( I should have posted more when Don and Dawn were in Memphis last week… I will share some of Dawn’s Facebook Posts later.)
Summer and I hopped in the car on Monday afternoon… Late… and made our way to Memphis. Monday morning still found Aiden and the Nate’s in my house from the Easter celebration the day before. On a normal weekend during her treatment routine… We would have been running back to Memphis on Sunday night. Maybe because of the holiday… Summer had nothing on the schedule for Monday. We had time to leave later and she made sure to push it to the last minute. I could not fault her for wanting to stay as late as possible but even the boys needed to get back to their respective schools.
It turns out that Summer had lots of homework piled up as well that she was saving for Monday morning. She sent all of us to town to get scones and coffee while she worked on her geography statistics. I quizzed her later on why she did not do it in the car. She told me that it was not possible. Glare, bumpiness, etc. Regardless, while driving down… She put her headphones on and listened to lectures or something while I was driving. She must have been REALLY behind!!??!!
Easter was great. We nearly had all the family over to our house with the exception of Dan’s youngest daughter and wife. Of course… A plague had sat in and forced Izzy and Courtney to stay home. Had they made it… It might have been a near record showing for a modern family get other. Our yard, as one could expect from a year of neglect looks like a disaster. We had our solar installation in the fall of last year and our septic disaster in February. I was praying that the Easter festivities didn’t turn into 20 kids with muddy shoes walking all over our house. It was dry as a bone thankfully. But I am telling you… We have lots of work to do in the yard this summer!
The ride down had a bit of excitement… One… Summer is getting fuzzy. While we were driving down I made a comment about her fuzzy head. Summer then told me she had been admiring her “whiff” of eyebrows. They are a sign of her changing treatment and they are a foreshadowing of things to come. “I have armpit hair” she proclaimed as if to impress or gross me out. It was more of the latter. Two… We got caught up in a nasty 30-minute backup of traffic somewhere in the Missouri/Arkansas area. As we crept along to the burned-out semi-trailer on the side of the road… We heard a tremendous bang like 2 freight cars made a connection. The semi trucks to our right had run into each other! While we were creeping along, these guys stopped their trucks and shut down even more traffic as they evaluated the damage. All I could think was “PLEASE DO NOT HIT THIS PRIUS!!!!”. Three… Summer shared with me that the “brother” from Bullet Train is the same guy who played Dave Lizewski in Kick-Ass. Four… I made the command decision to stop at Stonies Sausage shop north of Cape Girardeau because I figured we are running out of regular trips to Memphis… So I might as well see what the fuss is all about. They close at 6. We got there around 7. So… That was a bust. Summer ended up using her ap at Sonic and get a coney dog on the cheap.
OK… Exciting maybe overstating the drive… But it was a lively trip.
This week has a lot hanging on it. Summer was sure that the exhausted nature that had her stumbling across our yard during the easter egg hunt was a sign of needed transfusions when we got to St Jude today. She was wrong. The blood tests today showed good glucose and cell counts. She managed to get through Physical Therapy and Psychology (or was it the other P science?) today with little issue. When I asked her about the few times I saw her on the ground at the farm during Egg Hunt 2023 she said it was from all of our mole mounds. Again… The yard is a mess.
After her blood was drawn, we waited for the results. Between every appointment today, Summer made her way down to the activity room to work on her resin art. She is making keychains, earrings, and “trinkets” of all different sizes and shapes with resin and dye. I told her she could make hair clips like Rachael and she told me they have all the materials to make hair clips… But nobody with cancer had hair to “clip”. Got me there.
Later, we were in the psych appointment waiting room, Summer’s friend Katy and her mom stopped in. Summer knew they were around this week because she has dinner plans with Katy and another friend she has made at St. Jude. After Summer went into the appointment… I told them both that Summer does have chemo on Wednesday. Everyone in that conversation knows what that can mean… Delays! Time does not follow normal rules in the Medicine room. Summer has a 3 PM appointment tomorrow for Chemo… And we are hoping that means she will be out by 6 for that dinner date. Katy said she didn’t care… She said she would bring back dinner to St. Jude and eat with Summer while she is hooked up to her meds if that’s what she had to do.
We did see our medical team today. Lindsay, our primary care nurse has been on maternaty leave. I was sure she was out a few months… But I was assured by Summer that she left on leave in December. I did the math… yeah, that makes sense. Lindsay did confirm she had been gone since mid-December. She quizzed Summer on all of her meds. I swear to God… If we were dealing with a child and had to be responsible for the answers to these questions… It would be game over. Angela would have had to be here the whole time as a permanent caretaker. Summer knew everything. She even knew a few drugs she is taking they did not have documented correctly!!! I literally sat there listening to them talk about the drugs without knowing squat about squat.
While we were sitting down in the E Clinic Dr. Gajjar stuck his head in the room and asked how Summer was doing. Literally. The door opened… We saw his head and he said to Summer “Doing OK?”. Summer said “OK”. He said “OK” and his head was gone. It was a bit comical… Weird and a relief. Whenever he comes in, it’s usual questions and tough talk. Summer is in this easier phase of treatment and all of her upward numbers leave little to be worried about right now. No Gajjar is a good Gajjar? LOL. JK… We really do appreciate him!
Tying this up… This Chemo treatment on Wednesday should be an in-and-out service and we are going to try and get there as early as possible so it doesn’t trip up dinner. The last treatment did not seem to slow her down much and we are praying that is the case this week.
It all builds up to the moon shot.
The airline ticket has been bought for Colorado. Summer has a flight set up for 5 AM on Friday morning out of Memphis that will take her straight to Colorado Springs to join her fellow SIUC Honor Guard team members for their national competition. I did not hold onto her at all today just to make sure she can do this by herself. She then told me that Grandma Linda said to ask for a wheelchair once at the Airport! Oh boy!
All thoughts and prayers are welcome as we work towards Friday!