It's hard to believe that less than 11 months ago I was told that I had less than a year to live. Now it's countdown to 2007.
At City of Hope yesterday, the latest results showed blood counts have stayed the same. A bit of calculating found that levels are:
White blood cells = 30% of a normal healthy person
Red blood cells = 60% of a normal healthy person
Hemoglobin = less than 60% of a normal healthy person
Platelets = less than 20% of a normal healthy person
No wonder I've been feeling so tired and out of it! Expressing impatience for my counts to go up, my oncologist DID point out that I was very lucky to be alive, in full-remission, without any major complications. Full-recovery is just going to take "some time".
I want so badly to live and get out there and fly, dance, climb, love, explore and BE. It's torturous, actually. But the risks are too great, so I have to sit, wait, hope, watch, rest and pray for my immune system to kick in and for cells to flourish. Time is precious, even when it means sacrificing some so that you can hopefully have more.
My doctor did say that one way to help blood counts & health (for anyone!) is to reduce the amount of stress in life. Most post-BMT survivors return to a home filled with loved ones to take care of the everyday. I have the challenge of living on my own. Over the last couple weeks, I experimented with the possibility of being as independent as possible and have learned
that, at this point, it is doing more harm than good. Simply doing the mundane such as dishes or laundry is a slow and deliberate process that leaves me worn out and on the couch for multiple catnaps a day. I hate to admit that I end up spending a lot of the day in bed.
So I humbly write this e-mail, of necessities and requests for help. And a solution to reduce the number of e-mails/calls for everyone.
Less stress… I hope.
Every Tuesday I need a ride to City of Hope. It's tricky to say how long the day will be. On a good day, the appointments will last 2-3 hours. On a bad day, 6-8 hours, though those days are very rare. Every once in awhile, I may need a lift to other appointments. Occasionally I may just drive myself if it's a quick trip and I'm feeling feisty and ambitious, but the less driving I do, the better.
Since I am my own caretaker and advocate, the YAHOO group Calendar will be used as a passive way to ask for help. Save the link below for easy access to the Calendar. If you feel like helping, want to visit or need a great excuse to drop by, check the calendar. Unless it is urgent or unusual, scheduled requests for help will not be sent out by e-mail.
I also need help with errands. I`m not exactly sure how to work that out. I guess if you happen to be in my neck of the woods, give me a call and maybe serendipity will step in. Or if you know that you will be going to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, The Co-op, Cost-co, or any errand-type place (i.e. post-office, pharmacy, hardware store) and you'd like some company
or have time to pick something up, call or e-mail to let me know. I will probably need something too.
I know the holidays are here and everyone is crazy busy and I don't wish to inconvenience anyone. But if you feel like taking a break from the crowded rush & bustle and want to walk at the pace of healing, recovery and self-discovery, I got a nice hot cup of tea waiting.
One last request: Flu season is upon us so please, if you have the sniffles or any ills, it would be best to send Season's Greetings through non-physical contact avenues of love. Happy Holidays. Let's celebrate this Season of Love. And Blessings always. Looking forward to a bright New Year.
P.S. Looks like I will be on TV again. I have a shoot with TLC tomorrow. Not exactly sure what it's all about, but we'll see...
"Measure your Life in Love"