After lunch we plan to head on over to the Harbes Family Farm in Jamesport and get us a really good pumpkin for some Halloween carving and maybe even attempt the 8 acre corn maze.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So this past weekend mom had company...AGAIN!!! Madeleine and Jean drove down from Canada for a visit and we had a lovely time together!

Saturday they spent the day with mom and it gave me the opportunity to attend a show that Jim and his friends did at a fundraiser...Alex also got to join us since there were tons of kids there, this was a fundraiser for Rolling Thunder--a group that benefits kids and young adults with special needs.

Alex really has been taking his role as dad's new 'roadie' very seriously now that Jason is no longer with us...I think Alex knows he has to take over for his cousin in helping out at shows. When he was getting dressed on saturday morning he had to wear a certain outfit, it was really funny. Here he is on the side of the stage watching and waiting for the opportunity to help out.

Here is a group shot of "Godspeed and Friends". I just love that I was able to get a good shot of Jim, Jack and Alex...the rest is gravy to me.

Sunday I set out in the morning to take Madeleine and her husband for some NYC sightseeing and I had a lovely day with them. We did some things that I wouldn't normally do on a typical trip into the city because Jean wanted to see Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera because he is an opera singer himself. I enjoyed seeing those things through his eyes, it was really fun for me. There was a huge parade on 5th Avenue so we didn't really get to see much of the shops on the avenue due to the crowds so I think Madeleine was a bit disappointed about that. I was just glad that it was a beautiful, warm and sunny day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This weekend....

...we have company from's cousin is here with her husband. I get to be a tour guide again tomorrow but the sight seeing will be a bit different as Madeleine's husband, Jean, wants to see Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera...should be a fun day...not to mention the fact that the weather is going to be picture perfect tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wow, October already!!

I'm really behind on my blog but that usually means that I've been super busy with life and haven't had the time to sit and write anything, I guess that's not always a bad thing.

The weekend of the 25th of September we had our visit from Robert and Michelle and I got to be a tour guide for them as they visited the different sites in Manhattan since Michelle had never been to New York I had to hit all the major spots, of course.

One thing I usually tell people is you have to eat a slice of pizza when you're in New York, it's a 'given'!! So after our 90 minute train ride we hit my favorite little pizza place right in Penn station and since it was raining I decided we better get into KMart and grab up some rain ponchos just in case. As it turns out those ponchos brought us luck because we never needed them, by the time we rode the subway downtown to our first stop it had stopped raining and although it remained overcast most of the day (which was fine with Michelle and I since we were both sweating most of the day from all the walking!) it didn't really rain on us.

I took a bunch of picture but here are just a few of the highlights of the day.

I think they had a good time and I hope I was able to show them around to all the important places. We even 'saw' the Empire State Building as we were making our way back to Penn Station to catch our train home after a delicious dinner at Olive Garden in Times Square (thanks Rob!!). I showed them where the Today show is taped, where the Good Morning America studio is and where the famous 'ball' drops on New Year's eve in Times Square.