I was talking to Summer today about how the week has blown by…. We then remembered the Monday and Tuesday landslide… Followed by a Wednesday that felt more like sleeping in on a Saturday.
Thursday, we were trying to get back on track and by Friday we were starting to feel relieved the week was over.
Friday, Summer had the whole barrage of visits from therapists and counselors. We started the day at 7:30 AM for blood tests a found out that she would need another transfusion of platelets. The nurses must have felt sorry for us… We had the earliest appointment for the medicine room that we have ever had. We were done with therapists’ appointments and the transfusion at around 12:30!!! Even though it was early, we were kind of stuck at St. Jude until a prescription got filled. We sat for about 10 minutes and I said, “you know, we could go and do something else in the meantime and come back for these meds”. I think Summer was ready to get out as well, she agreed pretty quickly.
We ran over the bridge from Memphis to Arkansas and drive about 30 minutes into the “Natural State” to Parkin Archeological State Park. There is an Indian mound and visitors center at Parkin that I have been trying to get to since arriving in Memphis. Today, Summer was feeling good. The weather was so/so and we had daylight time to use.
We got to Parkin and watched the “movie” in the visitor’s center. The film was actually really good and Parkin is super interesting because of its ties to Hernando DeSoto. Maybe as we explore more mounds and earthworks in this area of the country we will hear his name more. The conquistador’s quest for Spanish gold started in Tampa and took him through the south before he died in Ferriday Louisiana. The grounds have been preserved well enough to still have the “great mound” and the remains of a massive “moat” trench around the village of Casqui. The town was named after the chief of the same name, Casqui. What is super cool, to me anyway, is the fact that DeSotos expedition documented being in Casqui and artifacts found on the site verify this.
You HAVE to walk the 3/4 Mile loop to go to the mound.
The weather was colder (50’s?) and it was spitting rain. Summer let me walk halfway out… But her Blood Pressure has been very high and she does not enjoy long walks right now. I got a few pictures from a distance and we headed back to Memphis and grabbed the prescription at St. Jude.
Saturday we had one goal. Find some yarn for a project she is working on that was any other color than blue. Also, get pretzels from Auntie Em’s.
I don’t know much about AARP. I should, as they come at me as a potential retiree constantly with their mailers. (The joyful thought of being retired at 51!). Angela told us that Summer got a membership card to AARP in the mail and she was a bit confused. Summer then informed us that anyone can join AARP… And that her boyfriend Nate had picked up on some kind of black Friday sale that subscribed Nate to membership and gave Summer a free one as well.
Why??? Valuable discounts and savings would be my first guess. I think the magazine will be a bit of a letdown unless they like reading about supplements and medicade programs. This conversation is when Auntie Em’s came up. Summer said she has been craving ‘Em’s for some time and she wanted a pretzel. If we went to Em’s… We could get a AARP 10% off discount.
While making plans for Saturday, Summer shrewdly reminded me that the ranger at Parkin Mounds had mentioned that there was an Indian mound near the cemetery at the edge of Jonesboro Arkansas. This is the same Jonesboro that has Auntie Em’s. Listen, I am all for a good drive and some ancient American lore… But Jonesboro is an hour away… Into Arkansas. And frankly, doesn’t have a ton to offer. That mound is probably not easy to find because it’s probably on a farmer’s property. If there was something else to see in Jonesboro, I might risk it, but a pretzel, daughter with cancer or not, is not making a ton of sense!
I googled “pretzels” in google maps and found Auntie Anne’s??? Huh??? Nearly the same logo. There is an Auntie Ems and Auntie Annes? Are they related? Who are the lucky nephews or nieces cleaning up on the pretzels?
There are two Auntie Annes in Memphis. Both of them are about 20 minutes away from here and nearly across the street from one another. The one conveniently located inside a Walmart was the one we targeted. Get yarn and get pretzel bites. That worked out fine… Although, we never asked about an AARP discount.
When we left the Walmart, I noticed that we were in the exact same spot where I nearly rear-ended the van and lost Summer’s Arby’s shake. I was having flashbacks.
After some pretzels and a few balls of yarn… We headed to a few other stores for some Christmas shopping and grabbed a four pack of Crumbl cookies to take home. Summers first Crumbl I might add. I’ll take the extra Dad points for that one!
