Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Saliva Gland Drama

All I can do is laugh... b/c otherwise I would cry.

We went to meet with a very nice Maxiofacial Surgeon in Clearfield today. I had such high hopes that we would get some resolution from this appointment... and my hopes were deflated within minutes.

In a nutshell, he told us that Ty's issues are out of his relm of expertise. He agreed with our ENT saying going down to an ENT at Primary's would be best. He agreed with me that constant antibiotics is wrong for her and hopes that someone at PCMC can help more. (My mom is going to speak with an autoimmune Dr as well as an infectious disease Dr at her work to see if they have any thoughts...)

He didnt charge us for the appointment (even though they took XRays that we got to see up on the big flat screen TV in the consultation room... very high tech coolness!) and told us if she ever needs her wisdom teeth out or, God forbid, her face goes through a windshield he can put it back together for her. Joking aside, he felt my pain and felt bad he couldnt do anything to help us.

Oh well... next week is PCMC and I guarantee I will just cry if they dont tell us something new.

Friday, December 26, 2008

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

We had a great Christmas and hope you and your family did as well.
It started out on Christmas Eve, Bryan went to get Taylor and I cooked dinner. When we were done eating, we all got dressed to go to Christmas Eve services at church. Blake came over to go with us and my parents met us there. Within 5 mins, Drew was sound asleep... but it was a very beautiful candle light service.




The kids went to bed when we got home and we got everything ready... the kids left out peppermint Oreos, eggnog, and carrots for the reindeer... although I heard rumors that Santa would prefer cashews and beer next year! LOL

The kids woke up at like 430am, but I told them they couldnt wake us up or go downstairs until 7am. The minute it was 7am, all three of them came flying into our room. They opened gifts for about an hour and then we got dressed and went to my parents for breakfast and then took the kids to their other parents for the weekend and headed over to see Bryan's family and ate dinner over there.










It was a very nice day. Our family got a Wii that all of us as very excited about. I was spoiled- got some gift cards to go shopping, a sleeping bag, a purse, some clothes, some jewelry, a teapot, a Footprints devotional book, etc but I think one of the best gifts I could have recieved was Bryan coming to church with me. It meant so much to me.
Hope you all have a very safe and happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I've had enough of the snow...

I've had enough of the snow and my mind has been wandering to thoughts of summer activities.

There is an awful lot of things I want to do this summer and I am not sure I will have enough time or money to do them all, but while I am sitting here with snow surrounding me, I will go ahead and wish anyways.

* Raft for the Cure- Komen Foundation is doing a fundraiser in Moab in June. For $100 (50% going to the foundation) you get to white water raft from 8-4pm and then back to Moab for a BBQ, silent auction, and live band. We have never done it before and I am really looking forward to this. Hopefully mom will be feeling well enough to come with us. I think that would be a great family vacation!

* Luther Heights Bible Camp- this year we are going in August. It's up by Sun Valley, ID. Its a beautiful, relaxing, and enjoyable experience. Nothing like morning worship in the mountains.

* Williams' Family reunion in California sometime in June.

* Moab Mamas annual weekend in July- Hummer Safaris, Whitewater Rafting, Arches National Park, alot of laughing, and alot of drinking. Man, I love my girlfriends!


All these thoughts of warm, summer activities and now I have to walk out in the freezing cold to get my mail. Dang it!! LOL

Monday, December 22, 2008

PSS: Christmas Gifts

Amy asked "What was your best Christmas present? What was your worst? What did you always want but never get?"

I bought myself a car last year, in December, so that was probably the best gift I've ever received. I am getting a new cell phone this year that I really want. I'm just excited to have more family in my life for this Christmas- so I guess that is a gift as well.

Worst gift? I recieved LDS books/videos one year... not really my thing. I think I gave them to the DI.

Merry Christmas... and I hope you get all your heart desires!

Happy Birthday, Taylor


Happy Birthday, Taylor!
Yesterday was Taylor's birthday. He is now 11 years old. It's funny to think that when I met Bryan it was just days after Taylor turned 10. This year is flying by.

