Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Blessings of Christmas

I love my family.

I have an amazing husband who I've known for over 12 years, married to for over 8.  I have kind, loving and well mannered children.

I have strong and loving parents, and brothers who I actually do enjoy spending time with (I don't mind if you guys stop by every once in a while...hint hint).

I have amazing grandparents, who I wish I'd been around more when I was younger.  I adore my aunts and uncles and cousins.  Who can beat staying up late playing games, asking random questions and laughing.

Steve grew up with having all his extended family around him; I did not.  I'm still not use to trying to coordinate spending the holiday with EVERYONE.  Most years, it was just my parents and us kids.  We'd gone to Massachusetts for a few Christmas's, but the weather became so unpredictable that it had to stop.

We don't really have any established traditions in my family now.  We make it a point to bake cookies together, we drive around looking at Christmas decorations, and we have some pretty neat Christmas cards!

Samantha, 6; Emmalee, 5; Steven, 3.  

We've tried to keep the holiday's simple.  I hate how commercialized it's become.  Christmas is about the coming of the Christ Child - the most precious gift of all.  It should be about being together with the ones that you love, enjoying all that they bring you in life (and that doesn't mean material things).

We enjoyed a quiet holiday this year; Friday night with my brothers, Saturday with my parents, Sunday morning at home, Sunday night with Steve's mom.

It was great to see my parents.  My kids hadn't seen my dad since before Halloween.  It was his first time out of bed in a couple of days.  The kids didn't seem too scared of all the IV bags, upset that they couldn't hug him, though.  It was nice to meet some of the doctors and nurses caring for him.  And their favorite housekeeper, Linda.  Mom said she always had something kind and encouraging to say, always helping out when she can.

My kids were very thankful for everything that they received.  They didn't complain that they didn't get what they wanted.  My husband and I didn't really exchange gifts - well, I thought we weren't.  I did get him a little something, then he got something for me, and then something for him that he addressed to me... I do really like my new iPod dock, though, I have been wanting one.  But I didn't think I needed a PS3...  Know any good games?

This Christmas was what Christmas is suppose to be - about family, being together, thankful for each other and honoring the Ultimate Gift.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Update on Dad

If you live(d) in Sylvania and played sports, especially soccer between 1990 and 2006, you probably know my dad.  He manned the tables at open enrollment for teams, hosted coaches meetings, coached baseball, softball & soccer, but he's probably best known as a soccer referee (he and my brothers were quite the 3-man-team).  He was known to be be polite and fair, but wasn't afraid to throw a few parents out of the game!  

I went and visited my dad this week, University Hospital in Cleveland.  I'd not been to see him at the hospital since they day he was diagnosed.  He was in the ICU when I got there - I hated seeing him with tubes and wires from head-to-toe.  But I needed to know that he was ok.  

Mom and I were really impressed by his nurse, Emily.  She was kind, made jokes, and was genuinely trying to help my dad.  His blood pressure was high, fever was high, hadn't eaten any 'real foods'  since before Thanksgiving.

Thankfully his doctor was going to let him go to a 'regular room', if they happened to have any available.  After a few hours they found a room in the brand new Seidman Cancer Center.  Mom was excited - a new part of the hospital she'd never seen before.  

Dad went to go get a CT scan, Mom and I went to find some dinner.  In the new wing of the hospital, Mom showed me some of the work that my dad's company did at the new hospital - it was beautiful.  I know they've since stopped making that product, but it's kinda nice to see something that my dad's a part of in the place where he's been getting all his care.  

Mom and I had dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express - Mom really enjoyed her Chicken Alfredo, I was less than thrilled by the ravioli.  It was nice to sit and talk to my mom.  As much as I'm worried about my dad, he has doctors and nurses to take care of him; she has no one.  Sometimes I wish that they were still here in town.  

I have to say though, when we finally got him into his room - it was really nice.  There was a pull out couch for my mom to be able and stay, a private fridge and microwave, digital TV and a spacious bathroom.  

I had to go home that night, I hated doing it though.  I know there's not much that I can do there, but there's just something about being with my parents while they are dealing with it.  It's so frustrating when they don't know what's going on - seeing doctor after doctor after doctor.  

After over a week of pain and problems, the infectious disease department diagnosed him with C. difficult,   The problem is, that after 4 years of cancer and varying infections, he's become almost immune to antibiotics.  Right now they're discussing the best course of treatment, and it looks like IV antibiotics - and a 2 week stay in the hospital.  Mom's trying to negotiate that, perhaps to a hospital closer to home, or an at home skilled nurse (hopefully a better company than the last time - crazy lady broke a needle IN HIS PORT!)  

After everything we've been through with my dad, (steps on soapbox) If you notice changes in your body, if you don't feel well and can't seem to shake it - go see a doctor, and then get a second opinion.