Update: Monday, August 27 - Debbie
I am still flying high with the healing I am experiencing. I wish each of you to know the magnitude of your participation in my healing. Please don't ever think that what you say or do or pray for is insignificant or lost in the seeming sea of other prayers, thoughts, messages... each one is priceless and precious to me. I am continually filled with hope because of what you share with me. Every cell of mine thanks you. My heart is filled with your love. Thank you.
We are continuing with life here in Atlanta. I am very thankful for discovering The Wellness Community which is located a few minutes from our home. There I attend support groups, yoga, a dreams class and an art recover group I go there several times each week. It's a wonderful resource and I have met some great people there. Dewey is painting more and more. We are also trying to sort out his health problems and are making progress. Aurora talks more each day and has essentially potty-trained herself! She loves to sing and going to the pool. She is full of hugs and kisses and says "I love you so much" and "it's so good to see you maman!" just melts my heart.
We really enjoyed visiting with Earl and Pam who came over from Charleston this weekend. And I had a wonderful call from Michele Bamburg saying that Ronnie had made All American in New York this past weekend!! Way to go Ronnie!!!
Please keep praying for further healing and for wisdom as we gather our information and make a decision about the next treatment step. Please also keep the CD project in your prayers as it goes into production.
I love you all! Debbie
Update: Wednesday, August 22 - Debbie
HALLELUJAH!!!! It's all scarring!! I just now got the call from Dr. Eley, who just got the report from Radiology. As I said before, the machine had been down. Then they needed someone to read the lower scans. I got the news that all of the organs were clear liver, pancreas and spleen as well as the lungs on Friday, when I was also told they had misplaced the folder with all my previous scans and couldn't compare the bone windows without them! This has all been so frustrating for Dr. Eley, Jane (his wonderful new nurse practitioner), Sarah and other special people working hard to get the results too. Oh, the wait was agonizing at times... Monday, Tuesday and now it's Wednesday night. They found the folder Tuesday am, but needed to compare the scans. It turned out they hadn't even printed out bone windows this time and that created further delays. Incredible. But I am finally fully rejoicing with the official news that my body is healing everywhere. Praise God!!!
Thank you, my friends, for your love and wonderful support and prayers you are my lifeline. I recently saw a doctor who asked me, surprised, "what do you have a web-site for?" - little did he know...
We are slowly getting information in from various sources regarding the next step. Dr. Eley will meet with me soon to go over everything. I will be starting the Arimidex (hormone therapy) in 2 weeks. My next Aredia infusion is set for Tuesday, Sept. 11th. But I will be writing soon about what all is going on "chez les Franklin" (with the Franklins).
I love you so very much.
CD Update: Monday, August 20 - Dewey
Healing Beauty Volume 1 is scheduled to print Sept. 30, 2001. Due to some unforeseen delays, we had to move it back one month. Mastering should begin by Aug. 24th and production will shortly follow.
Check out the new songs on the CD website under "Artists". We will have a few more before the final pressing so keep checking the CD page. There may also be a surprise appearance!
We that is Fritz Miller (website manager) John Castleberry (creator and producer of the cd) and I (general dogsbody) have done our best to keep the CD release on schedule but some things have been out of our control. Not to bore you with details, we will be ready as soon as possible, and will keep you updated as to the progress, ...were talking days, maybe a couple of weeks as opposed to months. We just have to collect the last few songs, do the mastering, design the cover and insert, set up the online purchasing, and print the CDs. That's all. It's going to be a great disc so tell all your friends!
News: Thursday, August 16
At Long last, some pics of Ron Bamburg winning so many Gold Medals recently in honour of Debbie. He actually sent the Gold Medal to Debbie along with these following pics. Sorry for the Delay, we've been a bit busy lately.
[ VIEW PICTURES ]
News: Thursday, August 16
Recently, some friends of ours in England, (specifically, Sarah, Donna, Iris and Kate) , participated in a charity run for breast cancer in Leicester, England. They all wore t-shirts in honour of Debbie. Apparently around 6 million pounds sterling was raised. Unfortunately we dont get it. but research and care is more deserving. Thank you guys, for your love for Debbie, and to your spouses (Peter, Brian ans Nigel), for sitting on the sidelines and taking the pics, view below.
