Saturday, October 27, 2012


One of my earliest memories is a bit of an infamous story in our family. Our parents had gone across the street to the neighbor's (for what I am sure is a well deserved night out). They could not find a sitter so they waited until my sisters and I were asleep and came back and forth every 30 minutes to check on us. During one of the breaks, I woke up. Like any 4 year old was looking for my mom, or dad. When I could not find them I woke up my 2 younger sisters, sat them on the top step of the second floor, patiently explained to them that mom and dad had gone and were never coming back. They, not surprisingly, started to bawl. They asked me how I knew that mom and dad were not coming back and I explained to them I had searched the house, mom and dad had never done this before and that could only mean that they had left us. I tried to reassure them I would take care of them and everything would be okay (this did not do much to stop the tears or make them feel better) and then I called 911. I was in the middle of my explanation to the nice 911 lady on why I was positive my parents would never return when they did. My dad took over from there with the nice lady on the phone. Luckily massive social service involvement was avoided and we were all glad to see I was wrong.

My sisters and I are close in age (the oldest 3 of us were born across 3 years and then 5 of us in 9 years).  Growing up there was always someone to play with. Some days that meant if you had a specific activity in mind you could find someone to do it, other days it meant really big scale play with enough people to really play all the parts of restaurant, do a show, or play field hockey in the backyard. Like most siblings, we did not always get along, but we have always loved each other and ferociously protected each other. Our spouses say we are like kittens when we get together. We all like to be touching each other, sometimes we are a blur and it is hard to tell who is doing what, and we all talk at the same time (we can all understand each other but apparently this is unintelligible to our spouses).

When I found out I had leukemia two weeks ago I know my sisters and parents had to restrain themselves from getting on a plane right away to come. We talked with everyone and staggered times. My sister, Robin, was going to be here for two weekends in a row but when I had a very rough start to the week she changed plans to stay all week. She has helped in so many ways and it has been great. This weekend is the changing of the guard and my parents come in town and Robin heads home. It was very sad to say goodbye to her last night. It is making me tear up just thinking about it. She has been here during a low week when we needed help. Having her spend 3 nights in a row here at the hospital meant so much. The evenings were much more fun. She spoke for me in the nights when I was too sick to speak for myself to the nurses. She has sent me pictures daily of the girls and the fun things they have been into each day. When I told Robin what an act of love it was to spend 3 straight nights in the hospital chair-fold out bed with me her response was she was glad to do it and "it was better than sleeping on the night flight to Asia in coach" :).  Thank you not only to Robin, but to my brother in law, John, who was not only supportive but pushed to have Robin stay to help longer than expected.... thank you, John.

I also feel lucky that through each stage of my life I have friends that feel like sisters. They are friends that I know would do anything for me, and I the same for them. You have all been showering me with so much love through your notes, calls and thoughtful gifts. Thank you.

No big medical update today... feel about the same. My white blood count that was cause for the happy dance yesterday is down and they are not sure why. My doctor is not making rounds this weekend so no big new news until Monday.

Just feeling lots of love for all my sisters :).


  1. Beth: what a lovely tribute to your family! I feel the same about my brothers. I have been reading daily, and praying nightly for good health to return. PS: glad your parents didn't run away:). Love to all of you, Aunt Barb

  2. Hi Beth and Chad - I've commented here twice but the blog seems to be eating my comments! I've been following your posts since I read the news on FB. It's so great to be able to keep up to date with your progress from afar. I'm amazed and awed and inspired by your posts, and by the wisdom and humor and spirit that's evident in them. Know that I'm thinking of you and the girls, and Mathias and I send you lots of healing vibes and good thoughts. Please let me know if there's anything at all we can do from (many) miles away. Love and hugs.