cancer. it's not just an astrological sign anymore.

26.8.05

a mixed week

thug's passing was followed by two intense days of procedures and prepwork at johns hopkins for the transplant. not the most fun way to spend one's time. but with each day we get closer to the last chance we have to beat his leukemia. the end of our journey. we've travelled over 5k miles, left good friends, and started a new life to be able to be here, with these doctors at this hospital. and i cannot wait.

whatever happens, i think that hubby and i are a lot more prepared than most adults facing this diagnosis. we have about 3.5 years of experience with the disease and its side effects under our belts, and i really don't think that there's a whole lot that we have not encountered during our battle.

our social worker at the hospital referred us to the ulman cancer fund for young adults, the only support group specifically for the 18-35 year old set. (this was such a relief to find--apparently, everyone else thinks that 20-somethings are too busy being young and fabulous to need a support group. yeah, right!) there's a link over in my "links" section--please check it out.

in all--this was a trying week, but hubby and i are in fighting form.

as gwen stefani would say,
"a few times i've been around that track,
and it's not gonna go down like that."

bring it on!

posted by amanda @ 10:19 PM 0 comments

23.8.05

lucky thug vaughan shaffer--8/1/04 - 8/24/05

due to feline infectious peritonitis, thug will be put to sleep tomorrow morning. he was the best cat ever...rest in peace little buddy.

posted by amanda @ 2:05 PM 1 comments

22.8.05

straight thuggin'

thug, our hawaiian kitty, is currently in the hospital for suspected liver problems. (no, he is not an alcoholic). we took him in this morning 'cause he had lost some weight and was lethargic, and now he is hooked up to a machine that goes ping and has a mini-version of one of those plastic lampshade collars on.

please keep the poor little guy in your thoughts.

posted by amanda @ 9:40 PM 0 comments

huaka'i Baltimore ho'omaka

just worked my last full week of work until around thanksgiving-ish. and boy was it a doozy. hubby and i put in tons of time facilitating a missoula children's theatre camp residency, where two people about our age show up with a pick-up truck full of sets, makeup, and costumes, and we have a week to put on a full-length musical play with a cast of 30-60 kids. if this sounds insane, it was! but it was also funny and random and (cliche alert) rewarding. we had about 35 kids of all ages to wrangle, which is not only the most effective method of birth control EVER but is also a good test for how the people you love handle stress...like when you tell them that you're expected to be two places at once during the day on friday, can they come in and watch the theatre camp for you? (there was another base special event on friday, and "special events" are unfortunately the header of my job description.) hubby rose to occasion and even helped out with the 5-year-old actors who played our "barnyard critters," then proceeded to go home and prepare a delicious multi-course meal for the two of us plus phillip and amanda, the missoula staffers (who were awesome in their own right). the whole experience was draining and funny and awesome but also made us a little melancholy when we realized how awesome it was to have people your own age to sit around and talk to. the only drawback of moving around so much is that we haven't had time to forge any real relationships other than with the people i work with, most of whom have children my age. at any rate, the theatre camp was a "bonding experience" on many, many levels.

this week, we report to the castle in the sky that is known as the sydney kimmel cancer center on johns hopkins baltimore campus. hubby and donor get their final rounds of testing, and family and i go to nursing classes (although i think the classes will be a breeze--so far we seem a lot more seasoned at this than a lot of other adult patients that we've met). chalk up one for experience!!

move in date for our apartment in baltimore is 8 sept. before that date hits, i am trying to create a full-length cd of "fighting songs" for hubby. any suggestions are welcome. so far i've got "hollaback girl" by gwen stefani and "we will rock you/we are the champions" by queen.

posted by amanda @ 8:11 PM 0 comments

8.8.05

the bright spots

as i posted a picture of our new kitty without much explanation about 1.5 weeks ago, i will now explain.

thug came with us on our journey. $100 for one-way airfare, plus the cost of all of the paperwork certifying that he was not carrying some exotic tropical disease that would decimate the cat population on the mainland.

but, he was getting a little (ok, a LOT) chunky around the middle, and didn't like being left at home alone...so we adopted a second kitty from our local humane society. we actually knew where the humane society was before we knew where the local post office was, if this gives any insight into what kind of people we are (sappy).

here are pics of our boys...


hubby and thug



a kiss from makoa

posted by amanda @ 10:52 PM 2 comments

all the cool kids are doing it

join the virtual march on washington to stop global warming here.

i'm competing with wesley clark and john mccain for the top of the list! (well, not really, but if you sign up onto my page, i'll be on the list)

posted by amanda @ 10:47 PM 0 comments

5.8.05

what dc stands for...

derelict capitol
dirty clothes
dog crap
daily crud
deep crusts
dark customs
due crisis
departing commies
discriminating cats

add to the list...i am bored @ work...

posted by amanda @ 8:16 PM 0 comments

rant (you have been forewarned)

well, thus begins another entry in this journal. i didn't have my computer for about a month during the move, and when we did get it back, it now makes this annoying loud buzzing noise whenver you turn it on. works fine, just buzzes...so since the noise drives us crazy, it doesn't get turned on nearly as much as it used to. but i'm thankful that it's made 2 trans-pacific trips now and only has a buzzing noise.

we settled in southern maryland on default after spending 3 days here. the place is near an old college roommate of hubby's and seemed relatively inoffensive. we couldn't find any listings that we could afford near the bay, so southern md it was. our apartment is nice but devoid of personality, much like the surrounding community. the area around dc is simply a bedroom community suburb of the actual city. there is nothing to do here (unless you like going to the mall of course). even the mall and restaurants in the area are all national chains of inexpensive inoffensive american food...heaven forbid there be anything unique in this fucking place. oh wait, i forgot...you have to drive and subway for an hour to get to the city if you actually want some kind of cultural experience.

the worst part is that there is no room for nature here. the chesapeake is dirty brown and smells of dead fish. state parks charge $6/head just to drive through the front gate (not that the weather would ever permit hiking here---heat indexes have been around 100 degrees F most days). the area has a cost of living that is just as high as oahu's, except that it is utterly devoid of all charm. unless you like crab, of course...there's plenty of that! but after eating crab about 10 different ways, it still remains a poor substitute for the friendliness and natural beauty of our old post.

we reached the holy grail of our epic, johns hopkins medical center, on 26 june. we were scared out of our minds as we approached the lobby, as this was truly why we embarked on our journey. it is a fantastic place, and hubby's new doctor is the director of oncology for all of johns hopkins. so we know that he is in good hands.

we finally bit the bullet and went for fertility testing in an attempt to be able to make our own kids someday (hubby will be sterile after the transplant). we got our hopes up only to find out that his sperm are already immobile and deformed due to the chemo. no babies for us!

hubby's bro is not a full match on the tissue type but he is the best match that hubby has, so the docs are going with him. we start prelims on 25 august and the transplant will occur in the middle of sept. i am scared shitless of losing him.

that is the last two months in a nutshell for us.

posted by amanda @ 7:46 PM 0 comments

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