Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stay Calm

Mist Trail to Vernal Falls
I was supposed to be well during the 4 weeks off the chemo. Instead, I have spent the last three weeks sick, first with GI issues and then bronchitis, again. Work doesn't stop when I feel ill; but I am glad that I work only three days a week. Yesterday I had put on the calendar to drive to Yosemite to climb the 'mist trail' to Vernal Falls. But I am still pretty weak. The mist trail  is steep and well, misty; hence balance in required to not fall off the cliff into the river below. Instead we drove to Grass Valley and back through a different route that took us behind Beale Air Force Base. The GPS didn't mention that 10 miles of it was dirt road.
Today I am feeling a little better and helped Barbie around the house. It seems like September is when we do our big projects.
As part of my experimental protocol to treat my Amyloidosis, I increased my dose of Revlimid to 5 mg/10mg on alternating days. I then waited 3 weeks and did an Allomap blood test to see if I was in heart rejection. The result was not good and I now need to have a heart biopsy in Santa Clara on Tuesday. I hope I can convince the judge to let me off of jury duty that day. It is quite inconvenient that the one drug that clearly works to decrease my light chains and treat my amyloidosis also causes heart rejection. Of course, I can't complain. Everyday I get to do really cool things and interact with so many amazing and nice people.
Last Wednesday Dr Gunther-Mayer did a noontime conference on physicians as leaders. At the end he confessed that as a Chief Resident at UC Davis he one day discovered that he possessed the gift of the ability to calm people. As he said that, I realized that I too can do that. Partly because I don't panic or succumb to fear in crisis situations. If I am calm, those around me join in. Sometimes, though, I do get sad and, heaven forbid, momentarily discouraged. Barbie is usually the only one who witnesses those moments. I know it is especially hard for her. However, she never tells me to 'buck up' or 'get over it'. She doesn't try to come up with pithy 'silver lining' metaphors. (That's my job.) She quietly puts her arm around me; she holds my hand until the moment passes and then we move on.

Maybe this week I will climb Vernal Falls. If my heart is in rejection, then maybe next week.



Wendy said...


Vasca said...

Ability to calm is good; I love it. M (my love who has Amy residing in his throat) and I calm each other...we sense and calm...I love it.

I pray that you are able to do those things you're a wonderful example to others and the opportunities are calm! Vasca

Darlene Anderson said...

You not have the ability to calm people but to also make them chuckle with your puns....heaven help us! I love you and hope you're feeling energetic and back to your pithy self soon.

Your favorite Aunt Renie said...

Sending prayers and love and best wishes for good stats & beautiful fall Falls.

Emma and Dan said...

We're praying for good biopsy results. Thanks for regularly blogging so that we can keep up with your and Barbie's busy lives. We love you!