Friday, September 12, 2008

When all else fails, make tomato sauce

My ingredients for tomato sauce,
and flowers from my garden

The source of today’s funk seems to be an increase in the amount of time between doctors’ appointments. At Day 93, I am nearing the 100-day mark when I will go every other week. There will be 10 days between my last appointment and my next visit, scheduled for Monday.

So my fretting self says that gives me three extra days for something to go wrong. My rational self says, THREE DAYS? And the rational self adds, worrying about your blood counts does no good and is actually even bad for me, at least in terms of blood pressure and general sense of well-being. And then there is this little reality: my blood counts already are what they are, and thinking about the has no influence at all.

Back before my relapse, I had graduated to going every three months. I’m sure I had the same hesitancy in the beginning, but by the time the appointments had gotten so far apart, I was used to it and happy to have the distance.

There, are, of course, mostly positives to going less often. You have fewer instances of checkup anxiety to deal with. You feel like you can spread your wings a little more. Right now, especially after the weird things that have happened to me, I’m still more comfortable with being tethered. I guess it’s like being a little kid being gradually pushed out into the world, with all the complicated feelings that entails.

My worrying has stepped up a notch. The past few nights have been cool, and Katie and I have put on sweatshirts and sweatpants. I felt a chill coming on. “Are you really cold?” I asked Katie, figuring that if she was chilled, my chill was perfectly normal. “Yes,” she said. “We could turn on the heat.”

“No heat until October,” I said.

I went upstairs and took my temperature. I put the digital thermometer in my mouth and waited, my mind starting to race in an unproductive direction having to do with fever equals hospital admission equals graft failure, based on my experience in April. It was taking a long time for the temperature to register. Bad news, I thought. The longer it takes, the higher the temp. Finally I pulled it out of my mouth and looked. Oops, I had forgotten to turn it on. I tried again, and, surprise, it was normal.

I was still anxious this morning, when I set to work making tomato sauce from scratch. As I’ve said, I’m no cook. When I follow a recipe, I have to concentrate extra hard.

First, I chopped carrots, celery and onion. I love chopping.
Then, I peeled and cut five beautiful red juicy tomatoes bought from a farm stand down the street.

Suddenly it was all about chopping and stirring and what we'd do for the rest of the meal. I decided I'd send Katie to the store for some crusty bread --frozen, of course, since I can’t eat bakery goods yet.

“This might actually be good,” I thought.
And all of a sudden I was not thinking about my doctors’ appointment.


Susan C said...

I know what you mean about the tether process. Even though my SCT was auto, I had a tough time reducing the visits.

The sauce sounds wonderful.

PJ said...

"No heat until October" is my rule, too. And I've gone insane waiting for the thermometer to beep, staring cross-eyed at the numbers as they go up. Seems your tomato sauce therapy worked well.

Nice photo. How was the sauce? Maybe you can make a Ronni Ray video and post it here.