Words of Support

You got 'em? We wanna hear 'em!

[Get it? Support?]


CSM said...

Hi Danna & Mike. Hope you like the blog. I'm no expert at how to put these together, but I think it's a pretty good start.

karenle893 said...

This blog is wonderful. Can friends who love Mike and Danna And Baxter just post HUGE amounts of cyber affection? And prayers. LOTS and lots of praying happening here.

Baloo said...

This Site is awesome. Congrats and thanks to csm for setting it up.
Danna, what a great synopis here of the last 6.5 months of your terror and strength.
The "kisses" as Mike drifted off to sleep is such a warm and strong reflection of Mike's love for you both. Take a huge amount of strength from that.
We know that these last couple of days for you have been so totally scary (sp)and seemingly hopeless and discouraging. Allow the discouraging, but not the hopelessness. Mike is soooooo strong and his love for the two of you so strong that there is only one beautiful option---
Finishing up the neuro exam and getting the hell out of there.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for starting this blog. I'm not much good at the praying thing, but I put my Mom on the job and she's the best.

Danna and Mike, you both have created lived filled with love and I hope you feel it...

Anonymous said...

Susan - Great blog! Thanks for setting up!

Mike, Danna & Baxter - What a roller coaster you've been on. Glad to know that Mike's still a wise guy in spite of missing a few bones this week. We love you all!
Liz, Scott & Noah

Anonymous said...

Hi, it is a great idea to set up a blog so that we can follow the healing progress daily. You guys are amazing, we are sure Mike will get through this. we are not religious but we are thinking about you guys everyday. Good luck!!! xiaomei and xiaoquan

AndreaG864 said...

Dad and Mom in Hew Hampshire send their love, prayers, and support. Special hugs and kisses all around,

Dad and Mom G.

Pat&PegWalsh said...

Dana and Mike,

this is a test to see if we can post.

Pat&PegWalsh said...

Dear Dana & Mike,

Our thought and prayers are with you. We are saddened by th thought of what life is throwing at you. It just doesn't seem fair. You are both such loving people and your spirit has been such a gift to us. Please know you are in our prayers. And if God doesn't work this all out for you, we're leaving the Catholic church for good.

Long hugs and kisses,

Pat & Peg Walsh

Trevor and Heather said...

Hey guys. We're thinking of you up in NYC. Thank you so much for the blog. It is so generous of you to keep us informed (without having to bother you for it). Sending you our love and hoping for the best.

Heather and Trevor

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this site. I appreciate the updates on his progress. Hugs and kisses all around and when you need anything, just say the word. - Susan DeAngelus

Anonymous said...


I'm stunned. I had absolutely no clue any of this was going on. If there's anything we can do, Mike, I hope Danna will let us know. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Rest assured, we'll keep checking this site daily to keep abreast of what will inevitably be a full recovery. I know you well enough to count on that!

Your former cubiclemate,
Allen (and Susan) Crawford

Despite the creeping nausea I felt as I read about the unfolding events over the last few months, I have to confess to momentarily laughing out loud over the aphid crack upthread. Of the tens of thousands of insect species, there's just something about aphids, isn't there? Just obscure enough to reliably deliver the funny every time. There's a humor bell curve with insects (not so much arachnids), and aphids are in that sweet spot. Termites? No. Ants? No. You might get a wry smile with junebugs, a guffaw with cicadas, but aphids are without a doubt the Money Bug. Personally, I think the secret is that aphids are completely unaware that they are funny; and if that's the case, then that's how it should stay, by gum. If aphids were good enough for Red Skelton, then they're good enough for me! Just gimme some Country Time (TM) lemonade, and old hammock, and lots and lots of aphids. Leave it to you to marry a woman with such keen comedic instincts.

(Danna: I was told that you were reading these out to Mike. I hope this silly digression might lift his spirits a bit.)

MJC said...

Mike, Danna, Susan-

This stinks worse than a Hefty Cinch-sak full of unwiped asses. Sorry for the vulgarity but Mike will just have to get well very quickly and brown-bag me. I can't believe you have to go through all of this. It's unbelievably unfair. But Mike is a strong dude. A very strong dude. Who apparently likes salty foods. A lot.

