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MESSAGE BOARD Archive February 2004

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Sunday, February 29, 2004 -- 17:07:51 (EST)
Name: Marta, Paul and Sam -- Email:
Location: Ann Arbor,
  • Hi Simon and all,

    We just got home from a visit to your state. We were skiing at Alta, in the mountains above Salt Lake City. There was a *lot* of snow up there; we got 3 feet of snow in the 6 days we were there. It ws fun! Home is warm, though, and the snow is melting, which also feels really good. We have learned that some of the many geese that live on the Huron River like to come into our yard now that the snow is gone. We don't like them in the yard, so we let the dogs out to chase the geese, who go honking and flapping back into the safety of the river. It makes the dogs feel very proud of themselves! Yesterday we walked along the river in Gallup Park, and the geese were honking so loudly we couldn't hear ourselves think. One big flock came down and landed on the water right in front of us, putting their feet out in front of them to slide into the water like silly cartoons. They look so big and awkward, but really they are amazingly well suited to air and water, and even to escaping dogs.

    We are sending all our hope and wishes for a successful round of chemo. Hope you are feeling better, Simon.

    Marta, Paul and Sam (the boy)

    Friday, February 27, 2004 -- 16:00:06 (EST)
    Name: jane bishop -- Email:
    Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Hi Simon the Kid, (and Miriam and Simon the Cat, and Sam.) I looked at the website pictures of your darling new friends...they are really beautiful. But, funny thing, my picture came through black and white! Right? Anyway they reminded me of a neighbor's jet black cat named "BAT". He was very bright, not too much of a cuddler, but wonderful to play with. I don't know whom I missed the most when my neighbor Paul moved. He gave me a mug and bowl with a beautiful black cat pictured on them to keep me company! I'm sure you are really enjoying Sam and Simon, and I bet Miriam loves them too!
    Hope your platelets are hanging in there; I've learned several dances to entice them to stay around!!
    Love to all, Jane

    Friday, February 27, 2004 -- 10:12:35 (EST)
    Name: irene Judmayer -- Email:
  • Hi Siman! I wanted to send You a really nice link, but it didn't work. Whats your mail-Adress?

    Wednesday, February 25, 2004 -- 20:31:33 (EST)
    Name: Gari Stein
  • welcome to sam and simon the cat. can't wait to see pictures....much love to all, gari

    Monday, February 23, 2004 -- 12:54:40 (EST)
    Name: Kris Hopkins -- Email:
    Location: Clinton, NY
  • Hi there. Sorry to hear about your various aches. I hope you can start up your chemo again and that that sends the headaches and leg aches on their way. Meanwhile we'll do some super-duper platelet dances, to bump those numbers up so your doctors will feel OK about moving forward with the chemo again.

    I'm sure it's hard doing that back-and-forth chemo dance sometimes, huh? You take the medicine and wait for it to work, then you take some other medicines and wait for them to counteract the first medicines, then you wait a while longer before starting all over again -- I wonder what sort of beat this dance has.... Would it be a waltz or a samba, do you suppose?? What sort of dance has lots of forward and back motion with some rests thrown in here and there for good measure? I'll have to think on that....

    In the meantime, here's a Swedish phrase you can say with verve to those cancer cells when you want to tell them to get out!: "Ge dig ivag!" with an umlaut over the "a" that, I believe, makes it sound sort of like a short "e." Next stop: Japan!

    Take care. We'll be thinking about you!

    Kris and Company

    Sunday, February 22, 2004 -- 13:38:42 (EST)
    Name: Kathy -- Email:
    Location: Salt Lake City,
  • It was very nice to have you at Emily's party. Hey simon, thanks for staying. We hope you and Miriam had fun and enjoy the spanish songs. We admire you guys!!!. Carinos,
    Kathy, Daniel, Chris and Emily

    Sunday, February 22, 2004 -- 12:00:23 (EST)
    Name: tatiana Pocsatko -- Email:
    Location: Ann Arbor, MI USA
  • Dear Simon.
    You for sure do not remember me anynore, but I remember you! I just want you to know that I love you , and I pray for you every day!
    Your friend from Ann Arbor, Tatiana

