Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taking a Break from Leukemia

Today is the last day that we have to be in Palm Springs. I will see the doctor in the morning, and provided that all goes well, we should be able to go home. While I know that Palm Springs in February is a great place
to be, the only place that I really want to be is at home. I left home on February 7th for a quick visit to my family and a routine medical checkup, it is now February 17th, and I have leukemia and haven’t been home in 10 days.

Surprisingly, the weather is a bit cool for this time of year, but since we have been cooped up for so long, we decide to head to the pool and play some cards. We stop at the concierge desk to pick up a game and find out that the only game they have available is Cribbage. I have played Cribbage once before and Joe has played several times, so we decide to give it a shot. Of course we had to go back to the condo to look up the rules on the internet. We quickly copied them down and headed to the pool. It was wicked hot in the sun and nice and cool in the shade; we chose the shade.

We decided that we would wing the first round and then play for real. I’m thinking that Joe was interpreting the rules to his advantage because he was kicking my butt in every round. Talk about no mercy, I even tried playing the “leukemia card” to no avail! I never won a single game. After several hours of playing cards, the sun started going down, it got cold and I had enough new wounds to lick, so we headed back to the condo; I headed to the jetted tub. If we didn’t know better, we could almost pretend that we really were on vacation.

After dinner, I began to run a low grade fever, the first reminder of the day that I really still had CML. The air conditioning in the condo was not working and I was burning up. Fortunately I found a fan hiding in the second bedroom closet. I moved it to the master bedroom and spent a miserable, restless night alone with my own thoughts of how my life was going to change once I returned home.

I had many medical issues that needed my immediate attention; I had to decide upon a new doctor closer to my home and figure out how to pay for my new medication. The meds are $15,875 per month without insurance. With my insurance, my co-pay is $8,675 per month. Dr. Camacho has reassured me that he has never had a patient that did not receive their meds. Trust me; this is a dilemma that will keep you up at night.  I also wondered how long this new exhaustion that I felt was going to last and when I could resume my normal routine, at this particular moment just the two plus hour drive seemed daunting. My brain spent most of that night flitting from one thought to another so quickly that I actually woke up with a headache. I suppose that there will be many adjustments and changes in store for the both of us.

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