Monday, January 21, 2008

Mike's on his way

The poker party was a success. Mike's goal was to raise $100 from tips, and he easily met his goal with $125. However, a wonderful thing happened at the end of the night: all of the players agreed to donate their money to TNT. In the end, Mike came away with nearly $400 for his triathlon, including a check from Suzanne's mom. TNT sent him a letter earlier this month stating that if he raised $500 by 1/30, he would earn a water bottle. I joked with him that he met that goal and he has now earned a $500 water bottle.

I got an email from my mom's cousin today, asking how I was doing and about my trip to Texas, which I didn't finish writing about. Mike and I drove to to San Antonio with his brother, Brian, and his girlfriend, Yolandi. I've been to the River Walk numerous times so I planned to meet up with Gina and go visit Uncle Robert, Aunt Kathy, Grandma, and my other cousin Heston and his family. They dropped me off at Aunt Kathy's store where she works (she sells fabulously expensive furniture - $25,000 for a TABLE) and Gina picked me up. We went to see Grandma. Grandma is 92 and has Alzheimer's. I prepared myself for her not to recognize me, especially with my short hair. I'm glad I did because she didn't recognize me at first, but I think she might have known who I was by the time we left. She kept asking who I was so I said, "I'm Janice's daughter." At first she didn't quit know who Janice was, but then she seemed to know my mom's name. She looked wonderful and she uses a walker, but she's in very good shape for her age. She played songs for us on her piano, with her fingers hitting the keys almost the moment Gina or I suggested a title. Some things people just don't forget.

After we visited with Grandma, Gina and I met up with Aunt Kathy, Mike, Brian, and Yolandi at a very good restaurant on the river walk. My cousin Heston and his family were supposed to come too, but he had some sort of illness and couldn't make it. We had dinner at the same restaurant when we were in San Antonio two years ago and we love it for the fresh guacamole made table side and delicious Mexican cuisine. Mike used to hate guacamole until we tried it at Bodrous, and now he loves the stuff. There's something to be said about fresh guacamole!

Friday, January 18, 2008


As I said in my last post, we spent Christmas in Texas. I've included a picture of me playing Santa and handing out gifts.
As I type this, we're hosting a poker night to raise funds for Mike's Team in Training for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I have never learned how to play so I've been watching everyone else win or lose for a good cause. Everyone seems to be having a good time and even the losers are enjoying losing their money to help Mike. He needs to raise $4,200 by May 25th and this will hopefully help start him on his way to meeting that goal.
We got about 4" of snow yesterday and it's really pretty outside. I had a meeting that went late so we missed the rush hour traffic in the snow. It was crazy - it hadn't even started snowing in the morning and some schools were already closing. I always feel like an old codger when I say this, but in my day we didn't close before the snow had hit the ground. I'm just glad it actually snowed because it would have been embarrassing if they cancelled school for nothing. I wish I was a kid again on days like that so I could stay home and sled. Those were certainly the days. When I was a kid we lived near an elementary school with a big hill behind it and my brother and I used to sled there all the time. Our sled was a large round metal circle, which would go really fast. The one big catch was because it was metal, your bum and hands would get cold fast from holding on to it. Ah, memories.
Nothing new on the medical front. Everything seems to be fine. My hair is growing nicely (as seen in the photo above), my toes aren't quite so numb, and my white counts were behaving at my last test. My next CT scan is coming up almost a month from now on Valentine's Day. Mike keeps asking me if I've been studying for this test and I have! At a friend's suggestion, I gave my white blood cells a pep talk and fully explained their goals for the next 50 years. I hope they listened and will continue to behave for a long, long time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Adventures in Texas - part I

I always love going to Texas, but I really don't want to live there even though I always think I do. Austin's traffic seems to be worse than DC, but only because their highways have only 2-3 lanes instead of 6 each way. It doesn't help that we were there at Christmas and everyone it seems was heading to the same place - the mall. It was crazy and pure torture. I'll stick with my horrible DC traffic, thank you very much.

Because my white counts were so low, I wore a mask on the plane. My NP called with my test results before I left and they had rallied behind me to cross the mark of acceptability at 1,300, but I wore a mask to be safe from the germs. I felt insulated behind my mask from bad colds and coughing passengers. I also dragged some of that Airborne stuff with me and drank it on the plane, even though the flight attendant seemed annoyed that I asked for another cup of water (how dare I!) It was a good flight, depite stopping in both Jackson, MS and Houston on our way to Austin.

I haven't been to Gail's house in Austin in several years because she rented it out and moved up here for about four years and when she moved back last year, she was living in an apartment until the tenant's lease was up. She installed a pool and hot tub this summer, which was really nice. I got in the hot tub the first night, but the heat left me with ugly red hives on both legs. This is a common side effect I get now when I get really hot. I forgot all about it when I got in. The hives were gone by morning, but I didn't go near the hot tub again. Unfortunately, it was cold in Austin that week (and warmer in Maryland I heard!) so I didn't risk going in the pool, even though it was heated.

We had a great visit with both our families. I'll write about it next time. It's late and I've got a big meeting at work tomorrow and I don't want to risk oversleeping again (like I did on Tuesday-that's another story for another time.)