August 1, 2005
Weekend at Grammo and Pappo's
Howdy, howdy!

Well, I have good and bad news to report.  First, I need to backtrack a bit.  Last Thursday
(July 21st), the day before the Kissmobile and my Walmart speech - Avalon's ANC had been
3500.  Yes, that sounds fantastic - but its a bit of a false reading.  After a Vincristine infusion
(IV chemo), Avalon takes steroids for a week.  The steroids artificially inflate her white counts -
resulting in high ANCs.  So last week's numbers, were "propped up" by the steroids she took
the week before.  Therefore, we held off on bumping up Avalon's chemo amounts, until we got
a more "true" set of values.

We went back to clinic on Thursday, July 28th (this past Thursday).  This time her numbers
were only 1250.  That's the good and the bad of it.  While 1250 is, indeed, a good number -
the concern is that she's only at 1/2 of a dose of chemo - and its still that low.  We've normally
had that number at full dose...what gives?  The answer is, I don't have any idea.  What I do
know is that we're holding at 1/2 dose until further notice.  

The nurse practitioner was even OK to go ahead and skip going to clinic this week, and wait
until Aug 11 to recheck labs.  I, however, was not OK.  My class reunion is this weekend - and
we would like to take Avalon to a few events.  I can't risk the family picnic with her if she falls
below 1000.  As I've told you before, the clinic is great about indulging paranoid moms...we go
in for labs again on Thursday.  I'll let you know.

The great news for the day?  Ruth Bowling from the Logan, OH Walmart delivered 14 sets of
child-size folding tables and chairs to the hospital (for use on J-5) on Friday, July 29.  She
kept her word, and delivered on it - one week after my talk.  How's that for an amazing
woman?  Ruth is definitely the type of person I wish I could take out an ad to thank!!  Although
she may never see this...Ruth, you are one in a million!  Thank you.  

Our other fun news, is that Avalon is feeling like a million bucks these days.  She's been
ornery, stubborn, silly, and two as two gets!  Its been fun.  We spent the weekend
at my parents, because I needed to deliver some things to the people organizing a fundraiser
for Avalon's Army that happens next weekend.  Its amazing what a weekend at grandma's will
do for you.  
Before this past weekend, Avalon absolutely
refused to touch grass.  Now?  Heck now,
she'd probably roll in it naked!  It all started
Friday.   My mom and dad had a new
hammock that Aurora and Ambrosia couldn't
wait to try. The hammock hangs way in the
back of the yard, underneath a tree, next to a
row of bushes...making it shady and lovely.  
Well, Avalon was not going to be left
she followed sissies back there.  Now, my
parent's lot is 1/2 acre, so from the porch to
the back of the yard, is a bit of a haul for
Avalon.  But off she took, running like a
monkey - chasing down her hammock-bound

At first, none of us realized what she was
doing.  She ran part way out to the hammock,
ran back, ran further toward the hammock
again...and was on her way back - when my
dad said, "Doesn't she hate grass?"  Sure
enough, not only was she running through
the dreaded green stuff...but she was doing
it, barefoot!  
On her second trip back, she was asking Pappo to come "Help me!  Help me pease."  She just
wasn't brave enough to make the entire trip by herself.  Of course Pappo agreed, so off she
went again, holding Pappo's hand, and doing her own version of a skip/bounce.  About
halfway back the yard, Grammo and I saw the two of them stop - and dad started laughing.  
Apparantly, it took nearly 3 full trips through the grass for her to figure out what she was
walking on.  She suddenly stopped, looked down, picked up her foot and said, "Hey!  My don't
like that stuff!"  Whereupon she insisted Pappo pick her up for the rest of the trip.  

Eventually though, Pappo became a hindrance and she took to the grass herself.  Stalking
your sissies takes priority over not liking "that stuff".  It became way too much fun to run to the
hammock and poke her sissies in the bum...

Avalon's second accomplishment of the weekend was the sprinkler.  In the absence of a pool
this year, Aurora and Ambrosia have enjoyed spraying themselves and each other with the
hose.  (Our water pressure is too low for a sprinkler)  They delight in going to Grammo and
Pappo's because there are 3 sprinklers to choose from.  Its their own little water park.  
Anyway, Avalon has never been a fan.  She hates to get her face wet, and is scared
senseless of "rain".  I've always wondered if it had a lot to do with the grass issue.  Turns out,
there's a good chance that it did.  

Once we convinced her that grass wasn't toxic, we wondered what she'd think of the sprinkler.
 It took some convincing....but she's an old pro now!  MInd you, she will only sprinkler if
someone stands just outside of the range of the water - holding a towel for her.  She runs in,
gets wet - and runs over to dry off her face.  And by golly, she'd better not have to travel very
far...or you hear about it.  I think the picture pretty much sums up her opinion now.  I'm telling
you...a weekend at Grammo's will do you a world of good...

Love and hugs to ALL of you!
Alicia, Nick, Aurora, Ambrosia, and
Our Journey:
Avalon's Army of Angels