After a 6 month hiatus, Grandma and Grandpa are back in the sleep over business. Jayden was the first one to have a sleep over. He got to Grandpa Grover's at 7:00, ate, watched tv with Grandma and Grandpa and was asleep by 7:20. Way to ease them in, Jayden.
This weekend, James was having his sleep over. He has really taken to "Uncle John" and when Grandpa Grover went to bed, he and John hung out looking at old pictures. James was disappointed to find that Grandpa Grover isn't an early riser anymore. At 6:00, when James woke up, everyone else was still sleeping!
Next weekend Lex will do his first solo sleep over at Grandma and Grandpa's. There was some question as to whether he'd do it without his brothers, but upon further reflection, he'll likely be thrilled to Get Grandma and Grandpa to himself without those guys!
August 13 was a big day for birthdays this year. Jayden celebrated his 5th and Uncle Chris celebrated his 50th birthday. While he won't admit it, we all know that Uncle Chris is more than a little disappointed that he didn't get to go to an amusement park and have a Build Your Own Sundae party.
Jayden had Grandma Linda, Grandpa Grover, Aunt Jen, Uncle Paul, Kaleb, Keeley, James, Levi and Lex at his Sundae party. Friends Keith and Rick were also there. He had a second party with Grandma Georgia and Grandpa Mike after his Daddy got home from work.
Grandpa Grover hasn't been feeling hungry for the past few days. Grandma Linda can get him to drink Ensure shakes, but no one else can convince him to eat anything. Everything makes Grandpa Grover's tummy hurt. :(
Aunt Jen, Aunt Katie, Aunt Karyl and Lex went with Grandma and Grandpa to see Dr. M. Dr. M. had said that he may need to resect the newest growth. After not hearing from Dr. M., we called out the big guns: Dr. H. Dr. H. is wonderful. She lives in the same community as Aunt Katie and Aunt Karyl. She has grandkids who play sports with James and Kaleb. She takes very good care of Grandpa Grover. She explained to Dr. M., who is usually wonderful, that he blew it. We got in the next day for an appointment.
Aunt Katie wasn't feeling well, which was too bad for Aunt Katie, but provided a necessary break in nervous energy. Aunt Jen and Aunt Karyl thought it was pretty funny. :)
Dr. M. had conferred with Dr. A. and others and decided that a surgery wasn't the way to go. Dr. M. would have to take Grandpa off of his chemo meds for at least a month to prepare for his surgery. After surgery, it would be difficult for him to heal because of residual chemo meds in his system. He would have to wait at least another month after the surgery to start chemo again. Two months off of chemo is too long, so the surgery is off. The doctors agreed that had the tumor shown itself from the beginning, they would have done the surgery, but they haven't seen tumors show up this late in the game, during chemo, before.
Dr. M. told Grandpa Grover that they aren't giving up on him and that they will be as agressive as he can tolerate, as long as he can tolerate. He also told Grandpa not to waste a single day and that if there is anything he wants to do, he should do it. Good advice for all of us, I suppose.
Grandma, Aunt Jen, Aunt Katie, Aunt Karyl, and Aunt Zelda all went with Grandpa Grover to have his MRI and to see Dr. A to review Grandpa's scan. The tumors haven't grown, which is good, but they haven't shrunk, which is disappointing. There were a couple of shadows Dr. A was concerned about, but we're hoping they are from the radiation and not new growths.
We were all disappointed, especially Grandpa to find out that Grandpa had to start a 4 hour chemo treatment. He's taking BCNU, Taxol, and Temedar in addition to the regular meds. Here's a picture of what we refer to as "the pharmacy."
Grandpa Grover has a scan July 2. We will find out how much the chemo and radiation did and what happens next. Aunt Zelda and Aunt Jen have come from California. They will join Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Katie, and Aunt Karyl at the scan and following appointment.
Grandma and Grandpa didn't get to go to as many of James' and Jayden's baseball games as they would have liked this season. Fortunately, Grandpa was feeling up to it, so he and Grandma were able to join Aunt Karyl, Uncle Matt, Lex and Levi to watch James and Jayden finish their seasons. As a special treat, James hit a homerun. Grandma and Grandpa were so happy to be there.
Aunt Katie and Uncle Paul would have taken Kaleb and Keeley, but Aunt Katie has been banished because she has a cold. :( Feel better Aunt Katie!
