In a previous post, I wrote that George had finished up his round of chemo injections and we were happy that we didn’t have to drive the 50 minutes to Camden every day anymore. Then I remembered that he would have to have blood drawn regularly so, maybe we were kidding ourselves. Well, the good news is Dr. Ghimire said George can have his blood drawn at the base med group, which is a 12 minute drive! So, he took the prescription Dr. Ghimire gave him and gave it to the lab on Joint Base McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst and they entered it as a standing order for CBC (complete blood count) for two years! Such a time and gasoline saver! The base lab then immediately faxes the results over to MD Anderson Camden and Dr. Ghimire can decide if George needs to come in for a blood or platelet transfusion. More good news – no transfusions needed so far after this round of chemo! Yay!
Meanwhile, life goes on pretty normally, except for George staying out of public places where there are a lot of people. His white blood cell counts have been hovering around 1.5 for the past week at least and normal is 5-11. So, he is vulnerable for infection. Thankfully, no infection so far! We celebrated Easter with family and a delicious dish of short ribs and mashed potatoes.
We took walks on the track at the base…because George’s wound is healing nicely, he is able to walk two miles! This is also helpful for further healing of his leg and for building up his strength and health in preparation for his bone marrow transplant. He feels encouraged that he doesn’t find himself short of breath when he walks like he did before his diagnosis.
We continue to enjoy our evenings watching Nicole Wallace and Ari Melber on MSNBC, then Jeopardy! and then some interesting documentary or fascinating television show ( true crime is frequently on the agenda!)…provided George can stay awake! The week after chemo he starts getting weak and tired.
We celebrated Greek Orthodox Easter (Pascha) with the traditional lamb dinner, tsoureki and red eggs a week after Western Easter.
We also had our deck washed, sanded and painted which was desperately overdue! I’m looking forward to making this deck a special and inviting place because once George has his transplant, he will be confined to the house for months and this will be a nice way to get outside. I will have to get a large umbrella because he won’t be able to be exposed to too much sun. I’m on it! (Plus, this sh*t was about to crumble into oblivion and was too hideous to look at for another season). The circles on the glass on the door are for our little bird visitors…so they don’t fly head first into the glass and die, which actually happened once! I have a couple of feeders out for them.
And of course, George continues to work remotely in his home office every day.
And while we are living relatively normal lives with George in remission and awaiting our appointment with the bone marrow transplant doctor, Dr. Loren, on May 4, it is easy to forget what an immense challenge lies ahead. I think maybe that’s a good thing, if we want to live each day in the present and enjoy it for the gift that it is. I often stop and think how George’s experience with this disease and the treatment seems to be an anomaly – the couple of other blogs I have read by people like me show a very different experience with many complications and side effects. I will discuss that more in the next blog. This one is already too long!