Monday, October 14, 2013

It's been TOO long!

It has been way too long since my last blog. So much has happened!

First, we have picked a name for our sweet little miss. Her name will be Emellia Reagan and she is scheduled to make her grand arrival on Friday, November 1. We are so excited to meet her and introduce her to our family and friends. It seems as though this pregnancy has gone by so quickly....most days! :)

Mama has completed her treatments for breast cancer...both chemotherapy and radiation. This is such a blessing! She is bouncing back and getting stronger a little more and more each and every day. Her hair has started to grow back--which I know she is thankful for. She continues to take her Herceptin treatment once every three weeks, but this is nothing compared to the weekly chemotherapy she was on. We are praising God for bringing our Mama and family through the past year. He has held her in His hand and guided her each step of the way. We are so thankful for her physicians and nurses and for the care that they have provided. Now, on to the good stuff!

Evan has started school and is loving it. His teacher, Mrs. Ellis, is truly a blessing. She gives him a hug each day and makes him feel just as special as he is! She has 3 boys of her own (all of which are grown now) so she knows how to handle 110% boy! He is doing well with his studies and is making new friends. He seems to be pretty well rounded, which is all we can ask. He loves Jesus and wants everyone he knows to know about Him. That makes this Mama proud! His smile is contagious and his laughter is inviting. He brings a smile to my heart with just a simple glance, tug of my hand or hug around my neck.

We have gone on his first field trip--complete with his first ride on a yellow school bus. He thought it was great...but HOT! He tickles me. The pumpkin patch is always a lot of fun, but it was especially fun to see him enjoy it with his new found friends.

I am excited for him to meet Emie for the first time, but yet a little nervous at the same time. He has been our world for the past 5 years, and not that that will change, but it will be a little different. I know she is going to love him!

Pink eye invaded out home for 2 weeks and let me just tell you it was NO fun! One week Evan had it in both eyes (the joys of starting school and sharing EVERYTHING!) and then the following week, I had it. I am still wearing my glasses and have just now started wearing eye make-up again. I have felt so "undone" without my eyes made up! lol I think we are on the mend! Now, if we can just keep James from having it. For those of you who know him, this will come as no surprise...he has gone behind both Evan and me with Lysol wipes, cleaning everything and putting sanitizer in our hands every chance he has. We jokingly call him Mr. Clean, but I am sure this is how he will stay germ (and pink eye) free. God love him!

I met with Dr. V for the last time before Emie makes her arrival and he was pleased with our visit. He was impressed that I had made it this far in the pregnancy, still working and with very few problems. I am coming off of the Diamox this Friday, so I ask that you join me in prayer that everything goes well over the following 2 weeks and that optic nerves will remain normal in size. Friday, he said that they looked perfect and that he felt very comfortable with me coming off the meds this week. This will give us two weeks to clean my system of the meds so that breast feeding is an option. As long as I can stay off of the meds, I can breast feed. This is very important to me. I want what is best for our little girl, but I also understand that I have to take care of me too. I am doing no one any good if I am sick. God has this and that I am sure of!

I have a couple of prayer requests:
1. Please pray for Evan. Pray that God will prepare his heart to love his sister and know that we love him--that that love is only gonna grow as he steps into his new role and the big brother.

2. Please pray for James as we prepare our home for this new addition. Pray that his heart will be ready to be filled with even more love than he has ever known as he meets his daughter for the very first time.

3. Please pray for James and me as a couple and as parents. That we will grow stronger together as we add another special gift to our clan. That we are able to balance 2 children and that we continue to keep Christ the center of our marriage, family and home. That we will make Him proud in the decisions that are made when it comes to the treasures that He has entrusted in our hands. We know that they belong to Him, that He is giving them to us but for only a short time to love on, care for and disciple.

4. Please pray for me this Friday as this will be my first day off of the Diamox in some time. Please join me in praying that my optic nerves will remain normal in size and that side effects will remain at bay so that breast feeding will be an option.

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Back to Dr. V!

The swelling has returned! POO!

