Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Glad I am home now....

Gosh, I never thought that my job caused me so much stress. I thought for sure that I would be more tense and go crazy being at home, but it has been the opposite. I haven't had to take as much meds for my pains and anxiety like I used to. Plus, I really think that I used work to ignore the problems that were going on at home. At first I thought that was a good thing, but now I can see that it has caused a little damage. Aaron and Marcus are really struggling with school and friends, they used to fight so much with each other, I thought the police would have to come separate them at times! Since I have been home, they have been getting along so much better, even though they get too physical and don't realize they are almost "adult SIZE" now and not the little kids they used to be (well, they are in their hearts). I honestly feel that this is what I was supposed to do. Nothing is more important that these years and they are flying by. Already Aaron's "attitude problem" is a little less, he is working on his homework more and is trying a little harder. Noah hugs me every morning and tell me he is glad to have me home. I sure did miss seeing the boys in the morning!!
Marcus is really having a hard time with friends. You always hope that teens will open up and tell you whats bothering them, but that doesn't happen until it spills out. Marcus isn't a real social person, but lately I have noticed that he has been really down. He has stopped going to dances, won't go on dates, and doesn't "hang out" with anyone. He finally told me that kids he thought were good friends of his have been doing things and not inviting him. He said he told them straight out that he wanted to go to the next dance with them, but they made plans without him anyway. He gets a ride to school with a friend of his who is senior, except for certain days. Well, he told me that a kid on the bus called him a 'retard' right to his face and was laughing at him!! Marcus stood up to him and told him he has cancer, but that didn't seem to stop this idiot! People stare at him and that makes him uncomfortable for sure. I asked him if he knew when prom was and he just snapped at me and said... "don't know, don't care". It just breaks my heart, High School is so hard for all kids, but to look different than everyone else must be so hard. I am sure girls are afraid of him because of his situation and they really don't know what to say. I wish I could find one girl that would ask him out to build his confidence. It is so hard for me to watch him go through this, I just want him to be a "normal teen" but I know he is not. I just wish they could see what I see, but then again, no one can see what I can see, I am his mother.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Well, all of Marcus's reports are on their way and I should get them soon. I talked to Dr. Watson who is Marcus's pediatric-neuro-radio-oncologist (long title, huh?) Anyway, he is the Dr. that did Marcus's radiation therapy. I talked to him over the phone while he looked on the computer at every one of Marcus's scans. (He acutally READ the scans himself, not as in reading a report) Anyway, he told me that there is no way that this "nodule" could be meningioma. #1 reason... it has been there since his first scan post-op and it has not changed since then. #2 reason... side effects of the radiation like another tumor growing don't show up until 5 -10 years post-treatment. Something I knew already and read many articles on. He also said that the pain in Marcus's knees could be caused by a hormonal imbalance because the radiation was so close to his pituitary gland. It also could be causing his behavior problems as well. Is it me or isn't this something that this Doctor, being a NEURO-ONCOLOGIST know about? Hasn't she dealt with anyone having radiation to the brain before? It just seems like they have the attitude of... oh well, it has nothing to do with cancer, so therefore its not my problem, have a nice day, GOODBYE. It really makes me so angry to think that if our Dr. was still around, she probably would have checked his hormone levels because she knows Marcus and knows where he has had radiation. I am just soooo "Urked" right now. If Dr. Bruggers doesn't come back, not sure what we will do. I don't want to go to someone who seems like they have NO IDEA what they are doing.
In other news, we took Aaron for stitches last night. Who says NERF isn't dangerous? Aaron and Marcus were downstairs (lower ceiling) in Aaron's room playing with Noah's HUGE nerf gun. Marcus lifted it straight up in the air and hit the glass light shade that fell on his head and broke (I think they put a metal plate in Marcus's head during surgery) which sent pieces flying everywhere including Aaron's arm. So we went to Instacare and Aaron had 3 stitches put in, which by the way, I won the bet. We bet on how many it would be. Marcus said 5, the nurse said 4 and I said 3... HA! I WON! Of course Aaron chose 3 after I did, so we both won. He was brave and survived the needle.
Nothing is ever boring at the Russells! Well, gotta go get ready for Jackson and Noah's Parent-teacher conferences.... So much fun to see what the boys have done, or with Jackson... what he has said or destroyed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Life at the Russell home is constantly changing. Just when we get used to one thing, something else comes up and life has to change once again. What has changed? Well, I quit my job and I am now a stay-at-home Mom once again. After the latest going on with Marcus, Aaron failing some of his classes, and trying to juggle getting Jackson to school from daycare in the middle of the day, we decided that this was the right time. I haven't been able to get things done to get the second opinion going for Marcus, and John has to schedule things at work around picking up Jackson. His work has actually been suffering a little. So we calculated things financially, he got a raise and a bonus at work and the city is paying him a "little" so that is what made us decide that it was time for me to stay home and get things at home put back into place. We have made a huge headway in getting quite a bit paid off, so hopefully in the near future, we will buy a new home. Unfortunately, that is not our main goal or concern right now.
I am working on getting Marcus's MRI reports, typing up a "report" to send to 2 other doctors. Plus, I am trying to talk with Marcus's Neuro-Radio-Oncologist who did Marcus's radiation treatments to see if he can look at his actual MRI's and read them for a 2nd opinion on the Meningioma. Dr. Packer at National Childrens Hospital said he would look over Marcus's MRI reports and give us his opinion, but he won't give us a "full report" until we go and he looks at Marcus himself. John and I haven't come to an agreement on that one yet, so for now I will just get the reports ready to "send" to Dr. Packer.
Well, I gotta go pick up the little boys from school. My new day-job.... Taxi-driver! YEAHHH!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Thanks to the Taylor/Horne Genes........

