Friday, April 29, 2011

So this is what denial looks like.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that chemotherapy consists of extremely toxic drugs. There are side effects of these drugs that go beyond the widely recognized hair loss and nausea. Cisplatin requires a hospital stay to be flushed out with fluids to prevent kidney damage. Doxorubicin requires a premedication to protect the heart as heart complications can occur from this drug. Vincristine can cause neuropathy, which was saw in January with Liam's droopy eye, but was corrected with limited use of the drug.

One side effect that has effected Liam and I have chose not to talk about was hearing loss. Liam has been seeing an audiologist since him cancer diagnosis in November because of this known side effect. In February the audiologist found the chemo has effected his hearing. Hoping is was more of a behavioral issue with testing a 1 year old, I did not say anything. Future ABRs confirmed a hearing loss although not as significant as originally thought.

It is only his high frequency hearing that has been effected. and he is only missing 3 speech sounds, /f/, /s/ and /th/. Both those are the most difficult sounds for children to learn and differentiate.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011


Brian forgot our camera in the rental car we had last week, so there will be no cute pictures of Liam this week. So I wanted to tell you about the YUMMY dinner we made last night.

It was a twist on traditional meatloaf.

3/4lb ground turkey
1/2lb ground sausage
1cup pizza sauce
1cup bread crumbs
2 eggs
mozzarella cheese
1 medium green pepper chopped
minced garlic
onion chopped
1 small can of mushrooms (we left this out)

Preheat over to 375.
Start with browning the meat in a pan.
In a large bowl mix eggs, bread crumbs, 3/4 cup pizza sauce, g pepper, onion, oregano, garlic . Crumble the cooked meat into the mixture and stir in.

On a piece of parchment paper pat the mixture into a rectangle. layer the cheese and mushrooms on top. Roll up starting with the short side and pulling back the paper as you go. (this part did not work out well for me) Place in a baking dish and spread the remaining pizza sauce on top.

Bake uncovered at 375 for 1 hour. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 15-20 minutes longer.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Dark Clouds

Behind every cloud is another cloud ~Judy Garland

I am just waiting for my silver lining.

The reality of cancer has been a dark cloud shadowing our family for the past few years. 3 years ago we found out my stepdad had cancer. The week he finished chemo my mom was diagnosed. Following my mom's treatment my dad's cancer came back. Then my grandma. Of course everyone knows of Liam. Today my grandpa was diagnosed.

I just want to scream at the clouds "REALLY WORLD? SERIOUSLY?"

But I have to remain positive. Liam is our silver lining.

Today as we checked into the hospital today for Liam's final chemo cycle we were placed in the same room our journey began. 204. Is this what coming full circle means?

With positive thoughts we are planning Liam's end of chemo party. North Carolina friends don't forget to send us your address.
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Sunday, April 24, 2011

End of Lent

As Lent is coming to an end, How did everyone do with their goals? Brian gave up fast food. He did okay. As the days went by he just forgot.

I gave up Mt. Dew. This is a habit I picked up when I began teaching. Just needed something to help get through the day. I was able to give it up quite easily while I was pregnant, but I realized what an addiction it had became with Liam's hospitalizations. Everyday I would need to go down to the cafeteria for a Mt. Dew. Over the past 40 days, I have consiously had 5 mt. dews. Was I able to give it up completely for Lent? No. Did I practice moderation? Yes. I call that a success.

What did you give up and how did you do?

Happy Easter

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Last Song

Yes, I am embaressed to admit it, but I watched The Last Song the other night. Personal opinion- would have been better without Miley Cyrus, I just couldn't buy into her character.
Now me personally; I never cry at movies, I get goose bumps never tears. I cried like a crazy hormonal pregnant lady (Don't go getting any ideas, its not even possible).

But all this made me realize, as much as I feel like I am in a good place now, I will never be able to emotionally handle cancer or childhood illnesses. I think to everybody else, those things suck, it nothing anyone ever wants to deal with but until it becomes a reality of your everyday life it just an abstract thought.

Liam is home and doing well. Earlier today he was cruising around the coffee table as I was in the kitchen boiling eggs to color, he paused from throwing things off the table to stop and wave to me. The longer we are home the better he becomes. It makes me dread Monday when we return to the hospital for Liam's final cycle of chemo. But the end is in sight.

22 more days of cancer
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Free at last

After spending another week in the hospital we came home last night. Liam is doing much better. He hasn't had a fever since Thursday last week.

The fevers were not caused by a viral infection like the doctors had originally thought. On Wednesday Liam had an ultrasound where fluid around his liver was discovered. He then had to have a CT assisted procedure to put a drain in his stomach. Although the fluid has mostly stopped draining, he came home with the drain still in. I have to flush it out with saline twice a day.

The drain will be removed next week when we go back to the hospital for chemo.

Although Liam is feeling much better, he is still very attached to mama. He has no interest in playing with his toys or anything unless he is sitting on my lap.

Here are some photos of Liam from the past week(ish).

Not feeling so well. Just lounging in his chair.

Junie likes his chair too.

Mama's friend Crystal came to town. She's funny

Look at me!

Now look outside

And did you notice my hair growing back?


