[this text was originally posted on carepages.com; it is being put here so it will exist somewhere besides my laptop, and Juliet can read it when she gets older]

Hello everyone,

I just showed Cassandra the message board, and she was visibly heartened to read about all the good thoughts coming our way. We are in the Ronald McDonald House in St. Louis, which is within walking distance of Cardinal Glennon hospital, where Juliet is. For $5 a night, it considerably diminishes the financial impact of our extended stay in St. Louis.

We have picked up from Centralia all of the things, like clothes, that you don't take with you when you think you're going to the city for just an afternoon. Cassandra is resting a bit, and then we're going to go see Juliet again.

Yesterday we saw her in the afternoon, and she was still fighting to keep her blood pressure up. Apparently everything was good enough for them to give her medicine that is intended to collapse her "shunt", and send the blood more to her lungs and less to her navel. If this doesn't work, we might be looking at surgery to do it mechanically (i.e. put a clamp on it). Apparently there is something like a 50/50 chance of it working with the drugs. They also took a sonogram of her head, and we hope to get the report back soon on that, so we'll have some idea if there was any internal bleeding or other such problems.

The remnants of the hurricane have hit St. Louis, and rain is plentiful. Not as plentiful as in Atlanta, where I am wondering if our friends Mark and Kay got their basement flooded yet again. This made driving to Centralia and back loads of fun.

Cassandra is generally holding up well, as long as she stays busy. She picked up a random book at the house of our friends in Centralia, and looked at a random page, and of course it had a reference to prematurely born babies and it made her cry. What are the chances of that happening? Then Rob was trying to keep her from seeing the doctors' shows on TV so she wouldn't get upset again.

Rob also had fun watching me try to assemble a breast pump. For those who wish to know, the "Symphony" model is much better than the "Lactina" model. :)

The Ronald McDonald house asks if all family members have already had the Chicken Pox. Cassandra said, "yes, twice". The volunteer and I stared at her for a bit. "You're not supposed to be able to get it twice," I said. She insisted that she had it twice. She also used to know how to ride a bicycle, but has forgotten, and is tired of people telling her that you never forget. All received wisdom in the world does not apply to Cassandra, I think.

Well, it's time to go visit Juliet again.

By the way, many thanks for all the posts, we don't have time to answer them all but we do read them and it definitely helps keep our mood upbeat. Hope all is well with the rest of you.