Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bumps in the road

While the rest of us were out learning the lyrics to Fergalicious and then turning them into something fun (I personally have been silently mumbling Soupalicious all day) Sahara's brain decided to take a momentary zigzag.

Over the last couple of days, she's had a few new side effects and symptoms, most of which are more annoying than anything else. For example, she's had some double vision. Now, that might be weird... but I suggested it could be very cool when it comes to chocolate, cute boys, puppies, kittens, and giant armies of fans.

She's on a new medication which should clear things up shortly, but in the meantime, you know what to do. Keep kicking.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Take that, Tumorbeast

Stable-icious. Sing it to the tune of "Fergalicious." Add silly words about smashing a tumor. That's what Sahara and Shannon did this evening. LOL. It's 12:40 am and I just got the 1:00 am IV bags ready; thought I'd hop online and blog about our fabulous news before I hook her up. Way to go, Mrs. Hecht, for being the first interview granted by Sahara. HA!

I got the call from Houston late this afternoon: the tumor is stable. When I got off the phone, I completely lost it. And Sheryl, who bit her fingers and waited for news alongside me today, also lost it. It was such a relief to know that this horrid thing hasn't grown. Given the speed that glioblastomas can grow, this was truly wonderful to hear. I called Sahara to let her know, and she was SO happy...I hadn't heard her squeal like that since Dylan Sprouse gave her his wristband at the Disney Channel Games last spring. :) It was great to see her spirits lifted so much. And Shannon was finally able to breathe again. The weekend of waiting was really tough.

She has the confidence, the faith and the strength. God is seeing us through this, opening doors, and giving us hope.

In other Aldridge news, the Lady Comets swept a doubleheader on Saturday morning and now have a 4-0 record! We have such awesome girls on our team...simply great kids with so much heart. Every girl on the team scored. All of our Upward kids are so much fun and enjoy playing every weekend. Sahara and I were there in spirit due to an early morning IV change, but hope to be there this coming Saturday. Go Comets!!!

Gotta go hook 'er up and get some really fast sleep. LOL. Thanks to everyone who continues to pray - IT IS WORKING!!!!

With love,

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mrs. Hecht, AKA the Nancy Drew of Missouri

Many hundreds of years ago, my mother was a teacher. My husband is a teacher, too, although he's taking this year off. I contemplated teaching a few times but realized I did not inherit the magic eyes in the back of my head that enable me to know who's about to shoot a spitball. Or worse.

Still, my mom managed to pass down some of those inquisitive teacher genes, along with her low blood pressure and her ability to make soup. So while I worked like a mad little beaver today, in between projects, I kept wondering what was happening with Sahara's results.

Well, Mrs. Hecht clearly got the full version of Teacher Curiosity, because not only did she go searching for the information, she FOUND it. Direct from everyone's favorite orange-clad pixie herself.

So here's the scoop: My tumor is stable. It didn't shrink, and it didn't grow. I’m on the highest dose of this medicine that I can take and at the rate I’m going I’m pretty sure that this thing is eventually going to shrink down to nothing.

That's the way to kick its ass! And, special thanks to Jennifer Hecht for getting the exclusive interview!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Yesterday's Report Card

Good morning, boys and girls.

Why is it that I always wake up early on the mornings I don't have to go to work?

Right now, I'm envying Sahara's ability to go to bed early and sleep, sleep, sleep. Next time I see her, I'm going to ask her how she does that. I suppose she'll tell me it has something to do with being a pre-teen. And gosh, no matter what I do, that's probably not something I'm going to manage, huh?

While they're waiting for the official results, here's an update from Amy, Goddess of Cheesecake:

Well, we survived it. Long story short...we don't know much yet. Our doctor here doesn't have the scans taken in Houston on December 1, so he only had the written report to use as a reference.

Apparently it's a very fine line...either the tumor hasn't progressed, or it has grown just a tad, between 1 and 3 mm. They FedExed the scans to Dr. B's office today. I don't think their radiologist works on Saturday, but he'll have everything on Monday morning. To us, the tumor doesn't look any bigger, but when you're talking millimeters, it's really hard to judge. We'll just have to wait and see what the real comparison says.

