Journal Entry

Sunday night, Sept. 25, 2005

“It is an extreme privilege and pleasure to be associated with Heidelberg College .”  (Shayne Thomas to NBC Toledo )

Christi with Professor Lori Grine and some
of her students - soon to be teachers

Unfortunately, Shayne’s quote above and also my comments to the sweet TV NBC news reporter about the glorious love “poured out” from Heidelberg College only made the cutting room floor; however, greatly pleased we were for the kind news coverage regarding the lack of pediatric cancer research funding.  (You may click on the link and then on the “video” link to view it, if desired.)  I’m still shocked that Heidelberg College’s Education Department would go to such extremes and also that a TV news crew would drive all the way down from Toledo to air the story.  Amazing!  Thanks, all!  What blessings and joy!

Here is the email I sent to close friends yesterday:

Hi Friends!  While we were disappointed that the awesome Lori Grine and the Education Dept. at Heidelberg College didn't get the credit they deserved for solely making yesterday's fabulous event happen, we were very pleased that the fundraiser for pediatric cancer research received front page newspaper coverage in addition to television news coverage.

Two different little stories were on Friday night.  One at 5:00 and a different one at 6:00 .  If you'd like to see the 5:00 news clip, you may click the link below - then click on "video"; it'll bring it right up.  Be warned, I look horrible!  I just couldn't quit crying; I was so choked up.  It was all incredibly emotional - not just the devastation of what's going on with Christi's fight and what we'll learn this week upon her testing results in Philly, but the INCREDIBLE love, support, compassion and generosity of Heidelberg College and the community.  It was absolutely a lovely day!  Thank you Professor Lori, her education classes, Heidelberg and ALL!  We've been richly blessed by your love.

Here's the link if you'd like to see it:
(THEN click on “video clip”)

Also, caption and colored photo in today's local newspaper - Saturday:

*****SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH*****  Cancer is the #1 disease killer of children.

Lori’s classes not only made her a “Heidelberg College Student for the Day” but also presented her with a gorgeous charm bracelet with engraved charms of:  Alex, Christi and a lemon.  It’s precious!  What valuable life lessons are being taught to these wonderful soon-to-be teachers.

So things were going incredibly well…………until yesterday.  We pray it’s just the “pre-game jitters”; however, it’s never been like this and it’s symptoms attributed to the disease by so many others; why would Christi’s fight be any different.  While hard to believe that on Tuesday she danced for two hours of jazz and ballet classes, Wednesday went to religion class, Thursday went with my Mom shopping at JCPennies and playing at McDonald’s play place with Shayla, Friday went to the football game with a friend and on Saturday morning walked around town running errands with me – and getting a complimentary manicure at the beauty school as the nail techs needed to complete some more practice clients before their graduation next week and by late Saturday afternoon was in knee pain.  Oh, it’s absolutely gut wrenching. 

On Saturday, we returned a little playmate back to her house.  While they were playing outside in her yard Christi fell to the ground and grabbed her right knee.  I pretended to be “cool” about it, barely looking her way and hoping that she fell down with an injury.  (Sick thing to wish for, I know – but that’s just living in the world of cancer.  You’d embraced anything, but cancer rearing it’s ugly head.) Unfortunately, an injury was not the case, the “punch in the gut” feeling I immediately felt at that moment hasn’t left and she’s been limping off and on since then.  The pain seems to come and go. Last night it appeared to be a bit swollen which we know can arise from the cancer growing and pushing outward.  Today she did pretty well although she told Shayne while they were making cakes in her Easy Bake oven her ankle hurt and she told me while playing her Neopet Board game that her knee still hurts.  Oh, what an ugly monster that desperately needs leashed!  So, again I pray it’s growing pains or something,  I know I am quite stressed and the tensions been nothing but thick here over the weekend.  How I hope it’s nothing.

Well, I just wanted to share the video news clip for anyone who may want to check it out.  I will submit another entry to Eric as soon as we have the news and the new game plan mapped out which should be at the end of the week.  As always, your prayers are greatly appreciated.  Thank you!

With a very queasy stomach, much anxiety and fear,

PS:  With great relief I report that we’ve received word from “The Wynns”.  Whew!  Ironically enough they relocated across the country just two days before Hurricane Katrina destroyed their area.  We Praise Him!!!!  Thank you, dear Lord!

Christi’s Joke:  While I was running errands, she opened up a package with Shayne.  She was playing with pegboard games upon my return.  When I asked her who sent that to her, she burst out in giggles declaring, “Angel PEGgy – of course!!  They’re PEGboard games!”

What’s Next?  Tests and scans at CHOP on Tuesday and Wednesday.  A 10:30AM meeting with Dr. Maris to go over the results is scheduled for Wednesday.  While discussing the situation in a “child friendly manner” with Christi on Saturday night at dinner informing her she may be staying in Philly for a while and doing some high dose chemo, she stated that she wants to be in with Dr. Maris the entire time he tells us what the results of her tests are.  She does not want to be told to go to the playroom like always.  She wants to know and hear it all.  Sooooooooooooooooooooo, we’ve given the “heads up” to Dr. Maris and we’re hopeful that he’ll continue to be very sensitive in describing the delicate situation to 8 year old Christi.  Needless to say, the conversation ended the food intake for Christi as she didn’t eat a single bite of her dinner after we engaged her in conversation about what may be changing in her life this week.  God, I hate this blasted disease!!!!!!!!!!!