Sunday, January 22, 2012

Day +1026: Christmas, 10, Day +1000

It's day +1026 for our Max Man and so much has been going on lately that I haven't even had the chance to write!  We had a couple of HUGE milestones in December, along with Christmas, which required much celebrating and then, getting 2012 kicked off has been lots of fun too.  So, I have much to catch up on here!

To begin, Max continues to do very well.  The ween of his cyclosporine has gone very smoothly to date.  We actually took the second little tick down last week and so far, so good.  After his first tick down, his engraftment stayed stable at 89% Ellee so, Dr. Davies was pleased and was ready to go with the second decrease.  Needless to say, we are beyond thrilled that the ween is occurring and going well. 

In addition, we have more good news to report.  You may remember that we have been working with an endocrinologist to watch Max's growth and hormone levels, etc. and that we had some concern after we initially met with with her four months ago regarding his growth.  The good news is that he grew a 1/2 inch in the past four months!!!  We are also seeing some minor, slow changes in his teeth, another good sign.  We are hopeful that the ween of the cyclosporine is helping all this somewhat, along with adding more calories into his diet. 

Now to the line-up of fun that we experienced in December!  We had a couple of great evenings spending time with our families on our favorite Christmas traditions.  The Meyer family spent an evening in downtown Cincinnati, ice skating and visiting Santa.  The Sherwin family enjoyed our neighborhood's luminaria event with us and a walk around the neighborhood with yummy hot chocolates.  We spent our traditional Christmas Eve with Matt's family at Gaga's (his mom's) and had a ball, as always.  Unfortunately, some relatively minor sickness decided to strike us over the holidays.  Matt was diagnosed with pneumonia on December 23rd and spent a good deal of time in bed, resting up over the break.  Then, the boys both came down with a nasty stomach bug on the night before Christmas...bummer!!  After a night of throwing up, opening presents wasn't quite as much fun as it should have been and we had to excuse ourselves from the family get togethers this Christmas but, thankfully they both recovered pretty quickly and were ready to go for the big fun we had planned the rest of the break.

The day after Christmas, December 26th is Max's birthday and this year was a big one --- 10!!!  He had about 6 buddies over for pizza, cake and basketball games (imagine that) on the evening of the 26th.  Then, on the morning of the 27th, we headed out for our much anticipated party with all the cousins at the Great Wolf Lodge to celebrate Max turning 10 and his other big milestone - day +1000!  We all had a great time swimming, playing video games in the arcade, having a huge sleepover and just running around the place!  We spent the rest of the kid's Christmas break resting and recuperating from all the fun we had.

January has been busy as well!  We kicked off the New Year in our typical way with a party and sleepover with all the Meyer adults and cousins.  Then, Matt and I took a big trip with a bunch of friends to Las Vegas last weekend!  It was a special getaway to celebrate one of our friend's 40th birthdays and we really enjoyed having the chance to cut loose a little bit! 

Kicking off the year for Max's Meals has been keeping us busy as well.  We had a Christmas Eve brunch again this year and are gearing up now for the Superbowl and Valentine's Day meals in February.  Thanks to generous donations from many, we were also able to provide some great stuff to the Cancer & Blood Diseases Institute this year at Christmas including a flat screen tv, video games, toys and iTunes gift cards.  We have set our meal schedule for the year and plan to provide 12 group meals, as well as some "Pick Me Up" items in the parent lounges this year.  We have also been able to provide numerous cakes to patients the past few weeks.  Most have been for birthdays but, we have also provided some for Cell Day and end of radiation celebrations as well.  Finally, mark your calendars for our 2012 fundraising event - "Kick Up Your Heels for Max's Meals", a family dance party, to be held on Friday, April 20th at 7 pm at the Anderson Center!  More details and an official "Save the Date" notice to come soon.

In addition to all this, we have some other very exciting news...we bought a lot and are planning to build a new house soon!!!  This is pretty much the realization of a dream for Matt and I and a wonderful indication of how well Max is doing.  Before Maxer got sick in early 2009, we were looking to move.  Our house has been great for us and we love our neighborhood but, we were outgrowing it.  Now, with a 65 lb. dog and three growing kids, we are really outgrowing it!  So, we were thrilled to learn a few months ago that some beautiful lots right around the corner from here and down the street from Matt's sister, Monica's, had gone on the market.  It is a perfect situation for us - the kids will stay in the same school, we can build what we want and we can take our time doing it!  Of course, adding in the tasks of getting our house ready to sell and building a new, custom home is a bit overwheling and a lot of work!  But, we know it will be worth it in the end.

With all this and working 20 hours as well, you can probably see why I haven't had the time to blog in awhile!  However, I am committed to keeping this thing updated - mostly for my three little ones in the future.  It has been a great way to document our life journey so far, particularly during some super difficult times.  I know it will be awesome for Max, Alex and Ellee to be able to sit down with this thing one day, with their own kiddos on their laps, and tell them about what we all endured and how much it taught us about truly living our lives and treasuring every moment.  Now I want to use this blog to document the good times, the happiness, the fun, the celebrations of life in the Meyer family!
Thank you for continuing on this journey with us and checking in!

Peace and love,
Kristi (and Matt, Max, Alex, Ellee and Spud)