New Blog, New Journey!

I apologize for not blogging the past few months – and I probably should have since it would have helped me deal with some personal issues I’ve gone through this year. I have, however, started a new blog, and I am going to be committed to that blog from here on out. If you would like to follow me over there and catch up, I encourage you to!

The new blog is at allofthelittlethings.com. I hope to see some of you there!

 

(Late) Happy New Year!

10957857_1572108853031422_453318913_o

I know I’m totally late on this – but HAPPY NEW YEAR! I cannot express to you guys how hectic it has been around here. Jerry started at a new company right before Christmas, and I must say that the change was honestly for the best. It was the best move for not only our family, but for Jerry as well. He’s home during the day – which is a big help with the kids since I’m at Dad’s treatments every day – and he’s home so much more in general (8 days verses 4 days a month PLUS Monday-Friday during the day). The kids are happier, he’s happier, and I’m happier. He’s got a bit more action with this company too, by the way 🙂 On Sunday I may update with a post of some stories he’s told me since he started here 😀

 

It’s been really rough with Dad. He had his first Chemo treatment on December 22, and he started his first dose of Radiation on December 29. At the moment, he has 17 more doses of Radiation and he takes his last (and third) round of Chemo on Monday. I’m going all out this weekend and making him a huge sign for the occasion (and I will post on Sunday night – just not before because it’s a really busy weekend).

 

Dad has lost some weight since this all began – last week he was down to 128 and the week before that he was at 142. He’s losing his hair, and he can no longer taste anything. His throat is peeling where they’re administering the radiation and every now and then he’ll cough up blood. We’re still staying positive though – as best as we can. Dad’s final day of treatment (Radiation) is February 18th. After the 18th of February its a waiting game for 6-8 weeks.

 

How was everyone’s Christmas? New Years? I don’t know about you guys…but I for one am ready for Spring…

 

By the way, we will be having a t-shirt fundraiser for Daddy. We still have the gofundme up and running – but sadly it is not doing as well as we would like/hope for it to be doing. The t-shirts will be made available to purchase via online. I’ll share that link later.

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of you! Sorry for not updating that much here lately, it’s been super hectic around here! I’m sure an update will come in a day or two! I hope every single one of you have a VERY Merry Christmas!

 

 

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Just thirteen more days and its Christmas! I must confess, it’s really not feeling like Christmas this year. Well, half of me is in the Christmas spirit, and the other half is just in the “bleh” mode. It’s been a busy week.. so that’s probably the explanation of it all. Jerry started with a new company today, Dad had three doctor appointments this week, and Sydni had one earlier this week.

Dad goes on Monday to have surgery for the Chemo port placement. After he has the surgery, he can start Chemo within two days after it has been placed – they’re really wanting him to start Chemo before Christmas. He’ll start Radiation on December 29th. He’s nervous, I’m nervous. To be truthful, the only way I’ve dealt with this whole thing is pretty much by pushing it away and acting like this was happening to someone else other than my dad. It didn’t hit me until today that this is happening to my daddy, not truthfully.

I’ve been having issues finding someone who will willingly watch the kids – my grandmother was watching the children but in her mind I’m putting the kids “last” and my father first. It really kills me every time she tells me this – because I would never put my children last. She started today saying that because I had to reschedule Landon’s 18 month appointment (they weren’t able to work Landon in around the time I asked for and since Dad’s CT / Radiation Stimulation was pretty important..I had to push Landon’s appointment off until next week). I’m always criticized, but today was just “not the day” I guess. I took both children with me to Dad’s doctor appointment. Thankfully his appointment happened to be during their Christmas party and the office was technically closed, so the children didn’t have to see anything “scary” (ie: sick people). After the nurse brought dad back, showed me the “mask” they made for his face (so that they know exactly where to administer the radiation – it’s kind of cool, it helps him not move during the 10 minutes it’ll be administered..and hey..it fits his head only), we were talking about the radiation again. She gave me/us the appointment… and I was honestly fine at first..

Then, we put the children in the car…and dad and I were having issues getting the double stroller taken down. It really hit me when I was about ready to throw the stroller across the parking lot (I have no patience). I started crying. Dad thought it was over the stroller – and after we finally got the stroller taken down (yes, I was still crying) and we got inside the car… I explained to him why I was crying.

Daddy took my hand and just reminded me what I’ve been telling him – We will get through this together – our whole family will get through this together. He assured me he has been very thankful for all of my help the past couple weeks – despite certain family members’ judgments and opinions. He reassured me I’m doing the best I can do and I’m doing a really good job at it.

