Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A creepy glimpse ahead...

First of all, no sooner do I compliment the biochemist behind Ambien than his child-drug lets me down. Night before last I got three hours, last night six but only after waking up for 15 minutes drenched in sweat. By the way, the red blood count is behind the wild swings in temperature (mostly freezing).

Not much to report, other than appetite is good, and I've been dutifully going to the infusion center every day to have more life-essence sucked out of me and be poked and prodded. Lately they've been taking stuff out of the arm AND the central line. ENOUGH ALREADY.

To pass the time, Jill and I went up to the seventh floor of the hospital where the high-dose chemo is given. If the infusion center is full of life (and it's not), the seventh floor was like walking into a morgue. The patients on the first floor, even if they are neutropenic and wearing a mask, have some trace of life among them. There is a TV on. People chat about their treatment. In the actual infusion room, the nurses laugh and chat with the patients and there is something approaching energy.

The seventh floor is old, dirty, depressing and filled with people that look like they are praying for death. Cadaverous, vacant eyes, people unable to lift themselves from their reclined chairs (each in their own room at least). Sorry to go HP Lovecraft of you folks but really, it's grim. It's a hospital. There's nothing "outpatient"-feeling about it. We ask how long the daily visits are. The nurses say anywhere from two to eight hours, depending on what needs to be done.

This is my near future. We see BB tomorrow and I expect he'll want me to begin four days of high-dose chemo, followed by the transplant, followed by god knows what to try to get my counts back to normal, all in the tomb on the seventh floor.

The only thing is...my back is killing me and I don't know if it's lingering affects of the surgery, now two weeks old, or if there is actually new damage. If the latter, I don't want to undergo anything that's going to make me neutropenic until after they've fixed me.

God I hope I'm ready for this. Your humble narrator signing off, me brothers.