I began my final 24 hour dose of chemo today. I'll finish up sometime early tomorrow afternoon. The doctors told me the next biopsy will be done 14 days out from the beginning of this round, so I'm estimating that to be right around August 1st. This is the big one -- remission or Plan B being the two possible outcomes. I will be losing Dr. Perry at the end of July. Someone explained why a few weeks ago but I honestly don't remember. I think it has something to do with rotations. I am amazed at the dedication of the doctors here. Today is day 23 in the hospital for me and I have had the same doctors around my bedside every morning for daily rounds with the exception of one or two days. I wonder how they manage to have a family life and realize the dedication they have to serve their patients. I told them yesterday that I hoped they would be able to spend some time with their families this weekend, because it seems that they live here.
I have been tired today, and ran a low fever for a while this afternoon. It seems to have broken. My infectious disease doctors are recommending that I remain on the antibiotics for now. One of the nurses commented yesterday that she doesn't know how I am handling them so well. I'm on Vancomycin and Cefepime (Maxipime). I take this as another sign of God's mercies. So far they haven't managed to destroy my kidneys.
I was able to get some rest last night. Nurses are in my room at midnight, one, two-thirty, four, four-thirty, six, seven and then breakfast at seven-thirty. So much for sleeping in! The constant interrupting is difficult, as I mentioned before, but it's a gift the nights I'm able to fall back asleep quickly. I'm trying to relax, realize it's not rude to just ask people if they washed up prior to touching me, and not try to wake up so completely to be able to just observe rather than asking a simple question.
We had a little bit of excitement last night when my IV started leaking chemo drugs. I felt damp on my side and hopped up to realize it was leaking. The reaction of the staff was quite intense, and after some scurrying about one of them assured me that it wasn't the "toxic flesh eating kind." That always makes you feel so much better. They got my sheets cleaned, mopped the floor, and I took a shower. I was wondering for a moment if they were going to bring in some kind of team in hazmat gear. Thankfully the water was warm, and I found the shower quite refreshing, although messy. My hair is falling out like nobody's business, and I kind of felt like I was fighting cobwebs as I tried to wash up. The hair has been going for several days, but for those who know me, I have had so much hair to lose that I'm still not completely bald. I probably still have as much hair as a lot of people. I told the doctor this morning as I brushed out the daily bird's nest that it hasn't been as traumatic as I thought. I'm actually kind of looking forward to the end of the shedding (it really gets messy). I have some beautiful scarves, a wig on the way, and some adorable hats -- gifts from friends, some handmade with love. And through it all a husband who tells me every chance he gets how beautiful I am to him, and I see the honesty in his eyes.
This next week may prove challenging. It's still the continuous waiting game. My white cell count is still holding steady around 300. I dread the fevers, and have been so grateful for each day of health. I wrote going into this that I didn't feel strong enough to face another round, but truly, God has not given me more than I can bear, and His mercies have been exceedingly abundant. My prayer for this week would be for continued health, patience as we anticipate the next biopsy, and a peace that passeth all understanding as we battle with the unknown upcoming diagnosis.