Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Picture Tuesday, 10 weeks!

Picture Tuesday, Tate is 10 weeks old today and has discovered a few new, exciting things lately. First is his fists. He started figuring out that they existed while we were in Disneyworld and now he thinks they are just the coolest things in the world! Sometimes he forgets he has them but when he finds them they make him so happy. Every once in a while he will be crying in his car seat and then we'll hear this loud sucking sound. He's found his fists. He'll be fine now.
Tate has also decided that instead of pooping a few times a day he'll save up and poop just once every day or two. They're large, full diapers. When it's been a whole day and he hasn't pooped yet, look out! There will be an outfit change guaranteed!
I also just thought this picture was cute. I get a little sad when I see little Tatie like this when I go to get him out of the car. It simply can't be comfortable. How does he breathe like this?
Well, lots to do in the next couple of weeks. Since good ole' Doctor Chopp doesn't think Glenn has recovered enough to do his field research in Utah starting next week, Glenn will be starting his internship in Houston with Devon Energy earlier than we had planned. So we'll be busy getting things ready to move down there on the 8th or 9th of May. We just need to find a place for him to get his radiation treatment down there and we're set.
Not much new other than that. Things are going well. Glenn is recovering well. He's sore but it gets better every day. I have a few new fun sewing projects I'm working on. I'll post pictures if they turn out cute!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Miracles

We just got back from the doctor's office and had some really great news. We weren't supposed to be able to get in until Monday but they called us yesterday and switched our appointment so we were able to talk to the doctor today and we were thrilled of course. So the type of testicular cancer that Glenn has is called seminoma. The doctor said that seminoma is "the best kind to have". He could tell from his blood work and his cat scan that it hasn't spread and seems to be in the very beginning stages. He suggested Glenn have a precautionary round of very low levels of radiation to make sure that if there is anything up higher by his kidneys it is taken care of long before it can be a problem. Glenn needs to heal completely from his surgery before he can start his radation therapy. So in three weeks he'll be able to start and will need 20 or so treatments. The doctor said it's usually one a day, 5 days a week. There should be practically no side effects because of the low dose that is going to be used. Is that amazing or what? When I talked to my mom today she said, "Well, that's about the fastest miracle I've ever heard of." I couldn't agree more mom.

Looking back on this week it almost seems like a dream. Just one week ago today Glenn called me in Florida and told me that the doctor told him he may have cancer. Then on Tuesday we went to a Urologist and he informed us that it was cancer and needed surgery the following morning. Then a cat scan on Thursday and our appointment today. It all went so fast that there was little time to think about it and take it all in. It just sort of happened. That made it a little scary. The fact that we saw the doctor and he told us Glenn would need surgery the following day was a bit nerve racking. And the fact that we knew nothing about what type or how advanced it was all week. But now it almost seems like a bad dream. Glenn will be just fine. He said that the chances of it coming back or him getting it again are about the same as his chances of getting it the first time. Extremely small. So it looks like Glenn will be missing his field research in Utah during May because the doctor doesn't think that he ought to be doing that kind of work while healing from his surgery. But he will be able to do his internship this summer in Houston which is such a blessing!

I cannot thank all of you enough for your fasting, prayers, and putting Glenn's name on numerous temple prayer rolls. This week has been scary and nerve racking but we have felt so loved and so blessed and suprisingly at ease. There were moments of panic (mostly on my part of course) but overall we've felt quite peaceful about the situation which, under the circumstances, is absolutely amazing and we know that we have been helped and the Glenn has been very blessed because of our family and friends and all of your prayers on his behalf.

Glenn has been incredibly optimistic and one might even say chipper throughout this experience. There have been many "uniball" jokes thrown around, especially between him and his brothers. Our favorite bit of comic relief is that his Urologist who we've been working with this week, the doctor who performed the operation and removed one of Glenn's testicles, is named Dr. Chopp. We thought that was funny enough. But then the nurse informed us after his operation that his first name is Richard...oh yes. But he actually goes by Dick. Yes I am serious. He thinks it's funny. Who wouldn't want an operation from Dr. Dick Chopp. Apparently his specialty is vasectomies. So if any of you men out there are looking into it, we have the perfect man. Oh dear.