The thing with this pseudotumor is, we knew the symptoms would return with pregnancy, it was just a matter of when. Well you guessed it, Happy Birthday to me...the symptoms are back! About a week ago, the headaches began. At first I was questioning whether they were pregnancy related or if they could indeed be pseudotumor headaches. Well, about 4 days ago, the neck pain returned so I knew for sure that it was the latter. Over the past couple of days, I have noticed an increase in my spinal pressure, especially when I go from sitting to standing or most certainly if I bend over. With the long weekend approaching, we felt it was best if I go ahead and call Dr. V.

I spoke with him on the phone yesterday and he asked if I could be in his office this morning. James and I left home around 6:50 and headed to Birmingham.

After a quick look, Dr. V decided to fully dilate and have me undergo another field vision test. This test really gets under my skin. It frustrates me and drives me batty. Watching all of these lights, some dim, some bright, some big, some small, all over place and trying to focus all so that I can ding a little button....aarrgghhh! Anyway, back to the story. Once the test was completed he (Dr. V) conducted yet another exam of my eyes. He confirmed that the right optic nerve is swollen some and the left is flat with a cusp (Now I know you are asking what this cusp means, I have no idea. I guess I should have asked!). We then moved to talking about treatments and options.

There are 3 treatment options. Two which are available to me:
1. Deal with the pain until the pregnancy is over and hopefully with the weight loss from having the baby, the pain will subside. Option available. To date: 8 lb increase, but I did not think about until today that pregnancy brings about an increase in blood, in pressure and fluids. I have been so focused on trying not to gain too much in hopes to keep from having the symptoms that I did not even think about these factors.
2. A Spinal Tap to drain the fluid to release some of the pressure. Option not available at this time due to pregnancy and the baby having to be exposed to a X-Ray.
3. Begin taking the Diamox once again. Option available.

Now, if you will remember back in the early stages of my diagnosis and treatment plan, it was not recommended that I be on this medication during the first trimester of a pregnancy. The good news is, I am 22 weeks and 1 day into this pregnancy. I have such an uneasy feeling about this decision. James and I are going to take the weekend, pray about it and be ready to talk it over with Dr. Ashurst Tuesday. Dr. V assured me today that he would not advise me to take something that he felt in any way would harm the baby. He said that he feels like she will be just fine since it is so far into the pregnancy, but this Mama's heart is still uneasy. I would not have to take it daily, but it's still medication.

So, I have some prayer requests for my mighty prayer warriors out there! We knew this would happen, but more importantly, God knew (He even knew the exact date of the symptom return). My prayer requests are that James and I will be put at ease with this decision on what to do. That Dr. Ashurst will know what to say and do to best treat me and care for our Little Miss. That I will be able to withstand the pain from my neck, head and spine--as much as possible without medication. And that this precious cargo I am carrying will remain healthy and strong for the remaining 18 weeks. Thanks in advance for the prayers!

Until next time...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

It's A GIRL!

This past weekend, James prepared a wonderful cake that revealed the gender of our sweet little one. As you can see in the pictures above, we will welcome a sweet baby girl to the Talley home this Fall. We are so excited! Evan is even excited talking about his baby sister. It's nice to hear him wanting to talk about her and the things to come. Now, on to picking a name!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Few Clues

The gender of our sweet little one will be revealed soon...but for all wondering minds, here are a few clues for you to ponder:
Is the baby's heartbeat above 140? Yes
Are you moody or happy? Happy
What are you craving-salty or sweet? Sweet
Sleeping on your right or left side? Left
Has there been morning sickness? ALL Day!
Hair shiny and full of body? Yes
How's the skin- clear or broken out? Broken Out
Had a lot of headaches? Yes
Craving orange juice? Yes
Daddy gaining weight? No
Been clumsy or graceful? Clumsy

So, there you have it! What's your guess? What will it be...

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

We Caught A Glimpse!

Yesterday, we had an appointment with Dr. Ashurst to see our little one!! We had an ultrasound done, but only James and the nurse know the sex of the baby. I have chosen to find out this weekend with our family. Surprisingly, it has not been as bad today as I thought. I am managing pretty well!

