Our summer “break” is about to break me. Out of curiosity, I read a little about the history of summer break because I had always heard that it was leftover from the kids having to help with the harvest. But, that never made sense to me since harvesting is generally in the fall. So, I learned that is only partly true. In the 18th and 19th centuries there was a rural school calendar and an urban school calendar. The rural school system held a summer and a winter session of school, with spring and fall off so children could help with the planting and harvesting. The urban schools ran the entire year with summers off for fear that the heat would create an environment for disease in the crowded and enclosed buildings. The streets were mostly dry, dusty dirt moistened only by the little manure patties left by the horses on which people traveled. So the city was a messy, dirty, germy, stinky place in the summer. Many women and
children of all economic levels who lived in the city would “summer’ somewhere cooler and less crowded during July and August., so the kids didn't go to school. By the very late 19th century, industrial conveniences finally spread to farming. Now, that daddy didn’t need the chilluns’ so much for work, they were able to take advantage of available education. The rural schools began to adopt the urban school calendar so that the students and teachers had a break from all that book-learning. At some point, I guess our lifestyles will lend itself to needing a break from the break.
|Caleb loves "butterflies."|
Eli had his check-up at the homeopath doc and got a great report. He hit the PH sweet spot of 7.5 after leaning to the acidic side at his last visit. And he looks really good right now. He has great color, is in a good mood most of the time, is active, sleeps and eats well. We make no special provisions or exceptions for him beyond making sure that he has the fresh juice and eats organic when he can. I try to get him to the pool at least twice a week for exercise disguised as playtime, but this week it has rained so long that I thought we might have our own pool in the backyard drainage ditch. He did get great exercise on Wednesday when he spent the day with a buddy and they played Wii sports for most of the rainy
day. My friend, the mother of the boy, said she could hear them giggle and laugh at each other. I’m so thankful for the kids my kids are able to be around from school and church. They have all played an active part in Eli’s healing with their own prayers. He has stayed close to their own precious personal hearts, not because their parents have asked them to remember him or think about him, but because he was one of theirs, he belonged to them. These children - from the tiniest that can barely talk to college kids that still speak to him when they see him - took ownership of their role in helping to move this mountain. Of the many things I have learned over the last almost two years is that children are amazing people, whether they are on the sick bed or beside it. Anyway, he got a good report at the doc, but he changed his pituitary supplement from an animal glandular extract to a veggie-based supplement called Zoezyme, an Osa’s Garden exclusive. St. Jude had asked that we stop the glandular supplement until his growth hormone testing was done. It is scheduled for our September check. I may reschedule until December. I’m not sure why, except that I just want to give something time to start working. The nurse said it doesn’t matter, if it was going to work it would be working. It is not a situation where we are just waiting around for something to kick in, but to me we kind of are. I feel like his body needs time to heal, and time for these supplements to work. And, I am skeptical of this “veggie-based” supplement because I’m pretty sure the brain doesn’t care about vegetables. All it wants is fats and oils, so how could this even get to the brain. But, this is one of many times I will admit to knowing nothing. Other things I have been watching about him is his chest.
|Playing hopscotch with Caleb and Abbey.|
I am a little anxious - still that word is a littlestrong - about his sternum bone. It is the middle of his chest, it just seems like it is protruding more than normal. I have read some about the effects of radiation, how it kind of warps the bone growth and it is especially noticeable in the chest. His chest would have gotten fried pretty good on the exit beams of radiation going to his spine. It’s just always something, isn’t it? If worrying didn’t exist, my brain would be so bored… or have enough space to concentrate on more productive thoughts, but make no mistake in understanding that I am thankful and grateful for a healthy boy and a new perspective.
I have been making some effort at training for the 13-mile St. Jude race. I did not do much this past week besides paddle a boat – on an actual river, not in my backyard which seemed to have a river running through it. The girls and I went on an overnight trip with the girl scouts. We played in the riverbed of the Ocoee, zip-lined, and then we rafted down the Hiwassee River with me at the helm – scary. Well, scary because I was driving the thing, sure, but scary also because it was pouring down rain and fog covered the river ahead of us making it difficult to veer the boat to the river's bend. But, we didn’t turn over and no one fell out, so I check it off as a success. I am super excited and obsessed about the St. Jude fundraiser, the charity Back to School Fashion Show. The Grasshopper children’s boutique is joined by Goody 2 Shoes out of Decatur which will feature junior girls' clothing at the show. I’m pursuing a couple of other companies with
great items to showcase, so it is really shaping up to be a great, inspiring and fruitful event. Mark August 24 on your calendar and watch for tickets to go on sale in a couple of weeks. We will have unique gift baskets for all interests, a one-minute talk by Eli, and an inspiring talk by Rhett Bailey, a high school cancer survivor and patient of St. Jude, and Suzanne’s Bakery will be catering a delicious buffet brunch. The fashion show, featuring several St. Jude patients as models, will be the finale of the event. So, seriously, make plans with your family and friends to attend. If your business has a few advertising dollars to spend please consider spending it to help us pull off this event and we will include your business on our flyers and posters. If you are interested in preparing a gift basket, but you don’t know where to start or you don’t have many friends to help, I’ve got a couple of really good anchor items for someone to use for a couple of baskets - just need some peeps to add to it and prepare it. Anyone preparing a gift basket, you may drop it off at the Grasshopper during regular business hours anytime before August 20.
|It has rained for days and days, and mean mommy|
limits video game time even on rainy days.
Survival rates for pediatric cancer patients overall has risen from under 20 percent, which is before St. Jude opened in 1962, to 80 percent overall as of about 2007, although that number is different for each type of cancer. St. Jude is not perfect because no where can be, but I think it can be argued that it is one of, if not the best. I pray that you will never know how important it is that St. Jude exists and to have such a facility available and to have it “easily” available to our community (I say “easily” because I have seen families from hundreds of miles away alter their lives just so that their child could be at St. Jude. I’ve seen families from other countries give up their homes to have their child treated at St. Jude, so, yes, with an affiliate 40 minutes away and the hospital 4 hours away, it’s “easily” available). But, with 10,000
|playing in the Ocoee River while the water is "off."|
children in our country being diagnosed every year, if not you, then somebody you know at some point will know how important it is. Oh, and here’s the kicker: it is a non-profit research hospital. Patients pay for nothing they need for any reason during treatment, not toothpaste, not even transportation. St. Jude treats the whole child, which even includes the dentist, counseling and school. All pieces of the puzzle are there and available during treatment and all at no cost to the patient because of donations made to the hospital. Do not underestimate what your donation can do. Our team page to give is http://heroes.stjude.org/nafootsoldiers. thanks for reading.