Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update

Ava and her friend Blaine playing.
Ava and Blaine sitting in a chair. They are only 6 days apart. We like to joke that they are going to be married some day! They are so cute together!
Ava is almost 15 months old and she is getting smarter every day!
She can say: Hi, nana (banana), baba (drink), bow wow (dog, horse, or basically anything with 4 legs, while pointing at it), and uh-oh! She is pretty good at communicating what she wants. She is really good at pointing and making gestures until she gets what she wants. She loves to read her books and talk on the phone. Right now she loves to climb on things. Once she gets on top of something she stands up so tall like she is so proud of herself! Another things he likes to do dance. She puts her hands above her head and twirls around like a ballerina. She absolutely loves to talk on the phone! She will put anything small up against her ear and talk. She says "hi" and then jabbers and then she will start laughing for no reason. It's pretty entertaining to watch.
In other news, we are moving to Payson to live in my parent's basement. We are excited to have some more room to ourselves. Blake has 2 treatments left (we hope) and then possible radiation. We are hoping to be completely done with treatment by July. His tumor has shrunk by 50% which is wonderful news! Unfortunately we are going to have to pay for everything on our own. We have done everything we can to try and get help from insurance and the state and it looks like we are on our own. We are going to have a huge yard sale at the end of June so if you have anything you would like to donate towards paying off our bills that would be wonderful! I will post more info later when I know more.

Chocolate cake

Grandma Tuckett made some chocolate cake one Sunday and we decided to give Ava some because she never had the chance to eat chocolate cake on her own. Since she had bandaged hands on her birthday.
As you can see she loved it!
The bib she is wearing is Blake's. I really like it because it covers everything and keeps her really clean. Can you see her pig tails? I was finally able to do that to her and I think she looks so cute!

Ava's 1st birthday!

Eating cake as well as she can without hands.
I had to cover her bandaged hands with socks so that I didn't have to change her bandages again.
She loved her chocolate cake!
This is Ava and her cousing Danica. We had a little party with a few family members. She got a couple of outfits, a baby doll and some money. She had a good birthday, she was a little confused by what was going on but that's ok!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

February

Ava is a professional walker! As soon as we moved in she started taking off walking. She doesn't even want to crawl any more. She was really sick in the beginning of December. She had croup and bronchiolitis. It was so sad to see her suffer.
Since she is such a good walker here's a good story for you...when I was over at my mom's house, I was cutting my brother's hair and so she took her down stairs to keep her our of the hair on the floor and to keep her from hanging all over me. After I was done with the hair cut, I started sweeping and I heard screaming coming from down stairs. So I run down to see what happened. My mom was holding her and said "she touched the fire place and burned her hands". I saw these huge blisters on the palms of her hands and my mom said to call the doctor because they look pretty bad. We go the doctor's office and they make us wait for about 30 minutes before one of the nurses comes in to give her medicine. Then about 15 minutes later he comes in. She was screaming the whole time! I felt so bad. He said that they look pretty bad and he wanted me to come in on Monday (this was Friday at the time) and cut off the dead skin. So he bandaged her up and sent us on our way. He said that it looked like 2nd degree but he wouldn't know until he saw the skin underneath.
The next week we go in and he cuts off the dead skin and he cried the whole time. It was so sad. He said that if she touched the fireplace a second longer than it would have been 3rd degree. We were so relieved that it wasn't worse than that. We have to change her bandages every day, and she still hates it. She cries and whines the whole time. I feel bad every time that I have to change them. Here is a picture of her below, you can see her bandaged hands.

You can't tell in the picture, but her right hand has her 4 fingers sticking out. They weren't burned as bad and so they healed super fast. That has helped out tremendously with her every activities of getting into everything. She can actually grab things and use her fingers. Her left hand was much worse than the right and so it's still bandaged up. We go the doctor again tomorrow for Ava's 12 month appt and so we are hoping that one of her bandages will be taken off and that her fingers on her left hand will be able to come out.

Can you believe that she is a year old? I can't believe it! She has grown up so much! She is having a party tomorrow and I will definately post some pictures of that.

January

Ava loves bath time! Here are some pictures for your enjoyment because she is so stinkin' cute!





On January 15th, we moved from our home in Palmyra into Blake's parents house in Spanish Fork. He started his treatment in the beginning of January and so he quit working for a few months during that time. He gets treatments every other week and so during the week that he gets treatment he feels pretty sick. His main side effects are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and a metallic taste in his mouth. On the off week he feels pretty good, just tired.

December

In December we met with the oncologist. Our first visit with him was about 2 hrs. They talked to us about treatment, what the side affects will be and what to expect. They wanted to get a bone marrow biopsy to make sure it hasn't spread and they got an x-ray of his abdomen to make sure that it hasn't spread to other parts of his body. Luckily, his bone marrow is cancer free and his abdomen is also cancer free. So that still put him in Stage 2.

We felt like our world was turned upside down. At first we were very bitter and upset about the whole thing. Mostly I was, Blake was handling it better than I was. Then we felt like "why me?". Then after a looong time I started to finally accept it. They wanted to start the chemo after the holidays so that he would be feeling good.

Ava was 10 months old on Christmas. She took her first steps by herself on Dec. 17! She would only walk when no one was looking and when she didn't realize that she was doing it by herself. When one of us would say for her to walk to us, she would go down to the ground and crawl. What a silly girl. Sorry, no pictures this month. I was lame, and didn't feel like doing anything the whole month. It's a miracle I even got my family anything for Christmas, but just because life sucks doesn't mean that I shouldn't have my family be happy.

November

Ava is 9 months old and she is trying to walk, she will walk along furniture but can't get the courage to walk by herself.



November was the start of the reason why I have not been blogging. In July Blake felt a lump in his neck, he thought it was a swollen gland or an infection or something and so he thought it would go away. He also had a cough and noticed that when the cough would go away so would the lump, but then the lump would come back when the cough came back. He didn't have health insurance at the time so he didn't want to go and have it be nothing. I kept bugging him about it and telling him to go to the doctor and every time I would ask him about it he would say "well, the lump isn't as big anymore".
In November, he came home from work one day and was just not feeling well, so he he finally decided to go the doctor. He said he was tired of feeling sick and tired. The doc wanted him to get some x-rays. Then when we got the results of the x-rays the doc said that something didn't look normal and so he wanted him to get a CT scan, so we waited over the weekend and on Monday he went in to get a CT scan. On Tues, we met with a pulmonologist (lung doc) to get the results. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving he was told that he had Lymphoma. He has a tumor in one of his lymph nodes in his chest and his neck. They wanted a biopsy to determine what type of lymphoma it is. We waited unil the next week to get the biopsy, we found out a few days later that it is Hodgkin Lymphoma, which is the malignant kind and that it was stage 2 cancer. The size of the tumor in his chest was 16cm! We couldn't believe how big it was! They didn't know it was that big until they went in for the biopsy. They said that treatment is chemo and radiation. His symptoms were: night sweats, weight loss, cough, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Who would have known?