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Update: Tuesday, August 14 - Debbie
What a week it has been! And I know you all are as anxious as I am to have the results from the CT scan. Dr. Eley called me at 10:00 last night to say that he had the chest scan report (they also scanned the abdomen and pelvis) and the lungs were clear!!! And the bone lesion on the rib/shoulder showed scarring which means the bone is healing and the cancer is "losing the battle"!!! We were all so excited, jumping around the room, relieved, but also still anxious to have the full results. Unfortunately, the machine was down and we left the clinic today without those results. Dr. Eley feels strongly that the bones elsewhere are doing the same thing as the shoulder and he is so confident about it that we did not do chemo today!!!! He hopes I don't have to have any more chemo "for a hundred years"!!! He plans to start me on hormonal therapy in a couple of weeks and we will continue with the Aredia every month. Meanwhile, I gave him materials to read about the clinics/treatments I am considering and he is supportive of my desire to try out some natural, non-toxic treatments at this time. We will discuss my options in the near future (meeting at a café, of course :) ).
I am so happy about no more chemo right now! It's as if chains have fallen off of me. I feel free, though not quite sure it's real. I am looking forward to a detox program and helping my body do what it was created to do. The healing that has taken place is amazing. God is amazing. You all are precious to me for your unrelenting prayers and love. That is what sustains me. Thank you so much. This battle is not over yet, but we have won a victory! We have come a long way. I have much I would like to share with you and will try to over the coming weeks. I wish I could hug each of you, spend time with you. Thank you for continuing to send me messages even when you don't hear back from me. I feel so blessed by your love and support and I crave it. God bless you.
Update: Thursday, August 9 - Dewey
Well, we're back from Florida. I took many pics but never had time to send in an update -- far too busy swimming in the ocean and that can be tiring at the best of times. One day we took Aurora to Disney World, which she loved... I prefer to go on a rainy December day. I don't wait in a line for anything if i can help it. One highlight: Minnie Mouse played with Aurora for 15 minutes. They had fun. One day we had a surprise visit from Malia Batzel, one of Debbie's last years students, and her mother. The rest of the time was taken up with playing on the beach, in Aruora's pool and one day we visited the Geffen cancer clinic and met some wonderful people. A special thank you to the Ken and Joyce Shumard (North Atlanta Church of Christ) for the car which made the trip possible.
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Wednesday, August 1 - Debbie
Dewey, Aurora and I are driving to the family house in Florida this morning! A wonderful man is lending us a good rent-a-car to make the trip with and we get to stay a week. We'll be back in time for my CAT scan on August 9th of which we'll have the results Tuesday the 14th. Please pray with us for a clear scan no new lesions ANYWHERE and the old bone lesions to be shrunk to nothing (a reasonable hope as I don't feel them at all anymore, right?!). This will determine many things, including decisions about what to do next, treatment-wise.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!! It means the world to me when someone posts to tell me that they are still regularly praying for me. You are all so vital to my healing. While I always hope for continued earnest prayers and messages, I am always moved to know they are there. A renewed sense of hope and love washes over me and I smile. Thank you for not stopping. Thank you for continuing to go through this with me. May love fill you and guide you always.
This really was one of the easiest chemo sessions and the various sensations that go along with it are now over. I'm feeling great and looking forward to the waves!
We had a lovely visit with Phyllis this past weekend. Please see the attached photos.
God bless each of you. I love you all. Debbie
[ VIEW PICTURES OF PHYLLIS ROKUS' VISIT ]
Tuesday, July 24 - Debbie
I was so busy enjoying our time in France, that I never wrote an update. Dewey was doing such a fine job of it that I really wasn't too concerned (even though he would stay up really late to do them!). But it was truly wonderful. From the moment we walked in the door of Les Meurs, a sense of peace and relaxation came over me. It stayed the whole time. It is so peaceful there. You can hear the silence. It's the only place I know like that. I love it. And it felt like we were returning from a quick trip to England and not after seven months away! Amazing. (That's a new word for AuroraJ). Even after the summer disappeared after the third day there, and with all of the exuberance of beautiful friends coming to visit, the healing peace remained. It was so good to be home!
