So greetings to you all.

Today had its ups and downs and was full with expressive moments. We picked up Todd’s two sisters, Julie and Jaime, at the Centraal Station early this morning. We then cabbed it to their hotel for convenience and survival. The rain had come in and there was luggage to transport some distance…. amazingly at 9 in the morning they had the room ready. So the check in was a smooth run.

Then Jen and I walked the sisters through our turf. This included a visit to our apartment here and lunch (followed by my departure for the hospital), then errands with Jen as she prepared for her return to the states. They arrived at the hospital shortly thereafter. Todd’s bedside this afternoon was surrounded by 5 remarkable women, six if you count the kick ass nurse (who only scolded me once). I have never seen Todd smile and laugh so many times in one day!!!!! It was not a party by any means but ever so sweet. We did our usual caring but now he has more loving and caring to go around. I knew it would be nice for the sisters to join us but there are no words for the additional comfort that we all felt in the room. We moved through our day with new power and concern. Todd’s new friend, and ours, Toetsie, visited again and had a remarkable way of being intimate and relaxed. She brought a wonderful image of a building in downtown Oakland which Todd and I have always fantasized about. What an amazing coincidence.

Then in the unusual pattern of ups and downs we hit our next down. It was early in the evening when Todd dropped off in to what we all expected to be a deep, long sleep. At this point Jen and I walked Julie and Jaime to the train station, then took a break to wrap up some necessary paperwork. When we returned less than an hour later, Todd was awake and in full fever meltdown. His breathing shallow and distressed. It was painful to take a break and find Todd in such a state upon our return. While I understand these moments are inevitable, for we all must eat sleep and such………………… is amazingly heartbreaking.

and with that I give you Jen.
I am usually so lifted by Todd’s high moments that I do not really write about the down times, which have been brief during my visits. For most of our visit today, Todd was more awake and aware than I have yet to see him, and this high spanned more than three hours (I am sure somewhat energized by his sisters’ arrival). The evening, however, was different. Todd still struggles with fever, chills, and sweats — particularly after his evening meal. Tonight, when we returned to his room, he was so physically distressed that it was heartbreaking to witness. The fever was worse than normal. Todd was sweating, shaking, and seemed so scared. I wiped him down with cold cloths, while Alex held his hand and spoke her nice, comforting words. This normally works quite quickly, but tonight the fever wouldn’t let go. We kept working, the family from the neighboring bed came to offer comfort and support (which was amazingly sweet), and the nurses let us stay late. It was a difficult night to say goodbye to Todd, when we did finally get kicked out.

Despite all the pain, worry, sorrow, and frustration, it is still so amazing to see Alex and Todd in action. Her words soothe his pain, and his look soothes her sorrow. Tomorrow, I return home to my husband. Sorry to say goodbye to Alex and Todd but looking forward to fully acknowledging and appreciating my own good fortune.

Alex + Todd and Jen