Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Fish Story

My father was not much of a hands on kind of dad, but he did make an effort from time to time, probably at the insistance of my mother.

One such time he took me to the store to buy goldfish. We picked out a fish bowl and  four fish, two standard goldfish and a couple of fancier looking bug-eyed fish. This was not a fancy fish store but more of a variety store where you picked  fish out of various bowls with a net, put them in a box full of water that looked like a chinese take-out cartoon and headed on your way.

As it turned out, our selection process was a little less than perfect. The morning after I got the fish the two goldfish had disappeared, apparently having been eaten by the bug-eyed fish. A tough lesson, but c'est la vie.

The two bug-eyed fish fared well for the next few days, until I tried to clean the fish bowl. Before I even got started with the cleaning process I dropped the bowl and it shattered on the kitchen floor. This was immediately fatal for one of the bug-eyed fish and somehow resulted in me cutting a small chunk out of my ring finger near the knuckle. The other bug-eyed fish survived, but he had only one of his buggy-eyes left. He survived, briefly, with just one eye, but ended up succumbing to his injuries.  

I was sadly left with no fish and a scar on my finger. The fish are, mostly, long forgotten and the scar is barely visible these many years later. It is just visible enough to remind me that my dad did make an effort.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Addison Update


The following is an update written by Addison's mom. Several of you have asked about him in e-mails and this is such a good narrative of what they have dealt with and what they are facing I wanted to share it.

Its been a hellacious road, one I would never wish on my worst enemy but one we have no choice but to travel. Addison is doing GREAT in this session of chemo. His treatment will be in 5 sections, the first one being the most awful and personality changing. The first section, called Induction, is where they blast his body full of chemo to get rid of the cancer which was 98% of his bone marrow at diagnosis. The next 2 sections are a little easier as he is off the steroid (this made him eat all the time and be very sad - when it got into his system, he hardly ever smiled and would close his eyes if he tried to speak with you as if he wanted to shut out the world). The chemo made him tired and he was only awake to eat and then would sleep most of the day. He got so puffy and gained 10 pounds, it was like living with a stranger. 

Now, he is in phase 2 and back to himself. Its magical. The "visible" leukemia is gone (this happens in 95 %of the cases of this type) but now it will take 35 more months of chemo to make sure it stays in remission. He has no hair but he is so funny and full of energy. His immune system is temporarily up enough for him to have healthy visitors. Phase 3 will be very similar so that will be nice as well. I do use the term "nice" lightly though. Every week in phase 2 & 3 (each a month), we have to go in to the Children's Hospital  (about 45 mins away ) where they put Addison under to administer chemo in his spine and do a spinal tap. He also gets a blood count (scary for me to wait for these results each week as they tell what his immune system is doing as well as his need for transfusion or platlets) and chemo in his permanent IV port in his chest. He has an oral chemo nightly.
They have prepped me that phase 4 is similar to phase 1 in its intensity. It is the final huge push to keep the leukemia from relapsing. Its 8 weeks long - the first half being nausea filled days and the second half with his counts dangerously low. All throughout, fever is our worst enemy. If he reaches 101 he must go to the hospital immediately. If his immune system is low, he will be admitted. He has had a few days where he reached 100.9, its terrifying to say the least. But, so far, aside from the first week, we have avoided the ER and hospital stays, YEAH! In phase 4 he will have steroids again for 7 days at a time and then off for 7, etc so the effects won't be so severe. Chemo in IV 7 days at a time, chemo in shots in the legs, chemo in his spine as well as orally (the oral will remain part of his life for the next 35 months). 
BUT, then, if all goes well, he goes into phase 5: 2.5 years of oral chemo nightly and a spinal/iv chemo only 1 day a month! Barring any fever or strange occurrences, it should be much better. His immune system will drop periodically but it hopefully won't be as tough as the first 6 months.
Now that I am seeing Addison return, I have hope. I no longer feel like this is a death sentence, but rather a gift of life. We are feeling so much love and support, its incredible. Humbling. Addison told me the other day not to worry because he had really worked hard to kill the dragons in his body. I believe him. He told me he is magic and I am starting to believe it. ;) I have to.

Keep reminding us to live, laugh, and breathe!!!

 Addison with his mom, Sarah and his sister, Madelene
with a dragon cake made by a friend to help Addison fight his "dragons"

 Thanks Sarah for this update and thank you to all of you who have asked about and prayed for Addison and a special thank you to Jenny Matlock who is generously contributing a quilt to the fundraising efforts for Addison and his family

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Retail Therapy

Photo from Google Images

I've got work "stuff" hanging over my head this weekend.

I think I'll just go shoe shopping.

