Friday, July 4, 2008

A lovely surprise



Yesterday, the phone in my room rang and generally when this occurs, it's a wrong number. Not so on this day. A long time blog reader whom I've never met decided to take a chance and contact me. She lives about an hour outside of Houston and was headed this way and wanted to know if it would be okay to stop in and meet. Of course I said yes!

Linda and her husband just left a short while ago and they were such a treat. We talked about her niece who had gone through a similar situation with AML. Sadly, she passed away a few years ago due to complications from GvHD. We also talked about life in general and what our experiences have been so far. Linda is an absolute gem full of positive energy. Not to be outdone, Richard is a dear and a perfect foil for his spitfire wife.

I'm so glad she took a chance and reached out to us.

Chemo is going well and my white blood cell count has fallen from yesterday. I'll leave it to Chris to post numbers, etc. My platelets are also crashing, which we did expect. Strangely, though, my red blood cell count and hemoglobin are up above normal. I'm sure that this won't last, and quite frankly, I'd be really worried if it did.

I'm beginning to feel the leading edge of the chemo. I'm a little droopy and just feel a little off. This happened the last time around as well. I've begun a 24 hour drip of zofran to help offset the effects of all of the good stuff going in. I also had a lumbar puncture yesterday which went off well. At one point the needle scraped a vertebrae which was supremely unpleasant. I can't recommend it.

I just went for my first walk and managed 7 laps before my stomach started to hurt. This is another result of the chemo. Tomorrow I'll aim for 10 laps. I just don't want to fall as low as I did the first time around. Recouping most of my muscle mass was very difficult, and I never want to be that helpless again.

Last night was spent with a continuous parade of nurses and CNA's coming in and out to check my vitals and be sure that I wasn't having an allergic reaction to a new chemo drug. I think I managed a total of 4 hours of interrupted sleep in all. It'll be an early night tonight.

My appetite has fallen off a bit today. I've decided to go ahead and start supplementing with nutritional drinks just to keep my protein levels up. Last time around my body started cannibalizing my muscles because I wasn't getting enough protein. Hooray for evil tasting cake batter. I don't care what anyone says, the chocolate varieties all taste like sweet dirt. How would I know? I remember mud pies. Oh yes, I do and I bet you do too.

So, an end to my ramblings. I need to go catch up on the news of the day, such that it is. To all of my friends who have sent emails and haven't gotten responses. It's not because I haven't tried, it's because the connection here won't let me open the messages. I'm still trying. Don't give up on me.

2 comments:

Shannon said...

Ann,
I have been following your journey since last year and I have to say that you are one of the bravest women I know. You truly are.
Last year I helped Paige with the blood/bone marrow drive @ LSU and I just know that there will be a new solution to aid your battle.
I also wanted to say to keep up the exercises, there are many studies being done about exercise and cancer patients and almost all of the results are positive!
If you ever need exercises to do in bed or in a chair, let me know! I'm in physical therapy school and I'm sure I could whip up something for you! :)
Stay strong!
~Shannon M.

Anonymous said...

Ann-
I am a CML transplanter (12/07) but I have been following your journey on the LLS boards. I wanted to let you know that I have a friend from childhood who had ALL and had TWO transplants and kicking some major butt 3 years out. She obviously relapsed after the first one and is now back at work and finishing up her MBA.
If you are interested in her contact info I know she would be happy to connect. If you have had enough "success" stories I understand that too. You need to rest up as much as you can.
I always think the protein bars taste much better than the drinks. I know they are tough when you are getting sick but somehow nibbling off little bites was easier for me.
Keep goin' girlie!
Lea
www.caringbridge.org/visit/leamorrison