Monday, September 29, 2008

Cookie Meet

The kids swam in a cookie meet this weekend and they both did really well. They dropped time in every race they swam. Every swimmer could win a mini cookie if they came in first in their heat and the high point winner for every age group won a giant cookie. Chandler was so happy, but I think if we eat it, we will be sick! So much for exercise and burning calories when you come home with one of these!!!

School Spirit Day

First let me say, I am sorry I didn't update sooner about the doctor appt.(Kelly:) The doctor was running over an hour late so David decided to reschedule it for another time. I was waiting to find out when the new appt. was going to be, but I still don't know. The kids had Spirit Day at their school on Friday. All the kids are put on a team composing of students from all the different grades. They come us with a name for themselves and a color. Avrielle's team was the Blue Hawaiian Surfers, and Chandler's team was called the Green Tropical Twists. The team leader planned lunch for the group centered around their color and name. For example Avrielle had to bring blue fruit and the other members brought blue jello, blue gatorade, sandwiches made with blue bread etc. Chan had to bring a green vegetable. (That was easy!) Then they all compete as a team in different events at lunchtime and PE. It is always so much fun!

Monday, September 22, 2008

One Happy Little Girl

My little girl with a ton of blond curly hair decided she wanted to straighten it. She has been asking forever, and I have been putting it off forever. We always want the opposite of what we have right??? Here are some of the pics of my hard work. Amidst the pulling and ouching, we did have a fun time, and I have one very happy girl.

Fieldtrips and Football Games

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Potty Talk

So, we are in the bathroom in a major department store when Avrielle asks me through the bathroom stall, "Mom, aren't diapers made in America?" I think to myself that's a strange question. I tell her, "I'm not sure where they are made, I guess they are made all over the world. Why do you ask honey?" She answers, It says here on the door, please dispose of sanitary napkins, diapers, and all other foreign materials in the trash can."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pet Scan Results

We are praising God tonight because David's first post treatment CT/Pet scan came back normal. He will have a follow up appointment in three weeks. Thank you for praying for him for so long. He will continue to have these scans every few months to make sure the cancer doesn't return. The longer it stays away the better. Here is an excerpt from a Hodgkins article that I read tonight.

Although chemotherapy greatly improves the chances for a cure, side effects can be serious. The drugs may cause temporary or permanent sterility, an increased risk of infection, potential damage to other organs, such as the heart or lungs, and reversible hair loss. Sometimes leukemia can develop 5 to 10 years after chemotherapy for Hodgkin's disease. There is also an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or other cancers such as lung, breast, or stomach cancers 10 or more years after treatment with chemotherapy drugs; the risk may increase further when a person is also treated with radiation therapy.

A person who has a remission (with the disease under control) after initial treatment, but then relapses (lymphoma cells reappear), has less of a chance for long-term survival. The cure rate for people who relapse ranges from 10 to 50%. Among those who relapse in the first 12 months after initial treatment, cure rates are somewhat lower, whereas the rates for those who relapse later tend to be somewhat higher. People who relapse after initial treatment generally are treated with additional chemotherapy at usual doses followed by high doses. This is likely to be followed by autologous stem cell transplantation, which involves using the person's own stem cells (see Transplantation: Stem Cell Transplantation). People who relapse more than a year after initial treatment do not always require stem cell transplantation. High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplantation is generally a safe procedure, with less than a 5% risk of death related to the treatment.

We don't know what God has in store for us for the future, nobody really does. Life is precious and it can end at any time. It may be from cancer, or it may be even more unexpected like the recent metrolink crash. We are thankful that we know our God and have a relationship with Him and can trust Him no matter what. We also have the hope of heaven which has been so comforting. Today we are rejoicing in our good news and praising Him for the health that He has chosen to give us, and that He has carried us through and given us so much peace in the midst of a trial for the last 9 months.

Matthew 6:33 :But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow;for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Here are the lyrics to a song that praises God in the midst of storms.

There's a tempest that can flood the soul
When troubles pound like crashing waves
In these afflictions I have realized
There's a place that I can hide

I know that God has promised me His strength
And His Word can never fail
He is faithful, Oh so faithful.
There are Sovereign hands holding all my days
Yes I know God reigns in the storm
Every trial and pain wisdom has ordained
Yes I know God reigns in the storm, in the storm.

There's a midnight that can fill the soul
When the darkness has no end
And though it feels like I am all alone
There's a truth that gives me hope
I know the One whose counted all my tears
And He is nearer than my breath
He is with me--always with me

There's so many things that I don't understand.
But I know His every plan for me is good, so good.

