Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Tattoo

Even though I got the tattoo several months ago, it's just now making it's way into the sight line of those around me. And while it's my tattoo, it's only right that I blog about it since it's all about the kids.

Since it was already on my mind before she was born, after Ruby's birth my desire to get some ink representing my kids was even stronger. I thought long and hard about what might represent them, and 'light' was what I always ended up on. They are the lights of my life, and it is my belief that God created them to be His light on this earth. But He definitely created them, and their light, differently....and how. So what I ended up with was a sun, moon, and star, each for a very specific reason.

Before I showed the tattoo to the kids, I made them each a card that told them why they were my sun or moon or star, and each included a verse. Below is a general synopsis of what I told them.

Eli is my sun. The sun has a male connotation, and it represents order. Eli is nothing if not orderly and a bit Type A. More importantly, his smile is something that people have always commented on, and I feel that it lights up the room. God gave us the sun to light the earth.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Maddux is my moon. This was the first one that became obvious to me. Not only is the moon often linked to a female, but it is also constantly changing and offers illumination in times of dark. I always thought of her as the moon because God gave us the moon to reflect light. Maddux has always been that amazing soul that reflects the light, the good, of others.
Psalms 89:27 "Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies." Selah

And Ruby. She is a rock star, but she is also the stars to me. Though she be but little she is fierce. I think that stars are God's way of poking holes in the darkness. Stars represent goodness, truth and the light of Christ. Amen, right? The 8-point star, specifically, is linked to baptism and redemption. Seriously, this girl has redeemed me and points me to God daily.
Genesis 1:16-18 ...He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth...and to separate the light from darkness; and God saw that it was good.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Eli and some of his classmates just finished up a month-long lesson in etiquette in the form of 'cotillion'. This is not something I grew up with, so it's been a learning process for me as well. A local cotillion teams up with our elementary school each winter to invite the 5th graders to join for a month and learn basic manners, basic ballroom dances, confidence, etc. While Eli was not too thrilled when I first told him last fall, he seemed kind of excited on the first day, and by the end he was definitely enjoying himself.

The girls had to wear dresses and nice shoes, and they had to purchase white gloves. The boys had to wear shirt and tie and sports coat. While Grandma Cathie was here this fall, she took Eli on a special date to find a suit, and the week before it started, Lehr helped Eli pick out a few bow ties (Eli's choice).
Because of the way the sessions fell with Ruby's hospital stays, I got to drive Eli every week also, meaning we got to bring Drew with us most of the time too. It was so crazy to see these two best friends so grown up looking. Of course, their backseat antics kept reminding me that they are anything but grown up.
I was so grateful the director allowed me to take pictures on the second week (for our 5th grade slide show); normally parents don't get to stay and watch, but I had a front row seat for one session.
Eli really did seem to enjoy himself, but he did tell me that it was a whole lot easier dancing with someone from a different school, "because you don't know them so it's not weird." He also commented that he always seemed to get paired with the tallest girls. The plight of a vertically challenged boy.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Like A Switch

Psalm 150:1-2   Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness.

Today I felt as close to 180-degrees from yesterday as I can, considering we are still in the hospital. I am constantly reminded of the great amount of people God has placed around us, around Ruby, around me, praying for us and waiting to care for us when the time presents itself. So many uplifting messages and texts and calls yesterday, when I needed it most.

My aunt sent me a message telling me something that was told to her years ago: "It's okay to visit Pity City--it's just not okay to live there." I definitely visited a few times, but I have no intention of setting up a tent. While it's easy to get sucked down that road, it takes a lot of energy to stay there. Lehr always calls me a creature of habit (and he's right). The good news about that is, while I fight change initially, I also grab onto whatever the new thing is to make it my own very quickly. So while I was fighting this hospital stay yesterday, I was all in once I arrived this morning.
Ruby's counts are up from yesterday: ANC is 370! The nurse practitioner on rounds for Ruby this morning said as long as they continue to climb and she stays fever free, we will go home tomorrow. Since she's one of our staples (and we like her a lot!), she also said Ruby doesn't have to be hooked up to fluids unless she's receiving her antibiotic (about 30 minutes every 8 hours). Sa-weet!! That meant some freedom for my busy girl today! We did have to sit still for three hours to receive hemoglobin, but it's a small price to pay to not have to come back at the end of the week and sit in the clinic all day for that infusion.

Ruby does have a little cough. Well, because it's Ruby's cough, it sounds horrible, so I guess 'little' is not the right word. What I mean is that it is almost never present. When she coughs, you do a double take, but then you may not hear it for over an hour. We did one breathing treatment with respiratory today to see if it helped. (Yeah, Ruby didn't like that at all.) The tech did not think the cough was asthma related, but said the treatment wouldn't hurt. She then said she might come back to suction Ruby, because it's likely congestion. (Thankfully that didn't end up happening - Ruby doesn't care for suctioning.)

So now I'm in the room with my wild girl who is W.I.R.E.D. (likely from the hemoglobin). She only napped 90minutes, and was awake by 3PM. I ran her all around outside for over an hour before dinner, and we had a dance party after dinner. She acted sleepy, but is now (at 9:30PM) chatting happily in her crib non-stop. The good news is she is not hooked up to any lines, so I don't have to physically hold her still until she falls asleep like I've had to in the past. The good news is, I get to hear her sweet voice a little later today than I usually do.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Galatians 6:9  Do not become weary in good work for at the right time, if you do not give up, there will be a harvest.
Total soul bearing here... Too mad and sad and pissed off to do anything productive around the house, so I'm blogging.

Tonight I feel a sadness, a weight, a heavy something. The closest I can compare it to is a grieving, which is ridiculous because Ruby is off of oxygen, her chest x-ray was clear, and she seems totally fine now. (Outside of having a neutropenic fever and cancer and all.) It's that brick-on-your-chest-can't-get-away-from-it something. I know I'll have to find something to watch to get me to sleep tonight to try and distract me, and I'm sure I'll end up with something like Seinfeld. I'm even more sure that I won't laugh.

This is the part of the journey when I find it all catching up with me. I have to imagine it hits at a different time for everyone, but for me, it's this round. Round five. Over five intense months in. This round has been hospital for 8 days, home for 3. ER for the night, home for 7 days. Back in the hospital for at least two days. Four nurse visits for blood worked in there. And best case, we only have to come in one more time for blood products in the few days following this visit before returning next week for another 8 days.

I think this visit is hitting me so hard because of what it comes on the heels of. We've been struggling with the big kids...regular kid stuff, but stuff that I can easily let get to me and weigh me down. Then this little winter storm hit. So instead of bringing them to a Sibling Camp on Friday night, weather cancellations popped up all over the place. So they got off of school early and Lehr got home early and camp was cancelled, so we hung out with friends Friday night. And then Saturday was supposed to be full of a few things I'd planned because they were going to be gone. Instead, we played in the snow, cut Ruby's hair, made dinner and played card games by the fire. 36 hours of absolute family togetherness.

Then the fever hit this morning and changed our weekend, and our day, and my second attempt in a month at a date night with Lehr. Ruby woke up a little warm, but her temperature only needed to be watched, not called in. But then it spiked, so Lehr took her to the ER. And they gave her antibiotics and it went sky high. And then Ruby's breathing got weird and she got very lethargic and sickly. And in an instant things went from great and 'normal' to upside down and scary. And in an instant I was reminded that our life is anything but our own right now; no plans can be expected to stick. (I know I know...there is a life lesson in there, but I'm too stuck in my negativity right now to swim in that.) And in an instant I had to remember how sick Ruby is and how serious things can get in no time at all. All of it, like a cold bucket of water poured on my warm fuzzy family feelings.

And I'm tired of it all. I want to get off of the roller coaster now.

So I'm having to lean. I'm having to cast worries. I'm having to intentionally pray on my go-to verse because this week I have become weary.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry

For reals.
Two weeks in a row I secured a babysitter and made plans to take my amazing husband on a date. And two weeks in a row, those plans were thwarted by a visit to the hospital. (Yes, I'm focusing on how it affected me because Ruby is such a rock star through it all that she makes it easy to not focus on how it affects her...because it seems to not!)

Last Saturday night (30 minutes before the sitter was to arrive) Lehr and I were changing Ruby's port dressing when I noticed a small tear in the outer layer of one of her tubes. The risk of infection is so high that it warranted an immediate trip to the ER. Lehr took her in and hung out for five hours while they cut her line and stuck a new one one. They slid a clear sleeve over the new joint and shoved some type of epoxy around the joint to stick it all together. The rest of the week was uneventful.