    Saturday, February 21, 2004 -- 00:59:13 (EST)
    Name: Sally
    Location: Seattle,
  • Hi guys. So glad to know you're having a fun week! Amy has a new joke for you:
    How did the farmer transport his cow?
    A moooo-ving van!
    love, sally & amy

    Friday, February 20, 2004 -- 07:52:46 (EST)
    Name: Becky Smith -- Email:
    Location: Mooresville, NC
  • Mary,

    We got your note and picture yesterday. Wow! It looks like when your family goes hiking, you really do it right; you had such beautiful, inspiring scenery behind you! What a fun thing to do as a family and what fun to actually get to see a picture of all of you.

    Also, thanks for your help in getting the CD into other people's hands; we just took a whole bunch of them to Duke so your gift was good timing.

    Enjoy your day, enjoy each other!

    Thursday, February 19, 2004 -- 22:08:34 (EST)
    Name: stephanie saenz
    Location: salt lake city, ut
  • simon and family,
    So nice to hear that you have all had a chance to go out and have some fun. It has also been great to see Simon and Miram at school. Miram I'm glad you got to see the mountain man. Simon I hope you are enjoying your visits with Mr Conley
    oxoxoxox Stephanie

    Wednesday, February 18, 2004 -- 11:55:18 (EST)
    Name: Steve Robertson -- Email:
    Location: Saint Paul, MN
  • Hello Simon and Family,

    I'm glad to hear that your counts are back up. I hope the ITP treatments help.

    I'm not very good at remembering jokes, but here's one I heard recently:
    Q. What do you get when you cross a shark with a snowman?
    A. Frostbite!
    Speaking of frostbite, here in St. Paul we have a winter carnival each year. This year they made a huge ice palace that you could walk inside of. At night it was lit up with lights of many different colors. I was hoping they'd just let it melt and collapse, but instead they are taking it apart, ice-block by ice-block.
    All the best,
    Steve, Meg, Sally, and Will Robertson

    Sunday, February 15, 2004 -- 16:56:10 (EST)
    Name: Rebecca -- Email:
    Location: Oberlin, OH USA
  • Hey buddy,

    We just wanted to send our valentine's love to you all this weekend. Hope you got lots of kisses, chocolate and otherwise, yesterday!
    I guess love can be yummy AND powerful: we love you!

    rebecca, randy, emma rose & schuyler sam

    Sunday, February 15, 2004 -- 15:10:34 (EST)
    Name: Lee Williams
  • Simon - Glad you were able to go to school last week - hope it worked out well. I wanted to tell you about Liddy's family's new putty named Luke. He is nine weeks old. black and white with freckles on his nose. Liddy picked him up Saturday and he spent a couple of days with me and with Liddy, Justin and Jake. Martin is in Spain for a week with friends. Zake, their one year old cocker, was hit and killed by a car a week ago which made them all very sad. On advice from a friend who is a child psychiatrist, they decided to go ahead and get another puppy, They will put a fence up in their yard too. We think of you often and send lots of love, Lee

    Friday, February 13, 2004 -- 20:33:18 (EST)
    Name: Gari Stein
  • Hope you all have a fun heart filled valentine's day. Much love always, Gari

    Friday, February 13, 2004 -- 18:33:37 (EST)
    Name: Marta, Paul & Sam -- Email:
    Location: Ann Arbor,
  • Hi Simon,

    I was thinking of you and just wanted to say "hi". I don't have anything in particular to say, so I thought I would share with you this "metric conversion chart" - a list of things that equal each other (but not really!). See if you like any of these:

    2000 mockingbirs = 2 kilomockingbirds
    10 cards = 1 decacards
    454 graham crachers = 1 pound cake
    10 rations = 1 decoration
    10 millipedes = 1 centipede
    2 monograms = 1 diagram
    8 nickels = 2 paradigms
    2 snake eyes = 1 paradise
    2 wharves = 1 paradox

