Thursday, July 04, 2019

Returning to Golf!

It has been a while since I provided an update, so the 4th of July seems like a good time. First, thank you all for your kind words of encouragement. All-in-all I am doing well and am still in remission. Every day is a blessing to be enjoyed.

My home course, 7th green, twilight, July 3, 2019

One of my goals is to play golf again as soon as practical and I’m giving it a real go. One big side effect of a bone marrow transplant is fatigue, and in my case, it is sometimes acute because my red blood cell count keeps dropping, and will do so until my blood type changes to my brothers. As a result, I have to time my forays into golf with precision so that I pursue the game when I have maximum energy. Since I need a blood transfusion about every ten days I have to calibrate my golf escapades with an appropriate hemoglobin count, which limits me to three potential days a week.

I have approached the task with my usual gusto, primarily hitting balls and trying to get back my swing after such a long hiatus. I lost a lot of strength laying around for a year so I have to adjust to the ball traveling a shorter distance. As if I don’t have enough going on I also thought it was a good time to take some lessons to at least make sure I’m practicing the right things. Oy Vey, I forgot how hard it is to make changes, but I think it was the right decision because I plan on playing golf for a long time.

 I also have a side effect called chronic GVHD which prevents me from being in the sun, so I am limited to cloudy or rainy days, or playing at dusk or twilight. The great news is I’ve gotten to play, sometimes walking three or four holes, sometimes taking a cart for nine holes. And it feels fantastic to be playing again. I am fighting this insidious disease so hard for family, friends, and myself, and having something to strive for and dream about helps beyond measure. There is still nothing like hitting a crisp iron shot from the fairway on a beeline to the flag, or hearing the ball drop to the bottom of the cup on a thirty-foot twisting putt! As is my nature I sometimes push too far. I went out one Sunday at sunset with my red counts low and had to lay down on the fairway between shots to catch my breath. “The wife” accuses me of sneaking out and says that I’m insane and what I’m doing is too much, and I’m sure my doctor would not approve, but I’m thrilled to have a do over, and it beats laying in a hospital bed.

Mine is an interesting life right now, with exaggerated highs and lows. When I’m in a down cycle I can only muster enough energy to lay on the couch and speak at the same volume Marlon Brando did in The Godfather. Hitting bottom is never fun. One slow afternoon I was almost to the point of desperation from boredom and I began dreaming of going to a Michael’s Store to pick up some materials to start a craft project – then luckily, I woke up in a cold sweat.

I am planning a special trip to Boston to meet some friends in August and hopefully to play a little golf (hoping for heavy cloud cover) and to get a dispensation to ride in a golf cart for courses that otherwise don’t allow it. My doctor also has a couple more tricks up her sleeve for stubborn cases and she will soon give me a wonder drug (Rituxin) that should accelerate my blood type changeover and continue my path to recovery and sustained high blood counts.

As the tee shirt says #lifeisgood.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Love to see this. Every day is indeed a day to be celebrated!
Golf is a game that's great for the body, mind and soul. Keep at it!