Last night Ruby ate a great dinner and went to bed normally. She cried out at 6AM (unusual), and when I went into her room, she had a dirty diaper. I quickly changed her and put her back down; she slept until 8AM when I woke her up for church. That was the first sign something may be wrong, because she's usually our alarm clock between 7 and 7:30. She was a little warm, but 20 minutes later, her temp was down. We opted to keep her home from church; only the big kids and I went.

Just before we got home from church, Ruby's fever started to go back up, so Lehr took her into the ER. They started her on an antibiotic and gave her some oxygen. Right around the time they arrived, Lehr said her breathing changed and got a little more labored. The doctor on-call ordered a chest x-ray too, to rule lung issues out. Her fever went even higher before it finally came down (over 104).

A few hours later, Ruby was checked into the hospital for a 48+ hour stay. That is standard protocol when Ruby's counts are low: they have to make sure no cultures grow in her blood sample for a full 48. Bad news for Ruby this time...the Aflac Unit is full, so she's staying in another area of the hospital away from her favorite nurses.

Ruby had a spike in energy around the time they got into their room, but then she got sleepy and lethargic again. She took a monster nap and then woke up for dinner. Apparently one of her go-to meals (soup) made her a little nauseous, but after a little cuddling, she had some more Zocyn and Tylenol and felt better. She destroyed some plain pasta and wouldn't stop asking for more during our Facetime with her tonight.

Lehr is staying at the hospital overnight. He said the last report is that her ANC is 80 (basically no immune system); she will have to stay in the hospital through count recovery. Praying that it is less than a week!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Hairdo

When we told the kids about Ruby's leukemia, one of the things we discussed was her likely hairloss. This made Maddux cry; I think the thought of it 'changing' Ruby made her sad. 

In true Ruby form, she has maintained her Ruby-ness throughout her chemotherapy. Her hair thinned significantly during round 2, the strongest round, but it started filling back in quickly after and has always remained 'enough' to justify not cutting or shaving it.
This week Ruby started shedding again. First it was just some hair in her bed, then I noticed it all over my clothes and hers, all day everyday. We told the kids last night that we would likely have to cut her hair this weekend, but I was still kinda waiting. This morning I ran a brush through it one time and picked up enough hair in the bristles to snap me out of any denial: Ruby is losing her hair.
After we enjoyed the snow for a few hours first thing this morning, we all piled into our bathroom and cut our girl's hair. She was very cool with it, occasionally reaching up to feel where her hair used to be. The big kids thought it was pretty neat, and weren't upset. My hair-cutting skills leave much to be desired, compounded by the big chunk that fell out of her head this morning and the overall unevenness of hair to work with, but I think we all agree that Ruby's new haircut makes her even cuter.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Odds & Ends

Ruby's hair is falling out again. I've seen a few small clumps in her bed, her clothes (and me) are constantly covered in it, like she's a dog that's shedding, and when I brush it, I end up with a handful. The only way you can tell by looking at her is if you notice that her faux-hawk (the long hair down the middle of her forehead back to her neck) is getting skinnier. The sides of her head look fashionably shaved, though we've not taken a razor to them. This really doesn't bother me; as much as I love her hair and it's addition to her personality, the hair loss has come and gone so much that it's never caught me off guard. I was prepared to have to shave her head after the first week, so everything after that has been gravy.
Ruby's speech is exploding and everyone is noticing. Two of her speech therapists commented on it this week; she's picked up the new sounds of 'g', 'f', and mixing of vowel sounds (like mommy, ruby, bye). Last week, Ruby brought me a toy and said, "Hepp. Me. Peez." Totally unprompted, totally independent, and totally clear. I told her teacher to watch for (and require) her to ask for help that way from now on, and this morning she grabbed me as I picked Ruby up to say that she and the other teacher are noticing so much talking out of her.
We pulled out the potty seat this week. I bought it over the summer with the intention to start potty training as soon as school started and the big kids were away during the daytime. However, our plans changed significantly and I didn't think it would be a good idea to try and explain to Ruby that she had to 'hold it' while being hooked up to fluids and chemo. Nevermind the potential mess of it all, again, while hooked up to tubes and whatnot. So we haven't touched it, even though she stays dry most of the morning hours despite drinking plenty. We still have one more round of chemo and up to three more hospital stays for 2-8 days, so I'm not officially training her yet. She does sit on it when she gets up in the morning and before she goes to be, and before and after her nap. No success yet, but we do have some M&M's, just in case.