Grandpa Grover's boyhood friends came to visit. We all heard stories we'd never heard before. Grandpa laughed and laughed. Everyone had a good time. It is nice for good friends, old friends, to get together. Everyone is so glad they came, even if they couldn't break a secret pact and tell some of the really good stories!
The California Cousins and their moms went to Colorado to see Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Katie, Uncle Paul, Kaleb, Keeley, Aunt Karyl, Uncle Matt, James, Jayden, Levi, and for the very first time, Lex.
Jen, Jen, Michaela and Ian went out to Colorado to visit on Aunt Katie's birthday. (Jim will point out that it was his birthday, too!)
Grandpa had a really tough week last week, but this week, he's doing really well. Maybe the threat of so much activity scared his illness right out of him! Whatever the reason, we were happy to spend so much time together.
We took LLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTSSSSS of family pictures. We did it two years ago, but couldn't get the big boys to cooperate last year, and let it go. This year we did it again. There is some question about whether some prankster has moved Grandma and Grandpa's wagon wheels closer together because it was like trying to squeeze into a log jammer ride. So, while we all falsely claim to be taller, tanner, and thinner than the pictures show, we truly are pulling off a feat: smiling while our relatives sit on our feet and rest their elbows between our ribs! We'll have to wait to post those until Karyl gets them loaded. For now, here are all of the cousins.
Uncle Chris and Ryan had some business to take care of in Colorado, so they stopped by to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Everyone was happy to see them. Uncle Chris supervised Ryan and Jim while they worked on some projects around the house.
Everyone was helpful at the garage sale. The kids helped by buying things with money they had earned by helping Grandma pack boxes and digging in the yard.
It was sad to have Uncle Chris and Ryan leave, but it was fun to have Don and Phu and Chris and Ryan come for a quick visit.
Don and Phu came out to visit today. They came for a quick visit with Grandpa, then came back for another visit with Grandma and Grandpa in the evening. They came a long way for a visit and Grandma and Grandpa were happy to see them.
Saturday is Grandpa Grover's last day of radiation. Grandma Linda will take him for his last radiation appointment. Se's going to see if she can get in to see the machine like Aunt Karyl and Aunt Jen did.
While they are off at the hospital, Aunt Karyl, Aunt Katie, Uncle Chris, Ryan, and Jim will be working on the garage sale.
Grandpa isn't feeling good. He's been feeling sick to his stomach. Even with the Zofran, he's still up a lot through the night.
Grandma Linda is home today, as she always is on Thursdays. Unfortunately, the radiation machine at Swedish Hospital is still broken, so Grandma will have to take him all the way to Denver. Jim took him there yesterday and says it's not too bad a drive. On the way home, Grandma and Grandpa will go to Swedish for chemo.
Aunt Karyl, Levi, and Lex usually take Grandpa Grover to radiation. Aunt Jen came out to visit so she went along so that she and Aunt Karyl could walk Grandpa from the van to the doctor's office. Levi and the big boys stayed home this time, so it was Aunt Karyl, Lex, Aunt Jen, and Grandpa Grover.
Since everyone was helping Grandpa down to the treatment area, Lois the nurse asked if everyone would like to see the machine. Good mommy that she is, Aunt Karyl had a camera in her purse. Grandpa had a mask made that fits his face perfectly. The mask goes over his face and snaps to the table so that his head won't move in any direction. The mask is labeled with Xs and the radiation tech lines up the lasers so that they intersect in the right spot on the mask. Then she turns on the machine. At this point, everyone leaves Grandpa Grover in the room. In the control room, there are monitors that show Grandpa Grover from different angles, as well as all of the information regarding the machines and the lasers.
Grandpa Grover is back home now. His medical team doesn't want him home alone until he gets stronger, so they are sending a physical therapist to the house to help him strengthen his chicken legs. Aunt Jen and Aunt Karyl had to go buy him smaller pants because his old ones don't fit anymore.
Uncle Gar and Ty are visiting. They are finishing up some of Grandpa Grover's projects, trying to get the house ready to sell. The garage sale was postponed until next weekend, so there shouldn't be any distractions for them.
Grandpa Grover hasn't been feeling well this week. He's been tired and unable to eat much, but he didn't want to miss Keeley's graduation. Grandma Linda, Grandpa Grover, Aunt Karyl, Levi, Lex, Aunt Katie, Uncle Paul, and Kaleb were all there to see Keeley's big day.
