Monday, April 14, 2014

Mustang Pinball machine at BumperNets.
A strain of pneumonia called Pneumocystis carinii is fatal for people whose immune systems are compromised - like anyone on chemotherapy. As if cancer is not a big enough mountain, there are these fatal outliers to dodge while climbing it. In the late 1970’s a St. Jude research doctor named Walter Hughes concocted a man-made antibiotic that was a combination of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole that protected cancer patients from the pneumonia. The brand names are Septra or Bactrim. When taken as directed, it prevents patients from contracting that bacterial infection to the tune of 100 percent. That medicine, discovered at St. Jude, I believe is pretty standard for chemo patients most places now. Here’s the kicker for the med - it helps protect those with low immunity, but guess what it does to those taking it… it suppresses the immune system. Look out, a rock slide! I mean, can we catch a break, really. So, we, personally, are no strangers to Septra. Eli was on it during his first treatment, and began it again when he started his current regimen. It is taken twice a day, three out of seven days a week for as long as one is on chemo. It is an antibiotic, so it comes with all the good, the bad, and the uglies of a synthetic antibiotic. It is a standard refill at the St. Jude pharmacy and is shipped to us when I call in the need for the refill. Well, as I’m sure you already
Eli actually grew a cm. Pretty good for somebody whose
pituitary gland has been fried.
 know and it is no surprise that I forgot to call it in. So, Eli only got half of a dose on one day last week - scary. But, is it coincidence that I didn’t give him Septra and his counts were so incredibly high - as in 2260 - this past Friday for chemo so he was able to get the full dose of all the chemo drugs. I don’t know, but I will be asking when we go to Memphis next week. Yes, he was able to get full doses of both meds! Yay! But, as far as the Septra goes, his doc changed it during treatment before to a “lesser” drug to help guard against the pneumonia, so I know that is a possibility. He just said that Septra was the “gold” standard, but there were other choices. So, Friday went very well with chemo, and he has felt pretty good with the usual tummy nausea feeling. I was a little sick on Thursday and Friday with either a cold or allergies. I have no idea which. I didn’t have a fever, but I felt about as bad as I could feel without a fever. I even took cold medicine. I rarely - like maybe three times since the kids were born - take any kind of
The boys were so excited.
 OTC meds for just a cold that might make me sleepy because I’m afraid I can’t hear the kids during the night. There have been times for sure when I had to leave it all to Vic during the night, but those times are extreme. On Friday, I even took a nap while Eli was in the chair for chemo, and I hate naps. Then, that same day, even after I had had a nap, I went to bed at 2030 hours. Vic had to do bedtime for all the kids. The kids like to stay up a little later on Fridays to play video games or watch movies, and I just could not wait on them to go to bed. I took my cold meds AGAIN, and I didn’t even have to close the door to go to sleep. Saturday was much better and I was able to get a lot of work done at the house toward getting it cleaned out, although I am at least three days behind my goal. Thankfully, I don’t think the contractor is waiting on us, so I still hope to be ready when he is ready. Eli went back to school today, but will be going out of town on Wednesday. Ohhhhh!!!! I almost forgot…. Eli had a special surprise on Thursday. I felt like I had been hit by a truck that day, so I was a little foggy and just now coming out of it. The UAW folks that were already so kind to us from the Flat Rock Assembly plant in Dearborn, MI, where they make the Mustang, all pitched in to purchase for Eli a special
We got to play arcade games, ping-pong, pinball, and pool.
edition pin ball machine that was designed in honor of Mustang’s 50th birthday. Ford commissioned the machines to be placed in all the Ford Dealerships, then the UAW contacted the designer, Stern Pinball, and and worked it out for Eli to get the very fist one. Is that not the coolest thing, ever - the machine alone is, but how much more the effort of the UAW and Stern and BumperNets, mentioned below. Beautiful people, showing that the human race was made in the image of its creator. The machine will be the nicest, most expensive piece of furniture in our whole house. It was shipped to BumperNets, a Table Tennis retail store in the Galleria Mall in Birmingham that also features pool and arcade games, including pinball machines. The center is the third largest venue for pinball action in the country, so they know what they are doing. The store’s founder, Homer Brown, a U.S. Open National Table Tennis champion, invited us to come to his entertainment center
This is the plaque that will be on the machine.
 in the mall to play for free any of the games and to surprise Eli with the news that he was getting a Mustang pinball machine. Brown has one already set up in his own store for play, so we were able to see what it will look like. He is kind enough to hold Eli’s in storage for us
 until we have a place to put it. Eli tried desperately not to smile, but he just couldn’t help it and I was able to catch it in a picture. He whispers to me to share about it and show the pictures when we are talking with people. He was very excited about it, so I can see a pinball party in our future. The kids have already asked me if they would have to pay quarters to use it... hmmm..... I see some new shoes in my future. So, that leads me back to telling you that Eli will only be in school two days because Mustang turns 50 this week, on the 17th, so he will be making his way to Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday for that celebration with the Mustang Club of America - since he is a member. The club invited him to go over for it, so he and Vic will be headed that way on Wednesday. Thank you all so much for your prayers and such kind and encouraging words, always. Nolan, is having a bit of a rough time right now, so please, pray for his comfort and for his mother Brittany, who is a young, single mother of five, that she have strength and peace during these days.

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