I am currently in Room 112, next door to my old room awaiting consolidation chemo. This is so different from induction. Maybe the biggest difference is with induction, I got my diagnosis on the day of admission and this time I have been sitting with it for over a month. With induction, I had no clue of what was coming, now I do. At this point in the last admission, I was completely in denial that I had leukemia; I was pretty sure my labs were so terrible because of a medication effect or a lab error. At this point, I get that I have leukemia.
The funny thing about it is that I feel pretty darned good and my labs are completely normal. It is a very odd situation to take a patient who feels well and whose labs look good and give them a medication that will make them feel awful and mess up their labs. I am a total believer, however, and am ready for it!
It is funny to be back. I know all of the nurses and aids pretty well so far except tonight's nurse! He was on vacation for the first two weeks of my first stay and then managed to spend two weeks in the unit never having me. He said that he thinks he may have checked blood or responded to a light in the middle of the night for me at some point, but he had never really taken care of me. It's odd because most of the people here have had me multiple times. It doesn't seem that he was avoiding me so I think he's OK with taking care of me now.
Dinner was just like old times (except I was hungry tonight) and my stroll was way better than old times because I did it outside! I walked around the whole hospital twice. Once on the sidewalks and the second time taking the paths through the wooded areas. It was lovely. I forgot to bring my sunhat so I bought myself a canvas hat with a UVF rating of 40, no less, at the hospital gift shop. Now I look sort of like Crocodile Dundee. Or something.
It feels a little different to be here too. Maybe because I was here for so long last time, I felt like it was my hospital and I kind of belonged here. This time I feel a little like an imposter. Maybe that feeling will go away when I start chemo. I felt very odd walking the hallways, like if some one had questioned me about my patient wristband, I would have had to admit that I wasn't exactly a sick person. This is not necessarily a bad development.
I continue standing by for chemo.
Evidently there was a snafu with my order, the wrong hydration was ordered, they eyedrops didn't come in in time, etc. so the chemo started at 10 or 10:30 instead of the planned 8. Because I had such a good rash last time, they gave me some "pre-meds" to decrease it--benadryl and decadron. I have had benadryl with my last admission and it puts me right to sleep. I have never had steroids and was very afraid that I might get some parts of the anxious/sleepless/hungry triad that steroids often give to people. Turns out 12.5 mg of benadryl is mightier than 20 mg of decadron for me. They do the pre-meds maybe an hour before they start the chemo so they're working when the chemo starts. I went right to sleep and barely remember the nurse waking me for chemo. I think it is fair to say that I tolerated it well.
This morning I have what may be an area of rash smaller than a dime on one finger (or it may be a bug bite) and nothing else.
Good job, team!