We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's October?

    I had to start by reposting this note from one of the wonderful teachers at Rincon Vista.  We knew Mrs. Christensen for many years.  She taught at Cottonwood - she is amazing.  I just loved her line about the 'classic Kim smile'...which I see every time I close my eyes...

No thanks necessary. I am the fifth of six kids and this is what big Catholic families do, make soup and share it! I also know there is little I can do to help Kim other than think good thoughts, pray and help feed her family.

My love to all the kiddies and give a special hug to Kim for me. I can't wait to see her out and about again with that classic Kim smile on her face.



On Oct 27, 2010, at 9:57 PM, <conca5@cox.net> wrote:
Hi Monica,
We would like to say thank you for the incredible Italian veggie soup you made for our family! Everyone absolutely loved it - Autumn 'won' by eating 2 HUGE bowls!! Thank you so much for taking time to make this delicious meal for us and all of your good thoughts and prayers. We really appreciate it!
Kim had a good day today and was moved out of ICU! She is off oxygen and her pain medication has been reduced daily. We took her first walk, the length of the hallway, since last Wednesday and she is able to sit in a chair for a period of time. We know her road to recovery will be a hard one, but she is an amazing person and so positive - that will be her edge!
Thank you again! Dave
               Just another example of good people who supported us!  Monica is incredible.

On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 1:38 AM, <conca5@cox.net> wrote:
As for the bambini's, Autumn had a great interview today for the job of photographer at Biz Town, which is next month. She looked so beautiful in her suit and was not alarmed that I was the one who had to do her hair this morning - talk about supporting her dad...after I was done, she said I could be Zohan. We had practiced her interview over the last week and she felt confident - her teacher, Mrs. Rudzena, took extra time with Autumn to help her put together a great resume. Tonio has been practicing for an upcoming musical on November 2nd. He is really looking forward to it. Cody is learning about Andy Warhol in art, who's exhibit we got to see here at the Tucson Museum of Art over the summer. We also recently received a letter from Desert Sky Middle school congratulating him for make the honor roll last quarter. These guys have been great. Today, after I picked them all up, we further discussed Kim's situation and let them know that the adenocarcinoma, tumors, mass, etc we have been telling them are in Kim's left lung and liver, are a form of cancer. They asked many questions, and when I could point out many people in their lives that they know very well that are cancer survivors, they all had great attitudes about it. Right now, they are Kim's best medicine and certainly are an incredible source of energy and inspiration for me. They feasted well again today, special thanks to our friend Janene, who had filled us up with spaghetti chicken a couple of days ago, and today brought us a tray of home made macaroni and cheese and sloppy joes (can't get that Adam Sandler song out of my head when I say 'sloppy joes'). She's a great cook and a great friend. Monica Christensen, who used to teach at Cottonwood Elementary, where Aut and Tonio go, and now teaches at Rincon Vista Middle School, where Kim works, made us a batch of Italian veggie soup (Autumn can't wait to start eating it!) to keep us in food the next few days.
We found new stairwells today, as Kim is in a new building. These kids no longer want to ride elevators! The sub-culture in the stairwells is much more interesting. Autumn challenged a nurse to a footrace to the 4th floor today and we lost. It was only embarrassing because the nurse was wearing Crocs...not exactly the footwear choice of runners.
Even though Kim has been blessed with three straight great days, that brought us positive news about her recovery, we know that we will face a roller coaster of a ride, with good days and challenging days and it will be a lengthy ride. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up with a daily update and will send what I can when I can. But your positive thoughts and prayers have obviously made a difference. Thank you. Leaving me to end Kimmy's update with another person that I find truly amazing, have read most of her books and is a Kim parallel:
"Yesterday is gone; tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today."
- Mother Teresa
Love, Dave
              By now, Janene had gone into full battle mode - ensuring someone from her family was visiting us at St Joseph's, and making sure we had food on our table at home.  Our neighbor Amy, coordinated with all of the teacher's at Rincon Vista to help with the food, too.  Our fridges were full!

