Once Again… A Fever

After two bags of blood and some IV antibiotics, I am now checked back in to Rhoads 6 for the neutropenic fever waitfest. I spiked a fever of 102.2 this morning and that means that I am locked up with the key thrown away until my counts rebound, likely mid-week next.

This admission is with a heavy heart as my father continues to have a rough time. We are able to speak a few times a day, and he is comfortable, but he is not getting a break. I only wish that I could get on a plane and be there with him to cheer him up. But because of my situation I cannot go anywhere. This whole thing is horrible. A whole lotta life around these parts. Yes, my lymphoma is gone, but to watch my dad decline and to be helpless and far away is breaking my heart. I know that I must get better quickly so I can get down to see him. That is all that matters now. Please keep your prayers coming.

Musings on Magnum

There are a few things that have become routine after each round of chemo–I sleep off the post-treatment nausea for two days, I eat buckets of Jacqui’s vegetarian Matzo ball soup to build up my strength and my inner culinary Jew, and in between bowls of soup when I am too tired to do anything, I pass the time watching a season or two of a favorite old TV show.

I’ve watched Quincy save the day with his genius pathologist skills, I’ve laughed at Lt. Parmenter and his fellow soldiers guarding Fort Courage in the goofball comedy F-Troop, I’ve been to Cicely, Alaska with Dr. Joel Fleishman and his quirky pals in Northern Exposure, and I’ve even traveled through time “setting right what once went wrong” with Dr. Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap. But best of all, I’ve watched almost three seasons of one of the greatest television shows ever… Tom Selleck as Magnum, P.I. (DVDs provided by the generous and healing hand of old family friend Steve Kandel. Thanks, Steve!).

Now you might be shocked to learn that Magnum is one of my favorite shows. Right now, in fact, you are probably looking up the side effects of chemo-brain on the internet, convinced that the toxic chemicals flowing through me must do much more than affect memory, they must alter that little know region of the brain known as the N.R.R. (Neilsen’s Rating Region), a tiny television shaped area of our onboard computer that can judge one good television show from another.

But if the ingredients of good television are a pinch of entertainment, combined with a smidgen of good writing, a taste of bikini clad women on Hawaiian beaches, and a red Ferrari thrown in for good measure, then Magnum P.I. rarely missed its mark. In an age where television seems to be either pre-packaged reality show garbage (American Idol, etc.) or dark and manipulative serial thriller junk (Lost), Magnum seems almost quaint and sweet by comparison. Magnum might have been a mystery and detective series, but it was really about friendship, the darkness of war, coping with one’s sometimes difficult past and being hopeful about the future, and always about laughing at one’s self and with and at one’s friends. Yea, the plots could occasionally be as overstated as Magnum’s overexposed chest hair, but the show was almost always fun, and even when it did take itself seriously it was never haughty (how could a show with the lead character sporting a thick goofy moustache who wore ridiculously short shorts be haughty?).

So I thank you Magnum, Higgins, T.C., and Rick for getting me through another round of chemo. Your wit, silliness, and fine private investigatory skills have made the chemo go down smoothly and the healing almost complete.

Thinking of My Dad

As I’ve mentioned several times in the blog over the last few months, my dad has been having a rough health time as of late. His health struggles, coinciding with my chemo, has made life in the Yudell orbit sad, strange, and very heavy hearted. While the news on my end has been all positive (no more lymphoma, chemo working nicely despite its travails), he seems to be having trouble catching a break. We are hoping that he turns the corner soon so he can be back at his favorite Sunday brunch scouting out the blintzes, pancakes, egg white omelets, etc., etc., etc. and, if you know his appetite, several more etc’s.

There is nothing more frustrating for me than to be stuck here recovering, having no choice but to take care of myself, and not being able to do anything other than to lend support and love over the phone. My mother has been a rock–taking care of him and offering me and Jacqui love from afar (and, of course, coming up here when she can), and my sister is down there now on a long weekend being the wonderful daughter she is.

I am not a praying man, although I must admit to having had my own conversations with a higher power fairly often these past few years. Needless to say, those conversations have been on the increase as of late. So if you are out there and have a moment, some hopeful and kind thoughts for my dad and my family would be greatly appreciated.

B Cycle Blues

We were happy to have some old friends (Stu Z. and his lovely wife Ruthie V.) come in from NYC yesterday to check in on me and, of course, visit little Sophia. It was a nice afternoon of conversation, baby-time, and fresh NYC bagels. Thanks for the visit guys.

At around 6am this morning my fever spiked, which meant an early morning visit to the clinic to make sure my white count was still in healthy territory. Thankfully, it was, and I am now home chilling on the couch about to have some yummy challah french toast.

I should rebound tomorrow before the big crash comes on Friday… something to look forward to. Yay!

Going Home

Round six is officially done and I am just waiting for my discharge papers to get the hell out of here.

I should have a couple of peaceful days at home before my counts drop. Because my reaction to this round is so extreme, we are discussing spending next weekend in the hospital so I don’t have to have transfusions in the emergency room.

Can’t wait to get home. Only two more rounds to go!!!

The Magic Milk

Not much to report from chemo-land today.

Life for me in the hospital is boring. Other than the drugged state I was in last night from 50mg of benadryl to prevent a reaction from the Rituximab, I’ve pretty much just been sitting around picking my nose.

Today was Sophia’s 2 month check-up (even though she’s 10 weeks) and the doctor says she is thriving (she’s in the 95th percentile for height and weight–13lbs. 6oz., 24 1/2 inches). She also had several shots today so she’s a bit of a crankster, but we are just happy that she’s happy and healthy and adorable. I couldn’t be there in person, so I was speaker phoned in, and heard all of the post-shot screaming which I’ve filed away in my brain as sounds that make me cringe that I never want to hear again.

Just two more nights here, then a few days at home, and then the B cycle fun begins as my counts drop into the crapper. Should be fun.