What a whirlwind week. I feel like it was a nightmare that is ending now. As a woman who loves to know what her life, especially in the immediate future, is going to be like, this week was pretty scary. I can't express how blessed I feel to know for certain the my sweetheart is going to be perfectly healthy for a very very long time.
There are so many things I am grateful for as I look back on this crazy week:
- My sweetheart was proactive and went to see the doctor before this mess got too advanced and much more dangerous.
- My little boy had a little fever on Tuesday and a bit on Wednesday so he was on a bit of tylenol those days which made him very sleepy and really easy to care for.
- So many family and friends have called, brought over food, prayed for us and commented on our blog. I can't tell you how much it means to us to have such support. I feel like this mess has brought me a lot closer to my family and friends.
- We received our supplementary insurance money from Tate's birth last week which will help with my hospital bills and help pay for some of the bills from Glenn's surgery and treatment too.
- We have a beautiful home and a comfortable place for Glenn to recover.
- I have a husband who I believe to be absolutely incapable of serious worry. I actually get frustrated at him for not being worried at times when I think he should be. But this week, it was easier for me to remain calm because he was honestly not too worried about it at all. He just knew it would be okay. He's doing really well recovering from his surgery by the way. He's still really sore and has a hard time walking too fast but he's doing well. He got a big antsy yesterday and needed to get out so we rented a bunch of movies and bought some books for him to start as well. Poor boy.

This week I've been thinking a lot about general conference. There were a lot of beautiful messages shared in conference but the one that really rang true to me and meant the most this week was the need to keep an eternal perspective and find ways to be happy when times are hard. That's something I struggle with because I'm basically a big ball of stress. I know that it's something I need to work on. I was looking over the few notes I took on conference talks and a lot of them had to do with finding the positive in every situation, being grateful for things when you have difficult times, and giving to others so that you don't dwell on yourself and your own problems. All things that, starting now, I am going to make a concious effort to do better at. Everyone needs little jump starts once in a while to keep them focusing on the most important things in life. This is ours. I've had "If there's sunshine in your heart" in my head all week because it was a song from conference and as I was looking over my notes I wrote down the line that goes, "You can live a happy life in this world of toil and strife if there's sunshine in your heart." I love that. Too often I allow little strifes and toils in this world get to me and you know what? I don't have to. I can live a happy life. It's my choice. I'm not saying that I won't have down times. I will. I know it. I'll have a lot of times when I've forgotten that I meant to be happy that day. But I'm going to make a conscious effort to see the sunshine in things. To make my life a happy one because I am a very blessed girl. I have an amazing family who loves me. I have a wonderful sweetheart who thinks I am the most wonderful and beautiful person in the world. I have a very handsome, sweet, healthy little baby boy. What more could a girl ask for?
Thank you for your support, your frienship, and your prayers. Glenn, Tate, and I love you!

This gem from Amy Makechnie

My brother Gregor and his wife Amy have four lovely children. I stole this one from their blog.

Mom: "Good night kiddies"
Cope and Nelson giggling on top bunk
Mom: "What's so funny?"
Cope: "Mom, we're laughing about how the buck comes up behind the deer and pulls back the fur. Then when he's done he falls down with a groan and a squeal."
Mom: "Where did you hear that?"
Cope: "I read it in Barnyard in the Backyard."
Cope and Nelson burst out laughing.
Nelson: "Mom, I think he was giving her a wedgie!"

Oh, the age of innocence.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Disney fun, Picture Tuesday, Surgery day

There is so much to update and Glenn got after me this afternoon for neglecting Tuesday pictures again so he's in on the couch and I'm catching up our blog and updating with lots of news. There is a lot of news of late and I suppose that seeing as we're using this blog as sort of our family journal at the moment, it should be updated. This will be a long post. You've been warned.
Here are my Makechnie men on Easter Sunday. Glenn had already changed but I wanted a picture of Tate at least in his Easter outfit. Courtesy of Auntie Aubry. Tate was having a rough day that day and the pictures without the binky were all screaming so this is what we got.
The following day Tate and I flew out to Orlando to meet my family and Aunt Jane's family for some fun in Disneyworld. Glenn couldn't miss any more school so Tate and I went on our own. Everyone was so awesome to help us. Tate was really great. He had just a few melt down moments and every time he did there were about 10 hands ready to help and waiting for a pass off. It was a wonderful trip.
The first day we went to Hollywood Studios. We had a great time in spite of a really rainy day. We think it helped make the crowds a little smaller which is always welcome in Disneyworld.
Little Miss Mya is always very aware of her surroudings. She loves to take everything in. With all of the noise, people, and strange new sights she had a lot to see. I loved this expression and had to get a picture.
My favorite part of that day was either the tower of terror ride, seriously so much fun, or the amazing car stunt show. The cars were so cool. They were really light weight, super fast and just slid over the pavement. Awesome. I think mom needs one.
Here are the Crosland kiddos on a studio lot tour.
The next day we spent the morning at the Animal Kingdom and then went to a fun water park during the afternoon. Great day for it. It was really really warm. Here's us in front of the tree in the center of the park.

