Monday, April 30, 2007

Coming to You from the City of Hope

I had a blood draw and consultation with Dr. Forman today. My white and red blood cells are respectable, but my platelets are still low, so I'm waiting to have a transfusion. Since the stuff looks suspiciously like a mai tai, I'll just pretend that I'm at the Moana Bar in Waikiki getting my favorite vacation drink through an IV. But I do miss the sugar cane and the little umbrella. Not to mention the sunset, but that's what imaginations are for.

I have access to a computer while I'm waiting, so this post and the "chemo brain" post come to you directly from the City of Hope.


Cricket said...

Buon giorno d'Italia! Sorry to hear that you had to have a transfusion, but I'm glad to report that Carlo has now joined your global army of well wishers. I'll be back soon--Until then, amore e tanti baccione (love and big kisses).


Andrew said...

Dear Susan,

I've donated platelets before.
Do you need donations that can
be "credited," or something.

It may LOOK like a mai tai, but
it takes something over an hour
for the donation (Nurse! Where's
my Mai Tai?).

The worst part for the donor: You have an IV in both arms. As soon as the second one is started, your
nose begins to itch like mad.

I recall, though, being disappointe
at the small volume of platelets
that actually get collected.

Enjoyed your comments about minimizing. You know, people want to say the right thing, but are
sometimes so afraid of saying the wrong thing that they opt for silence.

Deborah and I keep you in our
thoughts always.

Andy Ellis

Susan Carrier said...

Cricket, nice to see that you're following the blog from Italy.

Andy, it sounds like GIVING platelets is a lot worse than getting them. A double IV sounds gruesome.

Karen said...

My kitchen needs a platelet transfusion. We still have all of our big plates, but only three of the little desert size plates are left. That tells you something about my kids and me (assuming that the breakage rate is the same for all plates). Of course, Don has nothing to do with the problem. His idea of dessert is an apple.

So if you want to cut back on dishwashing, eat mostly dessert. The plates are smaller (or they should be anyway) and after awhile there won't be any left to clean. Especially if you drink lots of Mai Tais.

Margaret Finnegan said...

I am currently internet-less so I havent' been able to check in your blog much. But when I came on campus today I read through what's you've been through over the last few weeks and I have two comments:
One: I am glad that that foodie thread is still weaving its way through your blog -- even if it is just imagining mai tais.
two: How is it possible that your writing and contemplation is growing more beautiful and compelling every day?

Thinking of you and wishing you the best,

Karen said...

To Andrew: I can't imagine how unpleasant that would be! My nose always starts itching when I'm scraping dinner dishes and both my hands are greasy/dirty. But at least I can scratch my nose once the dishwasher is loaded. I recently had an MRI. It was bad having an itchy nose then, too.

suzy keleher said...

looks a little like the mimosa too, that we enjoy with you! Drink up! Love you lots, Suze

Karen said...

Susan -

How are you today? I hope you've been resting. Your posts are so full of humor, intelligence and energy that, if it weren't for your back-to-reality descriptions of your physical ordeals, I'd think you were in better shape than anyone writing on this blog. Here's a little meditation from Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk I mentioned in an earlier post -- it is an example of his wonderfully humble and peaceful approach to life:

The mind can go in a thousand directions,
But on this beautiful path, I walk in peace,
With each step, a gentle wind blows,
With each step, a flower blooms.

Next time you're seized with an urge to run errands, do the dishes, or do Pilates, recite that to yourslef instead!

Frankly, I don't know how you can possibly do Pilates right now. I can barely do them when I'm feeling tip-top. A few of the really tough ab-exercises, and I feel queazy, exhausted and hopelessly inadequate. That would finish me for the entire day.

In fact, just reading about what you did after your first week of chemo left me feeling exhausted!

I hope you are recovering your strength and are feeling better.

Mrs. Duck

Desiree said...

Dear Susan:
Just checking in to say hello
and send good thoughts and affirmations in your direction-
xo Des

Anonymous said...

Hey Andrew & Susan,
If you have wonkin' veins, you can do the platelet donation with a single arm. It takes a tiny bit longer, but that means you get to watch the whole DVD you picked out. The nurses inspect your arms doubtfully when you request the single arm set-up, which you need to do ahead of time. However, you get to scratch that itch that never fails. Do tell if you want/need designated platelets, Susan.
Best, Abby

Diane Fisher said...

Hi Susan,
I have given something like 75 units of platelets at the Red Cross over the past few years. (they have my name on a plague at the Donor center. The very first time they used two needles, and my nose itched intolerably the whole time. The nurses had to keep coming over and scratching it for me(with a Kleenex). From then on, I've requested the one-needle method. It's so much better! Takes a little longer (about 1.5 hours). Andrew needs to ask for this method! I'd come to CoH and donate platelets directed for you (whether we're the same blood type or not, I think you'd be credited), but right now I'm on an antibiotic and they won't take me.
It's good to know how my platelets have been used to help people like you.

Ellen said...

Hi Susan,

I hope this goes through. Ellen