I'll be looking for solutions, but in the meantime, you can always find everything on the website at http://www.jimchines.com/blog/
So now we're back in the chemotherapy room, being chemotherapised to kill off the immune system all but entirely. That's the rest of today and then tomorrow too. Saturday, she gets all her thousand million stem cells back, under firm instructions to get stemming, or celling, or whatever it is that they do.
Digital review copy provided by the publisher through Edelweiss.
Some maples still making a bit of show, ash trees mostly bare, oaks beginning to turn reddish brown. The birches, aspens, and poplars are mostly just dumping leaves.
Even the asters have quit blooming. Milkweed pods turning some unmowed fields into cotton plantations.
No roadkill to report. Some ducks in the cemetery pond, but no sign of any heron. May have been a wayfaring stranger, headed south.
Windy enough that I gave up on my plan to bike at the national park. Temperature vaulted into the upper 50s F, so I grabbed my chance for a ride. Did not die.
15.27 miles, 1:15:20
At seven this morning, Karen was allowed a breakfast of one (1) glass of water, one (1) granola bar, and one (1) piece of fruit with no added yogurt. Fortunately, I was allowed all the coffee I wanted.
At nine we piled into the team bus, and came to the clinic. Access ports were opened, blood was drawn, and we sat around for an hour while they tested that for stem cell wealth.
Once satisfied, they are taking us - or at least the patient half of us - into the apheresis room, to be attached to a machine for the next four hours. Their blood will be slurruped out of them, and the stem cells fished individually (I like to think) from the blood before it's pumped back in again. Karen is rated for 117,000,000 cells. Which is quite a big number, and I want to know how they count 'em.
After that comes five hours of chemo, also through the port. Then they take us home.
Karen's been connected up, and we caregivers are not allowed into the apheresis room. So guess what I get to do for the next four hours?
Uh-huh. Fortunately, while we were making our wills and giving all our worldly goods into the possession of a trust (The Trebizon Trust, did I mention? I am convinced that in a few hundred years it'll be this megacorp, dominating human space if not in fact the galaxy), our lawyer and I had a cheerful talk about how The Count of Monte Cristo is a masterpiece, and I thought, "Ooh..."
So I'm halfway through that, and there's enough reading left to keep me happy for a day or two to come. After that, though, Lord only knows what I'll turn to next. Suggestions of long, familiar comfort-reads available on e-book will be gratefully received.
I have an appt with the naturopath today, and then there is the signing at the Beaverton Powells with Hearne, Wendig, and Wilde.
Did other stuff when I got home, still mulling over what values friendship has. Got a lot going on in the brain over that.
On top of everything else, I have a tooth starting to go bad. To get the VA to fix it, one shows up in the Dental office and you might get seen if they have a doctor available. I will start tomorrow, but first calling to see if they do have a dentist in the shop thats doing the emergency visits. Then of course is the hour drive up there and how many other folks are wanting to be seen without an appointment. Its such a load of fun at times, meanwhile, the tooth is letting itself known.
We have a room that is ours for the duration, and all I have to do is sit in it and wait. Half my task here is waiting. (I have never liked waiting, and do it poorly.)
Outside our room in one of those windowcleaners’ cradles that hang on cables from the roof. Two men are in it with all the tools, and they are doing all the things to the wall at my back: hammering, sawing, drilling. It’s like being in the apartment, transposed to a minor key: for there they are building another tower block just next to ours, and that affords us all the noises of major construction.
I am in a weird mood, I find. I feel ... pent. Potentially eruptive. Popacatepetl in miniature. It’s just the waiting. Karen will be fine, and so will I.
I’m rereading an old favourite novel, Elizabeth Lynn’s “A Different Light”. I still hope to meet her one day, for I know she’s local and we have friends in common. (I’m also rereading “The Count of Monte Cristo”, though I have no hope of meeting Dumas. That’s on the other Kindle, back at the apartment. Reading different books on different Kindles may seem perverse, or contraindicated, but really it’s just about power management. This one, the original, a full charge lasts for weeks; t’other is a tablet-in-embryo and I only get a few hours out of it, less than my phone even.)
I thought I’d be doing more work than I am, but apparently a man can just read and shop and cook and watch TV. Maybe after this week is over, when the procedures are behind us and Karen’s just apartment-bound in neutropenia, I’ll find the mindspace again. These next few days are going to be rough: apharesis and chemo and then at last the transplant. At the moment she’s in a lot of pain - or would be, but for the shots - which they tell us is a good thing, a sign that the process is working as it should. Her bone-marrow is sending lots of stem cells out into her bloodstream, ready to be harvested, yay: but this is a painful process, and her bones ache. Tonight’s going to be the worst of that, and she’ll have the discomfort of today’s operation to deal with also. Plus a lot of stress about tomorrow, when we’ll be all day at the clinic.
Now there are weird noises happening just outside the door. Power-tool of some kind, I think. I’m not going to look. They said I can go down to the cafeteria and get some coffee, but I think I’m just going to sit here and wait till Karen gets back.
There are new characters introduced and I wouldn’t be surprised if the one bad guy that gets away shows up later down the road at some point.
Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley
Digital review copy provided by the publisher.
"What is it?" I asked, suddenly nervous. The cardiologist who saw me in the hospital, remember, declared after a dozen tests that my heart was fine, but ultimately wrote "abnormal EKG" on my chart, and I haven't had a chance to call his office about it.
"It's . . . giving me some messages here," she evaded. "The doctor will talk to you about it."
This made me nervous. Was this another abnormal EKG? Whenever the staff won't tell you, it's bad.
After an interminable wait, the doctor himself finally came in, and I asked about the EKG.
"It's just the machine," he said. "There's nothing to worry about."
I also asked about my low heart rate, and he confirmed it was because I run, and that my rate was normal for me.