Sider Family Blog

Boy (Brad) meets girl (Pam). Boy and girl get married (1999). Boy and girl have a baby (Lily, 2002), and another (Ella, 2005), and another (Abigail, 2008), and another (Levi, 2009). Boy and girl get a dog (Charlie Brown, 2010). Boy and girl and kids and dog live in Toronto. Boy works at Evergreen (Yonge Street Mission). Girl stays at home with the kids and works part-time at Starbucks. And they all live happily ever after...

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Beauty Shop

When Heather and Nathan came for a visit today, Heather wanted to do Lily's hair. So we pretended that our family room was a Beauty Shop, and Lily was going to be the customer. She phoned to make an appointment. The receptionist, Auntie Heather, answered the phone. Lily spelled her name to make sure that we had it in the appointment book correctly. She came and had a manicure (nail polish) and had her hair styled (french braids). Then it was Auntie Heather's turn to be the customer. Lily was the receptionist and answered the phone when it rang. Heather started to spell her name so that Lily could write it down correctly, and Lily asked her how to make an "H". It was way too funny.

Heather already had her hair "styled" so she was just in for a manicure. Lily's first customer. Auntie Heather was so brave!! Lily did an alright job with the nail polish, but Heather removed it before she left the house. Practice makes perfect.

The Beauty Shop had already been cleaned up, but I thought that I would try to give Ella a haircut anyway. I think it only took a handful of quick snips, and the mullet was off. She looks great! I don't know if everything is straight, because I can only cut her hair when she isn't wiggling. Some of her curls are still there, so that will hide any of the parts that are uneven. I'll try to post a picture of Ella's first haircut later.

Jaime, just so you know, Auntie Heather let Lily know that you would make a good customer one day. What a nice Auntie! :)

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Update on Mom

Sorry that I haven't been able to update you on my Mom's health until now, but we really haven't had any concrete answers until this week.

I'll try to sum up what's happened since Thanksgiving, when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer. At first there seemed to be a bit of back and forth with the doctors. The Oncologist didn't want to see her until she had a biopsy, the doctor performing the biopsy wanted her to see the Oncologist first. I think after a week and a half Mom was finally booked for a biopsy in Peterborough. During the biopsy, they were able to drain some fluid, hoping that this would help to alleviate some of the pressure.

On November 6th, Mom had an appointment with a surgeon, and this is where we were told that Mom didn't have Pancreatic Cancer, that she had Neuroendocrine Tumors. The surgeon said that Mom has probably been living with the tumors for a long time, and gave some possible scenarios for treatment. With the Pancreatic Cancer, Mom would have probably been looking at a couple of months, and now with this new diagnosis, although it still wasn't good, was a little better and would probably give Mom a couple of years as long as her body reacted well to the treatments.

This past Monday, November 13th, I was with Mom and Dad while they met with the Oncologist... remember the week before she was meeting with a surgeon, and they couldn't do anything for her because her diagnosis was different from what they had originally thought. An intern originally came in and asked Mom questions and then conferred with the Doctor. They both came in together and gave us a snapshot of Mom's health. She said that there were three options, chemotherapy, embolisation, and supportive care. The chemo option would help slow down the cancer, but counts on your body to flush out the toxins, and then went on to say that this type of cancer doesn't react well to chemo because it is not a blood based cancer. The embolisation option would kill off the blood supply to each of the tumors, but you need to have enough good liver tissue to regenerate for this to work. Mom has 5-10% of good liver tissue left. Option three is supportive (palliative) care, they would treat Mom's symptoms, drain fluid, and control any pain. This last option is what the Oncologist was suggesting. The chemo and embolisation would probably do more harm than good, and not increase quality of life. This is when the doctor said that although the Neuroendocrine Tumors is a slow growing cancer, they think that they have caught it at the tail end, where it is increasing. Like all doctors, she said that she wasn't sure how long Mom would live, but guessed and said 3 to 4 months.

Thankfully, the hospital was able to coordinate some other appointments for Mom right after each other. From the Oncologist's office (2nd floor), we went to the blood lab (main floor), then to the palliative Care doctor (4th floor), Dr. Bryson. He was great. Looked over Mom's medications, added some more medications, answered a LOT of questions. From here, Mom was sent to get some fluid drained (15th floor). We were at the hospital from 9am - 3pm. Obviously it was a long day, with a lot that needed to be absorbed, and is still being absorbed.

At the moment, Mom is well enough to stay at home with some extra assistance from ParaMed. They have come to do an assesment on what Mom needs to help her get around the house better. They will come in periodically to help her with whatever needs to be done. Mom and Dad have some great friends and family up in Fenelon Falls, who have been able to come around them and support them with cleaning, cooking, or just sitting down to chat. I wish that we lived closer and could be more help.

As Christians, we believe that God is the Great Healer. We know that He has the power to cure. We know that even if God does not heal Mom's body here on earth that she will be given a new body in Heaven, one free from pain, cured from cancer, and one that will live forever. However God will work in my Mom's life, we will continue to give God the glory.

Please continue to pray for my Mom and our family. Thanks.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

All About Ella

You all know that I have two kids, but I think that a lot of times I've focused my blogs on Lily. This one is dedicated to you Ella!

So... Ella is 1 1/2 this month, in just a couple of days actually. She has been walking since the summer, and loves to play her own version of Tag with Lily around the living/dining room and kitchen. She is very independent and will walk anywhere without holding on to our hands. For this reason, we always go shopping with her still in a stroller. I think I'm going to have problems keeping track of her when she's too big for me to strap down.

This past month is seems like her mouth has exploded with teeth. Her teeth are coming in handy now that she is a little less interested in soft foods. Unlike Lily, she has an enormous appetite, and will eat anything that I put in front of her. She has been using a fork, but still needs a lot of practice. She has also graduated from having a bottle to using a sippy cup.

As far as words go, her vocabulary is still limited to "Daddy" and "cat". I know that normally moms like to hear their kids first words be "Mommy", but I'm enjoying having Ella call her dad's name when she wakes up in the middle of the night!!! Don't think that because she can't say a lot we don't know what she wants. Normally she will give us her empty cup, squeal and then head into the kitchen and tap the refrigerator. Or she'll just make a lot of noise in the kitchen and wait for us to come and see what she wants.

Ella's hair seems like its taking forever to grow long enough to put back. I would have her get her hair cut, but I'm worried that she would wiggle too much. Most of the time I try to give her a little pony tail to keep her hair out of her eyes, but sometimes its a losing battle.

Ella is our little dancer and likes to twirl with her big sister. Sometimes I hear music coming from our bedroom and realize that she has turned on our clock radios. I go in to find her hands in the air and stamping her feet to the music.

She's never been much of a cuddler, but is good at giving Brad and I hugs and kisses before we head off to work, and before we put her down for bed. She'll walk between Brad and I over and over again, like she's playing a game, and starts to giggle.

We love you very much Ella!!!