November 03, 2003

Quiet Days

It's been a couple of days of paring down, somehow. Pleasures brief and acute, not sustained or nuanced. Light, light, light.

My bedroom faces south and is painted a curious chalky white, so matte as to be almost textured. It has various odd little chimney and buttresses in it, and they catch the early morning light, which is filtered through my white striped curtains. That light, and the patterns of the various vertical surfaces, is a very real pleasure every day.

Wonderful weather these past two days:people smiling and relaxed, things softened by the mellow sun and the warmth. The slightly hectic coloration of the leaves and the vividness of the fall blue sky all muted by this warm bathe of bronze, fruitful sun. Lovely.

It's been a difficult few days for me -- lots of mild nausea, dizziness, exhaustion. The Daunorubicin builds up in your system and it's hard to stay ahead of hydration and eating. Lost another couple of pounds this week. Plus, my blood counts are way down. Platelets still nice and high, but Hmg very low, and with that goes the tiredness and breathlessness and feelings of hopelessness. Four hours of tranfusion tomorrow should bring me back up to fine gnashing and snarling form again.

The truly delightful oncologette says I've lasted twice as long out of hospital as she expected me to, but insists I go inpatient next week: five day a week very intensive chemo, plus a bone marrow biopsy. I feel both defeated and relieved.

Used the numbing cream today that a Canadian friend sent for me (hi Owen!). Amazing. Simply didn't feel that one inch needle so much as touch me. Couldn't believe it.

EtQ the noble hound is not doing well, alas. She has becme very lame indeed, and I cannot persuade her to sit up at all until mid-afternoon. She pees where she lays (luckily I have several doggie beds which cycle through the wash), and hardly even makes it to her doggie dish to eat. I keep feeling if I could only find my own energy, I could maybe find a way to mobilise her. But it's not looking good, and it's too late in her life to ask anyone else to take responsibility for her.

It's as if, bit by bit, everything gets stripped away.

Posted by maddy at November 3, 2003 04:57 PM

The "Numbing Cream" is EMLA, an ointment with a couple of -caines in it that makes injections less unpleasant. It's readily available, but about a third the price in Canada as in the USA.

A general-purpose numbing cream that would work for job interviews and visits with doubtful relatives is yet to be found.


Posted by: Phil at November 4, 2003 03:26 PM

"It's as if, bit by bit, everything gets stripped away."

And there you stand, naked in the bright spring sun, the warmth against you skin contrasting the crisp air. You feel the moist grass beneath your feet, the breeze, wisps of clouds in the blue sky. Breath the fresh air as you step in to you new life.

Posted by: Richard Freilich at November 4, 2003 12:47 PM

I am loving the idea that Canada has somehow come up with a "numbing cream"! I'm wondering if you can use it homeopathically, where if you take a little of what you already have, somehow it resolves into health. Please send me the name of this product, I have several friends I want to send it to.

It is snowing in Ottawa and I am remembering how dear old Em just loved to romp in the snow. However quiet and slowed down, she gets I know Emily's soul will forever romp as the snowflakes fall.

Posted by: J ean Ogilvie at November 4, 2003 10:22 AM

Paul, have you considered a pet trade with Madeleine? You have a good history with GSD's, EtQ would grant some needed dignity to your household, and either Binky or the birds would add some zest to Maddles's cats's lives.

Posted by: Phil at November 3, 2003 06:32 PM

The up-side of the leaves coming down is that you do get more light coming inside. I've decided that I need a sun-catcher for my kitchen window, if I can figure out how to mount one on a plastic window frame. I'll look for one for you too.

Posted by: Alice at November 3, 2003 05:32 PM

You know, I don't think it *is* too late in her life to ask anyone else to take responsibility for EtQ.

BTW: I read the previous paragraph as "insists I go impatient", and I wondered how you'd notice?

Posted by: Paul Tomblin at November 3, 2003 05:04 PM
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