Thursday, October 1, 2009

Should I call?

First of all, don't worry. I will explain the photo further down.

In the meantime: Last night I started mulling over whether I should call Melissa today to ask about the early bone marrow results, or whether I should tough it out until my appointment. She had said either I could call or I could wait until Monday.

I figured I wouldn't call. If it was bad news, it would ruin my weekend, and nothing could be done immediately anyway. And if it was bad news they would call me. I told myself I should realize, however, that if I saw the Dana-Farber number on caller ID, I should not have palpitations, because sometimes they call with good news or just a minor question or piece of news. But then I figured that I should call because there was no reason to expect bad news, and I wouldn't have to worry about it over the weekend. Hold on!

I know patients should never have this discussion with themselves. I've heard this from many people, and I agree with it: If you want to call, then call. Don't waste time worrying about how you'll sound or whether you're displaying weakness by calling.

Still, the mind can be a weird place. Also, this was a hard one for me because I hadn't had one in a long time, and I've had too much experience in getting bad news from them. I decided I needed to do something to chill out. My options were (a) going into my room and doing a little yoga and meditating, or (b) having an Ativan and lots of sugar. I chose (b). I cut the Ativan in half, but doubled up on the sugar via my still-favorite, Klondike bars. I've discovered the kind with chocolate ice cream and extra thick chocolate coating. I got to sleep fine.

I was awoken around 5:30 p.m. by the stupid alarm that goes off whenever the mood strikes it at the little museum across the street. So I walked the dog and went back to sleep until around 10:30, pretty late for me these days.

I called Melissa around 11:30, but hung up on her voice mail. While dialing, I could feel my heart beating despite saying to myself, "It's only a phone call!" I didn't want to leave a message, so I took the dog for a walk. On the way back, she grabbed a big tree branch with two forks and started shaking it in delight, whacking my leg as if she were in a fencing match. Now this is the same leg bandaged in three places from the fall she took my on the other night. I separated the stick into a smaller one and carried it down to my yard so I could throw it for her. She ran a few laps, shook the stick and ran into the neighbor's yard (where I've caught her before stealing sneakers). Once there, she found something to roll in. I walked down and got her, and she smelled pretty bad. Later, when Katie came home, we gave her a little outside bath.

Don't get me wrong about her. She is great these days and is mostly well-behaved. I think sometimes her exuberance just takes over.

Anyway, I decided to call after my podiatrist's appointment. This is not very glamorous, but I have an infected ingrown toenail. Dr. Alyea prescribed Bactrim and said I should go to a podiatrist. They had a quick opening, hence my visit today. The podiatrist said he would anesthetize the area and cut away a piece of the toenail. I've known him for a long time through our kids, and he's a friendly guy.

"I hate needles!" I said. Coming from one who has been stuck more times than I can count, that's a strange thing to say. But I guess you could still hate them, or hate them even more, if you've gotten a lot. Also I don't like the idea of being stuck in the toe. Anyway the podiatrist smiled at my declaration. We chatted about our kids while he slowly did the injection, and it really wasn't so bad. I didn't feel the rest.

So now I am really bandaged up. Hence the smiley-face toe above.

When I went home, I called Melissa again. No answer, so this time I paged her. In the meantime, Maddie and I went to Deb's for our "playdate," with running around in the yard for the dogs and Deb's good coffee with Evelyn's good apple crisp for the "moms." Melissa called while I was there. She said two of the early test results were in, and they were both great.

Big outbreath.

Tomorrow Katie and I head to Maine. We are stopping for an overnight at my college friend Katryn's in Portland, a cool little city. The next day we're going to see Joe at Bates, around 45 minutes away in Lewiston. We'll see him in the morning and for lunch, but then he'll need to go because he is announcing the football game.

I will be able to breathe easily.
I will not be taking the dog.


susiegb said...

Great relief! Yeah, I know those conversations in one's head! I do it all the time ... :) And I would have called too - to avoid the worry over the weekend!

Now you can enjoy your weekend fully!

donna said...

Well, I'm not surprised you needed some blood products. You have played a lot of tennis, gone on a trip to NY, gotten tangled up with Maddie, and gone three weeks (three times as long) without a boost. Think of where you were 8 months ago. All the signs look good and you're looking great. We're all sooooooo glad!!!!

Nelle said...

Ronni I have had those conversations with myself so many times. Even now when my white counts shoots up with no explanation I experience anxiety. I am so glad you called and that your toe is okay also. This is good news and I needed some. :)

Romeo said...


You wrote an article about my Mother the artist Janice Treece Senter about 10 years ago. We are delighted to hear that you have won your fight with Cancer. Happy and Healthy New Year.