Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Our Venetian Home

This is where we are staying in a couple of months. Yes we are excited. This is east of the train station in a very residential area of Venice. It is close to the Ghetto. I guess since I really bonded with Merchant of Venice it is only appropriate.

I am very excited about the laundry facilities. That is the best part.

This is becoming more and more real every day. We have made it to this trip.

Friday, February 24, 2006

All is quiet in Venice

With Ash Wednesday coming up. It might be interesting to watch the Venice Cam right now. Things should be hopping


Just click on the title and you will be swept away.

I just finished watching Merchant of Venice. Very interesting. How have I missed this play? How have I failed to hear the Shylock speech. As soon as I find a full copy, I will post it here. I will have to dig out my book of plays. I am also starting Bleak House. I guess we are doing a short course in the classics.

But they are classics for a reason.

Holy Names Won the Recruiting Wars

Click on the Title of this Blog and you will be taken to the Holy Names Web site. The video is really cool.................

We had a talk last night. My dad told her that it is
never good to settle for less but help other strive
for more.

I also pointed out that there were lots of
kids that had no choice and it was not fair to hold
two spots and in her heart she knew where she
belonged.

We filled out the paper work last night and will be at Holy Names on the 5th for registration.

She has always been a very introspective child. This
process was not easy for her. She felt that being
true to herself made her disloyal to people that she
loves.

When she went to bed she asked if there was
any going back and I told her the decision was made
and we move forward to make it the best decision ever.
I love that she is thoughtful.

She was pleased with her shirt that announced she was a member of the Class of 2010 and her call reminding her of the Ice Cream Social on Monday.

We were
already going to the Social on Monday.
Here we go. It won't be
easy for her because of everything that has happened
but she will thrive and grow and be such a wonderful
young women when she graduates.

We are iced in. No one is moving in our neighborhood. We are having a snow morning.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Now The School Thing is Getting Really Really Interesting

Okay now who do you believe. We sat down with the directory to see who was going where. It is obvious that Prep has a million spots and is the favorite. Most say they were accepted there. I think there are lots of wait listed hopefuls.

Now I did some checking and if you are wait listed that is a good thing. They think you are a good fit but they do not have space. I was figuring waitlisting was equivalent to
"Maybe you can have a pony"
I learned that they only wait list those they are interested in having at school.

We have learned that the kids are less than the best reporters. I asked the kids for a report and from what they knew most of the class was headed to Prep. Now prep takes about 100 or so and 30 or more of them were from St. Joseph's. I was surpized to see some the future "Prepsters" at the Holy Names ice cream social. I asked one mom and she pointed out that it did not matter where her daughter thought she was going, tuition was only being paid to Holy Names.

So the slots are now getting released and the kids will be coming off the wait lists. I am not sure when they send out the next set of letters but it should be in a couple of weeks. Lots of people are waiting for the Lakeside, Bush U-Prep decisions. I guess this part of it still goes one.

M-E is still undecided. She has to think about it and worry about it and wonder a bit more.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mom, I don't think the Leukemia has sunk in.

Where did that come from? I did not know what to say. Here we are in month a zillion. She has had 2.8 million doses of chemo and been poked a few thousand time. I have administered gallons of hydration and flushed more lines than toilets. I have counted out a few guthousand pills and put on enough emla cream for a face lift and ME is still wondering about the Leukemia. I guess I am not the only one in denial.

Maybe that is how we get through theses things. Our mind goes onto automatic and we simply do what needs to be done, near term. As I think about it, I should not be surprised. It has not been about the overall process but a treatment, by treatment mode. We have not discussed long term effects of the treatment or really long term prognosis. It has been very day to day. Little bites of the apple. Maybe after so much and so long and now that things are sort of quiet, she is starting to think about what it means to be a Cancer kid.

I guess on some level I am in the same boat. I don't think I have ever spelled Leukemia in this blog. I know in my mind I certainly don't like the Cancer title. She does not have Cancer she has Lukemia.

I too have focused on the moment. I have been afraid to consider a future. It took all of my courage to make reservations at Palisaides for this year. I have even thought it might be time to make reservations at Toyota's Sushi for the ITS FINALLY OVER party. We are so close to only having a year left.

I think this whole high school thing is starting a whole "looking toward the future" process. She is so so stressed. She is freaked. She is worried about all of her friends and how the final decisions are going to affect everyone's lives. She is worried about high school and all the new type of pressure. We all know she is ready but she is not so sure.

Maybe the title of this entry should be :I CANNOT BELIEVE SHE IS ALMOST READY FOR HIGHSCHOOL.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Message from a hurting Mother. ( Not Me)

I mentioned the other day that I had been reading some other blogs. As we have been away from the hospital more and more I have had less contact with the usual gang of people that we have meet. I have looking to see if any of my cohorts have similar blogs. I get caught in reading them sometimes and they often do not have happy endings.

I found one that was about a very little girl name Rose. She was diagnosed with AML ( Not what M-E has) and did not make it more than 45 days post transplant. I have not read it all but she had died on the day I found the blog. February 13 of this year. She had been diagnosed on Friday the 13th of May. ( See why I might relate).

