Jumping off the cliff

This episode is brought to you by anxiety and nervousness layered with a bit of fear. Similar, I expect, to jumping off a cliff into deep water. No lifeline, parachute or bungee cord in evidence. And absolutely no guarantee of a safe landing. The landing will occur, trust me on that,  but I don’t have a lot of confidence that I can stick this one for an Olympic 10/10 point landing.

There is also a certain knowledge in my  head that this is a one way trip. There is absolutely no chance to change one’s mind once off the cliff face; no second chances or second guessing. No do-overs. It doesn’t help that I know I need to jump, it is only a question of what I am wearing, what comes with and whose advice I am taking preparation.

This morning, standing at the shuttle bus stop, the coffee George brought me slid warm and welcome down my throat. Certainly taking BART and the shuttle bus turned out to be much better and less nerve racking than facing the driver through heavy traffic and across the Bay Bridge prior to driving to the far side of the peninsula.  The VA is very near the Presidio which makes it not at all close to routine, convenient public transit. Google yesterday might just have had the right idea. Head north, go over the bridge toward Marin, south on 101 and across the Golden Gate. Might have been worth paying tolls for two bridges.

Since I have arrived early I get a lot of waiting time. Enough time to finish the body of a hat, read a book and play more than one computer game. George waited with me for the balance of the morning and most of the afternoon. The bed (the only private room on the ward) opened up just after I had a line put in and then I spent time for the balance of the afternoon with various staff dropping through.

Lift off was 1845 for 12 hours of immunotherapy preceded by those life preservers which help (benedryl, allopurinal, tylenol and some solumedrol). Everyone has been amazingly tolerant. When you have no control over somethings, then what is left takes a bigger brunt of the free floating stress. Also, having wifi is great, especially since I remember the era of “no phones allowed in the hospital.”



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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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27 Responses to Jumping off the cliff

  1. Vicki says:

    Holly I wish there were some magical words of wisdom I could pass on to you to make what you are going through easier. Adverse situations come up in everyone’s life, but you hate to see someone you care about having to stand on that cliff. Just know there are are many people rooting for you.

  2. Ruth says:

    You did it! Is this a solid 12 hours or is it broken up? Are all the precursor drugs to help you get through the treatment? I’m glad you have your knitting, reading and wi-fi. Anything to make the process easier. I’ve learned never to go to the hospital without my knitting bag.

    Have a good night’s sleep and rest well tomorrow. Don’t come home until you feel OK. Refuah shleimah to you.

  3. Cat says:

    And this response is brought by hope – hope for a safe landing.

  4. Isobel says:

    Thanks for keeping me updated. Being without a parachute is NOT a pleasant thing. Sending positive thoughts do absolutely nothing but I AM thinking of you.

  5. Lynne says:

    Haven’t stopped thinking of you since I first read of the return of your cancer.
    While you are struggling to figure out all of the inevitable questions please keep in the back of your head what an incredible human being l think you are.
    I feel entirely blessed to have crossed your path and come to know, however peripherally, your amazing spirit and generous soul and beautiful heart.
    We don’t always get to change the world in big ways but I feel certain that the small cumulative effect you’ve had on those who have come to know you has created enormous synergy that will continue to vibrate through time and space.
    In other words, your being in this world has made a difference.
    Can’t ask for a whole lot more than that.
    I’m sending you positive healing energy and as much love as the number of angels on the head of a pin.
    Hang in the pal!

  6. Barbara says:

    Sending you good thoughts!

  7. Vera says:

    Thinking of you

  8. Kathy says:

    Good for you, Holly! How long will you have to be an inpatient, and how are you feeling so far?

    • Holly Doyne says:

      a couple whatever days. Depends on whether my tumor decides to cut and run all at once or meander toward the door…

  9. Christiane says:

    My thoughts are always with you …

  10. Dominik says:

    Keeping my fingers crossed for this time and hope, everyone is as nice as possible.

  11. Anita says:

    I’ve never been Cliff-jumping… sounds pretty cool. And inspiring Holly, you are amazing! The thing I got threaded through your email was the acceptance of those things ‘we cannot control’ as opposed to those things we CAN.

  12. Linda M says:

    Thinking of you. Hoping today is a good one for the circumstances.

  13. Dominik says:

    True, does your connectivity device allow to be muted, so a reply from me doee not interrupt your resting?
    Stress is the last thing I would want to add.
    Is it a central venous catheter at least and you have your arms free?

    • Holly Doyne says:

      oh yes. Central line and all. Hands free and blood still flows back so I have been able to avoid any additional needle sticks… makes life a lot better

  14. Donna says:

    May God hold you up during your cliff jump, and give you wings to land safely and smoothly. Hugs and prayers

  15. Carmen says:

    How are you feeling today? Expectations about how this will affect you?

    • Holly Doyne says:

      Well, I’d really like my fever to go away. common side effect. Got oatmeal and a banana for breakfast. I’m not doing a day at a time, more like an hour at a time…

  16. Bob says:

    There were, are and will continue to be many prayers lifted for you. Hang in there; you’re not alone.

  17. William says:

    God Bless you Holly. Praying for your good health.

  18. Kathleen says:

    Are they treating you well?

  19. Holly says:

    Absolutely. The staff likes working here. Most of the nurses I have interacted with have been with the VA system somewhere in the 5-30 year time frame. They are respectful, using titles and last names as a matter of routine. They have no problems saying exactly what is going on… Care givers with a much better attitude than any Army Hospital in my experience. Sacramento was exactly the same.

    Then, of course there is the Chaplain, the Social Worker and the Geriatric Services crew..

  20. Holly says:

    snicker. See what you have to look forward to? Young kids looking at you like you are aged or decrepid.

  21. Cheryl says:

    How are you holding up? If you don’t mind my asking, what are they using for immunotherapy? Hang in there!

  22. Rebecca says:

    I hope your cliff allows for a gentle landing with few bumps and bruises along the way.

  23. Alison H says:

    Keeping you in my daily prayers as always, and George, too.

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