Strange day today…
I’m now off the IV drip and just expected to keep drinking to keep my fluids up. They come and check me from time to time, with the obs machine and asking me how I’m feeling. I’m feeling quite well. The nurses are very sweet, approachable and will engage in genuine conversation.
I spent the morning on the laptop, blogging and emailing. I had a shower and actually got dressed in proper clothes, just before a lunch of veg curry and rice. I managed to eat it all, despite my aversion to badly-cooked institution food.
But the big excitement of the day, now that I’m unhooked, and before my blood count goes down, was that I could go outside for a walk.
It was a hot sunny day out there. So, after lunch and checks, I tentatively walked out. I had to wear a mask, which I felt was the final touch needed to go with my bald head and trendy glasses. Don’t you think?
I had a wander around the grounds, sat on a bench for a while and pondered the past six months, but not too deeply. I really enjoyed the sun and felt glad to be alive. I sat in a bus shelter and had a conversation with a woman, whom it seemed had been fairly recently diagnosed with a form of leukaemia – she needed to talk a lot. She was quite upset at the idea of losing her hair, which was so processed – bleached and straightened – that I thought she was wearing a wig anyway. Oh dear!
A friend arrived while I was outside, so we walked back in together and a little later another friend, Debbie came to visit. She’s very upbeat and a great entertainer, even with tales of woe. We had a good chat and a laugh – best medicine!
While I was busy with my external visitors, I also received a visit from the Physiotherapist, a very lively, buzzing woman called Tara. Amongst other things, she explained how to use a floor-based cycling machine which she brought in, whereby I can sit on the bed or a chair and cycle with my legs for about five minutes at a time and no more than five times a day. This will help keep my muscle tone, which will make a huge difference when I get home, being able to go upstairs and move around with more ease. I’ve used it twice today so far. I might just get one more in before retiring this evening.
A few weeks ago, I got chatting to a woman in the clinic waiting room. She’s about my age, with an adult son and also no hair – she was wearing a scarf when I saw her, along with a rather trendy-looking walking jacket. So I approached her to ask about the jacket, but we ended up chatting about our different cancers and treatments – this is what cancer patients do! 🙂
She has a form of leukaemia and we discovered that she was going to be on the same ward as me at the same time to have a bone marrow transplant while I have the stem cell transplant. We said we’d look out for each other and maybe visit if allowed.
When I arrived on Wednesday, I asked about her and was told that she was meant to be on this ward, but due to lack of beds, was actually on the ward downstairs which isn’t generally used for transplant patients. I was also told that she was quite ill, but obviously they couldn’t say any more.
Last night though, when I asked how she was doing, Karen said she was having chemotherapy; that means that she was well enough to take it. So I penned a little note and asked the nurse to give it to her. Apparently she uses Skype too, so we may be able to chat without the fears of infection that could come from a face-to-face encounter.
I’m now alone for the rest of the evening, although I just had a lovely Skype conversation with an old friend, whom I’ve not seen for some years, but she’s going to call in for a visit tomorrow, before my blood count goes down. Once that happens, I won’t be having any visitors other than my friend who comes each day.
It’s very strange to be in hospital, feeling quite well and just waiting to feel ill, which may or may not happen. Some people sail through transplant like a breeze, while others have it really bad. Time alone will tell…