Day 11: Bright, sun-shining day (Tuesday 8 November)
November 9, 2011 1 Comment
Before I get started tonight I want to send love and best wishes to Aunty Mary, my Nanna Zora’s sister, who had another operation for her breast cancer today. She first had cancer just before I had my first go in 2002 and now we’re both on the treadmill again. Here’s to fighting the tough fight Aunty Mary.
This morning we woke to sunshine for the first time since we arrived in China. We walked to the hospital under a blue sky and I thought that the title for today’s entry should be from the Everlife song, “I can see clearly now.” You know the one… “It’s gonna be a bright, bright, bright, bright sun-shining day.” It started out that way…
But now I feel like total crap. This is so hard.
I woke twice during the night from flank pain; obviously my tumours were not happy. I am convinced it is this damn hotel bed making things worse because even the hospital bed doesn’t make me ache like this. We’re going to get out of this hotel soon.
Today was meant to be an easy day of KLT and chlorophyll drops, with a nice three o’clock finish. It was not to be.
I had a pleasant morning and entertained myself by emailing friends and watching episodes of United States of Tara. Things were fine one minute then all of a sudden I started to feel like crap. I became all emotional, upset and frustrated and generally felt unwell. For those of you who have ever watched Tara, you’ll know about her ‘transitions.’ This transition of mine wasn’t a personality shift, but it was definitely a shift to some other state of being.
I ditched the devices and tried to go into a state of near-sleep, so that I could rest but still open my mouth often enough for the drops. As time passed it became obvious I was getting another temperature, even though that wasn’t scheduled til tomorrow! Brad and the interpreter came back from looking at some apartments and I had weakened noticeably.
Dr Yan came to discuss my condition with me and tried to assure me that things are OK. It was explained to me that the process of the body getting rid of tumour cells after they’ve died off can often cause a temperature or fever. He is of the firm belief that this is a good sign. I eventually had more Chinese medicine to help the temperature (only 38 degrees, not 39.5 like the other day) and got enough strength up to leave the hospital to go and get some food (I hadn’t eaten much since breakfast because of the drops then the difficulty getting suitable food afterwards).
Things are not helped by the fact that my haemoglobin is low as well (90). It has dropped since arriving in China so being anaemic means I have low energy reserves and I look incredibly pale and pasty. On the days I have been having drops I have been trying to have both bottles straight through which takes four-five hours. I haven’t been eating during the process because it means an hour of interruption to the drops (you can’t have drops half an hour either side of eating). But given how hard it is to get food at different times of the day, and given my weak state, from now on I am going to make sure I stop the drops to eat even though it will extend the total length of my days in hospital.
I got a lecture on nutrition from the medical staff today. It is easy enough said, but difficult to implement when you’re reliant on eating out all the time. Other than having more meat and more regular meals, the doctors told me to have Goji berries and Chinese dates to help improve my HB levels. We found a place to eat beef tonight which sort of resembled a teppanyaki restaurant. We both perked up a little after that. Then I managed to find the Goji berries and the dates at the supermarket. Maybe on my next day off we will go and find a big steak to eat.
Note to AJ: if you can figure out how I can get them through customs I will bring some dates back for you. Note to Heather: thank you for all your tips on how to keep anaemia at bay. Note to Baker: thanks for the links to the steakhouses!
Turns out I spoke too soon in relation to taking Panadol in such a lackadaisical manner. I told the doctors today that I’d taken a couple of Panadol to ease the pain this morning and they went into a tail spin. They started freaking out that it might mess with my kidney function or liver function. I tried to explain that it was ‘just paracetamol,’ but not surprisingly I don’t know the Mandarin phrase for that yet. I took them to the GSK Panadol website so they could read more about the drug and they seemed a little less concerned, but also said they were going to go and look into it to see if they’d let me take it or not. Bugger. Maybe this is just like any other hospital after all!
For those of you eager for the next instalment of my matchmaking efforts I do have an update for you today. It seems that my trusty interpreter is indeed ready to ditch her younger boyfriend who is apparently just too young and inconsiderate. This news excited me a great deal because I thought it would open the door for me to weave my magic and unite doctor and interpreter. It looks like I may have been too slow out of the gate! It turns out that my interpreter already has another potential boyfriend waiting in the wings and that he declared his interest in her quite a few months ago. Geez, you gotta be quick around here. But, there is a hitch. It turns out that this new prospect is the ex-boyfriend of a classmate friend of hers. They went out for six years and have been broken up for two. Hmmmm. I implored her to discuss the prospect of going out with her friend’s ex with her friend before she did anything about it, and that in doing so, she needs to be ready and willing to lose that friend. Of course, this is all worst case scenario. Maybe her friend has moved on and doesn’t give a hoot about her ex-boyfriend and who he goes out with. Maybe.