Tuesday, September 28, 2004


Week #7, LTM

Well, I had high hopes that we would be able to coast through chemotherapy with only a minimal amount of side effects. I mean, most, if not all kids being treated for leukemia, at one time or another suffer from the usual, run-of-the-mill complications from the chemo: low counts, nausea, fatigue, hair loss, aches, pains, etc. I’d be amazed to find ANY kid who never had so much as one bad day while being treated. And of course, some kids have even worse side effects, requiring hospitalizations, surgeries, additional meds to treat the illness from the original meds …. Really, it can be quite depressing at times to realize that while the cure will “cure” you, it can also make you mighty sick in the meantime. Of course the end justifies the means, that goes without saying (but I said it anyway, because everyone who reads this site knows by now that I just can’t shut up most of the time) but it’s still hard to see these children suffer additionally, on top of the treatment itself.

But it appears a side effect so sinister, so dastardly, has recently emerged on the radar screen for Kendrie that it makes all the other complications fade in the background. Before long I will be wringing my hands and shaking my fists at the Heavens (well, when I get them out of the Cheetos bag) in anger at the entity that struck Kendrie with the most awful, most feared, Grand-Daddy of all chemo complications: the dreaded TPC. Yes, that’s right (shaking my head in sorrow) Tongus Protrudus Concentrationus. Or, in laymens’ terms, “I can’t do anything unless my tongue is sticking out of my mouth in just the right position.

GASP!!! I know, join me in cursing this reprehensible trait, and bemoaning the ill fortune that allowed it to fall on my daughter. Leukemia wasn't enough? Now she has to be afflicted with TPC??? Life can be so unfair sometimes. You think I am exaggerating? Just take a look at the following photos, taken today by a research photographer, interested in tracking this unfortunate phenomenon:

Scene 1: Kendrie is playing soccer in the front yard, enjoying herself, and able to keep all oral appendages in place.

Scene 2: Oh wait, what is that we see? Is it the beginnings of TPC??? Please tell me it isn't so!

Scene 3: Yes, yes, without a doubt, the horrible malady has stricken my poor child. Does she even have a chance to overcome this monster?

Scene 4: I fear she will never be able to shake free from it’s grasp!!! It’s too terrible to watch. I can’t bear it, and must look away.

Scene 5: Oh, no, wait a moment. …. What’s this we see? Is Kendrie fighting back, trying to reclaim control and battle the beast that is TPC???? Is there hope???

Scene 6: No, without a doubt, the battle is over. We have been defeated. TPC has taken ahold of my darling daughter and I fear it will be a lifetime affliction.

Scene 7: Well, at least she’s too cute to really care about it.

And how do I know TPC is a lifetime affliction???? Well how do you think? Because I am a sufferer myself! In fact, the guilt could possibly overwhelm me, knowing I have passed this undesirable trait on to my daughter (ok, I admit it, my son too. Kellen looks like an anteater when he’s doing his school work. Brayden is the only one to escape unscathed.) I still remember quitting Girl Scouts at the age of seven because my Brownie troop leader made fun of me in front of the all the other girls for sticking out my tongue when I concentrated. You know, thirty years ago. Not that I remember. Not that she shattered the self-confidence of the very child she was supposed to be leading in a positive, nurturing way. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

Hey, wait a second ---- you know what I just remembered? MY DAD DOES THE SAME THING!!! Praise Heavens, now I don’t have to take the blame for this ---- we can just say it’s Grandpa’s fault!!! Whew!! I feel so much better now!

Hope you all have a great weekend. We are headed to Camp Sunshine Family Camp and couldn’t be more excited. They have arts & crafts, fishing, boating, games, hiking, tennis, archery, parent discussions, and best of all, an oncologist there to answer all our questions. Obviously, I will be asking lots of questions about TPC and if there's any help for Kendrie!

Take care, (and thanks to all of you who take the time to sign the guestbook --- I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but we still get a huge kick out of reading the messages!)

WORST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: A couple of kids in my class went home with strep throat and my mom is getting freaky with the Purrell again.

BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: Hey! I just found out that we are going back to Family Camp this weekend, wahooooo! How many more days until this weekend?!? And you know what else??? I LOVE This song! It doesn’t have anything to do with leukemia, but you should hear me sing to it!

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