The baby looked great and the heartbeat was awesome. It would go from 143-150(ish), so I don't think we will be able to predict a gender by the heartbeat. Dr. Ashurst says that I am carrying the baby like it's a girl, so I guess only time, or James, will tell! :)

The baby's heart, brain, legs, arms and spine all looked great. With me taking seizure meds, the baby's spine could be affected, so this was a huge point of concern for me. The minute she said that the baby looked "perfect" I was able to rest a little easier.

Evan was very excited to see the pictures and seemed amazed at how much it has grown. He is still not really a fan of this "new baby" idea. I am hoping that by the time November rolls around, he will be much more on board. I am trying not to let it bother me that he is not thrilled, but as a Mommy, you want your babies to be ok emotionally and I think he just realizes that his world is gonna be rocked upside down!!

I will post next week and reveal the gender of our sweet little one! Until then, this picture will just have to do!!

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's Almost June! Whew!

I can not believe how quickly this year is flying by. Before I know it, I will be sending my baby to Kindergarten!! Evan's last day at Mrs. Amy's "school" was last Friday, and yes I cried when I dropped him off. What can I say? I am a sap!

James and I took Evan and our cousin Maci to the Birmingham Zoo yesterday and what fun we had. The zoo there is great! So much to see and do. We left Centreville around 8:15 am and returned around 4:45 pm! Talk about a full day!! Needless to say, we had two sleepy heads in our back seat on the way home! I treasure times like this that we are able to share together. Our little man is growing so fast and I know there is coming a day when we will begin him to want to stay home and spend time with us, not to mention our littlest one will be here before we know! Life as a family of 3 will be no more!!

Speaking of the baby, our last appointment went well. We were able to hear the baby's heartbeat (beating strong at 153) and Dr. Ashurst was pleased with everything. I had only gained 1 pound, which made this Mama very happy! We will return on Tuesday, June 11, to find out if we will be bouncing in blue or pretty in pink!!

Things continue to go well with me medically. All of my doctors are pleased with the reports so far and are planning to keep a close eye on me as this baby continues to grow. There has been no need for medicine changes or treatment changes thus far. PTL!!

Mama continues to push along through her treatments. I wish I could report that energy levels and such have remained steadfast, but not so much. She is finding herself more and more tired and the more tired she becomes, the more frustrated she is. I keep trying to remind her that this is only temporary and that this is not forever. Keeping a positive mindset is so important! I keep trying to push the positive, all the while feeling more and more terrible that I am pushing and pushing her. I hope I am not coming across as insensitive, I know this is hard, but she has to keep going. Pushing through the hard days is what is going to make the end of all this all the sweeter. I know that is what she would do if the tables were turned.

We continue to press forward, looking to a busy summer filled with VBS, swim lessons and a beach vacation, not to mention room decor changes, cleaning out the baby's room and building a shed to house my photography stuff (have I mentioned that my business is going well? The Lord has really blessed it and confirmed that I am doing the right thing).

Be on the lookout! We will have a big "pink or blue" announcement in just a couple of weeks!!

Until next time...

Friday, April 19, 2013


We have had two appointments to see Dr. Ashurst since finding out Evan is gonna be a big brother. Our first appointment brought an untrasound, which was so much fun. The baby's little heartbeat was so busy, just a pumping away. The second visit brought the chance to hear it's heartbeat. What a true miracle! The heartbeat was steady and strong and came in at a whopping 160. Now, he says that all baby's heartbeats will be around this at this point, but I think that sounds like a girl to me! :) A girl can wish, can't she?!

I am feeling nauseous most days and have been sick at least 2-3 days out of the week. Zofran is a friend and stays with me at all times. I have never had sickness that it did not matter if I had eaten or not nor do the kinds of foods matter. When it hits, it hits and boy is it the pits!

Evan still has NO desire to talk or think about a new baby. All he has on his brain in a new kitten. I sure hope he mellows out before November, or he is gonna be on sad little fella!

Mama is continuing to do well. Her taste buds are not working just right, so nothing really tastes good, but she is hanging in there. Her weight has been down, then back up, then down again, but for the most part, it is staying balanced. She eats cause she needs to, not because it tastes good!