    Hope you're feeling a little bit silly,

    Thursday, February 12, 2004 -- 19:57:55 (EST)
    Name: Silvia Behrened -- Email:
    Location: salt lake city, UT USA
  • Hey Simon and Miriam: a big hug and hello from me, Silvia. I think about you a lot and like to read that you are doing better. Hope to see you soon. love, Silvia

    Thursday, February 12, 2004 -- 16:05:33 (EST)
    Name: stephanie saenz
    Location: salt lake city, ut
  • Simon,
    It has been a busy week for me I have family in town so I'm sorry I have not written. I still think about you everyday. Did you enjoy Mr. Conley dressed up as Abe Lincoln??? We did. Hope you are feeling good and enjoy the long weekend with your family. Talk to you soon, and thanks for stopping by the office to see me when you are at school
    oxoxoxo Stephanie

    Thursday, February 12, 2004 -- 10:43:40 (EST)
    Name: Liz Kennedy -- Email:
    Location: Ann Arbor, MI USA
  • Hi Mary - I just wanted to thank you for keeping all of us up to date, as we all wait, wonder, worry, hope.... It must take alot of energy, and I want you to know how much I appreciate it. Sending all my best vibes to you & your family....xoxo

    Wednesday, February 11, 2004 -- 21:01:01 (EST)
    Name: Carol Knox -- Email:
    Location: Chelsea, MI USA
  • Hey guys!!! We check your page all the time to see how things are going with your battle. We hold our breath and cross our fingers with you and do the requisite platelet dances. It was great to see that Mary had come to check out Andrew's page too. Andrew wants to make sure that Simon knows that he said "hi"

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004 -- 20:39:58 (EST)
    Name: Thomas Broadbent -- Email:
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah USA
  • Dear Simon,
    I like your web site. It has cool pictures. I was glad when you came back to school. You are nice! I would like you to come over to my house and play with me. If you are feeling tired we could sit and watch a video. My mom says I could have you come over on the 12th, 16th, 18th, or the 21st. Call or email me to let me know what would be best. My phone number is 582-7826.

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004 -- 16:27:36 (EST)
    Name: Monte Boykin -- Email:
    Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Mary:

    It's been a while since I've seen you - Probably since Leadership Ann Arbor. Just to jar your memory a little. My wife Shawn, son Matthew and I lived around the corner from you at student housing. MAtthew and Simon played together - quite often.

    But in any event - I just wanted to say "Hello1" I do visit the website everytime I think of Simon and the latest pictures and "what's happening" information prompted me to write.

    God is definately in the "Blessing Business" and I am sure he will continue to bless your family with the spirit of healing. You will always be in my prayers and in my thoughts.

    Go Simon!!

    Tuesday, February 10, 2004 -- 08:15:18 (EST)
    Name: irene -- Email:
    Location: Linz, Austria
  • Hi, over there! I am still visiting your wonderful web site and sending you a lot oft thoughts, filled with hope and best wishes for You all.
    Last week me and my boyfriend George have been invited by a collegue of mine. What a surprise: They live in the same flat, where I spent a lot of weeks with two year old Markus and his parents Irmgard and Peter, when they still lived in Linz/Austria. My mother was very sick and I was twelve at this time (now I'm fourty seven, so You see how times are floating....).
    It was a suprise for me to be back in this house and it even gave me a kick to write again. So you alle see: You are in the minds of me and my family.
    I don't know Mary, just a very, very little bit from this web site, but I want to send a special hug to You.

    Irene Judmayer

    Monday, February 09, 2004 -- 22:56:28 (EST)
    Name: marly merrill -- Email:
    Location: oberlin, OH USA
  • Simon: You're back in school just in time for Valentine's Day. I bet you receive lots and lots of cards from your many friends. Give your mommy a hug from me and Happy Valentines Day to you and your family.

    Monday, February 09, 2004 -- 18:14:31 (EST)
    Name: Jesse Reed -- Email:
    Location: salt lake city, Ut USA
  • dear simon,
    i hope you feel better soon and can be back in Ms. Eaton's class with us soon.
    -from jesse reed

    Sunday, February 08, 2004 -- 16:07:00 (EST)
    Name: Marion Drummond -- Email:
    Location: Oberlin, OH United States
  • Hi there Simon! Thanks for sending Gram home to Oberlin. She sang well in choir today and then we sat with your Grandpa at the Birthday Luncheon. He and I have November birthdays. I think I ate more cake than he did, but then he was going ice skating with some children from church and can work off all his cake calories. I bet you can already ice skate. Have a good week!

    Saturday, February 07, 2004 -- 13:42:52 (EST)
    Name: Gari Stein
  • Hurrah for good news and lots of good hugs for Mary, by the way, you are my hero, to you all, Gari

    Friday, February 06, 2004 -- 08:53:23 (EST)
    Name: LeeWilliams
  • Simon and family - so glad to get the good news today and hear that Simon is home again with a Gran to help. Hurrah! I hope things continue up -- We have ice this morning and schools are either closed or late - it's been a long winter here. So good to hear your news always and know I am thinking of you often. Lots of love, Lee

    Friday, February 06, 2004 -- 07:18:50 (EST)
    Name: Connie Lippert -- Email:
    Location: AnnArbor, Michigan
  • Hello Simon!
    Congratulations on the good news on Feb 13th! Our prayers are with you!
    Your friend, Connie Lippert and family

    Thursday, February 05, 2004 -- 11:46:13 (EST)
    Name: Marion Drummond -- Email:
    Location: Oberlin, Ohio U.S.
  • Simon, I never would have thought of your playing "Battleship" and I am all excited about digging out our old game and seeing if our grandson, Alex, can learn to play too. He is 8 and loves logos as much as you do. Keep on winning everything.

    Thursday, February 05, 2004 -- 05:20:10 (EST)
    Name: Becky Smith -- Email:
    Location: Mooresville, NC
  • Mary,

    Just want you to know how much I appreciate your posts on the NB Listserve. You always have calm, encouraging, wise things to say, even in the midst of going through a lot of medical uncertainty with your own little guy. You have a real gift for communicating clearly and with empathy.

    Glad to hear Super Simon is doing better--he's quite a fighter, quite a fella! :-)

    Wednesday, February 04, 2004 -- 21:54:50 (EST)
    Name: Kris Hopkins -- Email:
    Location: Clinton, NY
  • I think that even people who generally *like* rollercoaster rides would not appreciate the one you've been on recently! But I'm so glad that the final, official CT comparison showed less disease rather than more. Phew! I guess it's good to know that, even if it does a number on your blood cells, Simon, at least the chemo seems to be doing a number on the cancer cells as well. Now we just need to kick those platelet and other good-cell dances up a notch while simultaneously saying -- and here's the next "good-bye" word for you -- "Adios!" to the bad cells. (OK, so far we've done German and Spanish. The next language I'm going to try is Swedish -- we'll see what I come up with!)

    Sending lots of wonderful, warm, healing thoughts from across the miles,

    Kris and Family

    Wednesday, February 04, 2004 -- 20:25:21 (EST)
    Name: stephanie saenz
    Location: salt lake city, ut
  • Simon, thanks to you I'm becoming an internet wizard, ok maybe not at wizard level yet!!! As I was ever so humbly reminded today at physical thearpy, one must walk before they can run....thanks for the training wheels. You are my inspiration.
    oxoxoxox Stephanie

    Wednesday, February 04, 2004 -- 05:28:37 (EST)
    Name: jane -- Email:
    Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • SImon-- you are the man! It sounds like your platelets are your buddies and you are keeping your Mom and Grandmom on their toes with your game wizardry.How great! We are cheering you on from Ann Arbor. love, Jane Lance Cara and Emily

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004 -- 22:12:28 (EST)
    Name: rebecca,randy,emma & schuyler -- Email:
    Location: Oberlin, OH USA
  • Simon and family,

    We are delighted by the good news! We continue to think of you daily, sending warm wishes. QUITE the impressive Yahtzee score, Mr. Underpants!

