Kick in the Butt

Just a quick post to let you all know that the bone marrow test wasn’t all that bad (although my tush is pretty sore) and that Lester continues to be uncooperative. We just got back from Mexican food (Jacq had a spicy dish to try to drive Lester out), and we took a 3 mile walk before dinner to try to move things along.

Should Jacqui not give birth in the next 24 hours we are planning on inducing labor Thursday so that I am able to spend time with the kid before I have to go into the hospital for 3 weeks in late December for the final de-lymphomatization fest. But hopefully the kid pops out tonight and we don’t have to worry about that.


Today I was a patient again after more than a week of freedom. I am amazed at how quickly life returns to normal once I am not on or recovering from chemo. I was hoping that Lester would have come last night or today before my appointment so I could have a few more days without thinking about chemo, blood counts, or transfusions.

At today’s visit with my doc, we discovered that my blood counts have returned to normal, which is a very good sign given the fact that just a week ago they were at rock bottom. I am getting my money’s worth from each chemo blast, and the devastation that the chemo is wrecking on my immune system seems to be doing its job. Last week my platelets couldn’t get above 10,000 without help from repeated transfusions. Today my platelets were at 260,000 and still rising. I have been given a green light to resume exercising, and with my platelets so robust, I even asked the doctor if I could take up boxing.

There will be a few more tests this week to confirm that de-lymphomatization is going as planned. On tomorrow’s schedule is a bone marrow biopsy to confirm that my marrow is lymphoma-free. The biopsy involves our favorite nurse practitioner, some lidocane, and a medieval looking corkscrew-like instrument that is slowly and painstakingly turned into my lower back to take a sample of my marrow. It sounds painful, but it is more uncomfortable than anything else. Once the corkscrew penetrates into my marrow, it feels like someone has stuck a straw into my bone and is blowing bubbles. It is a strange sensation.

Now if Jacq has the baby tonight, we can put off the biopsy for a few days. Come on out, Lester, your daddy needs you.

The Water Has Broken (But not Jacqui’s)

When it rains…

This morning, while making some yummy challah french toast for everyone (Jacq, me, her parents, and Jacq’s cousin Anna) Jacqui’s dad discovered that our basement had become the indoor pool I had always wanted. An inch of water lined the floor of our soon-to-be-formerly-finished basement, with no source of the water visible. I quickly checked with our neighbors. They were dry.

In the middle of my search for the source of our Nile, Jacqui went to the bathroom. Her flush solved the problem. I heard water pouring out of a pipe behind the wall, which I could see by removing a small crawl space door. Thankfully, no little turds floated by, but still a mess.

Now we are just waiting for a plumber to call us back. Good luck to us on a Sunday morning.

Hopefully this all is a harbinger for someone else’s water breaking…

Get Out!

As far as the use of old wives tales go in initiating labor, we have been unsuccessful in coaxing Lester out into the world. She or he seems happy with the current room and board and doesn’t seem in any rush to join us or to cooperate with my chemo schedule. The kid is already not listening to us. Ugh. Our first taste of parenthood.

So I think we are going to have to ratchet up the plan to get the baby out ASAP. Here’s what I am thinking…

Off-Road Driving: Later today Jacqui and I are renting an SUV and heading to the mountains for a few hours of off-road driving. No more comfort for little Lester. Time to make the outside a more attractive option.

Hot, Hot, Hot: They say that spicy food can induce labor? Later today Jacqui and I are headed to “The Hot Tamale” to feed Jacqui red savina chile peppers, which, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, are the hottest chile peppers known to man. Take that Lester!

Military Psy-Ops: A tried and true way to drive crazed fallen dictators and hostage takers out of their bunkers, the nonstop playing of loud, horrible music may, we’ve been told, also be a way to drive Lester out of his uterine hiding place. Playlist includes Perry Como, Zamphir Master of the Pan Flute, Eminem, and Christina Aguilera.

If these radical efforts do not work, I guess we’ll just have to resign ourselves to the fact that Lester is his or her own boss, that he or she won’t be coming home until the next day on prom night, and that when during his or her trip around the world after college all we’ll get is an occasional postcard.

Debbie Does…

A few weeks back, in between treatments, my mother-in-law and I descended upon the mess that was my office to help me get some good old-fashioned organization in my life. While we were busy at work one of my colleagues came into my office. When I introduced my mother-in-law and told him what we were doing, he laughed, and wondered who was crazier–the mother-in-law who would do such a thing, or the son-in-law who would ask?

The great thing about Debbie is that she is always ready, willing, and able. Not in a “nebbishy, in your face” kind of way, and not in an overwhelming “I gotta get out of the house my mother-in-law is here” kind of way, but rather in just a “what can I do to be as helpful as possible to Michael and Jacqui, especially in their time of need” kind of way. Everyone in the family has been helpful in their own unique ways–my dad is team leader food, my mom team leader house cleaning, Jacqui’s dad team leader take care of Otis, and my sister team leader not-one-particular-thing, just helpful and loving in general. Debbie has emerged as team leader organization. When Debbie is in town Jacqui is always ready with a list, and Debbie is shopping, running errands, or organizing something that is a mess. She has been a great help to us during this crazy time.

But even more than “Team Leader Organization,” Debbie has been loving and kind to Jacqui and I, offering emotional support and strength in our time of need. I am so appreciative and grateful for all that you have done for me; of the ways you and Alan have always made me feel loved, and especially for giving me the greatest gift of all…Jacqui.

So, thanks, Debbie. If you are willing to take your next assignment, they’ll be a lot of organizing and love needed once baby Lester arrives… any time now.

Happy Turkey

Hope everyone out there is having a nice Thanksgiving holiday.

We are still hoping that little Lester is a Thanksgiving baby, although the clock is ticking…

Last night we had a false labor visit to the hospital at 3am. They sent us home and told us that the baby was still not ready, and needed to be cooked at 375 for at least another 12 hours.

Enjoy your holiday. Happy Turkey.