I go to see my neurologist at Kirklin next Tuesday, just for a check up.

That is all for now.

Until next time...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Never A Dull Moment!

Life is never dull around the Talley household! We are just getting used to the idea of my Mom having cancer and all that comes with chemotherapy and then we find out we are expecting baby #2!! I, of course, am hoping for pink and James says no way! Lots of family and friends are wishful for twins and James just thinks that is cruel! We shall have what the Lord thinks is best for our family. I am excited and can't wait to see just what that is.

Let's get back to the whole cancer thing. Mom found a lump in her right breast back in early January that she knew just felt different than any others before. Let me interject here how important self-checks really are! Her mammogram in November was clear, so if she had waited until time for another, it would have been a whole year. By that time, her prognosis may not have been good. After discovering the lump and a couple of appointments, it was decided that the lump needed to be removed. She went for the lumpectomy and it was determined that it was cancer. Talk about a punch in the gut! I can't imagine how she must have felt to hear the words because I know it made me want to throw up!

Prognosis is good for Mama. It was caught very early (stage 1) and with few treatments, the dr's feel as though she will make a full recovery and never have to deal with this again! PTL! She has recovered nicely from the lumpectomy and the port placement. Today she told me that she really does not even notice the port anymore.

On the Tuesday before Mom's first (she will have 6 total followed by 35 radiation treatments) chemo treatment, I found out that we are expecting our second baby! What excitement filled my heart and I knew would bring Mama much needed joy to endure this summer. Something fun to look forward to! Who doesn't get excited about a new baby?! Oh, yeah, Evan is who does not get excited....that's who!

We decided to tell Evan just before telling my side of the family and let him share the good new with everyone. I had a Big Brother shirt made for him to wear to "spill the beans." When James told him, and I showed him his shirt, he fell back on the bed and began to cry hysterically. He told us that he did not want this to please remember back just a couple of months ago I shared with you him telling Santa that he wanted "two baby sisters at one time!" Yes, this is the same child! James reminded him of his request and he promptly answered, "I was only kidding."

Since that day, he has come around and is willing talk to you about the baby if you talk about it in terms of it being a girl. If God blesses us with another boy I am not sure what we are gonna do! Maybe he will get the kitten that his heart truly desires!! :)

While pregnant with Evan I did not have any sickness and really felt good all of the time, but things have been a little different this time around. I have not "lost my lunch" at all, but the feeling that I could blow at any moment comes and sticks around most all day. My energy level is not what it used to be, but I have heard that all of this means the pregnancy is normal.

I am anxious for our first appointment and announcement of our official due date. According to the Internet, we should be looking at early November. We will see what Dr. Ashurst has to say!

A few prayer requests:
Mom mentioned today that she has some sores on her head. Please be in prayer that these will heal quickly. She also talked about her mouth feeling like it is on fire and her digestive tract has been affected by the chemo. These are all normal side effects, but uncomfortable nonetheless.
This pregnancy. My pseudotumor side effects are triggered by weight gain and we all know that weight gain comes with pregnancy, so please join us in prayer that these side effects will remain at bay and that the pregnancy will be a healthy one.
I am taking medication for my epilepsy, so please pray that this medication will not harm the growth and development of our tiniest blessing as it grows in the months to come. I (and James) will feel much better when we can look at the screen and see our little one and know that all is well!

Until Next Time...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sit. Wait. Learn.

Sitting and waiting is sometimes the hardest thing to do. I am learning, as I sit and wait, that those are precious moments that are meant to be spent in prayer. Drawing closer to God has become a priority in my life and what a change it has made.

There are many aspects of life that can cause a person to have to sit and wait. We wait in line for our food. We sit and wait to see the doctor. We wait to have procedures (most of the time longer that we wish). We sit and wait as loved ones have procedures. We wait for our kids in the school line. We wait to get pregnant. We wait for those babies to grow so that we can meet them. We wait for the day we can see loved ones again who have gone before us. We wait for our babies to talk. We wait for them to learn it's ok to be quiet. We wait for our "better half" to pop the question. We wait for the day we say "I Do!" We wait to for a diagnosis. We wait to finish school-just to go to college. We wait to turn 21 (what does that mean, really?!), We wait to earn a degree. We wait to land a job. We wait to own our first home. We wait to see if medications will work. We wait for brighter days. We wait beside the bed of sick loved ones. We wait for heartache to go away. We wait.

