The guy in the lift yesterday looked tired. In his hand he held a list:
‘Poor guy!’ I said to Sam as we stepped out at the level our car was parked on.
‘Yeah’ she said, ‘made me think of Dad’.
‘Only he takes two lists, yours and mine.’ I replied.
We laughed together as if it was hysterical but then tears came to Sam’s eyes. Nothing is funny at all about being sick and in hospital. She cried as I reversed, as I drove my car down the multi-levels of the car park, as we drove through the turnstile that took my weekly pass and all through the bumper to bumper traffic home from St Leonards to home. I had no words for her and my heart felt like it was drowning under the weight of those silent tears rolling down her checks.
We were released from Aged Care (the only place were there was a bed over the weekend) on Tuesday and returned on Wednesday for a horrible afternoon of chemotherapy. A drug called Cyclophosphamide which can rupture your kidneys. To monitor Sam’s response she is weighed at the beginning and end of treatment, three litres of fluid is pumped intravenously into her body to offset the drug and help dilute it in the kidney. Throughout the afternoon urine is measured and a final calculation is done to make sure she puts on no weight. On departure we are told that if there is any sign of blood in the urine to return to Emergency to be admitted. Check for fevers; keep away from anyone unwell etc.
We were back again today to see the specialist and to have more blood tests. He was surprisingly cheerful which was refreshing.
Like yesterday, however, nothing about today was really funny. Dr Greenwood asked us to stay until the blood results came back and to not to start the oral chemotherapy drug until the results where back. Reid, who was already late for his Bondi appointment, decided he’d better leave and come back for us. This meant Sam and I wouldn’t get to shop for the boots that I had planned to select now I had teaching money on its way (I did a casual day the other day). It also meant that we would have to sit unprepared for waiting another two to three hours. The nurse came back after the bloods where sent down and said she negotiated with Dr Greenwood to call us when the bloods were back. To hang onto the oral chemotherapy drugs until he spoke to us and that we were okay to leave. I called Reid but he was already on the other side of the Harbour Bridge and it didn’t seem fair to make him turn around.
‘We could go to Chatswood on the train,” Sam suggested and though I knew it was a stupid idea I couldn’t make her wait another minute in the hospital where we have spent the best part of the last two and a half months. So we started to walk stopping occasionally for Sam to vomit in the bag the hospital had given. We made it to the station and ultimately to Chatswood Westfield and both realized it hadn’t been a good plan.
My main goal was to buy Sam an internet connection for the beautiful Apple Mac Laptop that so many incredible people contributed to buying for her 21st. This way when admitted to hospital for the five day stay next week (and every other fortnight till the end of May) she could at least be in connection via email to the outside world.
This task accomplished, we headed to the disabled toilets for more vomiting and then admissions called to say that Sam’s hospital stay has been postponed until 22nd of April instead of the 15th. My heart sunk as I realized she would be in hospital for nearly all of the Presence Conference. It sunk further when I spoke to the nursing staff and they told me we would need to come back at 10am tomorrow morning, Good Friday for a transfusion of FFPs to replace Sam’s platelet count and that we should arrive at 9am Easter Sunday to have more blood tests taken and to wait for a pending blood transfusion to up the counts of her HB! I was so looking forward to watching Pastor Phil paint and to accompany Emma’s Jewish friend from Uni to the service and to having lunch as a family afterwards at home.
On Tuesday we return again for more blood tests and if they are good Sam will have a bone marrow. On Wednesday we will be back again for another Lumber Puncture. At the time of writing this Sam is wiping more vomit from her lips and convincing me that she is fine to go to Grant’s house for a visit.
How can I say no? How can a mum stop her 21 year old from having the slightest bit of fun?
“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord,