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8:20 PM Today has been a very full day--especially for a Saturday! It started out innocently enough (another quiet, lazy Saturday), but after lunch, we made our way to the Road to Life benefit. There were a great many people there, which was great since this cause is close to our hearts. Besides Sophie, there were ten other kids who either currently have cancer or are cancer survivors. One mother, whose son passed away after a relapse, was also there and told her story. The heat was pretty hard to bear, though, and I was worried about Sophie being out in the sun for too long. Of course, Elisabeth didn't mind at all, especially when her friend Caroline from church showed up. Sophie seemed to have a good time (at least, she said she had a good time), and she and Madison enjoyed spending some time together. Janice--Elisabeth's dance teacher--was there as well.

After the recognition ceremony (Sophie got a teddy bear and a medal), we stuck around to get pictures made and to allow Elisabeth some time to play and get her face painted. Before too long, we were all worn out, so we made our way home. As we were pulling into the driveway, Sophie asked, "Where's my blankie?" We had left it there. So, I stayed home with the girls while Susan went back to the benefit and recovered Sophie's blanket. She had planned to go do some grocery shopping anyway, but making a side trip to get the blanket was not in the plans.

It has been an overwhelming afternoon. Hearing the woman's story about her son was really hard, especially since he was out of treatment and died of complications following a relapse. I have mentioned to some of you how I feel that although Sophie is doing reasonably well, there is this sense that our lives are shadowed by the leukemia and more generally, by death. We are constantly on alert for the next shoe to drop, the next complication, the next "bump in the road." Of course, when they come, we handle them (and Sophie handles them), but it is hard living constantly on the edge. It isn't a matter of worrying and fretting (although we do our fair share of that--me in particular), but it is a matter of being unable to relax most of the time. There is an underlying stress and tension in our lives that wasn't here nine months ago, and I doubt if it will ever go away.