The Fam

The Fam

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fisher Update

Ever since I found out that Fisher's AFP lab work was elevated, I've been waiting for today. Part of me would get excited to see the oncologist so that we would have answers. But another part of me was telling myself to enjoy not knowing, because ignorance is bliss. If we got bad news, I'd regret not enjoying the last week of normalcy. But if we received good news, I'd reflect back on the week as one of the worst in my life. So whether the last week flew by or dragged on (which it did both), today came. 

Our appointment was at 8:15 with Dr. Ray. As soon as the nurse called us back and had to get Fisher's vitals, no surprise to Hooper and me, Fisher started crying. He's in a major "stranger danger" phase right now, which makes all of his appointments even more difficult. After that nurse logged all the info, we went into an exam room where we waited. And waited. And waited. Our appointment was at 8:15, and I bet Dr. Ray came in at 9:15 or so. That hour was very similar to the past week. I was torn on how I felt about it. Did it drag on? Or did it fly by? Was it hard to wait? Or was I enjoying that I had a normal baby in front of me for that hour? The answer is all of the above. 

(excuse my wonky eye)

Dr. Ray was extremely soft spoken and polite. He asked us a lot of questions, and then did his examination. No surprise, Fisher cried during the exam. He very quickly got to the part that we had been wanting (or not wanting) to know about. The lab work was elevated, but not to a number that concerns him. Tumor levels would be in the hundreds and thousands. Fisher's is only 20.9. PRAISE GOD!!! We asked him why the level would have gotten higher and he isn't very sure. He said perhaps it's a lab or human error. (Exactly what we have been praying for!) I wanted to make sure that I understood him clearly, so I said, "So there is absolutely not reason to think that he has a tumor?" And he said, "No. No reason to think he has a tumor." 

Dr. Ray wants to see us back in one month to recheck the AFP lab, and then we will check it every 3 months until he's 4 years old, along with the sonograms every 6 months. That's a minor change in the original plan by our Geneticist. She was going to check the lab work every 6 months. And even though this means double the tears for my little man, I'm happier to check it more frequently. 

After the wonderful news, we ate lunch, went to a couple of stores, and then decided to get rid of the mullet. Fisher has never had a haircut, and he's had these cute little (yet long) curls on the bottom of his hair. I've refused to cut them off because I so badly wanted the top of his hair to catch up to the bottom/back. The past few days, the curls haven't had much oomph to them, and they've almost been straight. He's looked like he has a true, purposeful mullet. Today, I decided to tell my achy breaky heart that it was time to get rid of it. 

Of course, his stranger danger kicked in and he cried. But when it was finished, he looked so handsome! They gave us a certificate and a hunk of his hair for his baby book, which made me very happy. I get sentimental about things like this. 
Look how old he looks!

 And here is he tonight in his cute new pajamas. He has this new thing he does when you hold the phone up for a picture (and he's in a good mood) where he squints and does a cutie pie fake smile.

Thank you, everybody, for praying for Fisher with us. We are very blessed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Whirlwind of a Summer

It's been a crazy emotional roller coaster ride of a summer. In May, Hooper and I found our dream house. It's big, it has a great backyard for entertaining, a pool, and even a guest house. We worked on getting pre-approved, and put our house on the market. We loved it THAT much. We've gone and looked at houses before, but we've never found one that was really worth the hassle of listing our house and actually moving. But this one was. We got pre-approved, de-cluttered our home, and put it on the market. Having showings was exciting, but it was also a nightmare. I would have to take the three dogs to work with me, and we'd have to keep our house cleaner than we ever have before. We had a lot of showings in the first few weeks, and then they started slowing down. In July, we took our annual family South Padre vacation. It was amazing, as always. It was nice to get away from the stress of showing the house. We hoped that we would have tons of showings while we were gone, because we left it very clean, and the dogs were boarding. One day while we were on the beach, our realtor contacted us and told us that we had an offer. We were so excited, because this meant we were one step closer to getting our dream house. When we found out what the offer was, we were discouraged. It was SUPER low. To make a long story short, we countered, they countered, we countered, they countered, and we accepted. It was still very low. Lower than we wanted to go, but this made our dream house within reach. We put an offer on the house, and they accepted. We were so excited. Part of me was sad that we accepted such a low number for our house. In fact, I felt insulted. But I was so ecstatic to move into the new house, that I didn't think too much about it. We got closing dates, did inspections, appraisals, etc. Both closing dates were set for August 19.

