Thursday, July 3, 2008

Find the cost of freedom CSNY

Yes, you who must leave everything
That you cannot control;
Leonard Cohen
Day +2 (98 to go) I am leaving behind my blood making organ, my bone marrow. It was out of control,  harboring a mutinous clone of B cells gone bad. But what price do I pay for this radical jettison of an organ that was still mostly functional? My red cells were working fine, carrying  O2 to wherever the need arose. Even my pesky platelets had learn to avoid untimely accidents and live to their usual  ripe old age of 10 days. My neutrophils have been with me every step of the way, fighting off  any invader who dares breach my biological borders. Only my lymphocytes, and then really only a clone of my B lymphocytes have misbehaved. Besides that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln? 
But the cost of this early decision has been enormous. Let me leave aside all the theoreticals (the chance I might have never needed this procedure, the chance of a very lengthy remission, the chance of  a cure being discovered, and the chance of my dying being moved way up the time line and so on). I have dealt with in earlier postings (Too smart by half and my very first posting).  What has been the real cost, so far? 10 days in hospital so far, much of it in bed,  nothing approaching a normal gut since admission, vital signs taken ever 4 hours, around the clock (yes, that means 4 AM), blood draws at noon and midnight daily (through the PICC line so that is a painless blessing), an IV pole  that loudly beeps its disappointment in something or another several times day and night, hospital food, little exercise, no fresh air, boredom, and for safety reason, few visitors. Headaches, coughing spasms, fatigue, and all this and I am doing very very well. I miss my work, my house, the beach. I miss my freedom and it's only 10 days. Imagine if I was sick? Imagine when my white count drops and I can't leave my room. Imagine when my platelets drops and I can't brush my teeth? Imagine when my hemoglobin dips and I get winded and dizzy standing up. I share this not just to whine, but to let others in on the grit of hospital life, patient side.
Is it worth it? You bet!

7 Comments:

Blogger jeannettebrown said...

Oh Brian I will pray for you. I hope you made the right decision. At my age there is no decision to make, I am too old for a transplant so for me it is a long remission after chemo.
Jeannette Brown
sisterchemist

July 3, 2008 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger rpassananti said...

A small price to pay for a life time of freedom from the unknown fate we face.
For us, the BMT/SCT is a stop sign, a yield sign, a proceed with caution sign and then a green light to life. Enjoy the road once traveled and do not look back.

July 3, 2008 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger yvonne said...

There is only now.

July 4, 2008 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger JM said...

Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week

July 4, 2008 (Independence Day in the United States)

FREEDOM FROM IMPRISONMENT

The experience of mahamudra is the pinnacle of the tradition of tantra. Maha means "great," and mudra means "sign" or "gesture." To experience mahamudra is to realize that the literal truth, the symbolic truth, and the absolute truth are actually one thing, that they take place on one dot, one spot. One experiences reality as the great symbol that stands for itself. The bliss of mahamudra is not so much great pleasure , but it is the experience of tremendous spaciousness, freedom from imprisonment, which comes from seeing through the duality of existence and realizing that the essence of truth, the essence of space, is available on this very spot. The freedom of mahamudra is measureless, unspeakable, fathomless. Such fathomless space and complete freedom produce tremendous joy. This type of joy is not conditioned by even the experience of freedom itself; it is self-born, innate.

From "Sacred Outlook," in THE HEART OF THE BUDDHA, pages 168 to 169.

All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used by permission.

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Ocean of Dharma Quotes of the Week: teachings by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.
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July 4, 2008 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger theshrinkisin said...

This moment....your Independence Day!

July 4, 2008 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger jbh said...

Shabbat shalom, Brian!
Thinking about you and sending healing hugs!
Joanna

July 4, 2008 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Edith said...

Horray, Dr.Koffman,
Our God is looking over you.
Will continue to pray for you and look fwd to see a new you next year when I come home.
Keep up the spirit.
Edith Lo - China

July 5, 2008 at 4:58 PM  

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