Thursday, May 27, 2010

Back from Arkansas Once Again

Great news!! Dr. Barlogie said that many of Tanner's lesions are either reduced or resolved.

The Radiologist said that the lesion in the right femur still shows some cancerous activity but when they pulled up the images the bone marrow in that area looked almost the same as the marrow throughout Tanner's body so they are telling us to not worry.

They explained that it was quite large to start with and is just taking longer to resolve than the others.

Of course, this mom just wants to hear that there is no activty at all in his body but Tanner was quite excited by the news and said he's not worried about that one lone lesion.

He told Dr. Barlogie he just had one more important question and then proceeded to ask if he could get a tattoo. Of course I was sitting there shaking my head no but Dr. B told him yes he could have one. Tanner told him he just wanted to be sure because "his mom" had told him he shouldn't have one as long as he's on any chemo meds. Dr. B told him then he just hadn't asked the right person and of course he could get one if he wanted.

Oh the things an 18 year old can do without his mom's permission...

I'm sure it's the exhaustion of the trip catching up with me, but I've been crying off and on all day today. Sometimes everything still just catches up with me and it breaks my heart that Tanner has this dreadful disease and will have to deal with all of this for the rest of his life.

It's a good thing this is a long holiday weekend. I think I need the rest.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A free day

We had a loooong day of tests yesterday - about eleven hours in Little Rock. At least Tanner didn't have to have a bone marrow biopsy this time.

We were able to take a break and go to lunch and run over to Target in between some of the tests. Tanner found out those store carts are pretty slow...

I was worn out after the day was all over but Aunt Tincey had a wonderful home cooked meal ready when we arrived back at her house.

Today she took us to eat pizza at this gourmet pizza place. The spinach alfredo pizza was really good - and Tanner particularly liked the baked pototao pizza. LOL! We were all so full we couldn't have any of the dessert slices.

Tonight I made ham-spinach quiche for dinner. Trenity didn't think she wanted any, but asked for a slice after having a taste. They have an extra pie for tomorrow so I sure hope they liked it!

We have an appointment to see Dr. Barlogie at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow which usually means that we see him around 5 or 6 p.m. -- then we will have that long drive home.

I'm always anxious to hear what he has to say. I'm sure it will be all good, but actually hearing it from the doctor is always a relief.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A sad week

Turmoil, heartache, sadness, uncertainty...

It's been a really rough week. It seems that the boy's young friend that died most likely passed because of an accidental drug overdose. I don't know for sure what happened except that he went out to celebrate someone's 21st birthday and just didn't wake up the next morning.

A lot of the young guys would mix xanax, pain pills, and alcohol. I think they didn't think it was dangerous because it wasn't "hard" drugs. Like I said, I don't really know what happened but it is just heartbreaking. I've watched the boys struggle with their pain this week and have tried to be there for them but I think they've gathered the most comfort from spending time with their friends.

We went to three days of services; a memorial service, the visitation, and a funeral. Trevor was a pall bearer and it was hard watching him walk along carrying his friend in a casket. This boy who use to spend days at our house - who use to jump on the trampoline, play ball, and go on family trips with us. He was extremely intelligent, outgoing, kind, and an all around athlete.

I sat through that funeral and I wondered how I would ever handle it if I lost one of my boys and I tell you, I just don't know if I could make it. Just the thought is almost more than I can bear. I spent some time with Kirk after the funeral. Had a long drive in the little red jeep with the wind in my hair and my legs resting on the dash. It made things a little easier. The first time I've relaxed this week.

When my brother was killed at the age of twenty, I hurt horribly -- but the pain my mother endured was unimaginable and she never recovered. Oh, she learned to live (to some degree) but she was never the same.

This family who just lost their son and brother, their lives are forever changed. Forever less than what it was and could have been.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Loss of a friend

Tanner seems to be doing well (the curly headed little boy in the picture is Tanner). We went this morning for his weekly maintenance chemo treatment and saw Dr. Davis. He told me if anything was changing for Tanner it would most likeley show up in his labwork - or he wouldn't be feeling as well as he does. For those reasons, he expects all of the tests next week in Arkansas to come back normal.

