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8:00 PM It has been a while since I've posted, and I guess I'm feeling the pressure to say something profound, especially after my ranting about the health care bureaucracy the last time I posted. Things are not much better on that front (worse, in fact), but there really isn't much to say about it other than that it is an unfortunate fact of life in our current health care system. We are extremely grateful to have excellent coverage and wonderful medical care for Sophie.

Sophie seems as energetic as ever. Hopefully that is a sign that her counts have not dropped much further. Generally speaking, it seems as if the platelet count runs ahead of the others, so when it drops, the others follow, and when it rises, the others follow. Her platelet count was higher this week than last, so maybe things are on the upswing by now. Somebody asked if it was good news that Sophie didn't get to have treatment this week. I must be becoming numb to the process because it took me a while to decide whether or not it was a good thing. Ultimately, I guess it's nice not driving to Chapel Hill, but other than that, it's neither here nor there (the treatment will take place eventually).

We had an unexpected surprise today. Elisabeth handed me a clipping from a local paper--maybe yesterday's Sampson Independent, but I'm not sure--and there, with today's weather prediction is a beautiful drawing by Elisabeth! They even got her name right and everything. She was so proud to get her name in the paper (and, I might add, for a good reason). I'm proud of her too!

Since we have been so enthusiastic about letting folks know that Sophie completed the fourth round of treatment, a lot of people--particularly at Duke--have mentioned that they continue to pray for us and support us. I spoke with a friend in New Mexico today and she commented on how our family has handled this situation with grace (some even mention how strong we seem). Susan and I are always stumped when folks say that because we never feel terribly strong or terribly grace-ful in this process. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you see any strength or grace in any of our words or actions, it is not our own, at least it is not any grace or strength that we possess.

Thanks for all the encouraging words and continued prayers!