Jan 19, 2019

We have made it thought another day and the second session of dialysis, separated by one day of plasmaphersis. It has started as a better day, physically.  I got up and gave my own sponge bath (can’t shower with a central dialysis line in). I then did a little reading and walked about 1/2 mile around and around the hospital corridor. Had a negative encounter with my nurse (over her attitude), then we became friends. She came and sat with me for a while and we then swapped funny stories.

Saw my (nephrololist) doctor about noon. One more tiny, tiny bit of positive news. Despite the fact that I did plasmaphersis (which is trying to remove the bad cancer protein that’s plugging up my kidneys but does not help my kidneys directly) my kidneys improved (via blood tests) on their own overnight, very slightly. My  nephrologist (very, very bright) flashed one of her rare smiles and said, “There is some  hope.” She is speaking of hope of saving my kidneys, the cancer is another matter.

I went through a period of emotional collapse  as I was hooked up to machines for three hours and can see out the window, the beautiful hills that I loved to hike. My kids are coming to visit and it stirs up the emotions. I hope to meet someone who started out this badly and still survived, that would be helpful.

I’m not a strong person and have no pretense to be. I hate pretentiousness entirely. I know I will have bad days and better days.

I am honest when I say I feel no bitterness (at this point). Maybe that will change. But honestly, it isn’t because have have a strong faith, it is because I’ve suffered great disappointments in my life before and I had to work through them in minute and hard detail (the well spring of my book, Butterflies in the Belfry).

It is odd, that while I understand Denise’s fear, fear is not a big part of my issue. I think it is because cancer is the most scary thing you fear, then once its here, what’s left to fear?

I don’t have doubts, not in God’s goodness or the fairness of life. I’ve had to work through those issues in the past as well, so, at this point, I feel satisfaction.

My biggest fear, speaking honestly, is being forgotten by my family. I know that sounds strange, but I’m just being honest about it and I have to find a way to deal with this emotion.

People respond toward the sick in their own way. By far, people have been very kind, caring and at worst, aloft. I fear the superficial response. What I mean is, someone telling me that I should “Cheer up, God did this for a reason, to teach you patience.” I will slug them with the strength that I have left.

If surviving this cancer is climbing Mount Everest, then maybe today I got one crampon on, on one boot . . . still unlaced.


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7 responses to “Jan 19, 2019”

  1. If someone tells you to “cheer up, God did this for a reason.” I’ll bring them back and hold them while you slug them.
    Christine and I are praying hard for you, Denise and your family. We value your friendship and hope to be able to enjoy more time with you.


  2. My continued thoughts and Prayers Michael Denise and family. . You certainly have had a rough time thru this. God continue to give you the strength and courage to get over all these hurdles! Praying for a miracle that those kidneys begin to work and the cancer is either gone or in remission. So many people love you and are praying. Blessings Kathy Dalseg


  3. My mother sends her love and thoughts to you and Denise. Thank you for the updates. It helps us know what to pray for and how to think about you all. So glad you got a tiny bit of positive news. If you need a dog walker, Denise, let me know. I know it’s difficult having St. Joseph’s an hour away,.


  4. Denise and Mike
    We are leaving for Mexico on February 8 and returning March 3. If you or your family would like to use our single level home you are more than welcome to do so. We have 3 bedrooms. You and Mike are constantly on our minds and you need to let us know how we can help and support you on your journey. We will forever be so thankful for Mikes role in reviving Cancer Companion. We are praying.


  5. Something you said about being forgotten by your family hit on something on how you used to make up stories for your children which went in and on. I thought maybe you should do that now for your grandchildren…the ones you have now and those to come. I think when you did that you were pretty right wing conservative where religion was concerned and the life lessons might be a bit different slant now , but just and idea and I think it would be a great legacy, whether you read them to the kids on down through the years or not your words would be down in the annals for prosterity.


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