    Sending you love,

    Schuyler's mom & family

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004 -- 20:26:20 (EST)
    Name: Sally and Amy Olson
    Location: Seattle,
  • Yippee! So glad to read the good news!

    Amy says I'm glad you're home from the hospital!

    lots of love, the Olsons

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004 -- 20:24:25 (EST)
    Name: stephanie saenz
    Location: salt lake city, ut

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004 -- 19:13:39 (EST)
    Name: Marta, Paul & Sam -- Email:
    Location: Ann Arbor,
  • Hi Simon,

    Wow - More platelets, smaller lesion, and one heck of a Yahtzee score! Nice job on all fronts. It is very cool that you learned Battleship so fast. Battleship is one of our family's favorite games. Actually, Sam's very favorite is shooting pool (Sam is 14 years old - you'd like him, I think - he is one funny guy) - you know, big table, long stick, lots of balls that you send to the pockets (if you are Sam), or send rocketing around the table only to end up about where they started (if you are me).

    Mary, thank you for all the updates. We are thinking of all of you.

    Marta, Paul and Sam

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004 -- 18:00:25 (EST)
    Name: Deborah Orlowski -- Email:
    Location: Ann Arbor, MI USA
  • Simon, I just wanted you to know that your friends here at UM in HRD are following your progress and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. We're very proud of you and how brave you are.

    Please tell your mom that her friends at HRD miss seeing her in our classes, but we're glad you're all adjusting and enjoying Utah.

    Best wishes,
    Hugs from all the people at HRD.

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004 -- 16:14:38 (EST)
    Name: Susan Hartman
    Location: Ann Arbor,
  • Hi Simon and Family--
    I'll add my note to the many wishing you continued strength as you continue on this roller coaster ride! It's good to hear that Simon is home again. It's wonderful to see how you all seem to maintain your joy in life and connection with community as you continue to face new challenges.

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004 -- 11:48:01 (EST)
    Name: Elena Asparouhova -- Email:
    Location: Salt Lake City, UT
  • Hi Simon and Miriam. I know Miriam but not Simon personally. It is so nice to hear that the CT scan results were good. Good job, Simon! I sent to both of you little presents, they should arrive either today or tomorrow. My heart is with you little heros :) Elena

    Tuesday, February 03, 2004 -- 05:53:15 (EST)
    Name: Lee Williams
  • Simon and family,..thanks for keeping us well-imformed about things - am thinking of you often-sending lots of good wishes during this hard time - hope things get better soon. Love, Lee

    Monday, February 02, 2004 -- 21:11:00 (EST)
    Name: stephanie saenz
    Location: salt lake city, ut
  • simon
    grandma came to school today. she said you were coing home again. YEAH!! love you, miss you and think of you and your wonderful family lots. oxoxox stephanie

    Monday, February 02, 2004 -- 20:43:18 (EST)
    Name: Debbie Hume -- Email:
    Location: Cayucos, CA USA
  • Hello Vodosek family,

    You all are in my prayers. I am so amazed by Simon's strength. I wish I was closer to lend a helping hand and to just give you all a hug. I will send a little something as a symbol of my thoughts and love going your way. I will continue to pray for sweet Simon and that we find a way to kill those bad cells. With love, Debbie

    Monday, February 02, 2004 -- 17:08:13 (EST)
    Name: Rick and Donna Gross -- Email:
    Location: Midland, Michigan USA
  • Hi Simon, Miriam, Mary, and Markus,
    We send you each a very big, warm hug, along with continued hope for better days ahead.

    Monday, February 02, 2004 -- 16:50:34 (EST)
    Name: amy sheon -- Email:
    Location: ann arbor, mi
  • Am doing the platelet (and everything else) dance for you all during this very difficult time. A book of origami papers is enroute--Jesse has been loving doing it and I thought Simon might enjoy it as a restful creative activity.

    It's been comforting to see you quickly cultivating a community and network in your new home in Salt Lake--I had no doubt that you would quickly find kindred spirits who accompany you on your journey but appreciate how scary it must have been to leave your support network here in Ann Arbor. Thinking of all of you....

