Gideon is eating us out of house and home! His latest craving: sausage. Not just any sausage -- NO! It must be plain sausage links. Set a plate of maple syrup flavored sausages or sausages with "bumpy skin" and there will be some howling and gnashing of teeth. He is a sausage snob. Oddly enough, that kind of makes this Polish momma proud. I'd be even prouder if his tastebuds were demanding kielbasa. Maybe the next round of steroids will bring this happy gift.
I have found (praying and hoping) a...gosh, I'm afraid to type this...a way to deal with Gideon's need to hit and pummel people during steroids. Before it was that blow-up football guy in which to unleash his angst, and now Gids has lost interest in him. Then, I gave him pillows to throw, kick, and clobber. I can tell he's on his way to wanting to kick some tail when he clenches his teeth and balls up his little fists. Thankfully, in my sleepy state, these are obvious neon lit signs to my foggy brain. I send him to the puff chair of pillows to punch away at the first sign of trouble. He snubbed his nose at this the last few times and hightailed it towards his brother with fists flailing. He said to me, "I don't wanna hit pillows! I wanna hit PEOPLE! It just FEELS better!" Yes. He said that. More like growled that. I was not the proudest of my little Warrior in that moment, but then I thought about kids with sensory needs... Needs to be squeezed and to feel human contact. I laid him on the floor with him thrashing and screaming out a plea for a little taste of brother warfare, and I started to methodically squeeze (not too tight) his arms, his shoulders, his hands, his legs...just pressure. I watched as magically his fists unballed and his jaw relaxed. I tried this new method three separate times since, and it has worked! Please, let this be the end of the bruising brother rampages! Poor Brody. Brody did say to me, "It's okay, mom. I'm a hockey player," as if he was willing to sacrifice himself in order to bring peace to the house. No way, kiddo.
At Gideon's last clinic visit, it was found that his organs are experiencing minimal damage and distress, so his chemotherapy has been increased. Cancer is so very strange. I'm thankful that his organs are staying strong, but increasing the chemo is definitely a bittersweet bit of news. I just have to remember what that means: less likelihood of a relapse. I can't think about the chemistry of what the chemo is doing to the insides of my boy's body. I have to trust and pray. This has not failed us yet! You praying public have made our requests so voiced through it all. THANK YOU. Here is a picture of Gideon's chemo platter tonight. Yes, I use chocolate syrup. What can I say? I love Mary Poppins and I think her advise is brilliant. Also, the ground up chemo pills stick better in chocolate.
I had my meltdown during Gideon's last round of steroids and begged for someone to whisk me away. This time, I had friends who were all proactive and made plans in advance (I'm not a plan-maker...at all. Thank goodness I have friends who know this about me). I need to thank my GR ladies for treating me to a Polish dinner at a restaurant that looked as though Cupid set his arrows flying in an avalanche of glittered hearts and pink streamers. Do they know me or WHAT?! Polish food and sparkle...swoon. Then, preggers Cate let me lounge at her house in the best Snuggie of all time: a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle blanket with arms. By the way, I'm never knocking Snuggies again. I'm a fan! I am! Kristen drove to my house from Milford just for a few hours and spoiled me with a pedicure and dinner. So, I have been extremely mollycoddled! Gideon's moments of lunacy are just rose petal annoyances to me this round. I have the BEST friends EVER!
Speaking of the best friends ever, I must say, the residents of GRAND MARAIS, MICHIGAN are saints. I have been dreaming about my home away from home a lot lately. As most of you know, this upper peninsula slice of heaven is my escape from all forms of chaos. It forever will be that to me. Brody and Gideon have been receiving care packages from the town of Grand Marais each month as reminders of the gorgeous people who reside in the most spectacular spot on earth. I'm not just talking it up because it has been such a part of my family's life (my great-great grandfather made his home there with his eighteen children...so, as you can imagine, I still have relatives up there), but because it is truly God's gift to our planet. I have traveled many places in my life, but this is still my favorite by far. Sadly, the bay is filling in, and they are in massive need of a break-wall. They have been promised funds (which never came to fruition) since this is one of the RARE safe havens on Lake Superior in which boaters can wait out storms, etc. If the bay is gone, so is its capability to protect. The bay also serves as a tourist pull, especially for the kayakers and those who love sandy beaches on calm water. Tourism is this town's means of survival. Where is this going? Well, I feel the need to pay something forward to a town who has quite literally been a blessing to myself and several generations before me and after me. They are in a READER'S DIGEST contest. The town that has the most votes will receive forty thousand dollars and a feature article in this popular magazine. To win, all you need to do is click here, scroll to "GRAND MARAIS, MI" in blue and on the left, click on it, and then click the "CHEER" button ten times. There is NO money involved. There are no donations or logging in needed. We just need VOTES, and you can do so every single day. So, if you could pay it forward to a town who hosts the spot where my soul feels closest to our Maker, that would be perfect! In all that I'm getting-getting-getting, I feel the need to voice ways people can give-give-give in honor of beauty and goodness. Please help save the town that I fully expect will become Gideon's escape one day, as well (it's in the blood)! I feel the need to repost this video of our last trip up there, just so that you can take in its wonder. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!