Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not Uncommon Is Not Necessarly Fine ...

I'm angry. As illogical and pointless as it is ... I am angry.

Mr. ThirtyWhat was released from the hospital a little over a week ago on September 7th. He did alright for a few days ... then the fever started creeping back. Now we're nearly back where we started ... at least as far as the fever is concerned.

Each day I get home from work, he's around 99.5 ... but by the time we walk upstairs and relax for bed around eight o'clock, he's around 100.3. If we intervene with Tylenol, we can get it back down in the 99's ... but he still has a low grade fever until he wakes in the morning ... when it vanishes.

Every morning ... no temp. Every afternoon ... low grade temp. Every evening ... temp spikes. You can almost set your watch by it. The doctors are clueless ... his white blood cells are relatively normally and they can't find an infection. They simply can't find a reason for it. But that's not why I'm mad.

We had to go back in to see the doctor today, and he casually announces that Mr. ThirtyWhat's blood count is very low ... he's anemic. But he "thinks" we can avoid a transfusion. I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. I mean, had they been considering a transfusion up to that point? What the hell is going on?

Come to find out that his blood count has been steadily dropping since July ... although they apparently didn't find this important enough to share. The doctor says this is "not uncommon" with cancer patients ... and that they assumed they would be re-admitting him to the hospital today. But they think he's doing well enough to stick with giving him fluids in the Infusion Center ... and hopefully, in the next month or two, his blood count will rise on it's own back to a safe level.

I asked if they were going to give Mr. ThirtyWhat medicine to fight off the fatigue, weakness, and dizziness that are by-products of the anemia ... and he says ... no. As long as he isn't out of breath, we're going to let it go and see if it gets better on it's own.

I'm just speechless. I understand this isn't life threatening. I understand it's "not uncommon." But they don't understand that knowledge is what keeps me grounded. It makes me feel safe. It makes me feel, in some very small way, in control. So when the doctor casually remarks, "If you lost this much blood at once, you'd pass out ... but since it's been happening a little each day, your body's adjusted" ... I do not react well.

Crying doesn't help ... yelling doesn't help ... sleeping doesn't help. I don't know if anything helps, at this point. I guess him getting better will help. And today the doctor says we're still another two weeks away from feeling as though we've "turned a corner" with this.

Patience is a virtue, yes?

Said woman take it slow
It'll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
Said sugar make it slow
And we'll come together fine
All we need is just a little patience

Guns n Roses - Patience


  1. Have they possibly discussed epoetin injections?

  2. No ... no discussions on Procrit or giving him iron in his infusion ...

    He's so weak ... although I suppose that doesn't have to be the anemia ... taking in a mere 200 calories a day for weeks on end would do that to you.

    He says he's feeling demoralized and I can understand ... I'm getting that way too ...

  3. Stay angry. Your husband needs a "pain in the ass" advocate. I sometimes think that doctors think you read their minds or they see so many that they sometimes think they have discussed stuff with you.