Mass-AAAAH-ge

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Last November, Dave’s sister wanted to do something for him for his birthday.  I suggested he might like to have a massage.  Kris gave him a gift certificate to a place she has used massage envy.  It took him a while to use it, but he absolutely LOVES it.  The last two times Dave has had chemo, he has scheduled a massage for the following Saturday.  He comes back so relaxed and refreshed.  It is exactly what he needs when he is feeling yucky.  It was the perfect gift!

xoxo

Robyn

**Part of the reason he delayed in using the gift certificate was due to the fact that when he showed up for his first appointment, they turned him away. He needed a note from his oncologist saying it was okay.

Because There is More to Life

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For those of you not on Facebook, I thought I would share a fun moment from the week.  Kids are finding creative ways to ask their dates to the prom.  It is called the “prom posal”.  Samantha was actually dreading this since she is not really the type who likes to draw a lot of attention to herself in a public way.  But her friend, Michael, found just the right way to ask her.  He painted t-shirts for her friends to wear, and they met her by her car after school.  He also had some little gifts for her with thoughtful notes explaining what each gift represented in their friendship.  She was so touched by how perfect it was for her – not splashy and crazy but meaningful and sweet.

xoxo

Robyn

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If You Need Me, I’ll Be at the Grocery Store

ImageGrocery shopping has become an unexpected challenge lately.  Dave has chemo this week so I try to make sure we have some basics that he can stomach like sprite and cottage cheese.  For the last couple of treatments, he has all but lost his appetite which lasts about four days.  He gets fluids at the treatment center on day 3 and nibbles on enough to get by.  It is hardly ideal but he is managing it okay.  He craves proteins but doesn’t want any sauces and can’t tolerate the smell of anything cooking.  You begin to see the challenge.  Also, I still have to feed the kids.  So, I end up going to the grocery store daily and wandering the aisles looking for uncooked, sauceless protein that has no smell and appeals to kids.  We’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches…..

xoxo

Robyn

PS During a lighthearted moment, I did remind Dave that during one of my pregnancies, when I was knee deep in morning sickness, that he heated up and ate an anchovy pizza in my presence!  

When We Went to Admitted Freshman Day and Met Us….

ImageSamantha and I spent Saturday at CNU for admitted freshman day.  For several weeks. Sam has been connecting with people on the Facebook page set up for the Class of 2017.  She found one girl with whom she thought she might room.  I suggested that maybe she would want to meet this person IN person before she decided.  In case, you know, the girl couldn’t carry on a conversation in person or was a real weirdo or something.  Samantha looked at me like I was a clueless, out of touch, dinosaur.  

 

After the kick off part of the day, the students headed off in groups to do a scavenger hunt and get to know the campus and each other.  Samantha and the girls from Facebook arranged to meet up during this time.  I sat in the parent session feeling overwhelmed and excited and a little sad about my oldest child heading off to college.  Also, I felt some jealousy.  Wouldn’t it be great to be back in college again dedicated only to learning and exploring and having fun?!

 

The speakers were amazing.  Such smart suggestions and clear expectations of the students.  There was a student panel where current CNU students shared their experiences, advice and even regrets.  I wanted to whip out a pen and paper and take notes, but instead I texted Dave all the important details that I didn’t want to forget.  CNU is a wonderful place.  I am so proud of Samantha for finding the perfect fit school for herself.  The academics are first rate, the campus is beautiful, the dorms are ridiculously nice, and there is such a community of caring committed to helping your child achieve success.  Without Samantha there to give me “the eye”, I asked a question during the Q&A.  It had to do with finding a roommate (I mentioned Samantha had been looking online) and whether it was important to room with someone in your same field of interest or program like honors or leadership, since they had talked about living within your “Learning Community”.  