The one variable we do not know is what was happening during the couple of weeks in which she received no treatment of any kind. It is possible that there may have been growth, but the treatment reduced it. We just don't know.

We ask for your continued positive thoughts and prayers. Thanks....

With love,

Friday, January 19, 2007

Birthday wishes

Okay, all of you jokers that sent NY the snow: TAKE IT BACK. It's pretty and all, but now that it's fluttering gently onto the lawn, I've had my fill. I'd much rather marvel at how green the grass is for January.

I've got to leave early this morning since NY drivers are on the Slam and Swerve Plan whenever it's snowy or rainy. So, a quickie:

There's only one thing that could make this day better, and that's to receive my birthday wish. :) What an amazing day...thank all of you SO MUCH for your cards, emails and calls. I had a truly wonderful day.

Shannon gave me the most beautiful flowers (he hand picked every single flower at the florist's, and they designed an enormous's amazing), and he and Sahara gave me a gift certificate to Victoria's Secret. One of these days, perhaps I'll have time to go shopping. LOL. We went to dinner at Outback this evening, where we had great steaks and sinful desserts. I got my cheesecake fix, so I'm a very happy girl. Shannon also did cheesecake, and I let Sahara get the Chocolate Tower cake, which is a ridiculously large piece of chocolate decadence. She hasn't eaten anything like that in ages, and since it's a special day, I thought she should have something sweet too. She's so good, though...she just ate part of it and saved the rest for later.

Special thanks to Paul and to your card today from the radio benefit. You guys rock...and we love you! (Paul, Sahara enjoyed talking to you so much. You two will have to chat again soon!)

To my friends near and far at RS4 - thank you for making this a very special day for me.

Tomorrow morning we get the next MRI. We're all nervous and anxious, because MRI days are so scary. I just hope and pray my only birthday wish will come true. Keep praying...

With love,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You say it's your birthday

Happy birthday Amy! Here's to a year of celebration and miracles. We love you, SuperMom!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The ring of fire

Hi, everyone!

Cough. Sniff. Repeat. I have had the mother of all colds this past few days - yuck!!! Thank goodness I had some medicine on hand, because who has time to go to the doctor when you're the MOM??? We moms are not supposed to get sick, that's for sure. I slept whenever I could, and I think the worst is behind me. Shannon made a lot of trips to the store for me during that time, and I think we have officially cornered the market on chocolate soymilk and Dasani water. LOL.

I hope everyone reading is safe and sound, wherever you may be...the weather has really been rotten! I think it rained for five straight days here, which was actually great for sleeping! I used to hate rainy days, but now they seem very relaxing to me. It seems to make everything slow down for a little while.

Shannon and Sahara coached the Lady Comets to their second victory on Saturday morning - woo hooo! I apologize to anyone sitting near me for the coughing and gagging you had to witness. Sorry about that. Ahem.

Today was pretty special...after Shannon got home from work, he and Sahara went for a walk. It wasn't a very long walk, just a few houses up the street and back, but when you consider it's the first walk they have taken since early last summer, it was pretty darn cool. :)

She continues to do well on the treatment and is within one week of reaching her maximum dosage of the medications. We are so thrilled that she is tolerating it without any problems, and pray that it is working on annihilating the evil mass inside her pretty head.

Extra special thanks to Helaine Fox and Teresa Chyzie for their amazing efforts! We appreciate you so very much. I remain humbled at the goodness of so many.

Tonight, Shannon lit a fire in the fireplace for the first time since November. Wow. What a weird winter! It was the first fire that LuLu had seen, and she looooooved it. Most of the evening she was flat on her back in a very unladylike pose, enjoying the heat. I swear, she was grinning.

Take care!


Monday, January 15, 2007

Wouldn't you like to fly?

Amy may whack me with a board for doing this, but I need y'all to listen up.

First, if you haven't purchased your cookbook yet, click that link on the right, and tell Sheryl Henley you want one. Or two. Then send her a check. I know how many people read this site each day. If all of you bought one, Sheryl would be scrambling to reprint. The recipes are fun, sometimes goofy (check out the beer bread), and easy as, well, pie. Do it now.