As we all know, I am terrified of a relapse. Let me tell you when you relapse post transplant it is not a good thing. I will go and read it some day. I am afraid to read it all right now. Reading it, I realized how hopeless it feels to read about events in people's lives and not be able to change anything. I do find bits of wisdom in the writing.

They had a service for Rose and at the service the Mom was able to read the following from an Ancient Korean Chant

Everything lost is found again
In a new form, in a new way.
Everything hurt is healed again
In a new life, In a new day.


I thought the words were so simple. I think it says it all.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Admissions


Well what a strange journey. I guess I should know that nothing is easy. ME will not commit until she knows all the variables, like Who is going where, will they be able to be together.

Whitney is huge in this equation. She is such a part of M-E's support system. I think she might just need her permission to go to Holy Names if Whitney was not accepted. While I know that this choice is not just about being happy, it is a huge element.

The problem with this process is that with kids that are waitlisted, there is still a possibility that each child will have more choices. There are a number of kids that have more than one choice. When they release one of the slots the choice goes to someone else. I was silly to think that February 18th would be decision day.

I just finished a book I found on Saturday. ADMISSIONS by Nancy Leiberman. I am going to give it to the school tomorrow. I think it should be mandatory reading for all 7th and 8th Grade parents. It is so funny but so telling. The following is the first paragraph.

The Tuesday after Labor Day marked the official start of admission season, the Manhattan parents' version of a blood sport. The ferocity with which Wall Street traders worked the floor, mergers-and-acquisition's lawyers closed their deals, magazine editors staked their claims on a hot new trend, the ladies who lunched jockeyed for positions at the fall shows couldn't hold a candle to the intense competition between familys to secure that most coveted of accessories: a space for their child in the school of their choice.

It is a funny book. The person who wrote it had to have had the experience. I realized that I really need to back off and let M-E take the lead. I was told that she had not made her decision yet and realized that this is her decision. I told her she had to at least let me tell her what I see as the strengths and the weaknesses of both. We shall see. Whitney comes home on Tuesday.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Well the Results are In but the Decision is not Made

Mary-Elizabeth was accepted to Holy Names and Blanchett. We received the BIG envelopes yesterday. We had gone to look at new flooring and Mom wanted to be dropped off and we saw the mail truck. We watched as the mail man made his route. I could see the big envelopes tucked in his arm and I knew where they were headed.

Having gone through this process in my own life. I knew the big envelopes = Welcome. Little ones mean, sorry or maybe.

Big relief for about 2 minutes. Quick call to Sister Mary-Annette. Realized everyone but this family is on vacation. No one is home!!!!!!!!!!

When she first received the letters she said: I have always seen myself as someone that goes to Holy Names. I am certain that is where she will go in the end but at this age friends are a big part of this equation. She and Whitney are very close. We don't know where she has been accepted because they are on vacation and no one will let me go and take their mail out of the slot. I have a key to the house, know the code and could find the key. I just guess we will be waiting.





Friday, February 17, 2006

Mom and the Basement

She wants to touch my stuff. Put or throw away my Christmas Treasures. Oh, Well that is what Moms are for. We are working on finding new flooring. I am leaning toward the brightly colored linoleums and highly colored bamboo. I find little enthusiasm for my ideas on kitchen flooring. My brother David suggested I was simply ruining the house in every way and that orange linoleum would not make any difference. The damage has been done.

Oh, well. I see no reason to not put down lots of fun colors.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Keep Me out of Other People's Blogs

I was looking around in blog world. It is not good for me to read other parent's blogs.

Not everyone has a great result. We are battling ALL. That is such a good thing. I will quit whinning about the long treatment. At least we have treatments that are affective.

A bit of snow. It will slow me down but not stop us.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Balancing Act

Her numbers are good by doctor's standards. Her liver is getting unhappy which makes me unhappy but is not unhappy enough to make the chemo change so that her liver is happy but then the doctors are unhappy because her numbers are not where it makes them happy.

Well Happy Valentines Day.

13 Months more. Seems like an eternity but then we have traveled on this road for 17 months.

It is almost time to start planning THE END party. I am just not brave enought to do that yet.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ms. Marion Needs Help


http://www.active.com/donate/tntwaak/tntwaakkMarion1

Mary Elizabeth -"Don't forget to relax and enjoy yourself and those around you."

