Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2007 in Deerfield Beach, FL. We celebrated Christmas that year with my parents and we met them in Florida. Mattie loved Deerfield Beach. It was family oriented and there was a ton of interesting nature activities for him to do and explore there. He also loved this area because it was filled with drawbridges. Mattie loved watching the bridges go up and down, seeing the car traffic stop, and boats pass by. That particular day there was a terrible storm, filled with rain and wind. After the storm was over we went out for a walk and Mattie was intrigued by the large palm frond that fell to the ground. As you can see this leaf was bigger than us. Mattie loved this frond and we brought it back to our hotel room. In fact, he wanted to take it home to DC with us. But I convinced him that we couldn't take the whole leaf. So I broke off some of the husky base part of the leaf and we brought it home. This husk, like so many keepsakes, can still be found in Mattie's bedroom even today!
Quote of the day: Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door. ~ Emily Dickinson
Our day was filled with chores as we prepare to leave for Ft. Lauderdale on Sunday. We are meeting my parents in Florida and will embark on a 10 day cruise starting on Monday. Naturally with leaving town this means that the blog has to be set up for 12 days while I am gone. That alone took me three hours to accomplish. The most unpleasant part of the day other than packing, which I absolutely hate, was capturing Patches, caging her and bringing her to the vet. I always dislike this part of going away, because I know how much she relies on Peter and I from day to day. She is a sickly cat, filled with all sorts of quirks and anxieties as well. But based on her medical history, she needs to be monitored and for her safety I know she is better off at her vet's office. Mind you this office knows Patches VERY well from the time Mattie was battling cancer. Patches lived there for over a year, and she is treated like a queen. She is given free time to roam around out of a cage and also is played with on a regular basis. When I enter this vet's office, they aren't at all happy to see me, but as soon as they see our feisty calico, they all swoon over her. This is exactly the right place for our 15 year old cat.
In the midst of packing today, I received several emails from friends. That helped to keep me sane. The content of discussion ranged from cookie making, TV shows, to holiday shopping! However, my friend Mary Ann sent me a very disturbing article. The story was reported yesterday, and I must have missed it in the news. So I am happy she sent it to me. Fortunately the story has a happy ending, but it could have cost a two year old child her life. This child was being treated at Walter Reed Army Hospital for Leukemia and received an OVERDOSE of chemotherapy, specifically Doxorubicin. Which is toxic under the best of circumstances. I remember this RED poison very well, since it went into Mattie's body for many months. However, there must be checks and balances in a hospital setting in order to avoid such drastic mistakes. Fortunately with Mattie's situation, we too experienced the pediatric pharmacy at the hospital sending up the wrong chemo dosage for him, but NO chemo ever went into Mattie without two nurses double checking the dosage. It was Mattie's nurse who caught the error and avoided Mattie getting a dosage that would have been appropriate for a 6 month old, not a 6 year old. When I read this current story, I was deeply disgusted for this family. The battle is hard enough, but mistakes like this must be learned from so that NO child is accidentally given a dosage that does more harm than good. In this hospital's case they are lucky that the child survived this horrible accident.
Toddler Given Chemo Overdose at Military Hospital (December 16)
I am signing off for today. I know several of my readers have already told me they will be awaiting pictures and commentary from our upcoming adventure. So the next time you hear from me will be from Ft. Lauderdale.