Tag Archives: cancellation

white knights. . . .

i came to florida with my usual mission:  meet facebook friends face to face.  learn from them.   enjoy their avocations, their joys, their fears, and their lives.  and take friendship out from behind the laptop or the cellphone updates and into reality.

but i got a little sidetracked.

my father justin is receiving provenge treatment for cancer. experimental? yes. expensive? try ninety thousand a pop. weird? yeah, they take all your blood out and ship your white blood cells to a lab to be enhanced and reconfigured and then they put those white blood cells back in your body and say “cancer begone!”

 

i arrived in tallahassee and was a bit surprised.  my father’s wife was heading out on a business trip and asked me to take him to his first appointment the next day.  this required a cancellation of friendship appointments for monday and tuesday but i still figured i could do wednesday.

white blood cells (leukocytes) are the ruthless knights of our bloodstream. they fight diseases–cancer, strep throat, ebola. without them, we are without defense. tomorrow (friday) my father’s white blood cells–with new shields and swords–will be reintroduced to his body.

 

my father was feeling poorly and i cancelled the rest of the week’s travels through orlando, spring hill, tampa–but two facebook friends stopped by tallahassee to take me to lunch.  bill taylor, who lives in the city, and ron winegar who drove in from panama city.  the distraction was a great gift!

tomorrow i will take justin to his appointment to get back those white blood cells back into his system and then. . . alas, i’ll try to make it out of the state of florida!

 


provenge, the white knights, and my friends

i know what i planned to do–drive from tallahassee to orlando to spring hill to tampa and back again to tallahassee and then fly to chicago–but then there was reality.

the provenge treatment my father justin is engaging in requires that his blood be extracted from one arm and then processed in a machine which sorts out red and white blood cells.  the white blood cells are harvested and then couriered to a lab where, even as i write, they are being enhanced and changed.

leukocytes, or white blood cells, are the fighter cells and without them we have no immunity to disease.  the provenge treatment means an enhanced armor, a better sword before they are shipped back to tallahassee.  my father is the first patient to have his provenge treatment conducted in tallahassee, as opposed to jacksonville which is several hundred miles away.  provenge is a treatment which costs approximately ninety thousand dollars. 

 

justin was feeling pretty awful afterwards and when he has the white blood cells reintroduced into his system, he will not immediately feel better.  in fact, he might feel quite a bit worse.  i have been told that he will need a chaperone as he did on tuesday–this time, there will be a sedative.  for him, not for me, damnit!

we came back from the clinic and justin immediately fell asleep.  i cancelled all my facebook friend plans and was so grateful that everybody was so understanding.  sure, i felt guilty but i was the one creating the guilty–nobody was putting more on me.

but there was one friend i was too late to be able to cancel.  facebook friend #330 ron winegar and i have been facebook friends for about a year.  he drove in from panama city to meet me for lunch.

ron is an air force and marine veteran. he was initially stationed in alaska and we shared stories of our common experiences of the 49th state. he’s a firm believer in ufo’s because when he was stationed there, he had some experience with them. i was fascinated! so much so that for nearly an hour i forgot that i was supposed to be taking care of justin. no worries, justin was still asleep when i returned to the apartment.  sometimes a knight in shining armor is just the friend who has lunch with you and let’s you forget the real world! 

 

i am so grateful for my facebook friends, the ones i see and the ones i haven’t had a chance to see. .. . yet.