Saturday morning, Summer and I returned to St. Jude at 7:30 for labs. They drew blood and processed the readings to figure out our transfusion schedule. In the meantime, we headed over to the cafeteria and picked up some breakfast. 30 minutes later, we went to the Medroom. On weekends, the medroom is the center of activity at St. Jude. Our regular doctors and nurses are off so we talk to the other staff doctors about Summers counts.
Amazingly… Summers platelets had held up and actually improved a bit since the day before. That means, the 4 hours blocked off for transfusion on Saturday were now canceled!!! Wow. What to do? Summer had an idea… Nap! The nurse cleaned up her chest and removed her port until the next Tuesday and we were off.
We got back to Target House around 11 and checked to see when Angela would be arriving from Illinois… It was still a few hours from now. Summer napped… I mentally checked out on an ap that launches rockets into space. (I needed this distraction believe it or not!)
Around 2:30 or so, Angela got into the house, and Summer declared that she wanted a treat. Specifically, she wanted an Arby’s Jamocha Shake. I am not familiar with this beverage, but its pretty easy to figure out what it is… Its a chocolate and mocha Milkshake. We loaded up the Fort’s Sienna and drove west to Germantown Parkway. We could hit her Arbys and take Angela to IKEA to look at queen-sized bed setups. (Aiden’s room updates). I have included a map for storys sake.
The “constellation” of Arby’s in Memphis lines up North to South. We drove due went to the 3rd Arbys from the top.
We got into the drive-through and waited a minute. They took our order and then said they were having problems with the drive-through computer. Please come inside. I dont remember why, but we all went inside together and ordered a Jamocha shake. The woman behind the register said the shake machine was broken. OK… Not convenient, but not the end of the world. I decided to head north since that was closer to other shopping, if I had gone south, we were out in the middle of nowhere after getting the shake. We headed north. In the meantime, Summer was calling ahead to make sure we didn’t have more disappointments. For peace of mind, she called the far south Arbys in Richwood. That number went to a fax machine. She then called the Arbys in Cordova that was straight ahead… They answered! But, their shake machine was broken as well.
I was mentally preparing to drive to Nashville for this shake if necessary.
I tried to call the last Arbys, the one at the top of the map, but the phone rang and rang. Screw it… It was 10 more minutes of driving, but this was our goal. When we got up to the drive-through, I calmly, ordered a shake, (I secretly wanted to yell “is your shake machine working????!!!) and the voice asked if I wanted anything else. Holy smokes! They have a shake.
Summer got the Jamocha shake along with a Rueben meal along with curly fries. She was set up and fully content.
It was short-lived. I turned back onto Germantown Parkway heading south to get to IKEA when the cars in front of me completely started smoking their brakes. The 2022 Sienna I was driving went into automatic braking mode. With no input from me, the van pitched forward when the ABS kicked in… Kicked in hard! I was watching the Jeep Wrangler behind me in full fear that I was going to get rear-ended. Thankfully, I did not.
Summer shrieked. her shake was now splattered in the cupholder and her curly fries were everywhere in the second row of the van.
From the driver’s seat, it didn’t seem like it should be a big deal, but when Summer picked up the shake cup, she found the near miss of an accident had actually cracked the plastic in several places. The shake was oozing down her hand. Angela grabbed a St. Jude fluid bag (barf bag) and Summer set the shake inside. I was now turned onto a side road and I could hear Angela trying to console Summer. “It’s ok” she said repeatedly. Oh man… I could not see my daughters face in the rearview mirror, but she must have been really upset.
The one thing she wanted today was now ruined.
I was now jammed up in the Target parking lot trying to wander back over to Arby’s which was just a few 100 yards away. The traffic was choking! I was trying to turn left into traffic without a stop sign.
Summer and Angela said it was not worth trying to get back if I didn’t want to.
WHAT?!?!? My girl was getting a damn shake no matter what! I didn’t drive 25 minutes out here, dealing with broken shake machines to give up now!
We got back and ordered another. (I was just waiting for them to say the machine that was working minutes ago is now broken!)
After the second order, I pulled into the IKEA parking lot and tried to do a quick cleaning. I moved the seats around and started unloading curly fries. Yeah, I threw them on the parking lot pavement. I was that guy. While I wandered through IKEA and I must have been on edge. There was no way I was ready to pick out furniture for a renovation of Aiden’s room right now. We left with a handful of things. Something that is unheard of at that store!
We got back into the Sienna and Angela and I talked about getting some food to take back to Target House since Summer was set with a few curly fries and a sandwich. We wanted Pizza.
Summer then informed us that she did not have her anti-nausea meds… And us being 20 minutes from Target House was going to be a problem if we didn’t head back home NOW!
We did get her back in time. She did finish half that shake. The sandwich was still in the fridge this morning. Untouched. Ahhh… Our new reality.
It was a painful day… But I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else and miss out on the adventure that is our life.