First of all, thank you to everyone who has visited my site. Whether or not you choose to leave a message is not as important as just knowing you are wondering how Marilyn and I are getting by. As to the messages, special thanks to my friends from CC, especially Amanda for the Haiku, I loved them! And, finally, welcome to all the strangers who have found the site.
Last week was about evaluation. Thus far, I’ve given 14 vials of blood, a full quart of urine, and 50 CCs of bone marrow. I’ve had three blood draws, an IV insertion at my wrist, and a double puncture bilateral bone marrow biopsy on my pelvis. I’ve had a chest X-ray with two views, a complete dental X-ray, and pulmonary function exam. Oops, I almost forgot the EKG.
Next week, I am scheduled for a skeletal survey (total body X-rays), a MUGA scan (movie-like image of my beating heart), and a full body MRI. We’ve had consults with a PA, an RN, a Doctor, a Social Worker, and a financial services representative.
Marilyn accompanies me everywhere. I may have a mixed record on my life’s choices; however, I made a good one 33 years ago when I got down on one knee and proposed, promising to share my unemployment benefits with her. She is a champ at digesting and cataloging the info, asking pertinent questions, and educating herself for my care when the treatment begins. It is reassuring to know she has my back. We will soon receive short courses in home care, nutrition and food safety, and maintenance of the Hickman catheter. (More on that later-including a picture!)
Though the week has been full of meetings and diagnostics, the time only involves a few hours each day. So, we’ve had an opportunity to explore our neighborhood, read books, and relax. Marilyn has even joined a fitness club.
Wednesday night we went to a movie in the hills above the clinic. It was a long mile UP steep narrow streets. This trek wandered through tightly compiled housing, a mix both dated and new. The theater is old school with a preference for independent films, which are our favorite. I felt good climbing the slope. The little info we’ve had on my recent blood counts show that my hematocrit is normal. My hiking buddies will be pleased to learn we no longer need to wander on flat trails.
Saturday we took the Bainbridge Ferry across Puget Sound. Brian, a friend from my misspent youth, met us on the island. We spent the afternoon with he and his wife Cris at their home in Poulsbo. While admiring her beautiful Master Gardener landscaping, Brian and I reminisced about escapades from when we lived in Yosemite and New Zealand. Since, of late, I muse often about mortality, I realized that some of our long ago activities were nearly as life threatening as multiple myeloma. So, in a sense, I am already a survivor.