Well, I had a feeling I needed a little bump of blood. Tomorrow I'll have a blood transfusion, the first one in six weeks. My hemoglobin was 7.9 (normal range is 12-14), not the lowest it's been, but low enough that I feel enervated. I plan to use the time at Camp to catch up on my reading. (I'm currently reading Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi. It's an interesting account of how a group of Iranian women manage to explore the universal tenets of life and death through Western literature. I find it fascinating and certainly relevant.)
My white count is also critically low, so I'll start an antibiotic prophylactically. Not a big deal except that I must be vigilant about staying away from others to avoid infection. If I must go somewhere, I should wear a mask. Easy enough. Generally, things are going fairly well, so I'm not gonna get too worked up about this.
I heart you, too...
I have known Maryetta since we were grade-schoolers. We became best friends after I moved into her neighborhood when we were fifth-graders. We were constant companions through the 8th grade, each willing to go to any lengths looking for adventure, sometimes known as trouble if you were to ask our parents. Suffice it to say, we were no strangers to stern lectures and sometimes a grounding or two. We remained good friends throughout high school, although each reached out to others, some of whom were BOYS. We were less cozy in our college years -- she got married and started a family, I worked full time while attending school. I also spent considerable time working on the long-distance relationship I had with my high school sweetheart who "went away to school" while I remained in my hometown of Mankato.
I married my sweetheart, we moved to Wisconsin, then to Hawaii. In the meantime, Maryetta and her husband, Mike, had relocated to Prior Lake, Minnesota. We kept in touch, but it was spotty. Then John and I (now with two children) returned to Mankato where we settled in. Maryetta and Mike (with three kids) moved back to the area, moving a wonderful old house to a hilltop between LeSueur and St. Peter. We were busy with our families (John and I added another child to the mix), but we found time to get together when we could. Then, when our parenting duties lessened to a degree, we made more time for each other. Some of our best conversations happened during the meals we had following weigh-ins at TOPS meetings. Lest you judge our motives, I think we were perfectly aware of the irony of it all. In fact, maybe we were in TOPS for the meal and conversation, weight loss not so much. At any rate, we had morphed into the adult versions of our grade school selves. Maybe we weren't getting into trouble anymore, but we might have if the opportunity for something irresistible had presented itself.
Soon, we began spending more time as couples. The Dorns and McCartys. Never a shortage of B.S. Nor laughter. Nor good food (especially when Maryetta was the cook).
Weddings and grandbabies became milestones we shared, with illness and death thrown in now and then to keep us grounded. In time, our quartet became a sextet, when Pat and Dave Allen joined us in our valiant attempts to solve the world's problems over the finest cuisine one can imagine. Pat was my and Maryetta's classmate; Dave was John's classmate. Mike wasn't anyone's classmate, but the Iowa farm boy turned engineer can endear himself to anyone, classmate connections be damned.
So, now we are six, and Winnie-the-Pooh would approve of the hunny that is us.
But let me get back to Mike for a moment. When I became ill, Mike wondered if perhaps my Bucket List didn't include a romantic liaison with him. He assured me that he was willing to make that sacrifice. Of course, his offer has become fodder for any number of jokes and jabs, which sends us all into fits of laughter at the thought.
Okay, with that backdrop, I take you now to last week when on Valentine's Day my purported paramour, my best friend's husband, one of the Gang of Six, Mike McCarty, really punk'd me! I was minding my own business in Chemo Bay, just going with the flow, when a quartet of barbershoppers, recognizable by their outfits, entered the room, stopped at the desk and proceeded to gaze just a little too long in my direction. I cast a worried look at John who shrugged and exclaimed, "It's not me. Blame Mike!" Three love songs later, my face matched the red rose presented to me as part of the deal.
Good one, Mike. But this is as "Kinky" as it's gonna get..."Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don't know what I'm doin, now
Oh yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can't sleep at night"
Feb. 14, 2012
The nurses and other patients loved being serenaded so it was all worth it.