 

The session ended and a lady approached me and asked who my daughter was because her daughter had also been networking on FB.  We figured out that Samantha and her daughter, Kirsten, were two of the five girls meeting up.  We continued to chat on our way to the picnic lunch about all manner of things.  Kids, where we live, what we do, the usual.  We found that we had lot of things in common and got along really well.  Somehow the conversation turned to having cars on campus as a freshman.  I told her that we were going to let Samantha bring her car mostly because I knew she wouldn’t leave every weekend, that she would get involved in lots of activities at school and that her dad was sick so I wanted her to have the option to be able to come home if the need arose.  Turns out that Jennifer’s husband has Stage IV bladder cancer.  We were both stunned when we realized HOW much we have in common.  We talked about treatment and prognosis and challenges and perspectives.  It was incredible to speak to someone who literally knew exactly what I was going through.  

 

Jennifer’s cell phone rang as her daughter was looking for her.  She was with Samantha and both girls were surprised that the moms had connected and were hanging out together as well.  After we finished lunch, we went on a tour of the dorms.  (You cannot imagine how nice they are.  Freshman live suite style and by sophomore year you have a kitchen and living room too!)  Jennifer told her daughter about our uncommon thing in common.  Along the way, Kirsten talked to Samantha about it.  On the drive home, Samantha said that it was so nice to have someone to talk to who understood.  I couldn’t agree more.  Even before the cancer connection, the girls had decided that they had found someone with whom to venture into college life, and I am so happy they did.  As Jennifer emailed me later, “Obviously not what any of us want to have in common, but how amazing yet no coincidence that we now know each other.”  I couldn’t agree more.

 

xoxo

Robyn

Grammy Night and Some Other Bits and Bobs

We look forward to “Grammy Night” all week.  Every Wednesday I leave to take Parker to oboe lesson and, while I am gone, two little worker bees called Grammy and PopPop arrive with groceries in hand.  When Parker and I return home, there are pots bubbling on the stove and delicious smells wafting throughout the house. Mom has been cooking every Wednesday this school year.  I can’t begin to describe what a gift this is.  I work a full day on Wednesdays and then Parker generally has oboe or play rehearsal.  Dave has chemo every other Wednesday so it really is just the perfect day to have some help.   I know how lucky I am and, those of you who know my parents, also know how lucky I am.  Truly.

 

Dave had chemo today.  His oncologist stopped by during his infusion to check in and to tease him about his hair.  His CEA level is up the tiniest little bit to 12.8 from 8.  This really is quite small (CEAs can be in the hundreds, even thousands), and I don’t think it is cause for alarm.  Lots of things can cause fluctuations, and we have been repeatedly told that it is not a great test.  But when you only have access to limited information like scans and blood work, it’s easy to fixate on the numbers.

 

Lastly, my friend, Lexy, posted this on Facebook this morning.  I think it is so spot on that I thought I would pass it along.  

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-0407-silk-ring-theory-20130407,0,2074046.story

 

xoxo

Robyn

Hello, again.

I have been seriously slacking off in the writing department. I guess it’s a “no news is good news” kind of deal. Things are pretty calm around here. Dave has been faring well with chemo overall. He is experiencing more significant appetite loss the days during and following treatment though. When he goes in on Fridays for Avastin and his disconnect, he is also getting IV fluids which helps.  He is working almost full time. In fact he is working more these last couple of rounds then in previous months. (There may be a story behind that but let’s save it for another day.)

Sadly, we found out on Monday that one of the guys we met on the retreat, the other Dave, died at the end of March.  He had a tough situation in that he was diagnosed with two primary cancers at the same time.  Dave and I were discussing what a nice guy he seemed to be when Dave said “I thought he might be the first to die.”  As much as we push it down, the idea of death is always looming in the back of our minds.  A terrible possibility of a horrible disease.

But to end this long overdue post on a lighter note (for those of you who aren’t on Facebook), here is a photo of Dave from today.  Seems he stopped by the cosmetology department for a little beauty treatment.

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xoxo

Robyn