Monday, October 31, 2011

Good News from KU Med

Last week, I had my annual cancer check-up at KU Med.  This was my first appointment in their beautiful new facility.  It was a walk down memory lane, looking out of the modern window down on the street where I used to park when I attended grad school here many years ago. 

Once a student, now a patient.  A thankful patient who got good news and the all clear for now.  I will come back in January for more throughout testing since the drug needed for a stimulated whole-body scan is not currently available.  But if it doesn't become available, my doctor is okay with me waiting for another year, and for that I am very thankful.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Violet's Progress

Last week I attended Violet's preschool parent-teacher conference.  She is doing great in school.  We are exceptionally proud that she is taking her role as a peer model very seriously and goes out of her way to make her classmates with disabilities feel welcome.

Violet attends preschool two mornings a week and when she isn't there, she expects me to have her "school work" ready just like her big sisters.  I picked up some Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies at Trader Joe's and they have been a hit. 
She uses them for letter identification and matching activities, and they are quite tasty as well.  

Other hands-on letter activities we did this week included matching foam sticker letters to a printout of the alphabet.  Annabelle is a great teacher and helps her identify the letters as she matches them.  That's the great thing about homeschooling the second and third child, they have more than one teacher to learn from.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Festival Weekend

Who cares about the 40,000+ people who showed up in our little town for the festival.  All we care about are a few key people who graced us with their presence.  Troy, Deidra, and Baby Charlotte flew into town.
Tony Winston, Mimi and Grandpa Mike (whom I failed to get a picture of) also enjoyed the festival with us.
We celebrated Violet's 4th birthday (The extra "candles" are actually straws used to hold the top on the giant cupcake after it slid off.  Thanks Daddy for saving the day.)
Grandma Susan also came over to spend the day with us.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Take 5

 Today Violet rode the school bus for the first time with her preschool class to the pumpkin patch.  This was our fifth trip with Ms. Deanna's class, as Aliah and Annabelle both had her for two years. 
 Ms. Deanna with the Punkettes"

 Our little stairsteps are getting pretty tall!

Friday, October 14, 2011

It's Just Too Much

As you can see, turning four is very stressful, especially when Mom wants to take pictures.  We thought you might like a glimpse into Violet's morning of her fourth birthday:

We love you no matter what mood you might be in, Violet Grace!

One-Wheeled Bike

Violet turned four this week.  Daddy ordered her a very special birthday gift a couple weeks ago.  The night it came, he just had to give it to her.  We told her to close her eyes and not to peek:

 No peeking yet!
It's a one-wheeled bike!  It's attached to Daddy's bike!  Climb on:
A little scary the first time,

but not so bad when you are zooming by with Daddy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Party on the Horizon

Violet's Special Weekend

 Considering Violet's only other special get-away with Mommy was an overnight stay at the Children's Hospital, I decided I should take her with me this weekend for some special one-on-one time.  We hitched a ride with Uncle Chad and Aunt Caylyn to a friends wedding.  The drive was eventful, especially when the car overheated.
 While waiting for the car to cool down, we went geocaching behind the rest stop.
 We met Mimi and Grandpa at the lake.
  We attended Dane and Christy's beautiful wedding. 
 Violet got some sunggle time with her Grandpa
 and Uncle Chad.
Too bad I failed to take any pictures of Violet and I, but I did get one with my Lil' Sis
 on the way home Violet got to play with her cousins. 
What a great weekend we had together, Super Vi!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cider Mill

We decided to try out a common fall tradition, visiting the Cider Mill.  Aliah found the opportunity to view the process of how they make the cider to be very interesting.  Starting with the apples being washed:

All the way to the end of the process when the cider is bottled up.

We have bee hearing for years how good the apple cider dounuts were.  The brisk morning was perfect weather to have some warm apple cider.
Except for our warm-blooded child, who had no problem downing a cider slush in 10 minutes despite the temperature outside being in the low 60's.

There was a craft fair the weekend we visited.  Aliah was in crafty-heaven.  Her favorite booth, judging by the 98 photos she took, was this booth with feather clips:
People might notice if she wore one of these around town:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cancer is Rude

God just gave me a wake-up call. 

I have cancer.  Or should I say I HAD cancer.  After surgery and treatment, I was declared cancer-free.

I barely remember every day when I take my thyroid hormone pill that it's because I no longer possess my cancer-ridden thyroid gland.  When I go in for blood work every couple of months or for my bi-annual cancer checkup, I remember that I have dealt with the big C.  Otherwise, I just go on with life and forget about it.  Taking my good health for granted.

Today I called to schedule my cancer checkup at KU Medical Center.  I was informed that the "miracle"drug that I use every time I have a scan or treatment IS NOT AVAILABLE, nationwide.

I have two choices.  One, wait until it becomes available, or two, proceed with testing with hormone withdrawal.  Hormone withdrawal is the equivalent of being hit by a Mac truck for several months.  Confusion, extreme fatigue, memory loss are some of the side effects.  I would not be able to take care of my home, much less homeschool or even attend to my children.  All in the name of checking to see that the cancer hasn't decided to return.  A cancer that has a 30% return rate.

Cancer is rude that way.  It doesn't care that I don't have time to deal with it right now by going through hormone withdrawal.  It didn't care that the first time it reared it's ugly head that I was pregnant with my third child.  It didn't care that I had to undergo surgery during that pregnancy to prevent metastasis.  It didn't care that I had to wean my infant so that I could go through treatment after my baby was born.  It didn't care that the treatment made me radio-active and I had to live in a plastic covered room for three days with no human interaction.  It didn't care that I had to be away from my kids, including my infant, for a full week so that my radioactivity didn't damage their developing thyroid glands.

Cancer has had a very personal impact on our lives the past 4 1/2 years.   It will have an even greater and unforgiving impact on the Haigh family the near future.

I pray that I will no longer take my health for granted.  If I wake up in the morning and am able to think clearly and have energy to spare, I will thank God.  If  can see my kids that day and kiss their boo-boos away, I will thank God.

Sometimes it takes something rude or unpleasant to happen for you to remember to count your blessings.

Magical Get-Away

This weekend the Mister and I hopped on a plane together for the first time since the Punkettes came along.  Destination:  a Bed & Breakfast hidden in a magical forestland.

 Complete with gnomes and hidden gnome homes: