Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Personal Post

No card today, but I have some news to share and it's not good.

My husband, John, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. He had a colonoscopy on thursday which found a walnut sized tumor. The biopsy results came in on friday which showed the tumor to be malignant. We have an appointment on monday with the surgeon and a cat scan scheduled for wednesday so things are moving swiftly to take out the tumor and see if anything has spread. He'd been having some problems (pain, pressure, bleeding) and the GI doctor expected to find Crohns, so this tumor was a surprise even to the doctor. Colon cancer is typically slow developing. Routine screenings are recommended every 10 years. John had a clean colonoscopy in 2006 so we're hopeful that this tumor was caught early.

When I first started blogging in the summer of 2008 I worried at first that I wouldn't have time. It would be fun at first and then the novelty would wear off and it would be a chore. I decided that I would keep my posts brief and pretty much stick to the crafts. This has worked out great and I'm usually exceeding my original goal of 3 posts per week. But over time I've made so many connections with other bloggers that I just feel like this is something I can't not share. So if you're still reading, thank you!

Now there's something else I need to talk about. Something I should have shared months ago. Our little boy, Willie, is autistic. We received this diagnosis in July and he was put in the mild to moderate range on the spectrum. I could go on for pages and pages with his story but I'll try to keep it brief! We were first concerned about him when he turned 1 and wasn't yet talking. I remembered my daughter having some words at 1 and the pediatrician told me not to compare the 2 kids and give it more time. Well at 18 months still no words and there were some other concerns, such as he wasn't stacking blocks and was still mouthing his toys. We got the process started with Early Intervention and scheduled an appointment with a developmental pediatrician from Children's Hospital of Phila, which we had to schedule months ahead of time. We had his hearing tested and that came back normal. By the time we got the appt with the developmental pediatrician we had been working with a speech therapist, occupational therapist, and education therapist for a few months and were starting to see some progress. At that point I had made peace with the diagnosis I knew he was going to receive. Since then we've added a behavior therapist, therapeutic support staff, and mobile therapist. He's also recently started in a 2 year old autistic preschool program that he's doing wonderfully in. The class is limited to 4 with a teacher and an aid. All 4 are boys, all around his age and at about the same functioning level. Willie has always been very attached and dependent on me so this preschool has been a good thing for the both of us.

So I'm trying to stay positive, but geez when it rains it pours!



I took this picture on Halloween. John and our daughter, Mary Rose, went to the World Series.
I stayed home and took Willie trick or treating to a few neighbors houses.

So that's my story. I'll keep updating as things develop with my husband and as for Willie I don't know why I've been so weird about sharing his condition up until now, but I'll update on him as well.

Thanks for letting me share.

25 comments:

Godelieve said...

Beautiful photo of your family Laura!

Looks like things are going well with Willie, thanks to all efforts.
Wishing you all the best with your husband.
Take care ♥

stampqueen said...

WOW!!! Sending prayers and Blessings your way. A friend of mine has a Granddaughter who is Autistic but more towards the severe side and diagnosed late to boot - you are definatly on track with everything for your little one!!! Keep at it and hang in there!!! Have Hope with your DH's diagnosis also - as a Nurse of 25 years, the cancer is soooo much more treatable and with less side effects than when I first started out in Nursing and it keeps getting better all the time. Attitude makes all the difference!!!
God Bless!!!

Jessica said...

Oh, bless your heart, Laura!!! Please rest assured that God is in control and you can count on my prayers :)
**Blessings in abundance to you and precious family**

Kathi said...

{{((Hugs))}}

I'm so glad that Willie has been making strides and that the preschool experience has been positive thus far.

My thoughts are with you, John, and your family as you go through the testing, surgery, treatment, and recovery processes.

More {{((hugs))}}

Tracy Durcan said...

Hang in there Laura. Even though we have never met you've always seemed like someone I would get along well with. Mark's dad was just diagnosed with lung cancer and we are so pissed off about it- it really sucks. He will start chemo soon and then surgery in Dec. I will also be thinking of you and the journey ahead with your son. Even though I grew up Catholic, I don't have much buy in to the whole God thing, but I do believe that positive thinking can go a long way and I keep the faith in that manner. Take care!

Missus Wookie said...

The challenges of living with Autism or Aspergers (which my ds has) are complex and wearing, I'm glad you've got some respite with the pre-school.

Hoping your dh responds well to the treatments available. Glad you shared.

Julie said...

All will be well, Laura...so glad you could share this today. I know it's hard to do, but our soul lightens up a bit when we share things, doesn't it?

I'm sure your husband will be okay--sounds like you caught this early, and you're being very aggresive with treatment...hang in there!

When things happen to our children, or when they're born with handicaps, we take it very personally, and we just want to shelter them, so I understand you not talking about it before now. But, I think you'll find, Laura, that others that are dealing with the same thing will find YOU now, and you can really support each other...

My sister gave birth to a beautiful boy 2 years ago that has spina bifida...she has learned to be very open with it, and has found so many others with this in their families--through her blog mainly--and they have become so important to her, and so helpful!

