Monday, July 19, 2010

'Anybody can run on a fine day'

Despite the set backs, regardless of the obstacles, and in the face of what almost feels like systemic, organised resistance Stacy and I have finally found a good non-chain breakfast restaurant. Oh yeah!

The Stone House Cafe is a top notch little restaurant with great food, relaxed garden style setting and apparently divinely inspired customers.

After having a great meal there last week, this morning we headed back out to the cafe with Deb for a Sunday morning breakfast. Excellent. After we sat down and ordered we noticed a couple of blokes who had finished their meal a few tables over. I noticed them because the waiter said "hang loose and enjoy the shade fellas". Sweet US vocab.

We ordered and enjoyed, relaxed, slowly savoured our meal and soaked up the excellent Sunday morning - being outside has become an appreciated novelty for us after nearly two months sitting in the clinic getting treated.

After we had finished eating one of the blokes from the 'hang loose' table made his way over to our table and asked if he could sit down. Jeff introduced himself and said that he noticed that Stacy is a bit ill at the moment. Jeff is a 50 year old Reno local who works as a photographer. He has eyeglasses and likes to wear a baseball hat on his Sunday morning.

While talking to Jeff we found out that he had Lyme disease and ten years ago he experienced a range of symptoms similar to Stacy's current condition. He said that he saw us walk in and it reminded him of the way he used to walk around. He lost his voice and his ability to swallow effectively at the height of his symptoms.

This morning Jeff was a healthy looking and highly functioning breakfast eating human. He really wanted to come over and tell Stacy that she needs to continue fighting, believing and participating in her treatment. She can get her solution and she can be healthy again. Jeff was a marathon runner and a firefighter and he said during his illness his mantra became that "anybody can run on a fine day". I took this to mean that its the people who keep running when the wind blows up and the rain sets in who make a difference in the world. Jeff told Stacy that its not firemen who follow their training and fight fires who are heroes, its Stacy who keeps battling everyday, and insists on living her life and eating her cafe breakfast who is a hero.

It really was a divine experience for us. We are very grateful to Jeff for coming over and injecting himself and his story into our day.

As we were walking back to the car Stacy said to me "Maybe that was God saying shut up and start believing". Meeting Jeff was a great influence on Stacy and gave a real boost to all of us as we move towards the next phase of our treatment.

Great breakfast. Loved it. Independent restaurants people, the way forward.

Thanks for all the love,

Mike and Stacy

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bailing out, digging deep, shaping up, battling on, pushing through and getting it together

G'day out there in Stacy land.

I hope all is well with you at the moment.

This week we are in Reno, Nevada. Not surprised are you, well I guess we aren't either. As I write we are at the end of our 7th week here in Reno attending the Sierra Integrative Medical Center. We will complete this week of treatment and then decide how much of next week we will spend down here. Yesterday we thought it would only be a couple of days of next week however after today we may be looking at the whole week. The situation in regards to duration of treatment has been in flux for the last month or so.

Today was a rough day, however that isn't totally representative of our time here. Whilst the overall experience has been tough most of the days themselves haven't been overly challenging.

Stacy's physical condition:
Her blood seems to be much healthier, less immune hyperactivity, less dehydration and oxidative damage (related to chemicals in her body) to her red blood cells. Better liver function, however there is more improvement needed with this. Her allergic reactions seem to be much less active as well. Her recent vital capacity (lung function) test seemed to show that she is stable in this area - we will take stable, stable is just fine at the moment.

Her speech and total body motor control seem to be continuing to progress in line with the last 18 months. It is hard for us to assess this really well, however we feel like most movement tasks are harder now than they were when we left home in May.

Stacy's mental and emotional condition:
I'm just a young man with a less than extensive experience in the world. Stacy is by far the bravest and toughest nut that I have met. She finds herself in an intensely painful and scary situation and yet she is constantly trying to protect the rest of us around her from the pain and fear. She fights much of the mental and emotional battle by herself. Stacy has never been shy to ask for help and is keen to share the load of the experience however she is constantly aware of protecting others as well.

On Monday she encouraged me to buy a piece of pizza for a homeless man who she has seen wondering the streets of Reno. I was quite resistant to the idea though shyness or fear or something. I did however end up getting the pizza slice and drove over, found the man and gave him the dinner. He was very happy and appreciative. It really was a divine moment. Impossible to recapture through description, it was intensely emotional for both of us.

Stacy is still a wonderful person despite the arduous nature of your life at the moment.

The challenge is harder now than it ever has been. We will continue to face it every day. We are hopeful for the next few months.

Stacy loves you all and hopes you are all making the most of your days. Send her some love in the comments here or on facebook or however you normally keep in touch.

Lots of love