Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I had hoped to post last night when we got back, but there were several traffic delays, so we didn't get back in until after midnight.

My bloodwork came back clean. My phosphorous, potassium, and LDH were all high, but my doctor thinks that the sample was hemolyzed, so she wants more blood work in two weeks. I have orders written so that I can go to my local doctor to have it done, instead of traveling to Houston.

I have to confess that since that one suspect CBC on which a blast appeared, I've been on tenterhooks. Every little muscle twinge or knee ache was suspect. My mind kept stuttering over the fact that a single technician saw what they thought was cancer those few weeks ago. I kept having those conversations with myself about going to extremes and worrying about nothing. It's just that with blood cancer, your relapse symptoms could be anything. I had a persistent cough and low grade fever. My local doctor didn't think much of it. Surprise.

Over the last two weeks I did my best not to dwell on the chances of relapse. I didn't rush to the internet to research options or study published papers. I occupied myself with mundane things to the point of the ridiculous. I baked huge loaves of bread and would plan an entire day around making dinner. I found the prep work of washing and chopping vegetables soothing. It was something that I hadn't been able to comfortably do while in our apartment in Houston. Being able to feed other people gave me a focus. I made cheesecakes and pitas. I've bookmarked several recipes and created menus. It became something of a small mania.

When Cathy handed me a copy of my bloodwork, I found that I couldn't really focus on it. I skimmed it a few times without really reading it. I finally noticed that my ANC was high, so I made myself look for that dreaded word. It wasn't there. I should have been relieved, but I think that I've been holding myself in so tightly for the last two weeks that I forgot how to handle things.

I kept thinking of Ronni Gordon. She's had multiple transplants as well and recently relapsed. I check on her blog daily anxiously awaiting news of the next step in treatment or how she's feeling or what she's up to. I get angry that she continues to have to deal with this.

While waiting for our stemcell appointment, we met a couple that we'd been following since I was first diagnosed. Chris and I kept hoping to run in to them since we knew that Betsy and Dean were often in Houston on the same days that we were. We'd make a game of trying to spot them in the waiting rooms. Dean is two years out from transplant and dealing with GvHD. He's such a positive person and was such a pleasure to meet. His wife Betsy is an absolute pillar. She's got such a radiance and strength that you can't help but remark on it. We got to compare notes and trade war stories. Most importantly, we got to make new friends.

I know this post has been a bit scattershot, but I felt like I had a few things to own up to. After a solid night's sleep, I feel like myself again. The stutter is gone. I don't feel compelled to rush into the kitchen to put together some elaborate creation, although I've promised myself that I will stick to the menu that I've created for the next week.

In case you're wondering, it's chicken quesadillas with corn and black bean salad night.


Susan C said...

Sounds like both you and Chris have the cooking and baking bug.

I'm reading "Julie & Julia - 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen" about a woman cooks her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The author is very quirky and fun.

Chopping up live lobsters might take your mind off more ominous things.

PJ said...

I'll be over at 6. Shall I bring beer?

Nancy said...

I'll be over at 6, too. I'll bring more beer! Glad you are doing well. Keep up the great blogging. love, nancy

Anonymous said...

So glad you are doing so well. Are you still on a neutropenic diet? If not, when were you released? Keep up the good cooking. Lisa N.

Anonymous said...

Can you post the recipes?
I too have found cooking a soothing, proactive, and healthy way to feel like I am fueling my body on this journey.

Great job. I know the the TAc always makes my LD high. Doctors are not concerned.

Keep on going,