The hugs, the smiles, the looking into each others' eyes of so many beloved friends, the sunflowers, the familiar sights and sounds and smells of the French countryside Did you know? It hadn't rained since the middle of May and all of the crops were slow in coming up, including most of the sunflower fields. Celina warned me that they weren't quite in bloom yet, so I was all prepared to watch them burst out of their buds during our stay. BUT, the fields around Les Meurs had been planted earlier than most and were yellow with sunflowers upon our arrival! J Happiness.
And that is what the trip was and sheer happiness. Thank you to all of you who made it that way!!! So many of you were special angels of mercy along the way. You are incredible to me. I love you. Some of you travelled from so far, some helped out with logistical things like rides to and from train stations or travelling with us to the airport to help with bags, some helped out as taxi services in Paris, others helped with cleaning Les Meurs before our arrival and in preparation to leave, everyone who came to visit pitched in to help with meals and clean-up, prayers were offered and shared, love was everywhere, I was so refreshed by your hugs and smiles. Merci mille et mille fois.
And guess what?! Today was chemo # 5 and everybody at Emory noticed how well I looked. They said that France did me wonders -- they noticed, you see. And the concrete results came in: my counts were 7,100 !!! The highest they've been since I started chemo!!! Hurray! And Dr. Eley gave me a thumbs up for for my exam everything is in good condition. When I asked him what he thought my chances of remission were, he said beautiful words: "Well you're in partial remission now! Yipppeee. It just felt good to hear that phrase. Kevin easily found a "juicy" vein J and the aredia and chemo was administered without any problems, just a lot of laughter. Dewey was in rare form for that he just kept saying funny things, couldn't help himself. What a lovely man he is. J
We plan to go to Florida next week and will come back for a CT scan on August 9th. We are praying for great news for no new lesions in the bone and nothing elsewhere. OK my prayer warriors you have a task before you. such news will mean that we may be able to end these sessions sooner or, at least, to be able to go home to France and England by the end of October (this is my prayer and dream).
This was really long, but I hadn't written in a while. Thank you for all of the prayers you have been lifting up on my behalf before and during the trip and every day and I really feel them and I am so strengthened by this great love and faith you all are showing. They are vital to me. You are all so precious. May you feel the fruit of God's love every day.
Je vous aime! Debbie
Sunday, July 22 - Dierdre
Our last night in Paris, Debbies friend Dierdre (a journalist for the'
Irish Times') takes her to the U2 concert, armed with backstage passes,
here is Dierdres report of that night.
Wednesday, July 18th, Stade de Bercy, Paris.
Remember the cheer?: Let's go, let's go, l-e-t-s-g-o, let's go let's go LET'S GO'
Two cheerleaders from Jean Paul Goude's 1989 bicentennial parade hit Paris, together for the first time since then. (Though we have had many fabuleux aventures together in between!). We are here to see Debbie's hero and Cosmopolitan Patron of yore - BONO.
We arrange to meet for U2's Elevation Tour in Bercy Stadium at Gate 32. Pluviose. It has been BUCKETING DOWN out of the Paris Heavens. Debbie arrives in a drive-by from Daniel Dewey and sweet Aurora. A Dutch lady kindly 'puts her job on the line' to let Debbie shelter from that Irish rain on a seat inside the loading entrance. Confiding that she knows what it is to be seriously ill, she is surely one of those Wim Wenders angels that turn up just when you need them. Struck by a terminal illness from which no-one has survived [except her] two years ago, here she is to give Debbie a seat, and lots of encouragement at Gate 32. She talks about things like belief, the amazing things your mind can do, the power to live, and stuff like that. Debbie looks radiant all in white. She drinks a bottle of organic potato juice - ugh. The henna on her head is fetching. So few people have the face to wear that Sinead O'Connor style. Debbie is one of them.
