Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013
wow you guys all blew us away with your love, kindness and generosity
it is harder for us to be the receiver of so many awesome gifts from the Lord
we truly like to be givers
we are so amazed at how God works and what awesome friends and family  we have
thank you so much for your love and generous hearts
this will always be a special Christmas for us

we were trying to make brown frosting here for our manger  ...trippy

nothing worked 2 years in a row for brown frosting so we have black instead
everybody has a part in the birthday cake
 love Miah's cow with blue hooves
we love the cake for breakfast

thank you for the awesome scavenger hunt
and for all the time and energy you put into everything
we love them in our house
the kiddos will ask to do them over sometimes in the same places
they crack me up

she wore the earmuffs all day

this little guy loved his diapers

Gabe even took part in blowing the candles out

Our Thankful Christmas tree is full
it was fun to see what the kiddos put on it
apparently someone  was thankful for wings 
someone must think they can fly in our house

 this liite dude has resorted to climbing
 all the chairs all the time
you will take one away and he will make a bee line for the next one
so we have moved them all into the living room for now
if you want a seat you grab one from the living room
and take it into the kitchen and you stay there

thank you all for making our Christmas so special
it will be one we will never forget 

Love Wins

Saturday, December 28, 2013

the Dentist and  Dr. visit


The doctors checked his lab reports and Dave only needs to do the 6 weeks of radiation and not chemo too. Amen!
the tests confirmed what the other lab results had shown but this is a big relief for us
we are prepared to do whatever it takes to beat this but this is good news
God is good!

Dave had his last dentist appointment this week
they fixed a few more teeth to make his teeth strong and they made up the custom mouth guards that he needs for his radiation treatment
the dentist and his staff are so nice but Dave is really glad he is done with his dental work

on Thursday Dave had his simulation appointment with the radiation doctors in Green Bay
this is the final appointment before his radiation starts when they get everything ready
it took about 2 hours and they made a mesh mask that he will need to wear for the treatments and he had another CT scan and more blood tests
hopefully I can get pictures but here is one we found on the internet that shows the type of mask they made for him that he will wear for the treatments:
Dave said it didn't hurt but wearing the mask was really weird feeling especially when they were molding it to his face and head
thank you to our good friend Jason who went along to keep Dave company 

Dave sent an email to his family about it and explains it better than I can:

I spent a few hours at the radiation dept at the hospital on Thursday. They fitted me with the mask I will wear for the treatments. Quite a bizarre experience. They heat the mask mold and then place it on my face covering my head all the way down to my chest. Then as I lay there, 3-4 people push the mold down all over my head, face, & neck to make the mold fit specific to my face & body. They bolted the entire mask to the  table so I was completely immobilized. Very strange feeling. It was a mesh material so I could breathe through it, but I could not see too well and breathing was tough wearing the mouth guards. I am not claustrophobic but if I was, it would not be a very bad experience! I imagine if someone does have problems with it that they would use sedation. It was tough to do. I know that sounds strange but it was tough. Especially when they bolted the mask to the table completely holding me down. Everyone involved was really nice and I appreciated how they talked to me through the entire process to make sure I was OK and to let me know everything that was being done. That helped a lot. Quite impressed with their patient care.

After about 10 minutes, they took it off, let me get settled and then they put it back on for another 20 + minutes while they ran me through CT scans and simulated the radiation treatments. I got through it OK but was very glad when they took it off and sat me up. Before that happened, once they got everything lined up perfectly (which is key to getting the radiation done right!) they put marks on the mask and put some tattoos on my chest and both side of my ribs. They use these to match up with the laser guides on the radiation machine to make sure the same spots are being hit each time I have the treatment. The tattoos are small but they denied my request for a 49er logo, “Cancer Sucks” in Chinese, and “This side up” with an arrow. All they put on were some small slash marks and a dot. No fun.

I had no idea how much time and planning goes into the radiation treatments. The docs said they need at least 10 days to plan the computer program and overlap the mapping system of the CT scans with the PET scans to make sure everything is lined up proper. I was quite impressed with their efficiency and again their patient care was awesome.

