Sunday, December 29, 2013

Alyssa missed her first big Christmas Program this year. She had her tonsils and adenoids out the Monday prior and wound up with a fever the day of. So I sent Samantha off to the Christmas Program with my parents while Al drove straight from work.

Alyssa was upset. She'd worked so hard memorizing her song, "Away in a Manger." Alas, she was too ill to go.

Today is one of my favorite days at Mass: the celebration of The Holy Family. I love the readings and the gospel, and especially the music--all of my favorite Christmas songs in one Mass.

During today's Mass we sang "Away in a Manger." I fought back tears the entire time as Alyssa sang her little heart out and went through all the motions of her missed Christmas Program performance. It was awe-full and lovely. She was so happy and my heart was full.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 was a full year for our family: introduction to theatre for Al and Samantha, ballet recital, dancing in The Nutcracker as a family, and the lead role in a dinner theatre performance for Al. Then we have the not so good parts: Al laid off for a bit and my hand issues. Thankfully Al's unemployment was short lived. All in all it was a busy year of firsts.

We have decided to make 2014 a quieter year--a year about family. We'll be skipping The Nutcracker for the first time in three years, and after Harvey finishes there will be no auditions for a while.

So we'll celebrate Al's birthday on the 31st and on January 2nd we'll flip a switch as my mom prepares for another transplant. 

I've mixed emotions about this; we all do. She's not sick now, but healthy, which is why this is a good time to do an autologous stem cell transplant. To be sick when you aren't sick won't be fun. We are also trying to prepare the kids for the realization that they are going to see very little of her over the next few months. 

Ten years ago, after the first transplant, my mom had 5 years without a need for any further treatment. We're hoping for the same this time. And thankfully, the transplant will be much easier this time. My mom will not have to endure four to five rounds of chemotherapy. She'll have a short dose on the 2nd and another right before they re-introduce the stem cells back in her body. The whole process from preparing the cells for extraction (apheresis) through the official transplant will likely take only a month. Amazing! 

I'm so thankful for the hospitals and specialists in our area that specialize in Multiple Myeloma and stem cell transplants. If we didn't live near the Bay Area, I can't fathom what her options would be. 

And my mom . . . she's so strong. I'm so proud of her and so thankful that we are and live so close. 

Here's to a healthy, happy, and family-centered 2014! Cheers.

Monday, December 16, 2013

We made it though Nutcracker in one piece. I got the giggles as I fell asleep last night thinking about how clumsy I am. It's hilarious that I managed to get on stage and that I didn't fall off. I screwed up all four of my dances or tripped on my dress. And twice I had the giggles on stage. Thank goodness for the ridiculous hot pink fan I had to hold! It hid my cheesy smile, laughter, and cooled me down.

Next year, however, we are taking a break. Three years of Nutcracker is a lot. It's crazy and wonderful all at the same time.

This morning Alyssa had to have her adenoids and tonsils out. We made it home after 9 last night and the kids were exhausted and then we had to get up early and head to CHOMP. It was a beautiful morning with the sunrise and the pink clouds and the waves crashing against the shore. That is one thing I loved about living in Monterey.

I asked my mom to come this time because I was worried about Alyssa begin sick in the car. Since she's littler, I was worried that she wouldn't be consolable from the driver's seat either. Man, did she prove me wrong.

First she was not nervous about her surgery. She waved a beautiful princess wave down the hall all the way into surgery. Then she woke up very quickly post-op and was talking. The most distressing thing for her was the IV. And when the nurse was taking off the tape Alyssa just pulled it out. It took only 30 minutes after she woke to get in the car for the drive home.

Now she's refusing her pain meds. She has a high pain tolerance, but I'll still insist that she takes the meds in another hour.