(Steve & Vicki Cook)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Papa Rick Home From the Hospital

Update from Mom:
Hi All,
We got home today around 5:30p.m. after waiting for two and a half hours for a nurse to go over Rick's discharge papers with us. The urologist took the cath out this morning, but they had to watch him for a few hours to make sure all of the plumbing was working. He doesn't have much of an appetite, but I'm sure that will come back. He will see the dr in one week and be on antibiotics for one month. He is improving very quickly and is so happy to be home. I'm in shock though, he hasn't been on his computer yet.
Thanks you all for your concern, Micki

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Yearbook Fun

Well, I officially joined Facebook this morning. It was pretty fun seeing and catching up with old friends. It totally reminds me of elementary school though... I'll be your friend if you'll be mine...To get in the mood of the old days I downloaded some pictures from They are totally hilarious! I am so glad to be out of school!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Papa Rick Doing Better

Update from mom:
Hi Everyone,
HE'S BACK. He has color in his face and is much more lucid. His train of thought is clear now. He is still in pain when the meds wear off, but when the drip is going, he is feeling no pain. He has a little fever and a slight cough. He is getting oxygen and has to breathe in that little machine that expands the lungs. The drs. wanted to do an MRI, but Rick told them he didn't want the dye in his kidneys and they changed their minds and said he didn't have to do it. He will have an ultrasound instead. Even though he is in ICU, he has his IPOD, IPAC, little radio and earphones, a portable radio, and his cell phone, a book, and three magazines. An active mind can never be slowed down!!!
Thanks for your concern, Micki

Friday, September 12, 2008

Audience Participation Time

Hi Everyone, I added a fun guestbook at the bottom of my blog page. If you are reading this, please, please sign in and add a picture! I would love to see you all. Don't be shy!!! You can do it!

Surgery went well, recovery not so good.

Update from mom:
Well Murphy's Law officially entered the picture. Everything was going well, right on schedule until the surgery. They came to get Rick at 8:30 which was many hours before the scheduled afternoon surgery. He was finished by 11:00 and the surgeon said everything went well. I was called into recovery to see him around 4:00 because they had called the urologist back to the hospital thinking Rick was bleeding too much and they needed to know if he would have to go back into surgery. He had a temperature of 101.3 and signs of an infection. He was not breathing well, blood pressure was 240/120, and he was in congestive heart failure. They added two more drs to the team--an infectious disease specialist and a pulmunologist. Rick was in a lot of pain, very aggitated, and all he wanted to do was go home. The drs, now five in number, decided that going back to surgery was not necessary, but he needed chest xrays, blood work, antibiotics, oxygen, and heavy duty pain meds through his IV. He spent seven hours in recovery and finally at 6:00 tonight was moved to ICU where he will have a little vacation. By the way, the care is amazing in ICU. He is getting some color back, and his temperature is down to normal. He is not quite making sense yet, and he drops off to sleep in mid sentence. He hasn't eaten food yet, but the good news is he feels no pain thanks to the meds. So, the cause of all this --- a blockage the size of a tennis ball which the surgeon removed. Rick will be so happy to get home in a few days, cath and all!!
Good night, Micki

Pray for Chan... We would all like to see Papa Rick get better, but Chan is especially worried that what happened to Papa Bob won't happen to Papa Rick too.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Papa Rick's surgery set for Thursday

Updates on Papa Rick

Hi Everyone,
Thank you for your concern about Rick. He is at Los Robles Hospital in Thousand Oaks. He will be there for a few days. He had renal failure and the fluids are being emptied from his body and them being replaced with IV fluids and electrolytes. He is doing well and as expected. He has a cath and is uncomfortable. He said the pain was 10/10. After he was given pain meds, he felt much more comfortable. He slept five hours which is almost two nights sleep for Rick.He met with the doctor this A.M. and the dr said everything is goins as planned. There will be no permanent kidney damage. Rick will be released from the hospital in a day or two and will have surgery probably at the end of next week. He will wear the cath until surgery is performed. He is busy teaching the nurses how to care for him. "This is the best way to do an IV" "This is the best way to take blood pressure" "I need an IV before you can empty my Foley. The nurses have their hands full with him, but they will learn a lot from him.

