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August 05, 2008


1:45 PM (Central time): Quick update on Sophie, who had her bimonthly oncology checkup yesterday. She is doing fantastic! Her counts were all good and the doctor says her reflexes are sluggish but coming back. We're also apparently doing a better job of keeping her seasonal allergies under control. Whatever count indicates a histamine reaction was lower than normal. She did great during the blood draw and didn't even take her blanket inside the office (she did want to sit in my lap though). After her afternoon appointment was over, we did a little shopping and had dinner in Lubbock. Sophie was pretty wiped out and got tired of shopping pretty quickly.

Here's a little story I was amazed by. We were shopping at Walmart the other day, and Sophie saw a guy who was having trouble walking--his legs were shockingly thin and he could barely get around. Sophie asked what was wrong with him pretty loudly, so I kind of pulled her aside and told her it's okay to be curious about other people, but that we shouldn't ask what's wrong with them in a way that would make them feel bad. I asked her to remember how she felt when she lost all of her hair and people would look at her funny or ask questions. Here's the thing--she doesn't remember when she lost her hair! She has already forgotten all of the most traumatic early parts of her treatment. We came home and I showed her pictures from when she lost her hair and gained so much weight on the steroids. She doesnt remember any of it! She says she remembers when we had to have the chest catheter removed and she had to deal with the PICC line, but the early stuff is all gone. She was only 3 at the time (half of her lifetime ago!), so I guess it's not that surprising, but it's amazing to me that these memories aren't just fading over time--they're just gone.

The girls are both home today. Their summer day camp ended on Friday, so now they're home with us until school starts on the 25th. At the moment, they are playing together nicely with two fisher-price dollhouses we received as gifts a while back.

Next week, we play to take a "staycation"--we will take a week off but won't travel anywhere. We will spend time together at home doing nothing in particular and taking day trips to nearby places. We know we're going to spend one night in Lubbock because Elisabeth is having braces put on next week. We are also thinking one day will be devoted entirely to reading books! Now if only Randall and I can get enough work done this week to feel okay about taking time off this week!

August 08, 2008

8/8/08 (how cool is that?)

6:27pm (TX time) Sophie and Lizzy are spending the night at a friend's house, so Susan and I are being total at-home workaholic geeks and not doing anything special. Actually, we're hoping to get enough stuff done so that our "stay-cation" next week will be just that and we won't be on the hook to get too much work done Monday-Friday.

Just a quick post to share something funny Sophie said last night at dinner. After we had been pestered with flies for a while and had all expressed our frustration with the fly situation, Sophie chimed up, "You know what I hate the most? Flies. Flies, and cancer." As matter-of-fact as she can be. That's it. What Sophie hates the most is flies (and cancer).

August 14, 2008


3:37 PM (TX time) It's hard to believe that our "staycation" is nearly over. Susan and I have both had a difficult time staying away from work. It's hard to still be in town, at home, have access to the computer and not be tempted to get stuff done (particularly when there is so much to get done!).

We went to Lubbock on Tuesday and spent the night there. Lizzy had an orthodontist appointment at Double T Smiles. It was her first "real" appointment after a consult last month. Lizzy got spacers to create room around her molars for the equipment she'll get next week. She will be getting expanders for both her upper and lower jaws, which will hopefully help with crowding issues and give her more room for the rest of her teeth. She'll also get four braces on the top four teeth. She's very excited and just a little bit anxious about the whole thing. Another girl from church that's her age just got braces, too, so I guess it's that time!

Anyway, while we were in Lubbock, we went to Joyland and had a great time. Sophie even went on one of the "big" rides that went fast and spun around. I was surprised. Lizzy is such a daredevil when it comes to amusement parks, and Sophie is the exact opposite! She ended up riding that one ride three times, though, and proudly kept her eyes open the second two times (and let go of the bar both times as well).

The next day, we spent the whole day at Science Spectrum. Both girls really enoyed that, and we had fun with all of the interactive displays. We came back home late last night and are having another lazy day at the house. We went to Clovis to have lunch and pick up the dog (we had her boarded for a couple nights) and got some laundry done. Susan has been putting out a fire at work and I've been reading (and making a list of things to do for when I do decide to get some work done). I may need to work twice as hard next week to make up for this time off!

August 26, 2008


9:13 PM (Central time): We have survived the second day of school. The girls are so happy to be back to school (and we are so happy to have the house to ourselves during the day). It is definitely a challenge to be working from a home office when the kids are around. They are more and more independent, but they obviously require some attention during the day. Last year we posted pictures of the girls on the first day of school, but Lizzy (well on her way to being a teenager) insisted on no pictures this year. We were in a hurry, so that worked out okay!

Randall had the girls all to himself last week while I traveled to North Carolina and Virginia. I had several work meetings Monday through Thursday, and then Thursday night I drove up to visit with my mom. We rented a huge dumpster and sorted through tons of things that had been stored in the attic and in two outbuildings for years. Mom was in the mood the purge, and I am very good at getting rid of *other* people's things (just ask me to stop being a packrat with my own things!). It felt so good to get through all of it, and Mom now has room to put all of the things she has been paying $100 a month to keep in a storage unit. It also brings her closer to being able to live closer to us.

Funny story we heard from a church member about Sophie. During a potluck lunch on Sunday, Sophie was sitting with Johnny (also our local district attorney) and they got to talking about allergies. They were talking about what they were allergic to, and Sophie told him she's not allergic to anything except cancer. It's just so funny to us how matter of fact she can be about the whole thing (especially given that she remembers so little of it).

Randall is traveling to Albuquerque tomorrow, and I am traveling to Chicago next week to give several presentations at a conference. I haven't even started putting them together yet, so I'd better get to work on that tomorrow! I've spent lots of time this week dealing with my work computer that died on the way home from my trip last week. I think I've gotten that all settled, so now I can turn to my real work!

Thanks, as always, to our friends and family for taking the time to keep up with us.