I have not felt great – really weak and short of breath. Yesterday I got two units of red blood cells at Vanderbilt (I learned they only live about a month). Already I feel better. My body is broken and it cannot make enough hemoglobin and with my heart “issue” this makes it very hard on me to be up and about. The heat is torture. I’m talking about folding a little laundry and running a couple of errands but not gasping while doing it, if I can do it at all. Living, but with less suffering.
According to the American Red Cross the summer months are the hardest and their donations are down. They also state that every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. I’m ashamed to say I was scared and never donated. Alan has though, he’s O negative (universal donor) and they used to call the house asking for him. If you’re interested:
Send me a picture if you do and I’ll post it
Here is another list of gifts ala One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, not sure I credited her last time for the idea.
- Pepper chasing chipmunks
- The sound of wind blowing through leaves
- Clouds in strange shapes
- Flowers from my friends in my front yard
- Holding the elevator for someone else
- Blood donors
- Magic Machine that pulls O2 right out of the air (her name is 19, it’s scrawled right on the side)
- The cord from 19 which reaches end to end in our ranch house. I keep forgetting about it, snagging it, and tries to rip my ears off. Call me Leonardo.
- Little O2 tanks so I can get out of the house
- Saying goodbye to friends alive and not, while the Earth stands still and life goes on
- Food in my fridge from friends and plastic containers spilling out of the cabinets
- Healthy children
- Doctors and nurses doing their best and my ability to trust them despite bad news, gray areas, and mistakes
- Looking forward
- Living today
- Flowers from friends on my counter
- Lunch date and getting nails done with my girl
- Gifts and cards in the mail
- Friends and family willing to give a ride, to take a kid a couple of hours, overnight, or a week.
- Being Catholic, Cursillo, and prayers
- The connection between us all
- Kids having sleepovers
- Presence of mind to pay the bills
- Melanoma pen pals who are so dear to me
- St Henry Cancer Support Group
- Nights in my own bed, knowing my people are all home.
- Being an adult – i.e. Reese’s cups and anxiety medication for breakfast if required (it totally was)
And especially – Alan and everything he does for me and for our family. This is a hard road. I am blessed to have him.
Infusion #4 in a week and a half then full scans for the trial at the end July. 7 weeks on the trail, 11 weeks off Zelboraf and my heels are still peeling.
I choose to be thankful and look for His gifts today rather than remain in the deep funk I woke up in. I choose to believe this treatment working – I choose to live like today is everything. What about you? What do you choose?
I did give the funk a few hours – I had to. If you think I’m perfect you are sadly, terribly mistaken.
Peace to you all – Amy