Thursday, September 6, 2007

updates :: leave them (and read them) here

OK, here's my plan. Steve may update this blog after my surgery, but I can't be sure of that, as I haven't shown him how to do it yet. So what I am going to do is ask that anyone who hears from us — by phone, by e-mail, from hospital visits, etc. — please post your own update in the Comments section of this post. Hopefully, we'll collect enough comments from you to give a general picture of how I'm doing. (Kind of like our own little wikipedia!)

[If you've never visited the comments, just look down at the darker-green bar below the end of this post, at the right, where it shows how many comments there are, just above Labels. Click on that comment link, and you'll end up at a new page where you can read other people's comments.]

Hopefully that will suffice until Steve or I get a chance to update this blog. Thanks again for all your prayers and good wishes — I've been feeling enveloped in love all week.

* * *

Edited to add the updates I posted in the comments section

Woo-hoo ... this hospital has a computer in the floor lounge! (Unfortunately, it just blocked me from posting a new post on my blog. I'll see if I can post it here.) It feels so great to connect to the real world ... and to see all your wonderful good wishes. Thanks a lot, everyone!

So here's what's up. Some random thoughts, as it were ...

Today I was up walking for the first time, and they took my catheter out and started allowing me to eat liquids, which means my meals consist of a flavor of broth, a flavor of Jello, hot tea, and a flavor of juice. It's nice to be able to eat again. IV fluids just don't do the trick ...

Yesterday, they moved me from ICU, where I spent two nights, to a general floor. I am in a room with a roommate, who is, thankfully, very nice and doesn't bug me when I want to be alone. We've chatted a bit and found out some things we have in common, including that we used the same fertility clinic (11 years apart) when we were trying to conceive our firstborns. (She and her husband have just the one daughter.)

Getting out of bed is getting easier, but there's still a lot of pain. It's a lot like getting used to moving again after a c-section, but so, so much more intense and longer to heal. My scar is over a foot long (at least it seems that way from the few glimpses I've allowed myself to take), and it extends from my mid-left side over to the right edge of my right side. It is healing really well, though. I get a lot of approving comments on it from the nurses.

I am on my fourth IV, and they draw blood at least twice a day, so my arms are all bruised up. I have a lot of vein issues, let's just say, so this is a source of some discomfort. A volunteer came around today giving hand massages, and that was nice. We watched Oprah together. (Season opener; David Letterman and Lisa Marie Presley were on.)

The surgery itself: I guess it lasted nearly seven hours, and it was very complicated. The tumor had formed many, many tiny little blood vessels, which it was using to attach itself to my vena cava, my aorta, even part of my spine, to leach blood -- basically, it was feeding off me, which is the grossest, most monstrous thing I can imagine. That's why I lost so much blood during the surgery and later had to have a blood transfusion. Dr. T. says he got it all out, and one of the other doctors told me it was one of the toughest surgeries he had done. I just hope and pray that it IS all out and that it doesn't come back. Or that if it does, I don't have to undergo this big of a surgery because the recovery has been really, really tough so far, if I'm honest. Today has been a turning point, as now I feel a lot more mobile.

The low point was yesterday morning. I was in so much pain and felt so isolated and alone. I was still in ICU, and no one was giving me a good answer about when I was going to get moved to a regular unit. (Daniel isn't allowed to visit in ICU, you see). First they were telling me Saturday night. Then, Sunday morning, they were saying later in the day. Then, later Sunday, a new nurse started her shift, and when I asked her when she thought I might be moving, she said very matter-of-factly, no compassion in her voice, "Honey, it's doubtful you'll be going today. They're really busy up there." So I got all ticked off (and started crying) and told her I felt like people were giving me a runaround, and she had the charge nurse check on things, and I was upstairs by 3 p.m. And Steve and Daniel have been to visit together yesterday and today, and it does me so good to see them! Daniel is taking everything so well. He seems to be in a good mood at home, and he's happy to see me here, not scared or wierded out. Just a lot of little smiles. Aaahhh...

