Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My 15 Minutes of Fame (this is it, huh?)

Well, everyone is said to have their own 15 minutes of fame in a life time and here's mine. I was in the news paper this past week. It was for the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk, which takes place this Saturday. I got to talk a little bit about my sister and the problem of finding a cure for brain cancer. Hopefully, it helped the cause a little bit. That's all I can ask for.

A couple of months ago the "Events Specialist" for the walk called me to see if I would be willing to be interviewed for the Issaquah Press to help promote the walk this year. She somehow saw my blog from last year's event and thought I was a good candidate. I, of course, agreed. Anyway I can honor Jenny by helping others with the same disease is all good in my book.

The article was really great. Here's the link http://www.issaquahpress.com/2009/05/19/brain-cancer-remains-incurable-fatal/ if you didn't get a chance to see it. The reporter did a good job in conveying something that really bothers me about the research for brain cancer. Since it is such an obscure cancer compared to some other cancers it gets little in the way of money to help fund the research and development of new treatments. If there could be anywhere near the amount of money raised for brain cancer that is raised for other cancers, there would be some serious advancements. That is why breast cancer and prostate cancer sufferers are surviving at a much higher rate now. What a blessing! I understand brain cancer doesn't affect as many people, but it is a death sentence for a lot of patients. Advancements are always a good thing no matter what cancer!

There were a few misunderstood points in the article. Several of the finer points about Jenny's diagnosis and story were not quite on, like her age and circumstances. For example, she was able to have radiation therapy while pregnant with Phoenix which was quite possibly the route of treatment they would have chosen even if she hadn't been pregnant. I am of the opinion that she would still have had the same life expectancy had she not been pregnant. Anyway, that is a minor detail.

I do think the author made too broad of an assumption in saying that all brain cancer is deadly. A diagnosis of brain cancer, in and of itself, does not mean the patient should expect to die. However, the stage of brain cancer Jenny had, Glioblastoma, is usually fatal within 2 years. Glioblastoma is a term referred to patients with stage 4 cancer cells, or late-term cancer. When Jenny's tumor was biopsied it showed very few stage 4 cells but the oncologist told her that if the tumor contains any stage 4 cells at all they technically had to call it Glioblastoma. And it is true that the cancer almost always comes back even after treatment. I don't know for sure, but I would assume that a person with stage 1 or 2 brain cancer has a much better chance of eradicating the cells for good. But I'm no oncologist!

This was really a great experience for me. I hoped to really raise a lot of money for the walk this year! I'm way short of my goal, but that's okay. With family and the life of a mom always looming, I haven't had much time. I'm so excited to walk on Saturday!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mr. Baseball and the 2009 Season (so far)

Is there anything I love more than baseball season? Hmmm....maybe, but I do love it. I love sitting in the sunshine and watching Alex. I'm always amazed at the maturity he shows on the field. This year is his first year out of the Little League program and since there's no team at the middle school we decided to go to the Pony League this year. He plays with 13 and 14 year olds (I think some may 15 also).

These kids are HUGE! My dad was visiting a month ago and went to a game, and as he so eloquently put it, "Some of those kids are big enough to eat hay and pull a plow." I was nervous when I first saw how big these kids are. Mostly because I wondered how in the world Alex would be able to compete with those guys. Apparently, puberty hits around this age and we're still waiting for it with Alex). Most of the guys are 6 to 12 inches taller than he is.

Well, I need not have worried. It took a game or two to adjust to the faster pitching, longer base runs, and head-first sliding, but he's totally up to speed now. It is taking me a longer time to figure out all the stupid new rules...what the heck is a balk???? I've never seen so many dumb rules! Oh, not to mention the "new" rules Alex has assigned to me. I am to no longer call him "Ally," "The A Man," "Big A," "Smiley," or "Bud," as in years past. Now it is "The AC," or nothing. I have also been given strict instructions to never take unsolicited pictures. Hmph! I had to sneak this one in and he was very unhappy.

Alex's coaches this year are some great dads. There are also 3 young men that are recently graduated from High School that have been doing most of the on-field coaching. They were all on Issaquah High's championship team at some point. One of them is a pitcher who was drafted straight from high school to the Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately, he injured his arm pretty severely and plans have changed for him. He and his buddies are coaching the young team and are great at what they do. I think Alex is a little star-struck, but at least he is getting an idea of how to be a team player from some amazing players. I think it's been fun for him to see up close and personal how fast a major league pitcher can throw!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Little Bunnies Foo-Foo

This is one of the 3 baby bunnies living in our back yard. I have seen the mother a lot lately in our garage, on our front lawn, crossing the street and it seems she has taken up residence in the rocks behind our house. We were out doing yard work last Saturday and Martin almost thatched one of the babies to death before he saw it was there. Luckily, the bunny moved just in time and we were spared an ugly, bloody scene with our children looking on. I guess the rocks make for good warrens.

I have read "Watership Down" and it's one of my favorite books. Therefore, I am a little bit obsessed with bunny rabbits. Also, when I was just starting College my parents got some rabbits and they were so cute!! My sister Jenny made a video about them (it was a horror film). I wish I could find that video, it was hilarious...something like "Attack of the Killer Bunnies." Anyway, I'm wasting way too much time daydreaming about bunnies. Help!!

I am also worried. My perennials are just starting to poke out of the ground and I fear they don't stand much chance against this little family. Plus, I remember why my parents got rid of the bunnies: the mess they make is UNBELIEVABLE. To make matters worse, Livi and the Cuteness are trying to domesticate the bunnies and have been naming them...never a good sign. Maybe they'll just leave when they're big enough! Right?!?