Sunday, August 25, 2013

Happy Birthday Grandma!

August 25th is always a very special day - it is my parents' birthday. Growing up whenever I would go shopping for their birthday presents and tell people what the occasion was, adults always corrected me that I must be shopping for their anniversary. But that date is in May! They simply shared a birth month and day, albeit two years apart. 

Today was a bittersweet of celebration as we remembered my dad Rob Keller and celebrated another birthday with my mom. We were so glad that she was able to come up and celebrate the day with us in Ocala. 

Our time started with worship at Druid Hills with Daryl and then home for a little bit. We tried to get pictures of all the grandkids together with Grandma, but we were unsuccessful in getting everyone to cooperate. So we opted for individual pictures instead. After pictures of the kids, Parker took one of me and my mom together (trying hard to keep little kids who like to photobomb out of the shot). 

Once Daryl came home from church, we headed out for lunch together. Grandma loves our Japanese steakhouse where they cook on the hibachi tables. We love it too - and this was our first time to take Davis. He did really well, except for the one part where they make the flames go really high when they cook. And he certainly enjoyed the food - they were gracious to let me share my meal with him instead of ordering another one - so Davis enjoyed miso soup, rice, noodles, vegetables and bits of my steak and shrimp. 

Home from the restaurant, we gave Grandma her birthday presents. First up was a hardbound book of pictures from our trip to China and journey to Davis. 

Then a memory card full of new pictures for her digital frame at home, as well as a photo frame with the picture from the airport where Grandma met Davis for the first time. 

As the afternoon wore on, the boys built another fort in the dining room. They also broke out the nerf guns and battled all around the house. Grandma learned a new skill today - how to lock and load a nerf gun. She became the silent partner on Davis' team as he battled his brothers. 

And no birthday would be complete without cake, this time a chocolate Carvel ice cream cake! 

Today was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with my mom. We're so glad for all the chances we have had since I've been on maternity leave and she has been retired. 

It has been sixteen months since she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. In that time, she has had surgery on her broken leg and cement put in her back, as well as a few targeted rounds of radiation. And she has been taking a daily pill (with a kind of chemo in it) as well as a monthly infusion designed to strengthen her bones. Last month she found out after a scan that while the spots of metastasis are gone, the main tumor has begun to grow again. That means her body/the cancer have adapted to the drugs. So the doctors switched her medicines around. She is now taking two new daily drugs in addition to her monthly infusions. And these seem to be a bit stronger because her hair has started falling out again. Despite all of this, my mom has been trying to do everything she can to help strengthen her body. There is a Livestrong program at the YMCA for cancer patients and she has been going there to swim and to work out a couple of times a week with a personal trainer. We would appreciate your continued prayers for my mom and for her health. 

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