Hi, this is Claressa,(for anyone who might not know, I’m the goofy-looking sister squeezing Emma in the pictures).
People think of cancer treatment and they think of hospitals, big machines, white rooms, sad-looking bald kids, doctors, medications, vomiting, etc.
In Memphis Tennessee there are definitely hospitals, more hospitals and medical-related buildings than I’ve ever seen in one town.
At St. Jude there are huge machines, machines I would be scared to lie down under, that I watched Emma lie down under. But the thing is these people try to make everything as comfortable and fun for the kids as possible. She gets to listen to books on CD while she gets her radiation treatment.
There are no white rooms. All the walls are covered with murals and bright colors. Today at the hospital we walked by a lady painting a rabbit in the hall. The “waiting rooms” are full of toys and bean bags and even the exam rooms are colorful and almost fun (as compared to usual hospitals).
There are bald kids. There are sick kids(that’s why they’re here). But they’re running around and painting and shooting pool and standing in the door of the elevator to make the alarm go off and playing games and eating junk food and visiting each other’s apartments.
There are doctors. I’ve only met two of them so far and they didn’t talk much, just asked questions, but we had nothing to report (which is a good thing I’m told). All the St. Jude people are really nice.
There is medication. Emma takes the chemo therapy and anti-nausea medicine every day. You’d think it’d slow her down. Nope. She dragged me around the entire kids museum this morning. We designed a house, flew a FedEx plane, kissed a water buffalo, dressed up in Chinese robes, and a lot of other stuff i can’t remember. Other than some tiredness and occasional sick-to-your-stomach feelings, she’s the same as she’s ever been. Just as annoying (I don’t know how many times I’ve been poked in the butt today).
Me and Emma started making a couple of stuffed animals Sunday with felt and stuffing from the Art Room. Mine is a cat. Hers is a dinosaur. I have to admit, the T-Rex is more anatomically correct. We haven’t finished yet, but when we do we’ll take some pictures.
Yesterday we went to the BookStar (which is only the coolest bookstore I’ve been to). Mama’s already mentioned that we all love to read. I love bookstores in general, but this one is super-cool, yo. It’s a converted movie theatre with the screen still hanging up on the back wall above the magazines and a gigantic vertical sign on the building than probably once lit up.
I could keep going on and on about my limited experiences and numerous observations, but from here it gets exponentially less interesting so I’ll leave it at this and bid anyone who had the patience to read this adieu.