I do not understand how my Neutrophils and White Blood Cell counts could be so low on October 16, 2021, such that I was unable to do my treatment and a week later on my Birthday. October 25, 2021, falls within the normal range on par with anyone in the population. I guess it was the best kind of Birthday Gift. By the way, none of my medical specialists have offered any definitive explanation. The good news is that I’m back on track. The bad news is that my entire fall schedule is off by a week. Perhaps you’re thinking “So what?”
Based on my original treatment schedule which is two weeks with treatment followed by one week without treatment, Janet and I booked a Sleeper Car on the train to Quebec City on Wednesday, December 8th., three nights in the Chateau Frontenac, a reservation in High Tea at the Chateau on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm, and a return Sleeper Car on the train back to Halifax. That return train arrives too late on Monday for a 1:30 treatment. Ah well, the best-laid plans.
I contacted my Oncologist’s office was advised it is okay to move my treatment to Tuesday afternoon and my Blood Work to early Tuesday morning. So we have a solution and are good to go for what I expect to be a couple of special days wrapped in the envelope of a culturally rich Canadian community with a European flair. I am excited for this trip which will be our last of 2021.
In addition to this improvement in my Blood Work, my weight is up. Today I’m at 57 kg (126 lbs). That is good news and there are some other good signs the enzymes I take before eating are working well. The color of my poop is normal and it sinks so that’s good. As I’ve mentioned before, shortly after the birth of our grandson Jacob, the conversation was always about his sleep, eating, and pooping. As my son Drew correctly pointed out, we talk about exactly the same things about me. I guess it’s true what goes around comes around in life.
There has been a change to my end-of-life game plan. Originally my goal was to die at home so anyone who wished to visit could do so without COVID restrictions being a barrier. Although no one can predict when that will be or the form it will take, my prediction is I will be healthy until I’m not and then I will decline quickly. Under that model, I think the toll on my wife, children, and all the people I love in my life will be minimal.
Until recently I expected when I declined we would need to arrange for daytime continuous in-home care. Janet can certainly provide a lot of care but around the clock is a lot to ask. And as I need more round-the-clock care, the only way to have that is with very deep pockets. As good as our medical insurance is, it will not pay for that kind of care.
There is a new Hospice that had a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 17, 2019. Earlier today (Tuesday, October 26, 2021), Janet and I toured the Hospice at 618 Francklyn Street in Halifax. The ten-bed facility provides round-the-clock care. There is no active treatment at a hospice other than meds that help patients handle pain and other changes experienced as the body starts to fail and death is imminent. If you wish to learn more about what to expect as a person approaches death, you can visit my article titled Death and Dying posted on August 5, 2021.
Every room in the Hospice allows for 7/24 visitations by family and friends. Ideally, the number of visitors at the same time is limited is two people. With that said, as death is imminent that 2-person rule is relaxed to allow more to present at the moment of death.
Every room has a private bathroom with a toilet and sink. There is a Spa with a whirlpool tub and shower shared by all patients. There are numerous common spaces for family and friends to congregate so although there are room limits, there are options which all more people to be nearby and cycle turns to spend time with me in the room.
One of the chairs in the room converts to a bed so Janet can spend the night as much as she likes and the other chair is comparable to a lazy boy should someone wish to spend an uncomfortable night. And in the great room on the second floor, there is a fully equipped kitchen where the family can prepare a meal or even have the entire family gather for a meal together. As well, there is the option to purchase meals for visitors at a reasonable rate.
So we learned today that the Hospice is an excellent option when my need for continuous and round-the-clock becomes a factor.
Countdown to GoodLife FITNESS 10K Run
The countdown clock above is the amount of time between this moment and the start of the GoodLife FITNESS 10 km Run. It is one of the many events in the Bluenose Marathon Weekend. Brad and I are registered. He will run and I’ll be tucked into the Hippocampe Wheelchair you see in the picture to the right.
We have a number of friends who plan to run with us.
I will walk for a short distance at the start of the run and also as we approach the Finish line. Even though I am fragile, weak, and my balance is poor, we have been out practicing and I may need a supportive arm to hold but I will complete this challenge on my own feet and under my own steam.
Since Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Halifax brought us together in September 1977 when Brad was 11 years old, we decided we should do this event as a fundraiser. What follows is our story which I hope will motivate you to make a financial contribution to this worthwhile charitable organization.General-Ask-for-Run-Ride
As always, I close by thanking you for continuing as a Support Pillar. You motivate me to stay strong and continue to live life looking for joy such that I have many moments in an emotional state of Nirvana.
Peace, Love, and Laughter
And allow me to thank God for being a constant presence in my life and an important source of courage to help me through my cancer adventure.