Sunday, May 4, 2008


Hello Dear Ones,

Today is the Friday we have off from chemo-infusion, and we are finding we must make some adjustments from the routine. Because there will be no lab results, I find I am going through “numbers withdrawal.” It is always a challenge to interpret what the alphabetical letters stand for, and then to understand just what all the fractured figures and decimal points signify. As you can probably tell from prior blogs, I have never felt compelled to cease and desist polluting cyberspace with a glut of misinformation simply because I don’t know what I’m talking about. In fact, as this presidential campaign sludges on, I think this renders me the most qualified candidate! I may be unclear on all the chemistry, but when the doctors smile, I have sense enough to put on my Dallas Cowboys cheerleader outfit and launch the fireworks. Although, I really do wish I had greater mathematical acuity. Being married to someone with logical brain function makes it rather difficult to explain an over-drawn bank account. This puts me at a distinct disadvantage during our fiscal budget discussions. However, with only two firing neurons to my name, it is easy for “brain whelm” to occur. But ignorance has its privileges. I simply channel my inner impairment, render my own interpretation of the evidence, and bewilder the mentally elite. This can be very satisfying.

There is a volunteer at the Infusion Center that we are particularly fond of, and we always miss his engaging personality when we don’t get to see him. I look forward to our weekly infusion of his enthusiasm. He is tall (at least he seems tall because we view him from a sitting position). He has an easy affability, and a wonderfully energetic voice that is delightful, uplifting, and comforting. I thought at first that he was Irish, because he always greets us with a very convincing brogue. There is a little of the blarney in that man, and we love it. He inquires how we are, and asks what we would like to drink, as if he has just been waiting for us. He then serves our beverage of choice as if it were the finest vintage… V8. But at that point, he changes into his Southern drawl, and I find I am inclined to cinch in my corset until my waist measures 18 inches, attend the barbeque at Twelve Oaks, and have outfits made from the window draperies of Tara. By then, he has morphed into an authentic Italian accent, and in spite of the weather forecast, he has us all believing the day is “bella!” He can revise the essence of every current circumstance. I will get a picture of him next week so you can see the face of a man who can alter the composition of dismal to delightful with his attitude.

We are also marking anniversaries. In three short weeks, we will be in Disneyland. And not only are we going to ride every whirling, rotating, plunging, barf-inducing ride in the park, but we are planning to do it without Dennis’ nose hose. This will make tossing our cookies a little more puke-friendly. It will be a bit of an adjustment seeing his face without the tracks of the tubing in his beard, but we will adjust. His weight is increasing with a steady upward mobility, and soon he will be greater than the sum of his parts. In addition, it is the 12-week anniversary of the Whipple. Dennis still has the tracks of the incision that indicate what took place at that site. But we only look at it when our glasses are fogged, and even then, not closely. What is not observed, does not upset. This talent for denial serves me well. Actually, that is not denial in its purest form… it is just functional distraction, which has its place in most any circumstance.

We have learned so much since October. Why, just this morning I learned that if you apply Mennen Speedstick Deodorant directly after shaving your armpits, it really, really hurts!

I have become bilingual with all the medical terminology that has engorged my vocabulary. (Trilingual if you count harsh language).

I have learned that love not only empowers, but edifies, and that love that goes unexpressed is impotent. It is truly a transforming phenomenon.

I have learned that, like Erin says, peace is often most conspicuously apparent in times of adversity. It’s kind of like the visual oxymoron of hail on daffodils on the first day of May.

I have learned that little boys and toilet lids have an adversarial relationship. (Google

And I have learned that in spite of everything, I am still dreading the thought of having a cavity filled that is so cavernous, the dentist’s voice actually echoed his astonishment. (Well, I guess we all have to achieve notoriety somehow!)

But what we have come to appreciate most is that love is essential to life, whatever the circumstances… and this is what we have learned from you. It is enabling and ennobling. And we will ever be grateful for this.

Our love to you,

The Clot


Dave and Sandy Ashton said...

Den, glad to see the progress as the longer times between medical visits means things are getting better. And that is good!!!
Hope there are no bumps along the recovery road, but if there are that they will be minor speed humps that are overcome with ease. Experience has shown us that Murphy's law is still around. Hopefully, the law is impounded.
Glad to hear you are going to Disnyland to "toss cookies" etc.
That will be a good break from the events at Huntsman.
God bless you and all the Clot.
Love ya from Arizona.

Deanna said...

It is just the opposite--It is I who have learned much from you all.

Love you lots

KateO said...

Off for a training ride up Emigration Canyon. Hope you enjoy Mickey and friends and have a chance to have your world revolve around your family instead of HCI. Lots of love, KateO