All the Happenings

This is going to be like a stream of consciousness only longer, probably, because it’s been a busy few weeks and I haven’t had enough to say about any one thing, but too much to say about too many, and basically that’s why it’s been quiet.

First, we had Eli’s birthday party, which was delightful. We had it at the same park as last year and decorated with Sesame Street. Eli had an absolute blast, which was my biggest concern. He played on the slide for a solid hour, hung out with his cousins and only stopped briefly to eat. We had ladder golf and corn hole tournaments (with prizes) for the adults and goodies for the kids. I will never forget the expression on Eli’s face when everyone say happy birthday and he has pretty much been obsessed with singing it since then.


eli birthday party


The next weekend, we moved. Well, first we packed. I cannot convey how much I hate packing and I always procrastinate and then stay up way too late the night before the move and it’s the dumbest thing, but I’ll never learn. It took hours to load the moving van and hours to unload. My poor husband did the lion’s share of unloading because most of our (lovely, very appreciated) family volunteers had to leave before we finished. When we move again next year, my husband said that we’re hiring movers, not because we need them, but because he’s willing to pay money to keep his parents away. The movers are apparently just a bonus. His words, not mine.


Then it was my birthday, which was relatively uneventful, not in a bad way. We took Eli to his 2 year check up where he was pronounced in good health, though we are keeping an eye on a few concerning behaviors (which are another post for another time). He even escaped without any shots, which was a fun surprise for all of us. Then we went to lunch at the hospital cafeteria (we fancy), took Eli home for a nap, checked out a preschool (also another post for another time) and then went to dinner. I also bought my very first set of brand new pots and pans, which I love so much I kind of want to sleep with them.


Other big news includes Eli transitioning from his crib mattress on the floor to a (hand-me-down) twin bed. I made my husband take the frame off because it’s SO tall and he’s SO little, but we’ll add that on eventually. The move combined with the new bed have essentially ruined Eli’s sleep, but he’s quietly sleep fighting, so I have zero complaints. And he loves his new bed and his “airpane” sheets.


In less positive news, my grandpa has had a recurrence of cancer. He had a tumor removed from his tongue about 3 years ago and was told that it was very slow growing and he’d probably be fine. We don’t know exactly when, but he had regrowth and started having trouble eating in January. Being the stubborn man he is, he didn’t tell anyone and has lost well over 15 pounds in the past several months from not being able to swallow food. He finally went to his doctor and it’s not good. He met with a surgeon and an oncologist this week and his options are just awful.

He can do radiation, but it probably won’t work (not a responsive type of tumor) and will be brutal on his mouth. There is a surgery, but it’s 16 hours long and involves unhinging his jaw and the surgeon said a lot of 40 year olds don’t survive it, so they won’t do it on an 88 year old. Or he can do nothing, and basically he wastes away and can’t eat and that’s the end of his life. I’m so angry about this because it is just miserably unfair. He is a good man, this isn’t how his life should end. I never imagined a scenario where there were no treatments that would make things better in some way (we’re not delusional enough to need remission, just comfort) and I am just angry. He couldn’t get his knees replaced 15 years ago because his heart wasn’t in good enough shape, yet he’s lived the past 15 years just so he can have this terrible end? I just can’t. I’m so mad.

And that’s pretty much it. Very abbreviated, but it’s the goings on. I will post pictures of the new apartment when everything is finished. We’ve unpacked all the boxes but hung (hanged?) very few pictures and Eli’s room needs some color. It’s a really, really nice place and we’re really happy here. Eli’s room is huge, the patio is huge and it feels very much like home already. The community is also great and the 15 minute work commute is just a heaping pile of awesome. Overall things here are going very well and someday I will write in more detail about just one or two things. Probably.



3 Responses to “All the Happenings”

  • Oh the news about your grandpa is just devastating. No one deserves to waste away at the end, I hope he can at least be pain free or well controlled. Sorry.
    On another note, you look so beautiful. You’ve got that mommy glow and just radiate sunshine and happiness!


  • Okay, I’m late to the party and NOT a medical professional, but…is there any reason why they can’t just give your grandpa a g-tube for nutrition and hydration (and maybe meds) and otherwise leave him well enough alone? It seems to me that attempting to “fix” the cancer given his age and other conditions would infringe on his quality of life too much to be worthwhile, but maybe there’s a step in between that and just letting him waste away. G-tube insertion is not a big deal, surgically speaking, so unless he’s too much of an intubation risk (I don’t know how big the tumor is) I think it might be a good way to provide more quality time for him and alleviate suffering. Heck, a really good surgeon and anesthesia team could maybe even manage it without intubating. Just a thought.


    Katie Reply:

    It is not something that has been discussed by his doctors, but it’s something I have suggested several times. I guess the tumor is really also impeding his ability to manage his saliva and speak, which he’s pretty unhappy with. They’ve decided on radiation. I’m just hoping that somehow it’s magically less devastating than I’m expecting it to be to his salivary glands and surrounding tissue.


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I'm Katie, a 30-year-old, wife, mom, former teacher-turned PT, who also had brain surgery in November of 2007. This blog chronicles my daily life, from mundane to crazy, often with far too much detail. Sit down, get comfortable and stay for a while.
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