Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day Twelve: Yesterday Was My Birthday

I'm pretty sure my 33rd birthday trumps my 12th birthday (I got the chicken pox.) in out right suckitude.  Ah well, what are you going to do?

Everyone made a great effort to ensure my day was a fun as it could be considering I'm stuck in the hospital recovering from chemotherapy treatments for my frakkin' leukemia.  (Can I just say here that, until recently, I always associated leukemia with lil bald-headed children on their Make-A-Wish trip to DisneyWorld?  What about adults?  Can't I get a sympathy trip to the South of France?)  My mom came down and decorated my room with banners and such.  Little A sang his version of "Happy Birthday" to me twice, once with extra dancing on the side.  Adrian organized a small posse of local friends to descend on my room, filling to capacity, to join me for the resplendent, sugary goodness of Ukrop's birthday cake.  I got lots of phone calls and well wishes from friends near and far.  I felt loved.

And I ran a fever almost the whole stinking day.  Nuts.  I did blame the cake for a particularly nasty spike up to 102 in the late afternoon.

And Adrian felt unwell the whole day also, making our hope for a little date night dashed.  He spent my entire mini-party with a mask on so as to not infect me, which I know was disappointing to him.

So far, I've been fever-free today (touch wood), and hope to continue to be so.  I got some platelets this morning and am getting a transfusion of blood as a I type.  Hopefully the platelets will help with my bloody snot issue, which continues to be a problem.  Other than that, it's business as usual here in LeukemiaTown; a slow meandering process of wait-and-see prognosis while I make every effort not to dwell on the fact that this disease could haunt me for a long, bloody time and eventually kick my ass.  Fun time, let me tell you.

There's a mystery afoot in either the room above or next me.  All hours of the day and night (and early morning)  furniture is moved around at thunderous levels of scraping and screeching.  Because I cannot determine the exact source of the noise, it's debatable if banging on my neighbor's door and shouting, "Dude, what the HELL?" would be a worthwhile venture.

Food and Nutrition continues their campaign to beat my leukemia via margarine.

Word of advice:  Never read an Anthony Bourdain book while in the hospital confined to anemic, overcooked hospital food.  It's monumentally depressing.  The man is such a great food writer his description of haggis makes it sound like a divine delicacy worthy of the finest four star restaurant.

Before I go I want to share this story about Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts who lost her hair to chemo treatments and recently decided to doff her wig permanently when appearing on television.   The clip hit home for me; Roberts' decision is commendable and goes along way to normalizing women who are undergoing chemo. While my hair's not gone yet, when it goes I don't think I'll go the route of naturalistic wigs.  Shoot, who will I be trying to fool with fake hair?  I don't care enough what people think of me normally, why should I now? Besides, it's going to be summer soon in the RVA, and the last thing I want suffocating my sweaty head is a tight, itchy wig.

One of my favorite quotes from the clip in the story is that the wig is "for everyone else's comfort."  And ya'll know how much I give a rip about how comfortable the general population is.  Kiss my soon-to-be bald, pink skull, jackasses.


amy =) said...

you go girl! on the bright side it will be nice to not have to worry about fixing your hair, or even washing it for that matter. and i love the zombie warrior analogy! you've been added to my prayer list and i hope for the best for you.

Stephanie S said...

I say go ahead and give yourself a mohawk while you can. Take it a step further and get some ManicPanic and die it a few colors, too. I heard your mom didn't like the idea too much but you can just put a hat on when she comes in. Love ya!

Nicole said...

You have the most kick-ass attitude. You're in my thoughts and prayers, and you are going to beat this thing down.

When my late aunt went through her first round of chemo, she didn't wait for her hair to fall out. She just shaved her head, and used to tell me how free it felt to put on her moisturizer and slick it up over her Charles Barkley.

She didn't have leukemia; she had OVCA. But she was an inspiration, and the best woman I ever knew.

Rock it, Bama.

Alex the Odd said...

Screw the comfort of others. I vote you rock whichever look you do so please.

Also: who the hell rearranges furniture in a hospital? At night? Are you next to the crazy ward?

As always be well and my thoughts are with you. And a belated happy birthday to you!

Boo said...

I have two words for you:

skull henna.

Doesn't that sound fun?!

(I was going to say 'skull tattoo,' but that might not be too feasible at this juncture.)

Ev said...

Check out Hoda Kotb's story from the Today Show ( She also had breast cancer. There was a song that really inspired her - I'll bring it to you today on c.d.
I've been meaning to look it up since we found out you have leukemia, but keep getting distracted when at a computer.
See you soon!

Trudie said...

When I started my chemo in January, the question I got most often was whether I would loose my hair. Like you, I really didn't care all that much (I never did loose it...) but it always felt as if people were asking more for their own sake than mine.

Stand tall!

TK said...

Aw, sorry I missed the b-day. Happy Birthday.

And I say fuck it. Screw the wig - you'll be totally punk rock. Plus, you can wear cool head scarves.

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