Monday, February 20, 2012

Ryker turns 3--December 1st

As we all know time marches on.   As Anna started her radiation treatments Ryker turned 3 years old.  He is such a fun kid.  Some of the things about Ryker that not too many people know about him are: he has a really fun/silly sense of humor, he loves to work with his grandpa's and daddy outside, he loves his sister and looks out for her in his own way, he doesn't know how to handle direct attention(shy), he has a big bubble of personal space, if he doesn't want to talk to you he will look at you and shake his head while saying "NO", and like his mom he is very strong willed.  His main phrases depending on the context are: I do it, I go night night (even when he didn't), WHHHYYYY, I go wet (as in diaper wet but NOT just wet), what doing?, and when he doesn't want someone he will wave his arm at them and demand 'GO WAY, GO WAY' (it's really kinda cute).  Ryker is quiet and reserved in public; he can be in a situation and play by himself for a couple of hours without talking to or interacting with others.  Anna's boss was really excited when after 6 months of interactions Ryker finally said something to her.   
On the day of his birthday the big windstorm came through Bountiful.  It seems that each year thus far in his life he has had some kind of a storm that impacts the plans for his birthday.  We didn't have power so we had his birthday at his Grandma & Grandpa Mabey's house.  The morning of his birthday we opened presents as a family. Anna went to Radiation early so she was able to spend the day at home.

We try to do cakes that have some kind of significance from that year of their life.  This year during Anna's recovery from surgery Ryker pretty much lived at 'Grandma & Grandpa Mabey's Pumpkin patch'.  Thus the pumpkin patch cake.  

Ryker and Charlee "Best Buddies"
We sure love our "Buddy Boy!!"

Daphne-- Rockin around the Christmas Tree

Daphne had a couple of Dance recitals in December. It was so fun to participate with the preschool class. They sang before they danced. Here is Daphne and Olivia at the Festival of Trees.
Singing Christmas Carols. 
Daphne Just loves to dance. It was nice to have some great distractions during Radiation. I have loved teaching preschool this last year. I count it as one of my biggest blessing during Cancer treatments. It has been hard but very rewarding. 

Before Chemo Pictures

 When we found out that Chemo would be the first treatment we really wanted pictures to document our start of this adventure. I girl in our ward made the time in her busy schedule and we took these awesome pictures a couple of days before the first round of Chemo.

These pictures will always be a reminder of where we were and what we were doing when our family changed forever with the diagnosis of  Breast Cancer. We have a wall in our home that is dedicated to these pictures and it is known as our Cancer Wall.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Our Radiation Countdown

Instead of a Countdown to Christmas this year we had a RADIATION COUNTDOWN!!!
The night before radiation started we put together this chain. 

At the start of Radiation it seemed liked it would be forever till we were finished. We were so ready to get this next treatment over and on to picking up the pieces of the last year.

Daphne looks her very best!! 
She is really into getting dressed by herself. We love it.
Ryker is holding the last link to our chain. Today was the Last day of Radiation!!!
To celebrate we had our family over for a pizza party. Expressing our appreciation for all their help through this adventure.
The kids table. 
What an accomplishment we all went through. 
Anna wanted a picture with everyone there. We are so Blessed with an amazing family. 
Mabey Family--
Brad(Brother), Charlee, Anna, Natalie, Braxton
Our Texas Mabey Family!!
Having Everyone here made this night so memorable.
J.D, Justin(Brother), Anna, Betsy, Laura, Matthew, Megan 
Another Mabey Family--
Mark(Brother), Jennifer, Anna,
Stella, Madison, Mckaylee, Jacob
The Farmer Clan
Luke, Bonnie, Anna, Kip, Tim
More Farmers!!
Charity, Joel, Anna, Matt, Sarah
Mom and Dad!!
My Best friend in the World, My sister Sarah.
Our only immediate family member unable to attend is Anna's brother Jeff.
He is serving a mission in Mexico. We are so proud of him!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Radiation Report

It has been too long since we have posted anything.  During the month of December Anna underwent radiation as the final 'main' treatment.  It was a VERY hectic time.  Her radiation treatments required her to have 25 rounds of radiation. These were on a daily basis which meant Anna was driving to the Huntsman Monday through Friday.  I asked her, after about her third round, what it felt like.  She matter-of-factly said 'Like being cooked.'
Here is how radiation works...
They make a mold that one will rest in so that each time the person is in the same position.

Anna has tattoos, three of them.  They were used to align the machine each time she had a treatment.  They are just three little dots...but Ben is using this as justification to get a tattoo himself!!
The machine makes three passes which takes about 5-6 minutes.  It rotates on an axis so it can cover specific areas.

Anna's skin looked like she had a sunburn after about the 9th or 10th round, it eventually darkened even more and she even had a couple of open sores that were really painful.  We are undecided if she was tired and worn down from the radiation or from the holiday season.  Her daily treatments happened even on those days that there were family parties and activities and continued to bring an emotional strain that was tough to cope with.  Both of us were unprepared for the emotional strain of radiation.  I felt removed from this phase of her treatment as she would go by herself each day and I would either be at work or staying home with the kids.  Anna had a lot of time to think by herself in the waiting room and in her car and described feeling alone and scared fairly often.
It was a depressing time.
However, there were bright moments as well.  We had amazing help from our family and neighbors.  Daphne loved having one of Anna's visiting teachers come and play with her each time Anna had a treatment.  Anna's sister, Sarah, and her mom also helped a lot.  It was so nice to finish this phase of dealing with cancer.