Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Was that a tough year or what?
A year ago today I went to the hospital to check out a severe pain in my back, thinking that at the very worst I had a broken rib. It never occurred to me that the lump under my ribs was my spleen. It never occurred to me that the pain I felt while breathing was more serious than a bone poking into my lung. Now that would be pretty serious, yes? And who among you thinks that I would go about injuring myself in such a simple way. No, I was having serious issues with organs and blood, all secretive and microscopic. In my defense, the ER doctor was going to let me go home with a handful of Vicodin. I still have my initial diagnosis and prescribed action of Physical Therapy and painkillers, ironic because two weeks later I ceased movement altogether. I would have had a tougher year if I took the first diagnosis given to me. I was saved by the insistence of Leslie, who was my angel and my love. I can never thank her enough for that persistence, but sadly we have gone our own ways now. Cancer, which I was finally diagnosed with a few days later, takes its toll on a lot of things.
Basically, I've spent the whole year fighting cancer. Sometimes more directly than others, but it has been cancer I've been fighting, even when the current diagnosis is pneumonia, the gangster behind the scenes is cancer. My current health situation is "barely healthy", but "holding serve". What this means is my blood levels (WBC, Hemoglobin, Platelets, etc.) are just above the levels to send me back into the hospital to have IVs and hourly testing and observation. It appears that my counts are not getting into normal ranges yet, but they are slowly moving there. Slower than that. Slower still. Almost at a standstill. Little bit faster now.
This year has taught me that stubborness, willpower and patience can get you through some real tough situations. Most of the physical is willpower, which surprised the hell out of me. This year, I've had to do things physically I never even thought about. I never think twice about walking, yet I had to learn to do it all over. Many more things just like that. This year had brought me more tears than I thought I could cry, more pain than I thought I could endure and more love into my heart and life than I certainly deserve and never thought existed in such quantities. This year I've made many new connections and reconnected some old ones. I've gotten so much love this year and it has buoyed me through the extremely difficult times, when darkness seemed destined to take over, always someone stood up and lifted me up.
I thank you all for your support and kindness. I will attempt to repay you with unusually good spirits and appreciation for the life we all share.
This year has given me challenges I didn't foresee and so many, many drugs I never wanted to take. There were some days that I literally told the time according to the pills I was swallowing. At least now, I use a timer to indicate my next dosage. Without work to guide my workweek, all the days seem to run together. I use the weekly pill holder to tell me the days, otherwise I couldn't keep straight if I had taken my dosage for three O'clock when I was in the middle of my 7 O'clock dosage. Very confusing. I think I've got it down now, I hope there's nothing added to my schedule now that is taken more than once a day.
Also this year, I developed a sweet tooth. I cannot recall having one before, even as a child, but now, I go through serious cravings for sweet things. Cookies, candies and chocolate. And have I figured out some of my chocolate problems from a couple of years ago! I'm trying hard to stay out of making of small chocolates, because I don't think I need the pounds added to me. I'm rather liking my weight while it remains under 200#s. I play golf better and my clothes fit better, except for my tux. Oh yeah and that blue blazer. Okay I like how t-shirts and dress shirts fit me.
I learned this year that the patient is in charge of their care. I learned how to talk to doctors, how not to talk to doctors and how to ask for better care. I also learned that nurses are truly underrated and wonderful.
This past year I'd like to place in a lucite box. I'd like to look at it from time to time, but I would rather not live through most of it again. In a lucite box, I could see which parts are loose and fall about, which parts are solid and strong, and all of it never let out again.
Let's make this new year a fantastic one, with smaller challenges and higher rewards.
Let's make this new year one that we want to live over and over again.
Let's make it a year to remember fondly and lovingly.
Let's make it a year of prosperity.
Let's make it everything we want.
Let's beat the challenges.
Who's with me?