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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

Most dramatic lymphoma posts are from June 2002 - February 2003 archives.

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Tuesday, August 13, 2002  

I seem to be a whiter shade of pale now and since yesterday have dark circles under my eyes. I can already notice a reduction in the tumors in my neck after the Rituxan yesterday. That's exciting and remarkable. Rituxan is an immunotherapy that targets the protein on nhl tumors and breaks them down. It's been most effective for remission when used in combination with chemotherapy in the studies and trials. I'm taking Allopurinol to neutralize uric acid which is one of the by-products of tumors breaking down and to avoid gout in my joints.

I have major, expensive drugs coursing through me now. So far the two days of treatment have cost over $14,000!!! That's just the drugs! So let's see .... $14,000 x 6 = $84,000!!! Yikes! This will go way over $100,000 easily when we add in the CAT and PET scans, doctor visits, prescriptions, x-rays, ultrasounds, lab work, etc. It doesn't take long with 10% co-pay on our insurance to reach the out-of-pocket expenses when, thank goodness, my insurance pays 100%. The deductible won't take long at all next year to reach because I'll have to have scans after treatment at certain intervals. I'm glad we have Blue Cross/Blue Shield Teachers Preferred Care Plan as an option for our benefits. It really relieves my mind about all these expenses.

My temperature was normal this morning for the first time since Tuesday. That shot might already be working with the white blood cell production.

I cannot believe I didn't lose any weight last week when I had that fever and had to make myself eat. Sweets don't seem that appealing to me now, and I just ate food that was good for me and that seemed at all appetizing. Those weight-loss people are right when they say dieters have to eat enough food to keep their metabolisms revved up. I didn't eat enough to lose weight. Guess I can change that now.

If you're reading this and haven't been in touch, let me know. Some of you contact me and let me know you're checking the updates, so if you haven't mentioned it, please tell me! I like to know who's reading this. How are you doing?

6:45:00 AM

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