Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Is Relaxation a Cure?

Rifkin's words of encouragement today: "you could live with this," meaning it would probably be alright if my numbers held steady where they are. I guess that means we're continuing to have some stability. The white count has dropped a bit (just before flu season--not so good), but otherwise things look OK (haven't gotten IGGs checked in a couple of weeks, but we're assuming they are also holding). But since this myeloma doesn't hold still forever, Rifkin is continuing to investigate clinical trials that might be available. So far no responses to his inquiries but he will be at a meeting this weekend where he can ask some of the people who are running the trials, so we should know something next time I see him.

My approach to the "your disease is quite angry" has been to seek relaxation with the notion that perhaps I can calm this down from the inside out, since the chemo attack from the outside doesn't seem to have worked. In that vein, I have increased my daily meditation to the point that Susan sometimes wonders if I'm ever coming up out of the basement. She and I also went on a little retreat, renting a cabin in the woods at a meditation/yoga retreat center. Those few days allowed us to forget this cloud hanging over us, at least for a little while. And, Rifkin gave me the green light to accept an invitation from our friends, the Dowells, to join them for a week's respite in Florida. Rifkin was a bit nervous about my getting on an airplane with all this H1N1 flu stuff in the news, but thinks its early enough in the flu season that I'll be OK. To be safe, he prescribed some Tamiflu for the trip. We'll keep our fingers crossed, as last Feb., even though I was on Tamiflu, I ended up in the hospital for 8 days with the flu. Other precautions: I am to stay out of the sun, so I'll either be sitting on the balcony watching the surf or fully clothed with my UV rated long sleeve shirt and pants under the umbrella. Not quite the beach vacation I was dreaming of, but it will provide a break and a chance to get away from "it". We are, of course, very appreciative of the Dowells for their generosity. Susan is especially excited to go since she craves any semblance of normal life. The twice weekly trips to the cancer center and the chronic watching (of me) and the waiting to hear numbers takes it toll. I know she would love to return to our past life, intense,but a life not fraught with the fears and physical limitations of this disease. There is no normalcy in our lives, but we can pretend for a week here or there. Those times become such gifts as they only come during the recovery periods between chemo treatments. Once I start another chemo regime, relaxation becomes very elusive.

Catherine left today for a new job in New York City. She will be working for Yahoo! as an optimization consultant for their on line marketing division. And no, I don't know what that means, but it sounds exciting, right? Anyway, she is quite excited about the job, even though NYC can be a bit intimidating. Susan's cousin, Arlene (who is an avid reader of this blog) and her husband, Jim, picked Cate up at JFK airport today and she will be staying with them for a few days, just north of NYC, while she goes into the city during the day looking for an apartment. It sounds like quite an adventure and we are very proud of her for landing this job and orchestrating a move to NYC (and yes, we have stacks of boxes of her "stuff" in our garage). Of course Susan is thrilled at the prospect of having an apartment available in NYC, having lived in the city for 15 years before I dragged her out to Colorado. I suspect Susan will be spending a lot more time there. We will likely soon be empty nesters, as Julia is hoping to land a full time job with the Colorado Dept. of Health, and if she succeeds, she wants to move into her own apartment. Can we handle the quiet?

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's annual Light the Night Walk will be taking place in Denver on October 1. Donations can be made on line at:

I am reluctant to do any active fund raising this year in light of the tremendous support we've received from so many people this year. So, no push this year. If you want to contribute, this link should get you there.

Best to all,


sailor said...

Take a deep breath, and sit in sun!



Seal Family said...

Relax, enjoy and have fun in the sun. Love The Seal Family

sigun said...

Dear Dan,

You and Suz deserve this break... enjoy! Bises, Sigun.

tim's wife said...

If you can get bulkhead seats on your flights, that is a good way to avoid germs. They generally do try to save these for patrons with medical issues. You can ask to be boarded last and let off first when you land to lessen exposure.
We did both of these things as well as had Tim put a mask on once we got on the plane. I wiped our armrests down with an anitibacterial wipe and we turned the air vents that were aimed down at us off.It all worked. Tim did not get sick from the flights. However, I did. Tim eventually caught my cold but we were home by then.
Next time, I'm wearing a darn mask.
Have a magical time!