Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm not very original.

I was going to use as my title the line, "Well, so this is interesting." But you know the little thing that comes down when you start typing letters in a box? Yeah, well, mine remembered that very same phrase, meaning I have used it before. Sheesh. But actually, this is interesting.

So I was watching Grey's Anatomy tonight. I know, it's not the most healthy show for a person who spends a substantial amount of their time in the hospital, but whatever. Anyway, so tonight on the show, they had to do a bone-marrow biopsy. I don't know how those medical shows do their surgical thing, but I doubt they're actually performing the procedures. But they showed the big needle going into the hip bone and the doctor starting to drill down. Standard biopsy fun. The weird part is, I started getting teary-eyed. I sucked it back though, and was fine after a minute. This whole situation hasn't exactly made me more emotional. It's just really weird for me to see people going through the same procedures that I endure. And I know it's just television, and the whole thing was probably fake, but I also know how much biopsies hurt. And I was reminded that in less than one week, I will be getting another one, for real. It's strange: when I'm lying on the hospital bed, waiting for the first needle stick, it's like I disassociate myself from the situation. I get through the biopsies and the lumbar punctures and all of the needle sticks and the pills by mentally distancing myself from my body. And I just realized this now, as I'm typing. I guess it's a coping mechanism. But when I'm not being prepped for needles and such, when I'm watching someone on T.V. or thinking about what will happen in a week, I can't become emotionally unattached. So I guess that's why I almost started crying. It's so different, the anticipation versus the actual event. The anticipation is ten times worse. Anyway, well, now my thoughts are all jumbled, and I fear that what I have said makes little or no sense. Eh. Either way. That's what was interesting about my day. It's always a good time when you have deep realizations about yourself. Alright, peace.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

How do you see Yourself?

With cargo pants, arm warmers, and a bright green Grateful Dead scarf.
Everything that you see is who I am and who I choose to be. Now who are you?
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The dashboard melted, but we still have the radio

And now, today, Tuesday, we begin again. When I started this blog way back in December, my goal was to keep my friends updated on how my treatment was going. That is still partially my goal, but it has expanded beyond that. However, I will elaborate on my new goal in a later post. Today, I want to talk about yesterday. So in December, I promised myself that I would keep this thing honest. I wasn't going to sugar-coat my experiences, no matter how difficult they were. I may crack jokes or take things lightly, but I am telling you what happens, exactly how it happens.

Yesterday, I was depressed. The past two weeks have been extremely hard on me. Between being held in the hospital an extra week, not knowing when I was going to leave, not being able to go outside, and having to postpone my highly anticipated trip to Boston, there were a good number of reasons to get upset. But for the most part I was holding up alright. So I had to go to clinic yesterday to give blood. Not a big deal; it took maybe twenty minutes total. After that, I was planning on spending the rest of the day downtown. My dad and I went to Navy Pier for lunch, and then we walked down the pier. And that's when I realized that pretty much everything I want to do, I can't. I can't get a job on a tall ship that takes visitors on an hour-long sail along the lakefront. I can't go for a half-day bike ride, also along the lakefront. I can still take pictures, but aside from my own enjoyment, I have no reason to. Basically, it is just extremely hard for me to resign myself to so much inactivity. There are so many things I want to do! I know I've said this before, that it is hard to adapt to doing nothing when you're used to being active twelve plus hours a day. The thing is, usually I accept this. I've been doing it for four months; I'm used to the restrictions. It's just that every once in a while, something happens or I go somewhere or I see a bunch of happy people who remind me that I'm different. And that's difficult sometimes.

So, I'm not trying to complain. I hope, whoever is reading this, that you don't think I'm complaining. I'm just trying to explain that there are days when the hardest part of cancer has nothing to do with the medical procedures. Every day is a battle to keep a positive outlook, to remember that things will get better. And on that note, things will get better, and I'm off to get blood drawn once again. Happy Tuesday, sad toad.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I guess there's always something.

Today was a good day. Lots of family time; my brother's birthday is coming up. Yet again, I had a delicious brew at a restaurant in Milwaukee. And there were no negative side-effects or hallucinations, which is always a plus. I have also consumed a goodly amount of chocolate this afternoon. I devoured the entire cranial section of a chocolate bunny; I also had hot chocolate as an evening snack. Chocolate is still delicious to me, but I find that I can't tolerate as much of it as once was my norm. I suppose that's good though; the last thing I need is to be eating whole chocolate bunnies in one sitting. So that's the good news.

The cancer-news is that I am currently experiencing bone pain, in conjunction with joint pain. It's actually really weird: when I cough, I can feel my leg and arm bones twinge. The other side of my elbow, which I know has a name, but I can't remember it, is the primary location of the joint issues. It's not debilitating, it's just really weird. Apparently though, this is not unusual. It just means that I will not be taking my growth-factor shot tonight. My nurse explained to me that I might feel bone pain. The G-CSF shot is great because it helps raise white blood cell counts. However, it causes your marrow production to kind of go on overdrive with the cells. So right now, I guess my marrow is either producing too many white blood cells, or it is producing them too quickly. I find that ironic. I have cancer because my marrow wasn't making any white blood cells, and now it is making too many. Thanks bones, thanks. But the nurse told me to just take a few Tylenol and go to bed. It should be gone in the morning. So pop pills and head to sleep, I will. Enjoy Marathon Monday if you're in Massachusetts. Otherwise, I hope everyone has an agreeable Monday anyway. Do something silly or random to make yourself smile. I'll be spending the day downtown. Peace!