In honor of Liam's 6th and final cycle of chemo, LCF Threadz is having 6 weeks of sales. This week is 2 pairs of Liam Legs for $15. Check back each week for a new sale.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Back at the hospital

Liam continued to have fevers through the night. At 4am he woke up and was inconsolable. His temperature was 102.5. I tried to cool him off with wet cloths again. When he wouldn't calm down we decided it was time to take him to the hospital. His fever broke around 7am and was happy and playing for a while.

Around noon Liam fell asleep for a few hours. When he woke up his temperature was 100.8. Within 5 minutes his fever spiked to 103.8.

He is now neutrapenic and we will have to stay at the hospital until his ANC level is over 500 and he is without fevers for 24 hours.

Hoping my poor baby feels better soon!
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Fevers, Fevers go away

We have been battling fevers for a week now. Fevers had Liam in the hospital for 5 days last week. This morning he woke up BURNING. I took his temperature; 103.5. I was freaking out.

He already had a doctor's appointment so I dressed him in only a shortsleeved onesie and loaded him into the car to go. On the way to the doctor I called Brian to warn him he would probably need to cancel any afternoon appointments he had. I just knew Liam was going back to the hospital.

At the clinic blood was drawn for counts and a culture. He received some tylenol and antibiotics. The nurse warned me if he was neutrapenic (ANC count below 500) he would need to be admitted. Liam's ANC came back at 600. He was going to be able to go home tonight.

We have spent the whole day trying to keep Liam cool. He has taken several cool baths and had a cool washcloth on him all afternoon. Finally at 8:30pm his fever has broke. I'll get up to check him a few times tonight, but please keep Liam in your thoughts and prayers tonight.

Trying to keep the fevers down yesterday
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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Really? Serious? We just cannot catch a break here!

When it rains it pours! I have been thinking this for a while now.
We bought our house in 2007. We bought it knowing we would have to put some work into it. That's what we wanted. Its not our forever house, its the house for Brian to fix up.

We have done a good job of doing a job or 2 a year. I never planned on so much going wrong at once and all while I am not working. First Brian stepped through the shower floor. No he is not a big guy, the floor just broke. So shower is out of commission. No big deal we have another. Then we notice downstairs that the master toilet had been leaking, ruining the ceiling downstairs. UGH! So nearly all our master bathroom needs to be replaced to fix things.

Then the side door breaks off the hinges. Seriously falling inward into the house. If only I had a video of this. The front door had wooden panels that shift and let in cold air, along with the hole in the door to the outdoor storage room. We need all new exterior doors. Brian worked so hard with a friend last weekend to replace those himself to minimize our out of pocket expenses.

Now tonight, although not part of our house, we were stuck in a hail storm. The windshield of my car is busted, many dings in the hood and roof also. So all I have left to say is REALLY? SERIOUSLY?

And while I am on a roll venting. I love my child more than anything, and especially now I realize family is more important than anything. But it is still important to have friends. And Brian and I still both need to get out and step away sometimes. Its very hurtful when friends forget about you because you are dealing with a difficult life situation. Its very upsetting to find out who your friends are while also dealing with an illness. But I thank God everyday for the amazing people who have stood by us.

End Vent. Tomorrow warm happy thought with photos. Stay Tuned
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wordless{ish} Wednesday

I was recently given the encouraging words that Liam will not remember any of this, we are carrying the load for him. All Liam will have to "remember" this is one awesome scar. And every boy needs a scar to show the chicks.
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Tuesday, April 5, 2011


In a healthy child fevers alone are not dangerous. Most parents would just give their child tylenol, a cool cloth or cool bath. Most parents don't call the doctor until the fever reaches 103 or 104. In our house we have to call the doctor when Liam's fever reaches 100.5. That is what happened last night.

Liam had been fussy the past few days, normal behavior following chemo, and yesterday he felt warm. I took his temperature, 98.8, so we went about our day. Then as we were getting Liam ready for bed last night Brian commented on how warm he felt. I took his temperature again, 102.2. I gave Liam his bottle, put him to bed and called to let the doctor know.

Brian protested but off to the hospital we went. They got Liam started on antibiotics, drew blood and got a chest X-ray. Everything looks good so far, but he is still having fevers. He is really uncomfortable and has slept most of the day. Liam is laying on me, I'm patting his back with one hand, iPad balancing on my leg typing with the other hand.

I hope Liam feels better soon.
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Who is the Easter Bunny?

Okay so I thought the Easter Bunny was supposed to be Santa Claus's spring counterpart. Both bring treats and presents to children the night before their respective holidays. But the Easter Bunny gets no love!

I wanted to take Liam to see the Easter Bunny before he started this cycle of chemo. We went to the mall on Monday; 21 days before Easter. Santa Claus is at the mall the day after Halloween, so I didn't think to call ahead to make sure Easter would be being celebrating already. You can see where this story is going... NO BUNNY!

When we got home I did look up the Easter schedule, the Easter Bunny would be making his appearance in the Charlotte malls beginning April 1st. This worked our well. Brian, Liam and I were having lunch near the mall on Friday.

On Friday we went out to lunch to meet with a foundation that was interested in Liam's story and wanted to offer us support. Please check out the Vickie Honeycutt Foundation, their mission is to provide assistance to educators battling cancer.

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