Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Year Later

Wow - can it really have been a year since I posted? If anyone is still out there - I am still here. I am doing great. I am cancer free for about 1 1/2 years! I currently feel better than I have in a very long time! I am also basking in the post vacation glow after our trip to the beach. It was so great!

Ok - news on the allergy front, we are taking Connor to Johns Hopkins today to see Dr. Woods and have his allergy tests done. Please keep your fingers crossed that at the age of 5, Connor has outgrown something! I will let you know how it goes!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hello Hello

Hello Hello everyone - I am back! Thanks so much for all the well wishes. I am continuing to make progress on the cancer front. I have finished the chemo, undergone a double mastectomy (and partial reconstruction) and started radiation last week. I am finally feeling like myself again. The surgery went very well and the pathology report was great! No signs of residual cancer! Yay! Better than I could have hoped for. I have 21 sessions of radiation left that will take me into the beginning of August. So - my summer will be spent shuttling between swim team and radiation - EVERY DAY! I think it is going to go by quickly as the days are already running together.
I do have some very exciting news regarding C - he is actually eating new foods! Something about the summer has given him an appetite. I have also found the pool to be a great motivator. If he does not eat his lunch , we do not go swimming. Guess what - he cleans his plate. A list of new foods includes: grilled chicken, watermelon, cantaloupe, fish sticks, sweet potato fries, tater tots, tacos, turkey burger, yogurt, cream cheese and apple butter sandwich, applesauce, rice and spaghetti. It does take a lot of attention for me to get him to eat some days. I have to sit beside him so he does not get up and run away. It has been a lot of work, but I am beyond thrilled that he has developed an appetite!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Catching Up

Wow - I had to send my laptop to be repaired and was without it for almost 6 weeks! It is sad to say how much I missed it, and how happy I am to have it back at last! How addicted have we become to technology? Blogs, Facebook, Twitter the list goes on. I am also about to embrace the very technology that I scorned years ago for being ridiculous, the dreaded Blackberry. I used to think people were insane, who need a computer in their pocket all the time? Who need to stay connected all the time. Apparently now I do - I can't wait for it to be activated! Actually I am most excited to be able to have my calender with me all the time. I am a devoted Outlook user and love the fact that I will have a calender and my contacts in my phone!

At any rate I am catching up on all things electronic today. I just published all the comments I have received lately. I am so happy to hear from you all even though my posts have been a bit sporadic. I am glad to report that I am feeling MUCH better these days. The chemo haze has lifted, I am getting my energy back, my hair is starting to grow, and it seems like spring has finally spring here in the Mid Atlantic region! On top of that Connor ate a Taco! YAY - I could hardly believe it. He ate the whole thing, like a real big boy! He got a piece of candy as a treat after dinner that night! Perhaps he is really maturing .He has tasted and eaten a few new things lately. If I can recall correctly, he ate a fish stick, sweet potato french fry, dried apples and watermelon (although he only licked it). I have found two approaches that can work provided he is is the right mood and hungry. If I see him pick up something new I ignore it, and watch out of the corner of my eye until I see him eat it. Competition with his brother works too. When I served the fish sticks and fries, all it took was for his brother to ask if he could have it and Connor was all over it! There was no way he was going to give his food to his brother. Hey - whatever works. How I need a plan to get rid of the sippy cups!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Latest

First I want to thank you all for the supportive comments to my recent posts. These last few months have been trying times for many reasons. But as spring is hopefully around the corner, I look forward to a fresh start. I have some good news to report. My most recent PET scan showed the results we were looking for. Basically the areas that lit up as cancerous, are no longer lighting up. Meaning the chemo seems to have killed the cancer cells we saw previously. This is the best news we could have hoped for at this point. We are VERY relieved and grateful that chemo seems to work. It was worth every exhausting, nauseous, crappy day. I have always said that I will put up with any treatment and every side effect necessary to kick this cancer to the curb! I remain cautious - I am not totally out of the woods and will not be for a long time. I will continue to get anti cancer treatments (Herceptin) and bone treatment (Aredia) ever 3 weeks. I also take a daily pill to repress the estrogen on which the cancer would feed. I will also be heading back the the surgeon to discuss the possibility of surgery. I am gradually getting my strength back and I am so happy that I can take my life off hold for now! I continue to be thankful for all your thoughts and prayers.

Now on to my picky eater. I have decided I want to free up some cupboard space by getting rid of the sippy cups. I have been forcing C. to drink from a big boy cup. The positive side effect is that he drinks less milk and has more of an appetite. We all know that too much milk is a huge appetite killer for toddlers! He is eating a little more and has tried some new things. I have been able to get him to eat yogurt again. He also ate a few baked sweet potato fries and even tried soy nut butter. I have my 7 year old to thank for that one. She loves to dip carrots in soy nut butter and got C. to lick the soy nut butter off the carrot. He will not eat it on a sandwich yet, but I am grateful for the small progress we made. If I can add one new food per month I would be happy. Now I have to find a way to get him to eat chicken or turkey burger.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Altered Muffun Mix

