Gabrielle here. Well, your and our prayers were answered. At 8 this morning, my head oncology nurse drew my blood and sent it off to the lab. She didn't look too hopeful. As you recall, my platelets this Wed. were 61, having risen only 10 points in the entire week before that. Now they had to get to 100 in two days in order for me to have triple chemo today. After 30 minutes, we got the results. My platelets were at, drum roll please, 138!!!!!!! :-) Glory to God for this miracle of answered prayer and thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to all who prayed so diligently for this amazingly great outcome!!!
There with me to witness this miracle was my dear friend, Maribeth. The smile on her face, and her rapid texts to all her friends who had been praying, multiplied my own joy. Then Maribeth proceeded to pull out our project for the morning. Learning to knit. Me, not her. Maribeth is a great knitting teacher. I understood what she was saying and demonstrating. And every now and then, I had a successful stitch (or knit or knitten or pearl or whatever it's called)! But the end result, my two rows of knitting, left more than a little to be desired. I will have to practice a few more times before deciding if knitting is my "sport," or not. But kudos to Maribeth for her patience, and for choosing a coral yarn color that perfectly matched one of the stripes in my t-shirt! :-)
When Maribeth had to leave for work, my aunt Julianne came to relieve her as my usual chemo buddies, Renee and Daniel, are both in Portland today through Sunday for two weddings. When Julianne arrived, we switched to a sport I am more familiar with--you guessed it--Scrabble! Julianne is my ridiculously brilliant, articulate, and well-read relative, who also happens to hone her Scrabble game--and nurture her above-average little gray cells--by playing frequently against her computer. After all our trash talk about how we would each beat the other into the ground, Julianne proceeded to destroy me by 70 points. And I didn't even get Benadryl today, as a built-in excuse to make me sleepy and wreck my game. In my defense, Julianne did get all the best letters--X, Z, Q, and J, for Julianne, who apparently is Scrabble champion of the world, masquerading as my aunt (only 14 years my senior) who resides, depending on the season, on Capitol Hill or in Altea, Spain. As she sealed her victory, I quickly made a rule that the Scrabble winner had to buy lunch. So off she trotted, hopefully feeling guilty for beating a poor, helpless cancer patient, but more probably, gloating all the way, to bring us back two types of sandwiches, kale salad, and kettle chips. I may have to keep losing if this is what I get for losing!
I have to tell you, I was amused yesterday, to get a sweet e-mail from my awesome college friend, Janet, from California, about how to raise my platelet count naturally. She attached several websites telling me that I needed kale (good pick, Julianne), garlic, water, vitamin K, etc. And then there was a very big admonition to REST the day before chemo for the best chance of the platelets growing. I read that e-mail just after I had a) hiked 2.5 miles (one of which was all up hill) with my childhood friend Renee (for whom my Renee is named), b) canoed for an hour and gone swimming in Lake Washington with Daniel, c) gone to a dentist appointment, and d) gone to the pharmacy and grocery stores. Oh, and the night before, Daniel and I attended our second of eight golf lessons in 82-degree heat. Janet--please forgive me! Forgive me again for ending chemo today by heading out crabbing with Steve in the 88-degree heat instead of staying home to rest. I can't seem to help myself! Rest is just so boring! But now, while Steve is shelling four mammoth Dungeness crabs on the deck, I will close this blog post, take a cold shower, pop an anti-nausea pill, and head to the basement for a small crab salad, a nectarine, and a Netflix movie that arrived today (forget the name, but something French).
I wish you all a wonderful, healthy, weekend, with relief from the heat (if you are experiencing it where you live), and a renewed belief in miracles.
"“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”
― C.S. Lewis
With love and gratitude for you all,