Thursday, July 28, 2011

That Place

Today was Brinley's monthly chemo treatment at the hospital, her blood tests came back decent, not amazing, but she's trucking along and that's all I need.  This kid handles treatment like a champ.  She's almost excited to go, bouncing off the walls giddy.  Mainly because when she hears that we're going to the hospital, she figures it'll be a day of crafts, poke prizes and getting spoiled by the staff.  She's well aware of the routine of pokes, chemo,  questions, and physicals, but the prizes and crafts out shine all of those things.  She sits well for her IVAD access, doesn't flinch or frail about, she just takes it on the chin and moves forward.  I've said it many times before, I'm in awe of this little girl.  She could seriously teach me a lesson or two in acceptance.

It's no surprise to anyone now that I hate hospital days.  I loathe them.  I try every morning to wake up and smile, prep Brinley with magic cream (numbing cream), grab my coffee,head out the door, and just keep positive...but I fail miserably.  It starts on the drive in, my legs start to get jittery, almost numb and noodley, I'm happy to be sitting and driving because if I was standing I may fall.  As I get closer to the hospital and feeling moves up my body.  My stomach does flips and turns, my heart starts to race and I have to take deep breaths.  I hate this routine.  Then I feel this lump of sad in my throat, like I can't choke it down, try as a I may, it hits my eyes.  I try to blink away some of the tears, try glancing off in another direction, because maybe if I see something on the side of the road, I will be distracted enough to forget how sad this drive makes me.  It never works.  A few tears manage to always find their way out.  I wipe them away before the kids catch on.  It's no surprise that the time we leave the hospital I want to lay down and sleep for the rest of the day.  It kind of leaves you in a fog.  Sometimes I find myself thinking that maybe front line treatment was easier to deal with because you don't forget that dreading feeling, you're completely aware that your life is anything but normal, you see weekly visits keep you "in check" with your reality.  But once you move to maintenance, (and yes it's a HUGE lovely exciting deal) but you forget your position a little, the feelings of helplessness evade you for a month, and you kind of forget about it.  Out of sight out of mind....but then you have to go back to that place, the sad/helpless/depressing/overwhelming place of pediatric oncology.

So that's what I'm feeling today, heavy right?  There's sometimes when I can't turn my head off, I get so blogged down with my thoughts that I can't shut off.  This has helped today.  Next month Brin will have surgery again, I can only try and prepare myself for these feelings to be magnified a bit more.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I've been avoiding writing/venting about this for a while.  And maybe word "venting" isn't the most appropriate word, because usually venting goes hand in hand with dislike, and I can't very well say I "dislike" the situation.  The situation itself is exciting, and nerve wracking all at the same time, the adventure into the unknown...ish.

We're moving.  As in done, over final. We sold the house and are Arizona bound in September.  Blake was transferred with his company and he will be managing the Honeywell training accounts in the US in the US.  This move as been going forth since June, and suddenly with packing, and making arrangements it has become very real.  I'm nervous about it because Arizona will not be the same it was when we left, I've been mentally preparing myself that change. When we lived in Arizona we weren't parents, life was different and I'm  embracing that change.  This also leaves me nervous because we're leaving a lot when we leave Edmonton.  We've been fortunate enough in life to have many friends and family who have really pulled together in the last 7-8 months and become a support team for us, these are the people who have created a soft place for us to fall and a rock to lean on.  In a strange way, I feel like I'm slapping those lovely people in the face when it comes to this's an uneasy sad pit of a feeling.  I hate leaving Team Brinley...

Again, this relocation comes hand in hand with ...MOVING...yes the physical move, the packing, the organizing, the purging...all things I dislike. 

However...I'm excited.  Excited to see old friends, looking forward to no snow, warm weather, new house (not the house hunting part...blegh) I'm excited for whats to come.  It may not be all sunshine and butterflies, but the idea of something new can be a thrill.

And of course, I'm also sad.  This was our first home as a married couple.  This was the first big investment we bought together.  This is where I brought my babies home from the hospital.  It holds so many memories for us, some good, some bad, but mostly good memories.  I will miss these walls, I will miss my home.

