Henry's Blog

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Irradiated and Deported

Ready to have the porta-cath removed


At the Tomb of Danny Thomas and his wife, Rose Marie.

"Thanks, Danny!"

Saturday, March 24, 2007

More From The Scrapbook: Life At The Ronald McDonald House

A late night snack in the room

A game of Twister outside with fellow patients

Making "Peabody Duck" cookies in the cafeteria

A portion of he "Hand Wall" - handprints of St. Jude alumnae - in the Ronald House

Adding Henry to the wall

Leaving the Ronald McDonald House for good

Friday, March 23, 2007

From The Scrapbook: A Day at St. Jude

The Main Entrance

Morning Registration

Waiting for treatment

With The Radiation Therapist

In Class

The Poetry Wall

Henry's Favorite Poem
(click to enlarge)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


This portrait is from "AM," Henry's best fiend when we lived in Montgomery. AM and his family moved first, when his dad got a new job in Seattle. Henry has seen him only once in seven years.

AM's Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly before Henry began exhibiting his symptoms.

Within the next 48 hours, Mrs. M and Henry will both have taken their last radiation appointment and completed current treatment.

AM, his mom and dad and grandparents will spend spring break with us.

And there will be great joy throughout the land!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Homeward Bound

Dad goes to Memphis on Wednesday. Friday the 23rd, Henry will have his final radiation treatment followed by out-patient surgery to remove his port. We all come home together on Saturday, March 24.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

For Reasons I Cannot Explain, There's Some Part of Me Wants To See Graceland

Dad just left Memphis on Thursday. It gets harder to leave with every visit.

We did have a great time. Uncle S, Aunt S and Cousin P visited from Atlanta. Besides Graceland, we saw the Peabody Ducks yet again, but this time Henry and Cousin P were the Honorary Duckmasters, and led the parade from the fountain, up the elevator, and into the rooftop duck palace. We also visited the zoo, and continued our exploration of Memphis cuisine.

Back on the hospital front, Henry continues to do well. As the radiation goes on he has lost his appetite and sometimes feels a little sick, but his spirits are generally high. He is much more stable on his feet and regaining balance and coordination. His voice and swallowing issues continue; he has been instructed to avoid certain foods that could catch in the throat. There is, however, noticeable improvement in his pitch and volume.

It is sobering to be treated at St. Jude and residing at the Ronald McDonald house where we meet so many other children with tumors, and hear of their victories and setbacks. Henry found a new good friend - also ten years old and also with ependymoma - who just had his fourth surgery following two recurrences.

For some really good news, Henry had a psychological exam last week. It actually was an academic assessment. The way the tests are structured, subjects just keep on doing the exercises until they are too difficult to continue. Henry's tests went on for almost 5 hours. He scored in the 99th percentile in almost every area. The examiner was very impressed, not just with the scores, but with Henry's whole approach in tackling the exam: he was focused but relaxed, having fun and being funny. Apparently most subjects who do well are more intense and somewhat stressed.

One more reason to be proud Mama & Papa.

A final passing thought brought on by our visit to Graceland:

It is obvious that Elvis was a man of infinite talent.

...And finite taste...