The Worst Day Ever

For the seventh time in the last three months, we had the worst day of our lives today. A lot of "stuff" has happened in 46 years of living, 22 years of marriage, and 21 years of being a parent. The list would take another post...but nothing we've been through has compared to watching Rhonda go through chemo.

There really aren't any words (even for a writer) to express the emotions that you experience when they tell you your child has cancer. The grief, disbelief, anger, fear and pain are very real. But as bad as it is, none of that gets you ready for what chemo is like. Rhonda has been so sick. Just walking through the door of the Oncology Center is enough to get her started. And it goes downhill from there. This is not what a 21 year old girl is supposed to be doing the summer after finishing college.

I'm grateful for wonderful doctors and nurses. They've been incredible. I'm so proud of our little girl. She's so brave through all this.

Her dad is about to fall apart.

I have no right to complain. They caught it early. She's responding to treatment wonderfully. She has the "good" kind of Hodgkins (and we're so sick of that expression!). God is healing her. Friends are praying. And yet...I feel so helpless and alone. Watching her get sick again today before they even started the chemo was the last straw. I don't cry much, but I did today.

I told Rhonda last time that I just wanted to sit in the chair and take the chemo for her. But I can't do that. She has to have some of the most powerful chemical poisons known to man pumped into her body five more times. She has to have the dread and the pain and the sickness. And there's nothing I can do about it. I hate this feeling.

Dr. George Truett, for decades pastor of the great First Baptist Church in Dallas, killed his best friend in a hunting accident. He grieved over that for the rest of his life. He used to say, "Be good to everybody, because everybody's having a tough time." It's the truth. We're having a tough time. I don't know how we're going to keep going another 2 1/2 months.


I'm Just Saying....

Currently if you do a google search for the phrase describe stubborness, this blog comes up as the number two search result on the entire worldwide web.

There may be a point in there somewhere (Mom, Dad, Rebecca, Ron, Brenda, kids, anyone?????) but I'm not sure what it is. I just thought it was worth pointing out. On a perhaps not entirely unrelated note, I finally removed my Duncan Hunter 08 link from the blog this week.


Obama in Germany

As one commentator noted, Obama's appearance before 200,000 (non voting) Germans was certainly a major media event, but boils down to "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what your country can do for me." Before the trip, independent studies showed Obama was drawing 2.5 times more media coverage than McCain was. Perhaps not coincidentally, last week also revealed that media donations to Democrats outnumber their donations to Republicans 100-1. And there's always the Chris Tingling Leg Matthews effect to consider.

But the media love-fest is a two edged sword. Part of the trip to Germany was supposed to include a visit to two US Army hospitals where wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan are treated. My daughter's boyfriend was sent there when a suicide bomber blew up the Stryker he was driving. It's a place filled with heroes. But they don't allow cameras, and so the same campaign that printed flyers for the Berlin speech that they insisted wasn't a political event (right) decided not to go. Of course they're now working on their third explanation for why there was time to hit the gym, but not comfort the wounded.

Will it matter? Given the cover the news media gives to Democrats (seen any John Edwards stories lately?) it will be up to McCain to make it stick. He's going to have to decide whether he's willing to go the whole way or not. He's got an ad up critiquing Obama for skipping out on visiting the hospitals, but it needs a harder edge to make an impact.

Dennis Miller said that he wasn't interested in the color of Obama's skin; it was how thin it was that bothered him. A McCain assault could perhaps exploit that. But the contrast has to be drawn over and over again to break through the media blitz that Barack Delano Fitzgerald Jefferson Messiah Obama's going to continue to benefit from until the election.


The IOC Should Be Disbanded

Long a corrpt and incompetent group, the International Olympic Committee has reached new lows in recent days. They should never have awarded this year's games to the brutally repressive and dictatorial Communist government of China in the first place. Just as Adolph Hitler did in 1936, they are using the games as a showpiece to force acceptance by the world at large. Yet this is the country that has killed millions of their own people...and when they execute a political prisoner, they send the family a bill for the bullet!

But this week's decision to ban Iraqi athletes from the games takes the cake. They said the government was interfering with the athletes. Funny how when Uday Hussein (Saddam's son) was beating the soles of the feet of losing soccer players or forcing the volleyball players to live in a room with five foot ceilings the IOC didn't mind. The IOC doesn't protect athletes, but apparently they protect dictatorships pretty well.

The Games are a great spectacle and I want to enjoy them. But it's going to be hard not to think of the pain and suffering of the Chinese people that means nothing to the wine and caviar jet setters in the IOC. While they cozy up to brutality, they undermine the very concept of the modern Olympics.


Ideology Uber Alles

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." Watching Barack Obama swing back and forth on issue after issue (he certainly is the candidate of change) he certainly takes opposing positions. The problem with that is that it's impossible to know what is real and what is merely spoken for election purposes. As Jim Geraghty is fond of noting, every single statement and promise from Obama has an expiration date. But the few clues that appear point to a hard left worldview.

But there are areas of consistency. In his ABC interview this week, Obama said that even knowing the surge had worked, he still would oppose it. That's a startling statement. His desire to get us out of Iraq (and once again, leaving the battlefield doesn't mean the war is over unless the other side agrees) overrides everything.

We saw the same tendency during the debate with Hillary where he told Charlie Gibson that even though cutting capital gains taxes increases revenue to the government, he not only opposed rate cuts but wanted to raise them because "some people make too much money."

