Fries are done

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Everybody Say - "Pneumonia!"

I was planning on writing a lovely update about our December and all the good news we had...

No more CT scans!
Blood work results were excellent!
No tumor markers in blood!
Only blood work from now on!

Then Dante comes home Friday with a low fever and a cough...that escalates to a 105.5 fever on Sunday night (and it would not break for about 5 hours)! We didn't go to the ER (as everyone has asked) because his behavior didn't seem to warrant it. Instead, we took him to Dr. P first thing Monday morning to find out - Pneumonia. We took him for chest x-rays and blood work. Man - does he freak out now when he has to get blood taken! He yelled for easily 4-5 minutes - after the needle was taken out. I'm sure it made all the people in the waiting room nice and relaxed for their turn.

Anyway, results show so far that he has viral pneumonia and that we just have to take it easy, give him a nebulizer treatment every 4 hours and keep an eye out for no fever. He's been fever-free for about 40 hours so far, so I think the worst is past. He's been in a super good mood despite all of this, so that's encouraging.

Carina has been fine but is now sleeping and starting to cough...looks like it might be another long weekend...I sure hope not!

We had our 3rd annual Celebration of Life party for Dante in December. We had tons of kids and lots of playing. They all found the sidewalk chalk and decorated the whole playset. They had a blast. Apparently Dante's best friend even asked if he could have his birthday party at "Dante's house." As a bonus we found that it's much more fun to have a playdate now that the kids are older - you can actually hold an (almost) complete conversation.

I met a volunteer parent at work recently and knew she looked familiar and friendly...turns out that she is an overnight nurse at All Children's Hospital. She was our nurse a couple of times and Chris recognized her name and description right away (since he stayed most nights.) It was really cool to talk to her, and hear about all the nurses that we miss at the hospital. It was also nice to let one of them know what a huge thank you we owe them for taking care of Dante - and us! She did say that Dante was one of the patients the nurses would "steal" or "try to get" because he was such a good patient; which isn't something you really think about when you're there, but it's nice to know we weren't on the opposite end of the spectrum...... except down in Radiology (who loves ya Amy?!) Anyway, she's an amazing parent and inspiration that I wish more parents would follow with middle school students - volunteer - get involved! (OK - off the soapbox)

On a bright note, Dr P said that Dante's ears looked clearer than ever!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Levitating off the floor

This was Dante's Christmas message to our garbageman. We drew it and then sat in the driveway and waited for him to come by.
Carina walks out and says, "it says 'Carina is going to Kim's house." She now thinks that every word that begins with C is "Carina". Of course it is.

The kids were SOOOOO excited about Christmas this year. We couldn't even get a decent picture they were vibrating with so much excitement the whole time.

It started off with the Children's Cancer Center Holiday party. This year, we arrived late - and WOW - was it crowded. Most of the tables were packed and almost all the food was gone. Someone said there were about twice as many kids as last year. I ran into a former Bay Point student and he even played with the Dante and Carina while updating me on his health and school life.

Dante kept saying that he hoped Santa was going to bring him a "big Buzz Lightyear". Chris and I were worried...on the form that you fill out with ideas for gifts, I listed robots and such, and then as a fallback I wrote - "or anything Buzz Lightyear". We ended up being one the last people to come up and meet Santa, and as we walked back to the table with the presents, we didn't know what to expect....Dante opens it and finds a big Buzz Lightyear! I swear the kid was levitating he was so excited. Carina got a wooden bed and knitted blanket for her dolls, that she promptly found a home for and started putting everyone of her dolls to sleep in.

It's such a great party. We always get to see some nurses from the clinic and occasionally run into people we met at the hospital. The thing we like best is seeing so many healthy kids running around with big smiles on their faces.

The kids helped decorate the tree this year. Carina especially took pride in showing us daily which ones she hung on the tree, "Here's Dora, and the camel, and Tuga the sea turtle..." It was fun seeing them lay on the floor looking into the houses underneath the tree. (of course, said tree still needs to be taken down...we extend the holidays as long as possible in our house.)

By 8:30 the kids were off to let visions of sugarplums dance in their heads...

In the morning, Dante came into our bed and just hung out for awhile, then he calmly said, "Was Santa here? Did he bring presents?" I think this might be the last year for such a mellow start.

Not much could match Buzz, but a new bike helped. He was so excited he didn't even take off his PJ shirt! Carina got a new souped up version of Dante's old tricycle - Chris painted it pink and purple, and put her name on it - it looks super cool.

Carina was determined to be stylish - regardless of how hot it was that day; wearing her new hat almost all day.

We had a relaxing dinner at mom's with Granny Mil and the rest of our gang. The kids were great and especially excited when Daddy's pumpkin pie came out after dinner! Even through exhaustion, they didn't go to sleep that night until almost 11!

The next day, Aunt Melissa and the cousins arrived. Lots of new playmates and fun to be had. The kids were super excited to have a chance to play with everyone and didn't want them to go.

We wrapped up our break with a couple of trips out to the beach to enjoy the weather and the sunsets.

Happy New Year!