I'm going to start this post at the end of our day and work my way around. When we got off the bus today, I saw something that really tickled me and made me smile. In the parking lot, off to one side there was a small metal stand with a gold calf's head complete with little horns attached to it. At first, I thought it was a garden ornament until I noticed a man swinging a lasso at it. When I put it all together I had to start laughing. There was a man in the parking lot roping a tiny metal steer. Only in Texas. Here's the really funny part. Chris went to take the trash out and came back about 45 minutes later with a grin on his face. Turns out the cowboy was one of our new friends from the leukemia clinic. He'd just gotten back from his ranch and was feeling well enough to rope. We'd run into his wife earlier in the day and I had wondered where he was. I was glad to see him feeling so well today.
The second thing that tickled me was the "baby bottle". I've had them before, and the nurses and physician's assistants always present them like they're on an infomercial. My favorite line is, "You can carry it around in your pocket." They actually tell you this with a big smile. Today, I was presented with the "baby bottle" after having received an IV drip of Ativan in preparation for my eighth lumbar puncture. Needless to say, I did think the nurse's presentation of the device hilarious. I'm sure she thought I was hilarious, in and of myself. Then again, she has to deal with people on Ativan all day long. I suppose it's like being a bartender and dealing with drunks. Well, after my lumbar puncture, I have to lay flat on my back for one hour. The doctor also recommends that you have a caffeinated beverage after the procedure. Imagine being slightly high from the anti-anxiety meds, lying flat on your back, trying to sip a coke from a bendy straw without spilling on yourself. No, I didn't let Chris take a picture. I did manage to spill on myself, though. :)
After an hour, the nurse turned me loose with the baby bottle. This was the first time that I hadn't finished one in the ATC unit, so it literally was the first time that I had to carry one around. It's slightly larger than an actual baby bottle and it's one of those things that are just awkward to hold. So, I suspended my disbelief and tried to put it in my pocket. As it turns out, you can do it. I looked like I was smuggling formula, but that was the least of my worries.
A side note to Laura and Kristin: Thanks for the Jerome sighting and sorry you had to deal with him. HAha.
I have started presenting new side effects to the chemo treatments. The neuropathy in my hands has spread to my feet. I have started a drug to help with this but it's hard to say whether I prefer what was happening before the drug. Before I started taking the drug, my fingers were numb up to the second joint and the numbness occasionally became painful. Since I've been on the drug for about a week, the numbness is much less pronounced, but has spread into the palms of my hands and the bottom of my feet. It makes walking a very strange proposition.
I still suffer from muscle atrophy. As Chris posted earlier, I can't step up onto a steep step. I almost didn't make it onto the bus because of this and it's only an eighteen inch step. We practiced climbing stairs and standing up from chairs without using my hands for leverage. It knocked the wind out of me, but it's a necessary evil. While I was walking around the clinic, I did have a moment where one of my legs gave out and I almost fell. I had spaghetti legs for the rest of the day, but managed to stay upright. I refuse to use a wheelchair. I will when I absolutely must, but being ambulatory is very important to me right now. It's one of the things that I still own.
My personal favorite side effect: my eyes going crazy. My eyelids have started to swell and my left eye feels raw. My vision is blurred and that's never a good thing. I'm supposed to stop my steroid drops today, but I have a feeling that that won't be happening. My ophthalmologist has been contacted and we're just waiting to hear what she has to say. I'm hopeful that if I do go temporarily blind again, it won't last as long as last time. The good news is that I still remember how many steps it takes to get to the bathroom.
Overall, I had a good day. All of my appointments happened on time and I managed to eat a really big lunch. This is a milestone, since a single serving of apple sauce makes me feel like I just had seconds at Thanksgiving dinner. That side effect is a mystery to the doctor. They haven't been able to figure it out, since my spleen isn't swollen. I have managed to lose twenty pounds since this all started and I still think leukemia is the worst diet ever.
Enough of my ranting. I hope everyone is doing well, and I miss you guys. Cross your fingers that we hear something about my getting a transplant soon so I can come home.
Happy Birthday Dixie! I wish we could have been home to celebrate with you. We love you and miss you alot!