Hi and Welcome!
Ugh the pressure to write an epic post kind of paralyzed my fingers! I’ve decided to tell you a little about myself and family and then share a few of my past posts with you instead. I hope that’s okay!
I’m Erin and several people over the past year have told me I’m inviting chaos into my life by naming my blog Amundsen House of Chaos. The truth is I’ve been blogging for almost 8 years and the chaos doesn’t stem from any blog name! I started blogging to keep family and friends informed on our son Colby’s stroke recovery. He had a stroke when he was 2 years old. Yup, kids have strokes! Shocking right? It gets even more shocking when you find out that the stroke was a side effect of E.Coli O157 we all got from a local river. Good times. Who knew a family picnic in the mountains would end up changing our lives so much? Anyway, Colby is doing well and I’ll tell you more about him later. Life got crazy and chaotic and I finally decided that I’d just better embrace the chaos because it wasn’t going away anytime soon. It helped ease my heart and mind to come to terms with that and so Amundsen House of Chaos is more of a tongue in cheek name to remind me that life is crazy but we got this!
I’ve been married to John for 13 years. He returned to active duty Army Reserves a year after we were married. We moved 5 times in 5 years and then came to were we are now. Colby’s stroke happened 3 months after we PCS’d the last time. Jahnna was 4, Colby was 2 and Riley was 3 months old. Fast forward 4 years and John received orders to PCS (that’s move in civilian talk) on a Friday. We were good with that, Colby was stable and we were looking forward to a new adventure. Saturday John had a migraine. Sunday he went on a motorcycle ride with some friends and when he got home he lost the vision in his left eye for about 20 seconds. He (being a typical man*) refused to go to the hospital because we live in a small town and he said there was nothing they would do for him. I put him through the stroke assessment and told him that if he died in his sleep, I would bring him back to life just so I could kill him myself! The next morning the migraine was still there but he was determined to go do PT with his station. During their run he told his station commander he needed to go to the ER he couldn’t handle the pain anymore. Anyway, long story short about an hour later the doctor came in asked him how he was feeling and said “Well, you have a brain tumor” and that was the beginning of our second major life change.
John has Stage 3 Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma or brain cancer. And you thought lightening couldn’t strike twice right? He had a grapefruit sized tumor removed two days later and started 9 months of chemo two months later. He was cleared after his chemo and the doctor said he figured it wouldn’t be back for around 5 years because that’s typical in these kind of tumor that respond to chemo. One year later John had a seizure and we found out it was back again. His second resection was a week later an he got to come home on my birthday three days after surgery. He then had 40 radiation treatments followed by 6 months of a more aggressive chemo. He completed 3 full rounds of chemo, had an allergic reaction to one of the drugs, had another round of just two drugs and then had anaphylactic shock and finished another round of just one drug. He has now been one year chemo free and tumor free for two years. We’re back into the wait and see mode with MRI’s every 4 months for the next 2 years. He is 4 years into a 7 to 10 year prognosis but he is stubborn and says he will live to 60.
Jahnna is 12 and has been homeschooled since 2nd grade. She loves it and we’ll keep doing that for as long as she works hard and keeps progressing. Colby attends a public school special needs program and Riley attends a local charter school. We talk in medical and military words a lot around here and basically count our blessings every day! One of our favorite sayings when asked how we are doing is “Everybody is breathing, it’s a great day!”
Blogging has become an outlet for me. I used to be all crafty and stuff and I don’t have time for it anymore. Blogging was a free form of therapy for me for a long time! I started doing reviews which I love and still do. I review a lot of homeschool curriculum but because we have special needs and public school students I always give my opinion and thoughts on how it can apply to everyone in the age group it is intended for. I also review toys, clothes, makeup or whatever comes my direction that I think is useful, helpful or fun. I blog about Pediatric Stroke Recovery and dystonia for Colby, Brain Cancer for John, Early Onset Bipolar for Jahnna and ADHD and Depression for Riley. Did I forget to mention the girls medical needs before? It’s not because I forgot, trust me! This blog is as eclectic and chaotic as I and my family are. It’s my space and my sanity and I hope you’ll join us in a small part of the chaos we call life! You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram if you want to.
Here are some of my recent reviews and Colby’s 8th Survivor Day post.
Koru Naturals I’ll be posting a review on 3 more of their products next month!
In my spare time I also sell Butterfly Express Essential Oils for 10% below their retail price. Use coupon code NEWSLETTER to get the 10% off.
*On the typical man comment above I was only half way kidding. I probably should have said typical John!