See what I did there?
Last week, Angela took off on Monday morning to pick Summer up in Carbondale for another week in Memphis. I don’t think it’s planned that way… But I seem to get the easy weeks. Angela was there for Summer this past week to get another round of Chemotherapy on Tuesday.
The dose is lighter and when the treatment is over… Summer gets to go back to the apartment to rest. According to her, rest and smoothies are the only things she has found that get her through these periods. After the chemo… It’s days and days of blood tests, backpacks full of saline, and transfusions. Whenever possible… You generally see Summer laying in her bed sleeping off the days in hopes of making time speed past this process.
Just like the last time… Angela sent me a picture of Summer participating in a ZOOM Classroom while getting treatment. This time, she was getting a blood transfusion while staring intently at the screen. The nurses have marveled at their dedication to making her SIUC classes even when she is being poked and shuffled around. Also, Lynette has said she would love to show these pictures to her students who complain that they don’t have time for homework. This would be the ultimate guilt trip.
Last week when I was on caregiver duty, we were able to leave Memphis on Thursday. I know that Summer wants to get out of town whenever possible… So, I was sure, when I called them around lunch on Thursday, they would be en route home. Not so much. Summers labs were weak and they wanted her to stay for more transfusions Thursday night. The best they could hope for was a Friday exit.
Thursday, later in the day… Summer had texted me asking to find a cheap flight from Memphis to Colorado Springs in a few weeks. Huh? Who flies to Colorado Springs? Then it occurred to me what she was looking for. Last year, about this time… Summer and the Nates drove to Colorado to participate in an ROTC Honor Guard competition. I was a little nervous, but we allowed them to take our Prius by themselves and head across the country. That was April of last year, weeks before the cancer diagnosis happened.
I couldn’t find anything less than 450+/-… But regardless… Is it responsible to get a ticket while in the final bits of treatment? Summer told me that the ROTC troop had acquired a $200 grant for her ticket should she go. I think that was adding some inspiration. Ultimately, she found a cheaper ticket and I told her if she is thinking of going, she should at least get the trip insurance. I will keep you all posted on this adventure as it unfolds.
Over this past weekend, after being dropped off in Carbondale, Summer took off to St. Louis with the ROTC Honor Guard to a competition. She has been participating with the “Nate’s” for a few years in Honor Guard and they are very proud of where they have taken the program. I love to watch their Instagram stories and I imagine Summer is sitting just out of the camera giving orders to make sure each routine is perfect.
Tomorrow, my brother Don and his wife Dawn will take the “Dawn and Don Show” (As they always call themselves when up to anything fun or chaotic) on the road to Memphis. They have signed up to spend a week in Memphis as caregivers. This is their first time and everyone is a little nervous! I am not sure why. Don stopped by today to pick up some stuff to take down and I told him that Summer has this all under control. You just have to let her tell you what she wants to do. That might be a lot of resting. It might be coffee. It might be escaping on a Thursday as plans change by the minute. You never know. Just follow her lead.
Don asked about treatment and progress today and I guess I should bring this up… We did think that Summer was going to have another Lumbar Puncture and MRI before this round of Chemo. That is not the case. St. Jude is going to keep us on the edge of our seats until the end of next month to see if everything has stayed “clean”. Prayers and thoughts are always appreciated.
Summer has laid down the gauntlet that she will be home every weekend from here on out until the end of treatment. That could mean Tremont, Carbondale, or Decatur… She was not terribly specific about the “where”. I mention this because every time we think we have some certainties… Treatment throws a curveball.
If all goes to plan… We will have her home for Easter weekend. Angela and the family made plans to have dinner here at our house in Tremont. UGH! I am going to have to be on my best behavior this week as Angela will be frantically picking things up around the house and cleaning before everyone arrives. (I content you clean AFTER the event, not before!)
Aiden has a ham provided by his work. We are going to go “Rum Ham” on it as inspired by Alway’s Sunny. If you know, you know. Aiden is excited. I got some cloves and pineapple today for the recipe.
The goal, is a fairly normal holiday get tother. Wish us luck!