zen.org Communal Weblog

March 9, 2011

It’s working

Filed under: — elana @ 23:44 GMT

On my third trip into see B today (first was with P, then back to talk to the social worker and hang out, then back again after the boys were in bed), we got good new: his white blood cell numbers are dropping already.

He was admitted with a WBC level of 101.5. Today it is 79.2. We want them to drop, in order for new cells to grow and see how they regenerate (there are enough docs reading this to tell me if I’m incorrect). As a side effect, his red blood cell count is also dropping; he’s technically anemic. They will give him a RBC transfusion once the WBC reach a certain level (no, I didn’t ask, it was a lot to be scribbling down).

There was a lot of fever today, and he’s looking more uncomfortable and really not that happy. This is normal, the fevers, and he’s on paracetamol (Tylenol) and 2 antibiotics to combat the fever some. Fever is normal, the lovely night nurse told us, so we are taking it as B is totally normal. For once in his life. 😀

We got other good news from family too (/waves to D&D) and we will take any and all good news that appears.

Also, shout out to Walter (thanks for the lift), his daughter Third In Command for staying with the boys tonight, and Declan, for putting out my green bin while I was away.

And now, as the night nurse said “You look knackered!” Very little food for the day (sorry, no, I really am trying to eat but everything makes me think I’ll be sick) and very long day equals Elana coming down with a cold. So off to bed for me and hopefully for you all too. B took a sleeping pill tonight while I was there, so I’m pretty sure he’s deep in dreamland.

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Day 2 (B)

Filed under: — brendan @ 21:21 GMT

Today has been pretty easy-going, compared to the days before it. I woke up at 6am having to pee a few gallons, and by the time I got back to bed I found I was having trouble breathing. It felt just like an asthma attack when I was little.

I told the nurse, who got the on-call doctor to come and check me out. I could inhale, but exhaling was really hard. He listened to my chest, checked my temperature and blood pressure, did an EKG (with little sticky metal jobbies to do the reads, all of which yank out chest hair incredibly well), and in the end said everything else seemed okay. It’s traditionally one of the ways anxiety manifests itself when someone’s mind is trying to handle traumatic information. Another time in the day when I had to go to the bathroom, I found my heart absolutely racing when I got back to my bed. Same deal. All expected, and they said I shouldn’t try too hard to chill out—just let everything take its natural course.

I slept reasonably well through the night, even without the sleeping pill which was offered (“refused” was the nurse’s way of phrasing it, making it likely I’ll accept it tonight). However I had a bit of a fever, which made me overheat and sweat. After that breathing stuff, my energy was absolutely gone despite all the sleep I thought I’d saved up. I was able to fall back to sleep a little, but had to go slowly.

Patrick was able to come visit today! Elana had done an amazing job of talking to him yesterday about what was going on, and he showed that he’d been processing some of the information, and didn’t look upset. They were here for about 45 minutes, in which he and I got to talk about all sorts of things. I showed him the view out of the window I’m near in my room, which is a really pretty view of the Dublin Bay and Howth.

He asked me what the thing patched on my neck was. I lifted my shirt and explained why the central line was there. He didn’t look scared, which was a great relief. He then noticed the back of both of my hands were riddled with little red marks where they’d been trying to draw blood before the central line went in. I told him they had to do it to try to get blood from me. He thought for a second, then announced, “That’s just MEAN! Why can’t they be more careful?!”

The time flew by, but it felt wonderful to get to see him. Might be able to see Eoin, age 4, tomorrow. Both of the boys made be get-well cards on big sheets of paper, which are now taped up onto the wall by my bed next to a picture of them from when I was in Gorey last year for an Educate Together Board meeting and E brought the boys down to pick me up.

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Quick update from E

Filed under: — elana @ 14:39 GMT

Brendan has actue myeloic leukemia. He has been admitted to St Vincent’s Hosptial in Dublin, on St Anne’s ward. He’ll be here for at least a month, as he started chemotherapy last night. While he’d love to see everyone, and say hello, right now it’s just not possible. Patrick was able to come in this morning for about a half hour, and tomorrow we’re hoping Eoin does too, if B is strong enough for it. Again, that’s what this blog is for, virtual visits to him (and questions) and he or I will answer as much as we can. We think the hospital has blocked Facebook, so posts there won’t get seen by B, but he does check Twitter a little.

Today we met with a social worker to discuss what is going on, and how they can help us with pretty much everything. It was wonderful to know that other safety net is there (beyond you all, I mean). The meeting wore out B quite a bit, he’s napping while I type this next to him. He has a chest xray scheduled for this afternoon, so he’s saving himself up for that.

I’ll be heading home to the boys soon, and hoping I can come back in tonight. His room is lovely (it has a view of the bay) and he has a roommate who seems nice, but sleeps a lot.

P has a playdate today, and tomorrow as well. Eoin does too, which is great for them. Yes, they know. Eoin is too young to get it, but P got it pretty well. Seeing B was helpful for him I think, esp since Eoin tomorrow might end up being his last visitor for a while other than me.

Cards, emails, videos, stupid cat jokes, all are welcome (flowers aren’t allowed on the ward). We do feel all the good vibes coming from all over the world, and it helps keep us afloat in this wild sea.

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