Life lessons #31 by Regina Brett

Life Lesson 31

No matter how good or bad a situation is, it will change. ~ Regina Brett

I’ve intentionally jumped over many of Regina’s life lessons for a reason, I haven’t just forgotten how to count :)

This lesson is one that I can definitely relate to from recent experience.  Things have been looking up for me in recent months. My financial situation was getting better so that I could start doing some of the things I’d been wanting to do. I had successfully weened myself off of antidepressants and found myself with more energy and being much more self-aware. On Tuesday, I had several appointments at the Veterans Administration hospital that started off well. In physical therapy, I was given a new exercise regimen to go along with my stretching exercises and was looking forward to bettering my physical condition. My mental health appointment went well (e.g. I wasn’t locked up in a rubber room with a nice clean, white “hug myself” jacket). I was generally feeling pretty good about my overall situation and determined to continue with changes in my life that I’ve been needing to make for some time. This is where the “it will change” part of the quote comes in.

Next was labs for my Oncology check-up. The phlebotomist that I ended up with was a “chatty Cathy” and wasn’t paying much attention as she inserted the needle into my vein to draw blood. Somehow, she managed to nick a nerve while finding the vein, thereby earning the title phlebotoMISSED. A wonderful searing pain ran from my elbow down to my hand and then went away for a moment. As soon as I tried to roll myself out of the lab in my wheelchair the pain was back. Now anytime I have to do anything requiring a strong grip (rolling my chair) or bending my elbow or twisting my wrist while holding anything (like tipping my coffee or tea mug up to my mouth) that same wonderful shooting pain comes back. I’ve definitely obtained a healthy appreciation of what sufferers of chronic pain go through. All through lunch, I’m wincing every time I do anything and wondering how much worse the day can get.

If this day was a four course meal, then the next little episode would have been the main course. The last oncology checkup that I had 6 months ago showed that my Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma might have come out of remission, but it wasn’t definite. This time around it was definitely definite. My white count and abnormal white cell counts had skyrocketed and my red cell count and platelet count had plummeted. I knew this day would come eventually. Because the type of Lymphoma that I have is not aggressive it can’t be killed. On the good side, it doesn’t kill me, either, but complications from it can. As long as none of the tests that I start the day after Christmas show that it has become aggressive, I’ll be going through the same chemo that I completed in 2005, except they’re going to add another drug to the two that I took back then. If it has become aggressive, then there are other drugs that they can use. If none of those works, then there’s always a “hail Mary” pass (bone marrow transplant). I’ve got a bone marrow biopsy, P.E.T. scan and a port implant scheduled from the 26th through the 8th of January (possibly with a lymph node biopsy thrown in between the 2nd and the 8th depending on the results of the scan) and should start treatment in early to mid January. Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to another 5 or 6 months of puking my guts out all the time and not feeling like getting out of bed, but the alternatives are worse.

As if the “main course” wasn’t enough, I got the dessert yesterday. My preoccupied arse left the windows in my car cracked about a half inch on the way home from the hospital. They stayed that way while a steady wind-blown rain storm poured water on the area for two days. Needless to say, the interior of my car was soaked. Fortunately, the rain let up and the humidity went down and, with a day of wind blowing through the open doors, it’s pretty well dried out now.

Again, this is where the “it will change” part of the quote comes in. I’m confident that, after 5 or 6 months  of chemo and another year of once a month maintenance drugs, I’ll be able to say goodbye to Mr. Lymphoma for at least another 5 years. It irks me that this has to come along at the same time I was trying to get back into the habit of reading and writing around here. I’ll be away from my computer a lot during my treatment, but, on the good side, it’s convinced me that I need to get a tablet so that I can stay in touch whether I’m in the bed or in the hospital. Good excuse for a new toy, eh?


About Kip Light

Just another guy in a wheelchair with lots of time to think. Have been a dish washer, landscaper, short order cook, Navy Cryptologic Technician, computer programmer and cross country tractor-trailer driver. Love music of all kinds, especially blues and 70s rock. Enjoy playing electric guitar and building/repairing/upgrading computers. Also like to write (poetry and short stories) when I'm inspired. Currently disabled due to Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and am a survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (in remission for 4 years now). Guilty of a bad case of TSS (Terminal Sarcasm Syndrome) and don't take myself (or much of anything) too seriously. May the Force be with you and live long and prosper.

Posted on December 21, 2012, in Quotes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Just wanted you to know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your treatments are going well and that you will soon be feeling better.

    • Thank you immensely, Karen. I really do appreciate your thoughts and prayers. My treatment is progressing, but I’m having a little difficulty not choking someone at the VA over their “we don’t have time for that” attitude. I’ll be posting one of these days with details (and a bit of a rant), but, all in all, it’s progressing. It’s been quite a roller-coaster and, along with a couple other events, has me wondering if 2013 just isn’t a good year. Having said all that, I’m still keeping a positive attitude and doing my best to go with the flow. Thanks again for stopping by and brightening my day, my friend. :)

  2. You have been in my thoughts a lot lately. I hope your treatments are progressing as painlessly as possible, and even though the worst may not yet be over, I hope a positive end is in sight.

    “No matter what happened yesterday, life’s relevance does not diminish. The persevering heart always gives it a new beginning.” ~Dodinsky

    Take care and be well.

    • Thank you, Karen, for your kind words and thoughts. Just finished up my first 2 day round of treatments yesterday. I can’t say I feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but I am here and feeling relatively well. Next month they’ll be adding the drug that really dragged me out last time around. Hopefully, I’ll tolerate it a little better this time around since they’re waiting to get my white cell count down before using it. No matter what, it’s all worth it if it prolongs my life like the last time and they have every reason to believe that the results will be approximately the same.
      Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are doing well and that all is good in your slice of the world.

  3. I hope this is the end of that series of unfortunate events for you, and things will start looking up soon! My unfortunate event for today was also a car-related one… I was so distracted with my thoughts that I drove up to a gas station, paid for the gas and then drove away without filling up my tank. I’m a writer and so I have lots of interesting thoughts, that’s my excuse!

    • Ouch. I hate it when money goes flying away. And yes, all those interesting thoughts are an excellent excuse for forgetting the inconsequential :) I think I’ve used that excuse a few times myself. Things are looking better for me now that I’ve got all the info I need and the “coaches” at the VA have come up with a promising game plan. It helps too, that most of the “pincushion” effect of minor surgery to install a chemo port and the bone marrow biopsy are over.

  4. Forgot to say that my immediate response to Regina’s quote was: ‘Yes, it changes from bad to something equally bad’! Seems like it over here at the moment. Hey ho! Onwards upwards.

  5. My heart goes out to you for the nightmare but it’s had one good effect for me: the fact that I may have to have an op on my right foot (i.e not the Christy Brown foot!) has paled by comparison! Seems the metatarsal bones are now distorted and, while it’s possible that a new set of specially-made insoles might relieve the pressure enough to obviate the need for an op, it’s depressing to contemplate. Hey, yes, BUY that new toy now! And if you have any left over, donation of a mini iPad gratefully received! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and deepest wishes for some peace and stoicism. Sarah x

    • Sorry to hear about your possible foot op. Whichever route you go (operate or not) I hope you find relief quickly. And, yes, it does seem that situations merely trade one evil for another, but, occasionally, we get to trade bad for good. I’m glad my story made your apprehension less. I seem to be good at that, lol. Thank you for the holidays wishes and I hope for you a wonderful Christmas and a brighter New Year.

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