Okay, I am officially losing it. Selfish post....here goes....I CANNOT keep track of everything any more. This morning we had an appt with the ear doctor with Jade, then swooped over to clinic, working out pre-school rides and such, getting new calendars and new drugs to keep track of, and realized on my way home that I have to call our realtor about our house in Vegas (he has been waiting for our return call about a week now), the insurance company, who I pretty much talk to every day, grrrrr, that's another story, (and I really believe there is a special radar hidden in the phone that somehow gets a message to my kids to scream, or fight, or cry the minute I pick up the phone to make a call), our cars aren't registered yet and I am driving illegally (we registered them tonight, finally), Taylor has piano, and soccer tomorrow, and doesn't have indoor cleats that fit her yet (I promised her to have them by tomorrow so she doesn't have to wear shoes 2 sizes too small again), I have to go to the water district, I have to call our landlords, I have to balance our checkbook and pay the bills that are now surely late, work on the medical bills to figure out which ones are ready to pay, AND watch The Office (yes, David and I WILL watch the office tonight!!!) I could literally go on and on, but I think you get the point. In the process of thinking of all of this I get a phone call that went something like this:

Hello Kristin , this is Beverely with Dr so-and so's office.

Kristin: Oh, Hi Beverely.

Beverely: Are you on your way?

Long awkward silence.

Kristin: I'm sorry, what type of doctor is Dr. so and so? Because we are seeing oncologists, ear doctors, bone doctors, pediatricians, family practitioners, dentists, and so on, and that name means absolutely nothing to me.

Beverely: He's a heart doctor.

Kristin: OH! The heart guy!!

Beverely: You aren't coming, are you?

Kristin: No. (another awkward pause) I'm at the hospital getting chemo for my daughter, I guess I won't be making that appointment. I'm so sorry, blah, blah, blah, please don't charge me the $50, I didn't know I made 3 appts in one day, why didn't I get a reminder call??, I know this is the second time I have been a no show, but please forgive me for being a complete flake. That's the way I roll these days. (I didn't REALLY say that last part)

And this is how my life is going. Parent teacher conference was full of apologies for not even meeting her teacher until that point, I could barely remember her teacher's name when I had to take her out of school for flu shots. I was lucky I made it to parent teacher conference at all. "I'm sorry, it's Sunday night and you have a book report due tomorrow? Good luck with that." Hmmmmm...And I'm going to have a baby. Oh my goodness, I will be in a coma by March, I'm sure of it.

Oh, and clinic went great, by the way. Brinley is actually liking going now, she played with the toys in the infusion room while getting her chemo and was happy as can be. The drugs for this phase will be vincristine (she's had that in the first phase, the one that causes her jaw pain and loss of appetite) and a new drug called methotrexate. Side effects: mouth sores, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, abnormal liver function, low blood counts. Each visit (every 10 days now) they will increase the dose of methotrexate until her body can't take any more and she crashes. They are trying to find the maximum dose they can give her before her body crashes, so they said it can get rough towards the end, depending on the kid. Hopefully Brinley will handle it all. I want to cry today, don't know why. She's truly happy and feeling well. But I still want to cry. Writing all of this like it's nothing....like it's normal. It's not normal. I thought in clinic how very ABnormal it is to be simply nodding my head as they are explaining that they will give her medicine that can cause liver damage, kidney damage, mouth sores, vomiting. And I am nodding my head saying okay, give it to her. And increase it every time to see when her numbers totally crash. What is wrong here? Cancer sucks. The docs are great, I love them for going to work every day to try to save lives, and I know they HAVE to do this to save Brinley's life, but cancer sucks. It really, really sucks.

First Snow - Recognize the hat Aunt Lori?

Having a pleasant lunch with Jade

Sisterly love... aaahh

Sporting a new hat - Thanks Peggy and Montana clan :)

We had the home health nurse come today to check if Brinley's counts were good enough to start Interim Maintenance, and they all looked good. Her ANC is 1700, lower than last week but still great. The only thing that was low was her hematocrit again, still hanging on at 26, not low enough to transfuse unless she is pale and low energy, which she isn't. I was also informed that she will NOT need the lumbar puncture tomorrow so she won't have to fast or be sedated. That was great news. She will just get the vincristine and methotrexate in her line. I'll post more tomorrow after clinic.

One of the members of the ALL list lost her son last night and my heart breaks for her. Please keep the family of Will Hopkins in your prayers, surely their hearts are empty. They have had a long journey and his body could not take any more. You can read about him at www.caringbridge.org/visit/willhopkins.

Has it really been 5 days since I've had anything to say?? I guess we've been enjoying the good counts and getting out of the house! I have some pics to put up too, but that's David's job, so maybe tonight. Things are good on the homefront, we had a great weekend going wherever we pleased, we went shopping and got some winter stuff (being from Vegas we were NOT prepared for this cold weather, it was a lot of $$$ buying everyone coats, gloves, boots, etc!) Thank goodness for the 30% coupon I got from Kohl's, they must have known we needed it!! We have also been able to go to church together, to a birthday party, grocery shopping, and a picnic in the park. Fun, fun. We all got our flu shots yesterday, so we are taken care of there. Our pediatrician was nice enough to just do our whole family for $5/person because of our situation. That was very helpful and convenient.

Brinley is happy and is even getting some hair back for now, it will fall out again I hear during a later phase, but right now it is coming in old man style, the top has blond peach fuzz and the back has dark hair in a nice strip. It looks funny. Brinley will start her new phase, Interim Maintenance on Thursday, so she will be introduced to some new drugs and I am a little nervous about it. I hate to think things could get bad again, but I'm also trying to stay prepared for anything. It's weird to see pictures of her now with hair, it's like it was in a different life time. I represents a whole different world to me and sometimes makes me a little sad. I miss her hair. Her legs are so skinny now, and I miss her chubby legs (I guess she was never chubby, some of you are probably laughing, but the were chubby compared to now!!) But I have also learned to appreciate her bald little head and I know I will miss kissing it when her hair is back.

I will ask at clinic this week about her dressing around her line. She seems to be sensitive to all of the adhesive, we keep trying different bandages, and her skin keeps getting more and more irritated. I'm starting to wonder if the port would be better for her, it's such a pain to have this line, but I'm not sure about going that route just yet because I know she will have to get poked every time they access her port, so I will see what they say. A lot of kids Brinley's age have the port instead and seem to find it quite convenient since it is under the skin and not hanging out there.

She has to get another LP (chemo in her spine) so she will need to be sedated again. I'm hoping it will go as well as last time. The only appt time for the LP they had is 2:00PM, and she has to fast 6 hours prior. So I am not excited about Thursday and starving her all day again. She is going to be MAD! As long as her counts are good, we should be able to start IM right then. As far as I understand she will get the chemo in her spine, the vincristine through her line, and methotrexate through her line. Methotrexate is the same drug they use in the spine, but I'm not sure how she will do getting it intravenously. I'll post more when we go to clinic on Thursday.

For now we are doing great!