Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stacy needs your stem cells

I copied and pasted this information about Stacy from the Minnesota Myeloma blog. Please feel free to copy this to your own blog, Facebook page, etc. Stacy is in her 30s with two little girls, close to WCK's age.

Stacy Needs Your Stem Cells

Stacy is a young Minnesota mother with myeloma. She has tried just about every treatment, including an autologous transplant, but her aggressive myeloma will not relent. She has a Caring Bridge site.

Stacy's doctors want to do an allogeneic transplant, hoping that stem cells from another person, a donor, will give her a brand new immune system which will view her myeloma cells as invaders and will destroy them. This is called the "graft versus myeloma effect" and can sometimes provide a long-term remission.

So far, though, the doctors have found no matching donor.

The web site
www.marrow.org gives guidance for registering, and information about the actual process of donating stem cells.

From the web site, some of the donor requirements:
  • Age 18 to 60.
  • Good health, including NO CANCER.
We who have myeloma are not eligible, but many of our caregivers, relatives, and friends may be.

According to the web site, the registration procedure involves a swab of cheek cells, to be done at home. Once registered, a person could be "matched" to anyone with a need. If an opportunity to donate is presented, a person can accept or decline it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cole!

Jay bought himself a Wii for his birthday in May. I had previously been very anti-video games, but I'm finding myself enjoying the Wii. With the days being so hot, Jay and WCK and I have been spending most of our after-dinner-but-before-bedtime time down in the basement playing Wii Sports Resort. We love table tennis. Actually, we love to hate table tennis, because we always have to play a little pretend Wii person named "Cole", and we can never manage to beat him.

Oooooh, Cole. We hate Cole. He is so cocky and smug and wears annoying sunglasses. When we see Cole come on the screen, we say, "Cole!" in the exact tone that Jerry Seinfeld would say, "Newman!" Then Cole kicks one of our butts. Our extreme hatred of Cole binds us together as a family.

WCK is especially good at trash-talking to Cole. "I DO NOT LIKE YOUR WICKED GRIN!" she will say.

Tonight she had a really good one: "LISTEN, COLE! I AM GOING TO TAKE YOU TO A RESTAURANT ... AND THEN I AM GOING TO ORDER YOU A FOOD YOU DO NOT LIKE!"

That's right. You don't mess with WCK.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sneaking around

Jay's mom is staying with us this week, which means lots of fun activities for WCK, homemade baked goods, and -- woo hoo! -- free babysitting! Jay and I were going to go out to dinner and a movie, but we couldn't decide on a movie. I wanted to see Harry Potter, but Jay pointed out that we hadn't seen Deathly Hallows Part One, and he didn't want to watch them out of order.

Why haven't we seen Deathly Hallows Part One? Because we never get to see anything. We never even get to watch movies at home, because by the time we're done putting WCK to bed, and by the time she's done getting out of the bed and interrupting our movie 100 times, I promptly lie down on the couch and fall asleep. Seriously. I haven't been able to stay awake through an entire non-kids' movie in years.

Until tonight. The Night of the Brilliant Plan.

We went out to dinner early. Then we went to Blockbuster. Then, around 7 p.m., while Grandma had WCK distracted, we quietly returned home, sneaked around the back of the house to the basement door, and watched all of The Social Network in our own basement without WCK knowing that we were even home.

So that's what it's like to watch an entire movie at once. It's all coming back to me.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Duck skipper

Swimming lessons have started again. As I reported last summer, kids at WCK's swimming lessons are put into groups based on their swimming ability, and each group is named after an aquatic animal. The first level is Turtle, then Duck, then Penguin, then Walrus, and so on, all the way up to Whale. WCK passed the Turtle level last year, so I expected she'd be a Duck this year. WCK was tested on the first day, and she was thrilled when she was allowed to skip past Duck right to Penguin and join a Penguin/Walrus class.

I'm impressed, because I have no swimming ability. I don't think I could hack it in a Penguin/Walrus class. Just think; this time next year, I could be the proud mother of a Walrus.

And with WCK swimming lessons come the infamous Swimming Lesson Coloring Sheets:



I wonder what is going on with the frog in the upper left-hand corner. Apparently, this lake had no mandatory drug testing during the lifeguard hiring process:



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Post-concert letdown

So the concert was last night. The wonderful, sparkly, amazing, firework-booming, flames-shooting, confetti-dropping, screaming-every-two-seconds concert. Where bottles of water cost $5, Backstreet Boys would magically pop out of nowhere, Donnie walked into the audience to drink someone's beer, the guys changed outfits for every song, and nothing was ever as it seemed. When the lights came up, my throat was raw and I couldn't hear a thing. Thanks to my summer research project, I could sing along with nearly all of the Backstreet Boys songs. And now it's all over, and nothing exciting will ever, ever, ever happen to me ever again in my entire life. I mean, what do I possibly have to look forward to now? Friends? Family? The love of my husband? The laughter of my child? I mean, how does that compare to NKOTB rising up out of a fog-machined stage singing Hangin' Tough while wearing bedazzled Boston Celtics jerseys? It can't, my friends. It can't.

I mean, they were sparkly jerseys with their last names on the back of them.

Now all I can do is lie around listlessly in my NKOTBSB concert t-shirt and absentmindedly doodle "Mrs. Donnie Walhberg" on scraps of paper while I wait for them to release an overpriced concert DVD. Which I will pre-order and watch on the very day it is released.

Here's a very blurry, far-away photo of Donnie singing the best rendition of Cover Girl I've ever seen. You're welcome.




Monday, July 11, 2011

Bonus Backstreet Boy

This is Kevin, but he dropped out of the group in 2006 and is therefore dead to us:





Backstreet Boy of the Week

Finally, here is the youngest Backstreet Boy, Nick:



Here are the many interesting things I have learned:

1. His middle name is Gene.
2. He's been arrested a couple of times.
3. He's locked in a bitter rivalry with Justin Timberlake, which started when Nick beat out JT for the title of Cosmogirl Magazine's "Sexiest Man in the World" in 2002.

Oh, Cosmogirl Magazine! How many lives do you need to destroy during your unending reign of terror?

Friday, July 08, 2011

In the potty

M-spike is stable at 2.4. Last month it was 2.3, the month before it was 2.4, and now it's 2.4 again. That's very stable. My white cells, however, decided to take a nosedive. When Jay asked how my appointment went, I said, "Well, my white cells are in the toilet."

WCK didn't know what to make of this statement. "YOUR WHITE CELLS ARE IN THE POTTY????" she said.

Yes. My white cells are in the potty. I'm taking two weeks off the Revlimid this month to help them recover and drag themselves out of the potty. It makes me a little nervous, because the last time I had to take two weeks off, it was the start of the Great M-Spike Uprising of 2010. We all remember how fun that was.

I'm sure it'll be fine, though. Just nobody sneeze on me or anything.

I decided to post a picture of Bon Jovi in a bright white t-shirt to encourage those white cells.