So things have been pretty hard for the past two weeks - with momentary bright spots. When Ingram's first friend lost his battle with cancer two weeks ago, it was hard for us emotionally (not that we needed to be concerned with how we felt in a moment like that - but it was, nonetheless). I had enough going on that I could get by without dwelling on it too much. Ashley, on the other hand, was definitely affected by it. When we found out last weekend that another of our friends, one of the closest friends we have made at St. Jude, was not doing well, it got to both of us. There is a commonality you have with people you go through crises alongside. Our hearts broke for the families, people we've sat with and shared our fears and hopes. And in this situation, you start to look at them as evidence that things will go well. Their little guys are full of energy and have been through so much; therefore, Ingram can do it too. But when they don't do well, it forces you to accept that this is a possible outcome for Ingram as well as every other child we see at St. Jude. It is a harsh reminder that you're not guaranteed to be in the percentage of those who beat childhood cancer (not that you ever really forget).
Making things more difficult, Ingram finally looks like he is battling cancer. With his hair gone, him losing weight, and chemo catching him a little bit more this time; he no longer looks like a normal little three-year-old. Incidentally, it does make it a little bit easier having 17 coworkers and a good friend shave their heads in solidarity with Ingram. That was unexpected and meant more to our family than people can imagine. I've always thought is was a little bit dramatic to do things like that. But going through the fire with your son has a way of changing perspectives. Now, I think it is incredibly selfless and equally encouraging. But the bottom line is that Ingram definitely looks like he is sick now. And subconsciously that can get to you. Our closest friends moved to the Dominican Republic for a year on Thursday. We are having some academic struggles with school this year - already. Our dog ate part of the fabric off the only nice set of chairs we have ever bought. Our invisible fence was cut and the chair-eating dog escaped mid-week (I was tempted to let him keep running). We couldn't let him be outside or he would run off, nor inside lest he eat more fabric. Our Fall schedule is proving to be nutty with soccer six days a week, travel, etc... All-in-all, there is a lot going on right now, cumulatively making life a bit more challenging and testing our emotional limits. Of course, God is always there as He proved to be this past week. That's another of those quaint little sayings we put on refrigerator magnets but that I've never been forced to fully comprehend. It's nice to say when everything is going great. It's a completely different thing when you're in the middle of the valley.
To the point... Friday was a fun day. I ended up going with Ashley and Ingram to St. Jude for our meeting with George Ross, Executive Vice President of Trump Organizations. Mr. Ross has been a donor to St. Jude and was visiting the hospital for the first time with his sweet wife, daughter, and son-in-law. St. Jude is hoping to get Mr. Ross involved in a project that is close to our heart. We told the Rosses about our experience at St. Jude and Ingram passed out "Mingram the Conrer" wristbands. For some reason, after having them for several weeks, Ingram is now intent on giving his wristbands to everyone (including the four people working at Moe's tonight). The Rosses seemed to be overwhelmed by their visit to St. Jude. We hope they choose to continue helping St. Jude in the future and we hope Mr. Ross can get "The Donald" involved (he could start by shaving his head with Ingram which would surely look better than the coif he's been sporting for the last decade). We know Donald Trump owns the best buildings in the world, the best golf courses, the best hotels, and that he is the best businessman in the world. We know because he's told us! It only makes sense for him to get involved with one of the best children's hospitals in the world!
We also had to do labs on Friday and Ingram had to have another blood transfusion. His hemoglobin was too low again. They are supposed to be lethargic when their red cells are low. Of course, "lethargic" isn't in Ingram's dictionary yet. He wanted me to chase him all morning it seemed. He would run and run and run and giggle and giggle. It was cute, and definitely did not look like his red cells were low. But, they were. That means a 2 hour visit turns into an all-day jamboree. We had labs on Sunday also and took the whole family. Unfortunately, he had to have a platelet transfusion because they were low also. He had a reaction to the proteins and had trouble breathing, but they got it fixed fairly quickly. His white cell count is back out of the emergency zone so he can finally take off his mask in public. We still have to be careful, but he is relieved to not have to wear the mask anymore (I think he would rather be stuck with a needle than wearing that mask around).
The weekend wasn't all spent at St. Jude. We also had friends over Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Mr. David let Ingram shave his head despite his pending marriage to Miss Laurie next Spring. Miss Laurie was a good sport even though her fiance went from having Prince Harry hair to Shane Battier hair - most of us would say that wasn't a good trade! Then again, very few people shave their heads with Ingram in hopes of looking better! The Whelan's came over Saturday and we fired up the fireplace and made Lindsey's favorite - smores.
|Craig and Ingy "Cheesing" It Up!|
|The Bald Trio...Mr. David, Ingram, and Craig!|
|Lindsey's Favorite Snack...S'mores!|
|Notice Ingram's Plate..."I'll Take The Chocolate Only If You Don't Mind!"|
|Ending The Night With The Tickle Monster Led To A 30 Minute|
Race Around The House...Running From Craig, The Tickle Monster!
|Sunday At St. Jude Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!!|