I just wanted to say thanks for all the sweet things you guys said when I posted my last diary and tell you I’m doing ok. I’m still in the hospital and I got my head shaved yesterday (it looks good, or so I’m told), but I’m in good spirits and feel stronger than I did before. I do have a litany of symptoms from the ulcerative colitis, but nothing too serious from the chemo, though the two are exacerbating each other and it’s very frustrating. I’m currently in my second of what (in theory) will be six rounds of chemo. But the bottom line is it seems to be working (so far) and I’m much more confident than I was.
The first few days after being diagnosed were the hardest. Once I started the treatment at least I felt like I had some direction. It was still worrying, for sure, but the thing is, every day something amazing happened to pick me up. A friend would visit and without any effort take my mind off of everything. Or I’d get a Facebook message from someone I hadn’t heard from in years. And the blog I posted here, with the 53 beautiful, inspiring comments, it blew me away. I knew when I told you guys what was happening you’d be there for me, but I was still overwhelmed. I want to say a special thanks for all of you who shared survival stories. Each one I hear gives me a little more courage.
As far as my list, I remember someone asked if I could post occasional updates about how many things I’m checking off, and a few others of you said how you were going to make your own lists… and it gave me an idea. What if I started a diary series where we post our lists and work on them together? Perhaps a monthly thing? Just a thought. As far as how I’ve done so far, there are a bunch of things I’ve accomplished or I’m working on. One, the sandwich. It was delicious. I’ve also had rolled tacos, chips and guacamole and I’m on my second box of Golden Grahams. So plenty of non-hospital food in my diet. Two, I’m recording an album in here… by some fluke of fate, I landed at the only local hospital with a “music therapy” program. Usually, the way it works is the music therapists (acoustic singer/songwriters) go around playing for patients, but since I also play, we jam instead. It’s something to look forward to every day (really, it’s changed some terrible mornings into fine afternoons) and Tim, the guy I play with, has been recording the sessions on his Mac. The plan is to release our best stuff as an album and use the proceeds to help finance the program. Three, I touched on this before, but I’ve been reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in years, including people I haven’t seen since high school. One friend who I haven’t seen in 2 years came all the way out here from Florida. All these people I’ve wanted to see for so long but never got around to it,… well, this BS happens, and suddenly we are getting around to it. Funny how things work out sometimes. Fourth thing is I’m pretty sure I’m going to make a Sierra trip this summer. Depends on when I’m done with all this chemotherapy nonsense.
I might be going home next week. Maybe. After 5 weeks of being here I know not to get my hopes up. I’ve decided I’d rather be surprised than disappointed. I have a nice space here now anyway. I have my laptop, my guitar, DVDs, a private room with a couch and a nice view. I have a great bunch of people taking care of me and inspiring me all the time. The nurses alone give me more than enough energy to endure the tough days and make the easier ones almost even fun, I don’t know what I’d do without them. I mean, there are obviously things I could be complaining about, but there’s no point. It’s healthier and much more convenient to be patient right now.
One other random thought — if you’ve ever donated blood before, you’re beautiful. I’ve gone through so many units of platelets and RBCs that I can’t count anymore. Every time I get a transfusion my life is being saved by strangers. I should have another list for all the things I didn’t understand the true significance of until I got here, hah…
Anyway, I’ll be around on and off until I get home. Also if you’re interested, I’m keeping a more consistent journal at my blog on Lose the Label (click under “Soapbox” and my screenname is “jakethorn”). They’re more like bite sized updates than anything terribly substantive, but if I disappear from DD for a week again and you start wondering if meteoriot croaked, you can look me up over there. 🙂