Amanda walks us inside to the stadium floor. We hang outside a while until U2 are about to play. Leisurely then, we find our way to our magnificent seats. The sight-lines are perfect. We are really close to the heart, which engulfs the band and a few steadfast queuers within. The more you look at this from above, drinking it in, the more poignant the metaphor becomes. Johnny Halliday sits two rows down from us. I couldn't figure out why everybody stood up and started bowing when I stood up to ask an usher something, but apparently his arrival lay at the heart of it, if you'll excuse the pun!
The concert was wonderful.. Bono le héros did not disappoint. His voice was a little ropy - tired - but bravely he soldiered on. What a show. Debbie had her hands in the air, singing along to all the songs, so lyric-confident. It was perfect to be so close to the stage without having to stand.
12am'ish we lucked out and got a taxi home to Place Saint Ferdinand. In Le Saint Ferdinand we drank un coup de champagne, as is out custom whenever we meet up (and cosmos when in season). Mostly that's in Dublin. We had a good chat, and Debbie filled me in on everything - all the strange events in her life and in her body these last few months - since March 30th. And her inventive and constructive strategies for dealing with it. Impressionant, quoi.
The next morning we had some organic croissants and earl grey tea at Blanaid's before heading to one of my favourite places in tout Paris, La Dame Tartine to meet Dewey and cutie Aurora. En route we stumbled into a fantastic hat-shop. We had a nice chat in front of the fabulous Tinguey-fountains. As they were being cleaned, Debbie finished off her letter 'for Bono'. I brought it home with me that evening to Dublin, where I write this now. It's raining here too! As I reminisce on my lovely (if too short) rendez-vous with my buddy and fellow cosmo-girl Debbie. As the guys in the brasserie near Blanaid's said as we were leaving 'a plus!'. Plus de magie, plus de l'aventure, plus de tous. Yup that's it: A plus!
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Wednesday, July 18 - Paris
We arrived in Paris safely, with alot of help from our friends, at both ends of the journey. Howard and Nathalie in Tour, and Fabrice and Daniel in Paris. Daniel Daughtery and family drove from Germany to see debbie, we stayed with them last night, and they will drive bact to germany today. Daniel is the director of the Pepperdine Heidelburg programme. Also Daniel and Karen bought one of my paintings last night! see pics. Today Debbie is at acupuncture, but tonight will have a very special outing, it will be the highlight of the trip here, but im not going to tell you what it is...until tommorrow...
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Friday, July 16 - France
So many friends, and they all came this weekend. We Laughed, and cried , we
party'd, we ate (too much...thanks mom for the chicken casserole) we
prayed, we worshipped, we broke bread, we lifted Debbie up.
Who was here?;
Vince, aka "praying for the rain" from london
Angela and Patrick From Tokyo & London
Lyddie, ishmael, jessie, & Heba from Beruit
Richard & Marie, Nellie, Anna, Eloise and baby
Pierre & Marielena & Baby
Claudine & Christophe
to name but a few. Now it is time to cloes up the house, Nathalie and Howard are here to help us with that, then Nathalie will take us to the station. For Paris where we will spend 2 days before our return.
No more words, the pictures will speak.
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Friday, July 13 - France
What did Mama do today?
Today Debbie went with Karen Normandy (a frequent writer on the site) to Chartre Cathedral. It Has A famous laberynth that has been a pilgrimage since the year 1200a.d. Debbie and Tami often go to a replica of it in Atlanta. The Laberynth is a circular maze, with the center as the end. as one enters the laberynth, it is a time of letting go, as one arrives in the center, it is a time of recieving, and as one leaves it is a time of union. Debbie wantede to write this update, to explain more, but they were 5 hours late home because of traffic, and she is very tired, so im doing my best. They are both swafely tucked up in bed right now, and im waiting for friends to arrive, e.t.a. 2.30 a.m.
Tommorrow is a big day, but you'll have to wait for the next update on that!
