A Fortnight at a Time


Fortnight : a period of 14 days : two weeks – from Miriam Webster

That is the unit of time measurement I find myself fixated on.  Everything I do, everything, is controlled by fortnights.

I am often asked how I am doing.  It never bothers me to answer this question.  It’s like when someone says “It’s great to see you” and I respond with a “It’s great to be seen!”  Having the opportunity to answer any questions is all good.

In this post, I thought I would detail my last fortnight.  I may have overdone it, but only time will tell.  If my labwork in early February shows my platelets count is still trending downward, I may have to skip a week.  This robs me of my April 3rd projected finish date.  I do not like that.  So let’s hope my past fortnight had something to do with the count.

On Wednesday, January 9th, I visited the infusion center for my 5 bags of various fluids.  After completing those, the “party ball” or “healing orb” is attached to my port.  As I’ve mentioned in past posts, this stays connected for 44 or so hours.  I am able to get a lot of computer and phone work done during the infusion.  Even when I get home, I continue working.  My biggest symptom is the neuropathy in my throat and fingers.  Numby, tingly, and hurts if I drink cold drinks or touch anything cold.

The full effects of the therapy roll in Day 2.  Fatigue, malaise, a touch of nausea (easily controlled by meds) make their appearance.  I also am connected to the pump, which acts as a constant reminder that the infusion continues.  Damn party ball.

Day 3 brings good and not so good things.  The good?  Party ball is empty and I go to the doctor to have it removed.  Freedom!  The not so good?  It is a tough day to get much done. I sleep a lot this day, and usually manage to put in just a few hours on the computer.

Day 4 is Saturday.  My wife thinks this is the toughest day.  I tend to stay on the couch for hours at a time.  Energy level is at it’s fortnight lowest.  There were two playoff games last time so that made the day whiz by.

By Sunday, I am up for taking a walk around the neighborhood.  I am convinced that the more I walk and get my heart rate up, the quicker I recover from the therapy.  I am well on my way to my 90-95% level that I maintain until the fortnight is over.

I am now through what I call my bad weekend.  It’s back to work on Monday.  Appointments, a workshop or two, or attending a sales meeting is a typical Monday.  The neuropathy is still strong in the mouth and throat, but begins to lighten up in the hands.

Tuesday January 15th, I flew to New York to work as an ambassador for Real Estate Connect.  The event is an Inman News creation and brings out 1000 or so of the top agents in the country as well as the latest real estate technology.  My favorite part is Start-Up Alley.  New companies get to show off their products.

I was in New York Tuesday through Friday.  There are dinners, parties, and bar hops every night.  I did see GlenGarry Glen Ross on Broadway, followed by a typical late night NY dinner on Wednesday.  That was followed Thursday night by me hitting my room, tired, by 8:30.  Friday, the conference ended around noon, and I had 4 hours to hang in the city.  32 degrees with winds in the 20 mph range quickly reminded me of my neuropathy.  I cut my walk through Central Park short.  I got home around 11pm Friday night.  Now comes what I call my good weekend.

Saturday morning at 9am I hit the road for San Diego and some holiday weekend golf with friends.  Played Sunday and Monday, but did not play particularly well.  I’m sure the energy spent in NYC contributed to that.

I arrived back home by 9pm Monday night.  Tuesday, Day 14 of this fortnight, started with a trip to the lab for a blood draw.  Every Day 14 starts this way.  I feel as close to normal as I ever do on Day 14.  But I am also aware every Day 14 that we get to start the cycle all over again soon.

I am now almost through therapy No. 7.  I get the pump off tomorrow.  Over halfway done with 5 to go.  I remember being so excited when I had 9 left.  Single digits!  Now I can count on one hand the number of therapies left.

It is not like this for everyone.

Tales From the Infusion Center

During Therapy No. 7, a young couple came in to see the center, and sit with one of the nurses so they could plan out a schedule.  It’s the same thing Cindy and I did prior to my therapy.  I wasn’t sure who was coming in for treatment at first.  The table they sit at is not secluded, so I could hear the nurse as she worked her way through each drug and it’s most common side effects.  The young woman, probably around 30, had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was stoic, as was her husband, as she asked questions.  Suddenly, she was crying as she tried to figure out how to care for her two young children if she did not handle the medicines well.  It was heartbreaking.  The nurse and her husband comforted her, and after a few minutes, she was composed and resumed asking questions.

Perspective is tough to keep hold of.  Once a fortnight, I am reminded how lucky I am.  It’s all about perspective.



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About the Author
Bill Risser

Bill Risser is Vice President, New Media and Education of Chicago Title Agency in Maricopa County. You can find him at ChicagoTitleArizona.com and on Twitter at @billrisser, that is, when he’s not on a local golf course with his son, at the movies with his wife, or tending to one of his four fantasy leagues (NFL, MLB, PGA, and NASCAR).

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