February 10, 2005
Yippee for Avalon!
Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2005 1:34 PM
Subject: Avalon Yippee!! Feb 10

Wow!  You people are truly amazing!!!!!  After Avalon is
done with all of this nonsense...could I line you all up for one
giant lottery-winning prayer?

As you may have guessed, her numbers have rebounded.  
The exact quote from her doctor and nurse practioner, "She
must really have miracle bone marrow!"  They actually each
made that declaration...totally separately, in different rooms.  
Apparantly, she accomplished more than the norm this week.

Last Thursday, her ANC was a miniscule 52.  (Remember,
anything less than 1000 is considered dangerous.)  Hold
onto your hats, folks.  By suspending her oral chemo, she
rebounded to a whopping 2346 - in a mere 7 days!  Wahoo!!

This is actually doubly good news.  First of all, we can stop
having panic attacks about bacterial infections crouching in
the shadows, waiting to pounce.  Second, it means Avalon
will be able to start her next phase of chemo on time.  
Because I would like to keep this email fun and silly, I will
refrain from looking forward to next week.  I'll save that for
another email, another day.

For today, I wanted to send you a smile or two.  The photo of
Avalon in the lion costume, is how she went to clinic today.  
We wanted to be ready to "fight the beast" - so we dressed
her appropriately!  She wore her Halloween costume as her
coat this morning.  She practiced roaring all over the house,
and for the entire trip to the hospital.  Unfortunately, "the cat
got her tongue" and she wouldn't make so much as a "meow"
for them at clinic - but she looked darn cute.

The costume did give her some moxy.  She invited herself
into the doctors' office to look for Diane (her nurse
practitioner).  The doctors loved it!  They roared at her,
waved at her, and generally made a huge fuss.  Her doctor,
Dr. Ranalli, even took her to find her beloved Diane, so she
could say hello.  

You see, we had a huge breakthrough last week.  Avalon
finally decided that Diane was pretty neat.  She actually
asked Diane to "up" her last week.  Diane picked her up -
thinking it would last two seconds.  She was blown away when
Avalon showered her with hugs and pats (she likes to pat you
on the back).  In fact, our thoughtful, organized, helpful,
consumate-professional nurse practitioner - got a bit teary
over finally being accepted.  I admit it, I got downright weepy.  
I never thought in a million years that Avalon would stop
screaming, much less ask for a hug.  Miracles never cease.

Therefore, Avalon would not leave clinic today until she got
to say "Hi Diane!" in person.  I've been telling Diane for
weeks that Avalon talks about her.  Today was the first time
she got to hear her name from shorty.  I'd say its a complete
mutual love-fest at this point!

We have a few more fun things to share.  Avalon finally
gained some weight this week!  In fact, she gained nearly a
pound - regaining ground she's lost over the past 6 weeks.  
OK, a pound doesn't seem like much, but when you weigh a
whopping 20 pounds - going back up to 21, is hot stuff.  
Again, I feel inclined to "Wahoo!"  Yep, just going to have to
do it.  So forgive me, as I shake my all-too-generous derriere
in celebration......"Wahoo!"

While Avalon was being weighed and measured, two of the
nurses gave her a surprise - two new hats!  Hence, the
pictures that are attached.  Apparantly, there are generous,
kind-hearted knitters out there who randomly donate hats to
the clinic.  Knowing that her days with hair are actually
numbered now, they felt it was time she become a fashion
maven.  She strutted like Cleopatra she was so pleased with
herself!  The pics ought to give you a clue...she's a complete
ham!  She loves to be "pitty" (pretty) and can't wait to show
off her new finery.  In fact, the biggest problem we had
getting her to pose for these pics - was convincing her that
we were done.  She'd have posed for 50 more!  

All in all, it was a rather good day.  Nope... I'd have to say...
great!  Again, I credit all of you with Avalon's success.  I
never knew such love really existed in the world.  I'm humbled
to have been proven so completely wrong.  You are all

Have a great day!!

Alicia, Nick, Aurora, Ambrosia and Avalon!
Our Journey:
Avalon's Army of Angels