Sunday, April 03, 2005

Steroid-Baby is Back!

(PS. This journal entry is a hodge-podge of nothingness)

255 Days to Go!

First of all, let me thank all of you for taking the time to check on Molly and her family as they struggle through this incredibly painful week. As if things weren't difficult enough for them, in addition to the funeral, Molly has been having uncontrollable nosebleeds and is actually in-patient right now for transfusions. So I would like to encourage you to please, bookmark Molly’s page (Caringbridge no longer allows us to put up permanent links to recommend sites) and visit again. Her mom, Donna, has posted both on the site, and to our ALL-Kids list, how very much the notes of support and encouragement have helped them all. Thank you for doing that.

As for us, I think things in the Escoe-household are settling back down to normal. Not sure if that’s good or bad, but normal irregardless! Blaine flew home from Seattle on Tuesday and I need to give a huge public THANK YOU to our friends Erin and Joe; Joe flew up to Seattle to be with Blaine his last two days there, helping him to his follow-up appointment at the hospital and helping him navigate the airport and flight home. We had anticipated Blaine being able to do those things by himself and hadn’t made any sort of arrangements for help …. Blaine said afterwards there was no way he could have gotten through the airport alone, so I really hope Joe and Erin know how sincere our appreciation is.

Mom and the kids and I spent Tuesday morning at the clinic for Kendrie’s monthly chemo appointment. It was a “quick” appt, just vincristine through her port, count check and exam. Yet again, Kendrie has an ANC higher than the desired window of 1000-2000. Being the overachiever that she is, she checked in at 3440. I am confident that at her next appt she will be bumped up to a higher dosage of at-home chemo (because it appears 125 percent isn’t enough for my chemo-burning child!) Our nurse-practitioner was also concerned about her cough, which Kendrie has had for three months, and a little bit of wheezing she heard in the lungs. We all suspect it is nothing more than allergies, but the term “exercise-induced asthma” was tossed around as well (since when does doing the hula in front of the TV with a t-shirt wrapped around your waist constitute exercise???) So, we’re adding Singulaire to her nighttime meds, in addition to the Claritin she has been taking. Add to that the 6MP, Methotrexate, and steroids she is on this week, and that means on Tuesday night she had to take 12 pills before bed. Gag.

After the clinic appointment, we spent a few hours at the zoo, then went to the airport to pick up Blaine. The kids were so excited to see him and were standing in the passenger pick-up area, holding up their poster-board “Welcome Home!” signs and asking “Is it him? Is it him?” every time the handicapped elevator opened up. Naturally, their plane entered through a different terminal and Joe came up behind us to tell us that Blaine was already waiting for us in baggage. Poster-board disappointment aside, it was a great homecoming and nice to have him back with us, peg-leg and all.

** I have to tell you that in the course of typing this journal update I have gotten up to check on my kids three times because I could hear one of them crying, yet when I went in their rooms, total silence. What on earth? I swear I could hear crying. It wasn’t until the 4th time I realized the noise was coming from outside and went out to find cats (doing who knows what) under my window --- no wonder I am a dog person. **

So, mom stayed with us this week until Friday which was a huge help. Blaine had doctors appointments on Thursday and Friday morning and since the kids were on Spring Break, she was able to keep them home with her. Her flight back home to OKC was on Day 3 of Kendrie’s 5-day steroid pulse, so she missed out on some of the best (worst?) behavior, which usually takes place near the end. She’ll never believe me now when I try to blame any of Kendrie’s behavior on steroids … although mom *was* still here the night Kendrie had a tantrum at dinner because the angel-hair pasta I used for spaghetti didn’t taste like “regular noodles”. And yes, in case you were wondering, it was served with Ragu. :)

Mom missed, however, the crying jags, the whining jags, the pouting jags, the argumentative jags, and everything in between. Like today, when she went out to play in sweat pants and (what else?) hiking boots. She came in because it was “too hot” and wanted to change, but didn’t want to take off the hiking boots. When I told her the pants wouldn’t come off over the boots, she started rolling around on the floor, flailing about and crying that if she took time to take off the boots, she would miss all the playtime with her friends outside. I refrained from pointing out that the rolling around on the floor was actually what was keeping her from playtime. Great self-control I have, don’t you think?

Mom also missed this month’s obsession with cheese slices and extreme displays of inability to share toys. She didn’t get away with as much this month, though, I don’t think, because to be honest, I have a smidgen of a head cold and just don’t feel like putting up with it. I have to admit that I feel somewhat betrayed that my barrier of Purell was somehow penetrated by a single, solitary germ. I use that stuff regularly; faithfully; obsessively. How on earth did I still catch a cold? Oh well, at least it’s a mild, “just a few Kleenex and a Sudafed and I should be fine” kind of cold as opposed to a “in bed for a week, miserable and hating life” kind of cold.

Mom also missed the lasting impression her gift of Home Alone 3 has made on my kids, evidenced by the extremely elaborate “Burglar Booby Trap” Kellen and Kendrie made last night under the window in their bedroom, utilizing (in some manner I’m still not exactly quite sure would work) string, toy cars, a wooden sword, a flashlight, a book, a suction-cup dart gun, and Shrek slippers. Deep down, I was a little worried that if one of them had a nightmare and I went rushing in the room in the middle of the night, I might wind up slipping on the book, getting bonked in the head with the flashlight and landing flat on the floor with slippers on my feet! Which, I think, was sort of their plan for any would-be home invaders.

Tomorrow is the last day of Spring Break for Brayden, Kellen and Kendrie and as long as the weather continues to be nice, we’re going to a nature preserve to look at animals and have a picnic lunch. We will ALL attend Blaine’s doctor’s appointment with him beforehand, and I’m not sure who will be happier when Blaine’s leg is healed enough for him to drive himself; me or him. Or the doctor, who’ll have to put up with all three kids tomorrow as well.

Along those lines, the harvest site (leg) is definitely more painful than the transfer site (head) for Blaine, but I’m so very happy to report that so far, so good. It appears the surgery was a complete success. Blaine is able to eat more and more solid food each day (can you believe he lost ten pounds during the surgery? I gained ten, and he lost it!) and he continues to improve in speech each day as well. The only bad thing is since he can’t quite close his mouth all the way, he snores like a maniac and I have spent more than one night this past week on the sofa in the living room. Someone unfamiliar with our plight would think we were on our way to Divorce Court. Thanks to all of you for your support and prayers during his surgery and his recuperation.

I’m putting the song “Crazy” back up on the site; it’s how Kendrie acts on steroids and it’s how she makes me feel during that week each month. Thank goodness today was the last day!

Thanks for checking in,


Well, my neighbor friend and classmate Brittney came over to play and I know that when I am the host I am supposed to share my toys but she took Kellen’s toy gun and I just had to put my foot down! Things got pretty ugly, let me tell you.

BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: That today was my last dose of steroids this month (Mom made me type that).

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