|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 23, 2014 at 12:05 AM||comments (2)|
NORMAL-ISH! That's what this past week has been. We had sort of a potpourri of events, occurrences and emotions.
We began our week in church last Sunday with a beautiful prayer service for Pastor Spencer and the Spencer family. It was well attended, not only by our own church members, but several concerned and caring people from the community came as well as many clergy from our area. Juliana was asked to do the readings and as usual she did a beautiful job. I believe that our prayers are being answered as Pastor continues to show progress with each passing day. His wife, Pat, is undoubtedly fulfilling her marital vows - "in sickness and in health". She is truly a pillar of strength. Please continue to hold Pastor and his family in your prayers.
On Monday Chris had his first visit with Columbia Presbyterian. It was an uneventful visit and reminded us of why we chose Boston Children's Hospital. I will leave it at that.
For me, Tuesday was probably the most emotional day since transplant. It was Chris's first day back at school since before Thanksgiving. We sat in the middle school office with the principal, guidance counselor and school nurse for the re-entry meeting. They asked Chris a few basic questions and in 2 minutes time he was dismissed. What happened next was shocking to me. My 5'6", 115 pound boy and his new deep voice got up from the meeting table, said goodbye, and in a flash he was out the door and headed to his first class. I glanced over my shoulders to tell him to have a good day and I saw only the back of his redhead, his enormous backpack, and then it happened. I completely burst into tears!!! It was just shy of a full blown sob. No warning, no quivering lip, just one big puddle right there in the principals office. Everything was now a reality ... I had just sent my happy and HEALTHY son off to school for the first time in months (actually years). Wow! Just wow.
After I left the school, composed myself, and made a pit stop at Starbucks, it was time for me to get back to my babysitting gig. I babysit for a family with 3 boys (5, 3 & 11 months). On Tuesday I was on 11 month old duty and I have to admit I was a little nervous that the little guy wouldn't remember me. Thankfully that wasn't the case. We picked up where we left off and it was exactly the diversion I so desperately needed that day. Babies make everything better!
I was one of the first ones on the pick up line outside of school on Tuesday. Juliana and her bubbly self came out first. When I finally spotted Chris headed to the car I noticed he had 2 friends with him. I assumed they needed a ride. Nope! Chris came up to the car window and asked for money so that he could go with his friends into town. This has not happened in years! The boys b-lined for Dunkin Donuts, then came back to our house where they proceeded to polish off the 1/2 gallon of milk to wash down those sugary delights. No sooner did they finish their snack and they were off to the park and meander through the neighborhood. This was all normal teenage boy stuff and on this particular day it was as normal as normal gets. It was as if I was FINALLY able to take a deep breath after holding it under water for a prolonged period of time. I think I might like this "normal" stuff.
Chris loved being in school for a full and under the radar kind of day on Wednesday. Thursday I needed to sign him out early so we could head back up to Boston for Fridays appointment. We stayed at the Yawkey Family Inn (a Ronald McDonald type of place). It was clean, comfortable, convenient and VERY affordable. We have reservations there for all of our upcoming visits to Boston. Chris saw the nephrologist, had labs drawn and had a handful of additional tests done yesterday. The scans indicated that the new ureter and kidney are doing exactly what they are supposed to which was good news.
Before we left on Thursday we received a package containing Chris's Zoombang. A Zoombang is a custom kidney protector that Chris will wear under his clothes whenever he participates in sports of any kind. When he opened the package I think his eyeballs turned into baseballs! He cannot wait to get back on that field again this year. The transplant was timed perfectly. Opening Day here in Glen Rock is next Saturday. I'd pray for a nice day but I think I'll lower my expectations and just pray that we don't have to shovel the snow off the field this year. I cannot wait to see how team 'Rootin For Red' does this season. If it is anything like the Roddy recovery team, they're gonna kill it!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM||comments (5)|
WE ARE HOME!!!!!
Chris's appointment proved to be uneventful. There was no change in his numbers or on the ultrasound today. Next Fridays test will give the doctors a better understanding of how everything is working. We will enjoy our week of normalcy and cross that bridge when we get there.
