Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 5:21 PM, EDT

Ally had a blood draw today, to check her counts from last week's chemo. She did great! Her white blood cells were around 2.5 (normal person = 5 or 6), her ANC was about 850 (last week it was ~1100, so not a huge drop), and her red cells looked good, her platelets even went up!

We will draw for HAMA next Thursday! It would be a great birthday present for me if she was negative!

We are having a super fun week. Today we made some whoopie pies and delivered a few to Uncle Larry and were surprised to see Uncle Andy and Aunt Deb there! (I wonder if Uncle Larry shared the whoopie pies?) Then, we delivered some to our neighbors, and Daddy is bringing some to work tomorrow.

Since Ally's counts are good enough we are even going to go out and about tomorrow and Friday, then we spend the weekend with Daddy and next week I go back to work (but less than 2 months until Summer Vacation!!!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011 8:35 AM, EDT

Happy Easter!

Ally has been great the past few days. She has had 3 REALLY good nights of sleep (which means Mommy and Daddy have had 3 really good nights of sleep as well), has not had any more puking episodes, and has been full of energy. The only effect of the chemo we are seeing right now is a very low appetite. (We assume her blood counts are low as well, but we have not had a blood draw yet to see how low they actually are.) Today is the first day we are not giving her her anti-nausea medicine, and we are hoping she won't need it.

NOTE! Today (the 25th) is Ally’s parents’ 7th wedding anniversary!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Sun on Easter

It's still gray, not yet light.

The clouds rest like islands

on the mountain side, snow filling

the spaces between the trees,

a maze of paths my eyes

climb and walk. It's Easter

Sunday though you couldn't

tell that from my window as I

watch the sky and mountain

before this morning's dawn.

It's quiet as I wait expecting

light as it comes so reliably

every day of our lives.

But, what if it didn't today?

What if we would only know

this grayness, this waiting?

There is a somberness in

the time before light, an

acknowledgment of need

for light in this our one life.

By Pat Maslowski on Apr 24, 2011


From the icy grip

the earth awakes, not from primal instinct

there is no evolution says the Church, while everywhere woodland flowers

proclaim resurrection in a yeah so attitude

whatever, party on. No.

as if this annual miracle was less.

Is it in the northland that death's door locks shut

til the tilt again favors the sun, the son, The Son.

worthy of celebration even had Christ had not issued

the invitation to arise, we, too, with the Creation.

By Phil Specht on Apr 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's *really* a Chokecherry pome, lol! Been looking for the name of this critter for *years*!!

Easter Pome

Snow has faded
Fields are green and greener

Gold coins of Lion's Teeth scattered
along road edges and ribs

Small bunnies fill coyote tummies
Bright blaze of Cardinal

And the apples, ancient by any reckoning
agree to bloom, again

And the Chokecherry!!

If there's more to be asked
I don't know what it would be

23 Aprille 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:53 PM, EDT

At 2:30AM Ally called me in because she had puked....everywhere. She called me in again at 3:00, this time, before she puked, so we were able to catch it in a bucket. We gave her some medicine, and she has been good since. Grammy e-mailed me a while ago and said Ally is full of energy and has eaten some food.

Puke, especially at 2:30 AM is gross.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 6:43 PM, EDT

Today went well. Ally and Daddy were in and out in record time. They got there for 8:00 this morning, and were on the road by 2:00 (this is a really good time for the kind of chemo Ally got today).

Ally will have a blood draw next week to check her counts. We know they will be low, but we are hoping she will recover quickly. Low counts will mean that we need to stay away from crowded places and sick people, hopefully we will still have lots of fun during vacation next week. Ally really misses school, and we are hoping that her counts will be good enough to go back to school the first week of May.

Tonight the chemo does not seem to be affecting her at all. She did not nap today, she is FULL of energy and hasn't stopped talking since I got home from work (Daddy said she has been like this all day). The only thing we see is a lack of appetite, but it could be her just taking advantage of us not forcing food on her like we normally do.....someday I'll post about Ally's sticker charts.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 5:22 PM, EDT

Today Ally did her 2nd dose of Rituximab. As you may recall, she did this 2 weeks ago, puked as soon as it hit her veins, puked again with an adult sized dose of another med that is meant to keep her from puking from the first was a mess. Anyway, today went much better. There was no puke, no headache and we were out of there in 4 hours.

Tomorrow Ally gets low dose chemo. The only side effects from this should be: puking (for a couple of days), low energy and low blood counts. Basically we will need to keep her out of public and school for a couple of weeks until her counts recover.

Wish Ally and Daddy luck tomorrow!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Found the Phoebe's nest. . . .

Mama/papa Phoebe waiting for me to leave


Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17th, Full Pink Moon, 10:44 pm


Quantum Life

They say that everything swirls
constantly interacting, changing
but all I see is what I know:

My book, the living room sofa,
the rug, the window looking out
onto the meadow and Storm Mountain.

They call it Monkey Mind,
thoughts, feelings, wants,
memories rushing in whirlpools.

My mind's a planet and I
can't find the sun. It hides
behind the miasma of mortality.

And so you ask, ten years
from now, what will my life
be like? I'll see more deeply,

know that everything I think
and feel goes out into the universe
and all that we are made of lives.

Catastrophe, chaos, crisis
brings change, the newspaper said
and we will be changed, remade.

Transparent to ourselves so that
everything we think, say, or do
reverberates like music, like love.

