Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Aug. 24

Today is my birthday.

A year ago, I celebrated with platelets and sparkling grape juice and cake brought to me by singing nurses in the infusion room where I went every week, and sometimes twice a week, for blood or platelets.

Now, I feel removed from the days of needing transfusions and all that went with them: the fatigue, the fear (platelets in the single digits...yikes!) and the time commitment (often all day).

Thanks to my donor and to everyone who helped me get back on my feet to where I am now – not quite "normal," but so much better.

Today was pleasant: lunch with Mary and Deb; walk with Joe and Maddie; lots of phone calls and then dinner with Joe.

Yesterday I had my clinic visit. My hematocrit is still low (26.9), but as I've said, I seem to have adjusted, and today and yesterday I even slow-jogged a little. White blood count was fine (7.8), and platelets went up a little (91). Everything looked good, and Melissa said I could return in three weeks. A promotion!

Sunday was a long but successful day of moving Katie in to Brandeis. I went in one fully-loaded car with Katie, while Joe went with Jim. We met Katie's roommate, Beth, and her parents; Beth and Katie seemed like they would get along well.

The room got a little crowded, what with Katie and us and Beth and her parents. I stepped out a few times when too much was going on. Overall, people were on their best behavior.

The New York Times ran a Page One story yesterday headlined "Students, Welcome to College; Parents, Go Home." It talked about ways that on drop-off day, schools are instituting activities to give "Velcro Parents" (who, me?) the hint that it's time to let go so students can develop independence.

The story explains how anxiety about letting go usually begins a year earlier when touring colleges. I was glad to hear this because it showed that I had company. One mother is quoted as saying, "I think the pressure starts when the umbilical cord is cut off."

Like schools mentioned in the story, Brandeis gave a hint of things to come by separating students and parents at convocation. The students sat in chairs on the floor while the parents sat in the bleachers. Afterwards, the students headed for a barbecue with their orientation leaders while the parents went home.

Katie and I hugged. And hugged, and hugged. I teared up and got on the shuttle to the parking lot; I noticed that a lot of the other mothers looked like me.

I talked to her this morning – she called to say happy birthday – and she sounded great.

Nervous breakdown, nervous shmakedown.

"Nobody's leaving, we're just going to school," Joe said.

"We're all coming back," Joe said. You done good."


Howard said...

All the best to you Ronnie. Have a healing, lucky year.

Diane said...

Happy Birthday again. It was wonderful to see you on Monday and of course to see how well you are doing and how far you have come. I agree with Joe - you've done a fantastic job of raising 3 wonderful and caring children. Whether they 'come back' literally to South Hadley or not, they will always be close to you. The greatest joy as a parent is seeing your children successfully launch into adulthood and you get a gold star!

Susan C said...

Happy birthday, Ronni!

I'm excited for Katie and her first year of college.

pam said...

Dear Ronni and Diane,

A Joyful Birthday to Ronni, and a thank you to you both for being Friend,

Runder-Woman, maybe you could write a piece about going off to college, then and now...as we discussed, i had one trunk, a desk lamp (you got the yellow, i the orange, or vice versa), blue electric smith coronna, and possibly a hot-water coil for the room!

Two cars for the Glorious Graduate, Katie! can't wait to hear all about it ...

and remember, they do come home again, and Joe and Ben remind me so of your Father, and his practical wisdom...


Nelle said...

Sorry behind in my blog reading...belated but sincere Happy Birthday to you Ronnie :)
Wishing you many, many more. Glad Katie got off to college. Great school and I'm sure she'll love it.

Ann said...

Happy Birthday, Ronni! I look forward to reading about many, many more.

PJ said...

I missed this post. Happy belated birthday and many more, my friend.