Kathy Marion's Team in Training

Welcome to my Team In Training home page.
I am once again taking on a triathlon challenge. This time I have increased the endurance level as I will be participating in a half- Ironman this coming June. However, the operative word here is HALF.
I am calling this event my swan song for triathlons. No matter how hard I try and the positive self-talk I give myself, I am still unable to find the zen experience with swimming. This year, like last year, I am dedicating all my training in memory of Joseph Boyle and for the inspiration and courage of Mary Elizabeth, a current 8th grade student of mine.
The team’s honor patient is the daughter of my mentor who was diagnosed two years ago at three.
As we gather for morning or evening practices all decked out in layers to keep us warm, I begin to ask myself, “Isn’t there an easier way for me to help this cause?” I don’t like cold, let alone cold and foggy and worst of all, the Seattle winter archetype of cold foggy rain. Yes, there is an easier way, I could write my own personal check for the cause which would be a drop in the bucket to assist with the research to find a cure for a disease that impacts so many people. Thus, if I say yes to the insane practice schedule and seek out sponsors, I can put even more into the bucket.
This year I have one lofty goal. Even though I am required to raise at least $3,000, I would like to raise $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Why such a huge amount you might ask. Simply, it is my way of saying “Thanks” to the gift of Mary Elizabeth’s courage and smile these past two years. I want this swan song event to be my ultimate gift to the society in Mary Elizabeth’s name as she graduates with honors this coming June.
Any amount LARGE or small will be greatly appreciated as well as your moral and prayerful support. I know with all avenues of support, this lofty goal can be reached.
Thanks a million! Kathy Marion
TOTAL DONATIONS COLLECTED: $1,025
GOAL: $10,000

Titanium $1,000
Platinum $500
Gold $250
Silver $100
Bronze $50
Elite $25
Other:


©Copyright 2005. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Methotrexate Tuesday

I report to those that ask that M-E has chemo every night. I think about what she takes and it is sort of mind boggling. It has become old hat in a way but then the worry is always there lurking like dry rot or carpenter ants.

She takes her chemo at night. I think it is to keep away the bad side affects. These are the type of drug that if you forget a night dose you don't take them in the morning.

On Monday nights she takes oral methotrexate. We have finally found one that does not give her hives so she is back on track with that one. We were going to have to do shots or IV's that would have been bad. The thing is it really really wipes her out. She went to bed and to sleep by 8:15 last night and can not get out of bed this morning. I will try again in about 45 minutes. Sometimes she can make it and other times she cannot.

We shall see. It is so hard to be in this part of the treatment because in so many ways we are done. We are over the really bad stuff but looking at a year more of treatment. She looks great but there are small cracks that remain. I still can not relax and let go.

Oh, well. We are were we are.

I found that you don't need to plant primroses. You can just set them in the pots and all is good.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I finally Got IT

Just as they were about to toss the coin I switched to the station that was going to be showing the Seahawks game. I saw the 70,000 people, the lights the officials and I realized that this was a big moment for these people and this team and this city.

We watched for a few minutes and then went out for Chinese food. The city was abandoned. I now know what it will be like when the bomb hits. I also discovered that it is very hard to listen to a game when you don't know the names of any of the players.

Oh well. Next year.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The List

Fill the Bird Feeders
Cut the tree so it can go to be recycled.
Laundry
Recycle the cardboard outside
Take down some Christmas Lights
Put out Slug Bait and pull easy weeds ( I have the wrong kind of Slug Bait but I tried so I think it should count.
Go to Greenwood Hardware and buy Ringers Restorer and fertilize the lawn
Laundry
Purge the Fridge of Scary items that used to be food.
Buy groceries ( pick up some primroses)
Continue to read March
Laundry

See I have good intentions.

Colored ones are done.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Broadway Dinners

We went to dinner last night on the spur of the moment on Broadway. We drove around and tried to find a parking space and ended up under the Broadway garage. It has been forever and day that I had taken M-E to her birth place.

It was an interesting trip. We ended up eating at the Broadway Grill. We may only live 4.5 miles from Broadway but it is certainly a different world. One that I loved before I moved to Ballard and bought a station wagon. (Automatic of course.)

We entered and were seated in the back under the OH MY GOD COULD WE GET A BIGGER CHANDLER and the palm like trees ( alive). The room is dark and cozy and so much better now that the smokers are out in the streets. We ordered. Sweet Potato Frie just because, salads, M-E choose crab stuffed shrimp and I had the lobster macaroni and cheese.
I also had the rare glass of wine. I found my wait person ill informed as to the proper pairing for Sweet Potato Fries but then...........

In the same room were a number of people. The newly out lesbian and her shocked Midwest parents. She was trying to explain all the wonders of Capital Hill, the parade, the fanatic devotion to Halloween, the plethora of tattoo Parlors and the shopping, where else could you buy dog collar accessories and organic miso and High fructose Corn Sweening free bread int in the same building! They were smiling and saying things like "I see." "Oh how interesting", "Oh how nice" 24 places to be pierced, I never knew". For those of you that have not lived in the Midwest the proper translation would be:

Oh my God, get me out of here...
I can never face my bowling group again.....
I should have let her date when she was in high school, what would have been wrong if she married a tractor salesman.....
When will this end, oou.... Those boys are holding hands and kissing..... I am going to die, and then my friends will know.
I know I have to accepting like Ellen's Mom, I know I have to accepting like Ellen's Mom,,, ooh, we are not in Kansas anymore. Could someone bring another of those pink drinks..........

Then there was the girl with her best "friend". They clearly loved each other and had a great relationship. She was enamored but when he took out the chapstick and smacked his lips I hoped she noticed. Their relationship will never go beyond the "Will and Grace" kind.

The entry is wonderful, where else can you go and find great suggestions for costumes. I will return before Halloween. I am always confused as to what I should be for that most difficult of events.

Oh, the 65 mile an hour winds helped bring down the outdoor Christmas lights. See, I don't have to worry.