Saturday, August 16, 2014

At the Ardmore car show.
“What’s the entertainment in winning by a full lap? I wanted to give the folks a little sizzle,” said Lightning McQueen, the main character of Disney’s Cars movie, to news reporter Kori after he was part of a three-car tie for first in the Piston Cup. That’s what I feel like with Eli sometimes. What’s the fun in his lab work all being normal, and him eating a normal amount of food, and having no nose bleeds and getting the full dose of all chemo. He likes to give us a little sizzle, give us something to talk about, so he skirts the edge of normal for his check ups, eats just enough to make you think he might be taking off, and blows out snot with just a little bit of blood, but not a full out running nose bleed. The week and off-weekend following chemo is always the downslide in his chemistries. It takes about 7-10 days from chemo infusion to hit the valley with his ANC and platelets and blood
 before his body recovers as much as it can. Eli had his normal check on Friday and didn’t need anything, but only by the skin of his loose tooth. He was really low on the major things, but not enough to warrant needing anything. Can’t know if he was going up from there or down, but we have his next two-month MRI on Monday to check for progression of disease, so they will check his numbers again before sedating him. I can’t believe it is time to go to Memphis already. Eli seems to be doing pretty well, complains about his belly a lot, but that’s it. “Scanxiety” is building in my head. It has been a horribly busy and distracting (and overwhelming) two months, so it has been easy to let the scan sneak up on me. I even forgot to make reservations for the Grizzlies House, which is now the Tri-Delt House. I can just really feel the pressure of knowing that the more
Eli waiting patiently at the dressing rooms for Hg.
 good scans we get behind us, the closer we are getting to that one that shows the tide has turned. To make me more nervous, Vic is coming this time. Not that he specifically or personally does anything to make me nervous, but it changes our routine. Eli really wants him to come, he is a Daddy’s little guy. I think the doctor will also be glad to see him. I don’t think he likes talking to me beyond just the surface “So, how’s he doing?” For example, I’m going to ask him about Eli talking probiotics, and I think he just kind of humors me sometimes with his answers. But, it makes me nervous for him to come because I was the athlete that wore the same lucky socks, used the same nasty lucky batting glove, ate the same lucky pre-game snack, and it would have been career suicide to wear a jersey without my same number each year. So, for Vic to come kind of sets the stage
Still waiting.
 for change, and I want our appointments to continue in the same direction they have always been. I would even be perfectly content if they never, ever changed ever again in either direction. I would take June’s results (shrunk, tiny, but still there) forever and back. Silly of me to be superstitious-like, I know, and Eli will be so glad for him to come. We are actually going to take everyone this time. Since I forgot to make my reservations, I already know from trying to make reservations today that we will be sent to a hotel. The last time we were sent to a hotel the room was a suite with room to sleep six. We are taking a chance that it would be the same hotel because they use multiple locations, so we may have to spring for an unplanned hotel this time if we gamble and lose. But, as of right now, we are taking everyone and, wow, that always fills the review room. We leave tomorrow,
Getting his hair washed to be cut. The boys LOVED this part.
 Sunday, after church sometime. I am trying to only be nervous and not afraid. The practitioner at the local clinic just kind of in passing asking about going to the MRI and what the past readings have been, then said, “Well, you are just going to be our little miracle boy, aren’t chya.” Thankfully, Eli was playing a video game and didn’t pay attention, but even if he did, he wouldn’t comprehend what she was saying. He just knows that he is on chemo, fighting cancer. That’s all he knows. So, I know you all already do this, but fervent prayers, please, please. We know that what we are doing is not a cure, and really, it is not even a treatment, so please, pray that if this scan shows progression that a clear change of path is realized. And, if it is good, that we are able to know what to do next. That is important because we know that even if the scan is good, it has not gone
 away, so how do you treat what you can’t see. Anyway, always hope tied to each appointment, but I feel this one is especially heavy.

We have had an overwhelming week of the fall season ramping up to full speed. I am making a feeble attempt to get back to some sort of exercise routine to hopefully still be able to participate in the half-marathon in December. Again, the attempt is feeble, and the key is to loose these 15 pounds that I’ve put on since Eli’s relapse diagnosis. I am a stress eater, so you can imagine how often that is triggered. Caleb and Abbey started full days at school, and Hg had her first day of on-campus homeschool classes. She seemed really excited about it after her first day. Mostly, she was so glad to see all the girls wearing t-shirts and jeans. That’s my girl! But, she did at least have a new pair of jeans. She had a little money for babysitting, so we went shopping for some
Eli helped with babysitting so he had some
money and bought this fire truck. He wanted
me to show it.
 new jeans. We have gotten great hand-me-downs for several years now from some dear people at church that go to school with us, too. Their daughter is about three years older than Hg, but she is just not very tall and not going to be. When Hg hit age 11, she pretty much caught up to her size. But, Hg kept going up from there, but not out, so she continued to wear the clothes. All the jeans and pants were “short” instead of regular, which was fine when she was 11 (and is working out great for Abbey), but at almost 14 she ain’t a “short.” She has always worn them anyway, and she complained some, but nothing vehemently or like her life was over because her jeans were above her ankles. Since she would wear them, it just wasn’t high on the priority spend list. She probably go made fun of, but it wasn’t her fault. Anyway, “short” jeans behind us now because with her own money, (and a coupon and Kohl’s cash from her Fairy Melissa Mother), she was able to get two new pair and not stand out so much. All the kids also got haircuts for maybe the second time this year. Phew! Abbey and I fight about her hair. She has Vic’s hair, so it is just thin and brittle and won’t really do anything, doesn’t even grow very fast. But, she wants it long and straight, the exact opposite of what it needs to be to look decent. We cut long layers so she could let it dry by itself curly. If she practices and learns how to do it herself with the straight iron and hair dryer, then she can
I love a Friday night of nothing but popcorn and DVD movie.
 try to grow it out. When she sees how long it will take to stand there and straighten curly hair only to have it curl up in the humidity, she will begin to like layers. Eli’s hair has gotten very thin from being on chemo for so long, so we cut it pretty short. To do something fun with him, we gave him little spike-ies on the front. Caleb got his mop sheared down and looks like a different kid. I like it moppy.

We got to go to a great car show this past weekend. Our local Mustang group was there, so it was fun to see them again. Vic and I talk (as in just day-dreaming for fun) about getting something fun to take to car shows, but we would never agree on what, and the girls would not be excited.

Not much more interest in the house. Our realtor is doing pretty much all she can do outside of tossing people off the street into her van and forcing them to look at it (which I don’t want to give her any ideas). In my opinion, if he hasn’t sold by October we should move back in, and I guess, I will try to get a part-time job. Which, good grief, how on earth will I do that with homeschooling, and who on earth would even hire me when I am so undependable and could have to quit any day. Anyway, that is the only thing that is left that we haven’t tried, but I don’t know if my head can hold another hat without breaking my neck.

Please, make your plans to be at Superhero Fun Day on September 13 a Big Spring Memorial Park in Athens. The event is shaping up “super” for Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Check out for details and start picking your Super. On September 12, we are asking schools and businesses to wear superhero shirts or costumes and to have a drive of their own or special day of their own to help raise awareness as well. We are having great feedback for the Fun Day and we really hope this turns into something great for our community and for our cause.

Please, remember Brayden as he struggles in the hospital on hospice care. I think I saw that he has pneumonia now and E. coli. Good grief! What a wretched nightmare for this little family. There are many, too many more, including Makayla and Grant, so include these little ones as well. I’l write again from Memphis!

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