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September 30, 2005

good news


Sandy received some good news and some bad news today. Her MRI showed no signs of cancer and her blood count was up. The only bad news was minor in comparison. The increased chemo dosage made Sandy very sick to her stomache. Today, Sandy had to spend about an hour and half sitting while some fluid was delivered through an infusion pump. I have a short clip of her finishing the session. Click here to see the video. The nurse in the video is Melanie.

To combat the added naseau, the doctor prescibed some new medication.

Posted by jhyden at 12:38 PM | Comments (1)

September 24, 2005

driving miss sandy

Life goes on. Children grow up. As much as we would love to have our two angels stay sweet and innocent little four year olds, they won't have it. Breanna received her learning permit about three weeks ago and she needs at least two hundred hours of experience behind the wheel when she takes her road test in March. For many weeks, Sandy refused to sit in the front seat with her. She preferred to give Breanna driving instructions from the back seat. Only recently has Sand moved to the front and ridden alone with Bre without me.

The blood count last Friday was up. Sandy is not borderline anemic anymore so the iron pills are working very nicely.

You can click on the photos for a larger view.

Posted by jhyden at 12:44 PM | Comments (5)

September 18, 2005

sandy's new hat

Actually Sandy has many new hats. These are two of her favorites. The straw hat is her Sunday-go-to-meeting one that Breanna affectionately nicknamed the "Gilligan Hat". Not in memory of Bob Denver, the actor who played the television character and who died recently. Sandy bought the hat about two weeks before he died. The other hat was a present from Shirley, Steven's mom and my ex; thanks again Shirley. It is a pink Packer hat sold through the Packer Organization; a part of the procedes go to support Breast Cancer research. Sand was talking to her sister Lori while I was taking her photo. Which hat do you like the best?

Sandy's new hat marks the ending of one leg of her journey. She has only one more radiation treatment left on Monday and her two oncology doctors tell her she looks and is doing great. She did not experience the fatigue they predicted and, as you can see, she has kept a majority of her precious hair. We and the doctors are not certain at this point if Sandy will lose any more hair when the chemo dose is increased. The chemo has made her only slightly anemic so the doctor has prescibed one iron pill a day.

In a month, Sand will need to have an MRI done. This one will be the baseline for future visits with radiation oncologist, Dr. Bastin.

In my mind's eye, I always see Sandy as the 21 year old college student I met in astonomy class at UWGB the summer of 1980. Below is my favorite photo of her that I snapped on the old bridge in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. It was a grey cold Sunday afternoon in mid October of the same year and we had taken a motorcyle trip up to Door County. On the way home, it began to drizzle and we were frozen by the time we made it back to Green Bay. I keep a framed copy of this memory on my dresser.

You can click on all the photos for a larger view.

Posted by jhyden at 10:57 AM | Comments (5)

September 02, 2005

school photos


September 1, 2005

Even in the last few days before the tumor was discoverd when her walk had slowed to a snail's pace, her speech had beome minimal and fractured, and her memory had become disjointed, Sandy thought about one thing. It matterd not if there were dirty dishes in the sink, cobwebs in the corners, or dust bunnies lingering near the edges of the living room wood floor, her thoughts were only of them. There were days when she did not even take a shower, wash her hair or get dressed and I knew and feared deep down something was terribly wrong. Sandy only wanted and yearned to quench one simple desire. She had a constant need to be near the two most precious things in her life; her daughters. She does not even remember it now. The three days immediately preceding her trip to the hospital has no place in her memory but I remember.

Every year at this time since the girls were in K4, it has become a family tradition for me to take a photo of Sand and the girls the first day of school. This year, of course, Sand would not be going, at least not until October. I suggested that Sand wear her bath robe this year in the photo. She would not have it. She insisted on taking a shower and getting dressed before I could take her picture. I am so glad to have my Sandy back.

It is interesting to see that Erin is now the tallest of the three and Sandy is the shortest.


Late August, 1999

Posted by jhyden at 01:00 PM | Comments (7)