As expected at the end of last week, I'm still in hospital due to my neutrophil count being low. In fact my count on Tuesday, when I hoped to go home for the boys birthday was 0.00 - absolute zero meaning my immune system was non existent. In addition to that my temperature has 'spiked' a couple of times over the weekend and increased for short periods up to at the most 37.8 degrees, which is an indication of a potential infection.
On Monday evening I was told that a bed had become available in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit, where I spent the early days of my treatment, and I was moved back down there about 8pm. Its good to have more space and a room of my own with the en-suite and widescreen TV, but I do miss the company of the patients around me. Since arriving on Monday I have been told that because my count is so low I am confined to my room since its filtered, positive pressure ventilation will reduce the risk of me being infected from the less sterile areas outside my room.
All of this unfortunately meant that much to my disappointment, I wasn't able to go home for the day and spend some time at home with the boys and Andrea. They did come in to the hospital mid morning and spent a couple of hours here. They brought their birthday cards and presents with them and opened them in my hospital room. I suppose there is an advantage to being back in the bone marrow unit in that at least we can have some private time together as a family, which the flimsy curtains around a bedded bay did not afford.
The boys both got a mobile phone each which they've been nattering about for years. Andrea finally gave in, but at least its gives us some comfort that they can keep in touch remotely whilst they are out - as long as they dont lose them! They also got a variety of presents and lots of money, cheques and vouchers so I've no doubt they'll be planning what to spend that on in no time.
My treatment for this phase has now finished completely. The last intra-veinous chemotherapy was given on Monday and I completed the chemotherapy tablets yesterday. So now my bone marrow has a chance to recover its function and already my neutrophil count is growing - up to 0.1 yesterday.
I'm on anti-biotics at the moment to rid my body of the infection that has generated the temperature spikes, and was detected in my blood samples. This also appears to be working such that my temperature has been more consistent today and my headache that has been almost constant for the past month is also easing.
My appetite has been waning a little over the past few days but the dietitian has been to see me today and indicated that as I'm managing to generally maintain my weight, there is no undue cause for alarm.
The doctors visit this morning indicated that I'm more or less certain to spend the weekend here but that as long as my counts continue to increase satisfactorily and my body responds to the anti-biotics there is some potential that I might be allowed home sometime next week for a period of recuperation.
I've been prescribed another two units of blood, which will take my total to ten, and expect to receive these either later today or tomorrow. These usually give me a boost of energy for a short period but hopefully as my bone marrow recovers it will pick up the production of my own blood and I won't need too many other transfusions for the time being at least.
I live in hope then and will tolerate my period of solitary confinement as best I can, as I know that reducing my exposure to the risk of infection will hopefully speed up my recovery and the chances of getting home for a break.
On Monday I managed to spend some time editing my book to incoroprate the changes I picked up during my proof reading, and got about half way through. I hope to use my remaining time in the bone marrow unit to complete this exercise and hopefully take the book to the next stage towards publishing.
Thanks again for reading.