Saturday, September 27, 2008


It's been an intersting couple weeks. Glen wrote a bit about his difficulty last week - one of the most difficult days of the entire experience- at least for me. It's so hard to watch someone struggle and know that no words or actions will help. Glen has demonstrated such strength of character throughout this whole ordeal. Even in his darkest moment he pulled himself through by reaching out to the experts who he knew could help him (his therapist and the ever-positive Dr. Yom). As he continues his physical and mental recovery he takes the bull by the horns and I'm reminded of a statement he made at the very beginning of this experience - he has cancer, cancer does not have him.

Part of his need to pull himself out quickly came from the knowledge that Niels was heading to college in less than a week (from last week's "attack"). Glen desperately wanted to be well enough to manage the trip to Eugene and celebrate in Niels' new life. A week ago I didn't think there was much of a chance that he could make the trip, but you know Glen...don't ever bet against him. He did everything he could both physically and mentally to prepare himself for success and by Sunday night he was determined to join us. He called his mom and let her know he wouldn't need her to come down and stay with him....he was going to Eugene. We spent Monday and Tuesday with last minute preparations. (Truly all preparations were last minute because Niels left all of the packing till Tuesday!).

Wednesday morning we said our good byes to Blair and headed north. She wrote Niels a long letter and sent him off with a picture of the two of them. It was hard to leave her behind, but she did take wonderful care of Fred and the cats for us. (She tells us that Fred went to Niels' bedroom door and kept knocking to get in and check on him.) Glen did a great job on the long drive (8 hours) and even did some of the driving. Actually the first time he had driven since mid July was on Tuesday!

Thursday was move in day for Niels. We went to Niels' favorite travel breakfast place, Denny's and Glen enjoyed some pancakes and eggs. We drove to UO and got in the long car line for a parking place. Luck was with us and we immediately found a spot. We joined the hordes of excited freshman and nervous parents carrying load after load upstairs. Luckily for us, Niels' dorm has an elevator! He's in the newest dorm at UO. The rooms are spacious with loft beds to create even more space. It took us no time to set him up and off we went to Costco for the last minute important items - tv and refrigerator packed with water bottles! By this time Glen had had it and we took him back to the hotel while we made one more trip back to UO to unload the new items. I went back to the hotel and suggested that we take a ride out the Mc Kenzie river to pass the afternoon. We had already spent too long boo hooing about Niels and needed to get out and enjoy the fresh air. The tears were full of gratitude for the years we had raising him. We are so proud of him and excited for his future, but as you all's such a major rite of passage and we know that he'll never be "ours" the way he was when he lived here in our home.

Friday morning we picked up a dozen doughnuts and returned to the dorm to give him a final hug and kiss. His roommate, Warren from San Antonio, came out to meet us. We thought that it was really cool of him to come out so early in the morning. It was great to meet him before we left and we appreciate his show of friendship toward Niels. Apparently the roomies have finished decorating because we noted the "Obama" poster in the window! We hugged Niels and shed another bucket of tears and then jumped in the car headed south. It was a long and bittersweet trip.

Blair was home waiting for us and we were so glad to see her. Poor thing...she's worried that our new "project" will be her and she's not so sure she wants so much focus! Truly we are so blessed by two great kids. As I keep saying...this is everything we've worked for...did it have to get here so fast?

I guess in closing I have to thank Niels for providing Glen the impetus to speed up the recovery process. I don't know that that's exactly what happened, but he sure has been improving daily this past week. Eating continues to be problematic, but he's trying more and more foods and is having some success. He will go see Dr. Dubey (oncologist) on Tuesday for an update on his recovery. He's taking on more tasks and responsibilities including helping Blair out by driving her to her new job in the afternoons! She is coaching 7th and 8th grade intramural volleyball at the middle school! We're very excited for her as we know how much she loves the sport. She will be challenged by those pre-teens, but it's all good!

Continued thanks to you all for keeping up with Glen through the blog. We are continually amazed by the response. You are all very dear to us - even if we're not sure who exactly you are out there!



Kathryn said...

Believe me when I tell you that I know exactly how you feel about Niels. I just never thought I'd be taking my "baby" away to prep school before I took Bryce to college.

It's nice that Maya is only a few hours away in Pebble Beach, but it's a lot further away than her bedroom!

Thank God that the young adapt to change much more easily than us "old folks"!

I continue to read your blog and you are all constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Please just call if you need anything at all.


ann said...

you have such a wonderful family joyce!
and i can't believe niels is off to college!
i miss seeing you and the gang everyday... we must get together soon!!

Jim and Diane Fidelibus said...

We have been thinking of you both all last week, and had hoped the trip was a success. Glad Glen made it, we hope to see you soon! Maybe this week?
Jim and Diane

Cecelia Liss said...

Hi Glen, Hi Joyce,

Susan Hsu just made me aware of your blog and I am so happy that she did.

Glen - The strength and determination you have shown through all this is the Glen I knew when I worked with you. I am so very happy that you are on your way to recovery and that the worse is behind you. I really can't imagine anything holding you down.

Take care, both of you!

Cecelia Liss

Joyce -

Karyn said...

You two are Amazing!! I have learned so much about humility, humor, and heroism. Hugs and MUAH!