Tuesday update

Where do I start?

Do I start with the headaches that are churning my brain into applesauce? Do I start with the fever I’m chillin’ with? Do I start with the Rays: a source of great joy and greater sadness in one evening? Do I start with the allergic reaction to an antibiotic, which has turned my clothing into an “aggressive interrogation” device? Do I start with the nurse who said I couldn’t get my own snack from the fridge (bought and paid for with a friend’s money), then took three hours to deliver the goods – despite semi-hourly reminders? Do I start with the ache that travels up and down the long bones of my skeleton, caused by drug induced, hyperactive marrow in the middle?

Maybe it’s time for dwelling on the bad to end.

What has been good about today? There was the constant supply of Vicodin which came my way when the nurse got tired of seeing me curled up in a fetal position for most of the morning. There was the constant supply of Benadryl that my doctor approved when he saw me around lunch time. There was the obvious dissing of a doctor, when mid-question, the nurse in the room stuck a thermometer in my mouth. Mind you, this wasn’t one of those high tech devices which finishes before you get the chance to close your mouth. This was an old school, you’re lucky if it’s done in two minutes, thermometer. There was the blessedly patient, caring, helpful, and reassuring nurse I had this afternoon. There was the phone call from a good friend at work, followed almost immediately by a phone call from my sister (the doctor).

There was some medium grade news today which bears mentioning. My white cell count has almost doubled in the last two days (400 to 700). My doctor thinks the fevers and chills will take care of themselves (sort of) once my white cell counts rebound a little further. The bad part is my counts are coming back a little slower than he thought they would, and I’ll be in the hospital until at least Saturday; with no guarantees that it will be anytime shortly thereafter.

Even in this, there’s a silver lining. One of my team of doctors tells me that the low white cell counts following the chemo, combined with the slow comeback, suggest that more of the cancerous cells were killed – which makes full remission more likely, and follow-up treatment (shudder) less.

That’s a big fat, heaping helping of hope.


  1. I can only offer the advice that helped me through my darkest days.
    It’s more important to look good than it is to feel good!
    And I’m sure you look marvellous.
    Hang in there, John!

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