Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Going Bald for Brower

John's work, Mueller Industries, have been working on a fundraiser for the last couple of weeks.  When they originally came to John with the idea, they were thinking of raising money to help us with medical bills.  Fortunately for us, we have pretty good insurance (through them) and are lucky to see so much paid for.  He said no on the money for bills, so they decided to donate to a charity and he chose St. Jude.  

The event was called Going Bald for Brower and many people at his work quickly got on board to begin fundraising.  If the participants received enough money, they would shave their heads.  

I overheard a couple of the guys who helped put it together say they were hoping for maybe six people to participate…well what next happened was pretty amazing.  

This is Marc.  He was one of the guys who put it all together.  Standing next to him is a coworker at the Covington plant.  Since he couldn't be there Friday, they had his picture sitting out.  =)

This was when John walked in.  Marc went over all the donations prior to the shavings.  

They had a couple of barbers come in to help.  One does events like this often for St. Jude.  She lost a niece to cancer so it meant a lot to her.  Her boss sent a donation and of course she gave a sweet speech at the end, which certainly made me tear up 

I stole some pictures off Facebook from one of John's coworkers.  Here are some before and after pictures of SOME of them.  





They all didn't have short hair either!




And they weren't all men!  TWO women shaved their heads.  It was truly so inspiring.  Being a woman, I cannot imagine shaving my head (obviously, because I didn't do it myself).  They both raised a ton of money.  Just amazing.

Velisa on the left, Dawna on the right. 

These pictures are just awesome. 

Just as beautiful bald. =)

I am so thankful my work let me get out of there early so I could see it.   Many people had been touched by cancer and shaving their head may have had an even deeper meaning that just the event that day.   But to see TWENTY-ONE people come together for cancer research/John…I can't even describe it.  It was something I will never forget.

I can't stop thinking about a couple of things: 

I have an amazing husband.  I've always known he was one of the nicest, most honest people in the world, but it is so nice to see so many others acknowledge it.  Being a kind person makes others want to be kind.  

What an awesome group of people.  I don't even have to write that, because it is so obvious to anyone who sees these pictures.  I have never seen love and support like that, especially in a working environment.  You hear stories now and then about similar events, but it is truly something to witness.  I know John will be forever grateful to them. 

All of these people will have an impact on someone else's life.  In the 70's, testicular cancer had a survival rate of 10%.  Because of cancer research and finding these chemo drugs that work wonders for this type of cancer, the survival rate is 95% today.  And it is all because of people who care enough to  fundraise for great organizations like St. Jude.   

They have raised about $6,500 and their goal is $10,000.  I will put the link on here in case anyone wants to donate before Friday.  John will go with them then to personally deliver the check.  What a moment that will be.  

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Birthday Fun

This past Sunday was my mom's birthday.  We never celebrated the weekend before and since John was feeling so bad, I knew we couldn't do anything with all of us.  I decided to bring in the troops to get a fun ladies lunch together to surprise Mom.  I told her it would just be the two of us but when we got there, some of her favorite people were there.  She was totally surprised.  We went to the Beauty Shop in midtown and the food was great.  

 I had so much fun with everyone and loved getting to hang out with this girl.  

Sunday morning Mason woke up wayyyyy too early so I made him hop in bed with us.  After a couple of kicks in my back, I decided to just get up and start cleaning the house.  

Lazy bums. =)

I took the boys and met Mom and Dad at Perkins for a birthday breakfast Sunday morning.  We missed John but I'm sure he appreciated the rest.  

Sunday was so nice outside.  The boys were full of energy and John was needing some quiet time, so I took them outside.  I did the smallest amount of yard work because it is impossible to watch an 18 mo old out there by yourself. 

Our neighbors were all out with their kids so we got to enjoy the weather for a while.  There are SIX boys from the ages of 1-5 in just three houses.  We are all right next to each other, so I'm sure they will be the best of friends.  

Just a little rough housing before bed.  

Monday was President's Day and Mason was out of school.  Grandpa and Grandma weren't working and watched Mason.  They ended the day at Incredible Pizza and Mason had so much fun.  

He, of course, fell asleep on the ride home (note the picture).  Brody worked so hard to wake him up, but it wasn't happening.  We ended up putting him to bed and never heard another peep from him until the morning.  

I have been slacking on giving props to all the amazing people in our lives who have been feeding us.  I cannot say enough how thankful we are.  From dinners, to thinking of you cards, to gift cards, to just thoughtful messages, it has just been so overwhelming.  We are so loved and I hope I can return the favor one day (of course on better terms though).  

Jenna made a pecan pie with dinner this week and it was perfect.  

Brody is still having problems with his highchair.  

Blake made us breakfast muffins (that are basically amazing giant sausage balls) and a chocolate bundt cake along with dinner.  YUM. 

Cake pops.  I don't know what the boys are going to do when I'm not cooking a dessert for them every night.  

Oh ya know, just putting Mason to bed.  Obviously, John is feeling better.  =)

I came across this picture from St. Jude the other day and I LOVE it.  

I'm assuming a child wrote this which makes it even more amazing.  I can't imagine someone so small going through something like cancer.  It's so hard to grasp at 30, even knowing everything will be okay.  What brave little people they are.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day

We came home from work/school the other night and the boys headed straight upstairs before I could even get Brody's coat off.  I followed them up and decided to grab one load of laundry and run it back downstairs.  Next thing I know, I hear the toilet being flushed over and over and I immediately knew it is Brody.  

Here is what I found. 

