My Mom whipped me at Scrabble, like she'll whip Leukemia

Yesterday I got my ass handed to me by my Mom in Scrabble. 345-313. She clinched it about half-way through when she put down all her letters for "Derange." When we figured it out to be 81 points she said, very sweetly with just a hint of patronizing, "Well, that's not so much for a seven-letter word."

"No Mom, it's actually pretty good," said I, in a 100-point plus hole that I could never climb out of, as my Mom silently reveled in her triumph. She is sweet, but highly competitive, which is probably why all of us feel she will win her battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

So my Mom is home now again. She had to spend an extra 10 days in the hospital after getting a bad stomach infection due to having a nearly non-existent immune system after her latest round of chemo. Two days ago was the first day she could eat real food again after living two weeks eating only broth and Jello and dropping to about 105 pounds. Yesterday she made her old favorite, homemade chicken noodle soup, and my Mom, Dad and I ate til we dropped. Damn it was good. Then my Mom planted her little body on the couch. "Monk" was on, you know.

It's great to see my parents together in their little routine; my Mom making sure everything is clean and in its place, my Dad either looking for something he misplaced or telling my Mom which pill she should take and when. Then marking it down. And checking it off. Occasionally my Dad will give his political views which are, well, a little too Little Green Footballs for my taste. But I politely turn the other cheek when he explains how nuking Iran would really settle down everything in the Middle East. Many of us have learned that talking politics with your parents is not always the best idea, and now, with larger issues on the table, for us, political differences are quite irrelevant.

So luckily my Dad's power to run the country are somewhat limited, and the stuff he does have power over he does well and is as nice a guy as you'll ever meet in person. One thing I will always give him credit for is this: He owned a trucking company for years, and if all businesses or corporations handled things the way he did, it would be a better country indeed. He didn't need anyone telling him what the minimum wage is because he always paid more (except to me, when as a pre-teen and teen he'd hire me to unload trucks and pull weeds.)

But he treated his workers with respect, paid them well, gave them health insurance and even matched donations into their retirement plans up to a certain amount. Keystone Trucking Service is gone now, but it was a business he was proud of and rightly so. As an old-school Republican, he talked the talk, but he also walked the walk, and a lot of drivers made some very good money in the three decades or so he had his company.

My parents have now pretty much accepted that a bone marrow transplant is their best and really only option. My Mom is in remission now, but that can only last for so long, possibly not even a year. She will soon undergo more chemo in preparation for the transplant, though no donor has been found as of yet.

We're having a Marrow Donor Drive on March 29, and if you're anywhere near the High Desert, California area, let me know and I'll tell you all about it. I can also send anyone interested a flyer, and if anyone knows how to turn a Microsoft Word document into a Jpeg, let me know, it would be most helpful. And, like I wrote before, if you have any questions or would like to help in any way, please e-mail me at wkwolfrum(at)gmail(dot)com or check out to learn more about the incredible need for bone marrow donors this country faces.

So that's where we're at. Living life one day at a time as best as possible. It's wonderful to see my Mom feeling so good and enjoying her life again without any problems. She's just this happy little control freak who does the "warsh" as a form of relaxation. Like most from Pittsburgh, she's an interesting one, my Mom.

I just want her to stay around longer. At 67, she is sharp and happy and beautiful. Even if it means losing at Scrabble again and again, I don't want my Mom to go yet.


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