Today’s post is a bit of an amalgam. I hadn’t realized how long its been since I posted so I’ve pulled in at least one draft from New Year’s Eve to help with perspective. Summary? The last time I’ve had chemo was on December 13. This next section I wrote the morning of the 29th when I was supposed to get another infusion. The huge snow storm that happened on the 28th had knocked down any hope we’d have had for getting to the hospital that day.
Ever since then we’ve been fighting another liver infection. We are only getting hints at what’s going on. I had a CT scan last Monday and while it did not show any change in the tumor (yay, I guess. I could have gone into remission I supposed in order to be any better). What it did show were some shadows in my liver that made the radiologist tell my oncologist that we needed to deal with it. Blood tests are OK. At least they show my white blood cell count to be fine along with other indicators about my ability to handle infections. I’m really glad I can still eat well even though it may not always be better.
So what do you do when you’ve already spent 1 1/2 months on nightly antibiotic IVs fighting the previous serious liver infection and abscess? Well I asked my oncologist, my palliative care doc, my infectious disease doc, and my intestinal tract surgeon to spend 5 minutes talking amongst themselves before deciding what to do. The each had a partial picture and I needed to make sure they all agreed with each other and that they clearly knew what should be done for treatment.
I went to the hospital on Tuesday thinking I’d stay there for at least the night, but after meeting all the docs said it would be best if I just stay home, get lots of sleep and see about nipping this early infection in the bud so to speak. My temperature has been fluctuating between 97.8 & 100.2 degrees over the past week so I felt so much better when I took my temp this morning and saw it back down to the more normal 97.8 degrees.
They were also really concerned about COVID19 and the hospital’s capacity. This is the first time that this pandemic has impacted my own hospital care. I knew I was in a very privileged spot in a perfect hospital for my condition but holy smokes it goes to show that there are NO places where our health practitioners are not profoundly impacted by all of this folks. Get your fucking vaccine already!
No idea when I’ll resume chemo. No idea whether I can throw this infection without help. No idea when my digestion will return to “normal”, although there are times when things appear to work and then don’t. Good news? Strong blood numbers, so I might be able to do this naturally.
OK, so here’s the older post, done around December 29
The year is almost over. It was a weird year for all of us, but I just realized that over the last 18 years I’ve been preparing for this pandemic and throughout 2021 found myself to have already been in an optimal place to ride it out. Funny how fighting cancer involves so much of the same effort. Counting it out right here I’m good with finances and family well being. I live in a fine place in a relatively stable location. Most of all I am living with the person I most ever wanted to live with. Here we are, together. Through all our faults we’ve lived our lives to the point where we had enough life experiences as weird left-handed people to recognize each other as perfect matches for each other.
Both of us have put together the best possible lives for ourselves as circumstances would let us. Sure, yeah I’m dying, but we now understand that this dying will not be fast even if it could happen any hour, it could go one for another decade or so too. We’ve been able to sock away enough assets to cruise through this twilight without needing to work so far, which is good because I am essentially unreliable. Certainly I could do really good work but not in the work environment that we still have. My professional life had a necessary foundation in it, that I would deliver what I promised to do, and done when I predicted it to be done. I just cannot do that any more. I can get taken out of action and put on my back for days at a time. The way M & I have it set up, I don’t have to do anything more than simply get through those bad days. I don’t have to worry about making up for the gaps. This is so obvious that I can find the motivation to thank the universe for bringing me here and letting me stay for now at least.
This morning I was supposed to get another chemo infusion. It also dropped 7 inches of snow here in the past 24 hours. The morning snow on the back yard porch showed the intensity of last night’s wind too, scouring the deck but piling it up against the big planting pots.
The snow was up to the front bumper of the minivan. That’s not the worst I’ve seen, and I might have been able to drive out of there and eventually gotten onto the plowed roads & highways, but not at 5:30 in the morning with a scrawny, skinny body that gets cold way too easily. The Washington State Department of Transportation also gave me permission to skip this morning by advising the general public to stay off the roads for the better part of the rest of today.
Back to the Present
Well there you have it. Like that lady in the movie Brazil – “My complications had a little complication”.