All Night Long!

I've almost reached a point of recovery from last Friday night's Relay For Life of Hudson. Almost. As you can see from my photo set out on Flickr, we had gorgeous weather with the exception of a very brief bout of high wind that threatened to blow in a severe thunderstorm just as the event was about to kick off. It blew some tents around and detached a few banners we had painstakingly hung up that morning in preparation for the event, a few spatters of rain fell, but aside from that, all was bright and sunny and gorgeous.

The Brain Trust donned our Pit Crew suits, decorated with patches which showed our sponsors from area business people and the names of loved ones who we were walking in memory and in honor of. (This is far less easy to see - the photos did not turn out great due to the very high sunshine and user error on my part - my apologies...)

It is always very difficult to try and name people in a post without the fear of forgetting someone (as I know I have in the past) and so I apologize in advance if I leave anyone's name off the following list of thanks. But for Keith's and my part, we would like to thank the following people who helped make this Relay spectacular by their participation and/or contribution in some way...

The members of Keith's Brain Trust. Every member is important, of course. Like any pit crew, one missing member and there could be a disaster. But as always we had the all important crew chief (two!) in Anonybro and Bonnie Wonka. Couldn't have done it without you!!!

Mom and Dad, thanks for making the hot dog stand happen. As you know, there was some serious fund raising that could not have occurred had it not been for that event. The raffle came together because of this, and our final hugely generous sponsor came on board that weekend after finding us there.

And all of the rest of the team are what make us a team! From workers at the stand to walkers on the track and brain power and assistants in other endeavors, you are all what make it happen. Thank you!

Inspirations and Dollar donors:

  • All of the above, because you know ya'll pitched in your own money (especially the crew chief and we have some money for you!)
  • Aunt Roz and Uncle Marty
  • Uncle Chuck and Aunt Helen
  • Uncle Howard
  • ~d
  • Billy & Stace
  • Cheryl Ecker Moore
  • Jon Olson - C21 (and thanks for coming out to the track, Jon!)
  • Mr. Schlief (we missed seeing you this year!)
  • Mark
  • Carol M
  • Jenorama
  • KathyC
  • KathyK
  • CursingMama and her MotorcycleMan
  • Jeff the Barista
  • Natalie the Barista
  • Mommy Dodo
  • Peter S
  • Mystical Marge!!! (and for your photography skilz - because you have them whereas I do not!)
  • Lisa
  • Carolyn and John
  • Donna
  • Kris
  • Keith's mommy, Alta
  • Keith's grandma, Dorothy
  • Z
  • Zaney Janey M
  • Kimby
  • KatieK
  • Michele and Wes
  • Whathisface
  • Whatshername
There are bunches of people who have supported us for years and years in the past, as well. If I try to list them all I will definitely forget some and be terribly embarrassed. Know that we are grateful to each and every one of you. The cheers from the sidelines are so important to us, as well. I'm not going to try and link up to bloggers here. If you want me to, text or email me and I will. (I'm back in here today because I'm already trying to add people to the list. See? I knew I'd feel bad about putting a list in here because there would be people left off and I'd feel bad about people from previous years not included. I should not have tried to do this. I have lived with guilt for something my whole life and I don't do well with it.)

I'm tired. :)

There is more to tell. But not much. You can learn most of it in the captions of my photos...


Seven years...

Seven years ago today, we awakened from a fitful night's sleep in one of Rochester, Minnesota's small hotels, very retro in that it hadn't been updated in many years. Our alarm was set early so Keith could be at the surgical center prepped for his surgery well before the procedure was to begin.

I don't remember a lot about that day. I'm the queen at forgetting things I don't want to remember. There are many flashes of the day that I do remember, however. I remember the threatening weather. Terrible lightening as we crossed the street from the hotel to the hospital, holding hands and trying to joke about what would happen if they lost power in the middle of surgery. Trying not to think about the fact that there was a 50% chance he might not live through it.

I remember how very dark it was that morning. It was early. And it was storming. And we had a lot of apprehension. All of those things were contributing factors. I know that Keith remembers a lot of different details than I do. But I sure remember that darkness. And the chill I felt in the air. My fear. My teeth chattering.

I remember the frustration of the waiting. I knew that it would be hours and yet, it was still very difficult waiting those hours. And yet, the hours flew by very quickly. There was all of the frustration of sitting in the surgical waiting area trying to get my laptop to connect to the internet so that I could send out little email dispatch updates to friends and family. Finally giving up on that and making treks to the Mayo library any time I knew any piece of information. Using their computers to send out mini-missives.

I remember that Keith's mom was there, and my most long-time friend. My support system. And yet I needed that time to cocoon. And they were okay with that and kept each other company for the most part. I had to spend much of the day processing what was happening because it was all happening so quickly (his diagnosis had come April 13th and here it was, surgical day two months later after a couple of years of strange symptoms that had gone misdiagnosed and now brain cancer?).

I remember the surgeon's update. Telling me that he had removed the tumor from the hippocampus and amygdala calling it an amygdalahippocampectomy. He used his hand to demonstrate the size of the tumor being about the size of his thumb and that they'd taken a little margin around it. (That means brain matter folks...) He said they had also tested for seizure activity during the surgery.

I remember afterwards when HBB was in ICU for the post-surgery recovery and in the throes of some serious pain (I gotta admit, they were not great at pain management down there in his case - that was a big disappointment...) and I began my sympathy migraine. No surprise there, eh?

I remember when they pulled the drains from his head. Dear g*d I hope I never have to witness any of my loved ones going through anything like that again. I weep when I remember that.

I remember the kindness of some of those night nurses.

I remember his hiccups. And how they would NOT go away. And how nobody seemed to care. And how I ran all over trying to find some yogurt for him to eat while he had them because that had helped him get rid of them once. Imagine how hiccups must feel to someone who has had their skull cut open for deep brain surgery and then stapled back together.

I remember wondering if Rochester ever has decent weather or if all of the bad storms pass through that city (and I have to admit that HBB and I still wonder that whenever we watch the weather patterns coming into the cities).

I could go on for some time. There are many of these tiny details that come to me. But all I really want to say is, Happy 7th Half Brain Birthday, Keith! I'm so glad to be able to share in this and many other special days with you. This year I am extra grateful to spend with you. You will always be my Half Brain Boy. :D

There is only a week left until our local Relay For Life! Help us celebrate Keith's Brain Trust family team with a donation. Or just wish Keith a Happy 7th Half Brain Birthday with a donation to him!

Our thanks to bloggers Jen, Bill and Stace, ~d, Mark, Lisa, and Sharon for all you have done to help make this Relay successful! You rock!


RRRRRRRRRacing Against Time!

We're only 9 days away from the Race Against Time... A Walk to Find A Cure. It's our local American Cancer Society Relay For Life and our team is going all out to raise as much money as we can for this event.

If you are interested in getting on board, here is one more way you can help... it's too late now to add your patch to our pit crew suits, but we're raffling off this amazing mini Nascar hood (approx 28" x 30"). I can't sell them online, but if you are interested in this raffle, let me know! The beautifully painted hood is valued at $85-100 and our tickets are selling for only $2! (or 3 for $5).

If you'd prefer, you can donate to our team online to help us reach our fund raising goal by clicking on this link. Thank you so much!

Help us beat this cancer beast!

RRRRacing Against Time with Keith's Brain Trust!

What? You've never heard of Relay For Life? Never done it yourself? Don't know anyone else who has? Go check out our team's flickr photos from past years and see how much fun we have and then look for a Relay in your area. Then? Get involved! You'll be glad you did.