September 13, 2008
I apologize to the twenty percent of all Texans (including 97% of the residents of Harris County and practically everybody in in Galveston County) who have no power right now.
I apologize for disrupting the lives of the thousands of folks who evacuated their homes in front of Ike and the many more who didn't.
I apologize to the parents of children in Bryan and College Station who had no school on Friday.
I also apologize to all the sixth, seventh, and eighth graders attending public school in Texas.
Erin got home from Houston on Wednesday afternoon, and we knew that we would burrow deeper into the real world of pediatric cancer in a mere few days. Although Erin has had continuous treatment for relapsed neuroblastoma since March of 2005, she has not really walked "the walk." In-patient last week was a start, but we knew we would soon face other obstacles common in the life of so many other families battling cancer: transfusions, susceptibility to infections, and the dreaded "fever watch" (where parents fear taking their children's temperature because any significant fever buys a three day hospital stay). We've had a free pass on those jewels for years.
So, on Thursday, all Erin really wanted was a quick return to her normal life: school, friends, soccer.
I let her go back because I knew her counts were still relatively safe, but I didn't look forward to subsequent days. I wished there was a way to navigate the next week without winding up in-patient again and without having to exert the heavy hand and keep Erin home from the things that she loves. Who knew the power of wishing?
All of a sudden, the announcements started rolling in:
Soccer canceled Thursday night (weather beautiful, but the city had its attention focused on the storm).
School canceled Friday and possibly Monday, because officials needed local gyms to house evacuees.
Erin will not have to change classes Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, OR Friday next week (thus, eliminating homework and additional schoolwork until after Erin has made up last week's missed work AND simultaneously reducing her exposure to germs by roughly 80%) because of statewide mandatory TAKS benchmark testing.
I didn't mean to idly exercise power over the universe for my own benefit. But I'll take it (with apologies to those affected).
Ike brought wind and rain to the Brazos Valley. We told him Tina wasn't here so he moved along without causing too much trouble. Erin is a bit tired (probably low hemoglobin), but happy enough. Sam came over to play all day yesterday and took the third mike on the radio show last night. We have spent today unpacking and putting away all the hospital stuff and working a jigsaw puzzle. We cut Erin's hair on Wednesday night in preparation for an even shorter, or non-existent, "do" next week.