August 1st
August 1st I went to the Gaylord with my girlfriends. We look forward to this trip every year. I was so looking forward to a stress free weekend. Then Friday, literally right after we got into our hotel room, Hooper called me. He said that he heard from the bank and they said that we weren't approved for the amount for which were initially pre-approved. WHAT?!?!!?! How can that even happen??? I was devastated. We were in the home stretch to having our dream house. We had put our house on the market ONLY because of this house. We had accepted a super low price, JUST to get this house. And now it isn't ours. Not only is it not ours, our current home isn't ours either. It's selling. Which means we have to move into my parents' basement. Two adults, two children, three dogs, and a cat. Hooper took it as a sign from God that it wasn't meant to be. I accepted that. Sort of. It's hard to understand His plan sometimes, but I tried very hard to let it be. I continued on the weekend with my girlfriends, only allowing myself minimal sulking. We still had a great time, but I felt like my emotions were up and down and up and down.
August 2nd
The next night (Saturday), Anna (my sister in law aka bff) got a phone call from her adoption consultant. There was a baby born Thursday who needed a mommy and daddy. She asked if Anna and Eddie were interested, and they definitely were. The girls and I were so excited, and suddenly, my sadness for being homeless disappeared. I was getting a new nephew! We were all so giddy and went to sleep so excited.
August 3rd
The next day we came home, and Anna and Eddie flew out to pick up their new son.
August 4th
Monday the papers were signed and it was official. Jude Everett was theirs. But they had to wait to be released from the state to come home. I was so anxious to meet him, and every day felt like it lasted more than 24 hours.
That same day,  Hooper talked to another bank and we got approved for a larger amount than the previous bank came back at us with. We talked about possibly building, and
August 5th
Tuesday we met with a builder. I started to get excited again about the house ordeal. That night I lay in bed and checked my realtor app and saw a new listing. It actually looked perfect us. I went to sleep that night thinking about baby Jude, building, and this new listing. My mind raced all night long and I don't think I ever got into a deep sleep. My emotions were so up and down and all over the place, that I hadn't even had any time to really think much about Fisher's appointment for his abdominal ultrasound and lab work that he needs for his hemihypertrophy that was scheduled for Wednesday.
August 6th
Wednesday rolled around, and Anna, Eddie and Jude were still in the other state. I took Fisher to his appointment, and he hated it. I felt so sorry for him because he hated being restrained for the ultrasound. He also had to fast, and I hate having to make a baby fast. After the ultrasound, we went to the lab and had his blood drawn. That wasn't even as bad as the ultrasound, and it was over before we knew it. The only time Fisher ever gets a sucker is when he gets his blood drawn. Once he got the sucker, he forgot what had happened. That evening, our realtor showed us the new listing that we had our eye on.
August 7th
Thursday we made an offer on it. (Meanwhile, the builder that we met with  was super supportive and sweet and said it was a great house!)
August 8th
The next day I was anxiously awaiting to hear if Anna, Eddie and Jude were coming home yet. We knew if they didn't get cleared Friday, they'd have to stay through the weekend, and we did not want that. I wanted to meet Jude! At 1:00pm I was on my way to lunch with my friend/coworker and I got a phone call from Fisher's Geneticist's office. She had Fisher's results. She said that his ultrasound was clear- there were no tumors seen in his abdomen. (If you are lost on this whole hemihypertrophy and tumor thing, please read my previous posts.) I was so happy to hear that. Then she told me that his lab work (AFP) was high. Last time we had this lab work done, which was the first time we'd had it done, it was high. Normal range for his age is .5 - 7.9. Three months ago it was 11.9. When they are born, the number is very high, and as they get older, it comes down. His Geneticist was hopeful that it was a little high at that tie because perhaps it hadn't made it's way down yet. On Wednesday, the number was 20.9. So it had gotten a lot higher. The AFP lab work is a tumor indicator. The nurse said that the ultrasound indicates there is not a tumor in the abdomen, but that she is referring us to Hematology/Oncology to find out why the number is high. I fought through a lump in my throat and asked, "If the lab work is a tumor indicator, and his abdomen is clear, does this mean he has a tumor somewhere else?" The lump won that battle and I started crying. She had a very sympathetic tone in her voice and said that she doesn't know. We'll be referred to Oncology to find out why the number is high and do further testing. I felt like my world caved in. I had been on such an emotional up and down and I finally broke. What if there is a tumor? Could the lab work be wrong? I don't know. I don't know anything.
We found out that same day that Anna, Eddie, and Jude were coming home Saturday. I was finally going to get to hold that sweet baby.
August 9th
Saturday Mom, Elliott, Beckett, Bennett and I went to the airport to pick them up. It was such a wonderful thing to witness the girls meeting their new baby brother. Meanwhile, we found out that the house we put an offer on had accepted our offer! Our girlfriends and Hooper and Finley and Fisher were waiting at Anna and Eddie's with food and cupcakes and welcome home signs when we arrived It was a beautiful day.

So much has happened over the last couple of weeks. So many highs, and some big time lows. We have an appointment with the Oncologist next Monday, and we close on our current house Tuesday. We will be renting our current house until that Saturday. Sometime in the mix of all of this, I've got to pack. And hold baby Jude some more. I could really use some prayers. Prayers that Fisher is okay. Prayers for strength. Prayers that moving goes smoothly. Prayers that there are no hiccups with our closings. Prayers that I don't break. Prayers that there is not a tumor. Prayers that IF there is a tumor, it's not cancerous. Prayers that if it is cancerous, he will be cured. My mind hates to even go there, but I can't help it. And along with the prayers, Praise God for baby Jude!