Down But Not Out

Who Peed in His Own Toilet Tonight…This Guy!
I knew it was a possibility, but didn’t want to get my hopes up.  When I was admitted, Dr. Cripe said we’d make a determination early this week on whether I needed to stay in the hospital or if I was doing well enough to go home after chemo.  Now, none of this plays into my overall prognosis.  It’s not a sign that my path will be any easier or harder than I’ve been told.  This is simply a reflection of my current response to chemo.  So early this afternoon, with Dr. Cripe’s blessing, Lindsey and I walked out of Simon Cancer Center.  I’m Free!

Time at Home
Essentially my body is going to do what it is going to do.  The only benefit of staying in the hospital is A) I have quicker access to medical services and B) Ya, I can’t think of a B.  If my counts drop too low and I get a neutropenic fever, I will be readmitted.  But there is nothing that staying in the hospital would do to help prevent that.  If I get an infection, I will also be admitted.  There’s some debate on whether I’m safer in the hospital or out, so given the choice, I said out.  Essentially, if I need to be hospitalized, I will just go back.  Things were going well enough that the only reason to keep me was to prevent infection, but I think we can do that effectively at home.

The Best Hugs Ever
Shortly after I got home, the kids got back from the pool and I got the best hugs ever.  Now daddy (can I call myself daddy?) doesn’t have the energy he once did and the kids may take a little while to get used to that.  But overall it’s just good to be around them and for them to be around me.  While the other 2 were playing, Sydney just cuddled up in my arms to lay with me.  That’s the kind of stuff you just can’t get treated with in a hospital.

I Soiled the Sheets
No joke, I soiled our sheets.  Lindsey did a great job of getting the house ready for my return.  Her cleaning OCD will help keep infection away and she had clean sheets all ready to go so I could just slide into bed (because sleeping is about all I do right now).  Now before you get into a bed your wife just cleaned, you always take a shower.  I took said shower, and in the process had to take off the pressure bandage covering the wound where my PICC Line was inserted.  I need to keep the wound covered for 24 hours, so I did what any responsible father of 3 young kids would do.  I found a Frozen themed band-aid and put it over the PICC line wound.  Now, I’m not totally irresponsible.  I did make sure that it wasn’t bleeding and that the band-aid was securely on.  However Frozen band-aids are apparently not rated to maintain sound pressure on a recently closed wound.

I laid down in bed and cuddled up in the clean sheets.  I was actually laying on my right arm, which had the PICC line, and was quite proud of myself that I was essentially adding pressure to keep the wound closed.  However, as we would come to find out, what I was actually doing was most likely pinching the wound in such a way that it allowed blood to flow out.

So fast forward about 15 minutes.  I had fallen asleep in bed with a pillow over my right arm and my head dutifully applying pressure.  Lindsey is cleaning and stands up on the bed to clean the top of the headboard so I don’t get an infection (OCD, remember).  I wake up a bit and move my arm so I can pat her leg or do something loving that doesn’t even compare to all she’s done for me, and then I feel it.  Something sticky on the sheets.  And let me tell you folks, you don’t want wake up to a sticky feeling on your sheets.

She’s a Quart Low
Now, I can’t say how much blood I lost, but I was rather amazed by the size of the blood spot that had formed without me noticing (or being too knocked out to notice).  I had blood all up and down my arm and there was an oval blood stain the size of my head on the sheet (and into the mattress).  Now when you are married to a nurse, this kind of thing isn’t as bad as you would think.  We both calmly took care of the situation, which involved me reassessing my choice of bandage and Lindsey applying all the pressure she could muster to blot the blood out of the mattress.  I found some nonstick bandages and gauze under the sink, which proved to be a better choice than the frozen band-aid.  And Lindsey continued to blot.

Sleep Glorious Sleep
In High School I played the villain Bill Sikes in the musical Oliver.  I did a damn fine job I might add (scared one of the musicians in the orchestra pit out of her chair once).  While one of the main songs in the musical is Food Glorious Food, I found myself cuddled up in my own bed thinking Sleep Glorious Sleep.  After the Frozen band-aid incident of ’15 had settle down, and Lindsey had blotted all she could, I went to sleep.  On her side of the bed of course. I slept all afternoon and evening, only getting up to pee.

And the Powerball Numbers Are:
We promised dropping blood counts and we are about to deliver.  Apparently WBC’s are now 50% off.

WBC- 1.4
Hemoglobin- 9.5
Platelets- 75
ANC – .9

Since I’m an outpatient now, I won’t have labs until Thursday.  The suspense is going to kill me.

More Tomorrow
That should get you up to speed on the latest.  Now it’s time to get back into bed.  But first…

A Duck Dynasty Prayer
Father God, I have no words.  No words to give thanks enough to be home.  Through this journey I’ve always thanked you for each day and now I thank you for each moment.  Each moment here is precious Lord.  Each hug, each kiss, each giggle.  Every little thing I will soak up until I must return to the hospital again.  While I would prefer that time be for an STC, I know there are many steps between here and there.  For now, I will simply say thank you for my home.  Thank you for my family.  And thank you for another day.

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