Happy Cinco de Mayo. For the first time since Erin was diagnosed in 2002, we are home on the fifth of May! And what fine kettle of fish have the Buengers gotten themselves into lately? Well, even when left to their own devices, they have not produced trouble to any great extent. Relay for Life had an early ending last Friday because of the incoming thunder and lightning storm, leaving Erin with only 21 (five and a quarter miles) laps under her belt. Her school’s team raised over $6000 (obviously, can recycling wasn’t the only fundraiser. I heard that a couple of teachers raised $400 with a rousing evening of chicken-poop bingo. For you city slickers, this is a game of chance where intrepid betters attempt to predict where a hen contained in a raised wire cage will drop her next load, so to speak. As the nation’s interest in Texas Hold ‘Em wanes, look for Texas Chicken-Poop Bingo to show up on ESPN2. The concepts of waiting for The River and staying in for the Flop will take on whole new meaning.)
Clinic on Monday went well. I hadn’t realized when I set up the appointment that BISD had scheduled a teachers’ work day for Monday. Since nobody but Walter had class, we practiced for summer vacation. For me, this meant having a warm chocolate chip cookie with my morning coffee. For Erin, it meant a trip to the local pool before heading to Houston. For Davis, it meant he could go to work (oops, that doesn’t sound like so much fun). Erin’s counts were strong, and her doctor gave her the okay for another round of etoposide with the hopes that this easy-to-handle drug will keep Erin’s neuroblastoma dormant (indolent, lackadaisical, inactive, quiescent, etc.) for a long, long time. So I guess our revised mantra is
Shrink, Shrink, Shrink
Die, Die, Die
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Die, Die, Die
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
(Definitely not as blood curdling or satisfying to shout as the original)
Word must have gotten out that Walter liked committee meetings and needed more of them. Last week, the church nominating committee tapped him (and several other poor souls who didn’t hide quickly enough) for the Pastor Nominating Committee. Seriously, choosing a new pastor is very important, and we feel grateful that Erin’s health is good enough for Walter to feel comfortable taking on such a big commitment and that we can, in a small way, return something back to the church community that has lifted us up so many times during our journey.
Wednesday brought my sister Kat and my niece Emma back to town. Kat had sudden onset pneumonia last weekend, and we plan on taking good care of her and spoiling Emma until she recuperates. Erin gets her wish to have a baby sister the easy way (no nine-month delay). Davis adds another listener to his radio audience. Walter has an excuse for buying that 12-pack of Michelob on sale at Albertson’s. And me? I just get my baby sister to torment. Remember, I’m the big sister, and there is nothing she can do to change that.
Some third graders I know (code-named Erin and Nico) have begun to get excited about the upcoming foray into the Magical Kingdom. Little do they know that Erin’s doctor has performed the ultimate magic before we have even left town. She provided us with a letter, explaining to the folks at Disney that Erin really needed to avoid the germiest parts of the park. I understand this means that we will soon become the ultimate line breakers, moving to the front of the line without waiting our turn. Aack! What does this teach our children about fairness and equity? Maybe the same thing that being targeted by cancer in the first place teaches them. Not everything is fair and equitable.
What’s coming up? Willie is scheduled to lose his manhood next Thursday and will, no doubt, need pampering. Davis’s intramural basketball team remains undefeated and is on a collision course with the other unbeaten team. He pulled down twelve rebounds and scored two points this morning. A little unbalanced, don’t you think? I’ll remind him at dinner tonight that he needs to brush up on the defensive end of the court. That ought to go over well. Erin will return to clinic the May 30, the Monday after our Disney trip, for a CT scan and bone scan, plus a consult with the doctor. Until then, we will wind down the school year. I’m going to practice this evening, by sitting on the dock and watching the snapping turtles glide by.