Don’t be alarmed by my silence.
I’m doing well 🙂
My apologies for keeping you in the dark, but as we know – no news is good news. I imagine if I were not doing well, I would be hollering my misery and annoyance to the moon and as far as this blog could take my moaning. But my body is progressing according to plan. Sure my hair is gone again, I have no white blood cells, and I’ve needed both a blood and platelet transfusion, but those are 100% expected and have proven to be easily managed. I vomited one day, but probably because I waited too long to order lunch and was weak from lack of food. I fainted one day, but only because it was hot and not properly ventilated in the shower (don’t worry – I sat down on the toilet first, so I only fell about 2 feet. I did manage to land right on the bridge of my nose, though, which is now sore). In general, though, I’m apparently one of the easiest patients on the floor. I keep getting assigned to the charge nurses, since they barely have to check on me at all to make sure I’m fine 😉
Mostly, I find myself calmly going through each day, accepting my limitations, and enjoying what that day has to offer. I have the glories of ABC Family movies, Frasier, and the Disney canon to keep me chuckling. I have Words with Friends and Wordament and Dots for mental stimulation. I have Lumosity and Duolingo to give me educational fun (la primavera es una estación). I have board games and books and stuffed animals and magazines and almost everything I could want, all within the confines of this little room.
I am almost never alone here, and for that, I’m extremely grateful. My companions have done a wonderful job to entertain me, to make me feel comfortable and secure, to make me feel 100% supported at all times. They go on laps with me, help me bathe, and massage me. And I have you, my companions connected through this blog and through Facebook, and all of the wonderful things you send. I have a bathroom door covered in greeting cards and notes, and knick knacks and gifts for days and days.
My energy is lower than the average bear’s, but I am grateful for this calm patience. All things considered, I am very lucky. I am the youngest person here on Oncology 9, and I still have my full mobility, with enough energy to move about my room, to walk the halls unencumbered by age or extreme pain. I have basically no pain. And I have certainty that my body is going to heal up at the end of this process just fine. But as I walk, and can glance into the other rooms, I cannot help but feel sorry and afraid for the other patients. They seem so much frailer, so much more helpless. I’ve heard family members worriedly murmuring outside of their doors, sometimes, discussing hospice care or worse. I see nurses and visitors donning the full yellow gowns in order to go inside. I see these older people staring sadly at their televisions, or looking out at me, totally lost and alone seeming in their empty and colorless rooms. It’s heart breaking. But reminds me what a gift it is that I am young and healthy enough to be up and walking every day, with the near guarantee of walking out of the hospital free and clear sometime next week.
Today is Day +7. For most young, healthy patients like me, my blood counts can expect to start ticking up in a few days. Once my counts are high enough for three consecutive days, they will deem that my stem cells have taken root firmly enough to send me home to semi-isolation. So I’m hoping for an exit on Day 14. That’s only a week away. It could be a few days more, perhaps, but it’s a goal that’s close enough to feel manageable. And until then, I will be happy to sit in my beautifully decorated room, surrounded by love, and wait. Because there is so much life to be lived once I’m out, and I will not have to look back. I can surely wait a mere week if I get all those years back that a few months ago I was convinced were gone forever.
Sorry so solemn. There is joy here in Mudville, but tonight, I feel contemplative.