Today is also Keeley's 6th birthday. Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Paul, Aunt Katie, Kaleb, Keeley, Uncle Matt, Aunt Karyl, James, Jayden, Levi and Lex all went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for Keeley's birthday party.
When Aunt Katie asked Keeley what she wanted to do for her birthday, Keeley didn't hesitate. She wanted a pinata at Grandma and Grandpa's house. There were presents, cake, ice cream, party hats, blowers, and a pinata full of candy. It was a short party, but everyone had fun.
The realtor has been by to give advice on how to get the house ready to sale. Of course one of the first items on the to do list is to have a garage sale. It can be hard to know what to save and what to sell. It is especially hard without knowing how big the new house will be.
Uncle Gar and Ty are going to be in Colorado May 16 -20, just in time for the garage sale. Everyone is excited to have them.
The cumulative effects of the chemo and radiation are taking their toll on Grandpa Grover. He is feeling very run down and tired. This, in combination with the decreasing steroids and increasing morphine are making Grandpa sleep a lot.
Grandpa Grover has a lump on his arm. It turned out to be nothing dangerous, but a side effect from the steroids.
Grandpa is also feeling tired and has an upset stomach.
Still, he is excited to have started house hunting with Grandma Linda this weekend. They are looking for houses in Elizabeth. They saw a house that was very near Aunt Karyl and Uncle Matt's house. They are concerned, though, that Jayden or Levi (and Nelson the dog) might go on long, unattended walks. :)
Grandpa Grover and Grandma Linda are putting the house on the market. They are hoping to move to Elizabeth. Grandpa doesn't want to spend the winter so far away from everything. After nearly 16 years in the house and shop, it is going to be a big move (and a big garage sale.)
Grandpa Grover is still having lots of headaches. They make him tired and grumpy. He feels best in the morning. He takes an afternoon nap (sometimes with Lex or Levi) and feels rested afterward. At night he takes medicine to help him sleep.
The steroids help with headaches, but the side effects are getting to be a problem. He's been on them for 2 months now, so it is time to decrease them more and start using more narcotics for pain management.
Aunt Zelda and Uncle Doug have arrived in Colorado! Everyone went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for burgers and Grandma Exie's famous strawberry shortcake. By a strange coincidence, Aunt Jen, Aunt Jen, Michaela and Ian were having Grandma Exie's famous strawberry shortcake in California. Grandma Linda, Aunt Jen, Aunt Katie, Aunt Karyl and all of the cousins Skyped and ate strawberry shortcake together!
It has been a while since I've posted. Grandma Linda wanted to get a chance to call some people so that they wouldn't find out via the net. Grandpa Grover has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. It is inoperable because of its location and shape. Another new tumor has been discovered. However, Grandpa Grover says he is ready for a fight.
Grandma Linda went to work today. Grandpa Grover and Jim went to see Jump Street. Grandpa Grover has really been anxious to see all of his planning and hard work in a finished product. Hopefully they'll take some pictures we can post here.
Today, Dr. H (Grandpa Grover's primary care physician), Grandma Linda and Grandpa Grover went to the Colorado Neurological Institute in Englewood. They met a whole team of doctors who are going to help. The entire team meets together on Fridays. Unfortunately, they won't meet this Friday. Ugh. In the meantime, Grandpa Grover will get all new MRIs and other scans.
The good news is that these doctors say that it is safe for Grandpa Grover to stay home alone and even do some work in the shop. If we can get the care we need in Englewood, Grandpa Grover won't have to go to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona afterall.
Grandpa is still having some trouble with processing, but we hope that the CNI team will be able to do good things. He has an MRI scheduled for April 2.
If anyone has any questions they think we should ask the doctors, don't hesitate to post them.
Grandpa Grover had his surgery today. Dr. H. came and sat with us through the whole procedure. Grandma Linda had gone down to the first floor and when she came back, she had Dr. H. with her. We were all happy to have her there. Dr. H., Grandma Linda, Aunt Jen, Aunt Katie, Aunt Karyl, Kaleb, Keeley, Levi and Lex all waited for good news. We were relieved to hear that the surgery went well. Grandpa Grover went to a room in the Critical Care Unit on the 2nd floor. This was hard for everyone because on the first floor, everyone could visit Grandpa, but in CCU, only the grown ups could visit.
Grandpa started steroids after the surgery. He joked that he was going to look like the Incredible Hulk. His head felt much better after the steroids. He still had to wear the head wrap.