Friday, May 25, 2012

The Country Life is the Best Drug

My medical issues don't disappear in the country, but beauty and restfulness go a long way to mitigate some of them. The Gleevec is kicking in. On a cellular level, it might be working, but from what I'm feeling, its side effects are making me wonder just how long I'll stay on it. That will be for the doctor to decide.

Water retention (a lot--10 lbs.) and mouth sensitivity for the first time since the chemo days are the main complaints. My skin seems no better than it was. I'm wondering if I should be back on an anti-fungal since my immune system is allegedly being compromised further by Gleevec, which the mouth soreness attests to. 

Manhattan has its distractions but most of them cost money. At Green Acres, there's plenty to keep you busy that don't cost a thing. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Theater of the Absurd

My PROSE lenses, which allow me to see painlessly much of the time, made a fool out of me yesterday. I was popping them in when the phone rang. Instead of ignoring the call, I jumped up and ran into the other room to answer it. The problem was, my left lens had fallen somewhere in my haste. I crawled around on my hands and knees, searching every nook and cranny for this wildly expensive lens. Marty searched, too, and he is relentless in all he does.

Right lens in, we drove to the airport where Marty caught a flight to Florida to visit his mom. On the way, I called the Boston Foundation for Sight and arranged to have another lens made and shipped to me. These babies cost $750 each, of which insurance may or not pay part oft. When we got to the airport, I said to Marty that since my left eye was killing me, maybe I actually still had the lens in the eye. I used my little device to root around my eyeball, and lo and behold, it was in my eye. Even making it moist didn't feel so great, so I remove both lenses and put my glasses on. I was driving up to the country and wouldn't drive with just one lens. I also called BFS and told them to cancel my order because I'd found my lens in my eye. They didn't seem surprised. I guess their patients do wacky things like this all the time.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Does anybody?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meet My New "Therapy" Dog

Buck and Me

We've had Bouviers de Flandres for over 26 years. When Turbo died, we were without a dog, but thanks to my husband, only for 5 months. He saw a dog he liked on the American Bouvier Rescue League site
Buck is 2.5 years old and is the biggest ball of fluff we've ever had.

Dogs have the amazing ability to bring a smile to your face, even if you're not feeling so hot. I brought a photo of our first Bouvier, Spree, to the hospital when I had my first baby. When I was in recovery from chemo treatments, my faithful companions were Turbo and Asta. Asta died just before my 2nd transplant. Turbo lived to be 14.5. That's ancient for a dog.

Buck's good points are that he's house-trained and has a laid-back personality. He's a quirky one though, preferring women to men, which means he "guards" me if there's an unknown male in the room. He's a rescue dog because his owner/breeder died recently. Buck also has an eye problem, which makes him clumsy and a bit skittish if someone suddenly approaches him from the left side. He likes to eat shoes. The first night, he munched on one of Marty's old deck shoes. Last night, he destroyed one of my very expensive Arche shoes. We've bought him chew toys, but realize he can't be unsupervised at the moment.

Buck is currently by my side, keeping me company and making me smile.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Survivor Tree

The Survivor Tree at Ground Zero

On a trip to the Museum of the Native American in lower Manhattan yesterday, Marie and I stopped in my old neighborhood for lunch and to see my former apartment building. So much has changed in the area in the year we've been gone. Two blocks from Ground Zero, buildings are springing up like newborn foals, not just within the Ground Zero confines, but all around the area.

We decided to take the free tour of the site since it wasn't crowded. Even though there's a lot of building going on, with jack-hammering and whatnot, the site was quite serene. The names of those who died are cut into stone facing waterfalls pooling into ponds and recirculating.

New trees are planted everywhere, but one is actually from the original site. It is called the Survivor Tree. Reduced to an eight foot tall stump on September 11, 2002, it was rescued and brought to another site and put on life support. It slowly emerged from its coma and sprouted new growth. .One more trauma to the tree occurred before it was safely returned to its original site. A hurricane uprooted it last summer. They took the tree and planted it in the lovely memorial park. It now stands 30 feet tall and is in full leaf.

As a leukemia survivor, I identify with this tree. May it live a long happy life.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

New York Times Blog You Should Read

A friend of mine from Rhode Island who was often by my side while I had various leukemia treatments, recommended this blog to me:

For many of us, the photos are difficult to look at because they bring us back to a place that was nightmarish. I feel so lucky to be alive.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Be the Match

I wouldn't be here today without a total stranger registering to be a bone marrow/stem cell donor. My donor, who has remained anonymous, spent two days donating peripheral stem cells.

My husband is on the registry, as are my daughter and youngest son. I urge all of you who read this blog to register if your health allows it.You could save a life.

Please visit

Click now before you forget. Thanks.