Teddy Rodd's Journal
MY CHEMO PORT
Written Nov 15, 2012 9:12pm
I just woke up from surgery.
They put the port in the right side of my chest. This will be easier for me cuz I’m left handed. Last time they had put it in the left side.
Won’t start chemo until after Thanksgiving.
Hope to return back home to Durango tomorrow.
Thank you for your kind words on the blog and all your prayers.
EVEN THE LITTLE SPARROWS
Written Nov 8, 2012 10:51pm
“So Teddy, how was school today?”
“Good. Really good.”
He seemed a million miles away.
“Anything unusual happen?”
“No, not really. Just another good day at school.”
Okay, he was hiding something.
“So how was it taking the trolley from school to mom’s work?”
His expression in the rearview mirror confirmed my piqued curiosity.
“Um…well…I got off the trolley and heard something chirping. Almost crying.”
“What was it?”
“A baby bird laying in the dirt.”
He knows to leave them alone so as not to cause its mommy to reject it.
“So, what did you do, Bugga?”
“Um…well…I looked all over and didn’t see a nest anywhere.”
Right, I had an inkling of where this was going.
He read my expression in the mirrored reflection. “Well…I couldn’t leave it all alone,” he stammered.
“Where is it, Bugga?”
He grinned big, and then piped up, “It’s in my lunchbox.”
He proceeded to lift the lid just a hint to let in a ray of sunshine. As if on queue, the little one burst forth with a pleading wail that engulfed the entire back seat.
“Daddy, I think he’s hungry.”
“Yep, his name’s Fred.”
Fred remained party of our family for an exceedingly long week.
Every two hours he’d raise his thick, yellow-rimmed lips to the sky in joyous grin, and chirp for nutrition, warmth and security.
Nano, Allie and Teddy managed to tenderly scrounge and provide a well balanced diet of worms, crickets and wet noodles. They’ve become experts at nurturing the hurting and homeless over the years in our many abodes across this globe.
We all have this innate desire to provide and to protect.
Perhaps the Divine’s thumbprint on our souls.
It’s heart breaking to watch a helpless, little one go through such fearful agony.
Laurel just called me from Children’s hospital in Denver with the most unwelcome news.
As soon as I picked up the phone, I could feel the strain in her voice.
“Teddy’s cancer has started growing again.”
Our little one had crumpled into tears as his oncologist revealed the diagnosis. Laurel and Allie held him tight as Dr. Nick exited the room to give them some quiet space.
We hadn’t asked for this.
It’s the last thing we expected.
Teddy had even managed to enjoy dinner last night and breakfast this morning.
Something he’s rarely done prior to past MRIs.
Completely caught us off guard.
Like flying into a reflective, picture window.
Laurel, Allie and Teddy had stuffed our car full of a myriad of paraphernalia on the way to Denver.
Teddy’s yellow wheelchair, decorative walker and cumbersome sticks.
Thinking that he’d no longer need them.
We had planned on donating them to another hurting child up at Children’s.
Looks like we’ll hang on to them for a while.
Teddy will return back to Children’s a week from this Friday to surgically reinsert his chemo port.
He’ll face another full year of weekly chemo.
A slightly different protocol (therapy) than he had originally endured.
Hoping to avoid another round of invasive surgery, and radiation.
Back on the ranch, the finches have gathered in hundreds, nibbling away at the seeds and insects embedded in the crusty dirt around our log home.
Every so often one will mistake the picture window in front of my office desk for clear, blue sky and ponderosa pines.
Our barn cat, Prince Louis, waits patiently under the window for these whiplashed wonders.
Our driveway is littered with feathers and feet.
So I’ve secured an old aquarium that the kids use for captured critters. It sits next to my desk. Every time a little one thumps into the windowpane, I scurry to rescue it, tenderly place it in its glassed-in haven far from the cat, and then release it to the wild upon its thick, dumbstruck recovery.
Not too long ago, I had taken Teddy up into the mountains for a day-hike in one of his favorite places where he has officially named three, winged camp robbers.
“Hey Daddy, here comes Bob.”
I’m still not sure how he can tell the difference.
We’re really not supposed to rescue and feed the wild animals.
The signs are everywhere.
