Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Three Dog Nights

I have just finished reading "A 3 Dog Life" by Abigal Thomas. The title refers to the Australian Aboriginies practice of sleeping with their dogs for warmth on cold nights, the coldest being a "3 dog night." It certainly has been that kind of night lately with our record breaking snowfall last Saturday. This memoir details the years following a car accident the authors husband was in one night in New York city while walking the dog (that she made him get). Passages like this one in particular grabbed me:
'There is no irony here, no room for guilt or second-guessing. That would be a diversion, and an indulgence. These are hard facts to be faced head-on. We are in this together, my husband and I, we have been thrown into this unfamiliar country with different weather, different rules. Everything I think and do matters now, in a way it never did before. I seem to be leaving in the road behind me all sorts of unnecessary baggage, stuff too heavy to carry. Old fears are evaporating, the claustrophobia that crippled me for years is gone, vanished. What for years had terrified me now seem ridiculously easy. I haven’t got time for this, I think."

In addition, the woman is a knitter, which I am also relating to, having spent a ridiculous number of late-night hours trying to finish up the kid's Christmas gifts.

Clay is doing great with good blood counts and few side effects. Tomorrow is round 3; 4 is on New Year's eve. We will spend Christmas week at home with both Grandmothers. All the best to you and yours this Christmas.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Edward Derderian

JD’s father, Edward Derderian, died on November 20th at the age of 87. Ed survived the Great Depression, helped win WW II as a decorated airman, and served most of his career with PPG Industries. While he had a strong work ethic Ed had a gentle personality. He was the guy that you called when you were in trouble and needed help. It was a combination of him being handy (he could fix almost anything) and non-judgemental that made him the favorite for when you were in a tough spot. He was devoted to his wife of 52 years and his family and loyal to his lifetime friends. He passed on his wisdom by “doing” not “saying" and was a man who loved by giving and sacrificing. He was a good man and will be missed.

One of our friends suggested that the timing of Ed’s passing might be so that he could be in a better position of influence to watch over Clay. We find a lot of comfort in that concept and as a result decided to ask that in lieu of flowers or gifts that folks make a donation in Ed’s name to the PLGA Foundation which is dedicated to supporting research of childhood brain tumors. The Foundation has already received a number of donations in “Grandpa” Ed’s name. The above photo shows him enjoying Easter several years ago with his 5 grandchildren and wife.

Clay is 4

We've had a few busy weeks since Clay's last treatment: a visit from my uncle in California, Thanksgiving, Clay's birthday (celebrated early), and a visit from my brother and his family from Maine. The kids had a blast getting reacquainted and everyone enjoyed the surprise early snow this past Saturday. The sleeping-in for Clay was going great (7 a.m. almost every day!) until Clay's Grandma R gave him a ride-on digger for his birthday...now he wakes up early to play with it. Nonetheless, we are very grateful to Aunt Tanya for putting it together while Jim, Grace and I took in the train exhibit at the botanical garden.

The MRI done over the break gave neutral news-no changes in the tumor size or spread. The doctors say this is to be expected over the course of treatment. While the results were disappointing for us, we are trying to stay focused on the fact that Clay is happy and feeling well. Round 3 starts this Thursday. -- Mary