I am writing this post while getting my 6th chemo treatment. If all goes well this will be my LAST! We are praying and hoping that this last treatment delivers the sucker punch needed to knock this cancer OUT!
I have been trying be really diligent about getting at least some healthy fruits and veggies in my kids every day. Riley discovered he loves blackberries and Connor will eat blueberries - both great antioxidants that will fight cancer. Kelsey will eat them in the form of a smoothie so I need to start making some. I got a little sneaky this weekend. I was making a batch of Gingerbread mini muffins from the Gluten Free Pantry. All my kids love these muffins so I decided to sneak in some ground flax seed and vitamin enriched pomegranate applesauce. (I am all about fruits with antioxidants). I am pleased to report that they all ate them up. Fortunately I made a double batch so I can keep them in the freezer and pull them out when needed.
In fact ConCheck Spellingnor (my really picky one) ate a really big and healthy dinner. I started my serving him the food I wanted him to eat first. They as he asked for more things I gave them to him one at a time. He ate every bite! He started with 3 mini flax/ginger/apple muffins, handful of blueberries, and 3 grape tomatoes. The he asked for a waffle (Van's wheat free) followed up by a few organic corn chips and a cup of milk. I felt really good about putting him to bed.
Lets see if he eats the meatballs we are planing to serve tonight!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Seriously Picky Eater

Well, I am coming out of the fog from Chemo last week. Treatment number 3 - I am halfway through my 6 treatment and managing fairly well. Anyway my big problem recently is my 3 year old who barely eats anything. Now this is the child who is allergic to wheat, egg, nuts, sesame, pea, banana, and coconut. That is a big list, and at first I thought I would never find anything for him to eat, but I have. There are plenty of options, I have searched for 2 years to find new things for him to eat. I can (and have) make any kid friendly food safe for him. Everything from pizza to mac n cheese and chicken nuggets. I have baked bread, muffins and cookies by the dozen. The problem is 9 times out of 10 he will not even try it! He is even starting to refuse some of the old staples he used to eat, like grilled cheese and organic chicken sausage. Thank goodness for enjoy Life Foods, he does eat their bagels, granola bars, and cookies; along with Van's wheat free waffles and Chex cereal. Forget about vegetables, he will only eat grape tomatoes and a few fruits on a good day. I have gotten him to eat some yogurt and cheese on occasion.
A couple of months ago I started giving him some Pediasure each day just to make sure he was getting is nutrients and some calories. Milk is thankfully not one of our allergies, and he loves it. However, he wants to drink milk all day. You all know how persistent a 3 year old can be when they want something. We are starting to have some serious battles. I would prefer that he eat some food rather than fill up on milk before meals. Tonight he shouted at me "I don't want food! I want milk." Well, he did not get it. My willpower was strong today. I gave him water. He drank it, but refused to eat and fell asleep on the couch without any dinner. (He was exhausted from a play date this afternoon)
I do not want to be fighting with him constantly about eating - the last thing I need is a toddler with an eating disorder. I know they say don't force it, they will eat when they are hungry. But, can you raise a child on breakfast food, fruit and 1 vegetable? The worst part is that I am loosing the incentive to make him any new foods. What is the point when it just ends up in the trash? I have considered seeing a nutritionist, but unless they can get him to actually put the food in his mouth, what is the point? Today I was cutting up fresh pineapple and he would not even lick it. There is just no reasoning.
My other 3 kids were fairly picky, but they did eat at least a small variety of foods and would taste some new things. Nothing like what I am dealing with now. Does anyone else have anything to offer here?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More on Playdough

Well I had to put this on the back burner for a few days. A little case of anemia landed me in the hospital for a blood transfusion. STUPID CANCER. Anyway - thanks to all for your comments. I agree with all of you that I will just supply the class with safe play dough every month. Although I may purchase one of the options that I have found online. It is not cheap - but that is the price we pay to keep our kids safe. If I do choose to make it, I might have a friend whom I trust to make it right take turns. I can even make a double batch to that the other class that shares a room has one too. It was not hard, so I do not know why some of the batches did not come out right.

In the meantime I wanted to share the 2 sources for wheat free- gluten free dough. This first resource was sent to me from kidsfoodallergiesblog.com . It is Colorations® Wheat & Gluten-Free Dough which does not contain the following common allergens: Latex, Dairy & Casein, Egg, Gluten, Peanut & Tree Nut . It looks to be a modeling clay that you can use to mold shapes and leave to harden. I am glad to know about this now. I had looked into purchasing modeling clay for my children from the craft store. However, there are no ingredients listed on the package so I had no way of knowing if it was safe.

Next there is another product from Aroma Dough. As their web site states "ALL products are Gluten Free made with 100% organic, wheat-free rice flour, sodium, water, moisturizing oils, natural aromas (no perfumes). This formula is perfect for children who have special needs such as Autism, Celiac’s Disease, ADD/ADHD, or other allergy related issues. It DOES NOT contain nuts, nut oils, perfumes, soy, dairy products or wheat."

I have purchased this and my kids love it. It like your traditional Play dough, but it is gluten free. It is also scented - each color is a different scent. It has also last us quite a long time. They also sell large buckets of dough for $19.95 that would be an appropriate size for a preschool class. Based on our experience with this dough, I would recommend it.

As I am finishing this post I am leaning toward buying a couple of batches of the Aroma Dough. That will probably be easier and give me better peace of mind.