Finally well enough to write 2

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.

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16 responses to “Finally well enough to write 2

  1. Great job Jonathan…thank goodness there are people like Adam on your side…another blessing! Tons of love and prayers are always with you… good luck with your walk on the outside this week…

  2. Great blog Jon. What a great testament to Adam. Love you man, can’t wait to talk to you. My mom told me about those restaurants in Brooklyn…I haven’t been to them and I am looking them up!

    I’ll call you this week. I am thinking ’bout you always. Happy new year Jon!

    Love,
    Jason

  3. Marilyn Fratturelli

    Hi Jonathan,

    We’re rooting for you as you continue your positive count in days. At my house, many times during the holidays we reflected on the battle you are fighting and winning. We are all in awe of your strength and the positive energy you exude. Good for Adam that he has helped you to be your own advocate. Go get ’em!!!!
    My family sends their best wishes and positive thoughts to you and your two angels.

    As for your dreams, certainly your body has a miraculous way of coping with all the overwhelming thoughts from your battle with cancer—-but in your case, you not only dream, you do it with a gifted writer’s view. Wow!!

    Fondest regards,
    Marilyn

  4. Dear Jonathan,

    It is so good to hear from you. Janet and I (Greg) have been thinking of you during the holiday time, wondering how things were going. It sounds like your progress is excellent, and that soon you will be released. We are amazed at your knowledge about your situation, and how you have “educated” yourself on what is going on in the fight against cancer. Good going!

    Our blessings and good thoughts to you and your family Jonathan, keep up the fight!

    Greg and Janet Minuskin

  5. The Goubeaud's

    Hey Jonathan…

    Even though we haven’t been in touch for awhile, you have been in our thoughts. It’s been nice to be able to check in on your progress via your blog. Thanks for sharing about your ups and downs in such a real, heartfelt, and creative way – your words are inspiring to us all. Looking forward to more good news!

    Love and BIG HUGS from,
    John, Joyce, Sara, Amy & Jill
    xoxox

    PS: Give our love to your mom and Nick!

  6. I was very touched by your beautiful blog message about Adam and I know everyone has helped you in a small way fight this battle. Wednesday is a big day for you and we are all praying that the news will be positive. Somehow I know it will be. Ralph send a big slobbering kiss and his paws are crossed wishing you the best. Love, Aunt Debbie

  7. Sara, Don, and Donny

    Our prayers never stop for you! Loved the description of your dream. That’s amazing what Adam was able to do for you…it’s really a life lesson about always being an advocate for yourself. We love you and wish you a Happy New Year. 2009 is going to bring us many blessings, I’m sure!

  8. I’m glad you are doing better pal!

    When you are well enough, we’ll grab a bite and catch a movie. I hope your Christmas, with all the blessing we have prayed for slowly coming to fruition, has been a great one.

    I love you Jon, God Bless!

    B.J.

  9. So happy to hear you are feeling better everyday.

    Your words, insight, and strength have amazed us more and more with each new post.

    lots of love,
    Kristy

  10. You are without a question, a great writer.You amaze me with your ability to put words in motion. Love Hup

  11. sucks about the Pats dude!

    Miss Ya! Let me know when you get back to the East coast cause Kristy and I are taking you out for a steak the size of a toilet seat.

    Mike

  12. Anna Cathy Williams

    Hi Jonathan,

    I happened upon your blog, and found in it a wonderful sense of the person you are. I will keep you and your family in good thought. See you in clinic!
    ac

  13. Jon,
    So glad to have read of your continued improvement and looking forward to further reports. You’ve kept everyone informed so well that we all anticipate more good news, as hope and prayers are answered. We’re wishing you good health and great happiness in this new year.
    Ken & Marie

  14. Just thinking of you on this snowy Sunday morning. I hope you continue to get stronger each day!
    Love, Aunt Debbie

  15. Hey Jon,

    Just wanted to say hello, thinking about you here in Brooklyn. I hope you are doing well and taking things as they come. Miss you.

    Love,
    Jason

  16. Hey Jon,

    I was thinking about you and wanted to see how you are doing. I’m so happy to hear that you are getting better with each day that passes. You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be. Keep up your strength. Hope to run into you next time you’re in Leominster.

    Steve

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