Best Laid Plans

Robert Burns in his famous poem, “To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough” about a farmer plowing through a mouse nest in the field, says in verse 6:

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

And so it was with my plans last week; well really the previous Friday. The plan was to start the next round of treatment on Friday, June 28th. I made my way to the Mercy Cancer Center for my usual visit with Dr. Kota. The procedure is to get my blood tested then start treatment. Except it didn’t happen that way. My platelet count was falling, which meant that I had not fully recovered from the previous treatment. Remember, my treatments are scheduled for a 21 day spread. Every three weeks, a new round starts, though there is no problem with a 28 day delay. I was disappointed, since the next visit to MD Anderson is scheduled for the 16th/17th of July after a CT Scan to be done here and taken directly to the doctors there. Timing is critical.

My plans had a plough run through them. My “nest” of good intentions was damaged. Dr. Kota scheduled another blood test for Monday, July 1st. Again, I went prepared to begin a treatment. The CBC (complete blood count) was completed, and I waited rather impatiently. YES! The platelets were back up! Now we can begin treatment. Ah! But there is more. Now we needed to do a blood chemistry test. No problem. Access the port and draw a vile or two of blood and let’s move on.

Sure, easily spoken. The port would not work properly. It would allow infusion, but would not work for a blood draw. Move the needle. Yeh, that feels good. We did that three times last Friday before it worked. Didn’t work on Monday, either. Nurse Cathy called Nurse Pam. She knows all the tricks. Move the needle. Ouch! Turn your head to the left. Lay all the way back. “Do you want me to stand on my head?” I asked. Well, I stood and bent over, the closest I’ll get to standing on my head … ever. That didn’t work. Bear in mind that this was in front of an audience of other patients receiving their treatments! Finally Pam managed to draw enough blood for the test, which I passed. I received the treatment on Monday, and the schedule is still intact. My nest is a bit messed up, but repairable. The best laid plans may be altered, but God is in control!

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