Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Spudnuts by the Dozen

This post is #181 in a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to share our family's experiences during our 17-year-old daughter's year-long battle with brain cancer, which began in February of 2008. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.

February 20, 2009

You may recall that on Hannah's last day at Children's Hospital before we moved to hospice, some dear friends brought us a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Hannah ate a couple bites of one, but let us know with her limited communication skills that it wasn't as good as a spudnut.  Now, if you're wondering what in the world a "spudnut" is, let me fill you in. In El Dorado, Arkansas, there is a little hole in the wall called the Spudnut Shoppe, where they make the most delicious doughnuts in the world. I am told that they are made with potato flour ... thus the name. If you are willing to stand in a long line outside the Spudnut Shoppe, you can experience the extraordinarily sweet sensation of a hot spudnut melting in your mouth. We lived in El Dorado for several years, and on many Saturday mornings the girls and I would hungrily await Brad's arrival home with several hot spotnuts in a grease-stained little white bag. 

Anyway, in my email update that evening, I mentioned Hannah's comment, mostly for the benefit of all our friends from El Dorado who share our love for the spudnut. The very next day, not long after we arrived at the hospice center, a man showed up at there with four dozen spudnuts!  This gentleman wasn't even from El Dorado, and we had never even actually met him before.  He was from Fort Smith, and had driven from there to El Dorado and then to Little Rock to bring Hannah these spudnuts in response to that email.  And that's not all ... over the next few days, we received three dozen more spudnuts ... one box even arriving in the mail. I think every nurse at the hospice center, every visitor, and every family member got to sample a spudnut at some point during the eight days we were there. We had a lot of fun with those spudnuts, and were completely blown away by people's kindness in providing them for our family.

Hannah was still having some bleeding episodes off and on, even with the regular platelet infusions she was receiving.  We spent some time visiting with the doctor privately that day and he explained that because Hannah had received so many platelets from so many different donors since October, her body had probably built up an immunity to them and wasn't even processing them anymore.  This was sobering news, of course, but he agreed to continue the platelet infusions and added in some Vitamin K shots in hopes that would help with clotting.

My email from ten years ago today ...

Today marks one year since the day we found out that Hannah had a brain tumor. In some ways, it seems like far less than a year, and in some ways it seems like much, much longer. While it's been an incredibly difficult year, it has been a year full of blessings too. It was also one year ago today that we bowed down together as a family and determined that we would trust God in this situation and that we would give Him the glory no matter what the outcome. Our faith in God and our bond as a family have been strengthened throughout this year.

Hannah has had another pretty good day. She was wakeful and restless through much of the night and day, but has rested a little bit better this evening. She continues to be pain-free. She has had three nosebleeds today, and the doctor is concerned that she may have built up an immunity to the platelets because she has received so many in the past few months. We will continue with the platelet transfusions every other day, but he is not sure how effective they will be. They can also do Vitamin K shots, which should help somewhat with clotting.

We have had lots of visitors over the last few days...and would you believe...we've received seven boxes of spudnuts from El Dorado! We've had a lot of fun with that. We've got all of the staff here hooked on spudnuts now! We will be welcoming visitors for one more day...tomorrow...and after that, please call and check with us before you come. Hannah is really not strong enough to enjoy visitors. It has been so wonderful to see everyone, but we also feel it is important for Brad and I to really be able to focus on our girls during this time. We appreciate your understanding in this area.

Again, thank you for the emails, the cards, the gifts, the meals, the offers of help, and most of all, your prayers during this time. We have heard that Hannah is going to receive a very special surprise phone call tomorrow...we will share the details of that with you after it happens.

God is good, all the time!

Jill and Brad

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