Taylor and Bryan spent some boy-time yesterday and then we met up at TGIFridays for dinner before he went back to his mom's in SLC.
Although he is a quiet boy, he has slipped into the roll of big brother effortlessly. The 3 kids just click. I swear they just pick up where they left off from their last time together... no moments of adjustment or anything. Even the 5 yr age difference between the boys doesn't matter, they love being together.
Happy birthday buddy... enjoy your eleventh year!

Church Activity

It's become a tradition at church for the elementary kids to go caroling at the Assisted Living home across the street and then come back to the church and make gingerbread houses. Yesterday we had a great turn out! We had about 18 families join us and the residents at the nursing home loved it so much, they had us go through our song list twice!!

The kids were so funny decorating their houses. Drew named every gummy bear that lives in the house after his family members... his sister is on the roof. There was TONS of candy to choose from to decorate, the kids were a mess with frosting, and they giggled the whole time.
They have some AWESOME church friends and we have so much fun spending time together. We are blessed to have found such great people and such a wonderful place to worship so close to our house. Below are the kid's friends (who are sisters) that they have become very close with from Sunday School and from Luther Heights Bible Camp last summer. Their family had the cabin right next to ours. They kids just light up when they see each other.


Ty and Alyssa being Rudolphs.

"Mom, she's not my girlfriend. She is my friend who is a girl"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Blah- Snow!

Just in case you didnt understand me earlier... I DO NOT like snow.

I am not happy that the mountains are missing b/c the snow is coming down so hard. I am not happy that tomorrow is a high of 23 degrees. I am not happy that I am supposed to have 12 inches more in my yard by tomorrow evening.

Blah.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Daycare Christmas Program

The kids had their Christmas program at daycare Tuesday night. Santa was a little baffled at Tyler being a girl and was concerned with Drew's cut on his head... but was cute anyhow! LOL
Here are some pictures, enjoy!


















Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Boobies Update

I just realized, as my doctor called, that I haven't updated since I went to Huntsman Cancer Institute. Last month I met with a genetic counselor who had made a graph based off my family medical history laying out my risk factors. I didn't realize I had so many family members with cancer, ranging from breast, to colon, to even brain tumors. Yikes!

She went over the "normal" person's risk of just be being a woman... no family or personal history involved. Then she showed how I increase with having a couple of lumps removed, having extremely dense breasts, etc. Then she shows the increase of having my mom as well as other female family members having breast cancer. It shows were my risk is now at being 30 and how it increases every 10 yrs. My lifetime risk is around 50-55% compared to those with no risk having a lifetime change of 7%.

We went over options... from doing nothing, mammogram/MRI'ing yearly, starting a drug commonly used for breast cancer treatment, and prophylactic mastectomies. I decided on getting clinical breast exams (performed by a breast specialist) 2x a year, as well as an MRI and a Mammogram 1x a year. Doing this I will have something going on every 3 months to ensure if something does come up, it will be caught early. I am going to discuss starting a medication with a medical oncologist that will as well as decrease the density of my breasts so if something does happen they can see it easier in the screenings as well as cut my overall risk in half if I take it for 5 yrs

I feel good about things... I feel like I have done everything that I can control. If, God forbid, I ever do get diagnosed I can feel good with my decisions and know this is something out of my control and deal with knowing God has a different plan for me.

So anyhow... there is my update. I'll let ya know how things go with the oncologist.

PSS: Snow

Kim asked what our favorite thing about Snow is... favorite memory involving snow... blah blah blah. Honestly, I am not a big fan of snow... I could do without it. I know I live in Utah, but if it would stay up in the mountains and leave me alone, I would be fine with it. Luckily for me, I have a HOA that shovels my snow, so that helps me get through the winter season. Its pretty and all from a distance, but I am not a big fan of the cold.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Damn Saliva Gland Part 2

We went to the ENT last week to check on options. He said he isn't comfortable doing surgery b/c of the risk involved. I respect that; however we need to do something differently than we are currently doing so I asked what options we had. He said go see a doctor at Primary Children's Medical Center and see if he knows of anything else or would be comfortable dealing with all those little nerves that run through the gland. We have an appointment for January 8.