We went back to the room and watched Bullet Train on Netflix on Summers recommendation. I liked it.
Sunday we had a late morning appointment for labs. Summer went ahead and had them install her port because she was sure they would do a transfusion today. The port is the access device they surgically installed in her chest. There is a small procedure they do once a week that allows all fluids to be drawn from the port and transfusion to go through. Its easier then “sticking” her every time they need to take or give blood. We got settled in… Waited for the test results. 30 minutes or so later, we got the results via the ap.
The platelets were low. No surprise. We then waited for word on what was going to happen next. Another 30 minutes later they called and said “No transfusion today”. The next blood test is Tuesday… So, we definitely will not get the transfussion tomorrow(Monday). Summer then requested that they pull her port back out. I was trying to talk her into keeping it “in” till Tuesday. She said “no way.” She then told me that she slept on her stomach the other night and that made her happy. You can’t do that with the port. OK. You win kiddo.
Summer and I then took off to the grocery store for some provisions we missed at Kroger the other day. We talked about food. She threw down her Cini-Mini this morning and seems to have gotten some hunger back. Speaking of, her weight has stayed consistent in the 72 to 73 kg range over the past few weeks. I know she has been dreaming of Cracker Barrel dumplings forever. I made the suggestion that we hit Cracker Barrell for supper tonight. She was game. She wanted their chicken tenders in a bad way as well. We ordered for pickup and stopped by the store so I could get a new spatula for the apartment.
I have been trying to cook with holiday-themed spatulas gifted to Summer by her friend Olivia. The “ghost spatula” is OK… But the “Bat” is absolutely ridiculous. Its wider than most of my pans! I got a nice firm silicone one at TJ MAXX for 3.99. Silicone is not my first choice, but It will work with the cheap pots and pans I have to work with here in the apartment.
Tonight we sat down at the table and dug into our Cracker Barrell dinner. Summer was eating! She was giggling and adding some honey to the biscuit. She declared that she would kill someone for these biscuits. I was done and wrapping up when I heard her hiccup. I looked at her and could tell that she was worried. She ate too fast. We know the drill, I got everything pulled and got her the “bag”. I was sad for her as she gave back all of her dinner.
She was OK. Summer went and brushed her teeth and lay down on the couch. We watched TV for a bit and she said she was now hungry again. We still had plenty of chicken and dumplings. This time she ate a smaller portion… Much slower.
We finished off tonight with a Boston creme pie cookie from Crumbl. It was pretty darn good.
Tomorrow we have therapy visits later in the morning. Then, maybe have a free afternoon. Maybe we will make something of it. Maybe she will want to nap. I have some work to do and that hangs on my head all the time. I told her today that it’s hard to turn on the work faucet as a small stream. It is all in or all off when it comes to setting up my laptop for the things I want to accomplish. Regardless, this week I need to catch up after our rough starting week together.
Maybe, just maybe I can get home before the weekend??? There’s a chance Summer does not have appointments on Friday. If so, I might just make it home for the Jack White concert in Chicago. (But that will be a ton of driving!)
Lastly… One of Dad’s friends ran the marathon this weekend. I posted on Facebook about it and feel like it needs its own post. Especially since some other people have re-pushed the GoFundMe. I will make another post. Thanks to everyone supporting my kid.
3 thoughts on “St. Jude – December kickoff”
Hi, Honey. Glad you could eat some of your Cracker Barrel dinner; their biscuits and chicken & dumplings are easy to eat way too fast because they are so, so good. I have that problem with desserts, especially chocolate. A lot of prayers were said this morning for you. Love you, Grandma Linda.
Such a story teller!! And the differences a day ( or hours) can make! Thank you for giving such beautiful words to follow that pictures your journey…and what dance moves you two are now making as the music shifts!! Lemonade from lemons or chicken and dumplings x2. You are teaching us all how to squeeze joy into the most unwanted or unglamorous moments…in this season approaching …you are reminding us about the beauty in the simple things….thanks, we all need that❤️.
You are too kind. I went back and read the post and had to make about 30 corrections. It is a blog and seems very self serving sometimes. But I do believe when we get through this that it will serve as a solid document of this time in our life. Summer is amazing. I know she is worn down but her spirit keeps this train on the tracks. I learn from her everyday we are here.
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