Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lesson learned

This week I learned not to plan things for after chemo infusion..... I am feeling poorly, and will report more soon.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A blast from Pa.

This blog post is coming to you from Pa. Where the weather is cold and inhospitable but the people are warm and friendly.

I got out of the hospital on Sat., early afternoon...... one of the great feelings of late. The home health care nurse came to Karens house Sat night and instructed me regarding the self administered IV system. Each dose consists of a pressurized ball about the size of a large orange.... Rubber glove, clean the connectors, attach the IV line, wait about 2 hours, unhook the IV line, flush the picc line, and fill the picc line with heparine. (“Picc line” = an IV line that goes in at the upper arm, and through a vein, to within inches of the heart.) Time consuming and awkward with only one hand, but not too bad. I was able to do what ever I wanted during the infusion, and able to do the set up and finish up in the baby changing station of any modern restroom. I have to say, that I got lots of strange looks.... IV drug abuser perhaps?

Monday, I was able to make my yearly pilgrimage to Pa. For the state wrestling tournament/family reunion. The discharge planner at USC made this possible with a tenacious effort regarding “home health care” provided in Ca. and a blood draw in Pa. In spite of the best effort, I expect billing problems with medicare. If I remained in the hospital, all drugs and services are 100% paid for, but with home care, (saving medicare thousands of dollars) my drugs are $75 per day. Got to love the logic. In addition, I will have 2 different providers billing on one prescription, which apparently is frowned upon.

The trip went well.... I was very easily fatigued, and needed a wheel chair to make the long trek from the parking lot into the venue, but was able to climb the stairs to and from my seat as long as I could rest immediately after. I am not sure if it is the chemo, or the antibiotics that is causing the problem, but it really doesn’t matter, it is what it is, and just needs to be accommodated. Many thanks to my family for putting up with my limitation.

I had the good fortune to hear an inspiring 5 min commentary. regarding the effects of “limitation” on his business. He is an incredibly successful sales manager for AFLAC, and his “quota” goes up every year. The question came up, “How can you do better every year in spite of the poor economy?”  The focus of his opinion is that you must first get your own mind right regarding opportunities and limitations. It is easy to find reasons for failure, but it is also possible to see the opportunities that always exist. One always looks for evidence to support ones opinions, which ever one that you focus on will be the one that dominates your thinking, and dictates your actions. He is successful because he is able to lead his sales force to focus on the opportunities.... simple, but profoundly powerful.

This concept hit me like a message from God. I realized that I have been thinking about the limitations of my situation, and ignoring my possibilities. I am not saying that there is a “silver lining” in my situation, but there are still opportunities available to me, and the more that I consider this, the better life will be. A simple concept that will likely need to be re-enforced from time to time, but could be the key to “life after trauma”.  I am extremely fortunate to be borne into a family as talented and thoughtful as mine.