Thursday, March 18, 2004


Week #6 of DI #1

I realize that title might be a bit misleading, considering we live in middle Georgia and pretty much anyone not residing at Disneyworld is technically a neighbor to our north. But today, specifically, I am speaking of that great country Canada and all it has to offer.

Despite living in Minot, ND for four years, only fifty or so miles from the Canadian border, I’ve not spent much time in the land of Cannuks. Blaine and I drove up once to the infamous International Peace Garden, a botanical garden which commemorates the long and peaceful co-existence of the people of Canada and the US. Straddling the cities of Boissevain, Manitoba and Dunseith, North Dakota, we made the two hour drive one spring day not realizing that as far north as we were, nothing much blooms until summer, so we basically drove two hours to see dirt. But what nice dirt it was!

So, I want to share with all of you a few ways in which the people of Canada have made our lives better, and more enjoyable, in case you weren’t aware, like I wasn’t aware.


1. Superman! Created by Joe Shuster of Toronto in 1938. (Let me speak up now and say that I got all of this information off of a Trivial Pursuit website and if any of it is inaccurate, well, that’s life.) While I don’t personally give two hoots about the Man of Steel, he and all his superhero friends have sure made my son and youngest daughter happy.

2. Long Distance Telephone Calls – made for the first time in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell (geez, I always thought he was American) between the Ontario communities of Mount Pleasant and Brantford. While I don’t spend quite as much time on it as I did during my teen years, I still really love the phone. Especially my neon green cell one.

3. The Anti-Gravity Suit – invented by W.R. Franks at the University of Toronto in 1940. Well, I’ll be honest, it hasn’t really affected my life much, but I could sure be the life of the party if I brought one of these along!

4. Instant Mashed Potatoes – invented in 1961 by Edward Asselburgs of the Canadian Dept of Agriculture. I’ve never pretended to be Betty Crocker and these little babies have saved me HOURS in the kitchen! Just remember, though, if you’re feeding them to Kendrie during a steroid pulse --- white, with no spices, herbs, or pepper!

5. The Johnny Jumper – a ceiling suspension harness designed by Olivia Poole, mother of 7, to keep babies entertained. Mother of 7???? No wonder she invented it. My only complaint is that they don’t come in versions that will hold a kid who weighs 55 pounds.

6. The numerous people who have contributed to our lives through artistic contributions:

Michael J. Fox (best role ever, the voice of “Chance” in Homeward Bound … not that I’ve seen it about a MILLION times!)

Hume Cronyn (come on, is there *anyone* out there who didn’t love Cocoon?)

Bryan Adams, Alaniss Morissette, and Maynard Ferguson; musicians that I enjoy. Celine Dion, a musician that I DON’T enjoy, but I won’t hold that against anyone in Canada personally.

And yet, hands down, the best things to come out of Canada, at least in my opinion, are the online friendships I have made with other parents of kids with cancer. (Canadian parents, duh, otherwise what would be the point to the list?????) Let me introduce you to a few:

7. Katie, an adorable three year old who was diagnosed in August of 2003. Proud representative of Ottawa!

8. Benjamin, just diagnosed this past January, Benjamin and his family are originally from Australia, but claim Canada as home now. Welcome from your "southern" friends!

9. Lyza, diagnosed in October 2002, Lyza and her family just returned from her Make A Wish trip to DisneyWorld. Hopefully, after visiting Florida, they will think as highly of Americans as I think of her and her family!

10. And the inspiration for this list of all-things Canadian, Julianna Banana and her dad Terry. Terry graciously offered to help me get the music on this site working (shoot, he didn’t just help, he basically did it for me. I’m not sure whether he offered out of the kindness of his heart, or if he simply figured it would be easier to do than take out a restraining order after I sent him 8,000 e-mails begging for technical computer help! I’m so grateful to have music playing on a reliable basis, I’m considering having a tree planted in his honor, or a maple leaf tattood on my …………, never mind.) Julianna was dx just a month before Kendrie and in that short time has cultivated a phenomenal fan club on the internet with her witty and inspirational journal messages. Anyone interested in showing support for Julianna and her fight against leukemia can log on to her Caringbridge page and follow the instructions to request one of her Pink Wish Bracelets. Here is a photo showing my and my friend Kelly E., a fellow CB surfer and supporter, wearing our bracelets. Personally, I won’t be taking mine off until both Julianna and Kendrie are done with their treatments and well on their way to planning a Canadian-U.S.-We’ve-Kicked-Leukemia’s-Ass-Reunion!

Photo taken March 17, 2004, Georgia

Please take a minute to stop by these sites and offer the families a word of encouragement.

As for things in the Land of Escoe, this week has definitely been the hardest on Kendrie since getting over induction. We have renamed her “Princess Barfs a Lot and Sleeps Even More” I assume it is the ara-c shots I have been giving her at the house that are causing the reactions. I know her body needs the rest, but two or three naps a day, coming from the child who gave up napping at 20 months, does feel odd. Too bad I can't get her brother and sister to join her, ha!

I want to say a special thank you to all of you who have made comments in our guestbook about living close enough to us to join us for dinner at IHOP, or commiserating in some other fashion. I thought of that yesterday, when Kendrie was on her hands and knees retching in the front yard, and my next door neighbor walked out to the curb to get his mail, glanced our direction, and didn’t even bother to wave. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps he felt awkward or uncomfortable witnessing first hand that sort of scene, but a simple “Hey, do you need anything?” would have been nice.

Starting Monday, we have the next two weeks OFF from chemo (wahoo, wahoo, it’s a party, wahoo) and except for the antibiotic on the weekends, all we will be doing are local labs for blood counts. I am certainly expecting her numbers to have dropped way down at this point, especially given how tired she is.

So I guess that’s it for now. Just my quick thank-you note to all of Canada (Candian Bacon! How could I have forgotten Canadian Bacon?!?!?!) and all that you’ve done for me personally. Oh, and the only reason I didn't mention my friend Jadine from Canada is because she claims Texas now, but of course she is at the top of the list! If any of you, especially anyone from Canada, have any additions to my list, let me know and I'll add them in! Did I mention I also really like that Twelve Days of Beer song? Weren't those guys Canadian, too?

Have a great weekend, everyone,

ps. One last thing. A little boy on my online group, Spencer Rocket who relapsed last month is having a bit of a hard time getting back into remission and is suffering terribly from the side effects of the drugs. His family is hospital bound for quite some time and I know they could use some messages of support and encouragement. Be sure to visit the photo album when you go to Spencer's site.... he is one of the cutest kids I have ever seen! Kerri and Brian, we are thinking of you and praying for Spencer every night!

I am missing a LOT of good tv time because I keep falling asleep everywhere ….. the sofa, my bed, mom’s bed ….

(this time, it’s Kristie talking) The fact that she was sleeping so heavy tonight I was able to give her the shot in her leg without her even waking up! And it’s the last shot for several months --- thank heavens!!!

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