Friday, July 20, 2012

6, not 5

The new number is now 6...not 5.

Surgeries, that is.

Yes, this is a HUGE bummer for us. Let's just say that I've been in a huge slump this past week and a half. Ok...I'll backtrack.

We were told from day #1 that Brooke would have 5 surgeries. This would include 2 rounds of 2 surgeries each & then a final touchup surgery...all to equal 5. However, even though we were told 5, we have learned to completely understand that things can change.

We met with Dr. Bauer the last full day of the conference & after one look at Brooklyn he said that the easiest, & best, way to make her face symmetrical is to do another expansion.

Jaw. Drops. Here.

Basically, all I remember was standing out in the hall waiting for it to be our turn; then we went in the room & got to talk with Kristi (his amazingly wonderful scheduler); then he looked at Brooklyn & we talked about lowering that right eyebrow & right hairline; then he said those dreaded words "another expansion"; then it went blank. I pretty much said "OK....OK....OK....yeah, send me an email with available dates....OK....bye". I walked out of there, straight up to our room, then lost it.

I know 6 surgeries isn't as much as other families have to have. And I know it's not the end of the world. But when you have your hopes set on a number...both financially & mentally, then you find out you have to add another surgery - another trip to Chicago, more time off work, more money spent, more hotels, more food, more gas &/or airline tickets, & the list goes on - you literally feel like a bomb has been dropped.

So I had my little "moment" in the hotel while poor little Brooke was looking at me like "what on earth is the matter with you woman". Pulled myself together, reminded myself that the Lord is in control & he actually knew this whole time that she'd have to have 6 surgeries, had a talk with Amie, then just said "ok let's do this", called Dustin, explained everything to him, then went downstairs for dinner.

And that was that.

I got an email just a few days after the conference from Kristi, got dates for later in the fall/winter (what Dr. Bauer wanted), scheduled for December 6, 2012 & February 7, 2013, & the rest is history!

Ok so I wish it was that easy. Well all the physical parts of it were. The mental parts, however, were a completely different story. I got depressed. I mean, not just a little depressed. But I got full-blown into a depression that I was scared I wouldn't get out of. It even scared ME! Poor Dustin didn't know what to do with me, the girls didn't know what happened to their mom, & I was like a sad pitiful zombie everywhere I went. It took me until now to be able to talk about it. Actually for a short while I didn't even tell people that we had to have a whole other round. I didn't want the questions! So I just didn't say anything about it until my "poor us" feelings passed.

But something, thank the Lord, pulled me out of it & pushed me right into Ok-how-are-we-going-to-afford-this mode. So now I'm in a full-blown "we're having 6 surgeries so let's get this show on the road" mood & trying my hardest to brainstorm about how we can physically, emotionally, & financially add another surgery into the mix.

So here we go......

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Week To Change A Life

(To view some deep info from our first conference, see the 3 posts from July 2010.)

These past few days I was in Dallas!! What?! Yeah...I travelled, with Brooklyn, to Dallas, Texas for the 2012 Nevus Outreach Conference. It was a whirlwind, but we managed to get there, visit with tons of people, meet new faces, learn a bit of information, & get back...all in just about 4 days! I went alone back in 2010 but this time Brooke needed to see Dr. Bauer to get a final say on what this last surgery would she went with. Originally it was supposed to be the 4 of us, because I won a family registration for filling out a survey from the 2010 conference. But when we got right down to it, we couldn't afford 4 plane tickets & the hotel. We wanted to save our money in Brooklyn's account for the last surgery, so we opted to have just Brooklyn & me go. I really missed Dustin & Cali while we were gone, but it was nice because we roomed with a great friend, another nevus mom, & her son (Amie Moller & Zac, who we were in Chicago with in January for our first surgery) while we were there so we only had to pay for half of the room. AND we gave them our extra adult & child free registration. So it was good, even though Dustin & Cali weren't there.

We left bright & early on the 4th of July (cause thankfully our party was on the 3rd) & flew to Denver then to Dallas. We had an "interesting" time on the plane...

...but after some bribing, we ended up on the shuttle bus in Dallas...happy!
The first night was a 4th of July party...but I tell you didn't feel like the 4th of July at all. :(  Several of us hated that the conference started on the 4th of July, but that's the dates they were already locked in to. Thankfully though, we had our party the night before. :) 
So we had the 4th of July BBQ party, then went to bed. The next 2 full days were filled with speakers, meeting new people, catching up with old friends, & bonding with those super close friends that you'll have for life...just because of a nevus on our children. It's amazing what can bring people together. I wish Brooklyn wasn't born with a nevus, but I thank God that these wonderful people were brought into my life because of it.
There was free childcare offered at a local daycare, located right across the parking lot from the hotel we were at. So our kids played at daycare all day while we were in conferences.
One of the days, we had several hours of a break, so we talked the hotel into taking us to a mall so we could shop. :)
On the shuttle going to the mall

The last full day (Saturday) was the day we had our consult with Dr. Bauer. I'll write about that in the next post...

Saturday night was the big dinner & dance. It was a great dinner & Brooklyn actually didn't do too bad. She loved the hats!

 Mom's & our kids... In the above picture there's a great friend Melissa & her son Aiden, then Me & Brooklyn, & a new mom we met, Amy, with her daughter, Emily. Amie, my good friend & roommate is in the top picture on the far right & in the bottom picture in the middle. Amie was replaced by Beth, another great friend, in the bottom picture on the far right. Whew!!! We were just missing Christine & Josh. :(

Our flights back weren't as rough as the flights there. See for yourself...

And on to the next post to explain our horrible news....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

Like we do every year, this year we had another 4th of July party. It's like waking up in the morning. Automatic. No question about it. We have a party. :o) So of course, this year was like every other!! Take a walk through our 4th of July through pictures....
All the goodies I made...
Licorice wrapped in festive paper

Strawberry, blueberry, marshmallo kabobs

Amazingly wonderful white chocolate sprinkle strawberries

Strawberry Dessert Squares (and my personal all-time favorite)

Believe it or not, this is the very first cake I've ever why not make it difficult! It was very crumbly (no idea why cause I'm not a baker) but everyone said it tasted good...& it was all gone by the time the night was over!

The fireworks. Nuff said.

And a little play-by-play of this picture.....

We hope you all had a safe & happy 4th of July!