Journal Entry

Thursday, August 28, 2003

"The First Day of School"
Author Unknown

I took her to school and her eager blue eyes
Held something of fearfulness too.
I wanted to hold her up close to my heart
But I left her. What else could I do?
I told her I'd meet her quite promptly at noon
And deliberately hurried away.
For if she had whispered, "I want to go home!"
My heart would have filled with dismay.
But she steadied her lip and I managed a smile
And somehow the moment passed by.
For she had grown older, my dear little girl,
In that moment and also had I.
Oh, God bless the children, as they shall begin
Learning reading and writing and rule.
And God help the parents who learn lessons too
On the little ones' first day of school!

Christi had a FABULOUS first day of school on Tuesday! Even though it was only her 11th full day and 4th half day of ever attending school, she had absolutely no separation issues and was thrilled to FINALLY be in school surrounded by great teachers and great friends. Praise to the Lord!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think we made the right decision to try this chemo at home; let's continue to pray it really works out and we can maintain this good quality of life at least for the fall!

Awhile back a parent shared the above poem with me and I think it's most appropriate at this special time of the year. Yesterday was the first day of school for the kindergarten students and I had a GREAT day as their teacher. It felt downright fabulous to be surrounded by excited, healthy children doing what I love to do - teach!! WOW!!! And my class is ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL!! When my fabulous Principal stopped by and asked, "How is it going?" I told him it was probably the smoothest first day of kindergarten I've ever had. He joked that he'd stay out of it then. (He's tremendous with the little students.) I typically call all of the parents following the first day of kindergarten. I haven't been able to get a hold of three yet, so I'll continuing to make calls today, but I always enjoy talking with them after this big milestone has passed and it's nice to be able to share great news about a dynamite class - the Class of 2016 with all of the supportive parents.

Shayne arrived in New York about 3:00 AM on Wednesday. He was able to get a parking spot about five blocks away - that was fantastic and no small feat! Today while Shayla and I were at her preschool meeting, Shayne called and left us a message. He was able to move the van directly in front of Ronald and he was in the process of loading all of our belongings into the van. What doesn't fit will be donated to the daily garage sale out on the front side walk I am sure. (Of course that makes me a little nervous thinking MY belongings will get donated and he'll bring his "treasures" home instead. Oh my! hee hee!) Shayne joked with me that he broke down a bought me a copy of today's "Post" newspaper. That really meant a lot to me!! (Thank you, sweetheart!!) We have joked about the newspapers in New York since day one. Many days, Christi and I would stop at a newspaper stand outside the hospital. When she was feeling well, she would put my quarter up on the stand and buy "The Post" for me. While truly not the highest quality of newspaper, I thought it was a great bargain for a quarter and I spent a lot in the waiting room reading it and then leaving it for someone else to read. Shayne, on the other hand, preferred "The Times" newspaper - which costs a $1.00. He'd only buy it once or twice a week, but we'd rip on each other all the time about our preference for newspapers. "In the Post, I read that there is a free concert in Central Park on Thursday night - definitely got my quarter out of today's paper. hee hee" etc., etc. Well, "I read in The Times........" was always his comment back.

When I spoke with Shayne tonight he told me it was much harder than he thought, but that this was a good time to return back to Ronald to pack up and clean. He never could have done that if she wasn't stable like she is and if we didn't have the next plan of attack prepared. He also told me that he learned from one of the awesome nurse practioners when he was at the hospital again today was the big joke at the doctors' tumor board meeting was that "Christi's dad drove ten hours to New York to drop off her urine." Little did they know how much "fun" I had collecting it at school!!!!!!!!! NOT! Well, this way it allowed Christi to stay in Ohio and to go to school. Whatever it takes, I guess!

I'm anxiously for him to arrive back in Tiffin early Friday morning, not just because I've been wearing the same pair of shoes that I left New York in and my feet are starting to complain, but because it'll be a HUGE relief to be at home - with all of our belongings TOGETHER! I can only imagine how very hard it was to talk with everyone in New York and again I'm so thankful that he did that and I remained at home with school and the girls. I love those people and that awesome city!! Recently, a friend was over and she asked us if we would ever live in New York. While my immediate answer was, "No, well, not with children, maybe, well......." I thought Shayne summed it up best saying, "It's addicting. We couldn't afford to ever live there - even if we both were working full time; however, it's happening in Manhattan." I calculated that we spent approximately 25 nights here in Ohio since we left in December. Those days and nights didn't feel like we were really living here, but instead just staying - always dreading heading back east. Since things have changed and we should be at home for a long period of time, the feeling is a very positive and comforting one. We've been blessed!

Last night our friends came over with their huge telescope, set it up in our drive way and we all checked out Mars. Very cool! Thank you so much Doug and Caroline!! You've really enriched our lives in a positive way. We will forever be grateful!! Thanks!!

Thanks for all of your love and support and comfort!

Hugs, Angela

Christi's Joke: I don't know if she's telling any in school, but I haven't heard any around here because she's been at school. When she's home, she's playing her computer games, creating games for the kindergartners or gazing at the precious fluffy kitten.

What's Next? Shayne should arrive home tomorrow. After unpacking he and Shayla will head up to the lake to his Mom's condo. The Wonderful "Webby" Eric and his wife, Alicia, are driving down from Michigan to stay at the lake with us. We are really looking forward to seeing them as well as spending time with Shayne's Mom. I know the guys have a lot to catch up on regarding the banking school and graduation Shayne missed this year. When Christi and I are dismissed from school, she and I will drive up to join then. We will return home on Monday - Labor Day.

Tuesday will be Christi's first ballet class. Our thanks to Dance Unlimited for making all of that possible. She's so happy to be back with her beautiful teacher, Kathy, and I just hope she's feeling well enough to continue for a long time. (Yesterday after school she made mention of leg pain behind her left knee. Oh no! Definitely NOT what I wanted to hear!) Shayla will start her ballet classes on Friday. While both girls were signed up and ready to go last year, Christi was diagnosed the same day the first class took place without her.

Shayla will start back to preschool on Wednesday. we thank the wonderful Mrs. Newhard and all of Betty Jane for accepting her back and we hope she's able to stay for a much longer period of time this year. Our Thomas Team thanks to BJP for all of your love and help during these crazy times.

The big event on Tuesday will be the fact that it is to be Christi's first day to receive her chemo at home. Shayne has set everything up and we are so pleased that it appears this is really going to work. Christi will get her chemo treatments here in our home for a couple of hours each night for two weeks. We know that there will be side effects and she will not feel so well at times; yet we hope all is manageable and she can continue with enjoying her days at school.