Saturday, June 30, 2007

Back from the Beach

Shannon and Landry got back from Fort Walton Beach, FL tonight. They had a great time, considering all the craziness that was going on. Landry got to experience the beach for the first time. She loved it! She also loved the pool at the condo we stayed at because it had a waterfall. Shannon's Mom and Dad met us out there last Sunday and spent the week with us as well. I stayed until Tuesday morning and headed back early to be with my family.

Each day Landry wanted to make a sand castle and sand cakes. With the sand cakes she would make the cakes and insist that mommy find some candles (Shannon substituted sticks). Then the whole family would sing "Happy Birthday to _______" (fill in blank with Pop,Daddy, Murphy, PawPaw, etc.)

She loved playing with the big girls in the pool (some other kids that were staying at the same complex). They loved her too. She would sit there and yell "Big Jump, Big Jump" and then swing on the bar that was in the pool.

For more pictures check out our web album:

New blood

Since Dad's hemoglobin and overall blood count continues to drop the doctors went ahead today and transfused 2 units of blood. It went pretty smooth, with no major reaction to the new blood. We joked that if he started speaking with an accent then we would be able to narrow down who's blood that he had!

Yesterday, the doctor had a central line put in . This ought to make the every day taking of blood and eventual treatment easier than continued IV's. The Lynches and Gleasons have brought dinner the last couple of nights which was very welcome since Mom and David had been eating out every meal for a week.

My Aunt Chrys (my Dad's sister) is coming in from Phoenix tomorrow to visit. We are all looking forward to seeing her.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Some Good News !!

After several days of bad news, our family received some good news today from the Doctor. They have further narrowed in on the type of leukemia that he has and believe that he has what is called Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL).

As the doctor put it, if you have to get leukemia . . . this is the one you want. APL is a form that responds very well to treatment. APL has a complete remission (CR)* of 90% much higher than the other types of leukemia.

APL is unique among the leukemias distinguished by its sensitivity to all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a derivative of vitamin A. Basically, the ATRA is going to make these cells that are stuck in between cancer cells and white blood cells progress. He is going to start a regiment of the ATRA today and take it over the weekend.

Depending on how that goes he will start chemotherapy on Monday or Tuesday next week. He will take chemo for a week+ and it will take another week for the full effect to take place. He will stay at least two more weeks in the hospital after that to give him time to rebuild his bone marrow (white counts), fight infections (which are likely to occur), and check progress.

The doctors spent nearly 30 minutes with the family this morning, Chrys and Shannon both conference called in since they are out of town, and he went over all the options, the plan, etc. There are going to be several rounds of this over the next 6+months and the whole process is well over 2 years (the last 1.5 years being continued maintenance regiment and mostly oral treatments).

Truly, we praise God for this diagnosis today. It gives us all great hope to know that the battle that is about to be waged inside my Dad's body will be worth it.

*The term complete remission (CR) is reserved for patients who have recovery of normal peripheral blood counts; fewer than 5 percent blast cells can be present in the bone marrow, and none can have a leukemic phenotype.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Narrowing in on a type

The doctors have ruled out chronic leukemia and are narrowing in on an acute form of leukemia. His blood counts are still unchanged, quite low. His hemoglobin is continuing to drop so we will probably be starting some blood infusions in the next week or so.

We are all doing better today (emotionally) than yesterday. The heavy burden of yesterday took its toll on our family. But it also gave us a chance to share some special time together with a very honest open view of our love. Today, we have all learned more about leukemia than we ever wanted to know.

We know this is a marathon not a sprint so we are buckling in the long haul. It probably will be at least 4-6 weeks in the hospital on this first go around.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A sad day

This morning my Dad was diagnosed with leukemia. He returned from a fishing trip last week and was complaining of a pain in his leg and had a low grade fever. He went to the Urgent Care center on Friday afternoon and blood samples taken showed extremely low white blood cell counts. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and put through several tests the latest and most definitive being a bone marrow biopsy taken on Monday morning. The hematologist shared the results of those tests this morning and confirmed that he in fact has leukemia. Several more tests will be run over the next several days to determine the particular strain and treatment procedure that will be taken.

I ask you for prayers for my family, particularly my mother, as she stands by my dad in the next several difficult months. I ask you to pray for wisdom and judgment for the doctors and nurses that are caring for him. I also ask that you pray for peace and strength for my Dad as he deals with a new and difficult journey to recovery.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The other day, I brought home some iced sugar cookies from work. I decided I would let Landry have a "treat" after dinner and I gave her 1/2 a cookie. She immediately licked the icing off the top of the cookie and promptly told me "ooh mommy....delicious bread". I have no idea where she picked up the word delicious, but I guess I need to give her goodies more often since she is so cute when she gets them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Car Wash

Landry and I went and got my Truck washed this weekend. Landry was amazed by the entire process and has been repeating for the two days straight . . "Daddy's truck got a bath, with green soap."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fly Fishing at Cow Creek

Last weekend I had a chance to go on a bank boondoggle and go fly fishing at Cow Creek ranch.

