Archive for September, 2012

Ups and Downs

On Saturday (Sept. 8th) Anna woke feeling weak and run-down by afternoon she was feverish. Even though the blood tests suggested her white-cells were supposedly rebounding, they apparently hadn’t rebounded enough to keep her well. As per the orders of her doctor, with a return of fever it meant that Anna had to return to the hospital. To make matters worse, traffic in Seoul last Saturday afternoon was hideous. A 12 km trip that should take 30 minutes or less turned into a two and a half hour nightmare.

We had left BoA in charge of Noah, because we only expected that I’d be gone an hour, but instead it took me four hours to make the round trip. Our home phone must have come unhooked, because when I tried to call home to tell BoA what was happening, all I got was a busy signal. Thankfully BoA is capable and Noah was good, so they weathered the storm. (And, no, BoA, didn’t call me once to find out why I was late which either suggest she is secure and independent or that she has a more polychronic conception of time).

After getting Anna checked in and settled in her room, I didn’t even consider for second that I would drive back. There was no way I was returning to that nightmare. I happily ditched the car in the parking garage and willingly paid the ten dollar (12,000 won) overnight fee.

By the time I got home I was starving, but I was completely uninterested in cooking so I grab a pizza from Pizza School. It’s not what I would call a quality pie, but it is cheap, fast, located at the subway stations and within two minute walking distance of the house. When I got home, I discovered that BoA had cooked dinner for herself and Noah. She had made a very nice Doenjang Jjigae (된장 찌개), rice and Geran Jjim (계란찜), so they were completely uninterested in my pizza.

On Sunday we visited Anna in the hospital and drove the car back home. In the afternoon, I went with Noah to his friend’s birthday party. Noah had a good time, but I was at times a bit overwhelmed by the 20 or so screaming kids.

Due to Anna’s immune system, the doctor has decided to postpone Anna’s next chemo treatment until next week, so Anna is looking to come home on Tuesday.

Originally written Monday, 10 September

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Anna Update Aug. 28th – Sept 7th

Anna returned to the hospital for her second chemo treatment on the 28th that left Noah and I to hold down the fort at home for a couple of days (8/28 ~ 8/30). Anna went in Tuesday evening and returned Thursday afternoon. Two fun filled days of absorbing toxic chemicals. Anna felt OK until about Saturday afternoon (9-1) and then the nausea and joint pain started.

Anna almost returned to the hospital on Tuesday, 4th of Sept. because her white cell count was very low, but since she didn’t have a fever the doctors allowed her to remain at home. Anna doesn’t want to return to the hospital because she says her hospital food sucks. I only mention this observation for the amateur anthropologist among us. I believe lousy hospital food must be a universal trait of humanity, because I have never heard of any one raving about the food they’ve been served in a hospital.

Anna and I have just returned from the hospital again. Anna had another blood test to monitor her white cells. Her white cells are still low, but seem to be on their way back up, so the doctor asked her to book room for chemo treatment #3 which will begin Tuesday, 7th Sept and end on Thursday the 9th.

Here is a picture of the shrubbery tea I mentioned in a previous post.

The shredded shrub I brought to the hospital because I thought it was the 둥글레차 (Dunggeulle Cha)

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Back to School, Feeding Rabbits and Typhoons

Saturday the 25th and Sunday the 26th of August, Anna and I spent the days at home with the kids. Andy and BoA sorted out their clothes and packed what they needed to take back to school. I washed anything that was dirty and that they deemed they could not live without for a week. BoA also had some cooking homework to do, so she cooked and took pictures of her cooking progressed. She made some sort of potato-based appetizer with cheese ham and vegetables that she fried in an egg batter. It tasted find, but it was an awful lot of work for just an OK appetizer. Sadly, BoA didn’t share her recipe or any of her pictures with me, so they’ll be nothing to upload.

Monday I got up early to make sure Andy and BoA left in time to catch their bus. Then I readied Noah for his bus to daycare, and finally I took Anna to the hospital so she could reserve a room for her chemo treatment which starts Tuesday and ends Thursday. She also had a few tests take to make sure that her body was ready to do the chemo dance again. On the way home we stopped by e-mart. Shopping with Anna is a swirling vortex that sucks up a whole lot of time but doesn’t accomplish very much. For her, I suppose it is therapeutic, but for me it just sort of ratchets up my stress levels, because while Anna shops I’m unable to get any work done. Then after shopping I had to go and pick up Noah.

Noah informed me while feeding the school rabbits that his school had been canceled the next day because of the approaching typhoon.

Noah feeds the bunnies.

Note to self: There will be no work getting done on that day either.

Luckily the storm ended up being a dud in the Seoul-Gyeonggi Megaplex, so Anna was able to get to the hospital for her next chemo treatement without blowing away.

Originally written August 29th

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Anna’s Return

Anna finally made it home on Friday, August 24th. The doctor released her because her fever was gone and her white cell count looked good. She arrived that Friday afternoon with more stuff than she initially brought to the hospital. How that is even possible, I’m not quite sure. I guess humans are simply magnets for stuff.

Not surprisingly, Anna and BoA were running late. Perhaps it was the accumulation of stuff that delayed her or perhaps it was the head shaving because her hair was falling out in clumps. In any case, Anna and BoA arrived much later than I anticipated. This made BoA late for her dentist appointment, and it also made it impossible for me to pick Noah up from his daycare.

Anna was annoyed by this and she snappishly said I should have asked Brandon, whose daughter goes to the same daycare, to pick up Noah up. I let the comment go, because if doctors were pouring a couple of hundred toxic chemicals into me, I’d probably be a little snappish as well.

Justly or unjustly this forced Anna to go to the daycare and pick up Noah while I went with BoA to the dentist. Anna was annoyed at me for not thinking ahead. I found her annoyance a bit off-base since I call her a noon to remind her of the afternoon schedule. If she was annoyed that I hadn’t known she was going to be late even though I reminded her of the afternoon schedule, then I guess I can accept the fact that I am not endowed with the gift of prophecy. Personally I saw Anna having to pick up Noah as karma; that is, the price Anna had to pay for being behind schedule.

Originally written August 25th

BoA’s video of Anna’s shearing


Thursday, September 6th, 2012