Ty finished her antibiotics on Saturday and Sunday night she started complaining of not feeling well and went to bed early. Monday she didn't say anything so I thought she was better. Today she called me from school, bawling. By the time I made it there to get her, she was asleep in the office just shaking. The lump is back again, but on the other side. This is a record... 8 freaking days in between outbreaks.

She cried... I cried. I cant believe we are the only people in the state of Utah who are dealing with this... someone has to have more ideas than heat, water, and lemon drops.

I am waiting for the Dr to call me back to call in yet another round of meds. In the mean time I have been looking up a lot of things regarding juvenile parotoid syndrome and found that Maxiofacial Surgeons deal with saliva glands. I called my dentist and asked if he could recommend someone. I called his referral and found out that he does deal with saliva gland and saliva ducts. We have a consult on the 30th. I am printing out everything I am finding online to ask about it. I am going to write up a big medical history of everything we have tried so far in the past 3 years. I am going to take pictures of her face when she wakes up to take with me to show him how it looks at its worst.

I pray that he is able to help. I am missing work, she is missing school, she is miserable, and its taking a toll on us both. Hopefully he will know of something we haven't already done and we can get past this. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

and the rest of Saturday night...

After their play, we took them to Baskin Robbins for ice cream before we came home. Earlier in the day someone had given them these cool glasses to put on at night and look at the Christmas lights with. They are really cool... they show snowmen and gingerbread men!
Anyhow, the kids wanted to bring them in the house to look at our tree. When they were done, I told them to go put them in the car and get ready for bed. I was online checking email at the kitchen table and Bryan was at the counter when we heard a blood-curling scream. We both took off running and I saw Drew standing by his car door holding his head. I moved his hand and blood was pouring down his face. I grabbed him to run into the house and Ty saw all the blood and freaked out... she was screaming and crying. Bryan was calming her down as I sat Drew on the counter and grabbed for a rag. He had about an inch cut on his forehead and it was deep. Instantly I knew we were heading to the ER. Not so much for the blood, b/c it really didnt end up bleeding all that much once we wiped it up, but because he has a seizure disorder and I wanted to make sure nothing else was going to happen.


We ended up dropping Ty off to my parents... she was still freaking out and if he was going to have stitches, I didnt want her there. Hell, I didnt want to be there... so it was a good thing Bryan was with us. He kept us all calm.


We were in and out at the hospital. I think it took us longer to get there than the time we were there. They were able to glue his laceration closed rather than stitches (yay!) and we have to have extra seizure precautions for the next 2 wks. She thought he would have a big bump today and bruising, but so far he is good. He was such a trooper at the ER, it was unreal. He laid back on the bed with his arms behind his head, just chillin'.


Today I took him to the movies and he is feeling good. Here is a picture from before we left.

"Oh No You Can't Go!"

On Saturday evening, the Sunday School kids from Ascension Lutheran had their Christmas Play. The program was called "Oh, No You Can't Go" and it was about the Christmas story told from the shepard's and sheep's perspective. It was darling and the kids had so much fun.

Ty was the shepard, Ezra. She had 4 lines in the play. Although terrified, she did a great job. Her little brother, Drew, was a sheep. He was running around before hand making his sheep ears fly up so everyone named him the "Flying Sheep". What a goof!


