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Monday, March 5, 2012

Isolation





Not surprisingly "More Interesting Facts" (2012) reveals that '[s]ocial isolation adversely affects breast cancer. Breast cancer facts that a socially isolated, stressful environment can speed up the growth of breast cancer in animal models. Conzen and her colleagues randomly assigned mice that were genetically susceptible to breast cancer to live either in isolation or in group housing. The outcome showed that social isolation can actually change the expression of genes important in the growth of mammary gland tumors".


After my fever spiked at 102;8 a few hours after my last post, I called my oncologist and he admitted me to the hospital in "reverse isolation" meaning that everyone who entered my closed and sterile room had to be masked, gloved, and gowned fully. Needless to say, this combined with a lack of seeing any facial expressions or any physical touch other than changing the input or removing blood from the tube emanating from my chest, was quite depressing. My white blood count went over the days from .5, .6, 1,5, 1.6, and 1.7 at which point the IV antibiotic was enough to treat my risk of infection. Needless to say, I was very glad to be released last night, and so happy to be home in my own bed. I am now on oral antibiotics, my chemo for the week is cancelled, and we have to reconoiter to make a new plan. Who knows. I just want to be able to hug my loving children, and not have other teens try to trick mine into letting them stay in an empty house (which they trashed, including fires in the driveway, trash can, fireplace, and on top of the propane tank -- how much non-common sense do children have today?


Today I am very cynical, and after spending 3 hours cleaning the house from the chaos it was in from being parentless for 5 days, I am in bed trying to think "happy thoughts" (ha ha). Clearly I need more social support, but knowing very few people  here, I have to rely on those generous ones who are willing to take the risk to invest in getting to know me better, or who live far away and cannot give me a hug. Now I owe a phone call (or do I? This is the second time I have been bamboozled by the boy) to the mother who demanded to know why I had the police physically drive her child home at 2:30 in the morning (he managed to leave his glass pipe here, where it shall stay) "what did you do that for"?


Stardate 3.5.2012.







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