Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are we there yet?

     We went to NJ for Thanksgiving and on Friday we went to see our "new" house. I was a little nervous because, even though my in-laws know us very well, it's a scary prospect to choose a house without ever seeing it. Well, the house is great! The only drawback we could find (and it's minor) is that the stairs are a bit more narrow and steeper than what we have now. That means that we will have to stress that John holds the railings and goes down slowly. Other than that, we really love the house and can see ourselves living there. The basement is very large and cleaner that any basement I've ever seen. Russ is already planning his workshop area and John can ride his bike down there in the winter. There are four bedrooms (we have three in this house) and TWO full bathrooms. I think we are the most excited about having two bathrooms-seems like someone was always waiting. And having four bedrooms means that I no longer have to use part of the dining room for my crafts. I have missed my dining room; I love doing tablescapes and decorating for special occasions and I have a slight obsession with dishes. Yes, I'd say we are eager to move. When we walked in, John said "this is awesome" and he has already chosen his room. Now it's just a matter of waiting. Waiting for Russ and I to get jobs, waiting for the closing, waiting for this house to sell, waiting to move in. Waiting is not my favorite thing to do.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let's make a deal

     Well, my in-laws put a bid on the house and it was accepted! After several months of just discussing moving and looking at houses online, suddenly things are moving very fast! Because it is a cash transaction, things should be settled very quickly. Very quickly as in our closing is tentatively set for December 15th. Wow. Just wow. Now all we have to do is sell this house, find jobs and settle in. Easy right?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This might actually happen

     I have written several times that we do not like where we are currently living. Brief recap: after I had John I suffered from severe postpartum depression and my mother promised us that if we moved here we would have lots of family support. She said she and my dad would help out a lot with John and we'd be one big happy family. The reality is nothing like that; in the 2 1/2 years we've been here, my parents have only asked to have John once. They have watched him a few times, but only if I asked because I had a doctor or dentist appointment. The move hurt us financially and we asked if she would watch John one or two days a week so I could substitute teach and she said no because it would be "too early" and she didn't know the roads well despite the fact that she grew up in the house where we now live. I know how my mother is (she has a classic case of narcissistic personality disorder) and if I had not been suffering from the ppd, I never would have fallen for her ploy and we wouldn't have left Virginia. That's water under the bridge now though.

     Things finally came to a head a few months ago and we made the decision to move. Russ's parents have had some tough times lately with illnesses and their house was badly damaged in a flood a few months ago. Mary (MIL) is starting to show the beginning signs of Alzheimer disease also so we thought we'd move closer to them. When we lived in NJ before moving to VA, we lived maybe 7 minutes from them and we saw them a lot. We are in no position financially to buy a house so we decided we'd rent a condo for awhile and try to save up for a house. It's unbelievable to even type this but Russ's parents have offered to buy us a house if we move by them. Yes, to buy us a house. Outright, cash, no mortgage. Just reading that floors me. Anyway, we had been looking at houses online and they had gone to see a few of them but things were just "hypothetical" so far. Until Sunday. They went to see a house owned by a long time friend of the family. His mother was no longer able to live alone and they were selling her house to move her into an assisted living community. My in-laws went to see the house on Sunday and said "we'd be stupid not to buy it." I told Russ to tell them "well, I'm not stupid, so buy it." I was half joking but it ended up that they put a bid on the house the next day! The realtor (also the woman's daughter in law) said she had to discuss it with the rest of the family but she didn't see a problem with the offer (it was significantly below the asking price) because it would be a cash deal. My in-laws also said that it was well worth the full asking price so they would be willing to pay that. Russ has seen the outside of the house but we've only seen online pictures of the inside. Is that crazy? Maybe a little, but I trust my in-laws and they say the house is in great shape. They know us very well and know what we would and would not like. I have been looking at lots of houses and there were several that I really liked but when my in-laws went to see them they weren't in good shape, which is disappointing. So, I'm reluctant to get my hopes up just yet but deep down I'm pretty excited!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank God!

     We took John to see the ENT specialist at Pitts.burgh Children's Hospital and she feels that there is no need for concern about the lymph node at this time. She recommended that we continue to monitor it as he grows and if it doesn't resolve over time we may have to address it in the future. She said there really isn't a way to measure them to establish a baseline so we'll just keep an eye on it. Needless to say we are so relieved and thankful!

     It was very difficult to see the children at the hospital who did not get good news that day. One little girl in particular tugged at my heart strings. She was wearing a mask (because of chemo I presume) and was returning from the gift store with her mother carrying a stuffed dog. Despite what she must be going through, she looked so happy with her new toy. It struck me how much stronger children are than adults. We tend to get bogged down by worry while kids have the ability to live in the moment. I want to be more like that. I want to embrace the now instead of waiting for things to get "better." We are not guaranteed another moment and I want to fully live every moment I have.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Second opinion

Well, John's pediatrician is sending us to Children's Hospital in Pitts.burgh on Friday. He says it would be very rare to see that kind of cancer in someone as young as John, but he thinks we should see the specialists anyway because there is a family history. He said it was more "for me", to set my mind at ease but obviously if there was no possibility of it he would have said that and not sent us to Pitts.burgh. I am of course terrified.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So scared

   Gosh, it seems like forever since I've written here. So much is going on (good and bad) but right now the thing that is consuming me is John's health. He has had an enlarged lymph node on his neck for as long as I can remember. When he turns his head it is very noticeable. At his 2 year checkup last year I asked his doctor about it and he said that it was somewhat common and that they aren't really concerned about it until the child is 12 or so. I pretty much forgot all about it until the latest ENT visit where there were concerns about the size of his tonsils. The "underling" recommended surgery to remove them but I requested to see the actual doctor and he said that because John is having no symptoms he recommends waiting because they usually resolve on their own as kids grow. I mentioned the lymph node to him and he felt it and also felt a couple on the other side of John's neck as well. He said that they were all separate which is a good sign, and recommended just monitoring them. I accepted this also and pretty much didn't give them a second thought. For some reason last weekend my eyes were drawn to John's neck as he played and I was just struck with panic over it. Not really sure why. It really rattled me because, as I said, I hadn't thought much about it. Even though I know better, I started goo.gling and pretty much threw myself into a full blown anxiety attack over the possibility that it could be cancer. Then I remembered that my uncle (dad's brother) had Hodg.kins disease and that just sent me over the edge. I talked it over with Russ and we decided that at John's next ENT appointment (12/22) I would mention the family history and ask whether we should really be concerned. Then I started thinking about how tonsils are part of the lymphatic system and wondering if it could be related. From there I started goog.ling symptoms of lym.phoma. In the early stages there are few symptoms but they include enlarged lymph nodes and night sweats. John does sweat sometimes when he sleeps but I'm not sure it could be classified as night sweats since it primarily involves just his head and not his entire body. At this point I've worked myself into some serious anxiety and I knew I'd never be able to wait until December so I am taking him to his pediatrician tomorrow to discuss it with the new information about family history and I'd like to have it measured so we have a baseline to determine if it gets larger or smaller. I am praying that he tells me I'm over-reacting but I'm also truly terrified that there is a reason it popped into my head last weekend. I'm so very scared but I'm doing my best to trust God and stop worrying.