Down Time

It’s been a long time since I posted anything. I’d just hit a problem in “Awakening” and wasn’t sure where to take the story when I got a call from my Veteran’s Administration doctor. She’d asked me to have some lab work done since there weren’t any recent tests in her records. I dutifully went and visited the vampires and was having lunch afterward when the phone rang.

“We need you to go to the hospital. Do you want to go to the VA facility in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, or would you rather use a closer-by civilian facility?”

“Uh, closer, I guess.”

I called my civilian primary care doctor, who told me to call a specialist down the road from his office. They told me to call another specialist in Boston.

A few days later I was talking to a doctor in Dana-Farber Cancer Center, listening to a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia. A few days after that, I was checking into Brigham & Women’s Hospital for chemotherapy. Since I had never been a hospital patient in my life, this was an experience.

crazy afganl 004

Hospital garb. Hat & prayer shawl made by my pal Deb Bock

First, let me say that the doctors and nurses at Dana-Farber-Brigham & Women’s are even better at treating you well than the staff at Disney World.

Second, being in the hospital for a month isn’t any fun. Even Brigham’s chicken pot pie gets old after a while, and you just can’t live on nothing but creamsicle frappes.

Anyway, seven months, three hospital rounds of chemo and a stem cell transplant later, I’ve just had my first fresh vegetables, in the form of tacos. They were right behind a hot pastrami sandwich on my list of “can’t have it” dietary obsessions. I got the the sandwich first because of my bride’s heroic efforts in searching out pre-packaged pastrami. I’m allowed to eat hot food at a restaurant now, as long as I go during a slow time when there aren’t many customers. That’s okay because that’s when we like to go.

The only down side of being allowed out is that I’m on a study medication that makes me feel like not going out. Hopefully I’ll acclimate to it and we’ll get to our little nearby seafood place soon. Fried shrimp and onion rings are calling my name.

So, thank you, Lord, for Dr. Panesar at the VA, without whom I’d never have known anything was wrong, for the doctors and nurses at D-F/B&W, for my dear sister, who was a perfect stem cell donor match, and for all the good lab results.

Oh. I’ve saved a lot of money on haircuts, too.

This is my first attempt at writing since the whole thing started. Maybe I’ll take a look at Awakening next.pastrami with mustard200



About ralph

Still running on steam power
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Down Time

  1. Great job! Now that you’re starting to write again, the writers’ critique group will want you back. Is September too soon? No pressure.

  2. ralph says:

    Thank you! Love the video! The skate rink I went to in 1981 used to play that song a lot. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s