On most things, Obama says whatever he thinks people want to hear. But on some questions his far left ideology is more important than anything else. By far the most liberal candidate for national office since Henry Wallace, Obama has huge advantages going in to the fall. Yet so far those haven't translated into the expected commanding lead in the polls. Will it? Time will tell. But if Obama's ideology continues to peek out from behind the curtain, (or if John Toto McCain finds his courage and pulls the curtain back) enough voters may see through the hope and change happy talk to prevent his election.


The Dorwin Award

You're probably familiar with the Darwin Awards, handed out each year to the people who do humanity the service of removing themselves from the gene pool in creative ways. I think it's time for a new one, named after one of Isaac Asimov's characters in the brilliant Foundation. Lord Dorwin comes to Terminus representing the Galactic Empire. Here's the story:

“But then,” interposed Sutt, “how would Mayor Hardin account for Lord Dorwin's assurances of Empire support? They seemed” he shrugged “Well, they seemed satisfactory.”

Hardin threw himself back in the chair. “You know, that's the most interesting part of the whole business. I admit that I thought his Lordship a most consummate donkey when I first met him – but it turned out that he is an accomplished diplomat and a most clever man. I took the liberty of recording all his statements.”

There was a flurry, and Pirenne opened his mouth in horror.

“What of it?” demanded Hardin. “I realize it was a gross breach of hospitality and a thing no so-called gentleman would ever do. Also that if his Lordship had caught on things might have been unpleasant; but he didn't and I have the record and that's that. I took that record, had it copied out, and sent that to Houk for analysis, also.”

Lundin Crast asked, “And where is the analysis?”

“That,” replied Hardin, “is the interesting thing. The analysis was the most difficult of the three by all odds. When Houk, after two days of steady work, succeeded in eliminating meaningless statements, vague gibberish, useless qualifications—in short all the goo and dribble—he found he had nothing left. Everything canceled out. Lord Dorwin, gentlemen, in five days of discussion didn't say one @$#%^ thing, and said it so that you never noticed. There are the assurances you had from your precious Empire.”

I hereby nominate Barack Obama for the First Annual Lord Dorwin Award. A better description of his campaign will never be penned. In two years of campaigning, he hasn't said one serious, meaningful thing, and said it so the electorate never noticed.

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers. Please feel free to take a look around.


Obama Farm

And so it was that after the brave Obama had lead the animals in overthrowing the Clintons who had ruled the DNC farm for many years, a spirit of hope and change swept across the land. To ensure the principles behind the victory were never forgotten, he had painted in bright green letters on the side of the barn Seven Commandments. They would be the philosophy behind his government. The Seven Commandments were:

1) I shall take public financing for the election
2) I support the DC gun ban
3) The telecoms shall not have wiretap immunity
4) NAFTA must be repealed
5) I cannot disown my pastor and church
6) I oppose all restrictions on abortion
7) All of our combat troops will be out of Iraq in 16 months

But it seemed strange indeeed to the donkeys and the other farm animals that with the Clinton's vanquished, the great leader began talking of different ideas than the ones that had inspired their support of him in the rebellion. Indeed these new ideas were often not only like those of the Clintons; some of them sounded suspiciously like the Republicans as well.

This made the animals wonder why they had given so much to support the Obama crusade. Then one day, as they walked by the barn, those who could read realized that the writing seemed somewhat different from what they remembered. Some said they appeared to have been "refined." Now the Seven Commandments said this:

1) I shall not take public financing for the election
2) I support the DC gun ban being overturned
3) The telecoms shall have wiretap immunity
4) NAFTA must not be repealed
5) I long ago disowned my pastor and church
6) I oppose some restrictions on abortion
7) All of our combat troops will be out of Iraq eventually

The fears of the animals were deepened when they heard that the Obama was meeting the Clintons in the DNC farmhouse for dinner.

An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the trouble appeared to be that Obama and Mrs. Clinton had each played an ace of spades simultaneously.

Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the face of the Obama. The creatures outside looked from Obama to Clinton, and from Clinton to Obama, and from Obama to Clinton again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

All politicians are cyncial; but Obama is more cynical, opportunistic, hypocritical and two-faced than others.


Update on Rhonda

When Harry Truman was President, he said that he really wanted a one-armed economist to get advice from. That's because they always say, "but on the other hand" and he was tired of it.

So on the one hand: GREAT NEWS. Rhonda had a follow up PET scan after the first four chemo treatments--two cycles of two each, done two weeks apart. They did one before starting, and now we have something to compare it to. The results were wonderful. The tumors are "markedly reduced" and "no longer hyper-metabolizing." In English rather than medical, they're getting smaller and no longer processing blood to help them grow. The fact that she's responded early in the treatment process is an excellent indicator for a good long-term prognosis. This is an enormous answer to prayer. Such a blessing and relief. Brenda and I spent the afternoon asking each other, "did you hear the same thing I did?" It's almost too good to be true.

But on the other hand: The last two chemo treatments have been really rough. Rhonda got sick for the first time a few days after the last one--very sick. As in go to the emergency room and wait for five hours sick. And today's was worse. She wasn't feeling good during it, and then when they were finishing up, she lost breakfast, snack and lunch all at the same time. It's already hard enough without having that added on top. At this point she still has seven chemo treatments left. And on top of that, the hair loss has really accelerated. She's wearing a hat or a scarf most of the time now, and it's kind of bugging her. Her long beautiful hair was one of her treasures, and she's missing it. Also the itching feeling isn't much fun. There may be a razor in her near future.

So while we're so grateful for the healing that's underway, we would very much appreciate continued prayers for her during the rest of the chemo treatment.