It is a really fantastic place that is about an hour north of Santa Fe close to Pecos, NM. 4.5 miles of stream and 6 or 7 lakes make this a fisherman paradise. We caught a ton of fish, shot a lot of shells and drank a lot of whiskey. I would highly recommend this place for some great secluded (no cellphones, tv, etc.) scenery.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Egg in my Belly!

Landry is convinced that I have an egg growing in my belly. First she picked up her shirt and said that her belly was growing like Mommy's. Then I asked her what was growing in Mommy's belly and she calmly replied, "an egg." Almost right!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

David to Chicago: Part Four The Final Chapter

Downtown Naperville is what every town in America is striving to obtain. It is honestly a totally cool downtown that is probably 6-7 city blocks filled with shops, restaurants and bars. It was buzzing with people when we arrived at about 8:30. It was almost impossible to find a parking spot, we cruised the entire parking garage and finally lucked out on the street. Bordered on one side by a 5 mile brick walking path down the Dupage River it is a just perfect.

We chose, what else?, a Chicago style pizza place called Lou Malnati's. This pizza was great. Definitely recommend the butter crust deep dish style. We enjoyed some Sam Adams and and the pizza then cruised around downtown for a bit.

Next day we headed back to David's place and got him unpacked, went to Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc to get him all hooked up. He even picked up some new furniture. We had lunch at Portillos,, a must stop while in the Midwest. Portillos makes great hot dogs. We went to the Naperville location where the line was around the block to get a dog. We opted to go inside and the service was quick and food terrific.

We picked up, Shawn and Lindsay at O'hare who were flying back from Amarillo after visiting the family. We stopped off for Italian food that night at Carrabas and it was good as usual. Only funny part was the waiter, who basically insisted that he was the best waiter we would ever have , and refused to write down our order, only to screw up Lindsay's order. To compensate of course, he stared at his book and blamed the kitchen!

Next morning we headed to Davids new church Community Christian Church (CCC), This is a forward looking church that has several campus locations but teaches the same message at each campus. David is going to be working at the Romeoville location which was the first official satellite location. They have a very nice facility for the youth programs and then have the services in the community center there. The service was a lot of fun and everyone was very friendly and seemed excited to have David there. We had time after the service to hit the "Yellow Box" service back at the main campus back in Naperville. There we got to meet some of the staff and check out the service there for comparison.

We grabbed lunch and wrapped up back at David's apartment. It was already time to head back to Amarillo (Southwest this time!!). So onto the next adventure!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

David to Chicago: Part Three My Kind of Town!

We hop in the truck the next morning and trying to get to Omaha. Immediately we notice that the trailer is pulling all over the road if we got anywhere over 55 mph. Not good for a 15 hour trek. After about an hour we had had enough and decided to pull over and re-stack the the trailer which involved pulling about 3/4 of the trailer out and then putting it all back with a little more weight balance. A painful process but luckily it worked and we were able to top 70 for the rest of the trip.

Nebraska is boring. No doubt about it. So I won't go on about the grass and cornfields. We stopped for the night in Omaha and had a great steak at the a place called The Drover. It is a little hole in the wall place on 73rd street. There Whiskey Steak is the bomb. Served with no frills this marinade that the use is excellent.

That night we stayed at the Comfort Inn and Suites which has a great bar called FireWater Grill. We were luck to get to hear a really talented performer named Monica Eby. Check her out here : Sang some really fun covers, but has a super original lineup as well. David and I got a chance to talk to here after the set. She actually started out in gospel at a local church that is a sister church to Trinity Fellowship in Amarillo. She even adopted her twins from a family in Amarillo so we had a small connection. Anyway lookout Nashville, this one is going to be good.

Next day we headed through Iowa and stopped in Davenport. We had lunch at The Machine Shed. This great home cooking chain was started at this Davenport location. I had a pork sandwich that was awesome. Great home cooked meal. I got Shannon a John Deere T-shirt that says "Country Girl". How appropriate!

We drove through a nasty rain storm (that spawned lots of tornadoes along the Iowa/Illinois border). But we made it to Aurora just in time to get David's keys and find his apartment. Got David moved into the 3rd floor apartment (I will not forget that David!) just before the rain came in.

We headed over to Shawn and Lindsay's place to shower up and headed to downtown Naperville . . .

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

David to Chicago: Part Two Uhaul Up!

Beautiful Denver at last! Denver really is a great city and I know David is going to miss Golden and all the friends he met there.

When I arrive I find out that David hasn't been able to secure the Uhaul. Apparently the Uhaul was promised to be ready at 12 noon but when he arrived they informed him that the guy that had it rented had not returned it. We decided just to show up at the rental facility and find out for ourselves. When we got there the trailer was sitting on the yard so we filled out the contract. We questioned why they hadn't called us when it came in, where we found out that the UHaul had been promised to two people on the same day. Right as we finished the contract work the other guy came in mad as a hornet nest asking why his trailer wasn't ready. We scurried out the door and on top David's apartment.

