Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas Eve eve!

Currently watching: Home Alone 3. You can call me lame. I'll call me Caroline. Most of the time. Sometimes I just go with "hey you." I realized today that I have been in this hospital for over a week already. It doesn't seem like that long ago (two weeks) I was released from Boston Medical Center and almost immediately went and got myself a wee bit shmanked at a birthday/Christmas party that same night. Three weeks ago, yes I'll admit it, I got fantastically drunk at a party. In retrospect, however, I blame it on the lack of blood in my system. I don't know what this has to do with anything, aside from the fact that bad vodka will always be just that. Don't do it.
In current-spect, I have been blown away by the number of people who have A: heard about my leukemia, and B: are responding with support. I'm not sure what I expected, coming back home like this. Well, I didn't know what to expect. Basically, up to this point in my brief life, I feel like I've experienced three completely separate and random worlds. And they've made me who I am now: Grade school, highschool, and college. Oh, the grade-school years: preschool through 7th grade with essentially the same 30 people. We were all crazy kids. We pretty much all went relatively separate ways in high school too. But I've heard from some of them, and honestly, I was really surprised. I don't know how many of my grade school friends would even recognize me anymore. I'm pretty sure I've changed a lot since 7 years ago, when I left ND. I mean, high school and a year and a half of college will do that to you. I probably wouldn't recognize their 13-year old selves either. But nonetheless, they've brought themselves back into my life. And I am so thankful for the knowing that they still care, despite our teenage years apart. I grew up with those kids, and I love them all and will always hold them in my heart, but I didn't really mature with them. That was high school. Oh, high school. Where would we be without you? Hell, who would I be if I hadn't gone to Culver? And then BU. I mean, really now. I've met so many good friends in Boston. And it's weird because all of a sudden, just because I guess I'm kind of sick or something, all of these people, all of these amazing and intelligent and caring people are letting me know they're still around. So that's what's been on my mind today. And I thank God for them all. I wish that it didn't take random acts of sadness to bring people together, but I hope something good comes of all of this at least. We'll see what happens. As it is, it's beddy-bye time for me. Pax from the world that is my individually ventilated room.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Upscale? Updike? no, no, wait. Update!

That's right! It's time for my intelligent yet clearly biased views regarding the current state of global affairs. Oh hah. Oh hah hah hah. Did I scare you? Because I undoubtedly could come up with some cynical insights into the current revolutions of the world, the snow that's backing flights up across the country, the lack of Christmas spirit and growth of Christmas shopping and its current and future effects on our society. But then, wouldn't I be just another blogger in the blogosphere imagining that my personal views actually matter in the grander scheme of things? Yes, yes I would. As it is, however, I won't subject the few people who may read my words to my (I admit it) relatively uninformed viewpoints regarding the state of affairs within the U.S. and the world.
What this blog is really about, aside from my ridiculous extrapolations, is what life is like in the hospital, living with cancer. It's really not that exciting. The chemo seems to be enjoying its gradual takeover of my body. I've pretty much been feeling like dirt the past three days, since I started the heavy drugs. I feel a bit better today though, which is good. I've actually eaten substantial foodings today. OH OH OH! I also finally got my damn amazing and Freaking expensive and beautiful camera last night! Holy freaking hell, this thing is so cool. It's super heavy, takes awesome pictures, and has more settings than something with a lot of settings. And although I will be broke as shit for the next couple months of my life, it's totally worth it. Holy crap, is it worth it. I'll put up the link to some sort of photo thing online where I'll post my stuff once I figure out how to do it. (Remember, I don't get Facebook? sigh.) But anyway. So that's about the most exciting thing going on right now.
Christmas is in three days, and this will be the second time I can remember not being in my house for the holidays. The first time was a few years ago when my family took a sweet trip to Arizona. I have some cool pictures from there as well. But yeah. It's weird when your traditions become turned on their heads. I used to fall asleep in our big flower-patterned chairs right next to the Christmas tree, reading my old journals and surrounding myself with candles and hot chocolate. It's funny how you don't really appreciate all the home-y things that fill your life, that you implicitly expect to always be there, until they're gone. So I hope everyone enjoys their family this weekend. Even if you don't always like your family. Or, if you really don't like your family, go find an old haunt from childhood, and spend some time there for a little bit. My mom, being from Canada and all that whatnot, likes to keep the house a brisk temperature during the winter. I was always freezing as a kid. So I used to go sit in the front window on top of a vent, hidden behind our no longer existent grimy linen curtains. I'd watch the outside world, and every once in a while the heat would turn on, and for five or ten minutes I would be toasty and safe behind my curtains. And that was so long ago. 12, 14 years, maybe. I don't want to go back to that, but I keep the memories. I smile over the silly things I remember. Because, really, they are what matter. No stuff, no things, no crap. Just be. And those are my personal views. And this is my (b)log. So there. Pax.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

going to die... must..... blog.......... I started the chemo today. My body is currently revolting against the 3 IV drugs and 9 pills I have forced into it today. goo. short blog. few capitals. I feel like I have the flu, only moreso. I have not, however, thrown up. I also have orange urine. Yes, orange. A little out of season, but I'll deal. One of the drip-drugs was red. red + yellow = orange! (I think). I haven't eaten since 10 am this morning, but I soup is on the way. So I hope everyone eats something delicious for me tonight because it could be months until I get my normally ravenous appetite back. Okay, I'm going to go back to cuddling with my bear. She's soft and squishy and doesn't complain if I squeeze too hard. note my irregular thought-process. We'll blame that one on the fever. goodnight.
Currently updating the blog format. Comments, suggestions, complaints are all more than welcome. Pax.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm not pregnant!

