Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Dori is still on schedule to have her bone marrow transplant on Oct. 9, with a check-in to Vanderbilt on Oct. 3. Both of us are busy working on a check-off list before she re-enters VUMC. The main things that have happened over the last week: Dori received an oral hygiene OK from the dentist, her PICC line has been removed (finally), the preliminary biopsy results from last Thursday look fine and we had a good second opinion visit with Dr. Couriel today at Centennial.

The four of us went to Beersheba Springs, TN, last weekend for some much needed R&R and peace. We love Beersheba, an annual trek for us. It is a very small community, with houses and cabins that overlook valleys from the Cumbeland Plateau. The drop-offs are about 1,000 feet. Beersheba is about 45 minutes from Monteagle, but it might as well be two hours away. Like Monteagle, the climate is amazing. When we left Nashville Friday, it was 91 steamy degrees; two hours later when we arrived in Beersheba, it was 78.

We ate good food, took Pepper for walks and hiked to the Stone Door in the pristine Savage Gulf State Natural Area. The kids played in the sandbox for hours, and Will and I watched some college football. We went to bed early, and some of us slept in (not me ... I took Pepper for some walks at dawn). Dori really enjoyed the trip, as evidenced from the cell phone camera photos. We took some better photos with "the good camera." Maybe I can get those scanned and posted later.

We left early Sunday for the kids' first cross country meet. It was brutally hot ... 93 degrees. Will managed it well, finishing his 3/4 mile in 6:02 and I think in the Top 15 of 100 or so boys. He's in the red in the photo above. Kathryn is like me ... she is no fan of the heat. She runs better when it's cooler. Last year, her races in October were much better than September's. I know the feeling, girl.

I made a curious choice and run Sunday afternoon in Percy Warner Park. After two miles of wondering why I was running steep hills in 93 degree heat, I hiked a half mile, then finished the 3 1/2 mile trip with a jog. After work tonight, I ran a smooth four miles. It was a pleasant 85 degrees after a shower but humid. Pace was probably about a 9:15. I am not timing myself these days because I have no desire to - I don't have a goal or an upcoming race in mind right now. I am running for health reasons and to maintain a modest level of fitness before the next goal goes on the chalkboard.

I've got to be honest. My anxiety level is higher than it has been. It's simply because we're in an interim period. I prefer action and occupation, not down time. I also realize the transplant is almost here. Dori really seems mentally ready to get on with it. Once it gets closer, I'll be ready, too. I cherish life more than I ever thought I could (I thought I had already maxed out, but I hadn't). I pray hard every night for this episode to end and for Dori's full return to good health. I'll leave you with something I read in Time magazine today that has stuck with me. It's Sean Penn's take - while he's being interviewed about his new movie, Into the Wild - on his uncle and aunt as both faced their mortality. It made Dori and me laugh when I recounted the passage during our second opinion visit (We were talking with Dr. Couriel about how none of us know when it's your time):

... The thing I can't figure out about Into the Wild is if it's a happy story or a sad one. McCandless experiences so much joy, but then he dies in the end ...

PENN: Let me tell you what I think. My Uncle Bill, who was dying--with 13 cousins that he had all with my Aunt Joan, they had a great, happy marriage for all their years. So there he is on his deathbed. He'd been in a coma a couple of days, and a priest has come in to give last rites. This was the first time, Irish that they are, that my aunt let a tear fall, trusting that his coma would make him unaware of it. Well, open come the eyes, and he sees. He catches her--she can't get away with it. And his last words were "What're ya crying about? You're gonna die too."

Not my words, but can you hear the accent? The Irish have a way ... Here's something more visual that might evoke a laugh.


Anonymous said...

oh my! that video is soooo funny! i particularly like the pinata!
it has been so good to visit with dori each week at soccer...her humor, candor and zest for life are always welcome treats for all of us moms!
we are thinking about you, too, and are here to lend help in any way we can...esp as things get busier in the next few weeks...pls keep us in mind !
great photos...sounds like you all had a terrific time!
elizabeth antony

Jim said...

Thanks, Elizabeth. Dori has definitely kept her sense of humor and continues to share her beautiful, bellowing laugh.

I'll see you at soccer and we can discuss getting the boys together again some time.