Saturday, September 5, 2009

Taking You Farther...

I am slapping myself in the head right now-

Right after I made last weeks post about this being nice and peaceful, my own MOTHER emails me to tell me I forgot something really important.

Charlie's First Tooth!!
(You can KIND OF see it, if you quint really hard....)

The night before it popped through, she was miserable. Up two hours past her bedtime, chewing on everything, and whiney. I gave her some tylenol (after checking to make sure she didn't have a fever, because that is part of the protocol right now... Can't mask a fever she might have!), she finally settled down and fell asleep.

The next morning, I got her up and while she was smiling at me, I saw a little flash of white. This was milliseconds before the tongue came out, mind you, because it would seem that every time her mouth is open, the tongue just darts out now.

I stuck my finger in her mouth (yes, it was clean my squeamish friends) and something sharp and pointy bit my finger.

I was excited! Then sad. My baby officially isn't a "baby" any more... Now she has toofies! That's my word, using my "two year old lisp". Other well known lisp words are baff (bath), fing (thing; as in "Look at this cool fing!!") and siwwy baby (silly baby). You would do good to memorize those lest we be having a conversation and something like that slips out. It's always helpful to be prepared!

Kev kind of game me a whimsical smile when I mentioned that Charlotte wasn't so little anymore. My father in law, however, had the solution.

"Have another baby! I hope you don't wait TOO long..."

That's his solution to everything. Having a bad day? Have a baby! Got a headache? Have a baby! Break your leg?? Well, go to the hospital FIRST, THEN you best be having a baby!

What does my husband think about it? Ask him sometime. No, really! I like seeing how many colors his face can turn.

Now that she has one tooth, I decided to give her some REAL food...

Now, before you go all postal on me, you should know that NO, I didn't REALLY let her eat the banana like that, but YES, it WAS entertaining. I mashed it up after she got done playing with it, and she gobbled it down...

After that exciting fing (See? Good thing you have the two year old lisp at your reference), life stayed quiet. Charlie's numbers are excellent, Bekah has a cold (and revels in wearing her little teddy bear masks around so she doesn't get her sister sick), Kevin is working on computers, and I am doing whatever needs to be done every day.

I do admit that I have had episodes where I have been a little down, and the other day was one of them.

My head was stuck in this rut where I was focusing on Tuesday and the next round of chemo- remembering how she stopped eating for two days and was uncomfortable in general. Worrying about how I am going to work next week if that's how it goes this time; wondering how we are going to coordinate the holidays without seeming like hermits; and having to call Lauren and tell her we can't make it to Lance's first birthday party because now Bekah is sick, and I feel bad enough when my kids pass it to each other, so I can't imagine how bad I would feel if we got Lance sick.

So I am sitting at work dwelling (*sigh*) and I get this email.

Now, I had mentioned a couple of times previously that I had been in cohorts with Sheila Marquart, one of our HR reps, about taking pictures of everyone in North Dakota wearing Charlie's bracelet...

Anyway- so this email pops up from Tania Christian with the subject line "bracelets", and I open it, for some reason TOTALLY spacing the pictures, and what I see picked my mood up out of the gutter by the scruff of the neck, gave it a hot shower and some snazzy clothes, and fed it a seven course meal with Tiramisu for dessert (because Tiramisu is my favorite, that's why).

What follows is an exact copy of the email I received, and the pictures within:

While I sat there in stunned silence, emails started flooding my inbox. People wishing me well that I work with that have never met ME, much less my family. People asking about my family, telling me to keep my chin up, that they are pulling for us way out in North Dakota. My boss emails me and the entire Middleton group to tell them all how awesome this is, and reminds me to "pay it forward someday" because I really am getting to the point where Thank You doesn't feel like enough.

So now I am completely blubbering at my desk, but it's not because I am bumming out about chemo anymore; in fact, I am almost revelling in it!

Now it's: round four, the halfway mark ALREADY!

And: we get to see all of our favorite nurses again!

And: I can't wait to make her some onsies with the super funny cancer sayings I have been finding; like, "Baldylocks", or "Chemo: All The Cool Kids Are Doing It".

And also typing an email a mile long thanking my coworkers at the Mandan branch (yep, this was just ONE branch! I am still waiting for the pictures from the other branches! Eep!)

So, next time I get all soggy minded and start typing something sad and woe-is-me-ish, just drop me a friendly reminder:

I work with the absolute cream of the crop of society, and I have things to look forward to!

Thanks again, Starion Financial. You have never let me down!

God Bless!

Kristi Rufener


  1. Hi Kristi,

    Just wanted to say hello. I came across your blog and thought I would introduce myself. My son, Nathaniel, was also diagnosed with a paraspinal neuroblastoma, with spinal cord compression that caused him to lose his motor skills. He was diagnosed in Feb. 09 at 15 months, had a surgery, two rounds of chemo, and a second surgery, and has now been off-treatment sinec April 09. His whole story is at .

    We'll keep Charlie and your family in our thoughts and prayers as you go through her treatment. It's amazing how strong little ones are as they go through this.


  2. I think you should print those pictures and keep them with you, Kristi. That way, when you're having a hard time, it'll remind you just how many people are there to support you and your family.
    <3 ya Aimee


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