We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

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

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fixing Kimmy's Bike

"Another good day for Kimmy, as she had her final visit with her surgeon, Dr. Atkinson. She'll miss Dr. Atkinson, he has been good to us and we were blessed that he was on duty when Kim was admitted to St. Joseph's. He reminds us of the actor Ed Norton, and on the day she was released from the hospital, our favorite Ed Norton movie, Fight Club, was on...we had some good Philly sports conversations, as he hails from Bristol, PA in northeast Philly. He had cultured some of the discharge from Kim's drain, found no infection and felt it was time to be removed. He was able to take it out right there in his office. The drain has caused Kim the most discomfort and, hopefully, she will have some pain free days. She wept with joy in the parking lot and said 'that's one more thing off of my checklist!'. We stopped at Target on the way back so I could get her a celebratory mango smoothie! She's pretty tired after her big day and sleeping right now...but it seems, each day, she is making small steps towards feeling better. We are now waiting on the results from the blood tests Dr. Taetle ordered to check her values and to see if her kidneys are strong enough to handle her next round of chemo - so please pray for strong kidneys for Kim!
The bambini's had another good day, too. Obviously relieved with their mom being home, they are certainly a little more energetic than usual...our friend, Andrea, picked up the kids today after school, took them to Costco, where her husband Mario works, and they bought the kids pizza and hot dogs. Then, they went to Eegees, a kind of southwestern Italian ice/deli chain in Tucson, and had Eegees (Autumn and Andrea's daughter, Lexi, had soft pretzels, too). Next, they went to see her son, David's, soccer game at Udall park, a large, beautiful park, where Kim and I used to run, take our first pup, Cajun to play, as we lived in apartments right across the street from it when we first moved to Tucson in 1994. David's team won 5-2 and David scored a goal.

Now, we are hoping Kim's lungs can gain some strength, to be able to get her off of oxygen. She walked from the car to the Dr's office today, and made several bathroom trips, but is exhausted at the end of each walk. Still eating well (Thanks Mary Montes for the awesome chicken spaghetti and thanks to her sister, Ami Bunch, for the strawberry salad!!), which should help her get stronger. No more appointments until 11/29, when she has more blood work scheduled and then her next chemo is scheduled for 11/30.

Other than that, we are working on the cornucopia of paperwork involved in coordination with her condition - having signed up for ACCHHS, Social Security Disability and researching many other avenues(I need a secretary!) - Kim's school has been helpful in exploring some of our options and is even looking to make an exception for her to allow her to 'borrow' sick time from other school district employees!! They have been so supportive!

Thank you all, once again, for the support, bambini help, food (I love food...I could practically live on food!) and prayers!


  We were getting there right?  Getting there.  Being out of the hospital and the trips to the Dr. appointments, gave Kim and I opportunities to do fun things together that we never got to do over the last 14 years or so - like grab a mango smoothie at Target.  The small things meant the most.  I cherish the memories.
    And the memories of the wonderful food - like the dinner that Mary and Ami made us this day.  It was so nice, giving more time with Kim and the bambini, as cooking takes a lot.
     Here are some more email exchanges from 11/18/2010:
      From Tonio's teacher...
"HI Dave,

I hope that Kim's appt. went well today and she is drain-free now! It was great seeing Andrea Castillo today and catching up with her-it's such a small world! She said she got to spend some time with Kim this morning and that Kim's spirits were good-I'm glad to hear that. She is such an amazing, strong person (as are you!!).

I wanted to see if Kim would be up for a few visitors tomorrow around 3ish. Patti, Casey, and I would love to bring her the charm bracelet that we've been working on for her. If not that is totally fine-we 100% understand. However, if it does work out, the kids can stay with us after school until about 3 and then we can bring them home.

Hope you get some rest tonight!

A thank you to Mary Montes:
Hi Mary,
Thank you so much for the delicious chicken spaghetti and rice krispy treats! I have a weakness for rice krispy treats!! Kim's stepdad, Jim, who is 100% Italian, and I were discussing the chicken spaghetti. Neither of us had heard of it before, and prior to trying it, we agreed that we have never met a pasta dish that we did not like..your pasta was fantastic, we both agreed!! That was very thoughtful of you and our family truly enjoyed the meal and dessert!! We are blessed to have you in our lives and to have your support during this challenging time.
Thank you too, for the card and generous check that was presented to us from our Cottonwood family...where would we be without all of you?
Again, we appreciate all you do!
Take care,
        Mary and her husband Emilio (and now Brinley!) continue to be a part of our lives, helping us through and inspiring us!!
        Ditto her sister Ami Bunch, her husband Brian and their triplets.  Yes, TRIPLETS!!
Hi Ami,
We wanted to thank you for the delicious strawberry salad and raspberry dressing that you put together for our family - it was so good! I was emailing to Mary, what an inspiration your family has been to ours for many years and how blessed we were to have you as a teacher for Cody and as friend of our family. You, Brian and your little ones are incredible!
Also, we were overwhelmed with the card and generous check that our Cottonwood family presented to us and are very appreciative. I do not know where we would be without the support of wonderful people like yourself.
Thanks again, Dave"

Started the day here, at Mary's Chapel, lighting a candle for Kimmy and cleaning her picture, before 8:30 Mass...and breakfast with Lupe and Manny at McD's after Mass!
Met with Carondelet, administrators of Kim's Foundation, to discuss who needed help from Kim's fund and they caught me up on the progress on the chapel being built at St. Joseph's Hospital, with assistance from Kim's Foundation!  We also hammered out the wording about Kim's Foundation for her cookbook - I submitted the edited proof today!! 
Met the manager of Starbucks, who has provided Andrea with gift cards as raffle prizes for Kim's Foundation, a syrup pump and sugar for my iced tea, prayers, etc for the first time today!  Her name is Kim, too!
Rode out into Fantasy Island, solo, to fix Kimmy's memorial out there...

Made it through in a half hour, pressed for time to go pick up the bambini from school!  The bambini noticed that red overspray on some of my fingers (I'm no Kim, you know!) and asked me what happened.  They were so happy when I told them that I repainted Mama's bike. 
There is a certain freedom in hurtling through the desert on, essentially, slightly widened cow paths...until, sudden sobriety hits you in the form of half a dozen cattle, literally right in front of you as you make a corner!!  Shocks you back from the beauty - veering around jumping cholla and other assorted cacti, I managed to out maneuver them, get back on their path and speed away...telling myself that they were just as startled as I was...


 Comfort Food



  1. I feel so lazy when I read your posts! I can't believe all that you did today : ) But I know that keeping busy is probably getting you through each day...

    We are the lucky ones to be a part of your life and to have been a part of Kim's...

  2. OMG, Mary I was seriously just thinking the SAME thing! Glad you missed the cows and the bike looks awesome!