Yesterday I stopped at the local Safeway. The cashier, one whom I had seen many times, particularly before my diagnosis, stared unabashedly at me. "You look different," she said.
"Well, back in November I was diagnosed with leukemia," I said, not able to look her in the face. "In fact, tomorrow I have a spinal tap."
"Oh, everything will come back clear. It's going to be fine." It was nice of her, but I think she really just didn't know what to say.
Meanwhile I walked to my car and cried. Of course I look different. I'm bald (well with slowly growing hair). I don't have that spring in my stop--I move quite slowly so I don't fall down. I'm slow. My life is completely different.
I was buying ingredients to make cookies for the cute nurses and dr giving me my last spinal tap today. I haven't baked since before. It took forever and ever. Cute LuAnn came to visit and helped with the last part. Thank goodness.
Last night I heard the disappointing news that my dear friend Laurel couldn't make it--a security breech and the Salt Lake City Airport prevented her from making a connection in Chicago and making it to DC to hang out with me for this last spinal tap. I had been overwhelmed with her desire and love and devotion to support me.
Thank goodness, Terry picked up and picked me up and sat with me and carried my cookies. It was another throw-upy day. I had Terry pull over twice, and I think twice I still ended up throwing up in her car (I learned my lesson with an empty plastic bag!). Even while throwing up at the hospital, Terry switched out my barf bins and found me a washcloth. The silly thing was that there was just nothing to throw up! They loaded me up with some serious ativan and fentonyl and I don't remember anything after that, between the spinal tap and restitching my PICC line suture.
I do remember waking up when the Dr. Washington came in to say that my spinal fluid had abnormal amounts of white blood cells. It could be an infection, or it could be from poking me so often, week after week.
And I came home and slept and slept and barfed and slept. No wonder I look different!