Saturday, June 23, 2012

“Thirty minutes or it’s Free” was the advertising stunt by Domino’s Pizza in 1979 that turned pizza into a “fast” food, pun intended. The campaign was adjusted at some point before it ended in the early 90’s to be “30 minutes or $3 off”, but with a couple of multi-million-dollar lawsuits against it for delivery guys involved in car accidents, one including a fatality, Domino’s ditched the idea claiming it’s guarantee was now for quality of their product not the delivery speed of it. But the damage was done, literally and figuratively, pizza deliverers became infamous for reckless efforts at getting your pizza to you. Sometime in 1986, I visited David Lipscomb University as a guest of a friend who was a couple of years older than me. She was enticing me to attend as a freshman the next year. I stayed in her dorm, which had a common area downstairs. There was some kind of party or function going on with the girls in the dorm, maybe a meet-and-greet or something, and they had ordered pizza. I don’t really remember if it was Domino’s, but I’m pretty sure at that time it would have been the cheapest and a favorite among college students. From the common area one could see straight out the sliding glass doors down a straight sidewalk. At some point, someone says “pizza’s here”, so attention was drawn to the little delivery guy scurrying up the sidewalk at a pretty good clip in an effort to get that pizza to us on time, which I am assuming is the reason for his rush. As he approached the door, I guess he could see the group of ladies inside but didn’t notice that the glass door was shut, he slammed into the glass so hard that it left his face print on it and knocked him flat on his pepperoni . That room full of girls erupted in laughter. Honestly, I don’t remember if he was hurt or not. I was 17, I doubt I cared. And, I don’t remember if the pizza survived. In general, I don’t remember a lot about that weekend beyond it was fun, but seeing that guy slam full tilt into that glass was so funny that it left its own imprint in my memory. When I arrived at St. Jude last night to relieve Vic from chemo duty, I felt like that guy hitting the glass door. I was slammed back into the reality of what we are fighting and it was painful. Eli had a rough day yesterday, but Vic didn’t have to tell me that I could see it when I came in the room. I did the chemo days during the first round, and remember the first day being bad, but by the evening and the second day, he was doing well, considering. Vic said he had heavy vomiting all day, diarrhea, and started running a high temperature. Instead of waiting on culture results, they gave him an antibiotic in the family of meds we now know he is allergic, too. He got an extreme rash, but he said it didn’t bother him. I’m not sure why they used that antibiotic. I know that there was some question about whether he was actually allergic to it, and it is like a “gold standard” of antibiotics that covers a wide array of infections, so they like to use it. He got another kind during the night, he seemed to handle fine, except this morning his face seemed swollen to me, but he was not as flush and his fever was down. He was fidgety this morning anticipating with dread and fear what the chemo does to him. Being sleep deprived doesn’t help with his emotions either. He was asked how he feels a few times, and squeaked out a whisper of his usual answer “good.” But, this morning while he was lying here and I was writing, he said “umm, mama, I do feel a little bad all over.” They were concerned about the fever because they didn’t know if it was chemo induced or infection related. His white blood cell count was elevated which made them think infection, but it oddly started right when he got chemo. Then some of his other “numbers” were off, so they came to see if they could safely administer the chemo today which they did and changed his antibiotic. He has continued to throw-up despite the three nausea meds, and the diarrhea is picking up. After his chemo today, I noticed he started swelling in his face, and then he started shaking really badly, and has developed an extreme rash. His breathing did not seem to be an issue, but the swelling continued to climb and it was scary enough. So, they determined him to be allergic to another antibiotic they were using. He has been fighting those affects all day, as well as fighting the fever which is about 101-103+ with Tylenol. He was packed in some cold packs while waiting for his next dose of Tylenol and receives quite a bit of Benadryl regularly now. I am dreading the night. He and I got little sleep last night, and tonight will be worse. This is when he has to pee every two hours through the night and into the day, then of course I am going to be worried about this horrible fever that is almost out of hand. I may sleep standing up beside him tonight. So, I would like to insert a sigh here because I need a cleansing breath. The helpless feeling is painfully numbing. Every parent would and does handle tragic challenges differently, and for me I think part of the difficulty is sitting and supporting. Like the Neanderthal whose only response is to beat something with his only tool – a club – I only know how to strong-arm a solution. Everything seems so less complicated, so predictable when I can put my hand on something and make it happen. But, to sit at the bedside of my child witnessing the wake of destruction left by this healing poison requires strength beyond the physical. Watching his flushed face curl a fleeting smile while watching a cartoon as he lies devoid of energy engulfed in the sterile white sheets of a hospital bed, is to endure a torture greater than any technique known to the armies of the world. How much easier it would be for me to beat off an armed intruder standing over his bed or reach down and pull him from a smothering fire. Of course, all in this group of readers are familiar with Philippians 4:13 where God tells me through an inspired writer that Christ “strengthens me.” I wonder sometimes if I am too invested in this earthly life to really comprehend how that works. A Neanderthal wouldn’t give up his club without a fight, and I wonder sometimes if I fight that concept. Eli is not doing well, so I’m going to close here, which I know, the post is already long, so it’s a good thing. He just feels really bad. We just can’t seem to get a hold of this fever. Pray for us tonight and tomorrow. It’s going to be some rough minutes to minutes. The picture tonight is of Eli and Jordan Sparks, an American Idol winner from a few years ago, who visited St. Jude (but that's not as cool as Ceci Ivey coming! Eli will be the envy of all his classmates). He was not feeling well at all, I mean at all but managed a smile for Jordan. We gave her a bracelet and Vic had his picture made with her, too, and couldn't stop smiling until days later, I think. We were actually watching American Idol back when she won it or was runner-up, can't remember exactly, but we knew who she was, for once. She signed Eli's shirt and wrote the scripture Jeremiah 29:11 on it which I will end with: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


  1. Hi beautiful family! I just wanted to say that I will keep you and your son in my prayers. I was searching for Jeremiah 29:11 scripture and came across your blog, when I saw Eli's sweet little face I felt compelled to read and offer a prayer for him and you.
    I can only imagine what you are going through and I would like to encourage you to be strong and know that Jesus is a Saviour that helps anyone throughout the most difficult moments.
    My very good friend has been battling leukemia as well and I have heard and seen the results of the "healing poison".
    Eli's bravery and attitude is inspiring and I want to extend a "virtual" hug to you guys.
    Love you with the love of Jesus.
    Be blessed
    Keisha - Trinidad & Tobago

    1. Hi keisha! So, glad you found our blog, and thank you for your encouragment. Prayers for you and your friend.


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