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Friday, April 16, 2010

Blood draw and Dancing with the Stars

It has been a couple of days since I have logged my journeys. Today is Friday the, hmmm.......? ummm.....16th! yes. That's it. All the days seem to not require a number or a name anymore. My days are marked by which ones include a trip to the doctor or oncologists. Yesterday I went in for a blood draw (post chemo). This is to check whether or not the white blood count is sufficient and the red blood count is as well. They told me my red blood count was slightly low meaning I was anemic, but not enough to render receiving blood. My white count had got into the range that was considered acceptable. So all in all, I was OK. I would live another day. But first I had to go down the elevator to my surgeon who was going to check out the opening in my incision again to see how it was faring. So I go in there and do the routine. Put on the gown, opening in the front please. My husband is with me and he has become an expert at "unbandaging me" . After taking my top off he grabs one end of the spandex flesh colored wrap, unvelcros it from itself and lets it rip while giving me a swift push. As usual, I go spinning across the room looking like a scene from "Dancing with the Stars" until I finally hit the wall......and stop. We get better and better at it each time. The excitement is over. We smile, giving each other proud looks of approval for our efforts. The fun is over, so I put the hospital grade mauve top-half-only gown on "opening to the front."

The nurse comes in and takes my blood pressure. It is slightly elevated. Probably because of the poetic dancing duo routine we were practicing just before she entered the room. She says nothing about it but gives me this knowing glance as if to say "I know" she does. She leaves and Mary Brian comes in and looks at me laying back, gown open, knees up as usual, pants on I might ad....and she smiles. "OK, let's have a look..." she says as she puts her gloves on and grabs the silver nitrate out of the cabinet. She looks at the opening which has granulation tissue trying to grow in it. It kind of looks like white-yellowish cobweb like tissue growing across the center depth of the opening. The silver nitrate burns this tissue back so the real tissue can continue to grow from the bottom up as it should. She pulls apart some gauze until she gets a single layer so thin she can stuff the whole in my incision. She wants me to do this twice a day. The granulation tissue continues to try to grow but when you pull the gauze out that is stuffed down inside there, it destroys its formation and all is good again. New tissue can grow correctly. All is well, so we say our good-byes and get ready to bandage me back up again. Not nearly as exciting. So our morning is done. All appointments complete. I go home get in bed and sleep. Our outing has wiped me out again.

Today I slept until noon or maybe even later. My best friend Vicky had made plans for me. She was going to come by and pick me up and take me to dinner when she got off work. Vicky has been my best friend, my confidant, my one who I depend on come hell or high go-to girl, for as long as I have done hair; which is about 17 years now. I remember the night in probably 1996 when I shared with her my deepest fears which were coming true. We sat in the parking lot of her small apartment and I cried and she guided me and supported me and God spoke through her. We had worked together for a little while. That night, Vicky had needed a ride home from work. She was a single mom of 3 for about 18 years at that point. She had started doing hair again after 10 years of being out of it, Not able to give up her full time job, she worked with me at night. And that is how we met. It is amazing how God puts people in your path at just the right time. His timing is ALWAYS perfect. So I sat in the car not wanting to leave. I was a new mother and my life was about to fall apart, But there in that dark parking lot, we prayed, and we cried. I confided in Vicky my worries and my fears and all the things that tortured my heart. All the while she brought a calm, a peace, and a sense of absoluteness that God's promises were undying and faithful. She still has those gifts today. I know if I am confused and I want to hear God speak plainly to me....I pick up the phone and I talk to Vicky. You see Vicky is one of those prayer super heroes that has a direct line to God in one hand and Satan's kryptonite in the other. God put her in my life and I in hers. She says I inspire her and help her to take those giant leaps of faith. I don't. I simply remind her of the faith and the strength that she already has within, and the same promises that she has reminded me of so many times....I tell her that he was also speaking to her, not just me.

So Vicky picked me up and took me to Chili's where I ate the same steak and veggies that I did the other night after seeing the commercial. Then we topped it off with a chocolate molten lava cake or something sinful like that.....oh yes. We went to her car and sat in the parking lot and she shared a song off her ipod that she wanted me to here, and then I shared one with her. We like sitting in parking lots......talking, sharing, laughing, and praying, We will always be friends. We give each other a strength that each one of us needs. They are two different kinds of strengths. It's kind of like when you sync your ipod. We just get together and "sync". Then we are more complete....or at least I know I am.


AFWingMom said...

Thanks, as always, for the update. I like your little "dance" routine that you do. It's a sweet thing. I'm really glad that you have a friend like Vicky ~ it's really great that you connect so deeply with her. (((hugs)))

gbass said...

Penny praying for your strength and recovery. What an amazing writer you are - - Love and prayers.