Friday, September 7, 2007

Back to Houston . . .

Kelly here. Jeff is undergoing scans in Houston today. He left yesterday in the company of his sister, Michelle, after a nearly two-hour flight delay. As most of you know, Jeff is quite debilitated and I was concerned about how he would get around the airport, but I hear Michelle very ably hoisted all of their luggage onto her back, shoulders and other available surfaces all while chauffering Jeff in a wheelchair. I have to say I'm a little jealous. Not only do I want to be the one travelling with Jeff and helping him--I'm also envious of her ability to lift more than four ounces. For those of you who don't know me, I have the physique of Olive Oil (or maybe an orphan from Mogadishu) and I'm probably flattering myself by even comparing myself to HER. (Although, I am building both strength and endurance by getting in about 50 reps a day of a 15 pound weight named Finn. He does NOT like to be put down.)

So, Michelle and Jeff arrived in Houston last night after a full day and night of travel. The good news is that they will be able to relax this weekend while they wait for Jeff's appointment with Dr. Legha on Monday afternoon. At the appointment, Dr. Legha will reveal the results of today's scans and give Jeff his recommendation for further treatment. Right now, the plan is for Jeff to return to Milwaukee on Tuesday and to begin Whole Brain Radiation on Wednesday. He'll also start back up with his rehabilitation sessions on Wednesday, too. Dr. Legha will possibly order some kind of treatment or chemotherapy to complement the woody and floral aromatics of the Whole Brain Radiation, but it will all depend on what he finds on today's scans.

In the meantime, we are left to wait and wonder (and hope and pray and think and contemplate and plan and not think anymore . . .). So, while I am busy not thinking for the next couple of days, I thought I should at least be busy thanking:

Thanks, Gretchen, for posting to the "Home at Last" blog. It made my day. I wish more people were like you: less worried about feeling funny or weird leaving a post than about simply reaching out. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope Gretchen's example will inspire those of you who haven't, to post a comment. We only know you're reading all of this if you let us know. And by reading this, you let us know that you are interested and that you care. And you can't possibly say the "wrong" thing . . . unless, of course, you are the person who has sent me 55 e-mails over the past week telling me how bitter and ungrateful I am and telling me that someday you hope I'll look back and get a good laugh out of all of this. That's a pretty good example of what NOT to say. It's also kind of a bad time to ask me for money. (Just a gentle reminder to the Police Auxiliary Guild that made it's second call to me in two days).

Thanks also to my brother, Jim, and his wife, Amy. They drove all the way from Alabama just to see us for 2 and a half days. Not only do they provide the two things I need most (humor and distraction), they also provided remarkably good housecleaning and babysitting services (Thanks, Amy!!) and surprisingly effective bee/wasp killing services (Thanks, Jim!!). The bee/wasp population in my outdoor shutters and eaves suffered a catastrophic loss this weekend when Hurricane Jim violently detroyed their homes, their families, and their pride. P.S. Amy, congratulations on your promotion to management!

Thank you, Roger, for your sincere inquiries and thoughtful advice. Thank you, George, for your counseling, guidance, and insanely funny (albeit sadly perceptive--HA!) self-deprication. Thank you, Liz, for your reliability and constant friendship and support. To everyone at work: You help me everyday more than you know. Thank you all.

Thank you, Barbara, for visiting with me and for holding Finn and making him laugh and smile. There is no sound sweeter to a mother than her baby's laughter. I think Dennis will understand when you tell him you have a new boyfriend! Ha!

Thank you, Jennifer and Mark, for fostering Jack's friendships with Abe and Ben. As a mother, it flatters me everytime your boys knock on the door and ask to play with Jack. They are the reason Jack wants to be good at sports and as young as they are, they are helping Jack immensely without even knowing it!

To the Wisconsin Lottery System/Powerball: Thanks for nothing.

OK . . . I could go on and on and I'm sure Jeff could list about 100 more thank-yous himself, but I have to go pick-up Aubrey from Cross Country practice. It's neat that she is following in Jeff's footsteps as a runner. I can run approximately six yards before getting winded--so I know she doesn't get it from me! Her first meet is on Tuesday after he gets home from Houston. I hope he'll have the energy to cheer her on after an early morning flight! Until then . . .

Be well.


Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily said...

Jeff and Family-
Just wanted to say hello and know that I check your blog daily. I am glad you added pictures of your kids because the last time I saw a picture (my mom had I think) Jack was an infant. Lots has changed! Our boys are the same age. Ian just started kindergarten, too. Your girls are just beautiful. Praying for you all the time and will keep checking on yoor progress.

Best wishes,

Emily (Kuchta) Broyles and family

Karen & Steve said...

Hi Jeff, Kelly & kids,
We have been reading your blog regularly, but being a "blog rookie",I just figuired out how to post a comment. Jeff, we had fun visiting with you at the block party last month and look forward to seeing you back in the "hood." I say a prayer for you all every time I pass your house which is probably about 50 times a day while I cart my kids around :). Have a safe and uneventful trip back from Houston.

Kara Smith said...

Thanks for the update and humor as always! You are still amazing me with your bright spirit! I appreciate how you are all sharing your ordeal/experience with all of us. It is rather humbling.

I think I'm having a bad day then I jump on the computer and realize...that hangnail isn't THAT bad!

My prayers are always filled with thoughts of your family. Keep up your strong fight and beat this thing down!!!

gardiner said...

