Friday, October 25, 2013

Nearing the Finish Line

Team Miner:

Things have been busy. I have not found time to write. Lydia's latest bout of teething affected her quite a bit more than when her two bottom teeth simply surfaced with no fanfare a couple months ago. The emergence of her two top teeth made our usually happy girl quite cranky, so we have been rather sleepless round these parts. I also go back to work full-time soon, I still haven't made the girls' Halloween costumes, and in my "spare" time, I've been trying to cook more with our nifty new CSA box. Time for blogging has been minimal.

So, here's the news, quickly. Jeff is "scheduled" (as much as things can be scheduled at UCSF) to be admitted for his final round of chemo this Sunday afternoon - 10/27. I estimate he will be there until Thursday, provided he actually gets in on Sunday. Last time around, with this particular drug, he did not feel too terrible except for being extremely exhausted and fatigued the day before he was discharged. He could use visitors - especially since the hospital stay is bound to be during the workweek when I cannot be at the hospital - so I added some visit slots to the Lotsa site. If you can sign up and help make his last round of chemo go by as quickly as possible, that would be fantastic.

In other news, we are starting to plan a mini-celebration for Jeff completing all this chemo. We'll have a real party in the new year also. But by the time his treatment is over, it will have been 6 (long) months since all this started. SIX months. So far, for our immediate celebration Jeff wants to pour out the two nasty remaining bottles of nutritional supplement we still have in our fridge from when his mouth hurt so badly. It will be cathartic and delightful to watch that Ensure and "Muscle Milk" swirl down the drain.

That's all for now.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One More To Go

Team Miner, 

Jeff came home again on Sunday afternoon. Just in time for the chaos and hilarity that is "Decompression" (basically a Burning Man reunion) to overtake our neighborhood. Decompression is one thing I won't miss about San Francisco when we leave here. That list of things I won't miss is short, so it's perversely comforting to encounter those few things that I dislike about SF. Makes me feel marginally better about moving. 

I didn't see much of Jeff in the hospital this past round due to work conflicts and both girls having appointments (first fillings (boo!) for Stella and first baby PT session for Lydia to strengthen her neck and counter torticollis) during the times I otherwise might have been able to visit. From what I've seen, and it's still too early to say for certain, methotrexate does seem to have wreaked less havoc on Jeff's system than R-EPOCH. He was extremely exhausted for a couple days, but fatigue is pretty much all he has felt thus far. Time will tell if his blood counts drop (which would be bad since I think our whole family is coming down with a cold) or if he has any mouth pain. Here's hoping that's over - forever. 

In other news, Jeff's hair is beginning to re-emerge. Peach fuzz, yay! 

I would write more but I'm on a crowded train and would prefer to focus on turning away from the dude who has placed his armpit in my face. 

Another thing I won't miss about SF: the Muni T(urd) Line. 


Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The Other Shoe

Team Miner: 

Jeff is finally back in the hospital for the first of two rounds of methotrexate. For reasons I don't entirely understand, UCSF is unusually crowded right now and Jeff waited for almost a full week to get an available bed. 

I am tired of being beholden to hospital schedules, or the lack thereof. Jeff's been gone all of 2.5 hours and I already miss having him at home.  However, I also want him 100% well, so in a way I am glad to be here alone with the girls as he pushes through this to the end of treatment.

Getting strung along for the past six days regarding this hospital admission is the perfect illustration of something I've been musing about lately. This whole experience has put me on edge. I feel like I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.  
Photo from the Berkeleyside Flickr page, by 2812 Photography
For example, it was difficult the past several days for me and for Jeff to enjoy our time at home together, because we were always anticipating a call from UCSF telling him to return to the hospital. It was also frustrating to know that for each day we waited for his admission, his overall length of treatment was growing ever longer, and getting pushed back further and further. And, of course, this "hospital tease" is yet another example of things generally being out of our control, which induces a not immoderate amount of anxiety in me.

Even outside of this context, the "other shoe" phenomenon is needling me. I often find myself in this thought pattern where if I take a moment to be grateful for something, my mind immediately looks back as if to say, "It could have been so much worse." As soon as I reflect on that, my mind races forward, and I think, "Well, you never know what will happen. It might get even worse than that." Then, I kind of guilt my way back to feeling thankful again, but it's a sort of paranoid gratitude.  A wobbly thankfulness with caveats and conditions: like, I'm thankful... for now.

The only way out of this that I can surmise, not that I am succeeding in this endeavor, is to actually rest in the present moment. To stop reaching back and forward at the same time.  To just stop.

And I will.  I'll stop here for now, and get some rest.  Good night.


Friday, October 04, 2013

Delay of Game

Team Miner:

If only we could somehow penalize UCSF for delaying Jeff's treatment. It would be so satisfying.  Or if only there were some way to punish the hospital for screwing with our schedule. But alas, there is not really a villain in this scenario: the good doctors and nurses at UCSF, of course, are in the process of curing Jeff.  11 Long is just receiving some necessary upgrades, which puts some rooms out of service, and other patients need the available hospital beds more than Jeff does at the moment.

Even so, it's frustrating to be stuck waiting. We had hoped to have Jeff in the hospital over the weekend, when more people are usually free to visit him, when Stella can see him, and when I am not working. Now it's looking like it may take until Monday for him to be admitted, so that plan is not coming to fruition. And of course, this just delays everything further. Now the final round of chemo is unlikely to be over before the end of October. Blergh.

Enough whining. Grandma Robin is here. It's supposed to be lovely weather out here this weekend and the Okee Dokee Brothers (a "kindie" band  - is that a thing?? - from Minneapolis*) are playing some shows here, including at the Bernal Heights library tomorrow afternoon.  Hence, we will try to make the most of this hitch in our plans and take Lydia to her first show tomorrow. (Stella, is an old concert-going pro, in that she's already been to two live Justin Roberts shows. She is so hip.) For my sake, I'll try to soak up as much bluegrass as possible from the Okee Dokee Bros while I lament not being at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and the olden days, back when I had a social life.


* Quelle coïncindence! August 20th was Okee Dokee Brothers day in my fair home state!