Sunday, June 17, 2007

Goodbye to Sebastian

Hi everyone, and Happy Father's Day!

It was four years June 5Th that my dad left us. I suspect that every father's day will bring the memory of his passing to me and the rest of the family. Oh, by the way, if you're looking for something good to read, consider picking up a copy of "For One More Day" by Mitch Albom. It's a terrific book about spending one more day with a departed parent.

Deb had her third chemo on Thursday. She was very tired on Thursday night and Friday, so she didn't go with Sebastian and me to Chicago, but rather stayed home and rested. Friday was her birthday and so when Sebastian and I came home we had Ben Thomas over and did some great steaks on the grill.

Deb was still tired on Sunday morning and missed church. Nothing too much different about the chemo experience this time, and a sense of routine starts to build.

The next chemo is July 3rd so we will see after that how the tumor has responded. I believe the doctors are intentionally vague so that patients and their families are not holding unrealistic expectations. So much of this treatment depends on how the individual patient reacts, and then adjustments are made on the fly. I expect that if the tumor has shrunk, surgery will be scheduled to remove it. That will be followed by chemo and perhaps radiation.

It was an emotional weekend anyway with Sebastian leaving on Saturday for Germany and his family. His flight left O'Hare about 2:30pm and was scheduled to arrive around 6am in Munich, about 11pm Chicago time. He wrote to say he arrived very tired and still battling the cough he had for about two weeks before going home.

He had just returned from Philadelphia where he spent a week with daughter Erin and her husband Rob. He saw New York City, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, with lots of history including ground zero, the Statue of Liberty and all of the monuments in D.C. We are very thankful to Erin and Rob for taking the time and making the effort to host Sebastian.

I took Friday off and we went to the Sears Tower to really see Chicago. We had lunch at Blackies and visited my office to see the really important people in my life, or at least that's what they asked me to say.

Looking back on having Sebastian makes me glad he was here and grateful for showing me what having a son (I have three daughters) would have been like. He was really a treasure to have. Good student, helpful and dependable. I think I still favor the daughters. No competition for the TV remote, the PC or the chips :).

Deb is missing him. I know we will miss having a new student but it will be easier not having one this next year until Deb's health is more certain.

Deb's sister Anita had all the family over for Father's day today. It was a great time, as usual. Kathi and Erin called to wish me a happy father's day and happy birthday tomorrow.

We are going to southern Illinois next weekend for the Harrell family reunion.

Finally, I feel like we have received a special blessing from God because of all of your prayers and good wishes. Your cards and notes are so precious. Deb seems visibly lifted by the outpouring of love she receives every day. There is a lot of stress in our lives right now, but we feel so blessed to have good friends helping us.

Please consider praying for Danny, our friend who is still battling cancer and the effects of radiation. There are so many people for whom cancer is a lonely battle, as they are old or without friends or family. Please pause a moment to remember them with a special prayer. Ask God in all his mercy to heal and comfort them, for we know he is the Great Physician and His love endures forever.

God Bless You All.


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