I think I mentioned awhile back that we had to cancel holiday plans this summer. That in itself wouldn’t have been the end of the world (we’ve discovered there are certainly far worse things in life then a missed vacation), but this year we were particularly looking forward to our first vacation in years with Zak. Finally, after so many incredibly challenging years during which we lived in constant fear of losing our son, life had turned a corner and this was going to be quite the celebration for the five of us. So yes, in fact it kind of sucked that we had to cancel our holiday plans.
Still, there was no point in wasting tears over something that couldn’t be changed, so instead we promised the kids a “Stay-cation” where we would explore Vancouver like tourists. They handled the news like troopers. (Duh…they are Saint-Onge children. They are nothing if not resilient. And besides, the girls had just spent a week at the lake with friends, so they knew better then to complain) 🙂
Saint-Onge Stay-cation was due to start on Monday the 17th, but then that damn cancer and that damn low white blood cell count got together to mess with our plans yet again. Chemo was postponed – set to take place on Monday the 17th. Sigh. So that sucked again, but when life gives you lemons …. well, you know the rest.
Instead of making lemonade, however, we kicked off Saint-Onge Stay-cation on Sunday afternoon with a pre-chemo family bar-b-que. And this time the entire family was there, which literally NEVER happens! Thats right … Gramma, Grampa, Auntie Barbie and Makeda, Auntie Lisa / Uncle Brett / Brendan and Jenna (when does that ever happen??!!!) and all five Saint-Onges. How about that?! What a treat…
Ben and Lisa ……… and Grampa
Grampa and the eldest granddaughters …… and the youngest with their fishing catch
Barb and Gramma (why so frown-y ladies?) Jenna and Zak ….. cousin love
Grampa and Brett Lisa and Brendan Makeda and Zak
Somehow we adopted one extra for the evening …. who does he belong to?
… at least he made himself useful and acted as the resident hairdresser:
Dawson and Jaime
So much fun was had by all that we wore Ben right out!
On Monday morning we decided to brunch at one of the restaurants featured on Ben’s current favourite tv show, “Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Thats right … off went the Saint-Onge’s to The Red Wagon.
(Please ignore my middle child’s extremely rude hand gesture that I only just noticed now. Its her father’s fault. I tried to teach them proper manners, but apparently they follow the “Fun” parent’s example instead of mine)
The Red Wagon falls into the ‘Dive’ category, but I do recommend it for the food. Not for the bathrooms (which were situated in the kitchen, and they stank something fierce), and not for the seating, and not for the lukewarm drinking water. But the food was very good, and it was kind of cool eating in the restaurant that had been featured on the show. Also, they post customer’s art work on their windows, hence this masterpiece:
From there we did a little shopping, followed by a little blood work at the hospital (white blood cell count up to 3.0), followed by a little chemo.
Don’t you just love how we make everything a full family affair? I think the staff at VGH shudders when they see the Saint-Onge name on the appointment list. We are very loud. Lol.
In any case, after the chemo we headed off home where unfortunately Ben was hit with the not so lovely chemo after effects within about six hours. He started running a fever and his temp was high enough that we had to call the hospital to see if they wanted him brought in. The doctor was really great on the phone and decided to let Ben stay home because the fever was more likely due to the chemo drug then an infection. So I got to play ER nurse for the night, which would have been fun if it looked like this:
By the next morning Ben’s body had decided to reject all food and drink, which of course made everything worse for him, including the pain. So basically the next 48 hours involved sleeping, barfing, and trying to shift positions to find a way to sit that didn’t cause him to poke his eyeballs out just to distract himself from the pain in his lower back. But now that two days have passed, he is starting to feel slightly better. Which may have something to do with the fact that we went out tonight and purchased this new addition to the family:
Thats right folks. The Saint-Onge’s now own a really, really big pick up truck. We don’t live on a farm. We don’t have any hay to haul. We really have no practical need for a truck. But Ben has always wanted one and quite frankly I am sick to death of driving a mini van. So there you have it. We own a truck.
Ben is very happy, and I take full credit for that because I insisted we buy it. Maybe later we can buy a farm to go with it.
My advice to you (no charge) …. Hug your families. Buy a truck if you want one. Hope that in your lifetime, you are lucky enough to be loved as fiercely as this: