23 June

It’s Thursday and I’m beginning my pre-hospital preparations. I won’t need to go packing as much stuff as I usually do since I’ll only be incarcerated for 7-10 days but I want to make sure I have enough to keep me comfortable. That means I’ll bring my water pitcher, my electric kettle (maybe), some art supplies, and a light blanket. I may also bring a yoga mat so I can continue the little exercise routine I’ve begun. I did a series of planks yesterday, holding the pose three times for 30-second intervals, and today I DEFINITELY feel it in my shoulders, abs, thighs and back. Good stuff!

I drove Lauren up to Austin yesterday for her 1-year post-spinal-surgery appointment. We were kept waiting for a bit over an hour, which was unusual given that we’re usually whisked off to an exam room within 10-15 minutes of arrival time, but I think they may have been understaffed. Anyway, her spinal x-rays showed that all the rods and pedicle screws were still in excellent shape and her last three lower lumbar vertebrae that hadn’t been fused were still well positioned, not collapsing to one side as sometimes happens after this type of fusion surgery. Once we were in the exam room, it only took 15 minutes or so and then we were done. Lauren won’t have to go back until next year at this time so she’s pretty much in the clear. Yay!

While we were in the car we talked. And talked. And talked. About everything and nothing. Geez, I love this kid and I’m so grateful that she feels comfortable enough to share so openly with me.

Not much else to report. I feel some low-level anxiety beginning to build as the hours tick by but it can’t be helped. The one positive thing about going back into the hospital is that my treatment is once again progressing. It’s been a nearly two month long hiatus and it’s high time to climb back onto that horse. Oh – one interesting note. My doctor was waiting to hear back from the lab on the results of the MRD test that had supposedly been run on the bone marrow sample taken last month. The results came back “inconclusive” because whoever was handling the testing attempted to use the marrow sample taken nearly 2 1/2 years ago! What the actual f**k?!? How the hell did they make such a mistake? That was the biopsy done here in town, when I was first hospitalized and just before I was diagnosed. Somehow the wires got crossed and the lab didn’t use the most recent sample. Oy. So now we don’t have a baseline against which to compare my progress with the Blincyto. That was the whole point of the MRD to begin with – to discover just how much, or how little, residual disease remained in my bloodstream. Nothing can be done about that now though, other than demanding another test using the CORRECT tissue sample. Yeah, and then waiting weeks for the results. Wheee… Nope, time to just turn away and begin placing one foot in front of the other.

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