Wednesday, July 06, 2005


161 Days to Go

Well, Kendrie arrived home late Sunday afternoon. She was amazingly happy to be back on her own turf -- you could really see the relief in the smile on her face. Brayden and Kellen ran to the door when she came in, shouting, “Kendrie’s home! Kendrie’s home!” and showered her with the pictures they had drawn for her, and the play-doh creations they had made. Everyone was so glad to see one another and chatted and laughed together on the sofa. They looked like an advertisement for Family Fun magazine.

That lasted about eleven minutes.

Then, the whining and arguing and fighting began. What is it about summer break that makes stay-at-home-moms everywhere want to invest in state-of-the-art sensory deprivation chambers? You know, a little capsule you could crawl into where you hear no squabbling, see no squabbling …. Truly, wouldn’t it be a small slice of heaven? Yesterday, their bickering over who was going to sit where at the restaurant for lunch got so ugly the waitress actually said, "I'll come back in a few minutes" and walked away, while I stood there making the “You three better figure it out or we’re going home!” threat. (sigh) How many days until school starts?

I think part of the problem was that we overdid it on Kendrie’s first day out. Lunch with friends, then a matinee, then two hours of shopping. She was tired and grumpy and of course all three of them seem to feed off whoever is in the worst mood. We had friends over on the 4th of July, and while the other kids played in the sprinkler, Kendrie opted to sit inside on the computer. I understand she’s still not up to par. “Home from the hospital’ does not necessarily mean “back at one hundred percent operating capacity.” She spent this afternoon lying in bed, watching “The Pacifier” about twenty times. It beats “Cheaper by the Dozen”, if you ask me. I think “The Pacifier” is a cute movie. Of course, I thought CBTD was a cute movie before I saw it a zillion times, too, so ask me again in a week what I think about Vin Diesel and the duck.

Speaking of one hundred percent, it is such an odd feeling that she is off chemo. Every night Blaine and I look around, like we are forgetting something. In the eleven months since she started long-term maintenance, we have never missed or forgotten a dose of nightly oral medication. Now, to *intentionally* not give it to her, feels weird and neglectful indeed.

She has an appointment at the clinic on Friday to have her counts checked and see if they have come up enough to resume chemo, most likely at a reduced dosage. (Shoot, for her, one hundred percent would be a reduced dosage!!) If she’s feeling up to it, and Atlanta isn’t under siege from hurricane weather, I think we’ll spend the afternoon at the zoo. So any of you locals who might like to join us, just let me know.

Before we leave for Atlanta, I am taking her to get her haircut. That’s a fairly optimistic way of putting it. It started falling out a few weeks ago, then seemed to stop. I hoped it would be no more than a bit of thinning, but it started falling out again in the hospital and it is out of control. She has huge bald patches showing through (and when you’re a tow-head to begin with, that’s not good!) and in the mornings she looks like her own personal lint brush. She is obsessed with her new pair of shark pj’s, but I’m having to wash them every single day to get all the hair off. Anyway, I convinced her to let me take her to the hairdressers tomorrow to get it cut. I told her the look we were going for was “pixie” …. In truth, it’s just that I think having short hair fall out will be a bit easier than this mess we’ve got going on now.

Of course, the REASON her hair is falling out again is because I sold all her cute outfits with hats on ebay a few months ago…… that guy Murphy will get you every time, I tell you. I was kicking myself about it, especially since she will need/want hats when school starts in a few weeks. Blaine reminded me that those old outfits wouldn’t have fit her anyway, and he’s right. They were from last year's bald period. So I went shopping tonight to try and find some cute hats and matching summer shirts. She’s not allowed to wear ball caps to school ….. and you know her distaste for anything girly or frilly or pink. Can I just tell you how hard it is to find any kind of hat out there that doesn’t have Barbie on it, or a bow or a butterfly or rhinestones or flowers or picture of Lizzie McGuire or pink fringe and beads??? Then I went to the Gymboree website and went hat-crazy. So now, we can’t afford to feed our other kids, but at least Kendrie will have several hats to choose from when school starts. Hey, do you think that Murphy guy will rear his ugly head again and the fact that I *bought* the hats means her hair will stop falling out??? :)

I want to say thanks again to all of you for signing into the guestbook and sending us e-mails letting us know you were thinking of her. I’m a little embarrassed to complain about our tiny speed-bump, when so many other kids suffer such serious setbacks. But, this was the most serious complication she’s had since we started ….. and I’m still feeling extremely relieved to be out of the hospital and back home.

Even if the kids are driving me crazy. At least we know it’s a short drive.

Take care,


WORST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: I am feeling a little tired, truth be told. And this hair, man, is everywhere! In my eyes, in my mouth, stuck to my neck, stuck to my clothes …. I have to admit that I cried a little bit when I told my mom I was worried that I would be bald when school starts. She told me we would just buy some more hats and it would grow back, just like last time. Well, at least I’ll get out of washing my hair for a while!

BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: My boyfriend Nicholas declared his love for me today! Well, ok, maybe that’s exaggerating a bit, but you know he sent me a stuffed bear and a balloon bouquet when I was in the hospital, right? Well, tonight he brought flowers to my house for me! Pink carnations ….. they are in a vase, right by my bed. I even scotch-taped a picture of me and Nicholas to the vase so I can gaze at his adorable face all the time. We are the cutest couple EVER! Mom laughed at me because when I got up a few minutes ago to potty, I carried the flowers with me into the bathroom and set the vase on the counter. Obviously, (sniff) she has never been in love.

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