Tuesday, June 16, 2009

down and up and some parentheses

Well, hello there.

It's been quite the week.

On June, 10th, I woke up with a sore throat. I didn't take my temperature until early afternoon, by which time it became clear that I was running a fever. I called the nurse who works with my oncologist (I'm supposed to do this, since I have a suppressed immune system, thanks to chemotherapy) and was directed to go to the emergency room at the hospital connected to the cancer centre.

I really, really balked at going but within three hours I was home with a prescription for penicillin (I think chemo recipients get fast-tracked through emergency these days). I was moved pretty quickly to my own treatment room (the most traumatic moments came when I was asked if I minded if a less-experienced nurse accessed my portacath. Within minutes, there were five nurses in the tiny room, in addition to my spouse and I. There was lots of fumbling and it took a couple of tries but eventually they got things working). After examining me, the doctor concluded that I was "a very sick person."

What was foremost on my mind, as I lay waiting for the doctor (in addition to the observation that having strep throat or the flu is nowhere nearly as scary as cancer), was that the Toronto launch for my book was supposed to happen the next day.

I spoke to my publisher but decided not to make any decisions that night, in case I felt better the next day (that was a mix of denial and delirium). My GP called the next morning to check in on me and said, explicitly what I needed to hear, "You are sick. Don't travel." (No kidding)

The publisher decided that morning that they would proceed without me. I was disappointed but understood completely. I sent out a few messages to that effect and went back to bed. When I awoke, I found out that the event had been postponed. I was pleased and sent out another round of emails, tweets and Facebook updates. I am sorry if I confused any of you with these messages (and even sorrier if you showed up for the event to find out it was cancelled).

Everyone at Women's Press was really, really kind to me and very sympathetic about all the scrambling they had to do at the last minute. I will post an update when we re-schedule the launch.

In other news, we had a sleepover involving eight 11 year old boys on Saturday night. My house will never be the same. What made us do this (other than love for our son)? More denial. It appears I am still very good at it.

I also took two extremely excited 6 year olds on the O-Train to the movie theatre. We saw Up. I loved it. And the little dervishes settled down and were mesmerized for the duration. It was the quietest part of my week end.


Nat said...

My friend Jewel was in and out of Civic Emerg. in about two hours, when her c-section scars opened (ick) and she had her baby with her.

I wonder if it's a flu thing?

Jeanne said...

Laurie--so sorry about the book launch being postponed.

And just for the record: My (very very dry and brown) Christmas tree is tucked away in my side yard. Only the neighbors to the south can see it, and they have asked a couple of times if I wanted to borrow a tool to cut it up. (Nope, thanks. Not yet.)

A bonfire sounds good!