Thursday, August 14, 2008

How low can you go?

For me, that number would be 108 pounds on a 5'10" skeletal frame. As predicted, the Prednisone is burning calories faster than I can suck them down in a chocolate milkshake a day or wolf them down in the form of 12" Philly cheese-steak sandwiches from Fredo's.

A BMI (body mass index) of under 18.5 is considered underweight; mine is now 15.5. My size 2 tall Abercrombie jeans hang on me like gangsta' pants. I have 22 pounds to gain before I reach my goal weight of a lean 130 pounds. That goal is especially daunting when I keep slipping backwards on the scales.

Dizziness continues to torment me. I ate a hearty breakfast and drank lots of water before my appointments at City of Hope this morning. I continued hydrating while waiting for appointments and was careful to rise slowly, but nothing seemed to help.

Dr. Forman asked if I would be OK walking back to my car from the clinic. I assured him that I traveled from resting bench to resting bench and felt confident I was up to the task. But I wasn't. I scheduled my appointments for next week and then walked slowly to my first rest stop, an overstuffed chair by the elevator. PLOP! There I sat for 45 minutes, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. "You can do this," I coached myself. At last, I rose slowly, felt woozy and sank back down again.

Ten minutes later, I gave it another shot. I took a few steps and, as luck would have it, my new friends from Lancaster passed by and greeted me just in time. I latched on to the mom to keep from buckling down. Another kind woman observing the scene made arrangements for wheelchair service.

Today's chest x-rays did not show improvement, but my eosinophils are back down to normal, thanks to the Prednisone. That's a good thing. I'm so desperate to feel like myself again.


Paula L. Johnson said...

Can I make a bossy suggestion? If there's a wheelchair in the vicinity TAKE IT. Even if you're feeling sort of okay, TAKE THE WHEELCHAIR.

You cannot afford to burn one extra calorie hoofing it back to your car. Save the energy you have for emailing your pals or sitting in your beautiful backyard.

No one likes feeling weak and less-than-healthy, but this is temporary, Smookie.

Susan C said...

I know, I know. I'm going to have a friend drive me on Monday, and I will be a princess.

About Margaret Finnegan said...

Paula's right. Save your energy for eating. Also, I usually have Cancer Banter sent to me email so it's been a long time since I've seen the site. Wow! I like the changes you've made. It looks really good. P.S. I also really like that photo. Cute as can be.

Susan C said...

PR: I just put in my order for my birthday cake from Pastries from Nancy. I have to order it myself to make sure that it meets all of my specifications.

Filling? I passed on the recommended Bavarian cream or chocolate mousse. Gimme another layer of that delicious butter cream frosting, please.

I figure the cake should at at least a pound.

janet aird said...

Susan, being that weak is so scary, especially since you have to climb stairs. Shouldn't you have someone there to help you?

Karen said...

Okay, if Paula gets to be bossy, I do too! ;-)

Susan, has Dr. Forman raised the possibility of having you stay in the hospital for a few days until you get some strength back and gain some weight?

It seems to me that while you are so weak it would be a good idea to have everything done for you until you get stronger. Just think: meals brought to you, no worries about laundry or chores, not having to go back and forth to the hospital!

I am absolutely sure that between all your wonderful friends and fans on the blog, we could handle anything that needed to be done at home. Or, if you hate the idea of the hospital, how about having a friend come in and stay with you, at least for a few days?

Susan C said...

Believe it or not, two days ago when I was experiencing a low-grade fever (100.5) that wiped me out, I fantasized about just checking into the hospital.

Dr Forman said that I should not be running these kinds of temps while I'm on Prednisone. If it happens again, I will call the ETC, even though their threshold is 101.5.

Cynthia is trying to help, but, I have to meet a lot of her needs while she's meeting mine, so it's not always a net gain.

Barbara Roth said...

I agree with all your friends. Take advantage of anything you can to make it easier on yourself. Also, at the risk of being bossy, skip Cynthia's needs and just concentrate on you getting well. We all need you and want to see you get well quickly.
Please tell us more about your birthday cake.

Chris said...


I hate to say it but this post was fairly alarming! Me and Ann are worried about you and think about you often.

We would love to talk but I know how much effort that can take. If you would like please drop us a line or look for me or Ann on Gtalk.