It feels like there's going to be a lot of recovery ahead of me -- it still hurts to roll over, walk, or get out of bed, but at least I can do it with less help now. Next hurdle: emptying the bowels. Considering how much it hurts to laugh, cough or otherwise tighten up any of my abdominal muscles (which were all cut during the surgery), I hope they don't force the laxatives or suppositories on me too soon. :)

Oh, it feels so good to be able to sit here at this computer and look out the river at the sun going down over the Mississippi River, the outline of the Minneapolis skyline glowing at sunset. Things are looking up!

* * *

ME AGAIN! It's Tuesday, and it feels as if a world of changes has happened since last night when I last wrote:

I am completely unattached to my IV! I took a shower today! I am walking and getting out of bed completely on my own! I am eating solid foods!

Regina and Cathy, your balloon and package of magazines arrived this morning. I look forward to reading some real trash ;-) (though I've just begun Jonathan Strange, and it's good, too -- thanks, Regina).

Terry, a weekend meal is always welcome. Liz, thanks for your visit yesterday. All of you who have sent cards, gift certificates, meals, etc., we appreciate them very much. (Steve did tell me we have a bunch of cookies in the house!) Anyone who wants to visit is most welcome -- just give a call first to make sure I'll be decent. I'll probably be going home in a couple of days.

80 comments:

Jamie said...

I'll be praying for you all day Emilie! You are doing so great and I know that Daniel will understand the changes...sounds like he'll be busy dancing with Steve anyways! I wish you all the best today.

Jamie Proulx

cynner said...

I don't know you personally, but have been following your story through a local mom's board and just wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you today.

Anonymous said...

GO STEVE !!! GO EM !!! GO DANIEL !!!

Pat Norby said...

Everyone at The Spirit is anxiously awaiting word on your recovery today, Friday, Sept. 7, which is also my brother's birthday. We keep praying.

Jeanne and Bob K. said...

We are eager to hear about Emilie and baby. Our constant prayers are with you.

Michele said...

I didn't want to clog up this comment box by posting--but I just can't help myself. We're all thinking of you and the baby and PRAYING HARD, sweetie. I will be checking in whenever I can for an update--just know that people ALL OVER are rooting for you!!! HUGS! Moosh

Elizabeth from Mississippi said...

Just heard from Steve. Emilie is doing fine, in recovery..surgery took longer than expected.
Doctor is hopeful that everything is out..still no pathology report..
She did lose a kidney but there is no bad news about the baby.The doctor said that it looks good but the next few days will be important. Steve sounded very upbeat.

Eric, Cindy, Aidan and Clancey said...

Thanks for the update, Elizabeth! I've been checking every hour or so. I'm so glad to hear things seemed to go well and thrilled about the baby news. We're still thinking of, and praying for, you Emilie, Steve, Daniel and baby.

Kerry said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting. I too have been checking all day. Thank God that Emilie and the baby have made it through this hurdle. Still praying for you all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. I've been checking this site more than any other today.
Ray

Amy P said...

Thank you so much for leaving an update. I've been checking all day and thinking about Emilie, Steve, Daniel and baby constantly.
I'm thrilled to hear they have both made it through this first step. My prayers continue to be with you...

Amy

Aimee said...

I am so glad to read this update - like many others, I've been checking in frequently today. My thoughts continue to be with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting us know how things are going physically. We can imagine how you're doing emotionally. We KNOW how you're doing spiritually. We'll keep checking. Never doubt the Lemmon family is enveloped in love. ---mdm in Greenville

Kristine said...

I am the same as all of the others here... We have all been checking all day. Thankfully someone had an update. I am still keeping your family in my thoughts, Emilie.

liz said...

Thank you SO much, Elizabeth - we too have been checking all day & night! Prayers & love...

April-C-A said...

Great news! We will keep the prayers coming for healing! Thinking of all of you Em!

Anonymous said...

Thank God, I am so thankful for this wonderful news. Thank you for posting the update. Emilie, Steve, and Daniel, you are in my thoughts always and I'm so relieved you have come out ok, and baby is ok too. xoxo
Vanessa

Laura said...

So glad to hear a good update... keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers!

LutherLiz said...

I'm so thrilled by the update so far. We are still praying for you!

Jamie said...

I'm so glad to hear that things went well! Thank you for the update, I'm continuing to pray for you! Jamie

Anonymous said...

I got a call from Steve. Emilie did fine through the night. She is groggy, but okay. They have a heartbeat for the baby and saw it move! The cancer seems to have been removed in one piece, which is huge news. --Laura from ECFE

Barbara said...

