Hospital – 3 April 2007

Well.

I haven’t been well! My illness, referred to in my last post was a trio of infections – a urinary tract infection, bowel infection, and an infected PICC. The UTI is lingering on a little, but is easily enough controlled with the other antibiotics I’m taking for the other two infections. The bowel infection is coming under control, and the infected PICC has been removed. I’ve been afebrile since this morning, which is good news, as the rule is to have 48 hours afebrile before discharge. I had doubted the PICC could be infected, as I’ve been so careful, but it seems it was.

The removal of the PICC necessitated the insertion of a normal IV cannula in my right hand, so that I could continue to receive IV fluids and antibiotics.

On the good news front – I’ve cleared the methotrexate from my blood quickly, and don’t need to continue to take the sodium bicarbonate. Chemo for this cycle has ended, and I was provided with my blood results this morning. I was amazed at how few white blood cells I now have. I feel like they’re all rather precious friends I should refer to by name (Tim, Kevin, Sonia, Karen). And apparently they will dip lower… My haemoglobin level is also low, which might mean I need a unit of blood sometime over the next few days, as it will probably fall lower too.

Other good news. David, one of my brothers, is a compatible stem cell donor, which is very good news. An allogeneic (from a donor) transplant is the preferable approach, as it tends to be curative. There is more discussion to be had, and more testing to be done, but it is a good thing.

My hair has begun to flee my scalp and my face with a vengeance. There is now little doubt that with one good gust of wind I would be bald! I’ll deal with the last remnants of hair at home.

I’ve felt to wretched to read, listen to my iPod, pray, or even think. I’ve spent my time rather lethargically looking out the window, waiting to feel cool, or warm, or for my headache to pass. I’ve been much better today, though. I’ve eaten nothing of moment since Saturday – its now Tuesday evening. I haven’t felt like food – the smell, sight, thought of it makes me feel ill. The antiemetics don’t seem to make much difference, or perhaps they prevent me from feeling even worse, which I’m sure I could. The hospital dietician came today, to provide me with some options for supplementing my ‘diet’. Mostly she encouraged me to ensure I get enough protein, so Sustagen drinks and things like that were on her list. I need to lose some weight, so I’m not too concerned.

My aunt, Mandy, and my cousin, Katey, came to visit me today. It was a good visit, and brightened my spirits, as did the phone calls I’ve received today.

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