Friday, July 27, 2007

Platelet Watch Summer 2007 (Update No. 3)

Platelets were down to 10 this morning. My nurse practitioner said she would have let me skate for the day if it wasn't Friday. But it is. So, no skating today. Just infusing. I hauled my sorry, clot-deficient self up to Westchester and left the medical center with 43 platelets circulating through my bruised body.

I was actually feeling pretty optimistic about getting back to the office early in the afternoon and cranking through some things that needed to get done. That optimism lasted about 15 minutes. 'Cause that's when I got to the aftermath of
this. Good intentions averted.

I also got confirmation today that the previously mentioned Prosorba Column is indeed no longer available. I am to return to my oncologist's office on Monday to discuss IV Ig therapy. I don't feel like doing the research now. So, go ahead and do it yourself if you can't wait. Perhaps start
here. Let me know what you find out.

this has had me and several colleagues with similarly sophomoric senses of humor cracking up this week. Yes, we are that highbrow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Top This

Pizza (I swear by all that is Italian and delicious, I made it myself!).
A bottle of Cabernet.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
My patio.
Summer breeze.

Platelet Watch Summer 2007 (Update No. 2)

Nine! The little f-ing platelets dropped to nine! So, after calming my pissed-off self down (a bit), I headed to the medical center for a transfusion this morning. I left with 43. We'll see how long that lasts.

I also had a conversation with my oncologist. He got the results of my antiplatelet antibody test back, and they show that I am indeed making an antibody against my platelets. Stupid, treacherous body. His recommendation is to have a Prosorba Column to filter my blood and get rid of the antibodies. Now I'm trying to find someplace in this state that does it. If Wikipedia is to be believed, and yes, that is the latest, most seemingly accurate and relevant information I have been able to find thus far on this treatment, this device isn't even produced anymore. But, I don't know if that means that facilities that have it can still do it, or if there are super-special accoutrements that are needed in order to utilize the device which are also unavailable.

Further, I asked my oncologist how confident he was that this is the only thing that is acting upon my platelets. He said he wasn't 100 percent confident, but is pleased that we now have something to take action against. Fine. I suspected that he wasn't completely convinced that this is the sole issue, and I am always down with action plans. So, we'll roll with this for now.

On a completely different note, on my drives up to New York and back, I received appreciative honks (I'm interpreting them as appreciative and I don't care what you think) from half-a-dozen long-haul truckers. Which proves one thing: If I wear a dress, and am traveling fast enough past a bored and lonely man, I am still perceived as attractive. At least to six of them, anyway.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

These Are the Moments, People! (No. 1)

The weather here has been lovely today. Simply lovely. Which is why I cannot understand why the hell people drive around with their windows closed. On my drive home from work today, I counted the number of cars with open windows on one hand. Four. The total number of cars with open windows on today's drive home totaled four.

Come on now, people! How on earth can whatever air is wafting around the confines of your car be even remotely close to as refreshing as the air that dances through farm meadows and dodges among the woods where we live. OPEN THE DAMN WINDOWS! Fresh hay, smoky fires and plain old, under-appreciated fresh air are there for you to inhale and savor. A breeze is waiting to kiss your face and give your hair a messy shuffle.

You are missing it.

By the way: Car dancing is highly encouraged to further enhance your open-windowed driving experience.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Connection Incomplete

At 8:00 p.m. the the remaining participants of the Beautiful Eight DVD and their discussion guide were supposed to regroup to reconnect, share our grief and gather our collective strength following the recent decimation of our ranks. Two courageous young women of generous spirit swiped from us in less than a month. The Beautiful Eight have become the Beautiful Four in less than two years.

But, as befitting a woman who chooses to live her life despite the diagnosis, our conference call leader was otherwise engaged and forgot to phone in, so our call did not come together as planned. I, myself, was late calling in because things other than cancer needed my attention.

My Beautiful Eight/Call Leader friend phoned to apologize (as if that was necessary) and though I was happy to hear from her I could hear the strain, weariness and fear in her voice. Bone mets that require daily radiation, progression in previously identified sites, and a new systemic therapy are beating on her. As is her job and her relentless dedication to caring for her family. She's a mom with two small boys. Would you expect anything else? Such drive. Such devotion. Such precariousness.

It's frustrating and painful in its familiarity. Living with it. It's harder than you know.

Platelet Watch Summer 2007 (Update No. 1)

As you may recall, Friday's platelet count was 13. Today's count: 13. I should be pleased. I really, really should. Stable is good. But, they are not going up. And I am far too low to be treated. I need to be at 70 for that. Worst of all (Worse than not getting treated? Did I just say that?) I am not getting any closer to the UK, which is where I want to be in a month and I'm getting increasingly resentful of my oncologist's ban on my motorcycle. If I didn't have bruises on my hiney from horseback riding, violating that ban would be under serious consideration right now.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

This Weekend's Accomplishments

Running down the weekend to-do list I made for myself, I see that I have done a rather fine job of achieving my intended goals:
  • Relished in a morning horseback ride through the Hunterdon County countryside with The Kid, who was on his first trail ride, and Dear Friend, who is always up for an adventure in simple pleasures.
  • Found a shoe repair store, right in town of all places, and dropped off my favorite, though seemly cursed sandals to be repaired. Again.
  • Took The Kid to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. OK, fine. I wanted to see the movie and needed a co-conspirator. Thankfully, he's a willing participant in his mother's scheming.
  • Picked up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, started devouring it curled up on my couch while sipping on Cabernet and enjoyed the summer breezes breezing through my windows.
  • Cheered as My Darling Husband and The Kid -- Team Hill -- ran a 5K and was rewarded with another great opportunity to be proud of my boys. Oh, The Kid took third place in his age group. YIPPEE!
I hope your weekend was similarly productive and satisfying.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Platelet Watch Summer 2007 (T-Shirts Coming Soon!)

Platelet count on Monday, July 16: 12
Platelet count on Friday, July 20: 13
Analysis and action items: Platelets are on the rise for the first time in approximately six weeks! No transfusion. CBC to be repeated on Monday, July 23.

Prednisone level: 60 mg daily
Prednisone-induced food cravings satisfied yesterday: guacamole, pizza, macaroni salad, chocolate chip cookies
Weight gain since initiation of Prednisone therapy: Five pounds