Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Froth and Light


I couldn't believe Erin's blood count numbers yesterday.

WBC--7300 (solidly normal)
ANC--5500 (solidly normal)
Hemoglobin--10.6 (still lagging from the hard winter, but just fine)
Platelets--368,000 (solidly normal, perhaps even high normal)

These numbers have held for two weeks in a row (despite the fact that we are in the middle of week three of three in the 24th round of chemo since relapse in March of 2005). When these fantastic numbers showed up last week, I discounted them because I thought the infection she had and the Z-Pack she was on probably puffed them up a bit. BUT I have to tell you I was thrilled to see them again this week. It speaks to her overall health and reinforces the notion that she has put the winter behind her, much as Richard III did:
"Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York."

So happy am I about Erin's current health that I'm not even complaining about how the pace has picked up around the joint. Somehow two soccer practices plus a game each week morphed into two soccer practices, a game, and two scrimmages this week (this does not include my game and practice). Add this to the already scheduled horseback riding and the newly inaugurated piano lessons, and you get quite a marathon. Erin also took special care on a school project about Patricia Roberts Harris this week. I didn't know much about Secretary Harris, but I think Erin captured her essence in this short assignment. Here is what she wrote (I have left it in the exact form that Erin turned it in, punctuation errors and all. I think it is hilarious that her research turned up a reference to the incident with Bill Proxmire, but no description of it, so she just stuck it in because it sounded interesting and daring.):

The person I am writing about is Patricia Roberts Harris, an African American born on May 31, 1924 in Mattoun, Illinois. She lived in many interesting places including Chicago, Washington D.C., and Luxembourg. She dies on March 23, 1985 in Washington D.C. at the age of 60.

Harris had a lot of first for African American women including being the first African American woman in the cabinet (she was a Democrat!), the first lady African American chosen dean of a law school, and the first African American ambassador. In 1946 she was a program director for the Young Women Christian Association. She served as the United States secretary of health and services under president Jimmy Carter, and in that position had a very famous exchange with Senator William Proxmire. She also earned a partnership in a very large law firm.

I wish I could have met Patricia Roberts Harris because she was such a accomplished and good woman. Also, if I had met her I would have asked her what it felt like to be the first at something. What would you have asked?

As long as we are on Froth and Light, I'll show you one of the masterpieces Erin produced this
week. I don't know about other children, but both of mine need downtime as much as they need activity in their lives. For Davis and Erin, downtime means holing up in their rooms and listening to audio books, while working on arts and crafts. I know, this doesn't sound relaxing to everybody, but it is to them. It also explains why I have a large investment in craft sticks, why empty paper towel tubes rain down on my head whenever I open the cabinet above the stove, and why pipe cleaners and glitter glue are permanent items on my shopping list. Besides this beautiful two-dimensional expression, Erin has also been building a castle. It has a long way to go, but she's not worried, there are a lot of audio books in the world. She told me I could take a picture and post it when she was done.


I didn't get this posted on Thursday (like many of you were hoping), so here is an add on. Erin and her soccer playing buddies played in and won a scrimmage against an older team last night, 3-1. We then loaded a couple of then into the van and headed over to the Aggie Soccer Complex, where the Houston Dynamos were playing against Puntarenas F.C. of Costa Rico. This was the second of a two game series for advancement to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Championship tournament. Since Houston lost the first game 1-0, they had to
win last night by two or more to advance. We had great seats (five rows from the field, right near the midfield line) and could see everything: players heads cracking together when they went up to head the ball, sweat flying, and jersey grabbing. The girls also got an eyeful and an earful from the passionate fans that paraded around, beating drums and sounding horns. The picture at the left are the tamer ones. The rest looked like they had hitchhiked over from Mardi Gras in a tank truck hauling orange paint. Their language was as colorful as their outerwear, and I was momentarily grateful I had not yet started on Erin's bilingual education. The game also provide Erin an opportunity to work on pumping her weight back up to pre-Thanksgiving levels. What did you have for dinner last night? Erin had a hot dog, a huge tub of popcorn, a bag of skittles, cotton candy, and whatever Sam and Cat shared with her from their stash. I think she covered all of the main food groups, except chocolate. Junk food, just one more dimension of the cultural experience offered by el juego bonita.

What's up next for the intrepid Buenger clan? I'll leave in a couple of hours to fetch Davis home for his spring break (and to gather new bits for the DavRep). Uma, "the Martel of Dogs," is road tripping with me at Davis's request. I think he wants to prove to his buddies that such an obviously cat-like dog actually exists. Erin is walking home from school with Nico and company for a rousing Monopoly tournament this afternoon. Tomorrow, the Red Hot Chili Peppers face off against one of their big rivals. Erin has arranged for a little outdoor tromping around time tomorrow afternoon if the weather holds. Because she doesn't have to go to clinic in Houston this month, we decided to ditch school anyway and head to San Antonio at the end of next week. This gives Davis a little Spring Break vacation, and let's travel us a family to the Texas State Historical Association meeting with Walter.

I told you this was going to be froth and light. Not a serious thought has entered my mind in the writing of this entry. I had considered an entry organized around the theme, "Can Dogs Go to Hell?" in the aftermath of finding that Willie had eaten my Bible last week, but decided that weighty theological questions were out of place in an entry meant as dessert.

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