My niece Allyson is three years old, an adorable force of nature. She also arrived at our recent family gathering in Florida with a cough. It is hard to get a three-year-old to cover her mouth when she hacks.
Indeed, the family affair was beset by sick people. My cousin had a cough (“Don’t worry, it’s the end of the cold!”). My other niece had the sniffles. My sister-in-law had pink eye, which my stepmother caught, along with the cold that was going around, which was also caught by my brother after the gathering ended.
Here I was, the CLL patient, finding it hard to ignore Allyson when she looked at me with her plaintive eyes and said “Watch TV with me.” A half-hour of SpongeBob later, I wondered how many germs I had contracted. Prudently, when Ally later coughed into the salad bowl at dinner and stuck her hand in to grab some lettuce, I decided to pass on greens for the evening.
It was hard to avoid breathing the same air as the family, so I took other measures in addition to avoiding food that had been sneezed at: Purell, which Marilyn carries with her at all times, became our frequent friend.
And so I have evidently survived the family sickfest as well as two plane flights that involved any number of crying, coughing children, one of whom urinated on the seat in the opposite row. The boy’s father dabbed at it with some paper towels and it no doubt dried, ready to be filled by some hapless passenger the next time Continental used the plane. I remember the good old days of flying, when they actually cleaned the planes between uses, right down to replacing the paper things that were hung over the top of the headrests for sanitary reasons. You could fit into the seats, and they gave you three meal choices in coach. Things have now deteriorated to the point that I would not be surprised to see people boarding with babushkas and chickens. But I digress.
I am happy to be home and healthy, more or less. And the nodes have been cooperative of late; apparently my last treatment stalled them a bit better than I initially thought.
So Marilyn and I are expecting a happy new year, at least for now. It’s snowing in Sedona and we just put 225 auctions on eBay. I am listening to Ignaz Moscheles, who wrote some mean piano concertos. Life is good.
UPDATE: It's January 6 and Marilyn finally came down with the cold and has had it for several days. My father also has the cold and my nephew developed pink eye. This means leukemia boy was the only one not to come down with something. Go figure!
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