Lots of thoughts and caring coming your way from New York. I will send you a big box of salty snacks as soon as sodium level is no longer an issue. Meanwhile, hydrate, dude.

Francine said...

Hey mike and danna,
I've been keeping up with the blog everyday and wishing the best for you. You know, if I was in the same hospital room every day and slept off and on throughout the day, I might not have a good idea of what day it is and what happened this morning either, so don't be TOO hard on yourself, Mike! I think you have the advantage of 4000 games of Cranium under your belt, too. That HAS to come in handy at some point, right? Keep thinking positively and be patient. Your big ol' brain just needs some time to heal. :) PS. I'm going to ask our neurologist consultant at work if he has any suggestions or ideas or good contacts in philly...

Anonymous said...

Danna, Mike & Baxter--Just a little note to tell you I am praying and thinking about you daily. This blog is wonderful for keeping up with what is going on. Keep your chins up! You are very special people and I'm looking forward to working with you in the coming years. If you need anything from UD, just let me know.
ttyl, Carolyn Clark

Anonymous said...

tonite's a full moon, so i am going to try and work some "magic" for you. lots of love, csm

Anonymous said...

Hi Danna & Mike,
Your friends at U of Delaware are thinking of you, rooting for you, and watching for updates on the blog.

Hang in there, we're excited for you guys and Baxter to join us in the fall!


K Now said...

I can't believe that this stupid Craniopharyngiomas has accomplished the the one thing I have long wanted to do -- get inside Mike's head. And no wonder it's not shrinking disintegrating or anything of the sort, I'm sure Mike's head is a great place to be. There's enough funny, compassion, quiet certitude for three or more people.

I am in awe of both of you.

I went to this bizarre new agey type birthday party for a high school friend of mine. She married her guru and moved to India (there is a point to this story I promise) Anyway, in lieu of just singing her Happy Birthday we had to chant OM and do all of this other crap including rubbing our hands together to generate heat and then radiating our "good energy" to her. I didn't believe in it then and I didn't notice any change in her good energy level (but perhaps it had to do with my subconscious thoughts about where she should shove her good energy) Point is, I have been sitting on the sidelines reading about you all every day and I didn't want to intrude upon any of your time together and I just felt so helpless to do anything constructive. But I want you to know that if prayers help I've been praying and if that good energy thing isn't a bunch of hookah smoke I'm sending you the motherlode of positive thoughts.

cannot wait until this is behind you. thank you Danna for keeping even those on the fringe in the loop.

Love to you from the Garden State

K Now

Judy & Wilt said...

Hi Mike, Dana and Baxter,

We're also in the fog, since it's our first blog, but want to give Mike the nod, and not be called a clod. Love to you guys and thinking of your courage and humor. BIG HUGS from Maine, Love Judy & Wilt

NH Rosses said...

Glad to hear a little better news. Sure wish it were as easy as pressing F1 then F2! We'd all have done that for sure. Love the blog! Thank goodness for Baxter's innocence! Love and stuff, the Ross family in NH. xo

Anonymous said...

Hang in their Danna. I know squat about the Brain, but considering how complex it is it sounds like Mike still has all the pieces, he just needs time to put them together again. Wishing you all the best.

-Matt B.

Anim8 said...

I just read this entire blog... My heart goes out to you guys. I will be praying for Mike.
Good luck and keep the faith.


Anonymous said...


Dad and I beieve that we all need to give Mike TIME. Time to rest, time to heal, time to pray.

Love you so very much.

Dad and mom
Andrea and Dave

Anonymous said...

Wow--I just read the entire blog...I've been getting all my updates from Mary and Jen, but this has filled in so many details. Thanks, Danna, for sharing all this with all of us, and giving us a chance to connect with you guys. (ToCrazy Susan Murphy: I actually met you the other day at Viv Pickle and had no idea I was talking to THE Crazy Susan Murphy. This blog rocks.) I have so much I want to say and none of it is funny, so I'm just going to say that we love you and are holding you in our hearts every day. And Baxter is the most beautiful boy. I hope he can have that Nemo cup when all this is over. Unless Mike ritualistically smashes it first, which would be fine. love, love, love, Megan, Michael and their little aphids, Jam and Willa

Anonymous said...

