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  • Writer's pictureJody Glynn Patrick

Mixed Bag Week


Looking back at this past week, it was a mixed bag -- but a decidedly better mix than I’ve had to date. There were appointments – a home health nurse and two physical therapy appointments at home, and a virtual 2-hour counseling meeting. Amanda was a great person to talk to. She agreed that it’s far too much trauma in one year. Basically, I wanted another adult not related to me or trying to cheer me up to admit it. I told her I’m NOT chronically depressed; I’m SITUATIONALLY depressed due to specific causes that need to be addressed, and she understood the lingo and isn’t trying to get me on medications, which I would refuse. So that helped.


Tuesday, I was too tired to get out of my main chair except for routine matters. I just sat and watched TV all day, claiming a “healing day”. That sounds easy, but it is hard. I don't like sitting around doing nothing; it isn't restful, it's stressful. I look around at things I'd rather be doing, and all I feel is that I'm losing time.


Wednesday, I wanted to go grocery shopping and while I couldn’t walk nearly as far as I hoped (few more than 20 steps), those little scooters at Publix saved the day. I looked like a hobbit going from aisle to aisle, foraging for something different to eat. The important thing was getting out of the house.


Then Thursday I met with my oncologist to go over the reactions to this chemo cycle. She said I looked like a new person, wearing a dress and wig hat on my head, one of my 2 lucky hats and a smile. Other than the ongoing lung problem of not enough intake of air, which can’t be helped at this time due to the lung mass (that’s what’s mostly affecting my stamina and walking), I felt fine. No pain. No sickness. Just me living my life again. So, of course, I started to worry that the chemo had stopped working altogether, but the doc said not true. I’m to trust her process. So I am.


However, she did order more tests and I’ll have a Cat Scan soon to track the progress of the masses in my bronchial area, lung and abdomen. Do I really want to know?


Friday at 7:30 a.m. I was downtown for a port draw of lots of blood tests, followed by vein draws for the nephrologist to check my kidneys. Their function, according to the proteins, is now at 69, which is a huge gain for me, and puts me into a more “normal” kidney function. YAYAYAYAYAYAY! My other labs are all over the place, and the doctor called and said to restart potassium ASAP (2x3 days) so doing that. The other results I’ll have to talk over with her to see if we can do some corrections. Blood cells (white and red) are dropping too low again and platelets are disappearing. But for now I’m okay.


I also got permission to get the latest covid and flu vaccinations. My doctor said they won’t have as much efficacy for me, but it’s better than nothing, given my labs showing too much vulnerability right now. I can only use my right arm for shots, blood pressure, etc. due to lymphedema in the left, so that was two more punches in that arm this morning. But now that’s done. And today I’m walking much more in the house. Stamina is increasing.


Girlfriends Dottie and Jo stopped by to have dinner with me (they brought carryout and Kevin made me veggie rice with grilled pineapple, as I can't do carryout now). That graced Kevin with time to run his errands without worrying about the dog or me.


So overall it’s been a great week with some visits and some naps, and at this moment, I can do this hard thing. Have a blessed and fulfilling week! (You are trading days of your life for it, too....)


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