Sorry this is soooo long, you just really touched me today with your story. I'll keep you all in my prayers--stay happy--life is good!

And keep creating your beautiful cards--creating something everyday is so important, I think--helps us stay happy, and the things you make are so beautiful! Have a wonderful, peaceful day, Laura!

Tanis said...

Thanks for sharing with us. We all want to be here for you.
Happy to hear of Willie's progress too...and I'll be still praying for you all.

JeanFB said...

Laura, you and your family are in my heart and prayers. It sounds like you have caught BOTH conditions where they are eminently treatable. It is a scary time, I'm sure, but it sounds like everything will be okay with treatment. As you have already done with your son, take as much control as you can with your husband's condition and try to be at peace with the fact that you are doing everything you can. Live in the present and enjoy the holidays, your family, every moment. And, take care of yourself.

Ashley Cannon Newell said...

Thanks for sharing this, Laura. Many prayers are now being sent your way. Stay strong and know that you have many 'bleeps' are rooting you on!

Jennifer Kirk said...

Laura, I'm so sorry to read about your husband having cancer. It looks like you have a lot going on right now. If you ever need anything - car rides, babysitting, errands, food, whatever - just say the word and I'm there. I'll be thinking of and praying for your family.

Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

Hello sweet Laura,
My heart goes out to you.. Life is so full of surprises, heartaches, pain, and joy.. We each have our share of all of the above ...and yet, we feel so alone with our own problems ..Thank you for sharing yours today.. Your in my thoughts and yes, prayers...

I hope all goes well for your Husband, and it sounds like your son is in a great preschool. We don't have those opportunities here...medical or emotional..the downside of rural America.

Peace be with all of you.. and your family is adorable! I'm sure you want to hold them tight..

xo

Emilia said...

Hi Laura,

Our prayers are with you all. Good thing always happen. Take care!

emilia

~amy~ said...

Laura, thanks for sharing with us today...Oh boy, I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you and your family and sending you tons and tons of "good ju-ju"...

It sounds like you all have been proactive with both your boy and your hubby...

I wished I lived closer to you so that I could help you out in some way...just know that we are ALL thinking of you and your family:)

Hang in there Laura...

Nicole Maki said...

Thank you so much for the picture and the update. It is nice to see your family and get a mental picture of what your life looks like.

And thank you for sharing your troubles. Now I can pray for you each night and keep your family in my thoughts.

It sounds like they caught the cancer early that a very good thing. I wish you every possible success and comfort in dealing with the doctors and surgery.

Willie's preschool sounds like a great fit for him and for you. You sound like you are very on top of meeting his needs. If I can ever offer any help at all, please let me know.

Tenia Nelson said...

I am praying your family. Be strong...I know it will be hard but just stay strong.....your blog friends are here for ya.

Laural-Lee said...

TFS Laura! I'm sorry to hear about your worries. I'm sure you guys caught it early and I'm glad that things are moving at a fast pace! Waiting is always so very hard isn't it?

It sounds like Willie is doing wonderfully and it is so wonderful that you were able to catch the signs so early and took a proactive approach. He couldn't ask for better parents.

Blessings and prayers and lots of hugs.

ReNi said...

I just stumbled upon your blog.
All the best to you & your family!
ReNi

Suzzi said...

Please accept my condolences on the events taking place. Glad he did go into for the colonoscopy and caught it now (even walnut size) instead of another year.

I will pray strength for you.

chelemom said...

I am new to your blog and read your story.....when it rains it certainly DOES pour! Hopefully, your husbands cancer was caught early....my dad had it and he is cancer free now and doing well. I will say a prayer for him.....
I know how hard it is to have your child diagnosed with a disability....my daughter has mental and physical disabilities and to this day is undiagnosed. It hasn't always been an easy road. Surround yourself with upbeat positive people! you sound very upbeat and that will get you through....... : )

Heidi Van Laar said...

Your story about your little boy really struck a cord with me. I have a two year old and we are experiencing a very similar journey, except that autism is one of the few things they have actually ruled out for his developmental delays. but I haven't mentioned thing one about it on my blog...maybe it's time.

I will keep your husband and your family in my prayers. Thanks again for being brave enough to share your story.

(-: Heidi

ryannmarin said...

I know you are going through some difficult times right now. I hope by sharing with us it has helped to lighted the load, even if just the tiniest bit, because you are not alone. We're all here for you :) Big hugs!

clouds shadler said...

Laura, what a wonderful family you have! Hang in there,sending big hugs and well wishes to you. Hoping that all goes well with your hubby. Willie looks like a wonderful kid :) Thanks for sharing that with us, you are very brave and wonderful! Many blessing out to ya! You have a wonderful blog!

HUGS
Clouds :D

Julia Stainton said...

{{{Laura}}} I'm so sorry for all you are going through right now. You and your family are in my prayers. I wish I could give you a big hug. Wishing you every blessing this year!

Tiff said...

Laura, what a beautiful photo! BIG hugs to you and your family...You all are in my innermost thoughts and prayers.