Friday, November 14, 2008

Wow, what a month will bring...

Frank here.
As some of you may already know, I was diagnosed with cancer on Wed, October 15, 2008. Wow, what a difficult thing to hear from your doctor. I had gone to the doctor on September 29th with complaints of swelling and generally knowing something was not right... the symptoms had only been there for a couple of weeks prior but I knew something was not normal. Our family doctor put me on 10 days of antibiotics and said if things had not changed before my trip to India the following week then I should give him a call back. Friday came and I felt better; no discomfort and maybe even the swelling had gone down a little but certainly it was not gone. I went to India for the week and came back excited and energized about a deal we've been working. It was a successful trip by all measures.

Kathy and the kids had been sick and so I returned from India to an infested house... A couple of days later, I too got a scratchy throat and so off to the doctor again; this time for my throat and "oh, by the way... ...can you recheck this swelling thing?" After a minute or two, the doctor recommended we get a closer look with a sonogram. She made an appointment for me 30 minutes later; so off I went. Sonogram only took 30 min; so off to my next appointment.
That's when the call came. "Frank are you with someone? Are you with your wife?" "...No, but now you have to tell me what is going on, Doc!" "It's cancer."

I left my appointment only knowing that I had to get to Kathy and somehow break the news while trying to insulate the kids from what I knew would be a moment of intense fear for both of us. I called my Mom and Dad en route (something I regret to this day). In a moment not thought through at all; I let it out. First to my Mom who was home alone and then in a separate call to my dad who was out with friends. Like I said... I was not thinking. I've apologized for how I handled the situation because I totally failed to think of the undue stress and emotional anguish I would put them through; but sometimes you just need your mommy & daddy even if you're 37 years old.

I arrived home and asked Kathy to join me in the bedroom. I shut the door and shared the news. We took a few moments to cry in each others arms.

The next couple of days was filled with information gathering... I went to a urologist the next day who scheduled me for surgery on Monday, October 20th.

The surgery went well and I healed quickly...

The next week was filled with one example of grace after the other. First we learned that testicular cancer is very treatable and curable. We also learned the type of cancer was seminomous which was the "best" kind to get. Next we learned that it had not progressed into my lymph system. If it had; I would likely have been scheduled for another major surgery where they remove the lymph system.

So with the removal of the cancer and it not having spread to my lymph system; two paths were explained to us: 1. wait and see or 2. radiation treatments to sterilize the lymph system and almost ensure recovery long term (99.9% is cured long term).

So that brings us to this week where I started Radiation treatments. I've been doing OK but remain nauseous most of the day. I've lost 2 1/2 lbs in my first week and hope that the increased medication will help with this temporary symptom. I'm looking forward to this being behind us. Mid December 2008 and all should be back to "normal" Wow, what a month will bring!

Frank -

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Silly Kiddos!

"Long time, No blog"

Well, it seems like forever since my last blog.
We have had so much going on in the last couple of weeks.
First of all, we have all been a little under the weather and still are. We just keep passing it around. Second, Frank was in India for a week and that kept me busy with the kiddos. Lastly and most important, my sweet baby girl had her 4th birthday! I can't believe she is already four. She is growing up so fast and she is so smart. We plan to have her birthday party this weekend complete with a bounce house and she can't wait!
Anyway, I have to get my pictures in order and I will post them asap.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fire Safety at School

Today, Ethan learned all about fire safety at school. They teach them all about the firestation, the firemen and they even teach them about stop, drop and roll. In the picture, you will see his little fire hat he made. He actually put it on for a second so I could get a picture of him wearing it. Only for a second though!!

Bathtime Fun

Silly Ethan was making bubble beards and making his sister laugh!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Our Zoo Adventure

Well, the Gerwick's and the Lewis' decided to be brave and take all 5 kids to the Dallas zoo on Saturday and we decided to take the Dart rail from Plano down to the zoo. For those of you who don't know, that is about 12 stops before you get to the zoo and to a small child that is an eternity.

