Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to Lose Ten Pounds in Two Days

Step One - Come to my house
Step Two - Breathe deeply of the air
Step Three - Hug all occupants
Step Four - Go home and wait
Step Five - When you feel that little knot in your stomach, remain close to the bathroom
Step Six - After emptying all bodily fluids from every orifice, repeat and repeat and repeat again. When finished, repeat again.
Step Seven - Don't eat or drink for two days.  Don't worry about will power, you won't want to and you can't.
Step Eight - step on the scales and admire your success.

As you probably surmised, we have been victims of a particularly nasty stomach virus.  It started with our one-year-old grandson, Gavin.  He became ill on Saturday.  He got sick in his mom's car as they were coming over to drop Jonathan, Gavin's older brother, off at our house.  Jonathan spends every Saturday night with us when they are in town.  Cindy knew Gavin had not been feeling well for a couple of hours and she was not going to bring him in so I wouldn't get sick.  However, she felt she needed to bring him in and get him cleaned up.  I wore a face mask for a little bit, but that didn't last long - silly me.  Of course he wanted Papa to hold him and I wasn't strong enough to resist.  He got sick again, but fortunately he was with his mom at that point but they both needed a bath this time.  After getting him and herself cleaned up, they went home.  He was sick from both ends all night long and by morning she took him to the ER.  They put him on zofran and also prescribed popsicles for hydration therapy.

Here is a picture of him in the ER in the middle of his "therapy"

Makes you say, "aww," doesn't it?

By Sunday morning Cheryl also wasn't feeling well and stayed home from church.  She wasn't vomiting, but needed to stay close to the bathroom.  By late afternoon she was feeling some better.

When Cindy brought Gavin home from the ER, she needed popsicles, so I told her I would go to the store and get them.  When I brought them to her, I was planning to just drop them off at the door and leave.  However, Gavin saw me and came running up and grabbed my legs and wanted me to pick him up.  What could a Papa do?  Of course I picked him up.  He hugged my neck hard and put his head down on my shoulder.  I knew I shouldn't, but I took him to his room and sat down and rocked him for about ten minutes.  He just stayed very still with his head on my shoulder.  By that point I figured even if I got sick it was worth it to comfort him.

Sunday night I was feeling tired and went to bed at 11, unusually early for me.  At 12:30 I woke up with horrible reflux.  I was awake all night, came out to the living room and reclined on the couch, half sitting up, but the reflux continued.  It felt like my esophagus was on fire.  By early morning I was making frequent trips to the bathroom, but was still fighting the nausea.  Cheryl got up and said she was feeling fine and went to work.  I called and canceled my appointment for my monthly blood test because I didn't want to expose other immune deficient folks.  The lab is right next to the chemo room and I often wait for the blood test results in one of the chemo chairs. 

I was supposed to meet with school administrators concerning problems with Jimmy's schedule (another involved story by itself), but there was no way I was going to make the noon meeting.  Cheryl left work early and met with the school folks. 

After the meeting, she found out that both Cindy and Jonathan (Gavin's older brother) had also become sick in the middle of the night.  All of us were running mild fevers, but Jonathan's was up to 103.  We were all aching, too.

At mid afternoon, I lost the battle and this virus did what eight rounds of chemo therapy failed to do, the vomiting started.  Cindy, who is pregnant, has morning sickness all the time anyway, but this was even worse for her.  She was getting sick constantly.  Later that evening her doctor had her go to the ER because of concern for the baby.  Cheryl went to take care of the kids.  Unfortunately, it came back to her, too.  So there she is at Cindy's house and all of them are sick and I was in bed barely moving.  Cindy was released after several bags of IVs and anti-nausea shots.  They wanted to keep her, but she wanted to get home knowing everyone was sick.

Cheryl stayed home today.  We both had a bowl of soup and toast tonight for supper, the first I had eaten since Sunday afternoon.  We are no longer tied to the bathroom, but we are totally wiped out.  We dozed off and on all day.  Before she went to bed, she said she was going to try to go to work tomorrow. 

