Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Irradiation starts tomorrow

Dori's total body irradiation starts tomorrow and will conclude Friday at VUMC. She'll do two sessions - morning and afternoon - of 12 minutes each day. The good news: She comes home to rest each night. Then it's off to VUMC on Saturday for an approximate one-month stay.

How would I describe things around the house? It's like right before gameday, if you're an athlete or watch sports. There is anxiety, which manifests itself in different ways. I'll describe how I handle. I pray to God for calmness and inner strength. I want to exert energy because I get hyped up to win. The downtime leading up to gameday, as I noted earlier, is my hard time. When gameday approaches, I'm ready to strap it on and knock some folks around. I have to watch my intensity. I have a big role, but I'm not the patient.

I am watching Dori like a hawk. She's had plenty of distractions and obstacles since June, and more have begun to appear. I continually remind her that her prize is over those obstacles. I love the notes folks are sending her. Patricia Eastwood said "the smart money is on YOU, Dori." Melissa Red said there is a stadium of friends out there cheering her on. Great visuals, which I hope people keep sharing with Dori. She's choosing her own, but you can never hear enough of them. The next one might be her favorite.

Yesterday, Dori and I were in CVS, where we saw a 10-year-old girl named Pressley who has leukemia (AML) and her mom. They're from Rock Island, TN. Pressley checked in to VUMC in April and checked out Sept. 12. That put things in perspective for us. Dori was at VUMC for 54 days, from June 15 to August 7. Pressley, who was wearing a mask, had a bone marrow transplant 61 days ago. She is doing well. Her mom, who had shaved her head for Pressley, has a tremendous spirit and shows immense love for her daughter. We wished them the very best and each prayed that God remains with us and our families. There are NO coincidences.

Our friend, Chuck Hendry, is getting his bone marrow transplant from his brother next week. Dori and Chuck, who once again will be 11th floor buddies, talk fairly often. Chuck, like Dori, is being cheered on by a stadium full of friends and family. The smart money is on Chuck Hendry, too. I included a link to Chuck's CaringBridge site in the Links section on Dori's CaringBridge site.

I've pounded some pavement the last few days. I do love running in the fall weather. It's so much easier than running in August. After Sunday's five miler, I ran 3.6 miles in 30:45, an 8:32 pace, at Radnor on Monday and 4.0 miles untimed down Belmont Blvd. tonight, probably at an 8:45 pace. I'm at 12.6 miles after three days this week ... I better watch out or I might enter a race soon. The meatloaf, cheese grits and frozen yogurt are tempering that enthusiasm. On occasion, I do eye the back of the fridge, which has that beverage called beer I used to drink in greater quantity. In 2008, when Dori returns to good health for good, I will get back in that groove and toast the triumph of my loving partner and best friend again and again. Until that time, it's gameday.

Before I run, here's a link to the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling. A good friend reminded me of this poem, which has meaning for all. It had been awhile since I'd read it.

Thank you for the prayers for Dori and my family. You are loved and appreciated.

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