Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Hello, Clotters,

This blog has been a good intention for several days now. I am not a procrastinator…I’m just a ponderer…I ponder. But since this is election season, and the political buzz word of the moment is “change,” I thought I would up-date everyone on Dennis’ current condition…there is really no change, except for the better. Now, first the less good news…Dennis’ weight has diminished a little. (This is small change.) I won’t give specific numbers, but suffice it to say I have five pounds up on him. (Mostly in attitude.) He was right when he said a good portion of his massive 118 was water. I guess some evaporation has taken place. However, and here is the pleasant news, he is changing for the better, if not necessarily the bigger. His “absorption” is going particularly satisfactorily, (he can absorb with the best of ‘em) and the Promote is well tolerated. In addition, he has been able to eat some potato, a taste of yogurt, and a bite of banana! Now how’s that for front-page headlines?

In addition, Dennis and I have been doing some serious walking. We go regularly (well, by “regularly” I mean two days back to back) to Sugar House Park and “mosey” back and forth too many times to count. (Well, actually, it was four times). At the end of each “mosey,” we would check his incision for any sign of leakage, condensation, or suspicious moisture. I’m sure our fellow “mosiers” wondered if we had some sort of naval fixation. But there was no evidence that the internal dam had burst, so we would rejoice and keep moving. Now this most certainly qualifies as getting better. Bigger will come later. Big is highly over-rated. We are preparing to begin gemcytobene infusions on Friday, March 14th. Dennis will be big then.
We are looking forward to that with great anticipation…it’s kind of like living on the Wasatch Faultline and keeping our eye on the Richter Scale. As you know, this round of chemo will have a higher RPM than previously, and this might cause greater hair loss. Who cares? Hair is highly over-rated! However, this could actually be a good thing. Of late, Dennis’ chest hair has been growing in. This has caused significant “rib itch,” not to mention obscuring his “tatts.” Zero hair growth just might be a tolerable solution to both.

On Saturday, Dennis felt strong enough to attend Abram’s (our brilliant and gifted grandson) soccer game. The kid really does have “sweet feet,” and he scored all five of the team’s goals. Did I mention the kid’s a genius? Anyway, Erin and I were heavily invested in the game emotionally. We were cheering our brains out. Dennis was also caught up in the intensity of the moment…he smiled wildly. It is very interesting to watch our daughter watching her son play soccer. It is even more interesting to watch Dennis watch our daughter watch her son play soccer. Talk about a spectator sport. So much was going on besides the game. There are certain times that qualify as “Our Town” moments. You know, those unexpected, unimportant, indelible memories that register in the heart and imprint the image forever in one’s mind.

I have reassessed my interpretation of accomplishment. I used to gauge it by what tasks got done, or what distance was traversed. Somehow I thought I must always throttle up with greater thrust in order to make progress. I was mistaken. The greatest forward mobility often comes in remaining stationary while small occasions occur with aggressive regularity around you. Sometimes momentous things happen when one does nothing but ponder. This morning as I walked, some snowflakes began falling. They were lovely. I have heard it said that no two snowflakes are alike. Says who, and how do they know? I saw some flakes that bore an uncanny resemblance to one another. If they were not exactly alike, there must have been some common DNA somewhere, for there were striking similarities.

The morning light comes earlier these days, and soon we will be changing our clocks to daylight savings time…more sun time for soccer and extended walks in the park. I am a sunshine junkie. When hidden, scary places are exposed to light, they don’t seem nearly as frightening. Hope and courage are renewable resources, and bring collateral goodness. We are still putting out fires, but there is no backdraft right now. Change is a good thing.

The Clot


janet said...

Your thoughts and words are beautiful Joan. You uplift me. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hope you feel an uplift too.
Love and blessings, Janet

Deanna said...

Pondering is good, mosey-ing is good, longer sunshine is good. I too am glad for the clock change--it is invigorating. How symbolic it is for Dennis to have gone through the "worst" part during the cold and dreary winter and now the anticipation of better things to come with the dawning of a new and much better season. Love you all. Did I say SOCCER is great--I bet we could put a great coed team together with the second generation cousins....what do you think about that Erin???

janet said...

Joe wanted me to let you know that he is in total aggreement...hair is highly over-rated! Blessings, Janet

Amber said...

Hi Ashtons!!!
Your pictures reminded me of a website that is simply-well, beautiful!! Just click on play presentation and make sure the speakers are on!!! And by the way, tissues may be in order!

Anonymous said...


I have been wanting to contact you since I heard about your diagnosis, I am sorry I have not been a better friend. I am glad to see you are hanging in there and enjoy seeing your smile in the photos. All of us at St. Marks are pulling for you and praying for you. We miss you!

Jim Roth

kate o said...

Hi Ashton clot
So glad to hear the morning walks are returning. That sounds like the old Dennis and Joanie. I will be running the Moab half this weekend and will dedicate my steps to your continued recovery. If I am tired, I will remember your courage and perserverance. Love, Kate O

jerry said...

your post was beautiful, words and pictures. You inspire us all with the good you are wringing out of adversity.