“Sir-prise, sir-prise, sir-prise, ” is a trademark saying of the character Gomer Pyle in Gomer Pyle USMC, a spinoff television sitcom from the The Andy Griffith Show, which was a spinoff of The Danny Thomas Show: Make Room for Daddy, which starred Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. We were “sir-prised” to get to “sir-prise” Vic and the kids Sunday afternoon by going home for an overnight stay! We went in for Eli’s bone marrow boost infusion late Sunday morning only to find out that his counts were high enough that he didn’t need it any more. So, when they gave us our schedule for the next day (Monday) it was blank. So, instead of taking a day trip to Oxford on Monday, we threw some meds and pj’s in a bag and took off for Athens, Alabama. Technically, we are not supposed to be more than two hours from St. Jude, but we pretended to count the Huntsville affiliate as St. Jude. Since it is four hours away, it worked out perfectly. We had to be back Monday night to plug him up to his feedbag and he has an early appointment Tuesday morning, but it was so nice to get to see them all, and Eli was really missing Vic. But, oddly, he was happy to be back at the apartment, too. I think it is going to be hard to re-enter the chaos that is our life (which is nothing new, just a new theme of chaos). Its one thing to go for an overnight, but I think it is going to be kind of hard for him to leave his fortress of solitude that is Target House II. Eli and I rode the front wave of the storm into Athens Sunday afternoon. And, I mean that almost literally. We could see it and we were staying just ahead of it. The sirens went off as we were pulling in the driveway. So, we visited Sunday night, and played, but Monday morning we had exciting plans, plans that only come around about every 14 years. We took the entire family shopping for a new washer and dryer! I know, great, eh?!
So, instead of writing a post last night, I was reading about washers and dryers. It would have been kinder of me to beat each appliance once with a bat each day, than to ask what I ask of them with the size and number of loads that I do. They have served valiantly, but the washer’s balance is shot. Who knows how many laps around the laundry room it logged as it spun its barrel. The dryer was cantankerous in that once you hit “start,” you had better not stop it to add anything that you forgot because it would not start back up without at least 20 minutes of cool-down. It didn’t matter how long it had been running. And, Vic asked me recently if it was normal for it to smell like it was burning. I’m going to say “no.” We hated to spend money on something like that right now, but we tried to be good stewards and kept it simple and dependable, which we would have done anyway. We are so dependent on so many people right now, it will help anyone coming in to do laundry for us. They won’t have to decipher any of the notes of warnings on the machines before using them. So, we spent most of the day finding models to match the consumer reports and my research, or at least get close and be on sale for Labor Day. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will prepare for Wednesday, which is our big day – Eli’s exit scan. He will have a sedated MRI and lumbar puncture then.
I also wanted to thank so many of you for pledging a meal card to give to patients here. We have plenty now, so I don’t need any more offers. In other news: Blake was able to be discharged from the hospital, having no real answers, but not showing any threatening signs either. So, they have gone home to recover from his fifth and final round of chemo. Jack is at home recovering from his surgery, and I am eager and anxious to learn what the next steps are for him. Though I will never be able to say it enough, I will keep saying it – thank you for your prayers for all of these children.