Sunday, November 9, 2014

Eli showing the chocolate that I packed to help calm me.
I bought my first Christmas presents for 2014. We ate at Cracker Barrel last Tuesday night for Hg’s birthday (thanks to a gift card sent to us), and the boys so adamantly wanted a tow truck and car set for Christmas that they had me take pictures of it. That’s always my answer to them when we are out and everything they see, they want. I just tell them that I will take a picture of it, and they can put it on their Christmas list. So far, they have always been agreeable to that response. The boys each held up their chosen set for pictures and put them back on the shelf. We were in two cars, so I sent the kids with Vic and bought the toys after they left. When I was having the sets individually wrapped, she gave me name cards. I was writing Eli’s name on the card, and could hardly contain my emotions. Thankfully, the lady didn’t notice. It’s weird, I just don’t feel that on edge. Those scan dates always sit on the calendar like a big dam backing up everything in our lives. It’s like we plan, plan, plan and push everything in right up until that date, then anything we can’t get in is on hold. So, maybe with
the weight of the scan, and, really, I am just so deeply grateful to be where we are … to enjoy Halloween, and I really didn’t think we would be preparing for his birthday and thinking about what he wants for Christmas. It’s almost like I’m confused or lost. Like my brain can’t settle or focus because there is no certainty to anchor into, because I, honestly, never thought he would have another birthday. I am always ashamed at how afraid and doubtful I can be, despite the abundance of blessings around us. The scans looming do wear on my nerves, but we are in Memphis now and getting down to business. We had a smooth trip over, and we brought Abbey with us this time. I think this is her first time to do the appointment line-up, so she will bring a new “flavor” to our routine. The MRI will be split into two days since we are trying it without sedation this time. But, just in case he can’t lie still enough, they prepare for sedation. So, he is fasting today. That’s all we have on the schedule, which will run us up to 1500 hours, but he has a couple of small
 bruises in weird places, so I’m wondering if he will need platelets, which will make our hopeful trip to the zoo null.

So, Eli’s birthday is December third, and as he likes to remind me, I will only have one kid left in single-digits. He will turn 10. I wanted to think of something fun and cool with which to recognize his birthday that all of you could participate in without spending money or sending gifts to him. I have a couple of ideas that I’ll throw at you for feedback, and see if any of you creative thinkers have any ideas (especially Mustang peeps). Then I’ll settle on something and let everyone know.  So, Eli’s birthday is December third, and as he likes to remind me, I will only have one kid left in single-digits. He will turn 10. I wanted to think of something fun and cool with which to recognize his birthday that all of you could participate in without spending money or
sending gifts to him. I have a couple of ideas that I’ll throw at you for feedback, and see if any of you creative thinkers have any ideas (especially Mustang peeps). Then I’ll settle on something and let everyone know. So, if you have an idea, private message me. My response may be short if I get a lot of responses, so forgive me of that. But, this is what I have come up with until some creative person comes up with something else: Choice One - Let’s petition Ford to create a Mustang color called “Eli Blue” and give a portion of the sale of those cars in that color to St. Jude. All I would need from you for his birthday is to sign the petition and help circulate the plea, so that we can hopefully get the the right eyes and ears on it. I know we have a lot of Ford people and Mustang people that follow Eli, so I’m hoping that it might get somewhere. Since I have zero concept of what that actually would take to do, and it might unknowingly be impossible, another fun thing, Choice Two, I think, would be to petition American Muscle (or the appropriate vendor) to manufacture an Eli Blue “The Eliminator” shift knob
 with a pediatric cancer ribbon or make a special Eli Blue Mustang body emblem and give a portion to St. Jude from the sale of the accessory. So, again, for his birthday from you, the thought is just sign the petition and help us circulate the plea. The next thing, Choice Three, I was thinking that might be fun is kind of like the ice-bucket challenge, but not at all because it is better and does not involve getting anyone’s hair messed up. Everyone (talented or not, any age, boy or girl, CEO or kindergartener) can participate: 1. create a Transformer and hand-draw it; 2. write a brief description of your Transformer; 3. Record yourself telling Eli Happy 10th birthday and showing your transformer and describing it and post to Facebook or youtube or instagram; 4. Then write a positive message on it and mail it to Target House in Memphis  addressed to a “Special St. Jude patient” so that lots of kids get some fun mail for Eli’s birthday and Eli will love seeing your videos of creative transformers. Then challenge 5 people to do the same thing. And, if they don’t, they have to donate five million dollars to St. Jude or to our new non-profit that we hope to kick-off soon. So, that would be fun, and easy for Eli’s birthday, right? It doesn’t have to be elaborate, could be a stick man or it can be elaborate if you are an artist. It would just be fun to be creative, and it would be nice to brighten a kids day with mail and tell them that you are a Friend of Eli the Eliminator. So, I like that one. Let’s call it “Eli’s Birthday Challenge.” 1. Create a Transformer (be creative, doesn’t have to be a machine, could be an animal that transforms into a tree); 2. In your recording, tell Eli Happy Birthday, show and describe your Transformer, write positive message on it, and show envelope to mail to Target House “Special St. Jude patient”; 3. Challenge five friends to do the same or they have to donate bunches of money to St. Jude in honor of Eli. Let me know what you think, or if you can think of something else creative that won’t cost money and only require little effort. So, let me know what you think we should do for Eli’s birthday, those are the choices that I came up with, if you can think of something better, private message me. I will officially give the green light for something when we get his results from this MRI.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Eli and all the kids. I regularly see parents post about relapse now and the hopeless answer that their doctors give them for treating it. Thank you for remembering them all.

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