Titles are always rough when I blog. I try to think of something eye-catching & interesting, as if my blogs hold any particular interest to people to begin with. I guess I hope that people enjoy what I write because I have an artistic bent (bend? tendancy?) and want to be admired for creativity. Today I have a number of items on my "to write" list and perhaps if I list them here I'll stay on topic (a problem when I write OR speak.)
1-state of my gardens
2-birds and wildlife
3-my diagnosis/current state of health
3.a - GOOD news
4-present condition of my friends & family
5-tying in the state of my gardens with my lifestyle changes (or attempts thereof)
The gardens are wild and overgrown again this year. For the past 2 or 3 years I've had the best of intentions, but not the physical ability to really get out there & make a transformation. Fortunately my mom is putting forth a bit of work (what she can handle) and it's made a difference. The phlox & hyssop are completely overgrown & are preventing our poppies & glads from coming up. I love the glads especially & miss having them. So on my list for coming gardening seasons will be getting rid of those 2 beasts. My mom planted them years ago because they are 'native species' and she was on a kick to only plant what would grow without special care (especially those not needing a lot of water). Unfortunately the articles listing them as natives failed to mention they are INVASIVE. Gardeners beware!
The hyssop, however, serves an unusual purpose -for me anyway. As the growing season reaches it's peak this licorice-scented beast begins to 'go to seed.' And the goldfinch flock to it like mad. They love the thistle created and we have an enormous turn out of goldfinch every year. They are such tiny birds and don't have much of a song, but their oustanding color makes up for that. Besides we do have bluebirds, mockingbirds, and wood thrush who serenade us from daybreak until just after nightfall.
Because I've been in hospital for SO long (27 flippin days!) I missed the initial flowering of the hyssop - and the lavender which is now dried on the stem & ready to bring in for potpourri dishes & wherever else I can find to stow them. The smell of lavender is -IMHO- just heavenly! We started with a tiny clump and it is now easily 2 feet in diameter!
On the topic of the hospital - my initial diagnosis has been revised- fortunately. What they initially claimed was my problem is a pre-cancer (pre-leukemia) & I was terrified. My brother was ready to have a bone marrow biopsy to find out if he is a match to me - but fortunately that is all over. Apparently, the initial diagnosis - the one made months ago by my "small-town" hematologist is the correct one. I have an unspecified autoimmune disorder. My immune system has decided, for whatever reason, that not only are my joints (as I have already been diagosed w/rheumatoid arthritis) a foreign body worthy of attack, but so is my blood. All parts - red cells, white cells, and platelets. The name is autoimmune pancytopenia. It's not going to be fatal I'm happy to report. Just danged annoying there is no cure.
For now I'm still taking high doses of steroids (prednisone) and a drug to supress my immune system (Imuran.) I'll be receiving blood transfusions as needed (blood in the general sense - could be just red cells or could be platelets or both.) My white count (WBC) is also low but the dr doesn't feel that continous doses of neupogen to raise the WBC is worthwhile unless I develop an infection. I'm OK with that - the fewer drugs the better! My counts are all low right now & I really would feel so much better if I could get a transfusion of red cells, but my counts aren't low enough yet. This is a bummer because it's really knocked the wind out of my sails & I have so many things that I need and WANT to do.
Today my nephew is playing in his Little League baseball tournament & I'm simply not well enough to go. Just sitting up is too much - although I have to admit I also have a fever. Unless they go very high -over 101- the doctors aren't worried. It's been a touch over that, but always comes down & I will ask at my next appt about when I should truly be worried. Don't want to watse any time in the ER -or exposure to more germs! - or risk being back in a hosptial bed. Although from now on I will be staying close to home at my little local place -with private rooms, tasty food, pretty window views, better TV choices, nicer staff, and certainly my OWN doctors! Oh the things they put me through at Georgetown because I was an 'interesting' case! Am DONE with this junk - just want to live a normal life again, you know!?
After coming home I had the sudden urge to jump on a task I've been neglecting for no good reason ... hiring a house cleaning company. They are coming to do an initial "deep clean" on Tuesday. I'm so excited - it's going to be great to take that load off of my mom as well as have clean rooms. Everything has gone by the wayside around here - and I'm not used to things being so out of order & dirty. I've always been cluttery - but never dirty & this is gross - and embarrassing! Wish I could clean before she comes,
My friend Charlotte has been doing so much better lately. Her red count iis holding after a blood transfusion last week & she has even been able to walk to the mailbox with the dog, walk 5 or so minutes on her treadmill, and even go to the store a few times to browse & not just pick up her meds. I am so thrilled for her! Even her platelets are higher than usual & holding at that higher number. They're still critically low, but the fact that they are STAYING up is what is so exciting. I'm hoping a treatment she's been receiving is starting to work..it makes her feel crappy for a few days after & so it would be really good if it were working finally. Her docs have told her to be patient & told her a few success stories to keep her spirits up.
Today I sent her flowers. She was very surprised & even took some pics to share w/me. Something I'm really glad she did as I'm curious to see if they look like the pic of what I ordered...
Family are all well - something I thank God for every day. My illness has been very hard on everyone & I hope that I'm doing what I can to make things easier for them. They are really pushing for me to do a very intense treatment & at first I felt obligated, but I just can't. It's too much to ask & it's even fairly dangerous. There is another treatment between what I am receiving & that risky one that the docs at Gtown never mentioned. Never mind that the treatment I'm getting now takes 3-4 months before you notice an effect.
Going to seed - it's how I feel. Like I'm becoming one of the flowers in the garden. Losing my bright colors, the spring in my stem, It's so easy for any of us to fall into this pattern. We while away the hot, long summer days & before we know it we've gone to seed & that extra time is gone forever. I've always inherently understood this but now I REALLY feel that loss. I hope that readers of this blog will think about what they might be missing out on in their life. Do fun things- live it up - take control of your life & choices before those choices are made for you.
Peace & Blessings