Upon waking this morning I realize that I once again feel human. A dripping wet with sweat human, but a human nonetheless. I did request “Arnold’s” blood and I am thinking that they must have obliged as I feel much stronger today than I did yesterday. I now understand the importance of all of those pints of blood that I have donated over the years. Yes, blood donation is a very good thing to do while you are healthy, even if your only motivation is to receive all of the goodies that are sometimes offered. No matter the reason it can help to save or improves someone’s life.
After getting up to use the bathroom, I decided to brave the mirror and brush my teeth. It truly is a frightful sight. “Who are you, and what did you do with the girl I used to see?” I was so astounded by my pale, skinny face and matted hair that I just shook my head and laughed until I cried. What I mess I was! This living in denial is becoming more and more difficult by the day. Harsh reminders are everywhere. I brush my hair and wonder how long it will remain on my head. I brush my teeth and am grateful that I only have a few small mouth sores. I wash my face with a warm cloth and revel in the way it feels. There is a shower in the bathroom, but it is only a tease. They will not allow me to use it as long as the catheter is in my neck. Truthfully I don’t think that I would have had the energy even if they would have given me the OK. I rinse out the face cloth and use it on my body. I am now ready for dry jammies.
This turns out to be a challenge. My fourth IV is in my right arm. The IV pole is on the opposite side of the bed that my “bag-o-crap” is on. I try scooting around the foot of the bed, dragging the IV pole with me and can almost reach my bag. I look for something to extend my reach, can’t find a thing, and feeling defeated, plop down on Joe’s throne. It is then that it occurs to me that I can unplug the damn thing and bring it with me…..Duh! chemo brain already! New, clean, dry jammies make the struggle that is equivalent to jogging three miles well worth the effort. I ring the call button and ask for new sheet, yet again; they oblige. I climb back into my bed and am feeling like a princess; a princess that won’t be looking into the mirror again today!
Joe calls on his way to the hospital. If you remember, neither one of us had brought our chargers on this vacation, so he had to purchase new ones. The only one that they had for his phone was a car charger, so every night that he left and every morning on his way to the hospital he had to drive around Palm Springs to charge his phone. I tell him that I am feeling better and that I was actually posting some updates on the internet and doing some research. He asks if I want anything and I tell him that a breakfast croissant from “Jack- in-the Crack” and a milkshake would be great! I am either really sick or really feeling better; I am not sure which considering that my request actually sounds good. I had fallen back to sleep by the time that he arrived.
The nurse finally spouted some good news. My blood count was down to 112,000 and they were going to see if the chemo would continue to lower my blood count without any more treatments; chemo or leukapheresis. Now if we can just get my temperature under control maybe I can get the heck out of here.
My father finally couldn’t contain my mother any longer and he brought her up for a visit. She has been battling a large wound on her leg for almost two years. It really is the “black hole.” She is in so much pain that I really didn’t want her to make the effort, but she just had to see, with her own eyes, that I was alright. Of course it did my heart good, too. My sister, who is also fighting medical issues of her own arrived and took Joe to lunch. I am a very blessed girl in the family and friend department.
I took several hikes around the nurses’ station throughout the day and many naps, too. A day without any treatments was welcomed and the light at the end of this part of my journey began to shine a little bit brighter. I was actually able to watch a few episodes of “Californication” with Joe before saying good night. This doggone fever is still persisting but not getting any worse. I put on my eye mask, closed my door, put in my ear plugs and went to sleep. Hopefully I will get out of here tomorrow, it will be Valentine’s Day.