Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Our Cancer Story | Radiation + Surgery Announcement

I feel like I've learned a lot in the last 2 months.
Lessons of Patience. Fear. Empathy. Hope. Sadness.

Man, Cancer treatment is a long, painful, tiring process. And Maikal only did Radiation! I can't even imagine the process of Chemo. It's painful enough just watching the person you love most in this world go through so much pain and suffering, let alone BE the one enduring it.

Radiation was killer. Literally. It was killing Maikal's skin both in and out. When treatment started, Maikal had the great idea of taking a photo once a day or every other day to see the process of this leg. The burn was so subtle in the beginning, so I only have a few posted here. The marks on his leg are there to help the machine target the exact same spot for radiation so as to not damage anything more than it needs to.

The first 2 weeks seemed to be just fine. No pain or fatigue. Week 3 came along and the symptoms came in full force. By 6pm Maikal would crash and fall asleep almost every night. His leg was throbbing in pain 100% of the time, and it seemed like nothing helped. He applied his creams and gels 20x's a day to help, but it can only do so much. The nights were uncomfortable, which only fed the fatigue. Although Maikal did miss some schooling, he has done SO WELL in spite of all he is going through. I am a proud wife!

When the 5 week treatment ended, the doctors made it clear that it would get worse before it got better, and man were they right. As you can see from the last photo, his skin did split, it was like a bad burn with cuts along the back of the knee. Doesn't that just make you cringe!?? That stayed the same for about 2 weeks! 3 week post radiation, and his leg was FINALLY starting to heal. Hurray!! Now, look at that last gross photo of the split skin.....and imagine that inside of his leg, but 10x worse. I know, crazy. The radiation was more powerful on his insides than outside, in order to do its job on the Cancer.

So currently, Maikal is doing very well. The pain has gone down significantly. But it is really itchy!! Still a ton of healing to do, but he is still doing everything he can to heal so there is minimum damage.



Now onto more scary news.

SURGERY.

May 2nd is the big day. SO SOON!

Maikal met with his Doctors this past week, and it was an intense appointment. The first 45 min of the appt was about his option for Amputation. Yup....you read that right. CUTTING HIS LEG OFF. 
Ummm what??? That wasn't even on our radar as far as outcomes. Honestly it has made us sick to our stomaches. It is the better way of making sure they get ALL the Cancer. But Maikal has made it clear to the Doctors that he would like to keep his leg and go for the plan of a successful surgery. 

Which is: They plan to go in and cut out as much of the mass as possible, but, with the mass surrounding the Sciatic Nerve (big important one that controls everything), the DR won't be able to get it off of there himself, they will blast his nerve with radiation DURING the surgery and have the hope that that will get the rest that they are unable to get. There is also the complications of all those capillaries and veins running through, which they are bringing in a specialist for. So....basically he could bleed out. Yup. But.....that's obviously not what we are hoping for, if everything goes well, Maikal will be able to keep his leg and he will be Cancer free! 

You guys, this is a very big, scary, important, and life changing Surgery. So many things could go wrong, but so many things could go right!!!!!

So, we would like to invite you to pray with us for a successful surgery. For minimal damage to Maikal's leg so it will heal from nerve damage, and for a smooth recovery.

#Maikalcanmakeit #wecandohardthings

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How We Wore It | Denim on Denim

Hey friends!

A few things were consuming my thoughts as I was taking/posing/editing these photo's for our 'How we wore it' series this month. They are pretty vain and self destructive thoughts, about my body image.
Living with a post baby body is a pretty tough thing for me. I don't bounce back like most women. I lose very little weight while nursing, so I stay like this for at least 8 months. Not sure if its because of the hormones, or the fact that it makes my appetite the same as a 17 year old boy during soccer season ;)
So when i looked back at these pics after taking them, my self esteem went way down. The lack of jawline, bubble butt, the ponch......I see it all!
I even had thoughts like: "maybe I should stop taking photo's until I like the way I look".
Well I cant do that!!! Photo's are my life!

I know, Im ridiculous. I just had a baby, surviving with little sleep most nights, settled into a new house, found out my husband has Cancer, and im the mum of THREE humans. It's A LOT to happen in just a few months. So even though this current body is not how I prefer to look, it's still my body, and I should love my body no matter how it looks. It's all about attitude and how you carry yourself. I know I will get there, it will just take a bit, but it will happen.

