Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No Admittance

I was scheduled to check in to Hotel Hope yesterday for round four. But before checking in, I had one last blood draw and meeting with Dr. Forman to make sure that my blood counts had risen to acceptable levels. They had not, so my admittance has been postponed until next week.

You’d think that someone would be happy to know that they’re free to return home instead of checking in to the hospital, but I wasn’t.

First of all, I didn’t realize how much emotional and mental “psyching up” I do before checking in. I was pumped and ready to go, so it was a tremendous letdown.

And, as Dr. Forman knows and demonstrated by intertwining his fingers, my chemo calendar and personal calendar are closely linked. Throw off the schedule by a week and it’s like a house of cards that threatens to come tumbling down.

I look at my blood count spreadsheet and the line charts I created. The last line, which represents round three, is an erratic, misbehaving zig. The data and graphing were supposed to give my life control and predictability, but I knew all along that it was just the allusion of those things. The only thing that I can count on is that the chemo will decimate my blood counts.

The good news is that I’m feeling physically and emotionally better than ever, in spite of the low blood counts. So now I have an extra week to enjoy feeling good before checking in and, believe me, I plan to make the most of it.


SAMO Calling said...

Hi Susan,
Congrats to you, George, and most of all to Cynthia. You all worked tirelessly to that graduation finish line.

Susan, I know you probably would never do this, but I want to ask anyway. Can you put your personal calendar in a drawer and forget it while you rest between rounds. Pretty please...I realize you feel the need to stay connected by activities, but I worry that your personal calendar is taking away from the rest you need to get through your rounds. Sorry if my concern steps on your toes. It's a well-meaning request.

Emily M. said...

Make sure you put rest on your calendar! Thinking of you so much and praying for you. Much love.

Ps. If you need an interpretation of Paula's blog (Dad) check out :)

Susan Carrier said...

If there truly was a correlation between my activity levels and my blood counts, I'd be happy to "rest" more, but my blood counts apppear to be beyond my control.

I promise that I'm resting when I feel the need. And everything in my calendar is now in pencil!

Emily M. said...

Correction: Paula's post, not Paula's blog.

Karen said...

I'm glad you're resting when you need to, and I'm sorry to hear that your blood counts didn't allow you to return to your vacation when you had expected. It must be very frustrating.

When I injured my neck and things didn't happen on the schedule I had hoped for (e.g., when I still couldn't walk a week after the accident), I decided to treat the situation like a fairy tale challenge or quest. It sounds stupid, but it helped. (Though maybe it helped only because I've always felt, since I was a kid, that life is in many ways like a fairy tale challenge -- in which the prize, which we always strive for and which very few of us ever achieve, is simply to gratefully appreciate every moment. I'm still working on that one!)

One of the things that most impresses me about you -- and it's reflected throughout your blog -- is that you have the spirit of a fairytale hero. I know you say you don't feel like a hero, but I don't think fairytale heroes ever do. They don't think that way. They're too humble and honest. That's why they can be heroes. Proud peacocks can't be heroes! They're the heroes foils!

Thank you for sharing your quest with us!

Much love,
Mrs. Duck

Karen said...

I promise that I'm resting when I feel the need. And everything in my calendar is now in pencil!

Good. And maybe try resting even when you don't "feel the need." :-)

I agree with Samo, I think you're so used to pushing yourself that you maybe don't "register" it when your body needs to slow down. You're pushing through the fatigue and loving the burn! ;-)

Hey, here's an idea: Pencil in some significant "rest time" for every day. If you can put rest on your agenda, we know you'll actually accomplish it!

Remember, we're only being bossy and protective because we love you.

(the other)Karen

Lilli said...

Sorry to hear about your delay. I hope you can geared up again when it really is time.

In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy the afterglow of Cindy's graduation. It's a big achievement!

Thanks as always for your wonderful and poignant reflections. I love the entry about One True Thing. You have a great way of capturing characters!


Piper Robert said...

Hey, Ninnie Choo Choo. While you're reclining, read this and have a good laugh.

Due to the popularity of the Survivor shows, WVU-TV is planning to do its own show entitled "Survivor: West Virginia Style."

The contestants will start in Wheeling, travel down to New Martinsville and on to Parkersburg. From there they will head over to Ripley, Odessa and Summersville. They will then proceed up to Buckhannon, Clarksburg and Fairmont, west through Barrackville, Hundred and Bannen; up to Cameron, Lone Oak and back over to Wheeling.

Each will be driving a pink Volvo with New Jersey license plates and large bumper stickers that read, "Did You Brush Your Tooth Today?", "NASCAR Sucks", "Go Pitt", "Copenhagen is for Idiots", "Hillary in 2008", "Deer Hunting is Murder", "Say No to Budweiser" "Trailer Parks are Hillbilly Trash" and "I'm Here to Confiscate Your Guns."

The first one who makes it back to Wheeling alive wins.

Susan Carrier said...

Gee, you make West Virginia sound like a redneck state or something.

I was confused about the Copenhagen reference at first. (Do rednecks love Denmark?) I almost forgot about the chewin' tobaccy.

Karen said...

Robert- you are hysterical! You had me falling out of my chair!

Susan, I think Samo is right -- you may need to make yourself rest more -- and I think that Karen's idea of calendaring specific rest time is excellent.

I have to admit that when you commented about your schedule being thrown off, it made me recall your earlier posts about all the things you've been doing (more than I do, and I'm not having chemo!), and I wondered if it was good for you to have such a busy schedule -- or to be scheduling your time at all. Maybe your time should be less budgeted right now. Resting when you feel the need is good, but maybe you should rest BEFORE you feel the need. By the time you feel the need, you're already tired. Maybe you shouldn't be tiring yourself out at all.

I don't mean to be badgering you. and you certainly know your body better than any or us do. But ...

I remember when I was in my first big trial (six weeks long), I got terrible asthma that wouldn't go away. Don said it was stress, which made me angry. All my life I'd heard people say that stress causes asthma, as though relaxing could get rid of it. But I'd had it since I was little, when I was totally unstresssed, and tons of personal experience had taught me that asthma came even when I wasn't stressed at all. So it blew me away when, the day after the trial ended, my asthma attack vanished.

Maybe it was a coincidence, but I don't think so. Which makes me wonder ... do you need more rest than you think you do? Is your calendar an inspiration, or is it wearing you down?

With much love and respect, as wekk as concern and good intentions,
Mrs. Duck

Karen said...

Obviously, I meant "as well as"!

I'm a lousy proofreader.

Piper Robert said...

I'll be darn.

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