We really didn’t care though.
Last time we had hiked through that trail; Teddy was still using his sticks, barely making his way through the rocky terrain.
While stuffing his face with his favorite fruit, a juicy, tangy mango, he tenderly fed this little winged creature with fresh bread from the local bakery.
No idea that the cancer was once again growing by then.
It’s been said that the Divine even cares for the little sparrows.
Into His tender hands then,
Steve, Teddy’s Dad
LAUGHTER, TEARS & HOPE
Written Oct 6, 2012 9:35pm
Six months ago, I heard the blood-curdling scream that reverberated from the bathroom clear across the house to the living room. There I sat on the couch writing my next CaringBridge update.
We often stay at Uncle Matthew and Auntie Anne’s (Laurel’s sister) home in Woodland Park, CO in transit to Children’s Hospital for Teddy’s MRIs and Multi-Clinics.
More scanning, poking and prodding.
The shrill cry though emanated not from Teddy, but from his little diva cousin, Carissa with a CAPITAL “C.” A splinter had managed to embed itself deep into her pointer finger. Her dad had been merely gently exploring the effected area.
Never had he touched the wound, despite the dramatic squeals of doom.
When all of a sudden, she pierced the heavens with, “OH NOOOOOOOO! NOT THE TWOOOEEEEEEEZAAAS!”
It was if bedlam had struck this peaceful home.
Some things were meant to come out.
An uncorked bottle of champagne, a skewer stuck deep into a succulent, roasted leg of lamb, or a needle-like splinter that forced itself just way too deep for tweezers.
Some things were meant to make us smile.
Hot grease popping and sputtering on a sultry summer evening grill, sunflowers raising their dangling heads to the rising sun, or our dear Henri the Cow Pug’s slippery snot when he snorts expansively.
Some stories were meant to be told.
Even if we’d rather forget it.
A little girl squealing in delight as she wraps arms around her Daddy as her paint mare softly whinnies for the first time just outside our backdoor, her older brother’s fight to overcome his quiet learning disability, or their little brother’s diagnosis with cancer, an emergency flight to Denver, brain surgery, and forty-one chemos.
Tears were meant to flow.
Laughter sooths those nasty scrapes in life.
There are honestly some things that we would rather just bury and forget. Things that we so wish could have been rewritten, especially during that heart wrenching year leading up to our child’s diagnosis.
Casting fresh air and light however on deep, ragged wounds brings about healing, hope, and amazingly…even laughter.
We pen this story for Teddy.
We want Nano and Allie to realize how much they weren’t lost in the shuffle, though so many times it felt like it.
We dare to write it for our friends around the world, whom over time have been exquisitely woven into Team Teddy.
In some ways it feels like it never happened, yet we desire to never forget.
Though our lives are not defined by Teddy’s diagnosis and the ensuing battle, we never want to forget the story; God’s hands, feet and provision through this hopeless unthinkable.
So once upon a time, my friend, Matt, and I had sat on the banks of the River Arc in the South of France. We lunched on sausages, wonderfully stinky cheeses and fresh pears, contemplating whether or not to cross to the other side.
When all of a sudden an urge pushed me upright.
I grabbed my tired, worn shoes and heaved them to the other side.
Matt washed down his extraordinary Brie de Meaux with un petit Merlot and duly pronounced, “Well, guess we’re gonna get our feet wet, Sir.”
So I’m tossing my writing shoes across the river.
Now that I’ve told you, I have no choice but to get my feet wet.
To complete and publish our story.
Not sure when we’ll finish it, since this is an on-the-side gig.
We’ve come a long way since our first CaringBridge update long ago in that very scary hospital room on the eve of Teddy’s emergency surgery.
Thought it best to let you know so as not to go it alone.
We’re just one month away from Teddy’s next MRI up at Children’s in Denver. Hard to believe that it’s already been six months.
Waiting with a whole lot of laugher, tears and hope,
Steve, Teddy’s Dad
P.S. So my Dad’s finally decided to write my story. Check out our splash page for our new website at www.teamteddy.net. It’s under construction. I’ll give you a hint. It has something to do with tiny critters. Hard to believe that there was a time when I couldn’t even pick one of ‘em up because of my cancer. Teddy