A life changing week

Thank you for continuing to pray for Lorelei.  Her strength to make it through the events of this week can only be explained as having been given by God.  Any human, especially one going through intensive chemotherapy, would have found it difficult to keep up any other way.

Thursday, April 19. 

Chemo #6 (Half Way!)  Took enough nausea medication to attend baseball game that night.  Shattered tooth on a tootsie pop.

Friday, April 20. 

Dr. Winn Ashmore fixed Lorelei’s tooth.  Poor baby.  She was very nauseous from having had chemo the day before so she couldn’t eat breakfast.  But in order to numb her, the dentist needed her to have something on her stomach.  So I forced her to eat a Clif Bar (which she hated) and then Dr. Ashmore gave her nitrous (which she loved) and fixed her tooth.  She stopped to apologize to Dr. Ashmore’s staff after the procedure because she had been in such a bad mood earlier.  They all understood.   Also, after the dentist she went to ICIO to get a Neulasta injection. (Not fun but very hopeful it would help her immune system enough to kick this runny nose she’d had for quite a while.)

Saturday, April 21.  

Lorelei woke us all up to go eat breakfast at Jimmy’s egg.  (It’s a tradition.) Then we hit up the mall to buy something to wear on Tuesday to the Thunder game for her NBA coaching debut.   Had to avoid the perfume area of Dillards.  Smells made the nausea worse.  But she plowed through and found some awesome platform heels (the later-to-be-famous blue suede shoes) and a great pair of jeans before her strength gave way.

Sunday, April 22.  

Attended Sunday School then headed to Norman since Lorelei was invited to serve as the Starter for the Bedlam Cup at Jimmy Austin golf course.   Coach Jed (Tom Jedlicka) served as starter for the first round and Lorelei got to start the second round.  It was great to meet all the players and coaches from both OSU and OU’s women’s golf programs.  Many friendships that will carry her forward through college began this day.

Monday, April 23.  

Putnam City North participated in the Metro Conference Golf Tournament at Fairfax in Edmond.  And since Rachel Calderon had been trying to get an interview with Lorelei for several weeks but couldn’t coordinate the photographer, she used Lorelei’s warm up time to do a quick interview before she teed off.  Here’s a link to that story.

Coach Harris asked the coaches of the other teams if they would mind if Lorelei rode in a cart from hole to hole and none minded that so I was able to drive the cart and carry her clubs for her.  That seemed to help her stamina.  She had never played golf this close to a chemo treatment and she said the clubs seemed extra heavy to her.  But she golfed one of the best games of her life and set a new personal best breaking into the 90’s.  The first person she called after doing this was Coach Jed.  He had always told her she’d do it.

As soon as the tournament was over we rushed downtown to be at the Thunder store before they closed.  Thunder Swag!  The Thunder let Lorelei select shirts for every member of her family (courtesy of the Thunder) so they’d be “Thundered Up” for the game the next day.

Then we rushed home to change clothes and head out for a fancy meal at Mickey Mantle’s courtesy of Make-A-Wish.  Dinner was fantastic and we definitely felt out of place in such a nice restaurant.  Kind of like the Clampetts in Beverly Hills.  Kevin Durant walked in just as we were leaving the restaurant.  I couldn’t resist so I reached up to grab his arm (yes, I touched him) and introduced him to his coach for the following day.  Lorelei was so embarrassed.  He must have thought we were crazy stalkers. (Apparently he had not yet heard that he was to have a new coach for the day.)  We weren’t too worried because we knew he’d recognize her the next day.  (He did.)

9:45 We hit up Academy just before closing to buy Nike shorts to wear to practice the next day.  Oops.  Didn’t realize the Thunder only wears Adidas!  Fortunately, they gave her a few pair of shorts to wear the next day.

Monday night we checked into the hotel Make-A-Wish had arranged for us.  The limo was supposed to pick up Lorelei and Dustin at 7:45 the next morning.

Tuesday, April 24.  

Amazingly, Lorelei did not need an alarm to wake up!  The original plan was for Lorelei and Dustin to be the only ones to ride in the limo to the Integris Thunder Practice Facility because security had only cleared the two of them to enter.  But after breakfast (and still in our very causal hotel clothing) we decided to go ahead and ride in the limo so we could see them as they were dropped off.  Little did we know they would invite us to stay!  We were not allowed into the Coaches meeting but we did get to remain in the practice area for the shoot around.  And while Lorelei was in the coaches meeting we got to listen to the videography giggle as he listened to her.  He had an earpiece and we think the coaches had forgotten that Lorelei was miked.  So the videographer got to hear everything she said.   It was so much fun to listen to her being her confident little self and telling them exactly what she thought they could do better.  She didn’t pull any punches.  That’s only fair; life hasn’t pulled any punches with her either.  You gotta be tough to beat cancer.

