October 21, 2012

The BIG Reveal


Scott and I can't WAIT to meet Baby A (Bennett) & Baby B (Clara) in December!

September 28, 2012

Our BABY Story

"It's hard to wait around for something you know might never happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want." -Author Unknown

Our story is a long one...this is the short version.

We were married in November of 2004 and were babies ourselves!  We always said we'd wait 3 to 4 years to "start a family".  Well, 3 to 4 years came and went and we were really enjoying marriage and nothing seemed to be missing.  Our friends started having babies but the timing still didn't feel quite right.  Pressure was being put on us but we didn't feel it...we were very happily childless.  

In addition to our extremely fertile friends, we had a handful of friends that didn't have it so easy.  I had never really thought about infertility...but watching my friends battle this giant really struck a chord.  For some reason, I felt like it might be hard for us too.  I felt like that's why these people were in our lives...to prepare us for what was to come.  Scott and I even supported friends at an adoption event and the entire time, felt like we were there for a bigger reason.  Looking back, God was preparing our hearts long before our own personal struggle with infertility.

As 2009 came to an end, we decided that we might be ready.  In the beginning, negative tests weren't all that shocking or upsetting.  After all, there's so much that has to go right.  Though as time went on, we began to get discouraged.  Our world was rocked to it's core when we couldn't get pregnant.  All our lives, if we wanted something badly enough, we could work hard to achieve it.  Not so with infertility.

There's a lot of disappointment and heartache {and at times, anger} that comes with each failed cycle.  For us, it was 30 failed cycles.  Each month, we mourned the loss of what might have been and went through the grief process over and over again.  In the meantime, many friends were on their second {and some third} child while we remained a family of 2.  We began to consider the fact that we may not be able to have kids.  We lightly tossed the idea of adoption around but truly longed for a biological child.  Why would God put such a strong desire in our hearts and not fulfill it?

Infertility is a quiet struggle for many...it was for us.  It's so personal and misunderstood.  Unfortunately, it's hard to understand unless you've experienced it first-hand.  It's a daily burden that doesn't go away and is constantly on your mind.  Anxiety, guilt and jealousy can be all-consuming and {over time} cause you to withdraw from friendships and more significantly, a marriage.

Scott and I were no exception.  Did infertility put a strain on our marriage?  You betcha it did.  We struggled and fought over dumb, insignificant issues regularly when deep down, we knew the root cause of our bickering.  Thankfully, our strong foundation held us together and we learned how to encourage each other through the extreme lows we were up against.  We began to genuinely trust in God's plan and timing for our lives.  We believed that we would become parents...we just didn't know when or how.  Our dwindling hope was renewed and we had a new found sense of peace.  Perhaps we'd always be Uncle Scott and Aunt Caroline and never Daddy or Mommy.  Regardless, with or without babies, we were in this {together} for the long-haul.

To our surprise, on May 2nd {2.5 years after we knew we wanted little versions of ourselves} we learned that we were finally pregnant for the first time!!  Several weeks later, we prayed and prayed for one strong heartbeat and were elated {and shocked} to find two...a DOUBLE blessing.  A two-for-one!
If there's one thing these babies will always know, it's how much they are loved and how much they were wanted.  We've prayed for these precious miracles for years and are floored that we get the opportunity to be their parents.  We ask that you join us in covering our little ones in prayer.
Though our journey to parenthood didn't quite go as planned, we know that when we hold our sweet babies in our arms for the first time, it won't matter how long we waited.  God's timing is perfect...and for that, we're grateful.

Thank you for reading!
Scott and Caroline

Our infertility story is just one of many and may seem insignificant to some.  We have dear friends that waited 5, 7, even 10+ years for their miracle baby {or babies}.  To those still waiting and those quietly struggling: we understand and hurt with you.  Cling to Jesus and to each other and have hope!  We pray that your time is coming soon and that find peace in God's timing.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

"But now, Lord, what do I look for?  My hope is in you." Psalm 39:7

September 9, 2012

AFTER the Radiation

I'd like to start off by saying THANK YOU.  We've been loved on so much throughout this entire process and couldn't be more grateful for all of the kind, encouraging words, love and prayers.  We feel beyond blessed to have such a fabulous support system throughout this journey.  So again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

If you read the last post, you know that Scott had radiation nearly 3 weeks ago.  Please forgive my tardiness in updating the blog.  For those of you that don't know, you can follow @scottyb_updates for the latest.  No news is typically good news and means that nothing has really changed.

