Sunday, February 14, 2010

From Boston to New York, enough to keep me busy

There is something a little off.

For two weeks, my white blood count has been elevated (15) and my platelets (57) and red blood count (30) have dropped. In the morning, I felt like I was getting a fever, but I didn't until for just one day I was 100.9.

I went to Dana-Farber and had more blood tests (still awaiting results), and a chest x-ray and a CAT scan that came out normal. I went on an antibiotic. I saw Dr. Francisco Marty, the infectious disease specialist. Nothing came up. I am feeling better, but I need to call tomorrow to see if there are any results.

I also saw Melissa, who talked to Dr. Alyea about what might be going on. Later, I bumped into him in the corridor and he said, "I'm hopeful, no I'm confident, that this will turn out to be nothing." I wasted the next little while pondering whether he meant hopeful or confident, because, of course, it's better to be confident that hopeful. Then I toyed with the relapse scenario, and then I really tried to let it go.

I didn't have much time to worry about it, because after school on Friday, Katie and I took off for New York. We had a great time. We started by going to our old apartment building and having cocktails with Muriel (15th floor) and Martha (12th). Martha is past president of the U.S. Center of the International Theater Institute and sill travels around the world making connections among theater groups. She won a Tony Award years ago; for my mother, her name often came out as Martha-who-has-a-Tony. She's about 70, wears long glass earrings and necklaces, promotes the work and not herself, and is a fascinating source of information about current and past theater.

Muriel, who is somewhere around 93, has become our surrogate mother in the building. We usually stay there, but she had a full house. She's gracious, funny, warm, and also very smart with a lot of stories to tell. When we stay there on a theater weekend, she leaves us a box of dark chocolate Petit Ecoliers, or Little Schoolboys, a piece of chocolate on a biscuit. This was our after theater snack with my parents. We eat it looking at the night sky and a view of Central Park.

We stayed with my cousin Jeanne, her husband Bruce and their daughter, Amanda. We also saw Ben and Meg for lunch, (high school friend) Pam for a walk, (aunt) Marge and Bill for dinner, (cousins) Joanne and Serena for brunch, and cousin Peter and his wife Ann for lunch at their apartment in the Bronx on our way back. I don't think we could fit in anyone else.

Saturday morning I went with Jeanne to yoga. I knew all the poses and could have done them before my last hospital stay, but I haven't totally regained my strength or balance. I thought maybe I should leave, because I was wobbling all over the place, but I decided to stick it out. It's going to take a lot of practice to get back to where I was.

The big event of the weekend was seeing the Tony-winning rock musical, "Next to Normal," about a mentally ill woman and how her family (father, son and daughter) falls apart around her and then struggles for signs of hope so they can at least be "Next to Normal."

With music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, it was directed by Michael Greif ("Hair") and stars Alice Ripley, who won a Tony for best actress. You could see every detail of their faces, but even if you couldn't, the show was so dramatic that you could get shivers all the way in the back. I wasn't sure I would like it, but it was amazing.

Made it back around 7 p.m. tonight, and although I'm tired, it was worth it. And I didn't think about leukemia at all.


Ann said...

Please let us know what you hear. As for confident and hopeful, you know how doctors are. They're interchangeable in medical speak, so I'm confident you're covered.

Susan C said...

I'm amazed at your jam-packed NY schedule. What a whirlwind trip!

Nelle said...

I simply love the theatre. There is nothing else like it. Glad you went and sounds like you had one enjoyable visit after another. I understand how a doctors remark can be unsettling. My cardiologist tells me he is "GUARDEDLY optomistic" about my prognosis for the pericarditis and that always leaves me feeling like I want more of a positive answer. I find diverting my attention is the best way to deal with it.