Here are some pictures of them... along with some video. Enjoy!



video

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Tag

Christmas Tag!
Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper for home, gift bags for presents we have to take somewhere.
Real tree or artificial? artificial
When do you put up your tree? Uh... still not up yet. Will be done by Sunday.
When do you take your tree down? Usually the day or two after christmas.
Do you like eggnog? No
Favorite gift as a child? Cabbage Patch Kids
Do you have a nativity scene? Yes- one the kids and I painted a few years ago.
Hardest person to buy for? Parents.
Easiest person to buy for? The kids
Mail or e-mail christmas cards? Mail- sometimes homemade or atleast the ones with pictures on them.
Worst christmas gift you ever recieved? a XXL red sweatshirt with penquins on it. My son really liked penquins and had to by it regardless of size or if I'd like it.
Favorite christmas movie? Home Alone
Have you ever recycled a gift? Yes.
Favorite thing to eat at christmas time? Carmels
Clear or colored lights on the tree? Clear.
Clear or colored lights on the house? Clear.
Favorite christmas song? Silent Night
Travel @ christmas time or stay home? Stay home with the family.
Can you name all santas reindeer? Only if I am singing the song.
Open presents on christmas eve or christmas day? Christmas day.
Most annoying thing about this time of year? Rude people driving and at the mall.
Favorite ornament theme or color? Silver and Red
What do you want for christmas this year? I am getting a new cell phone.
What is your favorite christmas memory? Going to Children's Mass then back to my grandparent's house to eat and open gifts. The whole family was there and it was great.

I tag: Mary and Heidi!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

12/9/08 Mom Update

I just found out that mom is going to have her port-a-cath removed from her chest tomorrow... Its supposed to be an easy surgery, but I am still worried. I hate thinking of her going through everything.

If everything goes well, she will start radiation the first week of January. Its 30 treatments, M-F for 6 weeks. Very aggressive, but she said she'd rather do that then chemo!

Keep her in your prayers!

Damn Saliva Gland...




Three years ago this past October, my daughter got a strange lump on the side of her neck, under her jaw. I took her to the doctor who sent us to an ENT who sent us for testing (CT, MRI, blood work etc) and ended up doing a lymph node biopsy. It ended up not being Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as they thought it may have been but an infection in her salvia gland.

They treated her with antibiotics… and it didn’t come back for about 6 months… then again in 3 months… then monthly. There was even a time that she was on antibiotics 2x in a month for the same thing. It started out on her right side and now both sides are affected. She has gone down to Primary Children’s for a Sialogram twice.

I asked about removing the gland and was told there runs a chance of nerve damage and facial paralysis, as well as a big scar so he didn’t want to do.

I even took her to a chiropractor for a while who said her axis was off line so he adjusted her and she was good for about 9 months then it started again. Since then, that chiro is no longer on my insurance so we went to another one and it didn’t work this time… she swelled right up again within 3 wks.

I am frustrated beyond belief. Her poor little face swells up, sometimes so bad that it squishes up her eye. She can’t open her mouth to chew anything so she is pretty much on a liquid diet. Hot compresses and sour candy don’t help anymore.

During our last ENT appointment he said that we have done everything we can and our next option would be to remove the gland. There is risk involved as I mentioned before so I told him I wanted to think about it and he said to call him back in 3 months.

Well, yesterday she called me from school and said her lump is back and she has yucky stuff in her mouth and she thinks she is gonna throw up. I went to pick her up and filled her prescription. I then called the Dr saying I want to have the surgery scheduled. They called me back today and said he wants to see her again on Thursday to discuss options.

Hell, I thought we are out of options!! I have prepared myself for her to go through this surgery. I just want it done with it. I am tired of her being in pain all the time, I am tired of being sad of listening to her whimper when there is nothing more I can do to help her, I am tired of her being on antibiotics so much that we are so close to only having IV ones work… all I want to do is cry. I don’t like seeing my baby in pain like this.

Monday, December 8, 2008

PSS: Traditions

Kim asked “What are your family's traditions? To add… as a child and/or as an adult and not just at Christmas. “

Some of my family traditions as a child were:
*going to the children’s service at church then over to my grandparents on Christmas Eve.
*having all my cousins and family over for Easter and my aunt would wrap gifts in different paper and she would give us a scrap of that paper and a color and we had to go out in the yard to find our gifts/eggs. (That way no one fought over things, they were already assigned)
*Sunday dinners with the whole family at my grandparent’s house.
*going to Indianapolis over Christmas break to stay with my cousins and going to whatever Disney movie that was just released.