On Tuesday, August 21st, Scott and I walked through the doors of the Nuclear Medicine area at UT Southwestern.  After waiting a bit, he was escorted to the back, at which point I had to leave.  Leaving him was very difficult...thinking of what he was about to go through--especially since it would be at least a week before I could see him.  You see, since I'm pregnant, and Scott was about to be radioactive, I had to keep my distance to keep the babies safe.  I'm still keeping my distance, if you can believe that.  It's rough but we're hanging in there. 

I walked out of the hospital in the rain and went out to my car to regroup, pray and yes, cry a bit before driving home.  Within 20 minutes, there was a knock on the front of my car...it was Scott, standing outside my car in the pouring rain, smiling and waving.  What the heck?  I was beyond relieved to see him in such a happy, positive state.  I rolled down the window and shouted, "You're done?  Already?"  He nodded and I followed him in my car to the front of the hospital where he wouldn't be standing in the rain any longer.  We chatted for a few minutes about 30 feet away from each other. 

Apparently, after being escorted back, Scott went into a room where they brought in a futuristic, lead lined capsule and was given explicit instructions about taking the pill inside.  He was given the maximum dose of radioactive iodine (160 mCi, to be exact) since his cancer had already spread outside the thyroid into most of the lymph nodes in the neck and upper chest.  The hope is that this strong dose will do the trick in efforts to avoid further treatment.  Moments later, he could leave and let the radioactive iodine take its course.

Scott's dad met us at the hospital to take him home to begin his isolation.  Not to our home, but to Scott's parents' home.  They graciously took him in for the first 48 hours (when he happened to be the most radioactive).  After the worst of it, Scott headed back to our home in McKinney, where he was "quarantined" in the guest room and guest bathroom downstairs.  He had all of the necessities at his fingertips including clothes, sheets and other items that could be disposed of after use. 

I went to my parents' home, where I stayed for the next 9 days.  My mom and I worked on a ton of baby stuff in attempt to keep me nice and distracted.  It worked during the daytime, but at night...I'd get super sad.  Scott and I talked on the phone at least 3 times a day and while that helped, it was still hard to be away, knowing I couldn't take care of him.  

Scott was so severely hypothyroid leading up to radiation that he didn't notice the effects of radiation too quickly.  After a day or two, he was dealing with nausea and intense pain in his salivary glands and sinus cavity (the radiation has a tendency to pool in those areas).  His fatigue only intensified and though exhausted, he struggled to sleep.  Days later, Scott noticed that there wasn't much left of his taste buds--at all (a common side effect that should be temporary...fingers crossed).  8 days after radiation, he returned to work.  Though struggling physically, he was excited about getting back to some sense of normalcy.  

One week after radiation, Scott went in for his first full body scan.  Up until this point, we only had information on the chest up.  The results showed no sign of distant metastasis (which means that the cancer is contained in the areas we already knew about, nothing in the lungs or other organs).  Praise God!

Scott's now taking Synthroid (thyroid hormone replacement medication) that should build up in his system over the next several months and make a big difference in the overall way he feels.  His activity level is improving and though he requires more breaks and rest time, he's happy to be getting projects done around the house--especially with the little ones on the way.   

What's next?  In October, Scott will be evaluated on how well Synthroid is doing it's job.  Apparently, finding the right replacement meds and proper dosage is a lifelong roller coaster for thyroid cancer patients.  He will also have another full body scan that will let us know how much (if any) cancer is left in the body. At that point, his medical team will decide if another round of radiation therapy is needed.

We ask that you join us in praying that the cancer is gone...all of it...for good.  Science might argue that the likelihood of this is low (this cancer has a tendency to return at some point...chances are about 50/50) but that doesn't change our prayers.  Thank you.

August 21, 2012

Cancer SUCKS

There's no way around it...cancer sucks. 

Scott went in for a routine physical.  He hadn't had one for a couple of years and now that he's over 30, he realized it's time to start paying closer attention to his health.  While feeling around on the left side of Scott's neck, the doctor noticed some swelling in a lymph node.  He wasn't too concerned, this is fairly common, but asked Scott to set up an appointment with an ENT for follow-up.

