Wednesday, September 12, 2012
I forgot to tell you that Tara did have to shave her head after the last surgery again. The doctors prepped her for a skin graft; and shaved so much hair in the process; that she just shaved it off and started over again. She did have a few people in the public call her "sir" or "mister" so she has been wearing more earrings lately! I can't imagine anyone ever making that mistake; but I think she's the cutest thing ever; so I'm biased. It doesn't seem to bother her to cut her hair off - it was easier the 2nd time around. Anyway, you'll see it's already growing back nicely in the pictures.
Here are some pictures from our girls' trip to Vancouver, BC! I am living the philosophy of cherishing the moments; and this week was FULL of moments! I thought you would all like to see some pictures since Tara hasn't put some on in so very long. So, I am doing it instead. I think Tara is not blogging because she's trying to lead a "normal" life. That's my guess. Maybe she's tired of being a brain cancer patient. The good news is that she IS living mostly a normal life. She goes to work most days, doesn't take naps at work anymore; but sleeps hard as a rock at night - her seizure meds still make her sleepy. The first 2 days of our trip food made her sick (this had been happening the few weeks prior to leaving) and I was bummed! We had so very many months of being in that "place" where food made her sick and she didn't want to eat. BUT, the good news is that it didn't last all week, and she loved a certain Italian restaurant we found, and we even went there 2 nights in a row and she ordered the exact same thing both nights because she pretty much licked her plate clean. It was chicken parmigiana and I don't remember her loving that in the past; but you never know! I was just so happy to see her enjoying her food. Rachel has most of the pictures; she has all the restaurants and such and more pretty pictures; but hopefully mine will suffice.
I picked Vancouver because Tara is still somewhat paranoid about getting in the ocean with all the infections she has undergone; so we couldn't do the budget trip to CA. So, thankfully for my beloved "piano account" we took a major splurge! Tara, Stephanie, Katelyn, and myself flew from Phoenix and Rachel met us from SLC in Vancouver. I won't go into tons of detail; but we just loved our week. We saw tons of pretty places and walked around alot. Katelyn (the baby) was a perfect traveling baby and rarely cried. She didn't hold us back much! Tara said that it is sad that she was going to go home from vacation in better shape than when she left! But, on vacation, she has more time to walk around and exercise than she does at home! Tara did make it on a hike that was actually 1 hr 45 minutes long; and it was lots of uphill on the way up to a beautiful lookout over a lake with islands and mountains around. Anyway, about 3/4 of the way up (Rachel was hauling up the mountain) Tara said she just couldn't go anymore. Said she was dizzy and felt really yucky. But, she decided to push through it and did make it up to the top. I tried to memorize the moments watching her actually hike. Part of me was sad that this treatment has taken so much out of her that she struggles with a hike this size; but the much larger part of me was so incredibly grateful that she was HIKING at all! I had fleeting memories of her last year at this time - last year she was mostly tired and on the couch or in the bed alot; with a few sporadic days of work mixed in. She has come so far since last year!! Anyway, we got back down the mountain in 35 minutes (took about an hour to get up) and Tara did say after it was all over that she was glad she did it and pushed through the dizziness and sickness.
We loved eating out, never preparing meals, laughing, sleeping in, and enjoying baby Katelyn! Most of all, we just enjoyed being TOGETHER. I loved watching the girls' faces as they were in wonderment at the beauty around them. We especially loved Butchart Gardens and spent almost a whole day there. I loved spoiling the girls and took them to a really nice restaurant once (and other just NICE restaurants the rest of the time) and gave them some spending $ because if it was up to them; not much spending money would get spent! I think that they spent over an hour in the Butchart Gardens gift shop picking out their fun things to spend their money on. Whenever I give them $ on a girls trip; the rule is they have to spend it or lose it; so they usually comply!
Saturday (the last day there) Rachel had flown back to Utah, and it was just Stephanie, Tara, Katelyn, and myself. I never got tired of walking around and looking at pretty gardens; but I think I wore out Stephanie and Tara by Saturday. They were wondering why I still wanted to walk around every last pathway and why they couldn't keep up when I am the magical age of 50; but I told them it's because I'm not up twice a night feeding a baby (with no naps in the day), and I'm not on seizure meds; nor has my body been ravaged by cancer treatment. All good reasons for tiredness, I would say!
Anyway, right now Tara is in what I would call the "rebuilding" stage. She's trying to rebuild her strength. She has another scan next month; seems like those scans come around way too often. We have a friend going through this same disease that needs your prayers - his name is David Baker. He is not as lucky as Tara and his tumor came back right after radiation; which was lightening speed. But, the good news is he is on a new clinical trial and after some injections of a virus made from his original tumor; the new growth is shrinking. It's a tough world; this brain tumor world; but we have been so blessed. Blessed by so very many miracles in Tara's life; and blessed by all the angels around us - our friends and all you who pray for Tara. Please know we so appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Love you all! Becky