Anywho, on a lighter note, this months look is Denim on Denim!!! I know....so 90's right?? or 80's?? I don't know, but I know I love it. And wanna know a little secret??.....those are JEGGINGS. Not sure I will never go back to real denim. #leggingsforlife
I love how high and stretchy these bottoms are. Definitely post baby friendly to that tummy area! So naturally, I bought 4 pairs in different colours ;)



Jeggings :: Walmart

Top :: Old, but similar HERE

Be sure to check out my Blogger Babes and how they wore it!!



Wednesday, March 21, 2018

How We Wore It | Spring Sleeves

Hello Spring!

Growing up, 'Spring' wasn't really a thing until May haha. So having this warmer weather in Cleveland has been a treat!!
Lately we've been getting outside more, I've been doing more things with my apartment to make it more homey and it's coming along! We even decided to try to teach Ben to ride his bike, but man, bending over to keep him steady hurts the back!!! I think we need to invest in some training wheels ha.
Maikal is currently on Spring break, and it has been so nice to just see him all day everyday! And it is such perfect timing for him because he finished his Radiation on Friday, and he gets the next 10 days to heal and recoup from it all. Ben had Spring break last week....i know....why dont they plan for everyone to be on break at the same time!?? It doesnt make sense. But it was absolutely lovely having him home all day too......and also the fact that i didnt have to get up early or wake Roka up from his nap to get him from school..... ;) Having a kid in school and a young baby has proven to be a difficult thing for me, but it's getting better! And this time change.....let's just stop doing it ok. Does it take anyone else like a month to get use to it!?

As you can see, we are back and at it with 'How We Wore It'!
We chose sleeves, and Im obsessed. I am allllll about the different types of sleeves happening. It can really amp up and outfit! I found this on the clearance at Target. I saw it, it was my colour, it had cool sleeves, and it was meant for spring. Done.
And PLEASE check out my friends for their posts.....they NAILED it. Links at the bottom of the post ;)





Wednesday, March 7, 2018

3 months

Has it really only been 3 months?
I frequently joke about this, but it literally feels like he should be 6 months because of all the time i've spent awake over the past 3 months haha.

New/Young babies can be difficult, especially if you value sleep as much as I do! He is a horrible sleeper. HORRIBLE. He has gotten much better recently, but man.....I spent many a night in tears. Im talking waking every 1-2 hours a night every night. In the beginning he was having major tummy issues with gas. I would feed him, then he'd be up an hour later with pain, then up again in an hour to eat. That went on for what seemed like forever. And we've been dealing with the '45 min intruder' since 4 weeks old, look it up, it sucks! Honestly I am just so grateful that Maikal wasn't in school and we were living around family because I felt like I needed the extra help! 3 kids has thrown me for a loop!

He much preferres to be held when sleeping. So co-sleeping was what he wanted at night. Which I do not like to do, but over time I've gotten more use to it so it's not as bad now. A few baby items that have saved our lives:

~Baby swing. It really helps him to relax and takes majority of his naps in there.
~Co-sleeper bed. I made one that mimics the feeling of being held, which he seems to enjoy!
~Breast Pump. For those nights that I NEED more sleep, I pump a few bottles and Maikal is more than willing to take a few feedings in the night so I can rest.
~Gripe/Oval drops. This seems to help his tummy with gas issues to he can sleep with comfort.

It's hard when your last baby was a pro sleeper by 6 weeks old haa. Makes me think Im doing something wrong this time round because I feel like I've been doing the same things with scheduling and what not! I remember one morning, it was a difficult night and I was in tears, I said to myself, "I could either sulk, keep crying, keep letting sleep defeat me, or I could learn to live with it until he did learn to sleep well". From that day on, I have been totally fine emotionally. Obviously I would love more sleep and I can be a bit more tense than usual, but we are getting there and I know it will happen eventually.

Other than the issue of sleep....lol.....Roka has been so lovely! He smiles a TON and the kids are so good with him. I have really enjoyed having a baby around again. He has grown HUGE in just this short of time. He is in size 2 diapers, 3-6 month clothes, and his feet are already hanging out of his car seat! His favourite thing to do it grab my hands and pull himself up to sitting or standing. He is a rolling champion! He thinks it is so fun! We've only been able to go outside 3 times since he was born and I can't wait for the warmer months so we can play outside. We believe his eyes will be hazel, which means all my kids have different eye colours! Guess thats what you get when you mix Irish and Poly haha.



