An even longer round today. Still at the H. Kath’s platelets were technically too low to get a full blast of chemo so the options were delay, or reduce the poisons by 20%. OK, reduction then. Her doctor ordered repeats on her blood work to check if things were going in the right direction at least. They were. Platelets were at 68 instead of 66 from the day before. Although is that just in the margin of error ? What does Nate Silver say? Normal person’s is 150. Cut off is 90 for chemo. Kath has done it at 75. That delayed the start until 11 which means we are here until 9pm. Chemo suite usually closes at ~ 6pm. So as not to keep the chemo nurses for 14hours, we are back up on the hospital ward on the 6th floor for the last few infusions. While people look rough getting chemo, you forget how hard up people are in the cancer ward. Kath looks positively healthy in comparison.
We are hanging out in a room with 2 other people. Its not really like the ward rooms from the surgery section. One of the areas here is totally glassed off to isolate a person and the old gal next to us is in relatively good shape. Relatively. They tend to keep the folks with bowl issues at the other end of the hall thank goodness, so there are no overwhelming smells to contend with. But you notice the difference, or at least your brain tells you its different just on the smell. Not that I am worried I am going to catch something, although I had a bit of a scare when peeing. An alarming colour ?!?! WTF !?!? Oh right, I had a big portion of beet salad for lunch 🙂 No, I worry of course if Kathleen will be here again. not short term. Not due to side issues like infection. Hmmm. I still find it a little hard to write the words. Will Kathleen be here because of the cancer to die in the near term ? Of course the worry is there. I find it better to look and define those dark places than leave them unsaid to fester. Scary monsters are worse when they stay in that poorly defined part of our imagination.
Around round 5 or 6, I remember passing a guy in the hall who was asking a nurse where his wife was. “I got a call saying my wife had slipped into a coma. Is she here, or upstairs?” He was so calm and matter of fact about it. Younger than me. Maybe mid 30s ? I am not there yet. Do you become numb to it all, or do you have some sort of calm acceptance like that? Maybe it was taking every ounce of energy to hold it together. But I remember back last April, I could not even say the words, “Kathleen has cancer” without breaking down. I am thankfully not on the same part of …. I want to say, ‘road,’ but its not a road. More like a spot on a conveyor belt. If it were a road, I would get the hell off at the next exit! Hopefully the belt will dump us out well before where that guy was with his wife.
Two more rounds to go. Kath is a little worried her nodes are getting bigger. Her neck pain has been back a little and she has more tenderness around her liver area when we were meeting with the Pain & Symptom team on Wednesday. But not so much the next day. When its the cancer, it doesnt get better like that. While worrisome, I think we are getting a little better at living with bad signs as it didnt seem to freak us out as much as it used to. I think thats a good thing as it allows us to have some normality in our lives. Although sometimes I think its like the engineer coming to the bridge of the Titanic, “Captain, we have a fire below deck”…. Bigger things to worry about. Actually, we dont yet know if our boat is called the Titanic. Hopefully its called ….”THE LOVVVVVVVVE BOAT”!!! Haha, I put that awful song in your head!
Yes, we still talk and try and laugh about everything. Everything 🙂