Journal Entry

Monday evening, March 1, 2004

"I know how to invest my money. I'll invest it in people."
-W.K. Kellogg

From "America's Cereal Bowl" I obtained this beautiful quote over the weekend while we visited with Eric and Alicia in Michigan. I could only think about how countless folks have invested so much into our little gal, we'll forever be grateful!! It's been a rough 19 months of roller coaster riding, but friends and strangers alike have invested a tremendous amount of love and support - we are filled with gratitude.

We had a fabulous weekend spent at "Wonderful Webby's" home. Eric and Alicia hosted us in their new mansion up on the hill. Their new home is gorgeous with most picuresque views out each and every window. It's simply stunning! I'm so happy that a most kind, wonderful, loving couple is able to live in such a grand home. They are so deserving!! Comfortable and welcome they certainly made us feel every minute of the entire weekend. How nice to have fantastic friends we don't deserve!

Alicia and Eric treated us to "Kellogg's Cereal City USA" where we all learned more about how cereal is made along with some very interesting history. We also enjoyed watching the girls play and draw in the different exhibits. Kellogg's World Head Quarters is located just miles from their home.

Our girls fell in love with the Cook's large, beautiful Golden, Ally. This incredible couple took us to a grand opening of "Marshall Doggy Spa and Play Care" - Eric's also the webmaster for this site too. (Thanks, Cooks. Now Christi has even more grandeous ideas for her "Christi's Pet Business". Smile.) We were able to meet some of their family and friends and Shayne was able to go for a bike ride with Eric and another Buddy. We played cards, went hiking around a nature preserve, enjoyed Louie's doughnuts - and too many other great treats. I watched "Webby" post a journal entry (It takes a lot longer than you'd think!) while learned that he's put over 2,000 pictures on Christi's website. It was neat to see where he spends hours working on Christi's website as well as the other sites he has created and maintains. What talent! And I think we all enjoyed chatting every morning and evening by the warm, crackling fire. It felt like a retreat; it was a tremendous, stress-free weekend with great friends. What a blessing!

Last Thursday's blood counts were much better than I had anticipated. White 4.6 (5-15, normal) Hemigloban 11.1 (11.5-15.5, normal) Her platelets fell a bit, but I am not concerned. They were down to 108 (195-400, normal) with an ANC of 3,200. Thank you, Lord!! After Shayne and I reviewed her blood counts for the entire month of February, we've decided to only have her counts checked every other week. We don't see the need for the expense with my insurance getting so close to maxing out, nor the time and hassle involved, not to mention the torture of the needle being pierced into Christi's arm. At this point she seems to be doing fine with her blood counts. Again another great blessing!

Sunday night was a terribly restless one for Christi. She kept wiggling and telling me, "I just can't fall asleep." I noticed her coughing, once vomiting, and she told me her ear hurt. When she said maybe she couldn't sleep because her throat hurt very bad, I knew I needed a sub.

I headed to school to get everything all ready for my sub, but I soon found out I was locked out. Knowing that I have the "World's Greatest Principal" I called him and he was so polite in asking, "What time is it, Angela?" I replied, "4:15 AM". Thankfully, he found a way to get me into the building and some day I'll have the guts to ask him if he managed to go back to sleep or maybe I should just hope he forgets the entire incident. I've made many "middle of the night" jaunts to go work in my classroom when I've been unable to sleep, but I've never not been able to get right to my room before. Figures, when I really needed to - I couldn't! (smile) Thanks, Brad!!

Therefore, this morning it was off to our family doctor where I learned, without surprise, that Christi has a severe ear infection. Because her lungs didn't sound clear (and because we know of the dangers of pneumonia with this beast!) we next went to the hospital for chest X-rays. Christi was so exhausted that I had to push her in a wheel chair when I physically couldn't carry her any longer. As always, those great folks at Mercy took wonderful care of Princess Christi and even rolled her right out to my van so she could avoid the heavy rain fall.

As I sign off tonight, I just hung up the phone with our sweet nurse practitioner at Mercy Children's in Toledo and the results of her chest X-rays are what I had hoped and prayed for - they're negative! She's fine! It appears to be a cold and an ear infection. Yahoo! Praise God! She really wants to go to school - even whispered to me at the doctor's office this morning, "Did he say I could go to school now?" (which of course was never even discussed!) but she's absolutely exhausted and has slept most the entire day away. We'll think positive and see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully, with divine intervention and modern medicines, she'll be doing better soon and she can get back to her wonderful teacher and classmates. Thank you.

Thanks for everything dear Christi Crew!

Love, Angela

Christi's Joke: Shayla picked out a special pink dress to wear to the Cooks. On Friday night she enjoyed doing a little "Marilyn Monroe number" as she stood over an air vent, looked down at her puffy dress and said, "Parachute!!!" Christi went over and picked up her pair of shoes, held them up and said, "Pair of Shoes!!!" ha ha!

What's Next? Christi will continue this CRA drug treatment through Sunday evening. She swallows six pills a day. Hopefully over the next couple of weeks her peeled and chapped skin and lips will return to normal. We anticipate testing and scanning back at CHOP in mid-March.

We also hope to conduct a blood drive in the next month or so and Christi would also like to sell lemonade for Alex's Lemonade Stand during this drive where big people get stuck and not her for a change. (smile)

Special Invite
Please don't consider this a breech of equittque, but instead consider it an invitation to join us in celebration of Christi making the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We have said over and over as soon as Christi is in remission we are hosting a celebration and "Praise to God" party. Well, given the probability that that is possibly not ever going to happen, we would still like to gather in church with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks and glory to God on high!!

Christi will be making her first Holy Communion with her CCD class on Sunday, April 18th. Mass will be in Republic at St. Aloysious Church at 9:30 and our wonderful friends (Tom and Lori Leis of Uncle Dudley's Restaurant and Catering in Willard) will be catering the brunch at approximately 11:00 AM in the church basement. (Tom's mom used to babysit me before I started school and Shayne and Tom were college roommates! They also catered our wedding and Christi's Baptism!) I do need to get an accurate meal count to Tom and Lori, so please e-mail me the number of you who will attend.

Absolutely NO GIFTS will be accepted. Period! Christi's Grandma Nonee and Paw Paw Joe will be giving her her rosary and her Godmothers and Aunt Marty have purchased the most lovely crucifix necklace to wear. She received her prayer book for her Baptism gift from Aunt Vaunie and Mrs. Carla Wagner is sewing her special dress. She's all set for this most blessed day of celebration and growing up in the church - making her first communion!

If anyone at brunch would like to join Shayne and I in making a small donation to the church, we will have a box set out for that, but we are permitting no gifts. Please let Shayne and I treat the "Christi Crew" to brunch following church. We really appreciate all of the love and support we've received over the past 19 months and want to give a small something back.