Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Darkest Before the Dawn

This will be brief. I have had a rough few days of it--serious chinks have developed in my armor. The cytoxoxin caught up with me on Monday. On Tuesday, I started total body radiation or TBI. It feels like nothing while you're having it, but a few hours later you go comatose and just generally wish you didn't exist. This is a difficult mood to be in when you are surrounded by loved ones, some you're not even aware they're there.

My main problem is nausea. The little I eat returns to haunt me. Once they give me the anti-nausea meds, I sink into a dull stupor, or lose consciousness totally. This is probably a blessing.

A psychiatrist came in to see me the other day. She managed to compress the highlights of my life into about 20 minutes. It remains to be seen where we're going with that, but it appears I've lost some mental acuity with the radiation. I couldn't give the correct date. I failed to draw the hands on a clock correctly, and I drew 4 squiggles instead of 3. I still know my name and birthdate.

I have 3 more rounds of radiation, 2 today and 1 tomorrow. Friday, I get my donor cells.

My job is hard, but Marty's is harder. He has to sit here and watch me suffer. Fortunately, the staff here has been great.

Onward

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

That man deserves a hug..Hang in there...TGI will be F soon.
Emma

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. I was so weak and didn't have the strength to speak while doing my TBI. Everything will get better.

NJer

Tom Belsky said...

Hang tough! I've been secretly following your journey since I found your blog several months ago. Our son Tommy is currently in remission for AML (M7). he was 5 when diagnosed and will be 7 in a few weeks.

You're words, strength, and courage are inspiring. It's funny how many truly amazing and saintly people we have met all over the world all thanks to this terrible disease (and, of course, the Internet as well). I guess its a little bit of lemonade from the lemons...

Stay strong, and we'll keep praying for you. You have friends you don't even know you have...

Peace, Faith, and Love,
Tom, Joanna, Tommy, and Matt Belsky
"Team Tommy"

Ann said...

Don't stress about the mental acuity. I doubt it's permanent and like Marty says, "You're plenty smart." I'd still be terrified to take you on at Scrabble. Just focus on getting some much needed rest. Everything else will fall into place.

Ronni Gordon said...

The psychiatrist (I wonder if it's the same one, a woman with short dark hair and her glasses down around the nose) had me draw the clock too. It freaked me out and I kept sneaking glances at the clock while I was drawing it. I had to draw some other things that I screwed up too. Of course your mental acuity is challenged now, what with stress and meds. It will come back, and so will your good health!

Dianne and David said...

Hang in there. By next year this will be behind you. Our daughter had ALL and had a transplant July 23, 2008. She is 30 years old. She is doing GREAT but there were those dark times. She is in training for a 1/2 marathon in January. Take all the happy drugs that they will give you. Sleep is your FRIEND. Who wants to draw a clock anyway!!!

Diane said...

hang in there, sweetie...keep up the fight for all those who can't anymore...you are gonna beat the bastard...

Daria said...

I feel for you ... it's a tough journey.

All the best to you.

Samantha MacRae said...

Oh pj. You seeme with it to me :) I am so sorry you are having to go through this. What you describes is exactly how Graham felt after his TBI and chemo. Yuk! You will pull through. Don't be tough on yourself or worry about your family. Focus on beating the leuk! All my love, Sam xxx

Anonymous said...

Dear Patty-Lou, Spend some time in your interior serenity garden - I'm sure there are no clocks there. And remember just as the European man is helping to save your life, you have the support of many, many other people in your life. We are all present and we love you. - Susie-Q

Jim said...

PJ,

Good advice from RG. What you are enduring sucks but is worth it until someone comes up with a better remedy.

Marty,

I'm thinking of you. It's excruciating to watch all of this, but hope, faith and love are more powerful emotions.

Jim

Marie said...

Dear Patty and Marty,

It has been ages since we last visited the Plog, so what a shock to find you back in the midst of ALL THIS. We're so sorry.

Big virtual hugs to you and the kids. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

We promise to deliver some Saudi coffee when we head home this September. You can't exist only on the Costa Rican stuff! In the meantime, Go Patty, go.

with love from those faraway Canadians, Marie & Jeff