Brevity has always held zero appeal for me because it requires an inordinate amount of time. It is infinitely easier to blog long than to blog short. Editing one’s musings demands more firing neurons than I have at my disposal at the moment, (not to mention discretion), and I am in the throes of brain-drain neuro-muscular flab. (I think that’s a viable medical diagnosis.) Dennis thinks it’s a simple condition of “sympathy chemo-brain”…sort of like fall-out from prolonged exposure in close proximity to gemcitobene. He has assured me that full neuro function will return in due time. (He’s been saying that for years. Either he’s optimistic, delusional, or deliberately amnesiac of just how severely curtailed my brainbox activity can be.)
That said, Dennis’ vitals look reasonable to quite good. His weight has remained steady. He’s still down a hunka, but he is filling out nicely. We are anxiously awaiting the morning when he emerges from his crysallis buff, toned, bulky, and disfiguringly big. In the interim, we bought him some clothes more accurately proportioned to his diminished dimensions. (Having shirts with collars cinched into neck pleats by his tie is soooo tacky!) There is slight variation in his pulse, temperature, and blood pressure. But his height has remained constant, and we’re so proud of that. I was afraid when he was untethered from his pushee-thingee, he would lose the appearance of altitude, and I feared I’d have to retire the old stilletoes that were mandatory to maintain upward vertical proportions. This, happily, is unnecessary…I still walk funny, but I look tall.
I have always taken the procedure of drawing labs for granted, since the technicians are so skilled they make it look easy…that is, if one actually looks at the process. ( I steadfastly decline the opportunity.) But recently, Dennis’ veins have been somewhat contrary, and this has caused some frustration for the techs. One very persistent nurse was so determined to secure a hit, that I wondered if she was an aspiring acupuncturist, or perhaps resorting to some sort of voodoo maneuver. Of course, I suggested trying “enabling expletives,”… “persistent profanity,”… as a solution to this “sticky” situation and as an interventional humanitarian gesture on Dennis’ behalf. Hey, it works for me. However, she declined, citing medical oratorical ethics. Whatever. But Dennis now has multiple puncture wounds, and, even worse, I suffer from night sweats and extreme recurring needle aversion. How good can that be?
Unfortunately, after all that, the lab results indicated prohibitively low white blood cell counts, which prevented him from receiving this week’s chemo infusion. This means that his immune system will be somewhat vulnerable until he is able to rebuild his white cell population, and we can all once again cough and sneeze directly up his nostrils without restraint. He often wears a face mask, but I think it’s less about disease prevention than it is about going into the witness protection program as a direct result of some of my inquiries. And this circumstance will profoundly influence this weekend.
Since Dennis’ birthday and Father’s Day both fall on Sunday, we planned a double celebration complete with pyrotechnics and a pachaderm parade. However, with the recent immunity restrictions, we have decided to exchange the elephants for hot dogs in tin foil dinners, and the only “trunks” at our party will be worn by the grandkids as they play in the pool. And we are so fine with this. Sunday will be an occasion for our usual deranged Ashton Family gathering. The grandkids will be simultaneously chattering at “
Circumstance is a great instructor. There is a lady we have become acquainted with in the infusion center who is currently undergoing chemo for breast cancer. She is bald and beautiful. And at the base of her head, where there used to be hair, she has a tattoo in bold letters. The ink reads CANCER SUCKS. No poet or philosopher could have said it better. It is a profound proclamation. And she is an exemplar of lovely dignity and courage. It is amazing how easy it is to strike up a conversation with someone bearing such graffiti. I offered to ink some two-word bit of profound wisdom on the top of Dennis’ head with my magic marker, but being well acquainted with my generational oratorical inclinations, and having a certain reluctance as to just what those two words might be, he respectfully declined the offer. Hmmmm.
So this weekend we can hardly wait to celebrate the opportunity to hang one more up on the calendar. We look forward to the hip-huggers and knees-squeezers to remind us what’s most important in life. This is all very good.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY