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“The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord.” (Judges 18:6)

Dear Family and Friends,

The first day of treatment went really well if I do say so myself.  Other than unexpectedly having to go through it without Kendra and George, no problems.

It was an 8-hour day with three different infusions and rest periods after each.  I was complimented on my veins at least 4 times, and I think I’m going to stop sharing that with you at this point because I don’t want it to go to my head.  Pride in one’s vasculature can be a gateway to many other sins, so I think I need to balance it out with some vascular humility and detachment.  I hope you understand.

I was able to work on emails, take calls, get up and walk around, and eat lunch while getting infused, and the clinical trial team brought me a really great lunch courtesy of the drug company sponsor of the trial.

The infusion center was very busy, with patients of all ages and backgrounds (all adults, so not all ages).  There were a lot of patients who looked much like you’d expect, having that “chemo patient” look about them.  Pray for them, team.  They’re in a tougher place than I am.  Much tougher.  And they don’t have all of you…yet.

The nurses were the best nurses who have ever taken care of me, Kendra, or one of our kids in any setting, for any reason we’ve needed care, ever.  Their cheerfulness was exactly what you’d want in a treatment ward that could be a very depressing place.  Their joy at helping and caring for patients is something I’ll probably never forget.  As I mentioned in my post of Wednesday morning, I offered two of them to come and work for my company.  No response yet.  They really were excited to see George before they kicked him out, and it wasn’t long before the 9 kids factor became clear.  They hungrily crowded around our pictures of the kids and had many compliments for Kendra especially.  They made us smile.  Please pray in thanksgiving for people who are wired to do this and for their perseverance in their vocation, despite the fact that they see such a repetitive cycle in so many patients.

The first two infusions were a complete piece of cake.  The third made me feel heavy-headed, if only very slightly, and if that even makes sense.  They gave me tylenol and benadryl, I slept for 20-30 minutes, and felt fine.

Kendra came back later to pick me up, though I felt that I could have driven home.  She brought Mary Jane, who needed to come in to go to the bathroom.  In the elevator, she announced to one of the oncology receptionists that our baby is George, which was great.

We stopped to check in with the Boss on the way home.

Stopping at a church on the way home is something I try to do every day.  Usually it’s to unwind for a minute before I go home, because the family doesn’t need COO Dad.  They need Dad, so I need to make a big shift in what I’m focused on.  A good friend once gave me the advice that when I touch the doorknob when I get home at the end of the day, I need to say to myself aloud, “It’s showtime.”  Because the family needs the best of me, not whatever is left over at the end of the day.  He told me to rest in heaven, not on the couch at the end of the day.  Get up and help with something, he said.  I try and fail to turn off wound-up COO Dad, but I’m still trying.  Anyway, stopping at a church on the way home is what makes it possible for me to make that switch.  Stallone had the hat in his serenade to arm wrestling “Over The Top,” I have my daily check-in at the tabernacle.

Today’s visit was more about thanking Him for watching over me, for the opportunity to live in this age where I could get a medical miracle, for the mysterious gift of this cross – shaped precisely to fit me, and for all of you.  This was a great day – a phenomenal day.

I came home to an end of the year school party for 60 teenagers.  You might have heard we keep it crazy around here.  I distinctly remember the first day of interferon in 2007.  Right after dinner I started feeling pretty awful.  Not so today.  Totally different.  I took a late work call about something big that’s going on, and I watched the end of The Fugitive with the high schoolers.  That is a great Chicago movie.  So many touches, so many great local actors wit de yACcent, so many great mustaches.

Here as I approach midnight on day 1, I have an ever-so-faint, almost imperceptible headache and an ever-so-mild scratchy feeling in the back of my throat.  Probably just time to get some rest.  COO Dad’s got some big things to accomplish tomorrow.

With fortitude and prayers for you,