Thursday, June 19, 2008


A friend at work, Valerie, is keeping me posted on her friend, Melody Alexander, who is battling blood cancer at Vanderbilt right now. Melody was in ICU last week, but was able to get back to 11 North. She's progressing slowly each day, a theme familiar to Dori and me. Melody has a CaringBridge site if you want to follow her progress.

Melody's situation had Dori and me talking last night before shut-eye. We recalled a lot of the "dark days" from October during her bone marrow transplant. Dori said she recalls how her mind felt detached from her body for a a few days, when the pain and anxiety were high. I recalled the morning head nurse Blanche told me as I arrived "not to be worried" but that "Dori had had a fall." Dori, as you may recall, passed out in the shower and slammed to the hard floor. Her hip and backside were severely bruised, marks that have healed but that she still carries today. She's very lucky she didn't crack open her head.

Dori's reaction, and she knows this, really had an impact on me. Rather than tell anyone when she regained consciousness, she crawled back into bed and mentioned the episode later. I don't have words for what I felt. The only thing I knew to do was to figure out how I would ensure that never happened again. Thanks to our watch team (me, her Dad, Mom, Anne, and friends Liz, Dudley and Jan), it never did. We posted watch 24/7. Dori was so drugged, I don't think she knew we were there half the time.

I have very good news on the fundraising front for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. A good friend sent a $1,000 check this week from his company. Our actual total is above the $4,100 listed today on the Web site ... it's just shy of $5,500. I'm also working on some efforts at my employer, and some friends there are doing the same. We may have even more great news soon. Also, some special relatives in New York - Aunt Renee, Uncle Bob, and Cousins Laura and Stacy - have put out jars in various establishments to raise money for LLS in honor of Dori. One jar is already full. If all this comes through, we may be in five figures soon.

We are so grateful for all of this generosity and initiative. It all connects, too. Today, I received an e-mail from the LLS about a family that never had asked for anything, but the husband's treatments put them in a deep financial hole. The LLS has a program to help in situations like these, which they utilized. You're helping folks this way and in many others (research, education, comforting, linking patients, etc.).

Tonight, I headed to Radnor Lake for a run. At a stop sign, I saw a young woman wearing a blue mask, just like Dori used to wear. I dedicated my run tonight to this woman I don't know. I ran 5.0 hilly miles (total ascent 1,400 feet) in 46:05, a 9:13/mile pace. It was warm (82) but humidity (31%) and dew point (51 degrees) were low.

Yesterday morning, I ran 3.0 easy miles at a 9:45/mile pace. It was 58 degrees, almost chilly! Mighty Pepper was with me, so we stopped twice - once so he could do his business and once to sniff a young black labrador puppy. So pace was more like 9:35.

This week's mileage is 17.3 with a four miler scheduled with the TNT Team Saturday morning. I need to see these intermediate mileage times drop soon to the 9:00/mile range. It will happen. I'm finishing runs much faster than I start.

1 comment:

ChuckEastNashville said...

Jim, you are welcome and invited. Please join for running soon. If you visit East Nashville Wednesdays we will save a seat for you at 3 Crow.

If interested I have four running friends living near you. Some run early mornings. I can introduce if you wish.