Wow--I just read the entire blog...I've been getting all my updates from Mary and Jen, but this has filled in so many details. Thanks, Danna, for sharing all this with all of us, and giving us a chance to connect with you guys. (ToCrazy Susan Murphy: I actually met you the other day at Viv Pickle and had no idea I was talking to THE Crazy Susan Murphy. This blog rocks.) I have so much I want to say and none of it is funny, so I'm just going to say that we love you and are holding you in our hearts every day. And Baxter is the most beautiful boy. I hope he can have that Nemo cup when all this is over. Unless Mike ritualistically smashes it first, which would be fine. love, love, love, Megan, Michael and their little aphids, Jam and Willa

Allen Voivod, Features Editor said...

Hi Danna & Mike,

One interview hardly an acquaintance makes, but please know that my wife and I are both thinking of you, and praying for a happy resolution.

Emily said...

Dear Danna and Mike,
Thanks Danna for your email to the Annenberg community which got forwarded to me. It's generous of you to allow us all to share this with you - like others I've just read the whole blog and am amazed/distressed by what you've both been going through. It's a tremendous gift to be able to be with and support a loved one during their hour of need, although I realize the hours are turning into weeks and months and everyone would prefer it had never happened at all. My thoughts are with you both, and with Baxter, who I very much hope to meet one day!
-- Your 'berg buddy, Emily

Brownie said...

Haven't seen you in a while, but Tresa and Colleen told me about what's going on and your blog and I just wanted to say that I am thinking of you and hoping with all of my heart that things turn out for the best. I can only hope that I could meet adversity with as much courage, grace, and (of course) humor as you have.
Take care,

(another berger) Carrie Brown

Mary Fritsch said...

News flash for Vince, either he needs to do his job or step aside! And you as a family can ask for this...unfortunately I have had to deal with this issue of transferring to new nurses, and hospital for my upcoming transplant. The nurses need to earn your trust - don't give them to it until you feel they have proved themselves to you. Believe, me I have had some wonderful nurses and those that are not working in best interest of patient will stick out - use your instincts and make it clear that you are not comfortable with not knowing what's going on with care - you have that right - time is extremely valuable right now - make sure they understand that -

Here are some things that have also worked for our family in times of crisis at hospital...

have you started a journal in Mike's room so that people who visit can write down their observations of care so next person coming in can understand if nurse has been in, what did they do, what did they say, did the doc come in, what were his comments, we have found this as a very useful communication tool for family and friends. I don't know how you can top this website though, it has been tremendous to review from 1000 miles away but just an idea.

Also, is reduced appetite another side effect of radiation, I thought they told me that during my 4-1/2 weeks of it. I am glad he has started it - this is so critical. Once they get the fever under control, then I am confident they will get back at it, could the radiation have precipitated a fever for some reason?

Posting signs in room was a great idea - post more. You might even post some right in front of Michael so he can see his lovely Baxter and you and all those great photos on website if the nurses ok it - make his room a reminder of who he is.

With a fever and length of time in hospital, what is the protocol used to insure nurses are gloving up when going from room to room - staff infection during this critical time is at high risk when you have been in hospital as long as he has. Find out the protocol and if you catch anyone not wearing gloves when working with his pic line, call them on it, that is an absolute must and also when taking blood.

May be even get him in his own pajamas, clothes. I swear by it.
Shirts with 3/4 length sleeves so he does not pull his pic line out -
Quality of life baby! He deserves it.

Love ya

Mary Fritsch

The Brain said...

Mary - you're a genius. I'll bring a little journal today. I'm also making up a little cheat sheet in 16 point font for the nurses to read - posted on the wall telling Mike's situation in a nutshell of short bullet points. And vince will NEVER be Mike's nurse again. I'm going to get that taken care of today. love, d

Anonymous said...

Professor Young!

Thanks for making this blog available to us--I just spent the past hour reading it, and I'm in a mix of almost crying and completely laughing.

I admire your character!

