Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"only a slight chance"

hey everyone, look at the SLIGHT chance of LIGHT flurries they said we might get today, following the 60+ degree day we had yesterday!!!!!!!!!


The Shawnee Heights Thunderettes danced for the boys basketball home game last friday. Cami's in the back row to the right (i've written her name with an arrow on the photo). sorry i couldn't get a closer zoom with my camera. unfortunately the boys lost to Junction City, but it was a good game, and since my dad and other friends live in Junction City, i'm happy for them too.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Prayer Warrior

Josie is so amazing! Last sunday i came down with a cold that really put me down fast. That afternoon as i lay on the couch in congested misery, Josie came to me and told me she got my bed ready (for me to take a nap) and she put a special bear there for me to sleep with - all by herself. If that's not enough to make you melt, by Tuesday i was still out of it and took the day off. That morning as everyone else was getting ready to leave for school/work, i heard Josie tell tracy that she prayed for me to get better. that she got on her knees and prayed.

this is not the first time she has done this for me. what an a-m-a-z-i-n-g little girl. i hope this NEVER ends; always a daddy's girl.

It is now Thursday and the cold is still lingering on in my head and chest. But as far as i'm concerned, i'll believe i feel better and am back at work because of Josie's prayer.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Happy Birthday!

We took the fam out last night to celebrate Cami and Taylor's birthday. Cami had been looking forward to the 'all you can eat crab legs'. this was my first attempt to send a picture(s) from my cell phone to my email - so it worked out great! the first picture is of them and their complimentary funnel cake with ice cream on top and a candle. Cami is 15 now and Taylor is 10.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Catching up

Last Friday Josie came down with Strep throat....again. i'm surprized we are not discussing getting her tonsils removed yet. she's fine though. 10 days of the pink stuff and she'll be fine. though she has had a nasty cough the last couple days..hmm.
The Rubik's Cube photo is to show that I, Shawn, solved the puzzle! I used the supplied instructions, but hey, i still did it!!!!! Taylor can vouch for me.
About the picture of our front yard..... you see all the "shadowy" tufts of grass? those are actually the mole tunnels that are ravaging the majority of our property. that front quadrant of our yard is basically ALL tunnels. it feels like you are walking on sand out there. but they are all over our two acres. we've really gotta get a handle on them this year. i'll just add that to the list of the 100 other things i need to do around the house - which is why the yard looks as it does. i still haven't moved off all the limbs from under the trees that we lost in the ice storm. so make that 101 things to do.
PS thank you to those who have shared their condolences with me regarding Dr. Smith. I appreciate it. It makes it all the more painful (not your condolences) that we could never make it to those picnics in San Antonio that they've held the last 3 years for him.... you know, the "if we'd only known the last time we saw him would be the last time we saw him".

Monday, January 14, 2008

State of Mourning

i had several light hearted updates i needed to post today, but have just received some devastating news that i need to share with everyone.

Dr. Melvin Smith; co-pioneer of the Titanium Rib, passed away at 3:00AM this morning. He had been battling prostate cancer for a long time. I can't do justice in trying to describe to you what a great man he was. Only those families who have been blessed to be his patients and friends. a wonderful, wonderful man. Please lift his family, friends, co-workers and former patients up in prayer as we deal with his passing. He is the one who made the decision for emergency surgery on Josie following her second titanium rib implant. that decision saved her life when they found an unseen perforated bowel.

Here's more info:

(the above photo was at the top of the following email from Dr. Campbell)

Dear Families, Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Dr. Melvin D. Smith, who died early this morning, Monday,
January 14, 2008 at the age of 66 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

We know that to many of you, Dr. Smith was a trusted physician, a colleague, a personal friend. His passing is a great loss to the Thoracic Institute, to CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital and to all “rib” kids. Our deepest condolences are extended to his wife, Marylyn, their children, Meredith, Elaine, and Melvin Douglas, II and family, as well as his siblings and mother.

