Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day after new chemo and a dog story

Steve seems to be tolerating the Carboplatin/Avastin combination well so far. He hasn't become nauseous, which is the first hurdle.

We'll return to UT-SW next Wednesday for labs. Carboplatin can really destroy white blood cells, and Steve already has a history of low white counts. Dr. M's office will be following his numbers closely.

Steve is feeling well enough today to sit up and work from home. Holly and Liz were with him all morning, while I was at a training session in Dallas. (I have a new freelance writing job.)
Starting last night, we're thickening his liquids again to avoid aspiration. Dr. M's team, Steve and I agreed months ago that he didn't need thick liquids -- he seemed to be drinking well. In the past few days, though, he is coughing frequently after drinking. We can't risk a little bit of fluid going the wrong direction and filling his lungs.

He's getting around the house with a new walker, a gift from Mary and Skip. The walker he received from the hospital is functional. The new walker is like a sports car -- shiny red, with hand brakes, a basket, cup holder and cushy seat in case he needs to take a little break.

While Mary was here yesterday afternoon for the walker delivery, Kelly J. dropped Cooper off from an impromptu afternoon at the park with Tate and Kyle. I was standing in our entry way, talking with Kelly and holding the storm door open just a little.

I kept glancing back at Margie, who was so patient and docile, as if she didn't even notice the door was open a few inches. I reasoned that if she bolted for the door, I'd just block her with my legs.

Either my reflexes are slow or Margie is even faster than I thought. She changed from docile to wild with no warning and was out the door!

I chased after her in my bare feet. Kelly jumped in her SUV and followed us. Margie sprinted down the street. When she runs, it looks like she has wheels instead of paws. She is fast!

Toward the end of the street, Kyle jumped out of the car and almost captured her, but Margie is agile. She avoided his grasp and kept going. Toward the busy street!

By this time Cooper had reported to Steve and Mary that Margie was loose. (He'd tried to join us in the effort to capture Margie but realized that a foot chase was futile.) Mary jumped in her SUV and joined the chase.

Margie charged across the busy street and almost ran into a big open field. I would have followed her, of course, but I dreaded the thought of running without shoes in a scratchy hayfield.

Instead, she turned left, toward the elementary school (and thankfully away from the heaviest traffic).

Mary and Kelly were deftly driving, trying to corner her without running her over.

As soon Margie reached the campus, she started panting and looked tired from her third-of-a-mile sprint. Mary and Kelly stopped their cars at angles -- kind of like police officers in an action movie scene.

Mary opened her door, called Margie by name, and our speedy Scottie padded over and hopped in. As if nothing was out of the ordinary.

We all drove home. Cooper was sitting on our curb, and I gave him a thumbs-up sign from Mary's front seat so he'd know that Margie was safe.

He told me that he'd been praying over and over that she wouldn't get hurt and wouldn't get lost. I told him I had done the same thing.

Still Margie


Sweetest Whimsy said...

Margie must have spring fever (don't we all?!)!! Sorry we've been out of touch, but definitely thinking of and praying for you all. Can't wait to hear about your new writing job (another one!).

DogBlogger said...

Oooh, that Margie! So glad she's back safe.

Andy said...

That darn Margie.

"...wheels instead of paws..." made me laugh.

chapman.d said...

Margie wanted to make sure you are given her enough attention.
Hey, I'm going on sabbatical, but I am keeping up with you guys and will want to know all the updates. Much love, Debbie