Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Kathryn and I had an uneventful 12-hour ride to Houston yesterday, arriving around dinner time. We drove straight to the hospital, saw Dori, checked into our apartment, had a nice dinner, and shopped for groceries. By 10 p.m., I was waxed, but strangely not ready for bed, so I watched the last 30 minutes of a Star Trek episode. So not me, but I enjoyed the unusual wind-down.

A few hours before our arrival yesterday, our cyber-friends Ann and her husband Chris met Dori. Ann is an ALL survivor who talks straight and has an indomitable spirit. She's a survivor who is remarkably beautiful on the inside and outside. Chris is a compassionate man who has been through the wars, just like us.

I spoke to them on the phone for the first time yesterday, but Dori had the pleasure of meeting them in person. "I love them," she said today. After reading Ann's recount of their visit, you'll see why. Foxhole love is like family love.

Kathryn is doing well, really well in fact. She is talkative, curious, and wanting to help. She loves her mother, just like Will. He's already missing us, which I expected. The separation and uncertainty is hard for adults, let alone young people. They deserve so much better than the crap casserole that's been served. We're monitoring that situation from 800 miles away, but I have faith all will be well.

Dori is more "in the moment," now that chemo has been administered. She finished her fifth treatment last night, and we retrieved our girl after lunch today. She was tired and hungry, so I fetched her a Five Guys burger, which she devoured. Her weight is good, and most counts are hanging in there for the moment. Only platelets are low, so she may need a transfusion. We have clinic visits tomorrow and Friday, then we celebrate Easter.

Her emotions have been varied the last few weeks. She's more focused now, with a slight to medium boil. I think I'd be on full boil, but clearly she's entitled to any and every emotion. My reminders are and will continue to be about focusing on what you can control, which is giving blood cancer the finger and not giving in one inch. She's good at it, but the pep band takes requests.

Kathryn and I talked yesterday about the day-to-day nature of our lives. She called me "The Planner," a term this naval officer will accept with appreciation. I responded by saying in times like now, there isn't much planning. We simply must be flexible and just do. She agreed and understood.

My mission is my wife, with other related missions embedded.


ChuckEastNashville said...

Jim, I am enjoying these updates. You drove to Houston? Wow. Thanks for the Coach K recap too. Prayers and best wishes from nashville. Please look up my friend your Vanderbilt alumnus Brian Badger when you are in Houston.

Ann said...

Jim, Dori takes my breath away. Getting to meet her in person only confirmed what I already suspected. She's beautiful and feisty and full of fight. It really meant a lot to us that we were able to visit. Take care and know that we're looking forward to getting to meet you in person soon.

PJ said...


I know Dori is in good hands. Please know my thoughts and love are with you and your whole family.

Julie said...

You are in our thoughts and prayers. From experience I can say that it takes a lot of planning to be able to be in the moment. Hang in there and have a wonderful Easter weekend.

Ronni Gordon said...

It is so nice to hear that Ann and Dori got to meet. And Jim it sounds like you are continuing to do a great job of holding everything together. Glad that you are keeping up your running (as you wrote in other posts) so that you can continue to take care of yourself.

lisa adams said...

Hi... I'm another cyber-friend of Ann (she and I also met because of cancer)... she's part of my heart indeed. She and I chat all day long on Twitter and try to beat eachother playing Words with Friends. She told me she was going to see you this week and when she shared that you had a blog I wanted to let you know I am reading and following you now. I have you in my thoughts and will follow each step of the way.