As many of you know, the Titanium Rib Project began in 1987 when Dr. Smith approached me about a patient with severe congenital absence of ribs and scoliosis. The infant, who was full-time ventilator dependent, was expected to die without intervention. We implanted a chest wall prosthesis using orthopaedic fracture pins to try to help him, and, to our amazement, he was then able to be weaned from the ventilator. The titanium rib was developed just for this child so that his artificial chest could grow with him. The Titanium Rib Project evolved from the care of this first child and, through the efforts of Dr. Smith and myself over the past 20 years, surgeons in 26 countries now use the titanium rib to help other children. We never thought it would get this big, but it seems it is here to stay as a new standard of care for young children with spine and chest wall birth defects. The FDA approval of the titanium rib in 2004 was a great accomplishment for us, and for the many families, children, and colleagues who helped make it possible.

Dr. Smith received his medical degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and has held various positions throughout his medical career, including serving as Acting Chief of the Division of Surgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, President of the San Antonio Surgical Society, and President of the Texas Society of Pediatric Surgeons.

Dr. Smith and I spent years developing the five surgical procedures made possible by the titanium rib. He taught me a great deal about thoracic surgery for children and made many contributions. He pioneered the insertion of tracheostomy tubes through the breast bone for children with short neck syndromes who could not otherwise be ventilated. His colleagues in pediatric surgery were amazed when he presented our work to the American Pediatric Surgical Association Meeting. Dr. Smith’s contributions have helped give hope and life to many children throughout the world.

Dr. Smith was a kind and compassionate individual who never failed to take the time to listen to a child’s concern, calm a parent’s fears, or answer a colleague’s question. To many “rib” kids and parents, he was their hero. His passing is a great loss and he will be sorely missed by all. We appreciate all of you “rib families” and friends of Dr Smith who made a special effort to be in San Antonio the past few years for the “rib kid” picnics in his honor. We will continue to have these yearly as a memorial to Dr. Smith.

I have lost not only a colleague, but also good friend, who had worked tirelessly to help children in spite of his disease for the past 10 years. He fought his cancer hard, with a brave dignity that was an inspiration to us all. He will always be admired and respected for all he has done for others. I will miss him.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Foundation for the Thoracic Institute-Titanium Rib Program at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, San Antonio TX. Sympathy cards may be sent to the Smith Family c/o CSRCH Thoracic Institute, 333 North Santa Rosa Street, San Antonio TX 78207. A memorial service, which will be held at Asbury United Methodist Church, 4601 San Pedro, San Antonio TX 78212, has not been finalized. Details will be forthcoming.

Dr. Bob Campbell
CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital
San Antonio, Texas

Monday, January 07, 2008

Do I Have It In Me?

i'm not sure i have it in me again....26.2 miles. i started getting the itch to run another marathon. i ran THREE in ONE year. and now i haven't run since last May - that's 8 months of not a single lap around the track. i assume those who are genetically predisposed to running would not have the difficulty i had starting back up. but yesterday i ran for the first time in 8 months; an easy ONE mile... or so i thought. it didn't take long to feel those old, familiar pains in my feet and calves and that was only a quarter-mile down our street. at the half way point i was really thinking about walking a little! but i perservered and made it back home. and today my thighs are SORE! it'll be worse tomorrow. ONE MILE! it may as well been number 19 in Lincoln, May 2006. I felt better crossing the finish line in Chicago

i told myself after Chicago i would not stop running so the pain wouldn't set in. i told myself after Oklahoma City i would not stop running so the pain wouldn't return. my intensions are always good. my body is telling me i'm not a marathon runner. i was a sprinter, at best, in my long ago youth. 11 seconds was the max my body was meant to run.

but alas, i have not given up hope yet. and if nothing else, i think i'm going to participate in the Topeka Tinman race this June - either in preparation for the marathon, or the climax of my training all together. i won't jinx myself by saying the Tinman short course (300 yard swim, 10 mile bike ride, 3 mile run) is going to be easy, but by "marathon" standards - this has got to be an easier race. i'm afraid of the swim - not of the water but that i haven't swam regularly since junior high school and never any "laps". Marco Polo, yes. double flips off the high dive, yes. swimming any laps? no. and i don't have a pool readily available. i don't even have a good bike to use. i'll have to save money for that. this will be interesting! i'll keep you posted.