Sunday, December 26, 2010
What a Christmas!
For a while there I thought I might have to spend it back in the hospital... my white blood cell count dropped from 11.2 to 1.1 (normal is 4-10), and I'm back to being neutropenic, which means highly susceptible to infection. I've had some pretty yucky chemo side effects--nausea, no appetite, severe headaches, fatigue.
BUT... nothing that a little lovin' from Mom and GranNomi couldn't handle! It's been the most relaxed Christmas I've ever had. We would play a round of dominoes (as pictured above), then I would go take a nap before the next round. We would watch a movie, then take another nap. We opened some presents, then took a nap. Seriously. A round of Skipbo from the couch, then another nap.
The best part was Christmas dinner! Here's what you have for Christmas dinner when there are only three of you and one of you (you guess which one) has had some recent stomach issues (yes, that's me in the pic above eating Indian food because it sounded good. No it didn't last in my tummy): rotisserie chicken (we love Costco); 1 sweet potato, split three ways; mashed potatoes; steamed veggies; jello salad; rolls. I ate for about five minutes, then adjourned to the couch so I wouldn't have to see and smell food. But it was so good and it stayed down. Yahoo!
Thank goodness for family. And for doing absolutely nothing except keeping food down. Thank goodness for wonderful gifts and friends (you London girls--I loved that package!). Thank goodness for not having to go to the hospital--I'm done with the awful Ara-C chemo shots (yes, I have to be there at 7:30 tomorrow morning for a four-hour blood transfusion).
And thank goodness for the true meaning of Christmas. My favorite Christmas message this year is an old one from Jeffrey R. Holland: the story of the birth of Jesus Christ is one of intense poverty. Not only was there no room for Joseph and Mary in the inn, but this was "a night devoid of tinsel or wrapping or goods of this world. Only when we see that single, sacred, unadorned object of our devotion--the Babe of Bethlehem--will we know." Mary and Joseph did the best they could with their circumstances. And from the beginning, Christ learned how to "descend beneath every human pain and disappointment. He would do so to help those who also felt they had been born without advantage." We know that soon after, angels heralded the news of the birth to shepherds, who came quickly to bless and worship the babe, and that wise men came bearing gifts. The hope and promise of triumph holds greater significance as I have come to understand the pure need for grace and divine assistance in the most impoverished moments of my life.