There are so many things in my life to be grateful for, but I have really been feeling extra grateful and so blessed the last few days. So, let me update you on what has been going on both in Memphis and in Tampa!
Last Wednesday Nana and our neice Koral flew into town. They came to help James take care of the boys while I went to Tampa for the weekend. The boys love their nana and LOVE their cousin Koral. I don’t think she knew how busy she would be playing with them ha ha! The first night they were in town we had a dance party and pizza. It was so much fun! They helped James all weekend with entertaining the boys, cooking dinners, baths, bedtime, etc. I am so grateful they could be there so I could fly home to Tampa, but more on that in a minute…
Caleb had an appointment Friday at St. Jude to check his counts and see if we could start Chemo Cycle 3. I am happy to report his counts were very strong and they felt he was ready. So Friday night we started Cycle 3, which is the 7 days of the oral chemo at home. Unfortunately the first night was a little rough, because Caleb had a late afternoon nap and then decided he wanted to stay up all night and party. He took his meds fine, but then didn’t want to go back to sleep. Unfortunately that meant James couldn’t go back to sleep either. But luckily the next few nights he was back on his normal schedule.
So, back to the reason I was in Tampa. Every year I run the Gasparilla Distance Classic. It is 4 races of various length over 2 days. You can choose to run just 1 race or as many as you want. If you commit to doing all 4 it’s called the Michelob Ultra Challenge, and it totals 30.4 miles over 2 days. Several years ago I started by running my first 5k, and I have added in 1 race every year since. A couple months before Caleb had his seizure and all of this began, I had already signed up and committed to the Michelob Ultra Challenge. I definitely had envisioned my life being different leading up to the race. I planned on a lot of training, healthy eating, and all of that good stuff. Well, that didn’t go exactly as planned but I am glad that I did what I could for training and stuck to it. As an added bonus a couple weeks ago I found out I could join a team for St. Jude and fundraise for them through this run. It gave me that extra motivation I knew I would need to get through all those miles. I am happy to report that I completed the 15k, 5k, half marathon, and 8k!! The temps were into the 80’s both days, so I took it slow and stayed hydrated, but I completed all the races on my own two feet. I did it alongside several friends and my mom who ran various races with me. The weekend was so wonderful, energizing for my soul, and meaningful. The kids of St. Jude, and especially Caleb, stayed in my mind the whole time, and I raised just over $800 for St. Jude. I am so thankful for all that supported me!! I have the best support system both far and wide and I am so grateful!
As I finish up this blog post I am sitting in Tampa Airport ready to go back to Memphis. I have mixed feelings as always. Tampa makes me so happy. Being in my own house makes me so happy. I was able to have lunch with friends, and dinners with family. There is such a huge part of me that doesn’t want to leave right now. But I also miss James and the boys SO MUCH! I am feeling refreshed and ready to go back and finish this fight! Each day that passes is a day closer to all of us being able to come home, and I can’t wait!
Caleb has another appointment in the next few days to check counts as he continues Cycle 3. More updates soon as I get back home and in the loop of all that has been going on!