Sunday, February 12, 2012

just keep moving

We had quite a rough last two weeks. Lots of emotional and physical ups and downs. 
Calli decided to jump on the trampoline last week for the first time, since her surgery .  The last time she had tried...was last May.  She could not jump without hurting her back.... that is when this whole roller coaster all started....that is when we found out why her back hurt...that was the last time she was on a trampoline...until this week!

Here I go mom!

When in life, you want to complain about something.... perhaps  it is something petty...maybe about your own children...please remember these precious pictures of Calli...jumping on the trampoline.  Trying, never giving up, always pushing her limits, and defying them.  This may look easy to you, but it was difficult for her to jump and keep jumping and keep her balance, but she tried and she triumphed. Praise God, this was all without any pain in her back. 

It did not hurt at all, when Aidan jumped and bumped her around

so so beautiful

you are getting there Aidan, soon you will be doing a split!

 After jumping, she said that her ankle hurt.

Little did I know, (or her for that matter), that she had sprained her ankle pretty badly.  She has feeling in her left foot, but sometimes, especially when she is tired, it comes and goes.  so she did not feel the ankle hurting until it was really hurting!  Later that week, her physical therapist noticed how her left foot was not working as well, and she confirmed that it was most likely sprained.  Well, over the weekend, it hurt so badly, so Monday morning, I took her for an x-ray before she did horse therapy and physical therapy later on that afternoon.  It turns out it is just a sprain!  

With the green light, we went to Equine Therapy, and despite her hurting ankle,  she did so well!  She had her second session on Monday, and it is really unbelievable how straight she is on a horse.

 This is always a major workout for Calli.  Again, what may seem like no big deal to you or to me, is a huge amount of bending, balancing, and work for Calli!  Her core is getting stronger, but she is more and more tired, and has increasing pain in her back, as you would if you were working it hard.  After an hour of Equine therapy each week, she goes right to Physical Therapy for another hour at CHOP in Chalfont.

On Tuesday, Mike's mom Linda moved out of Grandview hospital, into Telford Lutheran Home's skilled nursing unit, under the care of hospice.  Mike, the kids, and I were able to spend the day there, moving her in and making the room cozy and like home for her.  This is yet another change,another transitions that is hard.  We are very pleased with how Telford has made their new nursing home more like a home, rather than a hospital. 

Here is a video of her singing my favorite hymn in the hospital with her cousin and sisters.

Calli was asked to be in a story for a local paper, The Town and Country.  Here is the story.

They did a great job capturing who Calli is.  Some of the details, as in any news story, were confused, but they don't really matter anyway:)
Roscoe, would not leave my feet, lol- so he was included in the family picture- Mike said I look Asian.
This is the funniest picture of Butchy.

I woke on Tuesday morning, and Roscoe had a swollen leg and was limping.  We left him outside the other day while we were gone, and he dug and dug at the fence to try and get out.  He is quite anxious and has OCD, so I imagine he probably dug for the entire 8 hours that we were gone.  
So, my neck has been hurting a lot lately- I can't imagine why- it has been hurting and feeling so crunched for months, so I finally made an appointment for myself at the doctor and at the vet for Roscoe.  
This visit was quite emotional for me.  I was seeing Dr. Cope, and His P.A. Jackie Robinson...the same people who found Calli's tumor.  I walked in the room, and as the nurse started doing my vitals, she teared up and told me that she has been reading our blog all along.  She asked to hug me, and I welcomed her embrace.  I cried.  Her own grandchild had been tragically killed in a boating accident not too long ago, and she had pain that I never wish to bear.  They asked about Calli and I just broke down crying.  

Lately, when I am not with my children...when I am alone, so to speak, I cry.  It just hits me, all at once- in my car, at the doctors office, in the shower....I guess it is a release.

They did an x-ray and, my neck is straight, and it should be curved.  They think I pinched a nerve.  Turns out I have same kind of bad neck junk my dad does- early arthritis as well, and stress makes it much much worse.  Stress makes the neck crunched and then my muscles swell and get tight and are actually pulling my neck straight- making it harder to hold up my head!!! Another thing, my blood pressure was 165/105!  YIKES!  And I have bad carpal tunnel- which is causing numb tingles down my arms 24/7.   I left, and headed over to the vet with Roscoe.  As I was driving, I was again left alone with my thoughts, and I realized that I when I am in pain, I need to lift my head and look up.  That was a spiritual lesson I learned.  A friend reiterated that to me later that day...lift up your head- your help comes from the Lord.

So Roscoe, poor thing, could not even walk into the vet at all, I had to carry his 42 lb chubby sausage body in there.  Then he would not get off of my lap- he is so funny.  Turns out he is fine, a bit dramatic and just very swollen and sore.