Thanks Elizabeth and Laura for posting updates. So glad to hear good news!

Michele (moosh) said...

Just the updates we've been praying for!!! I'm so happy! Prayers continuing....

Anonymous said...

We were so happy that the surgery went well and that the baby seems OK. We'll pass the news around to our family and friends here in Portland.

We were touched at all the responses, prayers, and concerns expressed by Emilie's friends and acquaintances.

Mom and Dad

Jeanne & Bob K said...

The news from Laura ws great to read. Our continued prayers for all.

Jamie said...

Hooray! I am so thrilled to hear the morning brought continued promise. That's wonderful. Hugs all around!
Jamie P.

Anonymous said...

God is wonderful, and through his love for you, your family, and your friends prayers you have come through. Thank the good Lord for that. Arent' friends and the Lord wonderful. We will keep up the prayers for you. Cindy's Mom in Indiana still praying for you all.

Sara said...

Thanks for the updates. What great news! I am so happy that things look good for both Emilie and the baby. I'm still praying for you guys!

LutherLiz said...

i got home from a long day at work and was thrilled to hear a voice message from Emilie. She sounded weak but happy to be out of surgery. Some of what I found out you already know, but they did an ultrasound and know that the baby is alive. Emilie had to have a transfusion today because of her Hemogobin (sp?) levels but it sounded like more of a cautionary thing. She is going to be in ICU again tonight to help recover further. She hasn't been able to eat yet but has had some water today. Keep her in her prayers. She sounds good, but I imagine she'll have a long recovery.

Jamie said...

This is all such wonderful news! I'm glad to hear they are keeping a close eye on her and the baby - my prayers continue to be with you.
Jamie

shannon said...

It's wonderful to hear that the surgery seems to have gone well, and that the baby is okay. Emilie, Steve, Daniel, and the baby continue to be in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have been praying about Emilie (who I dont know from Adam) because a good friend of mine is a good friend of hers. This is actually the first time I have checked the blog ... and I have to say I literally cried tears of joy to hear the good news! Its great to see that she has such a great group of friends and family to rally around her and baby at this oh-so-important time! Still keeping all 4 of you in our thoughts and prayers, Heather in VA

Anonymous said...

Halleluja! SO glad to hear the great news! I've been praying for you and the baby, and I'll continue praying during this recovery period. -Christina

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great news! Prayer is very powerful that's for sure! Been reading the blog and saying my prayers! I'll keep them coming.
Carol

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the best possible news that could be heard from the surgery--thank God! Hope the good news continues.
Theresa

The Town Criers said...

Wonderful news. Emilie--sending good thoughts for a speedy recovery. Lots of good energy for the baby as well.

Roxy said...

YAY Emilie!!!!!

We prayed EXTRA hard at Mass today!

Jennifer said...

Wonderful news. You are in so many peoples prayers. The worse is behind and there is only rainbows ahead!

Hugs to all of you from The Velarde's

Anonymous said...

Mom and Dad are keeping me updated, and I praise the Lord that so far, Emilie made it through and the baby's heart is beating. And most of all, I'm so moved by all the support she's receiving, witnessed by this blog. I know her wonderful husband Steve, his brother Bruce, and the rest of the family are being incredible as well.

- Susanne

Stacey said...

Thank you for the updates! What wonderful news. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Kristen said...

I'm so glad to hear you and baby are doing okay. I hope you continue to have a safe recovery.

XOXO

Cynthia said...

I'm so glad that things are going well. You are in our prayers, Emilie. Yes prayers work, but it doesn't hurt to have good, skilled doctors, too.

Roxy said...

I talked to Steve this afternoon & Emilie is gingerly walking & eating!

Sounds like she is doing well!

YAY EMILIE!!!

Moosh said...

You are doing GREAT!!!!

Sherwood, Oregon is still praying for you! (My church in Beaverton, too....)

HUGS (tender ones...)
Michele

Danielle said...

I'm so glad to hear things are going well!!! I will continue to pray for you and your family!!

~Danielle (from msn msg board)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update Roxy!

- Susanne (Emilie's sister)

Jenna said...

Glad to hear everyone is doing well.