    Monday, February 02, 2004 -- 14:19:58 (EST)
    Name: Anne, Tom, and JOhannes -- Email:
    Location: Northfield, MN USA
  • sweethearts, we are holding you all in our hearts and minds, thinking of all the positive, healthy thoughts we can. Simon, you're a game wizard you are, and to be expected with your parents! we love you all.

    anne, tom, and johannes

    Monday, February 02, 2004 -- 11:37:26 (EST)
    Name: carol longsworth -- Email:
    Location: oberlin, oh usa
  • Dear Mary and Markus and Miriam and Simon, Bob and I are thinking about you and praying for the best possible outcome for Simon after his hospital stay. Our hearts and prayers reach out to all of you... and to Grann, too. I know you are thankful that she is there to help out. Isn't she terrific? Love to all, Your devoted friends, Carol and Bob

    Sunday, February 01, 2004 -- 19:17:36 (EST)
    Name: stephanie saenz
  • mary,
    thinking of you all. wish i could make it all better. your strenght is awe inspiring. call if i can do anything at all. i'll keep up on the home bound schooling on tuesday when the woman gets back in town oxoxoxo stephanie

    Sunday, February 01, 2004 -- 16:54:01 (EST)
    Name: Julie Lautens -- Email:
    Location: Toronto,
  • Mary, Simon and all - Just wanted you to know we are keeping up with your news and thinking lots of encouraging thoughts. Thanks for the new pictures of our hero - Captain Underpants - and thank goodness for Hasbro.... (never thought I'd say that). Feel free to email or call for help. Love, Julie

    Sunday, February 01, 2004 -- 13:02:31 (EST)
    Name: Karen Merrill -- Email:
    Location: Amherst , MA USA
  • Dear Simon -- I haven't posted a message for a while here, but I know your website and have especially loved the last photos. I'm so sorry to hear you're in the hospital but know that you're getting good medicine and that Captain Underpants will keep you laughing when you need it. Are there Talking Toilets there?

    Theo (who is in first grade) has a joke for you: What did the teddy bear say to the eagle when the eagle asked him if he wanted any dessert? I'M STUFFED!!

    I've been thinking of you four so much, and we send all our hopes for a quick rebound in Simon's immunity. Mary -- an extra hug for you.
    Love, Karen (and Martha and Theo)

    Sunday, February 01, 2004 -- 03:13:43 (EST)
    Name: Jennifer Sharpe -- Email:
    Location: lyndhurst, OH usa
  • Simon -- keep fighting, you're such a strong kid!! your in my thoughts and prayers everyday!! I can't wait to see you and amy playing @ my grandma janes soon again like old times!! Mary & Markus -- all my prayers to you also - you're dealing wtih so much and being so strong yourselves!!
    Love you all & miss u you come back to ohio as soon as possible!!!!

    Sunday, February 01, 2004 -- 00:17:39 (EST)
    Name: MaryCraig -- Email:
    Location: Salt Lake City, Utah USA
  • This is a quick update from the hospital, where I have not yet worked out how to connect my laptop to write a "real" upate.

    Simon's ANC hit 0.0 today. Yikes. At the first sign of a fever, I was on the phone with the doctor. She said to bring him straight up to the inpatient floor. No stop in the ER.

    The idea of zero immunity was hard to live with at home, so I'm grateful to have him hooked up to antibiotics, with nurses checking his vital signs regularly.

    He seems to be feeling OK, but he felt weaker and weaker as the evening progressed. He's now sleeping very peacefully.

    Good news today is that yesteday's platelet trasfuion is holding on very well. This evening's count was 69,000.

    While the big picture remains getting on top of spreading cacer, the current moment is one of needing time to recover safely from chemotheapy.

    Please help us summon to life new white blood cells so that Simon's immune system can reactivate.

    [I want to tell you about the computer system in this snazzy, brand-new hosital room. I'm looking at the screen, which doubles as the TV. I'm typing on a squishy, floppy keyboard. It's all pretty high tech (although my aim is a litle off on the keys.]


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