Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bumping Along


Things are bumping along at the Buengers. Erin's big weekend left her exhausted Sunday night, and Monday morning brought complaints of ear, throat, eye, and back pain. I dismissed the back pain as soccer related, since we had good scans just last Thursday. The rest left me scratching my head--bacterial infection? virus? allergies? too much of a good time? We went ahead and started chemo (but not Celebrex, which is another story to follow in a couple of paragraphs). She had no fever and the other complaints were relatively niggling, so we sent her on to school. We stopped in at University Pediatrics after school. Her white blood count and ANC were lower than I would have liked but improved over last week. Jesse Parr looked her over, and we decided to forego antibiotics for the nonce, and see if Erin's little complaints improved or worsened over the next day or two.

Good call. We made it home, and I exercised The Wildman while Erin did her homework. Today Willie had only eaten about six mouthfuls of the bathroom cabinets, so I declared it a training victory. Erin felt better and better, so by the time we snacked, put the homework to bed, and ate a bite of supper, she was feeling pretty spry. We headed out the door. First, to stop by the Hilton to show our support for Chet at the candidate's forum, and second to hop over to Veteran's Park for soccer practice. By the end of the evening Erin was back on track and not mentioning any of the aches and pains from earlier in the day.

The official CT report came in over the fax this morning. I am, at some point, going to have to return to school for a degree in radiology so that I can actually understand more of the report than the currently understandable articles and conjunctions. The bottom line is Erin had another stable scan: "stable soft tissue density in the posterior mediastinum and retroperitoneum without evidence of progression of disease." That's fine with us.

Now, , ,on to the Celebrex. Apparently, our pharmaceutical drug insurance provider is under the impression that nine-year-olds do not need Celebrex, regardless of what their doctors may think. Therefore, we can either do without or pay ourselves. We thought of a third option, and that is for our doctor, nurse practitioner, and oncology nurse to triple team them until they realize that Erin is not seeking Celebrex as a recreational drug, and instead agree that she is a sick child who needs out-of-the-box thinking to maintain her health and quality of life. Are you placing any bets about who is going to win this one? My money is on Team Buenger.

This day last year, Erin was tied to an IV pole having topotecan and cyclophosphomide drip into her port, while her third-grade classmates took "Flat Erin" (a large photo of her) around to all the rides and attractions at the Renaissance Festival. She was mightily disappointed to miss the (only) third grade field trip, but she made the decision herself and stood by it, based on her desire to get chemo over with, rather than having to go in-patient over the weekend. Today, to make up for last year, her buddies Jesse, Nico, and Adam talked their mothers into letting them ditch school so they could take "not flat" Erin to the Renaissance Festival. What a treat!

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