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November 9, 2005 [ More archived home pages here ]

East Coast Trip

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Today's song is Memories by Elvis Presley.

The trip back to Maryland was a learning experience in many ways. I realized during this trip that some situations need to be experienced first-hand to fully appreciate all the subtleties of such circumstances. Therefore, I am unable to write some personal feelings of the past several days here. I can write about other aspects of the trip and I do so next.

I found Katie to be looking pretty good, she's a very pretty young woman, even in short hair. She knows what she wants with the time she has left and nothing deters her from those goals. In some ways she is an obvious teenager. In other ways she is older than I am. She taught me a few things that are very helpful to me.

Sherry and I spent most of the days with the entire family of my sister. It was a chance to see all them after five years of being apart. On those days, Katie joined into the discussions and I saw her smile several times. I will remember those images of her in my memories.

On Monday, Sherry and I joined my sister and Katie for the all-day session at the medical center where Katie receives blood and radiation treatments to help her enjoy her remaining time alive, whatever that time is. In a few days Katie and a few family members travel to Chicago to see some friends and family there. Then it's off to Alaska for Katie's Make A Wish trip. Thanksgiving is to be spent in their home.

While I was at that medical center on Monday I had a chance to talk to a couple other sets of parents whose very young children are being treated for leukemia. In the waiting room there was a bulletin board that had over 100 pictures of young children who are being treated by the staff of that cancer unit. It made me think about the fact I was in one hospital in one city. I briefly thought about all the other cities and the multiplication effect started to make me sad. I had a chance to meet Katie's nurse practitioner and thanked her not only for her work with Katie, but for all the work she does with those young patients.

Katie likes marine animals. She wanted to become a marine biologist. She had the grades and the will to be that and beyond. She has already contributed to the research process of her disease. I continue to pray that Katie will achieve her remaining goals in the best way possible.

Finally a word about prayers for Katie. My sister told me that when Katie was originally diagnosed in the Spring of 2004, she was already a stage-four cancer patient. My sister believes that the only reason Katie made it this far is because of prayers from everyone who sent them. From what I saw and witnessed during my trip, I believe it too. I thank all that sent prayers her way.


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