I finally have some good news: It looks like the radiation is starting to work. I’m no longer the dried-out husk I was when I checked back into the hospital on January 8. I’m still sick, but I’m no longer nauseated and my bowel situation is much improved. My last radiation appointment is Friday morning, and I’m slated (knock on wood) to be released today.
Once home, I will still need daily four-hour fluid infusions, and I’ll be leaving here with my PICC line still in my arm. A nurse is supposed to come by tomorrow and show me how to do it myself. I’m also going to be on a lot of supplements. I won’t be completely well but at least I will be out of here and I’m feeling a lot better than I was a week ago.
The week before last, I really did worry that this was it and that I wasn’t ever going to leave this place. At some point, in the future, I know I may check in here and not check out. Thankfully, it is not this time. The doctors think the radiation is working. This buys me some time. Of course, people sometimes say that you don’t know what will happen. This is true. They often follow up with something like, “Anyone could be run over by a bus tomorrow.” That is not a better option. To that I say, “No thank you.” I would not like that. I will take cancer over that for now.
I said goodbye to my mom today. A part of me worried I would never see her again. Since she arrived, I have felt better, and she is taking credit for my improvements. Being sick has been hard on those I’m close to, and it’s easy to forget that when you’re in the mire of being sick yourself.
Of course, now that I am being released, my boyfriend has a cold. My immune system is compromised a bit, so I will be avoiding public places for awhile. Except for the train, which never has any germs.
I have to adjust from being a relatively well person in the hospital to a sickly person in the real world. I no longer have to measure my output, and as gross as it was, it seems strange. How quickly we adapt. Being hooked up to an IV only four hours a day instead of 24 hours will seem strange. During my last hospital stay, I was briefly free of my IV, but I brought it into the bathroom with me anyway. “What are you doing here?” I asked the pole, surprised, as if it had followed me on my own.
I have two radiation treatments tomorrow, and my final radiation appointment on Friday morning. With any luck, this buys me some wellness and some time.