Saturday, May 7, 2011

Derby Days

Today Animal Kingdom won the Kentucky Derby. I didn't watch the pre-show because Katelyn and Ryan were visiting, so I didn't get the scoop on the contenders. In the past, I've always placed a bet. I decided after the race that if I had bet, it would have been on Animal Kingdom. (Why not feel like I got it right?)

Tomorrow, Mother's Day, is Day 30 of my chemotherapy, which means the last day of this phase. My white blood cell count had a pop yesterday that had us all excited, only for it to be lower again today. I am hopeful we will have a nice jump in white blood cells on Mother's Day, as I can't leave until the white blood cell count is consistently higher. Concurrently, the doctors are transitioning me from the IV blood thinner to a pill form. This transition also needs to be successful before I can go home.

So there are some remaining roadblocks, yet I am getting antsy. I have not been out of the hospital in 30 days. I've begun a training regimen to get my mind and body ready to be back at home (where the doctor has warned me I will need a few weeks of physical adjustment.)

The details of my derby training days:

- Twenty-two laps around the nurses's station equals a mile. Today I pushed my IV pole 12 laps (and ignored the fact that a woman twice my age lapped me).

- I have also begun doing some arm weights with the cans of Boost the dietician gave me when trying to get me to eat despite the lesions in my mouth from the chemo. I am confident I will be able to increase the weight to Vitamin Water bottles within days.

- I've been sitting up for longer periods of time (always with my back to the bed because there's never a time when a nap wouldn't feel like a great escape).

- Finally, I've been working on my mental acuity: I've been playing Angry Birds on my new iPad. According to my scores, my mental acquity appears to be the aspect of my regimen that is most lacking.

Although Animal Kingdom may have taken the blanket of roses, my training days are not over. The doctors may be reducing my steroid dose, but I still have big hopes for when I return home, and for the Preakness and Belmont beyond.