Wednesday, April 27, 2011

staying vertical, and other success stories

I'm sure you're all just dying to know if I achieved any of those goals I had for last week. Of course, I now barely remember what I said those were, so I had to go back and check my last post.

Let's see...make it to choir practice. Check, and that's more than I can say for most of the choir. Attending Triduum masses? Yes. Barely made it through Saturday's Vigil, but yes. Cinnamon apple cake? Oh yes, and I'm currently mourning the fact that the leftovers didn't make it past Monday morning. Easter eggs? Not so much. But fortunately my 6-year-old cousin picked up the slack. Oh, and I'm not sure whether I can credit the popsicle trick (keep your mouth cold during chemo to prevent it from reaching your mouth) or the prescription mouthwash or God for giving me an Easter miracle, but my taste issues were resolved after two days instead of a week. Easter dinner tasted properly delicious.

Not too shabby! However, by Monday I had to take fifteen minutes to rest every time I tried the stairs up to my room and even standing made my chest heave and my heart beat so hard I swear you could hear it in the next room. I would have been concerned, except that this has a) happened before and I know the cause, and b) had been getting progressively worse over the weekend, so I was prepared. I was badly anemic, again, thanks to the propensity of chemo to attack not only white blood cells but their red friends as well. In fact, I attempted to place bets with my family and friends that I would need a blood transfusion this week, but no one would take me up on it. Sad. Instead they (one person in particular) kept me shooting that look that says "I know you are much worse off than you will admit and I am very concerned but I don't want you to bite my head off for saying something so I'm just going to keep an eye on you."

...Have I mentioned that I am just so tremendously fun to deal with when I feel terrible? 

I was entirely unsurprised, then, when my nurse called and told me my hemoglobin was at 6. For those who need a refresher, hemoglobin is the molecule inside red blood cells that binds oxygen, and your hemoglobin levels therefore are a good measure of the amount of red blood cells you have and of the function of those cells. For reference, normal women would be concerned anemic with a hemoglobin of 11. I was logging hemoglobin values in the 13ish range before treatment. 6 is very low. Hence the general concern about my staying vertical. Which I achieved largely by staying horizontal or at the least in a seated position until I was able to go in yesterday for blood transfusions. 3 units of A pos did wonders for my complexion. And my ability to breathe.

Missing you all, and wishing I could be wherever you long as it's sunnier and warmer than it is here.

1 comment:

  1. Katie-

    I prayed for you SO much at the beatification of JPII. Now, BLESSED JPII is on your side. Woo hoo. Glad you could taste the food...I'm sure that makes all the difference.

    Love you!