I am an instant gratification kind of girl, so waiting has not always been my strongest asset. I must add, that I have learned to lean on the One who holds the control panel and takes the lead. I know in my heart that all things work according to His will and in due time, I will have to wait no longer. Answered prayers are hard to wait for and sometimes we get the answer, but because it is not the one we want, we choose to ignore it.

I don't understand the reason events take place the way they do. I don't understand why people come and go from our lives the way they do. I don't understand why there are cruel people in this world. There is so much that I can not wrap my head around. What I DO understand is that there is a loving God who cares and loves me (and you) so!! He knows my every thought and my every action, even before I do. He allows me to love (and love passionately), and to hurt. He allows me to question and understand. He allows me chances to make my own decisions and opportunities for me to learn from my mistakes. He allows me time to sit and wait and in that waiting, hopefully learn more of His goodness.

There is so much that I yearn to know. There are so many aspects in my life where I look forward to growing. Growing closer to Him and learning more about Him excites me every day. I am anxious to see what He wants to teach me in my coming years. There are things that He wants me to know - things about my husband James, Evan, my family, and yes, even more that he wants to teach me about myself.

As I sit and wait, I will trust in the Lord! Take a moment as you sit and wait today (you know you will at some point) and spend some quality time with Him. He wants to hear from you.

Prayer Requests:
*Mrs. Marta is a dear friend who treats me like I am part of her own family. She will be having surgery tomorrow to remove a tumor that has attached itself to her skull. As you can imagine, she is scared. I am sure her family is terrified. Please join me in prayer that she will be comforted and feel the peace from the Lord. Please pray for her doctor--that he will rest well tonight and have steady hands for the surgery. Please lift her family as they "sit and wait" to hear the news post-surgery. Please pray that we as her friends are able to minister to her as the Lord would have us to. That we would be the hands and feet of Jesus.

*Special Unspoken

Until Next Time...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Recovering and Preparing!

Well, Christmas has come and gone (even though the inside of my house is still decorated) and we are now preparing for a Valentine's Day wedding. That's right! My baby brother Heath is tying the knot! We are so happy for him and Christina. I am thrilled to be gaining a new sister. I am including some of their engagement photos from their session a couple of weekends ago. It was so much fun! I am looking forward to her bridal shoot and the wedding day. I must say, going shopping for new clothes for the festivities has been a lot of fun!

Medical Update: Things are on the up and up with me. I had a great appointment with Dr. Vaphiades a couple of weeks ago. I had to undergo another field vision test because it had been almost a year since my last and I must have done ok, he did not mention anything negative about it. He did however comment on the fact that I look thinner! Now that will make any girl's day! I don't have to go back until July!! Yea! I can not say enough of how I know God has been in the middle of all of this the entire time. He has brought these amazing people into my life who have been blessed with medical knowledge to know just what to look at and how to treat it-just when I needed it the most. I am so thankful for His intervention and His guidance since day one. It's funny how when faced with situations that can make you feel so gloom, God can make you feel joyful, just knowing He is in control. It does no good to be fearful, He holds it all in His hands anyway.

The more I live, the more I learn. Not only about life, but about me. About my strengths and weaknesses, my loves and passions, my hopes and dreams. I don't think you are ever too old to dream. God's love is amazing and His love challenges me to be a better me every day. I strive to lift His name every day, in my actions, in my words, in my deeds. May God be glorified! Oh how He loves me so!!

I have decided this year to be happy. That's my choice! I challenge you to choose happiness each day. I can not tell you the difference this has made in my life. Each day is sweeter. Have upsets come my way? Yes. But having the attitude that I WILL be happy has changed the way that I have accepted those things and been able to move on. What a difference an attitude will make!

I pray that your days are sweet and filled with kindness.

Until next time...