Thursday, January 4, 2007

A Setting on the Washing Machine


Normal--a setting on the washing machine. See also: college students sleeping until noon; school-aged children complaining about bedtime on a school night; young dogs misbehaving when they don't get enough exercise.

Erin is finally feeling a bit more like her old self after feeling poorly for so long. She is still not 100%, but she her appetite has returned. She has not run fevers and with one or two exceptions is not complaining of aches and pains. Her tummy and digestion has not returned to normal yet. She still has loose stools and (she would kill me if she read this) stinky gas. She had leg cramps this morning. I hope that is not a warning that her potassium has slipped again (when we finally got it measured last Thursday it had returned to high normal, and everything else was fine, too). Counts yesterday were lacklustre, but not really worrisome.

We did manage to extend Christmas into the new year. All the Dallas-area aunts and cousins made it to town, and we had quite a lot of fun with them. I think Davis and Walter are always slightly overwhelmed by so many women/girls milling around. The big hit of Christmas has been the sling monkeys that came in the Christmas stockings. Surely, I don't have to explain what a sling monkey is, but for the untutored: Imagine a small, stuffed, superhero monkey, wearing a black cape and a mask over its eyes. Inside the fur of its arms is strong surgical tubing. If you put your fingers in its hand pockets and pull back on its tail, it can FLY. . . very far. When it lands, it lets out two very loud monkey screams. Click here, if you don't believe me. Only your imagination can limit the possible uses for a sling monkey.

Saturday Erin had close to a dozen friends over to play. The occasion? Davis's Christmas gift to her was to make silk screen t-shirts for her whole PPR club (they are a club, not a gang). The kids played in the very rain-filled ravine behind the dam, while Davis and I created shirts. We were all tired and dirty by the end of the day. Who was tireder? Who was dirtier? The bet's on me.

New Year's Eve we witnessed the battle of the neighboring tribes, who must have spent thousands of dollars on professional grade fireworks to light up the night sky and welcome in the new year. The first Black Cats started popping around 6:00, and there were not many moments from then on void of action in the skies over Leisure Lake. At one point, I saw a dad sprinting towards his car, his first grade daughter calling after him "Buy LOTS daddy so we can beat them!" A couple of other fireworks bugs gained uncountable style points by taking their jon boat out and shooting a sequence of aerial rockets from the water along the dam (at the time I questioned the use of matches and punks, with residual sparks and embers, in a small gasoline-powered water craft, but luckily, no one was blown to smithereens.).

Erin had the great fortune of spending New Years night with Ayesha in their wonderful new home in Round Rock. Any of you experiencing normal winter weather may be jealous of the amount of time the two girls got to spend in the heated indoor pool that overlooks the deer grazing by along the trail by Brushy Creek. And you should be. It's difficult to imagine a more perfect way to spend the first day of the year. . .and the second.

Another highlight of the past week has been the daily e-mail correspondence between Erin and Chet Edwards. Chet had to go on complete voice rest (no talking or even laughing) until two weeks after his scheduled January 15th surgery. Erin vowed to email him everyday until he could talk again, so that he would know that at least one person was thinking about him. She explained to him that it takes a lot of help to get through tough things. I think that is a lesson she has learned from all of you Erin Fans. Surprisingly, he has also been quite faithful in writing back. I'll ask Erin for her permission to share some of her missives.

I guess that's it for the update. Everything around here is getting back to normal. Erin started back at school yesterday. Davis will head back to Rice tomorrow or Saturday. Walter flew for Atlanta out this morning to a gathering of historians. I'm updating the website instead of doing chores.

Next Wednesday Erin will have quarterly scans. Please lift us up and focus on stable or improved disease. We'd really love it if the etoposide has continued to work and if the Celebrex has chipped away a little more on the tumors.

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