Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The County Fair, Radiation and a Pebble

Generic warning about Brack posting...

The other night we went to the fair. I am formally and morally opposed to any and everything county fair due to a super embarrassing experience that happened to me during those formative teenage years. However, Jordan loves the fair. So off we went! We met up with some coworkers and cruised around for a bit.

We rode the Ferris Wheel with one of our students from Parkdale and shared a beautiful view of both Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. We saw some cool livestock, ate some disgusting/delicious fair food and went until Jordan got tired.

We then realized how far away we had parked and were mulling around about how to get back to the van. Just then a wonderful man in a golf cart pulled up and offered us a ride. We might still be walking back to the car if he hadn't picked us up.

We've also been continuing to enjoy the fruit of the Gorge this last week.

10 pounds of fresh Apricots!

Parkdale backyards are the best backyards.

Always love hanging out at Mike's Ice Cream in Hood River.
Today we had an appointment with Celilo Treatment Center in The Dalles which is located 40 miles from our home. This is where Jordan will be receiving her Monday-Friday radiation treatments. The staff there were courteous, quick and friendly. The doctor explained in depth what the process would look like. On Friday Jordan will return there for a simulation appointment. They will fit her with a custom mask that will be used for treatment and give her a CAT scan. The doctor will take all of the information gathered about Jordan's brain up to this point and put together the exact coordinates that the radiation will enter her body and where it will meet up to zap (is that a medical term?) this tumor. The actual process will be very quick (just a few minutes) and she won't be in any pain during treatment. To my disappointment, after receiving treatment she won't be able to turn on the TV with her mind. So I guess the hunt for the remote continues... As we were finishing up with the secretary today we met the in house massage therapist. He spent ten minutes giving Jordan a shoulder massage and just making small talk. What a perk!

After we left Celilo we went to the DMV and got a Disabled Parking Permit. I'm so happy that this is available to us. It will make life much easier for us as we continue to carry on like normal. That being said we are currently accepting flair for Jordan's walker (bike bells, horns, bumper stickers, etc...).

I am writing this update from a nice hotel room just a few miles from the airport in Portland (while Jordan watches The Bachelorette). We are soaking up the air conditioning as the temperatures top 100 degrees in the Gorge and just enjoying each others company.

Perhaps the most important part of this update though is that tomorrow morning we set off for the airport to pick up our children Benton and Parker and Jordan's mom Kim.  Benton and Parker flew out with my mom Cindi and sister Sunshine on July 1st for a wonderful adventure on the East Coast with both sides of the family. They have been staying up late, eating all kinds of junk and basically been given everything they have asked for. Pretty much exactly what is supposed to happen when you are with your grandparents.

Before Benton and Parker left we were spending some time at Waterfront Park in Hood River. As our kids played on the beach Parker followed what is becoming a habit by giving us some small gifts. These are always things she finds on the ground (rocks, flowers, trash or whatever else sticks out to her) and I usually put them back when she isn't looking. If she is suspicious of me getting rid of the item I usually find it in her pockets later on. That day I decided to break with my Leave No Trace tradition and keep the small rock she gave me. I put it in my pocket and it has stayed there all month.

It wasn't intentional at the time but quickly became something I would find myself holding onto all month. I would forget about it and find it when I was getting out my keys or digging for some change for the parking meter. I held onto it lots while we were at OHSU. That small rock was something that gave me a little connection with my kids even though they were 3,000 miles away. I revisited that small beautiful moment on the banks of the Columbia River 100 times this month. I think Jordan and I both realized this month the strength we get from being around our kids. Their laughter recharges us, their energy is contagious and their kindness inspires/awes us every single day.

While this was not the month Jordan and I had in mind when we planned this getaway for our children it has been a good one. We have been able to find our bearings, talk frankly about our future and focus on Jordan's health.

With that said we have missed our children terribly. We are so excited to get to see their big toothless and silly smiles tomorrow.


  1. So lovely and of course made me laugh out loud Brack...thanks for keeping the light bright. Can't wait for you and the kids to reunite. What a beautiful moment, take pictures and we are so excited to see y'all (your welcome) Thursday night. Enjoy the AC and your last solo night together!! XO--The Cordeiros

  2. Love this and y'all. I laughed out loud a lot too. Sending lots of love to you four. Cheers to AC, kids, and "zapping" the mess out of that tumor.

  3. Loved this post! Loved having the kids next door, spending time with them and getting to know them better. They are precious reflections of the two of you. Benton is so stinking smart and funny! A perfect Hassell -Stanley combination! Parker is beautiful, inside and out. A sweet and gentle heart and spirit. Their laughter will be missed on Sharon Drive, but we are so happy they will be reunited with y'all. We love you guys and are praying for you!😘

  4. You two are something special! Glad our paths have crossed. Enjoy those wonderful kiddos!!!