Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Defying the Numbers

Just in case anyone was wondering, the rest of Sofie's weekend (Sunday) was not boring and was quite a lot of fun. Sunday was all about her, with RE (*religious education) class at ERUUF, followed by a "secret pal" brunch, where her very sweet pal, Diane, revealed herself. Sofie kind of was interested in that for about ten minutes, but maybe next year will be more into it.

That was followed by mommies and daughter manicure/pedicures, then shopping for shoes at REI. She got not one, but two pair of Crocs (the must have shoe for the primary school set) in red and in orange. She wears them mis-matched intentionally. Then off to lunch at Moe's (an experience unto itself, they holler "welcome to Moe's" as each person enters....), then to a big Triangle Families afternoon at Duke Park. Then after that, Sofie and I were invited to Ruby Tuesdays with Jacob, Emma and their mom and grandparents. Whew. I was exhausted, she needed a big bath and all in all, it was a great day. And I had less trouble sleeping that night.

The queasiness in the AM continues, but I have kind of negotiated with my higher power that I am willing to be nauseous and yes, even barf, if I can keep my hair this round. And I have kept the hair so far and I am adjusting, better than I thought I would, to the morning sickness. It sounds to friends who have been pregnant, very similar to what they experienced the first three months. AM barfing, manageable with the drugs, and then pretty much OK for the day. Who knew? Sofie thinks it is disgusting, but tough. I want my hair this time. It is all curly and soft and I like it.

Today, I went in for Session A of round 2 of the new chemo. The labs had been done prior to the clinic visit. My CA-125 was "level" to the previous one, a potentially good sign. It means only 7 points higher, which is really negligible. The white count was lower, but not in any kind of danger zone. Which is good, because if it were really low, I might have to stop getting pedicures. The red counts were what had my nurse, Teri, worried. The Hematacrit was 25 and the Hemoglobin in the 7.6 range. Not so good.

But I feel OK. I am tired, but not fatigued, there is some sort of difference, at least to me. And my mood is great. Maybe it is the pills I am taking for mood, but I think it is just Spring, sunshine, life and happiness. Last year, when my numbers were not even this low, I could barely make it past 8:45 PM and had to sleep. These days, with the warmer weather and lovely spring days and early evenings, I find myself going and going longer. I still "hit the wall" pretty much every afternoon at 4, but if I rest for an hour or hour and half, I can make it until pretty much 11 PM. If you count watching the L-Word as an activity, that is. Which I do, because watching Jenny Shecter's character takes a lot of energy, since I want to jump up and slap that girl upside the head! L-Word for me is as close as I come to watching a soap opera. It is so surreal and so unlike any aspect of my life (unless you count the season where Dana died, but even that was 110% drama-queen drama). And where do they get the money for those clothes???? The only lesbian I know in LA is nothing like them either.

So what I kept hearing today was "you look good, but you should be more....pale, tired, etc" The numbers don't always know the whole story, I guess.

Funny. I wonder if I am simply acclimating to lower blood counts and learning to live with the new normal? Is that it? Or what?

It reminded me of when I was a college freshman. I went for my first meeting with my advisor, and he looked at my SAT scores, OK, but nothing special. Then at my college grades. The comment? "You aren't supposed to be doing this well". Is that the appropriate thing to tell a first semester freshman? I think not. And was I supposed to work less or do less well? Huh? I showed him.

Anyway, I went to work on Monday, for five hours, including a stimulating meeting of the hiring committee I am now on. I did pretty OK. I then went to two evening appointments, ending with the pre-chemo acupuncture treatment. I really think that my acupuncture doctor, Fang, is gifted. We have worked together to figure out the best timing for treatment (the day before or early the day of) and I always leave there feeling better.

And, for all of you worriers out there, who really, *really* thought I should be seeing a therapist, voila! I am. Jamie's therapist referred her to me, and I was so happy to click with her right away. I like shopping, but not for therapists. She is a Jewish woman, mother, not a lesbian but completely and genuinely comfortable with lesbians in her office, and it immediately felt "right". We have only met twice so far, but I think she will be great to have an established relationship with as I move forward in this journey. And, best of all possible worlds, she is on "the list" for my insurance, meaning my co-pay is just $40. Therapy at 1977 prices in 2007. Whoooopppeeee.!

Speaking of things long ago, this Sunday, Robin Tyler, who produced many years of West Coast and Southern Music festivals, will be performing at the Unity Conference at UNC in Chapel Hill. She called me to see if we could have dinner. We have not really spoken or written for over ten years, possibly more, I cannot keep track. I am so pleased we will be able to get together, both of us older and presumably wiser, for dinner after her show. Again, defying the number of years of not speaking, some misunderstandings, all not very important in the big picture.

In a few days, Mom arrives for a week, then it will be Spring break and Nancy and Rosalie Frank are arriving for another week. So if I am tired, there will be a good reason. I am excited about both visits and we are planning something special for our girls. Rosie is 12.5 so six years older than Sofie. Sofie loves being with her, and they both love things like swimming and skating, so it should be fun.

Last comment about defying numbers (for this blog, at least). Our friend Kimberly was at the park on Friday (yet another kid-centric activity) and somehow we got to talking about age....someone had asked me if I was Sofie's grandma. I am more or less used to this happening now, and don't get defensive anymore like I did three years ago. With no hair coloring, it is likely to happen more and more. Kimberly is mid- thirties, if that, and so when she asked my age, and I told her, she was shocked. She thought I was in my forties. And these days, I am feeling much more "forty and fabulous" than fifty and fatigued. So there.

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