Now I’d BETTER go bald.

Sarah is my sixteen-year-old niece. This was her response to someone’s comment about the oodles and oodles of hats and scarves acquired for her at the Park City Outlet Mall. You see, she has just been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Wednesday, she had various tests and examinations all day at Primary Children’s Medical Center. Thursday she had a biopsy, had a tunnelled central catheter implanted, and had two bone marrow samples extracted – one at the cheek-top of each “glutei” (that is the technical term, isn’t it?). She spent the year in Maryland with one of my brothers and his wife for the unique experience and “for fun.” Unfortunately, she spent a percentage of that time being poked, prodded, tested and having to carry around fecal samples at Johns Hopkins (lucky to be there, though) – you name it, because 1) she has Iron deficiency anemia, but cannot absorb iron supplements and must have bi-yearly transfusions, which it turns out could be a side-effect of her diagnosis of 2) Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune disorder/type of arthritis, and 3) in the last few months she has developed an alarming number of fast-growing “polyps” or “nodules” in her lymph system, which led to the diagnosis of Hodgkin’s Disease.

She amazes me and I want to applaud her. Not only has she been a real trooper through it all, she has the intelligence, wit and strength to still be, if you’ll pardon my saying so, a big smart ass. You go, Girl! I love you!