Friday, March 31, 2006

Fingers in the Dyke

C had been feeling progressively worse over the last couple of days - extremely low energy, nausea, shakiness. She looked pale, as though she was starting to pass over into that other place.

We found out why when we went to the clinic yesterday. She is bleeding internally. You see, when you have multiple myeloma, the disease causes many problems. Among which are kidney failure and disfunctional bone marrow. The results of these two things are that C cannot replenish her blood products as normal people can. She cannot make enough platelets and red blood cells to keep up with daily wear and tear. On top of that, her failing kidneys cannot keep her blood clear of toxins. Put those two together and you have a scenario where the few platelets that she does have are hindered in their work by the increased toxin levels around them. Hence, little to no clotting takes place.

What is happening is that C is bleeding to death through little cracks and wear points in her intestines - death by one thousand cuts.

So, yesterday, we shoved her full of platelets and two units of red blood cells. Today, we will do two bags of platelets and another two units of red blood cells. Then we wait and see if we have enough fingers in the dyke.

If not, then it is a matter of days.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hector Procter Redux

Here is another one where Hector is earning his keep.

I haven't written much here lately. Mostly because we have been in a holding pattern - clinging to the illusions of normalcy.

C has been kind of in stasis ever since we enrolled in the Hospice program. We still go to the clinic once a week or so for checkups and blood products. C needs platelets about once a week and sometimes red blood cells. Her oncologist was kind of pissed at us for enrolling in hospice, though he did not say so directly. I guess it is some kind of control thing for him.

Hospice patients don't usually go to the clinic on a regular basis. The hospice program is mostly set up for folks to die as best they can at home. They do great comfort care, but are not set up for treatment. The blood transfusions that C needs are seen as treatment so we had to get a special dispensation for them. Sigh.

Last night marked a turning point of sorts. C and I were lying in bed. She was dozing on and off and I was reading. Suddenly, she asked, "Do you still love me?" I assured her that I did and then a moment later asked if she was feeling unloved.

She was quiet for a moment. I could tell that she was trying hard not to cry. Then she said, "I don't know any more. I am afraid that I am losing my mind. I forget things. I have trouble understanding things - newspaper stories and things."

I knew then that we had reached a new stage. This is such a cruel process. We have had our love life stolen from us. We haven't made love for three and a half years. I have watched a woman who prided herself on her strength and independence become gradually weaker and weaker, unable to do some of the most simple things. Now her most precious resource, her intellect is under attack. This is coming from a woman who spent most of her professional career as a prominent and extremely capable attorney who loved to do the big deals. She finally left the crazy, deadline driven legal world to head her own company, a lifelong dream.

Then the world caved in. I don't know where I will find the strength for this.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

HNT w Hector

This is Hector Protector. He was a gift from an old friend who survived a bout with cancer many many years ago. She was convinced that Hector was the reason.

When I was diagnosed some twelve odd years ago, she passed him on to me. He has watched over me these past twelve years faithfully sitting up on my dresser and serving as the occasional hat rack.

Since I am still here to play HNT, he must be doing his job.

I wish that he could take care of two people. My wife is nearing the end of her fight with the dragon. Last week, we signed up for hospice for her. We don't know how much time she has left. Ta. Posted by Picasa