Sometimes we have to finish writing the ending of one story before we can begin writing the beginning of a new one. A year ago today, I was at the hospital to pick up Hook after a three-week, post surgery stay. Absolutely nothing since that time has turned out the way I'd expected, and mostly … Continue reading When the Epilogue Comes First
Bill Quinn, also known as "Willie Joe" as a youngster, was a long-standing colleague of Hook's. Bill was part of the hiring committee that brought Allan to St. Edward's University more than 25 years ago. I'm not sure if Willie Joe realizes it but he and Jimmy Mills (and the St. Ed's indoor swimming pool) … Continue reading Hook Stories: Wasps and Things
Bromance was alive and well in the friendship between Hook and his Canadian friend, Kelly Scott. Whenever Kelly would blow into town, the exchange between these two men was always the same: Hook: "Dr. Scott." Kelly: "Dr. Hook." Hook: "Meow." I often wondered if Kelly's visits would have been complete if he hadn't heard Hook's … Continue reading Hook Story: A Timeless Bromance
A friend came into town unexpectedly and as old friends will do, we sat up talking and catching up until 3 o'clock in the morning which meant that I fell behind in my blog posting. But, this did help me to choose from the Hook Stories ... a series of short snippets from one … Continue reading Hook Stories: Growing Up in New Jersey
Last night, I hosted a mini Hookabration, a celebration of Hook's life, for the entomologists who are in Austin for the annual ESA conference. Five different hymenopterists shared heartfelt stories of their relationship with Hook -- how he influenced their lives, what he meant to them as a friend and colleague -- with 30 other … Continue reading Hook Story: Dr. Hook is Ruining My Life
I'm on a quest this morning. Actually, I'm back on a quest, a re-quest. Ha! I'm also on a coffee high so if this blog sounds like I'm bouncing off the walls, it's just the caffeine working its way into my fingers! Okay, the quest. Before Hook's and my sabbatical detour into no-where-near-Australia took place, … Continue reading Where In Australia – Part II
In an hour, I’ll leave the house and drive to the hospital to pick up Hook for his re-discharge. Before I left the hospital last night, I asked Hook if he had any new year's resolutions. I half expected him to say, ‘I don’t make new year’s resolutions’. But, I knew this second stay at … Continue reading Thrive in 2013
Before reading, you might want to repeat after me: It's all going to be okay. It will all be O-K. Hook and I are sitting in St. David's Emergency Room not because we have an emergency or even a critical situation. Rather, after visiting with the surgeon this morning, we all decided (the surgeon, Hook, … Continue reading How Far Will a Man Go to Watch Football on ESPN?
Many of you have enjoyed Hook's unique bug Christmas cards for the last dozen years or so. For 2012, we still have an insect to share by way of a public Christmas card to our family, friends, and all the good people of the world who have been keeping up with our blog (72 countries … Continue reading Merry Christmas Mates!
What a treat. The good professor has a second message for everyone. On the doctor thing: Hook doesn't mind if little kids call him Dr. Hook and he insists that his students either call him "Professor Hook" or "Dr. Hook" but never just 'Hook' -- show some respect! -- but if adults call him "Dr. … Continue reading Beaming Up Some Dr. Hook
As promised, a message from Allan (that he typed himself). For those who have never heard me say his given name, Allan is Hook, sometimes called "Al" by colleagues and only called Allan by me when I'm upset with him or when I feel very loving toward him -- keeps him on his toes! And, … Continue reading A Message from Allan
The first words Hook spoke to me when I saw him in ICU were, “I guess I made it.” As I rubbed his little, bald head, I whispered, “Of course you did.” That was the last lucid conversation Hook had with me until this afternoon. Yesterday, the nurses were kind enough to allow me to … Continue reading Musings from an Intensive Care Unit
11:41am – We got the second update from the surgical assistant who said “everything looked great” but that there was no real new information. I did get a chance to ask him if he was actually in the surgical room and he said, “Yes, I am standing in the surgical room.” He let me know … Continue reading Time Rolls Slowly in a Surgery Waiting Room
At 9:12am, I received a phone call from the surgical assistant that Hook was anesthetized with all IVs running at full speed and that everything looked good. Wow! They call you from—what?—a medium clean room or maybe the cell is in a plastic bag and the surgical assistant is punching the numbers with a gloved … Continue reading It’s All About the Surgeon
Exciting might be the wrong adjective. Intense, queasy-filling, thought-vomiting … should I continue? I had no idea the amount of preparation that goes into even the simplest of surgeries let alone the super duper we-are-going-to-cut-you-MEGAWIDE-open ones. I had major surgery 15 years ago, so specialized in nature I still can’t pronounce or spell what it … Continue reading Just How Exciting is Surgery Anyway?
Is it kosher to get excited about a pancreas? We’re not frying it up in a pan or planning to serve it for Thanksgiving or anything, but we are pretty jazzed about Hook’s pancreas right now. (Those are jazz hands on that tumor by the way.) And just so you know how excited, this morning’s … Continue reading Where a Pancreas and Halloween Collide
When I started this blog back in April 2012, my purpose was to share with readers how the Hooks were preparing for a life overseas, what we were doing to get our lives in order, and how incredibly AWESOME this whole experience felt. A few short months into it, the blog morphed into a How … Continue reading The Great Australian Exploration
Hook has gained two pounds. I’ve gained five. Who gains weight during chemo? It’s good news of course because Hook had already lost 10 pounds which was one of the red flags that brought us to the Hooks here and now. But I barely reach 5’4” in height so five pounds on me looks like … Continue reading Gaining Everything But Australia
It is 3:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday and I am drinking a glass of champagne. I’m not celebrating anything or I’m celebrating everything. I do not know which. Earlier, I cried to no one because no one was here which is usually how I prefer to lick my wounds: in private. Yet here … Continue reading God Moved to Australia and He Did Not Take Us with Him