Jul 29 2011
Discharge ended up being Thursday instead of Wednesday, due to (Body Process Alert) several days of diarrhea that was a first as a symptom during all this and since it lasted 3 days in a row (while in the hospital, a week all together) they wanted to hold me for testing. This was disappointing of course, but no infection found no reason to delay further discharge.
A week later and i find myself almost wishing I’d stayed in another few days. Not because it was fun in the hospital, but there have been tests and appointments every day since I was released and it’s incredibly exhausting. I also had to get my first blood transfusion before being released, which on the one hand feels like a set-back, but on the other hand according to the doc is something I probably should have already had to do, so my Special Medical Powers have come through again. Managing the meds is still a learning curve but way easier thanks to Living in the Future (smartphone app that is a great med tracker).
Anyway, a white blood cell count booster shot every day from Thursday through Tuesday’s chemo, another WBC booster on Wednesday, nurses coming to the home twice to check on me, an occupational therapist yesterday, and physical therapist tomorrow…all of which involve walking and movement when my main exercise for two months has been up and down a hospital hall and around my hospital room make for a wiped out Reesa. I’ve still managed to go out to eat with family (bald head, walker, and face masks will get you some funny looks in public, did you know?) and eat way too many Reese’s Pieces, and get great baby time (which is good but itself exhausting), so it hasn’t been all bad.
The live-in help is working out well so far, getting along with the family members and learning the ropes of the job. Since we’re inventing the job as we go along it’s a bit of a creative process; I expect it to take a few more weeks to really settle down into a good familiar routine. It’s complicated by the fact that since I haven’t been home for two months everything is rather disorganized, and the urge is of course to Clean/Organize All the Things!! all at once. Ha. Instead we’re taking it a piece or two a day, which is much smarter and still results in visible, even if slower, progress. Training the other household members to be aware of leaving deathtraps in the thoroughfares (like shoes and such) isn’t as difficult as I’d thought it would be but is still ongoing. Training myself to do less on my own and ask for more help from the help we’re paying for is a harder process but one I’m working on and improving as well.
Visitors and gifts of chocolate milkshakes (my current obsessive treat when I’m not eating Reese’s products) or other food/gifts/pleasant time shared are still quite welcome even now that I’m out of the hospital. I’ll still be under neutropenic restrictions for the next few weeks so send your love from afar if you or people you’ve been around are contagiously sick (allergies don’t count, sick co-workers and children do). Depending on energy levels I might even be able to go out with you on a shared activity such as a quiet lunch! Otherwise, if I’m not occupied with appointments or baby time I’m still attempting to write and work while passing out over the keyboard, so not much seems changed from the hospital quite yet. (I even have a hospital bed at home to sleep in to help retrain my body to sleep in different positions.) though last night I had my first REM sleep that was completely disconnected from real-world happenings in months, so that’s some progress at any rate.
Lesson of the week: when going to a place I haven’t been before, make sure to take the prescribed wheelchair, as I’ll be traveling unknown distances and I can only go short distances in the walker. Thankfully in this case, we were going to the hospital over the weekend for my WBC booster shots and since Dad was my ride I could use my stepmom’s motorized wheelchair (which was way more fun than my normal one anyway).
Ladies, don’t forget to do those monthly breast exams. Not only do you not want breast cancer, you REALLY don’t want metastasized breast cancer destroying your skeletal system. Much, much harder to bounce back from. Even though I plan to, and shall to the most I possibly can, YOU can avoid that problem while it’s small and manageable and you aren’t paralyzed in your own kitchen or spending two months recovering in a hospital away from your new baby daughter or any of the other ridiculous things I’ve had to go through. I’ll keep blogging about it, as I think it’s important for people to know what something like this is like, but never worry; this won’t become the all-cancer, all-the-time blog as I’m a Thriver, not just a Survivor, and there’s more to this life than living through cancer.