Journal Entry

Saturday, October 12, 2002

It's been GREAT to be at home for so long (ten days)! We're all packed up and ready to go back early Tuesday morning. Christi's next concoction of chemo. will be dosed out over six days. We know what to expect now and are less anxious about this trip even though she will be more ill this time.

Christi has been doing very well, WE believe. She has been creating pictures to give to the "sick kids" when we return to the hospital on Tuesday morning. (She doesn't get this, does she?!) Oh, well! I guess I'm actually glad. She's so upbeat and if this bloody war can be won with her spirit, she's going to be a winner! She is also planning a Halloween Event since she's not allowed to go trick or treating or to be out with people this year. I'll keep you posted with the date and time depending on her health. She's planning a mini - trick or treat stop at her porch while she waves from the den looking out the windows wearing her costume. Ought to be a hoot! A bald headed tooth fairy is her latest idea! oh my!

I'm concerned about Shayne. He's staying up soooooooooooo late night after night after night studying this disease and contacting oncologists, parents, others in the field, researching hospitals, etc, etc.. Also, Shayne's 36 year old cousin, Joey, died of a sudden heart attack on Thursday morning which has been extremely shocking and upsetting to us all. Joey leaves a beautiful wife and one year old baby. My heart breaks for his wife and parents and everyone. He was so adored. I wish I could ease everyone's pain over this great loss. He fought in Dessert Storm and was just two years away from retiring from the military. Please remember to pray for Shayne's family's comfort. Life seems so uncertain. Hug those close to you, email those far away, cancel your meetings and stay home with your family and friends. Who knows what tomorrow brings. Shayne keeps telling ME to eat well and to rest and that we need endurance for this war. "Act like you're training for a marathon", he tells me. "Prepare for the long haul." He's the one that's trained for a marathon - not ME. I'm a wimp, but I'm trying! And HE needs to be shutting down and resting and taking his own advice as far as I'm concerned. Knowledge is power and control and he won't let up on the research. Shayne always needs to have the full picture of everything and to make sure that every detail is pursued and this appears to be no different. I'm so exhausted I often get cranky in the evenings, fall asleep reading to the girls at night and then wake up in the middle of it unable to sleep feeling so scared and helpless.

I still can't believe that "Mr. GQ", as a friend of mine calls Shayne, actually shaved off all of his hair. I'm so glad he did. And now that he's trimmed up that "beard thing" (whatever THAT was) I think he looks very, very nice again. I'll have to get an updated photo on the site. Christi is his biggest fan! She's heard that she looks like him her entire life and now that they're both bald perhaps she can see it like the rest of us. She loves saying, "I look just like Daddy now!" She keeps teasing him saying, "If I wear a tie and you wear a dress, I can work at the bank and you can go to school! ha ha ha". She thinks this is hilarious! (I admit I think the visual image is pretty comical too!)

Shayne took one of Christi's doll babies and put some left over medical supplies on it so that the doll would have a broviac too. This helped Christi understand the daily flushing of the lines he conducts on her and he now has her "assisting" with this assignment. When she's in charge and pushing the syringe at her own pace she doesn't tell him "not so fast" or "slower" or "it tastes bad" etc. This has been a great step in making this daily chore a wee bit more pleasant. Good idea, Shayne! We know how she likes to be the boss! And you are such an awesome Daddy!!

Two of my sweet teacher friends took Shayla to a pumpkin patch one night this week. That was wonderful for her. (Thanks, Caroline and Kristin) I feel like she's being kept captive. She's our social one! I've tried to explain to her why she can't be around children due to the chance of bringing germs into Christi's environment, but I'm not sure if she comprehends that. We were told that chicken pox would be fatal to Christi so Shayla's life is being altered unfairly as a result of Chrisit's cancer. May God bless Shayla. This isn't her fault either. Ugh! This is so hard!

Christi doesn't mind only having "peach fuzz" left on the top of her head. When we were going into the hospital on Monday and it was windy she actually said to me, "Hey! My hair is not blowing in my face because now I don't have any! ha ha ha!"

Mrs. Rombach has been coming to tutor Christi when it works out. This has been the absolute best thing for Christi. I long for her to be back in school even though I know it's not possible. I wish I were teaching across the hall from her again. It was great! Sometimes our classes would pass in the hallway and she would smile and bend one arm up and give me the one hand sign language symbol for I LOVE YOU. It was awesome! I miss my kindergarten class. They were so cute and we were just starting to really dig in when suddenly I was pulled away from them. I am happy that a friend and a cheerleading coach who's teaching job was eliminated due to budget cuts at her school was hired to finish the year for me. (Good luck, Jami! They'll LOVE you!!) I'm glad that my students now have a certified teacher who will be there consistently for them since I cannot and who will keep the classroom organized for me to hopefully be back next year.

A great thing happened this week. Christi and I went to Columbus on Thursday for her routine exam. It was not the greatest of days for her as she got sick to her stomach both coming and going and had a terrible headache which kept us at the hospital for about 4 hours. She was so uncomfortable. I was just passing back bags with one hand and trying to safely pull off the highway to help her when I could. About 15 minutes after we finally arrived at home, I noticed a friend's dad standing in my front yard. I thought that was odd, so I went outside and found an incredible surprise. Christi's Grandpa Vince that she was never able to meet, worked at Donnelleys in Willard. He died of a sudden heart attack ten months before she was born when he was 55. Dad's fellow employees at Donnelley's had some fund raisers for Christi to help us with these extra expenses we're incurring. One of the fundraisers was a raffle for a beautiful rustic decorative bench that my friend's Dad made. (You're talented, Bill!) A wonderful employee wrote Christi's name on the tickets instead of their own name and can you believe that Christi's name was actually pulled out of the box out of all of the tickets?! I still have tears in my eyes over that one. How kind! I can't possibly thank all of the generous and angelic individuals who are helping Christi and all of us in this war. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I continue to ask for your prayers and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your outpour of love! You are keeping us strong for Christi and we have tremendous appreciation to you. Thanks for your comfort. I love and miss you!! Take care and enjoy!


Christi's Latest Joke: "Doctor, Doctor, I feel like a sheep" "That's bbaaaaaaaaad!"