Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This morning was rough. Mild headache and not-so-mild nausea. Basically I varied from feeling like I was going to throw up to a gentle, listless misery.

Hopelessness trolled my streams of thought, leisurely spreading discouragement wherever it went.

Dr. Tenenholz, the radiologist; I didn't see him today, but he'll be in charge of irradiating me before the transplant.
I was too tired to do anything about it. Apparently all the guards of the gates of my mind were down. Either on sick rest or taken out by invaders.

I did the only thing I could. I hunkered down in a small corner, way at the back of my mind where I wouldn't be noticed by the invaders and where I couldn't hear their miserable songs. Then I counted the waves of nausea, hoping to fall asleep.

I felt really sorry for people who have to feel that way every day! No wonder it's so hard to cheer them up!

I tried to pray, but if there was a ever a day when prayers seem to go nowhere, it was this morning. I was locked in a little hole in the back of my brain. My prayers weren't even escaping from there, much less ascending to heaven.

I've been a Christian 29 years, and I still haven't figured out some obvious things.

It didn't matter if my prayers ascended to heaven! God, among all the other places he is, was hunkered down in that little hole in my brain with me. He was listening.

First I went to the labs this morning. My blood wasn't much improved, but it was improved a little. In fact, the little improvement might have made me nervous, but they did a marrow biopsy last week, and I know my marrow's clean. No cancer at the moment. As far as we know those leukemia cells are only hanging out in the spinal fluid.

The nurse who draws my blood is this young black lady who at least as loud as Chavvah. I'm pretty sure she's louder. She always tries to make sure she gets me, she remembers my name, and she calls me handsome and sweetie. You can forget a lot of misery while she's around.

She was the first to ask if I wanted some nausea medicine. (I do, but it was left at home.)

After labs, we had a two-and-a-half hour wait for the prostate biopsy.

Originally, the plan was to wait in the cafeteria, but couldn't bear to see food, so a second nurse, seated at a desk, overheard us and asked if I had nausea medicine. Finally, I got a message from the nurse practitioner in charge of my case asking me to come to the stem cell clinic.

I went to the stem cell clinic telling the receptionist that Nurse Works had called me in, but I didn't know why.

Nurse Works pulled me to the back of the stem cell clinic and gave me an examination bed to lay in. She asked me some questions, and then she gave me an anti-nausea medicine that she said would be better than even what I have at home. She left the room, and I fell asleep.

I woke up, and a decent portion of the misery was gone, but apparently not all of it. We went up to Urology, to get the prostate biopsy done, and I went to sleep, turning sideways and laying my head across the back of a chair. My wife, who takes really good care of me, asked them if they had a room I could lay down in, and they did!

I went right back to sleep until the doctor showed up. He looked at me, and apparently I didn't look too good. He recommended putting off the biopsy.

Now keep in mind that this is the guy who on Tuesday could not understand why I would consider putting off the biopsy until after the leukemia treatments. Today, he couldn't understand why I would want to go through the biopsy while I looked so awful. (Keep in mind, I felt a lot better than I had an hour or two earlier.)

Then he had the audacity to bring up the fact that I wanted to skip the biopsy when we discussed it on Tuesday. I said, "Yeah, and I didn't skip it because you thought it was important!"

It was like that was news to him. He said it wasn't so important that he should do it while I'm miserable. He told me go home, and if Dr. Jagasia, my transplant doctor, wants it done, he'd do it on Monday.

I tell you that story because to me it's an answer to prayer. I know I'm supposed to go through these leukemia treatments. I don't have anything for prostate treatments. I don't know what to do. They left this biopsy to my decision, but I didn't have enough information to make an informed decision. So I decided to just go with what the doctor said ... and pray.

So today, he didn't want to do it. He was ready to just put it off until after the transplant and the recovery, months down the road. That's a big turnaround, in my opinion, and not one that happens just because I was a little nauseous today.

Either way, we went home. We went home with a new nausea prescription and a prescription of oxycodon for today's headache and any further headaches I get from "LPs," lumbar punctures (spinal taps). I now have at least three more spinal taps to treat the leukemia there, and if I'm getting headaches from the first one, it's pretty likely I'll get them from the future ones.

Once I got home, I slept for hours. I don't know how many hours. I woke up at 4:00, so I think it was at least three. I was finally hungry, so Hannah made me a very late lunch, and now I'm writing this update.

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