I get sprung from here on Sunday. Today is my last chemo of this session, then depending on my labs I’ll be home for two or perhaps three weeks, getting my lab numbers back up (platelets, etc.) and perhaps a transfusion.
I am SO looking forward to being home, which I miss so much.
My goals are to stay put. To get through this thing in one place, mentally and physically. TO just BE HERE, to be present, and to GET THROUGH IT. I would give anything to run away, but that’s not possible, you cannot outrun cancer.
Part of staying put will be trying to keep my good numbers up; good platelet counts, good hemoglobin, just GOOD numbers. And to keep the bad numbers down; heart rate below 100.
I can be relaxed about this so far because it’s only day one. We’ll see how happy I am on day 7, when the side effects begin to come into their own. For now, I’ll enjoy what I can enjoy, not that getting liters and liters of fluids pumped into me all day is terribly ENJOYABLE, but it’s not horrible.
The stress of the travel and the stress of the insurance snafu last week have left me exhausted, though. Absolutely shattered, just SO tired that I feel as though I’m sleepwalking. My body and my soul need rest, so perhaps these five days in the hospital will be a bit of a respite for me?
So imagine my joy when, on Friday, Ellyn confessed to me that she’d booked a flight out to St. Paul and would be staying the weekend!! She also booked into an Air BnB, but – luckily – her host contacted her on Sat morning to tell her that she’d have to cancel the reservation, so Ellyn was free to stay here, in Max’s room!
It’s been SUCH a lovely weekend. A lovely, silly, boring, wonderful weekend! I’m not able to do much, and this weekend my exhaustion and nausea levels were pretty high, but Ellyn was cool with just SITTING on the sofa and watching cooking shows while we giggled and ate ice cream with Baileys.
It seems that the cancer is now in my bone marrow, and that’s not good. Yesterday, instead of getting the spinal tap I usually get (little did I ever think that the words “usually” and “spinal tap” would be used in a sentence involving my health) I was told to just stay home. My doctor is ‘regrouping’ and I’ll be seeing someone (Doctor? Nurse Practitioner?) on Monday to discuss the route forward for my treatment.
It would be ironic if, after all of the Mayo drama of the past week, I ended up receiving the same chemo cocktail that Dr. T was proposing, but via a different clinic up here (the University or Park Nicolette) Maybe ironic isn’t the word.
The Mayo doctor showed me on Tuesday that the cancer is in my bone marrow, which is a new development. I knew that it was in my nervous system (another shock from last week), which is why the CODOX=M/IVAC cocktail was supposed to be so perfect for my cancer.
Since the pre-auth didn’t come through, I’ll be getting the R-EPOCH chemo that was already started up at Health East, but which may not be as strong as required.
We all have our list of goals—not exactly a ‘bucket list’—but things that we need to accomplish to enrich our lives. I can feel in my soul, and in my bones, how many things I have left undone in my life. Each of those undone things is the seed of a goal.
The five goals I’ve listed above are my Top 5. They’re the immediate things that I want to accomplish to make my life richer and fuller. This, I would argue, is exactly the reason I’m undergoing the Chemo tomorrow; to achieve these goals.
Of course I have fear about the Mayo procedure this week; it’s supposed to be a rather rough chemo, hard on the body, harder on the soul. For what it’s worth, I feel that I’m as prepared as I can be for this next step. But in reality, I don’t know how prepared I can actually be.
I’m not an oncologist, and I’m not reading as much about this cancer as I probably should. I know many folks facing an illness like this prepare themselves with education, that was Gerry’s way of dealing with Multiple Myeloma. But I am lazier than that, and I know that my comprehension of the disease will probably have no material impact on what my doctors choose to do. I’d rather spend that time reading a novel, knitting or watching some cooking show. Or baking.
So this weekend I’ll get myself square away, packed up, ready to head down to Mayo. Andy’s booked into Days Inn (next to Methodist) and then later in the week she’ll move to the Staybridge Suites (a better choice for us when I’m released from Methodistl, but need to stay down in Rochester.)
Aside from my appointment today, and some yarn wringing out that I’m going to wrangle Andy into doing for me, today is a REST day. No walking, no trips, nothing but sitting on my butt, knitting, watching some TV and RESTING.
With two doctor visits and the support group, I was absolutely SHATTERED with exhaustion yesterday, today is Resting Wednesday.