Teddy Rodd's Journal
Written 22 hours ago
The last we heard from Allie was from the floor of the Dubai International Airport.
Then complete radio silence for 24 hours as she traveled through Kenya, Zambia and Malawi.
Our kids were all born in France.
We’ve traveled the world.
Biting our nails…as our kids were spread out from somewhere deep in Africa, to a steep mountain bike trail in Durango, and then a cold, radiation table up in Denver.
The next morning Allie’s host family (Laurel’s, rather adventuresome, dear high school friend from Ivory Coast Academy) emailed Laurel with, “We have Allie!”
Heavy sigh of relief.
The attached photo was of some other girl.
Laurel’s heart skipped a few beats.
A new photo came through with “our” Allie, both thumbs up, a sloppy, jet-lagged, silly grin on her face, and the caption, “Just kidding!”
Yeah, she made it safe; and appears will enjoy much prank and laughter during this African adventure.
Teddy’s radiation chapter in this journey has come to completion. He stamped his painted handprint against the therapy wall to seal the deal…like so many others who had preceded him.
Chest port’s been removed as well.
He had chosen to “walk” to the operating room (no gurney), “without” mom and dad, and got up onto the operating table according to his own good will and strength.
He then woke up from surgery stating emphatically, “I was born ready. I’ve got places to go and people to see!”
The tumor has swollen from the radiation slowly shutting down his neurological highway.
Side effects less than pleasant.
Pumping him with steroids to decrease the pressure…
…hoping that everything returns to normal.
We head back up the Gun Barrel to Denver in three weeks for a neuro-exam; then three weeks later for the first MRI.
We’ll have a better idea then if it worked.
Back home on the ranch, it’s cod in truffle oil; sea salt and cracked pepper…and cousin Justin who tends to break out in uncontrollable, hilarious laughter at a moment’s notice.
He’s taking a breather here in the mountains from Texas A&M for spring break.
Spooked a herd of elk at sunset on my bike.
Crackling fire in the stove.
Just missing Allie, but thrilled she’s helping sick kiddos in a clinic somewhere on the other side of the world. Earlier today she accompanied a local doctor to a youth group of kids inflicted with HIV and impaired hearing.
I’m sure it forever changed her life, as she knows it.
Ever living in the moment…
Steve, Teddy’s Dad
Written Mar 5, 2014 11:22pm
“Destination please?” asked the lady at the ticket counter.
“Lilongwe, Malawi,” replied Allie, our daughter.
Our “only” seventeen-year-old daughter.
Yeah, I’m gonna be a mess when I walk her down the isle someday.
Somewhat perplexed, ticket lady inquired, “Where’s that?”
Allie turned to me.
I shrugged with an, “It’s all on you from here on out, Luv. You’re on your own.”
She rolled her eyes and sighed, “It’s a country down by Zambia.”
Glassy eyed, ticket lady gave us a look of unbelief, “Sounds like a long ways away.”
At the moment (as I write) she’s somewhere in the air between Dubai and Nairobi...or maybe Nairobi and Zambia.
Four week medical internship.
On her own.
A long ways from home.
Our last connect with her was when she Face Timed Teddy and Laurel up at Children’s sometime this afternoon…from the Dubai International Airport.
Teddy and Allie have grown really close these past six weeks.
As the two of them Face Timed, a dear mother wrapped in black linens, from head-to-toe, sent her youngest child with some homemade pita bread stuff with spicy meat over to Allie, who was sitting cross legged and unsure.
Always a mom.
Always a kid.
Even on the carpet floor at 2am in Dubai.
Teddy could barely talk.
The radiation burns his throat.
Not much of an appetite these days.
Living one day at a time.
Tomorrow is his last day of radiation. The chemo port is scheduled to come out on Friday.
A pilot friend of ours has offered me a seat for my flight from Durango to Denver tomorrow morning.
I’ll bring Laurel and Teddy home on Saturday.
By then, Allie will have arrived at her final destination via Albuquerque, Atlanta, Dubai, Nairobi…and a stopover somewhere in Zambia.
Well…Teddy doesn’t really care anymore.
Nothing tastes really good like it used to.
Not even Fettuccine Alfredo.
Same for me too.
Nevertheless, he and mom are out on the town tonight in Denver with dear friends for a Nuggets basketball game.
Compliments of Children’s Hospital Colorado.
Steve, Teddy’s Dad
Written Feb 8, 2014 9:04pm
Teddy got his snowflakes today.
Kissing his rosy cheeks.
He and mom braved the snowy mountain passes to come home.
We’ve all been homesick.
Those who left.
We who stayed behind.
Sticking to our eyelashes.
Cuddly warm…nice not to sleep alone tonight.
The north side of our hill has just enough snow for sledding.
He and cousin Caleb braved the slush, mud and trees to make their new sleds fly the gap jump.
Two weeks of radiation down.
They screw his head, neck and torso to a cool, metal table.
Can barely breath or move a slight.
Kind technicians, yet our kid gets bolted into that black, unbending slate.
They always ask, “How you doing Teddy?”
His thumb pops confident, upright, “Smells funny and tingly all over.”
The nausea beat him and mom down the first week.
Stayed ahead of it the second week.
Thankful for the meds.
Back on the ranch, Henri, the cow pug, has been prancing unabashedly around the kitchen in his polka dotted tutu. Yes, rather embarrassing, yet he doesn’t give a care in this wintry world. He’s just happy that we’re all home in front of the wood stove…like it ought to be.
Our bubble-eyed wonder now snores contentedly.
Head resting on Laurel’s lap.
Wild caught cod, fried potatoes and sweet cabbage…and of course a full bodied Cotes du Rhone.
Teddy was born near the mouth of the Rhone river in Southern France on 9/9/99.
Four weeks to go…