By Pat in Colorado on Apr 17, 2011

Yesterday and today. . . .

Closeup -- damage done

Today at noon

Yesterday at five thirty

Yesterday at two

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sizzle, Sap, and Sulfur

A food preservative, a passing devil

which ?

when the walnut lost the limb

me, rounding up cows in the thunderstorm,

on the road to Damascus.

You think lightning strikes down?

not always, aimed between my eyes it curved over ridge

level with the ground, not yet hearing thunder

til the boiling sap sizzle sound, smelling salts sulfur

clearing ringing ears my eyes saw first

smell a mix of syrup and hell

what sense to believe?

One hand clapping, a clap of thunder

the tree now a limb lost amputee

sharing the revelation of the cosmos

all is one.

By Phil Specht on Apr 16, 2011

The Science of Lightning
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . for Sarge

Flashing bright all around
and then the wait.
1 . 2 . . 3 . . . 4 . . . . 5 . . . . .

Growing, green things were my science
The in and out of it
What's hidden in the seed
Roots breaking rocks
What I needed to know of my world
Meaning prised out of method

Bellydown in summer dust, breathing things
were my knowing, wishing, longing
Hornbook and chalkboard and sampler
Shiny black ants moving boulders,
Yellow striped things savoring gold dust
Morning's silver trails
Webs swept with dew
Fat green caterpillars with racing stripes
Downy wing and feathered
gathered and hoarded
Stones that glittered, sparkled, glowed
jagged or rubbed round

Abacus dream, counting coup
from light to sound, count to five
Numbers, now, numbers are

16 Aprille 2011

Wouldn't it be Loverly?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Republicans won't relent

The Republicans won't relent

By cChal on Apr 13, 2011 4:21 PM EDT

House Republicans have already signaled they are prepared for a fight over the competing visions of spending, taxes and debt. Representative John A. Boehner, the speaker of the House, said on Tuesday, “We don’t have deficits because Americans are taxed too little — we have deficits because Washington spends too much.”

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, said in a speech on the floor Tuesday that “too often, it seems, Democrats in Washington claim to be interested in helping those in need, when what they really seek is to protect big government.”

and this is why our president and all of us, really, cannot relent either.

It's our way of American life vs. theirs. No less.

Our frame, our vision benefits all Americans.

Theirs benefits the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Monday, April 11, 2011

Ally's first ponytail!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011 2:21 PM, EDT

We are having a great time with this warm weather. The playhouse has been Spring Cleaned!!!

PS: We are allowed to say "awesome" now. The new banned word is "radical".

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011 9:17 AM, EDT

What should have been a 3 or 3 1/2 hour day turned into a 7 hour day for Daddy and Ally yesterday. First, DHMC got a new computer system at the beginning of the month, so Ally and Daddy waited close to 30 minutes to check in (it usually takes 5-10 minutes). When they finally got back there things started a little late, but she was happy in the playroom. Ally gets premeds for the Rituximab, because it can cause severe reactions. The first time she got the Rituximab she did not have any reactions. This time she did. Very soon after the medicine started going in she threw up. They had to stop the Rituximab, re-order all her premeds and administer them again. One of the premeds, when given in higher doses, can cause severe headaches. A little after the premeds went in, Ally snapped up from her nap, grabbed her head, threw up and then screamed from the pain. Poor girl. Daddy said it was similar to the screams she does in NYC. Luckily it only lasted 5-10 minutes and she was able to fall back asleep. They ended up leaving the hospital around 4:30. When we have to go back in 2 weeks the plan will be to give her some premeds at home, the day before, and even more at the hospital. This should prevent another reaction.
On a positive note Ally was perfectly fine by the time she got home last night, and is very excited to go to school today...they are learning about the letter O this week, just like as in Octopus, which she told her teacher on Monday.

Fun fact: Ally says the word "machine" like this: Sha-mean. It is VERY cute, especially when she is talking about grampa's ski sha-mean.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Eagle Cam

now that the river has left its banks
it slows out into the cropland
not in the wild rush after summer storm
but a thousand creeping trickles from the very last snowbank

it may have peaked you think
but the crew still puts up 'Road closed"
the carp gather to cross, and the baby eagles
learn the taste of fish, spring, and river rise

By Phil Specht on Apr 6, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 9:08 PM, EDT

Change of so often happens with our little Ally (who is getting bigger, at 27 pounds).

Ally will head up to DHMC for Rituximab tomorrow, but the chemo will wait until after her second dose of Rituximab in two weeks.

Her runny nose has not been any worse, and today she was actually better, although she was coughing a lot after we put her to bed tonight....hope that doesn't turn into anything.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Evolution of Language and Politics

Molecular reactions aware of themselves
evolution no longer chemistry
but transformorgyration
chyral turns, new spellings
new words.

The capture of replication
by membrane knew nothing
of origin of the species
even though first
left handed or right
"two sides to everything" it's said.

Why we divide before we unite
I suppose. Your truth
or mine?

By Phil Specht on Apr 4, 2011

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011 3:37 PM, EDT

We just got a call from our oncologist at the local medical center. Ally’s bone marrows are clear as well!

Our plan is to head up there on Wednesday for Rituximab and Thursday for Cytoxin (chemo). The only hitch is that Ally has the start of a runny nose.
If it gets any worse, the ritux and chemo will be pushed off till the following week. Please pray it is just a runny nose and goes away quickly.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!!