I had a tough time waiting as the treatment area was quite depressing. I sat in the waiting area with other cancer patients. Not out in the general public area, we get moved to a “special waiting area” which is nice as we would depress the hell out of anyone if they put us out with the general public. It was tough to see all these people who all have different cancers come and go. Admittedly I had a few rough moments off and on during this appointment. I looked around and thought “What am I doing here?” then I remembered “Oh, that’s right…I have cancer too.” Tough run for awhile but I got through it OK with prayer and breathing techniques.
Dave is feeling better too
his jaw is still sore and his neck too but he is much better
the nerves in his neck are still acting up
the right side of his face is really sensitive especially to cold so he wears ear muffs even if he is outside for just a little bit of time
if he talks too long or laughs too hard he gets a little droop on his left side and sometimes bites his lip from it
the doctors said the nerves could take up to a year to return to normal
it is nice to see him eating solid foods again but he still has a little trouble swallowing
Dave has worked most of the week and plans to work all of next week before radiation starts
please continue to pray for us and for Dave
On another note...
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas
we were so blessed
pictures and more on Christmas to follow
right now we have this going on

lots of stuffy noses and coughing 
praying for healthiness
thank you all for your continued prayers

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 22nd, 23rd, 24th
Merry Christmas
Well we couldn't find a bell ringer to save our lives
this year it seems like there were less and less of them
we might have to add that to our volunteer list for next year

 made cut out cookies 
which is always fun and disastrous
love the flour mess and how they walk away and leave flour footprints everywhere
love this time with them

this little sweet girl  who can't stop praying for a sister and can't wait to be a momma loved playing in the extra crumbs for an hour
she loved the feeling in her fingers
i just let her play until she was done

December 23rd

the kiddos all argue over who's going to bring the treats in where ever we go
I 'm surprised they've even made it to the door and not on the ground
the library staff is awesome here in town
 we go there weekly 
the kiddos love to read
 I secretly told them that the library put a cap on how many books they can take out
32 per child is way too many books for this momma to keep track of.

some kiddo snapped this fuzzy one

December 24th

yes we went to walmart and kwik trip and found some people to bless at 6:30 in the morning
this was so much fun
the kiddos taped about 25 different notes with candy canes and dollar bills on random things in the store.  
I forgot my camera in the car but
i loved seeing what product they picked to stick their note on
we also decided to bless some workers at various locations with a gift card for working on Christmas Eve

We love doing our random acts of kindness advent every year
hopefully you get some ideas to carry on with your families
it is so much fun
we are already talking about some new ones for next year
our goal is  to do at least 2 or 3 every month now throughout the year
Thanks for joining us for it!

Praying you all have a wonderful Christmas 
we are gathering with our family and celebrating the
Saviour and making memories

there are so many things to be thankful for this year

(this little guy from a reverse vasectomy)

God has been so good and faithful

(this amazing and loving husband)

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

thank you for blessing us and being the Lord's hand and feet as we go through this journey
 Blessings from our family to yours

  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Love David, Jill, Odin, Jonah, Olivia, Jeremiah, Gabriel    

Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 20th
and the radiologist

Extremely long day yesterday
meetings with the the whole radiation team
it's amazing to me how many people you see before you actually talk to the Dr.
going over the side effects, long term affects, eating, physical therapy, finances and emotions
so much goes into this
way more than we ever imagined
everyone was wonderful 
St. Vincents is a beautiful place
it was a little slow driving in the snow storm though
we made it with plenty of time

Doctors said Dave is healing quite well from his surgeries
his neck and throat are doing very well
they want him to take more time to heal, especially after all of the dental work
he will not start radiation treatments until the week of January 6th t
hat should give him enough time to get his jaw, neck, and mouth almost back to normal 
the whole radiation treatment process is completely amazing

Monday he will finish  his dental work and they will make him mouth guard trays
those guards will help protect his  teeth during treatment.

next Thursday (day after Christmas) Dave will  go back to the radiation clinic and they will make him a  custom radiation mask (this is a mess mask that fits over his head and neck)
he will have another CT scan, and more tests for 2 hours or so
they went over all of the nasty side effects for neck and head radiation again too.

the doctor wants to have his pathologist team review all of Dave's lab reports again
the doctor said the tumor in Dave's neck was pretty big so they are concerned it may have left more cancer cells in his neck than thought
if they find anything the doctor said he may want Dave to have both chemo and radiation
they don't think he will need both but they are checking it one last time to make sure.

please pray that Dave does not need both radiation and chemotherapy
having both will make his whole healing process and treatments much more difficult
Dave should find out at his radiation team appointment next Thursday.

December 20th

brought  some goodies to our awesome Post Office
they are such hard workers

thank you auntie Sarah for all the hats, antlers and noses
the kiddos loved them

Made gingerbread houses at Olivia's school yesterday
it's always so much fun to watch the kiddos come up with their designs
i thought it was funny watching the kiddos share frosting containers and occasionally lick the stick they were using and dig in for some more
I totally love double dipping!

December 21th

we like to go to this nursing throughout the year and visit and bring them goodies
we always love to see that they have kept the things we have made them over the past 4 years
the kiddos love to visit with them

crazy bakers

Miah is feeling under the weather
and Gabe has no idea what we are doing.

Have a great weekend and thank you for all your continued prayers, love and support


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