Bon Jovi. Scholar. Visionary. Wearer of Tight Pants. Describer of life. 

It felt like summer might last forever, like a Bette Midler concert or something. But here we are. Halfway there.

Pace is halfway done with the first eight months. Livin’ on a Prayer. Jon Freaking Bon Jovi. 



Interim Maintenance-check. 

Next comes the hauntingly named Delayed Intensification, which I feel like also describes eating bad Mexican food. Delayed Intensification, the phase of treatment, starts the first of September and will last two months. He will get treatment every week. He will get labs drawn every week the day before treatment. There will be times when his immune system won’t, you know, exist. He goes back on steroids, which before made him look like a recovering gambler living in government housing somewhere in New Jersey. He’s gonna be tired. And we are going back to treating everyone who comes within an acre of Payson like they have Mad Cow disease. We are sure there’s lots of good days coming, too. But we know there will be some sucky ones. Delayed Intensification. What can you do?

His treatment on Thursday last went swimmingly. Wendy took some pictures of the home health visit the day before. Or, more precisely, she had someone else do it while shewas busy being smothered on the couch while he was being worked on. The ultimate security blanket. And notice the mask – it’s because he doesn’t like the smell. Having first hand knowledge of the smells that don’t faze him emanating from two teenage brothers, I can only imagine the horrors of the odors of heparin and saline.

Treatment day at the hospital was good. Doctors and their ilk continue to be very positive about how he’s responded so far.  Payson also continues to try to keep all of his options open among the single female nurses on staff, wink wink nudge nudge. 

Wendy did a timelapse of getting the sticky stuff off this time. I hate the sticky stuff. If hating the sticky stuff was people, I’d be CHINA!

Because it was the last treatment of Interim Maintenance, or perhaps to see what the human body is actually capable of enduring, or perhaps as a cruel joke, they sort of doubled his medicines. All part of the plan, I guess.  Other than the slight touch of nausea that sent barf cascading out of every orifice in his head, and two days of walking around with eyelids so droopy he looked like Sly Stallone, it went really quite well. He’s had so much energy and health this summer that it’s been a little easy to forget that Leukemia, in fact, sucks.  Good reminder for a day or two there. 

Up yours, Leukemia. 

He’s great now. School starts Wednesday. He’s going, at least for a couple weeks. It makes us so freaking happy that he’s well enough to start school. 

So Viktor Frankl, other than needing to buy a vowel for his last name, was pretty much perfect. He said this:

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. 

What a fantastic thought. 

Something about being in the middle of deep water draws awareness out of you – awareness of fierce people around you who are doing their own pig kicking. We are constantly learning about people who surround us who are in the middle of their own adversity, in the middle of unchangeable situations, learning lessons like we are, lessons tailored just for them. 

What a blessing it is to be forced to change. We don’t like Leukemia, we don’t like counting days, we don’t like the fear of the unknown or the uphill road we are walking, but what a profound blessing it is to be challenged to change ourselves. Such depth and understanding and wisdom and patience and perspective to be gained when we have to. 

Godspeed to all of you out there doing your thing, being challenged to change yourselves. Keep on trucking.

We continue to experience the benefit of remarkable charity in the freaking rock stars that comprise Payson’s village. Not a single day goes by without an act of kindness from somebody. Four months in, and we’ve been absolutely full immersion baptized by love – new people who’ve shown up for us in stunning ways, the closest friends who make things feel ok just by being around, and the best, kindest, most generous families since 1950s sitcoms. Every day. Thank you. 

So, it’s been a great summer. An amazing summer. A summer we will never forget and a summer we would never choose to have again, but a summer we will be grateful for always. 

A couple things from the end of summer. Payson went boating with his best friend. 

He also opened a savings account. I was shocked at how many shekels he had saved up. And I asked him for a loan. And he turned me down. Typical. 

And he had the cousins all nighter, which is a tradition that happens every summer wherein the cousins all try to stay up all night to prove that they can be unmanageably lazy and raunchy for three days thereafter. This is a tradition that needs to die as quickly as Bill Cosby’s reputation. 

And then he went boating with more friends, and then crashed like the average American’s belief in their political leaders. 



PS. Payson’s having an auction. You’ve probably heard. If you haven’t, check it out and spread it around like a farmer spreading manure. Or something. 

Payson’s Auction Info and Stuff