Emilie said...

Woo-hoo ... this hospital has a computer in the floor lounge! (Unfortunately, it just blocked me from posting a new post on my blog. I'll see if I can post it here.) It feels so great to connect to the real world ... and to see all your wonderful good wishes. Thanks a lot, everyone!

So here's what's up. Some random thoughts, as it were ...

Today I was up walking for the first time, and they took my catheter out and started allowing me to eat liquids, which means my meals consist of a flavor of broth, a flavor of Jello, hot tea, and a flavor of juice. It's nice to be able to eat again. IV fluids just don't do the trick ...

Yesterday, they moved me from ICU, where I spent two nights, to a general floor. I am in a room with a roommate, who is, thankfully, very nice and doesn't bug me when I want to be alone. We've chatted a bit and found out some things we have in common, including that we used the same fertility clinic (11 years apart) when we were trying to conceive our firstborns. (She and her husband have just the one daughter.)

Getting out of bed is getting easier, but there's still a lot of pain. It's a lot like getting used to moving again after a c-section, but so, so much more intense and longer to heal. My scar is over a foot long (at least it seems that way from the few glimpses I've allowed myself to take), and it extends from my mid-left side over to the right edge of my right side. It is healing really well, though. I get a lot of approving comments on it from the nurses.

I am on my fourth IV, and they draw blood at least twice a day, so my arms are all bruised up. I have a lot of vein issues, let's just say, so this is a source of some discomfort. A volunteer came around today giving hand massages, and that was nice. We watched Oprah together. (Season opener; David Letterman and Lisa Marie Presley were on.)

The surgery itself: I guess it lasted nearly seven hours, and it was very complicated. The tumor had formed many, many tiny little blood vessels, which it was using to attach itself to my vena cava, my aorta, even part of my spine, to leach blood -- basically, it was feeding off me, which is the grossest, most monstrous thing I can imagine. That's why I lost so much blood during the surgery and later had to have a blood transfusion. Dr. T. says he got it all out, and one of the other doctors told me it was one of the toughest surgeries he had done. I just hope and pray that it IS all out and that it doesn't come back. Or that if it does, I don't have to undergo this big of a surgery because the recovery has been really, really tough so far, if I'm honest. Today has been a turning point, as now I feel a lot more mobile.

The low point was yesterday morning. I was in so much pain and felt so isolated and alone. I was still in ICU, and no one was giving me a good answer about when I was going to get moved to a regular unit. (Daniel isn't allowed to visit in ICU, you see). First they were telling me Saturday night. Then, Sunday morning, they were saying later in the day. Then, later Sunday, a new nurse started her shift, and when I asked her when she thought I might be moving, she said very matter-of-factly, no compassion in her voice, "Honey, it's doubtful you'll be going today. They're really busy up there." So I got all ticked off (and started crying) and told her I felt like people were giving me a runaround, and she had the charge nurse check on things, and I was upstairs by 3 p.m. And Steve and Daniel have been to visit together yesterday and today, and it does me so good to see them! Daniel is taking everything so well. He seems to be in a good mood at home, and he's happy to see me here, not scared or wierded out. Just a lot of little smiles. Aaahhh...

It feels like there's going to be a lot of recovery ahead of me -- it still hurts to roll over, walk, or get out of bed, but at least I can do it with less help now. Next hurdle: emptying the bowels. Considering how much it hurts to laugh, cough or otherwise tighten up any of my abdominal muscles (which were all cut during the surgery), I hope they don't force the laxatives or suppositories on me too soon. :)

Oh, it feels so good to be able to sit here at this computer and look out the river at the sun going down over the Mississippi River, the outline of the Minneapolis skyline glowing at sunset. Things are looking up!

Cyndy said...

Emilie, your candid expression of emotions and beautifully detailed descriptions bring tears to my eyes and a smile to my face at the same time. You should be a writer...when you're all healed up. I promise not to cringe if you want to show off your new badge (scar) of survivorship. We, as everyone else, have been checking your blog every day and I had an audible sigh of relief when I realized the last passage was you. I'm so glad Daniel was able to see his Mommy and you got to be with him. Have more outbursts - being calm and understanding is very overrated! Hang in there and we're still thinking of all of you, praying and happy to give hand massages if you need them! Maybe even feet - for a time limited period! With love, Cyndy and Don

Megan said...

