“When other little girls wanted to be ballet dancers I kind of wanted to be a vampire. ” Angelina Jolie

I do not have this in common with Angelina Jolie although I do feel like a vampire.  During my blood check at Hoag (besides noticing many more bruises), I found myself to be a bit hoarse. Oh, silly me, this is not losing my voice…it is called DOE (not to be confused with DOA). This is different from SOB (not what you think, but I was thinking this while my report arrived), shortness of breath. All this time I was thinking I was just tired, but losing my voice was due to the DOE  (dyspnea). I guess I should have seen the sign, but I was focused on my new ailment. This ailment is similar to the “I have fallen, but I cannot get up” and is called, “my bladder fell out and how do we put it back in”. Well, it did not really fall out, but it feels like it. Just add this to my list of side effects and add to my list of repairs like a house repair list, but it is for my body.

My immediate concern was my blood report. Are you kidding me? My platelets crashed with a lowered dose of chemo and my red count has not come back. So, off I waited for a shot to boost the red cells and a bag of platelets. I was so happy to beat the rush. I was equally happy to bring the average age to about 85. My room partners were 92 and 88. One was whining and the other told me the shot never worked for him. I listened and smiled since he is 90 and not sure what would work for him.  I had a great nurse who had a lot of suggestions for my recent bladder problem as well as my lack of appetite again. Oh, it could be the fatigue from the lack of red cells…I don’t have time for more fatigue.  Got the Newport Beach platelets, but I did not feel like a martini, botox, plastic surgery, a new car, or jewelry. I just wanted to get out of there!

Since I have not forgotten my other job of trying to get volunteers at the ULCA chemo matrix, I followed up with the chain of emails. I was reminded of this when I went to Hoag and was greeted with about 5 volunteers who wanted me to eat lots of cookies and drink a lot. I was convinced to eat these ice pellets with a spoon, so I could keep the volunteers happy.  Last time I was at UCLA, I got some history about the volunteers or lack of volunteers. This gave me more fuel to get this going, plus as an old working person I used to hate seeing these long dated email chains. I guess the same cannot be said by people in the hospital world. I responded to the group with the big assumption that they are “working on this request” and agree (like they said in the email) that this idea is fabulous. They all responded with an idea of a meeting to “discuss” this in 3 weeks which is what they said back on April 29th.  Glad I haven’t forgotten about this. It is good to know that they cannot ignore me even though I think I am “spam” to them.

Well, this recent development with the blood has caused my doctors to re-think the dosage again. They all apologized and said we will figure it out next time. Of course, they wanted me to go on Friday to have my blood tested, but I convinced them that Saturday would be fine. I am hoping to avoid the big rush of chemo patients at Hoag as warned by my nurse.

Sorry most of you have been dealing with the heat while I am quite chilled by the breeze and have enjoyed the nice cloudy mornings. Alex and I are focused on collecting children’s book for military families because as he says, “everyone needs a good book to read.” He is right and I will make the time to organize this and mail the books. Just another fun project to keep us busy here. Enjoy July, August is just around the corner…gotta love these summer months!



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