A month or two later, Scott met with an ENT who didn't think much of it either, but recommended a CT scan just to make sure.  The scan showed 7 enlarged lymph nodes measuring up to 2 cm in diameter.  At first we thought they'd be able to do a needle biopsy but then the doctor told us they would need to do surgery to remove an entire lymph node for testing to get adequate sample size.  The biopsy was scheduled for May 24th.

After what seemed like an eternity, Scott was in recovery and I got a chance to speak with the doctor.  She told me that everything went well and upon visual examination it looked cancerous and her best guess was Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  Excuse me?  I don't know if I heard anything after that.  My ears started ringing and tears started flowing.  I just wanted to see my husband.

I was escorted back to recovery where Scott was very slowly waking up.  Looking at me with crazy anesthesia eyes, he asked me how it went.  I was hoping the doctor would peek her head in at any moment to break the news.  NO SUCH LUCK.  I had to tell my husband that there's a good chance that he has cancer.  WOW.

We were told that it could take up to 2 weeks to get results but to our surprise, we got a call the next morning.  On May 25th, just 5 days before we found out about the twins, Scott was diagnosed with Stage II Papillary Carcinoma of the Thyroid.  Thyroid cancer.

Our world was rocked.  We began researching and educating ourselves on this type of cancer and shared the news with our family.  While no cancer should ever be taken lightly, we're comforted in the fact that this type of cancer combined with Scott's age and treatment advances should equal a positive prognosis.

We connected with the local ThyCa Support Group where we were given a wealth of information and a fabulous doctor recommendation.

Days later, we met with Dr. Shelby Holt at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.  She was kind, knowledgeable and approachable.  But more importantly, she performs this surgery 9 times a week and patients come from all over the region to see her.  We knew Scott was in good hands.

The plan was surgery followed by radiation.  The entire thyroid and the surrounding lymph nodes needed to be removed as well as the 6 remaining lymph nodes on the left side of Scott's neck.  Then, Lord willing, the radiation would take care of the rest. 

Surgery was scheduled for July 25th.  We knew it would be a long one.  The doctor estimated 4-6 hours.  The possible complications were explained again and again which included permanent voice damage as well as permanent nerve damage, loss of parathyroids (body's ability to absorb calcium) among other.  We met with the anesthesiologist and it was go time. 
Feeling nervous but ready.
The IV and many bracelets.
Here you can see the original scar from the biopsy.
This bracelet made us laugh in the midst of the crazy.
Still smiling, Scott has had an incredible attitude throughout EVERYTHING.

Scott was wheeled back through the double doors and I had to remain in the waiting room.  My heart sank and I began to pray.  This was going to be a L-O-N-G day.
I wasn't sure if I'd want visitors but it really helped to have family there.  We nervously chatted the hours away.  Each hour, one of the nurses in the room with Scott would call me to give updates.  She was super upbeat, kind and kept telling me that everything was going great.  Praise the Lord.
I even got a visit from this little guy...our sweet nephew, Ethan!
6 hours later, Scott was in recovery.  We all breathed a BIG sigh of relief.  I spoke with the anesthesiologist and doctor who both had nothing but good things to say.   Thank goodness we had an experienced team working on him, his tumor ended up being close to 3 cm and they removed around 70 lymph nodes during the neck dissection.  Everything went well and I was beyond relieved and grateful.

After about 45 minutes of nothing, I bugged the nurses and they walked me back to recovery.  I was so happy to see my sweet husband.  He was exhausted and looked weak but was mustering up enough energy to laugh about the crazy old man on the other side of the curtain.  THAT'S my husband.

It took about another hour to get Scott a bed but it was nice to be in the same, quiet room with him.  He was extremely nauseous and it was a long 2 nights in the hospital. 
Without a thyroid, Scott's magnesium and calcium levels were low.
The regular bed was too short!  Here's the extension that he got somewhere around 3am.
Brave kiddo.
My lovely bed.
The babies were there too!

Scott's dad brought up signs so Scott didn't have to use his voice.  This one was his favorite.
2 hours after we were told we could go home, we finally got to leave!
Scott dressed and VERY ready to go.
On July 27th, around 2:00, Scott was released to go home.  He still had one drain that would need to be removed in a few days.  Regardless, we were thrilled to be leaving.