I called Cindy and they are all better now.  Jonathan is going to school tomorrow.  It was short lived, thank God!  But very, very nasty.

Yes, I did lose 9 pounds.  Now I just have to figure out how to get rid of the other 40.  All I know is I don't want to do it this way.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm Still Here

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to use Facebook and he won’t bother you for two months!

I am sorry that as of today it has been two months since I updated my Blog. For those who have followed me over the years you know that I seem to do this a couple of times a year. I will be very prolific in my writing for awhile and then I seem to disappear. As I have mentioned before, I am not too sure why this happens but I imagine some shrink would be very happy to try and discover the deep, dark reason.

Well, this time the main reason is Facebook. I am very glad I don’t gamble because I think I must have an addictive personality. When I joined the support site CLL Forum when it first started up and then a little later CLL Christian Friends, it seemed like I was on it every waking moment. If I was out of town teaching, I couldn’t wait to get back and check to see what the latest news was. And then, after a year or two, I started having periods of disappearing there, too. I know that sometimes it just seemed like I needed a break from thinking about cancer 24/7.

Now I am fascinated with Facebook. I had resisted the efforts of some friends to join for quite some time. And then, for some reason that I have already forgotten, I took the plunge. At first I didn’t know what I was doing and I had to have my daughter come over and show me how to use the site. One of the things she showed me was where to find all the free games (Mindjolt - dozens of choices there -, Farkle and Yacht). Yikes! I have been hooked ever since. Why do I feel that I need to keep playing those games until I beat the daily, weekly, or monthly high scores of my friends? I am usually not that competitive. I also have three farms going raising virtual crops and animals. One time my virtual pumpkins rotted on the vine because I didn’t harvest them in time. I was upset!!! The crops were wasted and I had thrown the “money” away that it took to buy the seeds. I would like to reach the highest level on each of the farm games and be able to buy and place the large homes/mansions onto the expanded farm land. Good grief!

I am connected to 91 friends and I actually know all but one (and I may know that person – stinking memory). These are folks from church, my military career, former places of employment, former places we have lived, my leukemia support sites, or family members.


So, what is going on with my leukemia/lymphoma? Fortunately, not much. Since I last wrote, I have had two blood tests and everything remained stable except for my platelets which took a huge drop on the last test. I am not too concerned for a couple of reasons. First, previous to that test they had climbed and actually reached the edge of the normal range. Second, even though they dropped into the “stage four” area, it was only one test and we need to see a pattern. Also, they have been in that range many times before. My platelets are the one area of my tests that never seem to be very consistent. I did nick myself shaving this past Sunday morning and it took a very long time to stop bleeding and then started bleeding again almost an hour later. It was only a very small cut. I have a monthly test next Monday, so we will see where they are then.

When I had my IVIg treatment in August, I had a really rotten week after the infusion. I am not sure it was from the infusion with the steroids, but my feet and legs swelled so bad that I couldn’t get my shoes on for several days. I had to keep my legs elevated or they got even worse. I also felt poorly all week. Not exactly sick, but certainly not good.

The feeling puny has been happening off and on for several weeks. I have been getting a lot of headaches and just not wanting to do anything. I will be interested to see if there is anything reflected in next weeks tests. And then the stupid leg itching started again last week. I have no idea why, but it sure is aggravating. Some days are worse than others. No rash this time, just the itching and swelling behind my knees and up my legs. It is only on my upper legs and that is a blessing. So, I am slathering up with the prescription itch cream. OK, enough whining!

I do have a couple of blog entries I want to write very soon. First I am about to kick off my fundraising for the annual Light the Night Leukemia/Lymphoma Society Walk next month. I am a little slow with the kickoff again this year and I was even on one of the organizing committees. Second I really want to update what is going on with our cabin – and it is a lot! Ever see the 1986 movie The Money Pit?

Well I will close for now as I need to go check on my corn, rice, cotton, blueberry and pineapple crops. Even though I have been called a twit a few times in my life, I have no plans to join Twitter!