12.27.2008

Well I'll Be Darned!

I'm back already. And this is because I feel almost entirely opposite as I did the last time I checked in. And isn't it amazing! I think a bit of holiday cheer with my wonderful family, looking forward to seeing old friends who are in town, eating marvleously . . . and . . . my best x-mas eve gift, blood from a Type A positive donor! Thank you donor, where ever you may be! You have made worlds of wonder for me! I feel like the old self, the one I like, is back in me again.

Here's what happened. Feeling lousy upon waking on X-mas eve morning, I had to really drag myself out of bed that morning, panting, to get myself to the clinic for chemo. Chemo for X-mas! The clinic and the nurses were all jolly enough, but I sure wasn't, huummmpiff. My oxygen level was really scary low, like in the early eighties. I was so sore and weak all over. I asked for extra fluids because of how dehydrated I've been. When my blood lab results came back, the low level of hemoglobin was low enough for another blood transfusion. My mom was overjoyed because she asks for this every week and for some reason they never thought I needed another blood transfusion. So after my chemo was done, they sent me upstairs to the blood transfusion floor where it is like an old hospital and very quiet-like a secret infirmary. Everyone gets their own room with a bed, bathroom, window, and T.V. set. I settled in and the nurse-so kind, too- brought in a big floppy bag 'o blood for me. The blood was the darkest, richest maroon ever. They had a movie list and mom picked out "Office Space" from 1999- doesn't seem like that long ago, but you should check out how old school the computers were back then, and internet was still hardly used yet, too. 
Another nice surprise was that a hemophilia patient has been donating turkey dinners every X-mas eve to the blood transfusion floor for several years. So the nurse brought in steaming turkey dinners with real mashed potatoes for me and my mom to eat. I looked over at my mom eating her turkey mash and watching "Office Space" and realized my bag of blood was slow dripping right next to her head. I asked her if she thought it was weird, but she said no, and so we continued eating and watching.
Later that evening, we had my dad's side of the family over for dinner, but I was so conked out on Benedryl and drugs that all I could bear to do was sleep, pretty much. I could hear the chatter downstairs, but I couldn't manage to join them for long.
The next morning is when the miracle started! I got out of bed very willingly for the first time in weeks- and not just because I had presents waiting for me downstairs. I had energy like no way nooh how! I even skipped around for a while without the darn oxygen tubes up my nostrils! I felt like me! The me I like! I had a great morning with my folks, sisters, Emma-dog and sister boyfriend. We all seemed to be doing great. 
Then it was time to rest up a bit in prep for the BIG family (mom's side) who would flood the house in the evening. I was a bit nervous, I have to say. i hadn't seen people in a while, and I knew how negative I have been, and sickly, and I know that I look very different these days- skinny bones me, and no hair- including eyebrows and eyelashes, which really contribute in a large part to a person's facial features. I worried about whether I should try to doll myself up to look super silly (since dolling myself up to look any good, like, perhaps pretty, would be a ridiculous idea) or just go naked bones and not give a umpff. My dear cousin had been very thoughtful earlier this week and  brought over a sparkle sweater and some false eyelashes. I tried out the eyelashes and they were so Tammy Faye and obstructive to my eye sighting that I just couldn't pull that off. I'm not so good in the dolling up department when it comes to makeup. But I did wear the sparkle sweater. Pizazz. When people started arriving, I felt no reason to feel awkward at all. These were all people I have known and loved my entire life and nothing had changed. I laughed and talked with everyone like always, with no flinching flinchings what-so-ever. No one looked at me weird, either. For those hours everyone was here, I forgot I had cancer, and it was the most wonderful feeling to have had. My new blood carried me all over the house grinning like the old idiot that I like. 
So there, what a difference. And I'm still feeling the effects right now this very minute!!!!

5 comments:

Dr Em said...

Nora! Christmas was fun, wasn't it? Did you have that cheesecake - yummers!!

I have to tell you that I am also A+ blood type. You know that mean don't you? We're the best!! Woo hoo!

Jess said...

I think I'm A+ too! We're all the BEST!

Arlenna said...

I have no idea what my blood type is--I need to find out.

It was so, so fun, and like you said: just like always!! I hope they always give you blood when you need it!!

Maybe they should be giving you Epo like Lance Armstrong? (and racehorses)

Arlenna said...

Oops--this was me, Laurie.

I forget that I have a pseudonym on the internet.

"Ms. Embree" said...

Hello darling! I'm Exctatic (which apparently I can't spell) to hear that you are feeling better for Christmas. I LOVE office space it's one of the best movies ever.

I went to the art gallery with Nat and out for lunch with Eli for lunch yesterday! We were all thinking and talking a lot about you and sending you our love. Hope you felt it.

I had a great Christmas too, miss being there with you.