Teddy Rodd's Journal
A RATHER BORING EXISTENCE
Written Dec 31, 2013 8:15pm
“Hey Teddy, do you still have the red dots?”
Bursting blood vessels.
He’s on his way outside to configure a home-made critter trap comprised of string, PVC pipe and an assortment of junk.
“Nope, they’re all gone. Allie checked me out.” The platelet transfusion seemed to do the trick.
In kid fashion, he bounced back quickly and left Laurel and I in the dust.
Wish we could bounce back with such vigor.
Hard to do that though when we’re planning for what’s around the corner.
We head back up the Gun Barrel for Children’s in Denver first thing tomorrow morning. We’ll know then if the eighteen month chemo marathon and platelet transfusions are working; or if we need to sprint to the next and seemingly last option.
In the mean time, he just needs to be careful not to hit his head or endure any kind of blunt trauma.
So no skiing downhill backwards on black diamond runs, air soft wars with zero protection or jumping and spinning on the trampoline until he and cousin Caleb apparently pass out.
All on hold until the blood counts rebound.
A rather boring existence according to our long haired, living-in-the moment and loving-life fighter.
Savory and sweet Crepes.
Sautéed red and yellow peppers, and mushrooms in white wine accompanied by a creamy goat cheese.
Christmas leftover thick ham slices, eggs and mozzarella cheese.
Nutella. More Nutella. A whole lot more Nutella; and a hint of fresh fruit. Teddy says it’s our New Year’s Eve tradition.
Once again we’re overwhelmed by your love, support and prayers of encouragement.
We’ve been able to purchase a rather sturdy, four-wheel-drive vehicle for our Teddy trips through the snowy mountain passes…all the way to Children’s.
Just in time for tomorrow morning’s excursion up the Gun Barrel.
Laurel may or may not let me drive it.
We wish to you and your family much of God’s grace and peace in this New Year of 2014…
CAN WE BUBBLE WRAP THE KID?
Written Dec 26, 2013 9:07pm
A lot of hurrying up and waiting.
Laurel spent hours arranging for Teddy’s chemo and nausea meds to be delivered the day before Christmas.
We were supposed to start his next five-day, oral chemotherapy Christmas night.
The really hard stuff.
Then followed by a three day trip to Children’s to wrap it all up with a red bow, a neuro exam and another chemo infusion.
Teddy got an early Christmas gift though.
The Monday finger prick displayed a much-too-low platelet count, so we postponed the stuff a week to give his body time to regroup.
The meds made it in the nick of time…only to wait another week.
Christmas was delightful.
Time seemed to stop.
His body never regrouped though.
Just this afternoon, “I think I got chickenpox.”
Little red dots all over his back, shins and feet,“Teddy, those aren’t chickenpox.”
His blood vessels are bursting under the skin.
Back to our local hospital.
Found out his platelet count dropped again; along with the rest of his little white soldiers.
A few more calls back n’ forth to Children’s.
Teddy’s first platelet transfusion is scheduled for early tomorrow morning.
They say it’s just a chest port prick and a quick dump.
He’s out on the town tonight with a dear friend for dinner and a movie. Thought about wrapping him in bubble packaging.
No bumps, cuts and scrapes allowed.
Feels like we rush, wait and wonder if we’re making this all up.
Deranged and just a figment of our sick imagination.
Like a frustration dream.
Rushing through a never ending airport corridor and always missing the flight…
Not sure of much, but...
Written Dec 10, 2013 9:32pm
Chemo by mouth at home sounded like a grand idea.
Just five days.
Three pills at bedtime.
First night, Teddy shakes a capsule with great suspicion. He mockingly peers deep into its core looking for something slimy, “You sure about this?”
What can we say?
We’re not sure about much these days.
He tilts his head back in pure Teddy drama, “Here goes one grenade down the hatch!”
Second night, I’m wishing for the infusion bag.
Pale faced and on the couch by then.
With the infusion bag, he gets chemo from the metal rolling hanger with spindly tubes and needles.
They’re the culprit.
With the capsules, it comes straight from mom and dad.
One toxic grenade after another.
We’re not even supposed to touch the stuff.
Arrives in a dark, glass bottle.
The next week is spent completely wiped out in bed with an appetite for zero.
Zero food, liquid and fun…with the exception of when Aunt Karen or Cousin Caleb drops in from up the hill.
Pill by pill we seemed to lose our Teddy.
His spirit completely broken and docile; realizing that this will be one long, eighteen month haul.
Last night he lounged solemnly in bed adorned with a camping headlamp.
Reading King David’s Psalms.
Psalms of despair, trust and hope in the midst of the unseemly.
One after another.
“Want me to rub your feet, Bugga?”
“Sure, but I might kick you in the face. You know, blood everywhere.”
Imagine teenage smirk on face.
“You’re turning down a foot rub? That’s stupid. I’ll take my chances.”
He smiles benignly.
Starting to soften and feel somewhat whole.
Cracking Teddy jokes.
Soon after, I gently prodded, “We need to sleep, Bugga.”
I slowly started to pull his Bible from his tight grasp. He fought back and fiercely curled around it in a tight ball.
Never letting go.
Desperately hanging on.
Still somehow, by fierce faith, sure of God’s goodness in this journey.
Quietly wept ourselves to sleep.
This morning was supposed to be his first day back at school.
Didn’t work out.
He hid out in the car.
Maybe will try again tomorrow.
Back on the ranch, we needed to offload Ziggy, our sweet paint mare, and Waffles, our braying burro.
Sad to see them go.
Ears, noes and eyes flickering through the slit panels of the horse trailer as they rolled away.
Seemingly not sure of much.
But happy to leave “together” to their new home.
A wonderful home with dear friends just across the valley.
The Elk are bedded down below. Spindly legs, lethargic from pawing away the crusty snow, yet they can scale a Colorado mountain in a heart beat.
Phantoms in the frosty mist.
Their bellies full of freezing grass.
It’s below zero out there.
On the other end of the wild kingdom, Henri, our cow pug, is on the outside terrace looking in.
Blind as a bat.
Smooshed nose frozen up against the glass.
A wreath of fog fanning out from his twitching, bubble-eyed face. Waiting patiently to be let in to the warmth of our wood stove.
Not sure of much.
Rather confident though that “together” inside by the fire, is far better than outside down in the valley with the spindly things…