October 24, 2008

Lottie at Grandma's

Some babies see a camera and start posing/smiling/laughing; some babies will see a camera (or even my iPhone, which I thought would be at least a little more sneaky) and go from smiley mode to straight face right away. Lottie is in the latter category. However, I was able to catch my daughter in rare form the other night as we were in Grandma Glo's hospital room. Here are a couple snapshots.

The first one is my favorite, because she looks like me when I was in high school and just wanted to pose by pointing at the camera all the time. Copycat...
But I also like the last one just because it shows what she really looks like when she's laughing and giggling, which is rather difficult to capture with a camera.

October 21, 2008


On Sunday night, my family had our Family Hair Evening. Since my mom is going to lose all of her hair with the chemo, she didn't want to wait for it to all fall out in clumps while laying in her hospital bed. Since she was shaving her head, we all decided to support her by shaving ours too! Here are some of the pictures of the night. My sister-in-law Katie was taking pictures of the whole thing, and took over 300 that night.

Here's the whole family before:

Mom was first. We all took a swipe at her with cutters at one point. But Dad's first cut was a little sad for her:

She cheered up a lot once Steph and I spiked her hair into a purple mohawk. She's all punk now!

Dad let mom shave off the middle of his moustache. Then we gave him a little pony tail on top and shaved the rest.

Everett shaved spikes all over his head. He tried to do lightning bolts in his beard, but that didn't work.

Stephanie did what she likes to call "the Joe Biden" but it really turned out more like a monk:

Barry was going for the Captain Picard look, but he was not nearly as good looking. In fact, right after this picture was taken, Ainsleigh just cried. I guess she doesn't like her daddy bald:

Stephanie wanted to do a Cyndi Lauper look on me, but it was getting late and dark, so we didn't have time for the waffle cut:

Although, when we finished the job she did give me a little splotchy Brittney Spears look going on:

And finally, Patrick already had such short hair - so I shaved the words "Cancer Sucks" into his head:

My sister's best friend has been around our family so much that she's practically family herself. She has long enough hair that she is going to cut it off and donate to locks of love. Her husband Hutch joined us in the shaving party on Sunday:

And here's the family after. I may be a little biased, but I think that we're kind of an attractive group of bald people:

Poor Brad was really concerned about how bad I'd look with a shaved head. Luckily for him, it's not so bad. In fact, I told him that I liked it so much I'm going to keep it this way. His response was "No you're not." But I really am glad of his support of me and my family.

October 14, 2008

The Harvest

Today began the harvest of my mom's stem cells. Actually, the process started on Friday with shots she has to give herself to build the count of stem cells in her blood. All weekend she was giving herself seven shots a day. The side effects of the shots were not pleasant. They cause bone pain, and general flu-like symptoms.

Friday night we spent the night at my parents' house, as we were participating the next morning in a Cancer Walk. Our team raised $1900 for cancer research! Unfortunately, mom was not up to participating with us. I've always been told that listening to your child cry, being unable to help them, is the worst feeling in the world. I don't think that anyone who says that can have had to endure sitting with their mother and hearing her cry because she is in so much pain, and not be able to do anything about it. I have never hurt so bad as when I knew how much my mom is hurting. I think it's because she's always been so strong. Mom is the one that is always there, always the one who fixes things. I just want to fix it for her, but I know I can't.

Yesterday they installed a central line in her chest. This way with all the blood they will have to take, and all that they need to give her, she won't have to be more of a pincushion than she already has been. That went well. She did develop a fever later in the evening, and they took her back to the hospital. She was given a high dose of antibiotic, and will hopefully be fine.

Today they started actually harvesting cells from her blood to use in her transplant. Her counts are good, so they think that with any luck they could have enough from this week of harvesting. That means that she would go into the hospital to start the chemo on the 21st. And she wouldn't have to go through another round of the painful shots.

Most of my information is coming from texts from my sister, or from reading her blog. It's a lot of phone calls to make every day to keep everyone up to date. So, I'll try updating here, but if you're curious for more information, check out Steph's blog. She's a wealth of knowledge, as she attends most of my mom's doctor appointments with her.

One thing I know is that my mom will require several blood transfusions. It used to be that they asked family to donate directly to use for the patient. While that isn't the case any more, and they use the blood from the American Red Cross, they do ask that as family and friends we make a conscious effort to go donate blood if we are able to. So please, if you want to support my family right now, find out if you are able to donate, and go donate blood.