The past few weeks without a thyroid have been tough for Scott.  The most prevalent symptoms have been extreme fatigue, dizziness, migraines and forgetfulness but he's hanging in there like a champ.

Scott's been on a low-iodine diet for nearly 2 weeks now.   It's basically fresh fruit, veggies and natural meats...no processed food at all.  We're grateful we have a Whole Foods down the street.  Anyways, the thyroid requires iodine to thrive...so do thyroid cancer cells.  He's depriving the cancer of iodine so that when he takes radioactive iodine, the cancer will soak it up like a sponge and hopefully, kill it all off.  Radiation is today at 11am.

If there's anyone that can handle this...it's my husband.  He's been so brave, strong and has such a great attitude throughout everything.  Though it's hard to understand going through cancer at 31, he's not angry.  He understands that anger won't make things better.  He's realistic about his diagnosis, treatment, and the roller coaster towards feeling "normal" again.  This is a lifelong journey and he never ceases to amaze me.  Needless to say, I'm proud.

The good news is that God is in control and we find peace in that.  Please keep Scott in your prayers throughout this challenging time.  Thank you.

August 18, 2012


I just made the CUTEST and YUMMIEST Oreo pops for our baseball themed gender reveal party last week and wanted to share.  They were a BIG hit!  Here's how they turned out:
Oreo Pops (this will make about 3 dozen):
1 box of Double Stuf Oreos (I used the half regular/half golden...YUM)!
1 brick of almond bark
4" lollipop sticks (I buy mine at Hobby Lobby)
wax paper...A LOT of wax paper
I always make my oreo pops the day before my event. 
Melt one cube of the almond bark according to the directions on the package.  Dip the end of each stick into the melted almond bark and then push into the cookies.  I push them almost all the way through.  At this point, you can realign cookies that are crooked.  Allow to completely cool.  If you skip this step...you'll be sorry!
Melt half of the remaining almond bark into a shallow dish (see below).  Melt the other half when needed.  There are many ways to coat the cookies.  I started by dipping one side in and using a knife to coat and smooth.  This worked well, but dipping and dragging worked much better.  Dip one side in, drag it across the dish, making sure to get a good coat, then flip and do the same on the other side.  Use the edge of the dish or a knife to remove the excess so it doesn't pool on the wax paper.  Allow to completely cool on the wax paper.  As you can see from the pic...they're not perfect AT ALL...though it doesn't really end up mattering.  They still look adorable!
I turned mine into baseballs to match the theme of my party using this Wilton icing.  In the past, I've added sprinkles right after dipping which looks great too!  I'm giving this icing mixed reviews.  It's hard to work with (and QUITE a mess) but the end result isn't too shabby.  Warm the icing according to the directions on the bottle.  Add your design to the cookies.  If the icing is pooling on the wax paper, immediately transfer to fresh wax paper to cool.  This icing takes at least an hour to completely cool.
 When they're completely cooled, transfer them to Ziploc baggies until party set-up.  I like to store them flat on a cookie sheet.
 Unfortunately, I REALLY messed up the icing on this one (ha!) so it became a sample.  Mmmm!  Enjoy.

August 17, 2012

The SHORT of It

I've been gone for a LOOOOOONG time.  I know.  2012 has been a tough little year for the Burchett family with the sweet blessing of twins scrambled in.  I'll go more into detail later.  I LOVE blogging so here's to hoping I'm back for good.  Stick around...there's more to come!

March 10, 2012

Kitchen Cabinets: BEFORE and AFTER

 As you well know, Scott and I can't leave well enough alone.  We're ALWAYS up to something around the house.  I blame Scott, he blames me.  I guess it's both our faults.  We've already begun a zillion projects in 2012 and I can't wait to share them with you.  I'm playing catch-up so bear with me!

2012 Project #1: Kitchen Cabinets
EXTRA BEFORE: the day we moved in November 2006.  Please tell me how much you love the fruit border.  AWESOME.  It was the first thing to go!
BEFORE: just a few days after moving in through January 2012.  It was SO terribly dark and we were beyond ready for a change.
with A LOT of elbow grease (Scott gets MOST of the credit) and RUST-OLEUM Cabinet Transformations, we're in LOVE with the results! 

Thanks for stopping by...I know it's been a while.  I can't wait to share the details on this project PLUS our living room makeover (spoiler alert: we have NEW floors!!!)