Some of my family traditions as an adult are:
*having the kids put their shoes out for St Nick on Dec 5th so when they wake up on the 6th they are filled with treats.
*doing Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday before Thanksgiving so everyone doesn’t have to rush around to multiple houses and we can enjoy our time together more.
*going to the Hogle Zoo on Easter.
*going to the children’s service at church on Christmas Eve.

And something new we just started was Tuesday night dinner with my parents. Normally we spend a good part of the weekend at my parent’s house but when my mom had chemo on Thursdays she didn’t feel up to visitors but she wanted to make sure she saw the kids at east 1x a week so we go over there on Tuesdays for dinner now.

Bryan always goes to his brother’s house to drink and play games on New Years Eve, so that will be a new tradition for me. This year (although we aren’t supposed to) we will have my kids with us, so I am packing up some kids games, PJ’s, and sleeping bags and taking them with us for a sleepover.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My BFF


Let me just take a moment to tell you I have the greatest best friend ever.


My BFF's name is Blake. We met right after I was made a coach at AOL. He was terrified to be on my team, our first conversations were about colonoscopies, and here we are years later... and he is a part of my family.


Blake house-sits, dog-sits, and baby-sits for me, my parents, my aunt... He is with us on holidays and family events. He goes shopping at Victoria's Secret, fixes computers, and has the hook up with car repair.


I talked Blake out of marrying someone I didnt think was right for him (and he continually thanks me for this!), I talked about him on my first date with Bryan b/c if someone I was dating wasnt ok with my best friend being a boy, the dating would end there. Luckily for me, Blake and Bryan have formed a friendship now and I am able to have both my boys around all the time.


Being the funny person I am, I made a "date my friend" posting on Craig's List a while back... until he made me take it down b/c someone figured out it was him.


He is so supportive of what my mom is going through and has spent money and time to support the cure for breast cancer.


He is someone I can tell anything to... someone I can just hang out with and will go to chick flicks with (although, the last one showed a Irish guys ass so I had to make up for it with something with girls in a hot tub)... someone I like to go get a drink with just to take a break from life.


My life is definately better for having Blake in it and I wanted to take a moment to tell everyone he is a wonderful friend!

Tag: Then and Now

20 years ago:
1. I was 10 yrs old.
2. It was my last Christmas with my Nannie
3. I lived in South Bend Indiana

10 years ago:
1. I was working at AOL
2. I was living in South Ogden, Utah
3. I was married

5 years ago:
1. I was living in Roy Utah
2. I got really sick, but thankfully made a full recovery.
3. I had 2 kids

3 years ago:
1. I was divorced
2. I was spending the holidays with my ex-boyfriend's family, who I adored.
3. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

1 year ago:
1. I was living in North Ogden UT
2. I had my first Christmas morning alone
3. I met Bryan on Dec 28... who would have thought we are where we are today?

So far this year:
1. I got married
2. I got another tattoo
3. Survived a layoff (although still nervous)

Yesterday:
1. I got my nails done
2. Went out with my brother and his girlfriend. who is also one of my best friends!
3. Did some Christmas shopping

Today:
1. I went to church
2. Threatened all the boys b/c they drank my diet pepsi
3. On my way to get sushi

Tomorrow:
1. Go to work
2. Do homework with my kids
3. Make dinner

Next year:
1. I will go back to Bible Camp
2. Hopefully lose weight
3. Continue to love the man I married.

I tag: Amy and Monica!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

PSS: Christmas Memories

Shane asks "Tell us about your most-memorable childhood Christmas."

I am not sure I have a memorable one specifically. I think its a lot of little bits and pieces from multiple Christmases.

As a child:
* Getting to be Mary in the play. I sang a solo.
* Opening presents at my Grandparent's house, after we snooped and saw a lot of them.
* Getting a Cabbage Patch Kid
* Going skiing on Christmas afternoon.