Jackson was officially diagnosed yesterday as being... "COLOR BLIND"! Not sure exactly what happens with that but Jacksons teacher had the Nurse come in and evaluate him, and sure enough, the little stinker is color blind. I kinda figured that because he is so inconsistent with colors, and with his little "stubborn" attitude (also thanks to those wonderful genes) he will argue that orange is red until the cows come home. What a lovely combination..... sigh. Oh well, he is who he is and I love him even more for standing up for what he believes is right, even if it is just a color. He is struggling to read even though he knows all the letters, sounds they make and has for a while. We are still trying to figure out if he just doesn't want to read, or if he can't. I am betting on the first option.
This picture is on Jackson's 6th birthday. I can't believe how big he is getting. He is wearing a size 13 shoe, and is wearing size 6 to 7 clothes. Noah is finally in size 8, and size 13.5, or a size 1 shoe. I can't believe how fast time is flying by.

Noah, had his first Pinewood derby, he came in 5th place out of 22 cars!!!! His car was GOLD. He and John put it together the night before... (just like a lot of parents do) and still came in good time. He is having so much fun in his Cub Scouts. He really is growing up to be quite the little fixer, and especially our Artist. He always has his "gallery" of art around the house. He makes and decorates the house for every occation. We have a snow man and snowflakes on walls and windows. Now he is working on some paper weaving projects. He is always working on something.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mormon Religion: President Gordon B. Hinckley

Here is a dedication of his life, his humor, and his unconditional love for everyone.... even me.
We Thank Thee, Oh God for a Prophet....

Praise to the Man....

Just wanted to post about a man whom I have known all my life, and always smiled when I heard his voice. I have felt such an emotional bond with him because that is who he is. He is the one person whom I could feel Heavenly Fathers love come through the pulpit and into my heart. President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Meeting him for the first time, he was in the First Presidency of the Church, a councilor to President Benson, where he dedicated a new Young Adult Stake Center here in Logan, Utah. I was in the Choir where I sat right behind him during the Services. What a spirit filled the room when he was in it. After it all came to a close, President Hinckley turned around and told a few of us what beautiful music we had performed, shaking our hands. What a feeling when he looked me in the eye and shook my hand, I felt like he knew me and loved me.
After he was made President, I saw him when he went to Colonial Juarez to our High School's Centennial (our High School is operated and owned by the LDS church. ). Little did we know that it would be there that he had the inspiration for the Small Temples being built. How exciting to know that he was thinking of my family and how they could serve in the Temple as well.
Then... when we came to the dedication of one of those first Small Temples in Colonial Juarez, I will never forget the words he spoke of my ancestors and that this Temple was built for them because of their hard work, dedication and trials they had endured. No other Ward or Stake in the world has so many Mission Presidents, General authorities, and Temple Presidents have come from one little place, that most people don't even know about.
Tears come to my eyes whenever we sing.. "We Thank thee Oh God, for a Prophet." Because I know we have one and even though President Hinckley is not with us, I know that President Monson is now our living Prophet today. I love him as well and look forward to many years of him Guiding us onward.