Saturday, February 3, 2007

February 3rd - 8th: Hair, Chocolate and the QM2


Parent’s Note:

Keith is enjoying this recent string of days very much and is feeling and eating well. That makes all of us feel good. Because he was feeling so well, we thought this would be the ideal weekend to knock off several errands. So, this morning as we were getting organized for the day there was a funny exchange preceding Scott’s impending hair cut appointment. It went something like this:

Josie - Ready for your haircut?
Scott - Yeah, I guess.
Josie - Have you thought about what you want to ask the barber to do?
Scott – Yeah, I just want a trim. About a quarter of an inch off.
Steve – Wait, it’s been six weeks and you’re asking for only a quarter of an inch off?
Scott – Yeah, last time I asked for a quarter of an inch off and he took about 3 inches off.
Josie – Have you considered combing your hair slightly differently? I realize you want to cover your ears, but it seems a bit funny to comb the sides forward so much.
Scott – I like it this way. Everyone in school wears it like this.
Steve – Here, let me take a picture so you can see it. (snap….)
Scott – Yeah, well my ear only looks weird just because my hair is still a little wet.
Keith – You do look kinda’ nerdy that way.
Scott – Look, I know what I look like and I like it that way.
Josie – Steve, like you didn’t wear your hair that way. I’ll bet your mom had the exact same conversation with you.
Steve – Well, ok, I did have longish hair, but I didn’t push it forward like that. Here, let me show you. (I pull out a 1974 picture from high school)...

Scott – Dad, it’s longer than mine.

Steve – Oh, I guess so. Hmmmm. Why don’t you get your hair cut like Keith’s?
Keith – Yeah, my hair is stylin’.


Scott – Keith, you don’t have any hair.
Keith – Oh yes I do – It’s not very long but it’s cool. It’s fuzzy like Kirby’s

Scott did get his hair cut just the way he wanted it. One quarter of an inch off – pushed forward. $30 plus tip. Josie asked the hairdresser if this was a popular style in school nowadays. “Yeah, it sure is. Have you ever heard of the Beatles?”……………….


The other errand of note resulted in a new car – it’s been almost eight years since we last stepped foot in a showroom. We were dead set on making sure whatever car we ended up with it was ABS equipped (Anything But Silver). You see every car we’ve ever owned has been silver. Josie now has two cars (well, temporarily) – one silver and one electric blue mica, with the emphasis on blue. No sheepish, boring, blends-into-the-sea-of-silver-cars-in-the-Safeway-parking-lot color.

I might need to go shopping again soon – I’m still feeling that mid life crisis is coming on….

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2007 09:52 PM, PST

Parent’s Note:

Another good day for all of us.

Keith was invited by a friend to visit the Scharffen Berger Chocholate factory in Berkeley. He had been looking forward to it for several days. They listened to a talk about the chocolate making process, toured the factory and finally and most importantly tasted samples of the offerings. Keith brought home a bag of chocolate bars and a jar of his favorite fudge topping for ice cream. Hey, the kid has good taste.

Scharffen Berger Virtual Tour

Scott spent the afternoon at a friends and I took advantage of the great weather to do a hike in one of my favorite nearby open spaces.

The Queen Mary 2 passed under the Golden Gate this afternoon and should be tied up at Pier 27, directly across the street from our new office on the northern waterfront. Apparently it is the largest ship ever to enter the San Francisco Bay. Some 2000 well-heeled world travelers should be prowling around the neighborhood for a few hours on Monday. I’m just hoping to score a parking spot somewhere within a half mile of my office.

The Queen Mary 2 Arrives

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 05, 2007 09:24 PM, PST

Parent’s Note:

Keith enjoyed another day more or less free of medical procedures. He and Josie ‘did breakfast’ in Walnut Creek where Keith and his acute gastro-olfactory receptors led them to Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. Keith requested an order of fresh-out-of-the-fryer cinnamon stix and consumed them post haste. The food themed outing continued on to Whole Foods where Keith spotted some crab cakes that he enjoyed immensely when they got back home.

Tomorrow morning the nice folks at Children’s Hospital’s radiology department want to see him bright and early. He has a 7:30 am rendezvous with the CT scanner followed by a visit to nuclear medicine and their bone scanner around mid day. Both procedures he has done several times before, so no major anxiety but he cannot eat after midnight tonight so he’ll be pretty hungry before it’s all finished.

In Keith’s free time, between eating, schoolwork and pokes & prods, he enjoys sitting with Kirby on the sofa playing WOW.

The posted photo pretty much sums it up…..

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 06, 2007 09:26 PM, PST

Parent’s Note:

Keith and Josie headed out this morning at the appointed hour, registered at the radiology department and greeted the CT scanner all before the commute hour got into full swing. Then it was off to the nuclear med department where, due to their powers of persuasion, they were able to squeeze in the bone scan earlier than scheduled. Back in the car and home before noon where he noshed on a well deserved Pop Tart. Now that’s no foolin’ around efficiency for you.

Tomorrow it’s back again, this time for a physical exam and another bone marrow aspiration, for which he will undergo full anesthesia.

Keith did make an activity request for this weekend after Annie and Don arrive. He wants to go rock climbing at Rock City on Mount Diablo. It has been a while since we were last there but it’s a great spot full of cool sandstone formations and ‘wind caves’ that one can climb onto and into. The posted photo is from that trip in 2004 and even then Keith was perfecting his upside down frown smile.

The good news is he has tons of platelets right now……


“I’m really, really hungry” Keith

Parent’s Note:

Scott had breakfast and was off to school before Keith woke up this morning. Just as well, Keith had to remain “NPO” as they say in medical lingo – that is he could not eat or drink anything until after his Bone Marrow Aspiration later in the day. Both Josie and I decided it was only fair that we not eat anything as well, so in a dietary show of solidarity we headed off - already hungry - to Children’s Hospital to await Keith’s first appointment.

It was a busy day at the clinic. Without pointing this out to the others I made a mental note of the several “No Food or Drink” signs in the waiting area while the wall mounted TV was running commercials purveying food items - sugary snacks mostly. Torture…

Keith soon had his vitals taken and we were led into a small exam room where we spent the next 3 hours. Keith received a physical exam and then provided – no kidding - 20 lab vials of blood, most to be sent for specific testing at the request of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in preparation for the BMT. Around 3pm – some 17 hours since his last morsel of food the day before - Keith was led into the operating suite. He shed his favorite squid charm necklace, his shoes and his sweatshirt and climbed up onto the table. A very brave and very hungry kid. The anesthesia was very quick acting. We said ‘see you soon’ just as his eyes glazed over.

We met up with him again in the recovery room. He woke up comfortably – but now extremely hungry so we were quick to get a move on. By around 5 we were on our way back home where Keith was finally able to launch a frontal assault on the kitchen.


Just another day at the office for Keith.


Parent’s Note:

Well, except for being a bit sore in the dorsal area from the aspiration procedure yesterday Keith had a good day and was actually able to catch up on some of his schoolwork again.

He has been a night owl lately, staying up late reading and sleeping in late. When he finally climbed out of bed mid morning his first words (apart from complaining about his posterior) had to do with food.

Keith: “I’m hungry. What do you have for breakfast”

Josie: “Well, what do you want?”

Keith: “Do you have coffee cake?”

Josie, assuming that he would be too hungry to wait responded: “No, but if you are willing to wait for a while I suppose I could make some.”

Keith: “Okay, sure.”

So Josie, hoping to get some power knitting in among other things, sighed and got to work making Keith his coffee cake.

And he enjoyed it immensely.

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