Sunday, March 23, 2008


Happy Easter, Dear Clotters,

I apologize for the tardiness of the latest “Dennis Up-date,” but in the finest tradition of “Dancing With the Stars,” we have been busy rehearsing our River Dance clogging and trying to suck in our stomachs, hips and thighs to accommodate the requisite wardrobe tights.(Thigh-sucking is very hard.) Dennis has succeeded brilliantly, as you can see from the video, and has been practicing his leaps and bounds…which is a great segue (pronounced se-gue) into his recent progress report.

On Friday we started our weekly trek to HCH, with our hearts full of sunshine, our nose full of Jevity, and our gut full of chemo. It was a great day. We were eagerly anticipating the blood draw, the vital signs, and the gemcytobene infusion. (Try to channel the fun.) It had been a full week since we had had a new tube jammed down Dennis’ throat, (the only thing lovelier than “hose ram” is “hose extraction”) and I guess we were experiencing withdrawal withdrawal.

Dennis’ vital signs look pretty good. His blood pressure is down, his oxygen level is up, and …TA-DAAAAAA…so is his weight. In fact, it has exceeded his blood pressure numbers, and is aggressively threatening to over-take my scale statistics. This is all very good.

The labs are looking impressive also. His platelets have grown so large they’ve become actual dinner plates, and the things that should be up are, and the things that should be down are also…with one tiny exception. His neutriphils. I’m not exactly sure just what neutriphils are. I would have guessed they were some sort of cosmetic regimen. or perhaps an undergarment device to augment a significant dearth of vital bodily protrusion. Actually, I was mistaken. (Whoda thunkit) Apparently, neutriphils help the body fight off infection, so they’re even more important that mere vanity enhancement. We were advised to take extra precaution with hand washing and food preparation. It would also be unwise to wipe any grandchild’s nose, whether moist or crusty or of dubious origin, on the front of Dennis’ t-shirt. So, having been properly instructed, the chemo infusion began. I rather enjoy infusion time. I get to talk to him to my heart’s content, and he cannot escape.

This up-date would not be complete without including the most recent results of Dennis’ “less-than-vital-but-important-none-the-less” signs:

“Her”matocrit count: Marked rise in tolerance threshold of all the “hers” in his life.

Shy-lets: Noticeably higher level of embarrassment that all his bodily functions are blogged far and wide.

Chat-crit: Elevated evidence of maintaining a two-way conversation…i.e. discussing real estate with Brodi. For Dennis, that’s borderline loquacious.

NHT: Nose-hose tolerance. The patient extraction of Cheerios from nasal passages inserted by youngest grandchild practicing the concept of “share.”

Dennis ably managed to negotiate the annual Easter egg hunt without interventional digitalis. He was T-boned by adoring grandkids who only know that Grandpa has a lap that is a great parking place to nestle diapered nether regions in need of momentary refuge from chaos. (a.k.a. lap-sitting). It is great to see him poundin’ the gemcytobene and swillin’ the Jevity. He is even taking food by mouth. The other day he ate some ham fried rice from Benihana without any premature exit from any orifice. Now I’m not suggesting that there was no consequential methane resulting from the digestive process (a.k.a., flatulence), but we call that “NORMAL,” among other things. (Oh, how I love that “N” word!) In addition, Dennis changed three light bulbs (Yes, 3!) without breaking a sweat or compromising his tubing. We are beginning to get a life. Only 7 more chemo infusions, and then surveillance. But who’s counting?

March has been a month of celebration. Saturday we enjoyed the holiday by hunting Easter eggs and filling our stomachs to near cookie-toss with Peeps and jelly bellies. Sunday is a holy day, when we rejoice in the knowledge that we were created, ransomed and ultimately restored. All miracles proceed from that singular event. We find it more than a little ironic that one of our darkest days fell on Halloween Eve, and there is now the greatest light on Easter Sunday. This is more than a mere time change. There seems to be a message here. And we celebrate the love and support that has been given to our family unceasingly. You may not fully understand what your kindness, generosity, and tender thoughtfulness mean to us. Some things you may deem too insignificant to record in your memory are indelibly written on our hearts. You have made time to minister to us in ways that exceed your awareness, but when this whole thing began, we were four for each other. The numbers have grown immensely, and we will be ever grateful. How you have blessed our lives.

Happy Easter, Dear Ones.


The Clot


kate o said...

Thanks Joni, for the beautiful thanks (ps, why are you thanking me............?) and for spelling your name correctly which I've been doing wrong for 7 years - oops. I had been having blog withdrawl and feel replenished from your easter joy. Love, Kate O

Steve Owens said...

We send all of our love and best wishes to you. Love, Steve DawnAnn Abbie & Lydia Owens

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update...glad it is all good news. I am thinking some Banana Baby Food Gerber brand may be something good for the palate about this time! Keep up the good work and and I could only wish I could do a jig like the rest of you! Chris C