Monday, June 15, 2009

Stepping forward and (mentally) stepping back

Friday's endoscopy went off without a hitch. I asked to be really knocked out, so knock me out they did. Joe brought me and drove me home; I slept in the car on the way back and then, back home, crawled into bed and slept for hours, waking up well into the night to stumble downstairs and eat some of the granola Margaret had made me.

My platelets were 21 – good  but not high enough for a procedure. So I had to get a bag of platelets. Margaret came and sat with me and brought me the jar of granola. It was actually from my recipe when I did such things as make granola and grow sprouts in a jar. Margaret also brought the recipe, which I had long ago lost. Who knows, maybe I'll make some someday.

The early report from the endoscopy showed everything was normal. The full report, with biopsy results, will be available later this week.

I've been getting out and about more. It's really hard to get going. As I wrote before, sometimes I stay in bed for a long time, so that I'm taking my morning pills at noon and my noon pills in the afternoon. As soon as I put my legs on the floor, I often climb back into bed. My legs are so stiff, and I feel a little light-headed and nauseous, and I think I just can't do it. So sometimes I lie there for hours while a voice says, "Get up, get up, get up!"

Once I get going, I'm mostly fine, and I often stay up as late as 12:30. This could explain my late sleeping routine. hat is the cycle I have gotten into.

I managed to get going to drive with my friend Barry to the Montague Book Mill, which promotes itself as "Books You Don't Need in a Place You Can't Find." It sells used books in an old gristmill, and sits next to the Sawmill River, which you can hear while you wander through the over-stuffed rooms. I didn't see anything for myself, but I bought two books from Katie's summer reading list, for about half the price in a regular bookstore.

We drank coffee from the adjoining cafe and drank it at a table along the river. It was very peaceful. The drive there is beautiful, and we stopped for strawberries and biscuits. A nice outing.

On Sunday – after much prodding of myself to get out of bed – I put on nice earrings  and going-out-of-the-house clothes and went to Meryl and Danny's for brunch. I enjoyed talking to them and to the other friends they had over. Danny's cooking is always great, and the two blueberry pancakes and the eggs (and Meryl's fruit salad) went down easily. I probably ate more than I would have at home.

In the afternoon, I went to see Ellen and Mike's beautiful new house, and then took a walk around the lake with Mike and their two daughters (in a stoller), Maeve, 2, and Mairead, an infant whose exact age I can't remember. Maddie stole an empty container out of the back of the stroller and ran around with it, but eventually she dropped it and there was no more misbehaving.

I even had leftover energy to do some yoga, stretching and strength exercises when I got home. I put down my mat and felt pretty good going through a series. Then I lay down, closed my eyes, and tried to go through some affirmations. I have misplaced the CD where you get led through it, and it's not as easy doing it on your own. Instead, I kind of drifted off, and negative thoughts churned through my head. I imagined Dr. Alyea telling me I had relapsed again and there was nothing else to do. I pictured my friends crowding around my death-bed. I yanked myself out of it and kind of grumbled, "What's the point of doing all this good stuff when the nightmarish thoughts push through?"

"You are pretty melodramatic," I said to myself. Also I guess I still have to come to terms with the thought that the dark and light side will always be there. So when the dark side pushes through, accept it and try not to get caught in in for very long. When the bright side emerges, enjoy it.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

The list of activities is impressive - and a huge leap forward from not too long ago!!! When you're in the middle of something it's hard to see how much progress you've made- and the dark side just seeps in- say hello to it and then step away. You're strength and resolve are awesome - who'd a thunk it??!!
:)
love,
Tami

Jim said...

RG,

You have a usable finger whenever the dark side pays a visit. If the visits are frequent, you can alternate hands.

Sounds like you are making great strides.

Jim

Nelle said...

Ronni,
I think that list of activities is very impressive! I remember after my heart surgery trying to convince myself I could get out of bed and having long arguments with myself as to my limitations. For someone such as you, who was a runner, this must seem far more frustrating. I think you are taking giant strides towards regaining your pre transplant life and kudos to you! We all know the dark voices in our heads that tell us what could go wrong. When this happens to me I try to remember the 103 year old lady I saw on television. They asked her if she could live her life over if she would have made any changes. "Oh yes, I would have spent far less time worrying." She went on to say that most of the things she worried about never happened, and the things she didn't just happened anyway. Of course, she had not dealt with a life threatening illness either. Still, I try to remember that advice. I think as you get stronger physically and can resume more activities those thoughts will take a back seat. Wishing you all the best, Nelle

Anonymous said...

Yes, Ronni, let there be bright!

Happy Bloomsday to You, Runder-Woman...

Enjoyce!

i'll call you later to find out who was your friend who still has my Ellman biography...

loved the piece on straw-berries, have to find out the etymology...

Your most avid for forever strawberry-blonde admirer!

PS: i have been having trouble rousing myself lately, and i have no excuse!
a kind of banal malaise, -- from humidity? or empathy...
Just as dark and light,
Energy and recuperation--regeneration requires rest/respite...
xop

PJ said...

Sounds like you've been having some good times, endoscopy aside. Enjoy these times, even when your strength is flagging. I think they energize you, not to mention add on the pounds.

Ann said...

The same thoughts always seem to creep up on me when I'm trying my hardest to move forward. I had a hard time getting out of bed after transplant #2, as well. You're doing such an amazing job moving forward. Don't let the dark thoughts derail you. :)

Susan C said...

Now I always hear these conversations of yours in the voice of your tough, loving transplant nurse. What was her name again?

Korby said...

Ronni, It is amazing how well you are doing. I'm just happy to hear you are eating!!Just give yourself time. Love, Korby

Ronni Gordon said...

Susan: Her name is Myra. Tough and loving is a good way to describe her. She sure pushed me!

mikehamel said...

Glad to see you are still putting one foot in front of the other. I am in the middle of my first stem cell transplant and doing the same thing.

One day at a time.

pam said...

Dearest Ronni and Diane,

Here's to the Great Alfred and his beautiful, gracious bride,
who said their marriage was a fairytale romance and dream...

Thanks for the innumerable wonderful memories --
of hospitality, hearth, home, --
broadway, restaurants,
Madison Avenue,
Twelve Hundred Fifth,

Atlantic Oceantide...
Gordon-garden -- eden,
barbecue,
a set or two...
the tennis-court...
"Serve'em up,"
Merci, forever, merci...
xop

流浪汉 瑜伽 Yoga Tramp said...

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