Monday, November 10, 2008

A day on the sunny side of the street

While I was waiting in the clinic today I read a New York Times story that deserves the over-used word "heartwarming." It is about the extraordinary friendship between a Dallas man with an aggressive form of leukemia and a German man who donated his bone marrow to the Texan. The transplant was eight years ago and the man is cancer-free, but that is just the beginning of the story.

It was a fortuitous time to come across the story. It took the edge off the anxiety that I feel, and that I'm sure most people feel, when waiting for their test results.

My counts were all up today. Platelets were 154 -- almost normal! (Normal is 155-410). Sure is an improvement over my recent low of 39 on Oct. 14. Hematocrit was 30 (normal is 34.8-43.6), and my white count was up to 2.1. That's still low (normal is 3.8-9.2), but it's going in the right direction.

When I saw Dr. Alyea, he said that the lab was backed up and that my counts weren't back yet. He said I could go home and Melissa would call me in the morning, or I could wait around a little longer if I wanted. "I feel like I went to the grocery store and I'm leaving with an empty cart," I said. "I think I'll wait." Dr. Alyea laughed and said he thought that was a fine idea.

I felt like I had expended enough nervous energy and didn't want to carry it home with me. I was glad I waited.

Earlier in the car, on the drive to Boston, I listened to a CD of sanskrit yoga chants that my friend and yoga teacher, Erin, had made for me. It's really not the kind of thing to listen to while driving. But I felt it could help keep me calm, sort of like when I listened to a meditation CD a while back while making the same trip. Also, I have to confess, I have trouble sitting quietly listening to these CDs while at home, so I take advantage of the opportunity of previewing them while driving.

I was "Om-ing" along with the narrator, Richard Freeman, when I started to get a little sleepy. Last time I had balanced the meditation CD with a cup of coffee, but this time I didn't have my coffee with me. I found a couple of miniature Tootsie rolls floating at the bottom of my bag, but it was 11 a.m. -- too early for candy.

I turned the CD off and turned on the radio, looking for something lively.

I found a jazz station playing guitarist Mimi Fox's rendition of "On the Sunny Side of the Street,"
from her CD "She's the Woman."

The sunny side of the street seemed like a great place to be.


PJ said...

Wow. Impressive platelet count! Stay on the sunny side of the street, okay?

Susan C said...

Relieved to hear that all the counts are going in a positive direction, especially those platelets.

Oh, and is 11 am too early for candy? I thought that rule was just for booze.

Lea Morrison said...

I love seeing your picture in your Boston hat (I grew up in Arlington) and with your poochie. I am obsessed with my dog too.

You are doing so well and I really enjoy how you write and what you say.

Keep on truckin'

susiegb said...

I read that transplant story yesterday, it was linked from the WebMagic NHL board. You're right - it is/was really lovely!

So glad your counts are moving on up!!

Vytas said...

Obviously your new stem cells like their new home !!! (Ever wonder if stem cells had a brain? One day they are cruising around inside a person from birth and suddenly...they're inside someone else?)

Way to go, kid!!!!!!!!!!

PS Maybe...stop worrying so much ?!?!?!?!

:-) !!!

Jim said...

Great report and great story. I'm glad the vibe remains positive. Jim

donna said...

Too bad our tennis game didn't happen yesterday. It would have been a great way to celebrate those counts!!! Yea!!!

Margaret said...

Happy Hematocrits! Pleasant Platelets! Lovely levels!

One Mother with Cancer said...

I just wanted to stop by and say thanks for the comment, waiting is agony!!!

I'm glad you got good news from your doctor.

Diane said...

Some people laugh at the idea of "retail therapy" - which you and I have often relied on. It made me remember when we met with the lovely hospice social worker when mom was dying and told her we had an urge to shop and wasn't that a little weird? She told us to think of it as a sign of living, that we had hope about the future, that we were forward thinking... all positives. So good job for buying a new couch after all these years, and for living life to the fullest every day which you seem to do so well. I am always amazed at your drive and shopping right now must be uplifting, because as she said, it's about the future.

As to the worry bug which we both have too much of, I decided recently that completely immersing myself into something (say getting "religion" about Barack Obama for example) helps more with the anxiety than anything else. Hard to replace an obsession with him I realize, but still it was interesting for me to note the impact.