Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Parked Life

I've not been able to write this post before now since I've been holding my breath for the great Hospital Avoidance Experiment to work out. The lack of oxygen has rendered me incapable. I'll explain.

Since my move to the f*@!*&g Docetaxyl I've ended up in A&E on exactly the 7th day of each chemo cycle, with a high temperature - which basically is bad news if you have low white blood cells, since temperature = sign of infection, which in some round about, soul destroying, chemo-induced, hospital stay way, means risk of septicemia.

So you have to take all the precautions, have a TUBE put in your VEIN, just in case you might need antibiotics intravenously, (pathetic I may sound, but did I mention before all this I've never had so much as a filling?), have everything you can have tested tested, stay in an 'infection room' in the A&E, which is closed, cold, more fluorescent lit than all the other cubicles, and hope for a bed on a ward when you're inevitably admitted, which I always am, for 3 days. Although the doctors like to break it to me hard-ly with 'yep, nutropenic (which means zero white blood cells), hopefully you'll be out after a week.' Which always makes me call my mum going 'I'm fine (*crying*), don't worry (*sobs*), I just have to be in this room for a week (*wails*).' - But that's mostly because I've already been up for 24/25 hours, since the temperature always strikes at night, like an inconvenient, hot burglar, burglarizing my nice night in my own bed. Add in the inedible food - literally for me since there is no such word as 'healthy' in the Whittington catering code, the solitary confinement, and assisted showers, and Septicemia is suddenly a not so ugly option.
Nevertheless, I would like to hang onto whatever health and body parts I am able, so with trepidation and various avoidance techniques to plan, my day 7 approached, passed, I am, writing this post, in gorgeous wonderful early morning sun coming through my OWN living room window, thank you very much ladies and gentlemen!

Here are my new rules:
Injections to boost my white blood cells, (self administered these days - see how far I've come from my never-even-a-filling stance?) - increased from 5 days to 7, starting 3 days early.

Bone marrow soup. This sounds disgusting, but is actually just glorified chicken stock. Poach the whole thing in slowcooker with carrots, celery, bones, skin etc. so the marrow from the bones gets into the broth you later drink. My new nurse Ivy told me it was a good idea, since bone marrow is where you produce your own white blood cells, so an increased intake makes sense. Even from a chicken? Who cares...

Even more Life Mel honey

And this one - the hard one - forced house arrest. Yep, I now have to avoid all places for two weeks, till my nutropenic stint is over, just in case I've unwittingly been picking up work germs or bus germs or tree germs. If you feel you know me even a little bit by now you will realise this is god awful. I'm so bored I've gone beyond bored to the point where I even resent the TV, like an irritating in-my-pocket husband who won't leave me alone. Not even TOWIE can motivate me to switch it on. And yes, The Outnet hasn't seen the security code of my credit card for some time now. This is a state of emergency.

My flat is not equipped for protective custody. I fantasise about DadJokes romancing me with boxes of Scrabble and Monopoly, gift wrapped in a huge shiny red bow, or laying on a city garden picnic (i.e sitting in our minuscule concrete courtyard) with organic strawberries and veggie cupcakes. Problem is, these things are no fun for one, and even if they were I'm not allowed to the shops to get the required components. Instead I have resorted to staring at my laptop straining for things to Google. "Sarah Burton on Ebay" was a particular highlight. No results mind...

Thank god for mums, cats and nail varnish. The former has moved into my spare room for 3 days, kept me entertained with gardening (while I watch), rudimentary rules of Bridge (yes really), and excellent mum-type chats. The cats are just never ending sources of hilarity and softness, and nail varnish can be removed and replaced a countless number of times to make me feel fresh and prettified all over again. Even if my nails are only accessorising the latest in waffly dressing gowns, and my feline companions can't even register 'pink' let alone appreciate it.

Still, complainy I may sound, but it is worth the slow softening of my brain cells to not be in the hospital right now. Plus I never get those red 'you've missed the postman so you now queue for a week at the post office' cards anymore. I'm like a reformed Joey Barton.

And next week I get double, no, triple excitement at the which-outfit/lipstick-conundrum, although my 'cost per wear' ratio is really not working out these days. Oh well, the global economic issue can wait, I have more pressing matters at hand. Google is calling me. 'Can cats appreciate pink?'

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about all the delays and confinement to the house. I was going to suggest asking for the Neulasta shot, but it sounds like your already on that or something similar. I was delayed twice before they decided to give me the shot, I get it 24 hours after chemo, and so far no delays (knock on wood). I take tons of vitamin C and a daily vitamin from Holland and Barret that is supposed to help boost your immune system. None of these things have killed the cold I've had for 5 weeks now, but as long as my blood work is ok, I'll live with it. To help with the boredom, I'd suggest having your mum go out and pick you up a copy of "Perisian Chic A Style Guide by Ines de la Fessange with Sophie Gachet". If you don't already have it, its worth picking up, its supplied me with hours of entertainment that the t.v. couldn't give me. Good luck, and I hope your out of the house soon.