Cartoon and Illustration

(semi) clean bill of health

So, yesterday was my follow up visit with the hematologist here in Waynesville (well, he’s in Clyde–but close enough).  The news is very good.  Although I’m still “slightly anemic” both my white and red blood cells are back in normal range.  So my bone marrow is back to making blood like it’s supposed to–which was the point of all this therapy, going to Duke University Medical Center, getting chemo, and all that stuff.

Sure, I’m still a little on the weak side, as one would expect after several months of being anemic.  I’ll have to continue to eat stuff like lean red meats, spinach, lentils, kale, and all that stuff Karin’s been feeding me for months anyway.  I’m also underweight.  I weigh about what I did when Karin and I got married back in 1988–which was fine for a kid of 23, not so much for a man of 52.

I’m still dealing with what appears to be side-effects of the chemo and immune suppression drugs:  lingering fatigue, indigestion, heartburn, and (you’re going to love this one) “perversion of taste”.

That’s why I’ve been watching old CHiPs reruns!

No, actually it means that certain foods that I normally enjoy taste funny to me.  Like, for instance, butter–just not right.  So imagine if you will having a nice slice of toast with butter and jelly on it, only the butter tastes like a helping of refried beans.  Not very appetizing is it?

Which accounts for at least some of my weight loss, right?  I’m sorry…I haven’t even tried eating any Mexican food for fear of how weird it might taste.

Lettuce is also something that doesn’t quite work for me.  If I slather it in enough dressing I can choke it down as part of a salad, but if I get much of it alone I get that bean flavor again.

In fact “bean” seems to be the default flavor for now.  I’m getting past it, I think.  Finished up the last of the immune suppression meds on Tuesday, so hopefully that taste issue will go away in a couple of weeks–but you never know.  I’ve had this sort of thing before and it can last for months.

Fortunately milk is okay–in small enough doses.  A cup is okay.  A glass is too much.

Anyway, I must be getting better or else I wouldn’t be complaining about this little stuff, right?

But getting back to the point–I have literally flown through this process.  And so I want to publicly thank my God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who got me through the whole process and kept His healing hand on me through the whole thing.  I did not deserve it, and do not deserve it–but He was merciful to me nonetheless.

I would also like to thank all of those who prayed for me and Karin during this process (additional prayers appreciated, because we’ll be going through the aftermath of recovery for some time).  Your concern and love has been like nothing we’ve felt before.

My plan is to stop writing about hospital stuff for a while and start writing about arty stuff again.  So look for a series on how to put together a proper portfolio soon–which is leading up to something big this spring and summer.


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