Of course, there was a bit of drama on the way home. We were approaching the Tappan Zee Bridge when a truck in front of us kicked up a decent sized pebble and cracked my windshield. There were bits of glass on my dashboard and in my lap and hair but it definitely could have been worse. It was a typical end to our story in true Roddy fashion.
I think it's time for a family game night accompanied with a little glass of something something. Enjoy the weekend and I'll see some of you around town.
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 13, 2014 at 11:30 PM||comments (2)|
The time has come! I will say my nightly prayers in this bedroom one last time this evening. Tonight I pray for favorable results at Chris's appointment tomorrow, a safe journey home, and that Pastor Spencer's health continues to improve.
The car is 99% packed and has been since 10:00 this morning. I've said my goodbyes to my buddies here in the building, the apartment is cleaned and this duo is more than ready to head south! Wow! This has been one crazy train ride --- I'm ready to get off now.
I truly am glad that modern technology made it so easy for me to document this chapter of Chris's life. And how cool that you were all able to follow the progress of the Roddy boys on a daily basis with one click of a button. Every one of your posts have been read and have been appreciated beyond measure. Thank you for all of your support, kind words, love, prayers and encouragement. I'm not quite sure I could have kept going without you prodding me along. And I mean that!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 12, 2014 at 2:50 PM||comments (3)|
In case you didn't notice, I was rather frazzled on Monday when I posted my last blog. Anyone that knows Pastor Spencer I am sure is experiencing the same uneasy feeling this week. Even when I think I am preoccupied I STILL feel like something just isn't right. The stars just aren't aligned properly. My dear friend and pastor is still suffering greatly from the stroke he endured Sunday evening. Although I understand he is sedated and being kept comfortable he is now on a ventilator and has been diagnosed with pneumonia. His wife and children have remained at his side and our community is praying their absolute hardest for Pastor and the entire Spencer family.
I've been completely sidetracked by all that this week has presented. It dawned on me this morning that each of you check this blog to see how Chris and Joe are doing. I honestly cannot even remember if I mentioned them the other day.
Joe probably pushed himself a little more than he should have last Saturday, his birthday. It was a spring-like day so we went for a long walk and then celebrated the special occasion with Debbie, Tom and some neighbors that evening. We attended church on Sunday morning for the first time in months (which was wonderful!) and after that Joe slept on and off all day long. On Monday morning Joe returned to work and he did just fine. He has been leaving early in the morning and catches an early bus home to avoid the commuter crazies. Aside from being exhausted at the end of the day, Joe is doing great.
Chris continues to look and feel amazing. He met with his urologist yesterday and they are planning some additional testing. The doctors would like to perform an ultrasound this Friday and a VCUG and urodynamics test next Friday. Chris's creatinine is at a "safe" level but it is still higher than they'd like it to be. Based on his history the doctors are being overly cautious which pleases this mom more than you know.
Once we are through at the hospital Friday morning we will hand over our apartment keys and bid this city farewell. I have to admit that this apartment has more than served its purpose. Initially, we were planning to stay in the housing provided to us by the hospital. After a few days of ridiculously small quarters we recognized that that particular plan was not going to work. We found this 750 square foot apartment and it has allowed Joe and Chris to heal privately and properly. This little love shack has also enabled Chris and I to have our own little corner of the world during those long boring days in between hospital stays and appointments. The last thing this kid needed was his mom breathing down his neck all this time. A little time spent in separate rooms was almost necessary. There was room for Juliana to come visit comfortably and enough space to house my family when they came to help the week of the transplant. We hosted many friends and family in our short time here and Lord knows we treasured each visit. Especially our visit from Pastor Spencer on January 28th. Not only did we celebrate Chris's 14th birthday with him that night, but we celebrated holy communion in this very living room I type from today. What a gift on so many levels!
So yes, I will happily load the car one more time and turn in my key on Friday morning. However, there will be some mixed emotions in doing so. Apartment 606 will be a place I will remember always.
Once we return to good ole' Glen Rock the plan is for Chris to go back to school next Tuesday, March 18th. He will need to be mindful of any sick classmates, make sure he continues to consume the amount of liquids required of him and remember to be generous with the Purell I will send him with every day. Chris will still miss lots of school due to the follow up appointments that are scheduled. Therefore, we have arranged to have his tutor stay on with him until the end of the school year.