Calli had her MRI on Friday.  Her, Mike, and I spent the entire day at CHOP- we left at 7 am, arrived at 8:30, despite her scheduled time, they did not take her in until almost 12:30.  By then she was nervous, and hungry and nauseated.  She did giggle and laugh as she fell asleep though- she keeps asking me to get it on video, but Mike and I are too busy kissing her and and saying "See you later," as she is put to sleep by the anesthesiologist.  Mike and I waited for 4 more hours,and then she was done!  She awoke from the MRI this time, with a little harder and longer recovery than normal.  We finally we got on the road and hit Friday night traffic :)  We got home around 7:30, and were so thankful to have a prepared meal waiting for us on our porch!

The next day, Saturday, Calli spent most of the day recovering, and refused to eat- she just felt so yucky. Food is just not a good thing to her right does not appeal to her at all.  Please pray that the Lord increases her appetite, and that she gains some weight!

Aidan had a TaeKwonDo Tournament for most of the day. 
 He did a great job, and we are very proud of him.  Mike and I were very proud that he got second place for patterns, and first for sparring.  He also was able to make it through the first round of the high flying snap kick- He did not make it through the first round of the ground patterns- but you cannot always win.  Losing gracefully and cheerfully-is a wonderful lesson we all must learn.  Better now than later.  I love Mark Cashatt's dojang so much.  As each child, teen, or adult is eliminated from the competition by their competitors advancing, they do not sulk or frown, they all continue to cheer on their fellow competitors and clans- it is like a big family.  It was so exciting and fun to cheer for everyone.

Aidan 4th one from right

Aidan green belt- doing ground pattern

That is Aidan kicking!

Kick it Aidan!

Getting a pep talk

He is the yellow guy <3

That evening, Calli threw up all night- from 8pm to 5 am, every hour over and over again.   We got little, to no sleep.  It was a rough night, to say the least.

This morning, however, I awoke around 8:30, feeling no more tired than usual, it was a blessing.  I did not feel at all that I had lost an entire night of sleep.  I thank God for giving us supernatural rest and rejuvenation.

Calli woke, also around that time, and was feeling better- and it was good thing, because Sharon Snyder, and Kisses For Kyle, a local nonprofit, had invited her to a fun night of socialization with other teens that have cancer from our area. She was really looking forward to going and spending some time in Philadelphia that was fun- not treatment related!

When we arrived at Bonefish grill in Abington, she felt sick again, but after eating a little, she made it through and felt much better. After a delicious meal, we then went down to the city in a "Party Bus-" basically a huge Limo. It was our first time in one of those, and what an experience! 

We arrived in Center City, to Action news, St. Joe's fundraising girls, and a red carpet at the MAC makeup store on Walnut Street in Philadelphia. The teen girls were greeted with roses, and bags and hugs.  There were friendly artists who treated them to a makeover, and gave them MAC products to take home.   
Here is the story they did-

here is another one!

Jamie Apody from Action News, and Christine Maddela, from NBC, were both super nice and Calli and I got to talk to them  for a long time- we chatted, and laughed  about such normal things, like makeup, dogs, and other stuff. Calli was really happy how down to earth they really are. After all the girls were done getting a makeover, we went to the FREEZING cold Art Museum steps (whose idea was that anyway?) to get a picture- Calli could only make it up half way- but it was good that she tried! After that, we went back to Willow Grove and ate at the Cheesecake Factory. It was a fun and full night. 

Calli had a chance to share and talk with girls her age, going thru similar battles, and struggles.  No matter how good of friends you have, they do not know and have no way to understand what you and your body are going thru.  It was good to be able to relate to other girls her age- bald girls, girls with hair coming in, girls that could not make it up the steps either, girls that just were not that hungry.  She felt normal.  She felt special, she felt belonging and empathy.

More pictures to come, but this is all I have for now!- Sorry they are not very good quality :)  I forgot my camera!

Jamie Apody & Christine Maddela


  1. I just wanted to say I've been following Calli's story and praying for her. We have mutual friends on FB I think, and someone posted your blog back in May. You have a beautiful family and it's encouraging to follow your story, how you love each other and trust God through it all. It helps me here, to remember, when things get hard, that we still have each other and God and that is more than enough to be thankful for. Everything else is just details. blessings to you and your lovely family!

  2. Great news! It's awesome that you can jump on the trampoline, Calli! :D Oh, and I really liked your makeup in that one pic! :D Happy Valentine's Day!
    Love and prayers,

  3. WOW the photos with the makeup are gorgeous - not just because of the makeup- but because her smile shows how very happy she is ! LOVELY!!!

  4. Sue LaBella - friend of Laura/Alison'sFebruary 16, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Calli is so beautiful -- her pictures are fantastic, your words are remarkable and the family's strength is immeasurable.

    So much love to you all...

  5. Thanks for shring your thoughts abbout party bus pictures.


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