I’ve already posted about the first part of her day coaching so I’ll skip that part.  Here’s a link to the story Channel 9 ran before the game.

Boyfriend Brad arrived from Tahlequah mid afternoon and the limo picked us all up at 4:30 to take us to the Chesapeake arena.  We got to enter through the VIP entrance and go right onto the court.  Lorelei met many VIP’s and learned of the events planned for the evening.  Then we dined in the Founder’s Lounge!  That would be where Clay Bennett usually dines.  We all felt like royalty.

After taking our seats in the arena, Lorelei was introduced as the honorary team captain.  She got to go out on the court where Kevin Durant greeted her with a hug and a “Hey Lorelei.” Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant accompanied her to meet with the captains of the Sacramento Kings.  And then she was whisked away for more interviews.  It seems like she missed the entire first half doing interviews.  The most fun one was with Kelly Crull.  That one aired during the game on TV.  None of the rest of us got to see it as it aired but we were able to watch it later on the DVR.  I’ll post a link to it if I ever find it on the internet.

One of the most exciting things for Lorelei about the whole experience was seeing the Thunder players wearing her lime green wrist bands during the game.  She and Dustin had given each some of the players a wristband at practice and tried to explain what they meant.  Lorelei describes “the wristbands represent the support from God’s family and they represent what’s important in life; Faith, Hope and Love.  Sometimes in life it’s easy to feel victimized but this bracelet is a reminder to dwell on the positives and choose joy.”  It appears that her message is making it through.

We hailed a rickshaw to take Lorelei back to the hotel since walking such a distance in her blue suede shoes would not have been good.  (The driver didn’t even let us pay him for the ride--he heard Brad and Lorelei talking about the journey they are on and he just asked them to “pay it forward.”  He even came back to pick up Kevin and me as we were walking back.)  That night as Kevin and I took the elevator to our hotel room we met up with a man who asked us if we had been to the game.  We told him that our daughter had actually been the honorary team captain!  He laughed and said “Oh, your daughter is that crazy shoe girl!”  Yes, she is.

Wednesday April 25. 

Make-A-Wish provided a limo for Lorelei on Wednesday too.   We ate lunch at Zio’s and then saw “The Lucky One” at the Warren Theatre. Several people recognized Lorelei as we were out and mentioned having read about her in the paper or seeing her on TV. A bit surreal.  We followed that up with a little bit of shopping before pooping out.  Besides, the Thunder were playing their final regular season game at 7:00 so we had to be home.  It was very odd to watch the game on TV after having experienced it so very differently just the day before.  Again, Lorelei was humbled to see many of the players still wearing her bracelets.

Thursday April 26.  

Lorelei went to school to have her photo taken for her senior class group picture.  The rest of the day allowed her to recover a bit.  She’d need it because she was scheduled to play in a golf tournament the following day with her father.  And after that she had a photo shoot at Lake Hefner golf course for team photos.

Friday, April 27. 

Lorelei and her father participated in the CSI Golf Tournament, scramble style.  When she arrived at the course one of the men there greeted her with a "Hey Coach!" Still surreal to be a mini celebrity in her own town. Golfing with her daddy was fun, but she crashed “dead to the world” on our living room floor that night.

Saturday, April 28.  

We rose early to begin prom preparations.  She washed her wig and pin curled it to dry.  Not exactly how we had pictured doing her hair for her senior prom.  But it turned out beautifully.  She had experienced some worrisome abdominal pain on Friday and it intensified on Saturday to the point where she was crying.  But we prayed and the pain seemed to dissipate.  She was able to join her prom group for pictures at Will Rogers Park and dinner at Shiki before attending the prom at The Oklahoma History Center.  She and Brad left the prom early and beat the severe weather to get her car in the garage and watch the end of the Thunder’s first playoff game.  She was very pleased when Kevin Durant won the game because he drove in for the better shot instead of trying to take the three.  He did exactly as she had coached him earlier!  And in his post game interview he was wearing her bracelet!

She was too tired to attend any of the after prom parties.  But was able to get in seven hours of good sleep before church this morning.

Sunday, April 29. 

Worship was wonderful.  It’s always more meaningful to be in worship on Sunday when you’ve already been worshipping throughout the week.

This afternoon she was invited by the Thunder to join Grant Long and Kelly Crull in the pre-game Thunder Live show before game two of the playoffs tomorrow night.  She joyfully accepted!  She’ll get to talk about her experience as a coach for a day as well as review a few plays from playoff game one.  What an opportunity!  She’s even beginning to think this may be the eventual path of her life.  Perhaps she desires to become a sports broadcaster or to have some sort of career in public relations.  Maybe that’s what the Thunder is already seeing in her.   No matter what, it is evident to all that whatever Lorelei chooses to do, she’ll do it well.

Just like beating cancer.

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Psalm 91:14-16

New International Version (NIV)

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation."