Angela headed back home this afternoon after a few days of us together as a family here in Memphis. It ends as fast as it starts sometimes.
Summer seemed to be doing pretty good when I showed up Friday and she has had energy and appetite every day I have been here. Each day, we go to St Jude, to get blood tests… weigh in… And then wait for the results to show up in the MyChart Ap. Today, Summer and I caught the results while in the waiting room and we started to wonder what the doctors would want to do.
Again, like yesterday, they said “numbers are holding fine, let’s see what the tests show tomorrow”. That’s awesome since we mentally plan our night on staying at the hospital for transfusions, this news makes us feel like we have another pardon till tomorrow.
We exited the hospital campus and drove 10 minutes through the Memphis mist to Summer’s new favorite Smoothie King for a giant 32oz drink for Summer and nothing for me. I asked if they have anything that is negative calories. No? I’ll just watch her drink hers.
Earlier today, before heading to the hospital, we had a nice breakfast at The Complicated Pilgrim. I googled “Grits” and this place came up near the top and it was a few minutes from Target House. We headed over and I will tell you that my $4.50 grits may have been the best I have ever had in my life. They were whipped with something. So, the cheesy, buttery grit goodness had a body that was unusually fluffy. I would eat those suckers every day. I best not find out the secret to this recipe or I will make them every weekend!
Summer got really good biscuits and gravy. Our coffees, cappuccino, and lattes were all excellent as well. I would recommend this little hotel restaurant but be warned it’s a bit pricey for regular visits.
Tonight… She ate a donut, some mangos, BBQ chips, and cottage cheese. She told me she is going down swinging if she ends up with that feeding tube. Don’t say she didn’t try.
Tomorrow is MRI time. We have a lumbar puncture also scheduled this week. Just when you get a bit comfortable, theres something around the corner to stress out about.
I made mention of this last week… I was going out to have a beer with a co-worker. Sales Manager Chris Durand and I made a plan to head out after sales closed Thursday night and meet at Maquets Railhouse in downtown Pekin. It’s everyone’s favorite place in town and where Summer used to work. I used to be like “Norm” from Cheers at Maquets a few years ago… Is that a bad thing?
Chris and I were chatting and enjoying a beverage for a bit when his wife Chrystal came in the back door of the bar. I was a bit confused as she made a bee-line towards us… But hey, everyone and anyone is welcome to join in. Chris then turned to me and said “this is an intervention!”. He was kidding, but Chrystal did have something to add to our conversation. Chris pulled up his phone and showed me a page from SIU athletics. It was SIH Coach Kill Cancer Fund. Apparently, there is a fundraiser going on with SIU basketball to raise money for a fund that helps folks in Southern Illinois deal with the expenses of cancer treatment. Pretty awesome.
SIUC is a special place to the Durands… So I was not shocked by this interest in the Carbondale fundraiser. Chrystal’s Dad is a big booster for the school and I expected Chris to tell me that Mike Munge was involved. Durand’s daughter, Abbey, goes there as well.
Chris then showed me a list of the top fundraising groups on the website. The team names are kind of vague, but Chris elaborated that DAWGS24 was a team that he had been gathering money for in Summer’s name. Specifically, he, other managers, and employees had raised $1000 bucks! That was pretty awesome. Then the Fort’s matched that total so that our total is $2000! With the finish line on January 30th… Summer’s honorary team should be ranked high enough to get a jersey.
Our conversation then turned to logistics. The game is on February 19th. Do we think that Summer can make it up for a Sunday game against Bradley??? (Bradley is going to kill the Dawgs!). In reality… Summer will not be able to make this game. She will be in the weekend of her 2nd “A” treatment.
That sucks… But we can try to get Nate and Angela or me there. Fort’s employees have talked about going as well.
We then talked about customizing the jersey… What name should it have? I said Summer or Stahl would probably be fine… But I needed to talk to Summer about it. She loves her cat, and Geno might make the cut as well. Ultimately, after talking to her… Stahl is fine with her.
More info on this as we move into February.
I will add… Summer could have gone to LEWIS, U of I, or even Columbia (we were ready to send her to NYC!) but all things considered… SIUC has been pretty amazing to deal with during this time of crisis. Between SIU Cares and her advisors and teachers… Summer still feels like she is involved with the school.
Tonight, she was doing homework for a few hours on the couch. She cursed the fact that she is trying to multitask on her laptop. But other than that, she was hard at it.
It’s a welcome distraction in this apartment!!!
2 thoughts on “St Jude – Coach Kill Cancer Fund and Grits”
Praying for good news from the MRI and lumbar tests this week.
Summer, you’re always in my prayers. (I’m sure you don’t remember me, but your mom will.)
I first learned of your cancer when Michelle Reber added you to our prayer list at church. I talked to her after worship that morning and she filled me in. I knew that at one time she had Sammy in her class, but didn’t know she knew your family, too. So, you have been in my prayers and those of our church for all this time. We’ll continue to lift you up and ask God to bring healing for you.
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