zen.org Communal Weblog

May 2, 2011

Happy At 18

Filed under: — brendan @ 21:48 IST

Yesterday my platelets had gone from 9 up to 16 after one transfusion on Saturday. Today, the count only moved from 16 to 18 after Sunday’s transfusion. Go figure. But they didn’t do another today. The haemotology resident said she’s happy enough with the count at 18, explaining how they use the count of 20 only part of making the decision—the other part is the condition of the patient. Since I don’t have any infections (she made motions to her face, stomach, and below the waist), haven’t had a fever, etc., it’s not as necessary to add more platelets, at least today.

My magnesium level is a little bit below the desired range (I don’t have the numbers handy).   Magnesium does all sorts of stuff inside your body like avoid muscle contractions (twitches), bone growth and health, and keeps your heart happy

To help bring it back up (the chemo side-effect list is wide and varied), I’m going to be given an oral magnesium supplement three times a day. It’s a little packet of white powder which I stir together with a couple of mouthfuls of water. It tastes slightly lemony and its smell reminds me of vitamin supplements from Trader Joe’s which we used to take when we lived in California.

Stay informed

For two months, I’ve not had to have any money. Everything is taken care of, food is all provided, snacks (like cheese and crackers, a muffin, some toast, whatever) are there for the asking. So it’s never been necessary to keep any cash.

On Sunday when Elana was visiting, we walked downstairs together so she could have some lunch and I could see human beings outside of the ward. I bought a copy of a newspaper (the Sunday Business Post) and read it after she left for the day. It was really cool, actually, relaxing with a cup of tea and reading the paper. One of those things you don’t realize you miss until you’re exposed to it again.

So at my request, E left some money with me so I can, with a duck mask and the permission of the nurses, walk downstairs again tomorrow and get a newspaper. Maybe even a cappuccino on the way back, to drink up here while I look at the paper. It’s in a different place, for different reasons. Regardless, all of it, this experience of the familiar, still taps the places in my mind which bring a sense of comfort on contact.

Knitting milestone

I’m only a few stitches away from being done with my first ball of yarn in creating my first-ever home-made scarf. Tomorrow’s exercise will be properly bringing in the second ball properly so they just flow together and I can then keep going. There are three of these barns of yarn in total. I bet the end of the scarf representing the first third of the project (beginner) is going to look quite different from the final third (beginner with increased confidence).

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