Second, if you're on the east coast, there's a benefit luncheon for Sahara at Harrahs in Atlantic City on Saturday, February 17. Barring any snowstorms (y'all can keep those, thanks), I will be there, and if all works out, so will a very special guest who is fond of some dude named Jessie's woman. It's been organized by the good people at RS4 and Helaine Fox.

Helaine has also organized a number of raffles to benefit Sahara, and for the following, you don't have to be at the benefit to win:

Thanks to a very special friend and the wonderful people at SOUTHWEST AIRLINES, the first raffle in conjunction with the upcoming benefit luncheon at Harrah's in Atlantic City is for $600 IN SOUTHWEST AIRLINES GIFT CERTIFICATES!

ALL proceeds will be donated to the Hope for Hoops Slam Dunk Cancer Fund!

One winning ticket will be chosen. The gift certificates have no expiration date and there are no travel blackout dates. You can use as little or as much of them as needed until they run out.

Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 tickets for $20. There is no limit to how many tickets you may purchase. Paypal is the ONLY method of payment that will be accepted, but the account will also accept credit card payments, whether you are a Paypal member or not.

To purchase raffle tickets, please send an email entitled "SOUTHWEST RAFFLE" to saying how many tickets you would like. IF YOU WANT TO PAY WITH YOUR ALREADY ESTABLISHED PAYPAL ACCOUNT, AND THAT EMAIL ADDRESS IS DIFFERENT THAN THE EMAIL ADDRESS YOU'RE USING TO SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST, PLEASE INCLUDE THAT INFORMATION IN YOUR EMAIL. You will then receive an invoice from Paypal. Once payment has been received, your raffle number(s) will be emailed to you.

This raffle will run from right now, until Friday, January 19th at 10 PM EST. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the end of the raffle and the gift certificates will be mailed to them. GOOD LUCK!

Questions? Please email .

Third, someone is having a birthday this week, and it's not Sahara, Shannon, Lulu, or Gramma Dooley. Hmm, who could it be? Well, in her honor, light a candle this week, preferably on a chocolate cupcake, then make a wish for her daughter and blow.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I saw something today I haven't seen in a long time: my breath. New York finally got cold for a day or two. And yesterday, while headed to a meeting in another part of the city, we drove through a sparkling snow shower. It didn't even think of sticking--and was virtually gone in seconds. But everyone in the car agreed: it was snow, and if that's all we're getting in 2007, cool.

Hello everyone,

Today was pretty cool...Sahara visited our fabulous hairdresser, Shery Varney (she's in Jackson at Trendsetters...go see her and let her work magic on your hair!!!!!!). She wanted to get her eyebrows waxed. She even got a haircut! I didn't expect to say those words again for a very long time. Shery smoothed out the patchy areas and now she has a neatly manicured head. LOL. She even let Mrs. Hecht see her hair when they ran into each other in the grocery store this afternoon! She is getting more comfortable with it, and I am so glad.

Tonight when I kissed her on the head after she fell asleep, I noticed that wonderful freshly-washed hair smell...I hadn't experienced that since the last time I brushed her hair in Houston, before I came back home for that one week in September. When I went back, her hair had mostly fallen out, and since then I haven't had the privilege of washing or brushing her hair. It was a really sweet moment. When there hasn't been hair for so long, you really appreciate it when it starts to grow back. :)

So glad the weekend is almost here, and it's a three-day one at that. I'm trying to schedule a nap for one of those days. LOL.

Take care!


Monday, January 08, 2007

Nurse Amy's Orders

Hello everyone!

There is a time each year that Shannon loves even more than football season (or maybe it's a tie...but it's close regardless). That time is now, with the start of Upward Basketball season. Although Sahara can't play this year, Shannon is still coaching the Lady Comets, and Sahara is his assistant coach. It was so much fun to see everyone at the game yesterday - we have several of our players from last year on the team, and they are the BEST group of girls! We love them so much. They came ready to play, too, and won their first game of the year! We are so proud of the way they played together. It was tough watching Sahara on the sideline, and I know it was hard for her to be a spectator instead of a player. I'm glad that she's able to participate in this way, though, and that by next year at this time she'll be ready to suit up and take the floor. In addition to coaching the team, Shannon's also a referee for other games. Good thing he's in shape, because they really run him up and down the court. LOL. It's fantastic therapy for him. It was a really great day at the Rec Center.

