Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Usually I get to USC Norris Cancer Hospital a little harried.  Inevitably, I stayed late at the office the night before, trying to clear the deck to be out for a few days.  When I get home, I tackle every possible household chore, so that when I come home from the hospital, I’m not looking at any task that compels me into action – look, I just know myself.  I stock the frig with soups and sparkling water, and try to remind myself to keep drinking water, so that my veins are well-hydrated in the morning for all the poking to come.  I decide which book I’m going to bring along, recognizing that I’ll be drowsy or asleep most of the day from the meds and won’t read much of it.  All too soon, it is early morning, and Karen arrives to drop me off at the hospital on her way to work.  Once the IV starts, I’ve come to be glad for the excuse to sit still and veg out.

Going into this Tuesday’s treatment was way different, and definitely the way to go.  The morning after USC Commencement, Akemi and I jumped on an airplane to the Big Island of Hawaii for a fabulous eight-day vacation.  She had not been to that island before, and I had only been once before with my family 44 years ago.  Throughout the trip, I tried to match up my memories of our family’s 1969 visit with today’s reality.  This photo is of the sunrise over Mauna Lani Bay.  More posts on our adventures to come.

We returned on Memorial Day Monday to the construction zone that has been our house.  The guest bath remodel that started in February and stalled for a couple of months got a lot of contractor attention while we were away.  Although we came home to everything covered in drywall and tile dust, the work was mostly done.  I had the holiday to put the house back in order and get ready for the Rituxan run.

For the first time in the three years I’ve been doing this routine, Akemi was home to be able to go to the hospital with me, reprieving my Relief Society friends from worrying about rides and meals.  Later that evening, she came into my room to suggest we watch a movie.  We decided on an entirely silly one, “Down Periscope,” which had been a favorite of Bing’s to watch with Akemi when she was little.  No matter how many times we have watched that movie, it always makes us laugh, and Akemi was successful in completely distracting me from feeling crummy.   

The WM story is more of the same: the bad immunoglobulin number continues to crawl downward, but the good IG numbers continue to be suppressed and platelets and white cells are not nearly as happy as before.  We’re just playing this out as the returns diminish. 
Our Hawaii good times prevailed over the construction clean-up and the day at the hospital.  Nothing like a paradisiacal vacation to help make the medicine go down, in the most delightful way. 

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