Day +14, Tuesday

Photo of the Day: This morning, my White Blood Count – a numeric used to determine engraftment of my new stem cells – jumped to 0.40, up from 0.29 yesterday. The photo above is what my actual WBC graph looks like, starting October 22 through this afternoon, with my PA Erin’s finger making a cameo.

It was always going to be a late night, as my Team ordered a a pint of blood and second round of platelets. The morning platelet failed to bump my count up to an acceptable level, so I find myself watching Brian on MSNBC, texting with my folks and Aunt Lucy and getting a second infusion. My Team wants to keep my platelet level above 20, as I’ve had a few fevers; apparently fevers eat platelets the same way I consume frozen suckers. One word – carnage.

Day +14 started out rough, when I realized that I couldn’t swallow. It was a feeling of slight panic combined with terrible Mucositis, the sensation of a vice grip on my throat and a weirdly dry mouth. The pain was unbearable. In some ways it was good, as I wasn’t focused on my bladder or my tush, so that counts for something, right?

When my PA Erin came in shortly after 7 am, I mentioned that I would need to switch to IV calories – it simply hurt too much to swallow. Thankfully she jumped into action and I had a consult with Pain & Palliative Care before my Team met via their online platform at 8 am, and moving forward, we’ve got a few more options to keep the pain down. 12 hours later, it is still working and I managed to consume about 1200 kcal throughout the day (all liquids).

Medication doses are a different beast, though. There may have been a tear or two when I saw this:

I wish it were as easy as a Spoonful of Sugar helping my medicine go down.
Once my pain was under control, I managed to drink an Ensure, so I wouldn’t take meds on an empty stomach. Ice chips, hot tea and plain yogurt all helped me swallow my pills, pain management was key. It was a very clunky process though, and in the end, took well over an hour. But seeing as it’s Day +14 and I’m not allowed out of the hospital, it’s not like I had any wild and crazy plans.

The remainder of my day was very low key. There was a lot of waiting to see if I was going to get/need blood or platelets, and then waiting for said blood products to arrive. I started listening to an episode of This American Life, but dozed – what is it about Ira’s voice that just make me fall asleep? I also started a paper version of The NY Times crossword puzzle, meaning I don’t complete it on my NYT app; I love my iPhone, but there’s something so wonderful about taking ink to crossword, just like Aunt Lucy taught me. Yes, its a bold move, so I write small (Aunt Lucy taught me that as well).

One last look, because science rocks!

  1. I see wild and crazy times in your future! Lots of them: times with Andy, times on mountains, times on trails with Christine, times laughing as only you and I can laugh together ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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  2. Look forward to pain free good times. A big positive bounce awaits supplemented by Mom’s arrival. All will be well. I am so sorry that you have such horrible pain but you will overcome that and soon. Keep up the crosswords. Your Grandpa Chrislock did them nearly day for 50 years. Both your grandfathers
    Passed on to you fantastic genes.
    ❤️Dad

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  3. Thinking of you Marit and today as I shoveled our new snow I couldn’t help but think how fresh abs cold the air felt on my face as I swore at the heavy wet stuff!
    Keep on shoveling those meds and the hope and positive attitude.
    We love you ❤️

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