Sunday, November 2, 2014

Darth Vader in the waiting room at the St. Jude HSV affiliate.
Even Darth Vader can’t miss a chemo date! Not fair on Halloween, but Eli had his mid-cycle chemo appointment friday and I was disappointed that he was unable to get the full treatment. One of the meds was dropped because his ANC was too low for the protocol at mid-cycle, but his platelet count was just high enough to receive one. Just continued evidence that his body is tiring of the trauma caused by the treatment. He had a great week last week. The blood transfusion a week ago Friday really helped perk him up from one of worst weeks he has had as far as his energy and eating this go around. It was so cold and wet on Friday, he was not interested in trick-or-treating at all. But, he did want to wear his Darth Vader
He ain't all evil... he brought halloween donuts :)
costume which he has worn the last three of four years that we have had it. Since he isn’t growing, he never outgrows anything he wears. I’ve noticed that Caleb is only a little more than a size away from him now. We had a full week last week leading up to the “holiday” season. Some of you might remember that the kids were wearing me out about going to a pumpkin patch and getting pumpkins. So, we took most of a Saturday, went to a local road-side orchard, for them to pick out pumpkins, then continued the day buying supplies and completing the projects. I despise carving pumpkins, so “we” opted to paint them. Then, the next week, (I pretty much only keep up with what is going on during the day that I am in, and I fail at that as often as I succeed) I was reminded that Caleb had a field trip to a pumpkin patch, so Hg and Eli had to go with us.
Pumpkins are included in the trip for them, so they each had another pumpkin. And, if you know Abbey at all, of course, then I had to make another trip out to the orchard to get her a second pumpkin. So, all but Eli were insistent to carve their pumpkins - this of course, means me carving the pumpkins, which is why I was resistant. But, Caleb at least had never had the experience, so we “carved” time out to do it, and paint Eli’s second. So, I went from feeling guilty that I had made no effort to get them pumpkins, to preparing eight. Since 2006 on Halloween, we sort of have get-together, a come and go kind of thing with variations each year (not really a party) for any of our friends needing somewhere to trick-or-treat, or anyone that just wanted to hang out and drink hot chocolate. So, we defied the cold and rain and kept that tradition, although Hg had a party somewhere else, and it was way too cold and wet for Eli’s interest. So, my usual active two, Abbey and Caleb, enjoyed trick-or-treating. On Monday (the 27th), I took my first group to Memphis to tour St. Jude and Target House. It was a tough day trip, and we didn’t have time to get in any Memphis attractions in order to be back home at a reasonable hour for a work/school week. But, I hope it was meaningful to those that were able to see it all up close. We were able to turn in the costumes that we collected, and Toodlebugs, a children’s boutique on Highway 72 in Athens, donated items from the shop.
Abbey - Olaf from Frozen; Eli - Darth Vader;
Caleb - Ghostbusters; Hg - a teen going to a party.

Eli and Caleb have rediscovered Wii Sports. All five kids (yes, five) have been enjoying the Wii U that was given to Eli by the volleyball and baskeball teams last year, and playing lots of Donkey Kong. But, the boys have gotten out the old stuff, too, and been playing bowling and baseball. Caleb made a strike in bowling, and I said, "you guys need to get use to telling each other 'good job.'" So, Eli said, "good job," to Caleb. Then Eli rolled and got seven. I said to Caleb, "now, you tell him 'good job'." Eli said, "It doesn't really mean anything unless it is actually a 'good job'." He is his mother's boy!

We have been distracted the last couple of weeks with preparation for the auction of a house that seemed to be a good fit for us if it went cheap. We have not sold ours, so I was anxious about buying a house when ours hasn’t sold. That seems in
Eli checking out the new Lego mural at Target House when
we took the tour group.
 the opposite direction of what we need to happen. But, it was in a s/d that I really like, it was huge and had a pool. It was older, and had been aesthetically pieced together, but still size and location were perfect. We have built two houses, and a third if we count our involvement with the construction of my mom’s townhouse, so we were in unfamiliar territory with an older home. So, we had part of it and the pool inspected by professionals, and then Vic and a friend (who this week broke his leg in four places falling off a ladder, so pray for his healing and pain management!), just kind of looked over the inside and wiring, etc. The kids were all worked up about it, claimed rooms and already talked about where things would go… most importantly where the Mustang room would be with the pinball machine. I tried very hard to play it down, but we are so tired of being sardined in this townhouse and we all
Eli wanted War Machine to have his buddy Ironman with him.
 have a better appreciation for what we have, if nothing else. But, we knew it was a long-shot that it would even start low enough for us to bid, and we tried to curb their excitement. We were the only party to have the property thoroughly inspected, and I can not imagine bidding without the knowledge we have about it. Nevertheless, someone did, and went well beyond what we could do or would do. So, good luck to them with that. We were very hopeful to have a contract on our house this weekend, we had about the best chance we could have had with someone coming for a second look, but alas, we have heard nothing. So, I am going to begin preparing it for us to move back in. I want to be settled for the holidays. And, not knowing what next year will bring, it is very important to me for this year to be normal-stress and fun with lots of memories in our own

 home. Through the use of prayer, we are living on time we were not expected to have, so I know that we have been given a precious gift. I want to dwell on that, and I hope that as we are approaching the holidays, that our family will help your perspective as well.

We go to Memphis for scans on the 10th, then I am still signed up for the half-marathon on the December 6th. I have done zero to prepare.. well, that is not entirely true, I have “started” to prepare many times. But, I am only about five weeks away, and I mostly hope to just walk it. If you would like to donate to st. Jude in support of Eli, you can donate directly to St. Jude via this link .

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