Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Thank You

Today I had another minor chemo related problem--it's female and involves itching and lets stop there. But after the face thing, Bob says whenever anything comes up, I have to call the doctor. So I did. The nurse said to call my pharmacy in a couple of hours and they'd have called in a prescription. At 5:30 the pharamcy hadn't gotten the call so I figured the doctor's office would call it in tomorrow. It's hardly an earth shattering health problem, and my oncologist's office is often dealing with minor problems like people who have septicemia or irregular heartbeat or are just basically dying. I'm kind of embarassed to have called, actually.

About 6:30, my phone rings and my doctor says, "Hi, how's your face?" He wanted to know which of the possible treatment options I wanted and to tell me how to deal with associated discomfort. An hour and a half after he's supposedly gone home. (Not that he ever does go home on time.) The nurse had realized she forgot to tell him and called from her car. Only one doctor has ever called me at home before (and that's my GP who is also a truly good doctor and thoughtful guy.) All my life I've fought with the medical system who has done things like prescribe tetracyclene for me when I was on birth control. (There's a word for women who take birth control and tetracyclene at the same time. Mom.) I've given doctors histories they didn't want to hear. I've had a gynecologist at an HMO snarl at me, "You're going to have to relax." Now I have a doctor laughing and saying, "Do many people call you and ask you 'How's your face?'"

Thank you, doctor and nurses.

The pharmacy called me ten minutes later to say that my script was in, and when I went to pick it up, the pharmacist was actually not swamped. Months ago, when I first had neuropathy (nerve pain) and the doctor called in a prescription for pain meds, I went in to pick them up. The wait was forty minutes long, but I was so tired and in pain, I'd have waited all day. I said I'd wait, and I saw her back behind the counter glance up at me. Ten minutes later, they called my name for my pain meds. Tonight she wasn't so busy and I got to say thank you. Thank you pharmacist.

On a really bad day, Greg Feeley called me. I was bad tempered and unhappy and looked like the elephant woman and the minutes were going by like hours. I was in despair but afraid to admit it to myself or anyone else. I was not a good conversationalist. But he chattered and got me through that really bad day. Thank you, Greg.

This blog--I've gotten emails and comments from so many of you. From Sarah and Heather and Ruby Tuesday and Stephanie and Louise. From Ted and Gerg Van E, and David and Autumn and Claire and Bill (who pointed out, when I was needlessly worrying about my ativan that on his paramedic runs they aren't picking up armies of ativan addicts) my sister Pat, and Linda and Jim and Madeleine R. and Madeleine & Stuart (the magic jacket!) and Barth (the hat!) and Stephanie (the cheese!) and Leslie alias Feta Morgana, Derryl and Ken, Trey, Zakbar, Alis, Mary T., blaise, Paula F. and Pamela, Marite, Levin, ddragon, chance, Rick, Mike J. Julie and Tom K, Karen, gwenda, Gavin, Kelly, The Corpuscle, Darby, Mike W., Elad, Halifax (!), Mary Kay, Jon, Jeff V., bdunkle (I know who you are!) Pitman, Ellen, Pat C., Pat & Gloria, Adrienne, my favorite online cheerful oncologist, Demented Michelle, OldHorsetailSnake, Karen Meisner, Judy B., Emily, Deborah R., Kristin, Heather S., Richard, Steve L., Autumn and Jo Walton. And hello to all the beekeepers!

I know there are more people to thank. Bob, for one. Bob gets thanks and thanks and thanks. But it's so self-indulgent of me to be able to thank you all. You have mattered so much to me. This blog has mattered so much to me.

I watched coverage of the Ironman Hawaii, that insane triathalon where people swim, bike 112 miles on a road that crosses sunbaked lava fields, and then run a marathon. They showed people coming across the finish line--not the winners, just some of the hundreds who complete the race. I started crying. I think I'm like a runner who is getting close to the end but isn't there yet. I keep thinking about when the race is over, but I need to focus on running. I admit, I've been really tired the last couple of days, mentally and physically.

But you guys have been there, talking to me, while you run your own races and live your own complicated lives.

Thanks. Thanks so so much. I'm so glad to say thinks.

20 Comments:

Blogger Julie Hamilton said...

Hi,

I'm also a HD girl -- about 4 weeks ahead of you in treatment. (I finished 2 weeks ago Monday. Yeah!!!) Anyway, yours is one of the first blogs related to HD that I came upon -- I found you from pamelaclark.info in case you're curious -- and I've enjoyed reading it. (I looked at the list of blogs you're currently reading. We read many of the same, and I read a few more HD ones if you're interested.) I'm so not a computer person and laugh at the way I've "met" an entire virtual community in such a short time. It's particularly unusual considering I couldn't find many sites at all until the last couple cycles of my treatment.

So, thank YOU for letting me read about your experiences while I endured my own!