Emilie -

What a wonderful surprise to find a post from you! The surgery sounds like it was grueling -- we are so glad to hear that everything went well and that you are on the road to recovery. Enjoy every day and try and take it easy as you regain your strength.

With Love,

Megan, Gordon & Katie

LutherLiz said...

Well Emilie, I was going to post an update but I see that you beat me too it! :) Yours is better anyway. Take it easy, make a fuss when you need to and know we're all behind you! And call if you need anything!

Terry said...

Emilie,
Well I always thought you wouldn't be able to keep a true writer away from her tools for long!! I only recently heard about your blog and your surgery, but do want you to know you have been in my thoughts and prayers since last week. I'd love to bring a nice, home-cooked dinner over some Sunday after you're home (the evite is all full, so I'm asking for a weekend day from you) and visit with you for a short while.
Love to you, Steve and Daniel,
Terry

liz said...

How exciting to read your update, Emilie! I truly can't imagine the pain, but you are an amazing trooper and sound like you're doing so well. Seth & I (and our families & church) continue to pray for you many times a day! Hang in there & I can't wait to see you in October...

Cathy said...

We're so glad to hear from you! I wish so much we were close enough to see you to say hello, but I'm happy that you're in good hands. We are all thinking of you and your recovery!

Jamie said...

Emilie, it's great to hear from you! I'm so glad you are up and moving - it sure makes you feel like a person again :) I hope they are treating you well now that you are in your "real" room, and that they continue to do so. The views of the river are beautiful, and a wonderful metaphor of the journey you are on. I'm thinking of you and I hope that you continue to feel better each and every day. Oh, and I fed your husband and son cookies today, so I'm sorry if they are have a sugar high when you see them! Jamie

Vicki (aka Kodi's mommy) said...

Emilie - it was so good to hear your update. Continued good thoughts and prayers are coming your way.

Regina said...

Emilie! It's great to hear your "voice".

That's a GREAT update. Out of ICU, eating, walking... Things are really moving along over there. Sounds like you'll be home in no time.

Missy said...

Emilie - it's so wonderful to hear from you. I'm sorry to hear you are in so much pain. It sounds like the surgery went very well, though, and I'm so happy to hear that you were able to visit with Daniel. :) Missy

Monkeymama said...

Emilie, it is so good to "hear" from you!! I'm sorry you are in so much pain, but I'm glad you put up enough fuss to get to the point where you can see you guys more often. I'm sure Daniel will be the best medicine in the coming weeks.

We're still praying for you all!

Anonymous said...

Em, just reading your update gives me tears and smiles, and relief. Your sunny disposition and outlook will be your strongest tools for a fast recovery- I'll bet you will beat the doctors' expectations with your recovery. Thinking of you!
_Vanessa

Eric, Cindy, Aidan and Clancey said...

Em!! I was so excited to see a post from you! I'm sorry to hear you're still in such discomfort, but your sunny outlook is going to help you through this. I'm glad, like the other person, that you fought to be moved to the other room. I know it must be such a healing lift to see Steve and Daniel. Your vivid description of the tumor made me cringe. I'm so, so glad it's out and am praying for you that that's where it stays. We're still thinking of and praying for you constantly. Cindy

Anonymous said...

The tumor is gone, what a relief to have that horrible thing out of your body. Now prayers that all tests come back with the best possible results. Best wishes,
Theresa

Anonymous said...

Em! How nice to hear from you! I'm a bit jealous - never in all my hospital experiences did I get hand massages! Maybe I'll start volunteering at St. Vincent hospital.

Your doc mentioned that this was one of the more difficult surgeries he's done - I wonder if you'll be on the local news? Sometimes these one-of-a-kind cases make the news. Keep the dial tuned!

Lastly, I'm needing to book airline tickets, before they do the "last minute" jack-up of prices. I'm thinking to come after Sept 23; when you get a chance (no dire hurry), could you let me know what days might be better for you?

Thanks.

Love,
Susanne

jamie said...

So wonderful to see your post Emilie - we're all pulling for you at St. Luke and we are praying for your recovery.

Much love your way-
Jamie P.

Emilie said...

