Nashville or Bust

The trip that started a longer journey

Day +5: Night into Morning

“Going away, away toward the sea
River deep, can you lift up and carry me
Oh roll on through the heartland
‘Til the sun has left the sky
River, river, carry me high”

— Peter Gabriel, Washing of the Water

It has been five days since Dave’s stem cell transplant. A lot of things have happened and he’s entering the low point of the cycle. Numbers are dropping just like the team said they would. He’s uncomfortable. His appetite is gone. He’s had one blood transfusion and from the looks of his counts on the tote board, he most likely will need another soon. There is a fringe of fever so nurses hover, constantly checking his temperature with antibiotics and culture swabs at the ready. The pivotal balance of this entire journey continues.

Again, all things expected and as explained. But after such a strong start, it is difficult to witness the dip. He has to ride this out. We both have to trust the process.

My husband is sick. He is keeping a strong front but his system inside is fragile. Relinquishing everything and every thing to this statement is hard — hard because it is true. Sitting in the dark of his hospital room, there is a void and it is enhanced by this truth echoing in my head. I feel small especially as I watch him sleep.

Dave had cyclical low days during this first round of Lymphoma with the CHOP chemo and again, some minor post side effects a few days after each RICE chemo treatment in July.  For those low points he was home and we were able to manage as a team. But this is different. Bigger leagues. Different scenario. The effects of six days of chemo leading up to the transplant are being felt and seen. Similar to an earthquake in one region that sets off a tsunami in another, the latent response is difficult to reconcile. I have to remind myself that this is the chemo hitting and not the transplant. Until those stem cells remember who they are, where they are and what it is they need to do, it is all a matter of recalibration, waiting and yes, riding out the storm.

I didn’t anticipate being with him tonight as my job has been to keep things stable for the kids and maintain a quasi-normal life/work existence. But given the way he was feeling, I decided to run up for a quick check in after dinner. Instinctual? Perhaps.

Dave had another fainting spell while he was up on his feet with his nurse. His first happened on Thursday resulting in a fall.

This time I saw it happen. I was stunned, frightened and rendered useless. Somehow his nurse held him up, yelling for help, while I was there, frozen. It happened so quickly. One moment he was speaking then he went slack.

They’ve determined that it is a blood pressure situation — another reminder of how hard his body is fighting to realign itself. He needs to stay in bed while he heals. His freedoms and independence are on temporary hold. Relinquishing everything and every thing to this need is hard, too. But he is resting now and that is good.

I really should get back home to the kids but I don’t want to leave. I’m toggling between two different realities, two very different regions, two different manifestations. Same storm. I’m grateful for the extensions I have in both nurses and family who are there to help especially during the times I feel most torn and useless. It truly is a pivotal balance. ~Jacqui

September 14, 2015 Posted by | Dave | 4 Comments