You know that feeling when you've had too much to drink? When you turn your head and then a split second later the room follows? When you stagger a bit and slur? When you look like holy hell? Yeah, that was me this morning thanks to my brand new anti-seizure drug, Dilantin. Only, it was way less fun than when I actually get drunk. Just sayin'.
No, I'm not having seizures, nor do I plan to, it's just that the new chemo they added this morning, Busulfan, can cause them so I was given drugs to prevent it. I'll take this feeling over a seizure, for sure. Check it:
This morning was one of the rougher mornings I've ever had. Not the worst by far, but rough. Allow me to freak you out: The past two days, my chest has been really congested because of all of the fluid they're giving me to flush my system from the chemo, not a bad thing. This morning though, it felt like I was drowning. As in, I was drifting in and out of sleep and dreaming about drowning. I was in a pool and someone jumped on my head and I was stuck underwater drowning. Not gonna lie, it was kind of scary. OK, really scary. Dr. Lee, my transplant doctor for this floor, gave me lasix and a chest x-ray to be safe and, by lunch (read: 3 o'clock), I felt a bit better. The room still isn't quite moving with me, but that's cool because I can breathe, and we all know that's the most important part. It's a little crazy when you can't quite do the thing you rely on, but, modern medicine is amazing and I am thankful that it is working!
One of the best things about being in a hospital of this caliber is that when something isn't right, or you are feeling a side effect, it is taken care of right away. The other hospital experience I had when I was first diagnosed, remind me to tell you that story, was a lot of begging and waiting for drugs, and not even the fun ones. Here, when I report a side effect or am feeling discomfort, it is addressed within minutes. Man, am I thankful for good insurance. It's a fucking sin that everyone doesn't have access to this kind of health care.
Another great thing about being here is that there are an abundance of research studies and clinical trials to be taken advantage of. Some people aren't cool with these things, too untrustworthy, but I think they're great if they address a need. Today, I was asked to participate in a research study on the effect of exercise on transplant patients. Specifically tracking amount of exercise in a week (20 minutes, three times a week, minimum) on the outcome of transplant. Basically all I have to do is track how much I exercise each week on a chart and have it checked by my doctor or nurse. Mind you, this is not my typical kind of exercise. Walking around the floor a few times counts as exercise, an idea that I scoffed at until today. Man, this shit takes a toll on you! My plan the last few days has been to order my meals and then go walking until it shows up, 30 to 45 minutes later. Today, I made it twice around my pod (little section of ten rooms) in the morning and twice around the floor with Mom in the afternoon before getting too tired to go on. You know what? I'm alright with that. Just getting up and moving counts. OH!! BTW! A great perk of being in this research study is that they put an exercise bike in the corner of my room so I can pedal and watch TV or read a book if I'm too tired to get out and walk. Seriously people, I feel so damn lucky to have access to this kind of care. Here's my bike:)
For tonight though, I'm sitting my the little window in my room, watching a big Gulf storm roll in. It reminds me of home:) The next few days may or may not be the roughest so if I don't update, you'll know why. Tomorrow is the last day of Chemo (WAHOO!) with something called ATG (uh, it's derived from rabbits. weird.) for the next three. ATG can be tough for some people, please send prayers/intention/juju that it's smooth sailing for me. Of course, the big day is Friday.
Before I sign off, there is one person I would like to thank, besides, uh, ALL OF YOU. Thank you Heather, I wore them today and thought of roses.