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Thursday, July 12 - France - Frankie
Greetings from Gloria and myself,
For the last week we have been very busy trying to keep up with the French
style of living. These people dont seem to require any sleep! While they
spend the day working, we, spend the day resting up for the evening.
We have been envited out somewhere perhaps every day. You just havent lived
until you have had your fill of French cheese, plus all that precedes and
We have tired ourselves out changing clothes. We seem to be either too hot or too cold, perhaps we are too old?
Today we have the heating on and are huddling in the house like a bunch of crybabies.
Debbie is doing well and enjoying constant visits. I keep thinking she is about to run out of words. But she never does. At first I thought this trip was perhaps a flight too far, but it seems to be just what the doctor ordered.
We have found this web page to be our daily news. It is keeping all of us informed of this treatment process.
It is my prayer that all of us will emerge from this terrible situation with gratitude, faith, and a greater Christian motivation.
May God be with all of us.
Frank and Gloria
Wednesday, July 11 - France - No2
Debbie is still doing very well, and is enjoying the time here greatly, I
think it may be going a bit fast for her. But She is feeling good. She has
had 2 rounds of Reicki massage (Whatever that is) and has liked that alot..
She will have 2 more while we are here.
As I do not yet have the red light to give you the grand tour, i thought i would just give you a preview of some nice details of our house. See the pics.
[ VIEW PICTURES ]
Wednesday, July 11 - France
A Funny Thing happened today, we went over to visit some friends, Claude and Marie Louise, at the Chateau De Charge, and they wernt home...not so funny in itself, but Debbie called them later, at three oclock, and they were so surprised to know that we were here, as they were having a mass for Debbie in their chapel, in an hour! So we went back over for that, it was beautifull to see...a small group of people meeting to pray for debbie, so far away, we didnt know they were doing that regularly.
Afterwards we had tea and toast and homemade apricot jam, and a nice visit. This couple bought this chateau as a ruin about 20 years ago, and rebuilt it themselves, with impecable taste. They use three rooms as a hotel, so if your ever in that area? it is the most beautifull hotel in the area. The Sad Thing is...i forgot the camera, so im posting some pics we took christmass, 1999, of their place.
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Monday, July 9 - France
A funny thing happened this evening...well, actually normal around here, we
were eating dinner around 7, and claude arrived, andsaid, Hey, your invited
to dinner at daniels tonight, so eat up!! ( you see the french eat around
9-10).My parents, who are very polite and full, came with us. We were
treated to a feast in debbies honour, with about 20 other people. In the
photos you will see, Claude, a good friend, who was the police chief of
Piotiers for 30 years, old John, who is german. When he was 14, he came
home from school in berlin to find his house gone, it had been bomed with
his family inside. so he walked fro three years to france, who took him in,
asd long as he joined the army, who sent him to viet nam for 15 years. (
before the americans took over). Daniel, who,s wife died last year of
leucemia, We were here when it happened. And Rose. Rose and Jean Marc are
close friends, its difficult to find words, as everyone here is like family
to us. Jean Marc and Rose took care of us when we first moved here, taught
us how to grow stuff, gave us wood for the fire, kept us alive in the
winter. Jean marc was not there tonight as he just went through an
operation on his sinus's. they pulled out 6 of his teeth before they
decided it was a sinus problem instead. Scary! But I promise i'll get a pic
of jean marc before we leave, he is one of the kindest men in the world.,
Funny thing, my Dad was almost out of gas, and he wengt down to the village
to fill up. When he did, the lady wouldnt take any of his foreign cards, so
she wiped him out of his cash... anyway, she was there at the dinner, and
made a big joke of that too.British cows and credit cards are no good
Remember we had already had dinner ( sausages, potato salad and salad), so I'll tell you what we had at the feast later, ...Pate de canard (duck)...Barbequed beef (of course there was many a joke about british beef and mad cow desease) White beans, goats cheese, camambert, gateau, cake, pie...and the rest. We actuallhy left as the party was getting started. Debbie was tired, dont blame her, i was too.!! Debbie is doing very well. and is feeling very well. She plans to write her own update in the next few days.
