Summer got her chemo early on Wednesday… That worked out. I was not sure if she was going to get a mini celebration or if anything would happen. We were celebrating inside! By getting done with chemo earlier in the day… Summer was able to make her Teen Cancer America ZOOM call. I posted during the middle of it on Wednesday night.
Summer came out of the bedroom with distinct eyebrows and very purple eyelids. She was a little put off that her eyes were still swollen from the fluids she was having to take since she had her chemo. That was a bit of a bummer, but overall, I think she had fun. It was only 1 hour and I don’t think that was enough time.
The next morning… Well, we think Summer had an allergic reaction to the eye makeup. She tried really hard to get it all off… But you could still see some mascara on her eyelashes. (Yeah, those are growing back as well). Both of her eyes and cheeks were really puffy. I told her that looks painful. She told me that was quite terrible.
Summer and I ran around St. Jude on Thursday morning for basic appointments. Because, now that we have been at this unbelievable place, going through security, being greeted by world-class doctors and nurses… For the span of 9 months… Some of the motions we go through feel “basic”. I never thought that would happen.
I told Summer before we left this time… We are getting lunch. The last time we did this trip, I ate roller dogs for lunch at Loves Truckstop. I do love a roller dog… But I have eaten more this year than I care to admit. My body shows it! We tried a new (to us) taco shop near St. Jude. It was a litte skeezy on the outside… But it was full of patrons inside. That’s the first good sign. They also have tremendous reviews on Google. I wasn’t scared. Until the nice young lady who knew as much English as I know Spanish took our order. We ordered Birria Tacos and asked for them to go. Birria is a stewed pork that is served with a side of “anjou” in a cup. Thats hard to do while driving. I pitched back one taco quickly and hit the road. We nibbled on the tacos all the way up through Missouri.
About 2 hours into the drive… I told Summer we were taking a short detour to a mound site near New Madrid. “Near” is a bit of an exaggeration. We were driving towards the little hitch in the Southeast corner of the state that hey refer to as the bootheel. Summer looked down at the GPS after we had been on sideroads for 20 minutes and started freaking out. It was another 25 minutes to Towosahgy State Historic Site.
It was worth the drive. The weather was misty and overcast. There were no cars on these roads that were literally levee service roads for 5-mile spans. Once we were off of those, it was the lowest and flattest drive I have seen. And that is saying something as a former resident of Fairbury.
The mounds were REALLY nice versus what I was expecting. We were in the middle of the floodplain and I thought it would be a rundown little park. Summer used the facilities and I made a run around the park taking some pics. I knew she was humoring me. When were standing near the fence at the display stand… She backed onto some grass… It had a downward decline behind her and I thought I was going to lose her. She was giving me a look like “What am I going to do” as she kept falling backward and taking steps into the unknown. I barely had time to react and help her before she caught her balance. I was happy to let her stand by.
Besides… it was wet grass. My shoes were wet all the way home. Hers were not!
I drove Summer to Carbondale and then headed home a little later than normal. The next morning I ran over to the Peoria Civic Center for the SkillsUSA Championships. Fort’s donates cars for the automotive tech program during the competition. It’s a great program and I am so glad we are present to help.
This week Angela heads back down to be the caregiver. Summer will have her numbers checked after her chemo treatment during our week together. Nothing appears to be out of the ordinary so we don’t expect any problems. Summer says the week after chemos make her tired. I am guessing the thought of being able to pack up the apartment and be gone permanently will raise her spirits and give her a little extra motivation.