I had the flu. I lost an entire week to fever and feeling sorry for myself. Vega spent three days in hospital with Ray and I only came once, to pick her up. Somewhat it felt liberating to hand over all that responsibility, bless him he had to fend for himself and survive on rubbish food from the hospital kiosk.
The previous week I told a few people that I felt like I was sitting on a time bomb. Everyone around us had some sort of cold, luckily no Norovirus here though, and Vega was behaving off. She was tired and cried more. Her bloods on Monday revealed she was very neutropenic again with her neutrophils at just 0.2. All chemo was stopped for this week, but such low neutrophil count plus all these colds and flu symptoms around doesn’t mix well.
We had an appointment at Kings on Tuesday morning because she is limping, her foot hurts. It has been sore for a week now, to varying degrees, sometimes she can walk on it ok, at other times she resorted to crawling around the flat again, like she did in the beginning of treatment. She had an x-ray to exclude any fractures and was seen by the Physio. It seems she is once again suffering from the Vincristine related neuropathy together with muscle wastage from the steroids, making it painful to put her foot flat on the floor. It worries me tremendously and now two weeks since she first started limping again, she can not walk without hanging on to walls, furniture and people. We had a good few months of not walking at all at the beginning of the year and it was absolutely exhausting to carry her around. Now she is almost a year older, bigger and heavier and I do not wish to repeat that time. I can only hope that the soreness in her foot is related to the low neutrophil count and that both shall pass.
On Wednesday morning Vega had a niggeling high 37 low 38 temperature. I called our Onco nurse at Kings and she said we should bring her in, as there was only one bed left. Vega’s temperature didn’t go up but remained the same for a few hours so I called again for advice. They told us they were holding the bed for us and had just needed to send someone to Croydon because there were no more beds in Kings, or more exact no more beds in any London hospital now. So should we decide not to come in, but then Vega would run a fever again at night we were likely to be transferred to Oxford, the nearest hospital with a free bed atm. So off Vega and Ray went to prevent having to travel out of town later on.
And they were fine, even without me obsessing over counts and antibiotics. Ray sent me this picture to keep me up to date-
Vega didn’t get another temp and was released home with oral antibiotics for a week, as her neutrophil count was still so low. She is home and well, despite the cough and the foot.
When I started to feel better yesterday I said to Ray that I can’t believe it was the 22nd of December already. Ray said “and what a shit year it has been”. And yes, we had our shitty moments, Vega quite frankly had a hellish time most year, but I can not think of this as a shit year. Our hardship has rallied our families and friends and I have truly seen the best in people this year. It would be just plain old ungrateful if I’d label this year as crap, when I have seen such kindness from so many of you. Helping us with hugs, money, warm food, presents, cards, babysitting and emotional support. I guess 2012 will forever be high ranking in my worst year ever count (actually, I am not really keeping track like that, but for illustrative purposes only), but I hope in the future I will remember all this kindness and not all the heartache I experienced this year.
And so, I like to remind myself that this is the season to remember and see the good things, the ones to be grateful for. To be thankful for health and family and friends and love. Not to fret over what happened yesterday or what might come tomorrow. To think of those who suffer right now and to think about what might make their suffering less or more bearable. To tell the people that mean something to you that they really do and mean it. To hug my children and let them know that I love them and that together we can get through anything.
We have a very special Christmas to celebrate, and a very special birthday. There will be bloods and chemo, too.