Mortal Showers Bring Eternal Flowers

Platelet Victory

From Brianna

Sunday we were able to go to church.  What was even more wonderful was that dad came and was able to go with us.  I love when we are able to be together as a family.  After church Scott grilled some pork chops for our “break the diet day.” It was a beautiful day, but after he came in from grilling the pork chops the door had barely closed behind him before a huge downpour of rain started.

Monday was a day off from going to the hospital. No labs, no appointments, no therapy.  What do you do with free time like that!?!  We made little videos and movies and grandpa came to visit for the day.  Tuesday was back to appointments at the hospital. Tuesday is one of the kids favorite days.  It is the day the therapy dogs come and hang out in the lobby.  Nothing seems to cheer up little kids like the sight if huge fluffy dogs lounging around the hospital.  I’ve watched sick kids climb out of wheelchairs and come to pet and brush the dogs.  And little kids who cant speak suddenly dont need to fight to be understood when the dogs are there.  The animals don’t need words to communicate. St. Jude is a place of wonders, so many great things happen here.  Here is a place where childhood does not cease to exist when you are diagnosed with cancer.  It simply becomes part of a much bigger part of the world.  Today, sitting in D clinic, I listened as two little girls discussed chemo treatments with one another while they colored pictures. Big medical words, hard concepts…. They are just part of their everyday life.
But, anyway, Tuesday is also a favorite day because of Music Time With Miss Amy.  Every Tuesday she wheels a huge cart down to the lobby.  It’s filled with huge drums, bells….. Everything in the world that makes excessive noise.  It’s deafening really.  She sits on the ground with her little guitar and strums and sings nicely while the kids pound out random rhythms. It sounds like war drums on the peak of battle.
The kids love it.
The adults all walk by with huge smiles and their ears plugged. But there is no doubt no one could complain because if you listen closely over the sound of the drums you can hear laughter. And that is precious.


From Mom
Brianna did such a nice job describing the last few days I will just fill you in on today.  Wednesday went really well. We started with a lab check, obviously requiring a needle stick, but that is nothing to Scott anymore.  Then an hour at the St Jude school. Scott has an assigned teacher there who helps him out.  The other M’s just find a spot and work on a little math or something. I usually catch up with another mom or two on how their families are doing.  I always did receive poor marks in citizenship, under talks at appropriate times.

Next we were off to the clinic to meet with Scott’s Oncologists. They have grown use to Scott’s tricks and enter the room with caution, not knowing what might be awaiting them.  Scott had nothing exciting for them this week.  I wonder if he is letting them build a false sense of security.  I am always a little cautious myself. I am sure one day the Docs will enter with their own squirt guns, and then we might all get what is coming to us.
Scott wasnt in a great mood when he got his labs.  Neutropenia already and platelets too low. I saw him melt before my eyes with that news.  I guess the last platelet infusion was still fresh in his memory.  But he bucked up, and did what he had to do.  Gratefully, the platelet infusion was no problem, they pre-medicated  him with Benadryl  and there was no noticeable reaction.   Scott is now sleeping off the drugged stupor.  Benadryl just does a number on him.

The neutropenia will just take time.  He will have to wear masks for awhile, and no crowds.  Also a few changes in diet until his numbers come back up.  All food must be freshly cooked.  Nothing fresh that can’t be peeled.  Scott has tried to persuade me that grapes and strawberries can be peeled.  Nice try!  No pepper, I guess pepper has bacteria that can be a problem if you don’t have an immune system.  So the agenda this week is to hold steady for a week or so with no illness and no fever!  Quiet week ahead. OT tomorrow, Scott is improving.  Labs again on Sunday, and HOPEFULLY very little until Wednesday clinic visit. This is about the time we would start thinking about going home.  Sadly I think we are going to have to stick it out here in Memphis. I am not too excited about dealing with platelet reactions anywhere other than St Jude.  So I need his numbers to be back up, and we know from that last chemo that might be awhile.  When Scott heard this today he melted even further.  Going home is pretty much what he lives for. It appears it will be early March before we get another shot at it.  We will try to think of some fun stuff to do to keep him busy. But  that is challenging with the  no crowds thing.  Maybe back to film making and claymation?

Thanks for your prayers. We have been very blessed. St Jude is an amazing place!  I know The Lord has and will continue to watch over us.  Families can be forever, there is no cancer strong enough to break the covenants we have made with The Lord . The Savior Jesus Christ has walked with us and continues to carry much of our load.  We are stronger because of what we have experienced.


15 thoughts on “Platelet Victory

    1. aprileternal Post author

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. The St Jude tour is wonderful and covers so many great aspects of what St Jude offers. Some of the amazing beauty of St Jude is found in the patients themselves and the small everyday moments. The tour could only scratch the surface of the beauty that IS St Jude. I hope that our blog can share little bits of the beautiful memories we have of this place 🙂

  1. Beth Ann Bailey

    Beautiful post again. I am so sorry you won’t be going home!! I know how hard that is. I wish we could be there to hang out with you. I pray the Lord showers you with unexpected blessings and opportunities during this little detour.

    1. aprileternal Post author

      Thanks. And thanks for the Virtual hanging out tonight. It was fun. I am excited about your project. It is going to be great. We will be looking for good video footage.

  2. Brittney Cheek

    What a blessing that such an incredible facility exists but I can imagine there’s no place like home and how much you are all yearning to get back there soon. We will continue to pray for Scott’s progression so that you all can get back there sooner rather than later. Much love to your family. Xoxo

  3. Mary Linde

    What a difficult road for you guys at the present…prayers that his platelet numbers will soon be where they need to be. I’m grateful for your blog and being able to read of the blessings you find all around you. I’m also grateful for St. Jude and all the wonderful people that serve all its patients and families. We pray for continued blessings and special moments where the spirit whispers to you that He is there with you and will help you all till you can once again come home.

    1. aprileternal Post author

      Thank you sister Linde! You and brother Linde are so wonderful to us, we love you so dearly. Thank you for the blessings your prayers are bringing.

  4. Lindsay Allred

    Love you guys!! Thx for the updates. You are all amazing people, and my heart comtinuously prays for you.

    Do y’all like board games? We have a board game called Ticket to Ride, and there’s an online version. I’m not sure if that would help pass time, but we love it. Josh likes to play the online version. It’s fun, and it makes you think but it’s not too wearing on the brain. Kind of gets your mind off things.

    1. aprileternal Post author

      That’s a favorite family board game! 🙂 I didn’t know it was online, that could be good because going between Georgia and Tennessee sometimes our hardcopy left in either place! An online version would be fun. Sometime our families will have to get together and play some board games! We miss the Allred’s!

  5. Nancy swainhart

    I always look forward to hearing from you. I was saddened today that things aren’t like you had hoped and that you all can’t go home for a while. But hey, home is where your family is. So I know you all will make the most of it and find a little bit of joy in each day. I’m going shopping tomorrow to find some Valentines for a great bunch of Merling kids! And know that the Swainharts will be fasting for Scott on Sunday. God bless.

    1. aprileternal Post author

      Thank you to the Swainharts! We are so blessed and grateful for the time we had in Kentucky to learn from your wonderful family and for the blessing you have been for us. Eternal families, eternal friends! 🙂

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