Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
That last one I sneaked in was a picture of an absolutely delicious carne asada taco smothered in guacamole that I got to enjoy yesterday. This one came wrapped in regular old food paper. In addition to enjoying some awesome scenery and food, I worked up my appetite by operating a freaking jackhammer. As a man, this makes me feel very good about myself. Two more images supporting the fact that my job is still, in fact, incredible:
This is the tailgate that I put a serious dent in last spring. The sheet metal was finally starting to peel apart as a result of the damage. I got a new tailgate, but this one has been kept in the office for posterity (read to continue to have physical evidence of my absentmindedness) . I'm hoping that I can somehow talk someone into letting me take it home and hang it on the wall. I love that my mistake has been treated with so much grace and humor.
I walk by this palette in our warehouse every day. I'm fairly certain it's all t-shirts, but I just love that it is labeled with a huge, spray painted heart. How many things in your office are labeled with a huge, spray painted heart?
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Over the two work days we had, we were scheduled to complete a home build for a family. The structure was basically framed up, so it was in need of wire, paper and stucco. I was very excited to be able to complete this home before Christmas. Unfortunately, the community in which this house sits is up a rather steep hill. To make things a little more difficult, the lone paved road going into the community was under construction and completely blocked off. This meant that our only way in was a rutted dirt road which travels up the side of a steep hill. We quickly found that the participants' van would not make it up this hill.
Although we were not able to complete the house I had been so excited about, we were able to bless two other families the week before Christmas. As it turned out, the group that was scheduled to complete Tony's home had to cancel due to weather. My group was able to spend one day completing his home. I had hoped to spend some more time with him, but he was not around while we were working. I'm sure he was very excited to come home that day and find his house completed. The following day, we were able to put a last coat of stucco on a house that had been waiting awhile for it. It's really neat to show up at a house when a family is not expecting you and see the surprise and delight on their face, particularly if they have been waiting awhile to see you.
Several times this trip nearly came to an end, but the guys that came down had a sense of both adventure and of God's will, and they were able to help provide an awesome Christmas present for two families. As I type those words, it's a reminder to me of why I'm here and what moves so many of us to action. So I ask, where's you sense of adventure?
Friday, January 14, 2011
Friends and Family,
I want to thank you for the complete outpouring of love, support and prayer our family has received since my last e-mail. The response has been absolutely incredible. People in our lives have continuously inquired as to how my mother is doing and I have been e-mailed and received comments from people so far from my direct contacts that I can't quite figure out how they even received my first e-mail. Please continue to ask us about Mom and how you can help out, as I think in the coming weeks our needs will become clearer.
Immediately after my first update, our plans started to get modified. While the population of leukemia in Mom's blood was low and she was very healthy, her white blood cell count was low as well. The doctors at Johns Hopkins wanted to wait for the white blood cell count to rise before moving on to a bone marrow transplant. Their strategy was to avoid chemotherapy or any other treatment and let Mom's body do the work. The doctors could not predict how long this would take, so we were asked once again to wait. In the meantime, Mom was to get weekly blood work done and we would be contacted when a time table became clear.
Nearly two weeks ago, we received a call from our main doctor at Johns Hopkins. He expressed concern over what was going on in Mom's body. Along with seeing more cancer in her blood, her glands were also extremely swollen, causing her discomfort. For this reason, he ordered a PET scan so that he could get a clearer picture of where the cancer was in Mom's body. We went down to Johns Hopkins for the PET scan last Thursday. While Mom was having her PET scan done, her doctor came in briefly to talk to her and told her he would be getting back to her with a clearer plan of action in the following days.
In the meantime, the whole family headed down to Richmond for my brother Jason’s wedding. We had an incredible weekend in Richmond with many friends and family. The ceremony was incredible, as was the reception. There was an immense amount of joy shared by both families and all our guests. The bride and groom are very much in love and are the picture of what a new marriage should be.
Earlier this week, we got a call from our doctor at Johns Hopkins who was armed with a new game plan. Due to some changes in Mom’s blood work, he finds it necessary to give her one treatment of chemo along with a series of a monoclonal antibody before her transplant. Yesterday she received the chemo, today and each of the following six weeks she will receive one treatment of the monoclonal antibody. At the end of this time, the doctors expect a thirty to forty-five day waiting period, after which time she will have her bone marrow transplant. This means that the likely date for the transplant will be late March or early April.
As always, these plans are subject to change, but this is what we are now expecting. Dad was looking into housing for the recovery time while in Baltimore yesterday and I’m sure there will be more details that we can get started on. In the meantime, I would ask that everyone reading this keep the family in their thoughts and prayers as this process goes on. Thanks so much for your concern and I will update again as soon as it is necessary.
In His Love,
Light Hearted Bonus: Beard Update
Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot ;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
"The very first tear he made was so deep and I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know – if you've ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away."
"And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on – and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I'd turned into a boy again."