Picked Jerry up from work about an hour later – he had a great day at the new company he went started at today. By the way, I’m very happy he has started here. It’s just better for our family all around – he’ll be working nights but he’ll be home during the day. If I manage to get the appointments for Dad set up just right – he’ll be able to stay awake through them so he can watch the kids for me while I’m with dad. That will help me out tremendously. I’m just glad to see him actually happy after coming home for the first time in a long time – not just because he’s coming home either.

Once we got home, we decorated the tree (we had to make two more trips to the dollar store – we ran out of lights and then we ran out of garland!!) We’ll finish decorating it tomorrow morning 😀

DSCN0820 DSCN0829 DSCN0818

What are you doing for this holiday season?!

That’s What I Love About Saturdays..

DSCN0765

All Three of my children

Today was a really good day. Jerry’s son, Brandon, came out and visited today. It’s rare for him to actually come out and visit – mainly due to his mother and just.. our schedules. Before today, Landon had only met his brother once. Though he’d only met his brother once, he knew exactly who he was when he walked in the door (which was right after Landon had gotten up). Wherever Brandon went, Landon went. The two of them were never far from each other. Jerry was off today (woohoo!). We had our second Thanksgiving today. It was a really good day today. Though I’ll never be his mom or replace his mom, I love him as if he were my own. I care about him as if he were my own. I would do anything in this world for him, and he knows this. We might not be able to see him often, but he will always be able to call this his second home.

 

How’s your weekend going?

 

God is So Good!

Finally, we received some good news today! First and foremost, the cancer is no where else inside his body. The cancer is only inside his throat. They plan on doing 4 weeks straight of radiation (every day) followed by 4 weeks straight of Chemotherapy. I also spoke with billing, and thankfully the bills were actually less, but not by a whole lot (hey, every cent counts…). Medicare is paying for 70-80% of things, but not all. Again, I hate even asking, but if you guys could somehow manage to donate even just a little bit to the fundraiser for Dad, I would greatly appreciate it. Another, even if you cannot donate…I would like to ask that you guys share it with your friends..your family..on facebook..or twitter.

 

http://www.gofundme.com/stevenbarfield

 

Thank you guys so much for your support!!

Happy Late Thanksgiving!

I hope EVERYONE had an amazing Thanksgiving! I’m so happy we had a good Thanksgiving. We made it through our first actual Dairy Free Thanksgiving this year – without issues. The stuffing was a bit sweeter than normal (I make cornbread stuffing, and so the cornbread has to be made first…and I had to use almond milk to make the cornbread). I was super proud of the green bean casserole, it was made without cream of mushroom, and everyone loved it. Landon was able to enjoy his turkey day like everyone else! In case you’re wondering, here’s what our Thanksgiving menu consisted of:

Turkey

Green-Bean Casserole

Roasted Butternut Squash

Cornbread Stuffing

Honey Glazed Baby Carrotts

Corn

Mashed Potatoes (Dairy Free!)

Sweet Potato Pie

Pumpkin Pie

How was everyone’s Thanksgiving?! 🙂

My Father has Cancer, But Cancer does NOT have my Father.

DSCN0259

My heart is so heavy as I right this. Honestly, my world has been flipped upside down since Monday when we found out my father does, in fact, have cancer. You know, we had suspected it for a while…we really had…but even though we had suspected it? It didn’t make the diagnosis any easier. After waiting for days to find out answers, we finally got some today.

 

Daddy has stage four cancer. He has two options – surgery to remove his voice box/vocal chords AND radiation, or just chemo and radiation together. My father has denied the surgery – considering he wouldn’t be able to talk – and I can’t say I blame him. We’re supposed to go down the Chemo/Radiation road..but they will not do either unless my father stops drinking. Honestly, today was the first day in my lifetime that my father openly admitted to being an alcoholic. He told the doctor that he could stop smoking…but he’d have a really hard time not drinking anymore. Please, pray that the Lord gives him strength to do what he needs to do.

 

I am scared. I know I have all of this support, and I really appreciate it, please do not get me wrong. But, I am scared. I lost my mother, unexpectedly, in 2012…and quite frankly, I am neither ready to loose my father as well..nor am I strong enough to go through that again. The doctor said that if daddy chooses no treatment, he has 12-18 months to live.

 

I know I’m super behind on the 30 days of thanks – and ‘m going to catch that up right now:

 

Day Five: I am thankful for my father. He is my superman – other than my son – and he has always been the man made of steel in my eyes.

