“Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)….”
1/2/13: Happy 2013 everyone. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement throughout the past year. I really like Michael’s abbreviated 2012 year in review, particularly the travel advice! However, he did neglect mentioning one big event. Although I’m still not much for cooking, I love, love, love our beautiful and functional remodeled kitchen. Anyway, it has been a year of ups and downs but it’s flown by with amazing (frightening) speed.
The holidays were good – time with family and friends. Of course, I was thrilled that we got a little snow. On the down side, I picked up an upper respiratory infection of some sort but am not suffering too much, and it hasn’t gotten in the way of my daily activities.
I saw my hematologist for my regular three-month checkup today, and my blood work continues to look great.
January 2, 2013:
WBC: 10.8 (norm 3.0-11.2)
Granulocytes (~ANC): 6.3 (norm 1.4-9.0)
Platelets: 513 (norm 130-382)
RBC: 4.74 (norm 3.90-4.90)
HGB (hemoglobin): 14.9 (norm 11.5-14.3)
HCT (hematocrit): 46.0 (norm 34.2-42.2)
Bilirubin: 0.5 (norm 0.0-1.2)
Alkaline phosphatase, S: 128 (norm 25-150)
AST: 21 (normal 0-40)
ALT: 16 (normal 0-40)
Potassium, serum: 5.3 (norm 3.5-5.2)
LDH: 174 (norm 0-214)
Dr. B was delighted with my recent bone marrow biopsy results. He was also happy that my lymph nodes were all clear and was impressed with the surgeon’s work on my neck. Despite his specialty being hematology, he was extremely interested in the details of my surgeries. He asked if my speech impediment would continue to improve (after noting that it is very minor). I told him about my tongue exercises and that I’m to practice saying lots of “s” and “z” words. His response: “But not ‘f’ words?” I laughed and assured him that I’ve practiced them a good bit, too, in recent months.
These past three years since I was first diagnosed with MDS have been difficult but I’ve managed to stay positive and optimistic most of the time. However, I’ve found this task a greater challenge with the base of tongue cancer despite the treatments being less intense, the recovery time much shorter, and the prognosis more positive than it was for the blood cancer. Perhaps it’s the cumulative effect of one thing on top of another. Yes, I am strong but of course I’m not invincible! I feel a lot of anger, self-pity, and longing for my pre-cancer life at times. Then I think about how well I’ve fared through it all and start feeling guilty because so many others are much worse off than I. But I saw a quote recently that helped. I can’t find it now but it went something like this: “Saying it’s wrong to be sad because others have it worse than you is like saying you shouldn’t be happy because others have it better.” (If anyone can direct me to the actual quote/source, I’d much appreciate it.)
Another of Michael’s remarks that is oh so true: “Life is good, it’s day to day living that is the pain.” I am both happy and grateful to be alive! But some days are definitely better than others.
Let’s hope that 2013 will be a better year for all of us.
I started this post an hour and a half ago (troubles putting thoughts into words) and had good intentions to update taglines this time but the hour is late, and I grow weary…next time, I promise. Procrastinate now!