Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8: Who Am I To Be Fabulous?

Who am I to be fabulous?

Who am I not to be?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. ... And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. (Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love.)

Today, a nurse told me that patients like me, with a good and positive attitude, are a minority. We talked a bit about the benefit of being a fighter, and then she said, "Of course, no one takes such earth-shaking news well when they first hear it."

I did.

I didn't say anything because it seemed like pride to say something.

But the fact is, I spent most of my adult life preparing to hear news like "You have leukemia." I was ready, and I was not caught by surprise, although I had no idea that I had a disease that's fatal to about 2/3 of the people who get it.

We don't have to wander through life being hit by every wave that comes along.

We can learn to trust. There is something inside of us that knows that there's a God. There's something inside of us that wants to bow down when we see the majesty of life and shake our fist at heaven when we see things we don't understand.

People who live life only on the outside, only on what their eyes see and on what their logic can calculate--such people are living half a life.

There's an inner life that teaches us to be good. It teaches us to trust God ... no matter how we visualize him. He's far beyond our understanding anyway.

It let common people recognize Jesus as something special when he came along, while the theologians fought and argued against both him and God his Father.

You're made, and you ought to cultivate that inward thinking and feeling that can give you peace and make you truly fabulous--beneficial to everyone around you.

Takes practice, though, and the longer you don't practice, the harder it is to begin.

Medical News

My neutrophil count dropped to zero. Sad, since it needs to go to 500 for me to leave the hospital. The doctor says she isn't going to worry about that until day 28. Today's day 25.

My other blood counts are rising. My platelets--the cells in your blood that form clots to stop bleeding--jumped a lot to 39. (150 is supposed to be the miminum, and 300 to 400 is more normal, but we hematological chemotherapy patients regularly drop to 11 or lower before they transfuse us with platelets to get us up to 30 or so.)

So, we'll see. My white blood cell counts are up to 1.2 (which is 1200 cells per cubit millimeter of fluid), but my neutrophils are zero percent of those 1200.

Normal white blood cell count is 7.5 or so, and the neutrophils are usually about 45% of those 7500 cells per cubic millimeter. So, in shooting for 500, I need both the percentage of neutrophils and the total white blood cell count to go up.

I'm still healing from side effects of the chemo, though, and one nurse told me the cell counts would climb rapidly once that's done. Close, then.

Hospital Food

Don and I met with the new manager of the hospital kitchen and one of the general managers of the nutrition staff. It went unbelievably well. The general manager told us that there was no arguing with what we were saying.

The manager of the kitchen is new, but he said he initiated a "heart healthy" menu at the last hospital he was at. He said he would make it a priority as soon as he learned the ropes of his new job. He's only been here a week.

The general manager promised brown rice rather than white for the remainder of the meals here, and she said she would start working already on getting whole grains added to the menu.

The kitchen manager seemed pretty competent, so we'll see how it goes. I'll be coming back here several times over the next few months, so I'll get to follow up.

Have a blessed day, everyone!


Oh, and Jerry's biopsy is tomorrow. We desperately want him to have a clean one! News about the results on Wednesday! He's looking better every day, and the old-timer nurse, Martie, tells us that his blood counts look like they should.

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