Thursday, March 24, 2016

This post contains three posts. I'm sorry, I got behind:

Mach 19

I love to hear Eli laugh out loud at something on television, especially when it is something sweet
like on the Peanuts movie. Don't get me wrong, he would also laugh out loud at Patrick Starfish drooling on Spongebob, but it is nice to see his humor has range - and nice to hear him laugh at whatever. With eight days of radiation and 10 days of the experimental drug under his blood brain barrier, he still appears to be doing well, he even gained some weight finally breaking back into the 70’s. He did finally make the minimum hemoglobin count that he needed to start the trial, and I almost think he has some hair coming in. No symptoms from radiation that I can see yet, probably due to it being so low dose, kind of a light blanket, and it not going to his spine, which would affect his gut. He likes to read to me at night from one of his Big Head biography books (he is finishing Martin Luther King, Jr), he loves the trike at PT, and we walk to radiation in the mornings, and take a walk in the evening. Despite the yellow fog of pollen that saturates the air, and coats anything sitting still for even a few minutes, the weather is absolutely beautiful. The temperature could not be more perfect, and all the trees are blooming along our walks. We went to see the movie Zootopia, the other day, then ventured out for a drive another day, just listening to the radio, and stretching our knowledge of the area a bit. One thing I’ve noticed about Augusta, is that you can be driving along a really nice road, thinking, “Hmmm, this is nice. These are some really beautiful houses. This is a really nice drive out through here… wait, what just happened? Did we
 turn?” Ha!

Eli is really excited to see his siblings who he hasn’t seen in about a month. They will be here tomorrow. The girls have been on school trips this week, and I know I have already often lamented about missing out on so many things with my other kids, ranging from overnight school trips to little things like picking out something for show and tell. When we decided to have kids (and believe it or not, we discussed not having kids at all. I didn’t think just because we could, we should. Or, that having kids made us more complete as a married couple, or that it was my duty or obligation to grow another human
because another family member wanted us to. Never really gave it a serious nay or yay thought until after I was married and had a husband that asked about it.), it was just that, a decision, a choice. So, when I made that choice to be a mother, I committed in my heart to be dedicated to them, that when they looked around for someone I would be unfailingly right there. Satan knows that by keeping me from my heart’s commitment, breaks it every day. The kids are in good, loving hands, I know that, with people that love them, and that they love. But, it is supposed to be me there with them, and it is disgusting to witness Satan position the reach of cancer so precisely.
Thank you to our school classes for sending things to him, and for all the mail he is getting. He is a lucky little boy. Please, continue to remember Preston in your prayers. He is not doing well, and they have had to move forward with a less optimal treatment because his tumor progression is so aggressive. And, Jake passed away during the night. I think he was one of the first I found on Facebook that was fighting Eli’s cancer. He had been enduring relapse for a very long time. And, a new relapse was announced on the parents page yesterday, as well. I think I’ve touched on this years ago, maybe, but something I read reminded me of it, and it was someone asking for support, and said “even if you just pray.” I think I’ve even said something of that
nature, “if all you can do is pray.” Like prayer is some kind of last resort, or an inferior action. For shame! Prayer is a tool and a weapon, fashioned by our Creator. Please, remember to wield it with confidence, and in diligence. It can't miss.

March 22

Having horrible wifi experience at RMH and at the hotel (since we are too many for RMH, we split and get a hotel.), so I'm using my phone. So, just a few pics tonight, but Eli is doing really well. He is obviously excited for everyone to be here. We stayed close Sunday. Worshiped at Central Church of Christ in Martinez, then had a wonderful impromptu Cruise In with the Central Savannah River Area Mustang club. Several members picked
 us up and rode out. Shelby GT500's, GT's, SVT Cobra, vintage, very cool cars as one would expect. Eli and Vic rode in a 2016 GT350, and in a rare 2011 Boss 302 Laguna Seca. Super nice club willing to get their cars out in a dense fog of pollen!! Today, we visited the Columbia Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina after Eli's treatment. He did great, energy level to walk the park was normal. Praise and Glory to his Creator for that protection and gift. The weather suddenly got cool, much cooler than I expected, but we hope to take a canal ride tomorrow if we can stand it. Eli isn't finished with radiation until 1045ish each day, so that makes a day trip to savannah or charleston tough, or even atlanta, really. So, we may save those places for our check-up appointments in May.

March 24

We have had a full week, crammed into half of a week so far. First, Eli is doing fabulous. He continues to eat well, has gained weight, and has been laughing, engaged in conversation with the other kids, playing with Caleb. Cancer is a nightmare of a roller coaster, but we are definitely cruising right now, until the next plummet.

The girls and I came home late last night (Wednesday night) to have a day at home today to prepare for a weekend in Nashville at a youth event for which they have been preparing. We will be cutting
our usual participation in Lads to Leaders short this year, and will be half of a family for the first time at the event, just so that I can get back to Augusta to switch with Vic for him to get to work. But, we had a day at home today to wash clothes, repack for Nashville, clean out the refrigerator because Vic doesn’t throw things away, and prepare for the Easter Bunny to take goodies back to Augusta. Earlier in the week, after we met the Mustang club, and been to the zoo in Columbia, South Carolina, we had a wild hair on Tuesday and headed down to Charleston, South Carolina, to tour Fort Sumter. Five out of six of us love the history stuff, and with such a huge historical landmark in our back yard, we could hear
the ghosts of the Civil War calling us to tell their story. We didn’t have much time since, ya know, we are doing this cancer-fighting thing and Eli still has radiation every day. So, what I saw of Charleston from the highway, and from the boat to Fort Sumter, I really liked and would love to go back. We were only able to make it to Fort Sumter, but it included a nice boat ride, and we saw dolphins. On Thursday, we relaxed a bit, gave the kids time to play video games, or read their new books. Then we played putt-putt golf, and looked at cars. With Hg turning 16 this year, she will need something to drive (hopefully to a job), and since the Mustang is a lot nicer than we expected to get and don’t want it as a daily-driver,
Vic will need something to drive to work if she gets his car (our original plan, but it is a lot zippier than we expected). So, not quite as exciting as shopping for a Mustang since we are just wanting a fairly plain, and cheap Toyota Corolla/Camry or a Honda Civic/Accord. We want a manual transmission if we find one that we like with it. There are a few, but not many any more unless it is in a sportier version or the coupe. I told the girls (Abbey is right behind her) that if they like what we get better than the RAV4, they can switch back with him if they learn to drive it (watch, we will get an automatic). Hg took it as a challenge, albeit a stressful challenge. Abbey rolled her eyes and said, “I’m good with the
 kind that does it for you.” The story of her attitude.

The girls and I leave for Nashville first thing in the morning, and will cut our participation short for me to have time to come home Saturday night, unpack, repack, and hit the road for Augusta early Sunday morning. Caleb stayed behind with Vic to enjoy as much Minecraft as he could. Eli has the Xbox with us in Augusta, and Caleb is an avid Minecraft guy. Watches Dan TDM on You Tube faithfully for ideas and reviews of upgrades, so he has missed having it to test out what he learns.

Thank you for following Eli, and praying for him, and sharing his story with others to help raise awareness for childhood cancer.

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