Thursday, March 1, 2012

Too Far In

Yesterday started poorly and ended well. Young, who comes to my house every month to move the dirt and mess from one place to the other {see earlier post “Young”} came and as always asked “you better yet?” When I say “no” as always, she responds with shock, “whaaa? not better yet? what wrong with your doctor, that chemo no good, you should be better now”. She proceeded to tell me about her uncle {or someone} who had stomach cancer {or something} who went to a mountain to get better “you should do that.”

Usually Young makes me laugh and I converse with her in her parallel universe, seeing how deep I can get in before my brain gets wobbly, “which mountain should I go to?”, “what should I do once I get there?” But not yesterday. Yesterday I wanted to scream and cry “go to a fucking mountain, and do what? die slowly alone in the cold on a mountain and who’s gonna watch the kids?”

Instead I went to bed and pulled the covers over my head... until I heard a big crash and ran downstairs and there was my favorite tea mug, made by a friend who had just recently moved back to australia shattered on the ground. Normally I’d say “that’s o.k., it’s just a mug, just a thing, not your fault, just a dumb accident.” But I was furious and I didn’t want to yell at her, I wanted to scream “get out, just get out.” But again, I just went back to bed, and pulled the blankets over my head and cried.

Cause that’s what I seem to do these days, cry... and complain about being tired and winded and exhausted just climbing the stairs or walking to the car. I’ve been saying that I just don’t feel like I’m getting enough air, it’s been dramatic enough to talk about.

I had regularly scheduled blood work done today and they called afterwards, as always and told me I’m neutropenic -- very {very} low white blood cells, as always, and I expected this, but today they asked, are you having trouble catching your breath? getting winded? “YES!” Apparently, my hemoglobin which your bone marrow makes is on the down low now too. Hemoglobin carries oxygen throughout your body and is made by your bone marrow. Chemo whacks your bone marrow. I was so proud of my bone marrow up until now for how well it's rebounded, but it like the rest of me has been pushed just a little to far.

They’ve told me to come in tomorrow for a blood transfusion which I’ll do, but with hesitation. I can’t help but think of all the horrible blood borne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis that are in the blood supply still undiscovered... cause you know how my luck goes. And it takes five hours and I thought I was treatment free for a few weeks.

I believe in alternative medicine and I believe in eastern medicine, but not enough and nor am I nearly knowledgeable enough about either to reject western medicine in their favor. So if I’m going with western medicine, the best I can do is embrace it and when someone says I need a blood transfusion, I’m not going to tie myself up in knots, I’m just going to get it. I’m too far in to turn back now.

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