Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 88 - growly dogs and thumbs

There were so many blog-worthy things today that I had a hard time deciding on the title, but there you have it. Other contenders were that I had coffee this morning with Patrick which was a wonderful treat and, well, we'll get to the others.

Patrick's early morning meeting got cancelled so I became his early morning meeting and we had a wonderful time drinking coffee and discussing books, patients, cases, our kids, our life trajectories, etc. Patrick gave me a copy of his book which was very kind. I am embarrassed to admit I didn't have one before. I always meant to get one, but hadn't quite gotten myself to think of it when I was by a computer. Perhaps I knew if I waited long enough Patrick would give me one (joke). In my defense, I'm not a huge poetry buff. I don't have anything against it; just always preferred other forms of communication. Both Eva and Patrick have tried to help educate me and it has only helped a little bit. Once, I thought I would educate myself and so I bought "Good Poems for Hard Times," read half of it, like it and put it in my waiting room. Someone stole it. That was my last attempt at educating myself about poetry. I have never had any other book stolen from my office.

After morning coffee, then sudoku and general time wasting, I went to the beach with Maggie. I have spoken before about how much I love to watch her hurl her little furry self around after her tennis ball and at the beach, it's double the fun because she digs into the sand, then overshoots the tennis ball and half wipes out before swinging back for it. At one point, she got hot and took herself into the ocean where the water was just a few inches deep and lay down in it to cool off. Cute! We only met one other dog. It looked very happy to see Maggie and started greeting her happily, the suddenly growled at her. She yiped and ran away and it followed her. Then she ran back to me and circled around me twice with the other dog chasing her. The dog's owner finally got it together to grab her dog and we marched off down the beach. "He's never done that before!" Maggie was fine and seemed to get over it more or less instantly, or at least once she saw the tennis ball again. It was interesting to me that normally, I would have just reached down and grabbed the dog's collar, but because of the leukemia, I feel like I can't do anything with my body that might slightly put it at risk. Maggie was not in any danger at any point and I think I would have responded differently if the other dog had had bared teeth or continued growling, but in this case, I just watched helplessly. I wonder when I will stop being overprotective of myself or if this is a permanent change.

Then I did some weaving. I think I mentioned that I was experimenting a little bit with double weaving and I am very happy with experiment #1. I will wait to put up pictures until I can easily photograph both sides as they are different and that is part of its interest. I think there is enough warp for two more experiments and then if it works out right, the loom will be empty while I'm in chemojail and ready for me to teach Tanya how to weave when I come back. This is a project that pre-dates the leukemia by several months and our schedules keep not working out. Maybe, just maybe, they will sometime in September/October.

Let me tell you a lovely story. Once at CHH, I took care of a wonderful woman with a lot of good stories for a few weeks. She had not grown up in the U.S. so when I told her I would not be seeing her for a few days because I was taking my boards, she told me she would "hold thumbs" for me because that is what they did in the country she was from instead of crossing their fingers. I thought this was really cute and now when I have patients who need to be wished luck, sometimes I tell them the above story and say that I'll hold my thumbs for them. I like to because it's interesting and the expression is cute and funny and  the story honors the memory of a woman who I was quite fond of. Yesterday, one of my patients sent me a get well card that included a picture of him post-transplant holding his thumbs and the note said "Again, thank you. I am hoping you are doing well. You are in my prayers and I will continue holding my thumbs for you." It just goes round and round; he reminds me of her and we are all richer and happier for it.

Terry and I went to the Blue Moon for our final pre-chemojail Blue Moon meal. I won't be able to go there for probably about three weeks once I do chemo, so it was a nice treat. Delicious as always.

There are all the fun events of the day. I guess you could pick two and make what you felt was the ideal headline for the day for me. I like the balance of a positive and a negative and that both were events that were only events because of the processing I did on them.

Wishing you no growly dogs, confidence in your body and a good place in the cycle of love and remembrance.

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