And just for some fun, here is a comparison picture of my babies around the same age! I think we can all agree that the brothers look so much alike!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

How We Wore It | Braided

Cue Pippi Longstocking Theme Song...
Anyone else think that whenever they see a redhead with braids??

Our 'How We Wore It' Series is here and we've switched things up a bit. We have decided to do BRAIDS and a Statement piece instead of an outfit for this post.

Look at us being fancy and changing things up. Yasssssss.

Turns out, trying to do a braid with curly hair is way more difficult than I thought. I've always been jealous of the people with more straight hair and their abilities to do whatever braid style they want and they look like they are ready for the AMA's. But, I thought I would give it a try and see how it goes, and I kinda love it. I mean, my braiding skills need work, but I think I did pretty ok! And for my statement piece, what is more loud than a big shirt with a busy pattern on it lol. This is my go-to shirt for my comfy lazy days. It's big, it's cozy, and it hides my post pregnancy body lol.


Current Life Updates

-We are on week 3 of Maikal's radiation. He is definitely feeling the effects of it now. More fatigue, week immune system, and it his leg feels like a constant sunburn. My poor babe. #Maikalcanmakeit

- Ben just turned SIX!! We kept it low key this year and went to a childrens museum then just bought a cake and stayed in for the evening.

- Roka is now 3 months!! Honestly it feels like he should be 6 months with how many hours ive been away over the past 90 days hahahaha. He is chunky and delicious. Better with naps. Wakes up 2-3 times a night. He is definitely my smiliest baby!

- I am currently working out, trying to do the daily chores, and honestly just trying to keep everyone alive and fed ha. Thats all I have energy for lol.

- Aurora is currently into learning to read and write and anything glitter. But ive decided that glitter is  now banned from my house hahaha.


PS, it is our Blogging Babes' Birthday today! I would like to give her a shout out and say HAPPY BIRTHDAY JORDAN! She is a yummy mummy with the two most adorable kids and amazing husband. She is meant for the stage and she will probably be famous one day, then I will be able to say, 'Hey, I know that girl!" ;)

Check out my friend's post's at the bottom of the page to see how they wore it!!




Sunday, February 11, 2018

Our Cancer Story | The Beginning

The start, if you can believe it, was January of 2017. Maikal started noticing a pain in the back of his knee. I looked at it one day and saw that his vein was quite large. So we had assumptions that it was a varicose vein that was the problem. He went to see his doctor, they didn't pay too much attention to it and sent him on his way. Weeks went by and the pain was still there so he went back to his doctor. They once again ignored his complaints and said 'just keep an eye on it' and sent him on his way. No tests, no nothing. Obviously very frustrating. So over a few months, the pain was just there and constant, then the 'swelling' started (very minimal at this point). We still thought it was a simple varicose vein issue so our concerns weren't urgent. When summer came, the swelling was still there but the pain had lessoned slightly and with the business of summer, time just flew by and his leg wasn't bothering him so it kind of just took a back seat. Moving onto Fall semester. The pain came back shortly after summer and with it being his busiest semester of all of Dental School, he didn't have time to get to his leg issues.

So the semester ended, he came home, we had a baby boy, he took his Boards (which he passed!) and now, his leg was in serious pain and the 'swelling' was insane. He went to a few doctors before they sent him in for an ultrasound. They were pretty rude and didn't seem to care much about his pain and the swelling in his leg. So the tests came back, Doctors call Maikal in and sits him down to tell him that he has a 12 cm MASS in his leg. Ummm say what!??? So this little annoying pain that he's been living with is actually a big deal!?


There's the stupid thing. That is his knee cap at the bottom.

Maikal came home quiet and worrisome that day. Which is obviously not a good thing. A mass? Ya that's scary. Then the booking of appointments came. We need tests done to see exactly what this is. We thought maybe a cyst or something. Trying to be optimistic lol. A few weeks go by and we are back in Cleveland by this point. He got his results from his Doctor in Canada back, and it's Cancer, frick. Now whether it is benign or malignant is the question. Still hope at this point! He goes in for a biopsy as one of his tests. Such a stressful day! They took 3 pieces from him. About 1 inch long and the thickness of a straw. His leg hurt for 2 weeks from that test! This was the big test....the one we had been praying for that his Tumor/mass would be benign. The results took a week. Longest week of my life! The day he went in to get his results..... I felt sick all day. The nerves were so over whelming! But I thought, "theres no way he has Malignant Cancer, no way, that doesn't happen, It's totally benign....it has to be, it has to". He came home that afternoon without much emotion.