Hi Kelly, Thanks again for the posting. We check it regularly waiting for updates. You are all in our prayers and thoughts. I'm glad to hear Jeff is checking in with Dr. Legha and mapping out a new plan. I hope your weekend goes fast because I'm sure waiting to hear results is especially trying. Give our love to Aubrey, Regan, Jack and baby Finn.
Meaghen and Brendan.

Dana said...

Hello Jeff, Kelly & All,

Thank you for the frequent updates. I have to confess that I am one of those people that checks for updates on a daily basis; but I'm not good about posting comments on a regular basis. I'll try to improve upon that. (This almost sounds like a Lenten resolution. HA)

We are continuing to send prayers and happy thoughts. Jeff, Good Luck in Houston. Kelly, I'm sure that the kids will keep you plenty busy during this weekend.

Dana & Shalu

katie.elsener said...

Hi Dodds,
I have your blog on my desktop and I check it every day. Your updates are thorough and much appreciated.
Isn't Michelle amazing? But, we always knew that, didn't we?
Powerful prayers are flowing your way.

The Dues said...

Hi Jeff, Kelly, Aubrey, Reagan, Jack & Finn too,
I also read and follow the blog daily, always waiting for the most up-to-date information and Kelly's humor. I must admit, I don't ever post comments, but I will try to do that everytime I read a new blog entry.
Jeff & Kelly, like everyone else has stated, you are always in our thoughts and prayers. You are heavy on our hearts. We pray that God will heal Jeff and use him as a testement to his power and grace.
Kelly, thanks for taking Jaime to Hairspray last night. She said it was just as good the second time - especially at the Rosebud. Aubrey is over right now and of course you know what they're doing . . . singing! (and talking about boys, but I guess that goes without saying)
Take care and as always - God's Blessings upon you and yours!

Katie Clancy said...

Hey Kelly and Jeff!
Thinking of you this weekend. I will give a call. Flew out of O'Hare myself last night. Had I known Jeff and Michelle were also stranded there I would have met up with them for a beer!
Talk soon - lots of love

Mary Louise said...

Hey, Kelly... give me the e-address of "the person who has sent 55 e-mails over the past week telling [you] how bitter and ungrateful [you are]... " Hope you were kidding... surely, NOone has sent you-and-yours anything but hugs; but if not --- boy, do I have a reply for him/her! You are one AMAZING woman... every time I read one of your blogs, I have tears (of grief and frustration that Jeff-n-you-n-your family are going through this wicked battle) (of laughter because of your latest humorous gem)! Bottom line: when you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on! Your extended family and a bijillion friends are hanging with you...
Love from Ohio to the Dodd Squad,
Mary Louise

Colleen said...

Hi, Jeff & Family -

We have followed your progress through updates from the ND Club of Milw, and met you & Aubry at the club spring clean up service day. Pleae know you are in our thoughts and prayers, and we have been touched by your faith and resilience. They don't call us the Fighting Irish for nothing!

God bless you all -
Colleen & Rob Mas
and Ryan, Megan & Mackenzie, too

mka said...

I can see why some people don't post a blog. I tried to send one while I was at Terri's and for some reason it wouldn't go. So somewhere in blogland is a funny blog from me floating around in computerland. That's about as technical as I can get. I don't even know how to post a picture or to change color of text like Aubrey. Hey, but at least I can type. I hope Jeff's scans are favorable. Sometimes it's really hard to take in all that you and Jeff and the kids have had to endure since last December. I once read, "What if there had been room at the Inn?"
We just don't know what's in store for us. We can only hope and pray it's good. Love, Mom

Laura Gilbert said...

Hey, Kelly. I'm another one of those daily readers posting a "guilty as charged" for not posting. Or not really being able to post. Actually, my problem is my inability to remember by Google username and password. Old age, and all that stuff.
Just wanted to let you know that your entire family is in my prayers daily, and that I'm especially praying for good scans in Texas. Best Wishes, Laura G

Susan Schoenmarklin said...

Hi Jeff & Kelly,

I confess that I have been a "lurker" of late; due to an August vacation and the start up of school with a special needs child. However, compared to what you are dealing with, my activities seem so trivial.

I want you to know that even though you haven't heard from us, you are in our thoughts and prayers every day. Marika always remembers "Jeff Dodd" in her bedtime prayers. She thinks of the world of Regan, and therefore Regan's Dad must be pretty special too.

When we were visiting my parent's church in my hometown of Iowa City over Labor Day weekend, Marika reminded me to ask for prayers for Jeff during joys and concerns. So the minister and parishners all prayed for "Regan's Dad Jeff Dodd" along with their prayers for people they knew.

So, while we haven't written, just know we are still "storming heaven" for you.


Jim said...

Jeff & Kelly:

Please know that our continued prayers are coming your way. I've got a good crew of 3rd floor Flanner men behind you as well.
Those of us who "walked" (no elevator use allowed) in the tower must stick together.

Our best -
Jim & Jane Carrig

jpm said...

Third try in the last half hour to post a comment. It might work this time. We read your blog regularly but haven't been able to comment due to our lack of computer savvy...??? We look forward to seeing Jeff upon his return. Abe & Ben will be bummed that they can't play outside with Jack & Regan this afternoon! Hopefully it stops raining! Please know we all pray daily for Mr. Dodd's (Jeff's) recovery and we will keep the positive vibes flowing!
Love from the Murphy's
(Jen, Mark, Abe, Ben & Mac)