Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Ponyboy.
Abbey, age 11, stepped out of her room as I entered the hallway Tuesday morning and said, “Happy Birthday, mama. How old are you anyway?” I said, “Thank you Abbey, I’m 45. Do I look 45?” She put her head down, unable to look me in the eye and took a deep breath shaking her head, “Yes, mommy, you do. I’m sorry to have to tell you that, but you do. I’m just so sorry,” Ahh, I have taught them well. At least she hated to tell me, Hg would have enjoyed offering the observation without solicitation.

We are still delirious with Mustang fever after Saturday’s amazing day. From the absolute depth of my heart, thanks  to all of you that braved the chilly weather. I have been reading about Mustangs, about the history of mustangs, the aluminum engine block upgrade, clone mustangs, the comeback of the Fox body style, the entrance of Caroll Shelby, Jack Roush, etc. All kinds of information and I just read and read, then say to myself “I have no idea what this is saying… but I WANT ONE OF WHATEVER IT IS.” I have just been wasting time looking at Mustangs that are for sale, trying to figure out why the seller touts certain facts about the car. Vic is a hobby mechanic and has the ability and desire to bring one back to life and a family that would enjoy it as well, but he does not have the time, room, or money. I’m loving the classics (67, 68 early Shelbys or 70 Boss, the big muscle years, although I was warming to the chunky fox style body in a 5.0 T-top. As an 80’s girl how could I resist t-tops in anything.). Thankfully, I am accustomed to window shopping, so it is satisfying enough.

The fact that the Mustang we borrowed from the dealer for the show was Bama colors made it a little less painful to give back. It was time to give it up by Monday afternoon though. I had become too comfortable with it by then and was owning it, absolutely owning it. I easily hit 100 on the on ramp to 65 in third gear … the ramp, not even on the road yet! (I only blinked at that speed, then quickly pulled back b/c I felt like a big ole’ bull’s eye on the road.) The GT500 Shelby had the SVT (Special Vehicle Team) performance package, and if I am understanding things correctly, this is race track level action. The engine is the fastest engine in the world that is mass produced - available to the peasant multitudes. But it was exactly like holding back a horse that wants to run. It is not made to toddle around town and was not fun when I was having to do that. Literally, instead of holding my gas pedal foot down to push the pedal, I had to keep it lifted up. And, I just don’t have a clutch leg any more, my leg was give out. However, I think I could easily overcome those physical hinderances if we suddenly decide to motivate the kids to do well in school by removing the safety net of a college fund. So, maybe I will pull up that 1967 GT500 and reconsider… come to think of it, who really needs a house, anyway, too.

The perfect bay-mate for the Barbie Jeep.
While I am still on all things Mustang, little neurons in my brain finally connected and I want to thank Patti Baker for being the original catalyst for the car show. As the show reached overwhelming status, I could no longer remember who it was that started it all. And, she was even at the show, working very hard behind the food table and introduced herself. I was blown away by the activity that morning and just didn’t put it together. I tried to go back and find it, and then I saw one of Lawrence’s posts thanking her. So, I want to make sure that I thank her, too. She has followed Eli from the beginning, I think, so I am just so grateful to her for thinking about him and seeking out the connection that made it happen.

Eli has a chemo day tomorrow (Friday). It will be a long day, but he should not have any problems - still prayers for him that day, please. He looks good, as far as his color, but he is very tired. I’m wondering if his platelet count is low because it was border line at his lab check last week. I don’t know what they will do if it is, post pone chemo, maybe, I’m not sure. That will really stink because we are making plans for things according to the current schedule.
Caleb picked his favorite.

The upheaval of our living arrangement continues. We are ready for carpet, so we will soon be moving the rest of the upstairs down. Then I need to make time to get it picked out. If anyone has suggestions of a great place to go with a quality product, please private message me. The carpet we had was really not great quality…. so I guess I know what I will be reading up on during chemo… (sigh) not as exciting as the trans am racing series or Lee Iacoccoa (oddly, I can remember my dad talking about Iacocca which would have been in the 80s during the Chrysler years). Oh, but I’m not done: the leak is leaking again. So, we are going to have all the piping ripped out and replaced on that wall. Vic has been watching it, and it is just a slow leak in the attic, nothing that needs attention beyond the plumber.

This is still not all of it. It continues to the left and the right. About 400 cars they think.
As part of this unexpected interior renovation, I thought we might take advantage of the distraction to prepare for a sad day that is coming where Eli’s situation may need to be isolated from the other kids. We really don’t know what to expect or when to expect it. We hope years while reserving our highest of hopes for decades. So, I thought it would be smart to use this chaos to distract everybody and redo the family room. The suite is separated some from the rest of the house and it has big windows to watch activity outside. It will continue to serve as a hub for the family, but eventually, when needed, it will serve as Eli’s room to keep him from having to be upstairs, and because of its location it can shield the others as the dealings with his health become impressionable. But, for now, this preparation can be disguised as just a fun updating of the family room. To my chagrin, the only thing that everybody agrees on (me only indirectly. The fact that there is something that pleases all five of the kids - yes, FIVE - makes me agreeable to those activities. However, the activity of video gaming is disturbing and annoying) is video games and movies. Our go-to family night is video games or a movie at home. Our family room is a busy place, a kind of homebase. We even eat all of our meals in
Getting them all parked.
 the family room, and I often sleep in there when my back just can not take the forgettable memory foam topper another night. So, we decided to use all the posters, signs, hats and displayable toys that Eli got Saturday and make it a Mustang themed room. Eventually, I hope to do some shelving for the collectable cars and some electronic and furniture upgrading that will allow for a bed, but for now, it will be fun to get the decor going…. all of this, of course, after we can even utilize any interior living space.
Eli in the seat of his favorite.

To continue the chaos, the repair crew is ready to tear out the ceiling of the garage. They said that everything, every single thing in the garage needs to be moved out…. (sigh, again). Now, this is a huge job that needs to be done, has always needed to be done, but did I want to do it today or even tomorrow? I have stayed out of the garage arranging business after learning my lesson years ago, so I told Vic that if he would give me free reign, I could assemble the troops and have it done in a full day. I am not a saver of things that can be replaced and would not blink at tossing stuff, but he could not quite relinquish that authority fully, it being the garage. So, it will take a few days as he faces the anxiety of letting things go that in reality are trash or duplicates or just not needed - I’ve watched several episodes of Hoarders, so I know about these things. We have a good solid Saturday coming up, with only one ballgame, so, if I can get him in there for a few things, then I can wipe it out Monday with help and trucks.
We've got a good start.

Included in that garage clean-out are all the boxes of laundry detergent that we have collected to take back to St. Jude with us to the Grizzlies House. Our garage smells like lavender. I will put a hold on collecting for a couple of weeks, or at least until we can either get the garage back or the inside of the house back. We will resume collection in plenty of time before we go to Memphis at the end of February, so stay tuned.

I regularly see cases of relapse on a little FB page that I follow and it is so disheartening. Children who are two years and five years out are once again victims of this evil. I really think that we are members of a point on the historical timeline of research into Medulloblastoma that is the failure before success. There are so many fingers of research reaching right now for something, and I pray with an ernest, pleadful attitude that progress be made to turn the ship around. Please, say special prayers for Baylee. She has relapsed for the second time, having fought this medullo monster for five years, I think, maybe longer. I do not know them, but her mother is an example of strength and encouragement having message me several times with positive thoughts. There are no successful options for medulloblastoma relapse. Any relapse success is an anomaly and doctors can not point to why one would succeed and many others do not. So, it is really hard to feel confident knowing that the feeling is temporary.

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