Day Six: I am thankful for my father’s doctors. They are straightforward about everything, and they are good, Christian Doctors. The other night, the doctor asked if he could pray with me (I had to call after hours and my anxiety was just so bad). I honestly believe we have a great team working with us.

Day Seven: I am thankful for the support we have received from family, friends, and my readers/followers. It really means so much the encouraging words I have received.

Day Eight: I am thankful for my sisters. All of them. I have two biological sisters, and one unbiological sister. My oldest sister lives in Florida, and at the moment she cannot come home…but I appreciate her having us facetime her today during my father’s appointment so she could “be” there. We may not always get along, but my sisters are my world. I don’t know what I could do without Heather/Ashley/Stephanie.

Day Nine: I am thankful for my teachers. They are all aware of the situation with my father, and to be honest..because of his health, I have missed a lot of days at school this month alone – to the point where I’m “over” my limit. I am thankful that they are working with me.

Day Ten: I am thankful for my family. Not just the ones who live in my house, but the ones who have never turned their back on me. A lot of them have let me vent/cry/scream/and yell the past couple of days.

Day Eleven: I am thankful for my husband’s patience. I haven’t exactly been “nice” to him lately.I don’t know…I am so angry over our current situation, and I mean.. I am super angry. The only one I know I can take my anger out on and have them understand WHY I’m being a b**** is my husband. He has not shut me out, nor has he shut me down. I am so thankful he is understanding. And of course, after I yell at him for the littlest thing there is….I break down crying. He is there, with open arms, holding me while I cry my eyes out.

Day Twelve: I am thankful for my those who have helped me with the kids. It hasn’t been easy coordinating childcare here lately. Between my grandmother and my cousin Angie…we’ve made it work and I am so thankful for that

Day Thirteen: I am thankful for my Aunt Janet…the last living sibling of my father’s. I asked her on Monday if she would come to the appointment with us – for both emotional support for my father…and just so I didn’t have to go through this alone.

Day Fourteen I am thankful for my health. Granted, I am what they call “overweight”, but I am healthy…with a few things here and there (arthritis, asthma, possible thyroid issues). Other than that? I am in perfect health. I plan on keeping it that way.

Day Fifteen: I am thankful for the fact that my husband understands that since daddy has to quit drinking, he can no longer do his once a month “ritual”. I don’t even know what to call it. My husband honestly is not that much of a drinker – especially since we had Landon. However, once in a blue moon, when he’s off, he will pop open a few cans of budlight. He understands that because my father is the way he is, and what he is fixing to go through, he can no longer come home on a weekend he has off and drink a few.

Day Sixteen: I am thankful for the fact that God woke me up this morning…he’s given me another day to be with my children and my family.

Day Seventeen: I am thankful for my cousin Donna. Donna doesn’t pull any punches, and she doesn’t play the sympathy card. She’s always been there for me, especially in situations like this.

Day Eighteen: I am thankful for my cousin Shannon. My partner in crime. My children’s God Mother. She was there for the birth of my daughter, and she most certainly has been here for me this week when I’ve needed her the most. She understands me, and eh..she had to mediate between me and dad the other day. Dad was being a bit hard on me, and she was able to explain some things better to him verses me. She will never know, along with Donnie and Donna, how much she means to me.

Day Nineteen: I am thankful for the fact that for the first time in a long time, we are actually going to have a “Normal” Thanksgiving/Christmas on my Dad’s side of the family. This is something that has not happened in a very very long time…and I am grateful that its going to happen this year. I just hate that it took something like this for it to happen.

Day Twenty: I am thankful for my Aunt Carolyn. God Bless Her Soul. You know…in my eyes, she is an angel. She is the closest thing to a Saint on this planet. I know her heart is breaking just as much as mine is because of this. Words cannot express my feelings for my Aunt Carolyn. She has always…ALWAYS, never failing, had my back. I just hope she knows at least half of how much I love and care for her..and how much she means to me.

Day Twenty One: I am thankful for the roof I have over my head. You know, our house isn’t exactly much…and neither is the land…but it is everything to me. I grew up here, my children grew up here…and I dare anyone to try and take it from me.