Here we are with our bug glasses on before "It's tough to be a bug."

Seriously, how cute are these guys?



Tate spent most of the day like this:


And most of the afternoon at the water park like this:

I think he had a pretty good day too! That night we went to Joe's Crab Shack and had some sea food. Well, most of us had sea food, complete with bibs of course. Mom and Dad

Cody, Aubry, and Mya

Little Mya had some root beer float and loved it of course.
The next two days were spent at the Magic Kingdom. More crowded but so worth it. It's so fun to go to these places and remember what it was like to see them for the first time when I was little. I love all things disney, especially the parks. It makes me feel like a kid again. It was really fun to watch the little Crosland kids experience things for the first time and to be there with my own little boy even though he certainly won't remember a thing. I just love that place. I learned a lot of new things this time. Aub did research prior to our trip and discovered some cool Disney secrets. For instance, did you know that there are hidden Mickey's all over the Disney parks? They could be outlines of Mickey's head and ears or bigger images or outlines of his whole body. The imagineers hid some of them in different rides and there's no official statement from Disney on how many there are. We found a few. It was awesome to sort of have a little inside secret we were looking for. Also, there's a paintbrush hidden on Tom Sawyer Island every day. It's supposed to be one lost by Huck Finn or something and if you find it and return it to one of the cast members you get a prize. While we were in line at the ferry to get to the island we saw some people give the paint brush to a cast member and she gave her a fast pass for every ride for the whole day. Awesome eh?
Here's our little Mags

And Little Princess Mya

They had a fun time figuring each other out. Or at least grabbing at each other's binkys.
Tate and I next to my favorite ride, Splash Mountain.

I wanted a picture of Tate looking like he was pulling the sword out of the stone...he's pretty little and limp still. This is the best we could do. I'm a dork. Poor kid.

We stayed in a great house just 10 miles or so away from the Disney property. It was great to be able to stay in the same place and have a gathering room where we could all chill together at the end of the day. We drove to the parks in this 15 passenger van. We had to take the back seat out so we could fit all of our strollers in so we were a little compact.
Aub, Kenz, and I in front of Splash Mountain
It was a seriously great trip. I had such a good time. Thanks all for being so willing to help with my little babe and for having such a good time even though we were often tired and hot and blistered and had tired kids as well. Good memories.

Tuesday Pictures


Tate at 8 weeks old.


Tate at 9 weeks with his Daddy at school.
Tate had his 2 month appointment this past Monday. He now weighs 12 lbs. 9.5 oz. He's 23 1/2 inches long. That puts him solidly in the 75th percentile in both. He had 4 shots and was not a happy boy. He fell asleep pretty soon thereafter but when he woke up later that night he was so sad. It was awful watching him feel so icky. He'd never felt sick before and didn't understand it so he just moaned and twitched and cried. It was a solid hour and a half of him just being miserable before the Tylenol finally kicked in and he could go to sleep. That was probably the hardest experience yet as a parent...which I guess lets you all know how easy he has been. I had such a hard time watching my little boy in pain. As silly as it may sound in comparison it made Glenn and I think of how much our Heavenly Father must love us to allow his son to go through such pain for us. It's a sad thing to watch and it's hard to feel helpless to make him feel better. Here's Tate in Monday night:

And the next day feeling much better. Thanks everyone for your prayers on our behalf today. Glenn is doing well. He's in good spirits and feeling sore and tired but otherwise he's doing okay. All we know from today is that the operation went "perfectly" and that it's definitely cancer. We don't know how advanced, what type, how much treatment is necessary, or anything else really until our follow up appointment with the doctor which has been moved from Friday to Monday so he can make sure he will have the results from the Cat scan and the biopsy when he meets with us. So many feelings and thoughts that I want to record about this week but this post has taken a lot of time and I needed to have a break from it all anyway so I'll probably get some of that recording done tomorrow. Thanks again and know that we truly appreciate your thoughts and prayers. We've been surprisingly comforted today and we know we've had help. We love you. Glenn asked me to take a picture of him in his recovery position of the day. Curled up on the couch with his patriots blanket.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cancer

Hey all.

I am having surgery tomorrow morning to remove testicular cancer.  I went to a family doctor on Friday last week after noticing some irregularities in one of my testicles.  He sent me to get a sonogram, and said the results "look suspicious for testicular cancer".  He referred me to a urologist, who I saw today.  He was very careful not to use the word cancer, instead using "tumor" or "mass".  I am having the testicle removed tomorrow morning bright and early, and I have a cat scan scheduled for Thursday morning to see if there is anything else in my abdomen or chest to worry about.  Apparently, the first place cancer spreads from a testicle is to the kidneys, since that is the area from which they descend.  I will then see my urologist again on Friday morning to see what the cat scan and biopsy of the "mass" show in order to determine what additional treatment I will need.  From everything I understand, at least one round of chemo is standard, but I may be wrong.

