Teddy Rodd's Journal
Written Aug 4, 2013 7:45pm
“Hey Bugga, wanna show me your scans?”
Teddy had just returned home exhausted from Children’s. “Nope. I did it. Got it over with. They look good…and I don’t wanna talk about it anymore.”
His chest port didn’t quite work right this last time around; which meant a whole lot more pushing, poking and prodding to get the blood to come out and the chemo to go in.
“Love you, Sweet Boy. Really happy about the results.”
End of conversation.
No new growth in either location.
Maybe even a bit smaller.
If all goes well, chemo will end and the chest port will come out just before Thanksgiving.
Steve, Teddy’s Dad
Nano, Wanna Snuggle?
Written Jul 31, 2013 9:07pm
“Nano, wanna snuggle?” Teddy cocked his head to the side and batted expectant eyes.
Nano rolled “his” somewhat annoyed, “No, I’m good,Teddy.”
“How about a big hug? Come on. Just one,” Teddy’s arms reached out pleadingly to big brother.
Cousin Caleb, enjoying Nano’s discomfort, jumped into the mix and wrapped his arms tight around Nano’s back.
Then of course Teddy pushed it over the top, much to big brother’s groaning and dismay; “You’re my bro, my hero; like I love you,man!”
Yeah, T’s still a…teenager.
Keeps us guessing. Keeps us laughing in stitches…well, most of the time.
Just yesterday he scrunched up this nose, “Ummm, somebody smells funny.”
“Umm, Teddy, that might just be you.”
“Oh, okay. Sorry.” He hangs his head in deep (exaggerated) remorse.
He’s also heading back up the Gun Barrel to Children’s Hospital Colorado for the big MRI. Though we’re now dealing with two different tumors in his spinal column, we’re just hoping for no growth.
It’d be nice, actually, if they just disappear.
“I know the chemo helps,” Teddy ponders, “But sometimes I just wanna drag it down the street and beat it; or maybe even stuff TNT in its shoes.”
Kind of like he did to me up at Copper.
Both of my boys kicked my (and cancer’s) butt and dragged it down the street last weekend, riding more than 100 miles, at something like 10,000 feet in the Courage Classic, a biking benefit for Children’s Hospital, all round Copper Mountain.
Teddy’s counts were way low and he wasn’t feeling too great, but of course he never would have admitted it.
Yeah, he just kicked my back end; especially up that last climb.
Just to prove a point.
That he’s doing great, and the MRI tomorrow’s gonna bring us some good news.
I’m actually sick to the heart just waiting on the results.
Much faith, hope and love,
Steve, Teddy’s Dad
Written Apr 14, 2013 10:44pmLate the night before, I had laid out all the makings for the perfect bowl of my morning café.Fresh, fair-trade beans roasted here in Durango.Coffee grinder.An Italian stovetop Espresso pot.Stainless steel milk steamer.The smoldering fire in the wood stove burst to life as the red embers hungrily consumed the newly added ponderosa pine. My hands smelled sticky sweet of golden sap. The early morning rays of yellow-orange shot through the kitchen window illuminating the logs of our home in the middle of nowhere.As if on command, Teddy, instantly appeared from the loft at the top of the stairs, cocked his hips to the left, shot his arms up and out to the right, and announced his early morning arrival, “I’m here everybody!”Hips spasamed in a new direction, “Oh, please, please hold back all the paparazzi!” Arms swayed to the opposite side, “The party can start, peoples!”Then in perfect Bee Gee fashion, hips, arms and long blond mane swiveled at the center of an invisible sparkling hula-hoop, as he rhythmically made his way down the stairs.My steaming espresso pot gurgled to the pervading 70’s beat, happily pressing the pungent, black nectar to the top, spilling over into the surrounding catch basin.We really need to suspend a disco ball at the apex of our great room.Within minutes our olive oil stained, twenty-year old cookbook was splayed wide open on the kitchen counter top. Teddy’s left, pointer-finger landed on the crepe recipe. Therein ensued a flamboyant mixing of flour, baking powder, eggs and milk to the tune of something very retro and long hair.Teddy’s changing.“Hey, Bugga, would you please go wake Nano up?”