Sahara's doing her best to beat her cold and is feeling much better this evening. I'm trying hard not to catch it from her, but as I sniffle and cough, I have a feeling it's a lost cause. Oh, well, I haven't been sick since last spring, so I'm really overdue for a round. Where the heck is my Flonase?

We had a wonderful time visiting my nephew Darrin and his great family for a while Saturday evening. They had a lovely meal, and I even got a surprise early birthday cake! That was really nice and much appreciated. :) There's never a dull moment at their house and it's always so much fun.

Finally got the Christmas tree taken down today. I always hate that task, and even more so this year. The remnants of the rest of the decorations are still scattered about, but at least I have more room to move again.

Wanna know what I hate? Seeing Christmas candy marked down 75% - sitting right next to the freakin' Valentine's Day candy that was put out this week. Give us a break, retailers!!!!!!! We haven't gotten over the holidays yet!!!!! AAAARRGGGHH!!!

Tomorrow Sahara will start homebound schooling again. We are so out of practice with studying and schoolwork...we will have a lot to catch up on. Hopefully she will feel like studying this week. She still gets tired, and too much information overwhelms her, but she has a wonderful teacher in Mrs. Goode. What a patient soul she is, and we are glad to have her helping Sahara!

To everyone at RS4 and beyond who has been working so hard, continuing to hold fundraisers and planning for future events, thank are so precious to me and I appreciate each and everything you do. God bless you all. :)

Have a great week, and hug somebody you love today!


Friday, January 05, 2007

The snotmonster

You'd think that kids with brain tumors should get to pass on normal annoying bugs like colds and the flu, but no. Sahara's been so busy stomping this tumor's stinky butt that a cold virus managed to sneak in the door.

Colds are the pits. Even if your mother makes you homemade chicken soup and puts butter on your crackers.

Monday, January 01, 2007

And never brought to mind

Happy new year. We rang it in (much to my husband's chagrin, who still pesters me to throw myself into Times Square) in a little restaurant with champagne and silly hats. As it should be.

I don't make resolutions. Do you?

Hello everyone, and Happy New Year to you all!

We are home safe and sound on the couch tonight. It does not, in any way, feel like New Year's Eve. I'm so glad to see 2006 come to an end, yet I'm both happy and scared to see 2007 pull into the driveway. Our only hope and prayer is that this year will provide healing for Sahara.

She continues to feel good and is tolerating the meds so well. As the doses increase, we're told that she may become more tired, but that is a normal thing. We are working diligently on cleaning up her diet (and ours as well). Fortunately, we have a wonderful store here in Cape called Natural Health, with owners Mike and Becky Brown ready and willing to help us! They are incredibly knowledgeable and their store is very cool. (Thanks you guys!!) A healthier diet will benefit all of us. Maybe I could offer a suggestion for a New Year's resolution to you all...just start watching what you eat a little more carefully. It's tough to make radical changes, and some things won't work for everyone, but once you start realizing what is in the commercially processed food we consume, it really opens your eyes.

Sahara was able to catch a movie with her friend Madison today. I know she really enjoyed getting out of the house for a while! She's trying to talk me into going shopping tomorrow, because she has some gift cards that are calling her name. LOL.

To the secret Santa who gave S the purple purse - it's the perfect size to carry her meds and she was able to ditch the black bag they gave us in Houston! So, THANK YOU!!!

A million thanks to all of you who sent cards and gifts...we are so grateful for each and every one. We had a wonderful holiday, and you helped to make it extra special. :)

To all of you to whom I owe emails and phone calls...I love you dearly and will eventually get back in touch, I promise! Time just gets away from me really quickly these days. There really aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Enjoy New Year's Day to the fullest!

With love,