Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hey Laura,

Today the "children" found some old pictures and we had fun remembering the "olden days."

We're okay, but life doesn't feel quite right... We are lovin' each other the best way we can and your good friends are lovin' us a lot too.

Tonight Clif, Emily, Lisa, Trisha and I went to hang out with some of those very good friends... We ate good food... had good conversation...laughed a little... and got soakin' wet from the heavy downpour on the way there...

We talked about you. Just can't believe that you're not here...

I'm so thankful that you were my sister and that Clif, Emily and Lisa were blessed with you for a mother.

What an amazing gift you have been for us.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Southern Love

Picture this:

As soon as word got out about Laura, all those who have loved her so well in Leesburg FLEW into action.

Somebody got the key to the house. Sheets were changed. The house was cleaned. Food was prepared.  A refrigerator was rented to store the extra food (!). The grass was cut. The yard was "tidied". Vases of beautifully arranged homegrown flowers were placed in every single room in the house.

Then all those same people anxiously awaited the arrival of the rest of us so lots of hugs could be exchanged.

That is a picture of southern love.... one of many... 

And it continues.

Laura Elizabeth Hall died on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at Emory University Hospital at the age of 59. A native of Atlanta, she was the daughter of the late Robert and Edna Hall.
She is survived by her three children, Clifton Andrew Kitchens, Emily Kathyrn Kitchens and Lisa Marie Kitchens, and her three siblings, Robert Hall, Jr., Mary Celeste Llaurador and Carrie Hall Chute as well as their spouses (Keren Ludwig, Kermit Llaurador and Harvey Chute, respectively) and children.
Laura was born on February 5, 1956 in Atlanta, GA. She was a member of North Avenue Presbyterian Church, attended North Fulton High School and went on to graduate from Georgia College.  
She lived in Leesburg for the past 18 years, teaching at Lee County High School, attending Leesburg United Methodist Church and being active in the community. Laura loved the people of Leesburg fiercely, and throughout her fight with cancer, her friends and community were her greatest support.
A memorial service will be held at 4:30 PM on Tuesday, April 21 at Leesburg United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to The American Cancer Society at P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

She won.

One of the best people I have ever known in my life died this morning. I can't quite grasp it. It still doesn't seem real. 

I am so thankful that I saw her just last week...

I am thankful for her good friends and my good siblings and her children who have loved her fiercely and many of whom were by her side when she left. I am thankful that I was able to tell her I love her before she let go.

Many of you have been a great support to our family and we are more thankful than we can say.

I'm on my way to Atlanta now. All of her children are together and my siblings are together, too... It will be good to get there to hug them for real.

We are deeply sad, but thankful that she no longer has to fight. She has won.

I am picturing her right now on heaven's front porch with Mama and Papa. It's a peaceful thought. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Please pray and please post

I don't have a lot of information... but Laura has been having difficulty breathing. So much so that she ended up going to her local hospital in an ambulance yesterday 'cause she couldn't walk to the car. 

She's got fluid on her lungs and the hospital in Albany is going to send her by ambulance to Emory in Atlanta.

Mary is there. Robert is on his way...or most likely already in ATL. I'm waiting to find out more from docs before I go... 

Her son is getting married in 3 weeks and we want her to be well enough to be there. SO! Please pray for that.

And, while you're praying, if you have an Instagram account, start posting some GOFIGHTWIN! photos with the hashtag #gfw!  And, pass it on!

Let's find pics that show her how much we love her. 

Let's all work together to help her kick some stupid cancer complication butt!

Love y'all!

Sunday, March 8, 2015


On Thursday Laura finished up the 2nd of two eight week cycles of photopheresis. The results of that treatment are still to be determined.

The next thing on the treatment plan is an infusion of an immunotherapy drug (can't remember the name of that drug).

(I'm not feeling very clever and creative with my writing right now, but here are the bullet point items.)
  • She's gained weight.
  • She also has fibrosis of the lungs.
  • She has graft vs. host disease in her joints, eyes, skin and lungs.
  • Her lungs are only at 45% capacity.
  • The doctors do not advise her to go back to work because her resistance is still low.
Because she's a go-getter, she is doing all she can to get better.  She walks at the Y every day for 2 1/2 miles. She has done stuff around her house that you might not think is such a big deal, but it really IS a big deal. 

I asked Laura to tell me how things have been going...things she's done lately, etc., Here's the email that I got from her:

The biggest accomplishment lately is the changing of 8(!) fluorescent 4 foot lights in the garage and 2 flood lights.  I told myself, "I'll be durn if I get somebody to come over here to change the light bulbs!"  It probably took me about 45 minutes and I was TOTALLY out of breath but so HAPPY! It probably took me 2 days to completely recover but I didn't care.  I'm pretty sure it would have been a pretty big deal for some regular people.  
I have read LOTS of books and Mama would have been so happy that I was reading plus I have Miss Dye and Mrs Cannon to talk about them with.  

I was able to go to an FCCLA region competition in Warner Robbins and judge a STAR (Students Taking Action with Recognition) event.  It was kind of difficult getting from the parking lot to registration and then to the room but I didn't use the inhaler and I didn't have to stop to recover. It was so good to be around students and adults that enjoy doing that kind of stuff.

Clif and my granddogs came to see me last weekend and I'm looking forward to Clif, Trisha and Mary coming next weekend for a "meet and greet" party for Trisha and Clif and a shower for them at the church.  

I still go to spinning and do what I can.  My instructor is very  understanding and encouraging.  

I have been cooking more and enjoying doing it.  I am also thinking of things to sew. I'll probably start stuff like that next week.  

I can vacuum without too much difficulty.

The pneumonia part is undetermined.  They say my lungs sound clear but they don't know for sure until they do another CT scan.  I think I have less than 45% lung capacity now but I'm trying.  I go to pulmonary rehab twice a week and do whatever I'm supposed to.  One of the best things about that is meeting other people with similar issues and talking about how they handle them.  There are some amazing people handling lung problems everyday.  My Thursday afternoon class consists of me and two other women; one 91 and the other 93 years old.  One of them is on oxygen all the time the other is not but they are hanging in there!

And the best part of this whole journey ("into the wilderness") is I've got the best support group of family and friends!  

Today is sunny and beautiful.  I have already been to Tift Park in Albany to visit the booths of all kinds of stuff from jewelry to soaps and etc.  Tonight I'm doing Mexican Music Trivia night with the spinning group.  The sun makes me feel positive.  

Yes, there are set backs but at least there is something hopeful.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Four years ago today Laura had her bone marrow transplant. So thankful for the person who donated their marrow so Laura could keep on keepin' on!

Thank you, person!

Wooo hoooo!