Sunday, September 21, 2008

She's Cooking Now

September 21, 2008

Erin had a good day on Friday. Only two tylenol all day, and the second one was preemptory. Even better, she ate some beef stew for dinner. Saturday morning she woke up ginning, cooked muffins for breakfast while I walked the dogs, and ate a pear off our tree as a side dish. With those two meals she has surpassed her volume intake for last week, I think. Since then she hasn't looked back on the eating front, and her energy has picked up a bit as well. My non-medical opinion is that Erin's white count and ANC must be on the rise, enabling the healing process in her mouth and throat to begin.

An internet friend of mine, Caryn Franca, made a point on Nick's blog a couple of weeks ago that really resonated with me. She wrote: "Parents constantly struggle to hold their two worlds [cancer and normal] together for 'their kids' sake." This week I have felt a lot like Stretch Armstrong as I attempted to carry out that mission.

On the one hand, Erin felt pretty miserable because we had just poisoned her for seven days straight. I spent most of each day last week caring for and comforting her, preparing her mentally for middle school hair loss, and doing PICC line care and the symptom watch. We had two hospital days for transfusions and a lot of medical phone calls, either reporting her condition or making arrangements. Simultaneously, I remained upbeat and positive in every interaction with Erin. I helped her with science worksheets and encouraged her to practice the piano, even if it was for only five minutes. I dutifully steered clear of her bedroom when she shooed me away to work on my birthday gift. Every day I strained to notice "something" that would indicate that she was on the mend. Mainly, I work to carry the burden of Erin's disease so she doesn't have such a heavy load.

Today I'm much less stretched than last week. Erin (completely med free all day) is out spreading dried wildflower seeds in the common areas of our land with her grandmother. I, on the other hand, am trying to catch up overdue grading. I don't think she feels as peppy today as she did yesterday, but I think she is mourning the loss of each little short, red hair that gives up the ghost, lets go of her scalp, and flutters down to land on her shoulder. Luckily, the fine folks at Mary Branch delivered the new Fall Erin Fantasy Collection of millinery items yesterday, so that Erin will be well-hatted wherever she goes. Thanks to you all! You got her style just right.

Tomorrow, back to school, at least for first period. Walter will pick her up around 9:20 for blood counts. The plans for the rest of the day depend on what's going on inside her body.


  1. vickie, i am amazed by your attitude. your posts about spa week were downright hilarious. and your subsequent writing has been astute and equally powerful. i think you're cooking too. i check in on erin each and every day. good news about piano practice, wildflower seeds, food and school. both of you show me the way i want to live with cancer.

  2. Hi,
    Gosh - I'm just getting my act together and checking up on some of my kiddos for the first time since the Ike mess - I had no idea that week two was going to be this rough! Yuck - I bet you were ready to turn around and head for the TCH spa... well, not really.
    What's next? Does Erin do another round of this stuff???

    Hope she gets to go to school tomorrow!

  3. Vickie,

    Erin is blessed to have a mother like you; all of us out here in Blog Land are fortunate to have a writer like you!

    Blessings to your family,

  4. Hi guys I am so glad the Erin is feeling so much better and that life is getting back to normal what ever that is :) You are a hero to all of us cancer and noncancer mom!!!!!!!
    Tracy Ash