            And there was this:

 Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 22:19:25 -0700

It's funny how fast time passes, we can't believe it's Thursday already and Kim is still at St. Joseph's...but, four days in a row now, Kim has shown progress! Her Oncologist, Dr. TaetleAtikinson stopped in - he has met with us everyday since Kim has been in the hospital, I guess he does not take days off? We are thankful for that! He likes the way Kim is coming along, but said her blood values looked a little high. They will retest them tomorrow and if they remain high, they will do a cat scan to see if she has an abscess where the gall bladder was removed. If so, this may push chemo back while they put her on antibiotics. Either way, we finally have an end to her hospital stay in sight!

Two of the nurses from ICU came down to visit her today. They noticed there were no Halloween decorations and that I did not have a comfy chair. They left and returned a short time later with pumpkins, a basket of candy, juices and other snacks for the kids and had pushed a large recliner all the way from ICU for me. Kim is well loved in the hospital, as well as out of it!

Bambini's were well taken care of again today. Autumn's teacher, Mrs. Rudzena had offered to help Autumn with some homework and said she would watch Antonio. Antonio's teacher, Mrs. Schrantz, decided to stay after school and help Antonio finish his too. They both put in an extra hour and a half with these guys - their teachers have been incredibly supportive. Mrs. Rudzena's mom, Patti, who controls the front desk at Cottonwood,  who brought them down to the hospital to see us...they all took the back staircase up to come see us. We talked over breakfast about Lance Armstrong's amazing defeat of cancer and agreed that their Mama is even greater than Lance in many ways and never had to take steroids to achieve super mom status!

That's all for now, Kim continues to be amazing, I cannot keep up with her and need to sleep now. Thank you all for the positive energy, all of the help you all have given us and prayers you are sending our way!

Here's a verse that exemplifies Kimmy:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

- John 1:5

Take care,

Love, Dave

          In my memory, my mind's eye, that walk we took...arm in arm...down the u-shaped hallways of the 4th floor of the woman's center at St. Joseph's...well, it was like a walk in the park.  Seriously.  Kim was smiling.  I felt so good, so full of life and so alive, having Kim holding my arm, like we had not a care in the world.  We may as well have been taking a stroll through Reid Park, enjoying the trees, the birds, the sunshine.  Seriously.  That's how it felt.  It was magical.  She was inspiring...

      As were our community, where the support kept pouring in:

"Keep up the good fight!

If you need anything, don't hesitate to call.

We are here for you.

On Oct 27, 2010, at 9:34 PM, <conca5@cox.net> <conca5@cox.net> wrote:

Hi Micah, I wanted to thank you for taking time to give me a call about Kim and her condition. I really appreciate it. I've meant to call you directly, but it seems when I get a chance, it is always 9 or later and I don't want to disturb your family. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers! Kim had a good day today - she received a 'clear' report on a brain MRI (the Dr told her the good news - her brain is still there!) and a 'clear' report on a bone scan today - these were HUGE wins for us and really buoyed Kim's spirits. She is such an amazing and strong person, which will be her edge in this long fight we face. It gives her strength when good people such as yourself, reach out with good thoughts and prayers. I'll try to keep you guys updated on Kim and her progress. Thanks again, Dave"

And from Deb Bryson, the little ones principal at Cottonwood:

"Blessings to you, Dave! During this difficult time for YOU, you continue to inspire ME!!! Heartfelt thanks for sharing the updates about Kim and your positive responses.

How can I be of support to you all? Having the bambini's spend some time with me? A meal? Anything........

At CWE we are collecting some resources and determining dates to bring meals to you all. When you have a chance, please do some brain storming with the kids as to their "favorites" we would love to provide things you all would enjoy!

