Wednesday, June 14, 2006

In the Can

Yesterday was adventure day for our little troop.

We visited the Kingston television station, CKWS, for Sydney & Georgia to be interviewed by Anthony Agostino. For those of you in our area, their television debut will be tomorrow (Thursday, June 15th) on the 5:30 Newswatch program.

Mr. Agostino was late for our appointment, so Scott asked if someone could give us a look around the building while we waited. In a few minutes, Rob McDonald, the Operations Director, came down to the lobby and gave us the grand tour.

First, he took us through the radio booths. At that time of the afternoon, they were empty. Computers were running the radio. We saw the television and radio creative departments, where the writers and video magicians create TV advertisements and the audio gurus tend the MP3 music and sound library.

After a quick tour through the film library, the editing booths and the control booths, we reached the piece de resistance--the television news studio. Sydney was immediately drawn to the chair in the middle of the news set. Georgia didn't know which shiny, blinking machine to climb first.

They fired up the cameras and we got to see ourselves in the monitors, in front of the Newswatch background. Then, Sydney, Georgia and I stood in front of the green screen for some fun. She did the weather report, and had a little fly around the city of Kingston.

Mr. Agostino arrived with Ray. Scott and Sydney did their interview about Georgia's illness and Sydney's fundraising, with a bit of Georgia thrown in for comic relief. They are also interested in the June 30th fundraiser, where Vic the welder will have his hair cut for the Angel Hair kids wig program, and proceeds will go to the James Fund.

After the interview, the news team was setting up to tape some afternoon teasers--and news anchor Bill Hutchins was so kind to Syd. He had her sit beside him while he did the taping, and she got to push the button to bring the weather forecast up onto the screen. She was thrilled.

Scott was just as thrilled as Sydney by all the activity. Georgia took it all in perfect stride. The best part of the tour, for her, was the ‘wall o’ candy’ machine.

As if a visit to a television studio wasn't enough excitement for one day, last night the local firefighters were doing an exercise to improve their rating with the insurance underwriters (and hopefully lower our insurance premiums). We live in the country, so there are no fire hydrants--fire fighting power is determined by how fast the department can move water from a nearby lake to the site.

The test involved 7 tanker trucks, 5 pumper trucks, lots of activity at 3 locations, lights & sirens past the house and a 600 gallons per minute water cannon across a field--for 2 hours. After Sydney & neighbor April waved at the first few trucks going past, we loaded everyone into the minivan for an impromptu inspection of the proceedings.

At the Loughborough Lake site, we saw a pumper fill a 10,000 gallon tanker truck in 3.5 minutes. And how do they know they're full? When water starts gushing out the top!

We followed the path of the truck to a field behind the local hardware store, where the tankers were emptied and a pumper shot water into the air in a huge arc. We also got to see trucks coming from both directions, and lots of waving fire fighters.

We followed a truck to the other loading site on Collins Lake. Coming over the hill, the sight of flashing lights was spectacular (especially when you know it's a drill and no one is hurting). There were police directing traffic as the tanker trucks turned around and hooked up to the pumpers (1 on each side of the road). All in all, Scott, Sydney & April seemed to enjoy the spectacle. Georgia, again, was a bit blase--but then there was no candy involved, so I can see her point.


Help support the fight against childhood cancer

The first 5 minutes . . .

My girls will be on television (Kingston local station CKWS) tomorrow night at 5:30!

More on our adventures in television land later on.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

All clean and new . . .

Hi everyone,

Scott talked to Dr. Cook this week and Georgia’s bone scan came back clear of cancer (yay!). That nasty kidney is still there, but if it leaves us alone, we’ll leave it alone. As for the neuroblastoma, the next MRI is in mid-July.

The girls are in the tub right now, Sydney is giving orders and Georgia is disobeying them. Even so, disagreements seem to work out better in the tub than on dry land. Maybe it’s the bubbles, maybe it’s the fact that a slap with a wet washcloth doesn’t hurt, maybe everything is just a little more fun in the tub. Maybe everyone should take a bath every day.

I also HAD to include this photo of Georgia on the potty—she found the magazine in Daddy’s ‘library’ and just helped herself. (Gosh, I hope this isn't considered pornography).

We stopped by the Cancer Society’s Relay for Life overnight event at the Royal Military College on Friday night. We signed Georgia in as a survivor. She was issued a blue T-shirt (which she refused to put on), a yellow SURVIVOR ribbon and a pin. She did wear the pin and carry the ribbon. Scott, Sydney and I were given ‘Caregiver’ pins and we took part in the Survivor lap—the first lap of the evening. I took Georgia’s hand and we strolled past hundreds of luminaria, each with the name of a person who fought cancer. It was almost overwhelming. I was inspired to see all the blue T-shirts in the crowd that night, including a few children not much older than Georgia. It was even more touching to see the people without pins. These are people who’ve given up a whole night of their life to help others. I thank them, although that word seems just too small.

Sydney’s new fundraising promoter, Mr. John Wright, took her around to all the tables at a community breakfast on Saturday morning and they sold bracelets. They raised another $312 that morning. Thanks so much to John for his interest and his compassion and energy. He is planning a fundraising event at his company in Kingston, to benefit the James Fund, and I think he’ll have more surprises for us in the future.

Scott, Georgia and I will be off to Burlington next Saturday for ‘Sam’s Day’. I’m knitting bracelets as fast as I can, and so are my mother and sister. Sydney will be at Brownie Camp next weekend. We gave her the choice, because we don’t want her to be ‘the cancer kid’s sister’ everywhere she goes. We want her to be just Sydney.

The last five months have been, without question, the most difficult of my life and Scott’s. We are blessed to have so many supportive, caring and loving people around us. We could never thank you all in person for your prayers, kind words, cards and e-mails, thoughts and deeds, but do know that we are thankful and that we feel the love and positive energy that surrounds us and some days holds us up.

One more thought about the tub; if you add enough bubbles and give it a good, vigorous stirring (with lots of splashing), everything seems to come out clean and new—just like this week’s bone scan.

Go take a bath.