Yesterday morning I dropped Liam off with Nanna and came back home to gather my thoughts before my second appointment with Dr T (hematologist extraordinaire). Time wasn't moving quickly enough yet I didn't have enough time to reasonably to go to work and make it back to this side of town. I decided to get gas and show up to the lab extra early.
I arrived at the hospital and emotions of two years ago when my friend Jamie passed came flooding back, this is my only other association with this hospital and I thought to myself; if I never set foot here again it will be too soon. I rode the elevator with the friendliest of old men to the second floor that holds the lab and oncology department, as I arrived at the lab it was all to clear that again I was the youngest person around by a good 30+ years. So many eyes watched me enter the room, I signed in and quickly found a spot near the back of the waiting room, good thing I came early because the room was full of people waiting...so sad to see, what are all these people here for? What news are they hoping to get or not get? I was distracted for a time by the women near me who ran through a box of tissue within moments, for the first time I truly feared getting a cold...I could get so sick, Dear Lord please let my numbers be good. I could literally feel fear trying to settle into my bones and make a home there...thankfully I was called back, poked (hard, it really hurt this time and I bled like crazy which made me scared, oh no are my numbers really low and now I'm not clotting?!) and after just a few minutes with a small pink band aid hidden under my cardigan I was headed to the Cancer Specialists office that is home to Dr T. I dread walking in there but at least the staff has to be some of the kindest I've ever encountered in my life, they already know my name, their smiles are kind and warm.
I sat admiring the art again and trying to distract myself once again, this time the waiting room was almost abandoned except for one elderly woman and I. I messed around with my ipod not allowing thoughts to creep in and forcing tears back trying to ignore the what ifs that kept trying to wiggle their way into my heart. Finally I was called back, weighed and walked passed Dr T, whose beeper went off right then....I felt scared for the person who had to page him and bummed that it likely meant a long wait for me. Once in the room I was right; I had all too much time alone in the silence with only fancy diplomas to read.
Thankfully my wait would be worth it, Dr T came in with "acceptable" news,. I'm already responding well to the medicine (technically steroids) that I've been on for 5 days. My platelet numbers have gone from dangerously low to "acceptable" and I've been okay'd to lower my daily dose from three pills every day to just two (plus meds to keep my stomach stable). This news couldn't have come sooner, the side effects were killing me, when Dr T asked if I had been sleeping I started to weep which is my usual response when I'm far too tired. I caught him off guard which made me feel bad, he offered me sleeping pills which I declined. I already feel like I'm on hand full daily of pills, I agreed to take Tylenol pm if I started to get desperate. This time Dr T felt more personable, it may just have been that I was so much less fearful but it was nice. He gave me a brief physical which mostly consisted of checking my various lymph nodes for lumps and bumps, asking if I have any pain (I do, I'm terribly achy) and discussing the plan moving forward. Since I've responded quickly he's no longer worried about my bone marrow being sick/weak/infected so we can try one week with one less pill per day, if I can at least maintain my platelet levels I can try going down to just one pill per day.....I don't even want to talk about what if I can't maintain right now, it's big and scary so I'm hoping for the best. For right now I'm going to hope this is an acute case that could go away with short term treatment.
I walked out of the exam room and scheduled my next appointment and labs feeling a little less weight on my shoulders but praying I would not forget the lessons the last five days have taught me, my priorities have been square in line with what they should have been all along! I've been making more time for V and Liam, resting more and just not letting the stress of daily life get to me, please Lord let these lessons resonate with me. In the parking lot I called V, I just wanted to share my causious yet exciting news with him. V seemed thankful I didn't recieve bad news alone but couldn't talk long as he was already at work. I shot off a text to two of my dearest friends whom I promised to keep posted and dashed to the office, I may have gotten acceptable news but I desired the distraction of work.
So one more week of trying to rest whenever possible and praying for the best.