There was a small glitch in the plan when while we were crossing the tracks excited to board the train, the train drove off, leaving us to wait 30 minutes (yes, 30 minutes) for the next train. As Kyla would say, "that darn train!" We contemplated just getting in our cars and driving down to the zoo, but lets face it, by the time you walk back to the car, load up all of the kids and drive there, it would be much longer than 30 minutes. So, we decided to wait. After surviving the wait, we got onto a very crowded train (very unexpected) and went on what turned out to be a one hour ride to the zoo. This turned out to be a little much for Gage! Let's just say, he was not happy and he let the whole train know it! Bless his little heart. You can't blame him. He was just wanting to see some animals!

So, we made it and after having some lunch, everyone calmed down and had a great day. Kyla and Ethan loved it. The gorilla's would not cooperate, as usual, but we did see an elephant, tigers, giraffes, rhino's etc... This was Kyla's first trip to the zoo that she will remember and Ethan's first trip ever.

When we saw the excitement and the joy in their little faces, it really reminded us of how lucky we are to be parents of such wonderful children.

Backyard Fun

All the backyard fun you and the kiddos can handle. We really enjoyed the time with the Gerwick's. As you can see from the video below, "Mr. Billy" as he is affectioinately called, enjoyed spinning the kids around and around.

We all tried it, as the adults joined in the fun of the "2 year old spins". Kathy spins and dances with Kyla and Mr. Billy spins Grayson.

"It's Too Quiet Around Here!"

Well, our evacuee's (The Gerwick's) left us yesterday and although it can be a little hectic around here with 5 young kiddos, I miss the chaos! It is so quiet around here. Even though Kyla and Ethan are here, it is just not the same craziness without the Gerwick boy's! I know most people would think that I (we) would be glad to have our house back, but truth be told, I was kind of disappointed when Tanni came out of the room on Saturday night and told me her power was back on. I truly enjoyed spending time with our great friends and it seemed like the week just flew by.
However, I am so glad the Gerwick's are able to start getting their lives back to normal.
I miss you guys and I look forward (hopefully) to a visit in October.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Giddy Up

Giddy Up Horsey!
The kids had a blast catching a ride on Billy's back over and over again.
Poor Billy!

Bounce House Fun

We had so much fun at the Prosper bounce house today. We are finding all kinds of fun things to do with all of the kids, and this one was definitely a favorite! As you can see, Kyla is really good about helping her little brother when he needs help climbing up on things. Sweet girl! Frank was also having a good time on the slides. It was a great time!

Game Show Time

Frank has started playing what he calls "Game Show Time" in the evenings with the kids. They love it! As you can see, Kyla and Gavin are having the most fun answering all of the questions and battling for who can answer first. We are having so much fun with the Gerwick boys!

Our Hurricane Evacuee's (Homeless)

Well, after waiting it out for a couple of days, our great friends and now hurricane evacuee's have decided to give up and come to Prosper for a much needed electricity fix!! As we all know, the hurricane hit Friday night into Saturday morning and as of tonight the Gerwick's are still 100% out of power in their Houston zip code.
I know they are under a lot of stress just trying to figure everything out, so we are so happy to be able to alleviate some of this stress by welcoming them with open arms for however long they need it. We are very blessed to be able to help out and to have our great new house that has enough space to accomodate 4 adults and 5 young children comfortably.
I am actually very excited to have Tanni here to keep me company during the day and to have someone to give a look and take a deep breath with when our kiddos are pushing us over the edge. I have to say, the weather has cooperated so nicely. When you are trying to keep 5 kids occupied, it helps to have great park/playground weather.
Anyway, to sum it all up, we love the Gerwick family dearly, and are so happy to have friends that feel comfortable enough with us to ask with no reserve to come stay with us for however long they need it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Well, as we all sit here tonight tracking what seems to one of the largest hurricanes we have all seen here in Texas in our lifetime, I just wanted to send out a prayer for all of those who are about to be affected by this big storm. Especially our great friends, the Gerwicks. You guys hunker down and stay safe!! Remember, we are thinking about you and are here if you need us!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kyla's 2nd Dentist Visit