On no. Nope. Don't say it. 
The bad kind of CANCER.

A soft tissue Sarcoma was growing aggressively in his leg. I burst into tears. So many thoughts went through my head. Our lives together, the kids, our living situation, his treatment process, his sickness, life.......death. Was this beatable? How aggressive? How long will it take to beat?

Of course, with more questions come with more tests. CT scan next to see if it has spread. With this particular Cancer, if it were to spread it would most likely go right to his lungs. Which if you know anything about Cancer, lung cancer basically means death, and the chances of that being the case was 50%. Thats a freaking high number!!! When I heard that part.....I was inconsolable. I felt like I couldn't keep myself together. Maikal could actually die from this. It was so much more serious than I ever thought it could be. I was crying all day every day. The thoughts of the future and what it would be like was constantly running through my head. Fighting hard to beat it while Maikal went through treatment after treatment. If he died, my new baby would never know his father, my kids would grow up in this life without really knowing their dad. Just, everything. We even spoke about finances and how I would be ok, and what our living situation would be. If it did spread, we would have stopped school and went back home. We talked about a lot of things. Calling our family and close friends was the hardest part. There were many tears on both ends. Many.

Was I dreaming? I woke up the next morning just praying it wasn't real. That this Hell would just have been a nightmare. I still wake up thinking it isn't real. I took extra photo's, extra video's that week. I didn't want to leave his side. And you guys, You amazing, supportive, loving friends and family who were there every second of everyday for us. It was SO hard. I remember that following Sunday, it was a tough one. There was talk of 'God's plan' and 'death/afterlife' and my emotions were already so high and I went to the bathroom twice to cry. So the days went by, friends brought us dinners, offered babysitting, and loved ones gave us words of encouragement and support. We were overwhelmed by so much LOVE. It was truly amazing and we will never forget that. So the CT came and went, and again, waiting for those dang results. The big results. The results that would change everything. But as you guys know, we got those tests back, and from what the scan said, he was CLEAR!! Now....the scan can only pick up so much. He COULD have cancer in his lungs, but the CT didn't pick it up because it's small. So obviously that is still creeping in the back of our heads. But, the test said clear, our prayers were answered and I have never felt so much relief in my entire life. There was HOPE. I fell to my knee's and thanked God for this blessing. I hugged my kids and sent a bunch of Heart emoji's to my hubby! We have a chance when I thought there was none!
Ok, so obviously he still has stupid Cancer, but it was localized. It's still bad. We can literally see it growing. From Christmas till today, it has grown quite a bit.


This was a few weeks ago. You can see his left thigh is quite a bit larger than his right. Over the past week we have noticed more of a bulge coming out of his thigh. Get this thing out!


TREATMENT

Now that know where it is, how big it is, what kind of Cancer it is, he can get treatment done.
AND IT STARTS TOMORROW!

~ Radiation. 5 days a week for the next 5 weeks.
He is suppose to feel extreme fatigue, which obviously sucks as he will also be doing school.
Once the 5 weeks are done, 6 weeks of recovery.
~ Then surgery to removed the Mass from his leg.
This Sarcoma is Rare. It is extremely Vascularized and there is a risk of Maikal losing a lot of blood during surgery. Yay........
~ Then followup appointments to make sure they got it all.

From now on, Maikal will need to have yearly check ups to make sure it hasn't come back. Which is always a concern with Cancer. It will always be there. Did it come back? Is it worse this time? What if we don't catch it early enough?

Maikal amazes me. He has this Monster inside literally killing him, and he still works hard at school, plays with the kids, makes time for me and even takes a few feedings in the night so I can catch up on rest. He still laughs hard and cracks jokes.
It's weird, you would never know he had a disease that kills 8 million people a year inside him.

We will keep updates happening. If you would like to see more updates, I'm more active on my Instagram account you can follow me HERE.

I would like to say, again.....THANK YOU. Thank you for the messages, the hugs, the hello's, the playdates, the tags, the emoji's, the food, and the notes. We have felt every prayer. It has kept us going in a very trying time. We have a very long and rough road ahead. Maikal will be dealing with more than anyone should have to. Cancer is dumb. He can beat this! #Maikalcanmakeit

Monday, January 22, 2018

How We Wore It | WHITE

The girls are back!! Our 'How we wore it' series is here for another year!
And if you missed my last post, happy 2018 everyone.