Next week I will return to my regularly scheduled mom duties, which I've missed most of all. Monday will be Chris's first appointment post transplant at Columbia Presbyterian with his nephrologist. On Tuesday I will go back to my awesome part time babysitting job. I certainly have missed those little boys!
It's been a heck of a year so far. I am anxious for "normal" to find its way back into the Roddy household. God knows I am counting the days.
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 10, 2014 at 7:35 PM||comments (2)|
When I woke up this morning I already knew I wasn't going to love this day. Aside from the dreadful darkness outside at 6:00 a.m., today would mark one more good bye to Joe and Juliana. Yes, it is my final week in our Boston apartment and I should be thankful. After all, the bad stuff is behind us and we have good health to look forward to!
The first two hours of this day was action packed. I made the lunches, quickly took the garbage pail to the curb before I missed that truck with the ear piercing brakes, threw a load of whites in the washer, warmed Joe's car, responded to a few emails, cleaned up the man cave from its weekend of being occupied by Chris, drove Juliana to school, scoffed down some breakfast, wrote out some bills and finally sat for 10 minutes to enjoy my first cup of coffee. As I sat quietly in my kitchen I remembered how much I missed those crazy mornings. So, I poured another cup of coffee all set to have myself a little pity party. I was feeling really bummed about having to load the van once again and pull away from 508.
It was at that moment I was swiftly snapped into reality and was reminded of just how trivial my little "problem" was. My friend Janet, the director of parish ministries from our church, sent me a very upsetting text message. I could tell from her opening sentence that this wasn't good. Pastor Spencer suffered a stroke last night during the Jazz Vespers service.
As most of you know, this man has been a pillar to the Roddy family for many years. Pastor Spencer has provided me with support and guidance more times than I could possibly count. He pronounced me and Joe husband and wife, he baptized our children and gave them their first communion, he prayed with us through my mothers battle with cancer and delivered a beautiful sermon for her funeral, he sang the Lords Prayer at my grandmothers funeral at her church (as a favor to me, his friend), he sat with us through umpteen hours of surgeries with Chris when he was little, and his latest pastoral act of kindness lead him to be with us in Boston the day before the transplant. His presence made me feel loved and safe. Safe during a time that I was scared out of my wits.
There will be many of you reading this that have similar stories about how Pastor has been there for you and your loved ones in your darkest hour. Whether you know him or not, as a favor to me, PLEASE pray for Pastor Roger Spencer. Pray for his family as well. This family is scared out of THEIR wits tonight.
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 8, 2014 at 12:05 AM||comments (5)|
Was happy to be home this week ... Was not happy that our entire family unit is still separated by a few states.
Loved spending time with Juliana ... Hated being away from the boys.
These are just a few things on my pros and cons list this week. I'd say these are pretty darned minuscule compared to the great reward of Chris's good health. He continues to grow in stature and as of this mornings exam he's gained 14 pounds since the transplant on January 30th. Watch out Stop N' Shop ... here I come!
My time with Juliana this week was perfect. This girl certainly lives her entire life in one big fat exclamation mark. Everything she does is done with passion and a smile. She makes my job as her mother so easy. I am just so proud of how she has handled the past couple of months. Joe and I are in constant awe of how both of our kids have learned to deal with the deck our family has been dealt. When they were little we never rewarded our kids with "things" for their good behavior. We always told them that good behavior is expected not rewarded. Bad things in life happen to EVERYONE. Buying toys or "stuff" does not make the things we can't change better. However, Juliana learned that lesson a long long time ago. Let's just say we had a little fun shopping this week.
The boys are on their way back to NJ as I type! I am very excited to see them both and anxious to know if these translucent Irish boys will be sporting a little more color when they return to 508 this afternoon. Chris was well on his way to rosy cheeks when they left on Sunday, but 5 more days of a healthy and fully functioning kidney can do a lot for a guy. Joe's come a long way and I think his body has finally figured out that old righty will be just fine on his own since old lefty flew the coupe on January 30th.
This weekend we will celebrate Joe's birthday. Man, I thought I had a hard time buying for him before the transplant! Any ideas on what to get a guy that just saved your kids life? Anybody? Anybody?
