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6:30 AM (Central time): Sophie had a great day at the clinic yesterday! Randall may want to write more, since he's the one who took her to Lubbock, but it sounds like it went so well. Our appointment was earlier in the day than usual. Normally, we got o lunch first, put on the numbing cream and then head in to a 1:00 appointment. Yesterday, her appointment was at 10:30, so I put the cream on before they left. Randall said having it on longer must have made a difference, because she said she didn't even feel the needle when they drew the blood. In fact, she didn't cry or need her blankie (this from the girl who cries if she's the last one to buckle her seatbelt in the car!). She was really proud of herself when she told me about it at home.

Sophie's blood values continue to look good. Only one test that was low ("MPV"--not sure what that's for, and it might be the same mystery one that was low last month), and her red blood cells (HGB) were toward the high end of the range. Randall said he had a really good visit with Dr. Prassannan. We had asked her about getting some cognitive testing done, because we had been hearing about some cognitive delays that can be associated with the treatment she received. She gave us a referral quite a while back, and of course we didn't do anything with it yet. She wanted to let us know that they recently changed her protocol to include cognitive evaluations on all patients (she said delays were more likely with patients who received brain radiation, which Sophie didn't). Interesting, and maybe that will motivate us to set up an appointment! I think partly, we have put off getting her tested because I don't want to think that this treatment (which we absolutely had to give her) might have had negative effects on her. And we also will never know whether the treatment caused the delays. I figure we can't undo any current or future damage just by knowing the results of some tests. I think we had almost come to the point that we might just wait to see if she is showing signs of cognitive delays and get her tested at that point. If she's not having problems, then there's nothing to worry about. I don't know if that makes any sense!

The other big news of the day is that I joined the Clovis Community Band--my first practice was last night, and it felt pretty good. I have really missed playing music!

So, I'm leaving in a few hours for Atlanta. There's a conference of criminologists meeting, and I'm doing a presentation Wednesday morning about what we learned from our interviewers during a study we were doing of prisoners being released to the community. How talking with prisoners (in prison and then three times following release) changed their perceptions of prisoners and the criminal justice system, and what advice they would give policy makers for working with this population. It's part of a larger set of presentations on our study findings. Neat stuff.

Well, I'd better get the girls up, and get packing!