Friday, February 16, 2007

February 16th - 20th: Rodent Trap Magazine

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2007 10:26 PM, PST

Parent’s Note:

Josie and I had a good meeting with Kenneth Weinberg, director of the Bone Marrow Transplant program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital today. We covered a lot of information in the two plus hours that our meeting lasted, and now have a better idea of the procedure including the various side effects and the possible risks with an undertaking of this type. Because we haven’t had a chance to talk in depth with Keith about all that we learned today I will leave the details for another day. We do know that Keith is scheduled for admittance on the 27th of February so he gets to enjoy another week of freedom. The actual transplant will occur after high dose chemotherapy some eight days later. There is no mistaking this will be challenging undertaking, but it is what must be done.

While we were getting educated, Keith was getting exercised. He, along with Scott and Annie took advantage of the 70-degree temperature and clear skies to get in a good walk around the neighborhood. Annie relayed a funny exchange with Keith as he was putting on his shoes, sweatshirt and knit cap before leaving the house. Apparently Keith likes to pull his cap way down so that it essentially covers his eyes.

Annie: “Oh, don’t pull down your hat so far. It must be hard to see.”
Keith: “I like it this way.”
Annie: “Keith, you have such beautiful eyes.”
Keith: “That’s what they all say.”

I forgot to mention that Keith received a large collection of Valentines from all of his classmates at school, many offering words of encouragement for him. I watched him for some time as he reached into the large heart shaped envelope and pulled out one after another, reading the inscriptions of each. I could tell that it meant a lot to him so thank you to everyone who took the time to send him Valentine cheer.

Since tomorrow is expected to be another good weather day, maybe we will drive to Mount Diablo and climb a few of those rocks we weren't able to do last weekend because of the rain.


Parent’s Note:

Another beautiful day here in northern California – very spring-like. So after poking around the house all morning we finally got organized and caravanned up to Rock City on nearby Mount Diablo with the idea of scampering around on the sandstone rock formations and checking out the cool eroded wind caves. We clearly weren’t the only ones with this idea as the area was literally crawling with people out enjoying the weather and scenery along with us.

No problem, lots of rocks to go around. We secured Keith’s lumens beneath his shirt (to avoid any unpleasant accidental snag) and off he went up the first outcrop with Scott. If you haven’t explored this area, you don’t suffer from vertigo, and you are within reasonable driving distance it’s worth a visit.

After getting our fill of rock scrambling and after Keith got some solid leg exercise in we located a picnic table and broke out some well-deserved refreshments. Keith didn't need to call into service even one platelet from his prodigious reserves (to our collective relief). Somehow we got around to talking about Scott’s upcoming 14th birthday and what might possibly be on his wish list.

Annie: “So Scott, any ideas for us?”
Scott: “I’m not sure.”
Josie: “You know, if you don’t let us know, you might wind up with socks or something like that.”
Scott: “Right, I guess I could come up with some ideas then.”
Steve: “You know, when I was fourteen, I wanted a subscription to Road and Track magazine.”

Pause. Scott looked a little mystified.

“Rodent Trap magazine – what’s that?”


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2007 09:07 PM, PST

Parent’s Note:

Keith had a terrific day.

That’s about it. No great adventures, no particularly unique experiences. Just a day being a kid, feeling well, spent entirely with his big brother, with lots of laughter originating from each.

Does it get much better than that?

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2007 09:42 PM, PST

Parent’s Note:

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but Keith had another fun and carefree day and there’s no reason to believe that for the next week or so he shouldn’t continue to enjoy more days like this. Having his brother’s devoted attention today made it all that much better for him.

It is a real treat for all of us to be able to enjoy this break before Keith’s transplant begins, although I can’t help imagining that we are in the so called eye of the storm right now. Keith’s been through a whole lot but still has a ways to go before he gets to swim with the groupers at the Great Barrier Reef. So in a week or so from now - it’s safe to say - things will change a bit.

We will enjoy every minute while these days last and will catch our breath a bit before we roll up our collective sleeves and get to work again.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2007 09:28 PM, PST

“What? You should ask for some sort of really extravagant dinner, you know like they do in Las Vegas.” Keith offering his recommendations to his mom on the menu for her birthday dinner tomorrow night.

Parent’s Note:

So when asked if he would like to take charge and help prepare such a feast he responded “Huh? – well, maybe Bo’s barbeque would be okay.”

No question she deserves the Vegas high-roller treatment, but we may opt for a more manageable weeknight feast.

Keith feels very good again today and his lab results were solid, so chalk up another uneventful but welcome day at our house.

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