Renal Cell Live!

Friday, November 21, 2008

How Low Can It Go?

Oh, I know it can get colder than it is today, and that it will get colder before spring comes again. But there's an Alberta clipper brushing past, weak sunshine, and it feels more like January than November. Jezebel hasn't ventured out of the barn yet today; when I went out to feed her she came stretching out from the straw bale burrow, and looked to be headed back there immmediately after eating. Can't say that I blame her - my taste of "outside" was sufficient for the day.

Last week we went back to Cleveland, and all the results are now in. The radiology reports were mixed again for abdomen and pelvic, and stable for the chest. Dr. G believes that the "mixed" results are from necrosis of tumor tissue, which has a different density than active tumor tissue. There was no overall increase in disease state. I had a slight elevation in liver enzyme levels and my hemoglobin levels were below 11 for the first time in a long time. So we'll be keeping the usual watch on these indicators at OSU for the next couple of months, and I'll go back to Cleveland in another 3 months.

I wonder if my hemoglobin levels will pitch low enough that I'll need Aranesp again, or if we're just at another plateau? This will be the first time the question has come up for me in over a year. I haven't seen much in the news lately on insurance coverage for Aranesp. I don't want to find out that I'm not covered after the fact ... guess I'll get started looking in advance.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Moonlight Serenade

Early this morning I woke with sinus congestion and a slight sense of unease. I headed to the kitchen for water and stopped in my tracks when a chorus of howling set off, seemingly under the kitchen window. Coyotes! Coyotes just outside the house, a blood-curdling reminder of the natural world. Saint H raced to the front door, turned on the outside lights, and stepped out onto the porch to see what was going on. The howling stopped immediately. We've no idea how close they were; I'll check for footprints later since we have a dusting of snow on the ground. Cola, poor child, had never heard them before; she looked even more than usual to be "all eyes and fur" as she ran to the basement.

With friend C's departure on Sunday, the house seems abnormally quiet - not that she was a disruptive presence, mind you. We've had guests off and on for the last 6 weeks and it seems odd not to have someone staying in the upstairs guestroom. I will gradually get used to having the house to myself again, probably just in time for someone else to arrive. Oh well, that's why we wanted extra bedrooms, and I'm glad that we have people who want to visit us.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Quiet Times

Friend C and I have been spending lots of time doing little or nothing, besides sitting-talking-eating-knitting. We've been to one bookstore so far and will head to the glories of HalfPrice Books next week.

Tuesday we cruised through two local grocery stores so that she could pick up some of what she can't get in Australia unless she goes to USA Foods in Melbourne. I ship care packages to her, especially for Certo and SureJel during canning season or powdered drink mixes in summer. When she visited last I'm afraid I got her hooked on pumpkin butter from Cooper's; I'm sure I don't ship often enough.

There are yarn shops to go to as well next week. We've got to squeeze all this in somehow. Funny how quickly the time is flying by, just doing little or nothing!

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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Democracy In Action

Friday I took friend C to Columbus so she could vote absentee-in-person; she's lived in Australia for 17 years but retained her citizenship, and this is the first time she's been here to vote. So we went to Veterans' Memorial where all of Franklin County absentee votes are to be cast and waited in line for 3-1/2 hours with thousands of people.

We stood next to a young lady of 32 who was voting for the first time in her life; she'd persuaded her mother, age 51, to vote for the first time in her life. The time passed pleasantly; both C and I brought knitting, and we saw others in line knitting. I heard no griping about the wait. Everyone was upbeat, and occasionally someone would come by with donuts or water to pass out to people in line.

I'd cast my own vote early in Marion, waiting 25 minutes on Thursday afternoon with phones ringing off the hook in the Board of Elections office. That was surprising enough; what I saw in Columbus was almost overwhelming. After all the years of annoyance about people not turning out to vote - wow, what to say. I'm glad to see it.

We've done a bit of running around but, as both of us have health concerns, we're not pushing it. Thankfully she's here long enough that we can catch up at our leisure! This week I think we're heading off to a couple of yarn shops, big surprise.

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