September 6, 2008
It's so hard to choose: salt glow or cucumber-slice facial; hot stone massage or reflexology. I think we will need to consult our esthetician. We definitely put the hydrating salon on our agenda, but will wait for more advice before we schedule any of the other luxuries.
I can report that yesterday turned out much better than I expected. Erin slothed around most of the morning: due to side effects--not from chemo, but from sleep deprivation. The doc warned us that she might get pukey from topotecan (offered in the grande size, not venti. . .for you Starbucks fans. For regular topo users, she's getting about twice as much topo each day as she did on the topo/cyclo regimen.), but so far zofran, the gold standard of anti-puke, is doing its job. Around 11:30, the nurse unhooked her for a shower and we got to start our two hour "liberty" away from the "escort" the spa so thoughtfully provides (NOTE BENE: TCH escort is stenciled on the base of Erin's IV pole.). That coincided with the arrival of Moo (Erin's awesome grandmother) and Joanne (grandmother's awesome friend) bearing many fine greetings from Erin's new teachers and friends at Jane Long Middle School, plus a hefty amount of schoolwork. We decided to think about the schoolwork later and told out nurse we were going downstairs for lunch. Technically, that's exactly what we did. You would be amazed at how far away from Texas Children's you can get when you access the service tunnels. They go everywhere, and you aren't lying when you report that you never left the building.
Moo and Joanne didn't stay too long, maybe three hours. Theirs was primarily a delivery mission (because you can never have too much stuff in a hospital room), plus they needed to beat the Houston traffic to get back to the First Friday Social Hour with the other "Nasty Maturalists" (You'll have to go to the spring 2007 archive link and scroll down to the May 12th Mother's Day entry for an explanation.).Their arrival really perked Erin up and after that, the fun never stopped. We cranked Rhapsody up on the laptop and got down to some serious room decorating. We also entertained various spa personnel (the origamy-ist made an extended visit and showed Erin how to fold a puff frog; Dr. Russell stopped in again, just because she likes us and we keep a stash of dark chocolate; we scored a two-for on nurse practitioners. . .maybe news of that chocolate stash thing is spreading; oh and we had four separate deliveries of Patient Greetings!).
Let me tell you how hard we have laughed and how uplifted we have felt with your patient greetings. I am trying to figure out a way to share some of your middle school misadventures (you can't imagine how many of them involved Erin fans accidentally mooning crowds of popular kids; have you been watching too much Disney tv?). We received over a hundred cards yesterday and each delivery ratcheted Erin's mood up even higher. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You can keep sending them over the weekend and when the volunteers show back up on Monday they will get a duffel bags and haul them up to our room (try to envision the courtroom scene from Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus).
As evening approached, Erin got antsy waiting for the arrival of our evening guest, Congressman Chet Edwards. Those two are peas in a pod. When he arrived, Erin took him to the model train exhibit then back to the room to play cards and swap stories for a couple of hours, giving me a chance to slip away to find real (non-hospital) food for the three of us. Erin took the opportunity to do some lobbying for the appropriations commitment for the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act, and they made plans to get Erin together with Appropriation Committee chair David Obey to make a personal appeal to get it on the docket.
When we finally hit the hay, Erin was a very happy girl!