I think I have PTSD. I was discharged yesterday morning from Huntsman Cancer Institute after five days for induction therapy for stem cell transplant. Please, Lord, don't let me need another round of this! My stem cells were harvested four years ago so at least I don't have to go through that. But my insurance company required that I spend these first days of induction D-PACE therapy days in-patient. It was far worse than expected, I have to say. Physically, I was fine. Emotionally? Not so much. By Day 3 I was going absolutely stir crazy. The smells of chemo and hospitals were more than I could take. Those tiny hospital blankets... All of it. Just writing about it is making me want to push back a gag reflex.
So while my nurses and doctors are great (and they really are), and the food actually quite good, nothing could stave off the feel of total isolation and mental fatigue that started setting in. By my last night there when they finally unhooked me of those horrible, awful IV carts, I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. I woke up early, took a shower, packed up, and waited for my dad to spring me. When we stepped outside into the natural sunlight, I almost started crying. The feeling of sheer joy and relief was overpowering.
I got home, unpacked, and my children and husband came home. Home! My family! I did it! We went grocery shopping. We cooked dinner. We watched football games.
And then last night, I woke up at least three times thinking I was back in the hospital. Total panic set in. Cold sweat. Hot sweat. I think I wanted to be sick.
Today is a new day. I am assimilating into having freedom. If I need more days in the hospital, I'm going to need serious therapy. I seriously don't know how those of you who enter a hospital for a month or more to do a transplant do it. My hats off to you. It is grueling and awful, cruel and un-fun. But what is our option? We take it one day at a time, this myeloma journey, don't we?
Blessings, my fellow warriors,