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9:33 PM The girls are still up, although I think they are going to sleep soon (fingers crossed). We had another fun night at Vacation Bible School tonight. There were a couple fewer kids than last night, but it still was quite a crowd. Tomorrow is our final night and I'm sure all the adults will be exhausted before all is said and done. I'm thankful that our VBS is turning out to be so successful this year.

Of course, I just realized that perhaps one reason why I'm so tired is that I got up at 4:45 this morning to get ready to take Sophie to the clinic. All four of us went today, which is the first time in a long time that we've done that. Fortunately the clinic was not too busy this morning, so there was room for all of us. We were #3 in line for sedation, but got bumped up to #2 because the young boy who was ahead of us needed some meds prior to his sedation. We've seen him before in the clinic and he really looked unhappy today. I felt pretty bad for him.

Sophie was very brave about the sedation this time. Although she claimed (loudly) that she would walk right into the treatment room without her blankie or anything, when it came time to go, the blankie went over her head and Susan had to carry her in. She wasn't all that thrilled, but it went better than it has gone in the past. Unfortunately, we had to wait a long, long time to get Sophie's blood chemistries back before she could receive the second drug (in her IV. The first drug was through a spinal tap). Not long after Sophie got up (and helped herself to cheese grits), she asked about her band-aid and said that we could take it off. That has never happened before. Usually, we have to leave the band-aid on for days and days and weeks and weeks until it is barely hanging on by a thread and even then she pitches a fit when it comes off. Maybe she's more mature. Who knows?

The good news is that Sophie's counts are great. We're bumping up her meds to 80%, hoping that the increased dosage will not tax her immune system too much. It certainly seems as if she cannot quite handle 100%. Then again, it seemed that whenever she got to 100% she also had some virus or bacterial infection that would have dropped her counts as well, so let's pray that she stays healthy!

We got home shortly after lunch (stopping on the way home to eat) and since both girls napped in the car, neither one was into napping this afternoon. Susan let me doze briefly while she worked and afterwards, she left to visit T'yanna's family. It was good for her to see them, I'm sure. We have so many questions and wish to say so many things to them, I know that Susan was thankful to see them face-to-face. T'yanna's mom, who must be going through so much right now, kept insisting that we talk to Sophie and ensure Sophie that she not worry about this happening to her. It was quite touching that she is so concerned about us and our family right now, considering the devastating loss that she has had.

There is clearly a bond between families who experience childhood cancer. I think it's like sharing a deep wound with someone else--when you see someone get wounded in much the same way as you have been wounded, you ache and feel the pain and sorrow as if it were your own. You cannot hide from the powerful sense of empathy. Even when you know that circumstances are different and all cancers are not alike, there is so much that is shared.

T'yanna's service will be tomorrow. I'm not sure if we'll all be able to go, but I know that Susan will want to be there. We're not really sure whether Elisabeth will understand or be able to handle the funeral. Her genuine, initial reaction to hearing about T'yanna was a simple, "Oh, man!" Of course, I think that said an awful lot, but I also think that Elisabeth oftentimes thinks more than she speaks, and eventually, more will come out. We'll see.