Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Bucket List

William has a bucket list. And we are making some happy memories.

The prognosis of William's disease has never been fantastic and the relapse doesn't make this journey any more fun. But cancer is a fickle thing and children are amazing warriors. We decided to make it more fun. William's list is fairly small. Actually, I think we asked him to list 5 things, so the length of it is our fault. In no particular order, here's the list:

William's Bucket List 
Go to a King's basketball game
Go to Tahoe to go sledding
Go to the beach
Go to Austin, TX (where he was born, but moved when he was 6 months old)
Go to San Francisco to have fun (not treatment) i.e. Exploratorium, Academy of Sciences, Alcatraz

With cancer, timing is everything and then some. Seriously, one of these days I would like to just work off my own timetable. Is that too much to ask? Apparently, yes. So many variables make the journey very unpredictable. Luckily, he is tolerating his current chemo regimen well enough that we can at least predict when his good week will be. (He has 1 chemo week, 1 down week, 1 good week, repeat). It's the blood counts and need for transfusions that are not trending as predictable as I'd like. Regardless, we are making the most of the 1 good week and focusing on the bucket list.

Last week, school was out for the entire week. Something to do with furloughs, California budget crisis, our children taking the fall for other's poor decisions... I digress. William spent all day Sunday in the hospital getting blood and platelet transfusions, tanking up for a week of fun. Monday was a holiday. Tuesday the doctor gave a thumbs up on blood counts. Tuesday night we delivered our three youngest to their cousins house and we all spent the night. Wednesday morning Ryan, William, Clark, and I flew to Austin, TX! Sunday we flew back, picked up the boys, and drove home.

Here's a recap of what we did in between. (hint: click on each collage to enlarge)
We ate A LOT of amazing Texas BBQ at The Salt Lick and Rudy's. How can you not love a BBQ place that is a gas station too?

Boating on Lake Austin with the Harwards
The Harwards. Judy was with us for William's delivery so she's known him since the moment he was born!
Safari Texas Style. The donkeys and ostrich were a little hungry!
San Antonio---The Alamo and Riverwalk. Oh, and ice cream--a necessary food group in our family!

Zilker Park canoeing and turtle sightings
University of Texas at Austin campus---Football and Track stadiums, engineering buildings, The tower, bookstore
Hook 'em Horns!
Hiking at Mt. Bonnell
Our old apartment: 2nd story above William's head. St. David's Hospital where he was born.
We had a great time. Ryan and I loved listening to William and Clark giggle and enjoy being together. One afternoon William said, "I'm so glad Clark came because it would be so boring without him." One of our main goals was for the two of them to bond more and create some special, happy memories together.

William checked into the hospital on Tuesday for the next round of chemo. He also had a full set of scans: Chest and abdomen CT, liver ultrasound, ankle x-rays. He'll be here until Sunday. Those updates will be in a forthcoming post.

William wants to share how much he loves his dear friend, Claire. "I really miss her. She was fun to talk to. In Primary, she always knew the answers to questions. She always had a good sense of humor and a beautiful singing voice. She was always sweet and nice to everybody. She was a very good friend to me. It was very nice to have a friend who knew what it was like to be in the hospital all the time. I love and miss you, Claire." William has known Claire since they were 1. Claire had a congenital heart defect and passed away last night. Our thoughts and prayers and love are with her family.


  1. I had been wondering about her, and how she was doing. Our prayers go out to their family also. Although it's been years since I last saw her, her sweet smile will be missed.

    Looks like a great time was had in Texas!

  2. What a wonderful trip. What a sweet boy William is...warrior is right. Claires family will be in my prayers tonight. Love you so much!! XOXO

  3. Our hearts are breaking for Claire's family. William's description of her was well said. She will be missed!

    Your pictures from Austin brought back great memories. I need to get back there for a visit. Sam and Sara were born at St. David's too!

  4. So glad you had a great time in Texas!

  5. So glad you had such a good time. I will for sure keep the Hales in our prayers.

  6. I hope that you know you have a beach house in Monterey! we will be out of town the week of March 12. We could leave the keys and you could have the run of the place. Or you could come anytime. We would love to help you out. We love you guys! Glad you had fun in Texas.

  7. Your pictures bring back memories of Austin for us too. Tell Will I remember holding him on the couch under the window of the Greystone apartment when he was sooooo little, and going walking around the river on Will's first outing in the baby Bjorn, and tubing down another river, and being on the UT campus. Being a native Texan is just one more thing that makes Will special in our family. Can't wait for our "burnt orange" (is that the right name for the color?) present. And can't wait to be with you all again. It is also poignant that we met Claire one one of the first trip to Fairy Tale town, and in the hospital, as well as at church.
    So wasn't the trip to Orlando on the bucket list? Let's keep hoping the bucket will expand to include more ice cream on Sutter Street with grandpa, and more nature walks. Love you all so much. Thanks for the memories.......

  8. what a FUN trip!! i'm so happy that it went so well--you guys are incredible and a blast!