Friday, September 24, 2004


Week #7 of LTM

Judging by some of the questions/comments in the guestbook the past week, and a few personal e-mails I have received, I guess I need to clarify a few items from the past journal entry, where I discussed my lost youth and impending mid-life crisis:

a). Yes, I really am that old.

b). No, I have not seriously considered using a photo-retouching program on pictures of myself, although I’m sure the benefits would be many. Thanks for the suggestion.

c). Yes, I also went through the three stages of 1980’s hair: poodle perm, big hair, and hair so big we had trouble fitting through doorways.

d). Leo, you goofball (a term of endearment here in the US) of COURSE my kids have another change of clothes besides the same shirts you continually see in their photos. In fact, they each have two or three changes of clothing! But when you become a parent you will discover that when taking three kids to a public outing such as the zoo, amusement park, blue-light sale at K-mart, or anyplace large crowds might gather, it’s best to dress them ALIKE, preferably in neon clothing, so you can find them quickly and easily in case one of them wanders off to the fast-food counter or the toy section or the gift shop, despite your having told them a bazillion times to stay close to you, and never leave your eyesight, but do they ever listen??? No! They just wander off, lost in their own little world, not caring that you will be worried sick when you can’t find them, looking at this and that, and not paying any attention whatsoever to ………oh sorry, got a little distracted there. Where was I? Oh yeah, the song on the site …..

e). No, I didn’t realize the song “1985” by Bowling for Soup has been on the radio for quite some time. I’ve been listening to Disney soundtracks for so long that I wouldn’t recognize Casey Kasem or a Top 40 hit if it fell out of the sky and hit me in the head.

f). Yes, the rest of the “A Hangover You Don’t Deserve” cd is equally enjoyable, in a frenetic, beer-swigging, frat party kind of way. I think it might be the first CD I have ever purchased with a “Parental Warning: Explicit Language” notice. That’s ok, I’ve been known to pollute the spoken word on occasion myself, but the rest of you should be warned. My second-best new favorite song on the cd is the hysterical “Ohio Come Back To Texas”, which, despite the fact this site is *supposed* to be about Kendrie and her battle with cancer, and *not* my own personal music forum, I will be happy to put on the site if enough people ask for it in the guestbook.

So, speaking of music, what’s with the Disney song on the site now, you ask? Well, let me tell you. It’s a nod to our upcoming (well, upcoming six months from now, but it’s always good to plan ahead) visit to Disney World and Give Kids The World courtesy of the Make-A-Wish organization. To be honest, I’ve been very conflicted about the whole “MAW” concept, and asking for a wish for Kendrie. Everyone knows that MAW is only for really, really sick kids, right?

I remember when Kendrie was in the hospital at the time of her leukemia diagnosis. The initial doctor who diagnosed her did not tell us that leukemia was (for the most part, and for the fortunate majority) treatable, and we hadn’t heard that news yet from the new oncologist. We had no idea what had hit us, what was going to happen, and couldn’t even think of any intelligent questions to ask (those of you who know us will not be surprised by that!)

The social worker came in the hospital to discuss with Blaine and me some of the support organizations available, insurance/financial help, resources, books, support groups, etc, and we were so overwhelmed by everything. We hadn’t even dealt, emotionally, with the fact Kendrie had cancer yet, and were sitting there with HUGE “deer in the headlights” looks on our faces, I am sure. Towards the end of the discussion she said, “And don’t forget, Kendrie will be eligible for a wish with Make-A-Wish now” and all I could think was that was for kids who were dying ---- I sat there and burst into tears. It was probably one of the lowest points since the moment of diagnosis for me, since it was a concrete acknowledgement of just how sick she was.

Fast forward eleven months: Kendrie is doing so darn well with her treatments that it seems embarrassing, almost like cheating a little, to request anything from a wish organization. I mean, we didn’t do anything to *deserve* a wish, and we certainly don’t *need* a wish ….. aren’t there other kids more entitled? More medically needy? Would we be taking a wish away from someone else who might benefit more? Why do we feel at liberty to request a wish, when Kendrie is doing so great???