ME AGAIN! It's Tuesday, and it feels as if a world of changes has happened since last night when I last wrote:

I am completely unattached to my IV! I took a shower today! I am walking and getting out of bed completely on my own! I am eating solid foods!

Regina and Cathy, your balloon and package of magazines arrived this morning. I look forward to reading some real trash ;-) (though I've just begun Jonathan Strange, and it's good, too -- thanks, Regina).

Terry, a weekend meal is always welcome. Liz, thanks for your visit yesterday. All of you who have sent cards, gift certificates, meals, etc., we appreciate them very much. (Steve did tell me we have a bunch of cookies in the house!) Anyone who wants to visit is most welcome -- just give a call first to make sure I'll be decent. I'll probably be going home in a couple of days.

Jennifer said...

Emilie,

It is wonderful to read that you are in such great spirits. You are taking this with such honor and strength. You are true inspiration...

Keep strong and you will stay on your path to recovery.


We are thinking of you everyday.
The Velarde's

Jamie said...

Emilie, it's wonderful to see you are feeling so much better today! It's amazing the difference a day can make!

liz said...

Emilie, I'd like to visit - but I won't be there until the 3rd week of October and I know you'll have been out of the hospital for a long time by then! ;)

SO glad to hear from you - you sound wonderful. Continued prayers!

Anonymous said...

Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!!!

--Laura D'ECFE

Kristie said...

Emilie, so wonderful to hear your updates. I'm glad to hear that you are up and about. Take Care!

Anonymous said...

Emilie, it's so moving to read your own words regarding your experience and recovery. Our prayers are with you, Steve and Daniel as well as the baby. We look forward to more updates and hope you get home soon!

Love, Susan, Charles, Colin and Phoebe

Mr. Pitt, meow said...

My mom told me you were waiting to have a BM, so I'm sending you a cheer...

I did number one!
I did number two!
I gave at the litterbox,
How 'bout YOU!

Love, Pitt
(That's Mr. Brad Pitt for those who have never met him.)

Kristine said...

Emilie, I am so glad to hear you are recovering well. I am also thrilled beyond words to read the baby's heartbeat is still there. You are still on my mind!

April-C-A said...

Em - you're so brave :o) I'm glad that you're feeling better. I can imagine it will take a while to feel back to normal. I hope you get to go home soon and enjoy this fabulous fall weather and your wonderful husband and son.

KtClaire said...

Emilie- You are still in my prayers. I'm glad things have gone well

Kerry said...

How wonderful to see your update when I logged on today. The pain from healing is never a plesant experience but it can only get better, right.

You are such a trooper and you have our continued prayers as well. Much love to you.

Anonymous said...

Hello from downriver, dear Emilie. I've thought of you and your family many times a day, every day since this ordeal began. Prayers are being answered with what we want to hear. How thrilling that so many hours of anesthesia didn't take a temporary toll on your writing and typing skills! Please remember that this recovery may sometimes seem like you're taking a step or two backward when your energy gives out or those adhesions pull, or you're just tired of hurting and wondering. But you're not falling back. It's all part of healing from a health trauma. Maybe sick people are called "patients" because being one takes so much "patience." Many wondeful people around you know this from experience. They'll help you and Steve and Daniel and The New One through the weeks ahead. When you see that river flow south, remember you are loved in Greenville, Mississippi. PS: If anyone offers a foot massage, tell them YES! Works better than a sleeping pill. --mdm

Liz in Mississippi said...

Emilie's going home soon!!!!

I chatted with her today & she sounds so good.

Anonymous said...

Emilie,

You don't know me nor do I know you. I know of you from a friend and I just want you to know that you have been and continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Your strength and bravery are an inspiration. I, too, am a mother and can only imagine the hurdles you have faced. It is so easy to get lost in the problems of the everyday and your ordeal puts everything in to perspective again. I give my 3 little ones an extra hug and kiss every chance I get. I check up on your blog every morning and I cried tears of joy when I read that you and the baby made it through the surgery and that everything was looking good. I just want you to know that through your experience and your eloquent words, you have had an impact on many lives, more than you ever knew. I wish you well and hope your recovery continues to go well. I will keep you and your growing family in my prayers.

liz said...

Just wanted to say hi, because I thought 80 comments would be more fun than 79. :P