welcome to the danger zone

What Do You Mean, Take A Multi-Vitamin? I Want More Blood!!!

I can’t sleep so I might as well blog. I’m still feeling pretty yucky  but I am taking it day by day.

But anyway…my good friend Anne Gelder called me yesterday to tell me that my hemoglobin (why is it hemoglobin and not hemogoblin? hemogoblin is so much more fun)  is a little on the low side. I got all excited. Most people would be worried  but I got all goose-pimply. I’ve been feeling really drained and tired and out of breath. This is typically a sign of  low hemogoblins. Low hemogoblins means I need some blood. I was excited. More blood, fresh blood that’s what I need! But is that what I am going to get? Nooooo.  The Dr. recommends that I take a multi-vitamin with iron and folic acid. Daily. No blood. And my world comes crashing down. No blood. I am sad, grumble grumble.  Yes, I know blood transfusions are not really something most people get excited about but like I’ve said before…once you get one after being so dang tired and weak for so long, and you suddenly feel rejuvenated, all I can say is Viva La Vampire! But alas, I dutifully swallow a vitamin each day now. It doesn’t look like blood, it doesn’t taste like blood…so I drudge on, wistfully dreaming of an IV bag full of juicy platelets slowly drip drip dripping lazily into my arm, mixing and swirling about with my tired blood, and giving me back my zip in my step.

I pause here to piss and moan about this stupid laptop. I want one that will let me type a full sentence and move to the next without erasing half of what I just typed. My witty and bitingly insightful comments would be much more prolific if I didn’t have to rewrite what I just wrote. But once again, my thought train is jumping the track…

It probably is just because I need more blood.

So I never quite did write about the last chemofunfest and the next one is fast approaching which will be followed by week of whining and the pineapple express. No, not THAT pineapple express for those of you familiar with that euphemism. Well, anyway, I wore the zebra hat. It was a smashing success. However, I soon discovered that the mane posed a bit of problem when I put my head back. It was a tad bumpy. And a little big. The ears kept sliding about. Nevertheless the zebra headed girl was met with smiles everywhere she went. Dr. Kesterson asked if I knew how to bray like a zebra. I pointed out that I was just supposed to look like one. The zebra hat was also very warm. It’s funny how when you are wearing an animal hat you forget that you are, and go about your day like you would any other. People don’t know how to react…should they laugh? should they comment? should they just ignore you? It’s very curious…you would think wearing the hat would make one uncomfortable, but truly, it’s everyone else that’s nervous when you have a zebra or a monkey on your head. I am currently working on a dead cat hat for this Monday. And I’ll be finishing the chemo out with a Jack Skellington.  Andy bought me a lovely hat too. I’ll be wearing that for a blood test or two.

So anyway, Ashley and I went to my infusion room – yes, this time I got a room and a bed, although I did not get a private bathroom, but I’m willing to compromise. I hopped up on my bed, and then the nice nurse from last time came in and said…oh no, not this one again…but she too enjoyed the hat. Across the hall was another woman going through chemo…I initially felt bad because she was by herself, and I guess I still do, but she whined and moaned and beckoned nurses almost the whole time we were there. When I was waiting for my pre-chemo visit, I heard a dr. talking about a patient who wanted to be admitted to the hospital but the doctor didn’t want to admit her. He said we can give her medication for the pain and for the anxiety, but she doesn’t need to be admitted and she needed to go over to the Cancer Institute for her chemo…putting her in the hospital wasn’t going to help her because they can’t give her the ability to live and be happy. I wondered if that was the woman they were talking about. You could tell she was frustrating the nurses because she seemed to need something every 20 minutes. Maybe it was because she was lonely, or maybe she really was sick, but she seemed to give the impression that she was one of those people who needed constant attention. It is really interesting people watching in the infusion center. The old couple who come in together. The people who are probably my age but seem infinitely older. Some people are incredibly serious and somber, some are in good spirits like me, but none of them are wearing animal hats (or any other interesting hats either). The guy in the next room had a damn buffet spread out in his room. The nurses come and visit me occasionally just cuz they like my hat. They bring those student nurses in the band uniforms. And even though I am charming and happy and make them laugh, they still bring in that damn chemo.

