Well, only 24 hours to go, and Kendrie will officially be done with this phase, Delayed Intensification #1. Assuming her counts are ok at the clinic this upcoming Monday (and they were fine on Friday, so we assume they should be) she will begin Interim Maintenance #2 with a lumbar puncture and IV medications on Monday morning. Sending up a big prayer that she handles IM #2 as well as she handled IM #1. She seems to be feeling good; at least good enough to fight with her brother and sister and fuss when she doesn’t get her way. She’s such a funny little kid, and makes me laugh on a regular basis, like on Thursday when she insisted that our English Setter needed his “magic cream” before receiving his shot for kennel cough.
So, enough about her. Let’s talk about another fascinating, riveting subject for awhile. How about me? Kidding, of course ………. Well, no not really. Let’s actually talk about me. Let me preface this by saying I am under no delusion that what Blaine and I are going through as the parents of a child with cancer compares in any way to what she is going through herself. I give Kendrie, and all the other kids with leukemia, complete credit for making it through this suck-fest with such grace and spirit. You know the phrase about the poo-poo hitting the fan? No doubt, cancer is the poo-poo and Kendrie is the unfortunate fan that got whacked with it, but we did get a little residual poo-poo splatter thanks to the centrifugal force, and it stinks, too.
I admit it, I’ve been in a funk. In fact, I haven’t updated the site because I didn’t want to seem pathetic and lame …………….. then realized I *am* pathetic and lame, so who am I kidding? I didn’t used to be pathetic and lame. I am normally a sunny, upbeat, positive person (hey…. Was that a SNORT I just heard coming from Blaine’s direction?) but the past week or so I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed. Most likely because I was so sleep-deprived after the Pre-Kindergarten Camping Outside for 48-Hour Registration Extravaganza, and sleeping in a lawn chair nowadays isn’t near as fun as it was when I was 18 and in line for REO tickets. Hey, I still really like that group. Does anyone know if REO is touring this summer? Sometimes they go around with Styx or Cheap Trick ………. What? What was I saying? Oh yeah, I’ve been distracted and in a funk. And because I’m all about absolving myself of responsibility for anything that stinks, I’m compiling a list of the lousy ways leukemia makes me feel -- besides worried and stressed and frightened -- and have no intention of taking responsibility myself. Here goes:
1. Leukemia makes me feel like a financial ignoramus. Since Kendrie’s diagnosis, there are so many things over which we no longer have control, that I find myself searching for ways to assert my control (even imaginary control, ok) to make myself feel better. I realized we had some extra money in our checking account that we have been saving for a rainy day and decided the wise thing to do (because everyone who knows me knows what a Midas-money-wizard I am… not) would be open up a savings account and earn some interest. So I went to the bank today, stood in line, wrote the check, transferred the money over, opened the account, and as I’m walking out the door think to ask, “so, what is the interest rate anyway?” to which the teller replies “0.0025” OK, at that rate, I should earn approximately $12.94 this year, and after paying $14.99 for the new checks, I figure I’ll be operating at a net loss of $1.96. Now just how silly was that? Damn, guess that means I’ll lose my apprentice opportunity with the Donald. If I hadn’t been so distracted by the leukemia, I would have known well-enough to invest in pork rinds or Martha Stewart stock or something worthwhile.
2. Leukemia has made me the most boring guest at the Party of Life. I realize how amazingly self-centered I am, and am trying, and failing miserably, to stop. I scrap-booked today with friends and lost count of the number of times I heard “before Kendrie got sick” or “after Kendrie got sick” or “now that Kendrie is sick” come out of my mouth. My gosh, my OWN eyes glazed over after a while! Kelly, Erin and Renee, thanks for putting up with me today, but next time let’s get a code word established, like LOBOTOMY or COMATOSE, so you can clue me in to how dull I am!!!
3. Leukemia has frustrated me on a technological level that I didn’t even realize was possible. Before leukemia, I had never heard of a Caring Bridge site. Now, I can’t tell you the number of hours I have spent online, browsing techno web sites, downloading programs and help guides involving syllables like ftp, html, mp3, dmc, amp, and all sorts of other acronyms, in an attempt to make the site interesting; music, graphics, photos, etc. Other people can make it work ……….. and probably don’t pull all their hair out in the process. But not me. I am now desperate enough that I have my husband stalking the poor computer guys at his work trying to find someone willing to come to my house and let me pay them for a private tutoring session. How sad is that???
I guess those are the big three and I can stop for now. But you know what has cheered me up immensely this week? See the photo at the top of this page of Brayden, Kellen and Kendrie wearing their new caps from my friend Jadine in Texas ….. well, Jadine was kind enough to send me a computer link to one of the funniest things I have seen online in a long time. I’m going to try to make it into a link on this site so you can see it, too. Simple, really, but it cracked me up and I went to it repeatedly this week for a smile. Thank you, Jadine, smooches to Pflugerville! (but next time, you might want to consider simply sending a straight jacket, size XL). Trombone Man OK, I can't even make it work by cutting and pasting, but if you would like to see it (I promise, it's not dirty or anything, just cute) let me know and I'll e-mail it to you.
OK, here are a couple of great Caringbridge sites to check out: First, go to Bryan Banister and please sign up for the Bone Marrow Registry Challenge, 2004, organized by Bryan and his wife Karen. Worthy, worthy cause. I am already signed up or I would definitely join their challenge and be proud! And, Karen and her friends are taking part in a Relay for Life in Canada and hoping to gather 720 photos of persons affected by cancer, one for every minute of the relay. So please go to the site and consider sending in a photo. Remember to sign their guestbook, too!
Also visit Noah Hurley If you have a minute or two, go back through Noah’s mom’s journal history. She does a really great job, in my opinion, of balancing both the necessary optimism and the unavoidable fears and sadness that seem to go hand in hand with this illness. I always look forward to her updates because she often hits the nail right on the head for me. Be sure to sign their guestbook, too!
And peace be to Maxie, who spent his first birthday in Heaven yesterday. I’m sure the day was especially difficult for his family, and just want them to know I am thinking of all of them.
I guess that it’s for us. Our big news for this week is that we will be leaving on Thursday to spend Easter weekend with our friends the Hyzy’s in Virginia; sightseeing in DC and getting to attend the Easter Egg Roll at the White House on Monday. The National Children’s Cancer Foundation (did I get that right?) offers tickets each year to cancer-families and we are so excited to attend (Blaine said we had to go this year while there is still a guaranteed Republican in the Oval Office!) and also to meet some of the other families I am online with. I think it’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and just hope the Hyzy’s don’t bolt their doors shut after we leave!
Thanks again for taking a minute and signing Kendrie’s guestbook. We check it every single day and it’s always so fun to read the new messages.
TOP 6 ICKY THINGS ABOUT DELAYED INTENSIFICATION CHEMO:
1. Taking steroids again! Total doses of oral medications to date: 324
2. Spinal taps and bone marrows to date: 15
3. Shots to date: 12
4. Having to get a blood transfusion.
5. Being so tired when my counts dropped.
6. Barfing so much, especially in the front yard, gross!
TOP 5 BEST THING ABOUT DELAYED INTENSIFICATION:
1. My new Spiderman baseball cap.
2. The special smile my mommy and I exchange whenever someone says, "My, what a cute little boy you have" which happens about twenty-eleventeen times a day.
3. With the exception of a few tired days, I felt pretty good over all.
4. My new Daddy Day Care dvd.
5. It's over and I'm still in remission!