New.
Fresh.
Clean.

WHITE.

That's what came to my mind when we were thinking of our post this month. White is representative of the above words. Although, being a Mother, white is definitely a challenge to wear haha. By the end of the day, it would be more like 'Dirty, Stinky, Ruined' #momlife. I will only pull out the white outfits for special occasions so they don't get ruined! Which is a total bummer because I LOVE white. Majority of our apartment is white and it's my favourite.

So my little Roka is 2 months old, which means, for me, my body is still in post pregnancy form = big and squishy! So flowy shirts are what I gravitate to until I get my butt in gear and lose this baby weight. Going to workout for the first time this week and I'm a little scared for that 'day after' soreness. 

Which (sneaky segway) is one of my New Years Resolutions! And like our theme of WHITE, a new year brings NEW goals. NEW chances. NEW opportunities. NEW perspective. So if you had a bad year, leave it there. If you had a fabulous year, bring it with you and make it better.

Here are a few of my Goals this year:

Get Roka to sleep through the night (this is definitely #1 goal lol)
Lose baby weight
Travel somewhere new
Don't gossip
Control my emotions when the kids do something wrong

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to check out my friends post's linked at the end of this post! They are FAB.


The Walmart Pose


Top :: Free People, Old. 
But love THIS THIS THIS


: My Hottie Friends Blog Posts :




Saturday, January 13, 2018

2017 Memories

TWENTY EIGHTEEN!
I can't believe the new year is upon us already. At the end of the year, I look back and say "man that year went by so fast" but then when I look at pictures from the beginning of the year, I say "man that seems like forever ago". Anyone else have those same feelings?

But it really is so fun just looking in my 'Lowry 2017' album on my laptop and going through memories that we've made over the past 12 months. So being as a blog post about '2017 recaps' seems to be popular, I might as well jump on the same train. So here are some of our awesome memories from this year!

* Visiting Maikal in Cleveland (we were living apart for 4 months). We needed furniture, and our house is kind of difficult to get couches into, so this was our idea. Backup van to house, climb on van, push couch up, lift couch up, bring through patio door (since its wider and right where the living room is). It was a success! And hilarious. And hard.


* We had my whole family there for Thanksgiving!! And the Fall leaves were amazing, so we had to have a little fun in them! We also were staying at my parents house for the 4 months and it was simply amazing. Having my parents there to help me and put us up was so generous and loving and I owe them big! Thanks Mom and Dad for being the best parents ever!


* Obviously, Roka came into our family! And with that I became a mom of THREE. He is an amazing addition to our family and it is so fun seeing him grow and watching the kids get to know him. Stay tuned for a blog post on the first 8 weeks of his life coming soon ;) 


* Maikal had his first Straight Shave. It looked awesome!


* My sisters Rebecca and Chelsie got Engaged! I just happen to be there for Chelsie's proposal, we were snapping a few photo's of them since they don't have any together, and in the middle of it, he whips our this awesome ring case and gets down on one knee! (total surprise, im sure I looked like a crazy person snapping away when he pulled out that ring) and it was one of the coolest and happiest moments to watch! 


* Ben turned FIVE. He started Kindergarten this year and he has learned so much already and I am so excited for him to grow. 


* Maikal and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary! 


* We went to California!! It was my first time, Maikal has been a few times. We stayed at our friend's house near LA. Hit up all the beaches (our fav was Laguna). Then road tripped up to San Fran to see Matty Graduate from Dental School! 


* Aurora turned 3! The spiciest and funniest little human that will ever walk this planet. She keeps us on our toes!


* This year was Lowry Christmas so I knew I wasn't going to get to see my Grandma and Aunt Lila. So we went to visit them! 


* Becca got married and I was one of the Maid's of Honour!! I love having Anthony in the family and their wedding was one of the funnest ones I've ever been too! Just a good time with games, friends, food, and a starry sky.

~ Dying over this pic. Just dying~

So these were just a few to mention. There have been many good times this year, but these were some awesome moments I will forever remember. Obviously there were some bad parts, but who the crap wants to remember that stuff? Ya you can stay in 2017, smell ya later.