Sunday July 10, 2011

Grandma took a turn hanging out with the girls last night so Dan and I could take in some live music at the St. John's Block Party. We enjoyed local Twin Cities favorite Jeremy Messersmith whose style is self deprecating and quirky, but the highlight was definitely the energetic and engaging Eric Hutchinson. He's charismatic and young and talented - what's not to like? My personal favorite is his song Oh!: "We get lost in the back of our minds ... everybody's got the love, but they keep it inside..."

I can't sing a lick and I can barely hunt and peck out a tune on the piano, so I'm envious of those who can stand up on a stage and make beautiful music. I joked with Dan that I want to be a bass guitar player in a band. I think it's the perfect role for me - learn a few chords, stay in the background, and keep the beat. One of our friends heard us joking and tried to called my bluff - he's got a bass guitar and amp cluttering up his basement that he'd be glad to donate to my musical fantasy!

Speaking of friends, Dan and I were a little apprehensive about being out and socializing. It had been a rough week and we didn't want to be a black cloud when people were just hoping to go out and have a good time. But, as we've learned before, people are kind. I can't count the number of friends from different segments of our lives who genuinely wanted to hear how we were doing and gave us a chance to talk. Somehow, we were able to talk about Shannon just enough, and yet listening to the music provided an escape. Very nice.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Shannon has been feeling better and eating better, but she's frustrated by the things she's missing out on. While Erin has been off socializing, swimming, and sleeping over with friends, Shannon has been mostly confined to Willow Lane, following doctors orders to eat and rest. She really wants to be golfing and playing hockey with her peeps. Luckily her best buddies rescued her for a couple of low key outings to the movies and that lifted her spirits a bit. I can't blame her for being a little pissed off - what (almost) 13 year old wants to spend every minute of every day with their mom and dad?

Shannon has been a trooper about the meds being ramped up again - managing the nausea has required round the clock Zofran and twice daily doses of steroids and antacids. In addition, this weekend meant trying the antibiotic Bactrim again to protect her lungs from the immune system suppression that's coming with the next round of chemo. This time around, knock on wood, she's tolerating the Bactrim. It's a lot for a young lady to manage. I can't dwell on it or it makes me sad, but it's her reality now. I told her today that I'm proud of her. She gave me a half smile...

So the weekend is drawing to a close and tomorrow we will be back at Mayo to follow up with Dr. Rodriguez. A check of Shannon's weight will determine if she's strong enough to start a little more activity this week. But, if she's strong enough, then she will start the 5 day maintenance cycle of chemo as well. Take the bad with the good, I suppose.

This week will be a little different around here as it's just us girls. Dan is traveling this week. I won't go into details because it's his story to tell, but here's a little teaser: it involves one of his customers, a private plane, and several golf courses...