April 2, Group Email. Subject:
Since I haven't written in
a while, here's a quick list of what's up in chemoville:
Chemo on last Tuesday, Wednesday,
and Thursday was uneventful. I escaped the dark ensuing abyss
Last Tuesday I saw a chest
x-ray of myself. Although I haven't heard an official Drs. report
on it, it looked good. The tumor looked so small I didn't even
recognize the picture as being of me. I'm used to identifying
my own x-rays by the appearance of a large mass in the chest,
but it wasn't there!
Chris bought me a new fleece,
dramatically changing my look: I've been wearing the same old
hand me down blue green fleece from the eighties almost every
day since October. It's rather grown on me. It's become a security
blanket for me, my adult shaped binkie, artificial color, tattered
cuffs, pilled fuzz, bare threads and all. Christine, on the
other hand, finally got sick of having to see me wear it every
day, day in, day out. She drove me to the Patagonia outlet and
wouldn't leave until I picked out a new fuzzy fleece. I gave
in and I picked one that I'm sure will still look good another
20 years from now.
The web site is down. Down
till Thursday. Of course since it's been down I've been getting
extra requests to see it. Come back Thursday....
Miraculously,I still have
eyebrows. All other hair: gone. But I still have eyebrows. All
April 20, Group Email.
Subject: April Showers
Well, I've been spending as
much time outdoors as possible in preparation for my month long
stay in a hospital room. It's been wonderful, and the weather
has been perfect: cool enough for walking, and warm enough to
strech out, relax in the sun, and wait for my gasping, shallow
breath to end.
Today the weather has turned
sour from sweet. It's cold and rainy. It's prime weather for
one last bit of powder skiing before the resorts all close this
weekend, but I can't go :( I had my platlets checked this morning
and they are dangerously low, almost at the point of needing
a transfusion. So the orders are "no activities where bruising
is a possibility"
I can probably count the
times I've been bruised from skiing on half of my right hand
(most of which are from learning to telemark). But I also know
that skiing while thinking "don't fall, don't fall, don't fall"
is far more likely to throw me off balance and lead to a bad
crash than normal. Darn. I guess this rules out rollerblading
in the rain too.
But life has been pretty nice.
My brain has lost it's sluggishness and my thoughts have sped
back up to their normal, snappy speed. It's this that I cherish
the most. My body, however, is still in slow mo. I get fatigued
rapidly and have been spending much of the day reclined. Reading
in the hammock in the back garden while Kuma chews sticks beneath
me has been a favorite afternoon activity.
It's been hard hearing about
the big springtime adventures my friends have been planning
and going on while I have to sit back. Adventures I'd normally
be going on or planning myself. So I'm looking at the walks
I take and chores I do as adventures of their own. It'll have
to do for now.
I read a quote in something
that mom gave me that I really liked a lot. It's by Carl Jung:
"The world into which we are born is brutal and cruel, and at
the same time, one of divine beauty. Which element we think
out weighs the the other - whether meaninglessness or meaning
- is a matter of temperament.
Well, thanks again to everyone
for the continued support. It's awesome. Now if someone can
just make this rain go away!
Brother Kevin and I squeezing in a quick trip to Dead Horse
April 23. Group Emailing.
Subject: One more cycle
Yuck, I got the disappointing
news this morning. My latest CT scan shows about a 2 inch mass
still hanging out behind my sternum. Instead of moving on to
the high dose chemo with stem cell rescue, I've gotta do one
more round of R-ICE chemotherapy. Looks like I'll probably be
in the university hospital this Thursday and Friday.
I've just been feeling so
good and so positive lately that I really thought I'd be ready
to move on. Now it looks like it won't be until the middle of
may that I get admitted for the big one. Just one more little
set back before the grand finale. I'm getting good at this.
Kevin scaling the walls on our secret island in the sky.
April 29th. Group Emailing.
Subject: Down to the wire
Well, things are starting
to happen now to prepare me for the big hospital stay. It's
been there off in the distance all along, but now the reality
of it is pressing down on me like dark, leaded clouds. To have
actually put dates on the calendar is nothing short of unbelievable:
A month in a hospital room.
Right in the middle of spring and everything.
The scheduled admit date
is for May 9th. Up until then are more tests, scans, and something
new for me this friday, a "lumbar puncture" which I believe
is a new, friendlier way of saying spinal tap. My hopes are
to squeeze in one more trip to the desert, one more little ski
tour, tons of fresh non-hospital food, daily walks, a barbeque,
and more time in the hammock out back before I actually have
to go in. It's gonna be a busy week.
April 30. Email Message.
chemo thick in my head today.
my brain's default emotion is crying at times like these, so
I hafta keep busy. Too tired to walk or do anything in this
beautious day. Eating meatloaf and grapefruit. trying to stay
away from my default mode, damn, I'm bored. I took a nap for
five hours: 2.5 on the couch and 2.5 in bed. It felt wonderful.