Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 4 After Transplant---Coasting along….

Everything seems to be going very well. Day 1 was very uneventful. There was no unusual reactions, except for the normal fatigue. The nurses were declaring his response as “exceptional”. Compared to other patients going through the same procedure, most had been put on TPN, which is IV nutrition, by the second day.

Day 2 and Day 3, W started to feel a little queasy and had less appetite. He had to make a conscious effort to drink some soup and applesauce (one of his favorites). His white cell blood count continued to decrease. This means that the chemo and radiation was doing what it was intended to do and that was to kill the cancerous lymphocytes (white blood cells) and that his blood cell count was decreasing, as expected. However, this low count lowers his immune ability to fight any germ that takes hold. Therefore, he is confined to his room.

He has a very nice private room. It is about 15 x 15 room. It has a beautiful view of the valley and nearby freeway from the 6th floor. He has all the amenities of a hotel: TV, VCR and DVD, a private bathroom with shower and daily maid/PCA service. His nurses are very attentive. One night while using the bathroom he bumped his hand and scraped it on something, making it bleed, while trying to navigate the IV pole around. He wasn’t sure what to do for his bleeding hand so he pulled the emergency cord and all the nurses on the ward came running to help. Sheepishly he told them what he had done, but they were quick to call the doctor to get an antibiotic to prevent infection, knowing how a little infection could be deadly. I have a very high regard for the caring and diligence these nurses demonstrate in everything they do. I believe there is one nurse assigned to two patients.

To pass the time W has his laptop and I pod. He likes to watch movies on Netflix and listen to audiobooks and read the Entertainment and Popular Science magazines I bring him. I come to see him everyday and he appreciates the visits from his family. When he gets “ansy”, he likes to pace around the round and do his physical therapy exercises. He remembers all too vividly his last hospitalization and the debilitated condition he was in from being in ICU for two weeks. He is determined to prevent this from happening again if he can help it. I am so proud of how he is taking an active role in his care and recovery. It would have been easy to let others do it for him, but he has learned this will not get him home any sooner. When his blood count gets to a certain limit, he will be allowed to venture out of his room with the protective equipment on that all his visitors and staff have to wear in his room: gown, gloves and mask.

Another result of the chemo is a lowered red blood count. When the red blood cells, which carry oxygen, get too low, a blood transfusion is needed. W has needed blood transfusions on Day 2 and Day 3. On the second transfusion, I noticed a tag on the bag that said “designated donor”. This means that W is getting the blood from the generous friends and family who agreed to donate. Thank you so much for your love and gift.

It is with utmost certainty that W’s condition is a result of all of people praying for him. God has answered in a very clear and positive way. He is listening to all the prayers you have sent up for W. We both appreciate them so much.

Knitting things that comfort and calm me while W recovers:

1) Brown variegated pair of socks on dpns.

2) Red Owl Cardigan on circular needles

3) Pink lace scarf on circs.

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