Leanne, Ryland, Kaitlin, Jeff & Maryn

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Summer Update....

Pictures: Left - Ryland and I playing in the bubbles (look how curly my hair is!!); Middle - Ryland eating his 1st birthday cake! Right - Maryn on a ride at the zoo

It has been so long since I last updated my blog!! I'm a little embarrassed that I've fallen so far behind! Things are going well, and we are keeping just as busy as ever. I have been working a lot, both in my office and volunteering in Maryn and Ryland's daycare. It seems that I don't really have much time off after it's all said and done, but I don't really think I'd have it any other way.

Jeff has been traveling again, and was gone most of March and the first part of April, then again recently. Two kids are sure a lot to handle when you're all by yourself! Luckily, we had many visitors in March and April to help out in his absence. Ryland and I battled illnesses for the entire spring, but I'd say he had the worst of it. He ended up with pneumonia once, then a bronchitis/pneumonia combo about 2 months later in April.

In May, we visited our family in Idaho to celebrate Ryland's first birthday! We thought he was on the mend from his bronchitis/pneumonia experience, and it turned out that we took him to the Emergency Room a few days after arriving in town. We were worried that it was the pneumonia taking over because he had a 103.5 degree fever that he couldn't shake and had been throwing up for a few days. Fortunately, it was just another ear infection. Ryland is on the small side, so he really can't afford to be getting sick. He lost one pound in just a little over a week, and by his first birthday pediatrician's appointment, only weighed 17 lbs 6 oz. We had a joint birthday party with my best friend's daughter, who turned three, but Ryland still had a fever despite the antibiotics and didn't feel like eating any cake. We tried again on his actual birthday, where he discovered that he really loves butter cream frosting!

After a wonderful vacation back home, we returned to California and got back to the grind. Ryland had a bunch of appointments upon our return - the previously mentioned one year check up, and an echocardiogram and EKG with the Cardiologist. At the one year check up, Ryland ended up being in the 70th% for his head size, 10th% for height, and not on the charts for his weight. Poor boy - we can't figure out how he can actually stand up and not fall over!?! My Oncologist wanted us to do an echocardiogram on Ryland due to the chemo while I was pregnant. They know that Adriamyacin and Cytoxan can cause decreased heart function in patients, so they wanted to check Ryland to be safe. His EKG was perfect, but we found out that Ryland has an Atrial Septal Defect during his echocardiogram. He has a small hole between the two atria, so a bit of high pressure blood ends up being pushed to the low pressure side. We are going to return to the Cardiologist next year to do a follow up echocardiogram. Hopefully, it closes as he grows up! If it gets bigger, then we may be discussing heart surgery to either stitch it closed or to put a patch in as he gets older. My poor little monkey!

Maryn is now 2 1/2 and is turning into quite the sassy girl. She tests our limits on a daily basis, and some days, spends more time IN time out, then OUT of it. I hear this is normal, but Jeff and I are SO ready for this phase to be over. We really would like our sweet girl back. =) She is fun though...we continue to be amazed by the stuff she can come up with. Maryn also seems to have quite the imagination, which has infiltrated her dreams. A few weeks ago she woke up in the middle of the night crying about having hippos all over her face.

I am doing great, but am tired most of the time. I'm not getting a lot of sleep, but I'm also not sleeping very well when I actually get the chance to sleep. On the days I work, I tend to get 3-4 hours of sleep. Years ago, that would've been plenty of sleep for me each night, as long as I had the opportunity to catch up on the weekends. Unfortunately, Jeff and I have two beautiful alarm clocks that tend to wake up somewhere between 5:30am and 7:30am. Ugh! I have some great news too...tomorrow is my second to last Herceptin treatment! I can't believe I'm almost done!!! AND, I can't believe that I've been going through treatment for almost two years. July 9th will be my last day of Herceptin, then I'm free to enjoy the remainder of my summer. Yippee! I will still be taking the Arimidex (aromatase inhibitor for post-menopausal women) for another 4 1/2 years, but that is minor in the grand scheme of things.

Kaitlin is coming to visit us at the end of June, and we can't wait for her to get here! Jeff and I are both changing jobs this summer, but will remain in the same area. I will gain a nasty commute with my new job, but the work will be rewarding. At the end of the summer, my best friend is getting married, so we will be heading up to Idaho again for vacation in August. We also have a Hell's River Canyon white water rafting trip to celebrate Heather and John's union.

I am starting to look more into my breast reconstruction options. I am planning to have my second mastectomy in the winter, most likely. Since it is elective for me, I'd like to get into my new job a bit and get through the busy season before I have 4-6 weeks of recovery time from the second mastectomy and reconstruction. BUT, after almost two years of looking down to see one size D boob, I'm ready for a couple of perky B-cups. It'll be nice to feel more normal again! I never thought it would bother me much, and honestly, it really doesn't. But the clothing definitely doesn't fit comfortably and I feel like a slob in many of my clothes because of how they hang on me. Some of that has to do with the extra weight I'm still carrying from being pregnant and on chemo, but I'm hoping to work that off this summer as well.

Anyway, I wanted to post an update. Again, I apologize that it has been so long since I've posted, but I guess that's life, huh? =) I feel pretty lucky that I'm alive and get to be so busy!