Paul started chemotherapy on Tuesday and so far it has been a disaster. Tonight is his second night in hospital, where we ended up yesterday afternoon with him in very awful pain with stomach cramps. Paul doesn't really register pain in normal times. We started the night with an intern Paul knew from his surgical rotation on the wards from his last hospital visit. I told this young man that Paul was pretty stoic and that if he says he is in unbearable pain, it really is unbearable. The young intern nodded. "Oh, yes," he said, "We all remember Paul, he's a legend." So then they gave him lovely drugs, and Paul perked up again. Some tests later he was diagnosed with colitis, an inflamed bowel lining.
"That is a very angry bowel," said the doctor, looking at the scan results.
So Paul sits in his hospital bed with a very angry bowel, although it is much less angry than it was, mostly due to the fact he hasn't eaten in over a day. I have never actually seen Paul angry, but now he has an invisible angry body part. I'm not quite sure where things will go from here, because the poor man can't survive if the chemo does this to him every fortnight. We see the oncologist on Friday for advice. Meanwhile, we are beginning to know the hospital quite well, important information like there is always a warming cupboard where the warm blankets are.
Today they let Paul out and he is home again, snug in his cabin on the mountain, with lots of drugs and some soothing soup that I sent home with him. Poor poppet. He is so tired. He hasn't slept enough for days, weeks actually. Well, there may have been several days of good sleep between having all his belly drains removed and starting chemo. Not enough, though.
I am feeling pretty wrung out today. I always think I am doing pretty well when Paul is having a crisis, then I fall in a tiny heap when he gets better. I have been doing a lot of housework today, and I thought I was just being very accomplished until Red pointed out that I was stress cleaning.
"You know you only get the vacuum cleaner out when you are stressed, Mum."
It's true, I'd forgotten. On normal weeks the floors get a lick and a promise with the broom, but on stress days nothing less than the full dust and vacuum routine will soothe the ragged nerves. I have also developed two patches of psoriasis, one on each middle finger. I am thinking there must be some deep meaning behind this, but cannot summon the energy to research it.
There were going to be some soothing photos, but that is one step too far. Tell me stories about what you are all up to, with links if you have blogs. I love to hear about your lives xxx