Sunday, February 22, 2009

Up and Down with Erin Buenger

February 22, 2009

Despite advice to the contrary, Erin chose the bus ride to Houston over the personal day on Friday.
She thought it was great to go to Houston and not have to go to clinic or the hospital. The 8th graders went to the Body Worlds exhibit. She, Sandy Schwalen, and I had seen that show in December. Really weird! The 6th graders looked at the other exhibits at the Natural Science Museum (most of which Erin has viewed numerous times. She saw one new one called the "Wonders of the World," which was a photography show.

Luckily, I made the decision to follow the bus down to Houston (just in case). This gave me the chance to have lunch with Davis in a non-hospital setting. By 2:00, Erin had burned her wick down pretty far and opted to ride home with me in her usual, luxury-appointed captain's chair with City of Ember audio book playing in the van rather than seated on a vinyl bench seat of a district bus with "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" as the audio accompaniment on the ride home. Beyond the obvious reasons this was a good call, her bus didn't leave for home until the exact high tide of Houston traffic (a student on the trip had to make a trip to the ER for a very minor injury, but most of you reading realize that "minor" in the ER often translates into a long stay because more "major" traumas get pushed ahead of you). We got home in time to walk the dogs, have some dinner, and get on with the evening. Everyone else on her bus arrived home two and a half hours later (at around 7:00).

Erin had little steam left most of the day on Saturday. She did manage to make it to Barnes & Noble to spend some gift cards, so she wouldn't have to be totally bored as she lay about the house. This is likely to become a more common occurrence. Erin's lung is doing her no favors. The pleural effusion on the bottom right side has persisted. It hasn't spread too much, but it has developed some crackles (at night, when everything has gone quiet, it's like sleeping with someone holding a bowl of Rice Crispies). She has also developed some pressure higher up on the same side, most likely from tumor progression. This is new and is causing her some labored breathing and coughs.

With forced rest much of the day, Erin had enough steam to host a Wii party for Jackson, Aaron, and Jesse and their folks. The kids Wii Played, Wii Sported, and Wii Fit for about five hours, while the adults ate, chatted, ate some more, drank, and beaded lanyards.
Don't despair if you have heard nothing from me about your lanyard order. We are picking up steam, it's just that Erin can't work marathon sessions, so we have to pace ourselves.

Folks, we have hit a rough patch again, as evidenced by the number of times per day we have to visit The Erin Project for affirmations. If you meant to join the project, but thought too much time has past, please consider this your personal invitation.


  1. vickie - just popped in after hitting my own rough patch this afternoon. the image i got was a sort of virtual leaning on each other to hold each other up. i hope that's not too sappy of an image for you. but seriously - as i say - i just put one foot in front of the other each day, some days my feet go faster and are lighter, others they are slow and heavy. imagine all of us who read your blog lifting y'all up so that maybe the slow days are at least a bit lighter.

    erin's biggest fan in logan, ut (most likely, at least the ITLS dept @ Utah State).

  2. Erin, you're amazing! You get more done in one week (feeling poorly) than I get done in a month.

    And Vickie, as always, you're one of my favorite bloggers--not to mention, a great mom!


  3. Vickie and Erin,
    The Hutchisons are sending stregnth vibes and all our love.

  4. I just stumbled upon your blog and had to let you know I think you all are amazing:)

    Praying always,

  5. Just thinking about you guys. Erin is an amazing, strong girl that seems to keep living life the best she can with her friends and family by her side. Just know that so many people are thinking about you and praying for you - wheter we've personally met you or not!

    Take care, Charon

  6. Vickie, I am "Sam's gram" "Grandma Sara" Margot's mother;and I have been following your blog about Erin for a year or so now; and I too, want to commend Erin for her fighting spirit, her strong desire to go to school at all costs,her presentation of cooking instant recipes, her field trips and her attending camp, after chemo!this summer. She truly is an amazing little redheaded girl with a lot of might and spite! I especially like her smile! "Youall" were so kind to Sam, Neil& Margot when they were in Houston last summer: and I appreciate that so much! You, Vickie have always been such a great supporter on Marg's blog and on the Lacy's doing the tables for Friends of Will's benefit. Always giving kind words, acheer or a hiss on all the blogs of kids fighting this insidiously wicked disease from the Mikulaks to Hans and Sydney Marie. I will write on the "Erin Project" because,I'm a retired mid-school teacher! who still subs; so I have a "few"stories. However; this is a tribute to Erin,to you,your husband and Davis and the dogs! You are a fantastic family! You with all the "drive time" the waiting at Texas Children"s have done everything in your power to Kick this d!%# disease in the behind! I'm sure you'll do it again this time! Sending strength and prayers I always light a candle for Erin,Will,Sydney Marie Hans and for Sam;and for every child fighting this insidiously wicked disease! "Power On! Sincerely, Sara Maley

  7. Hi Guys,
    I had a sneaking suspicion that Erin would decide to go ahead on that field trip. She is not a girl to be slowed down or tripped up!Good call, tho, for following close behind, Vickie. You are certainly one intuitive mama.

    We are thinking of and praying for Erin every day, visualizing healing.

    Lots of Big Huge LOVE,
    The Weberlings

  8. Hi there everybody, I just signed up on this brilliant forum and wanted to say gday! Have a impressive day!

  9. hello everybody

    I just thought it would be good to introduce myself to everyone!

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    Thanks again!

  10. Long time lurker, thought I would say hello! I really dont post much but thanks for the good times I have here. Love this place..

  11. Shalom

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