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10:44 pm It's been a while since I posted, and even though I didn't take Sophie to the clinic today, I thought I would give an update. Susan and Sophie left very, very early this morning and were #2 in line for sedation at the clinic. Sophie was a little scared about the sedation (Susan has been putting Sophie's "blankie" over her head, and that seems to help some), but it went fine as usual. Susan often has great stories to tell about Sophie coming out of sedation. For example, Sophie's usually hungry because she can't eat anything prior to the spinal tap, so when she is coming out of the sedation, she can't quite manage to eat, but insists on feeding herself. "There's two spoons!" she yells out (even though there really is only one spoon, she just sees two). Sophie is also very generous with her food as she's coming out of sedation, offering it to the nurses and whoever happens to be in the room with her at the time. It's always nice to see other families who we know through the clinic. A young boy named Ryan, for example, is entering maintenance. I can remember meeting his father several months ago as they were just starting treatment. Susan also visited T'yanna in the hospital, and she is doing well--Melissa (T'yanna's mom) said that they had a great day--the best in a while.

Our other good news for today is that Elisabeth got all A's on her mid-grading period progress report. She's so matter-of-fact about school, it's nice to know that she's doing well (although we expect that from her). Speaking of doing well in school, one of the possible side-effects of the leukemia treatment can be developmental delays. Susan arranged for Sophie to be tested next month when we go into the clinic just to see where she's at. Mostly we'd like to get a baseline from which we can make comparisons, although from our vantage point, Sophie is not suffering from any developmental issues at all.

And, if I can brag a little on myself (always makes me uncomfortable, but I guess I'd like to share), it looks as if I will graduate magna cum laude on Sunday. I was holding out for summa (highest honors), but I missed it by a few hundredths of a point. Under the circumstances (having a family, serving a church, and having a child with a major medical issue), I'm very, very happy to have done as well as I have. I'm excited and anxious about what life after school is going to be like, but it's nice to have it come to a close here. I picked up my gown and hood for the baccalaureate ceremony today, so it's becoming real to me.

Our other major milestone today was that Sophie is now about 1 year away from completing her treatment. Her counts today came back very strong, so she is back up to 100% of the chemotherapy dosages for the first time in months, and we're hopeful that we have 12 more months of smooth sailing. Of course, we will deal with whatever challenges and unexpected "blips" when they come, but we are now counting down to the day when we are out of treatment. And another thing. We got word this past week that Make-A-Wish will be in touch with us soon about arranging Sophie's wish. We're expecting a trip to Disney World, although who knows what Sophie will come up with!


Congratulations Randall!! What an amazing accomplishment, especially given the circumstances under which you have been working. Bravo! Both you and Susan continue to amaze me with your abilities to handle so many things simultaneously, and yet doing a good job with everything, while also appearing to remain sane. Thanks for setting such a great example for the rest of us :)



I am so proud of you!