Monday, June 25, 2012

The Finish Line

This morning I had an appointment at the cancer center just to get my blood tested to see how my immune system is holding up. I was told it was to see where I stood as a way of deciding if I would get chemo next week or the week after. I found out that I wouldn’t have been up to getting chemo today (my white count was low) but I have an appointment next Monday to come in early and get my blood again… if my white count is up, I will get chemo. This makes me wonder why my appointment today was even necessary. I could have just come in next Monday morning, check my blood then, and then chemo or no chemo. Maybe I’m just missing something but the cancer center makes me so tired and I always forget to ask the questions I want to ask like a good patient should.

The nurse actually gave me my lab results sheet which was an exciting first. I don’t typically get lab result sheets from doctors other than my endocrinologist. When I get those in the mail from him, I get sort of excited and have to look up all the tests run that I don’t know anything about. My “abnormal summary” is white blood cell count low (2.0 K/uL with the normal range being 3.5-11.0) and monocytes high (14.5% with the normal range being 0.0-12.0). I had said to the nurse that it seemed like I was getting a sinus infection and apparently a high monocyte level can be a sign of infection, so I was told to start taking the antibiotics I have to keep on hand at all times. 

I’ve been feeling better and stronger than the week before I got rejected for chemo treatment so it would be really fantastic if I was ready for chemo next week. Not because I just love getting chemo and can’t wait for it, obviously; but because it pushes me towards the finish line a bit faster.

The Walrus and The Carpenter

from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.


  1. Hello, Great to here you are still feeling better.
    I could be wrong, but all you have to do is ask for a copy of the blood work every time it is done. Some people like to look at them - some do not. I would suggest that you write down questions as they come to you - like the blood work thing. What I have seen work very well is to give the questions to someone when you check in.
    That way the doctor can work it in to your exam/visit.(just my ideas here) The "extra" blood work isn't, they know about when your system will hit a "Low",and they want to see how low you go. They are keeping an eye on you - it is a good thing. Put that question on the list right now.
    The Doctors and nurses are all part of your team. If you do not understand something or just want more information just ask them.

    Peace and all that goes with it.

    1. What you said about the blood work done on Monday makes sense. I didn't think of it that way. I will start making lists of questions so I don't forget them every time! :-)