Friday, June 5, 2009


One of my favorite parts of writing here is choosing which photo to upload and why.... and how to weave in themes and parallels. This shows the three beekeepers Barbara (our neighbor and my friend from Church) with Tony & Ali. Recently one of the hives was moved eight miles away for a few days and then to Barbara's up the hill. Bees I am told either have to be moved three feet or more than three miles away, else they'll immediately navigate back to their home base. As Barbara is less than a mile away, the bees would've been back here in no time. So far they have acclimated well to their transit adventures.

The bees are cared for by a team. With the right conditions, they flourish. The busy little creatures exemplify community-mindedness. And they allow in helpers - if the helpers do the right dance!

A few days ago I began getting the symptoms of the cold/flu that's been working its way through the local region. I wasn't unduly alarmed, despite the terrorizing threats from former oncology nurses about what wretchedness could befall someone as neutropenic as myself. (Neutrophils are the bits that fight infections; I have precious few of them as well as other things). Oh please. I'm paranoid enough without hearing all of that. Undaunted, I lumbered through my days. I sniffled, I drank teas, I began to cough, I slowed down. "It's a cold. I'll live." Yesterday a fever hit of 102.2. After being space brained in bed for the late afternoon, Tony and Ali stepped forward and let their angel wings fully unfurl. First Ali made me a tea with freshly chopped ginger root in boiled water with just-harvested honey; Tony peeked into my room and reminded me, "We're here for you, no matter what, don't you forget that." I cried. I was afraid. And I was comforted. 

By 8 pm they'd phoned the NHS Helpline. By 10 pm Ali had driven us to Dr. Gray's Hospital in Elgin with an appointment (hah!) to see the doctor. By 11 pm we were ushered in. We left at 12:30 am (long past our respective bedtimes) after tests and with Paracetamol (Britain's answer to Tylenol) for the fever plus Ciprofloxacin for the mystery infection. 

The Paracetamol works like a charm. My temperature is back to normal. I'm being spacey on me own and looked after by these two precious ones. As well there are those in the outer community (like Pauline and Ruthie) who've phoned and texted us after Tony let them know last night. I don't have to toughen up and make sure I ask for help here. I am surrounded with it. 

Because of my underlying condition (the effing leukemia), it was suggested with bright eyes and bushy tails that I head to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary that night for 2-3 days of IV antibiotics. "You can also take them orally, if you wish, but we would strongly suggest that," intoned the doctor. "There is no way in hell I'm heading to the hospital right now," I thought. I looked over at Ali, whose eyes were bugging out slightly. "I'd prefer to take the oral meds and go back home," I said as evenly as possible. Ali nodded. If I couldn't stand up, which for 2 minutes after my fevered blood draw was admittedly true, sure. Wheel me in. I wasn't completely delirious. And I hadn't even packed a bag with my laptop! 

Ali drove us back in the rain. We three debriefed after 1 am by the fire and then staggered off to our bedrooms. And while exceedingly woozy, I can rest in a safe and loving space. I can exemplify a smirking sluggard. 

Extra good news aside from making sure you know that I am looked after by angels: I had a blood draw yesterday (my once a fortnight until I next see Dr. Culligan on the 18th), the results of which had been fed into the computer that last night's doctor checked. My WBC and ANC are seriously UP! The whites had been hovering in the 1.2 to 1.5 range - sadly, my pathetic norm. (Normal is 4.0 - 10). The test from June 3rd showed WBC at 2.5! And my ANC (absolute neutrophil count) had been floating in the .5 to .6 (500-600) range. They should be 1.5 -7. Last night they doubled to 1.7! I am attempting to be grateful and more miracle-minded than suspicious. My psyche is a work in progress. 

Today is a restful day.


  1. O my...and what miracles one after another, we by the way just found the CD you gave us in Berkeley the day of the storage run....suddenly there was your voice!!!! `hard times come again no more!!!'
    much love and many prayers B & E

  2. yay paracetemol! and ginger tea with honey and GOOD friends. so glad to know you are in such good hands over there.


    p.s. if i may ask, pls keep me in your prayers as i just had a mammogram yesterday and it is a very unnerving time for me. thx.

  3. It is VERY GOOD to hear that You are much improved. And I am always Very Happy to hear about the cocoon of Love that surrounds You there. Sending gratitude to those around You and Love to You All.

  4. Prayers of love, for healing and for gratitude extend outwardly to each one of you.....!

  5. Glad to hear about the wonderful progress! Love and healing thoughts, intentions and prayers to you and everyone who reads or hears about these words.

  6. how fortunate are you to have such caring people in your life!!