“Yeper doodles!”In one smooth, almost poetic movement, he reached down to open the door next to the sink, pulled out our biggest pasta pan from the back corner and snagged a large metal ladle with the other hand. He then proceeded up the stairs leading to big brother’s sweet slumber…as if this was a perfectly normal way to wake him up.The change came all of a sudden.Though it was already mid-Saturday morning, my triple shot café crème had yet to break through with any thought of reason.As Teddy pounded up the stairs though with this “really bad idea,” the ensuing drama began to flash frame-by-frame through my fragmented thinking.When I was a kid I used to break out all the pots, pans and metal spoons on the kitchen floor in front of the sink. I’d sit cross-legged on the floor creating my own symphony of metallic clanging, banging and squealing.I wasn’t a quiet kid.Don’t know how my mom stood it.My parents could usually hear my high pitched voice singing or making some kind of rhythmic something or another clear down to the end of Aston street.Where I grew up.Where I cut my teeth on life’s most difficult lessons.Reason took hold.“Um, Teddy, hold on. No, absolutely not.”He raised his eyebrows, rolled his eyes, and cocked his head to the side with an expression that demanded, “Like, what’s the problem, Dad?”Teddy’s a teenager.And not just by calendar years.Aunt Karen, just up the hill, says he just talks LOUDER.A flamboyant flair has settled in.Not exactly sure though when it happened.Somehow, somewhere though, he’s no longer the little boy merely slaying dragons…among other horrific beasts.And in regards to that word, we hardly ever utter it out loud. It seems to be tucked deep down, back in that dark corner with all the pots and pans.It’s like he’s no longer been inflicted with this dreadful nightmare.Or if he has to have it, it’s sure not going to keep him from living life to the fullest.Yet he can’t escape his weekly venture to the infusion clinic.Every Wednesday.He walks into the cancer clinic, very much not the life the party, and beelines it for the candy drawer where he selects a flavor to suck, so as not to taste the foreign, liquid pushed into the center of his chest.I impatiently wait for Laurel to text me.She takes off Wednesdays now from work to do it.In some ways, our week revolves around our own hula-hoop called “blood and liver counts.”When all the poking, prodding and pushing’s done, we have to always ask, somewhat hesitantly, so as not to make any more real he’s where we are and what he’s getting, yet feel like we should ask, “So how you feeling, Bugga?”It’s always, “Great.”On to being just a normal kid with most of his hair still intact.Just recently though, he processed out loud, “Chemo day is kind of a drag.”Laurel caught his tired eyes in the rearview mirror, “Yeah, I’m sorry, Boo.”So, let’s plan something fun every week. Right after chemo.”“Sure. Like what?”The weekly treat has turned into going to Durango Joe’s, our local coffee hangout.The baristas eyes always light up when Teddy walks through the door on chemo Wednesday.It’s always on the house.Anything he wants.Compliments of Joe.Back on the ranch, it’s Friday evening.Allie’s throwing together some smoked salmon and goat cheese crepes.Laurel’s always said that she cannot dance a beat. With a teenage smirk, I turn the volume up on some African music we found years back.As the musicians cry out, “Jambo Bwana (hello mister)!” Laurel’s little frame begins to undulate and sway to her African roots, having grown up in Kenya most of her youth.She can no longer stay put, sitting down.“Habari gani (how are you)?”We’re all suddenly drawn to the mesmerizing beat.“Mzuri sana (very well)!”Within seconds Allie and I are attempting Salsa steps to the African drums. Teddy somehow manages to incorporate his retro, long hair rhythm, as he dances down the middle of the kitchen to the aroma of golden fried crepes.The musicians continue to spark life into our home, “Hakuna matata (there is no problem)!”Hips and bottoms are swaying and bumping.By now, Nano, our oldest, is wondering how in the world he was born into such a family.Truly, there are no problems, as time seems to stop.In just a few weeks we head back up the gun barrel to Children’s for the next scan.I almost went for the pots and pans under the sink.Steve, Teddy’s Dad