David was mostly packed up so we moved most of the boxes, bed, and some furniture down to the UHaul and packed it all up. His friend Lee and Colleen stopped by to help out. We got most everything packed and went over to his storage facility to get the rest. David had gone by earlier and removed the lock on the storage facility. However, when we got there, a new lock had been placed on the unit. We called the owner and he in fact had put a new lock on the unit. We had to wait about 45 minutes for him to come by (two trips since he brought the wrong key the first time) and unlock the unit.

After all this we decided to get some dinner. On the way there we noticed something scraping on the wheel, it sounded like the front right tire was rubbing. I hopped out but we couldn't determine what was making the noise and we couldn't repeat the problem. We decided to watch it and check it out later.

David, for his final meal in Golden, CO , chose a burrito (I have now idea). So we ate out on the patio at Qboda. After all this we were pretty tired so we decided to call it a night and just head out the next day in Golden. We grabbed a beer at the local pub and plotted our travel for the next day.

We wanted to try and get at least half way of our long journey. The whole route was about 980 miles and projecting to take 14-15 hours.

David to Chicago: Part One American Airlines

I flew to Denver last week to help move David out to Chicago. He is moving up there to take a job at a really neat church that is doing some very innovative things (more to come).

Anyway, this trip was cursed from the beginning! I flew on American to get there. So I awoke at 4:15 am to catch my flight to Dallas. No problems so far. I trek from Terminal A to Terminal C at DFW to make the 8:15 a.m flight to Denver. But as we get on the plane to go to Denver the waiting begins. After pulling onto the runway, the pilot comes on the announcer and says "The flaps don't seem to be working, maintenance is on the there way." In the meantime, we pull into an empty gate at Terminal C and wait about an hour before they tell us that the plane is unfixable, and they are going to try and find a replacement. We unloaded the plane and waited at the gate. About 15 minutes go by and they announce they have found us a plane, its back over in terminal A gate 15. So we all head to the train and take it over to terminal A.

While in route, ominous clouds are waiting our arrival as a huge squall moves across all of North Texas. The rain comes (with the lightning) and all of the flights are grounded. I glance up at the screen (our flight is not listed because it was supposed to have left already) but all of the other flights to Denver are canceled. But we are assured that our plane was there and the crew was available and as soon as the clouds cleared we were on our way.

We wait about 2.5 hours at the new gate. Finally the rain clears and we are ready to board. They call the first boarding group and WHAMMO. The electronic check in rejects the boarding pass. The attendant announces that apparently the flight has been canceled. WHAT? They couldn't tell us this two hours ago. She says that due to the new airline "Bill of Rights" American doesn't allow passengers to wait four hours. The mob grow restless as this point. Half of the people sprint out of the gate to the terminal to rebook, many grab cellphones to rebook, a few of us hang around the gate to see who gets punched!

After 30 minutes, the attendant says that we definitely can not reinstate the plane, so I also leave the gate and head to the ticket counter where as soon as I leave security join several the line wrapped around the terminal and appears to be at least a 45 minute wait. I get on my cellphone and amazingly get a AA rep on the line. He mentions that the next flight to Denver is 10 pm. UGH. I contemplate going back to Amarillo and regrouping when he says that the flight I was on looked to be back reinstated with a 12:30 department time. A look at my watch, reveals 12:15. I hope back in the security line and work my way to the front.

As I approach the TSA personnel, glory is only a few short steps way. She reviews my boarding pass and tells me, "Your boarding pass is past the time to board so I can't let you through. You have to get a new boarding pass from the the ticket counter." WHAT!?? I peer over my left shoulder at the languishing line and think you have got to be kidding. I ask her to get an AA rep over to ok this cause there was NO WAY. She asks me to step aside and wait. At least 10 people behind me in line also have a similar fate, and we are herded to the side. 15 minutes pass and finally the AA rep gives the ok to let us through to the gate. GLORY AT LAST!

After a scoot through security, I get back to A15 and nobody is around. NOBODY. One of my fellow security hold ups, is on the phone with his wife and passes on the information that we have been moved to A10. So we scurry down to the new gate, new plane and new crew.

After about 20 minutes we finally look to be getting on the plane. We board with literally about 1/2 the people that we started with on the first plane. I am sure many people just gave up or went home. Engines rev up and the stewardess takes drinks orders. Nothing. A solid hour passes with no movement. A steward comes on the overhead and announces that we are waiting on the luggage to be delivered from Terminal C, along with some sarcastic remark like "It doesn't do you any good to get to Denver with no luggage!". Are you kidding? We had over 4 hours to deliver that luggage but it is just now being sent over. Unreal.

But the plane did take off and we made to Denver only 7 hours behind schedule. On to the move . . .

Monday, June 4, 2007

Landry Turns Two!

Landry had a great time at her second birthday. She had a Curious George birthday party with all of her little friends. They got to eat cake and play in the sprinklers. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time.

The Sadlers, the McLemores, the Thomas', the Lynches, the Gleasons and our family (Uncle David, Cousin Kelsi, The Laissles, The Herricks) all came out to enjoy the day.

More pics can be found in this album!
2007-05 Landry's Birthday Party

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Here we go!

After seeing some great friends do this with their own adventures, we have decided to get on board and ty this out! We will see how it goes!