As an adult:
* My first Christmas married (to the ex)- how thankful I was that they made their plans around me going to Mass.
* The Christmases with the kids when they were old enough to start unwrapping gifts. They were so much fun and more interested in the paper and boxes than the toys.
* A sleepover with my ex boyfriend's family on Christmas Eve... the whole family camped out in every spare inch of the house. Drank and played games all night.
* Last Christmas... when I was alone and my kids were with their dad. My best friend planned for us to go to breakfast together on Christmas morning so that I was with someone... and invited my parents along. It was a very special thing to me.

This year will be my first Christmas as a Williams. I look forward to having all 3 kids with us on Christmas Eve and morning. We are going to Children's Service at church on Christmas Eve and breakfast with my family before the kids all go to their other parent's houses.

No, its not an eye booger!

I have had a white bump in the corner of my eye for years... didnt think alot about it, it was small and didnt hurt so I never said anything. In the past 6 months, it began itching and driving me nuts. It must have gotten bigger b/c people will say "You've got something there in the corner of your eye", only for me to reply "its not an eye booger, calm down". Even had someone try to rub it away for me once.

When I went in for my physical, I mentioned it to my dr. She said warm compresses and eye drops. She said its not a stye, its a chalazion (?). If it doesnt go away or keeps bothering me, I should go to an opthamologist.

Little while more, nothing is helping... its still itching, so I found an opthamologist on my insurance and made a call. Ends up he is right down the street from daycare. When I made my appointment. I asked if they will do anything during that appointment or if I need to talk to him and then come back. The receptionist said he would just do a consultation that day.

Well... the receptionist lied. However, I didnt know that until I had picked my kids up from daycare, went to the appointment, got the kids settled in the waiting room doing homework as I went back to talk to the dr. He said it's not a chazalion-whatever... its a cyst. Said its not cancerous so we dont have to take it out... but b/c its bothersome, he would recommend it.

Ok, great. I looked at my phone to see what day I had taken off from work next week to Christmas shop so I could schedule my appointment. Uh, no. He wanted to do it right then. Well, my PCP said he would rub some numbing meds on it and then have a small scaple that would just knick it and it would come out, no pain involved... so I figured it would be ok.

People failed to tell me eye drops, needles, and razor blades would be included. I am going to spare you all the terrible details... and just end this with saying moments of unconciousness and puke were involved.

Because I didnt plan for this ahead of time, and no one would answer their freaking phones, and my children arent tall enough to reach the peddles of the car, I made the office stay open 30 mins after closing to ensure I would be ok to drive.

What a freaking ordeal! Its sore today and I have a headache, but it looks like a normal corner of your eye would like like now... so I guess its all good! LOL

Monday, December 1, 2008

Long Weekend

I was off from last Wednesday until Sunday. It was a nice break. On Wednesday I got my hair done, took Ty to the dentist, and then we met Bryan for lunch. The kids went to their dad’s that afternoon and Bryan and I went to dinner with my parents at City Club. Love their wings!

On Thursday, we slept in until like 11am… watched the parade on TV. Then we went to get my kids, drove to SLC to get Taylor, and then went to Bryan’s brother’s house. We ate dinner there and played games.

Friday, I got up to go to a yoga class. It was a free yoga weekend and I haven’t ever been so wanted to try it. It was a 90 min class and it kicked my ass. I was so exhausted afterwards. She told me to drink a lot of water the rest of the day, but I didn’t drink enough b/c I ended up with a headache from hell and went to bed around 6pm.

Saturday we had Taylor until about 2pm so we just hung out around the house, went to lunch with my parents. That night we went to the light parade in Ogden. It was a beautiful night and the kids had fun.

Sunday Bryan didn’t feel well so I tried to keep the kids out of the house so he could rest. We went to church in the morning, ran errands, and ate lunch with my parents. I worked on making some Christmas cards… JoAnn Fabrics had 40% off all stamping stuff, wahoo!

I had a good weekend hanging out with my little family and am very thankful for my many blessings.