He had taken three (brand new) rolls of perfectly good toilet paper and put them in the toilet and taken them back out.  Water was everywhere.  I'm just glad the toilet didn't get clogged.  (he has chocolate all over his face which is another story)

Mason wanted me to take a picture.  He thought he looked "sharp".  

We have to work on Brody's manners. 

And his little attitude.  He loves to hit, then give YOU evil eyes like you did something wrong. Here he is banging his head in time out...

I love puzzles and always have.  We borrowed a 500 piece puzzle from Mamaw the other day and Mason and I put it together.  He is actually very good at puzzles.  He was interested when we were putting together the characters but he told me "this is boring" when we were working on the snow and trees.  He was still proud. 

This wasn't a very good week for Valentine's.  It's chemo week and that is never fun.  I just couldn't get any fun ideas going and certainly didn't have the time.  So we went with the traditional 99 cent treats from Target.   

You can't go wrong in Mason's eyes with Justice League.  

Brody gave fruit snacks.  

Mason also had a Valentine's Day party at school.  We had to bring sliced strawberries.  A little girl in his class apparently doesn't like strawberries and it "hurt his feelings".  I tried to explain that it didn't hurt mine.  His teacher told us to bring them.  But he kept saying, "You are supposed to like strawberries. Who doesn't like strawberries?!"  Oh well.  

Here was there Valentine's loot.  Trust me, I didn't go to the store to buy a thing besides candy and stuffed animals.  BUT I found a bag of things that we had put up for Christmas a couple of weeks ago that we never got out!  Oops.  It was hidden in John's closet, so they got extra stuff like Wii games, etc.  

Of course I took pictures of them in their Valentine' t-shirts.  Mason says chicks dig superheroes (which I'm pretty sure it said last year) and Brody's says eligible bachelor.  

I was using my good camera and caught a couple of extra shots.  Brody whacked Mason on the back of his head with his new cell phone.  And I caught "the look".  I see it about a hundred times a day.  Brody does something bad and looks at you with this glare.  

I absolutely LOVE this picture.  
Guess Mason has the look too, but we never see it.  

John and I don't do a thing for Valentines.  I could think of nothing worse than going out to eat on a crowded night.  I did get him a card, but let's face it, he feels HORRIBLE.  Just awful.  His Mom took him to chemo yesterday and they picked up some roses.  I'm sure his Mom picked them up, but it doesn't matter.  The thought of him being so sick, but still worried about me having nothing, means the world to me.  We didn't even get to talk yesterday morning before I left for work because he could hardly move.  The moment he woke up I got a text saying he was sorry he felt so bad and he hoped I had a good day.  I'm not sure I could say I would have done the same.  I have the sweetest, kindest husband in the world.  He may not be a romantic, but he would never let me feel anything less than loved, even on such a silly holiday like Valentine's Day…even when he is so so sick.  

We did have a good night.  John's Mom had signed up to bring us dinner.  She picked up Longhorn's.   It was delicious and very much appreciated.  John had not eaten in over 24 hours and was finally able to eat.  He was getting pretty dehydrated so I was thrilled he ate so much.  We ended the night trying to stay awake watching a move in bed.  

Now we are ready to get this weekend past us and have a good week next week!  One more round of chemo done and only one left!!!  Praise the Lord!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Little Snow

I can't even remember what day this was.  We have been threatened with snow about one million times this winter and nothing ever happens.  We had some flurries last week and Mason was catching them with his tongue.  Notice the Team USA hat.  We love the Olympics around here. 


How they really felt. 

We did get a little snow Friday night/Saturday morning.  Brody was impressed.  

It warmed up quick Saturday morning, so we put on our gear and headed outside.  
"What is this stuff?!"

So excited to play in the snow even if it was a dusting.  

Snow angel. 

I just love these pictures in the Jeep.  Brody wanted to do nothing else besides ride in it.  He hops right into the passenger seat and waits patiently.  

I had to run Brody in to find some gloves and he was not happy.  We quickly came back outside and he took off running for his brother (who was waking up our neighbors by yelling).

That's some serious concentration. 

A little snow didn't stop our girls' brunch.  It was cheaper to get this giant dispenser of Mimosas than each of us just ordering one.  We felt like we were back in college when he brought it to the table, so what else to do than take a picture with it?  For the record, we could not finish it….definitely not in college anymore.  

Chicken and waffles.  Yum. 

Saturday night we went to Hog and Hominy with Robert, Becca, Jake and Blake.  We had a blast just sitting around and talking after dinner.  I think it should be a monthly tradition.    

Quiet time with just me and Brody since he does not like to go to bed when he is teething.  He has done much better the last couple of nights, but has been like this for the last week.   Once he's asleep, he's asleep and for that, I am thankful!

John started another round of chemo this week.  He has done really well!  The last round, he couldn't go to work starting Wednesday, but he went after treatment today.  I do think it has finally caught up with him because he is extremely exhausted tonight.

I went with him Tuesday to treatment and his doctor's appointment.  Doctor said everything looks great, as expected.  We will have one more round of chemo after this week and then will be done.  He will then have a PET scan 3-4 weeks after last round of chemo .   We will know then if there is a surgery needed.  I am praying no surgery.

Surgery is not easy and if needed, we will go to Indianapolis to do it.  I am not good with sit and wait to see what happens.  I like to have plans and be ready for the next step (especially if it is a big step).  But I am not in control and have to remind myself of that everyday.  =)

Whatever is next,  John will be strong and do awesome.  In the end, he will still be a cancer survivor, with or without surgery, and that is what is most important.

And we were able to have a lunch date after chemo.  Sushi.  Yum.