Photo from Google Images

What do you do to clear you mind of things you just don't want to think about?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Six Word Saturday

I need a whole new wardrobe

I'm pretty sure that calling all those clothes in my closet a "wardrobe" is a bit of a stretch, but whatever I call them I wish I could just pitch them and start from scratch. Every morning I look at a closet full of clothes and have nothing to wear.

Since getting rid of everything doesn't jibe too well with reality I guess I need a better plan. Creativity is not my strong suit so I will probably just start with the tried and true-if I haven't worn it for two years out it will go, to a good cause, of course.  At least maybe then I will at least have fewer things that I don't want to wear.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

May 20, 1977

It was a dark and stormy night. I know, I'm sorry, but it really was. There had been rain , thunder and lightning with tornadoes bouncing around us all through the evening. Streets were already flooded and the rain was not letting up.

My baby was due that day. It was getting late enough that I had given up hope that it  would come on the due date. The older kids were already asleep and we were heading to bed at about 10. That's when I got a sure, wet sign that something was starting to happen. We called the doctor and he said he would meet us at the hospital. We called my in-laws to come stay with the kids and waited nearly an hour while they made their way across town through the storm.

My pains were getting pretty bad as we headed for the hospital, making several detours because streets were closed by the downpour. I'm sure I was very polite the whole way saying things like "take all the time you need" and "just be careful", or maybe not.

We made it to the hospital, checked in, and a very young orderly brought out a wheel chair and invited me to have a seat. It was at that point that I realized that sitting wasn't an option. The baby was coming, right then and there. Instead of primly having a seat, I dropped my pants and and sprawled back into the wheel chair.
My husband bent down and looked and said "yeah, its coming, its got some hair." Nothing says dignity like being laid out in a wheel chair in a hospital lobby with your shoes on and your pants and underwear hanging off one ankle.

The, by then, very white-faced orderly spun the wheel chair around and headed for the elevator. By the time we reached the maternity floor I was holding a beautiful, 8 lb. 9 oz. baby girl in my arms. She was born at 11:55 p.m. on the day she was due.

My daughter, Joanna, and her daughter, Hope, whose birthday is the day after her mom's

Happy birthday Joanna and Hope

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Quit Reminding Me I'm "A Person Of A Certain Age"

It is not that I don't know that I'm getting older. I'm not trying to deny that I'm getting older or to even ignore it completely. What I don't need is a nearly daily reminder in my mailbox.

My name seems to have landed on the mailing list of every company that markets their wares to "persons of a certain age". It is rare that a day goes by without the mailman bringing me information about a free dinner where I can learn how to manage my money in retirement, why I would love living in a newly opened retirement community or the advantages of pre-planned funerals. There are those who think I might be in need of an elevator like lift for my stairs or safety bars for my bathroom. My favorites are the ones telling me about the newest and best hearing aid, the most up to date adult diapers or a senior discount at a local restaurant. Nothing says fun like going out to a discounted dinner where I wouldn't even be able to hear the waiter tell me I had just wet my pants.

I know, the time will come when any or all of these great offers that come in the mail will be on my list of needs. This week I just hope someone sends me a coupon for some free chocolate.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Fragments

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I'm new to friday fragments, but it has been a fragmented week, so it seemed like the perfect place for me today. I've had Blogger issues (yes, again) all week and I've been trying to do some catch-up after being sick last week.


I was a little jealous early in the week because most of my family was planning to play hooky from work and school to go to a Rockies game on Wednesday afternoon. A friend of my son-in-law plays for the Phillies and they all wanted to get to a game to see him play. My jealousy abated quite a bit Wednesday morning when we woke up to snow with highs predicted in the 40s. My warm office didn't sound so bad after all. The snow cleared for long enough in the afternoon for the game to go on, the temperature stayed cold and they all went and had a great time.


I heard this week about a bathroom scale that is WiFi enabled so that when you weigh yourself you can download the results to Twitter or Facebook or your blog or some other web site. No, I didn't make this up and no, I won't be shopping for one.


Speaking of weather, which I was sort of obliquely above, I won't complain about snow, even in May, when I see what happened from the tornadoes that hit in my home state of Oklahoma last week. My heart goes out to everyone dealing with the death and destruction from these horrible storms.


Thank you to Soup Baby for sharing this Sweet Blog award with me. I appreciate the recognition and I especially appreciate anything with the word sweet attached to it.


 I hope Blogger and I can both get ourselves pulled together over the weekend.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thank You To My Family

My family is always ready for a picnic and Mother's Day was a good reason to have one.

With my daughters waiting for everyone to get there.

