Ask the Lanfords, Round 2

ask lanfordsBecause I’ve been such a bad blogger lately and cannot write a decent post to save my life, I’ve gathered a few more riveting questions from my inbox and IRL (In Real Life, for those not adept with Internet lingo).

What happened to the Friday Feast? I feel bad for asking about it, but I miss it!
The Friday Feast is one of those things that had to be put on the back burner for a while. I do plan on bringin’ it back, but I have no idea when.
And I’ll be perfectly honest, there hasn’t been much going on in the Lanford kitchen for quite a while. Chad’s diet consists mainly of Ensure, Pediasure and Boost nutritional drinks. He adds some yogurt and about one full meal a day to fuel his body. We’ve been eating very little – and I’m glad it’s Summer. Lots of salads and fresh veggies and fruit for us. Light and easy — that’s my style of food prep lately. I go weeks without turning on the oven and I’ve only grilled once in the last two months.

What inspires you?
There are so many things that inspire me.
My husband. My kids. My family.
All the beautiful things the world has to offer.
Everything and anything, really.

Are you sad, nervous, or excited about Carys going to Kindergarten?
All of it.
She’s ready, and I am too.
It hit me really hard when it was registration time because I will have a Kindergartner and a Preschooler this Fall. I will have some time to myself, and I’m not exactly sure how to fill it. (Though I’m sure I will manage just fine…)
Carys is very excited, even though she has bouts of anxiety too. She knows two children that will be there with her this Fall — and we’re hoping at least one of them will be in her class to help her a little bit.
I think it will be good for to have an established routine — and she loves to learn.

What’s your favorite picture of your little girls?
Oh, that’s a toughie!
I take many, many pictures of my little hams. Sometimes they actively participate. Sometimes I have to bribe them.

This is my favorite shot of Carys, taken in August 2008.

Carys 8 2008
This is my favorite of Cailyn, also taken in August 2008.

Cailyn 8 2008

And, while I’m at it, this is my favorite photo of them together. It was taken in September 2008 in Wilmington at the Cotton Exchange.003

It captures their personalities perfectly; Carys is our happy-go-lucky giggle girl. And Cailyn is shy and more reserved; serious even.
I enlarged this picture and had it printed on a 16″x20″ gallery wrap by Canvas On Demand. It’s hanging in our hallway, between the kitchen and the girls’ room. It’s one of my very favorite things.

What ever became of your kitchen remodel project?
Oh, I would use the term “remodel” very loosely.
We Chad painted the kitchen a lovely shade of apple green that I hated once it was on the walls but it’s grown on me. I was then going to have curtains made — but after driving myself crazy with fabric swatches that I wasn’t thrilled about paying out the nose for, I gave up. And added yet another item to the back burner.
So, we now have a bright green kitchen with the old curtains that have that shabby chic don’t-really-match-but-I-don’t-really-have-time-to-care look about it.

Is Chad’s hair loss permanent?
We’re not really sure. Sometimes it doesn’t come back at all. But in most cases, it does.
While in the waiting room this week, I was reading over a few new pamphlets on radiation therapy and its side effects.
Apparently, the average time for hair to grow back is three to six months.
He doesn’t like hats, so he’s going to have to get used to the Mr. Clean look for a few more months yet.

When can Chad go back to work?
No one is more eager to get back to a normal routine more than Chad (and probably his coworkers).
We really hope that Chad will start feeling better after treatment is complete this week. However, I’ve also read that he may feel pretty puny for two-three weeks after treatment is over. The radiation is still technically “active” during the first few weeks following treatment. Radiation works by killing off the cancer cells -as well as the healthy cells- and it takes the body some time to rebound and rebuild.
Chad is hoping to be back by the end of the month. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

Will any other side effects be permanent?
Again, we do not know. Only time will tell.
Most of the side effects were lessened (or have completely gone away) once he tapered and finally weaned off steroids (dexamethasone).
He still is easily and constantly fatigued. He was chronically tired before the surgery, so I think that’s something he will just have to deal with. We are hoping that it will become more manageable once radiation and chemo are complete.
He does still have some concentration and memory problems. Again, we hope that those issues will resolve after treatment ends.
And I just have to say that I am extremely eager to see where we are now. The tumor resection was nearly four months ago (shunt nearly three months ago), and I’ve not really had Chad “back” since that time. There were a few days following the shunt surgery that he was more like himself, doing housework and such – but he was still on steroids at that time. When all the meds and treatment effects are out of his system, I hope he genuinely feels better than he did pre-surgery. It was our goal to have him feel better in the long run, and I hope we met that goal.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Lately, if it’s in my kitchen, it’s a comfort food.
And it depends on the day. The mood. The heat index. The size I was able to wear that morning.
I have been making an effort in the last few weeks to eat better and take better care of myself. There is nothing like bathing suit season to force you into a body wake up call. Also, there is nothing like a three-year-old announcing “Mommy, you gots a big hiney!” very loudly in a tiny department store dressing room stall with bad mirrors and shady lighting.
Honestly, I’ve been thinking of making a switch to a more vegetarianish lifestyle soon. I need to kick my sweets habit. I need to lose this stress-eating weight I’ve accumulated in the last year.

Oh, I was off topic.
Favorite comfort food?
Mashed potatoes. Fried chicken. Cheese and crackers. Mexican. Italian. Anything freshly baked. Anything with bacon or cheese. Anything with a dip.
Yea, I think that pretty much covers it.

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