Finding Hope, Redemption, Courage... from Cancer

"(At one time) my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend." - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Friday, December 17, 2010

David (Christmas Family Update #3)

My apologies to those who've received Christmas cards, checked the blog, and thought... cute kids, but what's going on with their parents?? =) It's been very very busy this last week of school before Christmas... Noelle came down with pneumonia this week and I'm on my third of four nights right now... no, I don't usually do that! But this way I get 11 days off for Christmas!

This was David's fourth year working at Baywest Management, a strata management company based out of Vancouver, Surrey, and Abbotsford. This past year he got promoted from an Infomation Systems Developer to Applications Development Manager, which basically means he has a couple of programmers working for him as he imagines new ways of streamlining business processes for the strata managers, accountants and administration at Baywest. He says he has the perfect job for him and especially enjoys working with the other IT guys.

One of the changes he's gone through this year is a change from working every day in Abbotsford to working 3-4 days a week in Surrey. The IT guys now share an open office to brainstorm ideas more effectively and be more available for the Surrey staff. Unfortunately this has meant a much longer commute on most days, but his co-workers have been flexible with him constant construction he battles on his way to work. He enjoys the occasional day in Vancouver riding the West Coast Express and loves it! We both wish that train was able to run more often!

This year also led to a church change for our family. We love (and miss terribly!) the family environment we had at the Vineyard, but felt it was time to change. After several months of checking out other churches, we've settled at Northview. One of Noelle's friends from school invited her and we all love it there.

We enjoyed some family trips as well. In January we visited Maui for my cousin's wedding. SO beautiful. If we can ever afford to go back, we certainly will. In August we ventured to Okotoks to visit my brother and his family. Every year Alberta grows on me. I'm still a west coast girl but David and I sure enjoy the peace out there. It's such a quiet, restoring vacation. And the girls, of course, love their cousins.

I know I've said this before, but I think I'm one of the luckiest wives on the planet. Our marriage is not perfect but very, very happy. Neither of us is content to let the other person stay in their ruts, and I think it makes us better people than we would be on our own. My husband also is one of the most involved dads that I know and we all depend on him a great deal. He handles his family - and work - responsibilities with grace and humour and we are all very, very grateful for him.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh Dentist-ree

Okay, sorry, that was lame. Just a quick update re: medical stuff...

I went to get the "big" blood test - the one for the philadelphia chromosome levels in my body - on Monday. Unfortunately it takes about six weeks to get these results, so I won't know until my doctor's appointment in the new year, which is scheduled for January 6th. We'd appreciate prayers for the chromosome level to be below the -3 mark (the 'magic' number for my condition to be considered 'safe.') when we get the results, or at least for the numbers to be continually going down (the last level was -2.29, so we're somewhat close).

Then, I must admit, something incredibly moronic happened. No, okay, I did something really really dumb. You guys all know I'm a huge fan of hockey, right? I've always thought that broken teeth was a part of hockey and if that ended up happening to me, I'd consider it a war wound. Well, last weekend, while WATCHING hockey and drinking coffee... Elliana ran up behind me and grabbed my legs, yelling enthusiastically, "Mommy!!" and I was just about to take a sip of coffee and instead of putting the mug down when I sensed her coming, I just kept it there. Yeah. Its one of those mondo-sized cups (that's the only way I do things, being a young mom and on chemo leaves me a definite caffeine addict or nothing would get done around my house - ever!) and I heard this CLANG as it hit my two front teeth.

I didn't think too much of it at first - I'd been bumped there before, the first time as a five year old on a trampoline and my three-year-old friend bounced up and his head connected with my two front teeth... I guess the tooth was a bit weaker this time around, so it actually has cracked both teeth. Yes, that's right, a coffee mug has damaged my two front teeth. Pretty badly, I must say.

So, hence the title, today I go to the dentist and discover that my dumb coffee sip will cost a significant amount of time in the dentist chair, perhaps even oral surgery (yum). In the realm of things, better than I expected, but...yeah. This could have been so much better if I was really an athlete and got my tooth punched out in a fight or something... REAL.

Anyhow... we're waiting for a few days to see exactly what the treatment will be - its possible this tooth could heal partially on its own so it needs less invasive surgery than we thought - and I guess I'd like you guys to pray that the teeth get the exact treatment they need (things are tricky with my leukemia medications) and that the damage doesn't further between now the treatment (perhaps even improve?!), and that I get used to eating soup and smoothies for awhile... and I guess that God provides for this really dumb mistake of mine! (which, considering that the BC Cancer Agency covers the $50,000/year cost of Sprycel, this isn't too bad at all, thank God for that!). Most importantly, pray that I don't freak out. I think that's my biggest weakness is absolutely freaking out when there's always something that can come around the corner to change things.

Okay, gotta run clean this place... again.... thanks again for caring enough to even check what's going on with us!! We love you guys and hope you are having a very, very good December 1st!