|"Honest, Sweety, the Amazon reviews say this is JUST as good as the expensive hospital machine!"
The very good news is that Mrs. Jarlsberg may be able to come home from the hospital in a few days!
That being said, she's not cured, not particularly healthy, not comfortable at all, not nearly over the effects of chemo, and not necessarily ready to be cared for by an aging doofus instead of a 24/7 staff of medical experts. But it will mean a lot to all our spirits to get her home again (restoring the heart and soul of our home) as she continues chemo treatments on an outpatient basis. I think.
I say "I think" because we continue to fail to get useful information from anyone. I've been carrying a list of unanswered questions as basic as these:
• Where are we in the grand scheme of things?
• Is she doing well?
• What happens now?
• What challenges should we expect or prepare for?
• How does one care for a leukemia patient at home?
• What medicines is she on and why?
• After having her immune system wiped out, is she no long vaccinated against ANYthing?
And much, much, much more. Like learning new dietary restrictions, because there are certain foods that are hazardous to people with compromised immune systems. As God is my witness, one list of forbidden foods warns of the perils of any "blue-veined cheese" - specifically Stilton. Although I don't know if the parts of me that aren't blue-veined are as risky.
It's a pity that I don't have the energy to do justice to the many amusing anecdotes I could share about recent days. Like when your wife really, really needs a bag of platelets but we're told "the blood bank is out of platelets." Or when a crusty nurse's aide insists on wearing her plain-paper Covid mask two inches below her nose while breathing directly on a woman with a thoroughly compromised immune system.
And remember that emergency root canal I had? I had to pay $3200 up front and then the temporary fell out within 24 hours. Today I had to return to the clinic (stealing time away from Kathy after a tense and sleepless night) because the exposed tooth shards were slicing up the inside of my cheek. And someday, a long time from now, if everything goes well, I'll share the story of the Horrible Thing I saw on the Seventh Floor. Even now my blood runs cold, and I'm not kidding.
We're a long, long way from being in the clear...and that's fine. A long and rough road ahead looks a lot better than the "dead end" sign we were originally presented with. We're grateful for each day, and even more grateful that there is growing cause for hope.
For the time being, you can pretty much expect that health updates will be the subject of this blog. In part because this is my whole world right now, but also - importantly - because the support you've been giving us is still needed, appreciated, and making a difference. I don't know how we'll ever put together a proper in-person gathering, but when it happens the drinks are on me - and I'm not talking about Clan MacGregor.
Thank you for continuing on this journey with my family. And for being part of my family. Keep those positive thoughts, good wishes, and prayers coming! -Stilton