After what seemed to be the fastest weekend I have ever encountered, I am proud to announce that Kyla had her 2nd dentist visit this afternoon. She was such a big girl and even had some x-rays done on her teeth this time. She was so excited to go and couldn't wait to get home and show me her new pink and purple Little Mermaid toothbrush. What a big girl!!!

It is so nice to have found a dentist that is so great that your kids look forward to going to the dentist.

Kyla and Ethan's New Campsite

Well the kids have decided that the windowsill in their new playroom is the new place to camp.
I know you probably cannot tell, but they are well equipped with a flashlight, a pink cell phone on the windowsill and we cannot forget Kyla's babies in their pack-n-play right beside her.

You've got to love a child's imagination!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Kyla's Sisterly Love

Kyla and Ethan's 1st week of school

Well, Kyla and Ethan have officially finished their first week of school. This means that they have gone to school a whole 3 days. After a few tears (more from Ethan than Kyla) everyone seems to be adjusting quite well. Kyla is so excited that she gets to see her teachers from last year everyday because Ethan's room is right next door to them.
However, we have realized as of today that Ethan is not going to be our little artist.
I went to pick him up from class today and when I looked down at his little bin where they usually put the days work and art projects I saw a bright piece of paper sitting in front of his bin.
I reached down with excitement thinking this was his first piece of artwork from school and much to my surprise after picking is up, IT WAS BLANK! Come to find out our little one doesn't like to get his hands dirty. So much for our 1st year art portfolio! :-)
Oh well, hopefully he will adjust and we may see some fun stuff in the future.

I have to say, the break two days a week is really nice. It takes some time to get adjusted to having so much time all to myself. It is truly a blessing to be able to send the kids to such a great school where you feel comfortable leaving them, knowing they are well taken care of and loved by their great teachers.

Monday, September 1, 2008

New House is Now Home

Frank here.

Sneaking onto Kathy's laptop is kinda fun. I'm not sure of the "rules" of blogging; "Family Blog" does that mean that we can ALL write what's on our minds here or is this only Kathy's blog to capture the fun and excitement of the Lewis' lives together. Well, until I am told otherwise I'll write what's on my mind too. :-)

So this Labor Day weekend we had our best friends from Houston visit us at the new home. Kathy organized a nice "family day" and invited many more of our close friends from around the DFW area to converge upon our backyard. The Hamby's, Hanson's, Kaiser's, & a few of Kathy's old friends from work all joined us at our new home in Prosper. Billy, Tanni, Gavin, Gage, & Grayson; Brandt, MaryAnn, Hogan, Rachel, & Brock; Dan, Trudy, Mason, & Eva; Alex, Rachel, & Brooks; Denise, Eric, & Preston; Tim, Lisa & Collin were all in and out of our house from 3pm to dark. The Gerwick's brought a Little Tykes water slide that was the hit of all hits. The kids flung themselfs off this 12' tall blow up toy-of-all-toys for hours as we older folks sat back and discussed old times, caught up on recent happenings and I soon realized that it has been way too long since we've spent quality time like that with so many good friends! I've made a personal committment to myself do more of this. I truly appreciate my friends and love spending family time with them. I look forward to watching all our kids grow up together and create their own "Sand Lot" memories.

Thanks to everyone who spent the day with us. This event was the perfect way to convert a new house into "home".

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New House...New Blog

We just moved into our new house about 2 weeks ago and along with a new house comes our new blog. After spending this Labor Day weekend with our great friends, the Gerwick's, I have been convinced of the merits of entering the world of blogging. This has been a very exciting and crazy time for us and we are so blessed to be where we are today.