It's really a lot more than halfway, but this is round six of twelve so it is half of the chemo. A good deal has transpired so let me catch up once again.
For openers, I got the celebrity treatment over Easter weekend visiting my inlaws. By Easter Sunday, everyone at church knew Jody and I had made the trip and were anxious to see me. I was a little embarrassed for all the attention, but the love coming from that church aimed at Jody and I has been nothing short of awesome. I really enjoyed seeing everyone and sharing my thanks for all of their support. You guys are a very big part of getting us all through this, not just me. :)
I have to admit I was a bit fried for the weekend. I'd pushed myself waaaay too hard last Monday on a trek to the Jersey shore for a sweetheart deal on a rollbar for the BMW. With work still eluding me (more below) I've had more than my fair share of time to study some of the problems and solutions for the back end of the track car; namely the fuel leak. It hasn't reared its head since back in October, but I worry that it needs attention rather than just thinking it has gone away. Anywho, I borrowed Dad's truck and made the trip. I got to enjoy lunch at White Castle along the way and took a roundabout route back through Philly to stop at Pat's King of Steaks. The website may be lame, but the steak sandwiches are THE BEST. 1237 E Passyunk Ave in Philly... add this to your bucket list and definitely get yours "with cheese."
Yes, I pushed way too hard that day and I didn't really stop on Tuesday. With Dad's keys in hand I loaded up and made a run to the landfill. This all caught up with me by Tuesday evening and I was dead all day Wednesday. I managed to get packed for the weekend and then suddenly, it was here.
Trying to drive to Easton Thursday evening was a big challenge. Poor Hurley was terribly frightened either by his first nighttime ride, the radio, or the wind blowing our little Escape all over the highway. Jody eventually got into the back seat and was able to calm him down while I drove and spent what little energy I'd recovered. Driving in high winds can be treacherous... we didn't make it home to Easton before 11pm.
I'd missed a call from my boss alluding to something I needed to do to call the employee service people or HR and we've played phone tag since. We'd agreed (reluctantly on my part) to go ahead and wait until after the April 10th surgery date before trying to get me back in the doors again. That -does- buy us time to figure out any impact my less than 20 hours a week schedule may have on my pension and retirement stuff. There -has- to have been a precedent for what I'm asking to do; Lockheed is too big to have never hired a cancer patient.
That has been the least of my worries though and I want to ask you guys to add a young friend of mine to your prayers.
Her name is Gabrielle though she goes by Bree. She and her twin brother, Alex, are newly minted teenagers having just turned 12. They take an annual trip to Ireland with their father but this year has been very, very different. You see, Bree reached that time in a girls life where her biology changed and womanhood began. Unfortunately, this time seems to have coincided with aplastic anemia that forced her flight home to return to Ireland last Thursday. Bree was gravely ill and the anemia was not yet known.
There were lots of tears and prayers and the initial scare of leukemia was ruled out. Her mom, Holly, had run the gauntlet to get emergency permission to enter Ireland as she has never held a passport before. That and the flight were tough enough, but managing a sick daughter and a frightened son a whole ocean away did not help. Holly sounded like she was holding it together well when we did get to speak to her.
And though the leukemia was ruled out, the aplasia isn't that much better. It a nutshell, Bree's bone marrow may be shutting down and failing to produce -all- types of blood cells; red, white, and platelets. She needs a miracle. And if there was a little girl that ever deserved one, it's her. Jody and I will do anything for Bree, but right now all we can do is pray. We believe she's in the best hands and we prayed she would be. As if to answer our prayers before we asked, Bree's doctor in Ireland has been studying aplasia and recently published a text on treating the disease... co-authored with a doctor here in Maryland at Johns Hopkins. Guess whom Bree's doctor will be when she is able to get home? ;)
More later. I'm at the oncologist now using their wireless network but my battery is getting low. TTFN!