I felt like I was in trouble, physically, from the moment I awoke Tuesday morning. That sense can loom over us before we completely understand it- is it fear? Uncertainty? Just what are we feeling? Why?
I rolled out of bed convinced I'd muster the strength to get through the day. I had labs, then a visit with Dr. P, then off to infusion, and an afternoon visit with our Fourward group. Whew. That is a full day.
But everything was wonky from the start. I simply couldn't breathe. A step here, and maybe another and I had to sit or everything felt like it was slipping away from me. I was so short of breath, and lightheaded at the same time. Bathing, dressing and getting ready were a tall order.
So we were running late- I simply had no control over what my body could do. I apologized from the start of arriving at Roger Maris, and the wheelchair was not even questioned but rolled out to me instantly.
Roger Maris was very accommodating and forgiving of me running behind. I was soon taken back for labs and then taken to Dr. Panwalkar. But the lab was behind too. So when Dr. P walked in the exam room door, he got right down to business.
"A wheelchair? Why a chair? Oh what is going on with you?" he loudly proclaimed.
He sat and faced me right away.
So I told him. How late I had been, and how physically I wasn't feeling well. My breathing, my ability to walk and stand and do anything, truly diminished. I hadn't left the house in 3 weeks.
Where were those labs? It had been enough time, but they still weren't back.
Dr. P performed his thorough exam of me like always. Surprisingly my lungs sounded clear and good. I really didn't show many symptoms that explained how I was feeling. The photo of me above, shows how well I can look, even when things on the inside don't match the outside.
What would tell us the most, were my lab results. The labs just hadn't come through. Dr P needed to move on with his day.
So Rick maneuvered me out the door and I heard Dr. Panwalkar say, "Oh, I can get her." The next thing I knew, I looked behind and sure enough, Dr. Panwalkar was pushing my wheelchair! In case my adoration of him wasn't as high as it could possibly be, he shows another level of compassion for me. You could say, the picture of me in the wheelchair to him, didn't match my words either, but he went with his heart and treated me like I said I needed. He even took the time to move chairs and steer me perfectly into a waiting room spot to sit and wait. My heart was bursting for all the right reasons.
Soon, my infusion nurse, Casey, took right over with the deep level of care and concern as we continued to wait for the labs. It was my doctor's nurse, Angela, that brought the final word to me.
The labs were back and my hemoglobin had fallen to a 5.8! That is low- extremely low. And it completely validated why I felt so lousy! She relayed to me how Dr. Panwalkar looked relieved too. The way I felt and everything I had said matched the results in the blood work. I needed fresh blood- ASAP. They could get me in upstairs, in two hours. I needed to come back in a week to do labs all over again, and see if then I could do chemo. Angela completely understood the range of emotions we were all going through, and went out of her way to help me maneuver it all too. I don't feel like I can ever thank her enough for all she does for me.
Then Angela saved the best for last- a kernel of the best news possible was buried in the mix of some not so great news. My tumor marker? Had dropped- from 52, all the way down to 40! The chemo is working! We just need to get my body up to a quality that it can take another dose of the chemo.
The rest of my afternoon, was spent lying in a bed up on the old family birth center floor. I watched tv, rested, and relaxed as the drops of blood started to restore me. Its a feeling of the light coming back on, after the darkness has swallowed you up for far too long. I could breathe. I could walk about. Everything became so easy peasy again- as it should be. Even when Nolan came to take me home from the hospital, he pushed the wheelchair ever so gently, guiding me down to the car. But I felt like I could have walked on my own.
A wonderful dinner awaited me at home. I did happen to gain 3 pounds and it was all due to the wonderful meals and treats we've received. I've enjoyed the food so much and it truly made a difference in my life! Thank you to all who have done so many things to encourage and uplift my whole family so much.
I still have a lot of recovery to achieve. My counts need to all go higher before I will be able to do chemo and get all knocked back down again. Most of my time is still spent sitting, or lying down, between my chair and my bed. So I'm doing all I can to just stay in today and make this day count.
One of the things I've managed to make progress on, with the help of a wonderful friend, is turning this blog, into a book! Without her guidance, her talents, and the her gift of time, this project may never have taken flight. She's managed to wield a kitchen chair, wedged between my bed and a recliner for me, and the weight of many posts from my blog- woven together with her deft hands. She's seen me at my lowest, and always helped me to give my best despite everything.
We're not quite finished, but we see the completed project on the horizon.
Love to you all!