Monday, January 18, 2016


The kids had such a good time skiing last year that it was on their definitely to-do list this year. The only weekend that lined up for us was MLK weekend, but even that had a scheduling conflict on Sunday morning. Most people would throw in the towel given that wrench in the very middle of a three day weekend, but not Lehr. (He's kinda like a Super Dad.)

After Eli played in the worship band on Sunday morning, the three of them jumped into the loaded up car and drove to North Carolina. Since the mountain is only a few hours from us, they got there in time to do night skiing. Then they woke up on Monday and did a full day skiing.

Maddux and Eli had a great time with Lehr, trying even more runs than last time. While it was significantly colder this time than last year, they had the right gear, and the fresh snow made it worth it.

Home Stay

Here's something that sounds like a great thing, but isn't always: staying home for count recovery.
Do not mishear me; given a choice between staying in the hospital through count recovery, like we did for rounds one and two, and going home for that time, I choose going home every time. But it's not like we are *really* home for that 3-week period.

Ruby finished her fifth round of chemo last Wednesday, putting her home Wednesday afternoon. Saturday afternoon we discovered a tear in her central line (the tube coming out of her chest), so Lehr spent four hours in the hospital with her to get it fixed (no notice). Sometime this week, it is very likely that Ruby will have to spend the entire day in the clinic to receive blood or platelets or both (less than a 24-hour notice). And if she doesn't need them both at the same time, that will mean two visits to the clinic for a day. Next week? We will be on lock-down at the house. She will not be able to be in public, and we won't be able to have visitors, due to low counts. The low counts always result in a 48+ hour stay in the hospital when she spikes a fever (about an hour's notice). The following week, she will be admitted for 8-days for another round of chemo.

Yup....sounds like a big ole complaining post, I know. It's really not that I want to complain as much as being home makes me realize just how much our life still isn't our own until this is all over. At best, any plans we make these days (at least involving either Lehr or myself and Ruby) are tentative. At best, she's home for seven days without a trip to the clinic or hospital. At best (and this has only happened once), she goes 14 straight nights in her own bed. That's not good enough for me.

So because our life is not our own, because we are so close to the end, because I'm ready to put this behind us, March can't get here fast enough.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Speech! Speech!

This girl is starting to take off in the speech department. For reals. She comments on everything, and people other than me are starting to know what she's actually saying! A friend watched her while I went to a doctor's appointment this week and she was blown away by how much Ruby was talking.

The biggest example of this is her reading a book, or singing along with songs on the radio, or talking about her body parts. I am trying to get it on video, but until then, it goes like this. I say a body part (elbow, foot, chin, etc.) and she points to it and repeats the body part. At this time, she can identify about fifteen of them and at least half have a word approximation that is pretty darn close. She also continues to surprise me with random words that come out so clear. Today was "Thank you" and the other day was "umbrella".

This is not speech, but it's OT....Ruby loves to feed herself and often will fuss at me if I try to feed her instead of handing over the utensil. She's also starting to be 'silly' during all tasks, so while she knows what to do, she will play around some times (this happened a few times during the video.) Ruby is still working on keeping her tongue in and lips together while chewing; process improvement :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Packing Up

James 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Some days I feel like if we're not packing, we're unpacking. There is a constant filling and unfilling of bags and cars, and no matter how many times I do it, I still haven't mastered it. But today is packing up to go home, so none of that matters. (Read: it's all thrown randomly in any bag I can find.)

Yesterday was a good day. Ruby chose to make it eventful by coming unhooked from her chemo (her second time doing that). There was no haz-mat team this time though because I saw the instant it came unhooked and the nurse came right in to help me. I had her in her crib, watching a speech video (more on that in a minute) and I had changed her diaper and checked her connections just a few minutes before. As I sat back down to my knitting, I looked up at her getting herself settled in a corner of her crib and I saw the chemo tube fall away from the Ruby tube.

The bad news with chemo or blood products (we've done that too!) coming unhooked is that it potentially slows down her discharge because we have to order new chemo and get her rehooked. The good news (and I think she knows this), is that it gives her free, unhooked time while we wait on the chemo. Since this is not my first rodeo, the minute the nurse hep locked her this time, I grabbed Ruby out of her crib, threw on her shoes and we did laps around the Aflac Unit until the new chemo arrived (maybe ten minutes?). When I say we did laps, this girl ran (almost), and belly laughed, and swung her little arms, and loved every minute of it.

