Saturday, April 26, 2014

It Can Get Worse

Writing this makes me shake. I was simply taking the two steps into the kitchen using my walker when I slipped and fell on my butt. My center of gravity was low enough that I couldn't get up so I tries crawling to a chair. In hindsight, I should have gone the other way because the phone was nearby.

The major complication was that I have food on the stove and starting to bur. The fire alarm went of and my dog went nuts, stepping on me, mashing me up as a desperately tried to reach the phone. I Inched my way over to where I could pull the phone down, along with other more weighty things. Phone in hand I dialed 911. Four fire vehicles arrived within moments, and started doing their thing, removing the scorched pot, opening windows and removing the smoke detector. One of them turned to me and took my vitals and checked for breaks, bruises and blood. Nothing. Suddenly a woman was holding my hand. I was my neighbor Sue. She stayed until the firefighters and EMT left. The she went a got me some pizza.

It was as bad as it gets.

Bump in the Night

It was dark, about 2 am. I woke up with a hankering for seltzer. I carefully made my way downstairs, made way to the kitchen, and that's when disaster struck. I fell on my butt and couldn't get up. Normally if I'm down, I can get up with a little bit of effort. Not last night, in the dark, in the cold, on the dirty floor.

I was down for 30 minutes, attempting to scootch my way to a spot where I could lift myself up. This was the lowest I'd sank in a while.

Happy ending. I arose from the floor, got my seltzer, walked carefully upstairs, washed off the dirt particles and applied hydrogen peroxide to prevent cellulitis. 

Lesson learned: no more seltzer in the night.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Surviving Leukemia

Beating leukemia to the ground is one thing; surviving the nasty side effects that linger for many years, possibly forever, can be daunting.

I've cataloged my own complaints: destroyed tear glands, three tooth extractions, melanoma surgery on cheek and ankle, leukemia cutis, neuropathy, weakness, loss of most muscle, extreme gvh of the skin and a touch in the liver; psychological issues. Forgive me if I've left anything out.

I have two friends who've made it past the so-called 5-year mark. (I'll be there in 3 months). One friend is suffering the debilitating side effects of prednisone withdrawal. We are as weak as newly born birds. She has gvh of the lungs, which makes it even worse. Another friend has lost 11 teeth to the treatment of the disease and will be getting dentures. She's had cancer of the tongue and mouth. Due to our toxic treatment, we are at risk for secondary cancers.

We manage to live the lives that were given back to us wisely if not as well as we'd like.

Not all leukemia survivors face these issues. Some return to productive lives, which for me would be having a job. Not dying is good.

And then there are several I've known who haven't survived. My heart continues to go out to their families.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day at the Docs

I left my house at 9:30 yesterday and returned at 4. No lunch, little water, lots of waiting. My upstate doctor wanted me to have a cbc before my injection because my platelets were low, 90. But yesterday they were 140 so it was a go. A go that chewed up 3 hours.

My primary care physician was willing to see me after that because I have cellulitis in my right hand. I fell again, at the bottom of the subway stairs when I was in NYC last week. I fell on my rear but I did scrape my hand. I have to use Purell more often. So she doubled my bactrim for a week. She asked how often I fell and admitted it was too much. She brought my neurologist in who examined me and wrote a prescription for a cane, the kind that stands up and hopefully keeps me up.