Class just ended yesterday, but it went really well all semester. I enjoyed the readings--especially your journal article about comedy.


Sarah (the one pronounced "Saaa-RAH")

PS- Baxter is so beyond cute. Simply adorable.

Anonymous said...

Professor Young,
I think you are an amazing woman. I read every word of your blog, and I am truly inspired by your strength and love. I had no idea you were going through such turmoil, and I just wanted to let you know I will be praying for your family. Please, please let me know if there is anything at all I can possibly do (I'll be in PA until the 14th before going home to NJ).

Marissa Chickara

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Sue. My best friend is Kathy Chevoor. She has kept me up on Mike's situation. I just want you to know that there are a lot of people here in Michigan praying for Mike and his family. I think in serious illness many people feel useless and helpless. But wherever you are, you can pray. And that is what we continue to do. May God bless him with a full recovery. sue coscarelly, farmington hills, michigan. p.s. I read the entire blog and think it is an outstanding way to communicate. I expect it probably takes a lot of energy but it helped me to know this man I am meditating on and praying for.

Natasha Seth said...

Dear Professor Young,

I cannot help but reiterate what so many have said, that you inspire through your humor, devotion, love and strength. I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this, my prayers and thoughts are with you, Baxter and your husband. PLEASE please please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything at all I can help with, or anything you may need.(I will be in India until June 16th, and in New Jersey afterwards.)

Natasha Seth

Anonymous said...

Dear Danna, Mike & Baxter,
I have been a little out of the Annenberg loop and just heard about all you have been through. I want you to know that you are in are thoughts and prayers and if we can help in any way (all the way from Boston) we will. I believe in you and your love and humor and that there is tremendous power in that. Your strength is inspiring even when you find your energy depleted. We are praying for you.
Rachel (gans), Peter and Nate
(former annenberger)

Mary Fritsch said...

How wonderful to see a photo of your family at first site on your blog today and Mike in his own clothes? You are a lovely family! Mike has such a great smile in the photos I have viewed on the site-pretty clear what is going on inside of him and the life he does and can live with the support and love around him.

I am an advocate for this continued research on what his other options are in New York. Sloan Ketterling out of New York is also someone they have consulted with during my treatments related to studies they have done with my type of cancer. Is there someone who is digging into the options other than yourself? I understand the reservation by Mike's docs not to include outside docs in a family conference but there does need to be someone running down a completely separate path and researching what other options are out there and bringing those back to you for you and Mike to consider. Even though Mike has short term memory, he knows he is battling for his life.

A question for Mike's docs...are they consulting with any other physicians...outside of JHC on this case for opinions, and if so, with who? Maybe I am missing this somewhere in previous info. If not - ask them to do so. We need them to think "outside of the box" in the best interests of Mike. Docs are not always comfortable doing this, so you may have to push them. You will soon see just how far they are willing to go for Mike and you. This is very key and critical at this point.

I cannot stress this enough, if we had not done so for my brother, he would not be alive today and that's no kidding. We went to Arkansas and Ohio in his best interests and he is still alive today because of going outside of the norm.

All you bloggers take note, you have to do a lot of work to get some people to think outside the box when the risks are high! Information is POWER. Docs are human and they are not always on the cutting edge or willing to take the risk, have very little time to research. They go with what they know - what the standard of care is, too much information out there for them to consume, we patients and advocates have to do so much more than ever before. Believe me ask the 10 siblings in my family,,,we are all becoming paraprofessionals.

Finally, exactly what kind of infection did they identify in Mike's blood cultures. Can you get the name of it and send it to me?

Quality of life...it's the best gift you can give Mike. I am going after it with a vengance right now and have this cancer on the run for once since I relapsed in October. I feel like I have this albatross around my neck and its very frustrating at times, but I am determined to keep fighting but most of all living!!!!

Love to you all.

Mary Fritsch

Anonymous said...

Watching Bax was absolutely my pleasure (Art, Jake and Becca's too.) This was my first time visiting the blog and it's a great site. You have so much support and love from so many people.
I'm glad that you moved to our little street in this little town. Please send Bax our way anytime you need to.