It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve written…my counts are coming back so quickly I’m tired most of the day. My white cell count was 9,000 today, that of a normal person, but I found myself in bed watching the pats win, then lose playoff hope, becoming only the second team in NFL history to be 11/5 and not make the playoffs…it sucks.
Slowly I’m being weened off many types of IV medication, meds are changed to pill form, it’s scary they’re getting ready to send me on my way. No more Mother Morphine and her Magic drip, no more shots of Benedryl a la syringe. They’re even cutting back on the Atavan. I’ve had some wild nights mixing these three when pain, nausea, and anxiety had quite some hold.
The drugs can contort your dreams, but sometimes, I feel, stimulate your subconscious. I’ve been having lots of dreams, some meaningful, others abstract. Everything from my dead father sitting down with my girlfriend and me, the lot of us throwing pie-plates in the desert to visions of frozen orange juice from concentrate melting slowing on the kitchen counter. Sometimes the symbolism is so strong in the dreams and they move me so much I have to share them…here goes.
I call this one THE BIG HOUSE:
I’m in a jail of sorts, not sure why, but I’ve been wrongly accused of something, something awful. It’s a rough workman’s camp and you can just tell the place was built on hard knocks. I’m contemplating all this while sitting at a gray metal desk in a small cell, the bars casting noirish crosses on the walls behind me. I’ve got an antiquated rotary phone to my ear and have someone on the line…it’s my Cousin Adam Goss. It becomes quickly evident that Adam is helping me file an appeal, serving as my legal counsel, telling me firmly what I needed to do to survive in this place of horror. “First empty your pockets”, he said. I dumped out shiny trinkets onto the desk. “You know what to do”. I nodded to myself, sweeping the items off the desk, into the trash. “The watch”, he said. I hesitated, but then pulled off a gold watch from my wrist , plunked it into the trash. “Now take off your shirt and write this on it”, he stated sternly. I put a sharpie to my prison issue white T and wrote the words he dictated to me over the phone, “I am not a free man, but I once was free. I still have certain unalienable rights that must be looked after, even in this place. I have legal counsel currently looking after my personal freedoms should they in any way be trampled…
The last thing I remember about the dream was my cousin telling me to now put on the T-shirt. The dream has an obvious significance to me and I’d like to explain this to the reader. Since I was diagnosed last May with Leukemia my cousin Adam has done more calculated research on my specific disease than anyone. He’s constantly calling me or texting me about the latest treatments, he gives me lists of questions to ask my doctor, questions plucked from his Oncologist friends at school and his wife (Janis) who is a Vet Oncologist treating this same disease in animals. He’s gone through Archives at the University of Florida, scoured the internet, inquired about the latest clinical trials. Finally my questions got so intense that my Oncologist asked me what other team of Oncologists I was working with…my information was up to the minute. For a while it was like a weekly quiz with questions about Aurora base inhibitors, vegf cell receptors, various vaccines in various stages of developments. Adam taught me very early the most important thing about being a Cancer patient…that you must be your own advocate…you must research your disease and understand it if you’re going to beat it…I want to thank him for that, i’ve gotten better treatment down the stretch as a result of it, being my own best personal advocate has certainly saved my life so far.
Thank you Adam for your unwavering support and research…and thanks to everyone who’s put me in their prayers, sent me a comment, a text, a card, or a call…it’s helping me get through and I’m getting stronger by the day.