When I walked into the hospital room Monday afternoon, I was shocked to see George working! He looked exhausted and was ready to knock off for the day, after somehow putting in 8 hours. He moved from the makeshift work station to his bed and I sat in a chair near by. I gave him a couple of cards that had come in the mail from friends and they made him smile. He also got choked up reading them, which is pretty typical of my soft hearted sweetie.
That’s how he is. So happy to receive a gift or card and then the emotions of gratitude hit, and the tears come. George’s humility and selflessness are two of the reason I fell in love with him.
We watched a little television, but as usual George watched with his eyes closed. He is receiving Compazine every six hours now, and it appears to be keeping his nausea at bay. The Dilaudid helps relieve the mouth and throat pain to a degree, but it doesn’t get rid of it completely. And both make him drowsy. The red bumps on his head and neck seem to be fading, thanks to the anti-biotic cream the dermatologist gave him.
Before I left, I was able to get him to drink a Boost and eat a yogurt. I also helped him get a shower. It’s a pain in the arse, because you have to cover up the central and PICC lines so they don’t get wet.
Once he was clean and fed, I left for home. Geez, that sounds like a baby! But he is my sweet baby…and I feel I must make sure he gets enough to eat and does what he needs to when he feels like blowing everything off. The nurses are great too.
On Day +11, again…..he worked a full day! He was listening to a teleconference when I arrived after having lunch with my dear friend, Debi. Once that was done, he crawled into bed and you could see him just physically melt into it. He was done.
When I showed up, he was also receiving an infusion of blood. His blood cell counts are so low I was wondering when they would do that! I was hoping that would give him a little energy, but the meds are still there causing the drowsiness and his low counts causing major fatigue.
He is still getting his daily infusions of magnesium and tacrolimus (anti-rejection/ immunosuppressant).
I also brought him his lip balm, as his lips looked dry. His skin on his face did too. Natalie, the nurse, said chemo wreaks havoc on so many parts of the body and skin is one. So true. When George saw his lip balm, he remarked that it has been with him through this journey…I first brought it to the hospital in January! Trusty, faithful lip balm!
The nurses told George that he is in the worst period after transplant right now…that these are the really bad days. And that if he was going to miss work, these were the days to do it. He said he would probably not work tomorrow (Wednesday). We shall see….we both worry about what the future holds and what can happen when he returns home. A friend of mine’s son had bone marrow transplant, was discharged and was back in the hospital four days later. So…trying to find that balance between taking days off when he feels like complete sh*t and saving time off in the event of future complications.
Through it all, George has been my superhero. He rarely complains to the nurses (he does vent to me!) and they seem to really care for him. Jessica said with a smile, “I think I have you figured out. You are not going to call me for pain meds, so I am going to have to check in and ask periodically.” He doesn’t want to be a bother to anyone and is so grateful for the care he receives. He endures each day of pain and malaise with courage and grace and pragmatism. I am so proud of him and inspired by him. I just hope he rests tomorrow – take the day off. And that he gets out of the bed and walks a bit.