Tuesday, November 17, 2015

...And I'm back in the hospital. Thanks myeloma!

Friday was the most relaxing day I had had in a very long time. William took the girls to school in the morning and was gone the rest of the day. I really took it easy. I made breakfast, took a short nap, took a bath, took another nap awakened when my parents came over. I went for a short drive with them, we stopped at a local restaurant and I got some soup and then I had them take me home. I crawled into bed and slept for three hours. Then I realized that no one would be home for another hour so I slept another hour. I got up, did some laundry, my parents brought my children home from school and as we all sat in the living room, I thought... uh oh. I think I have a fever. We pulled out the thermometer and, dear heavens, it was 102. I did not feel like I had a temperature of 102. I felt quite rested, warm and peaceful. But "not feeling feverish" doesn't count-- numbers do. I called my doctor's office and I was told to get my ass to the hospital now.

Panic. My nose started bleeding. Oh my gosh what if I bleed out? I couldn't even find my big UGG boots so ended up with my second choice-- UGG slippers. I walked out into my living room. "I'm so sorry, girls, but Mom has a fever and I need to go to the hospital."

They were rock stars. Morgan is happy to kidsit her sister so she can earn money. "I'll fix us dinner," she said when I suggested she order them a pizza for dinner. "Please go get well. Hurry!" she said. We all gave each other hugs and my parents and I left, in rush hour, heading to Salt Lake City. Horrific traffic.

My next phone call was to William. "So we are on our way to the hospital," I told him. He was already in Salt Lake City. "Ok, I'll meet you there." And he did. He was in the lobby when we arrived. When I told the staff on the 4th floor who I was they immediately whisked me away to my quarantined room. My Physicians Assistant, Amanda (who I love), arrived minutes later.

"Amanda, I don't even feel feverish," I said.

"I know but you are admitted. I promise not to keep you hear longer than is totally necessary," she said.

And in my gut, as much as I HATED my last hospital stay, I knew that this is exactly where I needed to be. I had been struggling with a horrible cough for WEEKS. And with no immune system at all, I couldn't get better. The chemo kept that cough happily moving along. I knew that here, I could maybe start getting well. I was relieved, actually, to be in the hospital where I could sleep and have no responsibilities at all. I mean, this time, I didn't even bring a toothbrush.

So they took all kinds of tests and samples and cultures, started me on high dose antibiotics and platelets and I slept. Well, at least I slept through countless wake ups for vitals. I've now been here for four days and, unless I spike a fever tonight, I go home tomorrow. This is the same amount of time I was here two weeks ago. This time, I am not going home with horrible PTSD. I needed to be here. I have had massive amounts of antibiotics, three rounds of platelets, and two bags of blood. My cough is still here. It seems to be abating although I still have zero white cells. I am scheduled to start getting back my immunity in the next five days or so. So I will be extremely cautious when I get home-- I will stay away from crowds, I will mostly stay home, I will be very careful with what I eat, I will wash my hands often and pray like crazy. I will also need to come to Huntsman every day for labs. It is what it is.

A couple take-aways:

1. The food here has been horrific. So bad that, in fact, I threw up dinner last night. I can't order off the menu anymore. Everything has been cold and overly salted. I don't eat that much sodium during every meal. Usually I like the food here. I don't anymore. I don't know what happened but it was not good in the kitchen. I've whittled down my diet to yogurt and crackers that they keep up on the floor,

2. I received communion on Sunday that was lovely. The chaplain, a woman maybe 10 years my junior, conducted it. I felt so at peace and full of love. My faith in God is strong and my love of Jesus profound. I didn't ask for it, they offered it out of the blue. It was truly heaven-sent.

3. My mom stayed with me last night. I told her it was totally unnecessary but, it turns out, it was. It was so nice just hangin' with my mom, chatting, watching movies, and napping. She is the best mom ever.

4. My dad is my hero. Despite being in a lot of back pain, he has driven my mom to visit me, went to Ann Taylor today to pick up an outfit I liked online and wanted to wear out of the hospital, and has shuttled my children all over Utah County since I've been in the hospital. There is no greater dad on the planet.

5. My husband is the love of my life. I will cry as I type this but he is a "guy's guy" but, at the same time, incredibly nurturing. More nurturing than I am. He has taken care of the kids while I've been gone, visited me while they are in school, purchased the most expensive thermometer on the market because he never wants me not to have accurate readings again, rubbed my feet, and surprised me with all kinds of food today so I won't have to eat off the menu. He is kind, thoughtful, and loving. It isn't fun to be a care-giver. We are newlyweds. Yet he is absolutely amazing.

... So while all this cancer stuff really sucks, it also has reminded me how blessed I am to have such amazingly kind people around me. Like my friend Katherine who is picking up my daughter every day from school this week. Or my friend Irene who brought over homemade Mexican flan. Or the countless messages I've received from people I have never met in person to wish me well and to check in on me. I am literally blown away by the love I feel from so many.

So I'll leave you with that.

Blessings and peace,

Lizzy