July 31, 2011

Jen and I just closed out a July for a lifetime watching Apollo 13 with Shannon and Erin.  The house is quiet again - everyone asleep but me as I sort through so many thoughts and feelings from a month that began with so much fear and turmoil but closes with such gratitude and hope.

Shannon's birthday weekend culminated with a blowout backyard brat bash that was full of laughter and joy!

A month that started with IV infusions ended with cake and cousins and aunts and uncles and both sets of grandparents gathered together in celebration of a milestone and a remarkable turnaround.  Our support teams - the Harkins and O'Hara families - continue to rally around us.  That has remained a constant and we are so grateful for that.

Shannon's 13th birthday trip to San Fran (she returned to Rochester Saturday evening), our time together with Erin and our weekend reunion and birthday party has us all feeling fortunate to have so much love in our lives.

At St. John's Sunday morning, we felt the love as well with close friends in pews all around us.  The girls giggled their way through the worship.  There was a day when we would have given them dirty looks for squirrely behavior during mass - but that's all changed.  Giggle away.

August starts with blood labs and a check up with our team in hematology.  Shannon's energy levels are always an indication of how her blood counts will read.  And right now she is full of steam and intends to participate in both golf league and her conditioning class Monday.  We expect that the doctors will recommend a tapering of the steroids that helped stabilize things over these past few weeks.

The steroids work magic to tame things around the tumor - they also do a number on Shannon's complexion.  She's ready for a decreased dosage of Decadron.

I suspect August will be a blur as well as the school planning, shopping and sports sign ups are already underway.  We get a week at Lake Hubert.  We get to be together.  Time...we get time...we have time.  We will enjoy.  One day at a time.