Day 1,172

Our week of excitement continues. No, I didn’t pass out again, but on Saturday night, I did manage the combination of getting really cold and spiking a fever very quickly – symptoms that require admission to the hospital for further evaluation, as they can be signs of an infection that could lead to serious complications. So, just a few minutes after it officially became Sunday, we packed up our stuff and headed back to The Resort at Wake Forest Baptist.

After an overly long admission process – why, exactly, is it important to confirm the correct mailing address for my emergency contact? Are you going to let them know there’s something wrong with a telegram? Shouldn’t the words “emergency contact” rule out the postal system as a means of communication to begin with? – we made our way up to Ardmore tower. And then the sticking began. Two needles to the chest to access my portacath, then a needle in each arm to draw peripheral blood samples to confirm that the infection isn’t from the portacath itself. When combined with the clinic visits on Tuesday and Friday and the ER trip on Thursday, that brought my total count to seven needle sticks in six days. Needless to say, I’m ready to be done with people shoving sharp objects into my skin.

The fever finally broke mid-morning on Sunday, and thankfully has stayed away over the last 24 hours or so. Unfortunately, the blood draws showed that my immune system is still on vacation, and my blood cell counts haven’t started to climb at all. We’re now on Day 21 since I began my last round of chemo, and my counts have usually recovered by Day 22 or so, but it looks like they’re going to be slower to come back this time around. The general plan sounds like it may be to keep me here until my neutorphil count reaches 500, meaning I’d have enough infection fighters to keep any future fevers at bay, but that timeframe might keep me here the rest of the week, and potentially even leave me in the hospital through Christmas. Needless to say, that’s not really my preferred option, so I’m going to ask them to take my desires into consideration and send me home in the next few days. My argument is that they were okay with me being at home with no neutrophils last week, so they should be okay with that same situation this week. We live close enough to the hospital where we can always come back if another fever sets in. We’ll see if logic and reason can overcome the medical proclivity to never take any risks, however.

So, that’s basically the story from here. I’m going to attempt to talk my way out of here soon, but unless I can channel my inner car salesman, I’m probably stuck back in the hospital for a little while.

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