THIS JUST IN.... The doc came by to chat with Jen this morning and debriefed her on the next step in the treatment. She has begun a 1-dose regimen of Oncaspar this afternoon with the intent to thoroughly treat the lingering ALL component of her cancer. The side-effects the physicians will be monitoring for are blood clotting issues and pancreatitis. Please pray for a positive response as well as a strong tolerance to the medication. Pray that God will continue to uphold her with His strong right hand. And praise the Lord for the blessing of a truly wonderful nurse who prayed with and for Jen as the chemo drugs began.
*Matt will write a medical synopsis post, as promised, as soon as he gets the chance.*
Now onto what we've been entertaining ourselves with today... Baskin Robbins has their 31 flavors; we have our 31 memories! In honor of the big birthday tomorrow, Jen and I sat down and recounted 31 of our most favorite memories. So without further ado...
31. Once in a restaurant, I, at the ripe old age of 18 months, decided to pitch a screaming fit. The waitress walked up to our table, noticed my meltdown and then Jennifer sitting calmly waiting to give her order, and said to her, "And you must be the big sister." "No," Jennifer corrected her, "I'm the precious little angel."
30. When Mom was in the hospital after having Lindsey, our grandmother Mimi took four-year old Jen and two-year old me to visit. Momma let Jennifer hold the new baby while she sat next to her on the couch. I stood nearby BEGGING to hold the new baby. Jennifer cut her eyes over to Mom in a very 'adult-like' manner and said, "Momma, nuh-uh." In other words, you better think this over good, Lee Lea, before handing the baby off to her.
29. When our aunt Billie Jean brought her son Paxton home from the hospital, I climbed over in the bassinet with him while Jenny exclaimed, "Oh Jean Jean! Thank you for getting us a brother!"'
28. Jennifer was just learning to ride a 'big girl' bike out in our driveway, and I was cruising around in an early 80's version of a Power Wheels. Jennifer had instructed me prior to her ride that I was to only operate on the lowest speed. When she appeared safely perched on her banana seat, I gave the Power Wheels a little juice and sped toward her in hot pursuit. She promptly hopped off the bike, swirled around with her hands on her hips, yelled, "Lauren! You mean, lyin' sister!" and stormed off in a huff.
27. In a "Dear Santa" letter she wrote in first grade, Jennifer asked him to bring her a new doll. Then, in her thoughtful way, implored him to bring our mother a new pair of panties. Poor Mom didn't find out about the request until she read the published letter in our town's newspaper.
26. Growing up, our family went on as many boat trips as we could squeeze into one year. Once, when Jenny was in first grade, Dad picked her up from school early so we could head out of town for one of these trips. He signed her out in the office, casually strolled out to the parking lot and threw her, along with her full bookbag, on the back of his motorcycle- all in his total haphazard style. As he was pulling off, several teachers chased him down and told him he shouldn't ride with her like that, especially with no helmets. "She knows to hold on tight," he remarked, and they sped away.
25. In elementary school, Jen and I had to go door-to-door selling magazines. We were walking down the street and noticed a big, black dog lying out in front of a house. He stood up and approached us. I took off running as fast as my little six-year old legs would carry me while Jen just sat tight and watched the spectacle unfold. The dog chased me down and took a huge chunk of flesh out of my rear (I still have the scar). Crying and furious that the dog had picked me, I yelled at her, "What were you thinking just walking around back there! Why didn't you run too??!" "Lauren," she calmly replied in her best eight-year old version of our mother's voice, "haven't they taught you in school not to run from dogs? It just makes them want to chase you. You're supposed to stay calm." Oh.
24. As previously mentioned, we loved to water-ski and lived for it in the summer. There was nothing like getting suited up and slathered down with Coppertone for a day on the lake. This particular summer, I'd decided I was going to teach myself to slalom. I talked Jen into kneeboarding beside me while I skiied along on two skis. I'd then grab a hold to the top of her head to stabilize myself and shake one of my skis loose. Well, it all went according to plan until I couldn't find the ski-slip for my loose foot. I flailed around for a few moments with one free leg kicking the air and my steadying hand pulling Jen's hair before I finally crashed. She was a trooper, and it made for a funny home video.
23. We were living in a rental house for a year and one afternoon, in an attempt to beat the boredom that was setting in, the two of us decided to have a little unconventional fun. Our old house had a wooden staircase, and we slid down it every way possible - in sleeping bags, pillow cases, or just plain ol' panties. The rental house had a carpeted staircase so we were going to have to be creative with our sliding method. I had a slick-backed board that went with an old train set and thought it'd make the perfect sled. Jen warned me saying it'd probably go way too fast and wouldn't work as well as our old sleeping bag/wooden-staircase trick. Throwing caution to the wind and a few pillows at the foot of the stairs, I had Jen hold the board steady until I gave her the all-clear. I signaled for the release and when she did, it took about .5 second for me to reach the end of the staircase. Unfortunately, we hadn't accounted for my lightning-speed momemtum catapulting me into the afacing wall. She laid rolling around at the top of the steps, laughing at the crumpled heap of pillows, train set board, and me.
22. One time in highschool, Jennifer, my boyfriend Matthew, another friend of our's, and I decided we were all going to a party. The only trouble was we didn't know where the party was being held. We thought we knew the general direction of town where the party was, so we loaded into Matthew's truck and took off. About what we thought was half-way there, Matthew decided he had to go to the bathroom and it couldn't wait. He pulled to the side of the road and hopped out. Another vehicle was headed our way and would surely hit the truck if it wasn't pulled over further. Jen told me to jump in the driver's seat and move the truck, "And hurry! Fast! That car's coming!" In all of our panic, we forgot to tell Matthew we were moving. I gave it the gas and heard, "OH MY GOSH! MY FOOT!" I'd run over Matthew's foot. Needless to say, we didn't go to the party after that, just straight back home. (And he still married me!)
21. One day, the three of us sisters were coming home from Jackson. Around Carthage, Jennifer decided she'd let our younger sister Lindsey take the wheel to give her some more experience. She did just fine until we came up on a car traveling at the speed of smell. Seeing there was plenty of time and room, we encouraged Lindsey to pass. She eased over into the left side of the road but never sped up. Apparently she hadn't been taught the concept in driving school. In the oncoming lane, an eighteen-wheeler topped the hill heading straight for us. I remember feeling as though I was frozen in time, and truly, images of my life started to flash through my mind. Jennifer was screaming, "Speed up! Speed up! Speed up!" Thankfully, Lindsey got around the car just in the nick of time, and Jen found her seat back at the helm for the remainder of the drive.
20. It's been established. Lindsey wasn't a very speedy learner when it came to driving. Jen, being the patient, doting, mothering big sis that she is, took every opportunity to help teach her. She let Lindsey drive through our quiet neighborhood one day and then ease into the driveway to park. Lindsey put Jennifer out at the mailbox so she could get used to driving alone. Lindsey pulled down the driveway and then stepped out of the car, forgetting to, yep, put the car in park, much less turn the car off. Jennifer jumped in the driver's seat just in time to stop the car before it rolled into the pile of bricks at the end of the driveway.
...So there's the start to our countdown of 31-derful memories!