Clincal Trial Week #4 – Imagining

playground at OSU
FOURTH WEEK. Patterns emerge. Rhythms develop. We get into the swing of it. 

Wally and I discuss a pattern we’ve observed, that despite maintaining our usual sleeping/waking hours while away on Sundays and Mondays, on Tuesdays an exhaustion hits both of us and hangs there. It takes until Thursday for us to begin feeling like our normal selves. He blames the pre-meds he’s given, especially the Benadryl. But what’s my excuse? I’m guessing it’s the extra input – more sights and sounds than I have time to process. My mind is operating 24/7 in the background, sifting and sorting.

dotted play area at OSU

  • A YOUNG COUPLE boards the elevator with us. We push “5.” They push “4.” They must be in their 20s. She wears a hospital bracelet. He carries a backpack, which suggests they’ll be settling in for the day. I wonder what happens on 4.
  • I HEAR A BABY cooing and gurgling in the waiting area when I pass through midday. The sound catches my ear. I don’t recall there being a baby or even a child on this floor all the time we’ve been coming here, but I never realized it until now.
  • FOUR PEOPLE sitting together in the waiting area in the afternoon entertain themselves with a game involving dice. Whether it’s regular dice or something else, I’m not close enough to tell. The gentleman throwing them as I pass by is the only one leaning forward toward the table that anchors the sitting area. The other three – a man and two women – lean back in their seats in a relaxed manner, watching the outcome. The dice are tossed. Then there’s a bit of soft mumbling about scores and luck, followed by gentle laughter. By then, I have passed. Perhaps it’s someone else’s turn next. Perhaps the man is just entertaining himself and the the others are simply watching, I don’t know. I don’t know if these people have come together, if one is the patient and the other three have come along for company, or what the situation is, but there’s just something about this group. I imagine them to be Norwegian for some reason, but why?  I imagine they’ve come together and that they’ve come together before and that this is a game these four have played many times, possibly since childhood, and that they’ve passed many evenings at home in just such a manner and that someone brought the dice along in his pocket, just in case. Maybe he’s the one who can always be counted on to bring a game. All this imagining! Maybe I’m watching too much “Anne with an ‘E’.” Whatever the case, their gentle laughter gives me a certain kind of feeling and I wish to be part of the circle. In my fantasy life, I am Norwegian. Sometimes.

dog under shrub
My dog is so happy to be back home on Tuesdays that he sticks extra close, even standing under a shrub as I trim it, the cuttings falling on his head.

Other posts related to this clinical trial:
Week #1 Morning People
Week #2 I’m Not Myself
Week #3 Beyond the Hospital Grounds

Image: Playground near The James Cancer Center @OSU

Posted in cancer, clinical trial, CLL, creativity, jealousy, people | 1 Comment

Clinical Trial Wk #3 – Intentionally Getting Out

OSUMC:city in bkgrd

We spend a lot of time in Columbus.
We spend no time in Columbus.

We first came to OSU Medical Center in January 2009. We’ve needed to come weekly, monthly or every 3 months ever since. So we’ve made the trip many times.

We’ve seen winter, spring, summer and fall here. We’ve seen new buildings go from concept to completion. We’ve seen nurses, nurse practitioners and other members of the staff through pregnancies, adoptions, kids’ graduations, the planning of weddings, and puppy acquisitions. We’ve seen our doctor go gray.

I know what’s available within a few blocks’ radius. Okay, mostly the places to eat, but also where to get the basics – cough drops, tissues, a Chapstick. On foot. I frequently give directions to others. I know my way around. I do okay. But here’s the thing: All my knowledge has to do with a small bit of real estate. I know about almost nothing AWAY from the hospital.

We’ve passed the sign for the Chadwick Arboretum at least 2 dozen times since coming here, and every time we say, “Lets go there some time.” But we never do.

Today we did. It feels like a victory over something.

Other posts in this series:
Week #2 – I’m Not Myself
Week #1 – Morning People

Posted in clinical trial, CLL, discoveries, fun, just for fun | 6 Comments

I Don’t Need to Read Everything and Neither Do You

click for link to Pocket

I use the Pocket app to hold onto articles I to want read later when I can give them my complete attention. But sometimes when I go back “to see what’s in my Pocket,” I can’t recall why I saved some things. Whatever interested me in the first place is gone. In those moments, I have a little struggle and need to remind myself: I don’t need to read every word. Move on. It’s okay.

It’s okay not to read everything.
It’s okay not to read posts that don’t interest me.
It’s okay not to read everyone’s Facebook updates.
It’s okay not to respond to everyone’s updates. It doesn’t mean I don’t like the person anymore.
It’s okay not to read every tweet.
It’s okay not to read every book and I certainly don’t have the capacity to read every book.

It’s all okay. It truly is. But you weren’t waiting for my permission, were you?

These are crazy times. There isn’t time or energy to process what happens before something else comes along. It can feel like an assault, the constant barrage.

I want to stay in-the-know, sure, but I don’t need to read everything. I don’t need to listen to everything. And I don’t need to be the first to know hardly anything. I will survive not being the first to know.

Breaking news is like a train.
If you miss one, another will be along shortly.

I file these thoughts under “Self-Preservation.”

Posted in boundaries, traveling light | 1 Comment