Saturday, May 10, 2014

Huh. That didn't suck so bad II

The sun isn't yellow,
It's chicken.”

Bob Dylan

So, it's been just about a week since I entered the hospital, and what a week it's been.

Sunday and Monday I had the doses of chemotherapy that would completely destroy my immune system. Again, that is something you would think would register psychically, where you'd think, “Wow. So this is what it feels to be completely vulnerable to any sort of infection.?” Again, you'd be wrong. Other than a slight increase of nausea... bupkus.

Tuesday was what they call around here my new birthday. My stem cells were reintroduced to my system, through an IV drip. For such a major event in my life, it didn't seem like much. But, of course, it was. It really meant turning the corner and getting back to being healthier. I felt bad for my day nurse who had to stand- no sitting allowed- and study the IV... just in case, for over an hour. But all went well, and he finally got to sit down, I assume. No one here seems to sit down much, at least not that I get to see.

I am isolated, other than staff, and Sheri, who come in. They are always masked, so you see their eyes, forehead and hair. At times it looks like bank robbers left their convention early to avoid traffic. The last couple of days, I've been able to walk around the pod outside the door, as long as I wear gloves and a mask. Believe me, it's a lot more exciting than it sounds.

Let's see, what else has been going on.. Sheri finally buzzed off the rest of my hair and beard yesterday. It seems okay to me. I have to be careful, though, cause when I take my hand across my head to fix my hair, my hand goes flying off the back of my head. Even that's okay as long as Sheri isn't right behind me and gets a poke in the eye. I'll try to change the photo with my blog, and/or post it on Facebook, for those of you who watch “Hoarders” just so you can look around your house and say, “Hey. This isn't so bad.”

The two pigeons who have been hanging around outside my window for the past couple of days appear to be getting ready to fulfill their part of the “Birds do it, bees do it” equation. They are the only other living creatures I see on any sort of regular basis, so I'm quite happy for them. Hey, don't even think about judging me. If you were watching it on PBS you would be falling all over yourself to get to a phone to renew your subscription or make a pledge.

Right now the biggest enemy is boredom, which you probably could tell. There is a TV; I have my computer, Nook and iPod, but sometimes it's just hard to focus, let alone sit up and do something. Sheri comes every day, for a few hours, and its nice to have her here, but it leaves a lot of other hours The staff stays and talks if they have the time, but... I am getting a bit used to, and try to do little spurts of stuff and then rest.

I talk to my daughters Jennifer and Alison each day. I know it helps them to hear my voice and know that I really am doing quite well. I can write and text anything, but when they hear it in my voice, they know it's real, whatever “it” might be.

There are a couple of difficult stretches yet to come. My white blood cell count continues to drop, which is a good thing because it means the chemo is working, but it also means I will be really, really tired and have some other side issues to deal with, including a high temp. But the allergy team has already been in and determined the best antibiotic to knock down any fever and there are plenty of measures the staff can take to help counter other symptoms. I have really come to see what a chicken I can be around feeling sick. I hate it, but the anti-nausea medications really help.

Still, I feel better than I did, for now, and frankly, at this stage, that's more than good enough. We'll see what happens next. Again, I'm not sure when I would be able to write again, but it helps me a lot so I will do my best.

For now, I have some pigeon watching to do.

We wanted to continue to thank all of you who have shared and/or donated to the Go Fund Me site our daughters, Alison, Jennifer and Kristie, have established. Even if you would just like to see photos of us and our family, please visit, and enter my name or Finding the Pony in the search box.

There are a variety of versions of the story that gives this blog its name. The pony is the constant in all of them. A man is on his way to a party when he comes across a young boy shoveling ass over tea kettle at an enormous mountain of manure. The man asks the child if he wouldn't rather go with him to the party than shovel all that poop. The kid says, “No way man. With all that poop... there must be a pony in there somewhere.”