I will miss the exceptional care Brinley has received in the last 8 months.  This has been a a hot topic between her and I.  She doesn't like the idea of a new doctor, or new nurses, because, "What if they don't know how to poke me so it doesn't hurt?'  It's not an easy thing trying to reassure her that everything will be ok, she's adapted so well to her environment that changing it seems almost cruel.

Moving along...

I was lucky enough to see my best friend this weekend.  She has been my best friend since I was 10 years old and she liked my lunch better than hers, and something clicked.  Tawnya is someone who has always been there for me, no matter what, and as we've gotten older...nothing has changed.  We still laugh at the same stuff we did 19 years ago, and we usually laugh so hard that one us ends up with the hiccups....I'm sad to be further away from her, she's been a rock for me, especially when it comes to dealing with Brinley.  I will miss her tons, but I know even moving back to Arizona won't change that bond.

Tomorrow marks the 30 days until this house is someone else's home...let the packing begin!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Family Adventure

We're back!  We had an amazing time in Florida, I can't even put into words how amazing the trip was. 

First off a limo came and picked us up to take us to the airport, Brin was over the moon that she was able to ride in a princess car.  Both kids were so excited on the way there.  Once we got settled into the airport, they played until we got onto the 1250am....never again.  Red eye + tired excited kids = melt downs.  They both passed out on both of the air planes, but Carter had a hard time going from plane 1, to plane 2 because he was so sleepy.  Even though it was 6am Toronto time, it was only 4am on his watch. On the plane from Toronto to Orlando the west jet pilot came onto the speaker to let the rest of the plane know that they were flying with with Brinley for her Make A Wish trip and the whole plane erupted in was hard to not get teary about it, even for Blake.  Oh and did I mention, while we're eating brekky in Toronto, our waiter came up to us and told us that the meal was "taken care of by the lady sitting in the corner" I had to send Blake over to say thank you in fear of bawling my eyes out.  Turns out that her son passed away before his wish was granted.  So needless to say, we kicked off this journey with a lot of raw emotions.

Once we got settled into GKTW (give kids the world) we took the kids for a nice swim, and dinner and ice cream to follow.  I cannot say how amazing this place is.  They spoil you rotten, kids and parents alike.  The kids were treated to ice cream whenever they wanted, Santa visits, gifts left in their room every day, "kids night out" (yes no parents allowed) candy land night, you name it...these kids got it!  The villa was lovely, lots of space and very comfortable. 

We took the kids to Sea world on our first full day there, they got to feed dolphins, stingrays, and sharks! We took in a whale show, and then got to experience the full Florida rain experience...and let me tell you, when it rains it pours...for a long long time!  There were some places in Sea world where the water was almost up to your knees because it couldn't drain fast enough.  It was awesome!  The Thunder was a bit loud, but after a few good BOOMS the kids got use to it.  By the time we got to our van we were soaked...totally soaked.

2nd day we took the kids to Disney World Magical Kingdom.  WOW!!!!  We first kicked off with a pirate and princess make over, followed by lunch with the princesses.  The first princess at our table was the fairest of them all...Snow White...and Brinley HATES Snow White.  I have no idea why, but Brinley doesn't like her, what-so-ever, and she made it very clear but turning her nose up and giving 'Ol Snow White and Brinley Ryann SNUB.  We tried passing it off as shyness...partly out of embarrassment.  The rest of that day flew by, we knocked the park out in a single day...getting in the front to every line really helped, instead of 3 hour wait times, the longest we waited for a ride was maybe 5 mins...on ALL of the rides including universal studios.

Day 3, 4, 5, 6, we staggered Disney World and Universal and it worked out well.  We had Carter's birthday in Universal and ate lunch at Captain America's diner, which he was over the moon about.  I still can't believe my little man is 6 years old. Everything went by so fast it's almost like a dream, but we had a great time, made lots of memories and now it back to real life.  And right now my real life is consumed with packing, BOO! 

I'll post more some picture when I can, I put a bunch on my laptop while we were in Florida, but my laptop has taken a dirt nap.  Once I get it back from Dell I'll post them!