Hugs to you all,


  And from Jenny Rienstra, Autumn's 3rd grade teacher and Tonio's 3rd grade teacher to be:

Hello Conca's! I didn't want to stop you when you were with the kids,
but I just wanted to let you know that you are definitely in my
prayers. I hear that things are starting to look up, and I am so
happy. You guys are so wonderful, and we are so lucky to have you in
all of our lives. I'll be happy to see Kim's smiling face back around
soon! I'll be praying for you and sending you lots of positive energy!
Jenny Rienstra

  And Tonio's 2nd grade teacher:
Hi Dave! Just wanted to let you know that Antonio's homework is completely finished-even the reading log! We even had time to sneak in a little root beer and popcorn-he tried my hot sauce on his popcorn and really liked it. I told him that you will never let him stay with me again! :) I hope Kim had another good day. See you tomorrow...


Grammie and Grandpa Jim:

Hi Dave and family,

I was so happy to speak with Kim. She was so proud of Autumn going to Phoenix so I was wondering how Autumn did. I am hoping someone took pictures of her. Tracy wrote me a nice note today, and I answered. She was very happy to speak with Kim also. She is coming to PA over the weekend.

Has Kim had any other tests? Today I mailed a box for you to enjoy this Halloween. I hope it arrives on time.

 Please keep me informed of any other goings on.

 Love to all of you,

 Grammy and Jim
My sister:
Omg, this is great news! Tell Kim we are praying...and cheering!...for her. I am glad youse have such an awesome support system and great bunch of friends. Please remember yo' sistahs are always here for all of you, too. Holler, and we'll be there in a heartbeat.
I think it's awesome that Aut's school has the kids doing interviews- what a practical learning experience. She must've looked adorable in her suit.
I enjoy reading re your adventures in the hospital stairwells- your creativity, even in the face of adversity- is endless!
Love you all-
Patti, mom of Casey, Aut's teacher, who patrolled the front desk of Cottonwood for decades, keeping us all in stitches:
Hi Dave and Kim,
First off, thank you so much for the opportunity of taking Autumn and Antonio home. I have to say, Antonio is just like us!! He was so funny and Autumn was adorable, she took everything that Antonio gave her with a grain of salt. Anytime you need someone to take them home, I am there. I promise I did not swerve the car and then act normal when we saw another car! I swear!!
Another thing, I think we should take Kim's old gall bladder and frame it because I think it saved her. You guys do have a guardian angel.
Monday is the day that we start kicking butt and taking names. I am going to dig out my Green Bay Packer knit cap and I think you should really think of getting rid of the Red Skins one.
After Scott passed, I pretty much lost my faith. I believe it is returning. With each scan that comes out clean and that fact that we are going to beat this, has truly made me start believing again. We had a great 2 days and we are going to continue to kick butt!!!
I love you guys and I don't think we say that enough!!
I will see you in the morning!!
   I thought we'd made up some ground.  I thought Kim would be coming home to us, so I could lovingly care for her and nurse her back to health - as she had done for me, countless time, dragging me out of the gutter, cleaning me off and making me want to do better...for her.  Now, I could attempt to pay her back.  We were so excited...
     More tomorrow.  On the homefront, an impromptu Halloween party broke out today.
                  Autumn won 'Cutest Contest' for her Hot Dog costume.  Hadley won "Most Creative" costume for her Mustard costume, Mitch won "Scariest" for his Soul Eater costume, which he transmorgified into Harry Potter for this photo and Tonio won 'Coolest' costume for his Capt Jack Sparrow costume!  They bobbed for apples, played hide and seek for candy, watched movies, etc.  And I made pasta.  For dinner. 
                  I don't try to pretend that I understand what we're going through.  And, I always listen to what people think, believe, perceive.  I can tell you that I am doing all that I can to keep standing.  Making sure that the bambini are priority and trying to keep things as normal as I can.  Please see that.
I'm not sure who I am yet, but I'm working on it!


1 comment:

  1. There really is no one out there that knows what you are going through...even if they have lost a spouse...they didn't lose KIM. The kids lost the best mother I have ever known and will ever know...

    Glad you are able to keep standing!