The past 2 weeks have been hard slog. The chemo went well and I felt okay until the third day after disconnection. My energy levels went down worse than ever before, I had abdominal pains which was apparently the start of an infection, and ulcers started to form. In spite of my mouth washes and care every couple of hours and directly after food etc, they were determined to happen. .. with a vengeance.
By Wednesday, the 4th post chemo day, I was struggling and my temp was far too high. Dehydrated and nauseated with very little strength to stand. Fluids were given by IV in Oncology, and they kept a close eye on me for the day. Because my doctor had gone home in the afternoon leaving a young inexperienced registrar (intern) on the blood and chemo wards, I was told I could come home.
Tim and I fought my temperatures for the next 36 hours until I was due for another blood test and doctor’s appointment on the Friday. The nurses in the blood ward put me to bed immediately and called Kate who ordered more fluids until the blood test results were back, and then possibly blood. Finally after a few hours of being asked personal and unnecessary questions by this intern fellow, poked and prodded including a tongue depressor to view my throat resulting in me almost throwing up all over the creep. …Kate returned and said I was to be admitted to 5C again for at least the weekend.
Antibiotics, potassium, blood and platelets were given over the next few days along with much fluid and other drugs. The nurses were wonderful as always and gave me the best of care day and night. I was too ill to really care much until the Monday when things started to change at long last. Captain Kirk visited and said if all was good I should be ok to go home on the Wednesday but only if the blood and platelets counts were going up by then, as they were at zero at that time. Nothing changed for the better until the platelets transfusion, and thankfully it made quite a difference by the next morning.
Arriving in the ward on the trolley on Friday, it was like coming home ….the nurses and doctors all waving and calling out my name, some coming to my room to say hello and catch up. These people are a special breed. Another coincidence was that in the single room next to mine, was Sharleen. She was far from well, but sadly, she refuses a lot of the treatment and drugs – a decision not in her best interests at all. Very sad state of affairs.
On the Monday I was moved to another room….a 2 bed ward because they needed my single room for a cell transplant patient who had picked up a cold and needed to be in isolation. I had the new room to myself for quite a few hours, but at around midnight another patient was brought in from emergency where he had been stuck since 11am that day. Long day for him. He was fitted with a metal halo due to no cartilage in his neck, and was suffering leukaemia. Half way through his treatment, he’s got another 2 months with that horrid halo thing. I felt sorry for him, but oh my gosh he was so loud! His TV was full blast, he yelled instead of spoke normally, he passed wind loudly and often, and groaned during the night when he wasn’t snoring. Sleep was an impossible dream.
So when Raheena and a tall unattractive male doctor (I called him Lurch), appeared on Tuesday and asked if I’d like to go home that afternoon instead of waiting for Wednesday, I readily agreed. Back to the unit was a very inviting thought for me.
My mouth is still healing, the infection of the gut is ok and in general I’m getting much better. My energy has increased now that the counts have come up again. The muscles in my legs and arms have almost disappeared though and I’ll need to build them up again once I am completely well and at home in Maryborough. Regular walks round the veranda will be the order of the day!
My next blood test and appointment with the doc is tomorrow, then Monday I have the PET scan etc which will tell if the chemo has really done its job or not. I have a review with Captain Kirk on 30th of this month and all being well (fingers crossed please) we will be able to return to Maryborough at last. Return visits will be necessary often to keep a check on things, but that is not a problem.
So until next week when the scans and tests all happen, I will rest and behave myself as much as possible and hope for the very best outcome possible. Much love and big hugs to each and every one of you.