At the moment, Aurora and i are watching willie wonka and the chocolate factory, then she will go to sleep???????? Tommorrow we will go to Chartre, where we will visit the Cathedral, which has the biggest laberinth in europe, which debbie wants to walk. I'll take pictures!!!
View the Photos. A Bientot!
P.S. I still plan to do the virtual tour of the house, but Debbie wants to Tidy up the house first, so we'll wait for that, its a big house. Maybe saturday?
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Update: Saturday, July 7, 8 pm - Dewey (France)
O.K heres what weve done lately....
Yesterday we went to visit friends Claudine and Christophe, they have built a bed and breakfast, and the first guests come tommorrow, the problem is, the place isnt readi, notice the lack of windows and doors! and the pool broke yesterday. so they are frantic at this moment. Good luck to them. They are in fact the strongest man and woman in the world. Unfortunately, at the moment Christophe is suffering from Hepititus C, Pray for him too. Later we went over to Hugh and Celina's for dinner, Hugh is a fasion photographer, and Celina is from Argentina. They have 2 girls, Paloma and Sienna. See Photos.
Today, after finding the organic supermarket is closed till tuesday, we drove to Tours, 1 1/2 hours, for Debs vegetables...Kate Daly arrived for the week to visit and help out with Debbies diet, she knows alot about alternative therapies, and brought a box of books for Debbie. After a lovely dinner my mom made us, Howard came to dinner... we went for another walk, more pics. Now Debbies telling Kate and howard her story, that will take a while...
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Update: Thursday, July 5, 9 pm - Dewey (France)
Today my parents arrived for the week, it is a long days trip from england to our house in a car. they came to help out with cleaning, cooking, a bit of gardening and to be here in case of any emergency. Also today , one of our best friends Howard returned from the south of france to be near us while we are here, he was not supposed to come till next week but couldnt wait to see Debbie. He was at one time her hairdresser! Debbie vacuumed a lot today, she seems to enjoy that?
This evening we all went down to the village bar for dinner. A bar in France is not just for drinking, but also for eating and is a place for all the family. Our local bar is run by, believe it or not, an english couple.. Annie and Ian. Unfortunately we didnt eat their because a Dutch and American group had already been and eaten all the food! Such is Life. But a nice outing anyway. Tomorrow we visit friends, and go to other friend's for dinner, so wait for that update.
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Update: Tuesday, July 3, 8 pm - Dewey (France)
Big news today...we went for a walk! Full Photo report attached. Nothing else happened, at least not while i was awake.
Debbie is feeling good.
[ VIEW PICTURES ]
FINALLY!! Pictures of Debbie's "Henna Head"!
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Update on Ron Bamburg: Tuesday, July 3, 8 pm
On June 2, Ronnie competed at the USATF Southwestern Association Open and Masters Championship Meet in Dallas, Texas. He competed in the following events:
Individual Discus - Received Gold Medal
Individual Shot Put - Received Silver Medal
Individual Hammer Throw - Received Silver Medal
Individual Weight Throw - Received Gold Medal
Individual Javelin Throw - Received Godl Medal
He also competed in the Weight Pentathlon which is a combination of all of these events. For some reason, the last we heard, the stats for this competition were not in, but it is believed he also received the gold medal in this event.
On June 9th, Ronnie competed at the USATF Illinois Masters State Championship in Lisle, IL. Here are the standings of the events.
Discus - Gold medal
Shot Put - Silver Medal
Hammer Throw - Gold Medal
Javelin Throw - Gold Medal
Weight Throw - Gold Medal
Weight Pentathlon - Gold Medal (which is Debbie's medal).
Of course all of it was in Debbie's honor, and her shirt was worn at every meet. We are with you, girl!! You are in so many prayers and so very, very close to our hearts. Thank you for encouraging us with your spirit. We love you. I'll always love you. I miss the three of you so very much. Dewey, thank you for befriending us so quickly and deeply. It is hard to express what those two days getting to know you has meant to our lives. And of course my Aurora is my little precious. Give her a kiss for me. Tell her Aunt Chel and Uncle Ronnie love her dearly.