Rowina (1 Nov 2011)
"To Allan Clark on 'Don't be afraid"--I need that for my treatment at Mayo on 11/11/11"

Alan, isn't it a coincidence that I will be faced with a fearful occasion on 11/11/11?  I will be
at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, for the second time, and will receive that afternoon a shot of p32,
which is radioactive phosphorus. This will do something to my bone marrow to make it produce
fewer platelets and red cells.

This treatment is said by Dr. Wong to have no side effects.  One can go home immediately.
But I have to go home on an airplane and then drive 100 miles.  I fear (sorry, Alan, I fear)
that I will have an atypical reaction, because I have another disease which I've spoken of
here, Porphyria, which makes some drugs very hard to metabolize.  I don't even know what
is in the shot I will get other than radioactive phosphorus; and I'm afraid to ask, because if
I ask they may think I'm too weird and say "don't come".  Doctors can get frustrated trying
to treat someone like me.  They have never seen someone with Porphyria (my hereditary
disease) Polycythemia Vera, and Monoclonal Gammoapthy.

I know of one other person who has the last two together, a fellow patient whom I met online,
and I will see her while there.  She is a devout Christian, and once was a nun, now a married
mother and grandmother who takes care of her grandchildren.  Her husband also has one of
these rare diseases, found long after their marriage, so it is just mind-boggling how so much
trouble can gang up on one person.  I saw her when last at Scottsdale, and she will come
see me in the motel.

But I have to get home those hundreds of miles alone.  My son has no wish to help me.
He is an atheist, which is a very great burden to me.  One of his sons believes in God,
the 6 year old who told me he knows God is in Heaven with Grandpa....he came to this
belief without the family ever mentioning it--perhaps at pre-school, perhaps through an

So, Alan, I too often think of God's command to "be not afraid", and I want to be that
way.  So far, not much success!

My only help so far is that, last winter, I asked God to send a specific sign if I should go
for this shot at Mayo.  I had not seen a rabbit in my backyard for six months, and I loved
the rabbits, as did my husband when he was alive.  I asked God to send me a rabbit if
he wanted me to go to Mayo for the shot.  Then, I said to Him, this is superstitious, cancel
that!  But nevertheless, when I went into the living room in a couple of minutes and looked
out the picture window, there was the biggest, nicest bunny ever, eating my dandelions and
looking expectantly at me.  I called her Flopsy.  But I didn't go to Mayo then, partly because
my local hematologist was not very encouraging on this.

Last month, I talked to the local hematologist and he again was not too encouraging on the phone,
so I said I would not go.  After that, when I walked in the living room, there was Flopsy again,
after being gone for months while other rabbits ate in the yard, and another rabbit who looked
like her, beige with roan tinges and long ears, both of them looking at me as if to say, you
have neglected our message!

Now no rabbits have come for a month.  Rabbit drought!

I feel encouraged just talking to you, Alan, and another friend who goes to church with me,
but I know  I will be afraid again of not being able to get home, not that I really want to be
home here.  I want to be in Heaven.

Hoping to see you there soon.

Mariel Rowina