Wednesday, September 21, 2005

SPEEDING TOWARDS THE END (or trying to speed, anyway)

86 Days to Go

Actually, I don’t feel very speedy. I don't feel speedy at all. Like when you have a really fantastic, wonderful, much-anticipated goal in sight … high school graduation, wedding, season premiere of Survivor …. and time seems to slow down, the closer you get. Does that happen to anyone else? It sounds a little selfish (OK, a LOT selfish) for me to talk about how weary I am of this cancer gig, when Kendrie is the one doing all the work. But now that we’ve got our sights set and an end seems firmly in place (Have I mentioned to you that there are only 86 days to go?!?) it seems to be taking longer to get there.

Thank goodness for the wonderful social support organizations we have met along the way that have helped smooth (and in some cases, speed up) the process with their encouragement and behind-the-scenes hard work. Some of the biggest for us have been Camp Sunshine, The Lighthouse Family Retreat, CURE, and SuperSibs! I hope everyone knows that I would trade every family camp weekend, every beach retreat, every Quiet Heroes luncheon, every picnic and party and care package and meeting and get-together in a heartbeat. It goes back to the “We’re so lucky Kendrie got cancer!” attitude that I worry a little it must sound like I’m saying. If ever there were a case for a big resounding NOT! … this would be it. But once again, I am thankful for the friends we’ve made along the way and the people who have made it their life’s work to provide support and encouragement to families struggling with pediatric cancer. (Hey, I could describe a few of you Caringbridge junkies the same way!)

Saturday, we got to take part in the first-ever Camp Sunshine Middle Georgia Family Fun Day. Camp Sunshine was kind enough to start up a monthly Middle Georgia Family Support Group Meeting almost a year ago, since most of us live too far away to take advantage of their Atlanta-area activities, where they are based. And this afternoon spent at a local “amusement” center was a fun way for more of the middle Georgia families to get acquainted. It was something like 184 degrees outside (only a slight exaggeration) and by the end of the afternoon, Kendrie (aka “Finishing up her Steroids-girl”) was pooped. But we had a wonderful time and I thought I would share some of the pictures with you.

In the meantime, we can look forward to a few other upcoming activities, like Family Camp Weekend and our (once-hurricane-postponed-pray-it-doesn’t-get-canceled-again) Lighthouse beach retreat. We’ll plug along, putting one foot in front of the other, and focus on the finish line. It’ll get here eventually, even if it feels like we’re speeding through molasses to reach the end, right?

Kendrie, hanging out "in the pit" (This was before she actually worked up the courage to get in one of the go-carts by herself ..... coward, but cute!)

While Dad's 2-seater go-cart was much faster, Kendrie decided she liked hers better. Her comment for Blaine was, "Why is this road so bumply?" Obviously, not the smoothest ride on the road.

Ahhhh, the first-ever taste of being airborne. It's fun, but a lot of work to get bouncing that high.

Kendrie, bless her heart, just didn't have the poundage behind the jump. She never got more than a foot off the trampoline, but she loved every second of it.

If there is a rock climb within a hundred miles, this boy will find it, and conquer it. OK, maybe "conquer" is too strong a word ... but at least give it a good go.

What a perfect way to end up the day .... shooting at your brother from the Bumper Blaster Boats, and trying to avoid his shots in return. At this point, I was dripping with sweat and seriously considered commandeering a Blaster Boat myself and "accidentally" falling in the water. But I thought I might look silly -- a lone adult amidst a group of 7 and 8 yr olds, all of us aiming to steer ourselves under the waterfull on purpose, just to cool off. So instead, I contented myself with sitting on a park bench in the shade, fanning my face with a sheet of paper, like an old lady, and taking the following picture of a very tired Kendrie:

One last thing before I go --- if you haven't heard, Chili's is sponsoring a "Live a Little, Give a Little" campaign on Sept 26th, and will donate 100 percent of their profits (minimum of $100,000) to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. You can also go to their web site Chili's Create A Pepper and create an online "Pepper" in someone's honor and make a donation, if you'd like. Please find a Chili's near you and make sure you eat there on Sept 26th -- what a wonderful event! If any of you are reading in the "Middle Georgia" area, we will be having dinner at the Chili's in Macon (Tom Hill Sr. Blvd, I think is the name of the street?) and we'd love to have you join us -- just e-mail me!

Thanks for checking in,
your non-speedy friend,


WORST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: Well, I have no idea. My mom is an insomniac and is writing this update in the middle of the night .... obviously, nothing too traumatic has happened YET!

BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: Still sleeping ...zzzzzzzzz, zzzzzzzzzzz, zzzzzzzzzzz.

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