Thursday, March 5, 2009

What's in Your Pocket?

March 5, 2009

I'm not really a purse kind of girl. I have one. I usually leave it locked in my van. I prefer pockets.

Erin and I had a lot of running around to do yesterday. For the second day in a row, she went to school for half a day (more on that later). After school, she went to piano lessons. Then we picked up Walter from work to go to dinner and our classes (Spanish for me and Walter, fused glass jewelry making for Erin) at the church.

Part way through dinner I checked my pockets. Here's what I had:
  • keys and cell phone (both standard and always there).
  • a tiny key on a corgi key chain that turns on the electric cart that our gracious next door neighbors lent Erin so she could navigate the hallways at Jane Long and get back to school faster.
  • a very large amount of money in the form of a couple of checks that generous donors had given me over the course of the day for their lanyards.
  • a bottle of morphine. Erin started taking a half tablet of morphine last week so that she could sleep comfortably at night in a reclining position. In Erin, morphine has a three hour lead time (that is, it takes three hours after she takes it before she feels the effects), therefore if she wants to go to bed at 9:00, I need to give it to her at 6:00.
  • a Polly Pocket wearing a stylish green rubber suit. She belonged to my niece Emma, and I had grabbed her off the floor and stuffed her into my pocket as I left the house to keep Willie from. . .well, you know.
  • the end cap to a heparin syringe I had flushed Erin's PICC line with that morning
  • a crumpled receipt from Shakes where Erin and I stopped for ice cream treats between piano and picking up Walter
  • a cute note from one of Erin's teachers saying what a fine student she was.
I'm not sure what I used to carry in my pocket. I know earlier in the day I had cubed smoked turkey in a zip-loc bag, a note from the radiation oncologist excusing Erin from school, some crumpled tissues that Erin has no compunction against handing me when she has finished using them whether I have somewhere to dispose of them or not, a flat rock for skipping, a pair of screws that I had picked up walking down the road so I wouldn't blow out a tire on them later, a check for the piano teacher for the month of March, and a CD of The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour that Erin listened to during her radiation session. I also had the key to Walter's car, since we were sharing yesterday (Davis has taken my car camping at Mo Ranch).

I guess these things capture my day as well as anything. Actually, they capture a day with a cancer kid pretty well. Big things, little things, important things, trivial things, things we are grateful for, and things we wish we didn't have to carry. All parts of our lives.

On another note, radiation has gone smoothly. We saw the doctor today. He thought radiation was helping, so we will continue on with the plan for the course to last ten days. We're going to take tomorrow off and finish off with Monday through Wednesday sessions next week. The reason for an off day: the beautiful weather and increased mobility has lured Erin outside over the past few days and triggered a good amount of snot to form in her sinuses. A productive cough has replaced her tumor-induced one, and her red throat makes swallowing a bit tougher. We all figured giving her a three-day weekend would help all around.

Overall, Erin is sleeping a little better, moving a little better, breathing a little better. Still not enough stamina for a full day of activities. In fact, her burst of activities yesterday afternoon and evening translated into a very slow start this morning.

Keep letting me know if you have lanyard orders. We have a system set up (Walter has been very patient with our semi-permanent set up in the great room that takes up the entire drop leaf table and china hutch) and are beaving away at our back orders. Local folks are welcome to join us whenever they feel the urge for lively conversation and some handiwork.


  1. Lint, my blackberry, my wallet, and my car keys.

  2. Your pockets are very telling! If you were ever stopped on the street by a stranger and had to empty them with no explanation, they would probably think you're a drug dealer! (lots of $$.. plus the cap to a syringe AND morphine!) Hopefully, that never happens to you!! ;-)

    Also, I commented awhile back with a lanyard order, but I didn't hear back from you (understandably so, I bet you're swamped with orders!) - let me know if mine is already in the works (or on the list of what will be in the works in the future!)

    I'm so glad Erin is improving a bit. As my physical therapist used to say, "Slow steps are better than no steps". :-)

  3. In my purse: Phone, wallet, collection of business cards I will never use,address book-my way of rebelling against technology,fed ex receipts, a clown nose, dr seuss gloves, 2 boston market coupons, one credit card, 4 metro cards-only one has money on it and 2 christmas tree is funny how well this sums up my life.

  4. For those of us not familiar with, but intrigued by... what exactly is a lanyard used for? (How much do you want for them? Just curious on the background...

  5. I can attest to the fact that the conversation while making lanyards is quite stimulating. I can't wait to come make some more. Erin, can we watch some "Anne of Green Gables" next time? I have it on DVD....I especially like the part where Gil calls Anne "carrot" and pulls her hair. And there is always the part where she falls off the roof.....

  6. Thanks for rescuing Polly! Emma loves that one in particular, so please save it for us until we come down again. Thanks!

    Also, Cynthia's son would like a lanyard to hold his school id. 20", with some combination of royal blue, black, and white. (He will be at the same school next year, so no rush to get this done immediately.) Let me know how much contributions should be and I will get a check out to you next week.

    I miss you all terribly! Hugs and kisses to all the Buengers (and the Luquette next door)!!

  7. The best pockets are the coats that I haven't worn since last year's season. They usually have a treat of small change and if I'm really lucky, a few dollar bills!

  8. Just to reply to the earlier comment - a lanyard is a (beaded) ID badge holder. Typically they are made of a nylon strap - so Erin's beaded designs are a big improvement. We got Elle's coat and Kevin's Lanyard today. Thank you very much for sending them both! Kevin loves it - he owes you a comment.