Enjoy Every Sandwich

Welcome to Lab Work Wednesday! My hemoglobin was 9.9 today so I got a shot of Aranesp. But it was just barely below the 10.0 cutoff so hopefully in two weeks it’ll still be high enough that I don’t need a shot.

I haven’t gotten the “official” results of the 24-hour urine test yet but the nurse today delivered a message to me from Dr. T: The protein in my urine decreased from over 4000 mg to 2700 mg. Not quite where we want it to be (zero would be nice; under 500 mg is more realistic) but I’m very happy it’s trending in the right direction. I have three more months on the Velcade so hopefully it will continue to drop.

A couple more good things I forgot to mention in the last entry:

–I don’t have to lift my legs up with my hands when I get in the car. Before, because of
all the fluid, I literally could not lift my legs with their own power. I’d have to pick them
up and lift them in. I still do it out of habit at times and then remember I don’t have to
do that anymore. Very pleased about that.

–My mind is definitely clearer. At the height of my patheticism in November, I couldn’t
formulate thoughts or a plan. Hopefully I didn’t already relay this story here. If I did,
I’m sorry for the rerun. I needed to pay my property tax, and here, if you pay online
with a credit card, they charge an extra $50.00 (IT’S AN OUTRAGE!!) So my being
the cheap-ass that I am, I opted to write a check. My checkbook was in my office at
home. I had to think out all the steps on how to walk to the office and get my checkbook,
bring it back to the dining room, and write out the check. I wasn’t capable of just
walking back there and getting it. (And by the way, thinking about it was as far as
I got. I did pay it but not until after I got out of the hospital.)

 It was actually my declining mental state that convinced me I needed to go to the ER. I
guess it was a good thing I made the decision then before I lost it completely.  In
November, I didn’t think I was going to get better; it was a pretty scary thing to
consider. The fact that I can actually think more clearly now is such a relief. I
notice it at work where it’s constant decision-making, in my personal life, and
even my therapist said in our last phone visit that my voice sounded stronger, more
like when she and I first met.

And AMEN HALLELUJAH! As of this week, I am starting to taste food again! After nearly 10 months, it’s coming back, baby! Last week it was sort of hit or miss… some things I could sorta taste, and others I couldn’t. I was thinking maybe it was all in my mind. But it’s definitely improving.  Things are still muted but I can tell the difference between a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and an Oreo. (Diet of champions.)  Two more days of prednisone, then alternating days for two weeks then that’s IT. I’ll still be on the dexamethasone for a while but I seem to have less of a reaction to that than the devil’s drug.

Regarding the title of this entry: 
On Warren Zevon’s last appearance on David Letterman’s show, Mr. Zevon knew his time on earth was limited as he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Dave asked him something to the effect of, “What have you learned about life that I don’t know?”

“You put more value in every minute. It’s more valuable now.
You’re reminded to enjoy every sandwich,” he replied.

I’m not trying to make this a downer. To me this is an uplifting message that *I* certainly forget.  I need to make the effort to enjoy the small things since they’re all around us. Great. More perspective change! (Where’s that sarcasm font??)  I am always looking for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. But sometimes a grilled ham and cheese is just the thing.  

Hemoglobin: 9.9
Protein in the urine: 2700 mg

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