Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Swingset

Last Monday was St. Patrick's Day, and we were decked out in our green.  

Drinking green juice his Aunt Becca brought him.  He was very proud.  Check out our wild guy in the background. 

The cutest little boys ever in their monogrammed shirts.  I just love them.

We had a big project planned for this past weekend.  We had to put together a new swing set…one of those big wooden ones.  It came in two boxes and had about a thousand pieces in it!  Mason was super excited and wanted to help as much as he could.

Mr. Ben stopped by and brought some crawfish.  Mason wasn't too sure at first, as you can see in this picture.  He ran away screaming.  But he checked it out again and liked it.  He ate a few pieces and even a corn on the cob which is spicy!  He may have told me his lips were on fire.

We also put Mr.  Ben to work!  Thanks a ton!

By Sunday afternoon, it was complete!  John and I did it without yelling or throwing things at each other.  Did I mention it was 1,000 pieces?!?!  That is a set up for some serious frustration, but it went smooth.  And I'm pretty impressed with my skills on the drill.

It came with two regular swings, but I bought a toddler swing for Brody.  We can change it back to the other swing when he is ready, but we wanted him to enjoy it now.  And boy does he love to swing.

John smoked a brisket sall day Sunday.  Robert, Becca, and the kids came over for dinner.

It's always wild with all these little boys.  John and Robert had to use rolls to fend off the scavengers.

Not to mention these wild kids.  I mean this picture explains it all.  =)

And we found out putting a hat on your sunburned head, when you are completely bald, doesn't cover up that part in the back.  Oops.

Brody is much happier when he has a fork in his hand.

Mason had his trike-a-thon today.  He was determined to "win".  You can see the concentration in this picture.

We have a fun weekend planned.  I've been running around trying to get everything ready for Nashville.  I also have a bridal shower on Sunday.  It will be busy busy but oh so worth it!  

Friday, March 21, 2014


We got John's scan results yesterday.  Like I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the doctor was expecting clean scans.  This is what I have been so worried about the whole time.  I have been dreading the day we had to make the decision to have surgery or not.  

His PET scan came back with a very small (2.3) spot that lit up in that lymph node area.  The mass did shrink, but we really wanted it to show no activity.  This is all still good news though.  Anything under 3 can definitely be benign (no cancer cells).  Dr. Weeks really does think it is most likely cancer-free, but we just have no proof.  

We have two options:  

1.  Do surgery.
2.  Check again in four months with another scan.  

Our doctor said if it were him, he would wait and recheck.  We will know for sure at the next scan.  This is an aggressive cancer.  The mass on the testicle was tiny but had metastasized a lot.  If there is any cancer left, it will spread, and the next scan will show it.  If this does happen, we will have surgery immediately.  

The doctor told us it would be ludicrous to say he was "all clear", but he really thinks he is all clear. He knows we used the right drugs and there wasn't a massive amount of disease there to start with.  This medicine should have killed it all.  But we all know, cancer doesn't have to be textbook.  

Bottom line, we did not get bad news.  John was actually very happy with the results.  

I, of course, really wanted this to be over.  I hate not being able to plan things because we may have surgery.  I don't want this to be on the back of my mind day after day.  I'm pretty tired of telling people (every single day)  that this is a "good cancer" or  "John will be okay" or "don't worry".  Frankly, I hate saying, "the doctor's say this is a cancer you want if you have to have one".  It doesn't mean that it isn't as real or that it doesn't suck.  

But that is just me being selfish.  What it does mean is that this is not going to kill him.  He will beat this without a doubt.  It is just a matter of when.  So here I am waiting for another 4 months to go by.  Until those scans, we will be enjoying life, friends, and family….and hopefully growing out some hair.  

Thanks for all the prayers this week.  
We really do have an amazing group of people around us.

Next weekend, we will be celebrating a night in Nashville with friends for a No More Chemo Party.  That is certainly something to celebrate.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Trees, Crawfish, Addictions

We have had some pretty days lately.  (although not today)
I was letting the boys play while I raked leaves.  I turned my head and almost had a heart attack.  Mason was half way up this tree.  Boys are crazy.  

Brody had a few cherry tomatoes...

Raking leaves again….maybe he thought he was helping?!

Friday night, we met the Salentine's at their church for a fish fry.  Since Catholics can't eat meat on Fridays during Lent, they have a fish fry and boy is it good!  They make everything themselves and it was delicious.  We will probably be there again this Friday!

Saturday morning, I had brunch with my dental hygiene friends.  It was much needed!  I hate we didn't get any pictures, but I'm sure its because we didn't stop talking long enough.

Saturday afternoon we had a crawfish couple's shower for Stephanie and Patrick.  It was such a pretty day and who doesn't love crawfish?!

It was at the cutest house and they had it set up so nice.

The bride-to-be with her fam and Lyndsey.

Diggin' in.

We had such a fun time.  Emily couldn't come and she was definitely missed.  Can't wait until the big day!

It as a big day at the Brower house.  Mason wrote his name all by himself at breakfast.  I thought he did a really good job too!

John and I have a problem…more like an addiction.

We have been selling all of our JUNK!  I found this page on Facebook and it is so easy.  It is seriously like a 7,500 person garage sale.  Best part is they come to pick it up at your house!  My biggest fear is becoming a hoarder one day.  If we keep up the selling, we certainly won't be hoarders….I'm just hoping John doesn't sell all of our good stuff now!

He got some things from his parents' house and brought home his and Robert's baseball cards.  Apparenlty, they were obsessed with them because there are hundreds!  He has looked through them all day and even got Mason excited.

