Thursday, December 20, 2007

Could be worse, Could be better

"Pink Tulip" -6x6 watercolor on clayboard

I waited, I worried, I stressed out, I couldn't sleep. It was 2 months of nerve-racking waiting to find out if Jimmy's Brain tumor is growing. Tuesday was MRI day and Wednesday we went to brain tumor clinic to find out if the 2 "spots" that showed up on his October MRI were tumor growth. Well the two spots were "stable" *WooHoo!* but they are still there. However, There is a new, large "area of concern" where there is a large amount of scar tissue that is changing in a way that scar tissue should not be changing. Jimmy's team of doctors are very concerned that it could turn into tumor *Ugh* So they Want to do another 3 months of WWW (Watch, Wait & Worry) before they do another MRI to see if things are growing or changing. I guess I had just better get used to this. I guess it could have been worse news, it also could have been better.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Best Christmas Ever and My Worst Christmas Ever

Poinsettia 6x6" watercolor on clayboard

My WORST Christmas ever ... that is easy, 2 years ago Christmas 2005, My 4 year old son was battling brain cancer, gone blind and had just finished his radiation treatments 2 weeks before Christmas. I was determined to have a very happy Christmas anyway it was a wonderful day until dinner. During dinner my father-in-law said he was not feeling well and was going to leave, he then passed out and fell through a large window by our front door. Thankfully my husband was able to do CPR long enough to keep his dad alive until the ambulance arrived. My father-in-law died shortly after he reached the emergency room less then 10 minutes away. It turns out he had an abdominal aortic aneurism; It was not my cooking that did him in. I went to the emergency room to comfort my husband and found my dad in the ER in the room right next to my father-in-law, My dad had come to be with my husband while I was finding someone to watch my kids on Christmas night. He had not been feeling well so he did not come to dinner and was so sick with pneumonia when he got to the hospital the doctors insisted that he stay there.

My BEST Christmas ever was 2 years ago: Christmas 2005, we had found out my 4 year old son had a massive brain tumor in August. After the first attempt to remove the tumor we were told that the tumor could not be gotten out and there was nothing they could do for him. After a second surgery to remove the tumor we were told that he would be paralyzed on the right side. Three surgeries and 33 rounds of radiation later we had no more tumor and my child was not paralyzed, we had been so blessed. We were back home after practically living at the hospital for over 3 months. My parents were back after being gone for 6 months. We had very generous anonymous gifts left at our door including a Turkey with all the trimmings a few days earlier. I was so grateful for all the love and support of my friends, neighbors and family. Just as we were finishing dinner my father-in-law had an aneurism, thankfully the kids had just gone downstairs to play with their new toys and did not even know what had happened until later, I am grateful my father-in-law did not die far away, all alone in his home, and he did not die while driving; He died one of the few times a year when he could have been surrounded by his family. He died with his son by his side. My dad, who would never go to the hospital for himself went to the hospital to help comfort my husband until I could get there. Thankfully the doctors noticed he was so ill they were able to give him the treatment he otherwise would not have gotten. When I got home that evening I found that some neighbors had come over and done a very neat job of boarding up the window by my front door. They had given up their Christmas night to help without even being asked. It took me a few days to even find out who did it. I don't think I have ever felt so loved and blessed.

And so it happens that my best Christmas ever was also my worst Christmas, It is all in how you look at it."

Monday, December 10, 2007

The best things about Chicago

Alexander Calder's Flimingo

Sorry I haven't written for a while again, We went on a two week trip to Chicago, and I have been not feeling well. sometimes after I travel I have dizzy spells for weeks or even months afterward I have never been able to find out why.

My Hubby had a big RSNA (radiology) conference in Chicago for a week and we also spent many days visiting his family that live in the area (Thanks for the Thanksgiving Dinner, Uncle Butter & Aunt Margarine!). I was a good trip, his company paid for the hotel so all I had to pay to go along was my airfare.

There are some things I love about Chicago, I LOVE the Art Institute I spent two solid days there just looking around I could have spent more time there but I was limited to just 2 days *sigh*. Chicago is an art city they have lots of spectacular outdoor sculpture and fabulous architecture. My favorite is Alexander Calder's Flamingo sculpture. I love the way that the bright red color and the curves stand out in contrast to the dull grey-black boxes of the city. The food there is so good I even like the hot dogs at Portillos, the only hot dogs in the world I actually like. Pizzeria Due is delicious and cheesecake, need I say more!! yum