Saturday, December 21, 2013

Henri, le chat existentialiste, nous explique tout...

Henri 5, "The Worst Noël" -- uploaded to YouTube by Henri le Chat Noir

Un cadeau du sein des coeurs de nos amis Marmy FluffyButt, Buddy (grand chaton scandaleux), et 

Dobby, celui qui n'est comparable qu'à soi.

*h/t to Fred, upon whom all things darkly existential descend.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

News Flash! Fred Has Extra Large Brain But NO Acoustic Neuroma!

Are you seated?  This post contains nothing but the best of news.

First, that which was already assumed to be true has now been confirmed by scientific evidence.  Fred's skull contains the largest and most active neural network ever documented, such that it is beyond the linguistic limits of the definition for "brain."  Therefore, all those arguments I so egotistically placed in my Win Column were Pity Wins.

I am appropriately awed, and retroactively chastised.

Second, and an occasion for bubbly, if ever there was one:  Fred had his MRI this afternoon and was told but a few hours later that nothing showed in or between his fleshy ears except the aforementioned surplus of smarts.

Relieved not to have a brain tumor that favors the brain stem, Fred is still facing the unexplained loss of hearing in his right ear and the acquisition of annoying noise in lieu of my soothing dulcet tones.  It's a hard blow for a dedicated audiophile and student of several musical instruments.

Even so, as I'm fond of watching him snorkel his way around the moat during the daily algae inspection, while I sip my coffee from the drier climes of the drawbridge, I am here to help him deal with hearing loss, but so much happier a helpmate than if he were facing brain surgery and facial nerve paralysis.

Thanks so very much to those of you who have kept Fred in mind and prayer.

© 2013 L. Ryan

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Hero Hannah Needs Your Help

Please excuse this unusually terse entry -- more on that in the next terse post -- but time is of the essence!
[If you don't recall Hannah, click on her bolded, underlined, and capitalized name just below this, my favorite photo of her, called "Hannah's Crane."]

HANNAH is my hero because:

  • she faced osteosarcoma like a mentally seasoned champion, not a young, untested girly-girl
  • with her family, she chose a relatively new option for the surgical removal of the tumor in her leg -- rotationplasty
  • she faced recovery and rehab from the rotationplasty with courage and a grand work ethic
  • part of the therapy for osteosarcoma, as for most cancers, involved radiation and chemotherapy, and these things, too, she struggled through with beautiful style (as beautiful as one can be whilst throwing up)
  • just when all seemed well, hannah developed one of the side effects of her chemotherapy -- leukemia (and if that isn't a kick in the stomach, what is?)
  • as if that were not enough, the osteosarcoma reared its ugly head again, traveling to her lung, and she underwent surgery to remove that cancerous nodule.
  • she undertook this challenge as she did all the others, in beauty and ferocity
  • but still, she needed a bone marrow transplant to defeat the leukemia, a truly arduous and scary procedure
  • now post-transplant, she and her family live with the fear of rejection syndrome and further spread of the osteosarcoma, so every symptom that you or i might consider trivial, they must treat as potentially life-threatening and make a run to the doctor or ER...
  • and they do all these things with grace, humor, and the requisite NEGU attitude (Never Ever Give Up)

I think you get the gist of it, yes?  She is doing well but the struggle is not over, and while she became my hero when I read about her choice of the rotationplasty at the beginning of her journey, I imagine that as she grows, in emotional and physical age, that choice will provide her with some challenges as well as its many benefits.  But that's ME talking and projecting my weaknesses onto Hannah.  Excuse me!

Her mom posted this request today and I hope as many of my bazillion readers as can will place an order to help them out with the medical bills and the bills of daily living that have had to be pushed aside for two years.  Shoot, I will project one of my major pet peeves onto the Smith family: parking fees! Never mind the cost of all the traveling they've had to do for treatment, just think of the darned parking fees at all those hospitals, doctors' offices, and "medical buildings."  I may hold a fundraiser for myself one day, just for parking fees...

Oops.  Train of thought, off the tracks once again.

Here is Hannah's Mom's message:

1 hour ago
Hannah has designed a T-shirt that is on her favorite color. It is a fundraiser and we need your help. You only have until Thursday to pre-order. $15 each and will be shipped 2 weeks after the end of the last order date. Our goal is 150 shirts but we only have 89 ordered so far. Can you help? Here's the link:

Thank you for your help! 

© 2013 L. Ryan