I have to say that having Ashley hang with me really makes the time go quickly. We didn’t even turn the tv on this time.  Did I mention I had a safari theme going on in my room? I had my monkey blanket, my zebra hat, and my new stuffed vulture sitting on my table. I didn’t bring a lot of snacks this time. There was much laughing…you would think we were at an Irish wake instead of the infusion center. Then I asked Ashley if we could go to Papa John’s for pizza. I have the Papa John’s app on my phone…but I couldn’t remember the password, and every time I tried to set up a new account, I would get so far and then it would go back to start and lose everything I put in. I finally got disgusted with the phone and instead of flinging it at the woman across the hall to make her stop whining, I asked Ashley to order the damn pizza for me on her phone.

While I was getting my chemo I got a nice visit from an old friend Jo Ann who works at the Cancer Institute. It was great to see her and really nice that she came over from the main hospital to say hello. I guess I seemed pretty popular in the ol’ infusion center that day…between everyone who was in awe of my awesome zebra hat, and special visits from old friends, to the nurses who I think sometimes just come in to hang out for a laugh. It doesn’t make it seem all depressing until you look at the IV hanging from your arm…then  you realize where you are at and what’s going on, and how freaking sick you will be 24-48 hours from now. But at least you have a zebra hat.

Well you know how the rest of the story goes….the cruel neulasta shot on Wednesday, blood work on Friday, interspersed with retching, explosive body expulsions, pain, sleep and general misery. At least I am half way through this round of chemo, and soon it will all be just a bittersweet memory, and another notch in my gun belt of hurdles successfully cleared.

I’m finally drowsy, but I have a few more odds and ends to add to my tale…my fabulous coworkers had a bake sale for me at work to help me out financially. I am basically out of time since February so any time I am off is without pay and they had this awesome bake sale and gave me an envelope full of cash and the cutest card, and all I can say is that you never understand the reason your path takes you places you never expected to be until later…I am fortunate to say that I can’t think of a better place to be through all of this that with CYS. Even my clients have been great about dealing with my time away and working with new workers. I wish I could say the same about my family – my dad checks up on me and helps me out as he can and makes me a damn fine meatloaf so I can feast on meatloaf sandwiches when I am hungry, but the calls from 3 of my brothers are rare, although they have helped out some, and I haven’t even heard from one of my brothers since, I don’t know, September, October? As for my sister, well for those of you familiar with THAT situation, I didn’t expect to hear from her at all, and have not been disappointed in that expectation. However, my surrogate family, the Pedro/Carpenter clan, have given me great encouragement as have you my blogophiles, and my coworkers and friends. And of course, Andy, who keeps me laughing with his inquisitiveness, asking such caring questions like “are you dead yet?” and “you know what’s good for that?”

Some other side notes: President Obama favors gay marriage – YAY! My car has new tires so it doesn’t shake in terror at 60 mph anymore YAY! I hung out with my BFFAF on Sunday and we went to Jumbo China Buffet and Tastee Freeze – YAY! but then was sick the next day from all the excitement BOO!

Finally. I just have to say this because this is my damn blog and I can write what I want.  My personal pet peeve of late is the onslaught of  pictures on facebook that are shared that either say …if you believe/like/respect, hit like…or those stupid I’m posting this but only 3.72% of you will repost it… seriously people…what is it about Facebook that turns otherwise normal adults into 13-14 year olds…and while we are on the subject of Facebook, lets stop changing our relationship status every ten minutes when you have a fight and/or having your  relationship issues hung out like laundry in a juvenile exchange of barbed statuses.

Ah, that felt good. That is all.


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