So why was Ruby hanging out in her bed? This whole trip has found Ruby very energetic. VERY energetic, and not too keen on sleep. She's been routinely wired until 9 or 10PM (at home she's snoring by 8PM at the latest), and she's woken up before the sun, standing in her crib and saying, "Up! Peeeze!" sometime between 5:45 and 6:30AM. I was determined to not have that be the case again last night, so I didn't put her down for a nap today. Instead we watched a speech video for about an hour and powered through the afternoon. As expected, Ruby was fine with this. At 7:45, she could not keep her eyes open anymore. She even slept through being hooked up to fluids at 8:15. And this morning? 7:15. (I'll take it!)

So here we are, at the end of the 5th chemo admission (the end of the 5th round is when her counts recover, in about three weeks), still amazed at how well our girl is doing. Thanking God every day for the gifts He has given us through, and in, this process.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Almost There!

We're getting closer...the LAST bag of chemo for this round will be hung in about an hour!
Yesterday was very busy, and it went into a late night, so no blogging for me. Between nine and eleven yesterday morning, we had a revolving door. Seriously, SO many people came through here that many times they would be in the room at the same time! It started with an Occupational Therapist, then a volunteer reading a book, then the nurse for vitals, then a Music Therapist, then rounds with the whole team, then a Speech Therapist, then the nurse for Ruby's chemo flush. We didn't leave the room until noon when we got our lunch; that is very unlike us.

Ruby had a good lunch - her appetite has been mostly fine this round - and then we hung a new bag of chemo before she took a nap around two. She didn't nap much longer than an hour, but something is going on with this girl because she was W.I.R.E.D. last night. I started getting her ready for bed around 7:50 (which is later than she usually falls asleep at home), but I was reading books, singing lullabies, rocking her, rubbing her back, doing anything I could to get her to settle down, until 9:50. That's two solid hours. I have never spent that long putting Ruby to bed...seriously. I had a few rough nights with Eli when he was a baby, and maybe one or two with Maddux at some point, but Ruby has always been a quick sleeper, and self-entertainer. The issue in the hospital is that she's hooked up to three lines at night (fluids and chemo), so she tangles immediately when I just leave her in her crib, pulling the tubes tight and freaking me out.

Sooo...we may not be taking a nap today. Between the late nights a few times this stay and the early (for Ruby) wake-ups between 5:30 and 6:30, Ruby obviously has too much pent up energy from being hooked up to a leash. I got her out in the halls several times each day, urging her to push her cart through the halls, but sometimes she just wants to ride, which does nothing to help with the energy.

Everything is still on track for Ruby to go home after lunch tomorrow afternoon. Looking forward to going to school on Thursday!

Friday, January 08, 2016

Friday Updates

Not sure if I mentioned it, but yesterday was crazy good. Great nurse, productive therapy day for Ruby and I, lots of reading, LOTS of walking (PT), and all around great productivity (considering we are sequestered to a small portion of the hospital, mostly in our room). Our ability to get through speech and whatever OT exercises I throw at her definitely depends on Ruby's focus. (Good thing for us, Ruby is usually excited to 'work', whether it's speech or PT.) And yesterday, her focus was great! She napped hard, but was 100% when she was awake.

This morning's rounds were uneventful, as they should be this stay. I asked the Nurse Practitioner we love about how this whole thing ends after she finishes the next round, and it was confirmed that when Ruby recovers from Round 6, she can get her port taken out rather quickly. Music to my ears! I am so eager to get this girl in swim lessons!

The NP also asked me about therapy while admitted, and kinda pushed for us to utilize some while we are here. Apparently OT and Speech will come to see her this visit. (Speech already came this afternoon to check in with her and try to set a plan.) I'm always a fan of getting some additional eyes on what we are doing and what she is doing, but this also brings me some frustration. I definitely intentionally asked during round one, and maybe round two, about how to get services for her while she was here (since she was here for 50 days between those rounds), and I got nowhere. On the other hand, the time in the hospital has allowed me to sharpen my therapeutic skills, at least with speech. And when we are here, she and I usually knock out two 'sessions' each day.

