I had promised to write you after my appointment at the hospital but to my shame I missed it. I thought it was at 3 PM but it was in the morning so for the first time in my life I missed a doctor’s appointment. When I called it was no big deal and I had my appointment for the 26th and 1st of March already lined up. I asked the secretary if I still needed to come to have my blood levels tested but she checked with the oncologist and it wasn’t necessary.
Apart from prickly fingers (it’s called the hand-foot syndrome where you get red hands and/or feet that feel sensitive to hot and tingling sensation) and the occasional nausea I don’t have any side effects.
On Thursday I went to visit Alice. Victor called me when I had nearly arrived to ask about the keys to his car. I had taken the spare one but he couldn’t find his keys and he had to go to class. Fortunately he found them in time or else I would have had to turn back.
It was great to see Alice, her mom and stepmom. And Arthur has grown a lot – he weighs what a 3 month old baby should weigh, even though he was born at 33 weeks. He’s a really beautiful and sweet baby, likes to be held by his parents and when sitting in his seat he smiles and is very quiet. Perfect baby!
Alice is doing much better now that her dosage of Oxyplatin has been lowered. She is also taking Xeloda (Capecitabine) but a bit more than I am because she is taller. We talked about all the things we are and have been going through and had a few laughs as well. She was quite an interesting case for her hospitals because few people under 5o have colon cancer and combined with pregnancy made her something of an attraction. Fortunately she is doing better now, and has chemo until April. We talked of writing a book together which seems like a fun and useful thing to do in the coming months.
Later on Ingrid and Erwin came by and we had a nice talk. But at night I felt tired and had a slight fever.
That night I repacked my suitcase, following my husband’s advice that I could always buy what I need in LA. So I left the casual clothing and backed what I consider the bare necessities (bathing suit, dress, silk shirt, toiletries, 1 pair of nice shoes, 1 pair walking shoes, 2 pants, 2 shirts and underwear) but he considered it overkill. “You only need your toothbrush and underwear” I remember Victor saying. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my prescription sunglasses anywhere!
The trip to LA went smoothly. Nancy had arranged a business class seat with her airmiles so that I could sleep. It was great. The vegan meal (closest they had to vegetarian options) turned out to be a huge green salad followed by stir-fried veggies, broccoli and rice. I was pretty full and had enough greens to last me a week. When I collected all my personal belongings, just before we landed in Chicago, I lost my iPod nano in the chair. Took the chair apart but still couldn’t find it. The cabin crew helped me, even the purser sat on the floor to try to get to it but no luck. I waited till everyone was off the plane and then asked the customer service lady. She asked the mechanic to help and he went into the plane with her. 5 minutes later the purser triumphantly held up a small item, “look what we found!” and yes, I had my ipod back. Nancy had given it to me years ago, so it was great to have it back.
The transfer in Chicago went smoothly, got a break at the passport control when they took us to a special newly opened lane. Only the security check took forever and people got somewhat irritated having to wait so long (took an hour). The plane was delayed waiting for baggage, so it was no problem. The flight to LA went smoothly. At Schiphol I bought a book at the last minute called “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce, about an ordinary man who does an extraordinary thing: he decides to visit an old friend who is dying of cancer by walking across England. Oddly enough, at one point he meets an oncologist in Bath who explains the difference between a primary cancer and a secondary cancer, and gives the example of a primary breast tumor with a secondary tumor in the liver (which is breast cancer, not liver cancer). And that is exactly what I have. So odd to read about it in this way.
At LAX I was picked up by a driver and car which Nancy had arranged. It was raining and about 12 degrees Centigrade. I was in her appartment at 7.30 PM. Nancy came home an hour later, and pretty soon I fell asleep.
This morning I woke up well rested. Today is a big day for her at the Grammy’s with two all-star medley performances. But first we had some Trader Joe’s cereal and now we’re off to the Coffee Bean.