Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 24

I wanted to share these pictures with you because they are so beautiful. I don't have any actual leukemia or Mary news for the day yet, but do have a little leftover news from yesterday.
Clifton sent this to me to celebrate his birthday. This cherry tree was hit by lightening two years ago and everyone said to cut it down. He didn't; it's doing fine and on his birthday evening it had a rainbow focused on it.

Where the red cells come from--see you can almost see some floating out in the background
So, yesterday during reiki, I realized that I had been visualizing the wrong thing for my white blood cells. I had been visualizing that platelets and white blood cells came from white snap dragons and red cells came from red snap dragons, but it seemed very clear that platelets come from white snap dragons, red blood cells from red snap dragons and white blood cells from light yellow roses. It is just fascinating to me to see what my unconscious mind comes up with. Light yellow roses? why? BUT...perhaps now that I am visualizing them coming from the correct source, now they will start rising. I'll let you know!
update with actual news
So, my numbers today are great: platelets 105 (at least two people have said today that I could be a platelet donor soon--which actually makes me wonder if I could stockpile my own platelets?), hgb 6.9, ANC 10. Got a unit of red cells today and feel much perkier.

Today was the busiest day ever for me. Terry, Ellie and Emily all came by and took turns with me. I hadn't had my transfusion yet b/c it comes with benadryl and I didn't want to snooze away my visit. Stefan came by to say hi and John my third year resident friend had a "no show" day in clinic so he came by to say chat. I had a massage in the morning and a unit of red cells in the afternoon/evening both resulting in increased perkiness and then my first writing group in the evening. It was fun and interesting, but did not mess with my level of perkiness.

One of the prompts in writing group was anger and I was thinking about how anger has not been a big part of my response to having AML. I started thinking about my psyche as being fairly practical. People often tell me I have a good attitude and I think what they are noticing is that I didn't spend a whole lot of time in the anger/bargaining/grief phases but went straight from denial (where I comfortably lived full time for the first three days and still visit from time to time perhaps) to meaning making. Part of this has got to be the result of all the people I have watched go through tough times and seeing what is useful and what ends up making them spin their wheels. I really like the image of being sick acting like a fire in my psyche, burning away all the useless stuff lying around, leaving me the purified metals without junk hanging off of them, cluttering the place up.

An interesting piece of trivia about today is that it is the first day I found myself wishing I could go outside. Other days I would have been happy to go outside, but was just as happy to stay in. Tonight I was thinking, "I'd like to go for a little stroll in the twilight around the hospital"--like kind of longing for it. I'll wait, but I think it all points to I'm getting better! I'm gonna get out of here soon!

Another interesting piece of trivia: the Red Cross has already talked to the few platelet donors whose platelets agree with my grumbly little lymphocytes about when I'm getting chemo and when I'm likely to need platelet support. Isn't that cool! There are some donors in New England for me because they found five units I could tolerate initially; they just ran out of them and then couldn't find any more between here and Georgia. I am imagining my donors in rural Mass or suburban NH or maybe VT or ME, drinking their morning coffee, thinking about me getting their platelets and thinking about me thinking about them. I wonder what started them giving platelets? I wonder how it feels knowing there is a person out there somewhere that you have never met who is relying--whose family and friends are relying--on you and your generosity and knowing you are connected so firmly to them and yet not knowing the first thing about them. Well, whoever you are, for now my marrow is making platelets and I'm good, but in three and a half weeks or so, you'll be saving the day for me again. See you then and thanks.

I'm going to go for my red cell infused walk and then to eat bananas so that I stay off my potassium pill (most disgusting pill evah) and then to bed, grateful, well loved and swathed in artificial immune system. I hope the same for you (except without the artificial immune system part).


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  2. Mary...Peter Ihm, MD wanted me to tell you that he was asking for you.