It was about baseball for the boys

and cupcakes for the little girls.
A birthday cupcake for Doc,

                         Goofing around ,         

                                                 and fun on the slides.

And, of course, all the mothers.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Six Word Saturday

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Being a mom feels like this

Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. When you were born, I saw your face and knew I was in love. Before you were here an hour, I knew I would die for you. To this day, I will.

I don't know the origin, but this was posted by a friend of mine on Facebook.

Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Some Days It Just Doesn't Pay To Try To Be Sick

Getting sick is not something I do very often or very well, but after feeling really puny all week I finally gave in to it and went to the doctor yesterday afternoon. He said I had a gastrointestinal infection, prescribed some medicine and said I should go home and rest. I know, they always say that but the way I was feeling it sounded like a perfect idea.

And  it would have been a perfect idea, except that Doc is in the midst of one of his all too frequent home maintenance frenzies. For Doc, home maintenance is not a do-it-yourself activity. It always involves people, lots of people, lots of loud people.

Just as I got home prepared to crawl into bed, Robert arrived. Robert, Doc's main maintenance guy, is the quintessence of the tool belt toting, klutzy, talks more than he works, loud, but good-hearted maintenance man. I laid myself down in bed, pillow over my head to the symphony of Robert's drills, banging ladders and big feet.

Just as Robert was gathering up/dropping his tools, the lawn people showed up with mowers and edgers outside the window. I put a second pillow over my head.

The lawn people finished and Doc and Dodger said goodbye to go off to where ever Doc and Dodger go off to. I breathed a big sigh, took the pillows off my head, rolled over and heard the front door open. The cleaning people were here. I got up, apologized to them for being in the way, and went back to bed, pillow over my head.

When the cleaning people started to vacuum and Robert propped a ladder up on the outside of the house and started scraping and caulking in prep for repainting I gave up. I grabbed a book, got in the car in all my just got out of bed glory and drove to Starbucks to the darkest, most out of the way corner I could find.

When I came home later I was very grateful for a quiet, clean, well-maintained house. I was also very ready to go to bed.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Photo from Google Images

I'm feeling a little like this guy today, so I am, almost, wordless.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Help Addison Kick This Thing! Update

I told you about a month ago about Addison, the 5 year old little boy who was diagnosed early last month with Leukemia. He is the son of a good friend of my daughter, Joanna. You can click on the Help Addison Kick This Thing! button on the sidebar if you didn't see that story. A few of you have asked about him and many have offered prayers and good thoughts so I wanted to provide a short update on the first month of his fight against his "bad guys", partly in his mother's words.

FIRST MONTH of treatment is almost over! (Called INDUCTION PHASE, fondly referred to as HELL) Only 35 more months to go of chemo, we can DO IT!!!

Hard day, Addison was in the bathroom and he was pulling his hair
out in clumps so we knew it was time.

He spent the day with his little warm fuzzy hat just being really mellow.

Addison' Dad, and a few of his friends have shaved their heads in support of Addison.

Like son, like father
Yesterday after Addison finished shaving Daddy's head was one of the first days in 3 weeks that Addison REALLY smiled!   Today, 2 of Addison's best friends also shaved their heads.

There have been a lot of side effects of the steriods he is required to take.

Its so weird to see his body change so much too. His face is so swollen, his belly totally distended.    I am so sad at how much he sleeps. I miss the little one who used to swim laps every day no problem and bike everywhere. Now he is tired walking up the stairs. He is up for an hour or 2 and then sleeps 3. BUT, I have to remember, he will probably be CURED someday. 

Addison  is facing 3 years of treatment, but the chances are excellent that he will be cured. The family has gotten a great deal of support from friends and from their community. There are over 700 members on the Facebook page my daughter started and there is a fundraising event planned for May 15. Addison, his mom and  his sister all work as actors and models and many from that community are donating their time and talent for the fundraiser.

Thank you to those of you who have offered good wishes and prayers for this brave little boy and I will just ask again that you please say a prayer, light a candle, send your best wishes to Addison and his family.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Six Word Saturday

I need a little help here

It's not that I don't know how to cook, or even that I don't like to cook. I just don't cook very often these days, and now I've got 4-6 people coming to dinner next weekend. I'm not sure how that happened (thanks, Doc). I've given my share of dinner parties and I am a pretty good cook when I put my mind to it, even with the way everyone has gone all gourmet and such these days. What thickens the soup, so to speak, on this one is that it has to be gluten free and dairy free. That has left me a bit flummoxed. I'm sure I can do some research and find some passable ideas and recipes, but I thought I'd ask some of the smartest people around, bloggers, first. Any suggestions or ideas, especially for side dishes and desserts would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

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