And I won't become so for at least the next seven months. Why, you ask? No, no, I haven't taken a vow of absolute celibacy no matter who brings sexyback into my life. Today, I started taking birth control pills. And no, the doctors aren't worried about me having ridiculous amounts of unprotected sex. Rather, they are concerned with the amount of blood I would be losing due to having my period. And seeing as how I received 5 packs of blood two weeks ago in Boston and receiving 2 more again today, I also feel it is in my best interest to try and keep as much of that red stuff in me as possible. So I'm officially on the pill. Somewhere in our country a member of the Christian Coalition just died. Hoo-rah. In other news, I do NOT have the Epstein-Barr virus. The doctors retested me, and the results came back negative. This means that tomorrow morning, bright and shining early, I begin my chemotherapy sessions. I am taking so many bloody drugs tomorrow. Aside: the actor who plays Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter movie Prisoner of Azkaban bears a striking resemblance to my ex from BU. That's disturbing on quite a few different levels. Anyway. So drugs tomorrow. I am weirdly excited because this means that I am one step closer to being better and back in Boston. I miss Boston and all my friends. And I really miss the freedom to be able to walk around a city on my own with little or no regard for my own personal safety, just the confidence in myself and the joy of knowing that I am doing exactly what I want. BU peeps know this to be true, and Culver peeps should know why I feel this way. It's hard as hell to be contained for four years, and then to finally be able to do what you want, go where you want whenever, only to have that all taken away from you. I'm not an indoors person. I am struggling with this whole, "Okay Caroline, no more outside for you." Today is my sixth day in here, and I have at least 22 more. But I'm trying. I get to bike on a seated bike... It's better than nothing. Otherwise, I read. I guitar. I really don't Internets or TV too much. Some vague belief about losing my ability to think by staring at a screen. Or something like that. But anyway, I must contradict myself here and return to my Harry Potter flick. Mmm, underage wizards.

Monday, December 18, 2006

My next-door-neighbor just belched.

And I heard it loud and clear. As previously established, there are no sound barriers between our rooms. Awesome. I finally had my CT scan today. That was one of the most clinically disturbing things I've ever been through. The room was dominated by the PHILIPS Machine that scans you. There were blinking lights, reflective stains on the wall from a drip in the ceiling, fluorescent overhead can lights, a rather large, black nurse-woman with a lazy eye, and again, the Machine. She laid me out on the bed? plank? surface that moves into the huge hole of the Machine. Red lasers scanned me. A female mechanized voice told me to "Please, don't move. Remain calm." The visible machinery started spinning, spinning, spinning around and around my body, scanning my sinuses for infections. And I didn't move. I tensed up, but hell if I didn't move. And then the lazy-eyed nurse told me it's over. And she gave me her forearm to pull myself up with because my neck is mildly useless on account of the stitches and catheter. And then she told me she'd called Transportation, please wait here. So I sat in my blue-leather wheelchair and waited for Transportation to wheel me out of the nuclear medicine area and back to my room. I waited. I waited. The nurse left her little viewing room behind glass. The Machine made intermittent noises, reminding me that it now owned a little bit of my soul. I waited. And Transportation took me back to my room where I promptly collapsed on my bed and waited for my pounding heart to relax. True story. Still no chemo.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

How do you eat your gingerbread man?

I started with his left arm, making a clockwise journey through his appendages until I reached the head, saving the body for last. It is the squishiest, and therefore most delicious, part of said man. It was a good relationship while it lasted, but now I've moved on. I just don't think he'll be able to meet my needs on a long-term basis. Oh well. On another, happy medical note: my doctors told me today that I tested positive for.... Epstein-Barr virus! John! Tell us about the Epstein-Barr virus! Well folks, the Epstein-Barr virus is a member of the herpes virus family. It typically causes mononucleosis, but it is possible to have the virus without having mono (i.e.: me). Many people get EBV at some point in their life; it is a common virus, transmitted typically through saliva or sharing food. What this means for me: my doctors are yet again postponing the start of my chemo treatments until they know if they should be significantly worried about the virus and its effect on my immune system. There isn't really a specific way to treat a virus; there are no antibiotics to be given. Recovery from a virus is pretty much dependent on the effectiveness of your immune system. The chemotherapy will essentially be attacking my marrow, so I won't be producing any white-blood cells, the happy little fighters in the immune system. SO. They're doing more tests to determine the virus' potency. The doctors would rather not start depleting my immune system when there's a nasty little virus lurking just beneath my cell flaps. Because cells totally have flaps. Under which hide viruses. Shutup. But I should be starting chemo tomorrow. Unless they tell me that my HIV results were actually positive. Then I'll start weeping. So that's my medical update for today. Hoo-rah. Also: apparently there are 3 other people my age on the floor. The nurses are plotting to make us all hang out sometime. It's funny because this floor is less social than 4th floor Shelton Hall. (You'd understand if you were there). But I guess everyone has a decent reason, being in medical isolation and whatnot. But I'll share more of this breaking news as the story unfolds. props for over-long posts.