Friday, March 14, 2008

Back in the hospital

If I were in a quiet place the last 24 hours, I think I would scream. We're back at the hospital after a rollercoaster ride none of you ever want to experience. More on that later, but some of it's posted on Dori's CaringBridge site. The bullc**p that Dori has to endure seems endless. They told us before the transplant about stuff like this. Endless, prolonged, never-ending, infinite ... you know the words. We're experiencing it.

Dori went to the longterm care clinic yesterday for a routine check-up. She's been feeling good the last week or so, but things turned dramatically yesterday morning. Her blood counts plummeted and her nurse practitioner called me, pulling me out of a meeting. She told me they were going to do an emergency biopsy. I was by Dori's side within 30 minutes.

The NP and Dr. Jagasia then essentially prepared us for the worst, saying they didn't like the looks of Dori's bloodwork. You mean like, a relapse, I said? Yes, they answered. They said the blood count drop could be the result of a "drug or a bug," but we'd just have to wait and see. Other staffers saw me, as I waited yesterday, and looked down. I sat through Dori's biopsy, which she doesn't remember, while the three-person team collected her blood and marrow. One of them asked if we have children, which was the beginning of the end for my composure. I fought back tears for half an hour; when they left, you know what happened. I think I woke up Dori, but she doesn't remember my moment. It's one of the saddest moments of my life.

Dori and I held hands during the biopsy. She said what I was thinking, "I can't stop thinking about the kids. " A few hours, or was it weeks, after the biopsy, the NP shared good news ... no relapse, no leukemia. Dori and I were in the clinic, so we just stared at each other in disbelief. Dr. Jagasia joked about enough scares and I quipped that I'd like to get credit for a full marathon after Saturday's half. Dori just sat in silent awe.

Last night, Dori looked more than tired. She started vomiting at 8 p.m. and didn't finish until 5 a.m. When we took her temp this morning (101.2), we made plans to come to the clinic. I'm glad the receptionist didn't protest after asking us if we'd called first. Dori has received fluids, something for her nausea and headaches, and a better blood report. She hasn't budged all morning, so we're playing it safe and getting her readmitted to 11 North. I had hoped to see the last of that place. I wonder if we'll remember everyone's names.

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