San Diego

So, I’m actually here at training. It’s been a long time coming.

Things are going well so far. It’s day two of 28, not that I’m really counting, but I am looking forward to seeing everyone over Christmas.

Maybe by day 10, I will have forgotten all about you all. That would make things easier. Or if you were all horrible people, that would work to.

I met the rest of the team, and they are all really nice. I am also staying with a Kurdish family who are all great. It’s an older couple, their two grown children and a younger child.

More importantly, Angie finally got a bank account. Welcome to 1956, Angie!

Hopefully, I’ll have time to read e-mails and stuff everyday, so send me some.


So much time, so little to do. (Wait. Strike that. Reverse it.)

Three days and counting.

OK, so Angie is officially having seizures as proved by the Prolactin test taken following last week’s seizure. She does not have Cardio-Neurological Syncope Syndrome as was hypothesized last week; her cardiologist has ruled it out. (For more information on the relationship between syncope and seizures, you can check this out.

This means she’s still undiagnosed and frustrated.

Mom, meanwhile, is doing better, but is restless. She was cleared to go back to work on Monday, but cautioned against over-exerting herself, but I’m sure she will. She gets the results of her pathology report tomorrow and, assume, more information on the plans for chemotherapy.

As for me, I’m doing ok. I’m not sleeping so well, but that’s to be expected. I am pretty well packed, though. So that’s good.

Interest factoid for the day:
Projected length of Mom’s chemo:     6 months
Amount of time Angie cannot drive:     6 months
Expected length of my stay in IQ:     6 months


To Quote Cinderella J:"What the 'H'?"

So, I've been planning to go to IQ for some time now. It seemed as though delays were never-ending. Over the summer, I seemed to have all the time in the world and I was anxious for the time to come when I could get this started.

Now, the time has come and it seems like it's all happening so fast. In reality it's life that's happening so fast. Mom's been diagnosed with breast cancer, Erin's getting a divorce, Sam's being tested for Cystic Fibrosis. It seems like a lot all at once.

In addition, Angie had a second seizure today. She had seen her cardiologist (who thinks she may have Cardio-Neuro Syncope, by the way.) and then, after lunch at Quizno's, she had a seizure in the parking lot. Honestly, it was pretty scary. It was the first time I'd ever seen a seizure. So I called 911, and she was taken back to Doctor's West where the did a couple of tests and sent her home. On the up side, this may convince her doctor's to speed up the tests and, if it is Cardio-Neuro Syncope, then it's totally treatable.

Just 9 days from San Diego!


Mom's Fine

Just a quick update:

Mom's surgery went well. She is in some pain (obviously), but she's doing well. She's at home now and early indications are that the cancer has not spread beyond her breast.

We'll have more details about chemotherapy and everything else in the coming week.

Thank you all for your prayers!


You Can Publish from WORD!

I’ve been thinking of keeping a list here of the books I’m reading. I read a lot of things that I enjoy but then forget. This might be a good way to keep track.

But, if I’m honest, I know that this list will likely last about a week and then I’ll stop. If that’s the case we can all pretend that this little experiment never happened.

Ok, so right now I’m reading the following:

Principles of Global Security by John D. Steinbruner
It’s a look at post-Cold War international security issues and the role of the U.S. I’m only on page 10, so I’ll have to get back to you on this one.

They Poured Fire on us From the Sky by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng and Benjamin Ajak
These are true stories of three Lost Boys from Sudan. I haven’t gotten to the tragedy yet, but the book seems to be very interesting.

The Qur’an: A Modern English Version
Or, as I like to call it, the NIV Qur’an. I have to be honest; this one is not an easy read. I have no idea what’s going on. I’m thinking maybe next time I’ll check out The Qur’an for Dummies. I thought that by reading it I’d gain understanding of Islam, but not so much.

Wo Bist Du? by Marc Levy
Yes, I am still reading this. It’s about a woman who travels to Honduras to do humanitarian work while her boyfriend goes to New York to study architecture. They’re French and the book is written in German.  It’s about how they both change in the absence of the other. Or at least I think it is. It just serves to drive home the point that I’ve allowed my German vocabulary to atrophy.

What the...?

So it’s official: Everyone on the planet now has a blog.

My mother has a blog. Can you believe it? You can check it out here.


Looks like a rant...

I've been thinking lately about how quick we often are to judge others. Maybe it's a heightened sense of awareness that comes when facing a "crisis" situation. I know from experience that when something serious happens people are most critical of others and especially their responses to the situation.

The first time I really remember being confronted with this was when my father died. I had no idea how one was "supposed" to respond to that. I looked around at my family and found that everyone responded differently. Some where devastated. And I mean this literally. Their lives ended the day his did.

I faced it the way I've come to face most serious issues in my life. I played the role of the stoic. I didn't cry much in public and I "moved on." I know what people think of that. Some find it callous and wonder how I could do it so easily. There's nothing easy about it, but it is a decision that I made and one that I don't regret.

Now, facing Angie's mysterious seizures and mom's breast cancer, I have acted in a similar manner. And I know that my actions and outward shows (or lack there of) of emotion have been questioned. As if I should break down at the hint of trouble or put on some show to prove my love and devotion. For the record, that won't happen. And, more importantly, I don't feel bad about it.

I know what loss is and I know how painful it can be, but I refuse to spend time pre-worrying about it. Honestly, I don't have the strength for that.

I can only pray that Mom and Angie both will be ok. I'll put it in God's hands and I'll be emotionally stable for them both so that they don't always have to be.


Who Needs Brains When You Have These?

Now that I have a title that she will appreciate...

I've avoided this post for about a week. Mostly because Mom reads this and she doesn't want to make big deal, but...

Last Thursday, my Mom, Tammy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since then she's been through a whirlwind of doctors visits and terrible news.

And, yes, I know everyone reading this knows someone who has successfully beaten breast cancer. My grandma Kay (pictured with Mom) is a cancer survivor. But, here's the deal: I don't care. Not today. Today it's my mom who has cancer; not yours. Today I get to be scared and irritable and sad and angry and I even get to keep it all bottled up inside and say "fine" when you ask me how I am.

My mom and I are very similar. She said the other day that it seems like breast cancer has become the common cold - everyone's had it. Although she hasn't said it, I think that in everyone's quest to make her feel better they've tried to minimize her fear and in doing so they've implied that she shouldn't be scared. Can you imagine being told one day that a part of your body was going to be surgically removed? And not just any part of the body, not like a toe or your pancreas.

I can't even begin to imagine how she feels, I only know that she doesn't want to cry, so, if you see her, don't make her. It's the least you can do.