Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And the results are in.....

Another early morning run to Thomasville.  This morning with both Mary and Judy.  Oh, joy my heart!!!!  To get to spend a little time with both these amazing woman, and maybe good news from the doctor and then lunch.  Good plans for a good day.

We got to the Oncology Center and Mary passed out tea bags all around and we staked our little territory at a table near the snack area with our tea and yarning.  The three of us sat there talking, laughing, yarning, sipping tea.  It was a beautiful morning.  They came and got me and took me back to get my blood work done so we can see if I can have chemo tomorrow.  We know my platelets are not going to be where they should be; after all, I have been having nosebleeds and deep ugly red bruises on my hands up my arms and down my legs.  Not the worst I have seen, but it does not bode well for treatment.  

After they take my blood, and I get to spend time laughing and talking with the RNs who take the blood, I rejoin the ladies to wait for our appointment with Dr. M's nurse, Bobbie, and then meet with the adorable doctor himself.  Jane Ann passed by a couple of times and stopped to laugh with us.  She is being moved back to the infusion room to do scheduling.  Betty Ann is our favorite there.  I think she likes us too because she always comes by several times when we are there to talk.  She saw the scarf I was making today and commented on the color.  I reminded her that I wanted to make one for her, so she said; I like this one best so far, so this would be a good color.  I thought of her when I bought the yarn.  The name is Pearl, and it is shades of white to cream to a pale tan.   I had thought it was one of the prettiest of the scarves so far.  The variegation of the neutrals seemed to have a sheen where the most of the other colors don't.  I think the deep blue I used to make Ms Moon's shawl had a sheen, and so did this color, "pearl".  

They called us back to meet with the nurse, but Bobbie, our regular nurse, had just left because her little boy was sick.  Rosa, the nurse who stepped in was very nice and patient; the three of us are a handful.  But she has a different way of doing the follow up then Bobbie.  I can't say that it was better or worse, just different and I like my patterns, and I like the nurse to ask me all the questions so I don't forget to tell them anything.  And she is sweet and immediately switched over to the way that Bobbie does it, and I did remember that my teeth hurt and I was having killer headaches.  Then Dr. M came in.  That handsome charming smiling doctor.  And he had good news.

The cancer in the lymph nodes was better, almost gone.  WHOA!!!  What?  I knew I had cancer in one lymph node, what was this he was telling me?  Well, once they got in to do the surgery they could see the cancer was spreading through more nodes, but they just took out the worse one, as I had requested and Dr. M felt confident that the treatment he has me on would take care of those.  And it has!

Then he says there is no cancer any longer on any of the bones.  That is good news.  The fluid that has been in my left pleural area was gone and the nodules on the lungs smaller.  So it is working.  The chemo has halted the cancer and some of the cancer is gone.  There was a moment while we were talking about his plans at this time for the chemo that we were reminded this is not for a cure.  We are trying to give me the best quality of life for as long as possible.  And it is working.

Then Dr. M turned the conversation to the treatment schedule.   He said that I would not be ready for chemo tomorrow.  My platelets are about a quarter of where we need them.  I told him that with the bloody noses and bruises I knew that we would be rescheduling.  So we will do the next treatment 2 weeks from now, not tomorrow.  That will be 4 weeks and I think we have a good shot at that.  

Then he gave me an antibiotic because it sounded like I have a sinus infection and he handles everything with brisk efficiency.  No waffling, no indecision with Dr. M.  And for good measure, he wanted to give me a unit of platelets.  They usually give platelets if you get below 20, and mine were 26.  I think it was as much for my comfort as for anything else.  It is not any fun having your nose constantly running, and half of that time, it is bloody.  But honestly, it is an annoyance nothing more day to day, but it is a good sign that I am not ready for a treatment.  

So off they shuffle me to the infusion rooms where I normally go to get my chemo.  Mary and Judy headed off to the Goodwill to look for clothes for Truvy.  Mary plays the romance loving character in Steele Magnolias.  

The RN came and hooked me up for the infusion, and the port didn't work well.  It hurt and it was slow to let blood, and then when she hooked up the thing that they use to draw blood, nothing.  And meanwhile it still hurt.  So the nurse undid all of the tape and sticky plastic they cover the port area with and fussed with the lines a bit, re taped me back up and was able to get a sample, but just barely.  I am an A-.  About 2:30, they finally had the products and started me on the Benadryl then the platelets.  They platelets look like baby poop.  You know that indescribable mustardy kind of color and looked a little chunky, but I am sure it is not.  Mary and Judy came in, breaking the rule of having 3 people in a room instead of 2.  I explained to the nurse all of our plans had changed and we were just working it out and then we promised not to have more then 2 in the room.  I suggested that Mary and Judy go get some lunch and bring me back a to go.  When Dr. M had given us the good news, big spender me had said lunch was on me.  And now I am hooked up to tubes and not going anywhere.  So off they head again.  

