Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Merry Delayed Christmas


Merry delayed Christmas to everyone. We certainly enjoyed the peace of the season and all of us hauled in more than our deserved share of largess. Davis served as liturgist in the morning service on Christmas Eve and read the lesson at the family worship on the afternoon. Erin both sang and rang handbells at that service, as well. I jumped in with my trombone for the prelude music at the evening service, but we all took a pass on the midnight service, so we could be at home at a decent hour.

Walter and Moo had to do their performances at home, since they missed out participating at church. Moo rendered a rousing version of "Twas the Night Before Christmas," and Walter read the Polar Express (managing to do so without crying, which is more than I can say for yours truly, when that is my Christmas Eve duty).

Christmas will continue all week as various aunts and cousins arrive on their own schedules. What could be better than taking the Twelve Days of Christmas literally?

Erin attempted a blood draw yesterday, in hopes of officially being released from the Potassium Tablet Regimen (I say "officially." Unofficially we stopped the dreaded K on Saturday because it caused so much tummy upset. I just thought it was doing more harm than good for her to lose her meals to vomit or loose bowels and to punish her with stomach cramps, as an added bonus.). I was also eager to see if the indicators of infection were back in line with where they should be and if her immune system still needed a boost.

Unfortunately, Erin's veins chose yesterday to be particularly small and rolly. Her favorite nurse could not hit the vein after three tries, so we gave it up, did a finger stick, and left (I believe this torture is going to cost me bathroom furniture for the doll house--there's always a price). With a finger stick you can get a read on white count (low, but okay, showing no infection this week), hemoglobin (slightly low, but okay), and platelets (robust, probably because she hasn't been participating in her usual dangerous activities).

I am still concerned about Erin's diminished appetite and general lack of energy. She seemed pretty normal at Nico's Bunko party yesterday afternoon, but then ate very little at dinner and slothed about until bedtime. This would probably not be concerning to some people (in fact a calm rather than frenetic child might be a welcome relief), but a cancer parent often interprets anything out of the ordinary (and sometimes ordinary things) as a sign that something bad is happening inside. Erin has scans in two weeks, so this concern may be the usual pre-scan anxiety (remember I have written about this before). Relapsed neuroblastoma patients don't usually get twenty-one months of progression free, high quality life. Still, worrying will not keep cancer away nor stop it in its tracks if it's growing, so I will set the worrying aside, unglue Erin from whatever she is doing in her room, and go outside to enjoy the brilliant sunshine and unscheduled day.

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