On Monday Chris and I will return to Boston for the final days in our city crash pad. We will be back in Glen Rock permanently a week from today. Yesssss! For the next several weeks Chris will be seen in NYC on Mondays and we'll need to travel to Boston on Thursdays for his Friday appointments. Once again, these are all minor inconveniences in the scheme of what Chris has received in return.
Keep up the great job you're all doing with those prayers and have a wonderful weekend!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 1, 2014 at 10:30 PM||comments (3)|
This weekend absolutely flew! The boys just got on the road and I am feeling like a fish out of water. This house certainly got quiet in a hurry and I am not liking it one bit. So, is it Oscar, wine and cheese time yet? Combine those few things with Ellen DeGeneres and I've got myself a ticket to "forget about the surrounding REAL world" for the evening.
Please pray that Joe and Chris have an uneventful week and a safe journey to and from Boston! Off to chill that wine now.
|Posted by sheri.roddy on March 1, 2014 at 10:30 PM||comments (1)|
Happy to be home but sad that our little family unit will be split in half again tomorrow. The separation has been pretty high at the top of the "hardest things throughout this journey" list. The good news is that Joe looks good and seems to be up to the 4 hour drive back to Boston tomorrow and fully prepared to report for Chris duty. However, something tells me that a big ole' nap will be on the agenda once they arrive.
This morning I wondered what I would do with myself all week not having to chart Chris's every move and run back and forth to doctor appointments. So I started a to do list and man did that add up in a hurry. I am looking forward to attending Juliana's games, I am in desperate need of some salon services, and hope to meet a friend or two for lunch. My guesstimate is that I have 2 full days this week of sorting through paper work. The medical bills are streaming in at a steady pace and let's just say I am thanking God we have health insurance. Holy Mackerel!
Today as I ran some errands I had the pleasure of running into a few friends and family members. As Miss Gale once said, "there's no place like home"!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on February 27, 2014 at 6:15 PM||comments (4)|
We are once again flying out of here tomorrow after Chris's appointment at the hospital. We got a taste of home last week and dag nam it, we want more! Joe is doing better and better everyday. He is insisting on coming back to Boston with Chris on Sunday (before the next snow storm) and I will stay back in NJ and be Juliana's mom for the week. Of course I'll need to see first hand that he is well enough to make the trip. However, I've packed for the week and I'm hoping for the best.
Today the tutor thing finally got worked out. I received a call from the gentleman that provided at home instruction before we left for Boston when Chris was too sick to attend school. Mr. Cece is an awesome tutor and has agreed to Face Time with Chris a few nights a week. I feel that this will be the perfect solution to easing Chris back into school. Thank God for modern technology!
In case I haven't done this before, I'd like to thank all of you that have sent meals over to 508 in my absence. My sister has done a fantastic job at coordinating ALL of these meals through the numerous schedule changes and snowstorms. Thanks, Deb! For the record, those of you that have cooked have completely spoiled the other half of my family. I can't wait to hear the groaning when our lives are back to normal and I'm the head chef once again. My family has thoroughly enjoyed every single meal and the TLC that came along with it. My sincerest thanks!
Please remember to cross your fingers, toes and whatever else you have to cross that Chris's numbers are better tomorrow. He is doing everything that is asked of him. His hard work just HAS to pay off!!!!
|Posted by sheri.roddy on February 26, 2014 at 7:05 PM||comments (2)|
Chris had his ultrasound this morning and everything appears to be okay. We need to change a few things and monitor his numbers closely. Figures, JUST when I relax and let my guard down a little yet another curve ball is thrown our way! Dang!
Joe iced his back and neck on and off all night. He got up this morning and walked on the treadmill and did some stretching to loosen up. Thankfully he seems to be alright after his freak fall yesterday.
When we returned from the hospital there was a beautiful bouquet of red roses waiting in the lobby for me at the apartment. The card read, "Happy Anniversary --- Aloha!". We were supposed to be in Hawaii this week to celebrate our 20th. I will take a healthy kid over a trip to Hawaii anyday! Although, after this past year a rain check might be nice. Thank you for all of the anniversary wishes. I can only hope that the next 20 is just as happy but perhaps a little less eventful. Actually, boring will suffice!