Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 - Make*A*Wish
This afternoon the Make*A*Wish people came and met with us. They came bearing gifts for each one of the children. A beanie puppy for Finn, a stuffed elephant for Jaren, a necklace for Eden and a handcrafted kaleidoscope (www.kaleidoscopefactory.com) for Oliver. We sat down at the dinner table while we finished eating lunch and filled out some paperwork while we chatted. They asked what some of Oliver's wishes were and he, like most kids, said that he wanted to go to Disney World, the beach, Sea World, Universal Studios and the Zoo. He would love to meet his favorite comedian, Jim Gaffigan, who shares his love of bacon! HA! He also loves to play baseball and loves watching the Iowa Hawkeyes play football. We both have been learning more about the rules of the game from Ed, my husband, this past year. We also talked about him meeting the prophet and president of our church. He said that he wouldn't know what to say to him if he actually met him though!
The committee members told us a lot about the organization and about Disney World and what it has to offer to the Make*A*Wish families. They told us about a special resort just for the kids with a wish called "Give A Child the World". It sounds absolutely amazing. Before they left they also gave us a special Christmas ornament and I started thinking about if he would be around next Christmas and I suddenly got teary eyed. I thought of how fun this trip will be, but thought that I wished it was on OUR terms and not because he is dealing with a terminal disease. I suddenly had a pit in my stomach as my mind raced. I quickly tried to stop the thoughts in their tracks and began thinking of all of the wonderful memories we will be making in the next several months. We are also planning a family reunion with Ed's side of the family. He is one of eight children and they are all planning on caravaning to Iowa in June over Father's Day weekend and we have many special activities planned including participating in the "Relay for Life" event to raise money and awareness for cancer research. I need to keep my mind focused on the happy events surrounding this horrible situation that we are now placed in. I pray for guidance and strength every time I start to feel weak and unable to bear another thing. I am grateful for your continued thoughts and prayers for myself, Oliver and the rest of my family. We are planning to go in April as we want to go sooner rather than later, hoping that Oliver is feeling well and up to traveling.
Sunday, January 24th, 2010 - Hair coming out by handfuls...
Yesterday Oliver, Eden and I got out hair cut for our upcoming family pictures. I knew that Oliver was thinning in some spots so I filled the stylist in on what was going on with Ollie. It was noticeably thinning in two spots on the back of his head where they were pinpointing the tumor.
Sunday morning it was just a little bit thinner in those same two spots. I helped comb his hair before church and noticed the comb had lots of hairs in it. I thought that my husband used it after his haircut and they were his hairs clogging up the comb, like leftover strays from the haircut. It then dawned on me that it was Oliver's hair starting to come out more easily. During Sunday dinner at my in-laws I noticed he was shedding a bit, but really wasn't ready for what happened later that night. Oliver was sitting on my lap and I touched his head and a little hair came out. He then reached up to his thinning patch and pulled a bit and he had fistfuls of hair!!! We were both shocked! He kept doing it and we both started giggling. I don't know if mine was a nervous giggle, but I thought I'd try and keep it as light as possible since I never know what will trigger a crying spell. After a bit, I told him to stop since we still needed to have our family photos taken and at the time you couldn't tell he had two 2 to 3 inch bald patches on either side of the back of his head when you looked at him straight on. I took a picture of the back of his head to show Ollie and he exclaimed in a high pitched voice, "MAMMA MIA!!!" and started laughing! I was relieved that he was so calm about it since he was so nervous to lose it for so long. We knew that it was a possibility from the beginning that he would lose his hair, but we were shocked that it progressed so quickly! They hadn't even doubled his radiation dose yet! Eden then asked, "What will you do when people make fun of you?" and all the laughter ceased. He then started to cry. I was thinking, "Really? UGH!!" We tried to remind him that daddy was planning on shaving his head with a few other close friends of ours. I just felt so bad for him. I'm sure different scenarios play out in his mind about what kids may say to him. We talked for a bit and started to joke around again. For the most part he's taking it a lot better than I had envisioned.