Posted by: davidalemmink | September 28, 2008

Sunday, September 28

I know some of you have been waiting for a post.  I’m sorry it took me so long to get to it.  As you read on, you will see why.

We left for Iowa City, Thursday around noon after picking John up from school.  I decided that I didn’t want him to miss 2 days, so off he went Thursday morning.  We got him at lunchtime, came home, finished packing the car and then took off.  We arrived in Iowa City around 7:30 following an uneventful trip.  After we checked in, we headed out for dinner at El Ranchero, a Mexican place.  Yum!  Following dinner, we headed back to the hotel so John and David could take a swim.  Then if was off to bed to be rested and ready for our appointment.

Friday we were up fairly early and ate at the complimentary (really good) breakfast.  We then got ourselves ready and headed to the University for David’s appointment.  Even though the Pappajohn Cancer Clinic was busy, we got right in.  After waiting in the examination room for a few minutes, Dr. O’Dorisio came in.  As he started to talk to us, we all realized that because we had BROUGHT the CT scan and PET scan discs with us, obviously they had not yet been read.  We had done what we were told to do, but in retrospect, we should have sent them ahead.  Because David had gotten the scans so close to his appointment, and because they only gave him the discs and not any reports, there was not much to discuss.  Dr. O’Dorisio felt that he wanted the Radiologists and the surgeon, Dr. Iannettoni to read and analyze the data on the discs.  Dr. O’Dorisio told us if the tumor has at all shrunk, or at the least not gotten bigger, that will be  very positive.  Also, once Dr. Iannettoni reads them, he would be able to give us information about any future surgery.  So as you can see, without those readings and reports, there was not much Dr. O’Dorosio could do for us.

To say the least we were very disappointed!  There was nothing we could do.  Dr. Iannettoni was in a lung transplant surgery (that would last for at least 10 hours) and consequently, was not able to see us on Friday.

So, since we had already packed up and checked out of the hotel, we headed straight to Carbondale to see Charlie.  Getting to Carbondale was also uneventful (except for the coyote that ran in front of our car) but not terribly easy.  There is no direct way to get from Iowa City to Carbondale.  It was a lot of back roads and not too fast.

Once we arrived in Carbondale, we found Charlie’s apartment and unpacked and settled in.  It was SO GREAT  to be there and with Charlie.  So, we hung around and talked and then went to bed so we could rest up for Saturday.

We got up Saturday, and headed to Harbaugh’s for breakfast.  One of the local “best” places to eat.  After breakfast, we headed to Giant City State Park.  Once we got there, we took a hike into a lovely area.  It was beautiful and reminded us in many ways of some of the areas we have hiked in, in the Upper Peninsula.  We then went to a memorial park made by the family of a boy who died.  It was a huge play area with castles and medieval figurines and dragons.  John had a GREAT time.  When we could finally drag John away, we headed over to the college so Charlie could show us the building where he spends most of his days.  He teaches 2 English classes and has an office in Faner Hall.  He is also taking classes there.  His days are busy with teaching, grading papers, classes and homework.  He does find time to have some fun and has made friends with the other teacher/students that are also in the same program. We then wandered around the beautiful campus.  How fun it was to see where Charlie is and be able to visualize where he spends his days.

After that, we headed back to his apartment to just chill for a while.

For dinner, we went to another “best” in the area.  We went to the 17th Street Bar & Grill.  They have the best barbecue, which has been voted many times “World Champion”.  We had a lovely dinner, and then went back to Charlie’s to get John to bed.  We weren’t far behind after a non-stop day.

Today, we got up, had a bit of breakfast, packed the car and headed home.  We got home around 8:30 and here I am writing to you.

As you can see, following a disappointing visit with Dr. O’Dorisio, we had a marvelous day and a half with Charlie.  We are so thankful that we got that time!  We learned that we need the doctors to be prepared for our visit.  You can bet this won’t happen again!  I will make sure of that!

Thank you for your kind words and prayers.

Love, Connie



  1. Since you’re doing this for the first time it would be nice if someone would tell you precisely what to do regarding documentation transfer. But they’ve got what they need now, and it sounds like you had a great time visiting Charlie, so we’ll await the results with hope!

    John George

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