It's strange, though (and I remember you mentioning it sometime...), now that I'm finished with treatment and am in probable remission, I'm not sure when to let this part of my life go. I have a little pattern of checking in with all my HD "friends" every day/every few days. I'm trying to figure out if/when to break the habit.

Anyway, enough rambling. Just thought I'd let you know another stranger has been reading your personal experiences... Now, you've got a friend in Northern VA! Who knew how much positive energy you were sending "out there?"

This is particularly impressive considering you probably don't have any REAL energy at all.

Good luck with the Chemo #12. Finishing the last one is a bit anti-climactic, but such a relief.

Thanks again,
Julie
http://hodgkinsrace.blogspot.com

May 03, 2005 11:13 PM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

I know it's exhausting, but you gotta keep on running! You've made it this far, after all.

I wish I could be at Wiscon to see you. It's times like these when I feel too far away from home.

May 03, 2005 11:39 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

You could thank yourself, your writing, and your graceful and unique take on your current Life Situation for drawing together so many people who care about you. When you're done with chemo and going on with all the other stuff that you've had on hold, I'm going to miss "check-in with Maureen," and the community which has grown up here.

Of course, I'd rather miss it than have it ongoing...

May 04, 2005 12:01 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

May 04, 2005 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Deborah Roggie said...

When my son's chemo was done, the new freedom from treatment was scary. It had felt like the meds were our weapons against the cancer. Laying down weapons is not as easy as it sounds. You're always looking over your shoulder. But eventually we relaxed and got on with our lives.

(He was diagnosed with leukemia at age six--and went through three-and-a-half years of daily pills, monthly IV's, and quarterly spinal taps, plus extra fun drugs now and then and the occasional hospital stay. He's 14 now, and doing fine.)

May 04, 2005 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Shirley Nolen said...

I have been keeping up with your blog. Donna and I ask each other if we have read the latest on the drive to work in the morning. Paula has asked about you often. It is great that you have such terrific support. Enjoy your trip to Mexico.

May 04, 2005 9:53 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Craig Hildreth said...

From this point on, nothing but joy for you - this is my wish, and I do have connections ;)

May 04, 2005 11:04 AM  
Blogger Demented M said...

Thanks for the thanks! LOL

I'm so happy for you! So happy you are doing better and going on your trip!

I have kept you and your family in my thoughts and I hope that little bit of energy has helped.

I'm grateful to know you, to have met you, and am amazed that someone so talented and just plain awesome lives in Ohio too :) I thought I was the only one ;).

Michelle

May 04, 2005 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Adrienne said...

Shucks, ma'am. It all comes around, you know, if you just wait for the chorus on the guitar. One of your books gave me some insight into a tough time I was having a few (um, quite a few, now that I think of it) years ago. Hopefully, my scant comments and encouragements can do the same.

May 04, 2005 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Michael Weholt said...

I've read every post (well, since I started reading your blog which was in December, I think) because every post has been exceptionally worth reading.

I think you should certainly continue maintaining a blog once The Minor Inconvenience has been taken care of. I would miss you if you didn't.

Hey! I've got an idea! Maybe you could get another serious but curable disease and write about that!

No, just darkly kidding.

But hey... you could look at life as a sort of serious but ultimately curable disease, couldn't you? It's sort of the same subject matter, if you squint just right.

I think you should go for it.

May 04, 2005 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Pat Cadigan said...

Hey, you do the same for your friends all the time, hon.:)

May 05, 2005 8:06 AM  
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October 01, 2005 1:27 PM  
Blogger jon said...

I was looking at your posts about cancer ovarian and found a good article about the same cancer ovarian info too...

God luck with it : )

October 02, 2005 1:57 PM  
Blogger Azhar Hussein said...

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I love your blog and will be sure to bookmark it. Keep up the great work!

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October 02, 2005 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a free computer game site/blog. It pretty much covers free computer game related stuff.

October 04, 2005 6:44 PM  
Blogger Jack Naka said...

Cool blog you have going here, I will check in often! I have a similar site about fashion tv. It pretty much covers fashion tv related stuff.

October 05, 2005 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Ativan Side Effects said...

My name is Brian Lane and i would like to show you my personal experience with Ativan.

I am 30 years old .I started taking this drug about 10 years ago to help with some pretty bad anxiety and depression I was having at the time. I started taking a 1mg dose twice a day 1 in morning and 1 before bed. I tapered myself down to .5mg twice a day and then finally was able to get off it for about 3 months this year. I just started taking it in .5mg doses again due to the anxiety and depression resurfacing after 10 years. I dont know if its coming back because I got off the medicine or just that I am having a relapse but I have to honestly tell you that those years in between when I was taking it were the best years of my life. Just be VERY careful not to take this in larger doses.

Side Effects :
sleepiness, addiction It really helped me for what I was taking it for but it was very difficult to stop.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
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September 30, 2008 2:00 PM  
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February 13, 2009 10:54 AM  
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March 24, 2009 1:41 AM  
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October 28, 2010 6:47 AM  

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