Hi All,
It is 10:30 or so and I just returned from the hospital. It was a busy day for Rick as he met with the urologist, nephrologist, radiologist, and cardiologist today. That's not including the time spent with the phlebotomist, nutritionist, and nurses. He had blood drawn every six hours, had a CT scan and was poked and prodded ad nauseum. His pain level is still high and he is taking pain meds every four hours---this is unique for Rick because he never even takes an aspirin when he has a headache.
All of the doctors feel he is doing well. His blood work is showing signs of returning to normal. He will have an ECHO cardiogram tomorrow to verify he can have surgery and then he will be scheduled. It will be sometime within the next week, and Rick is hoping it will be sooner rather than later. He wants to get rid of his "new best friend", Foley.

The ECHO cardiogram went well and Rick was cleared by all drs to have prostate surgery tomorrow afternoon. He is happy to have all of his blood work and fluids in order so that he can do the surgery sooner rather than later. The thought of coming home with a cath and having to wait a week or so until surgery did not excite either one of us. Rick was so funny today---after taking the ECHO, he looked at the film and read and analyzed it himself. He checked out his left venticle and attached a number to his ejection fraction and pronounced himself healthy for surgery. Then he returned to his room and called the urologist and cardiologist and told them that he was definately healthy enough to proceed. I wonder if he'll get a rebate on a portion of his hospital bill? He is still in a lot of pain and is trying to adjust his medication to help with his discomfort. He was a little loopy when I left tonight. He said he was waiting for his medication, but he had already gotten it. I guess medicine isn't perfect yet!!!
Thanks for your good thoughts, Micki

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Don't you just hate that?

I was folding laundry today. I got behind so I had several loads in a pile on the bed waiting to be folded, when I accidentally dumped a load of dirty clothes still waiting to be washed on top. I didn't know which of the clothes came from what basket. I just spent the last 1/2 hour smelling my whole families' dirty armpits, socks, etc. to figure out what needed to be washed instead of folded. Yuck! I hope I got it right this time, or you may smell us a mile away.

On another note, David had his CT/Pet scan this morning. I don't know when we will hear anything, but I will write when we do. Also, Please keep my friend Ashley Kostjuk and her precious family in your prayers. Her baby girl, Reese is very sick right now. You can read about Reese if you click the Kostjuk family on my sidebar. Thanks.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

First Game of the Season

Final Score: 49ers 21 Raiders 7

Friday, September 5, 2008

Funeral Songs

I knew when we picked the songs for my dad's funeral, they would be known from then on as "the funeral songs", and every time I heard them I would think of my dad. While today, I decided to get a pedicure and on the radio plays the funeral songs. I did everything I could not to cry when I'm stuck in the chair with no where to go! I didn't want to hurt the girl's feelings and have her think I didn't like the way she was painting my nails, and I definitely didn't want to have to try to explain to someone who make not understand English perfectly the whole story. So all that to say, if you have to pick funeral songs make sure they don't constantly play them on the radio!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Missing Chickenhead

Things are definitely getting back to normal at the Smith household. David is feeling better and is going back to work,we aren't going to doctors every other week, the kids are back in school, fall sports are starting, and my ladies Bible study is going to begin next week. Sometimes it feels lately like the trials this past year never happened. The only thing that is missing is my dad. I have wanted to call him so many times these last few weeks, and I can't. His voice is still on their home answering machine though. Chandler started playing flag football a few weeks ago, and my dad would have loved to come to one of his games and watch him play. His football homework was to watch the USC football game on television last Saturday. I know they would have liked to watch it together or talk about it on the phone. That is how Chandler learned about all the players. It has been sad few weeks. Even though things are routine, they are missing Papa. His name was Chickenhead to the kids. For some strange reason, one day when Chandler was about three years old and they were chasing each other, he said, "You're a Chickenhead," Then my dad said, "No, you're a chickenhead." On and on it went. Whenever my dad called to talk with Chandler, he always said, "Hi Chickenhead, when are you going to take me golfing?" Chandler would say, "No you're chickenhead, and when are you going to take me golfing?" It was kind of a ritual and even though it was silly, it made everyone laugh.
My sister Carissa went back to college after coming home for the summer, so it is the first time that Katja will be living alone. She had to give their dog, Kato away, but I think they found him a good home. She said my dad would have liked the place they found. I knew the year would be full of firsts for everything, and these are just some of them. I guess I didn't expect it until the holidays though. I just want him to be able to still see everything that is going on here because he would have been so happy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Yeah, No Cavities!

Well, I have no cavities, but the dentist wants me to spend just a little money( Only $800.00 ) to replace my four old silver filings. Isn't that going to be fun???? I wonder if it will ever be possible to go to a dentist and not find something to fix.

First Post Treatment CT/Pet Scan One Week From Today