I finished the "pearl" scarf and when Betty Ann walked by I gave it to her.  She was so thrilled and smiled and smiled.  When I showed her the name of the scarf's yarn she laughed even harder.  Her 2 kids always refer to her as the Mother of Pearl.  I guess it is a family joke, but isn't that perfect?!

I was still dripping platelets when Mary and Judy came back with a crab Louie lunch for me.  And Mary had bought me the sweetest, softest gray cashmere sweater with tiny little pearls scattered sparingly across the front of the sweater.  I swear it has never been worn.  It is beautiful.  And Ms Moon had also bought a beautiful brown leather purse, and said that she loved it, but if I wanted it, I could have it.  I don't changes purses very often, but after writing this, I will need to go and move things out of my red leather purse into this lovely new one.  I really love it.  

Good news, crab Louie, and presents!!!! What a wonderful day.  

We headed home, smiles and laughing.  I am so tired that they kept reminding me that everything was good news.  Oh, and I agree, and I am terribly grateful, but between the sinus thing and the low platelets and working too much yesterday (I worked 8 1/2 hours and then had to stop to get dog food on my way home getting me home almost 7 last night.  That is too long for me right now) I was just too tired to express my joy.

And then here I sat in my red chair and I get a call from Mr. Moon.  He was at the car auction today and yes, he found my car.  What is it?  What color?  Tell me all about it?  Is there leather?  It is a 2008 Toyota Solaris, silver with a black roof and dark gray leather interior.  It is top drawer and has everything.  Mr. Moon was seeing more and more as I-75 sweeps him along in my new car.  It has 17k miles.  It is exactly the car wanted for me.  This has been the best car experience I have ever had.  

I have some trips planned, but many of these are trips planned or discussed way before cancer. I mean I was supposed to go to Holland and Spain with my Dad and had to reschedule it for cancer.  Vicki and I have talked for years about the trip we plan on taking to Scotland.  Linda and Susan and I had never talked about going to Philadelphia, but we knew we were going to get together every couple of years.  We travel together very well.  And we have been friends for 30 years.  

And yet the only thing that I have wanted to buy myself since finding out my situation was a convertible.  I have more then enough of everything else in my life.  I have plenty of animals, and plants, although I am sure there will be more plants in my life as the seasons turn, and I am sure that I will own more books before I die, but plants and books are like breath and water to me.  But if I could have anything in this world, I mean that I can buy, not like world peace, which of course would be my first choice, but the only present I wanted was a convertible.  And Mr. Moon asked me a few questions, and then went out and found me the perfect car.  And honestly, I did not know what would be the perfect car, but listening to Mr. Moon, I think this is exactly the right car.  I mean if Mr. Moon is impressed, who am I to argue.  

I am thrilled, and tomorrow, he will take care of getting all the loan stuff taken care of, all I have to do is sign the papers.  How perfect.  

I have a convertible.  Cool.  I am happy and I have not even seen it.  Yes, this is exactly how I wanted to feel when I got this one special present for myself.  This is how I felt when I drove over to a trailer place and bought a utility trailer and then had them put a hitch on my Malibu.  That was the first thing I did after the divorce.  Now I could take complete control of my life and yard.  I had a trailer.  And now, I thought hard about what I would want out of everything in the world.  And Mr. Moon did all the hard work, and I will be driving in it soon.  Way cool.

I think I am going to like this retirement business.  But tomorrow I will go back to work and that is a good thing too.  And when I am retired, I think it will be a good time to go through all the boxes of things I have and donate them to the Humane Society thrift stores.  I have too much of so many things.  Blessed with too much.  And it is time to turn that too much into money for the humane society.  Yes, I need to focus on that this summer.  I have been blessed with friends and love and family I care about and pets and a lovely piece of property and gardens and books and a house, even if it is a trailer.  I also have a huge barn and a carport to keep my cars.  I have a lawn tractor and a kayak.  I have good health, even with the cancer.  I have the ability to make scarves for those with cancer to keep them warm in the cold.  And they do not know who I am.  I am loved, and I love.  I have a convertible, and two weeks until my next treatment.  

And the results are in.  Finally!  It is working.  Dr. M said as he left the appointment this morning that he wished he had gotten me first.  I do too.  But that is not how it worked out.  And I am just so very grateful for friends who are helping me live with this, and a doctor who wants me to enjoy my convertible and life for as long as possible.  Amen to that.  


  1. Such a very good day. The universe was handing out all sorts of gifts, wasn't it?
    And tomorrow evening- 5:30-ish. Here. There are people who want martinis and pizza with you. Can you be here? I hope so.
    Much love and sweet dreams...Mary

  2. Hey Baby!!! I heard the good news!!!!!! I will come back to read in detail, but right now I'm whipped. I just wanted to log in my happiest "yahoooo"! and "GO TEAM K"!

    I'm very very happy and relieved.

  3. SO glad to hear all this- the news, the convertible, yay!

  4. Yay for treatments that work, friends that love you, your kids, the convertible and most of all YAY for you, I love you cousin!

  5. This is good news, a good post, a good day :)

  6. That is indeed great news about your health. And the car is a happy thing too. I am glad that you are getting good care.