Beloved did not get chemo this week, as his white count is too low. He will not get it next week, either. His blood pressure is also low. His hands are cool. He is weary, but thankfully he has been able to sleep more than usual at night. He got a two-hour chunk and a three-hour chunk on Wednesday night and a four-hour nap on Thursday. His cancer count is about half what it was at its worst last year. His potassium is low. He lost eight pounds last week because food is going straight through without giving him so much as a belch or a kiss-my-grits.
I called the oncologist’s office on Thursday after getting the email from Beloved, giving me the above news. His appetite is fickle. Would it be a good idea to give him Ensure or something like unto it? Mom gave that to Dad when he was battling cancer. Yes, it might help, but the sugar in it tends to increase diarrhea, plus cancer loves sugar. The dietitian called Beloved and told him: white bread, white potatoes, white rice. Stuff that ordinarily is not good for people because it has less nutritional value, but in this case is good because it hangs around in the body longer, thus giving Beloved a chance of snagging some nourishment as it flies by.
He asked me to pick up his Rx’s on my way home from work. Two were ready; there was an issue with the third one, something about the insurance not being willing to pay for it. There was an indifferent connection at the drive-through speaker (they couldn’t hear me well, but I could hear them), so I parked Lorelai and went inside. Beloved has a prescription for an anti-diarrhea drug, which is OTC, and the insurance company wouldn’t pay for it. The pharmacist was apologetic and very kind. I was livid but under control by the grace of Heaven. The doctor wanted 480 pills which would have cost us $113 and change, but since the drug was OTC, I could get it for much less out in the main area of the store.
The Rx specified two pills every two hours, maximum 16 pills per day; the Rx was for a month’s worth. I came home with five boxes of generic at .88 per box and a promise from the pharmacist that she would contact the insurance company and see if they would work with us. I thanked her and wished her a good weekend and meant it.
We got a call later last night from the pharmacy. They had gotten in touch with the insurance company, and while pills were not covered by insurance, tablets were, so if the doctor writes a new Rx for tablets, we can get a month’s worth for $10, and in the meantime we have enough to get Beloved through the weekend until the oncologist’s office reopens on Monday.
When I am out running errands later today, I will take a handwritten thank-you note to the lovely, competent, helpful pharmacist. I am so thankful for the years and years of chronic frustration when I was married to the children’s father: they taught me patience, persistence, and the ability to fuse my anger with civility, like a laser scalpel, rather than blowing up like a defective grenade.
Valkyrie mode gets things done without grieving the Spirit, when Ugly Mother and going postal, do not.
In knitting news, because that’s what some of you come here for, the sleeves are now joined to the sweater body, and I have completed the first seven decrease rounds. There are now “only” 506 stitches on my needles, and the sixth round, where I drop one strand of the main color and substitute a strand of the handpainted yarn and micromanage the stitches so the fancy yarn will lie on top? That one took about an hour. Maybe a little more, because we were watching/listening to The Avengers last night. I am now at the part where I decrease every other round, and I noticed that my gauge on the sweater body is a smidgen more relaxed than on the sleeves. I don’t think a knitting muggle will notice. And, assuming the yoke fits properly, if they do I will just smile and tell them it is a design feature.