Sidenote: I can't get video of Ruby's antics in the hallway because she tries to push her chemo pole so fast that I need to keep both hands connected to steady and slow it. Here is what she looks like though (no joke):


She seriously puts her feet on the ground, grabs the blue bars and says, "Dooooooh!" (Go) as she starts to walk so fast she's all but running. 

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Round Five Updates

This is Ruby's first 'intensification' round of chemo, meaning it's no longer getting her into remission, but rather solidifying it. (I think?) The protocol for Ruby this round is a one-hour infusion of chemo (one we've not had before) three days in a row, and she's hooked up to a continuous chemo (one she's had many times) for seven full days. That means she started at lunchtime yesterday (Wednesday) and the continuous chemo will run through next Wednesday at lunchtime. The constant hook-up is not ideal, but it *should* only be one tube. Right now she's hooked up to three: one for each chemo and one for fluids. I did talk to the team about fluids this morning; she's been hooked up to them since we've been here.

I am not a fan of the fluids hook-up because I have yet to receive a reason why she needs fluids. Ruby has always been drinking enough (they chart her diaper output, so it's easy to tell), she doesn't have a fever, and the fluids make her face a little puffy and her diapers too full too often. I seriously cannot keep that girl dry, so she has ended up with a diaper rash the last three stays when they've had her hooked up. When I brought it up during rounds this morning (the team didn't have anyone I had met before), they looked it up in their chart and couldn't find a reason to have her hooked up at all.

So they said they'd decrease it to only at night.....

Baby steps, I guess.

Ruby is still happy, eating well, drinking well. It's amazing to me how well she's doing, considering that typically patients experience the cumulative effect of chemo, making each round a little harder than the last. It's almost like it's been the opposite for Ruby. While we've noticed some fatigue when at home during rounds three and four, her general ability to handle the chemo itself (while hooked up) seems to be getting better with time. The first two rounds found her a little picky with foods or fatigued during the continuous drip, but this time, she's running around, as much as she can on her leash, eating everything she ever does. She took a hard nap this afternoon, but didn't act tired before it, and woke up ready to go. SO ready to go, in fact, that our evening consisted of her pushing her pole (instead of catching a ride on it) up and down two long halls, again and again. I had to hold onto the pole myself to slow it down because I was convinced she was going to push it over with the force she was giving. And her speed was seriously of the run variety rather than the walk....crazy girl!
Ruby did have one oral med today: Zofran, which helps with nausea. We've never used it outside of when she's actually hooked up to chemo because she's not had any issues with that. At dinner, I thought we might have our first bout; she had some deep coughs/heaves a few bites into dinner, followed by some tears and hugs from mommy. But then she picked up her head, said, 'More!', and was fine the rest of the night. This girl is so's not even funny.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Numero Cinco

Because Lehr is amazing, he offered to take Ruby to the clinic for her fifth admission this morning. Because he knows, out of all of the craziness surrounding Ruby's leukemia, the biggest stressor and 'I can't' for me has been clinic days, for admission or blood products.

I loathe them.

If you think that I've got a great attitude about everything and always seem so positive, catch me on a clinic day and you'll quickly change your mind. Because Lehr is Lehr, this time around I don't have to grumble and complain all day. I can stay home with the big kids tonight and relieve him in the morning after I get them on the bus. (In case you haven't picked up on it, Lehr rocks.)

Ruby's call time was 8AM. If it were me going in with her, she and I would have been called back around 10 for an eventual chemo hook-up sometime around 3, just as I'd gotten her to nap in the clinic chair. Thankfully, Lehr and Ruby saw the doctors first and then went back to be hooked up by 11. Seven days of continuous chemo with a few other chemos dropped in there for about an hour at a time over the seven days. This time next week, she will be back home.

This is round five. Five of Six. I can almost see the finish line now. And Ruby? She hasn't batted an eye at the whole process.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

She's A Gem

Maddux's heart.


She's always been Eli's biggest fan, but as they've gotten older, she's definitely started giving back a little of the 'less nice' attitude he gives her all of the time. What remains at the core of it though...she adores him with her every fiber.

Eli has his first cotillion night tomorrow and was trying on his suit tonight in preparation. Maddux commented on how great he looked and tried to grab him to dance. He shrugged it off saying something about her not being 'fancy' and he was. Undeterred, she disappears, returning three minutes later, dressed in a nice black dress and holiday socks.

"Now we can dance!"

If Eli had not obliged her, I might have made him sleep out in the cold tonight.