Day Twenty Two: I am thankful for my car. No, it’s not a newer model, it’s a 2000 Silver Pontiac Grand Prix, but it was my mom’s car. Honestly, I believe she has been there with me a few times…especially the night I hydroplaned while I was leaving work, and I was about 20 weeks pregnant with Landon. It could have been a lot worse… but I swore then, and I’ll swear now…SOMEONE else was in the car with me…and I bet I know who…

 

 

 

Please…please continue to pray for my family. This is a really hard and difficult time for us. And thank you..thank you so much for the love and support and encouraging words I have received from you all.

 

-Shelby

 

 

 

It Looks like Cancer.

Today, my worst fear came to reality. I took daddy to the ENT, and they performed the biopsy. Before the biopsy, they did a laryngoscopy, with a scope. When they looked down Daddy’s throat today, they saw the inevitable. The lump (tumor) that is on dad’s throat is completely different – it’s two lymph nodes matted together. The reason they are matted together is because they are infected with cancer. The doctor pulled out the scope and said “It looks like you have cancer.”

To clarify, because I am not the person to beat around the bush, I said “So, it is cancer.” He said “Yes, it is cancer.” He started talking about a few treatments, and at first he made it sound easy to beat, and then I said “Oh, so it’s only stage one or stage two?” Nope. Not at all.

It’s either stage three or stage four Laryngeal Cancer. The part of this Larynx that is affected is the part right above the vocal chords. Because the cancer has affected TWO lymph nodes (well, even with just one lymph node it would still be the same), it is either stage three or stage four. They will not be able to tell us which stage it is until Thursday, at the latest, when the biopsy results come back. Another thing we have to do, we have to find out and make sure the cancer is only located in the throat – because the emergency room said that it most likely did not start at the throat.

I’ve been on the phone with so many people today. Daddy has a doctors appointment on Friday with a cancer specialist. Today, it occured to me that MAYBE his heart medications ( he has coronary artery disease) may interfere with cancer treatments, so I got on the phone with his heart doctor. We found out that there is a chance that Dad’s heart may not even be strong enough to handle chemo/radiation or even surgery. Everyone in the family has been told – I think it got to me the most when we told my father’s sister, my baby sister, and my Uncle/Cousin Donnie.

 

Donnie is my cousin on my mother’s side, but because of the age difference I’ve always referred to him as Uncle. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, him and his wife are my children’s godparents. Though Donnie is my father’s nephew by marriage, their relationship? Daddy views Donnie as a son, and I’m almost 100% sure Donnie views my father as a father figure. I am so close to him and his wife, I treat him like he’s one of my siblings now that I am older. Last year when dad & I were discussing his will, and burial wishes…just as a precaution because I didn’t want to do anything against his wishes… he said to me “Donnie can’t be a pallbearer. He’s like a son to me, and I’m like a dad to him…he will not be able to handle that. I won’t put him through that – and I don’t expect you too either.”

 

That was a given. I hate putting it this way, but honestly? Donnie is more of a son to my father than my actual brother.

 

I’ve been asking for a lot of prayers here lately… and I still am asking for them. We need prayers…for the doctors, and for what all is ahead of us. I for one, need prayers so that I can somehow find the strength and courage I need to deal with all of this. I have an amazing family behind me, and I am so grateful for that..and I am very touched by those of you who have prayed over the past couple of days.

 

P.S. I promise I will update the 30 days tomorrow, during the children’s nap times. Due to the news we got today, and the 80923874098723 phone calls I’ve had today, I just don’t have the energy to play catch up with that right now.

 

 

-Shelby

Mentally Exhausted.

I am honestly just mentally exhausted after all of this. We spent six hours at the Emergency Room today – they did a CT scan. The doctor finally came in the room about an hour and a half after the CT scan was finished. We were told that the tumor is visible on the CT Scan, but they can’t tell for certain if it’s cancer or not because of it’s location. They did say there’s more of a chance of it being cancer verses anything else, but there’s still a small chance, a small chance of hope, that it’s not cancer. The doctor told us that Dad would have to have a biopsy done on Monday, and then from there we’d know 7-10 days afterwards if it’s cancer or not. He warned us that after we know for sure, if it is cancer we’d have to figure out where the whole thing started from, because if it is cancer..it didn’t start in the neck. The news we got today was not reassuring at all, honestly..it felt like the doctor was more or less warning us that it is cancer.

 

I’m mentally exhausted from worrying. I know God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle – but I’m having a really hard time finding my strength right now. I need to be strong for my children, father, and my little sister – but I’m having a terrible time trying to do it. I guess I’m holding up kind of well because I haven’t cried in front of the kids..but it feels like the walls are caving in.

 

Still trying to process everything…but please…please continue praying for my father and our family.