Turns out, they are hardly worth a penny.  But this card is worth a little and he searched for it all day.  I told you, he is addicted to selling stuff now.

Hopefully, we will still have furniture next time people come over...

And tonight we found out I still know how to cook!  We were beginning to wonder.

Big week ahead.

PET scan is tomorrow, and we get the results Thursday.  I am prepared to celebrate but will definately be praying all week.  Hope it goes by fast!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ringing the Bell

Mason's class has been studying midevil times.  This past Thursday, they were to dress up as knights, princesses, queens, and kings.  No swords, but shields were allowed.  Of course, Mason wanted a sword.  I saw online an easy shield to make using duct tape, black cardboard, and scissors.  Easy easy and we are still playing with the thing.  (we also got to use the cape again - woohoo)

I'm still gaining weight over here.  Our sweet friends are still bringing us dinner.  Katie and Kyle sent over a delicious meal Friday night along with this yummy pie.  

Kid approved. 

Brody went crawling up the stairs and I burst into laughter.  He just throws food everywhere when he's eating….

Saturday morning, Mason woke up sick.  I had a baby shower to go to and had planned on taking the boys to my moms since this was a chemo weekend.  He said he needed to throw up right when he woke, but it was just from all the snot in his nose and throat.  He caught the cold Brody and John had.  I figured he was still good to take to my parents, but he threw up in the car.  =(

How pitiful was he!!!

He threw up one more time and then that was all.  He had a fever which made him feel terrible.  No one else has gotten sick so I still wonder if it was all related to his cold, but it sure seemed like a cold and a stomach bug.  He wanted to stay at Mickey Mouse's house on her palet she made for him instead of coming home.  He seemed pretty upset about his decision so I was sure he would want to call me to pick him up but nope!  He stayed all night.  He did start feeling much better later that night and seemed back to his normal little self.  

As horrible as I would've felt if my parents caught the bug, it would have been better than John getting it while he was so down from his chemo.  

That left Brody being a single child with all his momma's attention on him.  I think you can tell by this picture, he enjoyed the time.  

Sunday, we were still stuck in the house because of chemo.  It's hard to leave, because I have to help John and take care of the boys.  Once Brody goes down for a nap, I can do a little.  So I decorated for Spring!  We are so ready for it in this house!

Poor little brother.  Mason's always messing with him.  =)

Yesterday was our 7 year anniversary.  It doesn't seem like that day was seven years ago.  I got to thinking, and we have been dating since I was 15….which means we have been together for half of our lives.  That is just crazy.  But I can't think of anyone else I would want to spend the rest of my life with. He is the best father and my best friend.  

There was no celebrating since he still felt pretty crummy yesterday.

But since the time changed, it is no longer dark when we get home!  Mason was so confused yesterday.  Then we started taking about daylight savings time, earth, space, yada yada yada and the conversation went over my head.  But we are finally getting to play with our neighborhood friends!  Yay.  

Little Brody was trying to keep up.  

Jessica brought us dinner last night and threw in some Gigi's cupcakes (I'm not wearing a bathing suit this year…joust ain't happening).  

The best news of all is John finished his chemo!!!  NO MORE CHEMO!  Cancer sucks and chemo sucks.  (But praise the Lord for it, right?!)  He got to ring the bell at his doctors office.

I know ringing a bell may sound silly, but it means a lot to everyone in that chemo room.  Everyone was so happy for him and clapping.  It's a special moment for them all.  =)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Go Away Winter

 Mason is famous at his school.  
We get weekly newsletters via email and he was front and center with one of his elaborate "houses" that he builds.  

Brody on the other hand, would rather hide from us on a regular basis.  =)

It did end up snowing/icing but not so much here in Collierville.  Other areas were much worse.  I stayed home with the boys and we had a lazy day.  John's chemo was cancelled and he went to work.  

It ended up snowing (very lightly) all day.  While Brody was asleep, Mason and I put on our winter gear and checked it out.  We certainly couldn't build an Olaf, but we tried.  It was so cold that we quickly came back in.  

I sent John this picture.  He said I looked like a hippie.  

 So I sent him this one.  I look a little hippie-ish and Brody a little gangster-ish. 

Bro Bro couldn't believe it snowed or that he had a "stay home day". 

I had a wonderful day with the boys, but goodness, staying home with kiddos is hard work!  I was praying school would be back in session Tuesday.  Shelby County was closed but CTK decided to open since East Memphis was okay.  

Mason was not too excited about this, but nothing a little hot chocolate and powdered sugar donuts couldn't take care of. 

So back to school we went!

I went to John's doctor's appointment with him this morning.  We missed chemo Monday and were DREADING having it go into the next week.  Turns out, we will NOT have to have that last dose of chemo.  The four doses Tues. - Friday will be enough.  Thank goodness.  It was going to make him feel so horrible for so much longer.  We cannot be more thrilled about this.  

Also, Dr. Weeks briefly addressed the possibility of surgery post-chemo.  He told us he would be very surprised if John needed the surgery.  He thinks the PET scan will be all clear.  If not, he thinks it would be something so tiny that we could monitor until the next scan.  Sometimes these cells that are left are not even cancerous.  

We got great news today and are very positive this is all coming to an end VERY soon.  We will have the results of the scan Thursday, March 27th.  Prayers are certainly welcomed.  =)

We actually already had a "no more chemo" trip planned with friends to Nashville that weekend.  I was thinking the scan would be the next week.  Hopefully, it will end up being an ALL CLEAR party instead!!!  Either way, we will be celebrating a great milestone with some awesome people!!!