We will head back up to Little Rock on Sunday and will have tests done Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

These trips seem to keep getting longer each time...

One of Tanner and Trevor's friends (the dark haired boy in the picture) died yesterday morning and the boys are really struggling with their shock and grief right now.

Hunter and Trevor were the best of friends all the way through Primary and up into Junior High School. Hunter use to spend most of his weekends with us and Tanner has known him his whole life. He had come back into our lives the last several years and was there for Trevor and Kelsey when Beckett was born.

We all loved him very much and he will be greatly missed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tanner seems to have turned back into a normal teenager; meaning I see very little of him lately what with all of his running around with friends - and yet another girlfriend...

I asked him the other day if I was ever going to see him again, and he said "how about lunch and a movie this weekend". It seems I have to make a date to spend some time with my boys these days!

Considering where we were at and what we were thinking ten months ago, this is good! I'm so glad to see him acting like any other teenager.

His leg became REALLY swollen once they took the cast off and put him in the brace. I've had him start keeping it propped up above his heart whenever he's just around the house and the swelling looks a lot better. It looked so bad there at first, I was really worried. In Tanner's words I was "freaking out".

We met with the Make a Wish Foundation people and Tanner is busy planning his "wish". Hopefully this will work out so that he can have some wonderful wish fulfilled.

All in all, he seems to be doing so well. I'm the one who seems to continue to have some struggles. He's gone on with his life and I'm still floundering around trying to find my way to live life as if everything is "normal". But then again, I don't talk to Tanner about the days that I struggle so I'm sure he struggles and has bad days too and we just don't talk to each other about those issues.

It's nothing as bad as it was months ago. It's just sometimes hard for me to find my footing. Tanner is 18 years old, has graduated from high school and is ready to get on with his life. I just need to learn to let him go - and find a way to build a fulfilling life of my own and put my worry aside (as much as I can).

Well, break is over so I'd better get back to work. Thank's for always being there for me when I need someone to talk to. LOL!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

We made a blazing fast trip to Arkansas. Drove up Thursday afternoon and came back Friday afternoon. To say that I'm a little tired is an understatement.

We stayed with Aunt Tincey this trip and had a wonderful time with them. One good thing that has come from all these trips to Arkansas is that we've gotten to see her, Julie, and the kids more than ever before.

Now we have Dr. Nicholas and Dr. Barlogie on different schedules. Dr. B wants us to come back for restaging tests at the end of May and Dr. Nicholas wants us back on July 2nd. Whew...

Dr. Nicholas said the leg is still healing and will definitely not require surgery. He wanted to put him back in another full leg cast with a hinge but I told him that if he did, it would have to come off in May when we come back for the tests (because metal can't go in the machines for the PET and CAT scans).

He decided to just leave the cast completely off and put him in a full leg brace instead. They are still warning him that the leg needs to be completely non-weight bearing. He can remove the brace and shower or bathe now and we hadn't been home 10 minutes before he was in the tub soaking that leg. It hadn't see water in 10 months!

The doctor told him he might be tempted to sleep without the brace but to be sure to only take it off to wash and keep it on all other times.

Tanner told me yesterdy and this morning that he's already a little sore from the leg not being supported and moving around more.

The idea of the brace is so that he can start exercising his leg and ankle on his own by just simply moving it back and forth. After the cast was removed, he couldn't bend his knee without reaching down with his hand and moving it manually.

I'm excited for him to have achieved the progress of having the cast removed, but at the same time, worry about there not being support and the fear that he will put his leg down and bear weight without thinking about it.

He and Trevor left this morning to go out to Clyde with their dad. They are going out to the motorcross race at their grandfather's land.

Dirt, rocks, and hills and my baby son on crutches without a cast. Sigh....

I'm sure it will be all good and I know he's being very careful. A mother just worries.