Today has been red-circled on my calendar for a long time, and not because it is treatment #23. On Tuesday I passed the half-way mark and while it feels like I am living at UWMC, I am really enjoying the experience.
The therapists in Suite C are efficient and friendly and are keeping me well informed. They let me know when we have delays and the reasons for them and alert me to any changes in our plan or issues with technology. The new board is working well and they are able to get me set up and treated in less than half an hour. Here’s a lovely shot of me with the bolus in place:
I have a schedule of appointments until the 31st, so without any hiccups this should be easy and done in 2014.
Thursday the 4th is a big day because Olivia is coming down for a four day visit. I am so looking forward to this. We have very few plans, other than tickets to the Portland Cello Project at Benaroya Hall on Sunday. It will be a weekend to reconnect and rest. Fatigue has really caught up to me and I am sleeping a huge amount and Olivia needs to rest so it should work out well. She is working ridiculously hard, taking care of Stella, and keeping the home fires burning, so a weekend to rest, recover, recharge, and watch Netflix is welcomed. I do have a few plans though. Olivia hasn’t seen the Radiation Oncology Centre at UWMC so I’ll take her tomorrow; 14 years of marriage and I still know how to show her a good time. I might even introduce her to the shuttle to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance when I go to pick up more Radia Gel. Romance is alive and well in Seattle – look out Tom Hanks! If we are up for it, Richard Ford is reading from his new book at the Seattle Public Library tonight, and it is free museum day (take it in if you can – first Thursday of every month – www.freemuseumday.org) so we might be busy.
Olivia’s visit caps another week of being showered with love and support. Our friend Jane has been driving me to and from the hospital and is picking Olivia up from the airport today; she has been incredibly kind and generous, even displaying grace when I came perilously close to throwing up in her van yesterday (I never thought I would take to carrying barf bags with me at all times. Fortunately the hospital issues them in a variety of shades so I can coordinate with the colour of my belt). I have received phone calls, emails, postcards and letters, and when I arrived at UWMC on Monday there was a book waiting for me. I have no idea who it is from but it is very thoughtful. I’ll read it when Paolo is done with it.
All of the support I am receiving is helping me stay positive. Physically I am great. Other than some nausea, constantly feeling cold, some bowel issues, crazy nerve pain in my foot and back pain (hmmm, probably due to a lack of yoga. Maybe I can correct that when O is here.), the only thing I am struggling with is intense fatigue. I am eating well, which helps, although my appetite is disappearing, but overall I feel better than I had anticipated. My biggest surprise though is how well I am feeling mentally. I was worried about depression during this process, and I have many of the ingredients which can trigger it: I’m alone; the sky is gray and rainy; stress from many angles; and fatigue, but I have been very even keeled. I am quite vigilant about mental health issues as I am no stranger to them and I have become good at seeing the signs. But the black dog hasn’t been there, it is at bay and for this I am extremely fortunate. I am trying to mediate daily and I think, although I am a beginner and my attention span is ridiculously short, it is helping.
While I think my mental health is okay, an attempt to interpret my dreams might indicate otherwise. I am still relying heavily on the protection afforded my by Marshawn Lynch’s baseball and this morning I awoke from a lecture that Paul Allen was giving on creating art by colouring black and white photos with Sharpie markers. As he was illustrating on photos of the lobby of the Hotel Telegrapho in Havana, I interrupted and angered him by hammering spikes into the bamboo wall to hang tennis rackets. I think it bodes well for the end of my time in Seattle. My interpretation is that Mr. Allen is ushering me out of his town, that I will return to full mobility and activity, and that when Obama ends the embargo Microsoft is going to lead the American charge by setting up a Cuban office. I might be off on the last part but it definitely means good things for finishing treatment and a full recovery.
My mediation during treatment today will be recreating the walk we took in Havana to escape a hotel room that was been sprayed with pesticides… and when I am done Olivia should be here!