Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A stick in the arm

I got a blood test locally yesterday because Dr. Alyea wanted to see in between appointments how my liver is doing with the reduced dose of 4 mgs. of prednisone a day.

I held out my arms to the phlebotomist. "You poor thing," she said. "You've been stuck a lot."

Ha. That is the understatement of the year.

I said it was from leukemia.

"Are you still getting treatment?" she asked.

I get this question often. I like it because it's so easy to answer: No!

Then I told her I am just about 4 1/2 years out. (Note: I still can't figure out how to make real fractions on Microsoft word. All the answers in a google search are too complicated for me. Anyone who has an easy answer, please leave it in a comment.)

And then I told her five years is the magic number. Sometimes I say "six months to go" with confidence. Sometimes, like yesterday, I need to say something like "if I make it," as though to ward off evil spirits like knocking wood. (Jews don't knock on wood because we don't believe in evil spirits, but I can't help myself.)

Anyway...The phlebotomist said, "You'll make it."

So. Amen.


Robin said...

Amen indeed!!

Ann said...

5 years is just around the corner for you!

Marty said...

First of all, we do believe in evil spirits! Didn't your Mom ever turn her head and spit behind her fingers to ward off the evil eye? And Dybbuks (dead spirits that take possession of a live human body) were a real part of European Jewish folklore. I think I.B.Singer wrote some stories about them as well. And, Don't bring young children to the cemetery, they might get possessed! hahaha Everyone always laughed, but as my Mom would say, "Of course it's silly, but why take a chance?"

In Word, on a blank screen, click on INSERT, SYMBOL, and scroll up or down until you see the half, quarter, 3 quarter. When you highlight one you'll see a screen showing options for that character. If you press the SHORTCUT KEY, you can assign your very own shortcut keys to use. Usually, it's the ALT key with 2 others. So, I did ALT+1,2 for 1/2; ALT+1,4 for a quarter; and ALT+3,4 for 3 quarters. You don't type in the commas, by the way. Just hold the ALT key on your keyboard, press 1 and then press 2. You can then go into any word document on your computer, at anytime, and hold the ALT key and type 1 2 and the half symbol will be inserted. Let me know if it works for you, and I explained it properly.
Oh, and the real reason as Jews we don't knock on wood is because that practice is believed to symbolize knocking on the wood of the cross of Jesus for protection. At least that is the reason I was always given.

Marty said...

Oh, one of the most common things to ward off the evil eye in Yiddish is "kina hora" or "kin eineh hora".

I'll bet you've heard those!

One other funny one I remember was if a button came off my shirt in the morning before I was going to school. My Mom would sew it on quickly, but if I didn't take the shirt off, she made me chew some thread while she sewed the button on while I wore the shirt. I once asked her why. She said if you sew a garment while someone is wearing it, that person loses all their knowledge. "And of course," she said, "we don't believe it, but why take a chance? So, just chew the thread!"
I think her entire philosophy of life was "but why take a chance?"

Ronni Gordon said...

Marty I hear what you're saying, and indeed, my mother threw some salt over her left shoulder if she knocked the shaker over and the salt spilled. However, I have a religious friend who said Jews do not knock on wood for the reason I said. I looked it up on the Internet and there were multiple entries for "why don't Jews knock on wood?" So I guess we're not supposed to do it, but we do it anyway just in case!

Wendy S. Harpham, MD said...

Dear Ronni,
With vivid memories of your blog posts from the early years after your last recurrence, I've been rejoicing at each of your blog posts devoted to your meaningful and joyful activities and relationships.

As another survivor of recurrences, I've loved how time seems to have slowed down for me.

The intimate knowledge of what might have been lost (and might yet be)
makes me feel today—every day—in a wonderfully intense way.
Little problems remain trivial.
The ordinary has become marvelous.
I seek out and cherish joyful moments.
Even unpleasant times are less painful, for they are proof that I am still here.
[entire poem is at: http://tinyurl.com/viewfromremission]

with hope, Wendy

Theo said...