And then my fellow online leukemia parents reminded me of a few things: For the past eleven months, there is a good chunk of Kendrie’s everyday life that has just stunk, through no fault of anyone’s. Yes, she’s doing well, but don’t I remember how awful those first eight weeks were (Induction and Consolidation Hell, aka “The Big Eat and Scream”, as Julianna Banana's dad calls it?) Spinal taps, bone marrow aspirations, surgery, IV’s, blood draws, chest pokes, leg pokes, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, aches, pains, and more chemotherapy and medication than most of us will take in our lifetime …. All before age five???? Brayden and Kellen have sacrificed normalcy, and we’ve definitely endured (and still endure) the constant worry about the “r” word …….. So you know what ? If there is an organization out there willing to take kids with a life-threatening illness, and treat them like royalty for a day or a week or whatever, then you bet that as a parent, I want that for my daughter and her siblings. So, soapbox aside, DISNEY, HERE WE COME!!!!

The MAW office that handles our area sent three wish-granters to our house on Wednesday night to talk with Kendrie and find out what she would like to wish for. As parents, we are not supposed to “lead” her in any way ….. Blaine was hoping they wouldn’t be suspicious when Kendrie wished for a 32 foot bass boat with 75 hp motor, rollaway duck blinds, and camouflage-trailer.

So, hoping she would be prepared for the visit, and knowing we didn't need a new bass boat, I just mentioned *casually* to her, “Kendrie, if you could make a wish for something, what would it be?”

After giving it great thought, she replied, “I don’t know

I tried a different tactic, “Well, if you could go anywhere or do anything for fun, where would you go?”

More serious contemplation, and then, her answer, “Burger King

Me, “Burger King? That’s where you’d want to go? Out of all the places in the world, you would want to go to Burger King?”

Kendrie, “Yes. I like it there.”

So I’m thinking “Great, we’re going to Burger King in a limo at this rate!” So again, with a different tactic:

Mom, “Kendrie, if you could have anything on earth, what would you wish for?”

Kendrie: “That Fosters (our first dog) would come back down from Heaven.”

Mom, “ummmmmmm, welllllllll, what about another wish?”

Kendrie: “That Lager (our current dog) would never die.”

I don’t know what it is with the dead-animal fixation, but obviously we needed help. I finally broke down and told her what was going on, and gently steered her in the direction of Disney World, which luckily, she is thrilled about. We actually had a trip planned for last October, but had to cancel at the last minute when she was diagnosed. So during the course of the visit we talked over some of her favorite things with the wish granters (who I’m sure thought my kids were so ill-behaved that we should be taking them to Obedience School instead!) and everyone agreed that Disney and GKTW is the wish for us. I know all the kids will enjoy it and it will be a great celebration of how well Kendrie is doing in her fight against leukemia. We requested late Feb/early March time frame, so if any other families out there will be going around the same time, let us know!

In the meantime, I think I can treat them to a visit to Burger King, the SECOND Happiest Place on Earth, all by myself.

Hope you all have a great weekend!
Love, Kristie

WORST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: Mom and me went on a Pre-K Field Trip today to a local park and it was hot and tiring playing on all that playground equipment and I drank all my juice at lunch and I was SO thirsty and hot and tired and thirsty and my MEAN MOM wouldn’t even let me get a drink out of the water faucet coming out of the ground like all the other kids! She kept mumbling about germs and I was just going to have to wait until I got back to school and could get a drink out of the Dixie cups she gave my teacher --- just what is wrong with drinking out of a water faucet anyways????

BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: People keep rubbing my head and telling me how cute my hair is coming in. It’s ok, I guess, for them to rub my head. It’s not like I’m a statue that’s going to bring them luck or anything, though. Hey! Did you hear that I’m going to Disneyworld????!!

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