Day -4

The guy who cleans my room is always good for a riddle. So far I have not solved a single one. I blame it on the drugs circulating through my brain. Last night the rabbit anti-bodies disagreed with me. Around 6pm I started to shiver; then it turned to the sweats. The fever burned and the elevated blood pressure pounded most of the night. Apparently there’s nothing much unusual in my experience. But knowledge of that didn’t make it feel any better.

The evening nurse scolded me for letting several cables drop to the floor when I got up to use the toilet. I couldn’t tell if she was serious or somehow playing. But I consoled myself with the thought that perhaps every hospital needs a Nurse Ratchet. The night-time nurse was attentive and comforting, but clearly also a force to be reckoned with. These two are veterans of the transplant ward. They’ve seen it all. They know how to make sure what needs to be done—medicine taken, rest taken—gets done, but they also have sympathy for the patients. One part drill-sergeant, another part camp counselor. The evening shift nurse tends towards the drill sergeant.

It was a fitful night. The fever and sweats lasted nearly throughout. I awoke feeling better, but distinctly worse than yesterday morning and the day before. The baseline is dropping along with my blood counts. The chemo seems to be effective in killing off blood production. My hemoglobin is down, which results in fatigue. I didn’t exercise this morning. It was just too damn hard after the night I'd had. I didn’t take the decision lightly. I know it’s important to do. If tonight goes better, I’ll do it tomorrow.

My mouth is as dry as a desert. This brings no joy to eating. The bread and cheese for breakfast felt like wadded up paper in my mouth. It was all I could to swallow it. That’s also the chemo.

I’m getting more rabbit anti-bodies today (and tomorrow). The nurses tell me it should not be as bad as yesterday. In any, case my big plans for the day are to spend it mostly in bed, dozing and waiting for it to pass.

Day -3

Day -5