I think the thing that bothers me most is not knowing.  I don't know how advanced whatever this is has become.  There are several types of testicular cancer, and I don't know which I am dealing with.  I don't know if it has spread.  I don't know what treatment I will undergo.  I don't know how long I will be out of commission, or when I will be able to finish the semester.  I don't know how or when I will be able to do my field work for my thesis.  I don't know if I will be able to do my internship with Devon Energy in Houston this summer.  I am worried about my poor wife having to deal with this.

So, this is kind of surreal.  Never thought I would have cancer.  Never thought I would have to take an "incomplete" in a class.  This is the most common type of cancer affecting men of my age range.  In fact, I recommend that if you are between 25 and 35 years of age you inspect yourself.  If you don't know what you are looking for, google it.  Supposedly, the survival rate is well over 90% if you catch it early.  Don't mess around with this stuff.

Kim and I appreciate your prayers on our behalf.   We love you all.

-Glenn

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Naptime?

Picture Tuesday...on Wednesday. Sorry for the delay Mom. Little Tatie is 7 weeks old. Good gracious!
Naptime is a but of a mystery to us lately. Sometimes he goes down just fine and sleeps until he's ready to eat again, and sometimes he has a harder time. This morning for example, he ate, was awake for about an hour, and then started to get sleepy so I bundled him and put him down in his crib. He then proceeded to work himself up to a freak out cry every 5-10 minutes or so for the next hour and a half until I just decided to feed him again. Poor kid.
Sometimes I feel like he spends more time in his crib like this:Than like this:

I know that's not the case...but sometimes it feels like it. Poor little man. It's so pathetic because when he gets really worked up even just for a few minutes I come into the room and he is bright red and soaked with tears.
He does love his changing table however. I think it's his favorite place. to be. He just coos and smiles the whole time he's lying there. So sweet. It's hard to catch a good picture of him smiling. He squints when it flashes and moves around when I'm talking to him. I keep trying though.
Now why can't he just do this at naptime in his crib?
Conference was awesome wasn't it? I loved it and felt like so many messages were just for me. I love it when that happens. I'm still sort of pondering a few things but I'll post them at another time.
Random ponderment before I go: What do bunnies have to do with Easter? I suppose I get the eggs and thus the chicks as a symbol of rebirth and a new beginning. But what do bunnies have to do with anything?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Brush with Grossness

This morning, 3:30 a.m. I awake to my little man crying for the first time since we put him to sleep a full 5 hours earlier. That's right, he slept for 5 hours straight for the second time in his long illustrious career as a three hour stretch sleeper. I am very proud and deliriously happy! I jump out of bed, avoid a near collision with the carpet. (I got up too quickly and am not feeling entirely well yet, that's another story) and practically skip down the hall to rescue my little crying son. I scoop him up, kiss his poor little wet red face, turn around and there it is! The largest, most ugly cockroach I have ever seen. In my house. Just outside my baby's room. It's as if it knows that the sweetest thing in our house lives in that very room. How dare it! With a stroke of bravery, adrenaline, and motherly instincts I do the only thing there is to do...I leap over the cockroach, go back to the bedroom, wake Glenn up and ask him to please kill the big ugly cockroach for me.
I have done a lot of pondering since my brush with grossness this morning.
  • Would I have killed the cockroach myself if Glenn wasn't there? Sure. But it would have involved a very large, very heavy shoe (probably one of Glenn's. They just feel more lethal.) and likely a few shrieks as the shoe fell and the little beastie was inevitably still scurrying about.
  • What would I have done if I had found a cockroach in my babe's room, or heaven forbid, his crib? There would likely be tears of "ew gross" and then angry mama bear tears of "oh no you didn't!" followed by a swift beating of that cockroach (after I ran for the shoe of course). Although I do try not to think about it. How gross to find one of those little nasties in my babies room, or my room, or my kitchen...sick.
  • How did it get in my house? Did it bring it's friends? Where are they? These ponderings I try to ignore every time they pop in my head.
  • WHY did Heavenly Father create cockroaches? I have no idea. Glenn and I sometimes make mental notes of things we will do differently when we create our own little world. Cockroaches are at the top of my list of things that must go.

I suppose I should feel lucky that I have lived here this long without a cockroach sighting in my house. I would have liked to go a little longer...or perhaps forever, without seeing a cockroach in my house, but alas, that is not the way it worked out. Oh Texas, your big nasty bugs gross me out!