The past few weeks I have found myself on life’s roller coaster… Lots of ups and downs!
Soon after my last blog post I had a checkup with Dr. Wilson, my hematologist/oncologist. Following my most recent central line fiasco, Dr. Wilson briefly saw me while I was inpatient and waived my appointment that was scheduled for a few days later. Since we didn’t exchange our typical lengthy banter during that admission, I actually had a chance to miss him! He really is an awesome doctor and person. At my appointment, Mom and I rehashed the details of my visit to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Dr. Wilson seemed to be as happy as we are that I have found a helpful team of doctors in Cincy willing to work on my behalf.
Since the beginning of this year my blood counts have been even more persnickety than usual. My hemoglobin has taken quite a dip, making me feel extremely wiped out, and additionally exacerbating my pain. Dr. Wilson has been closely monitoring my counts, hoping they would rebound on their own, but it appears that I am in need of a blood transfusion. Hopefully this intervention will replenish my pep!
Miss Alice Eloise has hit a bit of a rough patch as well.
Recently she mysteriously strained her back and was prescribed two weeks of bed rest and medication. This downtime seemed to do the trick, and she was feeling much better until she resumed her usual activity level. So on Sunday it was back to the vet we went. And if it wasn’t for my baby’s pain, it would have been an enjoyable experience; I love going to the animal hospital! It’s so delightful making all kinds of new animal friends! X-rays were taken, and fortunately there were no major problems apparent. Alice has very minor disc compression, presumably from muscle spasms. We are hoping that after another period of restricted activity and more medications, my little shadow will once again be her spunky and FRAP-tastic self!
But don’t you worry about us. Alice Eloise and I have not been throwing our own little pity party. With her as my service dog, and me as her service human, we make a pretty sensational team!
And I am grateful to report that we have had a few special surprises to brighten our days. Recently Alice received a package in the mail from her native land Cedar Hill, the farm where she was born. Theresa, the Doodle breeder, was so thoughtful and sent Alice a rockstar-worthy Christmas collar! Not only is this festive collar adorned with candy canes, but it has blinking lights to boot! No doubt Alice will outshine the Christmas tree this year. And am I the only one who has realized that we are exactly six months away from Christmas today?! Anyone want to come bake some Christmas cookies with me?
To add to the fun, a few weeks back I received a message from a dog artist. (Yes, a dog artist! What a fascinating line of work!) Ginger, the aforementioned artist, has an online shop, full of precious doggie illustrations. She had been searching for a Doodle model and stumbled upon the pictures of Alice Eloise on The Daily Puppy. Naturally she was captivated by that irresistible puppy dog pout, and she knew that she had found just the right Doodle for the job. And the result? Just look at this adorable masterpiece!
Our family enjoyed a perfectly lovely Father’s Day. Krista and Tim kindly hosted a lovely celebratory lunch. And we were graced with the company of my Aunt Janet, my Uncle Richard, and my cousin Honeypie! (Technically her name is Laura. Incidentally, this spectacular cousin of mine not only has her own holiday, but an entire honorary holiweek celebrated every February! Yes indeed, Laura Admiration Week was founded in recognition of Honeypie’s outstanding generosity in caring for me when I had a weeklong epidural nearly ten years ago. What a superhero!)
And why do I call her Honeypie, you ask? Well, she and I have always been fond of nicknames. (I’m not kidding, guys… If you would be so kind, could you please refer to me as Sabrina Giselle from this time forward?) So one day I was coloring a picture for Laura of Strawberry Shortcake and her beloved pony, Honeypie. And I had the sudden revelation that Honeypie would be a perfectly suited nickname for my beautiful, admirable cousin. I mean, check out this resemblance.
They both have stunningly flowy, curly manes. So Honeypie was an obvious choice as a nickname! And I am sure that Laura is just overjoyed to have such a sophisticated moniker. I believe she is considering having new business cards made to reflect this.
I have also taken my first foray into canning! “Green Acres” is one of my all-time favorite television shows, and I have fantasized about having a lifestyle (and Hungarian accent) similar to that of Lisa Douglas, the lovely city-girl uprooted and relocated to middle-of-nowhere Hooterville. And such a lifestyle necessitates jam! Strawberry jam seemed like an appropriate gateway into the wonderful world of canning. But just as I was reaching the zenith of my jam-making adventure, our electricity (or electricicle, as Lisa Douglas would say) conked out! So due to the abbreviated cooking time, I ended up with ten jars of strawberry ice cream topping. Oh well! Worse things can happen in life. And it just so happens that I make fantastic ice cream!
I’ve heard tell that Food Network has an opening for a new show. I feel that the entertainment industry is in need of a Hungarian jamstress, so I took the liberty of filming this pilot episode:
I wish I could end this journal entry on that upbeat note, but our family was given some concerning news last week. My Aunt Janet has had severe back pain for a while now, and after a battery of testing, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. So on July 15th Aunt Janet and Uncle Richard will be seeing doctors at Mayo Clinic in order to learn more about this condition. We are hoping that this has been caught at an early stage. Genetic testing is available at facilities such as Mayo that can aid in directing treatment for each individual patient, resulting in the best possible outcome. I know I can speak for my whole family in saying that we would greatly appreciate your prayers.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Since the day I was born, Aunt Janet has been one of my best buds, a regular partner in my goofdom. She introduced me to the finer things in life, like “I Love Lucy”, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, and Ricky Martin music, was the world’s greatest guidance counselor when I was in high school, and is my go-to authority regarding all-things sewing. But best of all, she always makes a point of coming to visit me, letting me know that I am loved and never forgotten.
And I am certain that I am just one of many people that Aunt Janet has made feel so very special! Learning from her example, I realize that now is the time to give her plenty of extra hugs and “I love you’s”, which I fully intend to do… And surely there are a whole bunch of others lined up to do the same!
Allow me to step up to my soapbox for a minute. Within the past two months a couple of people very close to my heart have been diagnosed with a hematological cancer. As I just mentioned, my aunt was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. A friend of my family, Glenn, was diagnosed with leukemia. And I myself have Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)… And if it weren’t for blood donors, I quite certainly wouldn’t be alive.
Every two seconds someone in the United States requires a blood transfusion. And just a single donation has the potential to save up to three lives! One of the top reasons cited regarding why a person doesn’t give blood is “I never thought about it.” Perhaps people don’t realize what a remarkable difference their donation would make. As a blood recipient, I have inexpressible gratitude for the kindhearted donors who have taken the incentive to offer this life-giving gift.
And in return for such a benevolent deed, one can look forward to a reward yummy cookie!… As well as the satisfaction of saving lives.Sarah Kathryn Frey