Monday, November 15, 2004

Home. Home. Home.

Last night I declined the sedative because I wanted to be awake when they unhooked the last chemo bag, a little after midnight. I'm not sure whether the immediate relief was more psychological or physiological, but I felt released.

This was especially good since the hours leading up to to completion of the last bag of 5 FU were punctuated by increased pain, increased anxiety, and a late night ekg. For the record, I have the heart of a horse and no grounds for fear on that count.

This morning was brighter still. My blood counts were good. My temp, blood pressure solid. My weight was ok, and through the intercession of some good friends, I got an early spot on the CT scan queue.

Our optimism flagged a little when it started to look like I'd need to stay in the hospital until 6 pm to be administered a dose of IV antibiotics, but blessed Dr. Rowles said I could take them at noon. With Dan's help clearing out the room, we got out at around 1 pm.

Judy drove me to Dr. Evers' office at the Virginia Cancer Institute so we could talk with him about the CT scan, and get some drugs to boost my white and red blood cell production.

Dr. Evers had two pieces of good news. The first is that the mass had decreased measurably. The second was that his kids have become Uisce Beatha fans from listening to the CD we gave him. He says his 10 year old is particularly taken with "Drunken Sailor." I'm so proud.

The other good news, I guess, is that the course of chemo I just completed is likely to be as bad as it gets. It was no fun, but I've done it once so I can do it again. Fortunately, it will likely be three weeks before we have another go at it. We'll also look at adding radiation the next time around.

Tomorrow, the home health care people will come hook me up with some IV antibiotics through my port-a-cath, but for now I have no tubes, adhesives or needles sticking out of me. I just had a long shower, and am in clothes that don't smell like the hospital. I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.

Home.

7 Comments:

Blogger UisceBaGirl said...

"Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration." Charles Dickens

Welcome home, Jim.

Pamela

9:07 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Just FYI, Jim:
How to Shower with an IV By Nurse Jenn:
You'll need:
1 plastic bag
Waterproof or duct tape
Shower or tub
Someone to help- friend, loved one, life partner, nurse
Rubber duckie (optional)

1) Take a plastic bag (one of those gallon numbers) and cut it so that it fits safety and comfortably over the IV site.
2) Have a friend, nurse, wife, trusted loved one help you place a liberal amount of tape around the edges of the plastic bag. The only thing you need to do is keep the IV site dry. The IV tubes are safe to get wet. Just keep the pump or machine a safe distance away from running water. Most of them can be placed a safe distance away.
3) Grab your rubber duckie and scrub away, Mr. Bubble!

Your home health nurse should have adhesive removers so that removing the tape doesn't become an impression of a Brazilian bikini wax. Ouch!

Welcome Home, Jim Guy!
Love,
Jenn

10:25 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Tom Wolf said...

Wonderful news!

8:36 AM  
Blogger Karen Davis said...

There's no place like home. :)

9:23 AM  
Blogger vkenny said...

Good news all around just what we've all been waiting for. From personal experience with Ed the first is always the worst and with the 3 week break you'll feel
much stronger and better. Keep up the good work! Enjoy every minute of being home and enjoy your Thanksgiving
holiday you have much to be thankful for.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Jyothi said...

Jim, you are a wonderful writer and your words are full of honesty, openness and raw courage. Thanks for the inspiration. So glad you're home! Judith

3:17 PM  

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