Saturday, August 9, 2008

The boys are back from Idaho. They had an excellent trip with especially good weather. As much as I love the Middle Fork, it simply was not attainable for me this summer. I wasted no energy wishing I was some place I couldn't go.

Tomorrow I'm headed to Houston. It will be nice to visit with family, but this is definitely for business. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to consult at such a renowned institution. At the same time, I am apprehensive about the sheer magnitude of MD Anderson as well as the notion of plunging further into a world ruled by illness. I recognize that it's also about hope, but hope that is born of harsh circumstances. I know, too, that it is still a matter of putting one foot in front of the other as a means to reach a decision about further treatment.

I'm feeling somewhat uneasy as my old life slips farther and farther away, and in its place is the altered reality that began in May. But there are no short cuts here. I must stay focused and stick to task. It's one foot, then the other.

The party is over for Brent, as he starts high school on Monday. I think he had a good summer despite the obvious glitch. Go Milton Eagles!


Lenore & Scott said...

Hi Elyse,
I hope you got my message the other day. Have a successful journey to Houston. Of course, give our best to Liz, Neil and the family there. I know you feel completely consumed (in every aspect) by this, but as we have ALL said many times, you will be triumphant - just gotta walk the long road. Happy trails!!
P.S. Love to Brent & John and good luck at HS Brent!

Steve Beagle said...

Hey Ali - safe travels to Houston. Keep staying positive and upbeat and your inquisitive self. Steer clear of stats and negativity. Your will is your focus...

Love and Prayers -- Steve

Here's some topical late night stuff to keep your spirits up ...

Analysts say a weak economy is causing less energy use resulting in falling oil prices. Basically, the worse the economy, the lower the oil prices. Which means if Bush could serve one more term, oil would be free.

According to CNN, Vice President Dick Cheney is unlikely to attend the Republican Convention this summer. It’s a logistical problem — apparently all the ambulances are on standby for John McCain.

Presidential debate coming up. Barack Obama wants to debate about foreign policy, and John McCain wants to debate about the Big Band era.

Olympics are two days away. NBC has taken out an insurance policy for $1 billion in case anything goes wrong at the Olympics. A spokesman for NBC says, “I wish we had done that with our fall lineup.”

Today in Beijing, a small group of demonstrators gathered to protest China’s repressive government. Funeral services will be held on Friday.

Barack Obama continues to dominate media coverage. The New York Times says that Barack Obama has been successful in politics because he’s a black man that doesn’t make white people feel threatened. Which explains Barack Obama’s Secret Service code name: Al Roker.

After John McCain made a political ad that featured Paris Hilton, yesterday, she fired back at with her own political ad calling Sen. McCain a wrinkly, white-haired guy, and talked about her energy policy, which until this point, has been vodka and Red Bull.

President Bush is on a week-long tour of Asia; he’ll visit South Korea, Thailand, and China — or as the White House calls it, the “everything sold at Wal-Mart” tour.

President Bush arrived in Beijing today. I don’t think he really gets the Olympics. When they asked him if he liked the decathlon, he said that he prefers regular coffee.

In an interview recorded by the BBC, in Africa, Bill Clinton told people there to practice monogamy, and that we need to control unprotected sexual relations with unlimited numbers of partners. The minute he said that, members of the Secret Service wrestled him to the ground and said, “Who are you, and what have you done with the real Bill Clinton?”

In a new interview, Barack Obama said that as a kid, he cried when he saw “Born Free.” Meanwhile, John McCain said that as a kid, he cried because movies weren’t invented yet.

Barack Obama announced today he is going on vacation all of next week. Which is part of his strategy to behave like he’s already president.

McCain is offering a reward for people who write pro-McCain messages on the Internet. Whoever writes the best one gets to meet John McCain — and explain to him what the Internet is.

President Bush has been in Asia this week; he is with his wife Laura, his daughter Barbara, and the guy who ties his shoes.

This may be the last trip of the Bush presidency. He is scheduled to take a day trip to Legoland sometime in October, but this is the last big one.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sis-in-law:

I hate for you to feel that your "old life" is slipping away. It isn't Elise, it is simply on hold. You may be going thru an obstacle course now, but the path will lead to a healthy you again, back on the same path. Keep up your spirits and know that you are much loved. I am glad the men in your life are home.

Love Joyce

Anonymous said...

Hi Elyse,

My name is Justin Guild and I’m a graduate research assistant currently working with Dr. Jeong-Nam Kim at Purdue University on a health communication study.

Specifically, our research explores how information sharing behavior through online communities (such as blogs) influences coping strategies among people with chronic conditions including cancer, diabetes, depression, etc. and their family members.

I’m contacting you to seek permission to place a link to our online web survey on your blog to invite readers and other visitors to participate. The survey is purely academic in nature and takes no longer than 5-7 minutes to complete.

The web survey can be found by clicking on this link:

The findings of this study could lead to better management capacities of chronic diseases as well as an increase in funding for research related to online communities.

If possible, we would be very appreciative if you could please forward the link to the web survey to other people you may know with chronic conditions.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Justin Guild

Team Dream 2009 said...

Hey Elyse--

Your old life isn't slipping away. There's no old life and new life, just THIS life. When you're ready you will reach out to regain the parts of your life that BC (before cancer) were important or helpful to you, and you'll let to of the parts that aren't important and helpful. You can even start to do that right now if you want. It won't hurt your focus; in fact, it the distraction might help your concentration, providing a release but letting you focus when necessary.

Finally, I'll leave you with 2 thoughts I've been ruminating on for a while. It seems the right time to share them:

You don't have to beat the hell out of the cancer. You just have to be stronger than the cancer to defeat it.


Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals character.

You have the character and support and tools to be stronger than the cancer and to outlast it. Some of those tools came from your life before cancer; but don't be afraid to pull them out now. And don't forget to find the blessings in even this crappy part of your journey. You can do this!


Bruce said...


I must concur with Joyce. Your wonderful spirit and attidude combined with gods help will see you through. You have always held a special place in my heart tever since and before you and John allowed to me to join you on the middle fork so many years back. I love you, and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Bruce Maslia

Bruce Maslia

Susan said...

Though Houston feels far from us here in Atlanta, know that we are with you, enveloping you with warmth, love, & support! Though so much seems to have changed in these past few months two things remain constant & will NEVER change: You are still one of a kind and WE ALL LOVE YOU!

Ann said...

You may be embarking on a new journey, but you are not alone. You have so many people with you always, cheering you on, thinking of you, praying for you, walking with you, besides you, and even riding for you. Just know that you are doing everything you can to attack this disease and win, and no one could ask for more. You are truly remarkable and an inspiration...and the healthiest looking sick person I know!!!
Hey, and if you need to smile, think of alligator purses and thongs. I bet you just did.
Love ya.

Anonymous said...

Elyse, sending you warm thoughts for your trip to Houston. Hope that it provides new insights and confidence in the right path forward- and more progress and good news. Sending love, Michelle N.

Forrest said...


I hope you have a most successful trip to Houston. Enjoy your visit and I hope you come back with good news and are ready to put this thing down. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Hey -
Rachel here, writing to you from my friend Eve's office in LA so not sure how I will be identified by the blog authorities.
Your old life is not gone, it is on hold temporarily until you get healthy again, and you are already on your way. Granted, life will never be the same, but it may be richer and fuller in more ways than you can imagine today. Hang in there, we are all along for the ride.
Good luck in Houston, and send my best to all, especially Brent as he starts the adventure of high school!
Love, Rachel