Friday, March 12, 2010 10:20 PM, CST
Some days, I think that Jack is just plain funny. I have seen several emails where he referred to what he is going through as the "adventure" he is on. Who talks about cancer as an adventure? Well... Jack, that's who. He finds joy in living, and with only rare exceptions, he continues to walk into each day with an unbelievably positive attitude. I wish I could bottle up his attitude – I wouldn’t sell it; I’d give it to everyone, whether they wanted it or not, for free. Life is good!
Last week we had the pleasure of being invited to the Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center. One of Jack's dear friends, TJ, is onboard the International Space Station, and regularly calls Jack from space to check on him, give him a great giggle, and boost his morale; they have a sweet friendship. Missy G and TJ’s astronaut psych support team arranged for Jack and I to be in a surprise private videoconference from earth to the Space Station -- with TJ! It was so, so much fun to see these two guys grinning ear-to-ear and chatting up a storm for 45 minutes. Wow - what a highlight for Jack to see his buddy having such a great time! Not to mention being able to see the new cupola (domed windows) onboard the Space Station, with views of the Earth below. Thanks, TJ, for giving Jack more laughs than he's had in the past 2 months! After we left the Control Center, I took Jack home, where he immediately fell asleep. His energy level is still very low, and this event wore him out -- but it was well worth it!
This entry will be short – because I’m exhausted! It’s one day after surgery and Jack is doing great. Two physicians performed a two-and-a-half hour operation on Jack’s back; they pumped cement into six “moth-eaten” (their words, not mine!) vertebrae. The procedure should stabilize the vertebrae that the cancer has weakened, prevent their further collapse, and help eliminate some back pain. The doctors were very pleased with the results. We have yet to see if Jack has less pain in his spine because he has considerable pain from the surgery itself. Imagine needles that are the size of straws being inserted through your back muscles and you can understand where his pain is coming from – all those back muscles are reacting with an overload of cramps and spasms. This should subside over the next few weeks, and we are ever-hopeful that Jack will soon feel better than he has in a long time.
Again, we give thanks for M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s world-class physicians and support staff – and for family and friends who continue to stand by us with prayers and support. Thanks go to Missy G for setting up the videoconference in space, to Joy H for wonderful meals, to Peggy C for cookies and healthy muffins, to Linda and Renae D for cake and snacks and including Jack in special masses for healing by the Our Lady of Lourdes Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and to Evelyn and Hernan for a very special angel of hope. You are all in our prayers of thanks; we are also very appreciative of all of you who have offered continued help to us, and those of you who have written and called Jack and made him feel that he is still connected to the world! You are all simply amazing friends!
With love and hugs to all –
Sue and Jack