This is how I felt after the full day on Friday. My appointment time was for 7.30am so as usual we arrived 15 minutes earlier. One of the nurses showed me to a bed and told me there were 7 patients to have biopsies that day, and I was the 4th in line. Once the blood was taken for testing, I had a couple of hours at least to wait….which was okay except for the fact I was thirsty and dying for a cup of tea, but had to continue fasting. Reading old magazines helped pass the time.
The biopsy went well and I felt nothing due to the sedative that Joel the kind doctor gave me. He said he was a firm believer in not having to feel pain. Good man. I snoozed for about an hour I think after being wheeled back to the bed, and it was a sweet peaceful sleep. I can kinda understand how Michael Jackson became addicted to sedatives for sleep…they induce the most blissful of sleeps – no dreams, no noises disturb it.
By the time Cliff the tea trolley angel arrived, I was awake, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready for that cup of tea. One of my fellow patients, a guy of about 50 or so, and his lovely wife chatted with me about the hospital, and our respective conditions and experiences. He was diagnosed with leukaemia in February and has been treated in several hospitals and is soon due for a cell transplant. Four donors have been found for him. I find it helps to keep things in perspective by chatting to others and hearing what they have gone through – some are worse off, some have much less to cope with. This guy had a great outlook in spite of his battles over the past 6 months.
One of the things we talked about was how chemo and the disease in general changes one’s taste buds and food tolerance. My battle for the past few weeks has been getting any food into my mouth in the first place, but over the past few days I’ve been able to eat again. Sadly a few things I was craving and which Tim ensured he got for me, just didn’t taste the same at all. Iced water even tastes different! Orange juice hasn’t changed, and I have a large glass of juice with pulp to take the ever-increasing number of tablets I need to swallow each morning. Without the pulp I have no hope of swallowing those huge things without gagging.
Breakfast has to be eaten which is a bit alien for me as I’ve never been one to enjoy breakfast. Greek yoghurt and fruit is good, toast and vegemite on my really crud days, and I’ve even enjoyed milky oats with fruit a couple of times. This morning I fancied toast and tomato but no tomatoes left, so instead avocado was the go. Yum. I love avocado.
There was time for a cup of tea downstairs with Tim, before the CAT scans were to be done. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait very long for my turn, and after about 30 mins of being slid in and out of that round, noisy, claustrophobic machine saw me free to go back to the unit for a rest. Captain Kirk caught up with me before the biopsy and said he hoped to have the results by Tuesday when I go to see him again – the first day of the next course of chemo.
So it’s rest time till then. The mouth ulcers have healed again (till next time), and I’ve been taking my anti-nausea tablets which help my appetite a little too.
News from home is that all is good. The garden is growing nicely and the chooks are still clucking along okay. The cats are sharing the bed at night, and the dogs….well they are being spoiled rotten as usual. Some evenings, Daisy goes crazy and gets into terrible mischief nicking Tim’s hat, or pulling one of her pullovers out of her drawer to run around with, or beating up a cushion. Stir crazy I think. Chilli is panting as usual since the daily temps in Qld have been in the high 20s lately. It’s not been like winter really, but they are warning that next week will be cold and wet and around 22 deg C.
Until next Tuesday, take care, keep smiling and enjoy each day. My heartfelt gratitude to you all for being here for me still…..it’s been a while now after all so your perseverance is remarkable! Below is a pic of a big hug for each and every one of you with much love.