Tuesday, August 20, 2013

how large?

The hills behind Castle Hill in Budapest are large.
In the previous post, I mentioned having large stretches of time where my leukemia is not relevant to the conversation. That got me wondering: exactly how large are these stretches of time? How long do I go between mentions of my leukemia in conversation on a day to day basis and how long do I go between telling someone new about my leukemia?

For the first question, replaying my day in my (somewhat foggy, post-chemo) brain, I come up with the following times leukemia came up implicitly or explicitly during the workday:
1. I brought my old port into the office and showed it to my nurse (long story involving cleaning out the place it used to be kept)
2. I was sitting in the doctor's dictation room at the hospital (it is a very tiny room where we doctors shoe horn in to do our charting) and one of the other doctors is a few months older than me. We talked about how we are both turning fifty next year and I mentioned how pleased I am to be another year older. Further conversation ensued about mortality and my experiences.
3. One of the nurses who knew me pre-leukemia told me how much she likes my curls.
4. I explained ports and PICCs to a patient who may need long term IV access. Everyone in the room but the patient and their family knew that I knew exactly what I was talking about
5. A patient mentioned that her hair was darker now since having chemo and wondered if it usually comes in darker. "Yes, it does," I answered, "and curlier." She did not know that I and my nurse both knew the answer to this question was personal.

There were certainly many other times when I thought about it or touched on the "I had leukemia" factoid during the day and I bet there were other times someone made reference to it during the day that I just don't remember because I cannot recall everything that goes through my head in a day (thank heavens). As I go through my day tomorrow, I think I will try to be aware of when I think of the leukemia or when someone says something that alludes to it and see what I get. Anybody want to guess?

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