|Early on, with hair|
I hadn't really thought that through.
What's funny is that on both Thursday and Friday, they wheeled Jerry (fellow patient I keep asking for prayer for) outside for 30 minutes each day. It transformed his mood. It did wonders for him, and he didn't mind saying so.
So I told my brother about that, and he says, "Yeah, that's just like a prison."
On top of all that, a couple days ago, in a nap either during the day or between getting my vital signs checked at night, I had a dream that I sneaked off to a theater with my family, probably to watch the new Planet of the Apes movie, which I would love to see.
Anyway, we got to the theater, bought tickets, and went inside, but the staff informed me that I would have to leave my IV pole in the lobby. (Yeah, I was still hooked to my IV in this dream.) So they point to a corner, where there are several other IV poles standing, apparently from other patients that had sneaked out of the hospital.
I was scared of getting caught, though, or of them mixing up my IV pole with the others, so I sat down in a balcony overlooking the lobby. (Hey, it was a dream.) I was still sitting there puzzling over the situation when someone woke me up.
Well, I was explaining this dream to Jerry while his "care partner" was in the room, and she laughed. I told her that one of the more long-time nurses here had told me that if I make sure to come back before 6:00 in the morning, that I could get away with sneaking off for the night. (She was joking.)
|Today, without hair and 10 pounds lighter|
When I left Jerry's room, I heard that care partner laughing it up with my nurse and care partner.
I shouted down the hallway, "Hey, you're not giving away my plans, are you?"
My care partner turned and said, "She is! You are busted! There will be chains and a padlock on your door tonight."
Maybe it really is a prison.
My Current Medical Status
I can go home when my "Absolute Neutrophil Count" reaches 500. Bare minimum for normal people is 1500, and the NIH says it ought to be at least 2500. It can be as high as 8000 and be normal, and 4500 or so would be average.
You're only at increased risk of infection below 1000, and you're dangerously at risk below 500. At that stage, they refer to you as "neutropenic."
Mine is 30, up from zero three days ago. I spent two days at 10 before making this great jump to 30.
I think it's supposed to climb a lot faster once you get going.
I get to go home for 2 weeks, then get a marrow biopsy to make sure everything's still okay, and then I'll get an easier dose of chemo called a "consolidation" round. I get to delay the first consolidation round, though, to go to a conference in Jacksonville, FL over Labor Day weekend.
I do that again, probably at the start of October, and then I wait around for a transplant ... assuming all goes well, which seems to be God's plan for me so far. I think that issues surrounding the transplant and the really intensive dose of chemo involved with it will provide sufficient troubles for me. I try not to think about that yet.